Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Motivation Bear!

This week has been absolutely incredible thus far; a few kick-ass things have happened!! Here's a couple of stories for you:

Story #1: The other day, I was getting ready to hop in the shower and I noticed a scratch on my back from my bitch-ass cat. As I was examining my wound, I then noticed a strange lump underneath my shoulder blade. I immediately decided that I had armpit cancer. Amidst my cancer freak-out, I tried poking this "growth" and as I moved my arms, more bumps appeared on my upper back. My confusion and panic quickly turned into excitement when I realized that I didn't have cancer at all...I just have visible back muscles now :)

Story #2: The very first day that I walked into Progressive Fitness CrossFit, they were all doing a rope climb wod. Out of curiosity and never having tried to climb a rope, I jumped up and made an attempt. I literally could not even hang on the rope, let alone climb it; I pretty much wrote off ever getting up that rope at this point. Last week, I did my first somewhat rope climb...I got halfway up a few times and I was really excited! Yesterday's workout had 4 minutes of rope climbs in it; two rope climb wods in less than a week's time? Vomit. I told Chris when I went in yesterday that I had no intention on going all of the way up and that he could give me half credit for my sweet half-climbs :) 

My 4 minutes started and I slowly progressed up the rope. Once I got halfway, I looked down at my coach knowing exactly what he was about to say: "keep going". One more pull and I looked back down: "keep going". One more pull: "keep going". It was about this time that I stopped looking down and I started looking up...I was at the top. I made my way back to the ground with tears in my eyes, rope splinters in my hands, and the biggest smile on my face. My first full rope climb! Monkey bear status!! With my awesome CrossFit family cheering my on, I did two more full climbs and one 75% of the way up. On the last one, I had really great descending technique: I just let go...I burned the SHIT out of my legs, hands, and stomach, but I do not even care! 

This was the most rewarding accomplishment I've achieved so far. Reaching my goal weight was such a great feeling, but actually seeing physical improvement like this was out of this world. Knowing that I took care of something that I once deemed impossible (not once but 3 times), has really given me faith in the process and motivated me to knock out some more goals. 

Whether you are just planning out some goals, beginning your life-changing program, in the midst of achieving a strong routine, or you've already accomplished great things, staying motivated to continue leading a healthy lifestyle is very important. Without motivation, it's easy to give up and fall back into bad habits. Here are some ways I've found motivation:
  • Change up your routine; it's easy to get bored when you do the same thing every week. Try new workouts, mix things up with interval training, or try give CrossFit a shot (seriously, do it). If you're usually a cardio princess, try incorporating some strength training; vice versa.
  • Work with a personal trainer. I worked with a trainer for about 6 months and could not recommend it more. Trainers not only encourage you, but they keep you accountable with your nutrition and workouts, they challenge you to exceed your limits, and they'll provide you with overall knowledge that is simply priceless. 
  • Take fish oil; studies have shown that DHA and EPA increase motivation sensors in the brain :)
  • Create some kind of challenge: 30 day cardio challenge, try the Paleo Challenge (I dare yoooou!), etc.
  • Narrow down your goals; sometimes it's easy to feel overwhelmed when you have 15 different things that you're shooting for. For the next few weeks, focus on ONE thing that you want to achieve physically. Whether it's losing 10 pounds, staying true to your nutritional program, or climbing that damn rope. 
  • Talk to people about your goals; tell EVERYONE about them. "Hello Walmart greeter, let me tell you about how I'm going to do my very first kipping pullup!!"This will get you excited to get things done, it will build a solid support system, and it will keep you accountable because, honestly, nobody likes to look bad to other people.
  • Find a workout buddy! My girl, Crystal, is amazing :) We encourage each other in and out of the gym; whenever I feel like eating crap food or skipping a workout, I know I can go to my workout partner and she'll kick my ass into gear.
  • Try a group exercise class: if you belong to any respectable gym, they probably have some type of exercise classes. My favorites are indoor cycling and yoga! Classes are fun and you get the opportunity to surround yourself with potential workout buddies! 
  • Make weekly and monthly goals; achieving smaller things every week/month is encouraging and pushes you towards your larger goals. A few examples of weekly goals could be: no cheat foods, increase cardio by 15 minutes daily, stretch everyday. Monthly goals: get one kipping pullup, do 5 consecutive double unders, climb that damn rope.
Paleo update: We officially have one week left of the Paleo Challenge!! It'll end up being a little bit longer than 30 days, but extra time of eating well isn't a bad thing. I plan on eating like a cow on Thanksgiving (but posting about ways you can avoid that) and jumping right back into the Paleo lifestyle until my birthday (December 29th; buy me something). Obviously I am seeing and feeling the benefits of my nutrition, so I have no intent on going back to eating garbage. Paleo fo evaaaa!!

Wod update, anybody? Obviously I'm feeling great about my performance this week :) I'm already incredibly sore and I still have 2 workouts left until rest day...this is usually about how it goes. Today's workout included toes to bar, kettlebell swings, and jump roping...3 movements I thought I could dominate, but it ended up kicking my ass. I got 5 consecutive double unders though so I'm very excited about that!! Rope climbs yesterday, double unders today, pullup tomorrow? We'll see!!

I plan on posting a goals list tomorrow, so watch out for some of that action :)

"Pain is temporary; quitting is forever."

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