It’s been a hot minute (as that how the saying goes?).
The past few months have been eye-opening for me; things have been challenging but it’s definitely been a test of my character and resilience. Grad school really has a way of thickening your skin. Let’s just say things don’t unnerve me as much as I’m used to and I’m really proud of myself for it!
So yeah, there’s definitely something to be said about stepping outside of your comfort zone and giving yourself a voice. Who else will stand up for you if you yourself don’t, right?
I am woman, hear me roar, etc.
It’s interesting how things correlate between lifestyle and fitness, isn’t it? We all talk about the connection between dietary habits and working out, but what about the mental connection? Willpower and perspective play such important roles in shaping not only our outlook in life, but truly how well we do at the gym. Need to keep going hard for another minute? No problem, you can do anything for 60 seconds. But also equally important: Didn’t hit your PR today? That’s okay, you gave it your best; let’s just try again next time. It’s all about perspective, and oftentimes, giving oneself a little grace and room to make mistakes.
So when I was invited to not one, but two, interval training-style weekend workout classes (Saturday was a dry triathlon at Equinox and on Sunday, a class at Strong Fitness & Performance Center) a few weeks ago, I definitely knew I would be sore on Monday! And not only that, I knew that I probably would not be able to give a 110% for my second workout because of muscle fatigue but mostly due to not wanting to push my body past its limits.
You could argue that pushing past the pain is the definition of growth and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. But to the extent of potentially injuring oneself? Probably not. What does this have to do with comfort zones? Well, there is no “one size fits all” and it makes sense because that really shouldn’t be the case; comfort zones vary from one individual to another and even day to day for the same person. What one person on Instagram considers easy may not be the case for you. And what was comfortable for me on Saturday was not necessarily the case on Sunday. And being okay with that dynamic change = me stepping outside of my comfort zone. Anushka from the past would have abhorred the fact that I gave something less than a 100% when I thought I didn’t need to; I’m glad she’s become wiser and more forgiving. I have learned that saying no, both to others and to myself, is not selfish but in fact a very necessary form of self-preservation. If I gave everything and everyone my all every time, there would be nothing left to give.
There’s so much to be said about this but I speak from experience when I say that reading this countless times does not drive the message home nearly as effectively as experiencing it oneself. Plus we all know that there’s much more to be learned and gained from stepping outside that comfortable but oh so limiting box – opportunities, friendships, self-acceptance, contentment .. you name it.
So – about the workout! Strong Fitness & Performance Center was the location for the workout with my Dallas Fitness Ambassador babes. I walked into this pristine, beautiful, airy giant of a gym expecting a Crossfit workout but we actually ended up doing an interval-style workout instead – not that I am complaining; it was a great sweat session! 30 minutes (or less!) really are all you need sometimes.
We donned the heart rate monitors they provided us with, did a quick warm-up (safety first, friends), split up into two groups, and jumped right into it. The overall workout consisted of 8 minutes segments on the bikes, self-propelled (!) treadmills, a bodyweight and dumbells strength training section, and finally the TRX equipment. That may not sound like much but believe you me when I tell you that I was definitely breaking a sweat a few minutes in. The name of the game was to get out of your comfort zone. For the cardio portions (bikes and treadmills), we’re talking a circuit of sprints, hills, and a recovery pace just slow enough to catch your breath until you do it all over again.
I chose to start off with spin as opposed to the treadmills because I enjoy it more and, well .. I’m not the best runner here. But spin was not a walk (ride?) in the park either. Cue the jello legs! And of course, immediately after was the strength training portion with torturous moves such as burpees and weighted reverse lunges.
But don’t run screaming for the hills now. I am of course exaggerating (you know I love my burpees); the best part about the class is that you can take it at your own pace. Instructions are only guidelines after all, are they not? There is no shame in modifying things to suit one’s needs, whether this means pushing a little harder or slowing down and readjusting one’s form, if need be. It’s easy to gauge one’s performance because the data from the heart rate monitors are displayed up on a screen in real time. I’m sure the majority of gym goers use it push themselves a little harder and give it that extra 10% percent but I actually wanted the complete opposite. I’m guilty of being a complete go-getter during my workouts, always so focused and “in the zone” so it was a nice reminder to glance up at the numbers and take my foot off the gas when needed.
The treadmill portion was similar to the bikes in terms of the cardio circuit performed (/runs/sprints/recovery) after which we moved on to the TRX. I wasn’t too sure what to expect since my last TRX class had been a while ago during my undergrad days but it was surprisingly challenging in the best of ways! I think the chest presses were my fave – I certainly felt it for a few days.
All in all, it was hands down a great experience. The time flew by, I left satisfied knowing I got a good workout in and met up with some friends (I mean, who doesn’t love sweat dates!). Plus, having Substance Juice on site with their suuuuuuper refreshing juices after having sweat out all those electrolytes was pure heaven. Their Fresh Cut cold-pressed juice is liquid money!
So, to recap:
These double workout weekends are cathartic and invigorating.
I need to start TRX back up again! Such fun.
Sweat dates are the new coffee dates.
Less really is more, sometimes. Both in time and intensity when it comes to an effective workout.
Currently wishing I had a self-propelled treadmill at home (to get my steps in while binge watching Shark Tank, of course).
Remember that listening to yourself will always trump following the herd even if you are going against the current. You’re opening yourself up to greater possibilities and that is always a good thing. And yes this whole post extends to life beyond fitness because #analogies. 🙂
Images courtesy of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors.
What have you done lately for yourself that overthrows a stereotype and has taken you down the road less traveled?