fitness

All posts tagged fitness

Getting Ready to Run (err…Jog…Walk….Crawl?) to the Finish Line!

Published June 5, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Ok…it’s serious.  I am doing it!  I am registered, pumped, and got the t-shirt!  Woot!

I am also a bit scared.  I have never done anything like this… it’s all foreign territory.  Here I am: a 51 year old virgin.  Well, virgin runner, that is!

First thing on the agenda (after actually signing up and paying) was to get some real running shoes.  My PayLess BOGO specials weren’t going to cut it, so I went to FaceBook for some advice from friends.  I got a couple of recommendations and went to Fleet Feet with them only to have the sales girl tell me that those particular brands probably wouldn’t be best for my feet and running experience.  Ok, she’s the expert, so I listened to her and got something called New Balance.  Hmmm…ok, I could use some balance in my life, so it’s all good.

I have never had anyone take measuring my feet so seriously.  First I had to put on some sample socks.  Weird, because I was actually wearing socks, but okay.  She’s in charge.  Holy crap… those socks HUGGED my feet!!  I have never felt anything like them!  First sale for me: those awesome socks.  Then all angles and possible measurements of my feet were taken.  The last time a sales person spent any time fitting someone for shoes was when I took my kids for their first walking shoes to this place at the Boulevard Mall that had a red fire engine in the store.  (You Buffalo folks know which place I mean!  And if you remember the name of it, please remind me.  It was over 20 years ago since I bought baby shoes!)  Then she had me run back and forth down the front walk while she actually video taped my feet!  It was like a science experiment!   She showed me my running feet and analyzed whether or not the shoe was “right” for my body.  It was like shopping at Olivander’s for sneakers!  She also pointed out that I had good form because I ran on the balls of my feet.  I’m not sure if that’s accurate considering I have had zero, zip, zilch training, but it made me feel good!  And then I had the biggest decision to make… the COLOR!

I went for bad ass hot pink!

Fleet Feet

My past sneakers have always been white with perhaps some colored designs, but never splashy.  Well, I said I wanted to add color to my life, so hot pink it is!  And the selling point on the socks (besides the hugginess of them), “Cotton is rotten for running.”  Ok, synthetic socks it is!

Fleet FootFleet Foot 2

Then it was time to take them on a test run…err… walk.   A group from the Biggest Winner Challenge was meeting at Henpeck Park (what a name, huh?) for a walk along the Erie Canal, so I decided to try them out.  2.28 miles and 43 minutes later, I was still doing pretty well!  No pain to complain of, so I guess they must be a good fit for me!  And if I can walk that far in under an hour, then one more mile for the 5K should only take an additional 21.5 minutes walking.  That’s a little over an hour to walk it for me… so if I run, jog, walk, run, jog, walk, I might be able to pull it off in less than one hour!  That’s my goal…under an hour!

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

The last thing I had to do this evening was pick up my 5K packet.  Wow!  For me to actually SEE a running bib with my name on it is daunting!  And exciting!!  And scary!!!  But it’s my first step toward that Color Run that I swear I am going to do in Buffalo on August 17th if I have to go it alone!

And here’s the final pic of the day (and a sure-fire way to see to it that I will not be taking any of those “hold the phone off to the side while standing in front of a mirror” pics anytime soon, if ever, again).

Fleet Foot 3

We shall see if that goofy smile is still in place come Friday night!

Time For a Make-Over!

Published April 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Given that this page was originally created when I was in a more somber place in my life, the theme seemed to reflect that.  Now that I feel I have more “color” and energy to me, it’s time my blog reflected that!

And in honoring “coloring” my life by getting out and LIVING it, I am going to enter the Color Run in Buffalo this August.

Color run

I may not be able to run the entire 5K, but I can certainly jog and walk it!  I have never, ever done anything like that in my life, and quite honestly, I never thought 5K would ever be part of my vocabulary…but I am going to get out there and try!  Even if I come in dead last, I will still be miles ahead of all those who never leave the finish line.

With a little color comes some grime along the way, so while I am at it, I am also planning on entering the Dirty Girl 5K in Buffalo in September!   And I love the tag line here!  I already have one of my three daughters (Robin) ready to get dirty with Mom… and it looks like my Marine (Sarah) might be home for a visit right about that time, so I can get her on our team, too!  And that would be quite a boon to the team given that this is not just a running 5K… it’s got an obstacle course built in!  It’ll be like a day in the park for her!  I have one more daughter to convince (Illy!!).  I also want to enlist the ALL ladies from the 12 Week Challenge (Patty included!!… sorry, Will… you can’t be a Dirty Girl).

spa

It DEFINITELY is Make-Over time!!!

 

 

Still Continuing to Challenge Myself Beyond My Comfort Zone!

Published April 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

I actually have not posted lately for two reasons: one- for the past three days I have been down for the count with a really nasty virus and and have done nothing but sleep, and two- I have been keeping myself busy!  However, based on the past couple of days, I can see how it would be sooo easy to return to that sedentary lifestyle, and that realization scares me.  I am determined to NOT return to that pre-Challenge life.   I have to get better and then fight the temptation to slip backwards.  And I look for things to keep me moving, keep me healthy, and keep me happy.

As for keeping me moving:

While I am waiting for my tendonitis to heal, I am still keeping up with my cardio work and my strength training.   I’ve been taking it easy on the arms, but have been trying to ease a bit of work on them from time to time.  I thought I might be ready for five push-ups the other day… nope!  So I am listening to the body and working around it.

Sadly, I had to postpone my silks class till next session.  I have five more weeks to get this arm back into working order!  While I may not be able to work my arms as much as I need to, my core should be in MUCH better shape by the time I start up again!  I need that core strength to get me to finally flip into the ball, so here’s hoping!

As for keeping me healthy:

Grocery shopping is a new experience as I stay out of the aisles full of pre-packaged and processed “foods” and stick more to the outer realms of the store (the produce section, bulk, meats) and the Nature’s Marketplace section of Wegmans.   I still have not bought a single package of cookies since January, and there’s not a box of macaroni and cheese in the house (much to my son’s chagrin).

Going out to eat is different for me, too.  Because I am more aware of fried and high fat and high sodium foods, I try to make better choices while still feeling like I am treating myself to dinner out.

RohrbachsFor example, last week I took myself to Rohrbach’s on Buffalo Ave.    I enjoy going there, especially for their Scotch Ale.  While I know that Scotch Ale would be frowned upon by our health coach as a no-no, giving it up would make me feel deprived.  Deprivation is the key factor in making folks turn away from health changes… it’s moderation that will keep me on track.  So, yes! I ordered my glass of Scotch Ale and savored every single delicious drop!

As for my meal, I originally had my taste buds set for their sauerbraten, but sadly, it is only available on Saturdays.   The young man who served me suggested the specials of the evening after I voiced my disappointment about no-sauerbraten Wednesdays, one of which was a tropical salad.   When he listed the ingredients, I was enticed: pineapple, mango, avocado, star fruit, papaya, plantains, and chicken on a bed of greens with a fruity vinegarette dressing.    It seemed like getting dinner and a dessert all in one!  The blend was delicious, except that I really would have liked more avocado in it.  And I still had my Scotch Ale!  I have to admit that I am not one who usually turns to the “Salads” portion of the menu when ordering dinner, but I am glad he mentioned this special.  Since I had just come from a workout, the meal was light, yet still satisfying as a treat.   And so was my Scotch Ale!  😉

As part of my new way to continue challenging myself after all the work I have done for the past three months, I think that I will make it a point to visit different restaurants in my area to find out what other lighter-fare treats might be available.   Then I’ll share them here!

You know what I will be on the hunt for?  A juice bar!  I have to see if there is one in the Rochester area.  If there is, I will definitely haunt it for blending ideas!

Except for the days when I have been too sick and in pain to even move off the couch, I have been juicing daily.  I make a large batch in the mornings and take it to work with me.  The kids see me drinking it and ask, “What’s in it today?”   I usually list the fruits for them first, but as soon as I say spinach, beets, or kale, they scrunch up their noses and say, “Yuck!”   But it doesn’t stop them from asking me what I am drinking the next day!

I do see a difference in my skin from the juicing– even on my feet!   And while many of my students who have had this nasty flu have been out for about a week, today is day three and I am beginning to feel better already.  Maybe the vitamins from the juice helped with the quick healing?  Or maybe it was the tea I drank yesterday?

One of my son, Joe’s, friends came over yesterday.  When he saw how sick I was, he mentioned that he’d once had a tea made from lemon, ginger, garlic, and cayenne and that it made him feel better almost immediately.  Well, I had been trying the cinnamon and honey tea, and that wasn’t working for this, so I thought I’d give it a shot.  I already had the ingredients because I use lemon and ginger in my juices, and garlic and cayenne are just a staples I cook with, so there was nothing to stop me from trying it… I was actually desperate.  I chunked up a whole lemon, peeled a knuckle of ginger, chopped two cloves of garlic and went a bit heavy handed with the cayenne, putting it all in four cups of water to boil.  Once it boiled, I let it simmer for a bit.   Delicious is NOT a word I would use to describe it.  I managed to drink it all that evening, but it took some doing.

Well…. I DO feel a bit better today.  Do I feel well enough to go to the Y to work out? No…I didn’t even feel well enough to go to work at all.   I am not even up to going to the mailbox yet.  But at least I am no longer calling on the Angel of Death to take me away to put me out of my misery.

And now that it seems that Spring has finally arrived in Rochester, NY (late, as usual), I have plans to take my camera for a hike.  While I had hoped to get to Wales this summer, Uncle Sam slapped a hearty “no” on that one.  However, I will make use of my now-fully-paid-for car to hit the road and see where I end up.

And I am still not smoking!!

As for keeping me happy:

Not giving up on myself and having the courage to stick with my new lifestyle will be what keeps me happy!

Life After the 12 Week Challenge: Challenging Myself!

Published April 1, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Well the Cirque du Rochester Aerial Arts Challenge has officially come to an end… but this has only been a beginning for me!   I am making drastic changes in my lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, eating healthy (and even a bit more vegetarian due to the rising price of meat), and generally experiencing more in life than I have in a long time!

This week is my spring break from work, so I am working out my new plan.  It works best for me if I write things in my pocket calendar, so I am going through the YMCA schedule and putting in classes that I want to take for the next month, as well as times when the pool is available.   I have my weight and cardio routines already set up, so I just have to plug them into the schedule as well.

Today I worked on the cross trainer for 18 minutes before riding the recumbent bike for another ten.  I managed to reach and maintain my target heart rate for twenty of those minutes… not too bad for someone who quit smoking a pack a day only three months ago!  Because I am still nursing an arm injury before returning to silks next week, I passed on the arm weight machines; however, I did do all the leg, back, and ab machines.   After resting in the hot tub for 15 minutes, I was ready to head out and do today’s errands.

Tomorrow I go through my closet and get rid of clothes that I no longer want or need…especially anything that is now too baggy to wear.   Out it goes!

spice jars

My clothes closet isn’t the only overhaul I am making.  I went through my cupboards as well and got rid of a lot of pre-packaged, processed foods, and replaced them with grains and lentils and a whole bunch of new spices and seeds to experiment with.  My fridge also got a make-over, and it is packed with produce for juicing and cooking.

I bought pretty glass jars so that I could take everything out of the plastic bags and make everything easier to store and identify.  I wished that I hadn’t gotten rid of all those canning jars I’d had when I moved!  But some of these came with pretty pastel colored lids, so I’m okay with them!   These will become new staples in my house, and my daughter is sharing many of her favorite vegetarian recipes so that I can make them at my house.

Planning meals in advance and cooking more in bulk so that they last for several days will help with my busy schedule.  Today I made stuffed colored peppers:

peppers more peppers

Don’t these just scream “Spring!” … and “Eat me!!!”

These colored peppers are stuffed with quinoa, red lentils, veggie “burger”, chopped beet greens, red pepper/eggplant paste, and mashed avocado.  When I put them in the pan, I poured spicy vegetable juice over them.

I dirtied two plates just for these pictures before I baked them!

 

 

I had originally planned on doing a ten-day juice fast, but I think that it might be too much at once on my body… so I am going to do a three day cleanse Wednesday-Friday instead.  I am already juicing once a day, so I have been easing myself into it.  The ten day fast might be better for me once the school year ends in June instead.  That will give my body more time to acclimate to the changes I am already making.

Aerial Silks will continue beginning next week (here’s hoping that my arm will be in good enough shape to handle it), so that will become part of my permanent routine as well.  I do not know how long it will take me to get strong enough to last for a whole performance routine, but I am aiming for some point in this next year!  All the exercise will give me strength, the changes in eating will help with weight loss, and determination will get me to that silks routine!!

 

Socks Suck on Slippy Silver Silks…and Other Alliterative Funny Fun Stuff!

Published March 27, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Slippy Silver Silks, Cradling the Crack, Awesome Aerial Arts; we have the makings of an aerial version of a Dr. Seuss book!  I think I am going to have to get right on that!  🙂  An evening of laughs, that’s for sure!

Well, let’s just say that the slippy silver silks are not my favorite… I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  Katie had an even trickier time trying to climb them while wearing socks!  Socks and silks are not a good pair.

This was our last Tuesday evening class together, and it was silly 😛 sad 😦  funny  😀  bittersweet :-/  and filled with friendship.  I so want to keep in touch with these great ladies!

Honestly, folks… DIRTY GIRL 5K in SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Just throwing that out there…

In spite of the tendonitis, I climbed around on the silks anyway.  I’ve been nursing it, so I wanted to make the most of the program!

After only one week, I can do a reverse roll-up all by myself and even add flair!

I’d mentioned earlier that the whole move is a little more comfy in the crack… well, I am trying to get it there!!

crack

Ahhhh……….SUCCESS!!

flair

I just wanted to do as much as I could in spite of the pain… I cannot wait to continue with my next classes and I am so looking forward to one day doing a routine!!  Here is my improved inverted stag:

stag

I really didn’t want last evening to end…

 

Nearing the Finish Line!

Published March 25, 2013 by Susan Woodward

As the 12 Week Cirque du Rochester Challenge comes to a close, I must say that although it has been a grueling process, it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in many, many years.

When I first applied for the Challenge, I was a sedentary, way overweight, pack-a-day smoker and heavy coffee drinker who spent more time on the couch than anything else.  I was also recovering from a nearly year-long bout of depression following the break-up of a long term relationship.   I needed a severe change in my life, and I got it!

The very first thing I did once I was accepted into the Challenge was quit smoking cold turkey!  It helped that I contracted an upper respiratory infection so that smoking was extremely difficult to do…and I have been able to maintain my non-smoking status till this day!  That is the single most significant outcome of this journey…but only one of many!

My other goals (besides quitting smoking) included:

– becoming physically active instead of sedentary (CHECK)

– gaining more self-confidence by doing something I had never even dreamed of doing (CHECK)

– learning to eat healthier and managing my eating habits (CHECK)

– losing weight (NOT IN AS MANY POUNDS AS I’D HOPED, BUT IN INCHES, SO CHECK!)

– making new friends (CHECK)

The people I have met at the Aerial Arts of Rochester have been so supportive and friendly!!   I feel as if I have bonded with the ladies who are sweating and huffing and puffing right along with me– we have cheered each other on, as well as supported each other through our struggles.  Our instructor, Will D’Ovidio, has worked us HARD (especially in Cirque Fit), but he has been very patient with us as we sweated and huffed and puffed and fell off the silks (onto the padded mats…no worries!).   His “Willisms” have been witty, most notably the oft-quoted “The easiest way to make it harder is…”  Will’s sense of humor helps as a motivator when one is just ready to drop from time to time (usually me…).

Patty Palermo-Hedrick, our nutritionist from Love Nourish Live, has also been supportive with her weekly updates, ideas for better living overall, recipes, worksheets, and yummy samples!  She has checked in on us through the week on FaceBook and has been available for questions and guidance throughout.  Her motivational pic-posts on our FB page have been a fun thing to look forward to each day, and one Saturday we even had a Wegman’s tour!

As for the other members of the Aerial Arts family, they have been our greatest cheerleaders, applauding at our successes and encouraging us to keep moving when the body just wants to drop in the middle of the room.  As I look at all the people who are close to my age who are working hard and are being successful with the aerial arts, I am encouraged to continue (I am 51 years old!  And when Cirque Fit fell on my birthday, Will helped us all celebrate it with 52 push-ups– one for good luck, of course!).

With all the HARD work, I am seeing results.   I have more energy and I actually get out of the house more.  With the Challenge coming to an end, it was time for me to make my plans for my after-Challenge life so that I do not lose all the progress I have gained.  I will actually go through month to month and write in all my exercise classes that I plan to take as well as my silks lessons in my calendar.  These are what I will be doing to continue my progress:

1.  I joined the YMCA to swim and take Zumba classes.   Cirque Fit is a bit intense for these old bones, and I will feel a wee bit more comfortable in a choreographed dance class where I will know what’s coming next and pace myself better till I build endurance.  Plus having the hot tub and sauna on hand is also going to be good for sore muscles.  I will also be using the weightlifting equipment to build my strength.

2.  I re-signed on for Aerial Silks!  My goal is to one day perform a routine to Apocalyptica’s rendition of “Nothing Else Matters”… and I want that one day to be as soon as possible!  As I gain strength and become better able to climb and do moves, my confidence will grow.   I am a performer at heart (having done many community theatre productions in the area), and so I am now dying to perform on aerial silks!

3.  I am juicing and will be doing a 10-day juice re-boot during my spring break next week (I will keep you posted on my progress with that!).   Patty has given me great guidance to help with my nutrition, and I printed out every page and put them in plastic sheet covers in a binder so that I can continue to work through the program.   I am going to commit to doing a juice fast at least once a year as a re-boot of my metabolism.  Ever since I started making juice in the morning (two weeks ago), my coffee consumption has gone to one cup a day.  I have also been drinking cinnamon and honey mixed in hot water, and I have noticed a difference in my blood pressure and my stress levels.

4.  I am making a visit to the Public Market a part of my Saturday regimen.  I’ll buy locally grown produce (to support our local economy as well as to get the freshest product possible) and try to find as much organic food as possible.  I am totally re-doing my eating habits because I want to be around for a long time for my family!

5.  The ladies and I are going to continue our friendship beyond the Challenge, and we are planning on doing a 5K in June together!   I am also trying to convince them to sign up for the Dirty Girl 5K in Buffalo this September… here’s hoping we can do it!   I have also made friends with others at the school, and it feels like a circus family!  This is truly a great group of people to be around!

6.  I will NEVER smoke again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is amazing how much my life has changed in just twelve weeks!  If anyone told me before Christmas that I would be doing ANY of the above, I’d have laughed while pouring another cup of coffee and lighting another cigarette.

Thank you, Will, Patty, all the Challenge Ladies, and everyone at the Aerial Arts of Rochester for giving me a new life!

It’s a Little More Comfy in the Crack…

Published March 19, 2013 by Susan Woodward

…so says Will at Aerial Arts of Rochester!

No, you perverts!  He wasn’t referring to anything untoward… he was commenting on my first attempt at a reverse roll-up!  You have to watch the video to understand his comment, though!

Tonight we learned the reverse roll-up!  I posted my very first try so that you will ultimately get the full effect once I finally do it correctly all by myself (and, hint…I DID do it all by myself on the second, third, and fourth attempts!).   The trick to finishing the position and holding it is getting the silk in the crack between your butt cheeks…an ultimate wedgie that takes on most of my weight.  But Will was right, once I finally got in position; it was a little more comfy in the crack.

Here’s the video:

I always manage to get the silk stuck on my calf… something I have to work on.  But at least I wasn’t screaming my head off this time!

And here is a picture of my third solo!

reverse roll up

 

%d bloggers like this: