Shock and Plyo, Plyo and Shock

I just finished my last workout of the YEAR (haha). Since I had the extra time today (no work) AND I know I’ll be eating and, more importantly, drinking up a storm tonight, I thought I’d double time it today.PLUS, I’ve been DYING to try Shock Cardio which has been sitting up in my gym for two weeks and I just haven’t had time to fit it in with all the Group Kick stuff.

And, what can I say, Cathe can do no wrong in my book. WOW. The combination of Plyo legs from Meso 3 and the HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout I chose from the Shock Cardio series was out-of-this-world amazing and totally killer.

The best part, arguably, with the Shock Cardio workouts is that they are all pretty short so you can definitely pair it with another STS workout when you have the extra time like I did today. The HIIT series is great, it’s a combination of three different high intensity workouts, basically non-stop plyometric moves that keep your heart rate up, up, UP. I tried the HIIT 30/30 split which is 30 seconds of high intensity moves and then 30 seconds of rest. The other HIIT workouts are 40/20 split and HIIT double-wave pyramid. Those are supposed to be a smidge harder than the 30/30 since the rest periods are a lot shorter. I figured I’d start “easier” the first time out. 😉

I have to tell you, 30 minutes never went by faster in my life, nevermind the 30 second rest periods! Doing Plyo Legs afterwards (since I’m in undulating rotation mode again) was a tough combination since most of the HIIT work is lower body work but it was the exact right challenge for today.

Now I’m fueling up with coffee, a cinnamon raisin english muffin with almond butter (my new addiction) and scrambled eggs/whites with some laughing cow cheese. I have a lot to get done before tonight’s festivities! It’s our annual New Year’s Eve party and every year tends to get crazier and more fun than the year prior. I cannot wait! But first, I need to scour this house from top to bottom (yay, LOVE a good cleaning spree) and then shop for the goodies before everyone shows up later on today. I think I’ll have a second cup of coffee first, I earned it!

I’ll be back tomorrow with my New Years resolutions – I’m still thinking them over, I have a few in mind, some fitness-related, some not. Hope you all have a safe New Years’ celebration tonight – *virtual cheers to you all!*

Ah, there’s the light!

So I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the Group Kick tunnel.  I feel SO much better and more optimistic after last night’s practice run. Even though I still have a ton to work on, this was the first time that I felt confident and that, in six weeks, I could totally be upfront teaching a class.

Here’s how it went down. Our fitness director wasn’t feeling well so she only stayed for the warm-up and to talk about what we’d be practicing on Saturday (note – must learn track six, “super box”). It actually ended up better that she left – she has this way of making us all feel a little bit more nervous than we should be/need to be to really do our best. I mean, gotta love her, but I could really use her constructive criticism when I’m feeling more established which I’m not quite feeling yet, but getting there.

So anyway, we ran through tracks 2-7 and what struck me was that, in the three weeks since training, we’ve all noticeably improved! I looked around the room and could sense we sort of all felt the same way,  high-fiving eachother at the end of each round. What was also fun? Standing in the front of the room on the platform with the mic and feeling empowered. I can SO do this!!!

<deep sigh of relief> I feel so much better now that I sense that there is a light shining at the end of the tunnel, that in six weeks, we’ll be ready to teach and we’ll be pretty darn good at it, too.

So next up to look forward to? In three weeks, our fitness director wants us to teach a practice class, with all of us in front teaching the tracks in unison with other instructors and club employees (no club members yet) as our “class.” How fun will that be?? I’m really hoping she’ll continue with the team-teaching theme after the launch too, I just think its such fun being up there with someone else (like my sister!) teaching each track together. I think it’ll bring such energy into the room.

With that said? I’m totally treating myself to a pair of pants from Lululemon that our Kick trainer, Natalie, wore that I fell in LOVE with. My sister bought them yesterday and now I must have a pair too. They are so cute and Jo even said she totally “felt the part” in those pants. They just “feel” more like Kick-wear than our typical workout uniform (yoga pants). Yay for treats on this CHILLY Wednesday in Boston!

Serious case of grumpy pants!

I’m feeling off today.

Ok, maybe “off” isn’t the right word. Let’s try again.

I’m a HUGE grouch today. There I said it.

I’ve been using this blog as a source of inspiration for others and as a way for me to channel my fitness obsession in a new way (aside from kicking my own butt at the gym). Given that these are my blogging goals, I hate that I’m starting off today’s blog on such a sour note.

BUT, it’s how I’m feeling so I figured, yet again, that I’d blog it out in an attempt to get at the root of my grumpiness. And just like that, I already know what it is that’s bugging me.

For one – I’m a woman, and let’s be honest, we have mood swings from time to “time” if you catch my drift. With said “mood swings” comes the rush of negative self-talk. While getting ready for work today I kept looking in the mirror pointing out flaw after flaw after flaw. By the end of that little exercise, I felt horrible about myself.  WHY do we do that to ourselves, ladies?? And, just think about it for a second, would we ever, in a million years, say those things to a close family member or friends (“you look fat in those jeans today” or “wow, you are totally broken out today”)?? Of course not, so why do we do it to ourselves? It’s a vicious cycle, to say the least.

So that’s reason #1 for these grumpy pants I’m wearing.

The second reason – I ran through the entire Kick workout this morning at home and felt like I took ten steps backwards. I could tell my form was off. While I could keep up with the choreography, but my technique was terrible. So yes, I’m now kicking myself (no pun intended) for not working the technique as I should’ve been. I woke up feeling as though a truck ran me over a few times so I was definitely not as energetic as I normally should be in the morning which was part of the problem. It’s hard to get those jump knees and descending elbows right when you’re struggling just to wake up! I probably should’ve stayed in bed instead but, alas, I’m stubborn. Plus, we have Kick practice tonight and I wanted to feel prepared.

So anyway, there you have it. Grumpy pants are officially off. I know why I’m grumpy, now it’s time to shake it loose and move on.<deep exhale>

On a much brighter note, I spent some time last night looking for some additional blogger friends to start following and ended up finding some pretty great ones! I tend to gravitate towards the ones that share a similar philosophy to mine – balance in all things fitness and health. Here’s a link to two that I stumbled upon last night – stop by and say “hello” to Em at HomecookedEm and Angie at Caffeinated Cardio. I’m sure they’d love a visit. 🙂

In OTHER happy news, I got my Cathe calendar in the mail last night and discovered –  much to my glee (and my sister’s too!) that we’re in the calendar on the very last page! The shot was taken during the Road Trip this summer – we’re wearing our Cathlete shirts, super cute! (sorry the pic is kinda blurry!)

Traveling Cathletes! (Angie, Andi, me, Jen, Jolene)

Habits, STS and other ruminations

Last night, after blogging up a storm for ya’ll, I laid in bed wide-awake. Brain would NOT turn off. Of course, this is usually when I’m inspired by future blog post topics, future to-do lists and other random thoughts when I should be counting sheep. 😉

Well last night’s fitful rest was a blog-inspiring moment. I got to thinking more about why I’ve been struggling a bit with Kick and I’ve figured it out. It hasn’t become a habit yet! I talked about forming the fitness habit back when I first started this blog and that it takes repetition and forming a routine that works for you before it’ll become truly second-nature, and just another part of your day.

Well, Kick clearly isn’t quite a habit yet but I’m bound and determined to make it one. I wish I could hit “fast forward” on the next six weeks merely to see how I turn out as a Kick instructor. Though, I suppose that’s all part of this journey huh? The bumps and bruises along the way that will mold me into the Kick instructor I want to be. Right now, I’m too focused on the musical cues in each round of each track and making sure that…

  • I’ve set my heel for each kick, especially those roundhouse kicks
  • If I’m supposed to be doing a jab, that I’m actually jabbing and not doing a hook or a cross or an uppercut
  • I don’t look like I’m swimming during those descending elbows
  • Each of my moves are sharp and staccato (I can hear Natalie, our trainer, shouting to us now: “out in, out in!”)
  • I look fierce, arms always in guard, set low in my stance, not high and bouncy and aerobic (Kick is the antithesis of your typical kickboxing routine if you haven’t figured that out already, its very aggressive, very martial arts, very DIRTY as our fitness director likes to remind us)

Aside from remembering all the technical form cues, I’m also thinking about what my next cue will be, what move do I need to tell the class to get ready to do, and oh yeah, I have to make sure I’m doing that move as technically accurate as possible.

Hmm, now do you see why I’m struggling? I truly think that once I really figure out technique and make THAT part a habit, the cueing and motivating will happen pretty naturally. That’s my hope right now, anyway. 😉

In other ruminations…I got back into STS this week after a two week hiatus. And, wow did I miss it! I started another undulating rotation – I’m loving the shock-your-body feel of doing a different mesocycle each week. Today was focused on a back/chest workout from meso 3 (heavy weights, low reps). I noticed some good strength gains – but I also noticed just how worn out it leaves me at the end of the routine! A sure sign that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. SHOCKING it!

Beautiful blogger award – 7 random things

Since my blogger buddy, Heather, listed me as one of her “beautiful blog” friends, I couldn’t help but return the favor. Plus, a couple of my other friends and fellow bloggers did these recently and I’ve been remiss in doing one of my own! Since it’s a lazy Sunday night, I’m treating ya’ll to TWO posts in one day. I know, don’t get too excited. 😉

Ok, so here goes, first up, seven random things about me:

  1. I’ve never eaten a twinkie, nor do I have a desire to (um, if it ain’t chocolate, I don’t want it!)
  2. I can’t swim, despite living near the ocean for my entire life.
  3. I’m a triplet (this isn’t random if you know me, for those of you who don’t know me, this might be a neat little nugget)
  4. I absolutely cannot go to bed if the dishes aren’t done. Yup, even after a party (think NYE for a good example of this), I HAVE to tidy up or I literally will not be able to sleep. Drunk cleaning can be interesting, I tell ya.
  5. I have no desire to visit London, ever. For some reason, it does NOTHING for me. I just picture it dark, dreary, and well, boring.
  6. I’ve never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story” – this boggles my husband’s mind. But again, it just doesn’t interest me for some reason. Does that make me a Scrooge???
  7. I’m a total neat freak but freely and openly admit that I have ONE junk drawer and ONE junk cabinet (well, really its the tupperware cabinet but c’mon, who can keep those tidy, I mean really?!?)

How’s that for completely and utterly random??

And now for part II of this challenge – choosing my top 7 bloggers. This is a toughie but here goes:

  1. Heather, of course. We’re total kindred blogger spirits, I swear.
  2. Jolene, although yes, she’s my sister, her blogs always find a way to surprise and inspire me everyday.
  3. Jeannine, one of my absolute FAVORITE friends and a totally beautiful blogger; I’m rooting for you babe.
  4. Melissa, another one of my favorites, her blogs are equal parts hysterical, thoughtful and a wee bit cynical (in a good way, seriously). Worth a daily read.
  5. Jen, my other fab sister, her blog is all about her journey as a Ph.D. candidate with thoughtful insight into her life with her hubby and furbabies. Her latest post is my favorite so far.
  6. Jenna, merely because I want to BE her. She lives in Healdsburg where she’s a healthy living blogger and soon-to-be book author. Oh, and she works at a vineyard on the side. How awesome is that??
  7. Snarkbutt – my sister turned me onto his blog, he’s one of her blogging buddies and I’ve found I’m totally enthralled by his journey. His stuff is so insightful and totally entertaining to read too. Love it.

Gotta walk the walk

I’ve decided – I’m great at talking the talk, but walking the walk? Not quite so easy.

Case in point: I talk about balance, about living life to the fullest, enjoying every moment, no regrets. Yet today, as I sit here facing down a post-holiday credit card bill that’s threatening to suck the life out of what savings we do have, I’m having a hard time walking the walk.

And why? Because my “safety net” has been slightly removed? Because it’s taking me out of my usual comfort zone? Well, I have to, HAVE to, remember that what I’m paying off today was MORE than worth it. It enabled me to really enjoy the holidays this year, to make some more great memories with friends, family and most of all, with Scott. We get so little time together as it is due to conflicting work schedules and such that sometimes going out and splurging on an extra dinner out or going to a charity auction together (where, what we did bid and win on is going to charity, all the better I might add), is worth the extra credit card bill down the road.

Plus, with that credit card out of the way, we’re free to save and build it all up again. And, as my husband likes to remind me (and I should really listen to him more, I’ve decided), “you can’t take it with you.” <—-SO TRUE!

Anyway, this “walk the walk” theme brings me to my next point. I had another mini-meltdown moment today about Group Kick. I started to have those “can I do this?” doubting questions swirling in my head while running on the treadmill listening to my Kick tracks (still a great trick for this treadmill-hater, I must say).

At the end of my workout, I turned to Scott for advice. I asked him how he prepared to teach a class when he was in college going through his practicum. His advice? No matter what, you can practice and prep and walk through everything beforehand but most of all, you HAVE to have confidence in yourself. From there, everything else will fall into place. Wow, does he make it sound so easy or what? In all seriousness, though, he’s right (are you reading this babe – I just said you were right! And, it’s in writing for all to see!!).

I’m so used to being the best student in class, doing all the moves as instructed and being nearly as good as the instructor. I’m a damn good student. Yet, I have to get out of that “student” mindset. I have to walk the walk. I have to become that confident, inspiring, motivating instructor in the front of the room. I talk about wanting to motivate others through this blog and soon, through Kick. So how come I can talk that talk, but I am having such a hard time walking that walk? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is probably the most out of my comfort zone I’ve ever been and I’m having a hard time flipping my mentality from student to instructor. Well, it’s now or never time. I have the opportunity right in front of me, I just need to prove to myself that I can do what I so badly want to do – to be the best, most aggressive, most confident, most “dirty” Group Kick instructor ever.

It’s time to stop doubting and to start DOING. I have been ready for this for so long, I can’t waste this opportunity on doubt. I just can’t.

And yes, I realize I’ve just given myself a pep talk through today’s blog post (on many counts). Sorry ’bout that, I just needed to blog it out, as I just told my sister over blackberry IM mid-stress attack. Thanks for listening. 😉

BURN, baby BURN

“BURN, baby BURN”

Yup, that was my motto today.  After the last two days of holiday indulgences, I earned myself a few extra sweat-fests today. All the yummies were WELL worth it, in my book, especially.

I have to say, this holiday season (so far, anyway) has been an absolute blast. The Christmas Eve party went off without a hitch – even though Scott DID end up having to work a partial day despite his best efforts to get out of it – and everyone really seemed to have a great time – including my sister, the honorary Sutera in the household, who was taken in with warm arms as always (have I mentioned, I have AMAZING in-laws yet??).  Anyway, to the inner-hostess in me, that kind of thing makes my heart leap a little bit extra. I LOVE to throw a good party when I can tell everyone’s having fun, drinking and eating up a storm and making the most of what little time most of us have to spend with our family and friends these days.

So needless to say, Christmas Eve and Christmas day were super-special and not without a little extra – ok a *lot* – of indulging on my part. I wasn’t AS bad as I could’ve been but I definitely drank and ate my way through each day like a champ. 😉

Hence today’s motto – or word of the day, I should say – BURN, BURN, BURN! Started off the day with Group Ride – my favorite instructor (and definitely my sister‘s fave – she even has a nickname for him, if you check out her blog here, you may see a reference to it today if I know her at all!) put together a KILLER list of tracks that left me completely and utterly drenched. It was a BLAST!

After that, I went back to my sister’s place so we could practice Group Kick before our official group practice this afternoon. Yes, we practiced FOR the practice. The main reason for the added practice time is that we both really want to get good at the cueing part of the teaching, that’s the part we both struggle with most so far…well that and the technical aspect of each punch, kick and jab. Ok – so we’re struggling with a LOT of Group Kick, but you know what? This is a good test of our physical and mental strength. We are bound and determined to make this happen and to become the best damn instructors we can be. We just don’t know how to BE those instructors quite yet, but we’ll get there come hell or high water, right?

So this afternoon was Kick intensive but worth it. The group practice was a bit of a slap of reality – we have just SIX weeks to get it our sh*t together, basically…and our fitness director made that very clear to us. It’s funny actually, she’s got duel personalities, I swear. She’s SUPER sweet and motivating until we get into practice mode, then she’s all down to business. Barking orders, moving us into the right positions and basically telling us to quit being wimps and just get aggressive, get dirty, get ready to KICK SOME. That was her pep talk at the end of the day. We have to get dirty.

Ok, well I guess that does it. Time to find the inner badass in me and bring her to life. Maybe she needs a nickname, similar to Beyonce aka “Sasha Fierce.” Hmm, I’ll have to mull that one over, stay tuned. 😉

The calm before the “storm”

Well, we’re T-minus four hours until the annual Christmas Eve bash at my house and I’m enjoying the last bits of peace and quiet until all hell breaks loose (in a GOOD way of course!!).

Cookies are all baked and ready to go.

Sauce is simmering on the stove.

Baked ziti is ready to toss in the oven in a little bit.

It’s all coming together – despite my best efforts to have a panic attack over the whole affair. (Thanks friend for talking me down!!)

I just got back from Ride and feel great. Starting a food-and-wine filled day with a calorie deficit is always a plus in my book. NOT that it gives me free reign to eat WHATEVER I want, but it does help me stay in check while also not entirely missing out on all the goodies. I can promise you I’ll have my fill today!

So, just a short post today. Blogging is “my” time so I couldn’t resist fitting in a quick one today before the “storm” ensues. 🙂 Enjoy the holiday, don’t worry TOO much about calories and enjoy every last moment with your friends and family. This is what the holidays are about. Cheers!!

Oh Christmas cookie how I love thee

So I finally got into the holiday spirit today. Can you guess what put me in said holiday spirit?

Oh yes, I finally indulged in a holiday cookie, or two, or three. 😉

It was brought to my attention recently that I hadn’t had a single holiday cookie yet this season, as if it were sacrilegious or something. Well, I ‘spose it kinda is for most people huh?

Well, it wasn’t totally intentional that I hadn’t given in to the urge, it was more that I wasn’t presented with the opportunity. I have to say, since Group Kick training kicked off, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even noticed all the holiday festivities around me, or the fact that those holiday cookies were passing me by. And oddly, I didn’t really feel like I was missing out.

I’m actually kind of proud that I’ve pretty much behaved myself so far this season. No big, over the top splurges…yet. Tomorrow is another story altogether. It’s the annual Christmas Eve party at my house and it’s become a pretty awesome party each year. It’s mainly with Scott’s side of the family – his brothers and sister and their kids,  all his aunts and uncles, their kids, my in-laws, and a few friends that know full well that it’s not a party to be missed! Of course, my sister is a regular at the party and spent all afternoon today helping me prepare. THANK you Jo!!

I call this afternoon a cookie baking marathon because that’s what it was, really. We baked three kinds of cookies – peanut butter pushes, black & whites, and sugar cookies (see below for pics!). We also made banana bread (Jo had a craving) and cooked some of the food we’ll be eating at the party tomorrow. My father-in-law even came over this morning to help Scott make the sauce, meatballs, baked ziti and chicken sausages with peppers and onions. We’re in great shape for the party tomorrow, that’s for sure!!

And now that I’m sitting here looking back at the day, I’m so happy – THIS is what the holidays are about. Giving in to a splurge treat or two, spending time with family and friends and living life to the fullest. I’m totally looking forward to tomorrow, almost more so than to Christmas Day. Our Christmas Eve parties are such a blast, lots of laughter, lots of kids running around (none are mine, thankfully LOL), and lots of wine and food to be enjoyed. While I DO plan to workout tomorrow morning – Group Ride most likely – I plan to enjoy the day, eating more than I normally would (though Jo and I strategized today over what we would/would not eat tomorrow to avoid uber-regret later on!), and spending time with my husband, family and close friends.

With that, I’ll leave you with some pictures from today’s cookie baking marathon and wish you all a fabulous Christmas Eve! Enjoy every moment. Life is way too short!

A neat little trick for this treadmill-hater

So – some of you know that I HATE the treadmill. I’ll only resort to it in the winter to keep up my running stamina. I tend to veer away from running during the cold winter months unless I can manage an outdoor run on the weekend or the dreaded treadmill once or twice (tops) a week. I just hate it, treadmill running doesn’t come close to the exhilaration that an outdoor run provides, plus its boring as hell.

But I digress. Back to the neat little trick I discovered this morning.

So, I’m in all-out Group Kick practice mode, it’s all I can think about, even when I’m sleeping, I dream about it. Last night, my sister and I managed a 45 minute practice session before dinner which went pretty well. We talked about what we’d do today to continue practicing. Since we’ve both been away from the running circuit the past few weeks, we decided that it was back to the treadmill for both of us. Our fitness director mentioned that listening to the tracks is super-helpful for getting the cueing down and to try to do that even if we aren’t practicing while we listen. So – Jo and I decided to give it a whirl during our respective workouts today.

And guess what? It worked wonders! I listened to all ten tracks while treadmilling away in my home gym and the time FLEW by. I managed to keep it up for a full hour, running at about a 6.5 mph pace. It was great! Plus, while listening to each track, I visualized each round of the track and surprised myself – I basically know the whole workout , choreography-wise in my head. Now, if only executing each jab, punch and kick went as well in real-time that it did in my head, I’d be golden. I’ll get there. 😉

So anyway, that was my small victory ‘o the day. I think I’ll work it into my weekly workouts/practices. It should not only help me get ready for the Group Kick launch on February 6th, but it might also make this treadmill-hater less miserable! That’s the hope, at least.