How To Stay Fit And Motivated

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Posing in the backyard after the run.

A great way to stay fit, have fun, and to meet new people is to take part in local sporting events.  I find events by talking to other fitness fanatics and from one of my favorite sites, Active.

Yesterday, I participated in Atlantic City’s first ever, Insane Inflatable 5K.

Inflatable what?  I know!  Lol!!   I thought the same.  But once I visited the website, back in March, I knew I had to do this crazy looking event. You can see pics of yesterday’s run here.

start

I took this picture just before the start.  The folks at the top are event organizers getting us all pumped up.

Climbing, crawling, bouncing, running, sliding up, down, under and through ginormous inflatables is something I never imagined myself doing.  But it was worth every aching muscle that I feel this morning! :0)

Crazy-Air

Look at the size of this baby! Lol!!

I do not have my own pics because I ended up running solo because hubby and B’Dazzle were still sleeping when I left the house.  Next year, the entire family is participating!  And yes, I already put them on notice.  Our son will love it; I am not certain about hubby, but it is a perfect family “active” event.  Lol!   Oh… it’s definitely ON for next year.

Though I ran solo, I really did not feel alone.  Along the course, I met an awesome 10-year old asthmatic that kicked butt!  He didn’t allow his asthma to stop him as he led the pack of the 9 o’clock wave half way through the course.   I told him that he rocked.  His reply, “You too!”

One group of women I met drove nearly two-hours for the challenge.  The course was set up at an old airport.  Parts of the course were paved, other sections included two-foot high weeds; we laughed at the “battlefield” and dodged potholes through most of the run.

I have always lacked a sense of direction and was thankful to run through an insane maze following some girl.  We ran through only to find that we were at the start of the maze.  Sigh! Back in again. Of course, I ran right on her heels.  I really thought we were running in circles, but she got us through… I thanked her!  Lol!

I got lost in this for sure!

This is where we got lost!   Image courtesy of Inflatable.com

This morning, I feel like I weight trained yesterday.  My hamstrings, quads, and shoulders are sore.  No longer do I feel guilty about not hitting the gym yesterday.

With your doctor’s blessings, this is an ideal way to get started.  Just do it!  The run is not timed.  There are no losers.  Everyone wins by showing up and having fun.

I am asked all the time about how I stay on course to stay fit.  It’s pretty simple, I do everything on this list:

  1. My number one goal is to have fun. Be silly and laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so serious.
  2. Be open-minded to try something new.  There are many ways to      exercise, dabble in something completely different. This inflatable run was different for me.
  3. Seek new challenges and set new goals.  Ex: A mud run is on my to-do list. Confidence grows steadily with accomplishments.
  4. Stay away from the scale; it is not an accurate measurement of your overall fitness level.
  5. Be aware of what you eat and drink. Read labels! Drink water!
  6. Set your mind to try new recipes. I eat foods today that I did not know existed a few years ago. I continue to add new healthier foods to my diet and subtract foods that I discover are unhealthy.
  7. Connect (In person or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc..) with other fitness fanatics. We will encourage and inspire you and help to keep you motivated.
  8. Educate yourself.  Read about nutrition and fitness every opportunity you get. The social networks are saturated with fitness guru’s who are eager to share what they know.  Of course, everything you read is not true or accurate, so do your research. Right now by favorites are bodybuilding.com and fitnessrx for women.  I follow a few good boards on Pinterest; you can follow me there at Lexa82.
  9. Don’t give up.  If something does not work for you, move on.
  10. Remember, there is no such thing as perfection.  Don’t compare your body to someone else’s. Just work to be YOUR best.
  11. Don’t be afraid to participate in an event by yourself. You will make new self discoveries and gain lots self-confidence.

After the run and later in the afternoon, we (hubby and B’Dazzle) met other family and friends at a free outdoor concert at Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. The weather was beautiful! I sat in my beach chair, chilled, ate, drank two well-earned margaritas, danced to a DJ and to the sounds of S.O.S. Band. Remember them?

 post workout meanPost workout meal at 10:30 a.m. — Leftover broiled chicken breast and freshly sautéed broccoli.  Mmm… See all that minced garlic? I Love it!!

Personally for me, eating well and exercising makes me feel amazingly well. Increased energy, better productivity, and an overall happier mental and physical state of being are some of the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

49 feels way better than I ever thought possible!

I cannot stress the importance of making fun a part of your fitness regimen. This is how I do it!

Happy Sunday and enjoy the day!  :0)

 

 

 


Thursday’s WOD

SWOD
Skill: Light snatch technique work – 10 minutes

WOD  15 minutes @ moderate effort

300m Row

60 sec plank hold

100 Single Unders

This afternoon I got high in CrossFit!  Well, at least that’s what I felt like during the WOD.  The rush of doing a little cardio sent my adrenaline into high gear!

Working on my snatch technique was much-needed. Snatches aren’t something I do in my figure training, so I was glad to get some practice reps in. I appreciate the way our trainer broke the technique down into move by move-it helped.

As soon as I positioned my feet and grabbed the handles to row, my heart raced like I was competing in the Olympics or something.  The thing is, I wasn’t looking forward to competing with anyone, I was just looking forward to the euphoric state, the endorphin rush, and the wonderful feeling I get from an intense cardio workout.   It’s my addiction.

The WOD wasn’t overly challenging, but enough for me to breakout into a nasty sweat.  Twenty seconds into my last plank and in the most sinister way, the coach placed a 25 pound weight on my back and another member’s back.

“Don’t move!  Hold it! Only 40 seconds to go.”

Putting myself in a meditative state of mind, I deeply inhaled…  slowly exhaled, concentrated on my body and held on!  By the way, I LOVED every second of it and I’m glad he did it.   Awesome!

Sweet dreams! 🙂


Say WOD?

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At school today, every time a student or colleague asked, “What’s today’s date?”  I eagerly responded, “11-12-13” and chuckled.  I know– corny! LOL!   Little did I know how much counting I would do later this afternoon.

Gingerly I stroll into CrossFit. I glance to my left to casually read the WOD, hand written on the white board, and stop dead in my tracks. To clarify what I think I just read, I move closer re-read the board.  Mmm… the numbers didn’t change.  Oh my! How on earth am I going to do all that?

“Angie” had been waiting for me all day. What the heck!?  Really??  All in one day?  “Angie” is the WOD (workout of the day)

WOD:   Angie

100 Pull ups

100 Push ups

100 Sit ups

100 Air Squats

*You cannot move on to the next exercise until you complete 100 of the first exercise and so on.

A green band assisted me with the 100 pull ups.  After that, the WOD was all about my will and my desire to finish.  My classmates moved faster than me, but I focused on my counts, my form, and just finishing the WOD.  I was the last woman standing.  Seriously, as I started my sit ups, they (2 women and 3 men) were finished and had moved on to cooling down and stretching.  Steadily I focused on finishing.

The best way to complete a WOD like this is to break each exercise into sets of 10.  Pause and do 10 more and so on.  It reminds me, of my approach to running long distance. You focus on each step, then each mile and before you know it, you’ve reached your distance goal of 10 miles or whatever your goal is.

I completed the WOD in 25:39!    Until we meet again Angie!


To my surprise, a few years ago at a Halloween party, I was encouraged by two incredibly fabulous and inspiring women to compete in a figure competition.   Although fit, I was flattered, but never did I image myself competing on that level, let alone strolling across a stage in a itsy bitty bikini.  I also knew that my time was limited and I couldn’t make the commitment, so I graciously declined.

What is figure competition?  It is a body building competition where women are judged on their physique.  Judges look for muscle symmetry and definition, so intense training and a strict diet are key.

Because I didn’t really know anything about figure competition and the idea piqued my interest, I decided to attend the event as a spectator.

Since then, I’ve been to a couple of competitions.  I was amazed by how these woman, especially the ones over 40 sculpt their bodies to perfection.  I also noticed the absence of black woman on the stage.  Hello!  Where are the sistas at?  Sparse, to say the least!   I was disappointed.

Curiosity led me to YouTube, fitness magazines, and other internet resources.  The pictures and videos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, are jaw dropping.  The more I looked, the more engrossed I became.

My emotions have cultivated from having “a general interest” to an “intense yearning” to discover how I can transform my body into a lean and muscular skeletal work of art.   Yeah!  I said “work of art.”  After all, creating art in any medium requires time, patience, consistency, creativity, attention to detail, and commitment.  The result, as in any piece of work, is amazing!

So officially I am in pursuit to uncover amazing!   Project FitCom14 is underway.  LOL!  For the record, I am TERRIFIED!!!   When I imagine myself strolling across the stage in 4-inch heels and a two-piece swim suit, goose bumps cover my body and my stomach knots up.

Like a jury deliberating for a verdict, I have given careful consideration to this challenge.   What are the pros and cons?  How much time is required?  What are the costs?  How will the training affect my family?  Who will I train with? The list goes on and on.

While I am on a quest to uncover amazing, other factors played a key role in my decision.

  1. Life is precious and short.  I have this need to constantly challenge myself, but ten years ago, I certainly didn’t vision myself partaking in a competition of this nature.   With each accomplishment, a new challenge must lie ahead.  Down the road, I would hate to have to ponder, “What if I had tried?’
  2. Fitness is my lifestyle and my passion; so I always make that part of my “me” time.  Too many women, especially black women, slight themselves of their own interests and of taking good care of the body, mind, and spirit.  Women make sacrifices for their family, but not for their own happiness.  Over time, resentment and regret can seep into our soul and our spirit. I can support my family best by maintaining overall health and wellness.   At my best, I am a better listener, more patient and understanding, and can better deal with the daily challenges in life.
  3. Lead by example.  Recently an unsuspecting phone call from my 24 year-old daughter plastered a huge smile on my face.

Shaina:                 “Mom, what do you eat?

Me:                        “Healthy Food.”

Shaina:                 “I know that, but what kind of food?

Me:                        Laughter!  (This child has lived with me all her life.  She just moved in June.  What the heck was she doing  when I was slaving in the kitchen?)  I shook my head and laughed some more

Our exchange went on for a few minutes because I was trying to figure out why my daughter had a sudden shift and interest in “eating healthy.”  That is definitely not her thing.  Finally she laughed and confessed,

“You’re an inspiration!  OMG!  I saw that picture you posted on Facebook”

I almost fell over!  LOL!  “Oh that!”  She’s NEVER said those words to me before.  I posted a picture of my hair growth progress, but my shoulder drew  more attention than my hair growth.  Here’s the picture.

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth.  Instead my shoulder attracted the attention!  LOL!

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth. Instead my shoulder attracted the attention! LOL!

Seriously, I’m so happy that my daughter  is taking an active interest in her health.  If I can inspire, encourage, and help others see value in caring better for themselves and possibly save a life along the way, then my efforts are worthwhile.

So, on September 27, 2013, I made the commitment to compete in my first figure competition. Future posts will include my progress.   Ooooooh!  More goose bumps!!

Read More

Project FitCom14 Is Officially Underway!


Are You Willing To Experience Discomfort?

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Warm Up:  Agility Ladder Drills For 4 Minutes

Mobility:  5 Minutes

SWOD:  8 Min To Warm Up To First Set For Front Squats
Front Squat: EOM (Every Other Minute) Do 3 Reps

Then Do:

Power Snatch 1.1.1. X 3 2-3 Mins
( . ) Denotes a 10 Sec Pause Between Reps

WOD: For Time:

20 Overhead Squats (95/65)
15 Shoulder to Overhead (95/65)
20 Front Squats (95/65)
15 Shoulder to Overhead (95/65)
20 Back Squats (95/65)
15 Shoulder to Overhead (95/65)

Who knew that ladder drills would make my gluts and a few other muscles burn so badly? I certainly did not. Wow!! The next time I watch my son and his team mates complete rounds of ladder drills, I’m going to cheer something fierce.

I completed the WOD reps with 45 pounds, which was a struggle and down right uncomfortable. To develop strength, the struggle and the discomfort is necessary.  Sometimes when my muscles are shaking and puddles of sweat are beneath me on the floor I have to remind myself of my personal goals.

The most difficult and uncomfortable exercise for me today was by far the overhead squat.  Don’t get me wrong, the power snatches weren’t cake either, but the overhead squats require good core strength and solid form. About half-way into my squat, I struggled to keep the chest up, and the back straight, all while trying to push my butt out. Maybe I should have used less weight; I’m not sure, but to perfect my form, I will practice with my 25 pound bar at home.

I smile a lot when I work out. Actually, I smile a lot period. Today was not the first time that the instructor either told me or asked why I was smiling. LOL! I might be smiling outside, but that obnoxious filthy mouth inner voice is saying stuff like, “Come on! Get your ass movin!” “Don’t F’N punk out!” That sweet voice says other crazy ish, but you get the point. The inner voice, who bitches like a military drill instructor is encouraging and motivates me to push myself harder.

Yáll keep it movin!


The Longest 1.6 Ever!

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” ~ Conrad Hilton


TODAY’S STATS
:

Distance:     10:01 miles
Duration:     1:49:40
Pace:             10:57 min/miles
Calories:       1398

“Come on girl!  You’ve never been a quitter!  Don’t quit now!  Come on… get your a** in gear!!!”  Someone around 8.4 miles, my hamstrings and quadriceps felt weighted.  Those muscles felt like five pounds of weights were strapped to my thighs with heavy electrical tape.  The goal for today was 10 miles.  Typically 10 miles is cake for me, but I think running in the unexpected heat took a toll on my body. While I was well hydrated, the last time I ran in 85+ temps was probably Fall 2012.  I don’t know about other runners, but my body has to become conditioned and acclimated to the summer temps. In Jersey, we’ve gone from 70ish spring like weather to a four-day 90 degree heat wave.

I had to talk.. more like yell at myself to keep going.  I swear there’s a beastly coach residing within me. She appears only when I am on the verge of quitting.  Her harsh and demonic like voice forces me to push myself beyond, what I think is my breaking point, to keep moving.  I stopped briefly only to take swags of water from my bottle or to douse my body with ice-cold water from neighbors sparsely running sprinklers.  Still the remaining 1.6 seemed like another eight miles down the road.  Mistakenly I listed to my MapMyRun voice update every .3 miles, which made the remaining distance feel even longer.   That was not smart.  Finally I did a quick body check:

Do my knees hurt?  No.  Cramps?  No.  Feel dizzy?  No.  Chest pains?  No.  Do I feel pain…anywhere?  No.  Then keep moving and stop looking for an excuse to stop!

The desire to quit is internal.  If we are not careful, external forces such as negative energy from those around us can trick us into giving up.  Just as Conrad Hilton affirms , Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. So there you have it…

Keep it movin and have a great weekend!