Okay, YES, I’m being a drama queen. I know I’ve had moments in my life where time stood still and it was awful, but this isn’t that kind of blog. This is the kind of blog where the longest seven minutes of my life is when I’m staring at my toes, which are in the air, being smothered to near death… YES, I’m being dramatic again, but I’ve earned it! It all started this morning…
I was in yoga doing a shoulder stand, when the teacher told the class that 5 minutes in an inversion is the equivalent of a 20 minute cardiovascular workout. 20 minutes?!?!? I don’t know about you ladies, but I’ve been working out in a gym for over 20 years and there is no mixed ipod soundtrack, no episode of The Housewives of New Jersey being displayed above my head (even when there’s table dumping and hair being ripped from heads), NOT EVEN a hot guy sweating through his shirt on an elliptical machine in front of me, that can make working out on a piece of cardio equipment bearable for me.
SO! When I heard this magic bullet solution, I thought, GREAT! I will get an hour of cardio in daily, by putting “shoulder stand for 5 minutes” into my calendar 3 times per day. Easy peasy!
Here’s why you get this ‘great cardio workout’. Apparently, when you’re upside-down, everything goes in the other direction, like your blood, so the heart has to work differently to… I don’t know, I think I missed the explanation because I was so excited about my new ‘cardio epiphany’.. I guess it has to work harder to keep you alive.. yes, that’s it, for sure.
There is also an added benefit, for me, which is that in shoulder stand you tuck your chin into your chest, protecting the neck, of course, but also doing something to improve your thyroid functioning.. again, missed the explanation because I was so excited that I was going to improve my poor abused Type-A thyroid, with just 3 five-minute shoulder stand sessions a day.
Here’s what I wasn’t counting on.. when my yoga instructor said that everything goes in the other direction, he meant “everything.” Now, during my typical 1 minute shoulder stands in class, not “everything” has time to fall in the other direction… my D-sized boobs, for example. They move more like marmalade, so they never really fully went in the other direction. This is a good thing, because it means that the other 16 hours and 30 minutes that I’m upright, they don’t move downward.
However, after minute 2, I suddenly found myself being slowly suffocated as my marmalade boobs continued their slow decent… slowly, but certainly suffocating me.
Here, are just some of the thoughts that went through my mind during the last 5 minutes of my inversion as I was being suffocated to death by my boobs:
1. “Why the heck do I have to be such an over achiever?!? He said five minutes! Why did I set my timer for 7?! Who am I trying to impress!”
2. “How will I know if I’m actually going to suffocate and therefore should stop before the timer? Will I feel light headed? Or will I just keep pushing myself to stay inverted until the timer goes off, killing myself, in what is sure to be a puzzling death to CSI people since I will have fallen out of my inversion and it will be unclear as to how I suffocated.”
3. “Great! I have to cough.”
4. “Why does a cough always come on at the worst possible time? I mean, I never cough when I’m sitting alone watching TV. No, it’s always when I’m sitting in a car that seats 5 and we’ve squished in 6, and I’m in the middle. And you know it’s always one of those coughs that sounds gross. And all the poor people are trapped in the car with me, and I’m hacking up a lung, which I know is just a sinus infection because I’m allergic to my dogs and forgot to take my Singulair two nights in a row, but they all think I’m bringing back a contagious plague.”
5. “And what is up with those crazy coughs? Why can’t they be held in? (Have you ever tried?) I have! My eyes start tearing up and my nose starts running.. quickly like it’s up for a medal, so I’ve got streaming tears mixed with mucus dripping down my face and I’m trying to keep my cough in, which is causing the appearance of a dry heave… this usually happens when I’m in the center of a row listening to a speaker at a big conference, and the people on either side of me are bracing themselves because they think I’m about to vomit.”
6. “GOOD LORD, how many minutes have gone by, is this torture almost over?”
7. “Jeez, I really have to cough! What if I cough and my neck turns? I’m not supposed to turn my neck in shoulder stand. I can paralyze myself by coughing right now. Should I come down before the timer goes off?”
8. “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD, my boobs are literally smothering me to death. I can’t breathe! I don’t think I could cough if I tried. I can’t take a deep enough breath in to allow for a cough… How long until the FRIGGIN TIMER GOES…”
Cue “Cricket sound effects” (that’s what my iPhone timer is set for.. peaceful crickets)
OWWW! Being in shoulder stand for seven minutes hurts when you come out of it… man, I am a big complainer! How am I going to do this 3 times a day for 5 minutes?
There has GOT to be an easier way to get 60 minutes of cardio!