Friday, May 4, 2012

Disturbing behavior

There's embarrassing. And then there's embarrassing.

Embarrassing: Realizing that you brought a bright pink sports bra to wear under a white tank top.

Embarrassing: Realizing that you brought no sports bra to wear under a white tank top.

Embarrassing: Realizing you have snot dripping during a race.

Embarrassing: Blowing said snot on a fellow racer.

And then there's today:

Embarrassing: Realize that you wore a cotton tee to run on a hot and humid day.

Embarrassing: Taking off said cotton tee because no one is around and running in just a sports bra ... only to pass your neighbors who are good, devout and MODEST Catholics (and parents to eight kids).

Yeah. If I didn't know it before, I know it now: Keep your shirt on in public.

What embarrassing lessons have you learned during/from running?

Up for the challenge

Ten days.

Just 10 days.

That's all the stands between me an my first class as a BodyPump instructor.

So there you have it, the short answer: I passed my training.

The longer answer is that I received a "Pass Delayed," which means that I have to work on some things and have my group fitness manager sign off that I made the improvements. I have 90 days to do this - during which time I also need to team teach eight times and solo teach at least once so that I can submit a video to be assessed.

I know it's going to be a challenge but I know if I got through training ... well, I can get through anything. You see, the training weekend challenged me (as I said) in ways I never imagined.

The most difficult? My sense of strength and accomplishment.

I know I'm not the fastest. I know I'm not the strongest. However, I have become more and more confident in my fitness lately. A strong time in the Martian Invasion half marathon, no longer having to do push-ups on my knees and the little pop of muscle all helped me to feel more like my pre-baby self. The minute I walked into the training gym, though, I felt weak, inadequate and (to be honest) like the fat girl in high school. Many of those training were already certified instructors in other Les Mills programs or have been taking BodyPump for years (not months). They could throw up incredible weight and were in better aerobic shape than me. Sure, I can run 10 miles but that doesn't mean anything in that room.

And the one thing that was supposed to make me feel better? Well, it didn't.

The highlight of training day two is the BodyPump challenge. It is designed to encourage you to lift more weight than you think you can and force you to push outside your comfort zone. It started with a 15-minute run (hells yeah - I actually did rock that part) and then a five-station circuit that we did twice. I don't remember all the exercises but I do know that there were: overhead presses, squats, bicep curls, tricep dips and clean and presses. Let me tell you something I like about BodyPump: high reps, low weights. The whole "lift heavy, feel strong" was more liken "lift mediocre, feel like crap." I felt like I should have been able to lift more on certain things or perform better during certain exercises but I couldn't. It took all I had - and then some - to get through without crying.

So, as Nina asked, how did I get through? Well, it wasn't too different than how I get through a difficult race. Mental stamina and a few reminders of why you are doing it.

After a horrendous day one, I put on a necklace that Mark gave me just before I had Miles. I wore it (against better judgment) to remind me that, no matter what, I had two handsome guys waiting for me. Those two guys, though, had sacrificed a lot for me - financially and more - for me to be there, and I wasn't about to let them down. Every time I wanted to quit during that challenge, I felt the gold around my neck and willed myself to go on.

One of the hardest things for me is and will be actually talking in front of people. I think it's a carry-over from my heavy days. I spent so much time trying to be invisible that I don't know how to shine. But I'll have to if I want to teach. And I do. So when it got tough, I thought of the people I'm going to teach - and not the buff, over confident women I was (the ones I thought were judging me). I thought of L and her effervescent personality. I thought of Carla and her teen son who likes to crack jokes. I thought of the women who have dropped tons of weight through the gym's Biggest Loser program. I want to be my best for them and give them the best BodyPump experience I can.

And I'm going to spend the next 90(+ because learning doesn't stop) days working on that.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Give peas a chance

I'm not going to lie to you: things have been rough this week.




If I could crawl up into a ball and cry under my desk, I think I would. But I can't. You know, because of the trash can, computer tower and oversized tote/purse/lunch bag. Oh, and there's my pride, too.

Thank goodness for friends.

Especially the kind that don't mind if you bite their heads off.

While I had been acquainted with sugar snap peas, we got to really know each other this weekend. I was starving at BodyPump training and in desperate need of some vegetables. I popped into Walmart during our break hoping to find something, anything, green, and I discovered a reasonably priced vegetable snack tray. There were the obligatory baby carrots (boring), broccoli and sugar snap peas. Oh, and ranch. Ranch makes it all better.

Except the peas. They didn't need much of anything.

Me, on the other hand, need much more of ... OK, I can't be clever and say anything because it wouldn't make sense. I just needed more sugar snap peas. I found my way back to Walmart and bought a second snack tray for the second day of training, devouring the sweet, crunchy things on my way back. The second helping, though, did nothing to satiate my new-found lust. I wasn't sure anything could.

And then I found it: a bag of just sugar snap peas in the produce section of our wannabe-super Target. A whole bag of deliciousness. I bought it this morning (along with formula, sippy cups and a Healthy Choice dinner) with more excitement than I've had since ... OK, yesterday (the exception to this week, apparently).

I took that bag, the whole bag, to the office and happily snacked on them as I worked. And looked at grilled cheese sandwiches.

Hate me now. The week can't get much worse.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For goodness sake

My grandma says that you can decide to have a good day. She also says that you are the one who lets you have a bad day.

Obviously an old photo, based on hair length alone. I'm happy to report that neither of us have aged a day in the past two years :)

While I do consider her to be one of the smartest people I know, I have to disagree. You might be able to choose not to dwell on a situation but there are times when a day is just what it is supposed to be.

And today is supposed to be a good day. For many reasons. Or five.

1. Miles slept from 7 p.m. to 5:15 a.m., unheard of around here. And - this is a big and - he went down without a fight.

2. Mark and I actually woke up just before Miles because Mark got a text ... alerting him to a two-hour delay (because of fog).

3. A two-hour delay = a running partner.

I had 6 miles on my schedule, and I wanted to get them in this morning since it's going to be 82 degrees today. I thought Mark could watch Miles but instead he opted to join in the fun.

4. Mark decided to be a gentleman and offered to push the stroller for 75 percent of the run. My shoulders were very happy!

5. We got finished in enough time for me to not just shower in peace but take a bath ... and read part of "Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner" by Jen Lancaster.

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again: I love Jen Lancaster. Her books are irreverent, smart and relateable. I may or may not have laughed out loud while reading the chapter about her mustache.

What's making you happy today?

P.S. This blog was brought to you by "Sesame Street Singing with the Stars" and my son's ridiculous love for all things Elmo. And yes, I'm that parent.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{BodyPump title here}

BodyPump instructor training was this weekend.

The experience - all of it - was challenging in ways that I never anticipated. I can tell you that I did, in fact, lift beyond my limits. I can also tell you that when I got the chance to run, albeit for 15 minutes, I had never been so happy to feel the pavement beneath my feet.

To speak beyond that is difficult. So instead of leaving you with a rambling, going nowhere post about an experience I don't know how to deal with, I'll open it up to questions. What would you like to know?