Friday, January 30, 2015

The Gladiator Gauntlet

This morning I faced fears and doubts and came out on the other side wiser, stronger and proud. Yes, I am once again saying I was PROUD of myself. I found it impacted the way I felt the rest of the day.

The morning started as Fridays often do. I stumbled out of bed at 4:30 am, Abbey bounded after me, wagging and prancing. I wondered what was wrong with me, why I couldn't work out at a time when a sane, rational person might. Then I remembered, I've never claimed to be sane or rational and continued getting ready. Then downstairs with the boxer bouncing along and the Maine Coon cat wailing away. Everyone got their breakfast, and I filled my water bottle before venturing out the door. Then the drive to Pride Fitness Performance.

This morning's workout was Gladiator. We had exercises like Landmine Presses, Partner Prowler Pushes and Severed Head Carry. Don't worry, there were not actually any severed heads. You put a towel through the handle of a kettlebell and hold onto the towel while you walk the studio for 45 seconds. It's good for grip strength, and it made the instructor smile. My favorite part of Gladiator?  Oh come on, guess. Yep, the Partner Prowler Push. The last round this morning Eric got on, then Tyler joined him. The weight of the prowler plus 70 pounds in plates and Tyler and Eric equaled about 625 pounds. I pushed it, not well, not without stops, but I finished what I started.

Then came the T2 challenge: The Gladiator Gauntlet. Let me explain what was involved in the gauntlet to you.

Warrior Crawl: Put your feet on a 25 pound plate, get down on your elbows and pull your body and the plate across the studio to Tyler. Basically a moving plank.

5 Slams: The men picked a 50 pound slam ball up over their heads and then, slammed it down. Repeat five times. We women used the 30 pound slam ball.

10 Hammer Swings: Pick up a sledge hammer and hit the 350 pound tractor tire with it. Good for releasing any frustrations.

Tire Flip: Flip the tire you just hit with the sledge hammer (this was the biggest reason I wanted to try the gauntlet. I never pass up a chance to flip a tire, ever.)

Tire Jump: Now jump into and out of the tire you just flipped. Good times...good times.

Prowler Dash: As fast as you can push the low end down, then the high end back. (the other reason I finally decided I HAD to do it: love the prowler.)

Keep in mind this was all for time.

This challenge was a choice, you could do it if you wished, but it wasn't required. I watched Julie and Aaron complete it all the time thinking maybe I could do most of it, maybe. Then Tyler asked if anyone else wanted to try. He asked me and he asked Eric. He must have seen something in my face, because he asked what was scaring me. Definitely the Warrior Crawl. Let me be frank: I SUCK at crawls. I have to do them on my hands because my lower back seizes if I try it on my elbows. Tyler assures me we can work on this (guess I'll trust him). I told him and he said "You can do it on your hands."

Damn, damn, damn...he knew he had me then. He knows I won't pass up a chance to flip a tire. I said okay, made several comments about having a screw loose and prayed before I started that I would be slightly faster than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. Slightly faster, I was pretty sure I wasn't coming in under 1 minute, 30 seconds but I hoped desperately for something under 2:30. More on my time later.

Warrior Crawl: And I thought valslide army crawls were bad. I found a whole new level of yuck. I stopped about halfway through my lap and everyone started cheering. Oh right...this was being witnessed by the 5:30 am crew. Time to pull up my big girl panties and get it done. Once I tagged Tyler's hand I could move on to to slams.

Slams: I regret not taking the 50 pound slam ball. I love throwing that thing down. It makes such a satisfying thud when it hits the turf. These didn't take long and I felt good about my speed, especially since I could picture the turtles lapping me while I did my warrior crawl.

Hammer Swings: Love these too. I've done them a few times before and this time I didn't nail myself in the knee: BONUS!!! The clumsy girl didn't hit herself with a sledge hammer. It was a miracle.

Tire Flip/Jump: Oh yeah, this one was MINE. I know how to flip, I love to flip and let me brag: I think I am good at flipping tires. Oh wait...then I had to jump. One thing at a time. I enjoyed my tire flip. Then it was time to jump. It took precious time to remind myself that I could jump into the tire and out again. The jump in was fine, not a soft landing, but I got in without tripping. The jump out, not so graceful. More time passed while I psyched myself up and one of my feet grazed the tire. The landing wasn't remotely graceful and Tyler asked me if I was okay. Hell, I was still on my feet (mostly) and I wasn't crying yet: things were pretty close to perfect in my daily battle with gravity.

Prowler Dash: Okay, this I could do. And did do. The best part is holding on to the prowler tends to negate my tendency to trip

Now, back to my time on this challenge. 2 minutes 23 seconds. Better than 2:30 and I wasn't lapped by any turtles. I may have been the slowest person to compete and I didn't earn the T2 challenge, but I completed the challenge. I did things I wasn't sure I could and no one got hurt.

On the drive home I realized completing the Gauntlet was fitting for today. January 30, 2012 I walked into the studio and started my journey. I was a Mooser and I was scared to death. If you had told me that first frosty morning that I would ever be able to do half of what I did today I would have laughed at you and I never would have believed it. That very first morning it was a struggle to get through the rounds of  the 30:10 workout. This morning I completed 3 rounds of Gladiator and while I was tired, I wasn't completely spent.

I've grown and changed so much in three years. I'm stronger, fitter and healthier. I am also generally more confident, happier and not tied to my comfort zone. I still have a long way to go, but I'm not worried about the end. I don't really know where the end will be. This is my new lifestyle, it's not just a trip with a set destination.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The More Things Change

No one truly stays the same through their life. Our basic personalities remain the same, but experiences add new layers and nuances. I am generally shy and quiet, but push me too far or sit me down in front of a computer to write and the shyness retreats. Someone told me this week that I am very eloquent with written words. This person is making a valiant effort to bring that same quality out in me when I need to have a face-to-face conversation.

It was an amazing week. Four great workouts, the perfect Yoga Corr class, seeing students making progress. I also met one of my short term goals a week ahead of schedule. Thursday night during buddy training I was able to do a dead man hang for 37 seconds one time and 32 seconds the next time. My first short term goal was to do a 20 second dead man hang by January 31. I knocked that one out of the park on January 22. If I could have ignored the discomfort three more seconds on my first round I could have reached 40 seconds and my second short term goal. Next time.

The best part of the week was Friday. A 5:30 am workout, a walk with Abbey and then a road trip to Boston. I got to spend time with good friends I met through Fortitude Fitness Systems and we had a blast. There were random gravity checks (courtesy of me), laughs, brownies from Mike's Pastry, adventures in fire escape stairwells and time away from the day-to-day routine of home.

Our day culminated with heading to TD Garden to see Garth Brooks in concert. He is amazing and his show was superb. Our seats were in the balcony and it took me time to adjust to how high we were. I'm not exactly afraid of heights, but they do give me pause from time to time. Then the show started and my seat didn't matter.

I love music, almost all music. I love the music I work out to because the beat is often what keeps me going. If I can lose myself in the music my brain forgets to register how much I want to stop. When I am home I often turn on the music, turn it up and sing. I love to sing. I may not be fabulous, but I'm enthusiastic. What I lack in skill I can make up for in volume.

The title of this blog was motivated by an experience we had on the elevator going to the Garden from the parking garage. The doors opened and there were quite a few people in the elevator already, but room for the four of us to get in as well. We were in and waiting for the doors to close when there was an announcement that the elevator was full or something close to that. I don't remember the exact words, but I remember the feeling after that announcement.

The "fat kid" is still inside me and I was tempted to step out. I thought with me in the elevator it wouldn't go anywhere. I fought that urge, but it was strong. I was braced, waiting for someone to tell me to step out so the elevator could move. It never happened.

I know from pictures and other people's comments that I don't look the same anymore, but deep inside I'm still the "fat girl", still the one no one noticed. I'm still the same person inside, but not exactly the same. There's a "fit girl" inside too and little by little she's asserting herself. Without the "fit girl" and the support, encouragement and shoulders of my circle of friends I might have given up when the going got tough. I did slide down the mountain, get mired in the muck and cry buckets of tears, but I didn't completely give up. When it looked like giving up was an option the "fit girl" took charge and made sure I let some friends know I was struggling. She's pretty wise for all her impatience.

Back to the concert. I heard all of my favorite songs, even ones by Trisha Yearwood when she joined Garth. My favorite song and moment of the concert, even with three completely obnoxious cowboy wanna-be's in the row in front of us, was when Garth performed "The Dance". He encouraged the audience to sing along for the whole concert and hearing all those voices in the arena was so special. I teared up, I always do when I hear "The Dance". In the past it has reminded me of people and things I've lost, but this time the tears were grateful tears. Yes there has been pain but as Garth sings "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance".  Not a chance.

Thank you to my badass friends for including me in such a special day!

Back to your evening now.

As always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Goals, Trust & Food....

Just so you are warned: this blog will be a mix of things I have been thinking and feeling this week. I'll do my best to make it coherent, but if you're reading this you've probably read my posts before and you're somewhat used to my stream of consciousness style. Which is a really nice way of saying that reading this blog might make you wonder if I have ADD. I do get easily distracted by many things.

First off, let's take a look at my goals for 2015. I shared them with Tyler and he said they were good and we'd do our best to meet them. It was a good reality check for me that he wasn't promising I'd achieve them, but that if I did my best, he'd do his part and we'd see where we ended up. When you are a perfectionist it is very important to have a realist in your circle to remind you perfection is not the goal. Without further rambling here are my Fitness Goals for 2015.

1. Do 5 pull ups in a row without using a band by July 2015.
    a. Do 1 pull up without a band by March 2015.
    b. Do 3 pull ups with no band by May 2015.

2. Complete a 60 second Deadman hang by May 2015.
    a. Complete a 20 second Deadman hang by January 31, 2015.
    b. Complete a 40 second Deadman hang by March 31, 2015.

3. Climb the rope at Pride Fitness Performance and ring the cowbell.

4. Complete Tough Mudder New England in 6 hours or less (June 6-7).

5. Start and FINISH a Spartan Sprint at Killington.

6. Complete Derby Elementary School's Cornfield Mile Run in less than 16 minutes.

So there you have it. What I plan to accomplish in 2015. I know they aren't easy goals, but I'm not content to set easy goals I know I can master. I'm willing to give myself goals I'm not positive I can meet, but I will throw myself heart and soul into.

Now on to my second topic for this post. One of my least favorite words in the English language. Trust. Maybe it isn't the word I dislike so much as the concept. Trust means I need to let down my guard and allow people inside. It also means I need believe in myself. I don't trust other people easily and it is rare for me to trust myself at all. I'm only human, there are times I've made mistakes about the people I trust and I remember those times whenever I need to decide if it is worth the possible pain to let down my guard. Trusting people and trusting the process will be my work for the rest of my life.

At this time I can say that trusting the process is the hardest. I have proof that trusting the process works, but I still have a difficult time giving up the illusion of control to extend that trust. In a recent buddy training session I was able to match my personal record for a dead lift. I lifted 315 pounds and it was actually easy. The first time I was pretty sure my arms would fall off. When I lifted 315 the last time it just made me hungry for more. I knew I could lift more, but Tyler said we'd call it good for the moment. Then he thanked me for trusting the process. It wasn't easy for me to give that trust, but I reaped the rewards. I can lift heavy and things that used to terrify me, like box jumps, merely make me want more now. I'm not telling you that I never doubt whether my trust has been well placed, but at least I'm still willing to put myself out there. Not in every instance, but more often than before.

Trusting the process brings me to my last topic for this post: food. I'm one week into the nutrition challenge I started last Sunday. I survived the first two days where all I had was juice and the last few days have been eating low carb. I'm not very far into the challenge and am staying away from the scale for the moment, but changes are taking place. The biggest change I notice is that I feel better. Not that my diet before was complete crap, but there was more than enough junk in it. In just a week's time I have more energy and I don't feel as anxious or uptight. I'm not sure the change is all attributable to the change in my diet, but at least part of it is.

I don't think the way I look at food is completely changed, but it has started to change. When I put myself out on the line a couple of times this week I didn't immediately turn to food to mask the uneasy, uncomfortable feelings. I let myself feel uneasy and uncomfortable and amazingly enough I survived it. Tracking my food has made me more aware of what I am putting in my mouth and what I want to put in my mouth. One step forward this week.

 I might not lose the most inches or pounds by the end of this challenge, and really that was never my point in joining. I'm not about public recognition, I'm much more comfortable flying under the radar. If you want to tell me I've done something great, then tell me in private. That means much more. I am uncomfortable in groups and if you want to send my anxiety through the roof then by all means call attention to me. What other people think of me might not be any of business, but to hear through the grapevine that I didn't deserve recognition that I received is hurtful. I suppose that says more about the people making those comments than about me, but it hurts just the same.

Those are my thoughts this week. If you're still reading let me say again how much I appreciate you taking the time. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer. This blog gives me that opportunity. Maybe I can even help someone else by being open and honest. I'm not much in a face-to-face conversation, but I have a definite voice here.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Food

My word for 2015 is perseverance. Part of me being able to persevere is being able to make my relationship with food right. Let's be honest: you DON'T get to a high weight of 309 pounds by having a normal relationship with food. In fact, now that I'm thinking about what I write, the very idea that I think about a "relationship" with food tells me there is a problem.

I don't remember a time in my life I thought of food as just fuel. For me food has been a friend, a comfort, a drug, and a weapon. When I felt anything at all, be it good or bad, I didn't think of talking to someone, I thought of food. I'm shy, I get tongue-tied trying to talk to people, it was easier to celebrate victories or soothe hurts with food than to try and find the words to describe how I was feeling to others.

I don't want to have a "relationship" with food anymore. Food is important, I can and should enjoy food, but I don't want it to be my go-to for comfort or celebration. I want food to be fuel so I can perform. That's all I want it to be. I have friends and family who seem more than willing to support me no matter how I feel. I should give them a chance to do so. The junk food hasn't done a good job and it never will.

Food can't give you a hug when you're worried or upset. It can't give you a fist bump or a high five when things have gone well. Using food to punish yourself for faults and failures, real or imagined is a recipe for disaster and nothing more.

You might be wondering what brought on this rant. Or maybe you're not, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

I joined a 60 day fat loss challenge offered by Pride Fitness Performance. The major part of the challenge is taking a serious look at our nutrition. Those of us who signed up are starting the first two days having juice three times a day. We have two different juices Orange Power and The Mean Green Machine. Neither one is bad, but I so need a juicer. I didn't know I was fussy about the texture or consistency of my food, but it turns out I am. Very fussy in fact.

So how am I feeling at the end of day 1? Well, there haven't been any casualties yet. I am feeling
"hangry", hungry+angry for those unfamiliar with the term,  but nothing unmanageable. You may want to give me wide berth tomorrow though. Fortunately I'll be back to whole food on Tuesday so the danger will be short-lived.

My goal for the end of this challenge?

I don't hope to lose the most fat or the most inches. PLEASE don't misunderstand, after seeing my measurements I want nothing more than to lose fat and inches, but what I want most is a healthier relationship with food. I want to know what to eat to get the best performance my body can give. I would like to forget what junk I can eat to erase feeling down or lonely, but that's another battle. That battle can't be won in 60 days, that's one I will probably need to fight for the rest of my life. That's okay with me. I am braver than I believe, smarter than I seem and stronger than I think to paraphrase Winnie the Pooh.

In other fitness news the knee seems to be healing. Slowly, but healing. I find it odd that box jumps don't hurt, but 30 seconds of a wall sit and the knee was screaming. I also discovered if you apply a tennis ball to a sore IT band you will find new and different ways to string together curse words. New fun, the pain now seems to mostly be in the IT band near my left knee. Woo hoo...love that tennis ball. The good news is after two days of rolling with the foam roller and the tennis ball the tenderness isn't as bad and I don't swear nearly as much.

I'll release you back to your regularly scheduled evening now.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reflecting on Year 3

I finally remembered to grab my 2014 Goals when I was in the studio this morning. Now it is time to assess what I planned to accomplish in 2014 and what I actually did accomplish.  I’m not necessarily excited to take a look at my old goals, I know I set way too many for last year and I know I didn’t accomplish all of them, but I will assess how I did and then it’s time to move on to 2015. There’s no time to wallow in the past, time to regroup and move forward.

So here goes…I’ll do my best not to whine about why I didn’t meet some of the goals. It’s over and done, time to move ahead.

Fitness Goals
1. Turn in my green band
 Well, this one didn’t happen, but I have hope I will get rid of it in 2015. None of my activity is limited, so even if I don’t get rid of it I’m not going to whine about it.

2. Begin running
2aComplete the Derby Cornfield Mile Run in less than 18 minutesI got this one. I finished the cornfield mile run in 16 minutes on June 2014. It’s a tradition at Derby Elementary School near the end of the school year and fun to compete in.

2b.
 Complete a 5K in less than 45 minutes To be honest I didn’t even attempt this one. I’m hoping to in 2015 if my knee will cooperate with the plan.

2cTrain for a half marathon in 2015I didn’t work on this goal and I’m not sure if I will consciously focus on it in 2015. It is still a goal, someday I’m going to run a Disney half-marathon.    

3. Complete Tough Mudder New England in less than 8 hours: 
On May 31, 2014 I completed Tough Mudder in 6 hours. I am DAMN proud of that. 

4. Complete a Spartan Sprint: Well, I suppose I kind of met this one. Oh hell, let’s be honest: I FAILED. I have shared this with 2 people up to this point, but I plan to compete again in 2015. I have something to prove to myself: I need to prove to myself that I CAN finish what I start. I want to prove I am not a quitter and I don’t cheat, even if the only person thinking I am a quitter or a cheater is the mean, nasty little critic in my head.
       
5. 
Compete in a strongman competition: I didn’t attempt this one either and I’m okay with that. As much as I LOVE lifting heavy I don’t feel I have anything to prove to anyone else in this area. I’m content with what I can do and I plan to work more on my strength, but it isn’t the only thing I care about.

 6. By October 2014 move up in the “300 Club” on the deadlift board to 315 pounds: I met this goal on February 20, 2014 during personal training with Ben. It was my last night on my current sheet and he told me it would be the last time I’d have deadlifting for a bit and asked if I wanted to try for a PR. Hell yeah, I’m always up to see just what I can do. I tried and got 315 pounds.

Personal Development & Health Goals

  1. By December 2014 I will rely less on email to communicate. Well, let's be realistic: email is an easy, fast way to communicate. I have made an effort to actually speak to people, especially those who intimidate me and I've been successful. This is an ongoing goal for me and probably always will be.

  2. I will endeavor to participate in activities that make me uncomfortable at least once per quarter.

 2a. I will participate in the Fortitude Fitness Systems Photo Shoot on Saturday, January 25, 2014. 
Did this and was SO uncomfortable the entire time. I don't know if I would ever willingly do something like that again, but I am glad I did it.
  2b. I will continue to update and write in my blog regularly throughout 2014. I've continued with this blog, it's my outlet and release and I hear from people who enjoy reading it so looks like I'll be continuing in 2015.
  2c. By June 2014 I will be able to step outside my own mind during a workout and encourage/support others. I try to offer encouragement and support, but it's not easy. I get focused on what I'm doing and I don't always remember to offer encouragement. I want to be more like my friend Sylvie, she is the BEST at keeping us all going.

3. I will accept compliments and recognition with a smile and a simple “thank you” on 8 out of 10 occasions by December 2014. This is a hard one for me. I appreciate the compliments, I really do. I am trying to say thank you and leave it at that, but there are times my filter doesn't catch up with my mouth fast enough and I say more than thank you. Another ongoing goal.

4. I will drink at least on gallon of water per day 6 out of 7 days per week. I do meet this goal most weeks. I know when I'm not drinking enough at work because my second graders, one little guy in particular, will remind me I need to drink more because I haven't been to the bathroom recently.

5. By December 2014 I will achieve the following Hips: 43 inches; Waist: 33 inches; Thigh: 24 inches and Arm: 13 inches. 
Not so much on this one. My strength has grown in 2014, my measurements haven't changed that much. Not that I am disappointed with the progress I've made, but I need to focus on this more in 2015.

So that was my 2014. I didn’t meet all of the fitness goals I set at the beginning of the year and I really am okay with that. Six goals is a lot, my list for 2015 will be shorter so I can really focus on what matters most to me.  I know I will be completing another Tough Mudder, I’m going to finish a Spartan Sprint and I will, of course, plan to run in the Derby Elementary School Cornfield Mile run. I have some other goals in mind as well, but I need more time to think before I commit the goals to paper or blog page.

I do hope you’ll join along for this next leg of the journey. Welcome to year 4, let’s see where the road takes us this year.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Perseverance

I had plans to make this post about how I did with the goals I set for 2014. Instead every time I thought about what I wanted to say my mind strayed to the idea of persevering. Part of that is probably a very natural desire not to face up to the goals I didn't meet since no one likes to remind themselves of failure. I learned something from all my experiences that's important too, but I'm not quite ready to write that goal post yet.

What do I want to write? I'd like to write a post telling you that persevering isn't hard. It's easy to keep going and keep fighting when you don't see the results. Sure it is, if you believe a word of that last statement you and I need to talk about a bridge I have for sale. It's in Brooklyn. To be honest, which I'm going to be as much as it pains me, persevering is hard. More honesty: some days I don't persevere, some days I give in to the lure of food that isn't going to do a thing to further my goals or make me feel good.

Yep, I eat junk. Not all the time every day, but more often than I should. No, I don't really consider anything off limits, but there are definitely foods I try to limit and avoid. Let me clue you in on something: I didn't get to 309 pounds at my heaviest eating carrots and celery sticks. Shocking, right?

I'm also a glutton for punishment. I purposely walk down the aisle in the grocery store full of things that aren't going to help me reach my goals. Yes, the dreaded candy aisle. Sometimes I even stop and stand in front my favorite candy and look at it, more often than not I pick up the bag. Then I flip the bag over and look at the nutrition information or the lack of nutrition information. Then I get disgusted with myself and I put the bag back down and walk away. Except sometimes I don't do that, some times I say "screw it" and put the bag into the basket.

The point of this confession is that I am NOT perfect. I don't paint myself as perfect. I don't trumpet far and wide how wonderful I am and how I eat perfectly. No sense lying about it. Much of the time I do a good job keeping myself in line and eating healthy foods. There are times I turn down desserts or walk right by the candy or cookies and don't have any desire to have those things. The point is, there are the other times, the times I feel I've failed or screwed up or am just in a foul mood and decide to compound that by eating junk. It makes NO sense: I know that and yet it happens.

Despite setbacks, I keep persevering with eating healthy foods. When I fall off the wagon and get run over by it I make it a point to stand up, dust myself off and get back to what I know I need to do. The fitness part of the equation has always been somewhat easier for me.

I like to workout, especially in a group. On my own I'm not as good, but put me in a group and I'm going to push myself hard. I might not always succeed, but I'm going to try. Persevering through exercises I don't enjoy (most core work) to get to a prowler push, tire flip or box jump isn't easy, but it's doable.

In the back of my mind, when I started this journey in January 2012 I assumed I'd be at my destination by now. Now with 2015 fast approaching I know I'm not "done". I don't think I'll ever be done. This isn't a trip with an end destination, this is a journey, I'm wandering along sometimes using my map, sometimes making it up as I take a step. There have been wonderful times like meeting people who have helped me build a solid foundation of support. There have also been those other times, the times you want to bury your head in the sand and hope the world will go away. It's a journey, it's not easy it's not always fun, but it is an adventure and I'm not willing to stop where I am and say it's good right here. I believe there could be something even better up ahead, something that will help me be the person I really am, the one I was intended to be from the beginning.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Am I Enough?

I've been turning that question over in my mind a lot this week. So, yes, in plain and simple English: I've been worrying. Nothing new about that. If you've read this blog even once you know that about me. I am a champion worrier.

Why so much thought put into whether or not I am enough? This time it's not about being good enough, smart enough, strong enough or even pretty enough. This time the question is just am I enough. Yes, I've asked enough what, but nothing comes. Just that same question. Am I enough?

I kind of understand the question. I want to be 100% again. I want to sprint, jump, dead lift, squat, lunge, flip tires and do burpees. Yes, I just said I want to do burpees and I meant it. I am making modifications, I am trying my best not to feel like I'm cheating or not working as hard as other people. It's my workout, it's not about anyone else.

That sounds so selfish and awful to me to say that, but it's true. My workout is my own. I need to focus on what I can do and focus on doing it well. I shouldn't be looking across the gym at other people doing sprints or burpees and wish that was me. For one thing it screws up my timing with almost dead bugs and my arms and legs don't do what they're supposed to. In all seriousness though, it makes me feel bad, like I'm letting the instructor down, or wasting his time and mine. I don't believe for a second he looks at it that way, I've never asked, I don't intend to ask. Other people's opinion of me is absolutely none of my business.

This week I feel as if I'm moving along on the road to recovery. My knee has been sore and I can find the exact spot where the worst of the pain is centered and rubbing it seems to help. That's probably just because it feels so much better when I stop. Maybe I should go after it with a lacrosse ball...that would really feel better when it was over. If you've never pressed a lacrosse ball into a sore spot and rolled it around you should try it. It's especially effective if you need help with your cursing. You will come up with some creative combinations when that hard little ball digs in your sore spots. Or maybe that's just me...let me know if you give it a try.

I'm sure you know where I'm going with my last paragraph. I'm starting to feel better so all my brain cells have dribbled right out of my head. Well, you're almost right. I did overdo it today. Sure I modified the sprints and agility ladder to almost dead bugs and fighter crunches, but I got stubborn with the slam ball burpees for round 1 and the tiger cleans for all four rounds. The first few burpees didn't hurt, then they did. It was disappointing, but one round of burpees is progress from none. And I got to slam the 50 pound ball. Yep, it's heavy and I LOVE it. By the last round just lifting it up was a feat, but I lifted it and I took great pleasure in slamming it down. Such a satisfying thud.

I did modify the tiger cleans so really they were just squats, but sadly I'd forget not to go too low at least once per round and I'd feel it.

The final exercise in each of my rounds was "witches cauldron" which is a plank using a stability ball under your arms then you're supposed to move the ball in small circles using your core to hold a good plank. By the final round my witches cauldron was a low plank with no stability ball holding my left leg up because my knee was complaining about planks by that point. My partner thought I was impressive doing a plank with one leg up, really it was because it hurt doing a regular one.

Then the finisher, a T2 challenge. 5 speed burpees in 12 seconds and 12 seconds of jogging in place for 10 rounds. As much as I wanted to try and get a T2 challenge I had the one lone functioning brain cell to know it was a BAD idea. I decided on low planks and high planks, alternating for 10 rounds. My goal for myself, my own little challenge, to take some of the sting out of not being able to compete in the T2 challenge was not to drop to my knees more than 3 times and if I dropped to get back up before I got to 3 in my head. I might not have gotten a T2 challenge today, but I met my own challenge. That was something.

I'd tell you I was proud of myself, that I felt accomplished and good about what I did do, but you'd all know I was lying. I don't feel like I failed, I completed the workout and what I did I did well or at least to the best of my ability. By all standards of reason I should feel proud, but I'm not wired that way. My inner critic was in fine voice today and she is mean. There were tears, I was super quiet while I changed to leave. I wasn't asking for pats on the back or special treatment or assurance that I did great: I needed time and quiet to process.

I've processed the workout now. I did what I could do: that is something to be proud of. I could have stayed home drinking coffee and snuggling Abbey, but I got up, got dressed and went. I got a good workout in and I came up with my own modifications. Not that the instructor wouldn't have given me modifications, but I like to show I'm listening and thinking. Did I complete the workout exactly as written: no, but I completed the workout. That's what counts: I didn't just show up and pretend: I showed up and gave everything I had to give. THAT is absolutely something to be proud of.

I might not be anyone's idea of successful, but I am my own version of successful and I will never apologize for that.

2015 is coming and I have goals for myself already. I'll share some of them with you wonderful people who read these ramblings. I'll probably reflect on my 2014 goals too to see where I wound up.

Am I enough? I absolutely am.

Thanks for reading!