If All You Can Do is Crawl…

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend!

Let’s talk about giving Les a second chance. Les Mills, that is.

I just discovered something that has made me unbelievably excited: I can take a BodyPump class this week! Now I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s true, I have had a ridiculously tumultuous relationship with BodyPump. It was a classic love-hate situation. If you’ve been following right along, you may remember that just before I pretty much gave up on the ‘pump, I felt like it was bulking me up in all of the wrong ways. (Yes, every professional in the fitness field will tell you that women “can’t bulk up,” but none of those people have talked to me!)

I was noticing my body changing in ways that I didn’t necessarily love and so I ended up pretty much phasing the class out of my routine.

Eventually, however, I realized that perhaps my BodyPump habits weren’t the greatest– especially considering my goals. Previously, I would take the class just about every time it was offered throughout the week. I pushed myself just a little too far on the weights and I think now, in retrospect, I can see where I got myself into bulkyland. And now, I have decided to give it a go again. I am going to try to incorporate the class into my schedule at least once a week now. (Which sometimes, won’t even be possible given my crazy work schedule!) Hopefully, that will be just the right “dose” to help me whip those muscles back into shape and to get me hurting again in the fantastic way that actually makes you SERIOUSLY think twice before you pick up that peanut butter cup. 😉

And now, for the main event.

Pinterest is a goldmine. Where else can you find recipes, workouts, outfits, DIY crafts, and life tips all in the same spot??

I have recently grown pretty fond of the “inspiration” boards. As cliche as it may sound, motivational quotes and witty quips can really do wonders for getting you through some bumpy patches. (I have previously shared a list of some of my favorite quotes with you and I plan to do that again. I do love sharing motivation!)

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about making changes. And I have been making a lot of changes. Sometimes, I get a little frustrated with myself when I’m starting to feel like I’m moving a little too slowly. Sometimes, I want to change a million and one things at the same time, I want everything to be better— different when I say go. But in time, I have come to realize something: the slow, steady, thoughtful changes that I make tend to be the best ones. And so, today, I leave you with this Rumi gem that I discovered just the other night: “If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.”

Start Crawling

 

 

That’s where I’m at. At a time when sometimes I want to fly and change everything at once, I also often find myself wondering where the days go. I wonder how I got to where I am now and what I’ve missed along the way. 

Strange little Catch-22s like that make me think that maybe sometimes, crawling isn’t such a bad thing…

I Found a Friend

Today is one of those days where I have been go-go-going all day long. I got home very late from work tonight and I know one thing is for sure; when my head finally meets the pillow tonight, it won’t be but 15 seconds before I fall asleep!

Let’s talk about chance.

So early this morning, I decided to scrap my original plan of attending my BodyPump class and thought that instead, I could cash in on a few extra minutes of sleep and head to the gym a little bit later than usual and do my own thing instead.

I headed out about 45 minutes later than I normally would since I wasn’t trying to make a scheduled class. My workout this morning consisted of a two mile run (today was one of those days where it took me the entirety of the first mile to get in the groove) followed by an ab routine that I have done many times with Jordan (but that didn’t seem to prevent me from forgetting what came next and feeling like a total fool even in the complete isolation of the fitness room at the gym where there wasn’t another soul watching me…I have definitely realized that I absolutely need to write down what I plan to do when it comes to any exercise that I coordinate myself. I need to have a hardcopy plan to follow otherwise I get distracted, forget things and tend to slack off!)

So then it was time to head home and something very bizarre happened.

As I drove down a busy street on the way back to my house, I stopped the car dead in its tracks to avoid hitting something that was cute, furry and lumbering towards me!

It was a dog! –a chow, specifically!

Naturally, the first thing that popped into my head was that the dog could very easily be hit by oncoming traffic. I was so nervous because I could tell that it was an older dog and she was headed towards a  very busy street. I got out of the car and approached my new furry friend. Almost immediately, the dog rolled over right in the middle of the street waiting for me to rub its belly! As I am sure you can imagine, by this point, she had me hook, line, and sinker. I opened the door to my car and in she jumped!

I drove around the neighborhood several times looking for anyone who was either looking for a lost dog or who had ever seen it before since it didn’t have a collar or any tags!

To make a very long story short, I ended up bringing the dog to work with me and called the town animal control. Just minutes before my call, they had received a panicked phone call from someone looking for a dog that fit my description perfectly! Within half an hour, both the officer and the owner of the dog showed up at my job and Sasha was reunited with her owner.

So here’s the strange part. I knew the owner. Not from living near me, but from previous BodyPump classes. In fact, I actually helped her set up her station and choose her weights the first time she attended class. What a crazy, crazy coincidence. How strange is it that I decided to skip class today and just happened to run into that dog on my way back from the gym at a time when I NEVER normally would have been traveling that route? The very grateful owner told me that she had gone to the grocery store and when she returned home, the dog (that had never escaped in twelve years!) was gone! I can’t even imagine that! So scary!!

Such a cutie. I am so, so glad that this crazy story had a happy ending! And I wasn’t even late for work! 😉

After that, I had a full day of work and some extra work-related stuff afterwards. I finally made it back home around 12:15 and I was STARVING. Since I was way to tired to even think of making myself a “real” meal, I settled on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…that I later decided to turn into a “grilled” peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A little quirky, but it was tasty and satisfying.

Just like grilled cheese! Only not…

Just in case there wasn’t enough sugar and weren’t enough carbs in that little deal, I scarfed two slices of a delicious red velvet chocolate cake from work:

I could eat 4,000 pounds of that delicious little bread. It is a VERY good thing that we only buy it about once a year.

And now it is time for me to go to sleep. Goodnight all!

 

 

 

The Yin-Yang of October

You are not going to believe this. Guess what was cancelled AGAIN. Boot Camp! I was so disappointed. I actually really do like the combo deal of strength and cardio that the class offers and it always succeeds in making me woefully sore for days. <— The jury is still out on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing…

I decided to swing by my gym and hit up a BodyPump class instead. Fortunately, the room was far less packed than it was last Saturday. The routine was switched up a bit and some of the music was different which kept the session interesting. I am still playing a bit of a guessing game with my weight loads. There are some tracks that I know I could go higher on (for example back and legs), but other tracks I always seem to load my plates up much too high. Today I could barely finish the chest track with the weight that I had on my bar even though I thought I had gone a bit lighter than last time! In my opinion, the chest and shoulder tracks are definitely the most difficult portions of the class.

 

This chest move right here nearly killed me today:

 

Sure, it looks innocent enough, (heck, they’re lying down!) but ohmygoodness did it HURT! At one point, you are doing what they call “bottom halves” where you are pressing the bar up but never extending your arm fully, just halfway.

Somehow, I managed to skip breakfast this morning other than an apple that I had on my way home from the gym. Lunch consisted of a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts’ hazelnut coffee and also a whole wheat bagel with some peanut butter. I was actually shocked by how the bagel kept me full for just about the whole day.

And now for the main point of this whole post. The yin-yang of October.

The month of October has always been one of my very favorite months. I absolutely love fall. I love everything that comes along with autumn in New York and I know that if I ever move out of this area, I will miss this season like crazy. There are so many fun things associated with this time of year– hayrides, scarecrows, fall festivals, pumpkins, halloween, comfort foods. The list goes on and on! Even the clothes of fall are hard to beat. On top of that, my mom’s birthday is in October (Monday!) and so there is always an element of birthday-ness associated with October as well and I LOVE birthdays.

At the same time, I can’t help but to feel a little bummed around this time of year. In the midst of racing around at work and (in the past, not this year!) also having school just starting to kick into full gear at this time, I often feel like I am missing out on something. It is the end of the beautiful weather. The end of summer, the start of franticness (is that a word!?) and also for some reason, halloween always makes me feel OLD. It is always around this time each year that I start to wonder where the year has gone. It makes me think about things that I wish I had done or “should” have done. I started to think about all of those things today and it got to be a little frustrating and so now, I am going to make an active effort to enjoy this time of the year that I love so much to its very fullest. Instead of getting wrapped up in the hectic nature of this time of year, I am going to try to get back to how I felt about all of this when I was just a kid. Thrilled to be carving pumpkins, eating apples and enjoying the spooky fun that is Halloween.

Even though October seems to bring the Yin-Yang Effect along with it, I think it’s about time I get back to enjoying it as I always have before!

Well, I think that is all she wrote, folks. Work is bright and early in the morning and I am hoping to squeeze a workout in before I go. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, I am sure that you have seen the motivational exercise quote that states something to the effect of “You’ll never regret a workout.” Apparently, that is supposed to serve as motivation to wake up early and get your keister out of bed and exercising. Today that exact phrase popped into my head, but I couldn’t help but thing “true, but I have regretted waking up too early…” 😛 Hopefully I will make it to the gym at the crack of dawn as planned!

 

 

Feel The Burn!

I lift things up and put them down. 

(Just for the record, I don’t actually go to a Planet Fitness gym, I just love that commercial.)

I haven’t written for TWO whole days! That just won’t do, will it? The last couple of days have been quite hectic and filled with many, many hours at work, but I actually got out a little early tonight and was able to enjoy a reasonably timed dinner which was lovely. I also had some free time this evening which has allowed me to write this post for you lovely people! 🙂

Now, for the main event. I have been talking about it for weeks. I tried time and time again to find a class that fit my schedule (which proved to be quite difficult!), but I finally did it- I made it to a BodyPump class!! (Two, actually!)

The first Pump class that I attended was last Thursday.Naturally, I overslept. Now, before you judge me, I must point out the fact that I am NEVER late for ANYTHING. I know that I have frequently commented on my inability to wake up early (especially on my day off), but I was never late for a single day of high school. In my four years at college, I only overslept for ONE class. On this day however, I woke up at 9:27 (the class started at 9:30). (I was even up and ready before this. I actually got dressed for class and when I realized that I had a couple extra minutes to spare, I figured that I would close my eyes briefly before I had do leave for the gym.) <—DUMB IDEA.

Anyway, in my rattled frenzy, I decided to race over to the gym anyway (it is less than five minutes away. So handy!) and see if I could maybe still sneak in. If not, I planned to just carry on with a typical workout session. When I arrived, the lady at the desk told me that the class had just started and that I could still join them. I flew in the room and quickly got everything ready. (Fortunately for me, I had read up on the proper BodyPump weights and setup ahead of time like the good little nerd that I am. 😉 )

The class was very small- there were only about eight people! The instructor was friendly and energetic and the time FLEW by.

Apparently every class is set up the exact same way. The session began with a warmup and followed with a segments of squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, and abs. The class finished off with a cool down which was more than welcome after hammering EVERY MUSCLE GROUP KNOWN TO MAN.

Check it out guys, it’s the first barbell that I have ever lifted. Ever. I know you were waiting for this incredibly blurry picture of an only halfway-assembled BodyPump station. Get a load of this:

 This is the lightest weight that I had my bar set at through the class. You can rearrange your plates depending on which muscle group is being worked (obviously, you can stand much more weight when the legs are being worked versus the triceps.)

Anyway, I absolutely loved the class. The music was fun and I LOVE the barbells. I swear I can feel myself getting stronger after just two classes! I will definitely be making this class a staple in my weekly workout regime. I am very glad that it lived up to my expectations after I waited to along to attend! It was also great that I was just pleasantly sore the next day. I could definitely tell that I had worked hard, but I was incapacitated (as I was after the first Boot Camp class!)

I did make it to another session this morning which was also fun, but the class was PACKED. Who knew that 97% of my town decided to wake up extra early on a rainy Saturday morning to set up their BodyPump stations at the gym!? Seriously. The class PACKED. I arrived to this one 15 minutes early and there were only two spots left and the plate rack was close to empty. It ended up working out just fine because it forced me to use slightly higher weights that I sort of felt like I should have been using last time anyway. I actually really liked all of the opportunities to switch the plates around. It was very nice to had such a customizable group exercise experience. I also think it is probably very nice for people who are new to strength training as you can go at your own pace and go as light as you want. It was surprising to me how different the two instructors’ teaching styles were. I definitely preferred Thursday’s class to today’s, but they were both a blast.

Typically, I have my Boot Camp class on Saturday mornings, but it was cancelled this week for the holiday! (Because WHO would ever be so remiss as to attend a BOOT CAMP class on the eve of the eve of Columbus day?!?! Jokes.)

Anyway, I am still loving the gym membership and these classes are just too much fun! Although apparently, it wouldn’t hurt to start showing up an hour or two early. 😉

Now it is time for some reading and bed. I have been feeling off for the past few hours and I am not sure why. All I know is that this better go away by morning because I have to be at work briiiiight and early tomorrow! I also have an outing scheduled with my mentee! More on that tomorrow! 🙂

G’night all!

 

Say No To The Cookies

Hello everyone!

Today was a day full ‘o work. For some reason, when I woke up this morning, I kind of felt like I had slept for about four minutes which was terrible. Ever since my canine friend’s health scare, she has been babied to the nines around here. That babying often includes her sleeping on my bed at night. (Read: “sleeping” as “trampling over my face in the middle of the night”). That probably had something to do with my sleepiness this morning!

Anyway, I was quite upset with myself after today’s midday meal which started off well enough with a baked potato. Things took a quick turn for the worst when I decided to splurge on a cookie the size of my FACE. It was a Reese’s cup cookie with peanut butter and chocolate and deliciously wonderful, chocolatey goodness. It was definitely one of those insta-regret decisions though. I felt like I had eaten a whale and I was mad at myself for caving. I know that it’s not terrible to give in to a craving every once in a while, but I KNOW I could have made a better choice than that! It’s time for me to snap back into high alert and keep that sweet tooth of mine in check! This morning, I had my alarm set for 6:00 in hopes of getting to the gym before work which probably would have circumvented the whole cookie catastrophe, but that was definitely NOT happening. I have a much harder time picking up those sinfully tasty treats AFTER a workout. I will have to keep that in mind.

Immediately after work, I popped over to the gym. I pulled into the parking lot in front of their giant windows, took one glance inside and almost turned around when I saw how ridiculously crowded the place was. I really do not enjoy exercising with a crowd (except for in the group class environment). It reminds me of the gym at my college. When that place was packed, it was PACKED. We’re talking 5 people lined up behind you when you were on the treadmill. It was always sort of amusing because the crowds were definitely noticeably denser around New Year’s resolution time. As soon as everyone was back to spending 20 hours a day in the library, there was a slight possibility of finding some machine available. 

Anyway, against my better judgment, I darted into the gym, ran 2 miles (I had planned to do three, but I cut out a little early) and I quickly headed back home. That probably took care of 1/20 of that cookie. 😉 I can not believe how quickly I lose my running endurance. I realized that running is definitely not something that I can leave to rest for any length of time if I don’t want to spend the time re-training myself to be able to run a quarter of a mile! This is definitely a good thing to remember as colder weather approaches since I definitely will not be running any races in the dead of winter. In the absence of some specific running-related goal, I need to make sure to keep myself clocking the miles so I am not starting back from scratch again in the spring!

Tomorrow is a biiiiiiig day! It just happens to be BodyPump day! I am SO excited to try out a barbell class! I can’t wait! GAH! I don’t know the first thing about choosing weights or anything of that nature, but we will see how it goes.

I hope you had a lovely day. Thanks for reading!