My Insanity Max 30 Adventure Part III: What’s Happening to Me?

I’m about 45 days in and I’m noticing that things are starting to change. My clothes are starting to fit differently. I feel like my legs have a bit more room in my pants. Not that they were tight before, but they almost feel loose. My muffin top is closer to non-existent. I noticed this last Friday when I put on my jeans and was nearly late to work due to my dance of celebration.

I’m starting to look different in the mirror. I happened to catch a look at myself in a full-length mirror while I was getting dressed and holy crap! I have a line down the center of my stomach and the beginnings of what may or may not be a 6-pack. I’m ecstatic about this because the only other 6-pack I have that much of a vested interest in contains Not Your Father’s Root Beer. I looked down at my arms the other day and I’m starting to look like I have tickets to the gun show. Yes, I know that’s a terrible joke. Forgive me. I couldn’t help myself. I’m incorrigible.

The changes haven’t all been celebration dance-worthy. I’ve noticed a bit of an uptick in aches and pains. Doing this workout has increased my strength and endurance to the point where I have a sense of adventure. When I get adventurous I attempt the un-modified versions of the moves. This is okay for some things, but it doesn’t always turn out for the best. I attempted a diamond jump. I not only immediately regretted that decision; but I also rued and lamented it hours later when my knees were on fire. My take-away from that experience: I can do little hops, but I’m not ready for the big jumps yet.

The strain in my lower back on the right has improved greatly, but the left side is now feeling a bit sore from time to time. Luckily the harrowing experience with my right side has prepared me to handle things on my left better and I’ve been able to loosen it back up when it gets tight.

I’ve been getting this weird air bubble feeling in my ankles, however when they finally mercifully crack, it’s only a short time before the feeling comes back. I looked this one up on Google because I didn’t feel like being diagnosed with something without being sent for any diagnostic imaging whatsoever…again. Apparently this is a common phenomenon among runners. As the muscles in your legs get stronger, you start to lose flexibility in those muscles which causes the air bubble sensation. Some people have swelling. If that’s the case, ice is recommended. However if you’re like me and there’s no swelling the answer is heat. In either case, you’ll also want to do a good, long stretch of everything from your hip flexors down to the fancy names for the muscles in your feet. I’ve also been really focused on increasing my range of motion bit by bit to improve flexibility.

Overall, I feel like the positive changes are outweighing the minor aches and pains. As they say in the military pain is weakness leaving the body. I may really dislike the pain in my lower back, ankles, knees and well, all of my joints really, but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that monumental of a problem. Having a sound recovery plan in place and a bit of heating pad TLC makes it easy to manage. Speaking of recovery plans, former soccer player Lori Lindsey aka Lighting Lori wrote this great piece about recovery on her blog that’s definitely worth a read (Is Your Bucket Full?).

Insanity Max 30 has also helped me improve something other than my looks. I’m working on changing my eating habits to make healthier choices. It’s made me more aware and that awareness led me to realize that my diet was way too carb-heavy, so I’ve pulled some switcharoos that I’m trying out. Stay tuned to see how that goes.

My attitude toward working out for a long time has been “Oh what fresh hell is this?” Now I pick out my least favorite move and that’s the one I work on the hardest. I’ve applied this to martial arts training and it’s led to improvement there, too. I know this because my instructor is correcting me less often. It’s really helped me push my challenge lines out further in other areas of my life. I’ve started writing and testing out edgier stand-up material and if the video of my set from Take 5 last Friday is any indication, taking on that challenge has paid off in laughs, my favorite form of currency. You can see for yourself using the handy link I posted in my last entry here.

My journey is ¾ of the way complete and the finish line in sight. The question now becomes will I be dragging myself across it or will I blow on through it? Stay tuned to find out in the thrilling conclusion I’ll be posting in a couple weeks. Also I cannot stress this enough, if you have any information on the identity of the inventor of the burpee please I both implore and beseech you, come forward.

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