On April 9th I was about to give up going to my TRX class on Saturday mornings. I compete in my mind with all the younger people in the class. They inspire me to work harder and push myself. I had been ill the prior week and only attended the Tuesday class and missing the Thursday edition of TRX. Nevertheless, I showed up for class. I’ve prided myself these past few years of having good balance. Our entire class would be conducted on a Bosu ball. If you aren’t familiar with this device its a half ball on a firm base and inflated so most people could stand upon its fabric. There is a host of exercises available for the Bosu ball using different mediums such as weights. We were going to use the ball for lunges, Burpees and chest presses. I could not balance myself on the Bosu ball, and I have done this exercise before, nor could I maintain stamina to complete the Burpees. Soon I was gasping for breath and felt nauseous. I stopped several times to catch my breath, when I just quit a few minutes before the class was over all my gym clothing was soaked in sweat, and I was light headed. Truthfully this has only happened to me twice in my life and both times were a long time ago. I came home disenchanted and questioning my ability to keep almost up to the younger people in my class.

Warily, I returned to class this past Saturday, and I knew we would have our fifth week test on abridged twelve days of Christmas workout. One can only imagine the machinations that Nicole M goes through to achieve the nirvana of exhaustion on our part. We were given privy to the test by the title, ”The Cumulative Catastrophe,” if I was smart I would have grabbed my water bottle and towel and left instead I stayed. The program is based on the theme of the 12 days of Christmas, rather than repeating the refrain and starting over. We start with one repetition and then do two of the next and one of the first all the way to twelve, repeating every exercise on the list. I have never completed the entire sequence in the allotted time frame, and this time wasn’t any different. I did complete nine rounds of exercises. Since I was running out of time I did the final three once through and on the last one I repeated all the way down to the sixth level. Here are the list and order, we did the exercises.
• One Atomic Push-up with Three way Crunch Plus Pike; that is bringing your knees into your chest, then swing them out to the left and right before the pike.
• Two Pendulums (each side), swing your body to the left and then to the right around your pivot point.
• Three Supine Pull through; heels in the foot loops try to maintain a plank, pull your body back and forth. This really is tough on the core muscles.
• Four handstand pushups; this is one of my favorites, one foot in the loop walk backwards until you are either vertical or almost and commence doing pushups.
• Five Scorpions (each side); one leg in the loop, plank position, free leg is twisted over your back and then swung underneath your body past the other side.
• Six oblique hip drops; standing, straps taut and directly overhead, drop your hip to the side.
• Seven suspended Burpees with pushup and hop (each side). I hate Burpees, actually I hate the hop. One leg is suspended, drop down to the floor keep your free leg next to the tethered foot and do the pushup. Come back up and hop and repeat.
• Eight Chest Presses, straight forward, straps in front of your body and your body should be at a minimum slanted at least a forty-five degree angle. Lower upper your bodies between the straps until the elbows are parallel to shoulders.
• Nine reverse fly’s; your body is facing away from the anchor point at a forty-five degree angle, pull your body upwards and swing arms out above your head in the shape of a Y.
• Ten sprinter starts; position yourself as if you are in the starting in block for a race, with the straps under your armpits and hands next to your chest, explode out of this position, lunging forward with your free knees coming up to your chest; return the leg to the original position and repeat,
• Eleven Wonder Woman Fly’s (each side), facing away from the anchor point, biceps parallel to the floor, keep one arm stable but allow it to rise as the other arm is extended out and in line with the shoulder.
• Twelve Single Leg Romanian Deadlift to Single Leg Iron Man Squat; adjust your straps, place your hands into the leg loops holding both straps together, one leg is kept still, bend forward until your back is flat, pause for a few seconds, with slow control, bring the free foot forward and lower your body into the squat position.

After all this exercise if you can walk you are finished, or you could crawl out of the room. I walked out of the room. I still felt pretty good, so I hopped on an Elliptical machine for a light thirty-five minute aerobic exercise, and then headed for the hot tub and steam room.