Back in the day – before adjusting to my new empty nest and my low back injury – I was becoming pretty darn strong! I was working out with Sonjia regularly and doing a variety of full body, compound, high rep workouts. I LOVED getting stronger! I LOVED being able to work out longer at higher heart rates! She tricked me one time and had me do Cindy’s (5 assisted pull ups, 10 pushups, 15 bodyweight squats for 20 minutes). I remember the first time it was HARD! I had to take several breaks and my muscles were tired! Little did I know that it was a benchmark routine – one that let’s us gauge our progress over time. And yes, within a month my Cindy improved! I can’t do pull ups at home (sigh), but I finally figured out how to do a Cindy at our local playground and it was a great 20 minute workout! Continue reading
I decided on Monday and flew out on Wednesday to attend #Fitbloggin – so I didn’t have much time to prepare or fret. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew I wanted to meet my tweeps in real life. The people were definitely the best part, but the Intuitive Eating panel, Attune Foods panel, and Friday Night Shows were unexpected treats for me. I walked away with loads of new friends, stronger connections with existing buddies, cool tips and products, great information, and lots of questions (i.e., Who Am I?) – ha! Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this conference – it was uber fun, super inspiring, and filled with #soulmedicine. And yes – the irony of ME going to #fitbloggin is pretty darn funny. Continue reading
Workout buddies hold us accountable and add some fun & motivation on days that I’d rather nap on the couch. I don’t really have any exercise partners at home (waaaaaaaah), but I’ve found oodles of friends through my social media tribe which I am VERY thankful for and are a source of ongoing encouragement.
Even though we’re a thousand miles apart, Suzanne from Workout Nirvana (@workoutnirvana) tops my list of workout partners through our Workout Swaps. Here’s how it works: We each design routines based on our “normal” (I do high rep functional routines & she lifts weights), and the other person does the other’s routine. We enjoy both celebrating & commiserating over each others workouts & it is UBER FUN! Continue reading
I’m not a runner. I never have been. Even in school, I don’t ever remember running a mile. But for some strange reason (and believe me it’s strange), I was caught up by all these fitness people who love to run. So I decided to try the Couch to 5K plan which is a 10 week plan to get non-joggers off the couch and jogging a 5K. It basically combines walking and jogging segments, and ramps up the jogging part over 10 weeks. How hard could that be? After all, I’m not a total couch-potato – I have my own Sonjia to train with! Continue reading
Many of you know that Suzanne (@workoutnirvana) and I conspired to swap workouts this week. Here’s Suzanne’s plan for me and my plan for her.) We’re both fit, well trained, and love our routines (I’m a high rep girl, she’s a lifter), but we also recognize the importance of mixing it up. (Check out Suzanne’s update on how she fared with my low-weight, high rep routine.) Continue reading
When I talk about learning how to ride a bike, I’m not exaggerating (even though many would say I have a flair for the dramatic). A few months ago, I thought it would be fun, so I eventually took the plunge and bought my very own bike. I gotta say, I love my bike. It has an X-Small frame so it is very comfortable and I’m quite fond of the baby blue accents, which of course are accompanied by my baby blue helmet and gloves 😉
Then I remembered. I didn’t ride a bike as a kid. So at 43, I am literally learning to start, stop, shift, break, and steer. My boyfriend of many, many years has been coaching me. And I gotta say, he has been amazingly patient and helpful, taking me through little obstacle courses around the school, coaching me on shifting around hills in my neighborhood, and guiding me on cadence.
He said I was ready, so we made a date to pack up the bikes and head out. We went out east of Santa Margarita to the “Cold Canyon” trail, which is mainly dirt roads, some single track for his enjoyment, several sandy washes, and a “greenhorn” amount of hills. The view at the top was lovely and I realized that we were at the back side of one of the fingers of Santa Margarita Lake. The elevation was a bit higher, so we enjoyed the pine and manzanita landscape and lovely rock outcroppings.
I waited a few days to watch this video — it’s a bit embarrassing actually, but funny nonetheless. Notice the very narrow path surrounded by the dangerous grassy meadow on both sides of me. You’d be scared too if you couldn’t steer 😉 But here it is, and surprisingly without profanity by either of us, cuz we both like to cuss a bit. (Listen carefully, that’s me giggling and saying, “I can’t steer!’)
The Little Victories All Count
Why? Because even a month ago, I wouldn’t have TRIED this ride!
- I didn’t crash
- I rode up and down every single hill
- I tried a few safe, flat single tracks
- I only shifted backwards half of the time
- I began practicing a smidge with my front break
- I only have one bruise (from one particularly spastic dismount)
- I rode through all of the sandy washes (with some coaching)
- I rode over a few rocks (in one area, he actually moved one of the big rocks so that I wouldn’t be too scared — HOW SWEET IS THAT?)
- I rode for 2.5 hrs (including snack and water breaks) ! (Note: Avg heart rate of 150 for 2.5 hrs – so that is DARN GOOD!)
And special thanks to my coach – for moving rocks and encouraging me towards the top of each hill. He also said that he was proud that I tried everything and never said “I can’t.” (He later admitted that he expected me to walk through some of the obstacles.) Note: We forgot to take a pic of me, but I supposed the video counts, eh?
And remember… this is all part of my public goals (sigh)…
Anyone else out there learning how to ride a bike?
Any silly stories?
I’m not sure how or why I thought I would like to jog. I’ve never been a jogger – even in school my shins & ankles hurt. And even though I was a “normal” weight and fitness level as a kid, I was always slow. But I’ve been getting into this movement stuff as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle path, and I thought it would be nice to be able to jog as a way to mix things up. Besides, I’m seeing how many of you LOVE to run! I want IN on that action!
So I tried. I headed out and alas, my ankles and shins really hurt after a block. I tried on grass and tracks with no relief. I am SO NOT an aggressive athlete type, so if it hurts, I stop.
Then I learned a bit about shoes, stride, rolling ankles, etc. I headed to The Running Warehouse (mainly an online store but in my area!) to analyze my “stride”. We video taped, tried some shoes, retaped, tried again and BAM! I found a pair of shoes that I was actually able to “jog” (I use that term loosely) on the treadmill for a few (literally 3) minutes pain free. This may not sound like a big deal, but believe me, it was!
And so it started… Weeks 1 – 3 were golden and I was feeling strong. I began Week 4 but my confidence quickly waned as my ankles and muscles to the outside of the shins became very tender.
I failed week 4. Really??? I can’t even jog for 5 minutes??? It’s weird because I’m extremely capable in so many areas of my life….
Then I re-read the #C25K plan and it said not to rush things and to repeat a week if necessary. Wooot – I have not failed… yet. (BTW – I’m going to give it a good try, but if after following the plan for a few more weeks, I’m still tender….)
So here’s to my Couch to 5K Week 3 friends – several 3 minutes songs for this week and 5 minute songs for next week. (Warning: My music tastes include mostly older stuff LOL.)
How is your #C25K plan going? AM I THE ONLY ONE STRUGGLING?
Chop, Twist, Curl, Press, Extension…. I do it all with my medicine ball. I typically mix it in with leg exercises to make it harder, more interesting, raise the intensity, and raise my hear trate. Since my medicine ball isn’t heavy (6 – 10 lbs), I typically do these for reps (20) or time (1 – 2 minutes).
For me, compound and functional exercises have produced defined muscles (without traditional “lifting”), a stronger core (without countless crunches), my endurance has improved, and I definitely fit into my clothes differently.
So I am a convert – I love my medicine ball.
- Walking lunge with chop (keep ball straight up, chop ball down on same side as the leading leg during lunge motion)
- Walking lunge with shoulder press
- Walking lunge with ball held straight up (keeps the posture upright – my weakness) (Can you tell I like my walking lunges?)
- Stationery lunge w 1, 2, 3 above 😉
- Stationary lunge (with rear leg on step) with shoulder press (the higher the step, the more isolated the front leg) – This is one of my new favorites
- Lateral lunge with chop (legs wider than shoulders, shift weight from center to right and extend arms & ball up to 1/2 OClock , shift weight and lunge to left while lowering medicine ball to 7/8 oclock) – note the lunge/lowering move is only on one side – whatever, tweet to me and I’ll try to explain LOL
- Lateral lunge with medicine ball reaching to 5 OClock (right side) and 7 OClock (left side) – note the lunge/lowering move is on both sides
- Rotating lunge with torso twist (On the right side, foot/lunge travels to 3 O’Clock and torso rotates in the same direction with the ball held straight in front of the body. The left side is the opposite with the foot, lunge, torso, arms going to 9 O’Clock.)
- Curtsey lunge with chop, chest press, or shoulder press (see 1 minute demo by Sonjia)
- Round the World Lunges – ball held with straight arms in front of torso (1st lunge forward, 2nd lunge to 3 O’Clock, 3rd lunge to 5 O’Clock, 4th lunge to 3 O’Clock… Repeat)
- Squat with shoulder press, curl, chest press or tricep press
- Squat with combos of above – curl, shoulder & tricep press (my personal fav – why not work out everything, eh?)
- Squat with one arm shoulder press
- Squat with big circles (holding the ball with 2 hands, straight arms, and making a big circle in front of you)
- Squat with figure 8’s (like above, but make a figure 8 motion with arms/ball)
- Wall ball (See 90 second demo with Sonjia)
- Roman twist
- Sit up with pull over and chest press
- Sit up holding medicine ball with arms near ears (no pull over)
- V- Up passing the ball between the legs and the hands
- Crunches… many, many, many…. with legs and arms/ball up straight towards the ceiling
- Push up with one or both hands on the ball 😉
Note: I’m not a pro…. talk to a trainer to make sure your form is good 😉
Did I mention I love my medicine ball? What have I left out?
Cruising the fitness blogs and social media circles, I’ve been noticing a goal setting theme. I was struck by Lisa Johnson’s ideas on “Engaging your Tribe” for Challenge Week. And I’m sensing there is real power in building your community (digital or otherwise) as a way to gain support and be accountable.
My goals are actually around exercise activities I don’t like much, and I don’t like them because they are HARD for me. Achieving these goals will be a result of being stronger, healthier, and more trusting of my abilities.
So here it goes, for better or worse, my 5 exercise goals:
- Jump rope for 2 minutes without tripping by the end of October. Why? I’m a bit uncoordinated and I should be able to do this, just out of principle, right? 2 weeks ago I couldn’t even make 10 jumps. I’m now up to 1 minute (on a good run), so that’s progress. Plus it will be good for my heart.
- Complete one of Sonjia’s CrossFit classes by the end of October. Why? Why not? I’ve been working out with her 2x per week for a while. Why am I afraid of her class? I’m not sure. But I’m going to do one – afraid or not!
- Do 10 x 10 of REAL burpees (jump up, jump out, push up, jump in) by the end of November. Why? The plyo aspect of this exercise is very intense for me – it will be good for my heart and improving my higher intensity endurance. I did 3 x 10 last night and was quite pleased with myself – I’ve never done 10 REAL burpees before, let alone 30 😉
- Jog 5K by mid December using the Couch to 5K Plan. Why? I’ve never been able to jog – even as a kid – my shins HURT! I even took a jogging class in college thinking that I would eventually condition enough to like it. NOT. But I just got new shoes and I can trudge along for a short distance (like really short) without pain! This would be a huge accomplishment for me – both mentally and physically. And conditioning in this way to be able to integrate jogging into my lifestyle (heck, you can do it anywhere) would be a nice thing to have in my toolbox.
- Be able to ride Poly Canyon on my bike by the end of December. Why? I want to be stronger on hills and more confident (not freaking out). (I recently remembered that didn’t ride a bike as a kid, so I was shocked at how bad I am!) For this goal, it’s ok if I stop and rest, but I want to be strong enough (mentally and physically) to not quit. I want to be better on my bike so that my boyfriend and I can head out and ride together.
What will it take for me to reach these goals? Practice and perseverance…. It’s just that simple. My regular activities need to incorporate a little time devoted to these activities. (Sonjia will be thrilled that I will volunteer for burpees and jumprope LOL.)
So thank you in advance for all of your fun chatter and support – it is much more fun being part of a community trying to make small changes towards a healthy lifestyle.
What are your goals? Have you gone public with them?