Have you guys ever seen that SNL sketch about back home ballers? If not, I will leave you with this, come back when you’re done. Right now Leslie Jones going “Bowls, bowls, all types of bowls” is stuck in my head except I have rearranged the lyrics to be “Goals, goals, all types of goals”. I am aware I’m a lunatic.
I’ve been doing a heck of a lot of self-reflection lately and one of the weirdest realizations I’ve come to is that I am extremely goal oriented. Someone at work asked me the other day, “What are the top three things on your bucket list?”. I stopped and thought about it for awhile. To be honest, I don’t have a bucket list. I set a goal and then I work to get it done. I wanted to run a half marathon, so I did it. I wanted to become a certified personal trainer, so I did it. I wanted to teach spin classes, so I did it. This is what motivates me in the morning. It’s the reason once I stop working, I start in on a long list of other projects I’ve got going on. I’m never happy with where I am, but I know where I want to be. In the middle of all of that madness is where I find the inspiration to keep going.
I heard this quote the other day “the space between where you are and where you want to be is inspiring”. I have goals and dreams bigger than I can imagine at this point. I don’t have a crystal clear picture, but I know the type of person I want to be and everyday I do something to work towards that goal. While I’m working towards my goal, I’m crushing small goal after small goal and each one is inspiring me and fueling me even more.
I don’t crush all my goals though. In fact, for every step I’ve taken forward I feel like I’ve taken four giant leaps back. But it’s that tenacity and that feeling of knowing there’s more good to come that makes me work a little bit harder.
In my spin classes recently, I have regularly reminding my riders to not get complacent. That minute that we feel comfortable and secure is the minute that you should realize you could be doing more. It’s hit your butt on the seat and coast after a hard climb, but that’s not the type of thing that changes you. We did a class the other day that cycled between a run, a climb, and an interval set over and over again with very minimal rest. It was so difficult, but everyone was happy with how they had performed in class. They had set a goal of completing the challenging workout and as they worked to get there, they realized the power of what they were doing to reach that goal. Something we can all take away, that’s for sure.
After last week’s craziness, I am more than happy to report that the Boo is back in action. Sure, she’s on a ton of drugs and doing some really funny things (ie. wedging herself in between furniture to sleep, sneaking in to her food and getting her head stuck in the bag), but I’d much rather have her home and this way than in the hospital and ill 100 times over.
So, we’re back to semi-normalcy over here and I couldn’t be happier about it. It was especially scary when we took Boo to her regular vet to get her blood work done as a precaution following her hospital stay and have the doctor look at her chart and tell us how high her numbers actually were. Very happy to have my nugget back in good spirits even if the medicine she’s on makes me take her out three separate times throughout the night. The things I do for the love of this pooch.
Anyway, in other areas of my life I’m slowly but surely getting back into my running and I’m elated. I did 7 miles on Saturday and I have a lovely little blood blister on my foot to prove it. Ah, running, you glamorous little activity, you. I’m actually straight up shocked that my fitness is where it is right now. I haven’t run consistently since April and to be back at it with a 7 mile run and really feeling good is something I’m pretty proud of. Sure, my speed is about 15-30 seconds slower than I would like, but I’ll get back there. Right now, it’s all about slowly increasing mileage to prevent injury and to get back in fighting shape.
But all of that fun recap business isn’t the main purpose of this post. The other day, one of my Insta-friends reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to join a group of other bloggers for a “What’s in my gym bag” post! I had to say yes for two reasons 1) I love reading other people’s blogs and supporting like-minded women 2) I’m genuinely curious what other people bring with them to the gym haha! I’ve teamed up with Taylor Cartee, TeachersGoneStrong, Samantha Rose Fitness, and Running with Strength. If you haven’t given these girl’s blogs a read, you’re honestly missing out. They are genuinely some of the most informative, interesting blogs I’ve read in a long time. Plus, on top of being so knowledgable, they are all kick-ass athletes that I am just in awe of.
So without further ado, welcome to my lovely little gym bag.
I tend to only bring a bag with me when I am doing an activity that requires me to switch shoes, which is happening more and more often now with Spinning.
I keep everything I bring to the gym in this silly drawstring I got at the admitted students weekend before I enrolled in college at Rice University. Yep, that’s right, this thing is 7 years old. It serves its purpose and always has, so I can’t complain.
In my gym bag, I also keep a protein snack of some sort. I usually am a little hungry before my workouts, so I’ll break off a piece of a Quest Bar and eat it on the way to the gym and then have some more to refuel after.
I also keep a towel in my bag at all times because I am a sweaty monster and I never want to be caught at the gym without one. I swear just walking into the gym signals my body to start sweating. Praise the lord that sweat towels are a thing that exist because I would be a very sad sight without one. I also use it to cover up the timer on any cardio machine I’m using unless I’m doing specific intervals. This allows me to not obsess about numbers and just go on feel and I think it makes my runs/ellipticals/bikes a million times more enjoyable.
I am obsessed with my Bluetooth headphones and these are the best pair I have ever owned and I have owned a lot. I tend to lose headphones pretty often, so I don’t like to spend a lot of money on them. After losing or breaking 5 pairs in the last couple of months, I got these and I’m never looking back. Sound quality: on point. Ease of use: 100%. Cool color: A+.
Then there are my spin shoes. I love these and got them on Zappos for about $100, which is cheaper than most pairs. They honestly make such a difference. Not only do they allow me to bring more power into my spinning, they allow for better, more efficient form. Fun fact: the cages that are on most bikes are meant for Men’s Size 11 shoes, which means your toes should not touch the end of cage. Instead, the ball of your foot should be on the pedal with the majority of your foot off of it. I guarantee this is not the positioning you’re used to, but the more you know.
When I practice my spin classes, I always carry a little notebook with me. It takes a beating, that’s for sure, but it’s a great place for me to jot down notes when I’m making a spin class or to write down a workout I come up with when my mind is wandering. When I’m making a class, I usually start out with a couple songs that I know I want on the playlist and then listen to the beat and pick when moves I think compliment that song best. I then kind of just go exploring through spotify and end up with a list that I feel confident about. Then, when I get home later, I’ll reference my notes and rearrange the songs to be in a more cohesive, challenging workout pattern. It’s honestly a whole lot of fun, I’m not going to lie.
The last thing I keep in my gym bag is my actual gym shoes. Well my running shoes in this case. If I’m doing plyo or leg work, I wear a pair of flatter nikes, but for runs I’m all about my Brooks Ghost right now. Also, I have exceptionally high arches, so I like to wear custom inserts in my shoes to make them a little more comfortable. I wear these shoes to death, so I’m willing to splurge a little bit for extra comfort.
And there you have it. My gym bag in all of its glory. Sure, there are days when I pack way more or way less, but this is pretty much what it is and it works for me. What do you keep in your gym bag?