deep breath in. deep breath out.

May has easily been one of my busiest months thus far.  I have been beyond swamped with work these days and it’s been taking a bit of a toll on me.  That stress coupled with these impossible allergies that I just cannot kick is creating the perfect storm of death for me right now.  Thank god for yoga and exercise.

I started Yoga with Adriene‘s 30 Days of Yoga Challenge on youtube about 20 some odd days ago.  Adriene is my kind of instructor; really light hearted, fun to listen to, and moves at a reasonable pace.  I’m not a yogi by any means.  I need to gogogo when I’m working out and I actually have a hard time slowing it down.

image1

But that’s why I’m enjoying this challenge so much.  I usually do the yoga practice (which last between 15 and 30 minutes) in the evening after dinner to just settle my mind.  I can’t explain how great it is to not think for these mini-intervals especially after being bogged down with proposals and spreadsheets all day.  It’s just as important to rest your mind as it is to rest your body.  It needs to rejuvenate and yoga is just the way to do it.  Now, I don’t think I will ever put yoga into my routine in place of my blood-pumping jaunts, but I am definitely going to continue adding these stretches and indulging in some me time.

To contrast this all, I’ll give a little recap of my first week back at the BBG.  I had initially planned on taking the week off and keeping it cool, but something about those darn circuits was calling to me.  I’ve actually taken my workouts to the gym this time around vs. doing them at home and it’s a very strange shift.

image2

I like the energy of the gym, but I always feel kind of silly jumping all around and probably looking like a spaz.  But, I feel like the lights motivate me and being surrounded by like minded people helps too.  It has also been really fun to redo the earlier weeks.  I am doing more sets than before, but when I see only 10 regular Burpees and 15 regular push-ups in a circuit, a rush of relief overcomes me.  I also am seeing a lot of improvement ie. I no longer have to do any push-ups on my knees and my once week abs are actually working successfully on some of these moves.  It all just goes to show that if you continually work hard and listen to your body and mind, you can do incredible things.

-sj

every day is a chance to get better.

What a crazy weekend.  I took off to head back to the lovely Chicago and went immediately on a 3 and a half hour drive to watch my brother graduate from college.  And graduate he did.  We sat through a ceremony filled with every weather phenomenon known to man.  It drizzled, it poured, the sun shone bright and the temperature went from 85 to 48 in a span of maybe 15 minutes.  And probably the best thing was that although it was overcast 95% of my stay, I walked away with a nice sunburn as a souvenir.

But the entire trip wasn’t so bad.  I loved seeing my family and my childhood pup.  My mother and I took quite a few nice walks with her because the weather just couldn’t be beat.

   image3

One of the best parts of my trip was an impromptu run around the park behind my house.  There is no greater feeling than the spontaneous need to run.  You’re not doing it to workout, you’re just doing it to go.  Sometimes these runs come out of the need to blow off steam and sometimes they just come out of the need to soak in the beauty of a situation in the quickest way you physically can.  The park was beaming with light and colors and warmth and I laced up my shoes and took off.  I wasn’t going for speed, I just ran to take it all in.  This was the same type of run I did in Houston awhile back and it really helped reinvigorate my love for running.  Give one of these runs a try.  Find somewhere beautiful or interesting and just go.

Which leads me to my next point.  I found this quote below before my workout this morning.

image2

And it resonated with me in crazy ways.  Every day is a chance to get better.  Every day you wake up, you decide what version of yourself you want to be.  You can be the same old you or you can do something to make yourself just that much better.  Maybe it’s packing a healthier lunch than normal for work or parking a little bit farther away from the front door or maybe it’s spending just 5 more minutes on your workout. It all adds up and it all makes for a better you.

-sj