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Working out with Michal: Week Two of the Sassy Mama Challenge

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When we last left our Sassy Mamas (and their Champion trainer), they were a bit sore but energized and enthusiastic about the challenge. Additionally, the sharing of a common enemy amongst all of us (the alarm clock) made it a bit easier to get up and OK, to COMPLAIN about. The holidays were looming before us and we were soon drawing a crowd — husbands, children, building attendants, even the family dog got in on watching our early am drills. Michal had said he was taking it easy at the beginning of our sessions – to see how we all worked together and to help us adjust. At about the fourth session, he gently but firmly announced he would be “taking it up a notch”. While none of us had yet thrown in the towel during the hour, the sessions had not been cake walks. Hence it was with some hesitancy that we followed his instruction to start running and running … away from our carpark! Where were we going? No fan club? Didn’t the STEEP hill from the street to the carpark present a big enough space for the toning (and torture) of quads and hamstrings? Evidently not.
As we began our jog we had no idea what Michal had up his sleeve. I am quite sure had we known one of us might  have gone down with an “ankle twist”. Heck, I would have gone down with a broken nail had I known. In the haze of the early morning, we soon found ourselves at the top of a very large set of stairs (two sets to be specific). The operative piece of description here is that you could not see the bottom from the top and vice versa. Now I do not know if the concept of running “stadiums” is universal, so I do not know what my teammates were thinking when we stopped at the stairs. I had a sinking feeling that this would be similar to the agony of running up the steps in the football stadium that I had done as a teenager as part of sports conditioning. Despite two decades away from that school and that field, I still remembered the BURN in my thighs and the sense of dizziness I would feel each time I went down the stairs. The fear of falling down was almost as crippling as the struggle to get to the top. With an attempt to contain my dread, I smiled and asked our too-fit-to-think-this-tough leader why we had stopped (you know, the question to which you know the answer but hope you don’t).Not to say we were not psyched about getting fit, at that moment it just seemed easier in concept than execution. When Michal announced we would be running up and down 8 times, at varying speeds (2 steps at time for some, three steps for others) we all had a good laugh. As if? EIGHT times? If so, I said I was quite happy to take my chances with 4. Michal would not stand for such logic so climb we did.
The four of us pushed through, smiling through searing quads and staying on the path to health. Again, as he had in earlier sessions, Michal encouraged, and gently nudged us to push ourselves just a little bit more. At the end of that day’s session we were all EXHAUSTED, but more committed than ever to sticking together and I for one felt a bit of accomplishment (for the record I have done those stairs twice since on my own). I think we each surprised ourselves, and with nearly half the challenge over, we became curious about what Michal still had in store for us, and more importantly, want we we could expect of ourselves. Four down, four to go…..
Stay tuned for the next installment of Tracie’s fitness journey!

To book a session with Michal, email [email protected] Rates range from $250 per person for a 70 minute session training with 4-10 people, or $700 for a private 60 minute session.

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