It’s Day 76. 75hard is over which means I accomplished the following:
150 workouts (mostly walks but many strength training workouts)
Drank 75 gallons of water
Stuck to my diet (calorie counting for me) using the Lose It app.
Lost over 20 pounds.
Read over 750 pages of personal development books.
No alcohol (I already didn’t drink)
I recapped more of the emotional side yesterday and I have said it before but it bears repeating:
I am less afraid.
The thing I thought I would be more fearful of was what to do next but it’s clear I had nothing to fear. Today, I went to a small group workout, took a walk and along with Hubby and a friend, climbed for the first time at an indoor gym.
Even though the mental transformation far outweighs the physical, here are a couple of pictures to showcase that aspect:
I feel more confident about the next steps I am taking. If anyone is wondering if I would do it again, the answer is a resounding Yes. If anyone is doubting if they can do it, please don’t. The old saying is true: You will find the time for the things that matter to you.
One last note.
I loved that unintentionally the bloglikecrazy challenge came at the same time I was winding down with 75hard. I have a record of these last 30 days which included teacher training, strength classes, a fulfilling writing intensive and the introduction of the idea that I will one day be a Spartan and a Strongwoman.
On the 69th day, I went to a small group physical training class and the “small group” ended up being me.
I appreciated the one-on-one attention. My first real attempt at pull-ups was valiant and the success was aided by a set of bands I stood on for support. Per my new usual, I left tired but proud of the work done.
Afterwards, I met a friend for my second workout –a walk in the park. She gifted me a lovely book of poetry for my birthday.
On the back of the book there was a quote that resonated deeply with me:
“Nobody warned you that the women whose feet you cut from running would give birth to daughters with wings.”
Many women like me come from silenced women, oppressed women or women who lived as if their feet were bound or cut because of what the world brainwashed them to claim as truth.
And they did give birth to women like me and many women like my dear friend who want to live out loud, feel the earth under their feet on multiple continents, hike, climb, start their own businesses, volunteer, work, raise money, take care of their families, write books and lead without apology.
Women like me who are scared to live without the recognition of their wings.
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 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.
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.
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.
Loved the decor of this vegan cafe!
Pumpkin Curry Bisque
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.
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.
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.
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.
I debated whether I would take the challenge this year. It would be my third year participating in bloglikecrazy (created by See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser) but beyond talking about 75hard, an upcoming birthday and time spent with family, I didn’t feel like I had 30 days in me this year.
And then I took a walk.
I slept in and decided to go to a local park for my first workout of the day. It was much cooler than previous mornings but I was grateful for the ample sunshine. I noticed the parking lot was full for a Friday morning. I saw a group of well dressed people gathered on a landing overlooking the lake. A few of them smiled at me.
By the time I walked another lap, I saw the group surrounding a slender woman with a beautiful afro in a silky emerald dress and a white fur shawl draped around her shoulders holding hands with a man, presumably her groom.
As I continued to walk around the park, I walked with more intensity, buoyed by the sight of an unanticipated wedding.
I realized blogging (for me) has always been a place to share not just the musings and thoughts about writing, plant-based living and mindset but a record of the beautiful, the random and the unexpected.