My apologies for being a little absent around the blog lately. The Paige Hathaway challenge (#fitin5) is proving to be more tough (and time consuming) than the WLC through Orange Theory. The diet is extremely strict, so food planning, shopping, prepping, cooking and organizing takes up a good amount of my energy. That however, is nowhere near the amount of time that I’m spending at the gym every day. This is the beginning of week 4 which means that I’m a little less than 2 weeks away from the finish line- woo. It also means that I’m at the start of the (physically) toughest two weeks of the challenge.
Each day falls into a category: legs, chest/shoulders/triceps, back/biceps, glutes/hamstrings, and shoulders. Each of those days I’m doing about 8 different exercises 15-20 times for about 3-4 reps. Normally, that would be the workout. Finished, done… wrong. Next I rotate abs and calves. The ab circuit is like something out of “presidential” day in elementary school. Do you all remember that? Where they would make you do sit-ups and crunches and pull-ups. Same type of deal. ONE ROUND is 100 crunches, 80 mountain climbers, 60 bicycle crunches, 40 v-ups, and 20 flutter kicks. You then repeat that for THREE ROUNDS.
In case you are wondering what the internal dialogue might sound like during the ab circuit, here is a brief recap:
Round 1: “Good ol’ crunches, simple nice aerobic activity. Hmm.. I wonder if I’ve counted correctly, I know that I’m on crunch number 16 but it feels kind of like 60. Can I make it to 25? I will be so glad when this part is over. Mountain climbers, yes! This feels great, but my shoes are sliding, and my sports bra is making this a little more of a show than I meant to. Bicycle crunches, these aren’t so bad, wow, already hurting on number 8… this does not feel nice. V-ups, I got you! Oh wait, this burns, like really bad. This hurts everywhere. Flutter Kicks, you’re cute.”
Round 2: “ Crunches are a little slower, but you can do it! Mountain Climbers- let’s go! Okay, well that was a little bit too bouncy, like I need to pivot slowly towards the wall. Maybe no one is watching. Okay, yup, I think that guy is watching. Bicycle crunches burn. With. Each. One. V-ups. I think I feel vomit coming up. This is really, really bad. Flutter Kicks, saving grace, just keep breathing, just keep breathing.”
Round 3: *&^% you! … *&^% this! This *&^%ing sucks. I am never going to be able to do this again. *&^% !
The previously listed workouts are then capped off with a ONE HOUR CARDIO SESSION. I am not kidding. You are supposed to keep this cycle going until you need to rest. Never once have I considered working out a ‘super power’, but after this week I may be rethinking that.
Considering that so much of my free-time has now been spent at the gym, I’ve gotten to think a lot about why in the hell I am doing this. At first, I would have said I was doing this for a chance to win $5,000 and lose weight. Well, over the last few weeks a different, deeper, better goal has surfaced. I’ve had a hard time putting it into words, but after reading one of my best friend’s blog post this week, it all became very clear.
Sarah mentions in her post that she was raised hearing that she was smart and capable. She said that there wasn’t much focus on her appearance. In her post, she covers traits that she would rather be than “pretty”. When I think about my own childhood, I remember being told that I was a good story teller. But I’ve always held onto the time that I was told I was strong. Soda and Lime was not about becoming “skinny”. It wasn’t about fitting into a size zero. It wasn’t about giving up cake (unless you’re on a challenge… JAKE!). It wasn’t about swearing off carbs or counting calories. And it was definitely NEVER about losing my bubble butt. My goal is and always has been to be strong.
I’ve overcame a lot. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve experienced a lot. I know that I’m emotionally strong. Soda and Lime was created to remind myself that I am physically and mentally strong. This is my journey of pushing myself to the limit, purposefully doing things that are tough, and putting myself in situations where it’s easy to quit. That way, the next time I’m confronted with a challenge, I can look back and KNOW that I can handle it. Ain’t no mountain high enough… unless you are talking about mountain climbers… those are a little much.