The Jacksons, Week 18: Are These the X-Games?

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

stair climber picture

Stair-climber machines, I'm not scared of you. Credit: Deidra Jackson

Who am I? And just what am I made of?

I asked myself those and other deep meditative questions as I walked briskly on a treadmill set on a steep incline at a steady unyielding clip. It was another relentless workout session at the University of Mississippi's Turner Center. And it was just another day that Jenn Hall, my personal trainer, was pushing me to perform.

From the treadmill, I moved to the stationary bicycle. Then it was on to the rowing machine for another few minutes. Is it time to rest now, and find some sweet relief? Not yet. It seems that I had many more miles to go. At Jenn's command, I left that machine to work out on another -- the stair step/climbing apparatus. After about a one-minute break, where I could glug down some water, wipe sweat and pray silently for strength, she had me do it all over again. And, again.

Welcome to intense circuit training. At least it was extreme for me.

And I loved every minute of it.

I'll admit that during some of these intense personal-training sessions I've come close to hoping a fire alarm or some sudden non life-threatening emergency would occur to spring me from what the lactic acid in my muscles is calling torture. But you know what? I always pull it out, finding strength from deep within. I convince myself not to give up, that I've got to finish this rep, power through these final minutes, and heave these final 75 pounds. In the big scheme of my life, I see these moments as just an instant, and I've got to make the most of them.

After surviving a similarly tough exercise regimen the week prior -- strength push-ups, lobbing boxing punches and jumping rope -- I felt like Rocky Balboa, that fictional southpaw boxer. Yes, at times it felt like a near-death experience, but I, the bruised and battered underdog, endured the challenge and won.

Deep introspection comes out of exhaustion. Or is it from "knocking on death's door?"

I haven't told many people, but I'm going to compete in my first half-marathon in a few weeks, the Run 4 Hope, a local charity run that raises money for camps for children and youth with diabetes, and those living with cancer. This rigorous circuit training is helping me prepare for the race, and Jenn intends to kick more consistent running into my routine to help me prepare. The prospect makes me feel nauseous, nervous, excited and a whole range of other emotions all at once. Can I really do this? Will I be able to finish it? Will I pass out at the end of the race?

You don't have to be a Healthy Families Challenger to dig deep and find the strength to push through your own fitness regimen. If you have the will, you'll find a way.

I'm game for this. I can do it.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.

How is the Jackson family doing? Check in on their progress!


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.