Goat Yoga

Yes, you read that title correctly ūüôā ¬†This Sunday I did Goat Yoga with Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga at Just Kidding Acres. ¬†Here’s what I learned:

It is EXTREMELY hard to focus on breathing, foot position or chakras with baby goats around.

I am a yoga fan but would not consider myself a ‘yogi’. ¬†I like to incorporate some yoga movements into my workouts for stretching and recovery. ¬†I like to attend yoga class (usually HOT) when I can, which is not nearly enough. ¬†I’m hoping to get into a routine again soon, as I will need it when I’m ramping up my mileage this fall.

I was invited to Goat Yoga by my amazing friend Sarah. ¬†Sarah has had a long journey of health and recovery and back again several times over. ¬†She’s someone that you’re constantly impressed by the things she’s done and overcome and came out the other side unscathed. (#mostly) ¬†She helps me take life not so seriously and most importantly we laugh. ¬†A LOT. ¬†So when we were “OHMMMMMMing” and the baby goats are mewing, I can’t handle myself. ¬†ūüôā

 

Before class, we laughed. ¬†During class, we laughed. ¬†After class, we laughed. ¬†If I were going for a super killer yoga class, I would have been HIGHLY disappointed. ¬†But this wasn’t regular yoga, it was goat yoga. ¬†The whole concept was as ridiculous as it seems. ¬†You’re doing downward dog and suddenly a goat is chewing on your hair. ¬†You’re doing tree pose while a goat is peeing next to you. ¬†Some people were even doing yoga ON goats who refused to move and snuggled up on your mat.

Here’s what I learned from the experience: Sometimes, it’s all about the experience. ¬†Sometimes you just need to giggle and not take yourself so seriously. ¬†It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day and trudge along. ¬†Take time to be silly. ¬†I feel better going in to this week than I have in a long time and part of the reason is Goat Yoga. ¬†You can’t take yourself too seriously at Goat Yoga. ¬†It’s impossible.

I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga not for the yoga, but for the goats.  If you live in the area, get yourself a ticket! The classes will and do sell out.

A million tiny choices

When people in my new career hear my weight loss story, the first question is almost always “How did you do it?” Depending on the audience, I tend to tailor my response to what they are expecting to hear or maybe what they need to hear.¬† Lately, I’ve been playing a lot with the idea of choices.¬† The truth is, it was a million tiny little choices that brought me to my life now.

My hubby first started sparked the idea in me.¬† Recently he’s been ordering new things at restaurants we go to all the time.¬† The other day he waited patiently for someone to turn instead of cutting someone off and then the whole lane opened up.¬† He waits patiently for a older lady to cross the street and the parking space we need opens up. He says “Change your choice. Change the outcome. Let’s see what happens.”¬† Lately, both of us have been rewarded for small choices that change our course.

When it came to losing weight, it didn’t wake up one morning and decide “Today is THE day!” I didn’t start officially on any single day.¬† It was 100 choices over three weeks and then I noticed my pants are a little too big.¬† Then I decided to keep making those choices and add more to see how I could change my outcome.¬† And 1-2 MILLION choices later, here I am.

It’s making the same choices day in and day out to focus on your health.¬† It’s choosing health over whatever else may come. Example: My friend recently joked about me being the energizer bunny.¬† Trust me people, I’m just as tired as the next person. I also want to sleep in late and skip the gym.¬† I also want to eat stacks of pancakes instead of hard boiled eggs. I just make it a priority and hold myself accountable.¬† I don’t let myself get away with excuses.¬† Excuses lead to me being 300 pounds.

 

It’s making new choices, risky choices that might be uncomfortable. For example: I’m about to run the Tough Mudder for the third year in a row.¬† The first time I went, I ran it with strangers and didn’t even really know what I was getting myself in to.¬† Instead of backing out, I chose to be uncomfortable and I’ve been running that race ever since.¬† It’s the best race I run all year.¬† Another example, recently chose to share my story with someone at the gym and now they are turning into a weekly client, which could blossom into years of revenue.

 

But it’s also about forgiveness. You’re not going to make the right or best choice all the time.¬† And you have to learn to forgive yourself.¬† I still eat crap sometimes!¬† I skip a workouts! (really, I swear!) I scream at the car in front of me instead of waiting patiently.¬† But I try not to dwell on those choices.¬† I try my best to forgive myself and move on.¬† You can’t change the past because it’s in the past.¬† What’s the point of being sad or mad about it? Let. It. Go.¬† Make better choices today.¬† Be awesome TODAY.¬†

No one chooses how you feel.¬† No one is going to make the choice for you.¬† No one will be there when you have to hold yourself accountable.¬† You could work with a whole team of fitness experts (I know a great one if you need a card…..) but in the end, you choose what happens. Trust me.¬† If I could make the choice for everyone, we would all be happy and healthy and running a mountain somewhere.¬† We would all feel what losing 160 pounds feels like and you wouldn’t be here reading this blog. I can’t make that choice.¬† But you can.¬† What choices will you make today?

Favorite Exercise #1: Jump Rope

In elementary school we ran a fundraiser every year called Jump Rope for Heart.  You had to get sponsors and jump rope for so many minutes in gym class each day.  I also remember not being very good at it, as I was most sports. I lacked the coordination and cardio strength to be successful at jump rope.  This left me feeling like a failure, unfit and added to my self doubt.  As a child, I always blamed myself for not being able to do certain movements in gym class or at sports practice.  Now that I am studying fitness training and how programs should progress, I realize how unprepared I was for many of the movements that they expected us to be able to do.  Did we jump rope each day for just a few minutes before being asked to do it for 20? No.  Did we do supportive strength exercise for the muscles needed to jump rope? No.  Did we do cardio regularly? Maybe 5 minutes to start each class.  The problem was in the program, not the exercise.

Now I love to Jump Rope. ¬†I use jump rope as my cardio in a circuit before anything else. ¬†I love to jump rope and I recently learned to do Double Unders. (Two rotations of the rope in one jump) Here’s some benefits to jumping rope:

  1. ¬†It’s super cheap!¬† You can find speed or regular jump ropes on Amazon for $5-$8 that will actually last for a while and start you on your path of jumping rope. ¬†You don’t even have to buy one when you’re starting. (See Invisible Rope below!)
  2. ¬†It’s portable! ¬†You can literally jump rope anywhere and everywhere. ¬†I used to have a jump rope in my office for quick cardio bursts. ¬†I have a jump rope with me almost everywhere I go. ¬†It’s so easy to get in a few quick minutes.
  3. It’s a HIGH calorie burner!¬†Jumping rope is one of the only activities that burns calories as quickly as running, without actually having to run. 10-16 calories a minute!¬†
  4. Good for the Brain! Jumping rope is great for the brain because it demands both physical and mental focus.  In order to do it correctly, so many systems need to work together.  
  5. Agility!¬†One of the typical mental images of jumping rope is a boxer. ¬†The reason for this is because boxer’s jump rope for the foot strength and agility on the balls of their feet. ¬†Always jump rope on the ball of your feet!¬†
  6. Bone Density! Most people would be surprised to hear that jumping rope is better for your joints than running because the shock is absorbed by both legs instead of one at a time.   

Source Article: 6 Surprising Benefits of Jumping Rope

While I’ve been jumping rope for a few years now, I tried to go back and think about how I really learned. ¬†Hopefully this helps a few of you be more successful:

  1. ¬†Just get your feet moving: Sometimes starting with a rope just hurts. ¬†If you are hitting yourself every few jumps, you’re never going to want to continue. ¬†If you have fear of the rope, it could even get worse. ¬†Jump rope with an “Invisible Rope” first. ¬†Jump to the beat of the song.
  2. Watch yourself in a mirror: Now, watching yourself jump rope can be quite shocking if you have as many ‘nonfirm parts’ as I do. ūüôā ¬†Just watch your feet. ¬†If you are jumping with the invisible rope from step 1, make sure both feet are off the ground at the same time BEFORE adding the rope.
  3. Rope Progression: Start with a softer rope, even one of the beaded ‘playground’ ropes. ¬†DO NOT get one that is so soft that it holds NO shape when you are jumping. ¬†(Even though they are usually super cute and brite) Work your way to a wire or thin speed rope to do more complicated jumps. ¬†As you learn to jump rope, you’ll learn what you like in a jump rope. ¬†If the rope is messing you up after you’ve been practicing a while, it could be the rope. ūüôā Length of rope is also important. ¬†To measure, stand on the rope and the handles should meet your armpits. ¬†Some ropes are child length and some are for giants. ¬†It makes a big difference.
  4. Exercise those muscles: Jump Rope uses all of your leg muscles and even into your glute. (Duh!) Any additional leg strength exercises that you can do are going to benefit your jumping rope. ¬†Calf raises, lunges, squats, deadlifts…..it’s all good!
  5. Time: I started with a timer for jumping intervals. ¬†At first I could go for a minute and eventually two. ¬†The more I tried, the better I got. ¬†You can see yourself improving with this exercise easily. ¬†Now I count my jumps because I find it keeps me more accountable. ¬†Now, if I use a timer, I’ll just slowly jump. ¬†But if I give myself a number, I’ll try to get it done ASAP! ¬†A typical AMRAP or Circuit for me these days has 200 single jumps and 20 double unders each round.
  6. Keep Trying! ¬†Don’t let more than a few days pass before practicing again! ¬†With jump rope, muscle memory is key, so just keep trying. ¬†I think you’ll get addicted pretty quick! ¬†Get that heart pumping!
  7. Form is really everything:
    1. RELAX!  When you are jumping rope, relax everything as much as you can.  This includes: knees, hips, calves, shoulders and especially neck.  Keep your body aligned but relaxed.
    2. Jump Up and Down: I know how this sounds but what I mean is, jump in the same exact place each time. ¬†If you are finding yourself moving forward or backward, your body isn’t aligned. ¬†This can lead to knee and hip pain. ¬†Until you are more advanced, you may lack the proper ankle and foot strength to do fancy jumps.
    3. Don’t jump so high: Half the time I see new ropers, they are jumping 18 inches in the air! ¬†You literally need just a few inches for the rope to pass below you. ¬†The more force you use to jump up, the more force you put on your joints when you return to absorb the jump and reload for the next. ¬†Also, a higher jump takes more time. ¬†The closer you remain to the earth while you’re jumping rope, the faster you will become and the healthier your joints will be.
    4. Shhhhhhh! ¬†You should listen to yourself jumping rope just like you watch your feet. ¬†If you sound like a herd of elephants, your putting an elephant’s worth of force on your joints. ¬†If you sound like a mouse……duh. ¬†Try to make as little sound as possible when you’re jumping rope. ¬†This keeps your joints light and your form in check. ¬†Aways jump on the pads of your feet. ¬†Not your toes. ¬†Not your heels. ¬†Trust me.

 

 

I’m a Dirty Girl!

So word is apparently getting around that I like to lift heavy things, climb like a monkey and run in the mountains, preferably while covered in dirt. Two or three weeks ago my friend/colleague/trainer Matt asked me if I would fill in a place for someone who had dropped out for a Mud Run. ¬†Matt is my weightlifting coach at the gym where I work (still weird to say….) and lets me come to his class and disrupt the men in their routine by adding sass and slowing everyone down. ūüôā He’s also the size of a refrigerator. So when he pulled a pink tutu out of his bag, I could hardly contain my excitement. ¬†Matt’s girlfriend, Sarah, had someone drop out of her team for the upcoming Dirty Girl Mud Run. ¬†The tutu and matching princess socks were the required costume. ¬†He was willing to take over my shift so I could go run in the mountains covered in dirt. ¬†What a guy!

So of course I agreed to the race without even considering it much of a question. ¬†I signed up; put on my tutu and met up with the girls. ¬†I was running the race with Sarah and Krista, each of us in our required tutu. ¬†I felt like I knew Sarah through Matt but I was meeting Krista for the first time. ¬†The last time I agree to a race without looking it up and ran with strangers, (Tough Mudder 2015) it was the most fun I’d ever had on a race. ¬†So I figured it was worth the risk. AND WE HAD A BLAST.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is a 5K course in Copper Mountain with 10-12 obstacles. ¬†It was attainable for all levels and a great race for newbies. ¬†This was Sarah and Krista’s first obstacle race and I knew that I was agreeing to go their pace and be a supportive team member. ¬†To be a total cocky jerk, the race was really simple for me. ¬†I tried to focus on being patient, encouraging my teammates and having fun with racing. ¬†Check check and check. ¬†It was a great day.

I almost got emotional a few times on the course. ¬†I’d never run an all female race before. ¬†Also, I’d never done one with so many of my ghosts along the path. ¬†Again, to be a total jerk: Most races that I run now, I NEVER would have been able to do before. ¬†I rarely see someone the size that I used to be in a race and never anyone bigger than that. ¬†Most races I run, my old self wouldn’t have even knew existed. This race is attainable for everyone so I saw so many versions of myself along the course. ¬† I remember one girl in particular. ¬†We were coming up to a climbing rig with: a cargo net climb to the top, horizontal traverse across a cargo net and then slide down a fireman’s pole; then crawl through the bubble pit to the other side. ¬† The whole thing was maybe 12-15 feet up in the air. ¬†Ahead of me I saw someone who was larger than my past self just giving everything she had to get to the top. ¬†But down below I saw my old self. ¬†She was standing to the side and wasn’t even going to try. ¬†Both my teammate Sarah and I tried to encourage her to try and offered to help her. ¬†It was clear she was just going to watch.

I wanted to encourage her more and fill her with a sense of inspiration and rigor to give it a go, but she was so defeated before she began. ¬†I saw myself in her eyes. ¬†I knew she would never try; no matter what I said. ¬†I watched so many women that day accomplish something they never thought they could. ¬†One woman was frozen at the top of a long slide and my team spent a long time trying to encourage her. ¬†Eventually she told us to go. ¬†She had the biggest smile on her face when we found her at the finish line to tell us that she had done it! ¬†But to the girl at the cargo net, she wouldn’t know. ¬†She wouldn’t know what that was like. ¬†I don’t know that woman. ¬†Maybe just walking the course was her goal that day. ¬†Maybe that brought her more joy than the obstacle would have anyway. ¬†But I saw it in her eyes.

Defeat. Not defeat from fear of the height or the obstacle. ¬†But defeat from even trying. ¬†I’d been in that place so many times. ¬†Here’s what I think she was going through her head:

I’m to heavy for that. ¬†Will the obstacle even hold me? I’m not supposed to do those things. ¬†What if I fail in front of everyone? I know I can’t do it.

These phrases kept me from even trying to lose weight so many times. ¬†“I know I can’t do it. ¬†I’ve tried already. What if I fail?” Fear of failure is something I deal with everyday of my life. ¬†Its something that I struggle with in everything I do. ¬†But I keep trying. ¬†I keep failing and trying to be ok with it. ¬†I’m trying to be ok with not being able to do EVERYTHING. ¬†But it’s hard. ¬†My fear of failure made me miss out on so many things in life. ¬†I’m not letting it rob me anymore. ¬†I almost missed out on the most beautiful Saturday on Copper Mountain with the most beautiful of ladies! ūüôā

Running of the Green

For the past three years, my husband and i have completed the Running of the Green Lucky 7K in Downtown Denver. You can read about last year’s race: here.¬†

When you run the same race with the same course for three years, you can feel such a difference! You rarely get the chance in fitness to compare one workout to the next. ¬†This was a cool experience! Here’s a snapshot of each year’s race:¬†

2015: I had never run farther than a 5K. ¬†I didn’t even know if I could. A few days before the race I went out and ran 4 miles just to be sure. ¬†Since I’d already signed up with friends, I figured I had to do it. I didn’t look at the course and it was brutal! ¬†So many hills….will the race ever end?

Pace: 10:49 .  I was walking every 1/3 to 1/2 mile.

2016:  I was much more confident after running it once.  I knew what the course would be like and when I should walk.  I felt more confident about racing and new I could finish.  The course still felt pretty hard but not as hard as the first year.  I ran some of the uphills but still walked frequently.

Pace: 10:00,  I walked at least 4-5 times

2017: ¬†I knew this was my year. ¬†I knew I could finish faster and push myself harder through the course. ¬†I’m faster now and I’ve been training on hills and trails a lot more. ¬†I am so much stronger now, the race felt kinda easy!

Pace: 9:06,  I only walked once!

Overall I know I’m always getting stronger and faster but it was amazing to FEEL how much stronger I was. ¬†In 2015 I dreaded every hill and walked almost all of them. ¬†This year, I sometimes noticed the uphill or was able to easily push to the top. ¬†I was proud of myself when I crossed the finish line, thinking of how hard it had been the first time and how far I’ve come as a runner and as an athlete.

In the middle of a journey it can be so difficult to feel yourself getting stronger especially when you aren’t using a scale. ¬†While the number on the scale is important, I find that I’m measuring my fitness more and more by my abilities than by the numbers. And the numbers are in: I’m pretty freaking strong.

 

Infectious Fitness

For the past 2.5 years, I have been running a Fun Run club at my school.  Truth be told, it has sometimes been really discouraging.  It seemed like no matter what I did, no one was interested in running next to me, behind me or in front of me.  Running helps keep me sane and able to do my job.  It de-stresses me and relieves anxiety that can be devastating in the teaching profession.

I tried several different ideas to get people excited. Different days, different lengths, different routes, incentives……nothing seemed to work.¬† I eventually got a trusty group of walkers.¬† While I enjoyed spending time with them, I knew they weren’t receiving the mental benefits that running brings.

Still I persisted.¬† Every Friday, I ran my miles.¬† I knew that someone was always watching.¬† Students would see me run by at their after school program.¬† Teachers eager to start their weekend would see me on their routes home. Parents would see me and honk.¬† And then finally…..I started getting some real members.¬† This fall, I started offering boot camp after school.¬† At first, it was just a reason for me and my friend Nestor to work out together at school.¬† Then someone joined us. And then more and more.

One of the beauties of working out with your colleagues is that you are all under the same stresses.¬† You would think that this leads to an hour long complaint session but it ends up being the opposite.¬† Now, every Wednesday AND Friday, I have a steady group of 5-9 people that show up to sweat.¬† Even though we finish sweaty and smelly, it’s so rarely about the calorie burn.

I look forward to boot camp days all week long.¬† We have administrators and teachers, all struggling with the same exercise or interval.¬†¬† Everyone is at their own level and doing their own thing.¬† It usually takes some convincing of new members that we aren’t so tough.¬† But most importantly: WE LAUGH.¬† I have gotten to know my colleagues in a brand new way because of this.¬† Everyone leaves smiling and feeling good.

I used to hope that just one person would join me on a run, that I could infect just one person……..this past Friday we held a Boot Camp 5K and 10 people ran.¬† My heart was so full! I have so many proud moments as a teacher but this one is definitely going toward the top of the list.

Change Your Perspective

Don’t worry: there will be NO ‘glass half full’ references in this post. ¬†In the past 8 weeks, I’ve gone through a lot of life changes. ¬†Instead of dwelling, I’m doing my best to just push forward and look ahead with confidence in the unsure. ¬†It’s actually quite bizarre. But as I spend time shifting my perspective, I realize how many times this habit has helped my in the past.

When I was still 290+ pounds, I could NEVER think about the fact that I had over 100 pounds to lose. ¬†That goal was insurmountable. ¬†There was just no way. ¬†No one loses 100 pounds. ¬†So I decided that I didn’t want to lose 100 pounds, I was just going to lose the first 50. ¬†After losing 50 pounds, maybe I’d be out of plus size clothes? But how cool would it be to say I’d lost 50? And then I did. ¬†When I looked at the BMI Chart, if I lost just another 50 pounds then I would be in the ‘Overweight Category’ and not the ‘Obese’ category anymore…… ¬† (****this was before I realized how craptastic BMI is and that it doesn’t actually mean anything)

After I lost the first 100 pounds, I had fallen in love with fitness. ¬†Then I just set goals for what I wanted to be able to do and my body responded. ¬†I set several goal weights along the way and reaching eat one felt great and every fitness goal and finish line made all the work worth it. ¬†It was easy to keep going when I loved it. ¬†That’s how I lost 150+ pounds: in small chunks because losing an entire person is completely ridiculous.

Honestly, I don’t think any one is more surprised that I lost all of the weight than I am. ¬†I’m the one that heard every negative thought and still had to continue forward. ¬†If I had focused on losing 150 pounds at the beginning, I never could have done it. ¬†But when I focused on one goal at time, it seemed easier. ¬†Sometimes it was 10 pounds away and sometimes it was one race away. ¬†But shifting my perspective is what lead me to success and more happiness than I thought possible.

I can count several different times in my life when I did this and had the same results. ¬†So I’m depending on it now.

Recently, I had to quit boxing. ¬†It doesn’t mean that I love boxing any less or that I’m ungrateful for the lessons it taught me. ¬†At first, I was really sad that it wouldn’t fit in my schedule any longer and what I had been working towards was longer important. ¬†But instead of dwelling on it, I’ve shifted my perspective. ¬†I realized that most of the goals I’d had in the last year, ( a PR 5K, completing the Tough Mudder….) didn’t even have anything to do with boxing. So I decided to shift my perspective and get excited. ¬†Boxing was creating a whole avenue of anxiety that I didn’t even realize was there. ¬†I now find it EXCITING to train myself. ¬†I love that I can train when, where and how I want and not report to anyone. ¬†I can change my body in anyway I want! ¬†After 8 weeks, not only have I been getting to my goals quicker, I’ve changed my body composition fairly dramatically. ¬†While I’ve maintained my weight, I’ve exchanged 6 pounds of fat for 3 pounds of muscle. ¬†Pretty awesome.

Also, a month ago, I got laid off at my school. ¬†I was devastated for a few days. ¬†As a specialized teacher in Drama, (and music before that) I always knew I was at risk for being cut when the budget goes down. ¬†I’ve been fortunate enough to always be ahead of the curve when that’s in question. ¬†But this time, I didn’t see it coming. ¬†I had just come back from a weekday getaway with Dan for his birthday when I got called to a budget meeting. ¬†10 minutes later, my job had been cut. ¬†I. Was. Shocked. After a few numb days, I saw the sliver lining. ¬†There’s only been one thing stopping me from going into personal training full time: the love of my students. ¬†I have been 75%ish…maybe sure… that I was going to try to get into personal training next fall. ¬†But I kept coming back to the kids, my guilt of leaving them, my colleague family and the program that I’ve built at my school. ¬†Now, there’s no program to ‘abandon’. ¬†I’m being forced to leave my position, so I’ve decided to just jump ship all together and try something that I want and I know that I’ll be good at. ¬†And for what seems like the first time in my life, I’m sleeping through the night again.

So here’s the moral of this chapter of my story: when you shift your perspective, your goals seem much more attainable. ¬† In the past two months I had to quit the sport I love and lost my job OR I have all the time I want to train myself¬†and I can now dive into a new career distraction free. ¬†It does feel a lot like losing the weight, like standing at a starting line, and maybe when I cross this finish line it will bring me even more joy and success.

How the Universe Works…..

January Sucks.¬†¬† I mean sucks. It’s cold.¬† I can’t run outside.¬† I hate my job, my house, my car, my………..I always want everything to change in January.

Every year you think it’s going to get better right? A clean slate!¬† A new year!¬† Everything resets……..right? The real truth is, if you keep making the same decisions you’ve always made, you’re life will always be the same.¬† The real truth is, if you don’t change anything, nothing will change.¬†¬† The real truth is that January 1st is no different than December 31st.¬† I was just as morbidly obese at the end of 2011 as I was at the beginning of 2012.¬† But for the first time, I was willing to do something real about it.

5 years ago, I was standing on my bathroom scale mortified.  I had ALWAYS promised myself that I would never see a number on the scale that started with a 3.  NEVER would I see 300 pounds.  Well, that day, or shortly after, I hit 285.  What was I going to do? How was I going to get things going in the right direction? It was then that I made a commitment to change.

I first looked at my life and realized I had¬† no goals, no direction.¬† Of course I had a career path but I was really just ticking the hours away, day in and day out, with big macs in the middle.¬† Nothing in my life was inspirational or motivating me to better myself.¬† The first decision that I made was to change my location.¬†¬† I looked at my life in the Midwest and realized it did not fit my ideal lifestyle.¬† I wanted my life to be filled with adventure and excitement and I was heading for death via cheeseburgers and having my skin attach itself to a couch cushion. That’s when I made the decision to move to Colorado.¬† When I say ‘I made the decision’, that’s what I mean.¬† ‘We’ (my hubby and I) didn’t.¬† I did.¬† I told him he could come if he wanted to but I was going.

I know how that sounds.¬† I know that seems selfish.¬† BUT, I knew I could love him better.¬† I knew I could offer him more.¬† I knew that I was holding him back, even if he never would have admitted it.¬† I also knew that if I didn’t change, our lives together would be cut short and full of…….nothing. I think it was that decision that got me to where I am.¬† Now, I made the decision in 2012.¬† That summer we moved to Colorado.¬† It would still take many years for me to lose the weight and get to where I am now.¬† But that decision, standing on my bathroom scale created a domino effect that has now saved me life.¬† So………

 

What decision can you make today that will set you up for the future?¬† Even if you can’t advance toward that goal or change very much in this moment, what decision will you make? The clock is ticking.

2017: Big Announcement!

I would start this blog with a bunch of excuses about how long it’s been since I’ve written…..but let’s be honest.¬† You’re here because you want to know the announcement, not hear excuses.¬† Fortunately for you, they are kind of one and the same:

I have been interning with a personal trainer for the past 8 weeks ūüôā

 

For those of you that follow this blog, you’d know I’m a full time Drama Teacher.¬† Since November 1st, I have been attempting to balance two jobs, internship, marriage, workouts and life.¬† While it has had it’s challenges, I’ve already learned SO much.

I think I’ve been saying “I’m thinking of becoming a trainer” for……….two and a half years now.¬† So I was thinking maybe I should actually give it a try ūüôā¬† People always dream big when they hear about my weight loss.¬† They almost always say “You should write a book!” Well, that’s easier said than done.¬† I don’t really want to wait that long and it seems like a ton of work for something that might not work out.¬† I want to start changing lives right now!¬† For the last two years of my fitness journey (of which I’m still on by the way) I’ve been coaching people here and there with handfuls of tidbits.¬† I feel like I’ve been an inspiration and motivation for a few people at tough moments.¬† But now I want to be there for the change. I want to help guide others though the WHOLE journey that I’ve been on.

What trainer would you rather have if you were looking to lose weight?

Option A:  Joe Schmo who was a college athlete and has never counted a calorie in his life.  He is highly educated and certified and regularly completes Ironman races without bothering to stretch beforehand.  

Option B: Kim G who struggled with morbid obesity her whole life and knows the personal struggle of losing weight.¬† She conquered obesity through a healthy diet and exercise and has the same certification as Mr. Schmo. She understands both the mental and physical aspect of weight loss. While she couldn’t run a mile 5 years ago, now she completes half marathons.

You’d pick me right? Right?

So far I am LOVING working at the gym.¬† During my paid shift, I am a Club Assistant.¬† I do lots of things: clean, get towels, get water, yell at kids running, show people how to use machines, help trainers……my position changes based on the day, hour, even minute sometimes.¬† I get to chat with members and attempt to build a client base for when I’m training. One of the best parts is seeing my friends while they work out! (Shout out to Natalie who recently completed Yoga Teacher Training at our facility.¬† Can’t wait to start taking your classes!!! )

Lately, I’ve been weighing in people for our new Fitness Challenge which is so fun and I’m excited to see how everyone changes over the next 6 weeks.

But my favorite thing by far is my intern training.¬† I feel very fortunate to be working under Victor Spatola as he leads me through my trainer’s course. We talk about biomechanics, recovery, progamming…….mostly he talks in words I barely understand and then have to study later. ūüôā¬† He assigns me homework and I somehow find a few hours to nerd out and study before the next lesson comes. In a few short weeks I can see my future changing and shaping.¬† My goals are resetting and my life is being fulfilled in new ways.

I’m in a bit of a life crisis.¬† I’ve had to totally switch up my fitness (I’m no longer boxing….more on that later), my schedule is nuts and I’m just not quite sure where I’m going……but I have a partner who is supporting my insanity and giving me the space and time to figure it out.¬† I only know one thing right now but I think it’s the most important thing: it’s exciting!¬† So here’s to 2017 and whatever that’s going to mean.

I’m a Tough Mudder 2.0

If you follow this blog, you’ll notice it’s been a while. I’m constantly playing the balancing game of work, love, life, working out, friends…..and I’m attempting a whole new journey that I’ll be writing about very very soon. Regardless, sometimes things just slip…..

 

But let’s go back.

 

Last month I completed my 2nd Tough Mudder! I have been looking forward to the next Tough Mudder since completing it last year and knowing I could do better. Here were my goals this year: finish sooner, complete the Funky Monkey 2.0 and grab the bar on King of the Swingers. Let’s see how I did!

 

The Tough Mudder, for those that do not know, is a 11+ mile obstacle race. You can read about my first year here! Everyone claims that Colorado has the toughest course because of the following: it ends up over 12 miles, it has an elevation gain of 3000 feet and the water is TERRIBLY cold due to the altitude. It is the hardest race that I do all year and I couldn’t wait to prove to myself that I could complete it again. My husband ran for the first time this year and I was more concerned about him finishing than myself.

 

My first goal to complete was the Funky Monkey 2.0 which was located 1.5 miles into the race. **Side note: I never look at the map before I run. I just don’t want to know when certain things are going to come up. The Funky Monkey is 20 ascending monkey bars, to a swinging bar and then a transfer to a horizontal bar before making your way to the platform.

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I spent several evenings with Dan over at the playground, working on grip strength just to complete the obstacle. We also rock climb in the winter. Last year, I wimped out and didn’t even try to make the transfer. This year, I wanted to complete it but especially I didn’t want to give up. AND I DID IT! I can’t even explain the way I felt when my dry feet hit the platform. After you complete the first obstacle, everyone can see who did it and who did not based on who is wet.

 

Right after the Funky Monkey, Dan got injured going over a wall. The Berlin Walls are 12 foot wooden walls.  Most people get over them like this:

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One guy was ‘helping’ Dan by lifting his feet and suddenly let go. ¬†This caused him to hit his ribs on the top of the wall. ¬†We were not quite 2 miles in. ¬†I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to finish. ¬†He had no idea what was ahead of him.

The hardest part of the Tough Mudder is the mental aspect. ¬†I know that I can physically complete the race. ¬†But it is the only race that I run all year that pushes me past my mental limits. ¬†When I go out for a long run, I know there is always the option of stopping. ¬†The length is nearly a half marathon, which is the longest I’ve run. ¬†But then there’s the hiking and altitude factors. ¬†We live at 5280 feet. ¬†The races starts at 8200 feet and ascends just into 11000 feet.¬†Oh yeah, and the obstacles.

Somewhere in the middle of that altitude was my next goal: The King of Swingers.  You jump from a platform onto a pendulum swinging bar and attempt to ring a bell before falling into the water below. First of all: I do not like it when you have to get wet even after completing the obstacle.  That being said, up until this point I had not gotten wet.  I had gotten muddy and sweaty but not submerged in water.

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My goal was to get the bar on the pendulum, and I succeeded!  I then missed the bell and fell in the water.  I was so SHOCKED by the water that I could barely breathe!  Near mile 8: my hip and leg were hurting to badly that I thought about quitting.  The only thing that kept me going was thinking about how disappointed I would be if I stopped.  I had to finish the race.  Also, if Dan could keep going; so could I.  He was hurting pretty badly at this point too.  We wanted to finish!

My third goal was to finish in less time that last year. ¬†I think I finished in 5ish hours last year. ¬†This year we were aiming for 4 hours. ¬†We did it. ¬†This is the only race that I ever think about quitting. ¬†It’s the only race that I have trouble completing. ¬†It’s different than running. ¬†It’s amazing. ¬†It’s amazing what the body can do and especially what my body can do. ¬†It’s the only race that I’ll complete for a third year in a row. ¬†It’s the only race I’ll be this excited/nervous for again next year. ¬†And I can’t wait. ¬†14233129_10103658517593519_3395195932218454546_n

 

It took me two weeks to feel like I had healed from the race. ¬†I’m already thinking of goals for next year. ¬†I’m already thinking of how to train for next year if I want to finish even faster. I love the Tough Mudder because I feel like it changes me a little bit every year.

 

P.S.  I bought the Merrell Tough Mudder shoes for the race and they were freaking awesome.  No endorsements.  Just seriously killer shoes.