Weights Confidence.

I enjoy going to the gym and seeing Mike.  It’s a weird twisted sense of the word ‘enjoy’.  I don’t think there has been a single time where I cheered for what I was about to be doing.  But it’s this sense of satisfaction that I did something that I would not under my own willpower typically do.

Mike is creative in the exercises that he finds for me to do and we change it up every time.  The boundaries in which I have placed for weight lifting and the ones he sees are vastly different.

I, like a lot of women, typically do not reach for super heavy weights.  I don’t worry about bulking up, though that is a very real fear for a lot of women (you aren’t going to get bulky on accident ladies).  I am more comfortable with selecting weights that I know I will be able to handle even when I get tired.

This last week Mike suggested we use the squat rack (yay?).  He loaded up the weight systematically getting heavier and heavier.  Where I could do 10 squats before I would only be able to squeak out 5, then 2, then almost a non-existent 1.  For me it seemed silly.  One rep?  That doesn’t count!  But Mike was pleased.  He explained, that is building strength.  Even if it is one rep at a time.  Apparently, it was a PR because I squatted my body weight.  All I know is it was damn heavy and I may have broken my personal rule about grunting in the gym.

This has helped me to become more comfortable with the squat rack at the gym on my own time.  I will not load up near that heavy on my own.  But I am using a piece of equipment that I was leery of before.  Maybe one day in the future I will be able to squat my body weight but not soon.  Not if there will be grunting.

Look at that positive attitude!
Not only does seeing Mike help keep me accountable but he helps me learn how to be more comfortable by myself at the gym.  I know that if he were there with me he would still reach for a heavier weight than I would select for myself but I am selecting a way heavier weight than I would have selected in the past.  I am also more confident in form.  When I am at the gym with Mike he will make corrections and suggestions.  Although mechanics in the human body are similar to other bodies out there, my body (and yours), will have differences and nuances.   What might be a kick ass work out or intense stretch for me might be easy peasy for you and visa-versa.  I can provide that feed back to Mike and we can adjust as necessary.

I think the entire time I am at the gym I am mumbling something about how ‘stupid’ it is.  But I still enjoy it.   Maybe not the actual working out but being done is pretty awesome.  All the endorphins pinging around your brain making you feel content is pretty awesome.  So remember when you are asked to do one more set of something stupid or extra stupid that it will feel that much more awesome when you are done.  Plus,  if you do a really good job you get extra high fives and who doesn't love a high five?


Last Monday I was so grumpy and just down in a funk.  I didn’t want to do anything but maybe lay on the floor.  Possibly squeeze in a self-pity cry while wrapped in a comforter doing my best impression of a burrito.  It felt like I had a haze over my eyes.  I was a Grumpasaurus Rex.

It was also gym day.  So I shuffled myself into my gym clothes and headed in to see Mike.  Turns out it was also measurement day, yay?  I didn’t expect good things.  I ate with reckless abandon for two days and when I tried to make up for it ended up not feeling well.  Mike was gracious enough to offer waiting if I wanted to, he may have been trying to avoid another tear fest at the gym.  I figure ‘whatever’ that fried chicken is going to present itself now or later, let’s get on with it.

Pleasant surprise that I was continuing the positive trend!  The numbers moved in the direction that was desired or stayed the same.  I take this as solidifying the fact that I do not have to be a dietary saint 100% of the time.  Thank heavens because if that was the case I would never make any progress.

Despite hearing the good news my face was still settled into a barely neutral expression.  We moved from measurements to working out.  Mike was elated!  Various weights of kettlebells had arrived and are ready to abuse all gym goers.  Kettlebell swings with both hands, one hand.  So. Many. Swings.  Kettlebell deadlifts and suit case carries.  I was swearing and sweating and doing my best to complete my assignments.

At the end of our session despite feeling like my ass had been handed to me by the kettlebells I felt surprisingly better.  The haze that coated my eyes was gone.  My muscles had worked out the self-pity energy.  I had a tired smile on my face, smelled bad and was ready for my shower.
Lifting, sweating, and grumbling around the gym helped to burn off the grumpy attitude of unknown origin.  We just confirmed science people!

I know it’s super hard to get out and do things, anything, when you have boarded the pity train or the grumpy bus.  If you can just get yourself to dedicate to 30 sweat fest you will feel better.  And if you don’t, you can always curl up in a burrito of sadness after your shower.

Enjoy The Ride

Cardio, blasted devil cardio.

I like lifting. Lifting is my favorite. It has come to my attention that despite my desires to lift and only lift, I need to incorporate some cardio into my life. I can run, its not fast and it sure is not pretty but I don't mind it. I started some mild running a few years ago, with the Couch 2 5k app (which I highly recommend) I have to be honest with you, while I am capable of running more than most people I know...I struggle to do it. The idea of more cardio has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a little bit of muscle, I'm Scottish so I'm pretty bulky by genetics and I am able to build muscle--but I'm also 180lbs.

All of my fantasies and grand dreams of cardio were kicked into hyper drive 2 weeks ago when I blew the motor on my Jetta TDI, unbeknownst to me this is a difficult and expensive motor to find. We have a great public transportation system here in Eugene! You can get anywhere in town for a couple of bucks, the buses are air conditioned and they run in certain areas from 5:30 am to midnight. The key word here is "public transportation" in conjunction with this great system comes a gang of homeless men that ride constantly for said air conditioning. Maybe it is just me but without fail I will be on an empty bus and the creepiest guy ever will sit right next to me and attempt to propose, or crack a smile which exposes his implant grade vampire teeth... if he has teeth at all. No matter how great of a system the city has for public transportation--It can scare even hardened criminals.

Along with a "great" bus system we also have extensive bike paths throughout Eugene & Springfield, so I decided to commit to commuting by bike for the remainder of the summer. I have a cruiser, not ideal for speed but it tops the list for comfort which is great for newbies. Big seat for my not yet squat booty, a couple of gears so a slight incline doesn't have me walking up hills? This is do able.

Most places I need to go are 8 miles away, so I'm automatically putting in 16 miles round trip! I am a quitter, I like to quit at rep 9, literally and figuratively in all areas of my life. I cant tell you how many times i got within 10% of my goal and quit. This is not my greatest quality. Riding my bike doesn't give me the option to quit. If I am 3 miles from home and feel like I am dying I have no choice. My first week alone I put in 100 miles! ONE HUNDRED MILES?! Some days just going to an appointment and running errands I am forced to burn a couple thousand calories! Generally it is not that much but even one busy day by bike and I've almost reached my cardio goal for the entire week!

Now, I am not suggesting you add 5 gallons of oil too many and blow the motor on your car (Yes, that's what really happened) or ride your fixie in the snow like a true hipster, but imagine using your body to commute one day a week? You have places to go, you can either burn your gas or burn your ass! Despite how it may seem, riding my bike is highly enjoyable. I can burn calories while sitting on my butt listening to music. I get to travel away from the cars and traffic that create so much American stress. I have seen some really amazing graffiti, flowers blooming, beavers swimming, turtles, nasty opossums. I have a beautiful freckled tan, and Im easily getting lean. We want everything to come quickly. We want all the gains-now. We want to lose 10 lbs-now. We want to run to the store-now. Traveling by bike makes running errands take just a little bit longer, but if offers you the option to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Getting fit is a journey and there is no finish line. I want to enjoy the ride.