Nearly across the board, Fitness Ridge guests call Treading the hardest class of the week. For this class you choose any piece of aerobics equipment (tread mill, elyptical, spin bike, recumbent bike, recumbent stepper, etc.) and go as fast as you can for five minutes, then spend five minutes at a brisk 'active recovery' pace. Then you repeat, but this time only four minutes, then three, then two, then one (sometimes with a few extra ones thrown in at the end, time permitting.)
Our first week, when we finished Treading, I was discouraged because I hadn't been able to maintain my pace. Mom cried and said she wanted to go home.
Our second week, we were both injured and had to do Treading on the recumbent stepper, which is kind of a cop out machine - often used for people in physical therapy.
Yesterday was our third Treading class. We both started the day feeling strong and anticipating a good showing. The bad news is - Treading was scheduled as the last class of the day. By the time we'd both finished our penultimate classes (I in aerobics and Mom in the pool), we were both rather fatigued. I was sad. All week I'd been looking forward to blowing Treading out of the water, and now it was show time and I had nothing left to give.
"Five minutes," I told myself. "I'll run the first five minutes, and if I have to walk the rest - so be it."
I ran the first five minutes with ease - and Mom, in her matching lucky T-shirt, ran hers beside me. I smiled through the four minutes, turned on my power playlist and powered through the three minutes, and barely noticed the two minutes come and go. The whole time, Mom kept trotting along at my right, as though she could go all day. Instead of one minute - our trainer said we'd be doing a minute and a half. I decided to sprint it. I switched my iPod to my emergency backup power song (Go Go Go by The 88) and I went, went, went. Mom was sprinting right along with me.
It wasn't the fastest I've run since I got here. It wasn't the longest I've run, either. But, it was the proudest I've been - of both of us. Mom's been wanting to get pictures of us out in front of the Biggest Loser Resort sign - and I've been putting it off. But this was the moment, this moment of endorphin glow and sweaty green T-shirts.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.