The Body Specs Cure


I woke up yesterday morning feeling kind of iffy. Sniffles, lower energy, a little achy all over. Just part of winter? Maybe. I’d also had a vigorous Monday session at Body Specs followed by a tempo run on Tuesday, so feeling a bit run down wasn’t surprising. Still, I worried I might be coming down with something.

I debated about my noon workout, finally deciding to go. If I really wasn’t up for it, I could end the session early. But I thought it would be appropriate to give my trainers a heads-up.

I got there, changed, and began loosening up. One of the trainers nodded at me as I worked with the body blade. “Hi, Jeff, how are you?” she said. But before I could reply, she turned away to watch someone else. I should have taken this as a sign; I was just fine, of course. What other answer was there?

It's tougher than it looks.
It’s tougher than it looks.

I went over to the high bars to stretch out my arms and shoulders. As my upper body was still a bit stiff, I did a pull-up just to check things out. It went well, so I knocked out a few more. I admit at this point I was feeling rather pleased with myself.

Unfortunately, Skip, the head trainer, was watching. “You might want to save yourself,” he said. “I’ve got something special planned for you today.”


“Well,” I replied, “I’m only feeling about 75 to 80 percent.”

“That’s all right,” he said enthusiastically, “because I’m feeling 120 to 125 percent!”

Great, he had energy to spare. Notably, however, he did not offer to do 25 percent of my workout.

This is one of the conundrums (conumdrae?) of this gym. They want to know if you’re injured or sick, but wimpiness will earn you no sympathy whatever. If you’re there, you’re ready to go at it! So at it I went. While it wasn’t as brutal as some sessions I’ve had, it was an energetic one. And as promised, Skip gave me something special.

“Since you can do pull-ups,” he said, “you can do the advanced version.” This meant alternating grip (one hand under, one hand over), and switching hands at the top of the pull-up. “Quickly. You’ll drop fast.” He demonstrated. Naturally, he made it look pretty easy. Let’s just say I wasn’t as graceful. Add to that some deadlifts and rows, medicine ball tosses, abs work, weighted rope jumping, and more. Rinse and repeat.

I think this was officially number 41.
I think this was officially number 41.

Somehow I got through it all, and as I did my cooldown routine I noticed I was feeling pretty good. My Aikido instructor once joked (I think) that the cure for everything that ailed you was breakfalls. I think you can add Body Specs to the list.

“Well,” I said to Skip as I was leaving, “whatever bug I had this morning is dead.”

Skip smiled. “We killed it,” he said.

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