a comfort zone is a beautiful place…but nothing grows there.

I’m a creature of habit.  If I like something, I like it and I don’t want to change.  This is probably the reason I have the same meals almost every single day consistently (#noshame).  This also means that it isn’t easy for me to change up my routine.  Enter tapering for my half.

I am trying to take it easy this week, which most people would think sounds like a dream, but I do not.  I am a slowly recovering chronic over-exerciser and I don’t care who knows it.  It’s a horrible habit to be honest, but I often get really wrapped up at the gym and end up spending way more time than I probably should.  So slowing down should be a very good thing for me albeit a very hard thing.

I stumbled upon this quote the other day and it sums up my current feelings on everything.

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I have been stretching myself outside of my comfort zone a lot lately and, to be honest, I’m pretty dang proud of myself.  As I said before, I love patterns.  I love being organized and everything being the same, but I am quickly learning that it’s okay to sometimes break the monotony.

Tapering for this half is going alright if you ask me.  Great?  Not exactly, but I’ll give it an alright.  Monday was a 5 mile run and some leg work and today was some ellipticalling and an arm bonanza.  Tomorrow, I’m planning for a 4 mile run but we’ll see.  I need to dial it down and I get that, but it’s a lot easier said than done.

Running the half is a whole nother enchilada when we talk about getting out of my comfort zone.  There aren’t that many times in my life that I’ve said to myself “I’m planning on doing this thing that’s really hard in three months, I’m going to train for it, but who knows how it will go”.  The uncertainty is certainly unsettling, but I’ll never grow if I don’t try.

This weekend was a testament of the great things getting out of your comfort zone can achieve though.  I drove into Philly to meet up with some of my Instagram babes to celebrate one of their birthdays and it was honestly one of the best times I’ve had in awhile.  I’ve said it before, but as crazy as meeting up with a bunch of girls that you met off the internet sounds, it’s completely amazing.

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Each one is funnier and sweeter than the next and I laughed until I fell over multiple times which is an amazing feeling.  But, I wouldn’t have met a single one of these crazy ladies if I didn’t hop in my car and drive a half hour to a random sports center on a Sunday morning in November.  I broke out of my habit and did something unexpected and it worked out amazingly.

Also, I just wanted to let y’all know that I have added a section on my site for online customized personal training sessions.  I have been working with a couple clients already and they’re seeing amazing progress in just a couple of months (including my very own father who ran his first 8:15 mile the other day!  Go Papa J!).  All the info is in the “Customized Personal Training” tab, so check it out.

And lastly, a picture of Boo you all have been waiting for.  In case you forgot, I live on a farm and there’s a little lake nearby that we walk around sometimes.  Well, this weekend, Boo met her match in the form of a snapping turtle.  She could not grasp what this thing was in front of her and just kept inching closer and closer while tilting her head side to side.

Boo vs Turtle

 

-sj

 

“why are you here.” and picking the right workout for you.

I am literally counting down the minutes over here until the weekend.  It’s 9 days until my half and I’m taking this last weekend to celebrate before I start tapering.  That means partying it up for one of my Philly girls’ birthdays with some of my girlfriends and getting my rest on, two things that I’m very much a fan of.

This week has been tough workout wise.  I’ve started coming up with new routines for myself on days where I’m not running and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kicking my own butt.  I’m working on incorporating the training I learned from getting my NASM certification to build a solid plan for myself to really start seeing results.  I built a pretty solid foundation with the BBG and I’m ready to turn it up a notch.

Which means more food, which really means more pancakes.  And that, my friends, is one of the best things in the world.

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Along with switching up my workout routine a little bit, I’ve been trying to get back to kickboxing.  I’m going to be 100% honest with you guys and let you know I haven’t been to kickboxing in probably a good three weeks and it wasn’t because of lack of motivation.

I started resenting the instructor.  I know that sounds really dramatic, but hear me out.  The class schedule for the kickboxing gym I attend has a 5:45 am class, a 10 am class (which usually conflicts with meetings for me), a 4:30 pm class (still working), and a 7:00 class (I’m just not a night time workout type of girl).  Now, I’m a morning person, but 5:45 means I have to get up at 5:15 to get ready and drive all the way there and that just isn’t something I’m willing to do the 3 days a week they list that as an option.  Instead, I had just been going once a week to the 5:45 am class.

Now if I’m getting my butt up to go to class at 5:45, it had better be a good one.  And this class just continually was not.  We spent the first 15 minutes warming up, the next 10 punching the bag, the next 20 doing ab work on the floor, and the final 15 cooling down.  So basically my heart rate went no where and while my abs were getting a kicking workout, that’s not why I paid the big bucks to go to a kickboxing gym.  I went to BOX.  To hit the darn bag.  To get out that frustration.  Finally, I realized it wasn’t worth it for me to be getting up this early and for me to be upset about it, so I stopped going.

Enter Wednesday.

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I had an early morning meeting at 7:30, so instead of waking up and hitting the gym at the crack of dawn, I opted to sleep in and fit my workout into my lunch break.  I realized that there was a kickboxing class at 10am that I could swing, so I laced up my shoes and headed out.

This class was just what I needed.  We spent an appropriate amount of time warming up and then we got down to business.  There were burpees.  There were laps around the gym.  There were squat jumps.  There were intervals of speed punching and power punching.  And at the end, I was out of my mind tired and sweaty, and I loved it.

But more than anything, I loved the mantra that the instructor kept instilling in us.  “Why are you here” she was say over and over as we punched the bag.  And it got me thinking.  We’re all working out for different reasons, but something brings us to the gym every day.  Something lights that fire that says, it’s time to do something for yourself.  Going to the gym is a very selfish activity, but selfish in the best possible way.

The best part about the “why are you here” question?  If you don’t like the answer, change it.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: not everyone works out the same way.

If you hate running, don’t run.

If you hate circuit workouts, choose something else.

If you hate working out alone, go to a class.

You have a million options and maybe you just haven’t found the perfect one for you yet, but when you ask yourself “Why are you here” and finally get that answer you’ve been looking for, you know you’re doing something right.

And I’ll leave you with an obligatory picture of the Boo getting her speed on.  I have been taking her on runs lately since the weather has been so nice, and good god is she improving.  Literally break neck pace over here.

hello

-sj