A new year…

A new kick-ass, punk-rockin’, psycho-kinetic motivation!

That’s right, folks: my birthday is next week, and it comes just a few weeks before the national day of retrospect/introspect–New Year’s Day.

I like to get it all over with at once.

Like I said in my last post, every fitness goal I had for the past year was thrown out of whack due to my health issues (stayin’ alive kinda came first). I neither deny this nor use it as an excuse (though I believe that some people may think I do). The truth is what it is–take it or leave it–and I’ve needed to make best of what I’ve got physically and mentally and know my limits.

FOR EXAMPLE…

A bunch of people from boxing have taken about a year to train for this ridiculously dangerous mudpit race called The Tough Mudder. They had to sign a death waiver, for real. Believe me, I liked the sound of it, though I was more than iffy about having to run 12 miles. The obstacles sounded like fun, though: jump into a pit of ice water. Cool. Swing on monkey bars until you fall into another water pit. Fun! Climb up hay bales and jump over walls (etc). Then, I was presented with not only the physical challenges presented by these obstacles in the race but also some mental challenges that stopped me in my proverbial tracks.

The deal-breakers:

I am extremely claustrophobic, so a dark, tight tunnel filled with strangers would not be for me.

My self-doubt. Of course I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’d lost fitness; I’d gained weight; it was easier not to try.

BAM. Fuck it.

I’m fuckin’ afraid.

I’ve been through so much this year. And I’m afraid to what–train? Fail? Well, I am afraid to die. I’m not going to deny that one.

Let’s get back to the goals, though. What is it that I DO want this year? What is it that I do want to do?

To accomplish this, I’m going to go backwards in time, and you should, too. Make a list of all your fitness-related accomplishments from the past (all those “high” moments) and those goals you’ve had. Don’t worry–just writing it down doesn’t mean you have to do it. Trust me. I’m in charge of this exercise.

My list:

1. complete a sprint tri (done)

2. complete an Olympic-length tri (not done)

3. biking 30 miles with friends before work (done)

4. working out with a trainer/friend and sticking with the workouts on my own (done)

5. study yoga (done)

6. become a yoga instructor (not done, but close at one point)

7. become a Spinning instructor (done, and I might want to do this one again)

8. complete a tri in the desert (not done)

9. compete in charity 5ks (done)

10. compete in a charity 10k

11. ride 100 miles consecutively on my bike (in one sitting–not done)

12. take a boxing class (done, wink)

13. participate in a mud race (the Savage Race is coming up)

At this point, I hope you’re feeling pretty proud of your past fitness accomplishments. I’m going to divide my accomplishments and goals into different fitness categories:

1. tris

2. boxing

3. training (increase strength and cardio)

4. events other than tris

5. yoga

Now, I have to come up with a concrete goal in each of these four categories. You can come up with more than one goal in and then narrow those down, but try to have one goal for each category. It may be small or large, as long as it is specific.

1. compete in one sprint tri this spring or summer

2. go to boxing at least twice per week unless sickness, travel, or other unavoidable issues come up (don’t wimp out on this, though!)

4. go to the frickin’ gym. Ahem. We do a lot of strength work at boxing, so I’m going to say that I need to do cardio, maybe swimming on Mondays and running on Thursdays.

3. participate with friends in either Savage Race or Warrior Dash

4. practice yoga at home for 30 minutes three times per week (to start)

Now, I’m going to borrow a tool from the chest of my friend and former trainer Lauren H., who authors the blog Lake Nona Boot Camp. You can read the exercise here (in the second para., though there’s another good ex. in the first para.). Then, please come back!

When I did this exercise, I found that, unlike many people, time was not an obstacle for me. I am very lucky for this. Now, I am involved in many activities and I like my routine, so reversion to change is an issue for me (“but I don’t WANT to go to the gym now–it’s nap time!”). Get over it. I do need to be realistic about my level of exertion, and I need to stretch a lot more (one reason for the yoga) to prevent injuries like this pesky plantar fasciaitis I have. I also have guilt about not being in the gym for so long. Ugh. I’m afraid they’ll just know all my fitness and nutritious shames when I walk throughout the doors.

But there are many things I CAN do, like do yoga in the afternoons and some cardio early in the mornings, that will make me feel good.

Last, I need to mention nutrition. In her blog post, Lauren H. makes the excellent point that you can control your nutrition even if you’re being dragged to Chick-fil-a kicking and screaming (mmmmm). Not to promote any eating disorders here, but the truth is that you have control over what you put into your body. And eating is necessary, people. You all know that eating the right thing is what counts.

A good general image is to take a plate and divide it into half and then into quarters (half again) on one side. The big half should be vegetables (cooked or uncooked, like salad), a quarter should be protein, and a quarter should be carbs. This is what a nutritionist told me, and I know there are more ways to divide a plate and think about food and I’m certainly not going to get into it with you, but it’s at least an easy, memorable image. Nutrition is definitely something I need to work on. So I’ll make two plates a day work out that way.

Okay. Whew!

1. So I’ve got options for two days of boxing on M, W, F, S.

2. I’ve got cardio on M and R.

3. I’ve got yoga T, R, Sun in afternoon.

4. I’ve got eating lunch and dinner with the healthy-plate proportions most days a week (I’ll aim for 6 out of 7).

5. I will participate in a sprint tri.

6. I will train for an Olympic tri and possibly participate this year.

7. I will do either the Savage Race or Warrior Dash or both with friends.

What will your goals be?