I am not as strong as I want to be.
Tuesday’s workout was hard. I tried to relax my body during our closing meditation, but my head was aching and my stomach was turning. Why did I think it was a good idea to give up Diet Coke this week? Caffeine withdrawals are not fun. And it wasn’t just the migraine that was tearing up my body; I had worked my muscles hard and they were letting me know that they were not pleased. I tried to focus on what I had accomplished. During our forty-five minute, high intensity interval training workout I pushed myself and only had to really slow down or pause a couple of times. Not bad for my first Body Back workout. Of course, I would love to be able to do more push-ups in minute and jump a little higher with each burpee, but that’s what the next two months are for, right?
Before we started the workout, our instructor Abby gave us an overview of the eight-week program and then had us introduce ourselves. I loved meeting the other ladies and learning about their fitness journeys. We all have different backgrounds and unique challenges, but our hopes are remarkably similar: we all want to feel and look good – for our families and ourselves.
The similarities of our journeys were highlighted again at the beginning of Thursday’s class. Abby asked us to each share a word that embodied how we were feeling. Even though we each chose a different word, the smiles and nodding heads made it clear that we could all identify with each of them. Energized, scattered, proud – all are so fitting for the busy moms that we are. I chose the word “yet.” I love that word because it holds so much promise. No, I didn’t get a chance to go for a run, vacuum the car, or pay the power bill yet, but I will. There is still time. There is power in understanding that who we are and what we have accomplished is not etched in stone; tomorrow holds so much possibility.
I tried to hold on to this belief in possibility as we transitioned into the next part of our class: measurements and fitness assessments. I am sure I will appreciate having these measurements to monitor my progress against, but there is something a bit soul crushing about reducing yourself to a set of a numbers. How many inches is my waist? How fast can I run a mile? How many squats can I do in a minute? How long can I hold a plank? I kept telling myself that these numbers do not matter – they just represent my starting point. I didn’t want to hold on to them like I held on to not being able to do even one pull up in the eighth grade for the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge. That big, fat zero has stuck with me for nineteen years. No, these numbers will not define me; they will just help me appreciate how far I will travel in the next eight weeks.
Obviously, my intention is to reduce some numbers and increase the others. Abby asked us to focus on just a few, though, and set a mind, body, and food goal. This is really difficult. I want to become my best self. How do you quantify that? I want to become kinder, more thoughtful, less critical. I hope to become more intentional about how I spend my time and what I put into my body. I want to be stronger in all areas of my life. How do I select just three specific and measureable goals? I’m still reflecting on this, but here is what I have come up with:
- Mind: Read at least one book a week. Reading is so good for my mind and my heart. It allows me to learn about others and imagine new possibilities for myself. I’ve always been a big reader, but sometimes I forget how much I love it and I end up wasting my time with less important things like Facebook.
- Body: Run a mile in eight and a half minutes, do a complete sit up without anyone sitting on my feet, and lose ten pounds. I just couldn’t choose one goal in this area because it is important to me that I improve both my endurance and strength and that my body looks and feels more fit.
- Food: Eat a healthy, substantial breakfast every morning. This goal reflects my desire to become more intentional about when and what I eat. I’ve never been a big breakfast eater, but I know that I feel better and stronger when eat early in the morning, especially protein. I need this fuel in order to get the most out of each day. This is going to be challenging with an eight-month-old baby, but I am going to make breakfast a priority. It will also be good to get Asher into this routine from early on.
Since Thursday, I have been working hard on each of my goals. I read a couple hundred pages of my book, got on the treadmill each day, did strength exercises, and started every morning with a hearty breakfast. I am sore and a little sad about the bowl of ice cream I just passed up, but I feel good. I’m proud of myself for starting this journey and confident that it will keep getting better. I am looking forward to checking in with everyone during Tuesday’s class and celebrating the progress we have made.
I am not as strong as I want to be.
I am not as strong as I want to be yet, but I am getting stronger every day.