It’s the end of a gruelling session of ZUU, and I am spent.  I am sitting on the carpeted arena, surrounded by my Func peers, and, Nick the trainer for the session, is taking us through the motions of stretching and cooling down.  My breathing declines to its normal rate and sweat decorates my forearms and the sweat drops from my lower legs are racing each other to my socks (the phenomenon of leg sweat is still something surreal.  It freaked me out the first time as I thought my body was going into shock – typical dramaqueen V.) I am feeling relieved, ecstatic, and elated that the session is over.  It’s been eleven months since I first walked through the Func gates and it just does not get any easier.  Quads still burn twice as much as after the first drum run; arms still burn twice as after the first double-pumper.  It may not be getting any easier, but things are getting leaner and stronger, the gain is worth the pain, and all the other gym cliché’s are starting to make sense.  The dictionary describes being strong as “the ability to withstand force, pressure or wear”.  Life throws at us emotional, mental and physical obstacles that either wears us down or build us up.  In health, the whole concept of strength gets thrown on its head when it no longer just means the physical but the mental and emotional as well.  Today, it was Thursday 6.30am ZUU, the second session for the day and Nick’s adrenalin level was sky-high if not in orbit – a typical Nick kind of day.  The session was hard which is always a given, but today my morale was down due to life’s curveballs and my body was giving in to the negativity.  Basic ZUU moves became harder to complete, my knees reacquainting themselves with the carpet.  As if on cue, Nick turned up beside me, reminding me of what my body was capable of doing, and motivating me to keep moving and to let the lactic burn.  I start plotting his death by beetroot overdose as my body started to burn, negative thoughts turning into adrenalin and Nick’s words of affirmation pushing me past the finish line.  Eleven months of high intensity workouts has made me think of what I believe should be part of Func law –  our emotional and mental baggage makes for great resistance during training.  Don’t leave them at the door, bring them in with you.  Exercise is an excellent batting tool for life’s curveballs and when you have a team surrounding you that are cheering you on, mindsets change and heartaches are put in perspective.   I try to deliver my own dose of encouragement during training, as you never know what people are battling outside the four Func walls.  All I know is that I’m given 45 minutes to burn fat, conquer my own inner demons and help bash over someone else’s.  I want to continue getting stronger and I know that at Func others have the same goal too.  I also know that we all have our own personal struggles and know that with exercise, we can tackle them together rather than alone.  There’s a quote that says “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up”.   It was a crazy morning session of ZUU and I appreciated Nick’s persistence to see me finish.  I walk out into the morning sun sweaty with a clear mind, listing things I am thankful for and looking forward to my piccolo latte.  Nick gestures me for a high-five which I accept, and I promised that for today I won’t be overdosing him with beetroot but rather pay forward the favour he paid me.   And that’s how V sees it.  #funcVmax