Gym Guilt

Source: fitsugar.com via Alexis on Pinterest

 

I could not get up for spin class this morning. Yet, I laid there in bed fretting about missing spin so how much extra sleep did I get this morning? Not much at all. And my mood is worse because of it.

Isn’t it amazing when we can’t listen to our own advice? I’m also constantly surprised by how much going (or not going) to the gym class impacts my mood. It has finally, for the first time in my entire life, become so much more than about how I look. An hour of spinning, lifting or yoga-ing is my mood booster and stress reliever. It’s where I get perspective and realize I can take on anything at work or at home. I need it badly.

But today, I needed the snooze button…and I have to learn to let that be okay too.

Do We Ever Really Meet Our Fitness Goals?

 

The harder I work at the gym each week, the harder it is for this phrase to ring true. Instead of staying “calm” I find myself obsessing over how to get this part of me stronger or that part of me more flexible. It has nothing to do with weight loss (stop freaking out dad!) and everything to do with how competitive I am with myself. As a kid I never played competitive sports (sans a few quick stints on teams to say I tried soccer and basketball. It never ended well.) so the, “I must finish this kettle bell set first and beat everyone around the block” voice in my head during certain gym classes is fairly new to me. I like the voice, but it’s pretty intense. And at times it is impossible to leave that voice at the gym. It follows me home.

So, I have a question for my fellow fitness-minded readers. Are you easier or harder on yourself when you are following a steady fitness routine and eating healthy? Do you find a way to come to grips with your body, and its strengths and weaknesses, or spend a lot of time and energy figuring out how to push to a new level? Is it good to never be 100% comfortable with the progress you’ve made because getting comfortable makes you lazy?

I hope I’m making sense and those of you who hit the gym get where I am coming from. Throughout my entire kettle bells + barre class tonight I couldn’t get this topic out of my head, and sharing my thoughts is what this blog, in its purest form, is all about.

First 30 Days of 30: Day Fifteen

                                                                   Source: backonpointe.tumblr.com via Alexis on Pinterest

 

I’m 30, and probably in the best shape of my life. I truly, 100 percent, don’t mean for that to come across as self-centered. It’s just that I have worked really hard in the past year and a half — harder than I have ever worked aside from the marathon I trained for and completed in 2007. After my marathon I literally gave up everything I had worked for physically, and I never intend to let that happen again.

My motivation and inspiration today goes far beyond skinny jeans and bathing suits. Bodies change and things shift despite hundreds of squats. That’s just life.

It’s different this time around. Being strong gives me confidence. A boot camp session wipes away all stress. How can I worry about a project when I am trying to balance in a handstand following 100 kettle bell swings? The answer is, I can’t.

I also have to give immense credit to the amazing workplace culture of my employer, GroundFloor Media, for being a place where fitness and taking care of yourself is truly a top priority. There is no judgement if you arrive a bit late in order to take an early morning spin class, extend lunch for a yoga session or duck out early to get to a barre class. The flexibility makes us all better and more motivated employees, and is the #1 reason I am able to work out more than I ever have before.

I have bad weeks like everyone else where I either can’t get to the gym because of outside commitments/travel or I am just mentally beat. But on those good weeks, my current kick-my-own-ass class regimen goes a little something like this:

  • Monday: KORE (kettle bells) + Barre
  • Tuesday: Spin + Yoga OR Yoga Sculpt (yoga with weights)
  • Wednesday: KORE + Barre
  • Thursday: Spin + Yoga

On Saturdays there is a Detox Yoga class that I love but we never seem to be in town so that class has been tough to stick with this summer. Luckily many Saturday’s have been filled with hikes and fourteeners so I’m still getting in a great workout. I’d like to squeeze in a very easy run/jog on Friday mornings with Kona but by then, I’m usually in need of a break.

I’m lucky to have coworkers, friends and unbelievably inspiring instructors who push me daily. You know who you are…thank you.

                                                              Source: pin4fun4962.blogspot.com via Alison on Pinterest

Yoga Workshop

Source: prAna

On Tuesday night I joined two colleagues for a three hour yoga workshop led by Bryan Kest. I have never taken a yoga class that was longer than an hour so I was pretty apprehensive. He spoke for awhile, and the last part of the class included a meditation (newsflash, I suck at meditating), but overall I really enjoyed it.

Bryan said a lot of things that really stuck with me. Like how we bring our shit (sorry mom) to yoga and turn yoga into shit (again, sorry mom). How we turn yoga into a competitive sport to see who can touch their head to their knees further instead of quieting our minds and working to release those competitive, negative thoughts from our minds. How we are so obsessed with getting a pose “right” instead of getting it correct for our own bodies in that moment.

He challenged us to be okay with falling out of poses instead of judging ourselves–to exercise and eat in moderation, instead of pushing and starving ourselves to fit into the mold that society pushes down our throats–to just surrender to yoga and meditation instead of trying to make it something complicated.

Three hours with Bryan Kest did not change my life, so please don’t think that I am running off to India for my own Eat, Pray, Love experience. However, it made me even more curious about exploring yoga a bit more–beyond the physical practice. It made me want to take a day off for the Wanderlust Festival in Colorado this summer or find a few girlfriends who are up for a yoga retreat. Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Montana look pretty amazing.

I have no idea where yoga will take me in life, but I am quite convinced that I need to take yoga, both the physical and mental, along with me as much as possible.

Have you ever gone on a yoga or wellness-type retreat? I’d love to hear about it!

 

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