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233 Plan

February 8, 2010

This morning Caitlin posted suggestions on how to not be intimidated by new fitness activities. Even though I have been pretty diligent at getting my butt to the gym for the Class Challenge classes, I know that I have attended quite a few classes while shaking in my boots gym shoes.  It’s a little bit hilarious that I continue to have anxiety about trying out new classes, because so far, I have not regretted attending ANY of the classes I have taken.

After Thursday’s Willpower & Grace fainting, I found myself facing a wealth of emotions.  If you remember, I was upset when I left the gym because after fainting during class, I left the gym which meant I didn’t finish my planned workout – I didn’t get my running in. 

When Friday afternoon came around and I was preparing myself for the trip to the gym, I felt like I was having a debate with myself; angel on one shoulder, devil on the other.  The only problem was, I couldn’t decide which shoulder was right and which shoulder was wrong – so it was as if each voice in the debate was in disguise.  I couldn’t tell which shoulder wore wings and a halo, and which had horns and held that pitchfork.

One part of my brain was telling me that I needed to rest.  That I shouldn’t push myself. That I need to focus on making sure I’m healthy in order to follow through with my best performance.

The other part of my brain was telling me that I was making excuses, and being lazy.  That I needed to go to the gym and take my scheduled Zumba class, do work on the elliptical, and run two miles.  That I can’t let one bad workout scare me away from the gym. 

The first part would combat that if I didn’t allow myself to rest, I would end up injured and unable to do much of anything. That I worked myself too much.  That I needed to take a step back.

The other part continued to tell me I was making excuses for laziness, and that clearly I could do SOMETHING at the gym without falling over. That I needed to push through the fear and get myself to the gym to sweat out all the bad stuff and make up for my early departure the day before. That I had to make up for what I had missed on Thursday night.

This went on for a bit, until I found myself at the gym, on the arc trainer, knocking out a steady 15-minutes while listening to a Fresh Air Podcast on my Ipod.  I got off the machine and felt “fine.”  Not too rough, not like I could run for days, just fine.  Which lead me to walk into the classroom for the Zumba class.

When I realized that I was white as a ghost and felt the room spinning, 50 minutes into class, I decided to stop before I fell over.  I grabbed my water bottle and went to the locker room, stretched, got my belonging and went home. I was upset that I didn’t run, again.  I was upset that I couldn’t push myself the last 10 minutes of class [which is basically a cool down anyway].  I was upset that I got scared and ran away.  Even though part of me felt like I had made the right decision. 

Saturday I wanted to go to the gym.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to sweat. I wanted to burn calories. I wanted to feel good again. I did a 10 minute dumbbell workout in my living room, and went for a 15 minute walk before cleaning my entire apartment top to bottom before an impromptu gathering for Whine & Wine. I wanted to go the gym, but I let fear win.

Sunday, I wanted to sweat the wine out.  I wanted to go spend some time on the treadmill, with my Ipod, and maybe an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County.  I wanted to get my heart pumping and fill my life with endorphins, pushing out any negative emotions I had let sneak into my life over the past few days. I wanted to go to the gym, but I let fear win. 

I let fear win because I didn’t want to be disappointed again if I couldn’t do an entire post-it note worth of workout like I had planned.  I let fear win because I don’t want to be the girl who can’t complete what she has in mind.  I let fear win because for a moment or two, I had forgotten that I am enough and I have what it takes.

But I know I can not be fearful forever, or even for very much longer.  I am RUNGRY and I am dedicated to continue to work on becoming a stronger, fitter, healthier version of myself. 

At the end of Caitlin’s post, she gives six tips for maintaining a positive attitude once you make the choice to be healthier. One of the things she talks about is setting realistic goals based on your own abilities for a certain time period.  The idea being that you can battle the desire to give up or quit by telling yourself you’ll do something for a certain amount of time and then if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it anymore.  I don’t know how I had forgotten about this tactic, but I am so grateful that she reminded me of it today.

I’ve decided to make a list of goals for the next six weeks. If March 22nd comes along and I no longer want to do these things, so be it- I will move on to new things, try again, never giving up.  For now I know I need structure [found in a list, a plan, a schedule] to keep me going and push past the fear of failure.  When I feel like I want to give up or get discouraged because I have a bad workout or don’t see progress in the form of numbers, endurance or speed- I will remind myself that I only have to do these things until March 22nd and then I don’t ever have to do them again if  I don’t want to.  By then, 6 weeks will be about a 233rd  of my life.  A tiny sliver.  I can do anything for 1/233 of my life.

The 233 Plan

-Run according to my training plan 3 times a week. My training plan is a series of interval long runs and short distance full runs built to improve endurance and push me out of my “I can only run this far with out stopping” mindset.  Caitlin recently asked me if I am training for a specific race – Other than the 2 mile race I plan on running for fun with some really great blogger friends in Baltimore the weekend of Fitbloggin, I don’t have any specific races planned, but I know that I will be trying to add more states to my list soon and want to be ready to go. [If you are going to Fitbloggin you should run too! Want more information?  Sunday, March 21– 2 PM – Howard County Striders Race Series PageGoogle Doc List of interested participants so we can celebrate together ]

The Arms like Jessica plan. Have you seen home girls arms? I covet in a way I’ve never coveted before – but this time, it’s an achievable covet, because I know that I can have arms like hers as well if I try hard enough.  Luckily, Jessica has laid out some resources on her blog for our strength training pleasure [and pain] – Specifically I am trying to do push ups every single day, and do my personal upper body dumbbell/bar workout at the gym 3 times a week. 

Keep trying new classes. Although because of an ever changing work schedule at my part time job I’ve had to rearrange the Class Challenge schedule a bit, I still have made sure to keep trying new classes every week.  Later this week I will be trying spinning for the first time ever, which makes me a bit nervous- but I’m not backing down.  I want to continue to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and try new things – even for just one class, so that I can see what it’s like. The Class Challenge is also allowing me to add some cross training to my work out schedule without much effort, which helps me to stay away from a workout rut.

Continue to go to Willpower & Grace.  I know it’s making me stronger, both mentally and physically.  And I do enough lunges, squats, and the like to keep me in a healthy pain each and every Friday AND Saturday after my Thursday classes.  This means it’s working.  And I’ve started to feel a bit more comfortable doing some of the movements  I struggled with so much during my first class.  Well, until I fainted 😉

I am excited for the 233 Plan! I think this will help me to push past the fear I’ve been facing in the gym lately and keep me on track to reach my health and fitness goals.

Is there something that you can commit yourself to for the next six weeks?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. DiningAndDishing permalink
    February 8, 2010 2:09 pm

    Just like you, I am always scared of new gym classes and then after I take them I’m like what the heck was I scared of?? haha. They are always a ton of fun – not intimidating at all :).

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  2. February 8, 2010 3:44 pm

    You are so amazing! Thank you for all those nice things you said about me. Now I will join you on your challenge to get rid of my tree trunk thighs. Me thinks I should run, but me also thinks I despise it.

  3. February 8, 2010 8:33 pm

    You can and will do this. I look at the gym as a big stress reliever for me, it helps me get ready for the day and I love how good I feel after. That feeling is what gets me to the gym 3-5 times a week.

  4. February 8, 2010 10:50 pm

    Oooh man this is making me want to reconsider running this race at FitBloggin! Maybe a change of (dry) clothes is all I will need. I love the idea of all of us doing it together. I also love the idea of sitting in the car with heat blasting eating cupcakes with Jess. Hmmmmm…

  5. February 8, 2010 10:59 pm

    Love it! I want Jessica’s arms too…

  6. February 9, 2010 10:38 am

    great goals!

  7. February 9, 2010 12:47 pm

    Hey girl!
    I’m nt expert or anything (well, actually I teach fitness classes) but it sounds like you try and do A LOT of exercise in one session. Zumba, running, AND the elliptical? All in one night? I think I workout a lot but not like that. And fainting and turning white? That can’t be good. I’m actually surprised the fitness instructor didn’t check to make sure you were okay. I’m just worried about you. I wouldn’t want to go to the gym either is I told myself I HAD to do all of those things. Just be safe. Listen to your body, fuel your workouts, and find something you love! Take care!

    • February 9, 2010 12:51 pm

      The instructor did check with me. She made sure I was okay, brought me to the locker room, and checked on me again after class.

      Thanks for your suggestions!

  8. February 9, 2010 5:43 pm

    I absolutely love reading your blog. It is uplifting and inspiring and reminds me everyday that I control my destiny – NOT the other way around. I recently said I was going to do something for 30 days straight. I enjoy said something, but because I am a mother and life happens after 5 days it stalled for a weekend. I beat myself up in my head over and over about it, but was ready and wanting to start over today…then I hurt my back this morning. I think it was a wake up call that I HAVE to put myself first and be the person I want to be everyday. I decide who I am today and I decide to be her today. I have to decide everyday if I want to be scared or if I want to be what other people think I am or if I just want to be Maria. After all – she’s pretty great!!

    So thanks…

    • February 10, 2010 8:15 am

      I agree that Maria is pretty great!! 🙂

      Also- I’m a firm believer that you have to take care of yourself and do things for you in order to best be able to take care of others! You rock!

  9. February 9, 2010 6:26 pm

    hey, i really need to incorporate strength training into my workouts. So I’m going to commit to two sessions per week for 6 weeks. We’ll see how that goes 😉 I can do it!
    Look forward to reading about your progress in your plan 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Fitness Bullets Flying « Then Heather Said
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