Tag Archives: Challenge

Day 55 & 56: The Weather Outside is Frightful

Denver is typically known for its mild climate and clear bluebird skies.  The  super snowy cold weather is usually reserved for the nearby mountains.   This week Mother Nature really changed things up!  We have had three snowstorms in the past six days and today it is only 14 degrees outside.  I decided not to take these freezing temperatures lightly and stick to indoor workouts.

Yesterday and today I spent my time sweating inside the luxurious gym Pura Vida in Cherry Creek.  I woke up yesterday feeling like a cold was knocking on my front door wanting in to warm-up (I don’t blame the guy, it’s COLD OUT!), but I do not have time to get sick while I am working out everyday.  Since the cold guy was really banging, I decided to take it easy at the gym: 30 minutes on the elliptical, light lifting, ab work, followed-up by a few minutes in the steam room.  Have you ever tried a steam room?  It was my first experience and I am still at a loss for how that makes people feel better, it just made me feel slightly blind and like I was going to pass out.

Today was a different story.  I woke up feeling 100% better and ran a mile to warm up, then took a thirty minute “mad abs” class and followed that up with 45 minutes on the elliptical.  The ab class was awesome and I realized I would like to add that into my regular workout routine to amp up my core.  The guy next to me told me the same thing…four times.

Not every workout has to come with an inspirational message and that nice reminder gave my mind a rest while I moved my body.  However I did realize that when the temperatures are barely in the double digits and the last thing that I want to do is workout, it really does make a difference to have a beautiful gym to call “home sweat home.”

Day 55: Hardest Workout Yet

A co-worker of mine at lululemon is a yoga instructor at Core Power Yoga and this morning she was teaching a yoga sculpt class that I have been hearing so much about.  Caitlin is known for her ball busting and hilarious personality during her classes.  She even memorizes everyone’s name so that she can call them out if they do something wrong. Apparently her awesomeness has really caught on because this class was packed mat-to-mat (even on a day where there was six inches of fresh snow and bad driving conditions!).

Before Caitlin even closed the door to the studio she was telling us to do 10 push-ups, followed by push-up pulses and then planks.  I think we repeated this four times and then moved into some flowing, followed by some intense cardio (who knew cardio on a yoga mat could be hard?) and rounded it out with powerful abdominal work.

This was the hardest workout I have had since I started this challenge and I loved every second of it.  Before I even realized that I was slacking Caitlin was yelling my name or tapping a body part to remind me to shape-up.  At one point she even made a joke about me working harder to transform my no-butt into a real-butt.  Not only was it hard, but it was so much fun!  Three of my other co-workers were also in the class laughing and sweating with me.

I look forward to the day that I can get a membership to a gym that Caitlin owns and workout with her (or by the people she has personally trained) everyday.

Day 44: Loving Monotony

In the last ten years I have lived in fifteen different places (please excuse me if I have already mentioned that in a previous blog-it blows my mind)!   Out of all of the places I have lived, Denver is the place that feels the most like home.  The day I moved back here I felt the roots starting to grow out of my feet and into the earth.   Once Michael comes home, I know those roots will just go deeper and deeper into the ground until our roots are completely tangled in the Colorado soil.

Today I ran the six-mile path from my house to Washington Park and home.  During my run I realized how familiar the streets, houses, paths, geese, sunshine and snow-capped mountains are becoming to me.  It’s a feeling that I have longed to recreate for the past two and a half years since I have been gone from Denver. It’s the feeling of knowing you are home.  Today’s run is the same run I will be doing in ten months and that’s one of the most beautiful things I could ask for.  Monotony can be boring to some, but at this moment in my life, I have never craved anything more.

Day 31: Pretzel What?

There are many glories of living in an apartment complex with free internet,  one of them being that the internet NEVER works.  If you know me at all, then you know that I am pretty positive and that I am cheap.  This plays into the internet issue by me constantly thinking, “I bet the internet will work again tomorrow.”  And so goes the ongoing internet saga (and delayed posts)….until my hunky IT fiance comes home.

Yesterday I went to a bar class at Bar Method in Cherry Creek.  It astounds me that every time I go my comprehension of how to complete a bar class actually diminishes further.  There is no way that this is possible, but it makes me want to take my tight hips and run far away.   At least that’s what I am thinking during class.  As soon as it’s over my overly exhausted muscles are so happy that I stayed.

The instructor kept saying, “this is almost your last set,” and then I would be hit with more energy and try to move my pretzel’d leg (see photo of someone who is clearly not me doing this hard move) up a quarter-inch.  I find it interesting  how we respond to the promise of an end.   Like if I said, “this is your last time doing X,” how would you want to complete that task?  Why aren’t we more motivated to complete these tasks without thinking it could be the last time?   Is this just me that feels this way?

Don’t leave me hanging out here in slacker land all alone…

Day 30: Swapping Self-consciousness for Self-confidence

Twenty months ago I stepped into my first yoga class and I was awkwardly self-aware of my every movement.  At one point, I laughed- not because something was funny, but because I was so uncomfortable with my own self.  On my 30th day of working out and probably my 150th yoga class, I noticed how completely un-self-conscious I am in my practice.

Today’s 2.5 level class at Core Power Yoga proved to be one of the most fun classes I have ever taken.  The instructor started out with a drawing on the mirror about adjusting to the ups and downs in life and said we would feel those same waves on our mats today.  At one point, she had us all dancing while in Utkatasana (chair pose) and five minutes later she asked, “anyone who is shy to close their eyes” while the rest of us danced in a pose I have never done before.  I was smiling from the inside out, shining, sweating, breathing and laughing…all while doing a type of dancing I have never done before in front of some of the best yogi’s I have ever seen.   It was not until I was in Savasana that I started thinking (yep, still have not been able to master the art of quieting my mind) about how I did not think about what others were thinking about me.  This practice was just my own- my movement, my body, my practice.

Losing your ego and embracing the moment is a beautiful state of being.  Can you remember a time when you were first able to do that?

Day 28 & 29: Well Rounded

**Day 28 disclaimer:  I drank a little too much wine at a dinner party and then wrote this post.  I have not changed it since, I hope you find it amusing and confusing.  Additionally, my internet is down again.  Sorry for another delay. **

Day 28: Working out for 365 days in a row is going to prove to be difficult at a point.  Today was my point.  This morning I went to my first restorative yoga class at Core Power Yoga. Restorative yoga is to sugar what power yoga is to a double chocolate chip cookie.  It’s incredibly tame, to say the absolute least.

This morning was my first attempt to practice this type of yoga and it was actually a lot more difficult than anticipated.  Holding stretching poses for four minutes does not just test your muscles, but it tested my mind as well.   Many of the poses promised to “help sleep better at night” and “decompress a stressed back.”  I have no clue how to measure that, however, I am willing to try many times as long as this is considered a workout.

Day 29:  Today started off beautifully.  A dear friend was in town this morning and I had her over for coffee and breakfast.  Her dog and my cat toyed with the idea of playing, but settled on some good ol’ butt sniffin’.  After hours of chatting we went on a walk at Washington Park.  It was sunny, there were hundreds of geese and her dog chased every squirrel he saw…it was perfect.

That was going to be my workout, but since I declared today my day off from work I decided I actually wanted to do more.  I went to Pura Vida and ran two miles and then did 30 minutes of cardio on an elliptical.  I followed this up with 45 minutes of weight lifting and 15 minutes of abdominal work.  Afterwards I iced my sore (maybe arthritic) wrist and called it a day.  Tonight they are calling for the third snowstorm in two weeks in Denver and I am so prepared;  two movies, a new cat toy, extra firewood and a skype date with my fiancé in the Phillipines.  What a great end to a perfect day.

Day 24: I’m Sore

Today is my 24th consistent day of working out. I feel amazing,
but my body is sore and tired. I realized that during these first few weeks of
the challenge all of my negative thoughts about what it means when I miss a day
or two of working out have been eradicated. It has freed up my mind to think of
more positive and helpful thoughts. My mind is now consistently thinking about
how I am making myself a priority by showing up at my workouts.

“Showing up at my workouts,” probably sounds like a
strange statement. What I mean is that I have decided to give my best at every
workout. This challenge is meant to be hard and I am testing my body everyday
by trying a new yoga pose, running a faster mile and checking out a new
class/studio. By pushing myself, I am breaking my own boundaries and setting
myself free.

Today’s workout was an all level Vinyasa Flow at Kindness Yoga with my friend, Molly (I told you I would be taking advantage of that free week!). The instructors at these two studios do more than just teach a class, they actually teach life
lessons while explaining complicated poses with grace. If you have not tried
these studios, I truly recommend it. It could possibly be your yoga home in the