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If Nothing Changes . . . nothing changes

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tonights workout was hills repeats!!! My choice was 2 miles of hill repeats or my track workout that has 400m sprints with push ups, crunches, lunges, high knees, cross overs, etc. Since the weather was threatening a thunder shower, and it started to rain right after work. I opted to swing by the grocery store first. I was frustrated when I came out of the grocery store, realize it had not rained other than the few sprinkles I felt after work, and I was losing daylight!

The university gym closes at 7pm right now, my gym is too far away to go at 7pm, my track workout takes 45 - 60 minutes. grrrrrrrrrr!!! I will not be deterred! I shake my fist at the skies! I rushed home, ran in the house to change into my running gear while my son unloaded the groceries and put away the cold stuff for me. It was mostly his.

I jumped in my car and drove to the hilliest area near my house, parked the car off the road in the valley (saddle) between two steep hills. I took off running up one hill as hard as I could push. I check my garmin, not bad for uphill!!! I remember what my friend Allison said about hills, the steeper the hill, the tighter the butt. . . maybe she said glutes!

The first hill is not so much steep, as it is a very steady grade that seems to go forever. There is a sign post at the crest of the hill and I determine in my mind that I will hold that sprint pace until I pass that sign. I am not a sprinter so that fast twitch fibers wear out fast for me! I walk back down the hill, jog through the 'saddle' area between the hills and hit the second hill hard. It is a sharp steep grade. A shorter distance to hold the sprint, but a more intense effort. There is a sign at the crest of this hill as well and again I push, push, push to get past that sign. Walk back down and repeat the process until my Garmin beeps that I have completed two miles. It is a good thing, because that last push was really tough, totally fatigued the muscles in my calves, hamstrings and well, the glutes are a big muscle, but they were throbbing.

Here is what I know and this is why I push. If nothing changes . . . nothing changes. As my friend Wanda would say, "I choose to change". Muscle fibers cannot grow, build, change unless they are pushed past their current 'norm'. The body is amazing at maintaining and adapting . . . if you are not constantly pushing, increasing, intensifying and purposely pressing to the next level, it will not improve in endurance, speed, strength or appearance. That is why athletes train and have progressions. That is why personal trainers design plans that have progressive loads and change the way you work muscles every 3 - 4 weeks, that is why endurance runners increase the distances of their long runs. To do more, well, you gotta do . . . more.

My friend Janell, Boot Camp Barbie as we have been calling her, just trained 3 gals to do something they could not do just a couple weeks ago. How? She pushed them. She set a high bar and pushed them past what they thought they could possibly do. Did they like it? NO. Did they like her for doing it? Not at first. But then they realized that she was doing it to help them reach a desired outcome. And in the end, they excelled!

After my hill repeats. I must be a warrior . . . because the sweat was rolling and so was the residual eye make up from work!

When I got back home, I hooked my iron woody bands to my basketball pole and did starting line push offs with a high knee jump. These bands are awesome. Maybe one of the best 'home gym' investments I have made. I have three, two are being used here. They are supper strong, I can go to the end of the loop and sprint as fast and as hard as I can 'in place'. There are at least a dozen exercises, single leg lunges, skater lunges, etc. I do with these bands.

I'm working out more and more in my garage and in my drive way these days. See, getting fit and having fun doesn't have to be expensive. I can shoot hoops with a squat jump, I can dribble my soccer ball down the yard and back in between sets of push ups, planks, sit ups and lunges. There is no end to the exercises I can do with just my body weight and a couple playground toys! Jump rope any body?

If you want to learn more about workouts you can do at home, check out my WOD (workout of the day)


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