How Do You USE This Thing?

So admittedly…it’s been FOREVER since I’ve written something.

And I’ve wanted to – no really, I’ve wanted to write something…I just didn’t have the words. To be honest, I still don’t have the words. But I figured, even if I don’t have the best things or the “right” things to say, that in this space…saying something is better than saying nothing at all. Who knows, there may be a person or two out there who can identify with what I’m going through.

So what am I going through, exactly?

Well…in short…I’m comparing who I am to who I used to be. I used to be a solid 60lbs lighter. I used to be a person who ran at least 15 miles per week. I used to be someone who had a BOOKED running schedule. I used to be a regular(ish) blogger.

And I miss that person. No, if I’m going to be honest, I miss the way that person looked. I loved running, hell I STILL love running. I went for a run this morning and felt that familiar glow and sparkle…that feeling of peace and the satisfaction of completing a run. But my eating habits have changed along with a number of things…and yes I have gained that weight back, but with it I have gained a couple of other things.

…like muscle and strength

…like a love and appreciation for the power of the female body

…like the ability to see in myself, even my heavier self, an athlete

…like an appreciation for and a commitment to regular physical activity

…like the ability to cook real meals (versus those pre-packaged messes I used to eat)

It’s a journey they say – one filled with ups and downs. So this might be a down swing for me…and I’m trying my best to fight my way through it. Someone close to me told me to focus on appreciating me NOW and not looking back on the me THEN. And that’s been good to reflect upon. We never really stop and admire who we are – when I look back even to my smallest days I know this to be true. I remember being happy with my progress, and feeling great – but not really being full on satisfied. I still wanted and tried to push for more. Looking at those old pictures now though? Man…I was FINE! And I still am. *smile* but I want better. Not to chase an image, but to chase a feeling.

That feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing the person you believe yourself to be reflected back to you. I had that at one point. I am working on finding her again. And as I continue that search for her, I will try to share my story along the way. Inch by inch. Mile by mile.

workout-motivation

Ask Me Why I Lift…

…because my inner tomboy gets to come out and play

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…because I like lifting with the boys

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…because I like lifting more than some of the men I know

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…because it makes me feel strong…AND sexy

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…because muscles are hot

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…because I love chalking my hands

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…because no matter how shitty my day has been, I always leave a good session feeling like a new person

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…because it makes me feel like I can move mountains

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…because even when I struggle, I am making progress

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…because I love the funky socks I wear to protect my shins…when really, I’d wear the socks regardless

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…because I want others to understand they can too

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…because I don’t mind a little sweat, dirt, and grit

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…because it challenges me to get out of my head

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…because I feel like a complete badass

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…because it’s what I love to do

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Fitness Instructor No-No

Overactive Blogger

So, I touched on this super briefly a few weeks ago, but I was super super taken aback by something that a fitness instructor said to us during an early morning Body Pump Class a few weeks ago.

Me, some teachers, and a few students at the fabulous Loretta Bates' class! Me, some teachers, and a few students at the fabulous Loretta Bates’ class!

So that morning, the instructor, who was really only okay (her form looked a little shaky, which isn’t safe for us students), was teaching us, and as the class crescendoed to a big lifting song, she said something a little…off.

“Come on ladies, it’s getting warmer out, and it’s time to get into those bikinis!”

My neck nearly snapped off when I heard that.

But as a fitness instructor, saying something like this is a huge no-no, and had something like that been said at the Cary YMCA for example, a talking-to, and a note would probably be in…

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Reebok Spartan Race 2014

Ok so for those of you who know me, you know I consider myself to be a lil bit of a badass. But in all of my running, crossfitting, and weightlifting badassery I haven’t tackled a mud/obstacle run since the Warrior Dash in 2011.

Enter the Spartan Race.

First, the race itself comes in four different categories, with the most extreme one called the Death Race. Yea. DEATH… RACE. Cheers to the souls who have the athletic prowess and mental fortitude to enter that category. But for us regular folks the other levels are:

Spartan Sprint (for beginners), which is about a 5k
Spartan Super (intermediate), which is 8+mi
Spartan Beast (advanced), which is 12+mi

I’ve no clue what Spartan Death entails, but I salute you brave souls who have a go at it.

Obstacles and overall race distance seem to vary depending upon the “level” you sign up for. It looks like a fun time, and definitely something I’d like to give a go…

So…are there any takers? Anyone planning on running the Spartan this year? If so, I’ve got a little gift for one lucky Spartan wannabe, courtesy of the folks at the Spartan Race. One reader will win a FREE race entry!!!

All you have to do is leave a comment below about the last time you had to push beyond your limits. I want to announce the winner by this Sunday, so get to commenting and sharing!

Full Disclosure: In exchange for writing this post about the race, The Reebok Spartan Race Folks have provided the free race entry for you guys. No monies exchanged hands! Now get to commenting!

Know Your Goal

The fit bug has hit America and it seems to have hit us very hard. Everywhere I turn there is someone posting, tweeting, talking about working out, losing weight, eating better. Perhaps my opinion is a bit biased, as I do work in a gym among health conscious people…but even in the greater realm of my social circle there seems to be a rumbling of sorts as people are getting tired of their old routine and noticing a certain softness accumulating around their waistline.

It’s cool, I think it’s great that we are all becoming more conscious of what we are eating and how we are treating our bodies. I’m hoping that this renewed interest will lead to a much healthier and happier society in the long run.

So to you out there, who are somewhere along the path to a more active and healthier life, I say congratulations! Allow this humble person to offer you just a little bit of advice…

Know your goal.

Whatever that may be, whether it be scale related (lose 10lbs) or non-scale related (run a 5k), know what it is that you are working towards. Make your fitness goal a high priority and work your tooshie off to get there…and have FUN with it! As you work towards your goal, understand that it may not be easy and there may be set backs at times. But do not lose focus of your goal. The mind is a very powerful muscle…whatever you set you mind to do, you will accomplish in time. Allow me to offer up a couple of quick little tips that will help you remain focused:

State it plain. Repeat it often. Make a mantra of sorts out of your fitness goal. Repeat it to yourself periodically.
Phone a friend.. Yea, sometimes we need someone to boost us up a little bit. It’s helpful to have a buddy that can give us a quick pep talk or even having a workout buddy. Having another person around in this capacity can be great for accountability.
Make it fun. Think of your goal, not as some task you have to slave towards doggedly…but rather as an opportunity to go on an adventure. Enjoy this adventure and try to keep the playful and fun things involved in your journey towards your goal. You’re more likely to stick with a goal if you find the work to get you there enjoyable.

Ultimately, the decision to set a goal and the accomplishment of that goal rests in your own hands. Whatever you decide, and however you decide to get there, don’t lose focus of why you started in the first place.

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So You Want to Be a Runner?

Sharing this once more for all those newbie runners out there. Good luck to you!

Find Your "Fit"

It’s a new year, and with it I’m sure a new crop of folks interested in running. First, welcome to the realm of running and congratulations on your decision to get into the sport! It can be challenging at times, but is very rewarding – you’ll be amazed at the things you learn about yourself as you continue to develop you running skills. In order to help you get started, I thought I’d provide a few tips for beginners. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things you must know in order to run, but I think this list definitely encompasses some of the most important tips and tidbits of information needed to get you started on the right foot (lol, get it?).

Listen To Your Body – It’s your best friend and will tell you what you need to know to keep yourself well. If…

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