by Latoya Burnham

fitspirationclassallsmilesiIt really takes endurance to commit to a fitness challenge twice weekly for eight long weeks.

At the end you hope you have just that little bit reserved to be able to give that last push – to convince yourself you can do five more reps, 10 more reps than you’ve ever done before. In short, you want to go out with a bang.

That’s how I felt this morning in week eight of the Body by Kirk and Lifestyle Body Solution’s Ultimate 8-Week Fitness Challenge, and that’s exactly what I tried to do.

I was a little later than my usual 6 a.m. gym arrival because Crop-Over-related activities have me so tired most mornings that I’ve had to change the sound of my two alarms to actually get me out of bed.

So I got up, got my oatmeal and banana blend fix, and began to prepare my after exercise elixir. Yeah, it’s perhaps the one thing I have been withholding these past few weeks and kept telling myself I need to include. I was gonna add it to the meal plan I revealed some weeks ago, but then the column would have been too long and I would not have been able to get in the pictures. So I held it back with the intention of finding a way to get it in before the Challenge ended.

But enough chatter. After my very first day in the gym, I won’t lie to you, I was a mess. This was before the challenge began. Kirk and Sophia asked me to try to come in the week before to get familiar with the equipment, meet a few people – generally get myself in the frame of mind to do this thing.

After day one, I felt like I would pass out. I’m not unfit, because I used to go walking almost every morning before I took on the challenge and before my schedule got as hectic as it is now. But after those first 35 to 40 minutes, I was dizzy, my stomach was a mess and I ached like mad. I discovered muscles in places I did not know existed.

It was then that Kirk gave me a recipe I have been using ever since. You see what happens is that lactic acid builds up in the muscles that have been dormant for so long and you need to find a way to ease that build up. The recipe I received was tomato juice with lime juice and cayenne pepper.

So every morning, in addition to my diet and exercise diary, weight-lifting gloves, small towel and asthma inhalers, I would prep a small bottle of water before mixing my elixir – six ounces of tomato juice, a dash of cayenne and about a quarter tea spoon of lime juice.

There have been about two occasions when I mixed the formula too strong and trust me, you DO NOT want to add more than a dash of that pepper because it sets your throat on fire.

I thought the tomato juice would have been horrid and to my surprise it was quite mild, and using those six ounces after your workout really helps significantly with your recovery as well as with the post-aches and pains.

I was able to push a bit more this morning and beat all my previous targets, something I am ecstatic about today. So next week we’ll wind down with a post-challenge chat. Till next week, have a safe weekend.

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