My name is Cira, I like kebabs dripping in barbecue sauce and indulging in a couple of wines with my mates at the weekend. I have the upper-body strength of a seal and your grandmother can probably outrun me. But this little seal is beginning to see little biceps. I've just finished the fifth week of the hyped-up F45 8-week challenge.
Last Sunday panic began to set in after I missed a week and a half of classes following my back injury in week two.
And nearly two weeks is a lot when you're doing the F45 eight-week challenge.
I pulled myself on to the horse and saddled up for a workout despite the slightly subsiding pain for the resistance class "Renegade".
I made a few alterations to the combination moves every time I felt a pinch and it ended up being a great workout.
It's frustrating not being able to push harder but I walked out of there with my head held high, hair blowing in the wind.
I was back on the horse, galloping away, with a sense of relief.
At work, I was rostered on to the late shift this week so on Monday I booked into the 7.05am cardio class.
I trotted in on my horse, aware of the pinching pain but ready to push through.
Thump. That was me falling off the horse.
The combination of twists, pulls, jumps and bends had me limp out of there almost in tears, straight to the osteopath.
I had undone all my improvements and was back to where I was injury-wise. No more cardio classes until further notice.
But despite my hiatus, I think I'm actually getting stronger.
The dumbbells and weights are colour-coded from lightest to heaviest - grey, red, blue and black.
In my first classes, I struggled picking up a grey bar to put on my shoulders for lunges and barely made it through a set of push-ups on my knees.
This week, I did nearly an entire set of push-ups on my toes. Albeit not fast, it's still miles from where I started.
Food-wise could have been better.
I've been eating a lot of tuna because my chicken cooking skills range from burnt to salmonella.
I also caved and bought a big tub of hummus to feed my sauce addiction in the healthiest way I could. Whoops.
I've been crook (maybe mercury poisoning from the tuna?) for a few days and had a few days of eating a huge bowl of oats for every meal - easy, bland carbs.
Another major positive of F45 is the music.
The F45 playlist blasts banger after banger, from The Sign by Ace of Base (you'll know the song, look it up), to Smack That by Akon and Eminem.
I've got a small obsession with Spotify playlists and F45 Rotorua taps into the daily-changing playlists are on F45fm.
Sadly, full access can only be reached by gym-owners with a login, but here is a taster that's been made public.
This playlist doesn't do it justice.
I'll admit it was somewhat comforting and motivating to hear the likes of Missy Elliot telling you to "get your freak on" instead of my own grunts this week.
Three weeks left! I feel like I'm moving towards the goal of stronger and increased muscle-mass but I can't see my cardiovascular ability getting much better with my back.
We'll see, I guess.
Sunday's class: Renegade
Six pods, three stations per pod and two laps of each pod, 35 seconds work, 25 seconds rest
- Dumbbell box Bulgarian squat
- Deadball sumo squat
- Medicine ball straight-leg hold
- Box controlled glute step-down
- Plate tricep extension
- Sledgehammer twists
- Barbell bent-over row
- Kettlebell upright row
- Ab crunch
- Dumbbell lateral Lunge + bicep Curl
- REVO double bicep curl
- Side plank leg raise
- Sandbag hip thruster
- Kettlebell deadlift single leg
- Swissball back extension
- Dumbbell bench incline chest press
- Step trainer inclined push up
- Leg raises