Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yay! Walt Smith tried to kill me

I always envision that I can work out with any professional athlete and at least hold my own. Personal trainer Walt Smith slapped me back down to reality on Monday.

He works with the pit crews for Dale Earnhardt International, keeping them in top shape so they can jump the wall and change a tire in record time.

I decided a workout with Smith would get me ready for the media pit crew challenge on Tuesday. By the time I finished the hand-eye coordination and agility drills, I was just trying not to embarrass myself.

I lift weights 3-5 days a week and do some type of cardio at least three days a week. I figured, I would have to push Smith not to go easy on me.

We started with a 15-minute warmup on the treadmill. He used interval training, which means I would run with the treadmill set on 3 for a few minutes, then 4.7, then 3, then 6, etc. I alternated between walking, trotting and jogging.

Next we did a hand-eye drill. He tossed me a racquetball with one hand. At the same time, I had to catch his ball with my empty hand and toss him a ball. We spent a lot of time chasing balls that hit the floor.

The hand-eye drill bruised my ego. I thought I was coordinated. The agility drill kicked my rump. Smith bounced a racquetball to my left or right. I had catch the ball on the first bounce, toss it back and be ready to catch the next ball. I was panting after a few tosses. Once again, I chased a lot of balls that hit the floor.

My favorite workout was his leg circuit. We did resting squats, where you squat and hold the weights for five seconds and then explode up. After eight repetitions of that, I did jumping lunges, followed by a wall squat. For the wall squat, you squat with your back against the wall and your quads and buttocks are parallel to the floor.

After about 20 seconds, I was looking at my legs and trying to figure out if the fire burning in Florida had moved to DEI. I lasted for 38 seconds.

The other challenge was the exercise ball pushup. I placed an exercise ball on the floor and tried to do a pushup off the ball. Like I said, I tried. My bench press max is 135, and I couldn’t even do one pushup off the ball. Ugh.

I loved Smith’s abdominal workout. He had me perform a series of crunches in different positions for five minutes. The hardest was the reverse crunch. All of these years, I’ve been doing it wrong. I couldn’t even get my legs to go far enough back without him pulling my feet into the air.

I have so much work to do this summer. The Temple of Tonya (that’s what I called myself in my brief boxing days) will return.