A little bit hyper

Is how I’d describe me today. HYPER. Well – hyper for the first half of the day, second half, notsomuch.

Why, you ask?

Ohh, well that could quite possibly be because I was up at 4:20 this morning. Yes, you read that right. 4:20.

Was supposed to be an early-start day as I planned for a double-up Power and then Ride to get my Wednesday (ohh how I heart hump day!) going, but not quite that early.

Enter my sister‘s cats.

I’m cat sitting for her while she’s in Vegas. Yes, I’m an awesome sister. I realize this. (and for the record, I do love her kitties, I’m the their kitty auntie, afterall!)

Well, they are a wee bit on the high maintenance side, especially compared to my two cats who we’ve tried to keep separate, at night especially, and giving them little visits during the day since they aren’t really loving that they’ve got to shares their turf. Cats can be such b*tches sometimes, huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’m totally digressing. The point of my story was our earl(ier) awakening due to Nala banging on the guest room door until she got our attention. Apparently, she was hungry RIGHT NOW and didn’t want to wait for us to come to her on our timetable. Luckily, for some reason I had a really easy time getting up today, who knew?

So, off we went (Scott joined me, which was awesome in and of itself!) to the gym. I hit up Power while Scott hit the free weights before we met up in the spin room at 6 for what turned out to be an incredible Ride class. Our instructor, Heather, was on FIRE. She was just back from vacation and apparently ready to kick her own butt and in the process, totally whooped ours, too. The room was filled with sweaty, red-faced spinners by the end, complete with totally steamed up mirrors – a sign of a FANTASTIC Ride class if you ask me. So, needless to say, getting to work around 9, I was on a total high, hyper as could be. It actually lasted about 2/3 of the day – when I promptly hit a wall around 2:30. Oh well – it was totally worth it for the experience, especially since I got to share it with Scott. It’s those little moments that get me through the day sometimes, and today was no different.

I’m totally sticky-noting (yes, that IS a word in my dictionary) today’s sweat-fest to my brain to refer to the next time I’m feeling a little bit on the unmotivated or uninspired side.

And on that note, please mark this post as probably my most random post ever, don’t mind me – I think the “hyper” in me turned to “slap-happy” sometime this afternoon or evening. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I’ve learned about myself…

…throughout this Kick journey (so far) – this has been on my mind a lot this week. Mostly because it feels like I’m in a transition period with Kick (which is fine, and I’m NOT upset about that aspect as much as I was before, I’m at peace with the near-term changes). So, I figured now was a good time to start documenting what I’ve learned about myself when I dove in, head-first this past December.

I’ve learned that…

  • I am NOT good at not being good at something – especially something that I LOVE as much as fitness. I mean, yes, nobody is perfect right out of the gate, but I definitely went into this with the preconceived notion that I would rock the house immediately. Um, no. Most certainly NOT the case as you’ve witnessed time and again as I’ve aired my frustrations on this blog. Kick takeaway #1: It’s ok to have a learning curve. And, it’s ok not to be perfect.
  • My long-hidden shy side is not *quite* as hidden as I’d like to think it is. It has certainly gotten in my way a lot more than I’d like to admit it has. BUT – what I’m most proud of related to this? Cuing is not my biggest fear/challenge anymore, oddly enough – my biggest struggle now seems to be getting out of my head and just having FUN while teaching. Duh, sounds so darn easy, doesn’t it? But not when Overthinking Ollie comes out to play (which leads me to my next point). Kick takeaway #2: I’m still shy, at times, but I’m learning to overcome it. Huge win!
  • I’m stronger than I, perhaps, give myself credit for sometimes. And not just physically, but mentally too. This has been probably my biggest challenge to date – and a totally self-imposed challenge at that. It’s been draining. It’s been overwhelming. It’s been scary. It’s been amazing. It’s been incredibly tough, cardio-wise. But – I’m strong, stronger for it, too. And that, is something I’m very, very proud of – especially since it’s trickled over into other areas of my life. I can run farther (due to better endurance), I can lift heavier because I push myself more than before. I’m more confident (seems contradictory to my prior point about shyness, I know). Kick takeaway #3: Self-imposed challenges can sometimes be the best, most rewarding challenges of all.

So, all told, even though I am not yet have passed my Kick certification (tick tock, I’m still waiting on the final word) and I don’t yet have a class of my own on the group fitness schedule at my gym, but I’m still in it to win it. Even if it’s not on my timetable. It’s very hard for me to let go of control (my husband can definitely attest to this!) and leave it in God’s hands but I realize that that’s exactly what I need to do.

So, I’m letting go. I’m still gonna Kick it wicked haahhd <insert Boston accent here> and see where it takes me.

Update on Kick

Funny, in looking back at my last handful of posts, Kick has been pretty absent from my blogging thoughts lately, huh? And, I guess I didn’t realize it until now, but last Thursday was my last official “class” that I could call my own, at least for now until one of two things happens. 1 – More Kick classes are added to the schedule or 2 – one of the other instructors can’t take a class, and in that case, I will sub-in. Figures, I finally have a breakthrough (and have FUN while teaching, who knew?) and it was my last “official” or “recurring” class on the schedule for now.

While, I won’t lie, this really frustrated me last night when I pieced it all together (because we know by now how scattered our fitness director is – she didn’t really spell it out for me, if you catch my drift), but now that I’ve taken a little bit to think about it, it could be worse. And – to my sister‘s point (en route to the airport today – damn, I miss her already!), we’ve learned so much about ourselves in the process, we should have no regrets, no matter what the near-term outcome. And dammit, she’s right (I hate when that happens – Scott said the same last night and I didn’t listen).

The thing is – I set out to become Group Kick certified, and I’m thisclose to that happening (now let’s just hope I pass!). And yes, the icing on top would be to see my name on the group fitness class schedule. But the two aren’t necessarily going to happen in tandem. I’m realizing that now. I’m soo black-and-white sometimes that it’s hard for me to let my mind process things when they don’t happen according to the timeline in my head and I think that’s what I’ve struggled with lately, related to Kick. I want it NOW, not in a few months but RIGHT NOW. It’s like I’m a two-year old throwing a fit in my head (trust me, it’s not a pretty sight).

So, long story short, I will be thrilled when I pass the certification process and I will be satisfied for now to be a sub for other Kick instructors and during launches of new releases when we tend to team teach until we learn the entire release on our own. Not ideal, but it’ll do for now. Until Kick really heats up at our gym to the point where our fitness director can justify adding more classes to the schedule, I will be content to be part of the Group Kick team, even if I’m not leading the charge (I need to remember, there is no “I” in team!).

Hmm, this post started out in my head to be a “what I learned about Kick” post – and turned into an update on Kick instead. I guess that means tomorrow will be all about my learnings thus far, in this crazy, chaotic Kick journey of mine. Stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s two for two!

Two for two as in two awesome runs back to back this weekend. Looooove when that happens!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in the Boston area. A wee bit on the windy side but thankfully, the wind was at our back during the second half of what turned out to be our long run ‘o the weekend (probably 7 miles but I still need to clock it). We ran the same loop as our last long run and it felt just as awesome this time as the last time. Dare I say that this time, despite being more challenging given the wind resistance, was probably my best, most challenging outing yet. But not in an OMG-I’m-gonna-die-if-I-take-one-more-step kind of challenge, but in an OMG-I’m-really-doing-this kind of way. I just keep envisionting that THIS is how I want to feel when we run the Wicked Half this fall, and I really, really hope that’s exactly how it’ll play out. We shall see.

As for our second run this weekend – today – we opted for a short, but fast 5k since our calves were screaming at us from yesterday. It was equally gorgeous this morning as it was yesterday, but MUCH less windy, thankfully. Two days of back-to-back runner’s high and I’m feeling pretty darn good as we head into the work week. I’m gonna ride this bout of runner’s high as long as I can this week, lord knows I’ll need the added motivation while my sister is away from work in Las Vegas at Bloggers in Sin City. Needless to say, I’m super jealous and kicking myself for not signing up myself. Ah well, there’s always next year, right?? It will be weird to be apart from her for a full seven days, not gonna lie – I’m gonna have some serious Jolene Withdrawals by next Sunday night. Good thing we have cookout plans tonight. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Aside from a coupla awesome runs, this weekend has been full of fun – pizza and wine “party for two” on Friday with Scott, a new haircut, color and pretty purple-y toes (boy do I know how to pamper myself right, eh?) yesterday, girls night last night (always a super-fab time, thanks ladies!) and a cookout at Jo’s later today. AND I did manage a little bit of shopping today too – got me some new running sneaks that I’m dying to try out! Funny how a new pair of sneaks or a new workout tank just adds to your workout mojo, huh? Or is that just me?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Embracing imperfection, let’s be honest

Ohhh Friday, how happy am I to see you at last! Happy day. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll warn you in advance, this might feel like a mish-mash of a post, so bear with me.

First – thank you so much for your blog love over at Living a Zinful Life. So excited to be able to share the “other” side of my life with ya’ll – aside from my love of sweating, that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of the “other” side of who I am, I was totally inspired by a couple of blog posts I caught up on today from fab blogger friend Tina who has had a series of blog posts that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading today (I was in blog catch-up mode this morning, clearly!).ย  The one that caught my eye initially was about honesty in blogging. I’m in total agreement on all of her points – I never want to feel like I’m reading someone’s “idealist” version of themselves on their blog. I’d so much rather read about how normal you are – we aren’t always going to be working out and eating uber-healthfully, it’s quite alright to admit to having a weakness for chocolate or pizza or wine (umm, those would be my vices!). In fact, I’d much rather know that you have balance in your life and aren’t perfect all the time. Very much in line with what Tina had to say here:

Having a โ€œperfectโ€ persona. If you consistently cover up or donโ€™t discuss any imperfections and struggles you have, readers could end up with the distorted vision that you are โ€œperfectโ€ or โ€œnever mess upโ€ or โ€œalways eat/workout/live rightโ€. This type of persona could ultimately lead to others feeling not good enough about themselves. In an ideal world we would not compare ourselves to others, but as bloggers we should know that it happens. If you are honest about some sugar passing your lips, missing a workout, dealing with a negative body image on occasion, being angry or hurt about something, etc you will become more real. Many of us bloggers hope to set examples and help others. Acting the part of โ€œoh-glorious-one-with-no-problemsโ€ could provide an unrealistic example and set others up for a sense of failure.

For me – one of the best aspects of blogging, I’ve found (aside from making some awesome friends in the process!) is being able to inspire others to either get back into a fitness regime or kicking up their current workouts a bit to be healthier, happier, and more energetic. By being honest in who I am versus trying to be “perfect” all the time, I want to set the tone for others that working out shouldn’t be something that you feel set up to fail — in other words, being realistic about what you can/cannot realistically fit into your current lifestyle. Sort of like what I blogged about the other day, actually.

In a similar vein, Tina also had a great post about abs. I’m the first to admit to being a blogger with ab envy from time-to-time. My abs are far from perfect and, more often than not, I hate them. It seems like no matter what I do, they are never what I strive for them to be – toned, yet not ripped, per se. But you know what? That’s ok. I’m not perfect and don’t pretend to be. I’m trying to embrace them for what they are – a little bit softer than I’d like, but, despite that, they do keep me balanced, especially during Kick and all of those kick/punch combos. They ain’t perfect, but they’re mine so I might as well find a way to embrace them as best as possible, right?

With that, I’m off to be my imperfect self – kicking this Friday to the curb and getting on with the weekend. I do need to fit in a run tonight since I slept in this morning after a late night out with a few coworkers, but that’s ok because after that? It’s date night in with Scott – pizza and wine are on the menu and I plan to enjoy it fully. Cheers!


So I FINALLY had fun teaching Kick this morning with my sister. I pretty much let go and just went with it, and you know what? I didn’t screw up all the moves by “not thinking” so hard, I probably did even better than if I were in “Overthinking Ollie” mode. I mean, yes, minor little slips here and there (hey I’m human – I said upper when I meant hook, for example), but overall, it was fun, we worked it out hard and felt accomplished at the end of the class. And, that, my friends is all we can ask for of ourselves, right?

The only bittersweet part is that our fitness director is removing the 6am-er on Thursdays because of low attendance. On the one hand, I don’t blame her because the numbers are pretty low for Kick at that time but on the other, there were a handful of regulars that came every single week and those are the bummed-out faces we saw in today’s class. I will admit that taking, let alone teaching, Kick at 6am can be brutal – you need to dig deep for loads of energy and endurance right off the bat, but it can be done, it’s just not for everyone at that hour. Hopefully, she’ll add another night and/or weekend class so all of us – once we’re certified (hopefully soon, fingers crossed) – can “own” a class on the schedule. We shall see.


In other news, my husband and I are very proud to announce (wait for iitttttt) — we started a blog together! (sorry, no, we are not pregnant or something crazy like that, just “conceived” a blog together, HA!)

It’s called “Living a Zinful Life” and our plan is to make it all about our love of wine and of food in general since we do consider ourselves foodies, but not in the snotty sense, so no worries there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you’ll check it out, it should be lots of fun. I’m thinking the hubs will write most of the posts but they’ll be mainly a combination of both of our ideas, thoughts and such. Fun fun, I mean really – who doesn’t love reading about food and wine, right??

What makes you sweat?

So I’ve been thinking, I know what it is that “makes me sweat” – but I sometimes have a hard time piecing offering others advice on how to get to that “I love to workout” phase that I’m in. I think it’s partly because its not only just a good habit of mine but it’s become innate, it’s part of who I am, it’s part of my daily routine and I honestly do miss it when I either skip a workout or am *forced* to take a rest day. I’m weird, I know – but I just love a good sweat.ย  I just do.

But I realize that’s not really the right answer when someone asks me for advice or simply “how do you do it??”

The reason I’m thinking this over? I received a blog comment recently from someone looking to get back into a solid fitness regime and asked me for some advice on where to start. For me, it’s easy to say – “pick something you love and do that” because I just so happen to have found TONS of workouts that I love to do that keep me interested and motivated and that are FUN to do.

But I realize there is so much more to it than just finding something you love. Factors like:

  • Budget – is a gym membership affordable? Especially at a gym that includes group fitness classes (which I’m always way more drawn to than the cardio machines and weight room)
  • Schedule – is working out in the morning or the evening better for you? If morning and the gym isn’t an option, do you have room to do some workouts at home? If so, you know who I’m going to recommend in a heartbeat – Cathe Friedrich of course!
  • Environment preference – do you prefer the comfort of your own home or are group environments more your thing? For some, a mix of both is ideal as it gives you lots of options and flexibility (read: no excuses not to get ‘er done!)
  • Physical fitness – are you recovering from an injury? Do you have weak or injured knees prone to injury? Than something like running might not be ideal (despite the great workout that it can be) but a spinning class may be more up your alley.

There are obviously way more factors than I listed here, but it’s a good start.ย  The long and short of it truly comes down to preference – what can you realistically fit into your schedule that you will enjoy enough to come back for more? If you are truly a newbie, it might be better to hit a few group fitness classes at your gym to test-run what you like and what you don’t like. It’ll also be hugely helpful for things like figuring out proper form for weight lifting (if your class offers weight training classes like Group Power, which I heart!). If you’ve been working out for awhile but aren’t seeing results or are just bored with it. Try an at-home workout from Cathe (I promise, you will not be disappointed!!) or gather a few friends to keep eachother honest – start a running group like I did when I first started running if you’re interested in giving it a whirl. It makes it more of a social activity and less like the often-dreaded “workout” that it can be.

Clearly, I could go on and on and on. My point is – a good sweat should have an element of fun to it or why bother? I’ve made some great friends through my love of fitness which is just an added bonus in my book – a good sweat, a few good friends, and more energy/confidence/enthusiasm, not too shabby for the effort you put into it, if you ask me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So now I gotta know – what makes YOU sweat? What drew you to fitness to begin with? When was your ah-ha moment? Or, if you’re still figuring it all out, what are you struggling with? I’m all ears!

Time to take a dose of my own medicine

Yes, I need to take my own medicine, and STAT.

I’m having a frustrating week (yes, already – it’s only Tuesday!) and am struggling to regain the positive spirit I know is lurking somewhere in me.

I HATE when I can sense that downward spiral towards negativity, it’s not a fun place to be so I’m trying very hard to stop before I get to the point where everything around me is tainted by it. It’s just not worth it, right? I need to revert back to one of my Joel Osteen-inspired posts (about not letting things “sour my day and steal my joy”), me thinks.

I know we’ve all been there so any advice on how to stop the negative death-spiral, I’m all ears. ๐Ÿ˜‰


In other news, I HAVE had a couple of great workouts so far this week and am marching towards a great run tonight (it’s the one thing I’m focused on as my “reward” for getting through today!) so at least those are two positives I can focus on, right?

Yesterday I managed to get myself to Ride at 5:15 and then Power at 6:00 and left the gym feeling pretty darn accomplished for a Monday at 7am! It really did set the day off on the right foot and I am thinking I may need to keep that up most Mondays, actually. I may even do that combo again tomorrow (but opposite – Power is first and then Ride) because it really did do something great for me, mind, body and spirit. We shall see what tomorrow brings, let’s just get me through today first, mmk? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It is funny though, how one sweat-fest can really set the mood for the day in some shape or form. Yesterday’s early-rise got me going and in the right mindset for what I knew would be a busy week and today – I had the chance to sleep in a bit and am using this afternoon’s run as my goalpost for the day. It works for me – especially when I feel the negative death-spiral approaching.

See? I already feel better just thinking about things in that perspective. I’m telling ya – blogging it out may just be the best medicine around.

My favorite body part…my butt??

<Warning – this post is all about my butt, yup, you read that right – my butt>

I love my butt.

There, I said it.

Might not seem like a big deal to throw that out to the blog universe, but for me, it’s kind of a big deal.


Because I used to HATE, HATE, HATE my butt. I refused to ever look at myself naked in the mirror and if I did catch a glimpse, it was always met with a shudder and a quick turnaround so I wouldn’t see that thing, that big butt staring back at me.

But after this morning’s experience, I have declared my butt my favorite asset (no pun intended, LOL).

I was planning for today to be a long run day since our last long run was a few weeks ago and we haven’t had good weather or schedules haven’t worked out where we could fit a long run in quite awhile. But, alas, I woke up with major shin splints from this Saturday’s HIIT workout which consisted of 1/2 mile “sprints” mixed with 1/2 mile recovery jogs which went on for about a half hour, until I literally could sprint no more. But I digress – so I got up and decided against the long run because I knew it was just a recipe for a poor run and I just wasn’t in the mood for that. So I chose my favorite Cathe workout of all time (aside from STS!)- Butts & Guts.

Scott decided he’d join me in our home gym to do his bicep workout since we’d be using different equipment, we could easily workout together without space being an issue (note to self – plan a follow-up post to talk through how we set up our home gym, I know Heather‘s been waiting on this one!).

Well, once we got going, Scott kept taking longer than usual pauses to watch me in action and, well, he was a wee bit distracted after awhile. After I got through a slew of walking lunges, deadlifts, squats, low-pulse lunges and firewalkers, I went to the floor to get through the floor work section of the workout (this is the part I HATE, I am on fire the entire time, I swear). By this point, Scott was basically done with his bicep workout and took to watching me as his entertainment. It was clear he was enjoying the <ahem> view. After joining me for the “guts” portion of the workout, we went downstairs to have breakfast and we got to talking. I mentioned that this is by far the one workout that, no matter what, does NOT get easier with time. Scott was like “but you have a great @ss so it’s worth it.” To his point, I have to give major props to Cathe – my butt did NOT look like this on its own, and I give her almost FULL credit for it. Beyond Butts & Guts, the STS legs workouts she’s put me through have definitely done its job (trisets, anyone??).

So, after thinking all of this over as we finished up breakfast, I am ready to admit that I actually DO love my butt. It makes me feel strong (all those kicks in Group Kick workouts don’t happen by themselves, afterall!) and powerful, and, well, sexy.

And, that, my friends, is a big step. To be able to admit to loving a body part and to be able to appreciate it for what it’s able to do for me physically as well as mentally is huge progress!

So while you’re probably laughing that I found a way to make an entire blog post focus just on my butt (of all things), I figured it was high time we all started celebrating our bodies versus scrutinizing them all the time. Join me, won’t you?

Kick video assessment – take two!

You knew this post was coming, yes? The big, bad Kick video assessment – take two!

Day started off a little rough – battled a migraine most of the day which meant very little work was done (at home) until later in the afternoon when I finally shook it off. By then, it was almost time to get going for tonight’s Kick video assessment re-tape and I spent some time (admittedly not a ton) reviewing my tracks to refresh my memory since I know have Oct ’09 and Spring ’10 releases running around in my brain. I did manage to run through the tracks earlier this week but that was allll the way on Tuesday so I was a little rusty on a few tracks today.

That’s my big caveat – a little rusty here and there.

So – here’s the good:

  • I had power. My hooks and jabs were strong.
  • I had balance. My kicks were strong, my heel was set, my arm was out for balance.
  • I was WAY less nervous than last time. Which helped with cuing and tonality of my voice (I think)

And now, the not-so-good:

  • I somewhat screwed up a cue at the very start of the workout (cued 4 jabs, 4 rips when it was really 4 jabs, 2 rips) which isn’t that big a deal but still, not the best way to start the whole re-tape experience off.
  • And I TOTALLY screwed up a cue in track 5, to the point where my mind literally went blank. I knew I had to cue a jab/rip combo which I did but then my body didn’t follow. I had the Oct ’09 jab/rip combo in my head which is very different than the jab/rib combo in Spring ’10. Luckily, my sister and fab friend Steph got me back on track from the audience which was a total LIFESAVER (so thank you ladies!!

So overall self-review rating? B- (Jo said I earned a B+ but I think she was just being nice)

Jo made a very good, very sage observation as I was sitting down to write this post, feeling a little sorry for myself for not TOTALLY knocking it out of the park tonight (I have high expectations, what can I say?). She said: “Ok, we’re not aiming for the Mona Lisa here, alright?”

Um, duh. No kidding. We just need to be GOOD, not necessarily great and most definitely not perfect, to pass this initial assessment. My problem – as my mom reminded me of via text tonight as I recapped the experience for her (what? We’re texting fiends, what can I say?) – I’m a perfectionist. Her comforting words:

“None of us can be perfect all the time, but giving it your best effort is what counts…I’m absolutely positively sparkling proud of you.”

Well, that’s all I needed to hear. How come Mom’s always know EXACTLY what to say when I need it most?

What’s so funny is that earlier in the day, she was emailing me about tonight as I got ready to go to the gym and she gave me this awesome pep talk…at the end of which she added the caveat “and I’m not saying this just because I’m your mom” – ha! She knew I was totally thinking that, too!! Too funny – and very fitting given Mother’s Day this weekend, too. Mom’s are awesome, huh? So comforting in their own unique way. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, there you have it. If I could recap it – I’d say this was definitely better than the last go-round and I’m proud that the areas I was told to improve I DID improve upon. It makes me feel good that all that hard work, all those weeks and weeks of complete and utter focus on Kick was worth it. Let’s hope BTS agrees and passes me. Everyone say a little prayer for me, ok? ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers ya’ll!