Did it rain last Friday? Because by the time we left Training C.A.M.P. (that stands for cardiovascular agility and muscular performance) with former NFL star Curtis Williams, every member of the Greatist team was soaked.
Typically I pride myself on my ladylike ability to suffer the heat in silence, but my stoicism was no match for an hour of continuous running, jumping, pulling, pushing, and stretching in above-90-degree heat and humidity. The afternoon started out peaceful enough: Williams led us through crowds of chatty tourists and ice-cream-smeared children to the Central Park Sailboat Pond, the very same place Stuart Little once sailed.
“You all look a little afraid,” he told us. “But don’t worry.”
Williams, who had played for both the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants, sent us off for a few laps around the pond, then led us through butt kicks, karaokes, shuffle-to-sprints, and a much more hardcore version of hop-scotch. As I approached Williams to thank him for a solid afternoon of fun, he nodded his head and congratulated us on finishing. The warm-up.
The real fun broke out when we launched into some cardio that involved jumping jacks and squats. Next we grabbed some resistance bands and got to grunting our way through overhead squats and chest presses, plus a side step exercise that feels a little like having your legs trapped in a straight jacket. During the final chunk of our workout we wept (er, powered) through a few sets of resistance band exercises with the bands looped around park benches.
In this workout, resting was for wimps — we took a quick jog around the pond in between every set of exercises. I might have been inclined to slap a less charming instructor who seemed unmoved by our cries of “go on without me!” but Williams’ amused grin gave the team (or at least the Greatist gals) something to look forward to at the end of every lap.
After what seemed like years since we’d first arrived, Williams gathered the team for some final exercises and a cool-down. Only then did we see his drill sergeant side, as Williams had us count our burpees out loud, making us re-do them if he couldn’t hear us shouting.
I leaned back and let the remaining contents of my water bottle trickle through my hair, sending a stream of sweat and dirt to the ground. I could already feel my calves burning as I bent to pick up my bag. But, in a way, I felt powerful, like I could chest bump the dude next to me and chug a bottle of Gatorade.
Let us know if a spot opens up on the Giants. I just might consider trying out.