Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Okay, so none of that makes sense…UNLESS….you are an English teacher like myself OR you remember the analogies section from standardized tests.  But really, I think it’s an appropriate association…don’t you?  Good.  Glad we agree 🙂

Today is FRIDAY!!!!!  Which means…Five Things Friday.  Today, sticking with my theme of associations, I am doing a Five WORDS Friday…which will actually be more like 20 since there are four words in associations….

1.  Treadmill Running : Ugh :: Outside Running : YAY!

I have not been able to run outside much lately.  It’s been incredibly snowy up here in the Northeast…and it looks like we’re going to get even MORE snow next week.  woot.  Truth be told – I am okay with treadmill running but I really would like at least ONE run outside a week.  Temps say it is going to be close to 50 this weekend – HEAT WAVE!!!!  I’m on that like peanut butter’s on jelly…..(did I mention I really like peanut butter?)  Truth be told, I don’t mind running inside that much…if anything it lets me catch up on my Sportscenter…..

2.  Sweat Pants : My go-to clothing choice of late :: Yoga Pants : Not my go-to clothing choice of late

Whatever your comfy clothes preference is…lately, I have a three pair of sweat pants rotation – for when I am home, obviously not when I am teaching (although that would be amazing if I could wear them to school!).

3.  Swimming : My First Fitness Love :: Swimming : Something I always use as a fitness basis

While that analogy might not make sense…if you think about it…any one of us that has had a first love/relationship/etc…we ALWAYS remember that ONE.  Everyone always says, “You’ll never forget your first love” blah blah blah….right?  In my case, swimming was and always will be my first love and most important sport I’ve ever been involved with.

The reason I use Swimming as a fitness basis is because it is probably the ONLY sport where you are required to use EVERYTHING.  I mean, think about it….running, you primarily use your legs….biking, legs….soccer, legs…well you get the point.  I always try to explain to my swimmers how people who make fun of swimming are doing so because THEY DON’T GET IT.  They don’t understand how difficult it can be.  The true swimmers don’t see the difficulty….that’s what separates those who can and can not.  I always tell them, “if it were easy, everyone would do it”.

4.  Vegetarian : Veggies :: Pescatarian : Veggies + Fish

I am a vegetarian who dabbles in the pescatarian realm.  Truthfully, I love sushi….and all kinds of fish…so I eat it when I am out but that’s about it.  I won’t prepare it for a home cooked meal.  I know, I’m weird.  We all have our things.  I still laugh when people get worried or upset after I tell them my food choices.

Pretty much always

It’s nice that it’s more and more common these days for people to be Vegetarians as well as more restaurants accommodating those of us who choose to go without meat.  I tried to be a Vegan…for all of two weeks….I just couldn’t do it.  I workout WAY to much and would have to eat non-stop for me to go Vegan.  Plus….I like cheese…and eggs….and, well….I like them!

5.  Exercise : Fitness :: Diet : Healthiness

My fitness is determined by my exercise just as my healthiness is determined by my diet.  While they are all intertwined, I think it’s safe to say without a clear idea of what we want out of all of these, we aren’t going to get the results we hope for.  Goals are excellent ways to start our path to fitness and healthiness.  My goals this year involve more races and trying new experiences.  I am incredibly psyched for the Tough Mudder in April.  I am also excited for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler earlier that month!

And while I may pretty much be at a point where I am maintaining my fitness level, that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work hard to feel better about myself.

Just remember, you have a choice….we all do.  If you don’t like the way things are….do something about it.  You’re worth it.

Have a great weekend!

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While this is a pretty broad topic, I feel it’s safe to say….many people do not know their limits or boundaries when it comes to others.

Take, for example, when someone at the gym is lifting free weights and a fellow patron goes up to them to offer them their opinion about how and what they are doing correct/incorrect, etc.  There are a few issues with this situation:

1.  The person lifting didn’t ask for your opinion – although I am sure the person offering their opinion is an expert in the way of said exercise (please tell me you’re reading in to my sarcasm).

2. Unless you are a certified personal trainer….keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself…..and even if they are a personal trainer….that doesn’t always mean a whole lot.

As a fitness instructor and a coach, I am aware that my advice to people isn’t always what will work best for people.  I am aware, also, that not everyone wants my advice or opinion.  I often seen people at the gym doing the wrong exercises or wrong technique and some times cringe at their bad form.  BUT – it’s not my problem.

So now you’re saying..”but that’s not helpful…be a source of the solution and don’t be so passive to allow the problem continue”.  To that I would say….”you’re absolutely correct.  I am more than happy to help those that WANT the help…but if someone is carrying on and just doing their thing…who am I to tell them that they are wrong?”

More often than not, people feel as though they are being 1. helpful, 2. proactive, 3. caring, and 4. kind.

While I would say that these are all genuine feelings behind trying to offer advice….understand that if people want it…they will ask for it…..and if they don’t ask for it…..that is something they have to face on their own.

Many of the habits I learned in the gym and during sports or activities came from watching others.  I’ll admit though, I am incredibly proactive about improving and doing my best – it’s just in my nature.   In the case that people ARE looking for advice on exercise and/or advice with those you see doing the wrong thing at the gym….I have a few things that might help:

To the observer:

1.  Be patient.  If they want the help, they’ll ask for it.

2.  RE #1 – unless they are hurting themselves with the way they are lifting something or maneuvering equipment….let them watch someone else to figure out what they are doing wrong.

3.  RE #2 – if you are a fitness instructor with the proper technique and/or certification(s) – ASK THEM if they want some advice/help.  For example:  When I see someone on a bike before a class and it looks like their seat is too low or their straps are not tight enough on their bike…I say, “Would you like some help with that?” or “Does that bother your knees at all?” – in a NICE and non-condecending manner.  I also throw in, “If you try it this way, it might make a difference.”  People are much nicer to you when you don’t say, “Your form is all wrong…this is wrong…this is wrong…etc., etc”.

4.  When and IF they do ask for help…..be sure to tell them that your advice is merely based on your learnings/experience and that it works differently for everyone.  Remind them that they need to do what works best for them – not what works best for you.  As a fitness instructor and coach, I always tell my students and swimmers of the things I’ve done in the past, what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t worked for me.  With that, I also tell them that they should make sure whatever they do – it has to WORK FOR THEM.

 

To the person that is afraid to ask:

1.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP IF YOU AREN’T SURE.  I can not tell you how  many times I’ve had people say to me in a spin class, “I never knew how to adjust my seat”….or “I never knew that I would get a better workout this way”…or “if I had only known to buy new sneakers that it would’ve helped my joints”…etc.  I start every spin class (usually) with, “Do I have any new riders?”…especially if I have never seen them in my class before.  This usually helps alleviate some of the anxiety that people build up in their minds about “not knowing” what to do and “being afraid of looking like the newbie”.  EVERYONE HAS TO START FROM SOMEWHERE….You’re obviously interested in bettering your well-being….don’t be afraid to ask! 🙂

2.  Once you’ve asked for help…remember that you have to do what works for you.  IF a trainer or instructor tells you there is ONLY ONE WAY TO DO SOMETHING…more than likely they are incorrect.  THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO EVERYTHING (even in Math).

3. If you STILL can’t bring yourself to ask for help…..do your homework.  Observe others, read about fitness, read about healthy living, read about eating right.  Your health is on you.  OWN UP TO IT.

 

My questions for you are:

1.  Have you ever been approached by someone at the gym for advice?

2.  Have you ever given advice without it being warranted?

3.  What have you done in these situations?

 

 

Remember the time you went to workout and saw the lady with the 80’s fitness gear on….only to notice (and feel badly for) her boobs are hanging out….?

No?  Oh wait, that’s because it wasn’t you – it was me – and it happened yesterday.  :-/

Need a picture?  (it took so much of me to NOT take a picture of this lady)…..

Like these – only she wasn’t wearing a bra….and she didn’t fill it out quite like the people in this picture…..

Now – before you all go getting upset about me being judgmental…..that’s not the case.  I truly felt bad for her.  People were snickering at the gym.  I was just doin my thing on the treadmill.  If that’s what she wants to wear – more power to her for feeling confident enough to do it.

I did, however, start to make a list in my head of things people should probably NOT wear to the gym.

How many of you have seen people at the gym in jeans?  Or even sandals?  Don’t lie – you know you have….

Obviously, you should workout in whatever you feel most comfortable in….but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.  Workout clothes are designed to help your skin breathe.  All of those sports clothing manufacturers don’t employ people to think of new technology to help with clothing and comfort for nothing…..I’m just sayin’.

So here is my list of no-no’s for gym attire – at least – if you’re actually at the gym to WORK OUT…..

1.  I think this goes without saying but – Jeans.

First of all – it’s one thing to go to the gym for a quick 20 minutes and “pump some iron” and I can see the reasonability if you really don’t have time to change your clothes but if you are going to the gym between the hours of 6am and 8am or 4pm and 8pm on a weeknight…..you are probably not too jammed for time.

This chick didn’t even change her top OR shoes!

2.  Which leads me to my next no-no:  Dress shoes and/or sandals.

Now listen, there ARE some sandals that people can wear to run/cross train.  Heck, there are even sandals that can be worn when biking.  But really?  REALLY.  What is this all about?  You find sandals and/or dress shoes more comfortable than sneakers?  Don’t even get me started on the ladies who I’ve seen wandering around the gym in high heels.  Oh – it happens.

Ladies….WHY?!?!!

Here’s a combo of BOTH!

3.  Wearing anything that doesn’t breathe.

One would certainly hope that when you are heading to the gym, the goal is to sweat – even just a little.  The good thing is that there are plenty of lower cost breathable clothes out there (Thank you, Target!)  When I first started to workout – I didn’t like clothes that “stuck to me”.  I tended to wear a lot of cotton t-shirts and mesh shorts.  While there is nothing wrong with that outfit combo – I found a few issues with it:  1.  I am a heavy sweater (wool, in fact!) and because of this – my t-shirt would end up soaked.  If I wanted to lift after a run, I’d have to go change my shirt and/or I’d get cold really easily.  2.  The sweat lines were unsightly – let’s be real here, no one wants to see your sweat stains.  3.  I found myself rolling up my shirts or pulling down my shorts because everything was just a bit out of place.  As a result – I turned to tight fitting workout clothes that were incredibly breathable and it was AWESOMESAUCE!

Not Pictured: ME – plus I don’t look like ANY of these people in real life

4.  MAKEUP/BIG JEWELRY/HEAVY PERFUME

OHHHHHHH doggy.  Are you ready for this one?  This is listed under my pet peeves.  WOMEN or men (I don’t judge) who wear makeup to the gym.  WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?!  First of all, it’s really bad for your skin to wear makeup and then sweat….do you know what that does to your pores??  Hellllllooooo blackheads.  Also….why?  Just……WHY?????  I think I basically make my point with these two pictures:

So now my questions for you are:

Did I miss anything?

What bothers you at the gym?

What would you have done with the lady in the 80’s gear?  I mean, no lie – I could see her boobies…..no lie.

 

Subject for discussion:  Working Out When You’re Tired

Question:  Yes or No?

Obviously there is some debate.  In my experience, I’ve found that I always feel better after a workout – even if I am tired.  But then there is the double edged sword – you could make yourself more tired and then not be able to do it the next.  OR there is always the possibility that you go to workout, even when you’re tired, and can’t work as hard as you’d like.

Thoughts???

People who know me well know that I don’t take many days off – I do better at scheduling them in now than I used to but there is something about having done a workout that gives me a sense of accomplishment that I can’t get anywhere else.

Some days, I am just incredibly tired.

Some days, I start to feel tired as the day winds down.

Some days, I am anxious to get in my workout.

Lately, it’s been the second of the three.  Thankfully.

When it’s the first of these three, I typically will not exercise that day.  Usually this occurs at the end of the day.

When it’s the second of these three, I typically go to the gym and tell myself “if I still don’t want to do this after 2 miles, I will stop”…..I usually don’t stop.

If it’s the last of these three, I am usually running somewhere after school or doing a double workout.

Yesterday….it was a combination of #2 – which led to #3.

It was my last full day at school yesterday so I was a bit emotionally drained.  It’s tough to stay “up” for the kids when you know you’re going to miss them so much.  Needless to say, I had a spin class to teach last night and I knew I’d have an hour or so to kill beforehand.

I decided I’d run BEFORE spin class.  And I did.  It took me nearly 3.5 miles to find my stride but I did 5.5 easy (Sunday I did 6 at an 8 min pace – which is fast for me these days).  I then felt SO good that I cranked it up during Spin class and kicked my own butt.  It felt good to sweat as much as I did.

Say what you want about sweating (which I admit, I do quite a lot of….don’t judge)….but it’s good for you, it means you’re fit, it also means you’re healthy, and above all else – I know I’ve kicked ass when I sweat.

By the end of the night – I felt accomplished.  Tired, yes…..but a helluva lot better about myself and that I am going to definitely reach my goals sooner rather than later.

Questions for all of you:

Do you still workout when you are tired?

Do you sweat when you workout?  If now, how do you know you got a good workout?

What do you do if you don’t workout?

So I am clearly not doing the greatest with keeping this baby updated – BUT – I haven’t forgotten about it!  There’s been a lot of craziness going on so naturally the first of my priorities to fall by the wayside is this here blog.  But I am still here!  And it’s FRIDAY!!!!  WOO!

But really, let’s talk about something important…..

I have been in an incredibly happy mood lately…..for plenty of good reasons.  Some of them I mentioned the other day…but really I’ve come to find that it’s easier and MORE FUN to be happy.  For so long I was sad and bummed out and all I wanted to do was hear other people’s bad stuff….so I could feel a little bit better.  You know that expression, ‘misery loves company’….it’s true.  But in the last few months, so many things have done a 180 and I’m entirely convinced it has to do with the concept to ‘just keep going’ and/or ‘just keep moving forward’.

In reality, whether we like it or not, life moves on without us.  We all have a choice – we can either sit there and be upset about what is going on or we can sit there and be thankful for the things we already have.

It’s more than likely at some point you’ve all seen the hashtag #firstworldproblems somewhere.  And if you’re just seeing it for the first time – it’s self explanatory.  I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s plight and/or things that are happening in their life at the moment

What I’m getting at is the fact that we all have a choice to be happy or sad.  I’ve found that when you put out the good, the good comes back to you two-fold.  Maybe not immediately but eventually.  And patience (although I tend to lack it at times) is definitely a virtue.  And I am not a highly religious person but I always think of this quote from Luke 6:38 when I think of putting the good out there….

That being said….my Five Truth’s Friday, today, is about the things I am thankful for at this moment in time….

1.  My mother

WHAAAAAAA?  I know – I KNOW!  More often than not I have been caught talking about my mother, in – well let’s just say, not the greatest light.  Truthfully, she’s been kind of amazing and an incredible support for me lately.  We’ve gotten a lot closer over the summer (she’s a teacher too so she had a lot of free time).  I am thankful to have her be so understand of me and to support my endeavors.  She was right there with me when I was struggling about what I was going had I been offered a job an hour away that requested I give up my coaching job at LM.  I won’t get into the specifics but with the incredible emotional reaction I had to even having to consider doing that…she totally understood.

My mother has recently developed a knack for texting – to give you an idea of what my mother is like (this is not an actual conversation between her and me but COULD be)….

 

2.  My Dad

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while – you know how important my father is to me.  I am not joking when I tell you this post I wrote about him on his Birthday will likely get him that sainthood he’s been hoping for 😉  LOVE YOU DAD!

I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with my Dad in the last few months and I feel awful about that.  It’s not intentional but the thing is – he gets it.  I am busy.  And yes, I still want to see him and spend time with him but we still talk nearly every day.  He still knows what’s going on in my life.  He is still my favorite person in the entire world.  He gets it.  He gets me.  He’s probably one of the most understanding people in my life.  I am so thankful to have a father that knows me the way he does.  Plus, he’s the awesomest (I don’t care if that word is underlined – IT’S NOT MISSPELLED, AUTOCORRECT!)

3.  My friends

I know I say this often, at least – I think/hope I do, but my friends really are the best.  They’re entirely understanding of me when I am busy and forget to ask them how they are…..they are entirely supportive of me when I need someone to lean on.  My friends are basically my family – at least, I treat them that way.  I would do anything for them and go to the ends of the earth to help them if they needed it….they know I’m not a mind reader and they know that sometimes I forget.  I am incredibly thankful to have such a wonderful support group …

4.  My Sister

She and I don’t always see eye to eye…..but she has the same parents as me…so she gets it.  She understands it.  She doesn’t always understand me but she is there for me when I need her and I am there for her when she needs me.  Kellygirl was my first friend….or I was her first foe considering I am four years her junior and most likely after I was born there was less attention paid to her.  It just happens.  I was the younger one…..it all started that early July 11th morning when she woke up to my neighbor Sue telling her that our Mom and Dad left to go to the hospital….good times good times…

We have some of the funniest inside jokes…..including

Not quite the same but she knows what I mean 😉 Source

5.  My Health

I am incredibly thankful for my health.  In the last few months I had been feeling – well, not the greatest.  So I went to the doctor, had some blood tests…went to see a specialist….and it turns out – I am an incredibly healthy 30-something….  WOOT!

I am still training for my marathon.  I am still training for life.  I want to be the best self I can be and exercise and eating better help me get there.  I was recently talking to one of the kids I give swim lessons to about living a long time.  He informed me that his great grandmother was 90 years old.  I explained how wonderful that was and then proceeded to tell him I was planning on living til I was 120.  To which he informed me that the oldest person living is 110.  I was like….cool.  Imma beat that 😉  Age is just a number…and if I take care of my body now, I will have it for a LONG LONG time….how?  I think this lady is on the right track….

So I ask – what are YOU thankful for?

Happy Friday, Everyone!

with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away, like an ocean
But you can’t see, but you can smell
And the sound waves crash down

I was bummed out last week….but not for the reasons you might think.  I hid away last week…I pulled away…I retreated like the tide ebbs.  Lame on my part….I know…but some times when you’re faced with an issue you’re not sure of what to do, you have to just keep to yourself and reevaluate the topic at hand.  And then I was like…..what am I doing?  This is MY LIFE….why should I let someone else judge me….?

 

Truthfully – my life is kicking butt lately.  I only have good things to report. 🙂

First and foremost – I finally got a job!  It’s a 12 week Extended Time Substitute job so it’s not all year but it’s something and I have this feeling the rest of things are going to fall into place with it.  Basically another school district is looking at me too, so here’s hoping that falls in line right after this first one ends.

Secondly – I am officially off the market.  That’s all I’m going to say about that except that he is amazing and wonderful and makes me happy and it is unlike any other relationship I’ve been a part of.  The communication between us in incredible and alone makes me want to be a better person on a daily basis.

Thirdly – I am house sitting for two weeks.  To give you an idea as to what kind of obstacles I am facing…..

 

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It’s a rough life, I tell ya.  A pool, hot tub and two bbq’s?  What’s a girl to do??? 😉

The only rough part is that I do start school on Monday (a week earlier than everyone else) but that’s okay – it’s only for a short time that my commute will be about 50 minutes each morning.  I don’t even care!  I am SO PUMPED!

Amidst all of this – yes, I am still running.  I logged 37 miles last week.  I didn’t get a long run in on Sunday – probably because I was exhausted from teaching back to back spin classes on Saturday morning.  So far this week I’ve only logged 12 miles.  Today I plan to do some speed work – here’s hoping that works out!

The rest of the week is devoted to getting things ready for school next week (outside of running!).

How’s everyone else been?

Short weeks are great…unless they aren’t.  In which case, it’s usually because there are so many things jam packed into them because they should normally take place during a regular 5 day week.  Did anyone follow that logic?  Is it all in my head?  Maybe…..whatever 🙂

I mentioned yesterday that I was beginning my marathon training.  I.  Felt.  AMAZING during my run yesterday.  I was only supposed to do 6 miles – I added an extra half mile.  Can’t hurt, right?  I’ve also realized that this training plan might be the best thing ever for me….It’s structured (which, HELLO, is right up my alley), it doesn’t seem that tough to follow…and it’ll provide me with a method to the madness (which of course results in crushing my marathon in October!).

On track for today is an easy 4 miler.  I figure after my three crazy weeks, I’ll start to worry more about time…although it’s really about the mileage anyway.  The fartlek’s and hill work will help with the speed more than anything.

I’ve also decided I am going to run in the evenings.  The place we are practicing for our swim team (Cabrini College) has a fitness facility that is open til 9 and since our practices are over at 7 – plenty of time to kick it!  Basically, I am relieved.  I was really concerned about when I’d find time to workout – it’s a thing…plus there’s this:

YES

I am glad we’re already at Wednesday.  I don’t know if I could handle a full week of everything right away – we’ll save that for next week 🙂

So here’s my question for y’all – do you find that when you have a shorter week, you are busier than during a normal 5 day work week?