Tag Archives: Learning How to Live

Learning to Be A Bad Mamma Jamma

2 May

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I stood there, on the rubberized floor mat, trying to ignore the sweat that threatened to drip down my brow. Dripping sweat is so not hot. My shirt proclaimed, “Pretty Fast isn’t Good Enough.” It’s part of my ‘fake it ’till you make it’ series of shirts. (Also in the series, “Born to Run.” Because I’m not, really, but I want to be and I love the song.) But it wasn’t living up to its motivational job that day.

I watched as Trainer Kenny scanned the available weights and picked out each for my new regimen of strength training. 12.5, 15, 20 pounds…he picked up each, looked at me, and picked up the next weight higher. My eyes bugged out the further right he went. Surely he doesn’t expect me to pick up that?!?

Trainer Kenny picked up the 30 pound barbel like it was nothing. “We’re going to learn a new exercise today: Deadlifts!” He said cheerfully, as he let the weight go with an audible *thunk* on the bouncy floorboards. What now? Whada huh? Are they called that because they killed the last person you tried this on? These were the thoughts racing through my head as I looked at the dead-weight laying at my feet. Lift this? I have a hard time carrying more than one gallon of milk into the house, and you want me to lift that? You’re kidding, right?

He wasn’t.

So I lifted it. And other weights as I went through the series of exercises Trainer Kenny had come up with for me to make me feel like a bad a$$. I was lifting weights, and I was a bad mamma-jamma.

Since I took up with Trainer Kenny and his wacky (read: non-lazy) philosophy of working out, I’ve done things I didn’t believe I could do. Nothing crazy, but I’ve gone from a girl who was afraid to push herself to a woman determined, motivated, empowered to explore the reaches of her strength. To not just take the 15 reps if I feel I can do 20. To ask to do a full plank until I collapse. It’s strange. It’s the opposite of comfortable. But it’s worth it.

It’s not always fun, but it’s always rewarding.I learned something this week. I’m capable of more than I think. Unlike most of my life where I’m happy to take on a challenge, push myself beyond what is comfortable, when it comes to physical fitness I’ve shied away from pushing myself. I’ve chosen ignorance over health, weakness over achievement. And I deserve better.

I am so grateful for Kenny’s expertise. He thinks I can do more than I can, and therefore I do. I am so used to being self-motivated, self-driven, self-actualized, but sometimes – when I’m out of my depth – I need someone to believe I can do more than I think I can and push me. My eyes bugged out as he pulled bigger and bigger weights for my rowers, my chalice squats, my…I don’t even know what they’re called, but they were hard! I did more than I thought I could this week, and I felt more powerful pushing through and owning the modicum of strength I’ve achieved in that last two months. Weights have so often been the exclusive domain of the big, the built, the manly; if an athletic girl (never mind an overweight, big, curvy and fabulous girl) dared to infringe on their sacred ground, they were greeted with scorn, derision, condemnation; I know, I’ve seen it. So I’ve never gone there. But with Kenny by my side, I was going to try. And I rocked it, 31 BMI and all.

The takeaway? I can do more than I thought I could. You can do more than you could. Maybe, like me, you needed someone to tell you, someone to believe in you, believe that you could do it. You can. I can. We can. We are more than our lazy-butt couch-sitting selves want to think we are. If you can’t believe in yourself, get someone wh believes in you to push you. Untill you believe it yourself. Because you can do it.

You can lift a weight the size of your head. And rock it.

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The Power of Writing Down Goals

22 Mar

image from online success with greg de tisi

Last week Trainer Kenny gave me homework. No, it wasn’t to do more squats correctly. 🙂 He wanted me to write down a fitness goal, to make it specific, and give it a time limit. Then he wanted me to write down five positive reasons why I wanted to reach this goal, and five negative reasons. Procrastinator that I am, I didn’t remember until last night, and we’re meeting today. Overachiever that I am, I decided to write down two. Notorious Over-Sharer that I am, I figured I’d share them with you lovely people. (You’re not sick of my many goal lists yet, are you? Good.)  After all, what’s better for accountability than making a goal public? (Please note, Trainer Kenny was very careful to say that these goals don’t have to be realistic. So keep the snickering to a minimum, please.)

Goal #1: Build lean muscle mass and a strong core to help me perform better when I run (hopefully) two half-marathons this October. 

Why?

  • Muscle = speed. I want a better time than what I achieved last October – ‘Finished.’
  • Muscle = endurance. Running all or almost all of (hopefully) two half marathons, instead of walking most due to a ankle injury, will feel amazing
  • Core strength = stability. Stability = better form. Better form = more efficient running, which equals less chance of injury and better time. A win all around.
  • Core strength also improves balance. I could do with less falling down on my runs, or in life in general.
  • A’s running one with me, and I’d love to keep up with him so we could cross the finish line together.
  • To prove to myself I can do it.

Why not?

  • I need my legs and hips to be stronger to support my knees. I don’t want my knee to almost go out again and have to fear that I won’t be able to finish what I started.
  • Weak runners are injured runners.
  • Try putting on a backpack with sixty pounds of weights in it and tell me if it makes running 13.1 miles easier. No? That’s what I’m dealing with now, and I’m tired of it.
  • A’s running one with me, and I don’t want him waiting around for hours for his slow wife to finish.
  • I don’t want to fail.

Goal #2: I want to lose all 60 pounds this year. (Hey! He said it didn’t have to be realistic!)

Why?

  • I’m 28 1/4 years old right now. I’m not getting any younger, and as far as my weight is concerned, I figure it’s either uphill or downhill from here. I choose uphill.
  • That will put me right in the middle of a healthy body-fat percentage.
  • I’ll be happier in my body.
  • I’ll be able to choose clothes from a store based on their style, not on whether or not they have my size.
  • I have a whole wardrobe – an awesome wardrobe, a fun wardrobe – in my closet that I no longer fit into. I want my clothes back!
  • Um, hello? 30 Before 30 list!
  • These boobs are seriously ridiculous to exercise with. They’ve always been big, no getting away from that, but I’m looking forward to getting back to big and away from obscene.

Why not?

  • I don’t want to be too tired/fat/out of shape to play with my kids one day.
  • I don’t want to wonder if my weight affects A’s attraction to me anymore. (He says it doesn’t, but you know how those nagging doubts go.)
  • I feel heavy, clumsy, and ugly right now when I dance. And I love to dance. Plus, I have little stamina so when I dance I can’t do it for as long as I’d like.
  • I’m afraid if I don’t change now, I’ll be this way forever. And I don’t want to be.
  • I don’t want to die early, or get any of the diseases connected to obesity.

So those are my goals! What’s the power of writing them down? Dunno. I’ll have to ask Trainer Kenny and get back to you.

Do you believe in the power of writing a goal down? Have you ever done it? How’d it go?

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