Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Own it

Walking into the aerobic room of the YMCA, I knew what to expect.

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Lots of high knees, tuck jumps, mountain climbers, planks and squats. It would be the exact same workout that I did last Wednesday - a workout that had me feeling defeated and weak. But this time around, I was going to get after it.

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And get after it I did.

The key to beating the workout wasn't magically getting stronger and fitter in the past week, though that is a nice thought. Nor was it the pep talk I got last week. Rather, the key to owning those 45 minutes was focusing on a few small things. Things that I could control.

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1. One for the money. Stealing this from Dimity of Another Mother Runner, I decided to pick one exercise that I was going to nail 115 percent. Emily, the instructor, sets up the workouts to be performed four weeks in a row. Weeks one and two are to learn the routine, and weeks three and four are challenge weeks. I remembered the exercises that made me want to give up most, and I decided that I was going to beat the push up-mountain climber combination. I would do my best, of course, in the other exercises of the shoulder circuit but I wanted to do every push up, every mountain climber and twisting mountain climber in the three rounds. Even if I had to modify on my knees.

2. Take a good look. I am sure there are people who don't like the two walls of mirrors in the aerobics room but I, for one, appreciate them. During the high knees that were a part of our cardio-ab circuit, I started checking myself out. Not only could I see that I was lifting them higher than I thought but it motivated me to go even higher. I didn't want to look at myself half assing it, did I? Bonus: It took my thoughts away from what other people were doing and how well they were doing it and, subsequently, feeling bad that I wasn't doing what they were doing.

3. Know your limits. This "thing" came by mistake. We were told to grab medium and heavy weights. Last week, I think I had a set of 10-pounders and 12-pounders, moving down to eights for the mediums. For whatever reason, this week, I grabbed a set of 5s and a set of 10s. The lighter weight allowed me to perform all of the exercises as well as some of the advanced options, such as adding the jack to the squat-overhead press combo.

Now don't get me wrong - the workout was tough, and I was a hot mess when I left. But I felt strong and proud. I felt like I owned it.

How do you take on tough workouts?

Don't forget to ask me questions. I'll be answering them in a post next week.

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