I was introduced to Shaun T over a decade ago by my fitness freak brother. It was Christmas break and Allen had suggested we work out. I know, what a dick. The next thing I knew he had put on a DVD. “This ain’t no sweatin to the oldies,” his face seemed to say. The next thing I knew we were going. And I mean, GOING. “Cmon yall, let’s goooooooooo,” 11 min later I was drenched in sweat and deeply regretting the biscuits and gravy I had scarfed down hrs before. “That was some crazy shit. Burp.” “Haha, it’s called Insanity,” Allen replied. “And that was just the warmup.” I’ll never forget the horror I felt. We still had 30 min left. I stumbled and cursed my way through the rest of the DVD and made a mental note never to workout with my dumb brother again.
Shaun T is the only person I know that can instill disdain and adoration in the same lack of breath. As much as I truly hated the workout, when I returned home, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I assumed playing sports my entire life had given me a good baseline of fitness. Nope. Insanity revealed I was unbalanced, inflexible, and moved with the clunky grace of an inebriated uncle. Weeks passed before I finally broke down and bought the DVD set. It was a 90-day challenge and was considered the hardest workout ever put on disc. When the discs arrived I eagerly ripped open the package nervously excited to get started.
I’ll never forget my first workout. If you were a Christian fly on the wall, you would have been mortified. I had conscientiously objected to dropping f-bombs my entire life but Shaun had his finger pressed on the button. When the workout ended, I collapsed in a pool of my own sweat and poor life choices. The ceiling spun. I was certain this is what death felt like. Eventually, I got up off the floor. “How was it?” Angie asked, looking into my pale face. “I think I over-did it.” I managed to say. “You look like death,” she said. She wasn’t wrong. I felt like death. I went upstairs and collapsed on the bed. Covered in a glaze of shame and self-loathing.
And yet… I woke up the next morning, put on my shoes and went back down to the garage. Armed with some extra sugar this time, I looked death back in the face. This time I didn’t blink. By the end of the first week, I was no longer convinced I would die of a heart-attack mid-workout. Two weeks in, I no longer dreaded the next day’s workout. A month in, I began to discover a movement and flexibility I never knew I had. 2 months in, I was keeping up with Shaun T. Well, sorta. 3 months in, I had finished. Completed the workout. In the final month, the workouts increase to 60 min. Considering I couldn’t make it through the 11-minute warm-up when I started, this was some accomplishment. I had survived Insanity! Not only had I survived, I never felt stronger. Quicker. More balanced or more flexible. My mental well being was at an all-time high. I had completed the hardest workout ever put to DVD and felt fucking amazing. It would become my winter tradition for years to come. Until I got busy with Lush.
Two weeks ago, I was given the all-clear by my physiotherapist, to get back to it. It, being, high-intensity exercise. I had taken the winter off after dislocating my shoulder at the top of Mount Prevost. For the past few years, I had worked out with the great Simon Young at Monkey Bar Gym but recently decided to take a break and return to an old flame. 🙂
A lot has changed in the last 5 years, most notably, Shaun T is now on Demand. Which is great. Because my DVD’s are scratched and what even is a DVD player? Shaun T has been busy since the last time I saw him. He’s even more Insane now. But I’ve always been partial to his original insanity. So 2 weeks ago I started back up!! I’ve done 12 workouts in the past 14 days. Every day but Saturdays. Thanks to Monkey Bar, I didn’t feel like death this time. And my muscles remembered. And I remembered… what it feels like to get up at 530 every morning and start my day with Shaun T.
His Insanity keeps me sane.
I’ve since convinced my good friend Maeve! And Angie’s been enjoying Beachbody too. There’s thousands of workouts on there and they aren’t all Insane. If you can’t get to the gym, let the gym come to you. Movement is the cure to everything.