Monday, June 29, 2015

5 Ways I Forget My Pain at the Gym

If you workout, whether at FXB or another gym or even in your basement, then I’m sure you’ve had moments of pain. Both physical and mental. If you’re like me, then you’ve had moments of wanting to drop to the ground and remain immobile for at least 20 minutes.

So how do I get through those moments? Below are my top 5 gym pain coping methods.

The Curl
When I feel as if I can’t lift the band another rep, or that I’m going to drop before the end of the count, I try to save the game by calling in the lip. My upper lip does this funny curl, turning my mouth into a snarl. For some reason this usually only occurs on upper body day. It’s as if my lip thinks there’s a string attached from it to the band/bar, and if it pulls up into a curl it will help out my arms. If someone understands the psychology for why this happens, bring it. In case you need to see what The Curl looks like, here you go (photo credit to #Protector).

The Bounce
Again, this usually only happens on upper body day—probably because my legs are too busy working on lower body day to bounce. The Bounce starts when I near the point of breaking, at least during an exercise that doesn’t require me to step on the band. I shift from one foot to the other, with a bit of a bounce in between. I know muscle failure is imminent when The Bounce is accompanied by The Curl . . .

Name That Sweat Puddle
Did you ever play “Name That Cloud” as a kid? The one where you look at the shape of a cloud and make up something that it looks like? This is the same concept, only with the drops of sweat that form below me on the mat. If I’m in a plank and think that I’m about to drop, I look at my puddle of liquid awesome and try to figure out what shape it’s trying to make. One day it was a big smiley face. No kidding. I wanted to smack it.

My Happy Place
Often when I’m running low on energy, hitting that Level 10, I’ll let my mind wander to its happy place. This is where I allow my mind to forget that I’m in a gym, pushing my body to its limits. I can usually get to this happy place faster when the playlist pipes out some 80s rap. The downside to this coping method is that it often causes me to lose track of what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ll still be throwing my triple right rounds, only to pull out of my happy place and find everyone else is onto their left side. Oops. And no, I won’t tell you where my happy place is . . . you’re not invited!! But you're welcome to find your own happy place.

Yes, my last coping method is letting my mind conduct research for my instructor posts.

Share how you cope with gym pain, other than what I've listed here . . . because I know some of you can relate to a few items on this list (remember, there are mirrors and I can see your curl and bounce).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This coach has an update!

So, I’ve now made it through my first 10 week session as a coach, and just started my second on Monday.

Have I told you all how much I love being a coach at FXB?

When I worked at Cummins, one of the things I loved most about my job was mentoring others. I participated in mentoring circles (which was actually initiated due to one of my project recommendations) and mentored others one-on-one. One of the things I loved most about mentoring was that I learned just as much from them as (I hoped) they learned from me. While I love being an author and stay-at-home mom, I haven’t had much opportunity to actively mentor others. I hope that some aspects of my writing offers mentoring type support, and, of course, there is the never-ending mentoring I provide to my daughter.

But still... I've missed it.

So when I was asked if I wanted to co-coach my 8:45 class—uh, yeah! It’s been so great. My first group of 10 weekers had several hardworking individuals who were dedicated to living a healthier life. And they were a lot of fun! It was awesome being able to help encourage others to stay motivated in their health and fitness goals.

Besides having fun, what did I learn as a coach?

I learned that I can be confident in the knowledge I’ve learned at FXB so far. I learned that progress is being made, even if the individual can’t see it for themselves—while some of the 10 weekers may not have felt they made much progress, I could see the total transformation from their first day. I learned that we are all starting from ‘Point A’ and moving toward ‘Point B’. We may each define what A and B is a little differently, but it’s still Point A and Point B.

I can’t wait to see what our next group of 10 weekers will accomplish!

The second part of my update is on my numbers. I had another check-in this past weekend. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a part of FXB for 9 months! Here's my overall progress since my first day:

Weight:   27.6 lbs
Body Fat Percentage:   at least 1.5%
Chest:   3.5 in.
Waist:   6.75 in. (virtual high-five!!)
Hips:   4.5 in. (woohoo!)
Arm:   1 in.
Thigh:   1 in.
Total inches lost: 16.75 in.
Push-ups (in one minute): increase of 25 (one push-up shy of doubling my number from day one!)
Sit-ups (in one minute): increase of 19
Mile Time:   of 3 minutes and 34 seconds

I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m super pumped by these numbers!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Meet my FXB Instructors: #Protector

#Protector: a.k.a. Josh

Josh was the first person to really take me under his wing at FXB. He walked with me in my first mile, encouraging me all the way. It was clear from my very first day that he looked out for those in his charge. As time has passed and I’ve gotten to know him better, I saw his true identity emerge: #Protector.

Yep, that's me with #Protector on my very first day of FXB in September 2014.

For anyone who knows Josh, there is no surprise by the inclusion of the # in his nickname. In fact, I’m quite certain that if I had neglected the # then I would have lost all credibility for my ability to accurately name my fellow FXB instructors. For those of you who don’t know Josh...

#HashtagKing // #HashtagForEverything // #NoHashtagNoProblem // #JustMakeItUp // #BOOM // #NovicesCreateHashtagsThatAreHardToRead // #NotTheKing // #Pro // #KeepsItLegit //#TooLegitToQuit // #HammerTime // #Contagious //#NeverUsedHashtagsB4IMetJosh // #ThingsChange // #InDaClubNow // #RetagHisTags // #StrongerEveryDay // #NoQuit //#HelloKittyIsMyInspiration

Of course, this obsession with hashtags always reminds me of this Late Night with Jimmy Fallon clip. #Hashtag

Now, onto the Protector part of his nickname. Of course, I had to stop by my new favorite reference site— —to seek justification. And as usual, it didn’t disappoint. I’ve copied it below (in its original text) and inserted how I think it applies to Josh.

A gentleman (#Usually) with a cool, even temperament (#GotThat) who commonly has traits such as being tall (#TallerThanMe), handsome (#SusieQSaysYes), good build (#FXByo), broad shoulders (#ISOlaterals), intimidates to wolves (#WatchOutTaylorBeaus), clean-neat appearance (#SweatIsTheNewBlack) and walks with an erect gait (#StraightUp // #Paula // #SorryHadToDoIt). Smaller, petite college women (#SoundsLikeSusieQ // #NotJustCollegeChicks) in cities can or will most often enough seek out these traits in a mate for their role as a 'protector' or someone that would ward off would be wolves or opportunistic predatory men (#LockedAndLoaded). These types of men could have day jobs as Law Enforcement, Fire Department, Military or other roles women typically view as 'hero's or doing service to the community but exceptions always exist (#FXBInstructor // #OfficeGeek // #TotallyClarkKent). These men might view themselves as modern day 'super hero's' and put an 'S' on their Toyota 4Runner or license plate (#NoSNeeded // #StickinWithHK). The ladies will often enough choose these men of valor to marry as being their perfect knight in shining armor to provide security and stability in an otherwise unpredictable world (#SorryLadies // #OffTheMarket // #SusieQsMan). Note: uneducated back wood rednecks do not generally serve this type of role to educated, career minded city woman (#Um // #NoComment).

#Protector is the kind of guy that will do anything to protect his family, no matter the danger. And since FXB is a family, that means I’m safe too.
  • Poor form? #CorrectThat
  • Low energy? #ShoutOut
  • Open bag? #KickThat
  • Birthday? #Burpees . . . Wait, how is that protecting us?? Ah, I get it now. #ForeverYoung
  • Flying bands on the mat? #SnagThat
  • Self-doubt? #PepTalk
  • Week 10? #PushThat

Another thing has become clear, once you are #InsideTheCircleOfTrust then #Protector is on call 24/7 (just ask #TayTay).

Finally, there is no doubt that #Protector is the guy I want to be next to if FXB is ever under attack by out of control Hello Kitty Ninjas. #SorrySusieQ // #NoMercyForHK

So, #Protector, for all you do . . .


Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Great Day to Kick

Today at FXB - Columbus, we had a two-hour kick-a-thon for cancer awareness and to raise money for one of our instructors who has brain cancer. I’ve had a few Saturdays where I’ve done 45 minutes of strength training followed by 75 minutes of kickboxing, but I had never stayed for a full two-hour kick-a-thon before.

I figured if there was a kick-a-thon I was going to endure the length of, it needed to be this one. On this day three years ago I was at a funeral saying goodbye to my father-in-law, who fought a very long battle with cancer. This was the day to kick for him, and Amber, and so many others in my life who have had to fight against this ugly beast.

I showed up at 6 a.m. for my band class. Many of us were decked out in our “Team Amber” shirts, and different colored ribbons were taped to the mirrors to represent loved ones who have battled cancer. I had intended to go light to save my energy, knowing that I wanted to make the full two hours that was still to come, but my body had different plans. My hand automatically reached for those blue and purple bands.

After a quick break at the end of class, it was time to get the wraps and gloves on! I was determined to make the full two hours, even though my arms were feeling weak from the bands class. In the beginning, whenever I wondered whether or not I’d make the full time I’d look over at Amber. I’d remind myself that she recently underwent brain surgery, yet there she was kicking and punching. And she looked strong and beautiful and just overall amazing.

Later, as my energy and the number of kickboxers started to drop, I’d look up at the mirror full of ribbons. I reminded myself that I had several family members up there—loved ones who have lost the battle, several who have survived the fight, and some who are still fighting. I know that each and every one of them must have gone through moments when they felt they couldn’t go another step, or fight another day. And yet they did. Certainly I could throw a few more punches and kicks.

And so I did.

You are all still on my mind. Those who are gone, I miss you deeply. Those who are still here—I deeply admire your strength and courage.