It’s thaaaaaaat time again!
First of all though, how was your weekend? Mine flew past, but as planned, it was a perfect balance of workouts, friend time and rest. I had the pleasure of Crossfitting with 2 of my work buddies who are both super fit, and it was SO much fun (not to mention super motivating) to sweat alongside these ladies. The experiences were part of the motivation for my 3 goals for May, but first, let’s have a little April goal check-in, shall we?
Here’s how things went down:
1. Complete at least 4 ROMWODs per week – N/A
So…. this one didn’t quite go as anticipated, but I’m totally cool with that. One of the things I think is really important about goal setting is to be committed to achieving an outcome, but not attached a specific process that could get you there. This goal is a perfect example. The outcome I wanted to achieve was to make my body less prone to injury and increase my flexibility. To get there, I originally intended to do four ROMWODs (that’s a Range of Motion Workout of the Day) per week. But after just one week, I realized that I enjoy my self-led mobility sessions in my gym so much more.
I was doing the ROMWODs at home, and to their credit, the sessions were good – I rarely hold poses as long as they do in these videos. But at the gym I have so many more fun things to play with like foam rollers, balls with different densities, resistance bands, mats…. all the toys. I also find that the time when I’m most motivated and likely to do mobility work is immediately following my lifting sessions or after a run, when I’m still at the gym. If I let myself wait until I get home, I get distracted by other things along the way and don’t end up getting it done.
Summing this one up, it just didn’t work for me. BUT that’s not to say it would be the same for you. If you’ve been looking for motivation to do more stretching, don’t have gym access and/or prefer to be guided through stretches, I’d still recommend giving it a try.
2. Discover some new health + wellness trends at CHFA West – A
This was a ton of fun, and you may have caught some of it happening in my Instagram stories that weekend. If not, check out my top natural health trends from CHFA West 2017 for a full recap. The ones I was most excited to see were the increased popularity of probiotics and fermented foods, as well as foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric being incorporated in so many new products. Give me some turmeric kimchi and I’ll be a happy girl!
3. Read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – A
(Reminder from the last time I mentioned this: I don’t curse on the blog and rarely in real life unless I’m really fired up about something, but in this case the F words happens to be in the title of the book.)
This goal was a success, and by read, I mean I listened to the audiobook version. For context, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is written by blogger Mark Manson, and it’s been making its way into lots of the conversations I’ve been part of lately. I certainly encounter plenty of situations where I find myself worrying about things beyond my control, and it’s something I’ve become more conscious of in the past year or two.
The gist: The book makes the case for why we’d be better off if we all took a critical look at the things we give a f*ck about, decide what’s really worth it, and let the rest go. The things we do give a f*ck about should align with our personal values. It sounds straightforward enough, but in today’s society where there are infinite material possessions and status symbols available to us, it’s easy to get distracted and waste our energy on things that, in the end, have no real meaning.
A few other ideas/suggestions made included:
- If you feel like you’re constantly being thrown off course and feel out of control of what happens to you, it’s likely you’re valuing a lot of the wrong things.
- Life is never going to be free of problems, so don’t try to solve them all. Instead ask, “What problems am I willing to have? Which ones excite me?”
- We’re constantly being told to “just think positively”, but sometimes things just suck. That’s ok.
- Other self help resources provide feel-good highs that distract us from facing our fears and insecurities.
- Once we learn to be ok with our faults and face our fears, that’s when we’ll finally find the confidence we’ve been looking for all along.
To his credit, Manson is unbelievably honest and he definitely made me think about some of my own insecurities. Overall though, I didn’t feel particularly strongly either way about the content. I didn’t find myself fist pumping going “heck yes!”, nor did I want to throw my laptop across the room in disagreement as I listened. The message of “let’s face it – sometimes life just sucks” was a bit repetitive, and while I laughed a few times, by the end found myself feeling kinda deflated.
I agree with him that we’d benefit from having some very honest conversations with ourselves and doing an audit of what we’re spending our energy on. However, I’m a big believer that life is what you make it. If you look for positivity, you’ll find positivity. If you look for problems, you’ll find plenty of them. It’s up to us to choose positivity, and while Manson might consider my way of thinking distracted or unrealistic, I like to think keeping an optimistic mindset can help things play out for the better. My less-than-chipper mood might just be a result of listening to someone talk about problems for 5 hours, but I’d be interested to hear if any of you who have read the book finished feeling the same.
3 goals for May 2017
With April behind us, these are my new focuses for the month ahead:
1. Be able to snatch a 55lb barbell
For those that do any training with a barbell, I know this sounds like barely anything – it’s the weight of the bar with 5lb weights on either end. BUT everyone has to start somewhere, and while I can currently manage a 35lb snatch, 55lbs is going to require some work. But backing up, what is a snatch, you may ask?
It’s an Olympic weightlifting movement, and one I’ve been pretty impressed by ever since I started getting curious about Crossfit. To demonstrate, here’s a little video of Julie Foucher (4x Crossfit Games athlete and one of the most successful women in the sport to date) to show you what I’m talking about:
Can’t see the video? Click here.
As I said, I can manage a 35lb bar and can easily do most of the individual parts of a snatch , it’s just a matter of putting them all together and making it a fast, fluid movement. Landing in an overhead squat is currently my biggest challenge, but luckily I’ve got friends, coaches and 30 days ahead to nail this one. If I do it, I’ll have a video for you in my next goal check-in!
Be able to do 5 unassisted chin ups
Yep, 2 fitness-related goals this month because that’s what’s lighting me up right now. This is a lofty one, but I think declaring it here will motivate me to put in the work to get ‘er done. I’m finding that my progress has been so much more evident since I ditched the assisted pull-up machine for bands and eccentric pull ups (which means giving myself a boost with a step to get to the top, then lowering as slowly as possible down). With a little bit of practice every other day or so, as well as lots of other lifting mixed in between, I think there’s a good chance I might finally be able to check this one off the list.
No blog work on Sundays
…because #balance. This is going to be a tough one to be mentally ok with, but I first implemented this goal last year and have decided to bring it back. Looking back on a few recent weekends, I’ve done a LOT of work and not a whole lot of play. With the weather warming up, I’m dying to spend some more time outside, see some friends, hang out at the beach and take in some good old natural vitamin D. Obviously the blog is still a huge passion, but rather than working all weekend, I’ll be making better use of my weekday time. That way, I can wake up on Sundays with a blank slate ahead of me and lots of room for adventures!
Now I’d love to hear about what’s going on in your life. What are you working on this month? Any special milestones, big races or other events coming up for you?