...that was the question on my mind during my stretches today. I tend to spend a good 10-15 minutes stretching after every workout. And, yes, I include it as part of my workout because I want to see it as progress and not think of it as something I don't need to do. (It IS something I need to do!) What's more, I tend to challenge myself even in my stretches by trying new Yoga moves, or trying to hold them longer or getting deeper into them, etc.
My stretching routine generally starts with a simple forward bend. Then it goes immediately into downward dog. From there I bring each knee in for about 15-20 seconds to further stretch out the calf of the straightened leg. Back to downward dog (my heels ALMOST touch the mat now!!) and then into upward dog. Once I get a get a good stretch in Cobra, I move to my butt and start stretching out my legs ...a lot! (Especially now because I've noticed how much it's needed after those tight few days.)
So after my workout today (Chest & Tris) I head right over to my mat in the corner to start my stretches. Recently I've added in a Standing Split...
...and have been working on getting my head closer to my knee. This morning I decided I would challenge myself to bring my arms in a little more. (FYI - right now both arms are still on the floor supporting me and providing balance.) Little did I know how much I really did workout my back/bis/chest/tris and how that would affect me today.
I do my forward bend.
Much better, no longer so tight, but there's still a little tension.
And then I put my hands forward on the mat to go into downward dog...
and I nearly fall right on my face. *lmao* I did actually snort a laugh. My arms were screaming "NO MORE" but I had to do my stretches, so I took it as easy on them as I could (which, added bonus, I think worked my core a lot more as I tried to stabilize myself). I did get my arms closer to my toes in my split and the rest of the stretch wasn't so bad.
I did think one big thing though...I do a LOT of stretching of my legs/back (mostly because that's what needs it with the back issues I've had in the past, the hip misalignment and the PF, which is most likely caused by tightness in my calf) but I have very few moves to stretch out my arm muscles. I went through my memory of every arm stretch I'd ever seen someone do or had ever done or ever saw displayed online or in magazines or anywhere and...well, I couldn't think of very many at all. So that's my new hunt for the day...ARE there more arm stretches out there that I haven't considered? Certainly my biceps and triceps are going to be screaming for some of them very soon!
The good news: I did NOT fall on my face in a gym full of grunting men.
Other things of note: I managed to amaze myself yesterday. Got up at 4am, at the gym on time, hit the weights as hard as I could (even with the biceps issue), got to work a tad bit early, worked my butt off most of the day, had an awkward meeting with some higher ups (sorta), managed to stay on task food/calorie wise, even when lunch was provided, got scolded by my boss for no real reason (she told me she was just giving everyone the same speech), and by 5:30pm I was across the street getting things set up for our big event that was to start in 30 minutes. Acted as moderator of our group panel discussion, sounded less nervous than one of the panelists (I wanted to hug her and teach her breathing techniques!) and then managed to wiggle my way out of there finally around 8:05pm so I could head home to my boys. Was in bed by 10pm and up again this AM at 4:45am (rushed around to get ready and managed my workout this morning too). PLEASE remind me of this when I'm thinking it's too hard and I'm too busy. I just kept telling myself, "It has to be more important to you than anything else. Once it's done, something else can be more important, but not right now. This is #1."
Of course, today I'm exhausted. Getting off 2 hours early will certainly help. My arms are sore, but I feel alright really. Very, very tired. But alright. I had a bit of a freak out moment last night when I thought of trying to add cardio to that stint yesterday, but I just keep telling myself that I'll do what I can and let that be okay. If I can't follow exactly to a T the cardio intensity or time goal, then I'll do what I can of it and that will have to be good enough. I don't have the luxury Jamie has of spending whatever time she wants in the gym because that's who she is and what she does. I have kids, a Hubs (I can't quite remember what he looks like anymore, but I know he's there.), a serious job, people depending on me, and a whole future ahead of me to plan for. Tired is no excuse, but overtrained and overworked is. I will do what I can, trying to get everything in but not beating myself up if I miss a day of cardio because my job needs my attention or my kids are given an award and they want me to come see them receive it.
Last night my youngest son was honored by the county Board of Education.
Yesterday my oldest son was informed that he has two pieces of artwork being placed in the county Art Show.
Sometimes you have to take the time out to be a proud Momma too! ;)
Two more days this week.
Four and a half more days of eating on track.
Down another .8 pounds this AM.
I do NOT want to lose this streak. (This is what my weight is supposed to do when I'm losing steady - down a few ounces each day on a steady incline. I know my body. Even with the added stress, it's hangin' in there because I'm treating it well.)
Phase I is almost done.
Time to give it my all!
EDIT: As a reward for all my hard work, the Spark Bonus Wheel graced me with a $10 gift certificate to the Spark Store. Anyone have suggestions for how I should spend it? I already checked...there's no foam roller. *lol* (It's on my list of "needs" right now.) Recommendations...and GO!