Friday, July 20, 2012

Practicing my Exercises

I'm so glad I enjoy going to the gym. In the beginning I was really obsessed with burning calories - and I mean really obsessed. At the end of each workout, my elation or frustrated depended entirely on the number of calories burned (and you know those machines aren't accurate anyway!). I didn't get any satisfaction from the exercises; it was just about the number. Taking it to that level ended up being a form of psychological torture for me, though it took me a long time to figure that out.

In my obsession with the numbers, I never really took the time to enjoy what I was doing and notice any progress. I did lose weight, but I didn't notice whether or not I had become faster or stronger.

Now, it's entirely different. I do wear a heart-rate monitor to give me a general idea of how many calories I burned, but I don't use it to measure the success or failure of a workout. I also don't use the number of calories to try to negotiate my food intake. I don't exercise so that I can eat more. I do, however, eat slightly differently depending on my workout of the day - intense/mild/none. I still have work to do on eating right, but my perspective on that is continuing to improve on a daily basis. It's my outlook and approach to exercise, however, that has changed dramatically, particularly after completing the New Rules of Lifting for Women weights program and now with CrossFit.

Completing the New Rules of Lifting for Women program was one of the best gym experiences I've had. I bought the book and completed the 7-stage program. I trusted the program. I did the best I could, and I got amazing results. I am so much stronger now that I ever was before. My body shape has changed a lot. Most of all, I am so much more confident in the gym (and in my regular life as well). I'm no longer afraid to pick up heavier weights or at least try an exercise that looked intimidating before. I remember that I would refuse to do burpees properly at the gym. I was too afraid of failing at them, so I would modify the exercise and just be 'satisfied' with that. One day, at home, I told myself - Right. Stop being ridiculous. Try a proper one right now. There's nobody here to judge you, criticize you, mock you. Just do it. I did.

That one little action really changed my attitude.

There are still many exercises that I find intimidating, but I don't shy away from them. I give them a go. If my body is not ready for it, then that's fine - but I'll give it a go.

This attitude has brought me to my newest phase -- not just exercising, but practicing as well.

CrossFit has opened up a whole new range of challenges for me. It's pushed me to a level that I never thought I could go to before. I struggle during each session, but I keep trying ... and I can't wait to successfully conquer all the exercises ... but the only way that's going to happen is to practice.

So now, I workout at the CrossFit box and I do my workouts at the gym, mainly boxing and C25K, but I also practice.

Running Practice: I categorize my whole C25K attempt as my practice for running since it gradually helps you build up your endurance.

Boxing Practice: My right arm is strong so I love throwing punches with my right arm ... but I've scaled back a bit and am focusing more on my left arm. I also practice my upper cuts - both right and left - because right now I look so ridiculous doing them that if I was ever going to attack someone with my upper cut they'd just burst out laughing (potential defense strategy!) ;)

CrossFit Practice: Box jumps; pull ups; double unders; burpees -- there are other moves that I need to practice, but these are the 4 exercises that I'm working on right now. I struggle with all of them, but as I even with a few days of practice I notice improvement already. Bit by bit they're getting better.

Although I want to be successful right now in all these moves, I'm finally taking the time to enjoy the process of practicing my exercises and seeing myself improve.

It's no longer about the number. It really is about working to reach my potential. What more of a confidence booster could you ask for?


  1. I understand exactly what you mean about number obsession. I have to admit, since I got my fitbit it has been all about the numbers. You are on track to handling it though, well done!!!

  2. I love your strategy of practice, especially with the exercises you are weakest at/dislike the most (burpees!). I hate running fast. I love running long and slow, but sprints are awful. And biking? Something nasty I have to do between the swim and the run!

    I'm going to try this - practice. If I practice, it will get better!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)