Workin’ it out with passion

I heart the fitblog community.

SO  much.

I am floored by the response to my last post. I guess I really DID lay it all out there in that post, huh? I sort of feel like it was a diary entry that somehow became a public blog entry for all to see. As if I were baring my soul, showing my truest of colors.

And not gonna lie, it felt really good to write with such passion in my words. My fingers flew across that keyboard last night. Probably the fastest post I’ve ever written.

And better yet? It felt incredible to feel so inspired again. Like I’ve said a million times on this blog, I’m always itching for a new challenge, some goal to work towards, whatever. It fuels me. It drives me.

And somehow, if I look back at previous “challenges” – they always started with a definitive beginning/middle/end but somehow, these challenges never really end for me. Once they’re “in” me, there ain’t no pulling them back out.

I’m a runner. A half marathoner at that. One with a real race schedule like you other “real” runners out there. I even like to do intervals now. Like fast ones. Who, me??

I’m kickboxing obsessed. Sure, I’m Group Kick certified, but just because I’m not currently teaching (though trust me, I’d LOVE to), doesn’t mean that kickboxing is ever far from my mind. It’s my regular Thursday night retreat. I love that sweaty hour of fire!

And now, I’m a Core Fusion Addict. This one I never saw coming. Not for a second. But here I am, digging through Exhale Spa class schedules to see if I can figure out a good CF schedule to commit to when I get back from work travels next week and Jamaica in 18 days (but whose counting).  And for the record, I’d kill to go to the Core Fusion Boot Camp retreat in Boston this spring. Anyone care to sponsor me?? 😉

This, my friends, is my passion. It fills me with glee. It’s who I am. I don’t know why, but it took last night’s Core Fusion class to remember that. Workouts are not about numbers anymore for me. I don’t even regularly update my workout manager stats over at Cathe.com anymore. I was RELIGIOUS about that before. I hated to see rest days on there or too few “calories burned’ for the week. But somehow, I’ve slowly moved away from all of that and truly without even realizing it or trying to do so.

And that, for real, is SUCH a freeing feeling, I can’t even begin to describe.

<editor’s note-to-self: please refer to this next time you beat yourself up over taking a rest day or skipping a “planned” workout in favor of something else. Mmk?>

Core Fusion, live with Fred DeVito

Life changing.

That is the only way I can possibly describe tonight’s Core Fusion class at the newly opened Exhale Spa at Battery Wharf in Boston.

Now, my sis and I took our first live class together yesterday at the same location…it had been at least a year or two since we last attempted a live class. Well before we initiated our Core Fusion Challenge a month or so ago, even.

And lemme tell you, that was an experience in and of itself yesterday.

But when Dori alerted us (love you, girl!) that Fred DeVito – THE Fred DeVito – was coming back to the Battery Wharf location tonight to teach one class, we HAD to be there. Just had to. I left work a full 90 mins early just to get there (and good thing I did, directionally challenged, much??).

And it was completely and utterly life-changing.

I honestly don’t even know how to capture our experience tonight in this post. Words seriously won’t do it justice. But I’ll try.

Fred DeVito, in a word? Has such an amazing presence about him. He’s calm, he’s extremely centered and ridiculously inviting and encouraging. (jobo commentary: hey, you stole my line, that’s exactly what I thought! He was radiant, calm, balanced. And happy. All sorts of happy!)

He immediately asked where his “twitter friends” were – um, that would be us! He welcomed us in with a warm smile and a handshake. And from there, we were off. He instructed us not to listen to his instruction but to just do what he said, without thinking. And you know what? That is EXACTLY how the class went.

I didn’t think. I just moved.

And it was unreal just how motivating it was, and incredibly detoxfying. I even tried some moves I was only modifying before and I was stunned to see that I didn’t do a half bad job at the “real” version of flat back, for example. Just his encouragement was all I needed – he came by during that very move and said “tomorrow – you’ll get there” and just smiled. And I beamed with pride. (jobo commentary: this is where he held my legs up higher and really pushed me, and to my surprise, my legs *did* go higher and I was able to hold it. It felt incredible).

He believes in his students. I mean, TRULY believes. And here I am gushing away, but that’s exactly the reaction he brings out in his students. He instills courage and pride and strength and focus. (jobo commentary: he came over to me as I was doing the curl, lifted my back up and slid his kneees under my back and whispered, ‘lean back. Now hold your arms out wider, lengthen your legs and just hold it.’ And having that guidance was exactly what I needed. And damn, did I feel it, like whoa!)

He wills you to push harder. And you do. No thinking. Just doing.

I’m sitting here in utter awe at how changed I was by tonight’s experience. I am completely and totally re-commited to Core Fusion like never before. Seriously. I want to see even more change, deeper change, by going to the class as much as I can. Fred urged us to commit for three weeks – three classes a week and “then you’ll be hooked.” And I’m right there. (jobo commentary: um, me too. Can I just, like, move in there and go every single day?!)

Thank you Fred DeVito. We are changed. And inspired. And ready to surrender to Core Fusion all over again. 

Of running and race schedules…

For those of you that live in New England like me, you’ve probably been diggin’ the downright balmy temps this weekend. I was in my own personal heaven this weekend at the sheer thought of running outside on both Saturday *and* Sunday…and without freezing my butt off in the process.

Now, neither run was all that long (around 4 miles or so) but that didn’t matter to me. I didn’t care what my garmin said. I didn’t care how long it took me to get there.

I simply embraced the run. And it felt awesome.

Just letting my legs carry me along, realizing that those intervals this winter have totally helped and yup, and a stronger core (thank you Core Fusion!) that pushed me through?

Yeah, that’s pretty much why I run.

It’s mine. It makes me happy. It gives me confidence. It clears my mind. It centers me.

So – timing is good then, to have figured out my tentative race plans for this spring/summer/fall, right? Now – this is hopefully just the start of my race “schedule” for this year. I hope, anyway! The way I structured the plan is to start slowly and build up towards the higher mileage races. But we’ll see how it goes – like I said, I’m hoping to add to this schedule as we go along. <—what can I say? I’m eager!

Without further ado…the race schedule, 2011:

April 2: Hit The Street for Little Feet 5k Road Race in Manchester-by-the sea (this one is great, takes you right by the ocean, love!)

May 13: Backshore Road Race 5-miler (another one that takes you by the ocean, this one is in my hometown and takes us right past where we were married almost 7 years ago, love x2!)

May 19: Fitbloggin’ 5k, at Fitbloggin in Baltimore, surrounded by fellow #fitblog friends like you!

June 19: Rockport Fathers Day 5 and 10k (I’ll do the 10k – this will be my FIRST 10k race, actually. I went right from running 5ks and 5-milers to running half marathons…apparently that’s how I roll…)

September 24: The Wicked Half...I wasn’t sure I’d choose this half to conquer again, but it holds such a special place in my heart since it was my first half, that I really do want to go back and tackle it again.

But…there’s *another* half I’d love to do in the fall, but it sorta depends on if I can get myself there. We’re planning a return to wine country (hopefully) this fall but still need to figure out the timing. If we do, I’d love, love, LOVE to run the Healdsburg Half on October 29 –I mean really, WHAT could be better? Running a half, in my mecca (I swear, I should’ve been a Cali girl!), surrounded by the vines? Um yeah, sounds awesome. We shall see. ;-)

November 24: Wild Turkey Run 5-miler (this would be our fourth time running this race on Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite way to kick off the holiday…and it would be awesome to set a new PR like I did last year!)

So, that’s it. The race schedule…so far. I hope you dig it.  🙂

And speaking of running…a MAJOR congrats to my girl Heather for not just running her first half, but KILLING her first half with sub-two hour race day finish. I am SO proud of you girlfriend!! xoxo

Facing “fear,” boot camp-style

Remember my confession that I was just a teensy-tiny bit scared of Core Fusion Boot Camp?

It only came out in me and my sister’s “she said/she said” blog post and only because my sister forced me to add a “confession” to the list of Core Fusion ruminations in that post (when in doubt, blame your sister, works like a charm).

But for real – I *was* afraid of it. I had only done it twice as of that post. Twice out of almost the entire 30 days of the Core Fusion Challenge? C’mon, I’m better than that, right??

So this week? I faced down my “fear” of Core Fusion Boot Camp.

Not only did I conquer it on Monday, but I faced and conquered it *again* this morning, on a FRIDAY morning no less. Fridays, as you know, are SO much harder for me. I’m exhausted from the long week and the last thing I usually want to do is something super-duper challenging like Core Fusion Boot Camp.

But I did it.

And guess what? It wasn’t nearly as challenging today. I mean – don’t get me wrong, that is a damn hard workout, no doubt about it. But today I was ready for it. The jump-back series (x2!) was ridiculous as usual but I loved how it made me feel. My entire body was warm, sweat trickling down my back and I was alive. Talk about a total body workout. From the jump-backs to the push-ups on the playground ball to the planks on the playground ball and all sorts of Core Fusion fun in between?

Well, I have nothing left to say than this: TGIF. I’ve freakin’ earned it! And, I’ll add that to the “goals accomplished” list for the Core Fusion Challenge. Hmm there may be a follow-up blog post in there…

Happy, happy Friday – it’s freezing out here, but at least the sun was up not even halfway into my workout today. Which makes e even MORE excited for daylight savings time! I miss the sun…I feel like a bat half the winter. Up in the dark, inside at work all day, leave for the night and it’s pitch black. Seriously, something is VERY wrong with that, don’t you think??

Random

…I’m stir crazy. I’ve decided I was not meant to live in the Northeast. I feel like the walls are closing in around me -being inside ALL THE TIME is just not natural. We should be like cavemen, scavenging for food (ok, maybe that one’s a stretch, I’m no good at scavenging), spending our days wandering the great outdoors, surrounded by fresh air.

…I’m dying for summer. I swear to you all right here and now. I will NOT take the spring and summer months for granted. Ever again. The sheer thought of going for a run in the early morning or late after work and it STILL being bright light out (and warm) seems like such a dream to me right now. Yet – in the spring and summer, it’s a given. And thus, easily taken for granted. No more. I hate this antsin-the-pants-I’m-a-spaz-can’t-concentrate-hate-this-cold-weather-just-want-to-run-outside feeling I got going on. Shoo, winter, shoo!

…I *think* I’m ready to give greek yogurt a try again. After my yogurt-ed-out experience a couple of months back, I thought I’d never get my yogurt grove back. But then, I saw on some of your blogs that Chobani had some new flavors out (lemon! black cherry!) and I just have to try them. I was all about Fage before but maybe a change in brand AND this hiatus from greek yogurt will do the trick. Yogurt – I’d like to be friends again. Truce?

…I need to figure out some race plans for spring. It’s time. Enough futzing around talking about how much I miss running outdoors and doing lots of intervals to speed up my pace (which was an awesome workout last night, btw), but it’s time to find some races to work towards. I’m craving it, to be honest. I’ll get back to you guys when I figure this one out. It will include at least one half marathon. That is for sure. Maybe the Wicked Half again, maybe a different race altogether. Maybe even more than one. Hmm.

…everything seriously happens for a reason. Remember how I decided against going to the Cathe Road Trip this year in favor of a “workout-n-wine” weekend with Heather and my sister? Well, everything *does* happen for a reason becauuuuuse I *still* get to see Cathe Friedrich this spring anyway! She’s going to be at Fitbloggin this year, taking us through a workout “challenge” on Friday and will be there for the entire conference! Seriously, I geeked out BIG time on twitter when I saw that. I mean how cool is that? Now I’m even more excited for Fitbloggin to finally get here! Tina – did you see that update, my fellow Cathlete and Fitbloggin friend??

…Happy bloggy birthday to fantastic blog friend Lindsay who I seriously cannot wait to meet while I’m in Austin for a trade show in a coupla weeks. SERIOUSLY excited about this. Weee!

…and ps. I’m reallllly looking forward to getting to Exhale Spa at Battery Wharf next week for some live Core Fusion classes.<stay tuned for my planned “schedule” for next week’s CF fun btw> I just wish I got to go THIS week when Fred DeVito was going to be there teaching at the new location! I tweeted to him that he should come back next week. Think he’ll take me up on that offer?

Off to Group Kick, hope you enjoyed my random musings. I kinda did 🙂

Core Fusion Guest Blog: The Mirror

As you know, we’re nearing the “end” of the official Core Fusion Challenge.

But what you also know is that this isn’t where the journey ends. It’s just the beginning for my sister and I. We are total Core Fusion Converts. Or addicts, really.

In reading my sister’s guest post (if you missed her first one, check it out here) – I totally couldn’t help myself so you’ll see some “color commentary” from me throughout. I hope she doesn’t mind. 😉

The Mirror.

Using the mirror in Core Fusion…who knew?!

While traveling this week, I have been doing Core Fusion in my hotel room. There is a table with a mirror in front of it that I opted to do last night’s Core Fusion workout in and WOW, did it make a difference (and side note: Core Fusion Thighs and Glutes…whoa Nelly! That was tough, but I loved it! Can’t believe I hadn’t tried that one yet).

Things I noticed?

I need to acutely focus on tucking in my core when doing standing glute work. I tend to pooch my lower core out, versus tucking it in constantly. I tend to start that way, and then eventually it starts to creep out of position. Holding it the entire time during each move made a huge difference!! <—this was HUGELY eye opening for me when I went to the Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa (wish I stuck with it way back when I first discovered CF a couple years back!). It actually takes a lot more “thinking” to keep everything in it’s place, keeping proper form throughout each series of moves, your brain kinda hurts at the end, ha.

Watching myself doing leg lifts or squats or whatever the move may be is motivating in itself. Because I am starting to see more definition. And my legs are starting to creep higher and straighter. Small changes but with each tweak, I feel better, taller, leaner. <—walking tall(er)! LOVE IT!!

It’s far too easy to fall out of position when you aren’t watching yourself and are watching the DVD. I fell into this when training for Group Kick as well…just going through the motions more than feeling each one, putting energy, strength and intent behind each move. Watching myself really helped tighten that up (no pun intended) <—that’s one thing I truly love about Core Fusion vs. any other workout you can do at home or at the gym – by its very nature, your mind is much more engaged in the workout, which means your body is much more engaged in the movement. It’s far harder (at least for me) to “zone out” during Core Fusion because every move has meaning. Every hold, every pose, has a purpose. An intent. It’s that mind-body connection thang, really and truly.

I can’t wait for my two-week Rue La La membership to Exhale Spa to go to some classes! I know it will help improve my form, and boost progress and tone. I won’t lie, I am intimidated, because even though I know I have improved, I am still a beginner in every sense of the word! But I never shy away from a challenge, now do I? (or we!) <—helllllll yeah! I seriously am so psyched for the two weeks worth of classes! You bet your ass we’ll be taking FULL advantage of as many CF classes as we can, too. Game on.

Bring it!

Y’know that thing called “self worth?”

Been mulling this thought throughout the day today. And now that I’ve had time to sit down and put the words down on “paper” here, I’ve come to one conclusion:

Y’know that thing called “self worth?”

I think we could all use a bigger dose of it.

I firmly believe that this is a big reason why so many struggle to “allow” themselves to stick to a fitness routine. They don’t think they deserve it. They value doing “good” for others far above doing “good” for themselves. As if it’s selfish to carve out that all-important “me” time for a workout.

I have a news flash for you: it’s not selfish. I promise.

And granted, I personally struggle with not feeling selfish or self-centered for making fitness and a healthy lifestyle such a big priority in my life. But then, I go back to how fleeting life is. Why not live your best life possible? A longer life due to a balanced approach to health? That, in my book, is quite the opposite of selfish. It’s self-less. By extending your own life, you are bringing joy to your loved ones who would miss you if your life were cut short by disease brought on by a poor diet and minimal exercise.

I see it so much in some of my close friends and even in my own family. That struggle to embrace their own self-worth. Allowing themselves that “me” time. Not just for a healthy body, but a healthy mind, too. Endorphins work miracles in boosting mood. Something I know we could all use in our lives. Every. single. day.

So tonight, I urge you:

Value yourself.

Truly.

Because you, your life, is worth fighting for.

Now g’wan, pay it forward will ya? Tell your friend who struggles to carve out that “me” time that they are worth it. Tell your sister. Tell your brother. Your mom. Your aunt. Your husband or wife.

You. Are. Worth. It.