Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

SoulCycle and Comfort Zones


I don't usually feel out of shape or nervous when I'm in a gym or fitness studio. I've been blogging about going to the gym and fitness studios for eight years. I've been showing up to them for six years before that. I'm pretty confident in my ability to do the movements or be able to laugh at myself as I learn how to do them. So I signed up for SoulCycle the other day because there's a studio literally down the street from the hotel in which I was staying. I put myself in the front row, because, you know, I'm in the top 3 on the leaderboard whenever I go to Flywheel. And I have been to SoulCycle twice before in 2013 and 2014. I felt prepared for class.

Oh how I was wrong.

I very quickly realized that whatever the people around me were doing, was not what I was doing. It was choreographed and it looked really cool to see them perform synchronously. And then there was me bopping around on the wrong beat. The lights are really dim. There's no monitor to help you gauge how to adjust the flywheel. At Flywheel they tell you to set it between 15-18, over 34, between 25-27 etc. Here, it was all 3 full turns on the bike! Three full turns from where? A flat road? An entirely-to-the left knob? I also learned pretty quickly that I skip a pedal beat each time I try to adjust the wheel, which apparently has never caused an issue in a spin class until I tried to keep up with this bunch.

I was embarrassed. I kept thinking that other people were thinking that I didn't belong in the first row. I was also wearing pants that didn't fit, so that didn't help me at all. You should try spandex on when you find it in your bedroom closet at your parents' house, especially if it still has the tags on it.

I survived the class. I want to add that everyone at SoulCycle NOMAD was very nice and helpful. No one told me I sucked or that I belonged on the bike in the back in the corner. I just felt like I belonged on the bike in the back in the corner. I went back to my hotel, took a shower, wrote two grant progress reports, and went to bed so I could wake up early to trudge to my professional development day ALL THE WAY IN THE FIDI in wintery mix. We stayed in a hotel by our office so people could safely wander home from the company party and still make it to the meeting at the office the next morning, which I was thankfully exempt from attending.

I, instead, returned to SoulCycle on Thursday morning with a mild hangover from the cheap ass wine I enjoyed at the aforementioned company party. You sign up for the specific bike that you want when you sign up for class. After Tuesday evening, I considered asking for another bike that was not front and center by the instructor. I fretted about it. I told myself I didn't deserve a bike in the front and that I would distract the other riders with my inability to do choreographed push-ups on multiple handlebars while following the beat of a song that I'm damn near positive would never play on Atlanta's 94.9 The Bull (which a is a pop country station with an affinity for Luke Brian that is often on in my car.) But I also considered that this was the 8 AM class and the hardcore really good people were probably already on their way to work and that maybe I should just tell my brain to shut the hell up and keep my bike.

I thought about my friend Jen. We met at the tennis court at sleep-away camp when I was 12 years old. My bunk was filled with cliquey bitches and I was sad that I didn't have any friends. Jen told me she would be my friend and told me there was an empty bed in her bunk. Her bunk was for the girls slightly older than me but she said she'd help me talk to the counselors and see if I could move in. I did that week. And I lived with that bunk for two summers after that. Jen is still a fantastic human being. She is a great wife and a great mother. Her kids are the kids you dream of having. They are thoughtful, moral, funny, and beautiful - just like their mom.

Jen started her fitness journey last year. She impresses me every day with her commitment. She looks great and she's trying new things. She recently tried a spin class. Apparently she's been hesitant to go even though the instructor kept telling her to try it. I told her she had to try it. What kind of person would I be if I told my friend that she had to go try spin class, but then I hid in the back corner because I was embarrassed that I wasn't the best person in the SoulCycle room? So I kept my bike, I asked for help setting it up because that thing looks nothing like what I'm used to, and I clipped in. And I did much fucking better than I did on Tuesday. I had a great time. I felt why people are obsessed with SoulCycle and call it a religious experience. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it felt really good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Temporarily Homeless

A pipe froze and burst in my neighbor's apartment last week. After stubbornly insisting that I did not need to move into a different apartment and camping out on my couch, I have officially been displaced today as the contractor blocked off my bathroom to take down the ceiling. The dogs and I sought refuge at a dog-friendly hotel. Of course, we could have stayed in one of the dog-friendly hotels in midtown Atlanta, but instead I chose our hotel based on its proximity to my gym.

Frank and me enjoying our bouch = bed + couch.

The Red Roof Inn is most certainly a motel, but it's growing on me. The employees are courteous and helpful. This Superior King room is larger than my New York studio apartment. We ate delicious fajitas from Taqueria Los Rayos while watching Catfish. We even made friends with a nice girl named Kelsi while we were out for our bedtime walk. Things could definitely be worse.



I can't stop thinking about Gone Girl and that I might find some unsavory characters ready to kill me for my meager worldly possessions. It's probably going to be the shirtless guy with the long braided ponytail who keeps alternating between sitting in his pick-up truck directly outside of his motel room and giving me dirty looks as he walks back inside.

Guard dogs.

Frank apparently loves motel living. Daisy Mae, poor thing, keeps looking for her bed stairs. I'll have to pick them up from our place tomorrow.


Pray for us.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

100 Club

I have been doing Pure Barre on and off since July 2015, and I have finally now joined the 100 Club at the Pure Barre Virginia Highlands studio. I achieved this momentous, if not rather delayed, milestone in September of this year.


I got to sign the 100 Club bar. There's barely any room on it, but I managed to squeeze my aggressively long name onto it.


I received a pair of congratulatory 100 Club socks. These are the reason I'm glad it took me so long, because I got a pair of the NEW sticky socks. Their stickiness is far superior to the old ones. I just kind of wish they were red. That's silver glitter by the way, and it's awesome.


I had 12 classes remaining on my package and I was going to Pure Barre a lot through the month of October. I'm leaning towards switching to a closer studio, but that means I'll be back at zero classes. Thoughts on moving to a different studio - is worth it to be able to walk to class?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pain in the Rib

You know what's not fun? Shooting pain in your ribs. Back in September, I was walking down the stairs to take my dogs out and I missed a step. Of course my hungover ass couldn't find my regular flip flops so I was wearing a pair of Palm Beach Sandals with slick leather soles. I desperately tried to save my footing but instead I slipped and went up in the air only to crash down on the concrete stairs. I then proceeded to clunk clunk clunk on my side down to the next landing. It hurt. Really hurt.

I felt short of breath and sore, but the real pain came a week later. It felt like my rib was going to puncture my lung. I could barely lift 50% of any of my one-rep maxes. I called my primary care physician but no one ever called me back (I should probably reconsider him as my PCP), and I didn't have time to sit at urgent care (which is never that urgent, is it?) I figured I would've found myself in the back of an ambulance if I had a punctured lung, and resigned myself to scaling all of the workouts. ALL of the workouts. I couldn't row, go overhead, do pull-ups, do burpees, or box jumps. I apparently could still run a mile faster than most of the gym but it was over a minute slower for me.

Around that time, I realized I had several Pure Barre classes that were about to expire and so I committed to getting there 12 times in between all of the work travel I have been doing. It was pretty awful at first. Apparently I hurt my intercostals, the small muscles between my ribs. That's a lot of core intensive work when your ribs are on fire. Slowly but surely, I stopped feeling like I was going to throw up between each sit-up, tuck, and hold. I was able to do planks again.

I spent a week up north and went to yoga, and then kept up with the Pure Barre when I got home. Last Wednesday, I realized my ribs were pain-free and I have developed a lot of core strength.

On Saturday, the boyfriend and I went to his box for a partner WOD before the Chomp and Stomp chili and bluegrass festival. We shared an 85# bar. I was able to do pull-ups for the first time in over a month! My wallballs felt solid. My cleans were on point. I struggled with the jerks, and probably need to build up the weight I use for those, but overall I am pleased with my performance.


I plan to get back to my box this Wednesday and get back into the swing of things while remaining healthy. I haven't been a fan of the programming in a while and so I'm hoping that I enjoy it more coming back this time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Hot Yoga Spot

Work travel is in full swing and this week I find myself in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Hot Yoga Spot is minutes away from my hotel and I've enjoyed two classes there. One was a real 90 minute, actually did all the postures twice and all of the savasanas in between the postures Bikram Yoga class. I loved it. It's practically impossible to find a real class anymore.



The other class was called Baptiste Yoga. I only went to it because I didn't get out of the last conference session to attend the Bikram class, but I ended up really liking it. It's in a heated room but not as hot as Bikram. There are a lot of sun salutations and I haven't done downward dog in like 5 years so my shoulders were on fire.


Everyone at The Hot Yoga Spot is really nice and welcoming. They have two studios - one for Bikram and the other for their other yoga classes and their barre classes. It is clean and I couldn't find any stinky carpet. I think we all know how grossed out I am by carpet in general, let alone carpet that people sweat on for 90 minutes.

Parking can be a little confusing. There's a small lot across the street slash behind the studio. There's also Saratoga Springs downtown public parking a short walk away.


The new student unlimited week special is $25. They let me take advantage of it even though I don't live locally.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

We have a fun little tradition at CrossFit Identity - on Wednesdays we wear pink. Many of you likely get the Mean Girls reference. What I like the most about our Wednesday custom is that no one ever officially announced that this is something we do. People started wearing pink and then greeted other people wearing pink by saying, "On Wednesdays we wear pink." The coaches also ran an order on custom men's Virus shorts with a hot pink option, so that probably helped.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, another time when we are encouraged to wear pink. For every person who wears pink to a Wednesday class this October, Pure Barre Virginia Highlands is donating $10 to the Pink Agenda Atlanta and 15% of all retail sales will benefit this organization

These are some of my favorite pink things that I am wearing this month.

I ordered these pink 3.25 Fleo shorts because they are adorable, and I came to accept that we weren't ordering CFID custom booty shorts any time soon. I like the 3.25 because they give just a little extra coverage, which is nice when the WOD involves running or burpees. They are still available on the Fleo website as of October 16.


I bought the new Pure Barre Breast Cancer Awareness socks. I really like that they are a light heathered pink. I would wear them with grey leggings all year round. They are available online and in your local studio.



One of my favorite tank tops is from Pink Iron, the awesome all-women CrossFit-ish gym in West Hollywood where everything was pink, including the dog Barbell. Pink Iron doesn't exist anymore, but Holly has a new gym called Burn Babe.



We got these sweet crop tops for Regionals one year. Our coach Bre competes at Regionals, hence the pun.



I've been eyeing the pink Reebok CrossFit Grace. I really don't need anymore shoes but they are just really pretty.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Run for Chick-Fil-A

Greetings from Murfreesboro! I've been traveling a lot for work again and I drove to TN this week. I got a run in the other morning, but I know from experience that there's no ideal running route near this hotel. No worries. I just started running through the shopping centers with the goal to run at least 2.5 miles before I stopped at the Chick-Fil-A across the street from my hotel. I made it 2.8 miles and ordered a chicken biscuit with American cheese and pickles. Best decision.




As we know, the Doubletree in Murfreesboro has the most flattering mirrors. They never disappoint.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Goals


Hi friends! I'm back! I've found it pretty difficult to blog all summer. I've been struggling, and sometimes I hesitate to write about it because it feels like I'm airy dirty laundry. Work has been hard. I got an awesome promotion that recognized the hard work that I have been doing, including the additional responsibilities I've taken on since a colleague left in June 2016. But more money and a new title didn't add any hours to my week. I try to keep things in perspective but I broke down and cried on Tuesday. My team is so understaffed and my right-hand woman works remotely from Houston. Her house is destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. I am so thankful that she and her family are safe, but she's offline for the foreseeable future. That's 25 hours of work a week that's back on me. I'm trying to get temps in but that's a whole extra level of stress when I work remotely from Atlanta and the temp agency is in New York.

The travel is killing my personal budget because I'm spending so much money on dog boarding. I don't want to go anywhere for personal travel when I rarely get to enjoy a day off in Atlanta. That being said, I just got back from some trips that were pretty great. I had a really great birthday in Charleston. My Mikes planned me the best weekend where we ate all the food and drank all of the rosé. I got to see the eclipse in totality and a special someone threw me the best space themed birthday party.

Eclipse Margarita

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CrossFit is Better with Friends

The most magical thing happened last week! My friend Erin was in Atlanta and she dropped in at CrossFit Identity. Erin and I went to college together, but we didn't know each other well. Years after we graduated, we both got into CrossFit and rescue dogs and started chatting about our shared interests on Facebook. Erin and her husband are fantastic dog parents. Their dog Chance is the coolest, and he has been a wonderful foster brother to TWENTY-SEVEN foster dogs. I am so thrilled that I got to spend some time with Erin in-person at the box. She's super strong by the way.



To make the day even better, my brand new Endless Summer by Nikki Leonard Fleo shorts arrived! These babies are the 3.25 contour, which have become my favorite Fleo short style. Just long enough to minimize chafing during runs, but still short enough to be cute, sassy, and #teamnopants.

We retested a workout that most people dislike but I kind of secretly love. You pick a heavy odd object and run 1,000 m around the loop. Our gym is located on this random street that has everything from psychologist offices to a tech incubator to 3 different yoga studios to a framing place run by veterans plus a nature preserve. The run route is a mix of parking lot, gravel, and mulch trail. On June 13, I used a 50# dumbbell and finished in 9:32. On August, I used a 50# dumbbell and finished in 8:35. Progress folks.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Compliant

I used to work with a nutrition coach. I think working one-on-one with a coach is helpful, especially when you are new to flexible dieting and need someone to prescribe you some macros. My biggest frustration with coaching was that I didn't feel accountable. I either hit my macros each day or I didn't. The most important part of any diet is consistency and so most of the time I didn't have much to say during my check-ins. By the end I was getting frustrated because it felt like I was becoming a guinea pig for things she learned about, such as carb-cycling. I got this email about intermittent fasting and carb-cycling the first week of the 2016 CrossFit Open. The last thing I wanted to do before 5 weeks of competition was fuck around with my carbs. Ultimately, I decided to part ways with my nutrition coach because she started posting about "upleveling her business," which I think means she automated most of her content. My best advice to internet entrepreneurs is to avoid sending emails to your current clients about how you changed your program so that it can be mass-produced, ultimately undermining the very product your clients originally purchased.

Anyway, I kicked around the idea of getting a new coach. I tried to map out my own reverse diet and freaked out because I felt I was getting fat. I was researching coaches because of this freak out when I happened to listen to a podcast with Layne Norton, PhD, aka Biolayne. He talked about his company Avatar Nutrition and the cost of $10 a month seemed more than reasonable. About a month later, I signed up.

For the first time since I started tracking food (back in 2009), I feel like I have a system of being accountable because I weigh in each week AND I have to check a box saying if I was compliant or non-compliant with my macros during that week. I wasn't compliant for the first three weeks of using AN, and then I started feeling pretty dumb about that. I'm really good at weighing and tracking food. I'm really good at eyeballing portions. Why did I keep saying fuck it and ruining my progress? Well, I had gotten myself into a habit of just moving on to the next day. And if you have more fuck it days than compliant days, you're not moving towards your goals.

144.8 lbs on August 2, 2017
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...