The Break




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Day 4, Gym 4

At this point, I had done bootcamp class, cardio (dancing), and circuit training with lots of abs.  I wanted to do either something soothing, or strength training, or both.  By default, I settled on strength training.

A friend of mine said that he could get me a guest pass for Gold’s Gym in Phillipsburg.  I know I said that I wanted to do all local, but I didn’t realize how difficult that was going to be in practice.  It sadly seems to be the way of the world at this point.  Strength training isn’t rocket science and is pretty self-explanatory.  If you haven’t done it before at all, don’t just jump in and start lifting shit.  Have someone show you the basics first.  After that it’s kind of like riding a bike.

They have a TRX set up.  I am slightly to moderately obsessed with the TRX since I used it once at gym.  You use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles in an infinitely number of ways and variables.  It’s brilliant and simple.  Since you are using your own body weight, it uses all sorts of muscles, tendons, etc. that regular stacked weights on the cable system (e.g. Nautilus) do not.  I did some basic arm exercises because quite honestly, I forgot the specific motions and form that focused on specific muscle groups.

I moved onto the weight room and free weights.  I noticed that it was one of the cleaner weight room/free weights I’ve seen in my limited sample size of gyms (not including the past 4 days).  They also didn’t use disposal paper towels to clean their equipment off, which is a bonus in my book.  This area is where you stack weights on different machines, or do arm curls, bench presses, etc.  In a traditional gym setting, this is my favorite place to be.  It’s customizable, you add the weight you want, do your sets, and move onto your next strength training station.

Upon moving from station to station, I realized that I have lost some muscle mass in my legs, especially the past few months.  I do not have a good gauge for arm strength, but I know I have lost some there, as well.  It’s from a combination of not paddling, lack of other exercise, and not eating properly.  Thank you Maria for challenging me to this.

I grabbed my stuff, and waited to talk to the membership person because that’s how it works.  She was very nice, personable, a little salesy but not excessively so.  They did have a membership sale that was going on that actually ended today, but I didn’t want to commit.  I have 16 more gyms to go, and then I will decide where my home will be.

As an aside, this has really been a lot of fun.  I’m loving the challenge, the accountability, and documenting the differences in gyms.  I am getting back to where I should be mentally wise, and the physical stuff is coming.

20 gyms, 20 days

My friend Maria challenged me to this 20 gyms in 20 days thing, and then suggested I blog about it.  Since everything she has ever suggested has turned out to be pretty awesome, I figured why not?  I’m going to be blogging about this journey every day for the next 20 days (I may miss one or two days here and there).  This will do two things:  1) hold me accountable, 2) provide me a written journey of what this will mean for my body, mind, etc.  I’m actually pretty psyched about it the more I realize I am actually committed to doing it.

My first class tomorrow will be a Barre Fitness class that is all core and toning.  Something I need lacking right now, and that needs to be addressed.  I am hoping to find another niche besides paddling, Arbonne, and writing.

DISCLAIMER (I really wish I didn’t have to do this):  I am not a personal training, fitness guru, etc.  I’m a chick who is on a mission to be the best version of myself, and for my little pudge to be gone.  If I can help other people in the process, WOOT.

Moments and Shifts

Sometimes there are moments that seem like they are still-life, and they are pictured in your mind forever.  Some good, some bad, some just are.

Then there are moments that change your thinking, change your perspective, and ultimately change your life.

I have had so many of these lately that it’s been a bit overwhelming.  My friend calls it “the gauntlet”, and she had run hers a few years ago.  I am running mine now.  It’s a series of life-defining events that are sometimes cataclysmic, but always kind of an emotional do or die situation.

tragedy-strength dalai

This year has been one of the toughest emotionally, but one of the best years of my life.  There’s been loss, heartache, emotional pain, and stress from a variety of sources.  All of that leads me to this.  This moment, my gauntlet.

I am done hiding.  I have hid behind a wall for so long, and I have written about it.  This is different.  It’s visceral.  It’s one of several breakthroughs I have had in the past months, but this is one of the most important.

Because it’s about me.  A lot of the other breakthroughs I’ve had, and the success has been because I wanted to be an integral part of building others up.  Because they deserved it.  It wasn’t because I deserved it.  I didn’t think I deserved that success, but I for damned sure wanted to help them achieve theirs.  To be apart of something greater, and we pulled together as a team and succeeded.

It was amazing to be part of that, and I’ll never forget it.

Now I realize that I DESERVE success, too.  For me, for my team, for my family.  And all of that is okay.  It’s not selfish, it’s not narcissistic, and it’s deserved.  I have worked to grow myself to the person I am today, and it was hard, it was painful, and at times it quite frankly sucked.  The outcome though?  The best thing I have ever done.  To realize I AM worthy of all those things.  Me.  Not for someone else, is my biggest shift to date.  I am quite literally shaking with fear and realization.