New you means new comfort zones –

New you means new comfort zones –

I like thinking. Roaming around in the mind. Daydreaming and fantasizing – yeah I used to do those too – not anymore because I think those two detract me from doing and pursuing. And this is a part of the new me – actualizing my inner vision of my strengths and that which is good in me.

If you’re always on the go – a mover and a shaker – maybe the challenge for you is to get out of your comfort zone and do more reflection, meditation, or just slow down. My challenge is to be more of an activist. Not in a political sense, but in my own life.

After I met the typical western conveyor belt challenges – go to school, get a job, go back and get another degree, get another job, what was left on my checklist was marriage and children. Except those two didn’t “happen” to me.

I realize now I am fully responsible for the course of events in my life and that things don’t just happen – as difficult as it is to accept sometimes. I also realized that I was checking things off a list. Except the list wasn’t mine.

Well, I went into my introspective-depressive mode because the inner world is my zone of comfort. Maybe you, on the other hand, would go on some outward binge of sorts, or build an ark. I go inside. And I would lock myself in your ark if you had built one.

Luckily, I came out. With this little idea to challenge my comfort zone, as well as my concept of happiness. Happiness – it’s a good job with insurance and benefits, new car, house, faithful partner, and children….right? At the time, I didn’t realize that I was expanding my comfort zone. It kind of happened gradually.

Six years ago at the age of 37, I ran my first race – the 2011 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle. Then I decided I should run a half-marathon. Why not. And I did. After that I decided I should go trekking in the Himalaya. Haha. You laugh. I did. Go trekking. Several times now. I have a blog about it here on WordPress in case you’d like to peek: My Trekking Diaries.

I also did several half-marathons finishing my latest just this morning! I made my best time yet, 2:26:44. I was aiming for something slightly better than my 2013 time of 2:31:45. I got a little emotional when I got texted with my time right after I planted my behind to rest on the grass. Now at the age of 43, I am getting faster and stronger. Or maybe more resilient, more focused.

I do credit my CrossFit box’s BootFit program for my better performance. I had to practice my long runs a bit, but after 1 year of BootFit, my legs are super strong compared to my 2013 run. Of course by super strong I mean super for me. Haha.

I even had strength at mile 10 or so to attack a little incline while most people at my pace were walking it. It felt good to have that extra explosiveness at my disposal. That’s your weighted squats, lunges, jump squats, box jumps and such. Yeah, this stuff will make you a better runner.

I had never been a runner though. In fact, I never cared for any sort of physical activity at all. Probably because I am an introspector. I am not an adventurer or a competitor. I don’t even like going outside. Crowded malls give me anxiety. Although I was always one of the top students academically, physical education and activity have been my weakness.

In high school, I couldn’t finish running the mile. I still remember as a child in the first grade in Poland, we were being timed on our short distance runs. I am of average height now, but at the time I was tall-ish. And the teacher said to me, you have such long legs, but you run so slow. Well.

I still run slow. Running is definitely outside of my comfort zone – just as the BootFit program at my CrossFit box is – out of my comfort zone. So why do it. Why push yourself to get out of it. I think I agree with Joe Rogan. It tests us.

Beside testing us, it also prepares us for other uncomfortable situations in our life like tight deadlines, unwanted transitions, or unfavorable changes. By willingly facing the pain of uncomfortable situations in a controlled setting – like CrossFit, or community running events – I become better able to face adversity in other aspects of my life.

The most awesome realization for me is that there is no limit to how many new-you’s we find. It’s a never-ending process. It’s probably accurate to say that every single person will experience a situation or another that they didn’t ask for. How we perceive the challenge is up to us. We can ask – why is this happening to me, make it go away.

Or with focused practice, we can learn to say – I *will* get through this, and I will shake hands with the new me on the other side of this challenge. Passing the baton from the new me, to the next new me. Never holding on. Finding new ways to expand our ever changing comfort zones.

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You will get up and stand again –

Since my last post, I have managed to have another birthday, so now I am going on 44. I continue working on the “new” me at the BootFit program at my CrossFit box. Progress is slow, depending on how you look at it though. You know how you get excited about a new adventure, and then you discover, oh this is not as easy as I had imagined it would be.

And then maybe you get injured. And then maybe you get depressed and wonder if this isn’t meant for you, or you’re too old, or you’re too weak, or insert any other excuse you can think of. Because in the end, if you started something to better yourself and you quit, this is far worse than being down temporarily. Maybe you can’t see right now when you’ll recover, but you have to know in the back of your mind that you will get better and that you will get back up again.

As the new year approached, I knew what my resolution would be for 2017, and that would be to get to Rx weights by June. In June, it will be my 1 year anniversary at BootFit. In general, the BootFit Rx dumbbell weight for women is 15lb, the wall ball is 14lb, and the kettle bell is 26lb. This year, I have been working with 12lb dumbbells, and a 10 to 12lb wall ball. I am working with the 26lb kettle bell, but depending on how many we have to do, I might have to go down to 18lb which I don’t like to do because it is just too light for me and I don’t feel much resistance.

About 6 weeks ago, I decided that I needed to step it up with my Rx weight. I remember this workout. It was Monday, Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. The class was packed. Our Metcon was 3 rounds of: 100 jumping jacks, 10 burpees, 15 push-ups, 20 box dips, 100 single jumps, 10 pull-ups (or scale to ring rows), 15 wall balls (20lb men/14lb women), 20 sit ups, 60 second plank. All I remember is the wall balls because that’s where I increased my weight to 14lb. But now that I look back on it, this was a crazy workout and a really long one, too. Our workouts usually fall at around 15 min. long. I am always slow but I finished this Metcon in under 30 minutes while several people didn’t get to finish in the 30 min. time allotment.

My push-ups were scaled to bench pushups and my pull-ups were ring rows. I remember somewhere mid-way while I was on my knees panting between the burpees and the push-ups, my lower back got misaligned. I was okay enough to finish but I remember walking out limping. I marked this day to see how long it would take me to recover – this time. It took about 4 weeks. During that time, I could bend over but I couldn’t get back up. Ha ha. And whatever you do – if you unfortunately find yourself like this when you wake up – don’t crawl out of your bed down onto the floor because then you’ll find yourself in a much lower position than when you were up on your bed and it’s even harder to get up.

So, when you’re down – literally and figuratively – it is critical that you stay in high spirits. I remember laughing at myself while I was on my hands and knees trying to figure out how I would get up from there to standing. It seemed insurmountable just as some of our workouts do. Break it down into baby steps, day to day, week by week, but keep pushing forward. As difficult as it may be, resist the temptation to beat yourself up, or worse yet pass some judgment about what this means for your future. When you’re down, it is *the* worst time to plan for the future. Have patience, give yourself the required time to recover and grow, and most of all, know that you will get up and stand again.

CrossFit: New You v. BootFit –

I promised to share the types of workouts we did during the “New You” program at CrossFit, so I have some catching up to do. Let me just mention that I took about a month off after the New You program ended the first week of May; and then on June 6, I joined another CrossFit gym where I am enrolled in their “BootFit” program. In retrospect, “New You” was an introduction to CrossFit basics, that is, focus on proper form, use of equipment, with shorter bouts of intense workouts of 15-20 minutes. Here is a sampling of 6 out of the 18 New You workouts:

New You Day 3 - 6- 8

New You Day 11 - 14 -17

As I mentioned, currently, I am in the BootFit program at my new CrossFit gym which specializes in standard CrossFit training. BootFit seems to be popular with women and is also a good introduction to CrossFit in general. BootFit is an off-shoot of CrossFit training setting aside Olympic weightlifting, but still incorporating a lot of the same equipment and movements that CrossFitters do, such as squats, push ups, burpees, box jumps, kettle bells, wall balls, pull-ups, combined with some aerobic training like rowing, running, or biking.

No matter what the workout, you are sweating and out of breath. If you are thinking that you need 30 minutes of rowing or running to get in shape, just add a kettle bell to your walking lunges and alternate with some push-ups and pull-ups and you will get an aerobic plus strength workout. In fact, that’s what we did today. So, I have been at BootFit 2 months now. I started out by going 3 times per week, then 4, and now I am at 5 times per week. In the beginning stages, I would need 24 – 48 hours for my body to recover. Now, the soreness in between workouts is much less. It’s more like tightness.

There are several things I like about this BootFit variety of CrossFit. One is the variety of workouts. Although the movements do repeat, there are so many unique combinations of movements available, which can additionally be modified by increasing weight and/or using different props, that the possibilities are almost endless. If you were to go every day for a month, you would never do the same workout twice. The boredom factor is practically none.

Secondly, the program is intelligently designed. All you have to do is show up. You don’t have to think, am I working on arms or legs today, or is it my cardio day. You do cardio and strength and work your entire body. Try some burpees, for example. Most people hate them. They’re hard because they work the entire body and they are indicative of your current fitness level. When I started out at BootFit, I could do about 8 burpees in 1 minute. Now, I can do about 15. This leads me to the next thing I like about BootFit, and that is, keeping track of progress.

You don’t have to keep track, but I think that doing so will help you stay motivated. Although we work in a group setting, it is ultimately you v. you – competing against time in trying to do as many reps as possible. Yes, you will compare yourself to others – how many reps did they get in or what weight is their kettle bell – but that’s just natural. I tell myself, maybe one day I will be able to swing a 35lb kettle bell, but I have to start with what I can do first. Two months ago, it was the little 18lb kettle bell and now it’s the 26lb one. The Wodify app used by CrossFit makes it easy to keep track of your workouts and the progress you make.

Last but not least, what I like about this BootFit program is that you can set long term goals. I’m sure this is true for CrossFitters, too. When I think back to my old days of 30-min workouts on the treadmill or elliptical, I see that there is little growth potential there unless you know how to intelligently design a high intensity strength program for yourself – which I don’t. And so, if you are like me, you’ll reluctantly show up for your workouts just to get them over with, and honestly that’s just not a good goal.

One of my dreams now – okay long term goals – is to be able to do a pull up unassisted. I’m still on ring rows, but I see some girls doing banded pull ups. I also see a 6-mo. pregnant lady – an athlete of some kind, I’m guessing – who at last is rowing as slow as me. Ha ha. Her athletic condition is enviable. Well, what can you do. You can compare yourself to top athletes and feel like you’re losing. Or, you can watch other people’s progress and envision your own. Here, I feel that my “dream” is do-able. I know the steps I need to take to improve my performance, and this keeps me going back. Did I mention that I’m just getting started at 42. Really, it’s no-thing.

The before and after –

The before and after –

Yesterday was the last day of my CrossFit New You Challenge. Yes, it’s been 6 weeks. And the InBody scan results are in. Between Mar. 29, 2016 and May 7, 2016, I net gained 2.5 lbs; that is, I gained 1.9 lbs muscle, lost 0.4 lbs fat, with the remainder being water weight gain.

image

Muscle gains broken down: 0.22 lbs R arm + 0.29 lbs L arm + 1.1 lbs trunk + 0.11 lbs R leg + 0.18 lbs L leg. = 1.9 lbs. So the changes are tiny but significant to me. Only 3 times per week for 6 weeks of challenging workouts, plus a diet balanced between protein, fat, and carbs is what did it.

image

I am so encouraged by these results. No one said transformation would be quick and easy, but, at the same time, it’s really not that hard! The hardest obstacle is our own self when we choose to fall back on old habits instead of choosing self-improvement, growth and change.

And no, you are not too old. I am 42 years old and I am investing in my wiser years. It’s up to us to dispel stereotypes of what aging should look like. Move your body, keep it flexible, be kind to it with the right nutrition. Reinvent the idea of aging. And I doubt you will ever need a walker, wheelchair, or that dreaded nursing home.

Paleo protein bars and a little coffee –

In this post I will compare 3 protein bars: Caveman Chicken Primal Bar: Smoked Jalapeno; Primal Protein Bar: Pumpkin Pie; and Clif Bar: Coconut Chocolate Chip. My comparisons will be framed in the Paleo/Zone diet approach.

Since I started the CrossFit New You challenge approximately 4 weeks ago, I also started following the Paleo/Zone diet guidelines. The New You program recommends that we follow the Paleo plan while the Zone is my own voluntary undertaking.

Signing up for this CrossFit program has indirectly helped me balance my nutrition. In short, I was severely lacking in protein intake. I would eat some fish a few times a week, and some lentils. My diet was high in fat from avocado and nuts; and high in carbs from fruit and grains.

Paleo for my purposes means that I am eating little to no starches, grains or legumes, no dairy, and no sugars. I drink black coffee, and per my CrossFit diet coach, I have added some complex carbs after my workouts, i.e., I added quinoa and sweet potato. I use the Zone idea to make sure I am consuming equivalent caloric portions of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

Here are some key points as to the Zone diet per the CrossFit Journal –

Diet is critical to optimizing human function, and our clinical experience leads us to believe that Barry Sears’ Zone Diet closely models optimal nutrition.

When a meal is composed of equal blocks of protein, carbohydrate and fat, 40 percent of its calories are from carbohydrate, 30 percent from protein and 30 percent from fat.

..

A block is a unit of measure used to simplify the process of making balanced meals.
• 7 g of protein = 1 block of protein
• 9 g of carbohydrate = 1 block of carbohydrate
• 1.5 g of fat = 1 block of fat
(This assumes that there is about 1.5 g of fat in each block of protein, so the total amount of fat needed per 1 block meal is 3 g.)

(Source)

Snacking on the go is a little difficult on the Paleo/Zone diet. My “go to” snacks were typically pretzels, potato chips, nuts, or dark chocolate; and also coffee with cream. Pretzels are wheat, so those are out. Nuts are okay, but I soak mine now and have scaled down the portions. Dark chocolate is very high in fat, and sometimes has dairy.

As I made the switch over to my new diet, I realized that I often replaced my breakfast with coffee and cream. I have been skipping added sugar for many years now, but in retrospect, I was relying on the cream in the coffee to take me from breakfast through the mid-morning.

Consider a medium coffee with cream and sugar from Dunkin’ Donuts. There are 9 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein in a medium hot coffee (source). Whereas, one hard boiled egg, for example, has 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and 6 grams of protein (source).

On a side note, as of 2015, Dunkin’ Donuts caffeine levels have increased (source). “America Runs on Dunkin'” is their slogan. No kidding. Oh so very addictive. Here is a comparison of the three major coffee-on-the-go sellers in my neighborhood: McDonald’s – 16 oz. – 145 mg of caffeine; Dunkin’ Donuts – 16 oz. – 302 mg of caffeine; Starbucks – 16 oz. – 330 mg of caffeine (source).

I still enjoy a Dunkin’ Donuts black coffee once in a while, but I will make it a small and will only drink it on my long days when I am up at 4:30 in the morning. Otherwise, I will have a black coffee from McDonald’s which has less caffeine. I have tried almond milk in my coffee. Pass. Now I chew on a fresh lemon with rind as I sip on my black coffee.

So now, back to my protein bars. The Paleo approach is very much a fresh diet, and the Zone requires planning. So if you don’t plan the night before, it will be difficult to run out to grab something to eat which meets the Zone guidelines. The right protein bar would be great at times when I don’t have access to balanced nutrition.

As a baseline, every single protein bar I’ve checked out at my local store was made from soy protein or whey protein. Beside that, the carb and fat proportions seemed out of whack. Lastly, the bars had some questionable to me ingredients. Here are the 2 new bars I have purchased (from Amazon) and tried: a Caveman Primal Bar and a Primal Protein Bar.

1. Caveman Chicken Primal Bar: Smoked Jalapeno

The ingredients: Chicken (White and Dark Meat), Honey, Chicken Broth, Apple Puree, Sea Salt, Red Pepper, Encapsulated Citric Acid, Dried Jalapeno Flakes, Chili Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder. (Source)

The blocks per 1.5 oz bar: Protein 18g = 2.5 blocks; Carbs 5g = 0.55 blocks; Fat 3g = 2 blocks.

The smell and taste: Smells like smoked jerky. Texture is hard on the outside and softer on the inside. Tastes like jerky. I think I was picking up on the citric acid, which I am guessing is there to preserve the meat.

My vote: It’s a yes based on the see-through ingredients and no crazy preservatives. Plus it’s made from real chicken! I’ve done some comparison shopping for jerky and it’s almost impossible to find meat-to-go without chemicals in it. I also like the protein to fat block balance. I could easily have an apple with this bar for my 2 blocks of carbs completing my Zone protein, carb, and fat balance. The taste is okay. If you’re starving, you will love it. If you’re looking for a party in your mouth, leave it. I will plan on taking this bar with me next time I’m trekking in the Himalaya.

2. Primal Protein Bar: Pumpkin Pie

Primal Protein Pumpkin Pie (2)

Primal Protein Pumpkin Pie

The ingredients: Grass Fed Pastured Whey Protein Concentrate, Cashews (Ground), Flipn’Sweet™(*Prebiotic Fiber [From Tapioca], Lou Han Guo [Monk Fruit] *Organic Vanilla Flavor), Filtered Water, MCT Oil, Pumpkin, *Pumpkin Flavor, Cinnamon (Ceylon), Beta Carotene (Color), Himalayan Salt. (*Organic). Contains: Dairy, Tree Nuts, & Coconut. (Source)

The blocks per 60g (2 oz) bar: Protein 20g = 2.85 blocks; Carbs 25g = 2.77 blocks; Fat 5g = 3.33 blocks.

The smell and taste: Smells like pumpkin spice. Tastes like milky pumpkin, which is interesting because there is no dairy in this bar. I think I am picking up on the cashew, which has a milky taste to me. I really like the taste actually. Now, the texture. Smooth and a bit sticky on the teeth. It reminds me of that nougat filling found in the center of the PayDay bar. Ah, the good old days. It has been at least a decade since I’ve given up Snickers and PayDays. Okay and lastly, the appearance, really nothing exciting and you could even say unappetizing.

My vote: Again, it’s a yes. Strangely, this bar satisfied my sweet tooth although there is only 2g of sugar in it. It may be the pumpkin flavor and cinnamon combo. (Do note many commercial sweets are too sweet for me.) I don’t know much about monk fruit, but it says out there that it’s used as a low-calorie sweetener. MCT oil is also new to me, but it comes from coconut and coconut is all the rage nowadays. I do like the Ceylon Cinnamon – nice touch. Also, this bar is loaded with fiber. I wouldn’t have guessed! Lastly, the grass fed whey protein – bonus! So, overall, brilliant on the taste, ingredients, and Zone protein, carb, and fat balance. Same as with the Caveman Chicken Primal Bar, I will plan on taking the Pumpkin Pie Primal Protein Bar on my next trek in the Himalaya.

3. Clif Bar: Coconut Chocolate Chip

The ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Coconut, Organic Soy Flour, Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter‡, Barley Malt Extract, Sea Salt, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant). (Source)

The blocks per 68g (2.4 oz) bar: Protein 10g = 1.4 blocks; Carbs 43g = 4.77 blocks; Fat 6g = 4 blocks.

The taste: I threw this bar in for comparison because it is so widely known, and also it was my go to protein bar. Check it out though. Protein is at 1.4 blocks while the carbs are at 4.77 blocks of which 21g is sugars. So, is this where the energy is coming from? I did take this bar trekking with me last year, and it really did keep my hunger satisfied in a high altitude and remote area. It is convenient and it delivered. Texture in the Clif bar is much better than the Primal Protein Bar though. However, due to the soy protein isolate, and the high carb content, this won’t be my go to bar anymore.

Hope you found this post informative and useful. Until next time!

Keeping Promises –

You may have noticed, I’m into the body, mind, and spirit connection. So, I am listening to this audio book entitled “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss. There, she draws parallels between several core ideas found across world spiritual and religious traditions. She compares the 7 chakra centers to the 7 sacraments of Christianity, and also to the Kabbalah’s 10 emanations associated with the tree of life.

At one point she mentions the third chakra which is also known as the solar plexus. She compares this energy center to the sacrament of confirmation. She says that this center or seat of energy is associated with our intuition, integrity and endurance. This is where we keep or break the promises we make. This is where we confirm our honor code. This struck a chord with me.

What happens when we regularly break the promises we make, especially to ourselves? Well, Ms. Myss didn’t have to say it, but I had to hear it – we lose respect for ourselves – the same way we lose respect for anyone else in our life who repeatedly breaks their word. Ahhh. So simple, but why so tough. You make a resolution to change something, but somewhere along the way, you quit.

But don’t feel bad. You see, this is a challenge for all of us. I think the lesson for me is – realize that this is a test we all go through. We build endurance by persevering and pushing through the challenge. And this is why I find that engaging in physical challenges positively affects other areas of my life. Staying accountable and keeping my promise to myself to finish no matter how much I want to quit, ultimately helps me build faith in myself.

So simple, but so powerful – to keep your word to yourself – to not be afraid to challenge yourself, and to push through no matter how badly you want to quit. I find over and over again that I always have a reserve of energy left after I want to quit and stop. And afterwards I think, I could have kept going. The solar plexus – this is where we refine our resolve and our honor code. This is where we find the warrior within each one of us. The warrior within – the one that is not afraid to make a promise and keep it no matter how tough it gets.

At my CrossFit gym sometimes we get dessert after the Workout of the Day. Today, after some dead lifts, ring rows, rowing, and kettlebell swings, we got to indulge in “Bring Sally Up.” It’s a song and every time you hear “bring Sally up,” you lift your booty up from a squat. And every time you hear “bring Sally down,” you take your booty down into a squat. You’re thinking, what kind of masochistic dessert is this! Ha ha. There are many Sallies in that song. This dessert burns. And lights up your solar plexus – your endurance center.

It’s easy to keep your word when it’s no skin off your back, but when things get tough this is when our honor code gets tested. How tough are you? And this has nothing to do with how much you lift. I have noticed that it becomes easier to stay focused and disciplined and on track with keeping your word, the more you practice it. Really, it’s that simple. Practice makes perfect.

In the past few years, I have decided to become more disciplined with the physical aspect of myself. I had been very much absorbed in the mind, ignoring the body really. I am 42 currently. A few years ago, I decided to train for a half-marathon, and later for a Himalayan trek. I find that the quitting wish always looms in the background. But it is 99% in the mind. The mind quits before your body ever will.

I also like to write a little poetry – or maybe affirmations of my better self. I find that when I write down my resolution and “announce” it in public, it helps me keep myself accountable. I want to become better, more integrated, and balanced, and the more I repeat this the less likely I am to say to myself it doesn’t matter if I do or I don’t. Because it does. Keeping my word matters.

I dig and I dig –

And I keep digging myself out
Of everything I thought
I wanted to be

Of everything anyone said
I should become –
I’m not done

I dig further still
And I find a little bit of light
A little bit of room to breathe

And I know
I had done right
To begin, to not quit

To keep going
As slow as it may seem
As pointless as some may think

To keep pushing
As hard as it may be
Oh you will lose everything

You ever thought
Was worth living for
But you won’t care in the end

And you will laugh
At your own naive silliness
And it won’t matter ever again

Because what you find is worth
So much more than all
You ever did control

And more than all
You ever did let hold you back
From digging deep, from reaching for

Your own guiding light
Your own pure joy
And happiness

The Murph –

The Murph –

It is Saturday 9:30 a.m., and I have completed my 9th workout. I have reached the mid-point of the CrossFit New You Challenge, with 3 weeks and 9 more classes to go. I apologize that I have skipped sessions 3 through 8. I will return to those workouts. Today I am feeling especially energized and positive. Maybe it is because I have gotten through half of the program and my confidence is high. Or maybe it is because I completed the Murph – in its modified version – which was still quite challenging for a newbie like me.

murph

The Murph routine consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run. A 20 lb vest is optional. The workout is “named after Navy lt. Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, a SEAL killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 (Source).” Okay, so no, I didn’t do this exact routine, and I definitely did not wear a 20 lb vest. Instead, we were partnered up. We ran the 1 mile at the beginning and at the end. Sandwiched in between were 100 ring rows, 200 box push ups, and 300 squats divided into two, between me and my partner.

Each person did 10 sets of 5 rings rows – 10 box push ups – and 15 squats. My partner and I finished the whole routine in approximately 35 minutes. We ran a 10 to 11 mile both times. The squats got challenging for me toward the last 3 sets, but you are so focused on finishing and moving on that you almost don’t notice the discomfort. The second mile was tougher. I was glad to have a partner because I am always tempted to stop and walk when it comes to running. She kept good pace and all I had to do is just keep going. Thank you, partner.

Speaking of being focused on counting reps, you really do forget the pain and discomfort. Also, focusing on proper alignment and posture while learning a new skill at CrossFit makes me forget that I am actually working. Many of us are resistant to change. Like me. Why, for what. Well, sure you can just drag yourself through life trying to avoid the discomfort of change. Maybe even throw a tantrum once in a while. Why me. Or you can be proactive about it. Be ready. So that when a challenge comes your way, you won’t run and hide. You will push through. And honestly, I am not talking about physical challenges, but your everyday problems at work and home.

uncomfortable

Yes ma’am. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think that the fear of facing our challenges is one of the greatest obstacles in our adult life. We don’t want to cause or experience discomfort. But life isn’t about getting comfortable, is it. It is about identifying and resolving challenges. It is about stepping into the unknown, and being okay with the discomfort of that feeling. Fear never goes away. It is there to protect us from dying an untimely death. But fear should never stifle us, or hold us back from reaching the best in ourselves.

Your best doesn’t come out when you’re sitting on the couch, or when you fear to face an increasing accumulation of debt, or avoid confronting your partner when you know something is seriously wrong. I am finding that challenging my body benefits other aspects of my life, and maybe not so surprisingly. I have greater discipline and focus, as well as the drive and confidence to carry through with my vision. Body, mind, and spirit really are interconnected.

I will break here and meet you at my next post entitled “Keeping Promises.”