Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Our story begins in the group classroom where trainer boy brings out the Bosu and the 8 lb. weights. I step up with my right foot and do a shoulder press, switch legs, 10 reps and then same thing with bicep curls, repeat three times.
Next we hit the floor for ab torture, I mean work. I use the word ďweĒ loosely of course. First up, holding an 8lb. ball, knees bent, I do full sit-ups, pushing the ball overhead as I come up 10 times. I actually love this because a year ago, I could not sit all the way up.
Then, legs up at a 90 degree angle, sitting up, leaning back at an angle, keeping back straight, abs engaged, twist right, left right and then left, right, left etc, 10 times. THEN the killer, lay down, arms outstretched overhead, pull in abs and bring straight legs up and arms to meet, 10 times. Does anyone hear the chainsaw across my abs?? Then repeat all of the aforementioned ab moves three times. By the last three reps in the third set, the chainsaw gets louder and I look like a fish floundering out of water.
After trainer boy peels me off the floor, we are off to the main part of the gym to what I affectionately refer to as the ďhe-man areaĒ (many large-muscled men in this area) for TRX and kettle bell. I have graduated from the 15 lb. kettle bell to the 26.4 lb. Three sets of squats holding the kettle bell in front of me, then bringing the kettle bell up to shoulder height in front of me as I stand.
Some of you may have seen previous status updates where I profess my love for TRX. It is SO hard and SO rewarding! For those not familiar, you can see TRX advertised on the SP website or google it. First up, holding on to the handles, I lean back at an angle, arms straight out in front of me. Keeping everything in line and tight I pull myself up to standing 10 times.
Then, still holding on to the handles, one leg out in front of me, I do one-legged squats and pull myself back up to standing. Here comes that chainsaw across my thighs. 10 times. Then lunge back and pull myself back up to standing 10 times each leg.
Next I do pushups using the TRX strapsÖ holding on to the hand grips, leaning towards the floor at an angle and do pushups. I hope that makes sense, Iím essentially doing pushups in midair. It takes a lot of work not to let my arm fly out to the sides. Then lather, rinse and repeat all moves three times. At this point I am a sweaty mess, even my hair.
Trainer boy leads me back to the group classroom; Iím now following him around a little more slowly with my jell-o legs and my knuckles dragging the floor. Out comes the bosu again, flipped upside down. I had to hold on to the sides, in plank position, pull right knee in towards left elbow, then left knee toward right elbow, 10 times, and repeat this set three times. My hands kept sweating so much I almost slipped off but I held it together.
Then he gives me the band, unfortunately not the Beatles or Van Halen. bah ha! I step on the band and lift arms straight out the sides, then out in front, then bicep curls, 10 each, repeated three times. To distract myself from my burning shoulders, I watched a very petite young girl in very small, tight pants, teeny sports bra and high-heeled silver shoes. The trainer with her was guiding her through different poses, I overheard ďjudgingĒ and ďcompetitionĒ so I watched intently, imagining what she was training for and admiring her muscle tone.
As you can imagine, my arms are like jello at this point so of course, on to the chest press machine, one arm at a time. I bumped it up to 50 lbs and OY VEY!!! I focused on the TV overhead. NCIS Los Angeles was on and John Corbett was on. What a wonderful distraction!
But wait thereís more. I canít remember what itís called but it has a platform, maybe five or six inches off the ground and it vibrates. For about ten minutes, I did a mini step aerobic workout on this thing. It is very odd stepping on and off this vibrating platform.
This concludes this broadcast of My Night at the Gym. I am proud to say I am long past being self-conscious at the gym. I look like a dork doing these moves and I embrace my dorkiness. Looking like a dork at the gym is better than how I look when Iím vegging on the couch with snacks and the remote.
To distract myself from the pain, I used the he-men and the teeny tiny girl in high heels as focal points; I look at the colors of their shoe laces, how their shorts and t-shirts match or do not match etc. oh yeah, and John Corbett on tv!
Have a wonderfully wicked wild Wednesday!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I hope everyone is having a fantabulous day! This will be my first blog adding pictures. I hope I do this right.
Today was the second time I ran in our local St. Patrick's day 5K. Last year it was a beautiful sunny morning, about 72 degrees at that time of the day. It was so much fun, I vowed to get better for next year.
This is what I was hoping to look like for another 70-degree race:
I believe it was a balmy 28 degrees this morning. So this is what I ended up wearing (I am on the right):
My daughter (she's on the left) did it with me this year which was wonderful. She lives in the city and I am out in the burbs so it's always a thrill to spend time with her!
She recently landed a job as the general manager of a local fitness center. It was great to have her there to keep me moving!
I didn't think too much about the temperature since I was too worried about being late. Her train came in this morning with just enough time to park and walk a few blocks to the gear check and line up.
We made it in plenty of time to get in line and dance around to songs on my Iphone. Okay, I danced a bit and sang a bit, she shook her head and laughed a bit. It's what we do. I have only done a few races and I just LOVE the thrill of taking off with everyone!
I lost her at just over two miles. I slowed down a bit, the cold air finally got to me. I picked it back up and was thisclose to catching back up to her and I got snarled in a slow moving group.
With about two blocks to go and the finish line in site, my legs were done but I channeled spark member BIGPAWSUP and told myself "oh HELL no you are NOT slowing down now!" I pushed it, grunted and chanted 'COME ON" "COME ON" out loud until I crossed the finish line.
My time, drum roll please...... 34:19, six seconds fast than last year!!!! WHOOOO!! I'll take it considering it was such a beautifully, comfortable day last year and today was cold, damp and a little sleet thrown in at the end for an extra good time. I had a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye when I crossed the finish line. I am SO happy I am strong and active and that I shared today with my wonderful daughter!
Next up, a charity 5K next month. Fingers crossed for better weather and a few more seconds off my time!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Happy hump day!
I am in week three of my stress-buster challenge. Iíve come a long way dealing with stress over the years but many times it still overcomes me. So Iím really working on it now.
Workouts really help! I try to get in two 15-minute walking breaks every day at work. Itís good to get away from the desk, clear my head and get a little refreshed. A good cardio and strength training workout really helps blow off pent-up steam!
This week I am working on choosing to be an optimist. Thatís a lot harder than it sounds but I believe I can do this. I have more than one family member going through a difficult time right now and this is where I struggle but Iím really working on it. Normally right now, I would be wallowing. I would stop working out, shut down, watch TV and blame myself even though none of it has anything to do with me.
I read somewhere,Ē itís not a bad day; there was a bad moment that you held on to all dayĒ. I canít remember the exact phrase but that was the idea. Looking back over the years I can remember being so overly dramatic about what a horrible time I was going through and thinking life was too unfair.
No question life was tough at that time; I have gone through some crap in my day. When I really think about it though, I can remember bright spots during that time as well. There were positive moments that I wish I had tuned into instead of wallowing in the bad times. I didnít have to be so miserable. I didnít have to let negative moments consume me but I did. I wish I could have chosen to turn away from negative influences.
But, whatís done is done. I cannot go back and fix anything, relive a past moment differently or change a bad decision I made. I know that is pointless. I know I must move forward every day being the best person I can possibly be now, take care of myself and support those I love, not berate myself for not being able to fix everything. I cannot hold on to a bad moment (or two or three) and tell everyone that I had a horrible day.
Iím running my second 5K on Saturday. Last year for this race, it was sunny and 70. This Saturdayís forecastÖ not so much. Iím fairly new to running and have never done a race in chilly weather. Iíve really been working on improving my strength and endurance over the past four months. I really have to keep reminding myself how far I have come. I still feel like the lazy couch potato I have been for many years and thatís just not true anymore! Only once in a while.
I was grumpy the other night watching the weather report. I went on and on about how horrible this is. I want it to be like last year, Iím too old for this. I immediately made myself shut up and told myself that it will still be a good day. I ran twice last week in chilly, damp weather and it wasnít so bad after the first five minutes. I even improved my time with each run so I will dress right, I will be out there with everyone else who loves to run and my daughter is doing it with me. I will be thankful that I am capable of running and that no matter what my time is on Saturday, it will be a great accomplishment for me!
Itís exhausting being me.
But I'm worth it!
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Happy Sunday to all
I had a great day yesterday with family and friends. I didn't get much exercise in and I had a big dinner with friends but I was still happy because it was a good day. So much could have gone wrong and it didn't .
So I'm not sure why I was in a funk this morning. I was one with the couch. I'm three months into maintenance and I was slipping so I got mad at myself and sat still even longer.
About 10:00, I finally got up to walk the dog. It was about 28 degrees but it was very sunny so it was a good walk. When I got home, I felt energized and thought about running outside, something I haven't done since November.
That 40-degree day in November, I couldn't run the two miles I had worked up to so I joined a gym to keep running inside during the winter and to get ready for the St. Patrick's Day 5K. I hate to say, it's been frustrating. My time has not improved. I signed up with a trainer for strength training and yet my running time has not improved! I keep blaming it on the humidity in the building. I barely get started and I'm a sweaty mess.
So today after walking the dog, without over-thinking it, I pulled out the cold-weather running clothes and got out there. The first five minutes, I was saying bad words in my head about this being a dumb idea. I kept complaining in my head that I was freezing and that I'm not going to make it.
To my surprise, I felt lighter on my feet and ran longer before needing a walking break. The 28-degree cold did not bother my chest as bad as it did on that 40-degree day in November. The songs on my running playlist helped spur me on when after two miles, I was starting to give up.
As I was getting closer to home, I kept telling myself I was going to have to pass my house up to reach three miles, just a few houses I kept telling myself, it will be okay, just a few houses and I'll be done, I'm almost there. As I got to my driveway, I heard the coach on Map My Run app announce I had reached three miles in 33 minutes, not sure how many seconds. I got tears in my eyes and the biggest smile on my face, did a little dance into the driveway. Back in November, it took me 34 to 38 minutes.
I realized today that I am stronger than I thought I was, that I am improving and getting stronger every day. All of those workouts and bad running times, were important. Any moving, any activity is better than sitting on the couch. Tomorrow is another chance to continue on the path I started!
To anyone still reading this blog, please do not ever give up! Never think your workouts are not accomplishing anything, even when they are hard to get through. Never stop eating healthy even if you have an off day and down a whole bag of chips and dip, followed by a pint of ice cream.
Everything is cumulative, each step builds on another. Never stop taking one more step in the right direction. If you have run way off course, take a small step to get back on the right track, then take another and then take another and tell yourself this is a good thing, it is not pointless.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!
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