Posts filed under ‘exercise equipment’
When I was a kid, I didn’t have good self-esteem. Well, I did when it came to school; I was smart and liked school. But, socially, I did not feel good about myself. I was fat and ugly. I was literally the Queen of the Misfits. Those at school that didn’t fit in with any other group hung out with me.
It didn’t help that I was not athletic, or at least I didn’t think I was. I didn’t feel comfortable running around chasing after balls, and because I was fat, I never got picked for anything other than anchor for tug-o-war. Oh… wait… I did make the bowling team.
One of the most exciting things about my transformation is the fact that I am now physically confident. I believe in my body; I recognize and appreciate its strength. I’m now willing to try new things, even if I am likely to fail. In the past, failure was always due to my weight. I was sure people were laughing at me, thinking that I was too big to do anything with my body. Now, if I fail, I don’t indict myself for it; I don’t see it as my fault. Now, if I fail, it’s merely because it’s new to me, or I need to strengthen that body part.
This new-found confidence and attitude has allowed me to try all kinds of wonderful activities: sailing, zip lining, pole dancing, boulder scrambling, free climbing, rope walls, mountain biking, and more. It’s been a joy.
All through this process, I’ve thought that I should share my experience – my story – with others in some way. The transformation shouldn’t go to waste; it should ripple out to others who might need inspiration and encouragement. Up until recently, I hadn’t found the avenue to accomplish that rippling. Now I think I have.
Through my Leadership program, I learned about an amazing non-profit organization called “Girls on the Run“. It’s a program dedicated to developing self confidence and healthy living skills for girls ages 8 through 13.
“The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.”
As soon as I heard about this program, I was certain I needed to be part of it. There’s no council here, so I looked into starting one. In the process of doing that research, I discovered that another woman had already assembled a team to bring this exciting program to our neighborhood. I emailed her, and earlier this week, we had a first meeting.
On the way to the meeting, I heard Paula Cole’s “I don’t want to wait”, a song that I haven’t heard in years… and one of my anthems when I splitting up from my first husband. It was incredibly apropos to hear that song on my way to this meeting. At the time it was popular, I was finally admitting to myself that I didn’t want to wait anymore to live life. I didn’t know what was ahead at that point, and I could never have foreseen all the wonders that I’ve experienced in these last couple of years. Specifically, I could never have foreseen joining up with a group of runners to help young girls prepare for a 5K!
We have a great group, filled with knowledge and expertise, and I think we’ll be able to conduct our first training in the fall. I am thrilled that I might be able to help at least one girl avoid being ashamed of her body, that I might help one girl learn to love to move and feel that amazing sense of accomplishment when she achieves something physical that she didn’t think she could do.
In less than a week after doing the Muddy Buddy Race, I competed in Scale the Strat 2010. This is a charity event, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, so I had a raise a minimum of $250… and climb 108 floors or 1,455 stairs. It was the ultimate validating event for someone who climbs stairs as part of her regular workout regimen. My concern was that I didn’t know how I’d do climbing continuously. I only have 6 floors in my building, so I always have some built-in recovery time when I come down. The Strat doesn’t afford that luxury. It’s all the way straight up. I was even more daunted when I learned I couldn’t listen to music.
When the day came, I did it in 17:43 minutes, using the “turtle method”: slow and steady with no jogging or two-at-a-time stairs. I was BEYOND proud of myself. It was such a tremendous accomplishment, another huge first for me. I am already looking forward to next year. 🙂
Earlier this month, I did something unprecedented: I competed in two athletic events in less than a week. Me! The girl who was only ever picked to be anchor for tug-o-war!!
The first was the Muddy Buddy Race. Teams of two traverse a 6-7 mile off-road course and 5 obstacles. At the start of the race, one team member runs and one rides the bike. At the 1st obstacle, the rider drops the bike, completes the obstacle, and begins running. The runner arrives, completes the obstacle, finds their bike and begin riding. Teams continue leapfrogging each other through the entire course. At the end of the race, racers crawl through the infamous Mud Pit crossing the finish line together as official “Muddy Buddies”!
It was one of the most fun and exhilarating things I’ve ever done, and I’m still in awe of myself for finding out about it, finding a partner, and doing it… all within the space of three weeks. Something brand new and daunting… but I didn’t let that hold me back. I just did it! I’ve become my own Nike commercial!! LOL 🙂
In addition to doing stairs, I also try to do mini workouts during the day on my breaks. This week, I tried two new ones:
1) Pure Barre Workout – http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/isometric-exercises
2) Women’s Health Mag Ab Workout – http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/isometric-exercises
The Pure Barre workout was perfect for the office. Very doable in a cramped space and in work clothes, even a dress or skirt and blouse. That doesn’t mean it was a low-key workout, though. It was surprisingly challenging! The small, concentrated moves quickly grew tiring; I could definitely feel it and was somewhat relieved when I finished up each exericse. This one is going to become part of my regular repertoire.
I was excited about the Ab workout because many of the exercises use a stability ball, and I sit on one as my office chair. I didn’t have a medicine ball in the office, so I had to improvise with a door stop (that a friend had made for me) as my hand-held weight. Yowsa! This workout was SUPER tough! I couldn’t get through half the moves. Plus, it was hard to do them in the narrow confines of my business crib while wearing a dress and pantyhose. In fact, I was pretty discouraged after doing the workout yesterday, and I’d basically decided that I could only do this one at home. Interestingly enough, today, some of my ab muscles are sore; I can feel that the exercises – that I did manage to do – worked. That made me smile. 🙂 I think with a little tweaking, I’ll be able to do this routine here at work, too.
Breaks at work are so important, particularly breaks for movement if you are in a sedentary job. If you can make the most of those breaks by getting in a workout, you’re way ahead of the game. Try every possible workout you can and be open to customizing them for your ability and surroundings.
I’m now six weeks into my P90X program, and I’m still going strong. My schedule has made it tough to stick with it perfectly, but I’m doing my best. When I can get up early and do it in the morning, I do. A couple of times, I had DVD malfunctions in the middle of workouts, and I had to fill in with the glider. I’m also still doing up to five sets of stairs, 1st thru 4th, during the week.
I don’t really notice a difference in my physique visually, but I can feel the changes. I’m sore in places that I haven’t been, and I feel leaner in some areas. I wish I looked more like one of those “ripped” fitness models, but the internal changes are more important. Not bad for a regular girl! 🙂
I’m halfway through Week 2 of P90X. It’s a terrific program. So challenging. Ab Ripper X, which I did tonight after doing the shoulders & arms workout, makes me use LOTS of foul language. It’s tough, man!
The hardest one for me, though, is Yoga X. That’s the one I have to do tomorrow. I’ve always found yoga hard. The longheld poses that seem to stretch the muscles endlessly kill me. It will take everything I’ve got tomorrow to stick with it. I can do kick-ass cardio and multiple weight reps forever (well, not really forever, but you know what I mean), but yoga… yowsa! Sheer determination is the only thing that gets me through.
And, it’s a bit of a shame that it’s so tough for me because yoga is extremely good for you. The whole mind-body thing is very important to good health and battling illnesses and stress. I need to do yoga, even if I don’t want to. As much as I recognize the importance of mind-body workouts, I have trouble making myself do ’em. I need to work on it, and this is an unexpected benefit of doing the P90X program.
I wonder, will I get “ripped” like the people in the ads? I have some muscle definition, but it’s hard to imagine myself all cut like “those people”. Supposedly it’s possible. I just want to complete the program and lean out.
I’m a little apprehensive because we will be traveling on workout days over the next several weeks, so I will not be able to do all the workouts. I will bring DVDs with me and do the workouts on the computer when we go to San Diego next weekend. But, the week after we’ll be camping on the Grand Canyon, and I doubt we’ll bring the computer with us. It’s a constant challenge with the life I lead with my fiance to stay on track. There are ALWAYS special circumstances. In fact, it’s really more of a special circumstance when there aren’t special circumstances.
I should give myself kudos for being able to adapt and adjust, but instead I usually feel frustrated and like I’m doing it half-assed. Bottom line: I can only do what I can do, and clearly it’s worked for the most part. I keep having to tell myself that! Boy, it takes some of us a long time to internalize the message, eh? 🙂
Anyway, I’m really enjoying P90X so far. It’s great to be so challenged and to know that after another week, new challenges will come. It’s great to save some money and to be home at night where I can do laundry or other things while working out. P90X rocks!
Pole dancing has been amazing. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve gained a lot of physical improvement. But, now that the wedding is fast approaching, money is becoming an issue. The $100 a month I’ve been spending can be better used elsewhere. Plus, I think it’s time for me to shake things up again.
So, tonight was Day One of P90X. I bought the program nearly a year ago, before my literal transformation. I didn’t start it beause I discovered pole dancing. Now that I’ve decided to make the switch to something less expensive and home-based, P90X is perfect. Tonight’s Core Synergistics workout was awesome! There were all kinds of moves I’ve never done before, and there was a whole lotta sweatin’ goin’ on!
Tomorrow night is Cardio X. I’ve done that one before; it’s a good one, too. Looking forward to it!