Saturday, August 10, 2013

LA Update Part 2 - Testing my Comfort Zone

Los Angeles was a great starting point for this vacation. The relaxed atmosphere and sunny weather  was perfect for getting over jet lag.

Cruising around Los Angeles

I used my jet lag to my advantage on the first day and hit the hotel gym around 6 a.m. Heading to the gym while on vacation is no longer a strange concept for me. I remember a time when I would pack gym clothes, with all the best intentions, but never make it to the actual gym. This time, however, packing an extra suitcase with just my workout clothes was worth it.

I wasn't impressed with the hotel gym. It was really basic, and I knew that although I could get a bit of resistance training in, it would mostly be cardio. With that in mind, the next day I head outdoors for a jog/walk around West Hollywood. Between the heat and the distance (6.5 km), I was wiped out by the end of that day!

Vacation Day 1 Workout

Caught mid-stride in West Hollywood

So, the gym and the outdoor walk were 'normal.' What was really exciting to me was going to Jean Jacques Machado's Brazilian Jiujitsu Academy. It was intimidating walking into an academy that I was completely unfamiliar with, putting on a gi (that I don't like wearing anyway), and then grappling with men I didn't know. I'm glad that D was there, even though we weren't grappling together. It was a really great experience. Even though it was just one session, I felt like I achieved a lot just by going there and doing it. I'm still working on facing my fears and building my confidence - this was a great way to test being outside my comfort zone.

My second big challenge was going to CrossFit. I really, really wanted to go to a CrossFit box while I was in Los Angeles, but I was scared. CrossFit is no joke. You push yourself to the limit - it challenges your mind and your body. Would I be ok going to a new box? Would I feel comfortable enough to perform? Would I be up to whatever WOD they had planned for the day?

I was really, really anxious heading to the Box. My heart was pounding, and there were a few times when I thought - never mind, I'll just turn back ... but I didn't turn back. I went in and gave it a go.

The people at CFLA (CrossFit Los Angeles) were great. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. We started with an outdoor run warm-up (run?? shit, will I be able to keep up) and got to know each other a bit before going back to the Box to continue warming up/stretching and of course our WOD.

Before doing the WOD, each one of us had to state our goal - whether it was to complete the WOD in perfect form, beat a certain time, etc. I said that I wanted to complete the WOD within 6 minutes. The coach said - no way, you can do it under 5.

Talk about putting on a bit of pressure, but it was exactly what I needed. I managed to complete the WOD under 5 minutes, and I felt great. Everyone was being encouraging and supportive. It was such a great atmosphere, and I felt amazing afterwards. My only regret was that I wasn't going to be in LA long enough for another CrossFit workout.

Partnered Sprints at CrossFit LA

I made it on the board & I beat my goal time of 5 minutes.

Me and Michael Stanwyck - one of the founders of the Whole Life Challenge!!

What I Learned
I need to trust myself more.

Dieting and exercise are so much easier once my mind was in a positive place. Even though I know that I am strong and capable, I am still not confident in my abilities. It is this lack of confidence that makes me think (know) that I am not pushing myself 100% yet. I wonder why I could not tell myself - set your goal at 4 min 30. So what if you don't make it; at least put forward a challenging goal so that you can push yourself.

I'm still hesitant, and I need to believe - without hesitation - that I am up to the challenge. Having a supportive environment is really important (thanks Dizzle Rivera for encouraging me & believing in me). However, I need to also provide that type of support to myself.

This is something that I want to work on for this next year. By next summer I want to be able to walk into any CrossFit box around the world and feel confident that I belong and am able to compete.


A few other pix of my time in LA.

Hollywood Boulevard -- I wasn't impressed

LA Street Food Fest -- not too many healthy options here, but had a great time nonetheless. Plus I got to meet up with a college friend (bottom left photo) after 10 years!

My childhood best friend and I reunited after 23 years!!

D & I at Spago

It was a sign! The UFC 162 poster was the first thing I saw outside my window every morning. Next Stop: Las Vegas!

(Link to: LA Update Part 1)


  1. I've wanted to go to Hollywood and walk Hollywood Blvd in front of the Chinese Theatre. It is going to be turned into the biggest IMAX in the US. It would be fun to see all the actors that left their handprints and signatures on the concrete in the forecourt.

    1. Marc. I was excited to see all that too, but I was disappointed by the area. It was really run down, very touristy, and very, crowded. I went, took a few photos, and got out of there. There were so many people that I didn't get a chance to take a look at all the stars ... but still, it was an experience.

  2. I'm impressed with your workouts on vacation and going into unfamiliar situations. Even if you were apprehensive, you still did it and did it well.

    I was disappointed in that area of LA even back in the late 70's. I remember we looked at a few of the stars on the sidewalk and got out kind of fast. I think you are brave to drive in LA. :)

    1. Thanks Caron! It was a bit of a challenge, which is good because completing the workouts felt like an achievement!

      After driving in Kuwait (reckless, speed-crazy), driving LA was a breeze :)

  3. That's so cool that you were under 5 min! I'm glad you recognized that you need to give yourself more credit. You are really hard on yourself, but maybe that's how you push yourself?

    I am super intimidated by CrossFit, but it is on my Fitness Bucket List as a "someday" item.


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