Working in a flooring warehouse can be a hell of a way to keep in shape. Countless days of my adult have been spent hoisting massive rolls of carpet over my shoulders, manually emptying truckloads of up to 100 bales of underlay, and moving entire skids of laminate an armful of boxes at a time. After years of such labour, I eventually found myself in the best physical shape of my life.
The problem now is, I no longer work in the flooring business. Recently I moved on to an occupation in which I instead spend most of my time sitting at a computer. Though satisfied with this new position, the transition from a highly physical vocation to one more sedentary has been a drastic change in pace for my body.
At my new job I click. I scroll. I type. My fingers have been getting buff while the rest of my muscles languish in inactivity.
A couple of weeks ago, to offset my hours spent behind a desk, I picked up a pair of running shoes and some gym shorts and set out to discover a way to keep in shape.
My first new attempt at exercise was the nonstop intensity of a boot camp class, run by certified Canadian fitness coach Tracy Sullivan (information and punch cards now available via Westsyde Workouts). The style of workout was intense, with 20 second bursts of activity interspersed with 10 second rests for nearly an hour on end. Its circuit of stations targeted every part of my body with repeated lunges, pullups, planks, and more.
By the end of it all I was fully spent, and a residual soreness in my thighs and abs the next morning made me realize that I still have a ways to go before attaining an optimal level of fitness. Still, the exertion had left me with a lingering feeling of accomplishment, and so I resolved to keep it up with some further sessions.
Between boot camp classes, I also decided to check out a local gym. As a trial I dropped into No Limits Fitness on the North Shore of Kamloops. With the facility’s broad selection of equipment, I found it easy to push the boundaries of my physical abilities. The treadmills and weight-laden apparatuses easily had my heart racing. Again I went home sore yet satisfied, knowing that I would be back for more.
The boot camp drills and gym trips have proved effective for testing my every muscle, even those I hardly knew existed until feeling the burn within them. I plan to continue exploring new workout routines like these, because there is something I find rewarding about working myself into a wearied, heaving mess. It is a serenity that permeates both body and mind, and a kind of therapy I crave when I lack it. Therefore I look forward to thoroughly exhausting myself in the weeks to come.
Brace yourselves, muscles. Lungs, take a deep breath. The days ahead will be strenuous, sweaty, and downright exhilarating.
– Cory Magnus Stumpf