environmental superstar

Tuesday was awesome.  The reason it was awesome is because I finally got a badly needed spray tan.  No really.  I needed one.  I haven’t made time to keep up with them and the result was pasty and *not pretty*.

But it’s all okay now.

I was running late in the morning, which wasn’t a surprise.  On the days that I am really running behind on things, I seem to work harder at the gym, like I can’t slow down for the hour I’m there.  I ran like I’d stolen something for an hour and then bolted out of there to make it to crossfit in time.  Remember, if you show up late, that’s a 1000 metre row.

Since my Basis records my cardio for me, I don’t bother noting my speed or times (actually, I *should* use my Garmin for speed recording because Basis doesn’t have that feature), but I have started recording my crossfit wods in a little notebook.  It’s okay, I don’t do it while I’m actually at the box – so no one there knows what a huge nerd I am.  Recording my workouts helps me keep track of what I’m lifting from what position.  Yesterday we were snatching, and I really extra super need to  work on positioning and technique rather than weight, so I kept the bar light and tried not to have too terrible form.  Believe me, my form can only improve from here.  There is no getting worse.

 

I had time yesterday afternoon to visit the spa.  I wanted/needed a massage and I have an unhealthy emotional addiction to the red light therapy bed.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I like to put in earplugs and use that time to meditate.  I swear I feel so pretty when I leave.  There is some kind of strange magic in the air in there.

Apparently I am not smiling when I think I am smiling.  Trust, I am smiling on the inside.

photo 4

I had a brilliant idea while I was driving home.  Why not make and freeze a few smoothies for the week?  I figure if I pop them in the freezer, I could just grab one on my way out the door in the morning and it would be thawed, yet still cold, by the time I was on the way to crossfit.  I’m usually hungry by then and I’m really trying to not keep eating an entire rotisserie chicken in my car.  This is a habit that must be broken.

picstitch I felt extra brilliant and very much like adjusting my environmental superstar halo after I filled up my used water bottles from earlier in the day.  I was able to fill seven of those guys and put them in the freezer.  Also, I drank a LOT of this because I got sick of filling up bottles and couldn’t go on after number seven.

 

Here is my dog, which is not relevant.  But he was sure looking cute.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Because Planet Beach is literally three minutes from my house, I felt that it was not irrational to go back really fast – in my pajamas – for a spray tan after I got my shower.  This seriously was the high point of my day.  I do not think that it is healthy how much I enjoy the smell of a new spray tan.

Last night I meditated on “clarity”.  A few weeks ago, it was incredibly difficult and boring for me to even try to meditate, but now I am finding the time goes by so fast and I feel much better and totally renewed afterwards.

It’s not going to replace red wine or anything, but meditating is a habit I plan to keep.

 

Okay, off to the gym.

 

How about you?  Are you exercising today?  How are you exercising?  Do you take rest days during the week?

 

The Clock Watcher

Sunday night was one of those nights where I fell asleep on time-ish (yet another thing I’m trying to be more consistent about and succeeding about half of the time) but woke up every 45 minutes or so.  I’m totally not kidding.

At 3 am Monday morning I just gave up and got out of bed.  I bet it was the rain or barometric pressure or something woo woo and scientific that I don’t understand and I’ve been meaning to research that, because it seems to me that when the rain is coming I tend to get very restless.

Despite the fact that I had 3 extra hours to get on top of my game, I was still running late and ended up eating a true breakfast of champions – but it worked out because I have been trying to be extra kind to my skin lately so I can use all of the fatty fish I can get.  Probably.

photo

 

I really thought I’d be worn down, but I felt like a total bro at the gym.  I still ran slow, but I had a steady rate so I felt like I was winning.

 

photo 2

I have a near constant inner struggle with cardio machines – I constantly watch the clock.  Can’t change it, don’t fight it.  Here is the conflict that plagues me daily  (:  Do I want to know the ‘time remaining’ or my ‘time completed’?  Sometimes I try to be very mature on the inside and tell myself to focus on how far I have already come, not how far I have to go.  This actually works when I’m doing a competitive challenge or a GoRuck event.  Daily cardio on the other hand?  Tell me how much longer I must do this.  However, if I am doing reps or cycles of some kind of anaerobic activity, I want to know how many I have already done – it makes me feel like a boss.  photo 3

I was pretty sure I had The Ebola by the time I was finished with cardio.  I felt really rough, but that made feel feel extra determined to go to crossfit.
Anyone can get a good workout on a good day.   But I feel so rad if I can get a good workout on an off day.  I will not lie to you, The Ebola gave me some grief and I *may* have cried during my last set of thrusters, but I finished it like a boss (a weeping boss).

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

I took a selfie in my car and realised that one of my eyebrows needed a bit of help.  This is funny now (because I have fixed it) but at the Ebola stricken time, I was hungry, tired, my Michael Kors satchel had literally just broken and now I only had one eyebrow?  (Which brings me to my review of ‘roux’ eyebrow dye).  Okay, it was funny at the time too.

photo 4

Do you get like that?  I am intolerable when I am hungry.  I have little weird foods tucked in every pocket, every compartment in my car, in my gym bag, my spa bag, my purse, my desk drawers –  I have food everywhere, yet I still somehow become famished and evil myriad times throughout the day.

I found myself at Sunshine again.
photo

I think they are on to me loading up both sides of the takeout container on the single pass salad bar.

 

You’d think it was a bummer day – not having any sleep and being struck down with Ebola, but it wasn’t.  It was rad.  I worked out like a total bro, my hair looked great, I fixed my eyebrow *and* got a great new purse.  Which explains why I have to run for time on my own this weekend, but we’ll get to that later.  Trust me, it’s relevant.  Mostly.

Since I felt a little extra foxy after re-establishing a two eyebrow appearance, I meditated on youth and beauty again last night.  I honestly am so glad I’ve tried out this meditation thing.  All of these peaceful, calm people seem to know what they are talking about.

So, do you have to watch the clock during cardi0?  Are you a ‘time completed’ or a ‘time remaining’ clock watcher?

smoothie

International Amy McDonald Spinach Smoothie Day

Today is a day of pajamas.

I don’t take very many rest days, but I’m going to consider this one a “rest day” despite the fact that I am working (at home today) all day.  It’s a rest day for my body.  Particularly my glutes, which are screaming from heavy no-rack barbell squats.  I haven’t been sore in a long time.

Yesterday I hit up the gym feeling excited and totally motivated for cardio – so I was a little surprised to read my stats later, which were uninspiring to say the least.  My determined hustle clearly only existed in my imagination.  Today’s rest is probably extragood for exactly that reason.  Do better tomorrow.  That’s the plan.

 

run sat cardio

 

After cardio, I quick hit up an earlier crossfit session – earlier than I normally attend anyway.  My glutes weren’t very excited about doing push-pulls at ME (maximum effort).  Since my glutes weren’t consulted by the coach when he was planning the WOD, they just had to suffer through.

My glutes were very happy to make it back to the car and sit down.  I was happy for them.

face

I hit up the Naked Bean for tea with a friend and then decided that I deserved, no – i required – a trip to Planet Beach.  I love Planet Beach.  I love that spa in ways that words cannot describe.  I try to go a few times a week, but this past week was just slammed (with good things), so it didn’t work out like that.  I *still* haven’t gotten a spray tan for like, 2 weeks now – so I look pasty.  Nevertheless, everything else I had done yesterday meant I felt a little more like a rockstar when I left PB than when I entered.

Have I mentioned that I love Planet Beach?

Not only is today a day of pajamas, but I have declared it International Amy McDonald Spinach Smoothie Day.

My skin has been angry with me over the last few days and I’m trying to make amends.

smoothie

Great news.  I’ll share my top secret awesome smoothie recipe with you.

10 cups of spinach

2 cups of blueberries

a lot of ice.

a little water.

that is all.

Well, that is all for morning and afternoon time smoothies, but come evening – I tend to add a healthy generous portion of moscato to this.

*      *      *

I had a bit of a panic this morning when I thought I’d spaced a half marathon.

race

I had mixed feelings learning that it was next weekend and I still had plenty of time to prepare and make travel arrangements.  Oh, I’m teasing.  Of course I’m excited.  Actually, it’s one of my last half marathons for the summer, so I’m hoping for a new PR.

 

*     *     *

Yesterday I meditated on the word “clarity”, because I had a lot of clutter in my mind.

Tonight I’ll be meditating on ‘peace, clarity and beauty’.  I might throw ‘youth’ in there because sometimes a girl needs to feel like she is a decade or so younger than the calendar says.

*     *     *

How about you – did you race this weekend?  Do you workout on the weekends?  Do you have a smoothie recipe that you love?

entering the extra bonus round

via @couch_handy

via @couch_handy

 

Yesterday morning I hit up the gym to do cardio before anything else – it has to be this way for a few reasons:

1. If I don’t do cardio first, I *will* find an excuse to skip it.  It must be done before I can think of anything fun to do. 

2. Afterburn. Yeah!

friday cardioSo I show up and just freakin do it.  Plus, I always feel somewhat sanctimonious about doing long bouts of cardio on a friday/saturday/sunday – as if somehow I have entered the extra bonus round. 

After that I went to crossfit – I didn’t think I was squatting that heavy, but this morning I woke up with a sore backside.  There will be no barbell squats in my Saturday.

Since I spent the entire jumping rope time during class searching for a rope that was short enough for me, I didn’t even try to do double unders again yesterday.  Then I saw a post on health.com that said jumping rope burns 340 calories in 30 minutes.  All I could think was, ‘who can jump rope for 30 minutes’?

Of course I had to run right out and buy the most complicated jump rope I have ever seen.  It even has some kind of special tool to adjust it.  I have done absolutely nothing with it because the tool part intimidated me.  My big plan for tonight involves deciphering the mystery of the 3-in-1 jump rope.

photo

 

Since I’ve started lifting heavier, I’ve experienced a sort of hunger that genuinely shocks the crap out of me.  It is the hunger that causes a girl to eat an entire rotisserie chicken in her car before leaving the parking lot.  Because I was totally alarmed at the fact that I consumed an entire chicken in approximately 7 minutes yesterday evening, I tried to fill up with vegetables before going to the supermarket for our daily stuff (you know, cherries, spinach, yogurt, trout  and wine -the important things that must be replaced daily).  This time I only ate 5 tomatoes on my way out to the car, so I feel like I’m winning.  If you can call Not eating an entire chicken alone, in a hot car, winning.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

It’s hard to get going on a Saturday, so in my mind this morning, I’ll have to be racing Deena while I’m running.  My favorite running fantasy is the one where I’m suddenly a superfast runner and pass her just as we get to the finish line.

photo

Are you running today? Eating an entire chicken?  What are your plans?

photo

Crossfittish

For years I had resisted trying Crossfit.  There were a few reasons for this:

1. It was (and still is) only offered at 2 gyms (Boxes!) in my city.  I already had a membership at the local YMCA and didn’t think I could reasonably afford the box membership on top of this.

2. Yes, the local YMCA did (and still does to the best of my understanding) offer Crossfit.  However, participants are required to attend 5 on-ramp sessions before joining in an actual Crossfit class.  The on-ramps were always either at 6 a.m. or late in the evening.  I have already turned into a pumpkin by 4 p.m. so the evenings were out for me, and my dark-thirty time in the mornings is when I work – before the world wakes up and starts knocking/texting/calling/running out of gas and needing rides, etc…

Oh, right. so the on-ramps were an obstacle.  That’s my point.  Because the times were inconvenient.

3. There were (and are) only 2 other gyms (Boxes!) in my city that offer Crossfit.  Since I already had a YMCA membership, I didn’t think I could reasonably afford to join a box as well.

It’s not that I wasn’t interested in Crossfit, it just wasn’t something that I felt I could fit into my life at the time.  Aside from that, I actually was able to coerce a YMCA instructor into letting me attend his class despite the fact that I  had never lifted a barbell in my life and had not taken any on-ramps.  This particular class was a little bit of a bummer – the instructor was not excited, the environment was dungeon-esque and dingy, and I didn’t get the impression that a workout had been planned.  I left the class assuming that all Crossfit sessions are exactly like that and convinced that I had some genetic disorder that left me unable to “get” what so many people thought was super awesome about Crossfit.  Yep, mark that one off my list of stuff to try.

So, tell me if this sounds like you – because here is me in a nutshell:

Find new exciting activity or interest.  Add it to your current repertoire.  Neglect all other interests/hobbies/responsibilites while becoming as good as you can possibly be at new fun thing.  Get really good at new fun thing.  Get bored with new fun thing just as you get really good at new fun thing.  Find new fun thing.  Repeat.

Kind of my point with this is that earlier in the summer I was SUPER interested in GoRuck and did this nearly to the exclusion of other physical activities.  I mean, I rucked *a lot*.  Was there an event within 5 hours of me?  Okay, i’ll be there! And while I have not by any means lost interest in GoRuck, I won’t be able to participate in any GoRuck events once the weather gets a little cooler (it’s a long story. and a boring one) so I needed a New Fun Thing.

Enter Crossfit.  I creeped the local Crossfit place (Box!) on google and learned that tit was as expensive as I’d feared.  However, I figured if I was motivated enough to join the box I could give up other gym memberships and cut some non-necessities out of my budget.  After exactly 15 seconds into my first phone call to the box, I had decided that I’d basically *have* to join the box or die of longing.  I needed a new cool thing.  I am intrigued by barbells and flipping tractor tires and swinging on rings.  This stuff sounds fun in a horrible fun way.  Also?  my previous deal breaker – the inconvenient on-ramp times – was a non issue here.  The on-ramps were personal training sessions, scheduled for when they fit into my schedule.  As far as the class times?  There was a class offered nearly every hour of the day from early in the morning until nighttime – and – open gym time.  SOLD!

I attended all of my on-ramp sessions and while it wasn’t an exciting great workout, I did learn proper technique and safety.  It also gave me a chance to ease into being in the box environment (not exactly like the run of the mill gyms) and seeing how the classes worked.

Now I am totally hooked.  Will I give up running, cycling, dancing, mudruns, spartan races, GoRuck or ballet? No, of course not.  But I am making time in my life for Crossfit because it’s just plain fun.  Every workout is different.  It’s not like when I hit the gym and I know basically what I’m going to do – the same thing I do every day…  With Crossfit, I don’t know what’s coming, but I know it’s sure not going to be something I did the day before.  And probably, it’s not going to be something I’m super good at – so it’s also exciting in that I keep learning new weird things (wall walks? cool!  double-unders? neat!).

*               *             *

I’m getting excited about my ACE certification all over again!  Plus, my inner nerd loves studying and having flashcards and taking notes.  I think that might be 80% of the fun in this whole thing.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Yesterday morning, I woke up super excited to get to the gym and do cardio before crossfit because I had a new playlist and for some reason I always get incredibly overexcited about a new playlist.  You can really only listen to ‘wrecking ball’ so many times before you don’t really want to sprint to it anymore.  I put in a pretty good hustle – for a Wednesday anyway  (:

photo

I was somewhat less enthusiastic today and had to totally talk to myself to get going.  I repeated over and over: I am a winner.  This feels good.  Also, I tend to dance while I am running.  I am not sure what exactly this looks like to the other people working out, but periodically I’ll look around and someone is generally always smiling at me – so my best guess is that I at least look like I’m having fun.

photo

To help with my lower stamina today, I was extra super nice to myself.  I coaxed myself along with little mantras of “you’re a winner.  you look great.  jeez you are fast” – these things help.  Also, I choked down extra green powder.  I say choked down because it is strictly greens and grasses – no fruits or sweeteners whatsoever.  Additionally, I mix it with just plain water so it tastes pretty undesirable.  The benefits far outweigh the yuck factor, with it’s almost instant energy – and just simply knowing I am doing something awesome for my body.  Still, it tastes pretty bad.  If you get a late morning/afternoon lag, I totally recommend trying ‘garden of life’ perfect food raw organic green superfood.  It’s comparable in composition and price to Magma Plus.  Either way, go for the unsweetened versions and choke it down for the sake of shiny hair, pretty skin and awesome beast mode potential.  Do it girl.  Thank me later.

photo

I was running totally late for crossfit – and showing up even a minute late is an automatic 1000 metre row before the workout even starts.  I like to avoid 1000 metre rows whenever possible  (:  so I ran out of the house barefoot and grabbed my sneaks to put on in the car.

This ended badly.

Yes I have two pairs of the exact same shoe.  New Balance has good sales.  You know this.

photo

Later I ran up to (okay, *drove in my car*) Sunshine and had lunch in the cafe.  Eating lunch out always makes me feel spiffy.  I bought a new perfume while I was there and felt extra happy about it.

photo

Word I’m meditating on tonight: Beauty. Yeah, still ‘beauty’. Don’t judge, I’m shallow.  Plus I’m hoping this whole meditating on the word beauty will pay off and I can bypass starting botox this year.

I know.  very bad for me.  I *know*.  That’s why I’m trying the meditating first.

Oh AND.  Nature’s Way Chlorofresh – liquid chlorophyll- the taste totally grows on you.  It’s minty or zesty or something.  If you are lazy about eating greens like I am, this is is pretty awesome.  photo So, what are your thoughts on crossfit?  Have you tried it?  Are you a super awesome Crossfit veteran?  Do you drink any strange green concoctions?

on perspective, privileges and movement

From time to time I try to look at my approach to things and figure out if that approach is working for me.  If I don’t feel excited by what I am doing or it no longer seems like a positive or productive part of my life, then I know I need to change direction and “do it differently”.

photoMostly this has been effective.

One of the major changes that I made this past year has been in the way I deal with physical fitness.  In  years past, during periods of time that I was not actively involved with a dance studio, it was not unusual for  me to consider exercise something that was done x amount of times per week, at x minutes per session and that was it.  I’d hit the gym (reluctantly) trudge through some sort of monotonous cardio exercise on a  machine for 45 minutes, then go home and call it a day.  Duty done.  I could now just sit in my studio and remain motionless for the rest of the day.  Since I was thin, I figured this was a pretty solid approach.

The problem was that I *hated* going to the gym.  I dreaded my workouts.  I never looked at exercise or movement in a positive light – I saw it as something to be endured.

Then, early last year I was stuck in bed for months after having a series of unexpected surgeries.  For a while, I was pretty happy about playing Super Mario for hours on end.  But, after a few months of this, I realised that movement was a privilege – one I didn’t currently have.

A privilege.  This was a game changer for me.

Once I was back on my feet I started the slow process of getting in shape again.  This time, rather than workout once a day and then sit for the rest of the day – getting up only when necessary – I decided to make movement a part of my life.

I started out in small ways.  I bought a simple activity tracker to measure my steps taken per day.  This led to me doing little dances and high kicks whenever I was checking social media on my phone.  That was/is the rule: High kicks or dancing the entire time I’m using a social media app.  Next I started doing calve raises while I was brushing my teeth.  Since I am a Virgo and must brush my teeth obsessively, this soon paid off in the form of admirable calve muscles.  Checking the fridge or hanging out in the kitchen?  That is an automatic 5 chin ups on the pull up bar in the kitchen (trufax).    Over time I devised myriad little ‘movement rules’ depending on what I was doing.  Was I in the bathroom?  Five decent squats before I leave, thanks.

These days I still do all of the above movements and I’ve added a morning routine that I build on each day for 30 days before I reset it and do a totally different progression for 30 days.  I attach a little sticky note with my upcoming routine to my bathroom mirror so that it’s the first thing I see in the morning.

photo

This takes me approximately 10 minutes each morning.  I don’t always feel like doing it, but I feel like I am ready to take on the world (and conquer it) when I have completed it.  It’s not a particularly grueling workout, but it does make me feel that I’ve jumpstarted my day and can handle whatever comes at me. 

In the evenings I do a similar routine which takes approximately 5 minutes.  I rarely *feel* like doing it, but I always feel great when I have finished it.  Usually it looks like this:

abcdefg

Sure I still go to the gym daily and work out.  I don’t hate it anymore.  I’m grateful to have this body and to be able to move and perform the way I do.  I actually look forward to running, and lifting is so awesome that I don’t know how I lived without it (OMG crossfit!).  *But* for me, where it’s really at is the way I’ve added movement to my day in ways that work for me.

 *       *       *

Today’s gym workout consisted of running and cycling.  No matter how I’m feeling when I arrive at the gym, I *always* feel totally happy after an hour of cardio  (which reminds me that a new running playlist is definitely in order.  right now.)  I also really like that my Basis is totally my cheerleader and shows me exactly how long I was able to go.  That usually makes me want to go harder or longer – just to have the gratification of looking at it later in the day.

photo

In other news, I did my first double unders today at crossfit and felt really extra awesome.  I felt compelled to collapse in my car and take a selfie immediately.

photo

Word I’m meditating on tonight is (still) ‘beautiful’.  Hey, whatever helps, right?  I’m brand new baby steps at meditating.  I still find it tedious, but I’m convinced that if I can stick with it for a full month, I’ll be sold.

 

So, what about you?  Do you meditate?  Has it improved your life?  Do you use a fitness band?  Which one?  What are your thoughts on fitness trackers?