Uphill Battle: Tortuous times


Mum and reporter JO McKENZIE-McLEAN is taking on one of the biggest challenges of her life training for the Northburn Station 50km mountain run in March next year. She reports on her progress.

I think there is a reason abdominal sounds very similar to abominable.

Anything to do with exercising the core is painful, uncomfortable, tortuous.

PAIN FOR GAIN: Reporter Jo Mckenzie-McLean feels the burn during a TribeCORE class at NRG Health and Fitness in Cromwell.
PAIN FOR GAIN: Reporter Jo Mckenzie-McLean feels the burn during a TribeCORE class at NRG Health and Fitness in Cromwell.

After a few months of exercise, I have started to notice a slight change in parts of my body.

I can do up buttons on pants I previously had to tuck the fat into and T-shirts are sitting on me with a little less cling.

But my stomach is still a bit of an issue and in training my abs have been a bit neglected.

NRG Health and Fitness gurus tell me improving core strength will help with running, so I could put it off no longer. My abs needed attention.

I had been doing the odd bit here and there but, as Terry Davis found out once before, leaving me to fly solo doesn't really work.

I had been going to the gym and following a programme which included cardio, weights and abs . . . But by the time I got to the ab part of the workout I was tired, bored with myself and before I knew it my legs had a life of their own and were running out the door before I could say "plank".

Unless I had a personal trainer I was hopeless.

From the corner of my eye, I had spotted groups doing Tribe classes in the morning. It was suggested I have a go doing TribeCORE which I have now been doing for about four weeks.

I'm not one to suffer in silence, so as we are made to plank, do band crunches, swiss ball reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, hamstring curls, kettle bell swings . . . and other weird and wonderful exercises that pull, stretch and burn - the animal noises and grunts returned with a vengeance.

For something buried under a significant layer of lard, those abs let me know they are there and they want out.

Group classes might not be for everybody but for me it is a much more effective way of getting me to do something I would rather run screaming from.

They are structured and varied; you get motivation and encouragement from others also in pain and support from an instructor who not only makes sure you are doing exercises correctly but pushes you to the limit.

I plan on heading out to the Cromwell Bike Park Fundraiser at Lowburn on Sunday if anyone cares to join me for a lap.

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The Mirror