I’m reading this book again…

When I read Atomic Habits by James Clear the first time, I thought it was an amazing book. Very thought provoking and full of eye opening ideas. I just wanted to share a quote from the book that stuck with me from the first time I read it.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

This is such a powerful quote that I think leads back to the last post. Maybe the end result isn’t the most important part but focusing on how you get there, and why you’re doing it is.

If your systems to reach your goal aren’t in place then reaching it is going to be harder.

I’m going to write about this a little bit more later on. I need to really think and tweak some of my systems that I have. Really decide if they are working for me.

Maybe the end goal isn’t the most important…

I’m in this facebook group that a friend of mine invited me to and today he invited everyone to write down what they wanted to achieve this year. Honestly, I’m super tired of always defaulting my answer to losing weight. I know that in the end that is my ultimate goal but I thought about what I really wanted. So I wrote this down instead…

Mine is to get ready for the Rock’n’Roll 10k in December and get a better time than last year. Also, work on my deadlift. Not sure on my goal, number wise, but work on form and up my max weight. Hopefully, with those goals I’ll be able to shed some lbs. 💪🏼

So, I’m happy with this for now. It’s funny how we are always aiming for that ultimate end goal but I really feel that working for these benchmarks along the way will ultimately have me reaching my end goal of weightloss.

I do want to make an amendment, though. Nutrition. I want to learn about it more. It’s always the hardest thing to focus on but maybe because it’s not necessarily a ‘goal’ you reach. It’s more of a day-to-day learned behavior. Something that just learn how to be more aware of. It’s something that isn’t always going to be ‘on point’ because maybe there isn’t such a thing…at least not for me. I’m not always going to eat the same amount of calories, the same exact meal, at the same exact time. I’m definitely not going to make it if I do that. I don’t want to look at food like it’s all bad for me. I want to learn how to listen to what my body needs and put more thought into what I take in. Not because I’m calorie counting or anything like that but because I want to know that it will fuel me when I need it. I want to appreciate what I put into my body.

You know, I’ve made so many mistakes along this rollercoaster that is my journey but it’s because all the knowledge I’ve learned about nutrition has only recently happened. There have been a lot of A-HA moments and most of them I’m not proud that I didn’t know or never had really thought about them. Most of the things are just plain common sense but if they were never put into practice, I guess I shouldn’t know them. So that’s something that I want to focus on this year. It may be just reading more about it online or in a book but I’d like to really dive deep into the subject.

So from now on, the goal isn’t the ‘what do you want to achieve’…it’s now the ‘why and how will you be able to achieve it’.

The post that gets published…

Over the last few months I’ve had a few posts written but I just didn’t feel like they were necessary to put up. They were more like writing exercises that I needed to do in order to really be able to process different things that were happening and even moments to allow myself to even be able to clear up the muddy waters that my brain had become.

I’m back, though. I’ve said it before…over and over. The blog does help me. I’ve come to a point where I’m slowly starting to realize just how important believing in yourself is wen it comes to your goals. I feel like all this time that COVID has taken from us has led to my spiraling of negativity when it came to my weight loss journey. I don’t want that to happen anymore.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been really talking to myself about what it is that I need. Not really what I want, but what I need to be happy, healthy, and just overall being a better person. It’s really not an easy answer at first but then, again, it is. It’s having that knowledge of what are some of the things that I can implement in my life that will make me feel good about myself.

You know, there has been this quote that I read the other day I’ve just been thinking about lately.

“You can’t hate yourself into lasting change”

That was crazy. I read it and I was floored. At first, it’s one of those quotes that on the surface feels just pretty self explanatory but you have to dig deep. This quote represents me right now not because I hate myself but because my self-esteem hasn’t been the greatest lately. I don’t always like myself but I think that’s a lot of people. For me, the quote really speaks to me because as I try to change different things about myself, I don’t think that I’ve truly learned how to appreciate those changes and therefore they are harder to keep up. If you aren’t happy with yourself, it’s hard to keep those new habits or that commitment you’ve made to yourself.

When you let yourself be proud of your accomplishments, you will appreciate your hard work. I can’t always say that I was proud of most things I did or do, but I really would like to work on how to become a person who is proud. Someone who doesn’t make an excuse because I’ve accomplished something or downplay it. Always trying to downplay something or make it not seem as “amazing.” I guess part of me feels like I’ve made it hard on myself, so it’s my own fault which leads to the accomplishment to be not as important.

But no more. I’m done constantly feeling like my hard work isn’t enough or something to be proud of. Now again, no one makes me feel like that. It’s just me. It’s how I perceive myself right now.

I’m going to make a commitment to myself to be someone who appreciates the effort and accomplishments of things I am working for. I will no longer be down on myself because I wasn’t able to achieve something. I’ll just work harder and stay focused.

More to come…

I deserve this…

I’ve been loving my workouts that last couple of days. Of course because they are Plyofit workouts, but more importantly because I have new equipment and a bigger space. Now I know that I can have a great workout with just myself and a ten pound barbell but I just really missed some of the equipment that is at Plyofit. So I thought I would show you my new space. Now, it’s not beautiful because it still needs a little bit of paint on the walls and a new floor. I’m thinking about putting in some rubber flooring but I still have some other plans that need to be carried out before I can put in the flooring. Maybe this summer.

I thought I would run down a list of things that I have and show some pictures. As I’m writing this, I’m contemplating whether or not I will put up “Before” pictures or not. They are really bad. I mean really bad. I’ll think about it.

So my new workout space is now the garage. I’ve been granted by my wonderful husband to take the entire garage. The plan was to actually do half gym/half game room but he told me to take the whole thing. Probably because he saw all the stuff I have and didn’t want to fight over space. Good call. I do have about 1/3 still left to organize or declutter but for now my space is great the way it is.

So I went from a small bedroom where I constantly tripped over equipment to a two car enclosed garage. I have heating and a/c, if needed. It’s amazing.

Just a few things that I have in there:

rope, squat rack, TRX, dumbbells, hex rack, elliptical (I will move this one over soon)

I absolutely love this space. I hope to do a lot of soul searching, goal making, destressing, and moving in this place.

Give in or adapt…

Oh, gosh. It’s been such a long time since I’ve written. The last time, I was really excited because I had made a decision to keep writing, no matter what. Well, that didn’t really work for me but I don’t feel like it was because I dropped the ball, but more like the world was going through some stuff. It wasn’t really about me. Everything, pretty much, got put on the back burner because of this terrible virus that everyone is dealing with now. Honestly, I don’t think I was really thinking about ‘my health/fitness journey’ at the time because it just wasn’t something you were making time for.

Which probably needs to change. Maybe I do need to write about how this is effecting me? Maybe I need to decide how I’m going to let this effect me. I had already sort of told myself that all of the health/wellness stuff could wait because it seemed selfish to think of only myself during this time. It really took a couple of conversations with Carlos to understand that maybe it was okay to feel that way. Knowing and being aware of what I could control during this time would help me through this. I guess I hadn’t really thought of it like that because of the severity.

Seeing the world change in such a short amount of time can scare you. To me, change is always hard but adapting to change is harder. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, that when the world changed, I stood still. I let everything just engulf me. I didn’t fight to really keep any of my lifestyle because it was easy to just give in to my surroundings. Please know that when I say ‘give in’, I do not mean adapt. Those are two different things. One you embrace and the other you just ignore and let it change you.

Giving in is easy. You make the decision and Boom! It’s done. Adapting requires effort, time, energy, physical and mental prowess. Giving in makes you feel sad and weak. Adapting or embracing the change makes you feel strong and in control. I missed this feeling. With this blog, I’ve always talked about how the gym and the people there changed my life, well, it’s kind of like that. I’ve spent many years, avoiding things like exercise and it made me feel weak and sad. When I walk into the gym, I feel strong and in control. Lately, I have feeling like I took several steps backward and had never even stepped foot into the Plyofit walls before because I had lost my way. I had let this new life, that everyone has been having to live through, get to me. I guess, for good reason. Who would have thought that this would ever be going on?

Which leaves us with answering the question of, What Now?

Well, I’ve determined two ways that I could react, giving in or adapting. Which is going to make me not go crazy? Which is going to make me feel good when things aren’t always so good? Which will make me be able to have some normalcy in my life so that I’m not sad or angry? Honestly, as much as I’d like to say that I have the answer, no one really knows, but what I can say is that I have a feeling like I need to keep what I can control, in my control, and not let it get away from.

So what can I keep control of? A lot of things. Actually, a lot of things that go along with this blog and what encompasses my ‘journey’. Mental health/clarity, physical exercise, stress levels (for the most part), and emotions.

So, why the sudden post? Over the last couple of weeks, talking with Carlos, I’ve really realized that keeping some of these good habits that I have started over the last couple of years has/will help tremendously. Everyone wants to get back to normal, but we aren’t quite sure what that will even look like when we are passed this so I think it’s important to make sure that we don’t change what we know has helped in the past. Keep positive and keep moving, it may be as simple as that, to get through this for me, at least in the capacity of this journey.

Year 4…

Today marks the beginning of year 4 at Plyofit and I thought it appropriate to acknowledge it because it has become such an important part of my life that brings me joy…

I was suggested by Carlos to write a letter to my old ‘Pre-Plyofit’ self. Wondering what I would say to that person. Interesting. So here goes…

Dear old self,

Don’t give up. You have no motivation or drive right now to get you to move. That’s okay. You are going to be given the opportunity to make a change and you are going to take it. Don’t despair because you are doing it out of desperation. You aren’t. You are doing it because you don’t know. Your lack of knowledge and inability to understand why it’s so important to make a change are things that will change you. When you get this opportunity you will become different. You will see things in a different light and they will become a part of you.

With this new opportunity, you are going to become someone you are proud of and someone who you know is trying. You will no longer feel like you are stuck in old habits because you will learn how to talk to yourself more.

I do want to warn you, though. It will be difficult. There will be times that you will give up. There will be times when you will put yourself down. You cannot give in to it. You will have those moments when you feel like you can’t sustain the lifestyle but you need to acknowledge it and move on. There will be times when you want nothing to do with this journey but you will overcome and realize that this is now a part of your life.

If anything, you will become a better person for every single thing that you try. You will learn that your apprehension will subside when you meet the people that will now be an integral part of your life. You will meet these people, who will quickly become your friends, then will quickly become your family. They will make your journey better because they will be there through the thick and thin of it. They will be the people that you lean on when you need that push. They will be the people that you rely on because they know. They know exactly how this journey feels.

Just so you know, you will go a long way. You will make changes that are good for you. You will create new habits that you will stick with. You will struggle through the entire process but it will be worth it. You will break down many, many, many times. Frustration will be something that you will get to know.

Failure will be a big part of your life, as well. You will fight this. No one wants failure but you will realize that you can’t have any of this without it. Simple as that.

Also, you will find yourself doubting yourself. You will rely on a lot of people to get through this. Use your tools. All the tools that Carlos gives you on how to tackle any self-doubt, use them. Starting out, your toolbox will be empty but little by little you will fill it up with so many things to counteract your day-to-day journey. From the beginning, you will not understand but one day it will click. That day will be amazing. That day will make you stronger.

Speaking of, you will become stronger…emotionally, mentally, and physically. You will constantly be trying to get these three things all aligned but it is tough. You will persevere. Your days will sometimes be filled with negative energy because it’s the easiest. Just fight. You will learn how to fight these by challenging yourself. This will be new for you. You will feel emotions that you have never felt because you never really have challenged yourself before. It will be amazing when you have that moment of clarity and realize that you are a strong person, all around.

Old self, there are so many things that I could go on about in this letter but I think that you just need to live them yourself. But if I had anything else to say, it would just be stay patient and enjoy the journey.

It was a good day…

Honestly, it was a great day.

It’s no surprise that I’m constantly in my head. If you read any of my blogs, you’ll notice a reoccurring theme, usually one that tends to put myself down because of ‘whatever reason’. Today was different. I did something today that NEVER, in my entire life, would I have had the courage to do and I’m taking the ENTIRE day as a win. I completed a 10k today.

A little background before I get into Race Day…

So, I signed up for a 10k because of Felicia, one of my plyofit sisters. It’s all her fault. Well, it’s actually Carlos’ fault because we actually wanted to sign up for the 5k, thinking baby steps, but he put his foot down and said no. Told us to sign up for the 10k. We signed up, reluctantly, but nonetheless, signed up. So, here is what I was thinking as I signed up…I was already thinking about ways to NOT do this 10k. I looked for every excuse, but with every excuse comes details. I’m a terrible liar. Unless I was hurt, there was no getting out of this and I really didn’t want to be hurt because then my times at Plyo would be limited exercise. So, I thought, I’ll figure out a way to get out of this when it gets closer. I’ll just train and see what happens. Honestly, I was scared and as this day came…I realized there was no getting out of this.

The Night Before Race Day…

I tried to leave school early to pick up my packet. That didn’t happen. I was already a little agitated because it was downtown, I didn’t know where to park, and it was far, blah blah blah. Just in my head complaining about everything. But Felicia happened to be getting her packet at the same time so we walked downtown together. That helped. We even enjoyed the expo, played some games, met some cool peeps, and ran into some Plyo buddies. My anxiety wasn’t so high. When I got home, I game planned, and I’m not going to lie to you…I was STILL straight up looking for an excuse to get out of this. There was that little corner of my brain that was whispering things like, ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘you don’t belong out there’. But I knew I worked hard for this, whether I was ready or not and I had to give myself the chance to fail at this. Carlos believed in me so I had to believe in myself.

When I got home from the expo, I game planned. I thought about what was important that I would need and figured out what I would want but wasn’t quite a necessity. I put them all in my bag that I was going to wear on Race Day. I put my Theragun next to my shoes, which were next to my folded up clothes. I made sure to have my bib, license, phone, and lacrosse ball in my bag. These were all the essentials. I went to bed knowing that I was going to get up in the morning to walk/run (because I did run a little) 6 miles into an area that I was not at all familiar with.

Race Day…

Today, I woke up knowing that I was ready. I used the Theragun before I left and did some stretching. My amazing husband got up to take me to the race. While he drove, I checked and double checked for all of my essentials. I was super nervous already. He dropped me off at Sunset Station and I sat there, not really knowing what I was doing there. I met Alicia when I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. She told me she had flown in from Chicago to do the 5k. She then explained that she was going to turn 50 in November and that she was going to complete 50 races, no matter the distance, by the time she was 50. That is amazing. She’d average at least one a week. Then I thought to myself, I can do one race. Alicia is going to do 50, I can at least attempt the one goal that I’ve had since I’d signed up. I owe that much to myself.

Then my Plyofamily showed up. These people are amazing. We are so different and lead so many different lives but really all have one goal when we show up to Plyo. Today, we got to share that goal together, even if we didn’t run or walk it together.

Start of the Race…

Getting ready for the race is unnerving. It’s like your waiting for an eternity. Nerves are just running all over me and I’m thinking, FLIGHT FLIGHT FLIGHT! But there is nowhere to go. I’m in this, whether I like it or not. One of the things I will be grateful for will be the woman I met at the starting line. She was in our corral and she mentioned how she had checked her backpack last year. This year she decided not to because she actually didn’t finish the race on time last year and they had cleaned up and she had to find the people who had her belongings. I had always been scared of this very thing but I was always prepared because I knew it was going to happen. Her story helped ease me. I knew my speed was not fast enough to get there on time. I never really doubted the ability to finish the race, but I doubted my ability to finish it in the time allotted. I knew that if you didn’t, you could still use the sidewalks so I prepared myself to do so. My goal was to walk those 6 miles in a time that I knew I could do it.

Bel, Linda, Fel, Roberta, and I are in our corrals waiting to start and you can hear the first corral go and we slowly are walking up to start our own races. As we are there, we make conversation, laugh and joke about everything. We take pictures and just get ready to take on this big feat that none of us have ever been a part of. Then Bel did something to help my nerves. She offered a prayer for all of us. We all huddled together and it was beautiful. Something that I felt was missing but maybe didn’t know it. It helped. Then slowly we get to the starting line and we take off. We all went our separate ways but with the same goal.

First Two Miles…

Things were great. For me, my pace was good. I took off and for the first couple of miles, I walked pretty quickly compared to my usual pace and even jogged a little. The end of the second mile, I could feel myself getting a little tired but still hustling. Then I got to the literal fork in the road that pointed me towards the race that I was intended to finish or the the one I could have finished, the 5k. It was so tempting to just give up and finish the 5k up. I knew I could do that one and my time was good to finish within the hour. Also, I saw a hill for the 10k. I decided to finish what I was set out to do. I said goodbye to my 5k friends I met along the way and set out for another 4 mile trek.

Beginning of Third Mile…

Actually, it was pretty good. I met this lady that was jogging and she helped me out with keeping my pace. I probably would have walked slower if it wasn’t for her. Now, I’ll admit. I was last. I had no problem with that. I was just trying to finish. I noticed that they were starting to pick up cones and stuff so I started getting on the sidewalk. Mentally, I had prepared myself for this but still hit kind of hard. The man even stopped to ask me if I was good and just wanted to make sure that I knew where I was going. He even asked me if I wanted a boost but I told him that I came to do 6 miles, so I was going to do 6 miles. I still had time, too. My two hours weren’t up but I understand that they have rules for how long they shutdown roads.

Things did get a little dicey after that, though. More than anything, it was because I realized that if I got lost, I was going to be legit lost. I panicked. I got up my map just to make sure that I was going to correct way and then kind of hit a wall. I could still see barricades up and there was very little traffic but then I kept going back and forth about all the ‘what ifs’. Now this all happened really fast. Then I let it get to me. Then Melissa messaged me saying that she couldn’t find me on the map with the tracker. (That was a whole other feeling. I panicked when my tracker didn’t work. I didn’t realize that they were having problems with them and neither did Melissa.) At that point, I told her I wasn’t going to finish. I was still walking at this point, and actually still in the right direction. Which is odd. If you know me, you know that I am no geographical genius.

When I told Melissa that I wasn’t going to finish, she asked me where I was and she said ‘I’m coming”. Automatically, I thought, ‘Oh, shit. She’s going to drive from her house to come and get me’. I told her not to. At this point, I’m still walking, calculating how long I had left and trying to figure out how long after I would get there. My goal had always been no more than 3 hours. I was still on the course. And right about mile 4.5, I see her running to me. She saved me. I told her that I couldn’t. Now, you have to understand. I could. I wasn’t fatigued enough to not be able to do it. I was just in my head and had told myself that the race wasn’t worth it. I was willing to give up. Then she told me something. She said, “It’s your first one. It’s supposed to be like this”. She encouraged me to finish. I also got a text from Carlos. Always encouraging. Always pushing. Always believing in me.

The Finish Line…

Melissa and I were on a mission to the finish line. She was determined to get me there. She is truly one of the greatest friends that I have and I’m thankful that she cared so much to come find me and help encourage me that last mile.

I’m also thankful for the Plyofam that started the race with me and those that stayed to make sure I crossed that line. I will forever be grateful for them.

I’d like to say that the finish line for this race is going to mean so much more to me than any other race I do in the future. I learned so much about myself during those 2 hours and 30 minutes than I have in a long time. I think it’s important to go through these moments in your life because they put things right where they should be. They help you grow and keep you centered. It was an experience that I will definitely cherish and reflect on for a very long time.

A new experience…

I did something today that was completely out of my element but on my list of things I wanted to complete. I did a 5k. I trotted down the road like a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. It was my first one ever and I’m hoping not my last. This post is going to have some great things and some reflections. I don’t want to say bad things because they weren’t bad, but things that I’ve learned and now am able to reflect on. Let’s keep it positive because I did have some fun.

First things first. Who am I? Who gets up early in the morning to go walk/run for three miles with people you don’t know dressed up like turkeys? Apparently, I do. These are things I’m now interested in. Thirty-eight years on this Earth and that was a first for me. Honestly, though, three years ago, I would never have done it or even signed up for one. Now, I won’t lie and say that I’ve never had the want to do it because I have. This was actually on my list of things to complete soon. Before starting this journey, I’d always had the dream of being one of these types of people that do things like this for fun. I’m working on it, still, but I’ll get there.

So my first experience was really good. I’m going to tell you that I was super nervous because my athletic ability is still being worked on but I had been working on this for awhile so I knew i could finish it but I had some reservations. My first one being that I am slow. I used to be faster but after my first injury with my foot, my time has slowed down considerably. Just something I have to keep working on. Second, I was completely nervous on what to do. I’ll admit it was hard but I had the advantage because I had Melissa, my Plyo partner in crime, by my side. If it wasn’t for her and her sister, I might have bolted from the scene. It would not have been my finest moment but, nonetheless, still a possible outcome. Three, the feeling of just not belonging there. Honestly, it’s just people doing what they enjoy doing, helping out a good cause, or even people like me who are trying to just see if they can do it. I even ran into some people I knew there. Everyone there has their own reason they got up that morning to do the race, just like me.

BEFORE THE RACE—So, I had fun before the race started. We laughed, took some pictures, did some Zumba. It wasn’t as stressful but things kind of change as time starts getting closer and nerves start to kick in. There are so many people waiting to start so I started to get ready. I had my lacrosse ball so I rolled my feet and stretched like Carlos taught me. All helpful things to have done before we took off.

DURING THE RACE— So, we take off a few minutes after the first wave so that kind of threw me off. Again, I keep thinking about time. Then right when we hit the starting line, Melissa reminded us to start our watches. I was so obsessed with the clock on the starting line that I almost forgot! Then we took off. Back to speed…I was faster than I normally was but I know I can be faster. Everything really is mental in situations like this because you just want to do your best. It seems silly to think about but even if it is just for fun, for me, it really was something that I will remember forever. I have never done anything like that before. I talk like a ran a full marathon, but to me, this was my marathon. A lot of the work I have put into myself has been because I want to be able to do things like this and not struggle. As I did this, I struggled off and on. I toggled between the two because I really didn’t know what to expect from anything and sometimes, again, didn’t feel like I belonged there. You really have to tell your brain to shut up because it can get in the way of having fun. That happened a couple of times. My fight or flight tried to take over but I had to push through and that was only for three miles. I couldn’t let it win, though. I’m glad I had some friends there with me. It’s funny because when I started I told Melissa that it was good because it was just a little bit more than 5 times around the block of Plyofit. I could do that. No problem. Towards the end, I’ll admit, I was tired, Melissa told me that we were “at the mailbox” which helped me to realize that we only had a quarter of a mile left. It was great to see the finish line. A sense of accomplishment was nice after that hard work.

AFTER THE RACE—Life is good. I did it and I didn’t die. Seriously, though, it was a great experience. Something that I’m proud of and won’t forget.