boot camp

Boot Campers Gone Bad

“Hard work, given time, will defeat talent.”

Ever wonder what happens when a group of boot campers go rogue? Twelve scoops of ice cream topped over 2 chocolate lava cakes with m&m’s, gummy worms, and who-knows-what-else turns into a sad empty plate… THAT’S WHAT!

From this...

In our defense, it was a special occasion (Kelly’s Birthday/St. Patrick’s Day) AND it took 4 of us to eat it… Alright, one person may have carried the team a little, but she has a six pack and manly biceps so that makes it ok, right?

Despite any slight pings of guilt any of us may have felt, it was a great time! We even got to torture Adam’s best friend about the endless reasons why he needs to join boot camp.  Ultimately, he continues to refuse, so we just told him we would bring a boot camp flash mob to his house. 🙂  He’s so funny thinking won’t wouldn’t actually do it!

Aside from pigging out on St. Patrick’s Day weekend (including yummy S’mores Sunday night!) I have actually been eating very healthy recent (very healthy for me anyway).  The thing that sucks about eating food that is actually digestible- I feel like I have a tape worm again and need to eat every 2 hours or I get light headed.  This is especially fun when you work in a profession where you don’t even get a real lunch break.  The fact that I also have been working out like nobody’s business and getting my butt kicked by month 2 of Insanity probably isn’t helping.

To this...ok there was a banana left, but not much else

That extra 10-15 minutes of intervals has been killing me!- no lie.  (Of course that may be in part from me over-doing it on a regular basis.)  I know it may seem a bit intense to some people that I pull so many doubles and triples. However, the truth is on the days I work it is very difficult for me to get a good workout in; so although I may be getting in 2 or three workouts on my days off, it’s still only (haha “only” I know what you’re thinking!) 7 or 8 (alright, sometimes more) sessions for the week.  Plus, I don’t really count going for a casual run or afternoon at the climbing gym a “workout” – even if it actually is one. 😉 To me, it’s just fun.  Like going to a movie, but without all the junk food.

The highlight of my weekend was surprisingly not the junk food, but rather lifting with Adam and his best friend.  I really like hitting the weights with them, because 1) lifting heaving things makes me feel like a total badass, and 2) Adam’s friend makes it a point to push me really hard.  (Plus, he is like a super man with the weights!  I am always super impressed by the amount he is able to lift.)  I even made it a point to wear my bad ass boot camp gear so I could feel even more like a badass!  (and I thought Adam’s friend would appreciate the badass socks)

We ended up doing back, shoulders, and abs.  In true awesome form, Adam’s friend was doing rows with more than my body weight!!!! He was also trying to teach me how to do a dragon flag, but my back was shot after the rows and completely uncooperative.  Apparently, it is something near impossible to do on your first try, but I gave it my best effort! Something to add to the goal list for sure!  I did have one great accomplishment for the day, however. I completely SMOKED the boys at back extensions.  Initially, they told me to do them until I got tired, but when I was over 60 in, they decided it was too easy and gave me a weight.  When that still didn’t wear me out, they (picked their jaws off the floor, and then) handed me a 25 lb plate and I knocked out about 25 more.

Adam tried to say it was because I wasn’t bending far enough over, but his friend totally backed me up that I was doing them correctly (secretly, I think he was impressed but his manly pride wouldn’t let him admit it 😉 ).  I think it probably worked in my favor that I’m so short and compact, but I’m also totally sure it had to do with the fact THAT I WORK HARDER THAN BOTH OF THEM PUT TOGETHER- especially Adam who tends to rely on his natural athletic ability (who could fault him, really?).   I get that it probably sucks for him when his athletically challenged girlfriend kicks his butt at something physical, but the reality is HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN’T WORK HARD!  I may be tiny, but I have a lot of heart and I’m willing to bust my ass– which is EXACTLY what I do.

In other news, I am STILL working on the pull ups (and chin ups).  I’ve made some progress at lifting with my back but still can’t get my arms to bend.  The important thing, though, is I am closer than I was yesterday!!! I have also been nominated for a few more blog awards- which I need to get on posting pronto!

I hope everyone is having an AWESOME day!!!

A Fish Belongs in Water…

“I do not run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.”
–Priscilla. 

Likewise, a trail runner belongs on the trail, and that is exactly where I was this afternoon.  It was sunny and 70 degrees out. Who could ask for more?

Hitting that trail was like being reunited with an old friend.  I savored every dip and bend in the path as I cruised up and down the hills. I was a little surprised by how much the landscape had changed since I was there last; and by how dry everything was for a change… not that I didn’t still find puddles and streams (and mud) to run through.

I know. Shocker! Me find mud... who would have guessed?  They didn’t nickname me the “water witch” as a child for no reason (true story). In fact, when I was the pint sized version of myself, I used to dress in the frilliest of clothes and then promptly head outside and get covered in mud.  I loved being a girlie girl and getting completely covered in mud and dirtclearly not much has changed.  Diva-Fabulous-Obstacle runner in the making? Quite possibly!

BTW Ladies, just for the record- there’s no reason we can’t get out there and make mud look good… and put the boys to shame at the same time.  After all,  “Remember Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, backwards and on high heels”. 😉

Originally, I had planned a short 5 K (to everyone thinking “short? seriously?” trust me, stick with running and soon enough you will be saying it too), but ended up actually doing 10 K instead.  My calves (and body) held up better than I expected, especially since I had already done Insanity this morning (5 weeks done!!!) and have been dragging all week.

That being said, I did have some stomach issues during my run.  I had tried to temporize the leak situation with my reservoir by flipping it upside down, but it didn’t work very well (no big surprise… I know).  Every time I tried to take a sip, I got a bunch of air with it; so by the time a was 5 miles in I was having some serious heartburn. lol

Within an hour of getting home I totally crashed and burned.  I was so exhausted I didn’t even make it to boot camp (gasp!!!) which I am pretty bummed about.  However, I really think a third workout would have been pushing it.  Instead I’ll take an early bedtime and live to fight another day.

Another muddy one for good measure! Here's to getting dirty!

Question…

“If we had no winter; the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” 
-Anne Bradstreet

That's how we roll at boot camp 😉

How could anyone not feel grateful to be alive when it’s 75 degrees out and the sun is shining?    Granted, we have had an unseasonably mild winter up here in the north east, but it hasn’t made me look forward to the beautiful spring weather any less! I mean, who doesn’t feel happy at the first signs of spring?  I for one can’t wait to get outside more!

I spent this morning cleaning the house and catching up on chores…like finally trucking over to the grocery store to buy some healthy food (I was delighted to have my sunroof open on the drive!).  I was also delighted at just how many heavy bags of groceries I am able to juggle now- thanks to all my kick ass workouts.  Pretty soon I won’t even need that second trip to the car!  I know, yet another awesome reason to hit the gym!

Speaking of which,I luckily managed to get my Insanity workout in early before I distracted with the typical daily chaos.  I especially wanted to make sure I got it done today because neither of my planned workouts panned out yesterday.  In truth, though, I think I really needed the rest.  I have been dragging a bit and have been more sore than usual, which was part of my motivation to go get some healthy eats.

I decided to celebrate the gorgeous day by making some fresh guacamole for lunch…YUM! It’s always a plus when something tastes good AND is good for you.  Of course the fact that I ate way too much was probably NOT good for me, but great eating habits has never been a strong suit of mine.  What can I say; I’m a work in progress.

Tonight I’m looking forward to some more boot camp!!! I’ve been trying to convince Mike to let us have our session outside tonight- on account of the fabulous weather– but he has yet to cave.  It might have to do with us acting like 5 years at our last outdoor session.  We basically had a hard time paying attention because of all the excitement of “playing” outside.  (There were a lot of punishment exercises involved…) It was still a great time though! (at least for us…maybe not so much for Mike)  My favorite part was tire flipping, although the obstacle course Mike constructed was also fun. 😉

That is all for now!   It’s way to nice out to spend any longer on the computer!

I hope everyone is enjoying the day!!!!!

Insecurities

“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”

Clark Moustakas

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****DISCLAIMER****

This blog is directed at the female population, not because I don’t believe men also suffer from insecurities (or because I don’t care that they do), but because it was in honor of Intentional Women’s Day.  As such, I wanted a post something to make women feel empowered.  It was not in an effort to make any of my male counterparts feel slighted, and I do genuinely appreciate all the gentlemen who stepped up to comment!  If you are a man and you happen to be reading this, I do believe the core message here still applies to you, so feel free to substitute “man” for “woman” and “handsome”, “hot”, “sexy” or whatever other term you’d prefer for beautiful. Ultimately, I believe EVERYONE: man or woman deserves to be happy, and that starts with loving and accepting yourself.  

I started this post yesterday in honor of International Women’s Day.  I thought it would be a topic we could all relate to, and a nice break from discussing my daily workouts.  Apparently, I was not the only one with this idea because when I pulled up Facebook this morning, there was a bunch of other chatter about this very issue. 🙂

We all have them.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2, 10, or 20- if you’re a super athlete or super model- there are things you are going to feel self conscious about.  Sometimes it’s things you can change like your waste line or thighs; and sometimes it’s something your stuck with (unless you opt for surgery…) like stretch marks, loose skin, or even a less than perfect nose.

I’m not sure why as a society we tend to value the appearance of beauty more than beautiful character (and diversity!), but it’s clearly something that impacts all of us.  I’ve never been a “pretty, girly girl”, but I do have a lot of personality.  I am also caring, warm, compassionate, and have a big heart.  As you can imagine, I’m not the lady getting the most attention from the opposite sex.  At least, not at first glance.  I’m one of those people who becomes more attractive the more you get to know me, and I’m okay with that.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that when I go out with all my gorgeous friends that I don’t get self conscious.  As much as I appreciate being the girl with the personality and not the killer looks, it can still be difficult- at times– to live in a society where the latter is more prized.  After all, everyone wants to feel sexy and beautiful every now and then.

That is where working out comes in for me.  While I can’t go out and make myself as stunning as some other women (ok maybe I could, but it would be extremely expensive and likely violate my low maintenance nature), I can work hard at being the best version of myself.  That means making myself as fit and strong- mentally and physically- as possible.  Working out can boost your confidence and give you more energy to conquer your day.  Let’s face it, endorphins make you feel good in the moment, and getting results will make that feeling last.  Plus, THERE IS NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL OR SEXY THAN A WOMAN WITH CONFIDENCE- ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE TAKES CARE OF HER BODY.  Go get that PR you’ve been working on and then tell me you don’t feel good about yourself.

All that being said, even a person like me- who works out like a nut– can still have body image issues.  Even getting in great shape won’t take away all your insecurities.  For example, when I was training for the marathon and lost weight no matter what I ate, there were still days I felt fat (stupid hormones!).  The image of myself in the mirror was dramatically affected by my mental image of myself, and it wasn’t until Adam took pictures out on the boat one day that I realized just how thin I had gotten.  I immediately asked him “Why didn’t you tell me I looked like I needed to eat something!?”

Even now,  I sometimes have a hard time adapting to a more muscular build than I am used to.  Runners normally have very lean muscles, but since I started doing so much cross training, my calves and quads have gotten huge (not really huge- ok maybe my thighs are huge. And my butt! lol).  I know in my head that I am still thin.  I fit in a size 2 for Pete’s sake!  But, it’s something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis when I look in the mirror and see a “stockier” version of myself than I am used to seeing.

I also remind myself that I am a STRONGER version of myself than I used to be, and THAT is well worth the trade off.  The truth is that the more I strength train and run, the more my muscles will become lean and stronger.  Besides, there is nothing wrong with the way I look now.  Every time I feel that urge to pick myself apart I remind myself: 1) I have WORKED HARD for this body.  I earned every muscle through sweat and determination. 2) This body has carried me through a Tough Mudder, a marathon, several half marathons, hundreds and hundreds of miles of training runs, and numerous insane workouts (with minimal injury!).  It is strong, and THAT is beautiful. 3) My body is a work in progress.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.  My flaws are part of me and I like who I am.

Every woman is beautiful.  No matter what shape, size, race, or background.  No matter where you are in your journey:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Your flaws are part of what make you, and you are exactly the way you were meant to be.   Perfect is boring and unoriginal.  WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT.   Everyone has insecurities no matter how perfect or put together they seem.  Not everyone makes the choice to get over them.

I spent over 5 years of my life with a person who picked me apart on a daily basis, pointed out every flaw, and continually tried to convince me that “[I] make everyone around [me] miserable”.  It took a LONG time to let go of any lingering belief that it was true- especially the last part, but I did and life is better now than it ever was before.  If I could learn to love and accept myself again- after all of that– then there’s no reason you can’t too.  No one has the right to pick you apart- including you!  You deserve better than that!

LOVE YOURSELF!

Bad Ass Boot Camp and Weekend Recap

“Success is a marathon, not a sprint.”

~Unknown

(It’s a good thing too cause I suck at sprinting!)

Where to start!!! I’m a little behind in the blogging department, but it’s only because life has been crazy busy (with all good things!).  I am happy to report that I am finally operating at 100% capacity, and it’s lucky because it is 65 degrees out and sunny!

Looking so bad ass in my socks for boot camp!

Saturday we had an AWESOME boot camp session, which I have affectionately dubbed “Bad Ass Boot Camp”.  I had found these bad ass socks online (through some of my Facebook/blog buddies) and got a pair not only for myself, but also two of my favorite boot camp ladies.  We all decided to wear them to boot camp together and it was definitely beast mode on!

The workout consists of 5 min stations consisting of deadlift, clean and press, body saws, burpess, alternating toe touches, treadmill, and pushups.  I deadlifted 95 lbs over 60 times in the allotted time AND managed over 100 pushups on my last station. That was more than Adam, but he insists his form was better. I ran further than him and did more burpees too…just for the record!  I also pointed out to him that I was lifting a higher percentage of my body weight than him (mostly because he has been slacking off with the gym lately, and I was hoping to light a fire under his you-know-what… mission accomplished 😉 )

I was SO ECSTATIC about completing that workout- particularly the pushups (I made this clear to Mike by putting a big smiley face on my paper next to the total and drawing stars around it).  I used to really struggle with real pushups.  When I first started boot camp I could barely do one!  Now I hammer them out like it’s no big deal.  It’s exactly what I remind myself whenever I struggle with another exercise- LIKE PULL-UPS!

Conquering the handstand pushup!

 Sunday, we followed up our kick ass boot camp session with some indoor rock climbing.  Adam and I invited some of our boot camp buddies and his best friend to come too.  We had a pretty good turn out and everyone totally rocked it.  I was pretty impressed with how well everyone climbed, but not really surprised considering what kind of shape everyone is in.

While we were there I managed to knock out 3 (and a half) handstand pushups, which was a major achievement (at least in my mind) because I had done some serious upper body lifting earlier that morning to train for my pull-ups!

I was especially excited to see my girl Kelly kicking butt because she was a little nervous about it at first.  It wasn’t long before she was killing it though.  It was definitely a nice change to add some new people.  Plus, it will be fun to have more of a crowd in the future.  Going in a group added a whole new level of fun (and entertainment).  It also helped everyone push just a little bit harder. 😉

Tonight I’m looking forward to getting back to boot camp.  I already did my Insanity workout this morning, and am thinking about running to the gym to do my pull-up weight training.  I hope everyone is having a great day!

Holy Hip Flexors!

“I’m smiling because I love it.”

Shaun T.

Story of my life!

Holy shoulders! Holy hurt!

The good news is month one of Insanity is done.  The bad news is (and let’s be truthful- no one is actually surprised here) “RECOVERY” week has started, and there are still level 1 drills (BOOOO!).  My trainer had warned me that the recovery week was no joke.  It was filled with a lot of torture as promised, but still totally doable.

To be honest, I was really looking forward to the new workout this morning for 2 reasons. 1) I was getting REALLY BORED with repeating the other workouts day in and out (now I get the same one for another 5 days straight…wooohooo!). 2) I needed the stretching after hitting the gym yesterday.

It won't kill you. I promise. No one has ever died of pain.

Plus, I as much as I hate it at times (like when I’m doing it)- I still LOVE IT (yes, even the level 1 drills).  It’s the best substitute I have for missing boot camp, and even if it isn’t quite as challenging as the the torture Mike inflicts, it’s still a really good workout and a great way to start the day.

The other bad news is I am not as 100% as I originally thought yesterday. lol  Our group training session totally kicked my butt, and it wasn’t even that hard.  Not that it wasn’t hard, but there were a few exercises I don’t normally struggle with that were really difficult for me.  For example, usually on ball-to-wall (you squat and then throw a medicine ball up at the wall and repeat) I use the heavy ball and crank them out, but last night I had a lighter one and I still felt fatigued.  I even struggled with the jump rope!

Damn straight!

Admittedly, doing Insanity in the morning, and lifting to train for my pull-ups immediately beforehand probably affected my performance some; but I was dragging WAY MORE than usual.  I hate that feeling- especially because I know it means I should probably back off some until I really am back at 100%.  On a side note I still totally kicked ass on the box jumps and killed my previous PR on the tall box. 🙂

I don’t know why I am so impatient when it comes to exercise.  I hate when I don’t feel like I’m making progress, even maintaining isn’t enough for me.  I have this little fire burning inside that is always driving me to push harder, get stronger, jump higher, move faster, and conquer the next challenge.  Why? Because making those strides is empowering and the feeling is addictive.  I honestly don’t care as much about my physical appearance as I do about ability.  When I demolish a hard workout, I truly feel like I can do anything.  It is the best high there is- completely intoxicating.  It also an amazing outlet and the most effective treatment for my anxiety/PTSD I’ve found yet.

I don’t expect everyone to understand my relationship with fitness.  In fact, most people won’t, and that’s okay with me.  I have my boot camp family and enough people in my life who get it not to be concerned with the ones who don’t. 🙂

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or stand in the way of your dreams.  If something is important to you, just go for it and forget what anyone else has to say about it.  The only person who can ever stand in your way is you.  You are as unstoppable as you choose to be.  Go out and conquer your goals- whether it’s a marathon or a jog around the block.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  If you commit and believe, you WILL SUCCEED.

Another great one from Motivation,Hope,Strength. Be sure to check out their Facebook page!

If You’re Happy and You Know It…

“Think big, believe big, act big, and the results will be big.”

Raise your hand! 🙂

I bet you can guess why I’m so happy today!  That’s right!!! I got to workout this morning!!! I was pushing hard, exploding with power, and jumping leaping all the way through the LAST Insanity workout of month onewithout feeling like I was going to die. BONUS!!!  Okay, maybe not through the WHOLE thing, but that’s only cause basketball/level 1 drills suck royally.  (I was extremely grateful to say goodbye to that specific workout of month 1 ;))

Anyway, the good news is my body cooperated.  I’m so glad we are finally on the same page again.  This makes me feel completely prepared to go to the group training session today.  It has been WAY TOO LONG since I’ve had a tough workout with Mike and my boot camp peeps.  I was completely bummed to miss SNOW DAY boot camp Wednesday night, but I knew it wasn’t a good idea when I actually had to pause the Insanity workout and dragged my way through it that morning. However, now that I’m all mended I am totally ready to ROCK IT tonight.

I have been withdrawing from exercise BIG TIME! I HATE when I can’t workout.  My eye was twitching the ENTIRE time I was sick.  I had no alternative form of stress reduction.  Alright, I admit I cheated a little and did some pull-up training on occasion.  This morning, though, for the first time in several days I was FINALLY able to work out at full capacity, and voila! Eye twitch extinguished!

I’m not sure what Mike has in store for us tonight, but I AM READY!!!! I think I may even see how high I can jump next to the tall box with the small one on top of it since I am completely determined to get up there at some point! 🙂

Happy Friday Everyone!!!! I hope you get your weekend started right!