How I Got Through My First Brick Workout


“Another mode of accumulating power arises from lifting a weight and then allowing it to fall.” -Charles Babbage

First brick workout. Check! Was it great? No! Did I want to keel over underneath the nearest shady tree and not get back up? Sure did. Did I feel a mental satisfaction knowing that I made it through? Yep!  In my mind I had built up the anticipation and anxiety over this workout to extraordinary heights. Here is a list of things in my life that I have dreaded with equal measure to my first brick workout:

  1. Taking the driving test to get my license.
  2. Shopping for a new swimsuit.
  3. Accidentally getting in the x-ray scanner line at airport security.
  4. Hearing Christmas music in the mall in October.
  5. Getting weighed at the doctor.

These are just a few examples and none ever turned out to be as big of a deal as I conjured up in my mind. Except maybe the swimsuit shopping issue. Seriously, we can put men and women into orbit but can’t figure out how to improve dressing room lighting? Moving on.

I completed my 40-minute bike ride then hopped off and went straight into the run, as were the directions in my training plan. I still consider myself a beginner so I find it understandable that I initially thought (before I started a training program) that a brick workout involved heavy lifting. It does not. One of the definitions of the idiom “like a ton of bricks” according to The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer is “very heavily, without subtlety.” Really? No kidding. I’m sure I looked about as subtle running down the street as would a herd of alpacas.

I was struggling pretty much immediately and almost turned around and went home until a man out doing yard work saved my workout. He was out mulching his flowerbeds and had seen me biking back up the street towards my house then running back down the street a few minutes later. As I was running by he smiled and yelled out, “Triathlete, huh?” I smiled, waved back and started looking around for the person he must actually be talking to. Then I thought to myself, “Hell yes, it’s me he’s talking to! Girl, keep running! ” Those two words, “triathlete and huh” are what got me through my first brick workout; that and the thunderstorm that blew up while I was out there. I’m pretty sure God helped me through that workout. He put the words in my neighbor’s mouth and the lightning in sky so that I would keep moving forward; a little nudge in the right direction.

My next brick workout is in two days and there is an unfamiliar little part of me that is anticipating it in a good way and looking forward to see if I do better than last week.

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