Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pushing the Limits

This week we were hit with a snowpocalypse that paralyzed the entire city for several days. Sadly this meant that my mid-week session of bootcamp was canceled. When we reconvened on Friday it was one of the most difficult workouts I remember!

I literally had sweat pouring off my face and at one point toward the end of round two I paused to rest for a few seconds. Coach asked if I was ok and through gritted teeth I replied, "I'm not done yet." She nodded and said that our class is the one that works the hardest and complains the least. You bet your ass I finished and finished strong. One of my proudest moments.

As if that wasn't difficult enough, I returned the next morning for a snow-day makeup session of bootcamp where coach proceeded to kill us yet again. I attempted my first box jumps, which I know I can do physically but need to figure out in my head. Jumping on a box is not scary, why does it seem that way? I want to find something I can practice on at home.

We did kettle bell swings, which I love, and I made a conscious decision to choose a kettle bell 5 pounds heavier than I had previously been using. It felt great but a couple of minutes into the workout coach came over and said "I want you to use this (even) heavier kettlebell." Oh, ok sure. That's one of the things I like about bootcamp - I am willing to push myself hard but there is awalys a point where I hesitate to push more. Coach didn't ask me to do anything I couldn't handle and I'm grateful to have that nudge toward progress.

One of my favorite parts of yesterday's workout was using the speed rope. I haven't jumped rope much at all since I was a kid and this was so freaking fun. I learned that I can jump rope continuously while hopping on one foot, which I guess is one of those things you don't think you can do until you actually do it. Then we were introduced to double unders, which is when you spin the rope under your feet twice in one jump. After four or five tries, I did it. What?! I couldn't get the rhythm down to string them together continuously (yet) but there I was doing double unders one at a time. Who knew?

This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel alive. I was never an athlete growing up. I played softball for many years but wasn't particularly serious about it and I hated running and pretty much all physical activity. I remember when I first signed up for DailyMile and it labeled me as an athlete and I scoffed because that was the furthest thing from the truth. I've been overweight my entire life but somehow along the way I have found, as my friend Dre put it, a warrior within. I am love-drunk on the feeling of doing things I never thought I could do and now I want to try even more new things just to see if I can do those too.

My point in all this humblebragging is that life truly does begin at the edge of your comfort zone. If I had never signed up for this bootcamp, or my first half-marathon, or yoga classes, I'd never have known that I could accomplish any of it. Am I the best at any of those respective activities? Definitely not. Does it matter? Nope.

Have you tried any new workouts or sports that have changed the way you view yourself? I want to hear about it!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Recap

Today I was out shopping and almost bought a t-shirt that had a runner, a piece of cake, and a bed on it. By the time I reached the cashier I decided I wasn't going to buy it and I said as much. He asked why not and I laughed and said I really didn't need another t-shirt even though "I do all three of those things". He asked if I run a lot and when I told him I do he said, "well, it shows." I thought that was a really sweet compliment and it gave me a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

Like many people, I recommitted myself to my weight loss goals for 2014. I'm happy to report that January was a good month for me. As I mentioned in my last post I joined a CrossFit bootcamp, and now that I've completed four weeks of workouts I can wholeheartedly declare my love for it. While not perfect (I wish it was a longer and/or more intense workout), there are so many aspects of bootcamp that have been great for me.

I've found that having this scheduled appointment with myself really helps me to stay accountable. It's so easy to talk myself out of working out if I don't have a concrete time and routine planned. In addition to bootcamp I've started going back to my free Sunday yoga class and I realize how much I've missed it. I have also been joining some friends and acquaintances on their mission to hike a different local trail every weekend through the end of the year. It has been so fun exploring new territory while also being active!

As far as nutrition goes, consistent weekly meal prep has been my savior. Clearly the current theme in my life is planning! At a previous job of mine there was always talk about "setting yourself up for success" and I like to think that's what I'm doing here. Most of my eating has been what is considered "clean", though I'm really just trying to eat more-nutritious, less-processed food. I have gone out to eat in restaurants, I have treated myself on occasion, and I am learning how to balance it all.

On January 1st I weighed myself and took a bunch of measurements. I've experienced weekly accomplishments and disappointments according to the numbers on my scale but I've tried to hold out for the bigger (monthly) picture. In the month of January I lost a total of 2.6 pounds. I lost 8 inches (!!!), mostly from my waist and hips. My clothes are beginning to fit more comfortably again and I am generally feeling happier and healthier. Is there room for improvement? Always, but I think I'm off to a great start and I look forward to what February has in store for me!