The View From The Asylum

May 16, 2011

I've done just 7 days of Insanity: The Asylum, spread out over the course of two weeks. A few things got in the way--boxing, recovering from boxing, and an exercise class I help lead on Saturdays.

And then there's the fact that I couldn't put any weight on my right leg for the past two days. It's a little better today.

Let's not blame The Asylum. I've built a complicated defense for the program that turned me into an action figure, at least before the whole leg thing. Doing these extreme moves really had my body working the way it should. I felt like a well-oiled machine. A few pounds dropped away almost immediately, which had the effect of turning my muscular look into more of an athletic one. Then I ate that entire bag of chips. Anyway.

The leg problem, I believe, arrived after a series of events. The second time through Speed and Agility, which I believe to be the toughest of the workouts, I went barefoot. Blisters immediately formed on my toes, and in trying to avoid pain, my proprioception was thrown off, which is a fancy way of saying I walked funny. Other muscles in my legs compensated. By the time I got to my Saturday class, one wrong move and my knee was done.

The injury happened two days after the last Asylum workout; that fact, coupled with the results I've seen, makes me place the blame otherwise.

But considering I can't jump right now, I'm out of The Asylum until I can.

June 20, 2011

Every 5 minutes, a body part of Amy's gives up the ghost.

After recovering from the May knee injury, I tried fitting Asylum in again among the boxing and such. But doggone it, something's always tight, something always hurts. Yesterday, I swear the injuries played hide and seek--one minute it'd be my left knee, next my right elbow, then this little pain on the right side of my lower back.

I'm listening to these complaints and adjusting my physical exertion accordingly. I'm also nudging back that familiar voice that whispers, This is it. You're old. Give it up.

But I must admit that once I realized that The Asylum is impossible, I didn't give it everything. The Asylum is impossible, in that the exercises last incredible lengths and keep on coming. When you can bring yourself to look up at the screen, what you'll see through the dripping sweat is that the ex-Marine behind Shaun T has paused to catch his breath and shake off the pain, and that one of the women is actually miming half the stuff rather than using the resistance band you're about to take the scissors to.

That's the point--pushing yourself. Telling your central nervous system that you actually want to teeter toward the edge of cardiac arrest. But it had the reverse effect on me--I give up. I can tell myself all sorts of motivational mumbo jumbo, but the rest of me knows the truth: Shaun T will shut up when I hit "Eject."

With the priority being boxing and not jumping as high as Shaun T, I'm favoring what's required there--getting everything loose and agile in time for my day at the gym. Asylum has contributed to that, but I need a break from it. I'll dabble in it occasionally--I like the one mile race sequence at the start of Game Day, and the Fitness Assessment is in itself a nice workout.

I like looking back at the workouts I've thought were tough in the the past, because what I see is progress. BodyCombat, which had me heaving a few years back, would be cake now. My first fitness boxing attempt, which was awful, would be doable. My second fitness boxing class, which was like the first except ramped up and nonstop, would be a nice workout rather than an impossible one.

And now The Asylum. A year ago I would have crumpled to the ground in the first minute of any of the DVDs. So there's that. But I'm still unhappy with my reaction to pressure. I desire the challenge, yet I fall prostrate before it. Because why make life any harder than it already is? Your advice is welcome.


  1. I think it's awesome that you can monitor your progress this way. Keep up the fabulous, insane, wonderful work!

    I experienced a similar "hey, I used to suck!" thing when I moved from one gym to another (tougher) place. I know for a fact that I would never have survived, fitness-wise, at my current gym if I had started out there. Whew.

    I also see it happen in running. Once upon a time a half mile in the heat would have conquered me. Yesterday, 95 degrees, four miles, no complaints.

    Yay for us!!

  2. That's awesome, Lisa. I envy you the intense gym--mine isn't exactly laid-back, but if I had a drill sargent in my ear every time I was there, I would have no need for Asylum at home.


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