On June 18th, along with 20+ other green bloggers I am kicking off a Go Green, Get Fit Challenge. The idea behind it is to join together and support each other in making a commitment to fitness and since we also happen to care about sustainability issues we will be considering the impact of this process too. We moms spend so much take taking care of our families and our household responsibilities that sometimes self care gets lost in the mix. As I have discovered over the past year or so though, this is a huge mistake. My health and well being needs to be the foundation upon which all the rest is carefully laid or I am doing myself and my health a great disservice. I am also not in a position to be the best mom and wife I can be when I am unhealthy, unfocused, and unhappy.
I don’t think anyone ever sets out to be sedentary and unhealthy, they just allow other things to take priority and the cumulative effect of this over a period of years is what horrifies us when we look in the mirror or realize we can’t demonstrate a simple cartwheel for our children. I am going to be painstakingly honest about what woke me up in this regard. It wasn’t that I hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror, though I certainly had issues with that. It wasn’t that I couldn’t keep up with my kids, though I certainly could not. It was the fact that one morning I woke up to find out my marriage was likely over (and not by my choice). The idea that I might have to start over in my mid thirties motivated me into changing things up. I was faced with looking at how I wanted my life to look if I was starting an entirely new life. I wasn’t scared at all, in fact I was excited. It felt like an opportunity to put myself first after 12+ years of being dead last on my own priorities list. My husband was doing the same for himself. After a few weeks we quickly realized that there was no reason we couldn’t do this together and that it would be even easier with a loving partner. Once we started putting our own needs and that of each other at the top of the totem pole everything else just fell into place.
Our lives look sooooo very different now.
This morning I woke up at 6:00 am, showered, and hustled over to a CrossFit class. It was a morning full of pushups, situps, planks, squats, wall couch, pigeon, sprints, supermen, knee tucks on the bar, deadlifts, Kettlebell swings, Kettlebell high pulls, Kettlebell presses, and an obscene amount of Turkish get ups with a Kettlbell. My husband woke up slightly later to start taking care of the kiddies. When I got home I made breakfast and my husband readied himself for the same exact class I just took but at 10:30. While he is working out I log some work time on the computer and prepare lunch and dinner, especially if both require long cook times. Today the menu was lamb chops for breakfast, baked chicken and fresh fruit for lunch, and pork with sauerkraut is working away in the crock pot for dinner. When my husband gets home he eats lunch with us and we just hang out until he leaves for work at 2:00 pm. Often times though one of us will use this time to get out of the house to run errands or do something recreational like hit some balls at the golf range (him) or get a pedicure (me). Sometimes we nap.
After he leaves for work I keep plugging away at my desk, working but often taking breaks to do this or that with the kids. Sometimes I just have to get up and walk which means we all walk a few blocks away to a small gas station store that sells ice cream. Sometimes we go to the library for awhile. In the early evening I read usually, either inside or out depending on where the kids are playing. Later on my kiddos are required to be in their rooms and quiet by 8 PM (doing whatever they want) then I have an hour or so to watch DVR shows or read some more. In the morning we will rinse and repeat but always with fitness and health being tops on the priority list.
So why do this challenge if fitness is already a priority? Well, I thank my lucky stars I discovered CrossFit.
Previously I was swimming, running on the treadmill, and doing circuit weight machines. I felt like I was fit or on my way there and was pretty content. Then CrossFit took me to new places. Sometimes those places made me so sore I could barely get on and off the toilet without assistance and other times they made me realize the words “puke spot” painted on the sidewalk in back of the gym was no joke. I couldn’t even do one single pushup when I started, a full pushup – not the girl ones on your knees. No pushups after more than a year of exercising at the gym for 3-4 days a week. Last week I did 110 in one workout or WOD (workout of the day). It has made me feel like an athlete and I have actual training goals now. I want more! If I can do 110+ pushups what else can I do???? I look forward to finding out.
I think it is also important to consider the impact of fitness too because it has made me a bigger consumer for sure. I try to find workout clothing at second hand stores and only rarely do I actually find some that isn’t in sizes XXS or XXL. Workout clothing gets pretty worn out, pretty fast so I am guessing that the ladies who actually wear the clothing to workout in don’t have much left to donate later. I know my workout tees get turned into rags or reusable bags when I am done with them cause they are ratty! Shoes also get worn out fast and you NEED good shoes for CrossFit. Sport bras are another thing you need to buy regularly as are workout clothes that fit with the seasons. I also admit that I am falling victim to wanting stuff I don’t actually need too, to show off my enthusiasm for the sport. Like this Kettlebell necklace. I have two of them now and they have many more colors available. Can I resist???? I am always wearing them and I don’t even like jewelry!
During the challenge I plan to start attending Olympic Weight Lifting classes at my local CrossFit box and increase my morning workouts from 3 times weekly to 4-5 with swimming or running thrown in on the weekends. I am going to have to increase my calories to maintain muscle gain and energy levels so I will have to play around with the nutrition aspect as well. I also have goals to do kipping pull ups, hands stand pushups, toes to bar, and more consistent double unders. Once I begin Olympic Lifting I will also have weight goals too. I am ready to see just how far I can push myself and what I can accomplish during this challenge? Will you join us?
Monday, June 4th, 2012