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Follow-Through

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...this is the word I'm echoing in my head this week. Planning I can do. Even in my darkest moments, I can plan up a storm. I have grand schemes and ideas and dreams, and I can sit down for hours and write out just HOW I plan to get from point A to point B. The problem, at least lately, has been follow-through.

In my blog yesterday, I set this plan:

Workout Plan for the week of January 24th-29th
Monday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Thursday - Line Dancing/Zumba
Friday - 45 minutes Cardio / 45 minutes ST
Saturday - 60 minutes cardio, minimum

I can now proudly report that I have earned my first emoticon for the week!

Last night, at around 4pm or so, the usual "how to get out of going to the gym" excuses started in my head. I heard them, but I refused to listen. I was going. Period. And apparently, simply turning the voice on mute did me well. After work I drove to my gym, I swiped my card without thinking I had to for the insurance program, and I retreated to the locker room to put on my power gear.

emoticon FYI - Power Gear = Workout Clothes

The gym was crowded, yet that didn't stop me. I looked around -- treadmills all taken, my two favorite ellipticals in use, my backup elliptical occupied, and the rowing machine was in full row. No worries. I filled my water bottle and walked to the first open machine I could find. It worked out it was an elliptical machine, one of the models I generally shy away from because they tend to get noisy. I didn't care. I put on my headphones, set my music to simply shuffle, started with Apocolyptica's version of Unforgiven and set the machine to the cross training function with the big hill in the middle. Time set: 30 minutes.

For the first time in a long time, I was quickly powering through my workout. I didn't really notice the time until about 20 minutes in...or, what I mean is, I didn't check to see "how much longer?" until about 20 minutes in (lately it's been about 2 minutes in and I want to go home!). I powered through and ended up with a 30 minute workout and 5 minute cool down that I could be proud of.

35 Minutes
Cross Training 2
2.19 Miles
4277 Steps
Average Pace of about 135
427.9 calories burned

I walked around the track a few times to get my legs back under me, and then stretched and checked the time before I started strength training. 30 minutes is what I promised myself. I started on the cable machine with lat and tricep work and when I got bored with that I moved on to another part of the gym. I did squats with one of those exercise balls behind me. 2 sets of 15. I did 16 walking lunges (on each leg) with the 6 pound medicine ball in my hands. And then I got bored again. I carried the 6 pound medicine ball to the ab reclining bench. I tried not to stress that I could only do 2 sets of 20 crunches and a set of 20 twist crunches before I was beat...I guess it really has been a while (I used to do 150 crunches a night)! Instead of beating myself up, I moved on. I did 2 sets of 15 modified pushups and tried not to harp on the fact that I had once been up to 10 regular because modified were getting too easy...I'll get back there again.

I checked the clock. Crap! Only 15 minutes? I was sure it had been more than that! Okay...what now? I went down stairs and got on the leg press machine. 2 sets of 15 with a 35 pound weight on each side. Calf raises too, three different ways, 15 each set. Then shoulder presses with the dumbells followed by bicep curls.

Dang! Still 5 minutes left. I moved on again...back extension machine - three sets. 130-160-180 increasing weight. And while that last bit really did take up my time, I decided I wasn't QUITE done yet. I promised to work my hip. I promised myself that I would do it in the hopes of getting back to running. 1-2 weeks of hip strength training, I told myself, and I could try to run again. I saw the I RUN BondiBand on my head in the mirror and resolved to get in some hip training. I went to the hip machine that would work the specific muscle I knew needed work and did 3 more sets - increasing the weight from 60-70-80.

A long stretch later and I realized that I had not only followed-through with what I had set out to do, I'd done just a little bit extra.

Total tally for last night: 35 minutes Cardio, 35 minutes ST

And while it may seem silly to be so happy about one night, I have to keep reminding myself that each step is important. As I look at the JLo boxing picture on my desktop at work, and as I look at my new page background, I'm reminded that it's not about boob size and what other people think about how I look - it's all about how I want to feel. Sure, I'd love to have JLo's butt and Tara Wood's (the girl in the new background) shoulders, but what I love about these pictures is the feeling of strength that comes through them. The determination in their eyes. The confidence that shines through Tara's eyes. The power behind those gloves, even. I want to feel like Wonder Woman more than I want to look like her, if that makes sense.

So each time I do a leg press or get on the elliptical machine, I'm trying more and more to forget the body I have and the body I used to have...I'm focusing on the body I'm building. And, the truth is, I have no idea what that body will look like...but I have a sort of notion of how it will feel - strong, powerful, and ready for anything.
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