CrossFit

I’m sure you’ve heard about it. And if you haven’t…it’s okay, not everyone has. For those of you who don’t know what CrossFit is… all you need to know is that it’s some hard core stuff. It’s all about strength, endurance, and the ability to push yourself to the limit. It takes fitness to a whole new level…I wanna say it’s like a whole new level of crazy. Beyond insanity. I commend those that have done Insanity… and P90x… or any other intense workout routine(s). It definitely takes a lot of physical strength to do these types of workouts. No doubt. But it also takes a lot of mental strength to push through them. I know…I’ve been there. Wanting to give up so many times on workouts I swear I thought I could never do. The mind can be so deceiving. It can be your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time.

So back to CrossFit. My husband has become quite the CrossFit fan. Fanatic even. Like obsessed. Like it’s seriously become part of his vocabulary. Like randomly, I’ll hear “I’m doin’ Fran today.” Hmmm. Yeah. Thank goodness I know that CrossFit workouts are named after women. Otherwise he’d definitely be in trouble. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is extremely active. An all-around athlete. He is the fitness junkie of all junkies. Loves to play sports. Loves to workout. Seriously, the man just cannot keep still. He craves sports. If it’s not football, it’s track. And now that he’s getting older (he won’t like that I just said that), he has to find something to satisfy that crave. I, on the other hand, am not that obsessed. I am, however, addicted to seeing results from the workouts I do. And one thing I’m really wanting to do is tone up and build some lean muscle. No, I don’t wanna look like a bodybuilder. But I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be nice and toned. And I’ve decided to incorporate some CrossFit into my workouts. While he does them on the daily, I’ll do it maybe twice a week. If I have time, I’ll do more.

Quite honestly, the reason why I’m not so heavily into the sport, is the fact that I have absolutely no technique when it comes to many of the different workouts. Squats, I can do no problem. Walking lunges – piece of cake. It’s the ‘hang cleans,’ ‘power cleans, ‘snatches’, ‘toe touches’, etc. etc. etc… those are the ones that I don’t know how to do well. And when I can’t get it right the first couple of tries, I get very frustrated and it makes me not want to do them anymore. Oh! And let’s not forget about the weights! The thought of weights intimidate me. And I’m not very confident I can do the workouts with weights. Although, I’ve been told that I can handle more weight and that I’m a lot stronger than I think…it’s difficult for me to believe that. See? Told ya…the mind loves to deceive.

Anyway, today’s workout, I did at home. In the garage. And it was a CrossFit workout the hubs put together just for me. I did 4 circuits of squats, deadlifts, and hang cleans. Yup, I did hang cleans. And I’m quite proud of myself, too. AND with weight. 🙂 The hubby took the time to actually teach me, step by step, how to do one the right way. Usually (because I can) I’ll argue with him. About the fact that I can’t do the workout. And that I’m not strong enough. And blah, blah, blah. But he figured out a way to walk me through the exercise without me getting all frustrated. Don’t know where he got it from. Don’t really care. I’m just super stoked I learned how to do a ‘hang clean’. Oh and if you must know…it was 4 circuits, 10-10-10. And I didn’t do it for time. I figure, get the technique down first and then we’ll work on time.

If you are interested in knowing what a power clean/hang clean is, here’s a demonstration:

But yeah…CrossFit is no joke. I’d love to be able to do handstand push-ups (I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to do that) and do pull-ups (uh huh), and even be able to do something fancy on those ring thingies – you know, the ones used in gymnastics. We watched the CrossFit Games a couple of weekends ago and was just in awe at how strong those women were. I don’t have the desire to be a CrossFit Champion… but I do have a lot of respect for all those women who competed. A LOT. 

So I just wanted to share with you the workout I did today. Will end my day with more push-ups, some abs, and a plank. And I already know, just how sore I am going to be tomorrow.

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Plans Change

Funny how life plays out sometimes. So at the beginning of the week…my schedule was “set”. My long days were supposed to be Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. And when I say ‘long day’, I mean it’s when I work both jobs. I’m talkin’ 12 hour days not including commute time. Where my day starts off at 4am and ends past 10pm at the earliest. Anyway, I planned to do heavy cardio on these days. HIIT cardio. Planned an extra long cardio sesh for tonight because originally, I was supposed to have Thursday off from both jobs. Which meant I could sleep in a little.

Okay so yesterday, my boss from my A.M. job informed me that she switched my schedule. She wanted me to work Thursday morning and take Friday morning off. First thought: How is this going to affect my workout? Solution: just work out as originally planned…suck it up and go to work early Thursday…and then come home and take a nap. No big deal, right?

Yeah, you would think so.

Anyway, last night, I came home and did that short 20 minute workout. Was in bed by 11pm. Yeah, I know I’m crazy. With a 4:30am alarm set, I should have already been in bed. Instead, I just had to make sure to get a workout in. So back to my story. I was in bed by 11pm. And I don’t know about you… but with me… I can never seem to shut my brain off. So it’s hard for me to fall asleep right away. I’m always going through and thinking of my day. And with the new job, I’m always thinking about what I learned…what I need to work on…etc, etc, etc. It’s never ending. Sometimes I even start thinking about the fact that I really need to get some sleep or I’ll hate myself in the morning. Which, of course, prolongs it even more. Okay, so finally, my body relaxed and the thoughts calmed down. Totally ready to drift off to dreamland. When, all of a sudden, I hear my dog get up and start to gag. Before I even get a chance to jump out of bed and get something to catch it with, my dog throws up ALL over my bed. Twice.

Don’t know what time I fell asleep. Between caring for my dog and changing my sheets, I didn’t even wanna look at the time. I’m thinkin’ 3 hours of sleep. At the most. Not a lot of sleep at all. Completely exhausted.

I don’t want to burn myself out… yes I need to workout. But I still need to take care of my body. It’s already after 9pm and I just finished my dinner. I think I’m just gonna do 100 push-ups, 100 air squats, and another 2 min plank. Just to make myself feel a little better about not doing my cardio tonight.

*sigh* Balancing 2 jobs I know I can do. It’s trying to fit in all the other important stuff is what’s becoming a challenge. I’m determined to make this work. Not working out is NOT an option.

 

Checking In…

From my last post Am I Insane? I said I was going to do my best to be accountable and let you know if I worked out and what workouts I did. And already slacked a bit on that. I had quite a busy day yesterday. 

This is what my schedule looked like:

4:30am – alarm goes off, got ready for work

6:30am – 10:30am – work at Job 1

11:00am – 6:30pm – work at Job 2

*long commute home and then dinner

8:00pm – 9:00pm – hit the gym

Was in bed by 10:30-ish.

My workout last night? 30 min HIIT on the treadmill (not including a 5 min warm up and 5 min cool down) + 1000m on the row machine (approx 5 min) + 50 push-ups + 2 min plank

Yes, I was exhausted. Very busy day, but so glad I was able to fit a workout in.

However, today was a different story. I only worked one job today. Worked from 12pm to 7pm. Mentally exhausted from trying to absorb all the information I need to know to be successful at this job. Always learning. Always a work in progress. By the time I got home, it was around 8pm. Was starving so I had dinner. Nothing special…fish and veggies. And then realized that I need to be up at 4:30 again, so did a short toning circuit. About 20 minutes long. Hey…at least it’s something, right? Did this workout:

Oh yeah… felt the burn alright. I’m sure my legs will be sore tomorrow.

Okay… sorry to keep this entry short (but sweet!!!!) but I have to get ready for tomorrow and get my butt to bed. Tomorrow’s cardio. I’ll keep ya posted. 🙂

Am I Insane?

Definitely a question I asked myself when I decided to take on a 2nd job. Am I insane? I know people who have had 2 or more jobs. I give them props every chance I get. Because I’ve never been one that was brave enough to take on such a responsibility. I was that spoiled brat that didn’t even work during college. Not that my family was well off or anything like that…but because my crazy school schedule didn’t really allow me to work a job other than an on-campus one. And not to mention the hours I spent doing homework and studying for exams. Yeah… may seem like excuses…and maybe I’m just full of it. But whatever, I’ve never balanced 2 jobs until now.

So how’d it go? Well… I was a nervous wreck. I get really nervous when I start something new. Questions that clouded my mind prior to walking through those doors to the new job: “Will I like it?” “Am I capable of doing what’s expected of me?” “How long will it take me to catch on?” Yeah, I’m a worry-wart. I work myself up into a frenzy and freak out sometimes. Not so cute, but I do it. But really, the biggest thing I was worried about was “Will I be able to keep up with my lifestyle? Will I have time to work out? Will I have time to prep my meals?” This healthy lifestyle has become such a huge part of my life…to start slacking off now would disappoint me greatly. I didn’t want to be ‘too tired’ to work out. Or ‘too busy’ to go grocery shopping and prep my healthy meals. It’s a lot of work… pre-planning… time management. It’s so easy to just say “oh, I’ll just get something from the food court for lunch today.” When I worked at Gap Kids, I remember looking at my bank statement and seeing a lot of transactions at Starbucks and Wetzel Pretzel. Totally not the healthiest. But oh so convenient. I’m lucky my metabolism back then was good to me.

Yes, it has been a challenge. Balancing 2 jobs and balancing my workout schedule and eating healthy. It was tough. The first couple of days, wasn’t too bad. But by mid-week…I noticed my body was exhausted. I had been working my morning job 8 days straight. And on one day, I had a 6 hour break between the 2 jobs. And I actually came home and took a nap. When I woke up, I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep. I had actually planned to workout during that time…ended up taking that day off from working out. I am hoping this week  turns out to be a better week…as far as getting my workouts in. Keeping my fingers crossed. And I am hoping to document my workouts each day. Even if it was just a 30 minute cardio sesh… I’ll blog about it. Any frustrations. Any disappointments.

Anyway… this work week comin’ up is pretty packed. So we’ll see how this goes. Have a great week, guys. 😉

Disappearing Act

Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve published a post. No, it’s not because I’ve fallen off the wagon. I’m still here. Just needed to take a little break. I needed some time to clear my head. To allow myself to feel some emotions (good and bad)… and then learn how to deal with ’em.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Actually, I wanna say it’s been a tough year for me.

I’d like to think I’m pretty good at dealing with stress. In most situations where I’ve felt overwhelmed, my solution was simple: step back for a second…take a deep breath (or a few)… reassess the situation… and then kinda make a list (more of a mental list than an actual written one) of the things/actions that need to happen in order to get the best results. And then go from there.

At least that’s what I did in high school… college… and in the work place.

But what happens when life decides to make things complicated for you. Events happen that you have no control over whatsoever. Completely messes with your thoughts… your feelings… and literally flips your entire world upside down. Yeah, that’s the kind of crap I’ve been dealing with. I tend to keep things all bottled up inside…hoping eventually it’ll go away. But when the feelings come and go so frequently, it freaks me out. And when I let it get to me like that, I tend to shut the whole world out which makes things that much more difficult to deal with. I do my whole ‘disappearing act’ as a friend of mine would call it. I’m not myself. I don’t know if you’ve noticed just how boring and monotonous my FB status updates and tweets have been… I mean, do you really care that I’m ‘about to do a workout’ or ‘get ready for bed’? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But that’s all the ‘outside’ world knows. I haven’t said anything interesting. No blog…no nothing.

I’m feeling much better now. I just wanted to give some sort of explanation as to why I’ve been quiet all this time. I’ve just been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to fix whatever is wrong with me. Most of which, is in my head…but that’s okay. Nothing to worry about now. I’m all good. I’ve been working out like a mad woman still… been doin’ my best to eat clean… I’ve just been focusing on me. For once in my life. Can’t make anyone else happy unless I’m happy, right?

So I’ve decided to share bits and pieces of my life with you, my readers. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. I have lots and lots of old journals that I’d write down my feelings, my thoughts…everything that I thought was important at the time. And then go back and reflect on it. I’m going to do the same with my blog. I’m still going to write about workouts. About eating clean. Yeah, the boring stuff. But now I’m going to add the writing about me. It’s sort of like an online diary. Kinda. Which, I have to warn you… can be a bit dramatic at times. Makes for some great entertainment, right?

Anyway, thanks for staying with me. I’m totally fine now. I’m totally back. 🙂

Chasing Dreams

“Dream Big”

“Reach for the stars”

“The sky’s the limit”

I’m a dream chaser. There. I said it. From the moment I was born, I was encouraged (maybe even brainwashed) to ‘have big dreams and goals.’ Pair that up with hard work and perseverance and the results are greater than you could ever imagine.

Let me give you a little history background lesson of my life. My parents are originally from the Philippines. Both were college graduates – mom, a teacher; dad, an accountant. Both degrees are worthless here in the States. So mom worked as a cashier at a local grocery store and dad worked on a dairy farm milking cows. Doesn’t sound as glamorous as having a career as a teacher or an accountant, does it? To us, it may seem that way… but to my parents, immigrating to the United States to live ‘ordinary’ lives was better than having great careers in a developing country like the Philippines. They wanted the American Dream – opportunity to have a good job, to buy a nice house on a nice piece of property, start a family, and provide things for their family that they wouldn’t be able to had they stayed in the Philippines.

And this is where the brainwashing encouragement stems from. To my parents, living in this great country was more for us (my siblings and I) than them. The number one priority – education, of course. While both parents always encouraged us to ‘dream big’, mom wanted more practical careers for her kids. And dad always encouraged me to be whatever my heart desired.

Okay, so this was what my dream/goal list looked like in high school:

And this is how that list looks now…notice the modifications:

So my entire life, I was encouraged to chase after my dreams. And that’s all I’ve been doing. Chasing dreams. But no one ever told me that at some point… I’d have to stop. As depressing as that sounds… it’s a reality I’ve had to kinda face.

When things didn’t work out with film, I had gotten myself a “real” job. Great pay, great benefits. Job stability wasn’t even a question. Not long after I secured this job, I got married. Loved checking stuff off my list. Then about 2 years into the job, I was laid off. Didn’t know what to do with myself. I started to question my self-worth. I even started to think about the choices I’ve made in the past and wondered if I should have taken the ‘safe’ route and be an accountant like mom wanted. But would that have made me happy?

I found myself going through an identity crisis. The feeling comes and goes. Some days I feel like I know exactly what I want. And then there are days where I question everything. It’s an ongoing battle…

It took me a long while to get back into the work force. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But I’ve narrowed it down to 3 careers. The first: re-establish a career in fashion retail and let the road take me as far as it will take me. Sky’s the limit, right? The second: establish a career as an event coordinator. No experience whatsoever…but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, just never knew how to get into it. And third: to establish a career in the health/fitness industry. None of these jobs are practical. But they are my dream careers. I’m sure I’d be completely happy with my life if I had a job in either (or all) of those fields.

There was a time (and very recently, I might add) where I’ve seriously considered giving up on my dreams altogether. But when I thought back to the time I had that “real” job, I realized just how much I hated waking up in the morning and going to work. Because there was nothing exciting about what I did. Yes, the people I dealt with on a daily basis, made things interesting…but it was no dream job. And I’m pretty sure most “real” jobs would turn out to be like that. So I’ve come to realize that I will not stop chasing my dreams. I will continue to seek careers/jobs I feel will give me joy and happiness. I wasn’t raised to settle. I don’t have it in me.

My current job as a merchandiser may not be the best paying job in the world… no glitz, no glamour. So I picked up a 2nd job that’s still very much a part of retail, but so very different from any job I’ve ever had. And what I see in my future with this new company is GREAT opportunity to succeed. And the potential of becoming something great.

Writing this blog entry, I just realized…that I’m no different from my parents. That my values are just the same as theirs. That I, too, want the American Dream.

So here’s to chasing dreams…