Day 174: I thought that winter was done for the season, but Mother Nature clearly had something else in mind. On Sunday it was 75 and sunny and on Monday it turned to 35 and snowy. I had some errands to run that day and wanted to get them done before the snow really started. I spent an hour on my bike powering through my list, came home and did a generic push up, jumping jack and crunch workout before hunkering down for the night.
Day 175: Yesterday it snowed and then snowed some more. I was not feeling very courageous, so I decided to stay inside and use the ol’ TRX. I did a 45 minute workout while jamming out to songs from Rent the musical.
Day 176: The weather has turned back to a warm 65 degrees and I laced up my kicks for a run in Wash Park. I made it about 1.5 miles before my really healthy lunch of macaroni and cheese with a chocolate chip cookie started upsetting my stomach. I decided to walk for a few minutes to see if I could calm down my stomach…no dice. I walked three more miles home. I suppose some workouts just end like that. That’s okay. Tomorrow I won’t eat like crappola and I will make it a better run.
Day 167: In 2008 I went to my first yoga class with a new friend, Katie. I have a memory of us at the studio in Pura Vida, trying desperately to complete crow pose and both of us falling on our faces. Four and a half years later we had the chance to practice together again at Karma Yoga. Katie is now an instructor whose practice I couldn’t take my eyes off of and who I am guessing, can complete a strong crow without any head bangups.
During our 75 minute class I was reminded of how far I have come in the past few years of consistent practice. Four years ago I was terrified of yoga and what I thought it represented. During class the instructor, Katrina, said hundreds of insightful things that I loved in the moment. Three days later, I am at a loss for what she said, but am reminded of how looking fear square in the face is the best way to conquer it. What’s the worst that can happen? Falling out of crow? Finding a new passion? Making a lifelong friend while laughing over a face plant? Same thing goes with your biggest fears. No matter how big the fear, it’s just a feeling of being scared. Test them out, thank yourself later.
Day 168: Yesterday my brother, sister-in-law and fiance went to Ft. Collins for a tour of New Belgium Brewing Company. The tour lasted 90 minutes and they gave out six samples of their delicious beers. If you live anywhere near Ft. Collins and haven’t been to the brewery, then I highly suggest checking it out: www.newbelgium.com After our tour we wandered around the city for about an hour to let the beer run its course in our bodies and then made our way back to Denver.
Despite our headaches from day beers, we decided to go on a group ride to REI and back. Afterwards, we all downed our water bottles and collectively felt better after a 10 mile sweat session.
Day 169: 45 minute TRX workout at home….while watching the season premiere of Mad Men. That really tested my multi-tasking abilities.
Day 160: On Monday I went to Karma Yoga with a pal and her husband. Our favorite instructor was out for the day and we had a sub teacher instead, unfortunately my om’d out yoga mind slipped on her name. It was as if this wonderful instructor listened in all the conversations that I’ve been having with my clients lately. She said that “the root of all love begins with self-love.” Simply and beautifully said. Where do you get without loving yourself? Some days that may feel like a challenge, but once you figure out how, I promise that you will leave self-loathing far behind. Her delivery of that statement made me give her a thumbs up during child’s pose and then I allowed that thought to settle deep down in.
Day 161: Yesterday was one of the colder days we’ve had in Denver for a while and the chilly air forced me to stay inside and play with our TRX. I completed a fourty minute workout and tried to coax my inner cross-fitter to the surface. It felt great while doing it, but left my body feeling sore and abused afterwards.
Day 162: I just got back from a C2 class at Core Power Yoga and had a seriously fantastic instructor, Haylee*. She had us in crow pose three different times and in headstands twice. It was the type of class that made my body quiver from intensity and in return, that was able to quiet my mind. Killer combo, happy body and even happier chilled out mind.
*I love almost every yoga instructor out there because they teach with their hearts and that’s one beautiful thing.
Day 141: Yesterday morning I woke up and did a quick 15 minute TRX circuit and then walked the 45 minute hike into work. I love walking everywhere. I can let my mind wander and not have to pay attention to anything other than my breath. I will admit though, I am stoked for my bike to get a little tune up so I can speed up my alternate mode of transportation.
Day 142: Today was such a treat! A friend of mine put me in touch with Nicole Cutler, the owner of Powerhouse Pilates in Cherry Creek. I had no idea what to expect since most of my pilates experience comes from lying on a mat and doing the dirty 100 with ten other women.
First off I was greeted by a huge, friendly, loving chocolate lab who wanted nothing but a good pet session. Since I sometimes think I might like animals more than humans (does this sound horrible? come on, they are the most amazing creatures!!), I was delighted to pet her for a few minutes as another client finished up. After my pup rub down, Nicole brought me back to her beautiful pilates studio. She walked me through a few different ab exercises, then we went to the reformer, followed by a pilates chair and topped off with the tall scary reformer that I do not remember the technical name of.
Although I can barely move my body right now, I did not realize how hard the exercises were because of how fantastic Nicole was throughout the entire session. Her high energy, fun personality and personalized cheerleading made me forget that I was in pain. I can’t wait to go back for another workout, puppy belly rubbin’ and some seriously fun instructor time.
So if you’re looking for a pilates studio or for a new instructor, look no further. Take my word, I promise you it will knock your arm fat right off!
**Bonus movement: I walked for 90 minutes all over this gorgeous city today.
I suppose I should have let you all know that my fiance and I are sharing a car for as long as humanly possible in a city that does not have a lot of public transportation. Most people think we are nuts, but we keep in mind our dream home that backs up to the foothills and the fact that one car means that we are probably using another healthy mode of transportation (walking, biking or busing). So far, the only issue that I have complained about is the lack of gyms/studios within walking distance from our house. It makes my exercise routine lack some variety.
Now that I am starting to feel better (praise all things sweaty!), I decided to really take advantage of the TRX that I can do in our home. Yesterday I completed a 45 minute “endurance circuit” and today I did a 30 minute “metabolic circuit,” both of which left me completely exhausted. It’s hard to belive that just two big straps and your body weight can kick your own butt.
Today I am also walking three miles to my friend’s house for a cup of tea. Seriously, it better be some good tea! Although this city isn’t super public transit friendly, I challenge you to try out life without a car for a while. See how your life changes, pay attention to what loses importance and start to notice what matters. It’s a really healthy way to live your life, try it out sometime!
Day 121: On day 121 I had one free hour between 12-1 pm to squeeze in a workout. I was near a Bar Method studio in Cherry Creek and popped in for a quick hour at the bar. They really should think of calling it “Happy Hour” instead, it might bring in a steady flow of curious women…and men! The class was taught by the owner, Leslie, who explains the class so that it makes sense. Although I was not planning on going to a bar class that day, I am glad that I went because it restored my faith in my body at the bar.
Day 122: Yesterday was a wham-jammed day. With the lingering of a cold still hanging around, I decided that early morning yoga would not be a good idea. Instead, I walked for 50 minutes to work. It really should have only taken 30 minutes, but the snow filled Denver sidewalks made my walk into more of a hike. Next time I will wait until the latest snowstorm has melted before I hit the streets!
Day 123: I have been itching to go for a run for the past two weeks. I can tell that my body needs that amount of cardio and my spirit needs it even more than that. Unfortunately, I have a fear of slipping on the ice outside and tearing, tweaking or snapping something serious. This fear (and lack of a gym membership) led me to a nearby yoga studio for a 75 minute power class. The studio was closed due to a water break, double sigh. After my first two dreamy workouts had to change I was stuck doing TRX at home. As much as I love TRX, I really do like leaving the house to workout.
This chilly weather really has altered my style of working out and I am ready for that unseasonably warm weather to return. The good news is that weather.com tells me that the average Denver day in March is in the mid 50s, phew….only 19 more days until my sneaks can hit the pavement on a regular basis again.
Day 114: Yesterday I decided to try out my first run since I have been sick. Unfortunately, my mind was feeling way more ambitious than my body and I had to change my route ten minutes into my run. I set out to run six miles and ended up only running three. My achy lungs and drippy nose gave slid me a thank you note later in the day for cutting it quits a little early.
Day 115: Today I was gone from the house over 13 hours for work combined with meetings. I got home at 8:00 pm, snacked on some cashews, sat on the couch and fought my first serious urge to give up this challenge. If it wasn’t for Mike + the newly hooked up ceiling anchor for our home TRX (that he put up today) + his “you have to Betsy” comment, then this would be a different post.
I did a 35 minute TRX video while wearing my warm socks (they’re calling for up to 24 inches of snow tonight/tomorrow, that calls for ugly warm socks) and Mike stood beside to help me figure out how to set up the straps. A few minutes into it I felt energized and excited about the possibility of eventually looking like the fitness model in the video.
Everyone has the days that they want to give up, today was mine. Subconsciously I know that I would not have given up if Mike wasn’t here, but having someone else to push me along got me to sweat faster. As I was grunting through some of the exercises I thought about ways that I cheer myself on everyday. My favorite phrases that I tell myself are simply, “you can do this” and “you want this.” They are both gentle nudges that get me to the place I want to be. So tomorrow when I am snowed into my house and have to dig a tunnel out to the street I will be saying “you want this” over and over again…
Day 100: On day 100 I really wanted to do something out of my comfort zone, so I went to Pai Yoga and tried the TRX Beginner class. TRX is a suspension strap workout that uses bodyweight as resistance. One of the owners of the studio, Jason, was teaching the all woman class with lots of jokes, enthusiasm and multiple explanations. We started out with a warm-up that left me breathless and nervous for the rest of the class. I wish I could explain more about what we did in the next hour, but since I was a total beginner I walked out pretty confused and overly amped with adrenaline. If you have not tried TRX, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is not faint of heart.
Day 101: After yesterday’s workout my fiance and I finished packing the truck for the final time and set off for Indianapolis to see some of my college friends for the night. We stayed up until 11:30 watching basketball and playing board games that I lost terribly at numerous times. The only reason I am even bringing this up is because it plays into what happened this morning at yoga. My college best friend, Sara (seen with me singing the Tina role in Rolling On The River) went to class with me at a nearby hot yoga studio at 6 a.m. That means I semi-slept for about five hours and then powered through an hour of yoga. My body was not happy about any of those things- the waking up early, the yoga or having to move my body after TRX yesterday. Although the class was fantastic, I couldn’t muster up the energy to get in more than one chaturanga.
I found myself skipping most of the hard poses today, which is something that I almost never do. I love pushing myself, but in my sore groggy state that was the last thing that could happen. Once again I found myself realizing how important it is to listen to my body and what it needs. For example my sore body never needs 12 hours in a moving truck and then three sweet potato pancakes for dinner. Never. But sometimes I just have to learn those lessons the hard way.