Friday, October 1, 2010

Yoga Everywhere

On Wednesday I found myself hanging out on the padded area in front of the mirrors in my gym.  Usually this is a stretching spot, but that day, for me, it was my New Rules lifting spot.  For a variety of reasons that are very unimportant.

So there I was, on the mats doing a gazillion squats and a girl to my right goes up into the most amazing upward facing dog.  I watched her for a bit then went to find a lat pull down machine.

When I came back, a guy was doing ab exercises in my spot.  I grabbed my stuff and huffed over to a new spot (I HATE when someone takes my workout spot at the gym).  I looked back to give him the evil eye and he was in a fantastic fish pose.  Then shoulder stand. Then up to warrior one.  Seriously?  How can I give the evil eye to some yoga dude?

As I was packing up my stuff I happened to look into the group workout room.  It was empty except for one guy in pigeon.

All of this happened in a span of about 5 minutes.  Right there, in the middle of my noisy, sweaty gym, I was surrounded by yoga...and I wasn't even practicing.

Which makes me wonder, before I became yoga obsessed, was it always around me?  Was I just oblivious to it?

Pay attention - let me know if you spot some yoga around you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Biggest Fear

Is everyone (anyone?) watching Biggest Loser this season?  Well, whether you are watching or not, here is what happened last night - no spoilers I promise! 

This woman was running on the treadmill, her legs got tired and she went flying off the back of it.  Afterward, she said that was her biggest fear, to fall off the treadmill.  Bob the Trainer laughed and said something along the lines of "Well, thats out of the way now."

And it is so true.  People come up with all kinds of exercise related fears.  I might fall off the treadmill.  I will look stupid trying to figure out the weight machines.  I won't be able to touch my toes in yoga class.  And the biggest fear of all time:

What if I come in last in the race?

When I started racing, that was my number one biggest fear.  What if I come in last?  Will people laugh at me?  Will the world open up and swallow me whole?  Will it be posted on YouTube?  Will I be a loser?

My first distance race - a 10 miler - it happened to me.  It was my third race ever, I had trained hard and I did my best.  But I came in dead last.  By a LOT.  My family had been waiting to cheer me on at mile 8 and I was so behind everyone that they started to worry.  In fact, I was soooo very last that they took away the course, I almost got lost and if my cousin Chrissy hadn't been waiting at the finish line, I would have been all alone at the end.

So what happened when I came in last?  I was tired and I kind of felt like I never wanted to run more than 3 miles ever again ...  ... ...

But then, a few nights later, I told my sister and cousin that I wanted to run a half-marathon.  What is the worst that could happen?  I had already come in last...that fear was gone.

I did not let realizing my biggest fear defeat me....instead it strengthened me.  I had raced 10 miles.  I had trained and I had finished.   I had experienced the worst and it wasn't that bad.

All of these Biggest Fears - they are just holding us back.  If they actually happen, it turns out that they are no big deal.  It is not the end of the world if you come in last.  No one is going to laugh at you if you can't touch your toes.  If someone does laugh at you...well...laugh with them and get over it. 

Facing your biggest fear - and possibly realizing it - is all part of the process. 

Bonus Post

Because more than one person has actually asked me if I have/am joining a yoga cult:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skipping Ahead

As I mentioned previously, I have been pretty bored with New Rules.  I still think the program is great, but three sets of four reps (Stage 5) was boring the life out of me.  Now, I know that there is probably a very good reason for this stage.  In fact, I am positive there is.  But here is the thing...if I am bored with it then I am not giving it a good effort.  The obvious answer to this dilemma is to get in there and give it my all.

That is so not what I did.  I skipped the rest of Stage 5 (about 1.5 weeks).  Yup, I just skipped it.  I was over it, I was bored and ... well, I am not perfect. 

With Stage 5 behind me, I moved onto Stage 7.  That's right blogfans, I blew right past Stage 6 too.  Here is the deal with Stage 6 - they say right in the book that it is optional.  The only reason to do Stage 6 is if you want to be able to do a chin-up.  Do you all think I give a hoot about being able to do a chin-up?  Ha. 

Truth be told, I never planned on doing Stage 6.  Its just not my thing. 

So here I am at Stage 7.  The last Stage.  Stage 7 is either 6 or 12 workouts (last 6 are optional).  I plan on doing all 12...but let me tell you, these workouts are hard!  Stage 5 was a total of 12 repetitions per per exercise.  Stage 7 is around 80 repetitions per exercise.  Yup, you read that right.  80Eighty

For the first time in awhile, I was exhausted after a New Rules workout. I could barely keep my eyes open last night and today it took a great effort to walk to my office.

That is the feeling I was missing...and I am glad to have it back!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Overbooked and Underwhelmed

I have been noticing a trend on a lot of blogs lately: Everyone is overbooked. The result is that no one is enjoying their activities as much as they should be because they are exhausted. People are simply spread too thin.

I do not know how to solve this problem, but I do know that certain priorities have to be set. Now that we are full swing into fall and trying to re-invent our schedules to fit in all of the chaos that revolves around the holidays, we need to focus our energy where it counts. Yes friends, things are going to start to get crazy. You are going to have 8 gazillion Halloween Parties, Sporting Events, Cookie Swaps, Holiday Get-Togethers, Shopping Trips and the like. Just thinking about it makes me excited and terrified at the same time.

So we have to start prioritizing and organizing. Below is my list of priorities. Now, you will notice that spending time with Bill, family and friends are not on that list. This is not because spending time with loved ones isn’t a priority in my life…it is because it is a fact in my life. I wish I could see friends more but I know that that will happen naturally in the next few months through shopping trips, birthdays and holiday get-togethers. What I am talking about here is organizing the time when I am not out being social into productive time, doing things I enjoy that will keep me sane and healthy.

Here is my list:

1) Yoga - as much practice as possible

2) More veggies and protein in my diet

3) More quality miles in my running workouts

4) Increase my long runs to 8 miles

5) Start to love weight lifting again

6) Spend more time working on this blog

I would love to add 7) Read more books; 8) Practice Sanskrit; 9) Train for a half-marathon etc. to that list. In truth though, like everyone else, I have felt spread a little thin. It is time to pare back and focus my time on what matters, to bulk up the quality of my time and make it really count.

I do not want to go through the motion of fitting in as much stuff as possible – I want to choose which activities make me happiest and healthiest and really live in them and enjoy them…I want to be overwhelmed by certain good things, not by too much of everything.