sled push

sled push

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Getting out of the Funk


Excited about a new idea.

Mentally spent.



Feeling all of these things at the same time...

I swear it seems like I go through this at least once a week.

How is it possible to have so many things that I want to do,so many things that I have a true desire to accomplish but somehow will sabotage myself from accomplishing it?

I have a list of things I want to do and a list of things I need to do. Sometimes these lists line up beautifully but sometimes it's too much.

How do I sabotage myself? Either I will find myself completely sucked into social media or decide that the bathroom must be cleaned RIGHT NOW! I may pick up a book and, God help me, nothing will be accomplished until I finish the book. If it's a series? Well, it's all over!

Some days, I sit down at my desk and find myself just looking at my computer, my "to do list" right there, staring at me and I feel myself mentally shut down.

Not one creative thought happens. Nothing.

The blinking cursor just continues to blink. My list of subjects that I jotted down in a fit of inspiration have become words just sitting on a pad of paper.

There are many words for this phenomenon, I just called it a Funk. I describe this funk like having a door in my brain being closed. Some days the door is wide open and the words flow smoothly and my lists get checked off. Some days the door is only open a crack, but there are a few days when that door is dead-bolted shut!

Most of the time all it takes to get out of that funk and start the thoughts flying in my head again is to get up and leave the computer. Maybe I'll go for a drive or go to the gym and put a barbell in my hands. When my brain's door finally opens up, and it usually does, I make sure I'm ready to jot it down.

It's okay to have a "nothing day" but don't let it become a "nothing week". This can easily turn into a "nothing month" and then, before you know it, your list of goals have become that blinking cursor on the computer screen, just sitting there, waiting for you to take action.

Today was a "nothing" day for me as you may have gathered just from this post. I have nothing but maybe I have managed to turn it into something, even if it is just me rambling.

Sometimes we need to ramble.

Ramble on.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What Works for You?

Step Reebok...these people looked badass.
 I wanted to put floor lighting in my living room!
When it comes to deciding what fitness program works for you, the hardest part is the number of choices available. Of course, whatever your friends are doing will most likely be your first test drive. Especially if they are getting results.

I know that’s how I used to choose a fitness program. What are my friends doing? 

When I was in my early 20’s after having my first child, I was experiencing that dose of reality that, unlike my best friend,  my body was not going to spring back to its pre-pregnancy shape. I had never really had to work out before having kids. I would play around in the weight room and go to a few aerobics classes in college, but then stop by Hardees on my way home and don’t forget those cigarettes! I was a size 6 and could eat whatever I wanted. Ahh, those were the days! The point is, calling me “healthy” was a term that I used loosely although I thought I was.  I mean I was skinny and skinny meant healthy, right? In 1997, yes it did.

Post-child birth. So yeah, I discovered that Hardees no longer did my body good and thankfully I did quit smoking, but now what? What to do? When I tell you that I tried everything, I mean it! My friend invited me to a new aerobics class with her and said it would help me get my pre-baby body back. This wasn't going to be like the aerobics I took in college. This was supposed to be even harder! I am all about a challenge and so I was interested. This was 1997 and Step-Aerobics was the new big trend. She and I went 5 days a week, like clockwork. She looked A-MA-ZING and could wear the little thong leotard with spandex. Not me, I was still in my baggy t-shirts and baggy gym shorts. I was inspired but damn I hated aerobics after about 3 weeks. I didn’t want to admit it because she loved it so much, but during the whole class I would just look longingly at the free weights wishing I was over in that part of the gym. I wanted abs! I wanted muscles! I wanted be a bad ass like Demi Moore in that movie "G. I. Jane", or look like Gin Miller from the Step Reebok videos. The problem was that aerobics felt like dancing to me and for me to dance, a shot of alcohol is required for me to even begin to feel coordinated!

I always felt accomplished after class, but if my friend didn’t show up at my house every morning to take me, I would not have gone much longer. Aerobics seemed to work for her, but it wasn’t working for me.

Then along came Body Pump. Another friend invited me to a class and I immediately loved it! It was fun! We used weights! Yay weights! No dancing! Yay, no dancing! Soon though, my friend that invited me burned out fast and quit going. I didn’t understand because who wouldn’t want to do squats for hours? Yay, squats and jello legs! Body pump worked for me but it didn’t work for her.

After an injury to my neck, I had to stop going to Body Pump. (Who knew that holding a barbell on your neck for an hour could be bad?) I tried speed walking. The “safe” choice my doctor recommended. I didn’t get it. I mean, I walked all the time, why would putting on sweat pants and walking around the neighborhood really fast be any different than walking to the bathroom, or walking in the grocery store? If you needed to get from one place to another, you walked. I saw it as a means of transportation, not exercise. Conclusion, walking as exercise did not work for me.

Running? Oh! I was so jealous of my running friends! I still am. They always look so fit and amazing, running down the street with their earbuds in, sweating, dripping with determination and confidence. They had marathon stickers on their cars and wore expensive special shoes. They even shopped at their own store in town, “The Trak Shak”. I wanted in! You can never say a runner is not an athlete, right? Every time I passed a jogger/runner on the road I would think “look how running makes them look so great!!” I was so excited to try this new venture. This was going to be amazing! So, I bought some running shoes and hit the pavement…and hated every moment. Oh my God! I think I made it half a block before I began to hate my life. I discovered the worst part of running was that half way through it when you are really tired and want to die, the only way back to your car is to keep running, or in my case, the slow, hobbled, limp jog. How did people do this every day…on purpose?! Yeah. Running didn’t work for me.

Then I tried P-90X. It was the big thing in 2004 and with a brand new baby, going to the gym was not a reality for me. This was something I could do at home. The people in videos had muscles. Perfect! I wanted muscles, too!  They used weights. YES! It had a program. PERFECT! No dancing and even better, no running! Yay! It was hard but I enjoyed the new challenge and felt like I was accomplishing something. My friends thought I was crazy because I refused to miss a day. I did P90-X for three years. YES, you read that right, THREE years. Why? Because it worked for me. Three years is a long time though, especially if you are watching the same 9 videos over and over again and I eventually I hit a plateau and became really burned out on it. That’s a lot of hours with Tony Horton.

Then one day, I heard about this thing called CrossFit. I was ready for a change and a new challenge. I was tired of being mediocre at everything. I still didn't have abs although I was beginning to see some shape to my arms. Remarkably, my quest for muscles exceeded to the "let's get toned" phase my friends were in. I didn't understand why they didn't want to be stronger and they didn't understand why I did. Why would I want muscles, they wondered. Don't misunderstand, I didn't want to achieve the body of a body builder, but I did want to see a bicep or a quad make an appearance. It seemed I was alone in my quest for this athletic look and I think that's how I found what worked for me.

 I’ll admit, I also wanted to do something that none of my friends were doing so that I would stop comparing my weaknesses to them and focus on what I needed to do. I would get to do weights and pull-ups and learn new tricks, so I was excited to try this new thing. I fell in love with it instantly! I had to do some running but it was always mixed in with other things, so it was never my focus. I could stop thinking about how much I hated running and instead think, “After I finish running, I get to do ______”. Funny, how CrossFit made me better at running without me even realizing it was happening. It made me better at everything! I needed to tell my friends!

 I invited several friends to come with me. Some liked it and are still doing it with me. However, some of my friends did not. WHAT?!?!  I didn't get it! How is it possible that someone wouldn't love CrossFit? Seriously?

Then a friend made a deal with me. She would come to CrossFit  with me if I went to Zumba with her.  Did I mention I have an issue with dancing? Did she really want me to dance in a room full of other women, while watching myself in the mirror turn into a complete spaz? I almost had an anxiety attack! No, Zumba was not for me…and it was okay.  OK! I get it now. It was also okay that not all my friends liked CrossFit, that some just wanted to run marathons and some wanted to Zumba. 

It IS okay and we shouldn't shame each other because we think we are doing something better than what they are doing. If it doesn't work for them, it isn't better for them, right? One size does not fit all. If you don’t love what you are doing, you won’t stick with it. I've been doing CrossFit for five years because it works for me. I look forward to the workout and seeing my new friends that I have made at the gym. If Zumba makes you happy and gets you moving, then it’s working! If training for a marathon is what makes you happy, then it’s working for you!

There are so many things out there to choose from. I had some hits and I had some misses. I had to find something that fit with what I wanted to achieve on a fitness level and what fit in with my life.
What works for your best friend, may not be what works for you, and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to try something new, something different from your friends, you might surprise yourself. The best part is that there are so many things that you can choose from. Zumba, CrossFit, Running, Swimming, Weight Lifting, Kick Boxing, Yoga, the list goes on and on!  The point is – find what works for you and get moving.