fitness

Every Day is A New Day

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.” 
― Arnold Bennett

Image

 

Hello Again Fellow Thrivers!

First off, I am overdue in updating on the Fitness Challenge.  This past Sunday I weighed in at 141.8, which is about 2 lbs up from the week before.  While I may have indulged in some chocolate and 2 slices of pizza during the week, the extra 2 lbs was more likely related to being bloated (with my first real menstrual cycle in years… ugh! I miss my birth control already 😦 ) and having not worked out immediately prior to my weigh in.  In reality, I think my weight has just plateaued back to what is was pre-holiday because I have been hovering at 140 the rest of the week.  At this point I am already running, cycling, lifting regularly, AND watching what I eat, so not much else to do there.  

Our challenge this week is to plank 15 minutes each.  Each person is allotted two attempts per day to reach a cumulative total of 15 minutes.  I finished my planking this morning, and the hubs has about 7 minutes to go.  Don’t worry, he still has one day left.  Aside from our challenge I’ve logged 9.7 miles on the treadmill, over 19 at spin, and just over half a mile in the pool so far this week- with one day still to go. This has me right on track for my mileage goals for the year: 49/500 miles running & 107/1000 miles of biking.  I should probably also set one for swimming, but I have a much harder time getting myself to swim than anything else…. I know, all the more reason!  Okay, I’ll think about it.

Yesterday was actually my first day back in the pool in I’m not even going to mention how long.  I think with all the stress at work Image(major upheaval there.. per usual… and I just interviewed for a supervisor position… yikes!) and all unfortunate stuff (gross understatement) going on with my friends, I just needed a break from feeling like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I had forgotten just how calm and relaxing it is to be in the water when the pool is empty in the morning.  It is truly a meditative experience.  Usually running is my go to sport for stress relief, but, in this case, a good swim was exactly what I needed.  Submersed in water and weightless, it was the complete opposite of how my life has been feeling.  No chaos, just quiet.  No commotion or need to hurry.  Instead I found myself falling into a rhythm and effortlessly gliding from one end of the pool to the other.  Previously, I’ve never had an experience where swimming was anything but anxiety provoking, but this was entirely the opposite.  It was as if I escaped to a land of tranquility for a solid 30 minutes of my morning.  I left the water feeling completely refreshed and energized… and this was after surviving a particularly grueling spin class prior to the swim.  So, perhaps, there is hope for me and swimming…  Maybe this is the beginning of a love affair (just don’t tell running).

It is funny though how thirty minutes of exercise in the water can reshape your entire perspective on a day.  With all the craziness going on lately, I desperately needed to hit the reset button and charge my batteries.  Now that I have, I feel happy that even in the midst of all the sadness around I can still ground myself and find my center.  I am grateful to be at a point in my life where I can empathize with other people without letting it consume me.  Rather than get depressed, I have found that I can feel badly for other people and still feel happy and grateful for the life I have.. and not feel guilty about it.  I am no help to anyone if I let their problems and tragedies drag me down in the muck.  Instead, I have been finding more productive outlets to channel my grief.

When my friends and I started the We Support The Wilcox Girl’s fundraising page, it was exactly that.  It was a way to cope and try to help someone we cared about deeply.  There are only so many times you can tell a person “I’m so sorry for your loss” before it starts to feel hollow.  By setting up the page, we weren’t saying we felt for her we were showing her.  It was our best effort at saying “we are here for you”.  We never in a million years imagined what it would morph into.  

Based on the estimate that a single funeral costs $10,000, I set our initial fundraising goal at that value.  I figured if we could alleviate Imagethe cost of just one funeral it would be a blessing.  We decided to post the site on Saturday, and by this morning we had already surpassed that goal.  What’s more, the page filled up with hundreds of words of condolences and support.  Beyond that, our Facebook newsfeeds blew up with multiple shares of our page.  Newspapers and the town patch featured it, and even Channel 3 picked up the story.  The overwhelming support that has poured out for our friend and her family is beyond anything any of us could have imagined or hoped for.  As awful and tragic as this situation has been, the response has been uplighting beyond words.

I am very happy and grateful to belong to a community that reaches out to support each other in a time of need.  I am also grateful that on the day my friends and I attend services with this family, we can tell them how much they are loved and supported, not only by us, but hundreds of people.

If you have ever thought for a moment that a single person can’t make a big difference in the world, take a look at what four grieving women were able to accomplish by reaching out to their community.  What’s more, if the individuals who reached out to share our page, give donations, and offer support had though that way, our page Imagewould never have been successful.  Paraphrasing (loosely) Mother Theresa, “You don’t have to do great things to make a difference, just small things with great love.” Besides, maybe a single person can’t make a huge impact alone, but lots of people with a common purpose can literally move mountains and make miracles happen. 

Every day of your life is a chance to make an impact on this world.  It’s a new chance to live the life you have always dreamed of.  Nothing is life is guaranteed or given, and most of us willing never know how much time we have left.  Leave your mistakes and regrets in the past.  Tell your loved ones how you feel about them often.  Be grateful for what you have, and consider what an impact a simple act of kindness can make in someone else’s life.

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Confinement Day #2

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest”

-Ashleigh Brilliant

Or feels as frustrating as injury...

Okay, maybe it’s not technically confinement, but it may as well be.  Someone should just go ahead and lock me up because not being able to exercise has been DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Then, as if life were taunting me, the gym called me today because my payment didn’t process for the third month in a row (ever since I updated to my new credit card).  They needed me to come in person, so I hauled myself over there on my way home from work to fix the issue.  I was definitely having some serious exercise envy watching everyone workout.  I would have been happy even to do a little cardio, but I was a good girl and didn’t risk it- even when G-Dawg showed up after his run or offered to do some lifting. (He quickly remember my shoulder and apologized when I shot him a dirty look reminded him I couldn’t)

On an up note, I ran into Mike while I was there AND HE TOTALLY MADE MY NIGHT! He said a client of his was in the gym Saturday when we were lifting, and she just happened mentioned to him that there were two guys doing some really sloppy pushups and getting completely shown up by a girl.  Mike said he knew right away it had to be me based on the description she gave.  It definitely cheered me up to hear that I was, in fact, actually kicking their butts at something even while nursing my trashed shoulder and feeling like a wimp.  It was absolutely the nicest thing anyone could have said to me (THANK YOU MIKE!!!). lol  Plus, I know he wasn’t making it up just to make me feel better because he was clearly excited to tell me.

Tonight I’m going to try some time with the foam roller to see if it helps the knee.  Mike agreed with my plan to lay off Insanity for the rest of the week and really give my body time to recover.  It’s somewhat fortunate that this happens to be a week where my work shifts are all scheduled on boot camp days, so at least I ‘m not missing days I could have made otherwise.

Have a great night everyone!!!!

Kreativ Blogger Award

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.”

~ Benjamin Disraeli

In a surprising twist of fate, I have kindly been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Momarock, a fellow female runner and bad ass.  Be sure to stop by her blog and say hi. 🙂

I would like to truly thank Momarock not only for the nomination, but also her excellent blog which I thoroughly enjoy reading.  After all, we all know what a fan I am of other women who enjoy running and kicking ass.

As with every nomination, there are some rules which are as follows:

  1. You must thank the person who has given you the award. (check)
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (check)
  3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award. (check)
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
  5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Ok 7 things about myself:

1) I have developed a strange adult onset phobia of bicycle riding which I fully intend to get over so I can eventually compete in a triathlon.  I never remember being up that high in the air as a child! (I also need to learn to swim properly, but having one out of 3 down isn’t bad, right?)

2) I LOVE shoes, but hate wearing them.  In fact, if I could walk around barefoot all day, I would.

3)  I have lived in the state of CT my whole life.  Never even left for college.

4) I have made up for never living outside of CT by traveling.  So far I have been to the Philippines, Ecuador, Bermuda, Mexico, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Egypt (and yes, I rode a camel) and Aruba… I have also traveled a bit around the US.

5) If I could live anywhere else in the US, I’d pick Colorado.

6)  I have studied Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin, but the only language I can speak fluently is English.

7)  If I had to choose a different career I would either be a personal trainer or a life coach.

Okay, now for the fun part! Nominations!!!!

There are so many great blogs I follow.  It’s definitely hard to choose!!!!  Since I have had the honor of nominating some of my blog buddies for other awards in the past, I tried to pick some of the newer blogs I’ve been following.

In no particular order:

1) Soles of a Mom– I find this blog to be full of positive energy and always find something inspiring to read.

2) The Everyday Warrior– Why? Because she’s AWESOME!!!! and someone I can totally relate to.  She is also running a Tough Mudder and raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project, so head over there and show her some support!

3) Fabulous 50’s– Because she truly is FABULOUS and so is her blog.  I especially love her travel photos!!!!

4) Feminist Figure Girl- What can I say? I’m a feminist at heart.  This blog is totally worth reading.

5) Conchsaladesque- This lady has been through some recent heartache, but continues to face each day with strength and gratitude.  Her posts are always thoughtful and insightful.

6) Manbicep– All I can say is you have to read it.

7)  Run. Dog. Cat. Me.- If for no other reason (and there are others) then because this post totally cracked me up.

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!

Running, Llamas, and Too Much of a Good Thing

“Beautiful women are strong and powerful.

They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun.

They have muscles borne of hard work and sweat.

They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments not by numbers on the scale.

They understand muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that their designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads “

– Jon Gilson

(I love this quote!!! Borrowed from Fit and Feisty)

Yup, that pretty much sums it up!

So I haven’t posted in a little while because I took a little mini vacation for my B-day in the Green Mountains in Vermont for some relaxation.  I found an awesome deal on Groupon to stay at the West Mountain Inn for more than 50% off their regular price.  🙂  I was totally sold by all the pictures on their website of the amazing scenery and hiking trails… okay it was mostly the LLAMAS!!!  I love llamas!

llamas!!!

It was definitely worth the money and the drive. The food was AMAZING.  In fact, told Adam I was going to get fat because their were always yummy fresh baked goods out.  Luckily, I was able to control myself…

Despite the tranquil atmosphere, Adam and I still got a chance to get in a tough trail run (only 6+ miles, but the hills were so steep it felt like double that!)  I pretty much felt like I was going to die for the majority of it while Adam bounded upward like a damn gazelle.  Needless to say, I hated him.

I spent half the trip sick (again!) with sinus/cold symptoms, but after a day to recuperate at home I got back to Insanity and boot camp and have been getting my butt kicked!  Thursday night Mike had us doing the beyond insane workout from the week before, but made it even more difficult by changing some of the exercises and making us do all the circuits straight through without rest at the end.  I was happy to make it through without any palpitations or near fainting spells (I only almost threw up once!), but my body has been hurting everywhere ever since!   I’m sure it didn’t help that yesterday I did Insanity and a group session where Mike had us doing 400 reps (split with a partner- my partner was AWESOME by the way) of all different types of upper body torture including battle ropes, curls, dead lifts, punches, and some other fun stuff.  We were definitely creating some liquid awesome!

We also did a mile run as part of our warm-up (outside, in the cold, in shorts…I hate you Mike 😉 ) and I finished in a respectable 6:54 (motivated primarily by the fact that I was COLD and wanted to get inside).  Adam finished a full minute ahead of me, but his legs are twice as long as mine.

Nothing says "I love you" like a SUPER BLENDER

After our super tough workout, Adam and I treated ourselves to some chocolate peanut butter protein shakes in the new industrial strength blender he got me for Valentine’s Day (because nothing says “I love you” like a blender with more horse power than your car…I told him the only thing that would make it better is if it came in pink or orange).  In case anyone is wondering, I can now make a protein shake in 3 secs. Hardcore, right?

That pretty much catches us up to the present- with the exception of a Birthday recap, which I still need to post.  I’ll get around to it…eventually.

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend!  I started mine off right with some more Insanity- that means 3 weeks down!  I’m also hoping to get a long run in at some point to help prep for the Colchester Half Marathon next weekend (Yikes!!!)  I’m a little nervous about my lack of training (in terms of not having run much recently), but I keep reminding myself that it won’t be as bad as a marathon.

Later folks!

PS. The torture was worth the great view 😉

Dig Deeper!

“If you always put limit on everything you do- physical or anything else- it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.”

-Bruce Lee

Amen!

Oh yeah, I pulled out the Bruce Lee today.  Maybe I was inspired by my new self defense lessons.  Speaking of which, maybe I’ll start adding a self defense move of the week you tube video with my posts so everyone can learn how to kick ass with me…  

Today I worked my second 13 + hr shift this week and came home exhausted (saving lives is hard work 😉 )  I considered going straight to bed, but decided to “dig deeper” and do my scheduled Insanity workout instead.  On the agenda today: pure cardio and abs.  I did the abs first because I didn’t realize initially that they were separate workouts.   Anyway, the ab workout was only an additional 15ish minutes, so even combined with the full cardio workout, it was not as bad or long as boot camp.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, but since I’m a couple days behind I think I’m going to skip ahead to the fit test and possibly the next workout.

Plus, TOMORROW IS BOOT CAMP 🙂 YEA!!!!!!  Can you tell I’m REALLY looking forward to it?  Is it still sadistic to look forward to torture and pain when you know it’s good for you?  In reality, it’s not really boot camp I get excited about- it’s SURVIVING another boot camp and the associated post workout high (not to mention hanging out with my awesome “other family”!)  

So here’s to rising above plateaus, digging deeper, and being the person you are meant to be!

In the words of Caption Planet :The Power is Yours!"

So, for anyone interested… here is one of the useful moves Adam taught me called the “Rolling Knee Bar” (or “How to Break the Bad Guy’s Knee”).  Enjoy!