Monday, October 17, 2011

Muscle Fatigue, Thanks Les Mills!

This weekend was a crazy, crazy weekend. First, I turned even older on Friday. Yes, older than dirt. 

But once you turn a certain sophisticated age, you really don't get much choice on what you get to do and when. This weekend was Hollywood's Homecoming Extravaganza with the game on Friday and dance on Saturday.  

Here we are before the sweat commenced!
After she left for dinner Saturday night with her group of friends, I made my way to Rosemont where SCW Fitness was holding the Les Mills Midwest Quarterly. I've never been to a quarterly and was really excited to get to participate in as many of the Les Mills programs as I wanted. Does that sound crazy? Yes. Nine hours of working out can make a girl tired and sore, but more on that later. 

Since our small fitness center is new to the Les Mills Kool-Aid, we had all 3 (yes, count them 3) of our instructors going to quarterly as well as one of our best students. I had a wonderful plan....lots and lots of working out! Blood, sweat and tears and all of that stuff. We stayed in a hotel Saturday night so we could be nice and fresh for all of our ambitious classes on Sunday. 

The morning started with Body Pump at 8 am. Since our fitness center hasn't launched Pump 79 yet, this was our first chance to preview the choreography. I can already tell you that I have some work to do on the tricep dips as well as the side planks. Oh holy weak abs! I'm guessing approximately 150 people participated in the first class of the day. 

Body Pump 79
We planned to sit out Body Step, but since I have a whole library of The Firm DVDs in my basement I thought it would be fun to do the program as well. Let me tell you! The ladies who led the Body Step choreography are champs in my book. This is not your momma's workout program. This will kick your booty. As one of the trainers said, "Everyone knows Steppers have the best booties in the house." And it's definitely true!

Next (at 10:30 am) was Body Combat. Did I sit that one out? Oh heck no. You know better than that. Body Combat was led by an incredible trainer by the name of Sheldon McBee. Sheldon has presented on quite a few Les Mills DVDs I do believe and I can see why. He's quite inspirational and intense. Every time I did a forward kick I couldn't believe how much sweat I had beading on my shins! Oh my word! I loved Combat!!! My back is still feeling the pain today. 

Finally, we took a break, changed into dry clothes, got some lunch and I drank about 5 glasses of Diet Pepsi. Yes, I had water too, but come on! I needed the salt! At least, that was my lame excuse. After lunch we did some shopping at the expo. I was a little disappointed by the selection of Les Mills merchandise at the SCW Fitness booth, but I did get a Body Flow yoga mat for $9.99. Yawzah! That was a deal!

Finally, it was time to work out again. I wanted to check out Body Vive. Because Body Vive is a low impact program, I felt it could be an effective program in our fitness center. It will appeal to the older generation as well as the de-conditioned. The program is split into two segments: 1) a low impact aerobic workout followed by a 2) toning segment using bands. The band work was awesome. Remember my Crickety Old Knees which I mentioned last week? Well, the band moves in Body Vive really work on strengthening the hips. Perfect for me!

Up next was the new core program, CXWorks. I think the program is fantastic and works the entire core from your hips to your shoulders, but it's not a program which will appeal to many of our members. Next I tried Body Attack. Good Lord, what was I thinking? I knew I didn't want to do the high impact aerobics. I just don't have the fast twitch fibers needed anymore! But I tried it...for about 3 tracks and then said heck with it. What was I trying to prove? Remember the awesome trainers I mentioned earlier who led Body Step? Yep, it was them again. I don't know how their bodies can handle of that high impact, but maybe it's because they are probably 20 years younger than me and have much better knees!

Finally, it was time for Body Flow, my favorite. I was excited to go through meditation - without having to lead it! Body Flow 54! Awesome. I loved the sequence in the Sun Salutations track. It was definitely something a little bit different. 

After Flow, we were all ready to head on out. We made a quick change into dry clothes again and hit the road...only to come to a screeching hault. Giordano's was calling our names. OK, food was calling our names. A thin crust pizza for me - or I should say some of a pizza - and then we were hauling it home. By the time, I walked in the door about 10 p.m. I was definitely ready to just place my head on the pillow and call it a night!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Crickety Old Knees

Last February, I went to physical therapy for knee pain which extended from the front of my knee to the top of my ilium crest.Since I seem to have a problem with focus, I stopped doing my exercises when the pain stopped.

But, hey, you know what?
The pain stopped when I stopped running because I was teaching group fitness all of the time.
Fast forward to a week in the Riviera Maya with Awesome Cheryl and you find me DEFYING MY DESTINY with a 3 mile run along the beach. Suddenly, what do you know? My knee hurts again. Grrr

While lounging in a chair by the pool waiting for Verulo to deliver my Mango Tango,, I caught up on my reading and found an article in the latest Runner's World magazine about strengthening your hips to relieve sore knees. The series of exercises includes forward lunges, side planks, single-leg bridges, and reverse step-ups. Because I do want to add running back into my routine, I need to add this series of exercises to my daily workout regime.
So even though I just published it's revised. 
Ok, now I have to run (figuratively). Time to go back the ladies check out. Take back the rack!

October Plan

A week in Riviera Maya and you realize you've hit a rut. It's time to shake it up. The biggest problem is that I am teaching Group Fitness at least 5 days a week - which I ABSOLUTELY love - but it's not my workout time. I need time for me. Time to space out and enjoy. To focus on me and my personal goals. 

Part of my ritual is to write out my exercise plan for the month. 

Of course, exercise isn't my's the now I better work on that plan as well. I'm using meal plans from Spark People to get me jump started this week. My basic outline is:

1 piece of toast
Egg, Ham & Cheese Omelet

Romaine lettuce salad
Salmon burger

Cottage Cheese (low fat)

Sweet Potato

Hummus & Pita Bread

Sounds like a good plan. Let's go with it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Every toddler hears that question, probably a few thousand times. The answers are always interesting. A cowboy. A police office. A firefighter. A princess. Very few kids say they want to grow up conforming to society and doing exactly what society expects of them.

Hollywood as Jessie
As children, we use our imaginations. We dream...we aspire. As we age, we allow responsibilities to take control of our imaginations and limit our creativity.

So I ask you again: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Hmmm....I just don't know. So let's dig deeper. What do you love to do?

  1. I love to workout. I know. I'm a freak, but I truly do enjoy working out. I love the sense of accomplishment. I love the endorphin high. I love checking it off my list first thing in the morning. 
  2. I love to work on the computer. I love technology. 
  3. I love research. I like digging for the solution to the question. 
  4. I love to plan. Make me a plan. Set me a (realistic) goal and I will accomplish it. 
  5. I love to work independently. I'd rather not have a set schedule because I work best when I feel the desire to do what I want, when I want. Yes, I'm spoiled, but I used to telecommute out of my home when we first moved back to Illinois after living in Milwaukee for 3 years. I loved it. I loved the independence. 
  6. I miss being creative. I feel like I am such a solid, responsible person who left her creatively behind. 
  7. I love to dream BIG. Ask me to shoot for the moon and I'll shoot for the stars. 
What do I despise? 
  1. Cooking. I really just want someone to deliver my healthy meals to me. I love food. I just hate the planning and organizing that goes into it ALL. 
  2. I being told what to do and when to do it. I want flexibility in my schedule. 
So, what do I want to be when I grow up? I'm not quite sure, but I believe I'm going to master this process and find out. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back in the U.S. of A.

The last week was rough...tough...unbearable. I spent a week living a very primal life in the wilds of Mexico.
The beautiful infinity pool leading right into the ocean

OK, so maybe the life at Dreams Riviera Maya Resort & Spa wasn't so wild. Unless you count the dinner after my nephew's wedding.
Our waiter at Portofino brought the entire table shots. So we had to drink them!
But most importantly, a week's vacation gives you perspective especially as you get to the end of your trip and realize you have to go home. The end of a vacation makes you think about home and what is waiting for you. I left my husband and two oldest daughters at home for various reasons. Only Princess went with me on this trip. Being in paradise is very difficult without your life partner and I'm not just talking about guilt regarding leaving him behind. The location was beautiful and romantic, but tough to enjoy with your youngest daughter.

The end of a vacation makes you think about how you spend your time 24/7. Are you following your passion? Are you doing what you love?

My answer was not 100% yes. So let the soul searching begin. What do I want to be when I grow up? How do I want to spend my time on this earth? What the heck is my passion?

As I was relaxing on my flight home, I put my ipod on shuffle and start reading a book on my Nook. Suddenly, in the mix of my songs, here comes the voice of my personal hero, Jillian Michaels, reading from her book, "Unlimited".

Is that a God sign? I'm thinking so. So look for some deep introspective over the next few days as I search to find the thing that will make me excited - ok, maybe just look forward to - returning home from vacation.