Achievement Unlocked: 30-Day Shred, Level 1

I’ve been intending to get back into shape for years.

I think I’ve finally done it. Which just means I have to keep going.

This is how I know I am in shape again: I can do Level 1 of Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred without wanting to die.

I bought the 30-Day Shred DVD about a year after it came out, I think. It was getting rave reviews, and people were bitching about it but admitting it worked.

I only had two children at the time, just to give you a hint how long ago that was.

I couldn’t even make it to the second set of jumping jacks. I mean, I was in pathetic shape.

It’s unfair of me to talk about this, I know. When people talk about exercise, a lot of the time they are also talking about losing weight.

I don’t need to lose weight. I do, however, need to be in shape.

After a couple of particularly needful visits to my chiropractor, I finally started poking around on my On Demand cable channels to see if they had short workouts I could benefit from.

I am lazy, people. I don’t want to get up at 5 a.m. to run five miles. I don’t want to get up at 6 a.m. to workout for an hour.

I was looking for workouts that were 10 to 20 minutes long, low impact, and focused on my core. I was looking particularly for Pilates workouts. I found a couple of good ones, and rediscovered one on a Shape DVD I had. The goddess pose on that one killed my quads.

I started out one morning a week. Because that’s all I could manage as far as getting up early. I stumbled onto certain workouts that I liked — they were quick, effective, and low impact. As the weather got better, I started walking with the kids in the evenings.

Then I started getting up early twice a week. I found a cardio quickie workout that was intense cardio in 10 minutes. The first time I did it, I was gasping after 5 minutes. But about two weeks later, I realized that I could do it, and do the accompanying 10-minute strength workout. Not only did I not feel like I was going to die, I felt good. Exercise was a good way to start my day.

And then I started doing yoga in the evenings with the girls.

Now, two things about yoga: First, we only do it twice a week. Second, I didn’t think I liked yoga. Pilates made me feel less crunchy granola and more like I was doing exercise. Yoga (or so I thought) was all about breathing and meditation, stress relief, relaxation. Which, it is to a certain extent. But, again, with some exploration, I’ve found a couple of routines that don’t bug me, and that the kids can do with me. And they help strengthen and stretch my muscles, which are sorely in need of it. When I workout in the morning, and then sit the majority of the day (stupid job), I pay for it.

On Monday, I found the 30-Day Shred DVD. I popped it in the player.

And I did the Level 1 workout. Yeah, it was some work, and yeah, my quads were pissy about it the rest of the day. But I didn’t die. I didn’t even feel like I was going to die.

Of course, this means I’m going to have to do Level 2. Right?

What achievement have you unlocked lately?