I am starting to realize there are people who work, and people who work OUT. Apparently, I am increasingly becoming one of the latter. Oops. Note to self- find a way for exercise to pay the bills, like soon.
Given my flexible(ish) schedule, I am able to devote an average of about two hours a day, most days to getting my sweat on. I get up early, stay up late and juggle a whole lot to do this, but it’s worth it. On the one hand, two hours is a lot, as that’s about 12% of my daily waking hours, but the more I do it, the more I realize how much it impacts me positively. It keeps me going; it’s my fuel. Taking care of my body is how I am able to do what I do (it also, btw, allows me to eat. And drink. A lot. Both of which I enjoy, uh, a lot. Win-win-win).
Let’s just say I figured out what Wonder Woman eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner- endorphins.
Currently, I have little trifecta of exercise nirvana going down. I run, I practice yoga, and I (attempt to) do CrossFit WOD’s three times a week. All three are of equal importance and each provides a unique benefit to me, and in turn, I might add, to those around me. In fact, you probably don’t want to be around me on a non-exercise day. Approach with caution, and by caution I mean wine. Or vodka. Or maybe both.
So, what? Why? When? How? And why should you care? Well, you know how I feel about sharing (it’s caring. . .) so besides a smidge of my own ROB, I am hoping to provide a little inspriation in hopes that my virtual audience might learn something, or something. So here it is, the DL on my exercise regime. Let’s call it:
CTFD: Improving the Relationship Between You and Your Endorphins
Part I- Running
I’ve been a runner my entire life, spriting, relays, distance, you name it. I’m pretty sure I did my first fun run sometime around nine, and have already
coerced encouraged my own children to run their first 5k (yes, they ran, the entire way. GO TEAM).
I run, because I can. I run because it pushes me past my limits. I run because of the runner’s high. I run because it makes me stronger. I run because my body craves the mind numbing beat of my feet up on the ground, the world whoosing past me as I go. I run to be mindful, to be present, to notice. To appreciate nature’s beauty. To pay reverence to the glory created on earth that lives and breathes all around me.
I run to feel the sunlight peeking down on me through the leaves of a 100 year old sycamore tree. I run to spot the loving hands of an elderly couple strolling through the park. I run to hear the peals of laughter of children on the playground and the squeals of delight from the baby in the stroller seeing the wagging tail of the furry old golden retriever in front of her. This, is my run. These are the joys that fill me up, the energy that encompasses me, encourages me, keeps me going. It’s my perspective.
Part II- Yoga
I just passed my one year anniversary of practicing yoga. This is amazing to me, because it feels as though it’s a part of me that’s always been there. Maybe it has, actually, and I just finally found it. Om. Namaste Universe. You rock.
I do yoga because it keeps it real. It grounds me while opening me up. It is grace and power; beauty, and strength. It’s how you reach Spiritual Gangster status, players. Yoga, particularly this style (hot power vinyassa) is an emotional, physical and spiritual workout like no other. It’s no wonder I’m basically addicted. Yoga Jedi? I think not. More like Yoga Junkie.
I go in like this
and then for the next 75 minutes of heat, sweat, and chat-fucking-rungas, I work out it all out on my mat. There I fluctuate in my flow between being so present in what I’m doing that I surrender all other thoughts and am 100% in tune with my movements, or hit auto pilot and am so deep in thought I am completely oblivious to a) what I’m doing, b) who else is there, or c) where the hell I am. Sometimes I find myself in forward fold and wonder when I got there. Not kidding.
Yoga is like a gigantic band-aid. Or, well, more like a hot compress, actually. It warms my soul. When I leave, I am in a creative zone, inspired and open, (and sofa king hungry). Once I come out of my yoga puddle (yes, yoga puddle. Let’s be honest, driving after yoga is more dangerous than driving after drinking. I’m completely serious) I have a total sense of calm and focus stemming from deep within that carries me through the day. I can identify and articulate my feelings, so much so that I can produce writing pieces for this site, for my work on medium, and for clients with so much more, well, vibe, for lack of a better word.
But that’s not where my yoga ends. I also hit the studio at least twice a week to assist. You know, that person who pushes you deeper into downward dog, holds your leg in the air during balancing half moon, rubs your shoulders in child’s pose, climbs on your back in plank (only if you’re really lucky)? That’s what I do and I LOVE it. I love it so much I’m doing Yoga Teacher Training this summer so I can legitimately get my zen on with all y’all. “CTFD Summer 2014,” coming soon to studios near you.
What’s so great about it? “What’s NOT great about it?” is my response. Assisting is my time to fill up, with good, with gratitude and with love; it’s part of my connection to community. Giving the gift of service through my time, energy and touch all to empower others to grow in their practice is by far the best part of my week, every week. On Thursdays, for example, I almost always hit the 9:30 class to practice myself then go back and assist at noon. It’s amazing, thebombdotcom (yes, I just went there, whatever, it is. Don’t believe me? Try it, then we’ll talk). First I work my week out, bring up all my troubles to the surface, process them, empty my bucket (like, all over the floor, with my sweat) then fill it back up again in hundredfold.
Part III- CrossFit
I admit I’m late jumping on this bandwagon. I resisted, for a long time, as I considered myself someone who “doesn’t do that,” or isn’t a “weightlifting kind of girl.” I saw people’s hand callouses and thought “hell no.” I saw pictures of people deadlifting three times my weight and thought “they PAY for that?” Then I started doing obstacle races, which turned out to be kind of, sort of amazingly fun. They also, however, require some agility and strength training I wasn’t already doing. So, begrudgingly, I bought a Groupon and started going to a CrossFit gym in February.
Um, anyone have any humble pie to serve me? I would like six servings please.
I have never had more fun working out. Ever. Dead serious. Who knew? Okay, well, maybe the like 1 million people that already go (don’t check that statistic, I totally made it up), but I for one, did not anticipate the giant wrinkle lines forming along the sides of my mouth as a result of grinning (and grimacing) through a WOD three times a week.
CrossFit pushes me out of my comfort zone, way out. As an athlete, I like to get it RIGHT. I want to do it BETTER. I want to the hashtag under my imaginary action shot to read #nailedit, and not in a sarcastic way. When I workout I get in the “ZONE,” or at least I try. Intense might be a word used to describe me in that setting. Focused. Serious. Practically taking notes and asking 25 questions every ten minutes (great way to make people
hate love you btw).
However, I am finding CrossFit loosens this up for (in?) me. It makes exercise fun and I get to do crazy stunts I never even knew existed, let alone thought I’d be doing, and willingly at that. When I’m trying something new, like say, chest to bars, or double unders, or handstand push-ups, I give myself full permission to to laugh at my flailing attempts to figure it out. It’s really quite comical.
In addition to the laughter, I am supported, and well. I get constant positive feedback from the coaches, I feel the sense of teamwork and encouragement from the other members. I feed on their energy and am motivated by what they can do.
Watching the advanced CrossFitters do things like walk across the entire gym floor on their hands, or do muscle ups on the rings doesn’t intimidate me, it inspires me. It makes me want to jump up and try it, regardless of how much it might hurt, how little I know, and how unskilled it turns out I actually currently am at this whole gymnastics+lifting+stepaerobics+tabata business.
I’m strong, for sure, but when it comes to hands going in one direction and legs going another, or a sequence of six moves just to get a weighted bar over my head- my brain is a fast learner but my body – notsomuch. I am learning (again) of the value of getting out of my comfort zone, of pushing past my limits, of positive self talk, and of letting myself be okay with being a novice at something. CrossFit makes me CTFD. Yikes.
Part IV- Bring it
Just kidding. There’s no part four, well, yet anyway. Just the continued practice and application of learning and practice that’s going down already. So long as exercise provides a healthy benefit without detriment to health or negative impact on work or relationships with others it’s worth every drop of sweat. Just be careful to keep it balanced.
If you are on the fence about exercising, I hope this is motivating for you. Or, if you are feeling guilty for devoting too much of your time to this effort, I hope this relieves some of that doubt. If you think I’ve completely lost my mind then I say “obviously.” I cancelled my subscription to Predictable Uniformity and am now a proud card carrying member of Team Doesn’t Give a Shit, confirmed resident of the city of Happy, application pending for the county of Zen, and on the road to the state of Bliss.
See ya’ll on the trail, or the mat, or the bars (both kinds :-o).
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