Sarah Finding Fit

An unconventional look at fitness... my journey in reaching goals, laughing and having a bunch of outstanding adventures.

Posts tagged Lululemon

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It Must Be The Pants

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For some reason my red lulu leggings make me feel invincible – like a shank-style super girl. I’m not really sure why… but they exude some air of confidence, an unexplainable energy. Wearing them for the past two days worth of workouts (yes, two days)… seems to have offered some sort of clarity among my moments of crazy.

It’s been a rough few weeks. Loads of life updates: I’ve moved. I’ve started graduate school. I’m trying to buy a house. And… all the while, I’m still attempting to balance work and workouts. As 32 draws closer, I find myself questioning where I fit in the world, reviewing and re-evaluating. DC is expensive. Time is a hot commodity. How do you balance everything and still remember to breath?

Going back to school has been stressful. Fear can be consuming. I feel like a ticking time bomb. Turning in my first assignment earlier this week was much harder than walking into any gym, running Murph alone, or battling through a Cold War. The sense of self-doubt was draining, suffocating, stifling… then it erupted into every other aspect of my world. Making me question my choices… life path… is this a good idea? what will it get me? will I succeed? Change is uncomfortable and daunting and awkward. It’s hard and scary. It pushes you into new places, but it also makes you want to retreat.

Carrying around bricks has proven to be much easier than books. I’d rather have sore abs or quads! The gym is my comfort zone. I’ve come to grips with my only hour-long sweat sessions, but I already feel lonely on the path less traveled – reading, writing, scratching my brain. I miss my 6:30 “happy hour.” Between battling Annie yesterday (with my best time yet) and standing in a deep warrior two this afternoon, something clicked. I am strong. I can find comfort in the current. My perspective will dictate my performance. I have the opportunity to choose my own outlook and outcome.

What I work through now, will ultimately lead to something bigger and better and brighter. Self-construction is positive, be it in the classroom or in a gym. Life works out as planned. It pieces itself together. Instead of staring down the next three years, I have to take a step back, breathe, and then fight through one day at a time. Like pushing through a plateau – the mindset is the same – it’s about self-awareness and mental fortitude. Turn of the brain. Believe in yourself. Trust. Do. I’m tougher than I think I am and I have to recognize that.

As I kicked up into my first hand-stand during a lunch time power-hour with the yoga mat, the instructor taped me on the back and whispered, “nice work.” Perhaps it was the validation I needed to regain my super-powers.

Or maybe it was the fact that today is my Friday.

Or maybe it’s last night’s liquid sangria courage still talking.

Or maybe, it really does have something to do with the red pants.

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Filed under lululemon lulu self discovery betterthanyesterday suceess yoga crossfit

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A Weekends Worth of Workouts

This past weekend I pressed, double-undered, and snatched my way through three CrossFit boxes… all while acquiring a new gym wardrobe.

I like to force myself out of my comfort zone and there is no better way than walking head first into something unfamiliar. Visiting a CrossFit box is just that, a complete unknown. Sure there will be pull-up bars and weight plates… but, how much will we run? What will the WOD entail? Will Murph appear in red on the whiteboard? There is a nervous-anticipation… a blend of understanding and appreciation that you are about to test your own limits.

Unlike normal people who spend vacations away from the gym, I like to take time to work out during my days off. It’s the only time that I don’t have to worry about rushing… and aside from the sarcastic jabs from my family about my fitness addiction; it’s a more relaxed approach than my usual day-to-day. Three different gyms may have been a bit much, but my experiences this past weekend helped me grow, opened my eyes to something new, and in many ways, confirmed my progress over the past eight months. Here is my mini hit list of recently discovered truths:

  • Not being the only visitor to a gym helps calm the nerves. It’s a quick ‘shit, we’re in the same boat’ connection.
  • New coaches give fresh perspective.
  • PVC pipe practice pays off. I found myself wanting to issue penalties for incorrect deadlift form… instead; I offered gentle corrections.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Burpees don’t make friends. In fact, I think that they are universally used as CrossFit punishment.
  • Pushups don’t make friends either.
  • Having an established 2RM is a solid and useful benchmark.
  • Oxygen is important. Sometimes you have to remember to breath!
  • You learn a lot about someone by working out with them. You learn a lot about yourself by working out with people you’ve never met before.
  • Breakfast is brain food.
  • Cool people do CrossFit. Everywhere.
  • Looking up after screaming ‘done’ and seeing everyone else still working: shocking and mind blowing and humbling all at the same time.
  • Choosing frozen custard and a dark-chocolate covered bananna as a reward? Not smart!
  • Nerves must make me faster.
  • Workout log books are essential. Don’t leave home without them.
  • The joke, “come on Sarah, you can (insert activity here)… you do CrossFit.” apparently never gets old. Ever.
  • Lifting the most weight isn’t important. Lifting it correctly is.
  • I like loud pop music: it propels me.
  • I dislike timers: red blinking countdown lights distract me.
  • Having jump ropes labeled “short” and “long” is especially helpful.
  • The ‘name game’ only happens at a warehouse in South Arlington. I’d dare say that I miss it.
  • People can get way too inventive with Tabata.
  • Hearing weights slam to the floor for no reason makes me cringe. It takes me back to beasty globo-gym weight rooms. Not cool.
  • More High School students should CrossFit. It builds muscle, endurance, confidence and social skills.
  • I am not alone in my double-under struggle, but, I am very grateful for finally knowing how to do them, even if they are terrible.
  • Early morning rowing is not my forte. Sleeping and drinking coconut milk coffee are.
  • Eating Chipotle right before CrossFit is a terrible idea.
  • More people should know the power of lacrosse balls; because honestly, blue foam rollers are a waste of time.
  • Crossfitters have universal loves, they include: coconut water, flat souled shoes, Lululemon and primal pacs.
  • Inspiration comes in many forms – give and receive it freely.
  • Be open… to everything and anything.
  • Ring pushups are bad ass; so are dragon murals!
  • CrossFit = Community. Trying something new is enlightening, but it also makes you miss what you have.

Much love to all the gyms I visited! I am excited to wear those shirts with pride. But tonight, I gladly step back into the comfort zone.

Filed under crossfit Lululemon rochester food

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The Sore Report

My upper abs had a healthy dull ache as I lifting myself up out of bed this morning and my knees popped a bit as I stepped to the floor… a subtle reminder of my new found friend, CrossFit.

I’d been introduced to the underground fitness phenomenon years ago when a host of my Rugby teammates decided to join the movement. At the time it seemed a bit like a frenzied fitness fad sweeping the nation, but today CrossFit gyms have popped up everywhere. Initially interested in what the buzz was about, I’d gone to a few free classes and to my disappointment found the whole experience cliquish and unsafe. Instructors weren’t checking lifting technique and they only seemed interested in chatting up the “fit” people – the cool kids who they felt they wanted to indoctrinate into their secret society. It felt uncomfortable and awkward. Not because of the workout, but because of the approach. I see fitness as something open and honest – raw and exciting. I find inspiration in others (already fit and still finding fit) and draw motivation from the moments when you enlighten yourself and by doing so, you bring others along in the journey. I am willing to encourage almost anyone who gets out there and tries – and I appreciate the same in return. I wasn’t looking for a place to have to try hard to be accepted, I was looking for a gym that accepted me as I was and aimed to help mold me into something new. If fact, my introduction to CrossFit turned me off so much, that even when I’d received a gift card for free CrossFit at a Lululemon fun run, I’d been hesitant to turn it in at all.

Now, months after my broken hand and multiple email exchanges with the gym owner, I found myself standing in the Crossfit South Arlington gym parking lot wondering what I was getting myself into.

A group of us newbies, huddled together, shaking hands, offering introductions. There was a nervous excitement in the air. We’d all landed here for similar reasons: to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, to try something new, to test the edge…

We huddled in a tight circle and once we began, I was impressed to find that the instructor actually instructed. He was concerned for our safety and wellbeing. The people were friendly. This wasn’t a cultish, cliquish society. Instead we were welcomed us with open arms, accepted and encouraged to push harder, try our best, dig deeper. We’d made it to the parking lot and that was a step all in itself.  Once we’d perfected a few first motions with light weights and some PVC pipe – it was off to the races.  15 minutes on the clock: teams of 3 circling through crunches, squats, running loops with sandbags. Sweat fell like rain. It was awesome. A fantastic combination of teamwork and self-awareness. It was about me, but also about them. A workout where I pushed myself to excel but was also propelled by the group. “It’ll get harder,” he joked. You could hear the peanut gallery of non-newbies chuckle in the background.

After a quick cool down stretch, I stumbled through a few of my concerns with the owner about my upcoming Duathalons and endurance needs… how I didn’t want to trade running for lifting. I was interested in his answer, but knew full well that his response would echo my own understanding. This strength and conditioning program would make me more explosive, dynamic, powerful. Leaner… meaner… “We’ll see how fast you are in August,” he grinned. Issuing a sort of challange…

As we scattered to our cars, I laughed at how stubborn I’d been a few years back. But things happen for a reason… along my journey I’d put myself through INSANITY and p90X. I’d found peace and focus in running and yoga. I’d landed at this CrossFit gym because of a fitness adventure. It was the right time for me to try this… and this gym was different. This entire experience was different.

In the old warehouse, surrounded by other adrenaline junkies, I had stumbled upon some sort of Fight Club, an underground society of fit finders. A group of people much like myself. Unlike years ago, I didn’t feel like I was seeking acceptance or entrance into the club.  Instead, this time, I just felt sort of at home, welcomed.

I was excited to learn more. Already ready for Friday. Maybe fitness would be more fun with others? On someone else’s time table? At a place where I could work on myself, but also pull from others for motivation? I’d have to just wait and see what happened when I returned to the box.

Filed under crossfit lifting insanity p90x lululemon