Treadmill Motivation

I am truly fortunate to work for a company that is so active in the community. They recently began partnering with SRLA (website here Here’s an excerpt from their Mission page:

Mission Statement

The mission of Students Run LA is to challenge at-risk secondary students to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved health by providing them with a truly life-changing experience: The training for and completion of the ASICS LA Marathon.

So in an effort to raise money, they are hosting a Treadmill Challenge this week. The idea is to keep the treadmill going all day for 5 days. Employees can sign up for a half hour slot (or more!) or even share that slot with other colleagues.

I am not a huge fan of running, especially running on a treadmill. BUT as I promised myself after getting over my injury, I would never complain about running again. Plus my friend Marlene is an amazing coach as part of SRLA so I had extra incentive to help out.

I signed up for a slot on Monday and figured it would be more fun if I had people to share it with (ok fine I was partially trying to avoid running a full 30 minutes on that machine).  Anyways, the timing was perfect to recruit my friend and colleague, Shiveta. She recently reached out to me to have me be her “coach” of sorts to help her get back on track fitness wise. (Just for the record, this is one cute mama who just wants exercise back in her life). She is always checking out my posts and pictures on Facebook and it has helped fuel her inspiration for being even healthier than she already is. (Side note, sharing is caring! I post pictures a lot, admittedly maybe to the point of being annoying, for a few reasons: 1) I work damn hard for every accomplishment and yes it’s a slight bragging thing. 2) Believe it or not, I have been told by friends it inspires them,  and 3) My 80 year uncle is probably my biggest Instagram fan and I cannot deprive him of posts).

As it got closer to the day we had our allotted slot, Shiveta was getting more and more pumped for it. She had her gym bag packed and ready to go. We did some stretching before and then made our way to the treadmill which was situated outside on campus for anyone walking by to promote this great fundraiser. She got on first and I reminder her she could do as much or as little as she wanted. She did her full 15 minutes of course at a nice steady jog. I am so proud of her for this! Seems like no big deal? I say otherwise.

How many times do you hear people say “I really want to get back into shape but I just can’t seem to do it.” Or “I want to but I don’t have time.” Or “I am just too fat right now to go to the gym. I’ll work out on my own first and then I will join.” How many of those people actually push themselves to work out? I don’t really know stats on it but based on people I have encountered, I think most of them resign to living without fitness. So Shiveta doing 15 minutes on a treadmill is a big deal. It shows she does want to change up her routine and is willing to make change happen, unlike the culprits I alluded to who have a million excuses not to.

Kudos to someone who not only decided to jog on a treadmill for the first time but did it in a public space where peers and strangers witnessed it.  Kudos to someone who told her team what she was going to be doing between 11:30 and noon so that they could be there to cheer her on for her first few steps.  Kudos to someone who went out of her comfort zone and felt totally invigorated.

Shiveta, great job on Monday and keep it going!!! I can’t wait to get another workout in with you.

Just a little simple THANK YOU

I wanted to write a short and sweet post to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading my blog and keeping up with it. It means a lot to me that you guys enjoy reading things that are near and dear to my heart. Writing has always been something I love to do and it is so gratifying that I have discovered the perfect outlet for it. So again, thank you, keep reading and most importantly, keep living your life to the fullest.. and inspiring those around you.

Here is a very special shout out to my buddy Rick and his wife. (They are so far removed from social media yet they always take time out to read my little ole’ blog). So thank you and it means the world to me to have your friendship and support.

Squat First, Learn to Count Later

As you probably know by now from my recent blogs, I am digging (in a freaked out kind of way) the squat cycle we currently are in. Pound by pound, I am slowly increasing the load I can squat. At the beginning of the cycle, we had to get a benchmark of our 1 rep max for front squatting. Mine is (was) 133 pounds for the front squat. That was a lot of weight for me to squat but I pushed through it.

Today’s rep scheme was to do 6 sets of 2 increasing about 2-10 pounds from the last time we did this rep scheme on 6/26. I had done 128 (barely). It was definitely challenging. This morning I went in with the goal of squatting 130#. I thought a 2 pound increase was a smart and doable decision. My friend, Marlene, and I paired off to share a bar. We warmed up with some reps at increasing weight and then I went for what I thought was my first set at 130. First rep in, I screamed “oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge!” on the way back up as that shit was hard. I magically did the 2nd rep, rested 2 minutes, did the next set, and repeated until I got to my last and 6th set. I was so happy when they were done and felt very satisfied with sticking to my plan even if it was totally miserable while doing it (and as our resident 6 am bad ass, Amy reminded me “There’s no crying in lifting”).

Like the dork that I am, I took a picture of the white board and posted to Instagram and Facebook. Marlene messaged me to inform me that I actually squatted 135 and I corrected her “No, I only did 130.” Apparently I need to work on my counting skills as there were indeed 135 pounds. I was totally floored at this astonishing piece of news. How is that even possible?? I wanted 130 and would have been happy. I am 100% sure had I known it was really 135, I would not have succeeded. Hell I probably would not have even attempted it as that’s 7 lbs more than what I last did. I unknowingly surpassed what was my 1 rep max. Not a bad way to start the day off!

The point of all this? Lifting weights (or any other form of fitness) is just as much mental as it is physical. We get in our own heads so much that we can interfere with our own progress. If I realized at any point during my 6 sets that I loaded 135, I either would have a) literally cried both out of shock and the idea that oh crap I have more reps to do; b) taken off those pesky 5 lbs and went with my original plan of 130; c) maybe attempted a few more but failed at them. After all how could I possibly think I am ready to squat that much weight?? (or maybe a combo of all 3)

So maybe instead of attacking something with “oh I don’t know if I can do this” and spend time playing mental head games with ourselves, we pull a Stuart Smalley and tell ourselves “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Ok so maybe the “people like me” part is irrelevant but you get the point. I probably spend more time calming myself down before a lift than I do going through a checklist for form to make sure I am set up properly.

My advice as I am feeling overtly inspired today: Give yourself more credit than you probably do. When you train smart, chances are you are stronger than you realize and what seems like an insane goal may not be so insane after all.