It twas the night before Christmas… Actually it was the night before the first session! And although I didn’t think I would feel any different or nervous it’s somehow had a massive effect. At 6pm, feeling surprisingly tired and a little grandma like I walked up stairs, went through my night rituals, set my alarm for 4.20 and took myself to bed. Then I just lay there. Mind not able to switch off, but not thinking about anything in particular. I didn’t feel nervous, scared, worried and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was keeping me up. I tried everything the get my mind to go to sleep; chamomile tea, hot water bottles, relaxation music, and more… But, before I knew it it was 11pm and the rave in my mind was going strong as ever. After finally giving in to the thoughts in my head I Somehow managed to doze off only to be woken a mere 5 hours later by the wonnnderfulll (note the sarcasm) tune of my alarm. I turned it off bounced out of bed and ran at the speed of light to the shower, ate some breakfast and slugged it into the car where I was greeted by the thermometer that read 4 degrees… I was cold and tired but couldn’t let that affect me. I rolled up to the gym walked in and that was the end of any concerns that I had earlier that morning. At 5.30 I stepped on the mats and we got working. The warm up killed me (I swear it’s not meant to do that) and then we started working on some striking. Trying to grasp all the details of each movement wasn’t easy as it felt so unnatural and I found myself reverting back to what felt natural and normal. Then in a blink of an eye we all huddled in hands in the middle and cheered for the end of our first session.
8pm I’m exhausted. Sleep comes a lot easier and on cue at 4.20am Tuesday morning I wake up and go through the motions. Today’s session started with the punishment of 100 sprawls because stuff was left behind the morning before and then it was time for strength training. The session was great and once again finished quicker than expected.
Day 3 was our rest day and man was it nice! A slight sleep in, waking up to sore muscles from the tip of my head down to my toes…. Ahhhhh bliss.
Thursday we got to do some grappling which was interesting. Trying to do all the basics with the best technique possible requires a lot more thought than you would expect. But the way we drilled each movement over and over and over again helps the technique sink in and gets the muscle memory working. However, it’s easy to get lost in it and begin to day dream. Coach Mick pulled us up on this amplifying that we need to stay present in the movement and how everything we do will not only assist us come December 10 if we make it but also in life. Imagine the increased productivity and enjoyability of everything we do if we were to just stay present in the moment, activity, drill, whatever you want to translate it to. This really struck a chord and saw me refocus myself every time I started to day dream over the next few days. And then on the 5th day of the week it was Friday. The infamous hardest most gruelling session. The one that would destroy you, leaving you weak and drenched in a pool of sweat. And boy did it deliver. We learnt the 5 drills (sprawls, height change, hip out, scramble and plank) and then with an overly excited “sprawl mother f*****s” from Coach Richie we began. We did 5 minute rounds of high intensity movements. The intestity of the movement was a killer but more than that the physiological games began. I didn’t know how many rounds we were going to do and to be honest couldn’t even keep count of how many we’d done. I just had to keep moving. One move after another until I heard “CHANGE”. We were told not to show the pain, which is a s**t load harder than you think. However, it kind of acted as a distraction to me. Every time I felt myself slowing down, feeling the burn, considering giving up I just focused on my breathing, doing one movement after another and getting through the round. 7 rounds later we were done… Almost… Everyone joined on the red mats for 2 minute plank accompanied by the good old tune of ‘Happy’. I was screaming at the people either side of me (sorry about that). But being the stubborn ram I am I had to make myself accountable and there was no way I was going to drop my knees after yelling at someone for doing that exact thing. 2 minutes were up, we al through our hand ins the middle and then the week was over.
So in short the first week went by in the blink of an eye. I still don’t quite know what I have done and haven’t quite come to the realisation that this will be my life for the next six months. But with a bunch of new skills, physical training and new knowledge about myself I made it through week 1 of 22 and I’m excited to see what’s to come.
Until next week when I’m a little sorer, more tired and hopefully slightly wiser, I’m out. 👊🏽