Putting In The Work

While I haven’t written a post in a week or so, I have been busy preparing for stage day.

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Happy Friday!

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I Must Not Fear

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank HerbertDune

What you are about to read may surprise some and may sound ridiculous to others but… it’s my truth, so I am sharing.

My fanatical friend and trainer is basking in the tropics this week, which leaves me all alone. Boo! 😦   I knew this day was coming and I’ve been restless about it.

Throughout the day I nervously studied the prescribed and written arm workout.  In case I misplace or lose the original paper, I made an extra copy.  One stuffed in my gym bag; the other on my desk.

My thinking is, if I study the workout beforehand, when I arrive at the gym, I will feel more confident, look more like a pro and look and feel less like a lost soul.  I confided in a friend.  She asked,

What are you afraid of?

Well… good question.  If I am going to be 200% honest with you, I need to reveal that Mrs. Fitness and Mrs. Patty Perfect (self-titled) always wants to do things to perfection.  God forbid I do something wrong and Lord knows that I have in the past and will error in the future.

By no means do I think I’m perfect or better than anyone else, I simply want to do the best of my ability (near perfection) in everything that I do. I’m working on the typos! 🙂  I try not to judge others, which is human nature in this country, but I am the critic when it comes to myself.

I know, I know!  There’s no such thing as perfect; however if I aim for the “P” word, then I’m assured that I’ve done my best and that’s all I want to do.  I can’t stand half-stepping or half-a** effort in anything.

You know what’s crazy?  I’ll run anywhere that is safe alone, take a fitness class where I don’t know anyone, but ask me to walk into a gym and lift weights alone… Nope.  I have never done this.  Most people who know me would not speculate that I have insecurities relative to any fitness environment.  But that goes to show you that we all have undisclosed bits and pieces of our personalities.

The gym environment is intimidating!  Ginormous, oversized, pulsating, loud music, tattooed male and female jocks grunting and slamming weights around.  You know the deer in the headlights thing?  That’s the situation I see myself in going solo to the gym. It’s silly because I know exactly what I’m supposed to do and I’m no stranger to the gym.

I asked a few women how they felt about weight lifting in the gym alone. They were not comfortable going it alone and feared “looking silly” or “not doing it right.”   I suspect the fear keeps a large number of woman off the gym floor.  The same is probably true for some guys, but they may not want to admit or acknowledge the intimidation factor.

Anyway, I swear by positive self-talk. The self-pep talk is my comrade that supports me when I lack confidence in myself. The talk has gotten me through many nerve wrenching situations.

While warming up on the treadmill, my eyes swiftly darted from one side of the gym to the other…. scouting out availability and space for my first exercise.  Boom!  I found a spot to begin my seated dumb bell curls.  I scurry off the treadmill and to my first station.

Are members watching and critiquing me?  Focus girl! My trainer’s note read….

Go hard or go home!

I claimed my bench with my one gallon jug of water, cranked up one of my favorite reggae tunes Shaggy’s, Strength Of A Woman, on my iPod, grabbed my 15 pound dumbbells and went to work on my bicep curls.  I knocked out three sets of 12 and before I realized it, I cared less about the who’s and what’s.

Tucked in my waist area, were my trainer’s written instructions.  Before moving on to the next exercise, I carefully reviewed her notes…  Twice I caught myself laughing aloud (not paying attention to anyone else) at the amount of weight I was instructed to lift.  Like, is she serious?  While shaking my head! LOL!

It took me less time to complete the workout than when I’m with my trainer.  Most likely because I did not talk to anyone–per her instructions–and really focused on the mind-body connection.  On A few of the exercises, I challenged myself to lift heavier than recommened and felt great about it.  At the end of the workout my arms were fatigued and I felt accomplished.

In spite of my fears, no one approached me to tell me that I looked silly or absurd.  While working out, another member may have been near me experiencing the same anxiety, but I wouldn’t know that.  Seriously we have to figure out how to get a handle on our fears. They are crippling and stifling.  Driving home I reflected on my experience.  All that fear and anxiety… for NOTHING.

Preparation for this competition is more involved than I anticipated. Not only am I tearing  down and rebuilding muscles, but I am also breaking down walls and barriers that unbeknownst to me have held me back.

At almost eight-weeks out from the competition, I am filled with anticipation about what the future holds for me.

Hmm… gotta love the unknown!

Thanks for stopping by!


On Finding Confidence

One important key to success is self-confidence.  An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

If it had not been for the wind in my face, I wouldn’t be able to fly at all.

-Arthur Ashe

Three to four inches heels have never inhibited my ability to confidently strut my long lean legs across a room…. that is until today!

After shredding my shoulders this morning, I moved on to my first official posing session!  In the locker room, I changed into my very short and tight shorts (I need to see my body, sweat pants won’t work).  The whole time, I’m thinking about folks, particularly the guys checking out my ass as I creep to a more private area to practice.   “Baby’s got back?”  Yup-always did!  Lol! But I have never been the type to wear ridiculously tight fitting clothes that bring unnecessary attention to myself.

You’re probably thinking,

She’s worried about walking across a gym floor in tiny shorts, when in two and half months, she’s gonna be half-naked on a stage in front of a 100 or more people!”

I know– I thought the same thing.  Mentally, I’m not quite there yet, but I am work in progress.

The chill of the room took my mind off my outfit and shifted my focus to my trainer’s instructions.  The mirrors are perfect for visual learners like me.  Walk with confidence!  Walk like you own the room!  I thought I was, but I was not.

Over-thinking movements and instructions got me feeling a little discombobulated.  Chin up, hand positioning, shoulders down, soft elbows, foot placement, transitions, smile……   Woo child… I’m dizzy just thinking about it!   Once again, I find myself extended beyond my comfort zone.  Hello?  Where the heck am I?

Out of corner of my eye, I could see gym members peeping in the room. Oh my gosh, can they see my tiny spider veins and other imperfections?  My inner voice shouts, Get over it girlfriend!!  Brene Brown’s, Vulnerability discussion on SuperSoulSunday pops in my head.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
Brené Brown

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
Brené Brown

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.
Brené Brown

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
Brené Brown

Empowered by Brown’s wisdom, my determination, my coach’s encouragement, and positive reinforcement I was guided across the room again, and again, and again, until I improved.  Posing is more involved than it looks, so is life; I tell my kids this all the time.  Today I took a dose of my own medicine.

What’s next?  My competition shoes are ordered– they should be in any day now. Meanwhile, practice, practice, and more practice.   I should have gotten pictures today, but my mind was occupied.  Oops!

Talk to you later and have a fabulous day!



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!


The Right Order: Massage First, CrossFit Second

WOD:  Heavy Fran

21-15 – 9 (15 Min Cap)
Thrusters (135/95)
Pull-ups

Rest 3 Minutes

5 Rounds of

OTM1: 3 Reps Back Squat (light/medium)
OTM2: 20 DU’S or 10 Box Jumps (24/20)

Two and a half hours before class, I enjoyed a relaxing full body massage. Lying on the massage table as the therapist stoked my fatigued muscles, I wondered if I would make it back to LivingWell for the 5:30 CrossFit class. I adore the place! Small and intimate, friendly, professional, and staffed with all the right services to meet an athlete’s needs.

I left LivingWell at 4 p.m. Although my day started with less than five hours of sleep, I returned for the 5:30 p.m. class feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. The massage did wonders for my body.

Thrusters are not at the top of my favorite list, but today, I kicked them out with 55 pounds.  I did thrusters last week with the same amount of weight, but my form today was better.

Form first… weight second…that’s my rule!

I completed my five rounds of back squats with 95 pounds.  My friend T. said that the weight was light and I could do more. LOL!  Next time my friend, I’ll push harder.

The class was packed but, true to form, the group was fun and encouraging.  Am so glad I made it tonight.  Awesome!

Sweet dreams!