There’s More

There’s More

I am home now. I feel my muscles vibrating and my heart still pumping several minutes after class is over. This Afterburn class is designed to destroy limits. All of the strength training classes I am taking are also designed for this purpose but tonight was something else… mountain climbers, push-ups, burpees, lunges, touchdown squats and something I had never heard of…Figure 8’s?

As I was winding a kettlebell through my legs, up back to my chest and back through my legs on the other side, there were many audible grunts. Another class member and I “competed” in pulling an infinity rope machine through 10 rounds at the end of the session. I thought I had nothing left when she asked us to do it. Did she not see my sweat and hear my heavy breath?

But when she called time, I pulled as if I had a shot in beating this very fit man next to me.

What’s occuring to me is that just when I think I have nothing left, just when I think I should be passed out on the gym floor, my will shows up.

There’s almost always more left.

The tank is only empty if I tell myself it is. If I set myself up with enough sleep, water, the proper food and vitamins, then it is possible.

I can give more of myself.

 

Enjoying the Little Things

Enjoying the Little Things

I knew today would be better than yesterday. Even though I was sore, my walk this morning was done and I could feel the muscles working in my legs. I had a training to attend in the afternoon and the information presented to me filled in holes I didn’t know needed to be filled. My day job will make a bit more sense from here on out.

At the training, there were crayons, markers, colored pencils and clay at the table. I arrived for the afternoon portion and people were engaged in the training but they were also coloring and rolling around brightly colored clay in their hands. Maybe this is already commonplace at many companies but it was my first time witnessing it.

I eventually asked for a box and picked up a paper with “Enjoy the Little Things” and colored a little bit. It was almost alarming how satisfying it was to be free to do so.

It really can be about enjoying the little things-coloring at work, a meditative walk in the neighborhood and for me right now, going to let my stylist work her magic fingers through my hair.

 

Day 64

Day 64

I just got home from what feels like was one of the longest days of my life. Workout, work, home for 45 minutes, doctor’s appointment, grocery store trip, home for an hour to catch a breath and read my pages, strength training class, back to the store and finally back home to write this post and start cooking. At some point, I will pass out ungracefully on the couch.

Most of the days on 75hard have been fine. I never love it all but I’ve gotten through it all. There has been days where I want to fling my gallon jug of water across the room and days where I want to do the same with whatever personal development book I am reading. I also don’t love taking daily full-length pictures of myself. I have never been the person who wants to take constant photos so that part has been hard for me.

While this post seems to be shaping up to be a whinefest, please understand I accept all of these requirements are for a reason. I would never have imagined a Spartan race (let alone three), strength training, consistent yoga, axe throwing (with continuing keep a writing practice at the same time) if it hadn’t been for this.

I get it.

But some days it sucks.

Today (Day 64) is one of those days.

I accept it and I am moving on to tomorrow which I am already claiming will be a better day.

Devotion

Devotion

Went to yoga today. Hot Vinyasa yoga. I worked to quiet my mind and devote this practice to myself. I prayed in my time. I thought about how loud and angry someone on our hotel floor was around 2:30am. I thought about the walk Hubby and I took straight from the highway to the track. I asked my body for forgiveness for not moving it consistently for so long. I asked my body for forgiveness for almost never stretching it. As I eased my feet up the wall of the studio, I became aware of  the inflexibility of my body and hoped after many months, the rigidity will be a distant memory.

As our guide (as she liked to be called) sprayed lavender water at our feet, my nostrils and my brain wakened, appreciative of the freshness and cleansing properties of the aroma.

She also shared a closing story with us to center our hearts and minds on gratitude. A story about a whale, freed from nets and traps by divers.

I held back tears.

Not sure why. But by the end of class, I knew I would be back.

Throwing the Axe

Throwing the Axe

Today is my birthday and it is one of the best ones I can remember.

There are many reasons why:

I am away from home.

I am near the ocean.

I am eating delicious vegan meals in warm and well decorated cafes.

And I tried something new.

I threw axes this afternoon! After watching Christine Baranski throw them on an episode of “The Good Fight”, I had to try it. I mentioned it a couple of times months ago but never thought much about it. Whey Hubby said he had a surprise for my birthday and it’s something I want to try, I racked my brain but came up with nothing.

I eventually guessed about a week ago and by that time, he already made the reservations. When we pulled up today, I was excited. Even if I didn’t hit the board, I knew it wouldn’t matter. The point was to ring in 39 not only with workouts, reading, eating and water but to usher it in with a Kristina who wouldn’t be too scared to wield an axe or anything else I never pictured for myself.

By the way, I not only ended up hitting the board but a couple of times, I hit the bullseye.

Happy Birthday to me.

Milestone

Milestone

Halfway through bloglikecrazy!

Hubby and I decided to get out of town for a couple of days to celebrate my birthday on Saturday. I know it’s practically winter but we have chosen on more than one occasion to spend it at a beach. What makes this one even more special is that I didn’t have to lift a finger to plan a thing– no booking a room or deciding what to do on the actual day. This is a milestone for us because I am usually the planner and even though I have been known to complain about it, the truth is I could rest easy with the control that it gave me.

But none of that this time around and the activity tomorrow was something I mentioned in passing months ago. But more about that on tomorrow’s post.

Tonight I am enjoying dinner and the view.

Day 60

Day 60

I decided to take it a bit easier on my second workout today. After last night’s class, walking this morning and what felt like a particularly active day at work, I decided to not beat my body up with another strength class this evening. I do have a 5:30am tomorrow.

As I am writing this, I am almost in disbelief that today is Day 60 of 75hard. I have never worked out for 60 days straight in my life, let alone twice a day. And a gallon of water everyday, too? Nope! It also makes me realize how much can change in 2 months.

For me, the biggie is committing to completing the Trifecta but also going through workshop facilitation training to begin teaching in January and moving forward with the print version of my book.

I wish I had a way to compare brain scans from early September to now. Since I don’t have access to that, I am happy to settle for how I felt then versus now. I know too much about what I can do and how I can be to turn back. I think that knowledge is going to carry me through the rest of this challenge and onward.

I will carry it with me teaching my first class, leading my first workshop, selling my book and throughout all three races.

When the inevitable darker moments visit and the voice that sounds exactly like me threatens to sabotage everything, I will lean on these memories, draw from this well.

 

 

 

 

Afterburn

Afterburn

I don’t have much to say except for the strength training class I took tonight lived up to its name. Burpees, swimmers, steps, dumbbells, TRX, kettle bells and the return of the foam roller. I didn’t feel as nervous for the second class and the instructor was just as positive and encouraging as the last one. I am actually starting to look forward to the next one on Friday morning.

I am exhausted but it is worth it. Last night before I went to bed, all I felt like doing was working on my short story and I scribbled furiously into my notebook, trying not to forget any details I needed to get down. Tonight, I foresee passing out, happy with no intention of writing but hopeful everything I am investing in my body today will manifest as energy and creativity on many more tomorrows.

Everything and Nothing

Everything and Nothing

Today was long. I showed up to an appointment a day early across town after work which I have never done.  I had nothing left in me to cook. I am sore. Against my better judgement, I watched a YouTube video entitled “Spartan Race Tips for Beginners: Will You Die?”

The content actually was helpful but my anxiety was present and accounted for the entire time. I know what I committed to. The doubts and fears are natural. There will be days like today where I don’t want to complete the second workout and curling up on the couch with soup and watching “Love Jones” for the 3,000th time is my idea of active. (No worries. I got it all done). Those feelings may not let go until I cross the finish line.

So I am going to treat this like the first time I hit “Publish” on a post, walked to the start line at a 10k and into a college classroom after I transferred to a Shenandoah University as a 21-year old freshman.

There was everything and nothing to fear all at the same time.

 

 

 

 

First Day

First Day

Today was my first day of strength training class. My plan is to go 3-4 times a week in preparation for my first Sprint race. Even though I am not a complete novice to weight training, I never have regularly done it.

Before class, I had a serious case of nerves. I knew everything would be fine but I told Hubby I felt like a little kid on the first day of school. I jokingly asked him to drop me off at class and wave at me from the window.

When I arrived, a group of three was preparing for class. Everyone was obviously already familiar with one another but they were all welcoming. My nerves bubbled up again as they seemed ready to jump into the workout but the instructor had already assured me I would get some personal attention.

Her patience was real and as soon as I felt it, I calmed down and my focus narrowed to concentrating on learning the movements. I completed the class and afterwards we spent time with the foam roller which was a new experience for me. Painful but I definitely see the necessity.

I am hoping every teacher is as lovely as this one but if not, I am still willing to show up. My curiosity is driving the bus these days. It wants me to see if I turn into the kind of woman who loves weightlifting and will be able to scale walls, swing from bar to bar and hang a finisher’s medal around my neck.