Blogilates challenge: exhausting but rewarding

January 11, 2016 — by Caitlyn Chen

When Blogilates instructor CasseycHo announced her #30daywaisttrainer challenge for January, I decided to take it and make my New Year’s Resolution to do at least one Blogilates workout a day, with the hope of dropping the five pounds I had gained over the holidays.

 

“Hold it! Hold it! Find comfort within your discomfort!” yelled Blogilates instructor Cassey Ho, her voice echoing from the computer screen.

My sister and I squirmed around uncomfortably as we persisted through Ho’s “Earthquake” exercise, where we leaned back slowly from a sitting position, holding our arms and legs in a V-shape,  quivering with exhaustion.

“5…4…3…2…1!” Ho counted as I collapsed on the ground, streams of sweat staining my yoga mat.

I thought I was fit because I dance 10 hours a week, but I guess I still have a long way to go. At least, that’s what Ho proved to me.

Ho, the founder of Blogilates, is a 28-year-old fitness instructor who creates YouTube videos including various exercises, healthy eating tips and workout vlogs.

Since my sister came home from college, I’ve been eating nonstop, so when Ho announced her #30daywaisttrainer challenge for January, I decided to take it and make my New Year’s Resolution to do at least one Blogilates workout a day, with the hope of dropping the five pounds I had gained over the holidays.

On the first day of the new year, I was excited, pulling up “Intense Indoor Cardio” at 9 a.m. in the morning. Yes, it was tiring, but the adrenaline and excitement of the new year motivated me to push through the pain.

After finishing the video, I continued with “Abs on FIRE,” “Butt on FIRE”, and more, letting YouTube autoplay run for a good two hours.

Exhausted as I was after my Blogilates marathon, I felt refreshed and confident that my resolution would last the full 365 days.

The morning after, however, I wasn’t so sure.

When I tried to stand up, my quad muscles spazzed uncontrollably as I fell back into bed, trying to shake out the involuntary movement.

Throughout the day, I helplessly grasped onto furniture to keep myself on my feet as my legs twitched periodically. Even though I felt dangerously unstable, I convinced myself that the unbearable soreness proved I was just getting stronger.

And though it may have been just a hallucination, I swear I saw a solid four-pack when I looked in the mirror that day.

I spent the next couple of days recovering from my Blogilates binge, taking it easy with only three or four 10-minute videos a day. But just when my legs had recovered, dance rehearsals started again after a two-week winter vacation.

The combination of two hours of dance and 30 minutes of Blogilates a day is physically taxing. Furthermore, school kicked in again and it was difficult to balance my workout and study time.

On the seventh day of my resolution, I ended up doing my Blogilates at 11:30 p.m., right after I had finished my World History readings. All the jumping, unfortunately, woke my mom up. She came into my room, rubbing her eyes and asked, “Why is the whole house shaking?”

By the 12th day, I was only doing one video per day, and honestly, I don’t think it was making much of a difference. I no longer felt that satisfying soreness, which as painful as it was, reassured me that all the time and effort I put into exercising was worth it.

Lying on the ground, breathless after just half of a video, I wanted to give up and go to sleep. I mean, what was I thinking? I can’t even sustain a Snapchat streak, let alone a workout streak. This kind of commitment was beyond me.

But the next day, as I was checking Instagram, I saw that Ho had posted a picture that read, “I workout because …” And it was then that I realized that I shouldn’t be working out to drop pounds or to look slimmer, I should be doing it for the strength and health of my body.

With that, I experienced a renewal of hope. I’ve been doing more and more videos a day, and I’m hoping to persist with this throughout 2016. The soreness came back, but it hasn’t been too painful — it’s reassuring, encouraging me to work harder so I can get stronger day by day.

Like Cassey would put it, “Sore today, strong tomorrow.”