Get it right, get it tight

So. The running thing? It’s not really happening anymore. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind a little, shall we?

A few months ago I’d hit a bit of a rut at the gym. I had gotten to a point where I dreaded going because it was the same old stuff every time. Walk and run for a bit on the treadmill, do a couple arm and leg machines and go home. Repetition works, right?

But here’s the third reason why I love Planet Fitness.

(First two reasons are 1) because there are only like 5 mirrors in the whole place so I don’t have to watch myself looking gross and 2) because if you act like a douchebag at the gym, they literally RING AN ALARM to call you out in front of everyone and that is my kind of gym.)

OK, so the third reason. They realize that some people don’t make the amount of money required to pay to see a personal trainer on the reg. For example, me. I got expenses. And I like the occasional avocado.

They do this thing where you can meet with the trainer they have on staff, the trainer sets you up with a plan, teaches you all the parts of the plan and then sets you free to spread your little wings and fly. Oh, they check in with you, too. And for those that can make it happen, they also set certain dates to actually spot your workout and stuff.

So, a little while ago (a couple months ago, I guess) I met with a trainer. His name is Antonio because of course it fucking is. And he’s fairly attractive and kind of built and I worried that I might be distracted by his cuteness but then I noticed he had longer fingernails than most girls I know, including me, so that fixed that right up.

And we talked about my goals and what I’d done before and how I really needed to keep the Anxiety Monster quiet and the Depression Monster tamed, so whatever he thought was best I’d do it.

First question? How many days a week can you work out? I said probably 4. He said 5 would be good. But 4 was OK. Cool. Off to a grreeeeeeeat start.

I feel like I’m a good judge of people, and can read them pretty well. And Antonio? I still have not figured him out, y’all.

The first few times we met up he forgot we had set a meeting (perhaps why this service is free?) or forgot my name or both. Oh and looked literally anywhere but at me the whole time he spoke to me. And he also kicked my ass.

He showed me some other options for cardio – better ones than the treadmill I’d gotten so tired of – including the arc trainer, which makes me feel like a cross-country skier and I may or may not be addicted to.

And he took me through what’s called the 30-Minute Circuit at Planet Fitness. 20 steps (machines and literal step exercises), 30 minutes. You use a machine the whole time the light is green, when it turns red you go to the next one and repeat until you’ve done all 20 steps. The first day doing that was rough. Bless him for thinking my poor little jelly arms were strong and putting all the arm machines at 40 pounds for a starting point. And also, fuck that.

Aside: I am writing this after a 30-Minute Circuit Day and the arm machines are my new Everest. And I think I’ve messed up my elbow joints. Or maybe it’s the Bone Islands. Click on that link but don’t look up Bone Island yourself because there’s a 97 percent chance that’s probably the name of one or more porns.

We did a full-body workout day and that was a real treat. Because we used the free weights. And I realized that 5-pound free weights in each hand feel like I’m lifting a car when made to do certain exercises. Oh. Also, that day marked the second time I made Antonio feel awkward because he had to hold my elbows in place for one exercise because my boobs are too big and they pushed my arms further out to the side and I couldn’t make it work on my own. (The first time was when I asked him machines would be best to fix my flat butt.)

Anyway. It has since gotten a lot easier. Antonio knows my name, tells me I’m awesome every time I see him (I’m sure he says that to all his non-paying clients) and usually remembers when we’re supposed to meet now. And I can say I am officially at the point where I can tell a major difference in how I feel. I’m by no means a gym rat these days, but that shit does wonders for people like me with this weird-ass brain chemistry. When I haven’t been able to get to the gym for a few days I mentally feel crappier, not to mention physically. Oh, and there was those times when it did wonders for my self esteem, specifically after a picture of me was posted (not by me) on Facebook, and I got texts from a couple different people commenting on how good they thought I looked.

I wish I could say I have completely overhauled my routine and can now get up and go workout before work in the morning all the time like someone who has their shit together, but I like sleep too much. And late bedtimes. But I do go 3-4 times a week every week (haven’t quite made it to 5 yet because yo girl has a vibrant social life).

I don’t say this to get congratulations or anything like that. I am putting this out there solely for accountability. When you post that you’ve been working out and then someone asks you about it out in the world, it’s embarrassing to say “Oh yeah, that’s over.” So this helps me keep at it.

And all the extra dopamine ain’t too bad either.

Will run for puppies

So I’m back at the running thing again..

And before you guffaw in disbelief or get to wondering how long it will last this time around, it’s different now.

I’m using Couch-to-5K, a program you can use through an app on your phone, for like, the third or fourth time now.

As part of the program, you are taken week by week for 9 weeks building up your endurance and running times. The first week makes you run for about 30 seconds, taking breaks to walk. And you gradually build up and build up until you’re running the whole time.

Once upon a time I got to week three. And got so scared of week four I stayed at week three for three weeks, repeating those days over and over. And then I quit. Yay for willpower.

Then there was this time, which has been different. In a good way. I started a little over a month ago, going every other day after work to the Y up the road. After each run, I’d do a couple of machines – work on arms one day, abs one day, legs one day, stuff like that.

Even when I had to take a week for one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, I got back soon afterwards, picking up where I’d left off.

It helps that I have two runner BFFs, one of whom is basically a ninja – read his blog, you won’t regret it – who have always encouraged me and this time was no different.

I decided to look for a 5K to sign up for because I knew that would make me follow through completely and keep it up. So, at Jennifer’s suggestion, I picked the Waggin’ Trail 5K in May that will benefit the Humane Society.

She and Matt do the race every year, with their awesome doggies – Hunter and Oreo. I think Brendan, their 10-year-old, has run it once or twice, too.

You see, I have puppy fever right now like some people have baby fever, and telling me there’d be a bunch of cute dogs at this race, well, sign me up. It also helped that they’ve told me I get a puppy for participating AND if I win. (Whatever it takes, ya know?)

I also think it would work if you just hold a puppy in front of me like you’ve seen with carrots or whatever to make me keep running to try and get it.

Anyways, I’m doing the last leg of Week 4 on Saturday and I’m actually excited about it. Because I was scared of Week 4 once. And here I am about to complete it.

I’m on track to be ready in time for the race and am already looking at one to do in June or July nearby.

Even though it gets super hard sometimes in the middle of the run, I haven’t once come out of the gym in pain and saying “I’m done.” And I love that feeling.

Running is a pain in the butt

You guys, I started running again. Of course, I say this on a night when my trainer and I decided to skip for various reasons, one of which being it was supposed to sleet.

But we’ve been doing great up until now. And unless there’s a foot of snow or one of us has a medical or other type of emergency, we’re going again this weekend, and making up for our slacking.

To be fair: It wasn’t running, but I walked my ass off last Saturday and Sunday in Disney World, which is almost the same thing. Don’t believe me? I’ve got the blisters on my heels to prove it. Or maybe that just proves that my shoes suck…

Regardless, I’m proud of my progress. The first day we did it – and it was the first time since I quit last summer – it was painful. And I doubted myself. And complained. Until Jennifer yelled at me and told me not to say that I couldn’t. (And I’m not even paying her for this motivation!)

I complained a couple more times after that, but it’s also gradually gotten a little easier. And I’m not in as much pain as I thought I’d be.

Those first couple runs were tough. My legs seemed to have no problem with this increased activity, however, my butt really hurt.

That’s never happened when I ran before, but hurting is a good thing after exercise, right? It means you’re doing it right? And if that’s the case, then hopefully keeping this up means the butt-leg I have will soon be no more.

Yeah, I said butt-leg. It’s that thing where it’s really hard to determine where your butt stops and your leg begins. The world was perhaps made aware of it when SNL did that “Mom Jeans” skit. Look it up. It’s about like that. Butt butt butt then.. “I guess that’s leg.” That’s what’s going on here.

But if the weird pain I feel after running in said butt-leg is any indication, the two will soon be individually defined.

I’m the weirdest.

A Whatchama-tarian

It’s around this time of year that people say goofy things like “(Upcoming Year) is totally gonna be my year.” I usually think that’s corny. And cliche. However, this is probably the one year I’m thinking something along those lines.

Case in point: several big events and trips in 2012, as well as the possibility of becoming a homeowner.

Yes, I could be jinxing it right now..and I could also end up with a New Year’s Eve kiss that somehow throws a kink in the system like previous ones have done. (2006 and 2011 were two such circumstances. What can I say? I have questionable taste in boys. I blame alcohol).

But yeah, 2012 is a big year for a lot of reasons and I plan to, among other things and pardon the French – make it my bitch.

Step 1 in doing so? Shape up or ship out. I’ve already hired a trainer that I’m pretty sure will allow me to pay her in hugs. She’s a beast of an athlete whose motivation and accomplishments I’m in awe of and I’m also pretty sure she’s going to make me run much more than I want to. She’s training for a mini-marathon and wants to do Ironman and I’m lucky if I can run for longer than the 3 minutes the Couch to 5K lady forced me to do back when I was trying to be athletic before.

Step 2? Eat better. Let me proclaim here and now that starting Jan. 1 (actually starting now, I guess, because I’ve done well the past couple of days) I am a pescetarian. I Wikipedia’d it for you for explanations’ sake, but the even shorter version is no meat for this girl. Just fish.

So yeah, that means no ribs, no chicken, no steak. And no hamburgers, which I’ve brought in some help on. My cubicle buddy at work is not a hamburger fan. Naturally, she was the one I went to first to recruit as my at-work conscience. Whenever she sees me leave to get lunch somewhere, she’s to remind me not to get a hamburger. And after a discussion the other day on things that grossed us out to the point of gagging, she found out MY aversion to some things, namely silverfish and maggots.

Excuse me, I threw up.

Being the good friend that she is and the even better coach, coaxing me towards a hamburger-free lifestyle, she made me this:

Excuse me, I threw up again.

So, since making this proclamation to myself and one or two others, I’ve stuck to the fish thing, except for that not-really-very-good grilled chicken sandwich I got for lunch the other day. And it hasn’t been that hard.

Also, everyone I’ve told has been supportive. My family is supportive, however, Mom has yet to grasp the name of what it is I’m doing. For example, the other day she said “It’s a good time to become a Presbyterian or whatever that thing you’re doing is called.”

Well, I’m already a presbyterian and I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with not eating meat. In fact, I think I’ve had more fried chicken — all kinds of chicken, really — at that church and with people from it than anywhere else.

I guess you could call this a resolution, but I’m not going to. It’s a test of my willpower and motivation, and you can expect plenty of updates, I’m sure, on the progress throughout the next year for sure and however long I can keep it up. Maybe forever?

You’ll hear about the good and the bad, too, like when I realize what I can’t have now. Most recent realization? Buffalo Chicken Dip. Dammit.

Bring it on, 2010

Every year on New Year’s Eve, I kind of think of some resolutions, but I can never really nail down a list, much less take them all seriously enough to stick to during the year.

Then I realized it’s because I don’t make the resolutions tangible enough and they’re more out of guilt than want or need. Until this year. Everything I’m about to resolve, I am going to do this year. And why not? I can do it, it’s just a matter of motivating myself to make it happen.

Plus, 2010 and I have gotten along pretty well thus far – as of day 3 – so I owe it to my new friend to try and stick to my resolutions.

Some are more serious than others, while others are more of a work in progress than something I hope to be done by this time next year. But all of them are things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so why not put it in writing.

My 2010 resolutions, in no particular order are:

1. Exercise more. The roommate and I have scheduled a workout three mornings a week before we go to work. The clubhouse in our apartment complex has an exercise room and we don’t live that far from it, so we really have no excuses. I plan to do the 5Ks I took part in last year and this year I hope to do more running than walking in them. Which leads us to number 2.

2. Continue to better my time in each 5K I do this year. Of the three I did last year, my best time was in the third race. I’m not embarrassed to say it was around the 49/50-minute mark. Which is pretty good in my opinion for a non-runner. Even better since the first one I did, on a whim, took me 57 minutes to finish.

3. Work on getting my OCD more under control/not be SUCH a perfectionist. Since I’ve gotten a roommate, my OCD has been considerably better than it was when I lived alone. No more wondering if the door’s locked, the oven’s off – yes, I worried about that, suffice it to say I’ve got irrational fears, but more on that some other time – but there are still things I need to work on. Like how when the roommate isn’t here for the night/week, not checking the door and stuff to make sure it’s the way it needs to be. I need to calm down and realize what I’m doing while I’m doing it. And that I wouldn’t go to bed if I hadn’t locked the door, so if I’m in bed, the door must be locked.

4. Get some things accomplished on my list and add some new things to it. Several are attainable. And one is already paid for. I will be getting a massage – just got to decide when, because the parentals got me a spa package for Christmas. I can read the Bible this year, or at least start reading it/get a lot read. I can make a donation to a deserving organization, just gotta decide which one. I can run a 5K, or half of one, at least. And both DMB and John Mayer are coming to Louisville this year, so I can try to get good seats at either concert. I can go tubing this summer and I can work on my football throwing. I can also volunteer somewhere.

5. Save more money. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to – part of this resolution also includes getting my DVD-buying under control, which should be easy since I am up-to-date on all my TV on DVD, for the most part. But there are lots of things I want to buy…flat-screen TV, laptop and CAR are at the top of the list. As is paying off the credit card and paying more on my student loans.

6. Go on a trip, preferably up north. I’d love to go to Boston, of course, especially during baseball season. I’d also like to visit my aunt and cousins in New Jersy and take a day or two to go to New York City. I haven’t been since I was in seventh grade and really want to go back. Plus I know a few people that live there now.

7. Have somebody to kiss at midnight for 2011. This New Year’s Eve was fun, if not random. It was a party where I knew about half the people there. It was fun, but at midnight I just kind of watched everybody else kiss. In fact, the only time I have had someone to kiss on NYE was Dec. 31, 2005. It was a friend who had come up to me a few minutes before midnight and said he didn’t have anyone to kiss. That one kiss though, led to about 10 months of confusion, hurt feelings – that was pretty much just on my part, and unnecessary drama. It wasn’t all bad, but probably more bad than good in the long run. My best NYE in recent years though had to be when a group of us went to Wet Willy’s on Bardstown Road. It was one of the craziest nights I’d had in a while and I spent it with three of my best friends. Oh, the stories from that night…

8. Calm down. If you know me, you know I get stressed. A lot. More than I need to about stuff I don’t need to worry about, most of the time. In fact, in the past few days I’ve woken up with a headache – how that can happen during you doing the most relaxing thing you can do is beyond me – and while it could be sinus problems, I’m sure stress is a little bit of a factor too, especially since the nights I’ve woken up with a headache I’ve had some crazy dreams. It’s not worth it to be so amped up and anxious all the time, so this year, I’m getting it under control.

9. Start freelancing more. Since I’ve been on the communications task force at my church, I’ve been doing a lot more design work on the side, whether its for my church or for part invitations or whatever. A lady on the committee with me hired me to design a newsletter for an organization she works with and they were pleased with the result, so much so that HOPEFULLY it will mean more work from them in the future. My grandpa wants to pass my work along to his church, because he seems to think they are in need of a newsletter overhaul, so maybe that could pan out. I just like playing around with different aspects of design now that I know more about it and putting together these newsletters for the two groups I’ve done it for has been fun. Plus, the extra money’s not bad either.

10. Be better at keeping in touch with/seeing old friends. Several of my friends live outside of Louisville and it’s getting harder and harder for us to get together. We’re all busy and personally, I haven’t been that great at keeping in touch as of late or meeting up with my friends, even those that live here in town. So this year, I’ll be taking more road trips – unless the car remembers its got 108K miles on it and craps out on me – and making more phone calls and planning more movies, dinners, coffees, parties, whatever, to make sure I can spend time with my friends.

So there you have it, 10 resolutions for 2010. These are all things I’ll be working on this year and hopefully accomplishing. There’s no reason I can’t. Bring it on, 2010. I’m ready for ya.