I wanted to mention a few more things about my night running class. After our laps around the track, we do 3 minutes of strength training: 1 minute in "Plank" position, 1 minute of crunches, and 1 minute of push-ups. Let me tell you, these are the longest 180 seconds of my week. But I'm getting stronger.
The best part about strength training is the close quarters. Since the ground is all muddy and wet, we share a tarp. Imagine, if you will, a 5' x 5' blue tarp spread on the ground, in the dark. Then picture 9 ladies, lined around the edges, doing various training moves in semi-unison. During Plank, our hands are on the tarp. During crunches, we all sit on the tarp facing outward, and alternate up and down with the person next to us so there's room for everyone's shoulders. During push-ups, we kneel with hands in front of us (and the really strong gals don't use their knees at all).
I've never exercised in such close proximity before. Not to mention I don't know these women well. But the camaraderie of shared experience disguises the fact that we're practically strangers. We all have our headlamps on and we're elbow to elbow (I'm careful not to look at anyone head on, or I'll get blinded). We breathe heavy in each others' ear shot while concentrating on the repetition.
One of the women has been telling a continuing story about someone they know personally who is on Jeopardy. We get a one-minute installment of the story during Plank. Last week during push-ups, one woman asked, "Who likes Twinkies?!" We all laughed. Nice distraction. On Monday, when we rolled onto our back for crunches, we realized the clouds had cleared above us and we were looking up at the stars. Best workout ever.
I told Michelle that's one thing I love about being a woman: get a few of us together, and there's likely going to be lots of story telling. We may not know each other very well, but that doesn't stop us from working hard and laughing together. Being in the dark to exercise limits my ability to compare myself with the women around me. Instead, I just enjoy what my body is capable of doing and appreciate the women around me.