Cross # 15.9

Tampa, FL
My Story of Courage: Plank Challenge- Courage by Lynn
I received this wonderful heart that says “COURAGE” from a thoughtful friend, Debbie that I met several months ago at a workout studio. The studio is called Orange Theory Fitness in South Tampa. Orange Theory Fitness is a heart rate based interval training work out that incorporates 3 areas= a treadmill, a rower and weight room workouts. Every day is a different workout. Periodically, Orange Theory has challenges. There is a challenge called, “Peak Performance” all week this week at Orange Theory Fitness. Each studio participates in the challenges and it’s fun to see who can push themselves and have the COURAGE to do so. Every studio has about 10-12 classes through the day with about 30-40 people in each class. There is a under 40 age group and over 40 age group winner for both male and female for these challenges. Each day is a different Peak Performance challenge. Yesterday’s challenge was a “Plank”. How long can you hold a Plank? The winning time for that day so far was 7:14 in the woman’s over 40 age group, 7 minutes, 14 seconds. I wanted to try my best to beat that best time of the day. I have never held a plank longer than a couple of minutes before.
So- to get ready for our challenge, our section of the room is told to divide the room by age group- under 40 and over 40. I am 51 so, I am on the later side of the room. I pull out a mat to have a good resting spot for the arms. Then, we are told the rules by the Coach Josh- no knees down or bottoms up, and if so= you are done with the challenge. We start (they are timing us). We are very fortunate that there is great, loud, pumping music to try and keep you distracted on the challenge. Coach Josh says, One (1) minute down (I think to myself, I am good, I am strong) 2 minutes (I think to myself, I got this), – minute 2 is when some people stop the plank
3 minutes (think to myself, almost half way there to beat the time of the day!)  4 minutes (I think to myself- OK, it is getting really hard) 5 minutes (Coach Josh comes to see how I am doing? ME: yes, fine coach- no problem, I am trying to beat her time!! Coach says quietly- , you’re doing great, hang on! – ) 6 minutes (Coach Josh says only two people remain in the challenge, let’s give them some love= I am thinking to myself- hang on Lynn!! only a little longer- you are almost at the time of the day!) 7 minutes (Coach Josh bring over the stop watch so I so can see the time ticking by. Not sure if good or bad to see the time on the stop watch, but I was super excited when 7:14 passes! I JUST PASSED THE TIME OF THE DAY!! Maybe I can hold until 8 minutes! 8 minutes (All out sweating now, legs are shaking but I am holding on. Think to myself, Can I make 9 minutes? I have not heard but I turn my head and I am the only one left still in a plank) 9 minutes (I think to myself, I should have put a towel down, I am starting to slip on this mat! Can I make 10 minutes? Coach Josh is still handling the rest of the class on their workout too. It’s now time for the next group to get ready to plank- and try their time at it. I just listen to Coach Josh and the loud, pumping music trying not to think about how much I am shaking!) 10 minutes (The next group of people are start getting ready for their plank- Coach Josh first has everyone to give some love and clap that I am still on the plank- so nice and who doesn’t love positive energy? Coach Josh demo’s what is acceptable to this next group, and what is not, just like he did with us, bottoms up or knees down, you’re out…. At this point, I am trying to rotate majority of pressure on one leg then, on the other leg so my TWO legs get a break from the solid shaking! The mat is so slippery from the sweating- Boy oh boy, I really wish I had that towel down! Can I make 11 minutes?) 11 minutes- (I am thinking oh my goodness!, and because I had the stop watch, I could see the seconds tick by– seems much slower than normal!… sweating profusely, legs are shaking so much I have trouble calming it down, will I make 12 minutes?– I tell myself, just get to 12 and call it done!) 12 minutes- (The stop watch hits 12 minutes and I drop to the ground!)
I reached 12 minutes on the plank challenge. I am super excited and proud of this accomplishment. After the class, I call Debbie since she understands these peak performance challenges! She is super excited too. Just so happens that Debbie was attending a work shop with the Answered Prayers Project. She saw my heart that says COURAGE and thought about me and my LONG Plank– and she thought about the COURAGE it took to get through a 12 minute plank. I am so thankful to have received this heart. Thank you for all of your hard work! and thank you Orange Theory South Tampa and especially Coach Josh at OTF for encouraging me to do my best at the Plank challenge.