Hidden athleticism.

I have never been athletic.  While many of America’s youth spend their time in matching uniforms proudly running around with numbers on their back, I was never one of those children.  Well, I was once.  I think I managed a few months of soccer in kindergarten but the only thing I remember is the day I forgot to wear a different shirt for playing goalie.

I never entered onto sporting grounds again unless forced by P.E. (physical education) teacher in school.  I didn’t turn into a chunky monkey until puberty so it’s not like I could even blame my weight on why I avoided sports so much.  It just wasn’t my thing.  I was way more focused on doing extraordinary activities like choreographing dances to Jimmy Buffet’s song “Fins”. I could dance my fins to the left and to the right all night long but if I was told to run a mile in class, I could barely get around the track without wanting to drop to the ground and gasp for air like a beached sand shark.   As much as I despised any sort of sport-related physical activity, I did manage to build a firm appreciation of roller-blading.  Skating the streets of my towns helped build the awesomely firm leg muscles that I still have today.

Once I discovered my love of fitness when I lost fifty pounds and was working at a gym, I decided I should give sports another chance.  I’ve always had fast reflexes and have been pretty good at catching random objects that have been thrown at me so the logical choice was to try playing softball.  With help from one of the most influential guys in my life, my friend Aaron and I began meeting up to practice my throwing and catching.   I wasn’t great but I was determined and tried to gather a bunch of friends together to start a team.  That goal died quicker than Disney’s plan to makeover Merida from the Pixar movie, Brave.

With extra motivation from writing on this blog, I decided to enlist myself in P.E. classes at my college.   As many of our faithful readers know,  I enrolled in yoga, Pilates, and a half-semester tennis course.  I was excited to see how easily my body made progress in it’s strength and flexibility and knowing that my body can indeed be trained into athleticism has given me faith that I can do even better.

tennis

I’ve fallen in love with tennis and I’m even contemplating taking my racket with me across the Atlantic when I leave for Europe in a month.  How will I survive without the tight grip that my hands hold around the handle and the strings that bounce my affections in the form of a neon yellow ball?

I willingly played tennis four times last week and was eager to practice more in between days.  I even gathered phone numbers of my classmates to play with before I leave!  I plan on taking tennis again next semester but hopefully I’ll continue to improve over the summer.  Plus, I just love the cute skirts!

Do any of you play any sports?  If not, have you ever wanted to but found excuses of why you shouldn’t like I so often would do?

Alyssa is back from her glorious trip and will return with a blog to come!

 

 

Happy wishes for the rest of the week for you all!

 

AprilSignatur

My first fitness related injury!

Hello all! This morning started out like any other; my alarm clock blared at 6:45, I hit snooze, rolled up in my blanket, nuzzled my pillow and refused to accept the fact that I had to get out of my warm bed and go get sweaty. Then, I heard the “buzz buzz” of my phone, letting me know I had a text. My workout buddy was sick and wouldn’t be going to bootcamp. Instantly, I thought “I shouldn’t go either, especially if she’s not going.” Then, the skinny girl in my brain said “Get yo’ ass out of bed. You have no excuse not to go. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?!” and with that, I got out of bed, got dressed, and drove to the park. So that was victory number one of the day. Victory #2 is odd because nobody should be happy they got hurt working out, but it’s kind of like this weird badge of honor like, oh, I didn’t get hurt because I tripped on my wedges, I got hurt because I was doing something AWESOME. Tara from Worth Every Ounce ironically posted about this today, too – how getting hurt when you’re doing something cool has way more “cred”. For people working hard to get in shape it’s kind of like, wow, I guess I really am workin’ it! Anyways, how did I get hurt doing something awesome?

Our awesome bootcamp teacher Gordon uses all kinds of creative methods to make sure we get a maximum calorie burn. Today, we all pushed and pulled an orange sled filled with free weights and barbels. I was shocked how hard it was, because the sled was HEAVY and the dirt patch didn’t give it any traction at all.Plus, you have to be way low on your knees and push fast – NOT an easy workout.

PUSH!!!

PUSH!!!

As I pushed it, my momentum got the best of me and I lurched forward, having that “Oh sh*$. I’m going to fall” reaction. I quickly thought “not on my wrists”, because as a writer and computer nerd, god forbid my wrists get jacked up, but instead I had my knees pointed out…

On my way to a wipe out

On my way to a wipe out

Going, gone, gone. I was down, landing on my right knee with all my weight. I cried in pain and the teacher called for an ambulance as I read my last will and testament… JUST KIDDING. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Here’s another reenactment, because I’m all about the dramatic:

Ow, ow!

Ow, ow!

I laughed it off and got up, a little muddy and a little embarrassed, but it didn’t feel like anything more than a scuffed knee until we started running sprints. I had to jog in place because my little scuffed knee had started to throb in an unpleasant way – and tonight, I have a battle scar of a purple bruise and a swollen knee.

So yeah! Weird, right? Sucks to get hurt, but thankfully it’s mild, and if anything, I feel all hard-core being like “Yeah. I fell. Pushing a sled filled with 70 pounds of weight. What did YOU do today?” Have you ever had a fitness related injury? What was it? How’d you overcome it? I know my poor dad tore his ACL when skiing and his knee has never been the same…

 

A Major Non Scale Victory

Sweaty after bootcamp, but loving my pretty purple “stay dry” tank.

So, on Tuesday I was all pouty because I gained a pound. Tonight, I realized that I’ve foolishly been looking for reward in only one place – the scale. I’ve been trying to do a couple of group exercise classes every week, because it’s the best way for me to get the full hour of cardio in without sneaking off early like I’m inclined to do if it’s just me and the treadmill.

I sweated my butt off in Bootcamp tonight, and about halfway through I realized something. I was winded, sweaty and tired – but I was keeping up. I didn’t need breaks to catch my breath, and I was doing the intermediate moves. I attacked the 45 squats with gusto and didn’t freak out when we did 100 knee kicks in a row. As I started putting two and two together, I realized “Holy crap! This is working! I’M GETTING IN SHAPE!!!”

I’m always amazed at how long it takes to get in shape and how quickly you can get out of shape. It makes sense that I’d be starting to feel some results now as I’ve been back to my old gym since September and working out more than ever. This was exactly the reminder I needed that helps me remember why I need to stay on track and keep pushing. I may not see the number move on the scale, but tonight, I felt great! I left the class drenched and tired, but my endorphins were rushing, my body felt loose and limber and my skin had that pretty pink glow. It’s times like this that I remember that success in weight loss isn’t just about a number – it’s about how you feel.

Sadly, I’m one of these people. “I skipped the french fries! Did I lose weight yet?”

Are you the type of person that expects instant reward when it comes to weight loss, too? Have you had any “non scale victories” lately?

 

My Fitness Evaluation

So remember how I blogged about my upcoming fitness evaluation? The few days before, I was legit nervous. Like, “ERMAHGERD I’M GONNA HAVE TO FACE THE FACT THAT I’M GROSSLY OUT OF SHAPE.”. Even though I already knew that, there was some sort of like… impact of being told it by a fitness professional. (I’m sure to some extent that will happen at Fitbloggin’ anyways,  but still – YAY! Only 2 more days!)

So, I was being my usual self, day dreaming about maybe I should re-schedule it, because you know, I was flying to San Francisco for work Monday morning, and I really had a lot to do over the weekend… or maybe I should wait a couple days so my bloating goes away… I’m the mayor of excuses village. But, every time I came up with one of these crazy excuses, I reminded myself that denial aint just a river in Egypt, and I needed to just face my fear and do it. So I was all set. I went to my Fitness Evaluation the next day. Right?

I saw Fiona Apple on Friday night (she was fantastic! I love her because she’s a total koo-koo-roo and did push ups against her piano randomly and sang like a female Tom Waits). I wasn’t feeling great, but I figured it was my allergies acting up. I got home, popped an allergy pill, and got into bed where I had the dizzy spins, kind of like that time in highschool I decided it would be a good idea to mix a cup of goldschlager with chocolate milk. (Good idea? Worst idea ever.) I fell asleep, woke up at 2:30 AM with the chills, ran to the bathroom – and my body purged every single little thing I had ingested in the last 24 hours.

I’m not going to get into details, but let’s just say it was NOT pretty, and I spent the remainder of the night sleeping next to an industrial sized bucket. The next day I woke up kind of shaky and run down, but thankfully, barf-free. I decided to reschedule my fitness evaluation. Don’t worry – I’m going to do it as soon as I get home from working on site this week and Baltimore. I just thought it was ironic that my brain was so intent on finding a way to put it off that I got food poisoning. HOWEVER, I’m not owning up to this one, because there’s no way in hell I’d pick food poisoning over a fitness evaluation. Body, you got pwned.

Have your best laid plans ever been foiled by the evil, evil food poisoning? What was the culprit? (I’m blaming a vanilla cupcake from Aroma Cafe. It was good but I could tell it wasn’t super fresh. Of course I ate it anyways. Sigh.)

 

Making Fitness Work For Me

I'm not horsing around with my fitness anymore. (Creepy and awesome mask courtesy of my brother Tommy)

Good morning, everybody! Remember how last week I had an exercise confession? Well, I’ve been making sure that I don’t let that happen again – by taking quick 10 minute breaks during the day to ride my bike to the post office, or walk to the grocery store. Last night I took a major step in reclaiming my fitness – I re-joined my old gym, Total Woman.

In January my membership expired, and because CSUN had opened their new and free gym, I decided to start using that. However, because of the annoying parking that you have to pay $180 every 3 months to use, the limited class hours because they’re designed for students who don’t work, and the co-ed mixed gender vibe, I decided to re-join my old gym. The CSUN Rec Center is amazing, but I really missed my Saturday morning boxing class,  the hot-tub, and the fact that Total Woman is women only. I missed working out with some of my friends who are members… Merrie, Eileen, Sal… There’s also some sort of comfort factor in knowing that nobody cares if you rolled out of bed, forgot to brush your teeth, and still have zit cream on your chin. Not that anybody cared at CSUN, but I feel like when I’m surrounded by all women, I can be 100% transparent in the fact that I’m there to get in shape – not attract a mate or meet new friends.

There’s also the “I’m paying for this” factor that seems to help pressure me into going. At CSUN, the gym dues were part of my tuition, so I technically did pay for it, but I didn’t have that fire under my butt saying “Do you really want to waste $39 this month?”. Since I am a frugalista at heart, I know I’m not going to just sit on my butt when my hard-earned cash is at work. So there ya have it. I went in last night and the sweet membership girl remembered me, so she worked out some savings for me – and this is the best part – she noticed last time I was a member, I never did my fitness evaluation. This is basically where you get weighed, measured, BMIed and tested on all sorts of levels of fitness. Can you see why I never did it?! ;) She offered to schedule me an appointment and I casually noted how my schedule was crazy and I’d call in to make an appointment. Well…. I was in the locker room getting changed for my workout, and she walked up with a fitness evaluator and scheduled my appointment RIGHT THEN AND THERE. So… now I have a fitness evaluation on Saturday morning and I’m terrified – but I know everything I’ll be told is everything I know. It’s more just the sting of being reminded that I’m fat, out of shape and have a lot of work to do. But, as my clever husband reminded me, that’s why I’m there – and that every epic journey starts with one small step.

 

 

A little mention of Weekly Weigh in #8 – and EXCITING NEWS!

Oh my goodness! A friend of mine reminded me that I left you all hangin’ with my good news! (Once again… I’m NOT pregnant. Sorry, mom.) Since the weigh in part of this post is not good news, let’s start with the good news. Remember my post about my 2012 goals? Remember how one of those goals was going to Thailand? Well…

I’m going to Thailand for two weeks in December!

Matt and I have wanted to go to Thailand for a looooong time. When we started dating, I introduced him to the glories of Thai food, and it become a mutual dream that we’d one day traipse through jungles on elephants and bow down at handcrafted Buddhist temples. In December, I’m graduating with my master’s degree, and we’ll be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. It just made sense to book an awesome trip in celebration of accomplishing those two wonderful and joyous goals!

We’ll be leaving on December 21 and coming back two weeks later, which means we’ll be spending Christmas and New Years on the other side of the world. Freakin’ cool, man. Freakin’ cool. It’s been a fantastic thing to look forward to as I trudge through papers and readings and my crazy schedule. Anyways, I gotta lose the weight so I can be healthy and in shape for my trip – I do NOT want to miss out on amazing experiences and sights because of my size or lack of stamina.

Anyways, as for weigh in. I gained .8 of  a pound. I don’t want to get into it, because I’m frustrated and sick of talking about it. I had a small slip up on Sunday with mexican food, and that’s probably what got me into trouble this week. I’m going to try even harder, and put in 100% instead of 95%. I’m re-joining my gym this weekend just so I officially have NO excuses. I can do this!

Here’s a nice little visual for myself as I deal with this constant yo-yoing…

Source: google.com via Katie on Pinterest

Anyways – tell me – what’s one of your fantasy vacations? Why?