Four. More. Days.
Four more predawn wake-up calls.
Four more workouts.
Four more mornings of eating breakfast while balancing bags of frozen veggies on rebelling knees.
Speaking on behalf of the Biggest Winner's OR6 Team, the grueling training schedule has been worth every painful second in the results we've already seen.
That includes today's session.
Our trainer injected a little suspense into our daily routine by telling us that she had a surprise in store for us.
“You'll like it,” she said.
“What could it be?” we wondered. Cupcakes?
Nah: That was unrealistic, we agreed.
“Maybe she'll go easy on us,” one team member suggested.
Uh, no. That was even more unrealistic than the cupcakes.
We gathered around her only to learn that we wouldn't be getting our surprise until 6:30 a.m. In the meantime, we needed to be “thoroughly warmed up,” so we hit the basketball court for a sampling of boot camp training that is scheduled to start later this month at the Wellness Center.
It turns out that the upcoming boot camp regimen is no different from the Biggest Winner contest workouts we've been doing for the past five weeks.
But that wasn't our surprise.
At 6:30, we were greeted by another trainer, who led us into the dimly lit exercise studio.
Six yoga mats were arranged in two neat rows on the floor. At the front of the room was another mat, flanked on either side by giant chains.
I am not kidding.
What sort of torture will be inflicted upon our already sore and fatigued muscles?
Now, most folks – myself included – hear the word “yoga” and assume it is a relatively tame form of exercise typically practiced for health and relaxation.
This was not that.
The best way to describe power yoga is yoga amped up on steroids.
Lots of 'em.
With soothing music playing in the background, I followed the lead of the yoga instructor as he led us from one pose into another.
About 15 minutes in, I was already drenched in sweat and grateful for the cloak of relative darkness that shielded my grimacing face – and my less than graceful downward-facing dog and wobbly warrior poses – from the instructor.
As the class mercifully wrapped up, our trainer congratulated us on our ability and willingness to take the accelerated – albeit abbreviated – power yoga class.
Um, excuse me? I don't recall being given an option.
Oh, and about those chains?
They were placed there at our team trainer's request, for effect.
There was no need for the scare tactic. We are already duly frightened at the start of every workout.
As we filed out of the studio, our trainer told us to prepare for the final week of the program.
“It will be the hardest week,” she said, smiling sweetly.
I'll be stocking up on fresh bags of frozen veggies this weekend.
Bring it, Week 6!