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Merrily consuming 5000 calories a day and chalking it up to the “holiday season”, mere mortals can not exercise enough to burn off these daily numbers.   But we would try.  It is our version of the “Hunger Games”.   Nobody loses their life.  Not even close to being a competition.   We encourage and ignore all complaining.   Everyone is a winner.  And when it’s all over, let the carb consumption begin.

IMG_00000801First, let’s talk about the carbs.   The spirit of our hunger games – is not simply consuming a post-workout snack.   It was not a mixture of  proteins, fats and carbs.  It was not a balanced meal.   Imagine hundreds of the most decadent homemade holiday cookies, some oozing with caramel, some crispy, others gooey, an assortment of homemade breads begging a nibble of apple and cinnamon streusel, a hint of gingerbread and flatbread infused with gouda, olive oil and spinach.   Now, pinch yourself and discover that you are not imagining any of this – and thanks to the hours and hours of efforts by our Chef ‘spouses’ – all of this, is waiting for our consumption.

Not so fast Missy.  If you want to eat like Michael Phelps….you have to burn it off first.  Or at least give it a a go.  Let the Hunger Games (Part 1 – activity) begin.

In the midst of a spell of arctic cold weather (barely reaching 30 degrees for 3 weeks) – we had a momentary warming.   With temperatures in the 60’s – our workout sista’s gathered for a 2 hour calorie burn program.   Knowing that the post-workout treats would range in the 1000+ calorie category – we agreed to weave in games into our workout agenda – for extra burn!   Perhaps “agree” is too strong.   Perhaps reluctant participation is more accurate.   Perhaps my ‘sistas were going to need some encouragement.   Our hunger games began with a 4.2 mile jog infused with ‘follow the leader” calisthenics, that went something like this.

  • Deb discovered that measuring distances is something we take loosely.  “we’ll be done just around the corner” – doesn’t really specify WHICH corner.
  • No matter how many challenges we mix into a run (running backwards, sideways, crossovers, snakes, sprinting…) Emma always has plenty of energy to chat.  While the rest of us are gasping for air, Emma is busy informing us of some new medical discovery…
  • Jill is the queen of non-verbal communication.  When she stops to re-tie (for the 10th time) her sneakers, this means “the pace is too fast”.   When she drops her hankie and has to retrieve – this means “I’m ready to walk now”….and when she gives me the stink eye – I know she is done with the run.

With the run behind us – it was time for deck station interval workouts.   This means, we convene on my deck, and ride the stationary bike, Elliptigo, hula hoop with a medicine ball and slide the slide board.   Every 5 minutes – each person rotates to another station.   During this time, Deb informed us (while yawning)  that she does a similar workout every Friday with her friends.   It sounded like Deb was concerned we were doing  a routine workout – and needed to amp it up.  We needed to go beyond ‘the ordinary’.  For Deb.

This is the part of the hunger games where memories fade, reluctant participation escalated, and fictional writers have emerged.   Of course, my version is accurate.  To a “T”.

  • We each grabbed a ball (medicine or tennis) and in pairs, shuffled up a very steep hill with our partners, passing the ball to each other in a cooperative manner.
  • Emma and I made it to the top of the hill.  My lungs couldn’t get enough O2, and Emma was talking about something…medical I think.
  • Jill taught Deb the stinkeye thing.   I could no longer look at either of them.
  • I suggested (to the universe) that we do this again…and hurried back down the hill before anyone could say no.
  • We then formed a team of 4, and with a medicine ball and tennis ball exchanging hands the entire way — we successfully burned off hundreds more calories.
  • My sista’s were giddy with Joy and asked more more fun – so of course I had to come up with a finale.
  • The finale included a tethered runner sprinting up a hill, with the runner in the back doing their best to resist.
  • At this point, I discovered that Emma has the strength of an Ox.   I do think I went airborne.
  • Jill and Deb (who are no longer speaking with me) take their turn with the tether.   Emma and I watched them make their way to the top of the hill.  They did not return.
  • It is time for the Hunger Games Part 2- food consumption to begin.

As we sat amongst family and friends, relaxing, taste testing the culinary masterpieces that our spouses put together (with our supervision of course!) in the ambiance of 3 Ho’s  (3 miniature Christmas trees, each named “Ho”), surely we had burned off the indulgences that filled the kitchen.  And if not, there is always tomorrow.   Or the next day.  After all, it ’tis the season.

Re-caps of the day – expressions of joy (or fiction) shared by the ‘sistas:

Sista Jill:

The running games commenced …not in the promised 10 minutes but 2 miles later (just sayn’) and they were very creative. I particularly liked the cool down and staring down the herd of reindeer. Nobody fell and there were no injuries – excellent.

Upon our return from a ‘short’ 4 mile jog, we thought all was good and we were ready for treats….nay..nay..!!! Sissy had her clipboard, a timer (who has such things?) and a play-station of 6 different activities. Sissy says hop on and we are going to do 5 minutes per station. (I should have counseled with Owen here about what this all added up to )…we all did our hulas, slides and elliptigoing for another hour…( I was waiting for Mike or Paddy to emerge and tell us that they needed help in the kitchen….nope…didn’t happen) so off we go…

Stage 3…to running and passing 50 lb. medicine balls (it’s my story) up Somerset….gasping for breath……which we were told rinse/repeat.

Ok…now we must be finally done…..we climb up the driveway to the house..  Deb and I are ready for coffee and treats with Paddy and Mike….nope….

Stage 4 …..bring more ‘fun’ things down to the base of the driveway and we will now do team events. Emma is strapped into a tether and takes off with Sissy trying to anchor that running machine as she goes airborne. Deb and I quietly murmur ‘oh shit are we doing this too’?

Stage 5 – collapse in the lounge with treats and coffee…. At last!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!! Isn’t that what we came for?

Sista Deb:

As the soreness begins to creep into my muscles and bones I begin to feel the need to make a few edits to Jill’s creative prose. Jane’s Gymboree???? Seriously???? Jane’s House of Pain seems a more veracious description. Fun activities???? Running up a precipice while being tethered and bound by a rubber bungee and a maniacal exercise partner FUN??? Really???  On the other hand, a “lounge with treats” may not do justice to Paddy’s House of Culinary Pleasure. From the ridiculous to the sublime….

Sista Emma:

Today was super fantastic. Tethered hill running & the rest of Jane’s “house of pain” exhausted me. Lulu must have been pooped too, she & I napped the SECOND we walked in the door. Mike of course used this time to consume more food. I may have eaten my body weight in cookies since I got home. Mmmmm cookies!  Truly this was the most fun Saturday exercising I have been engaged in for quite some time. I can’t wait to do it again!!
As always everything was delicious and made all the huffing and puffing worthwhile!