PEAK WEEK, Day 78: Total Body Core from Phase 3 (aka The One You Just Did)

The only saving grace for today’s workout is the rep scheme: Two sets of 15 reps, where you do ALL the exercises in a row, then go back through and do them all again. This doesn’t make the workout feel shorter, but it at least makes it feel more do-able.

The other saving grace is today is the LAST time you will do the 1/2 modified Turkish get-up to a push-up move from hell. Put that on your list of things to celebrate on Day 80 (after your workout, of course).

I would lay out today’s moves, but you know them from having just completed Phase 3. There’s not a lot to add other than you’ll probably be a bit more tired, a bit more sore. For whatever reason, my shoulders were knotted in balls of tightness, and it wasn’t until I rolled them out on the foam roller AFTER the workout that it felt like anything got broken up. Which means I did not increase on the surrender to press up move weight-wise, but I DID increase my weight on the 1/2 modified Turkish hell move. THAT one I am proud of, if only because it was the hardest one to finish.

Truth be told, I’m finding this program a whole lot harder to finish this time around. Or rather, I’m simply not as motivated. I know this has a great deal to do with not getting enough sleep: It’s summer and it’s hot and it’s hard to get to bed early when it’s light out until 10 pm. As a result, I get to bed late and then spend the day cranky and tired and I’m probably retaining water and weight more than I normally would. Even though I was on an emotional rollercoaster my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I did a much better job of sticking to my schedule. I had to. It was my anchor, my sanity – the three things I could control at that point were what I ate, when I worked out, and what time I got to bed.

Funny, then, that when I have control back over the other aspects in my life, it is the motivation to workout that slips.

Which is why the below photo is so well-timed.

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Eight years and a lifetime apart.

Eight years ago to the day, I was traveling through Jordan. In the middle of the Wadi Rum, against the jaw-dropping background of red sand and granite, I attempted…some sort of athletic move. It has to be something like a donkey kick. I remember not being able to do it, as evidenced by the photo. But I wasn’t really bothered because I was there for the scenery, not a demonstration of my athletic prowess.

A few weeks ago, I attempted the same move on a grassy knoll at a park in my neighborhood. The result is on the right.

Eight years and 20 pounds separate those two photos. I wouldn’t change my 20s for a thing, but when I look back at the person I was almost a decade ago, I wish I knew some of what I know now about strength and patience and being consistent. I wish there had been an 80 Day Obsession for me to do prior to starting law school, or when I emerged three years later after being beaten down by the Bar. I can’t help but wonder how that might have shaped me.

All I know is I’m not going back. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m stronger than ever. I’m wearing clothes I never dreamed would ever fit me. But more importantly, I’m ready to take on the next phase in my professional life and my personal life. 80 Day Obsession certainly can’t give me a paycheck, but it can remind me that I can do hard things.

After all, if I killed those 1/2 modified turkish get-ups with a heavier weight than last week, what can’t I do?

As always, check out the usual link for Beachbody stuff. And, as always, feel free to email me for with questions or more tips and musings.

Almost there!

PEAK WEEK, Day 75: AAA from Phase 1 (aka The One Where You Can Feel Yourself Shredding Out)

I came up with multiple aka’s for this program during the course of the workout:

  • The One Where You Can’t Stop Grabbing Your Ass In Public;
  • The One Where You Want to Run To the Nearest Mirror to Check Out Your Abs;
  • The One Where You Might Faceplant Because Your Arms Give Out.

Since nobody remembers this workout (so much has happened since then), here’s what you have to look forward to:

Three series of four exercises each.

Series 1: Upright Row, Bent Over Fly, Frog Sliders, Glute Bridge with Loop.

Series 2: Push-Up, Skull Crushers, Weighted Ab Sit-Up, Quad Ped Heel Press.

Series 3: Bent Over Row, Hammer Curl, Knee Tucks, Fire Hydrant.

The lift scheme is two sets of 15 reps, where you take it all a series at a time; that is, you do all exercises in a row for 15 reps each, then go back and repeat before moving on to the next series. As a result, the workout moves along nice, though still clocks in at 53 minutes.

Also as a result, you will get some booty pump and dead arms. I am having to take breaks as I type this to shake my arms out at my side to get the blood flowing. My biceps/triceps/shoulders literally start spasming if I keep my fingers on the keyboard for too long. It’s too much work for those tired muscles.

It’s not that these exercises are hard. They are. But the intensity is different. You’ll sweat, but nowhere near as much as you did in the Phase 3 AAA workout. You will also notice that there are almost no compound movements. For example, if you recall the last time we did skull crushers, we did them while up in a glute bridge and with loops around our thighs. You would think that without the loops and glute bridge, the move is therefore a lot easier.

My shaking arms stay otherwise.

Without the extra moves, you can focus in on one particular muscle group – triceps for the skull crushers – and try and lift a little heavier. Surprisingly, the static focus acts as a shock to the system. You get a good burn going; so good, in fact, that afterwards you’ll want to run to a mirror to see if your tricep muscle is popping because they are going to feel extra defined.

Same goes for your abs on the slider moves.

But the true test of strength, the real measure of how far you’ve come, is push-ups. I guarantee you that is why Autumn chose this workout. You might not be able to find your Phase 1 tracker sheets to see what you lifted at the end of that Phase; and, even if you find your tracker sheets, your weights today might differ from your weights back then. But when you do that first push-up, you’ll feel the difference.

Autumn will be calling out cues, and you’ll find you can follow along. Don’t let your back arch; head in a straight line; lift your butt and pelvis a bit more. Instead of dreading these normal push-ups, you’ll relish them. If you’ve made it this far in the program, this move, more than any other, will be the true testament to your progress. You’ll surprise yourself with how strong you feel, especially in the first few. You can actually LOWER yourself with some control and come up with some power. And you can do this for multiple reps! Sure, it gets a bit sloppy at the end, but remember when you FIRST did these push-ups? you were on your knees! Check out how far you’ve come. You might even feel good enough to go back and take a few photos to share:

Push-Up
Amazing how such a simple move can tell such an important story.

Aside from the push-ups, you will be afraid that your arms are going to give out during the quad ped moves and the fire hydrants and the knee tucks and the frog sliders. Don’t think this is just you. You are not alone. And it does not mean you are weak. It just means your body isn’t used to the workout and it’s a good wake-up call. Which is the whole point of PEAK WEEK, to shock your body off any plateau it might have reached.

It will also have you grabbing your ass a lot because of the focus on your glutes.

Again, when was the last time you did an exercise on your hands and knees, using the loops? Maybe Phase 2. Which is why when you do it during Peak Week, your ass can tell. It feels EXTRA big after all those reps, and I guarantee your hands will be wandering back to check and see how many sizes it grew during the exercise.

Regardless of the Booty gains made during this workout, it’s Day 75, and if you’re like me, you’re going to be happy to say goodbye to this workout. It’s nice to FINALLY have one in the books for good…until next time.

Get some sleep for Cardio Flow tomorrow. It’ll be fun for once, I swear.

Link to the Beachbody goods here. Message me with any thoughts or tips or hopes or dreams.

xo

Phase 3, Day 67: Cardio Core (aka WEAR SUNSCREEN)

As previously blogged, Lake Chelan is my happy place.

It is also the place of some truly epic, terrible sunburns.

When I was in 8th grade, I decided to disregard my mother’s advice to a) avoid the sun, and b) WEAR SUNSCREEN, and instead laid out for three hours wearing nothing but…baby oil.

I’m cringing as I write this. As I do, the scars on my chest from my blistering sunburn tingle just a bit to remind me of my stupidity.

You would think that with that disaster under my belt, I would have learned my lesson.

You would think.

I worked out today at about 10 am. Here was my set-up:

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Note the blue sky and utter lack of shade.

My philosophy is that if I am working out in the sun before 11 am or after 4:30 pm, the only part of my body I really need to ensure has sunscreen is my face and perhaps the top of my shoulders.

Rarely, if ever, do I pay attention to my legs. My thinking is that they spend most of the time under me and therefore don’t get too much sun exposure.

Today’s workout was Cardio Core. It’s the same workout you did last week and the week before that. It’s 30 seconds of some sort of jumping exercise, followed by 30 seconds of a high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) move; repeat for a total of 3 rounds (i.e. 3 minutes total), then do an ab exercise.

Here’s some of the HIIT moves: Saddle jumps, where your legs are in sumo squat position and you jump; burpee popcorn (or whatever it’s called), where you do a half burpee and then pop up into a squat; and step-throughs, your good ol’ friend from Cardio Flow.

Think about your leg position for all of these moves; instead of your legs churning the ground directly beneath you, somewhat sheltered from the sun by the shade of your upper body, your legs are instead either out to the side of you or out straight behind you.

Now think through the ab exercises: Every one of them has your legs stretched out either in front of you or behind you.

My point is, there’s a lot more leg exposure in these workouts than you realize. Which in turn means there’s more sun exposure.

Which means this is the current color of my legs:

Sun Burn
The fingerprint is to demonstrate the redness. Whoops.

I am a grown ass woman who has suffered some horrific sunburns, and yet I STILL allow shit like this to happen. WTF is wrong with me?? I KNOW I can’t go out into the sun unprotected and yet I STILL do it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is the very definition of insanity.

If I sound perplexed it’s because this is not the only area in my life where I struggle to learn from my past mistakes; the other, most obviously, is staying consistent with workout out and eating right. Inevitably, I hit a wall or something happens and I go three or four months without breaking a sweat which enjoying every crumb and cookie along the way. For example, last year I felt GREAT after completing Hammer and Chisel, then multiple rounds of 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. Then I started Tony Horton’s P90X3 (or whatever it’s called where you work out in 30 minutes and do a shit ton of pushups and pullups) the same week as Labor Day when my boyfriend and I went to visit some good friends in Bend, Oregon, for beer, wine, fried food, and giggles. After the weekend, the only thing consistent for the next few months, until I started 80 Day Obsession on January 15, 2018, was the beer, wine, fried food, and giggles.

So it worries me when I have an incident like today. What guarantee do I have that I won’t fall off on the wagon in the future? All I had to do today was WEAR SUNSCREEN, something that I know is for my own good. But I still didn’t.

How do I know that as good as I feel right now, working out and eating right, I won’t have a weekend down the road that completely throws off my game and sets me back a week? A month? A YEAR? (YES, after studying for (and passing!) the Bar, I didn’t work out for two years. I don’t know what happened. I don’t have an explanation. I think the Bar simply broke something inside of me and it took that long to heal.)

I guess the short answer is: I don’t have an answer. As much as I try to prepare for those Doomsday moments, I don’t really know what will happen until they occur.

If I had one piece of advice for myself, it would be this: Don’t focus on making it up the mountain; just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Focus on the here and now and what you need to do TODAY to overcome your obstacle and get back on track.

For me, I think that will mean simply choosing a workout and DOING it. Even if it’s just yoga or something where I stare at Chalean’s ridiculous thigh-high workout boots (yes that’s a thing, I’m not making it up). If I move my body, the eating right will follow because it is a LOT harder to want to put french fries in your body after a good sweat sesh.

Don’t focus on the war, just the battle.

So I guess tomorrow it means my workout will be happening closer to 9 am IN THE SHADE, and I will be covering myself up with sunscreen AND a towel when I head up-lake on a friend’s boat.

I suppose even an old dog learns new tricks. Or can remember old tricks. Who knows. Just keep learning, damn it.

Check out the usual link for more program info, and above all, PLEASE, WEAR SUNSCREEN.

 

Phase 3, Day 66: Total Body Core (aka The One with Real Talk From Autumn Calabrese)

Full Disclosure: Last night’s post was so lackluster that I completely forgot this blog was a daily thing until just now.

But, better late than never, right?!

Also full disclosure: Yesterday’s post sucked because I replaced almost all of yesterday’s yellow containers with beer. And then apparently didn’t eat very much. See, here was yesterday’s view:

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It was a day at the ballpark courtesy of my boyfriend’s employer. Which means there was LOTS of free stuff. As in free food and free booze.

I love free things, especially at places like ball games where you have to trade your first born child for a Coors Light. Which is why, while I could have chosen to stick to the straight and narrow yesterday and drink only water….I didn’t really want to.

So, I compromised. I ate hot dogs without buns, brought my own veggies (cucumbers and carrots), and snacked lightly on the popcorn and peanuts. I also tried to do a 1:1 ratio with beer to water: One beer was followed immediately by a bottle of water.

The end result was that I had to pee several times throughout the game. And I somehow didn’t eat very much.

Which means that by about 7 pm last night, I was ready to pass out and STARVING. My boyfriend, god of my life, made me a chicken veggie bowl, reminded me to blog, then tucked me in to bed. It was a great day, but not conducive to blogging.

Today, however, very much is.

The scenery changed once again. Today I am in my happy place: Chelan. Here was my gym for today’s workout:

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I am proud of this set-up. Perhaps more than any other photo, this one speaks to how much my mindset has changed thanks to 80 Day Obsession.

I cannot tell you how often I packed workout clothes for our trips to Lake Chelan…and then never used them. I’d get here and succumb to the heat and the lake. I’d get a few drinks in me at night then want to sleep in past the opportune morning workout time. The Lake ennui would kick in and obliterate any intention to work out, no matter the streak I was riding when I first pulled into the parking lot.

Today, however, I couldn’t wait to work out. I planned my day and my meals around it. I packed the right clothes.

Part of my excited stemmed from wanting to use my latest workout toy:

Adjustable Weights
Now I literally have a gym in my fingertips and can work out in my car!

These bad boys are amazing, especially in a workout like Total Body Core, where for three sets of 10 reps, doing each series at a time, I was constantly having to change weights. Done and done. Super convenient.

But part of my excitement wasn’t really even just excitement, but just the drive to workout.

That’s still not explaining it right.

You know how you have to wear pants in public? That’s the best I can describe it. I HAD to workout. Just as it isn’t an option to go pants-less in public and remain a law-abiding citizen, it was not an option for me to skip today’s workout just because I was in a different locale.

I am pleased to report I am brainwashed to the point of WANTING to work out. It’s a joy and a challenge to push my body and see what it can do today. It’s also kinda fun to sweat all over the floor and not worry about anybody slipping in it.

PLUS, you do NOT want to miss today’s workout: Autumn gets real about her body and its substantial…augmentations.

As is quite obvious for those of you following along at home, Autumn has had work done: A boob job. I can only imagine she got really into bodybuilding and succumbed to the pressure to look more feminine while also maintaining an insanely low body fat. (Sadly, also reinforcing a body image the rest of us chase that is not totally obtainable without going under the knife, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Today, Autumn admits to having had work done. She talks about how it impacts her ability to perform push-ups; she makes a remark along the lines that she was young when she chose to have the augmentation.

Say what you want about the choice to have this particular surgery, but hot damn Autumn are you my new best friend for your honesty.

There’s a reason this program is inspiring millions of followers and a cult-like devotion: Over 80 days, you really do get to know Autumn and her cast. Sure, there are days where you want to shove them all off a cliff; but then there are others where their stories and groans are all that get you through those modified 1/2 Turkish pushup whatevers, and afterwards all you want to do is invite them all over for a drink to marvel at how you all survived. I mean, what other personal trainer is gonna talk about her own breast augmentation while filming a live workout for repeat use by a fitness conglomerate? That takes balls.

So make sure you press play today. You won’t regret it.

Also, I think I know what workout program I’m doing next. Stay tuned and keep reading my next few posts to find out where my head’s at!

Link to some possible options here. Stay cool mes amigos!

Phase 3, Day 60: Total Body Core (aka The One Where You Realize You’ve Gotten a Lot Better at Tricep Push-Ups)

I work out at a gym.

I don’t know if I’ve told y’all that before, but I do. I realize this is somewhat unusual for a person who is following a Beachbody program, as part of Beachbody’s selling point is you can do the workout from the comfort of your own home. I can’t. I live on the third floor of an apartment building and there just isn’t enough space in our living room to do side lunges/back lunges, and I don’t want to give myself an excuse to not complete a workout because I keep banging my shin on the coffee table (been there, done that). Plus, I know my downstairs neighbors really don’t appreciate the early morning jumping required in a number of the workouts.

So, gym it is. In the weight-lifting area, I collect my weights, grab a mat, and push play. I navigate people jumping rope and idiots who block the weight rack. I go back and forth between the rubber mat of the weight area to the tiled floor of the merchandise area, and ignore the gawkers who spot me on my sliders doing tricep push-up pull-ins in front of the shelves of protein powder:

Tricep push-ups on Sliders
Don’t mind me as I sweat amongst the merchandise.

I share this because today’s Total Body Core workout will pretty much require you to have ALL the weights. Again. I commandeered everything from the 12.5 pound dumbbells, all the way up to the 20s. Yes, I was THAT bitch. And I don’t care.

Today’s workout will leave you with sweat rolling down your ankles and a burn in your shoulders that won’t quit. It’s three sets of 10 reps, where you go through all exercises in a row for 10 reps, then repeat for another 2 rounds. It’s not my favorite set-up, but it gets the job done.

I will say, however, that the 10 reps really gives you the opportunity to measure your strength. That tricep push-up form above? Last week, I could barely do the 15 reps on my toes, and had to drop to my knees for the last few. But this week, I did all 10 on my toes. My back arched perhaps a bit too much, but I still managed to get a lot lower than I could in Phase 1. Even better, my push-up form in the 1/2 Turkish get-up from hell felt stronger, though I cursed Autumn’s name throughout the move.

My goal for next week is to continue this push-up triumph and try the slide-out push-ups on my toes as opposed to on my knees. I’ll keep you posted.

With my push-up notes out of the way, let’s turn to the two pro tips for today’s workout.

PRO TIP #101: If your loops are rolling on V Crunch to Scissor Crunch, you gotta double or triple loop.

I got new loops in the mail yesterday and eagerly put them to use in tonight’s workout. For the first time in awhile, I was able to double-loop with two blues. But to my dismay, I couldn’t get more than 2-3 reps done of V Crunch to Scissor Crunch without the damn things rolling up my thighs. I powered through only by constantly taking a moment to adjust the loops during my crunch up (an extra burn, so not unwelcome). So, in round 2, I added a green loop.

I found that the three loops would slide up my thighs a bit, but weren’t rolling, so they were easier to adjust. Don’t underestimate how much stronger your abs and legs are for this workout. Adjust accordingly.

PRO TIP #67: Clench your butt during Weighted Windmills.

This is one exercise where I’m never sure if I’m doing it right because I don’t do it in front of a mirror (next week, I think I will). On some reps I’ll feel a good contraction in my obliques, but in others I get nothing and I worry I’m kicking my hips out in the typewriter motion Autumn describes and warns against. Tonight, however, Autumn gave a good tip that instantly helped me lock my hips into place and focus in on my abs: Clench your butt. As you are sliding the weight down your leg, clench your butt muscles. This will keep your hips from sliding out, thereby ensuring it’s your obliques doing the work.

The instant I contracted my butt muscles, I finally felt the exercise in all the right places.

So, them’s my tips for the night.

Tomorrow I tackle Cardio Core before my soccer game, and I’m looking forward to getting a good sweat going before taking the field. Now if we could just get this weather to cooperate….

Check out the usual link if you need more loops, and feel free to email me with any questions. Almost done with Week 2 of Phase 3! Only 20 more workouts to go!

Phase 3, Day 54: Total Body Core (aka Be Your Own Detective)

SPOILER ALERT: This post has next to nothing to do with today’s workout. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. In fact, let’s just get the description out of the way so we can move on to the fun stuff.

Total Body Core in Phase 3 means a workout that flows relatively nicely until you get to the third series when it slows to a crawl. There’s five series, each dedicated to a different muscle group, and three exercises within each series. It’s a mix of weights and loops and sliders. Here’s how it breaks down:

SERIES 1 – Shoulders: Surrender to shoulder press, quad ped crawl, burpee sliders.

SERIES 2 – Back: Bent over Row tap back, squat tabletop row, saw on sliders.

SERIES 3 – Chest: Modified 1/2 Turkish Push-Up, side reach push-up, V crunch to scissor crunch.

SERIES 4 – Biceps: Runner’s lunge curl, static sumo hammer curl, slider crawl outs.

SERIES 5 – Triceps: Tricep push-up w/knee tuck, squat hold kickbacks, weighted windmills.

FAVE EXERCISE: Surrender to shoulder press (don’t ask me why).

LEAST FAVE: Modified 1/2 Turkish push-up (IT’S THE DEVIL).

PRO TIP #62: If you are tall, consider using the larger 12″ loops for the runner’s lunge curl.

Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire exercise wondering if you’re gonna snap the loop in half and take out an eye.

The Turkish push-up move is the worst. Even though it’ll go down to 10 reps next week (down from 2 sets of 15 reps this week), it still takes forever to get through. Any momentum you build from conquering the surrender to chest press is completely obliterated by this move. Just make sure you drink your Energize before the workout and come prepared.

SO, with the “work” stuff out of the way, let’s talk about being your own detective.

If you are on this 80 Day Obsession journey, you have probably become pretty familiar with the celebrity trainer running the workouts, Autumn Calabrese. Autumn talks a lot about her own personal struggles, fitness and otherwise, and one of those struggles was dealing with an undiagnosed food allergy over the past few years. Despite repeated visits to the doctor, no one could figure out what was wrong with her even though Autumn kept insisting something wasn’t right with her body. It finally took a visit to her naturopath/M.D., who ran a barrage of blood tests, to figure out that Autumn is allergic to eggs AND has some sort of mutation where she can’t properly absorb Vitamin D. The end result, as Autumn will tell you in one of her post-80 Day Obsession videos, is that when she was filming the 80 Day Obsession workouts, she was still dealing with the fallout of these health issues. The long-time gut inflammation that resulted from her food allergy was not quite resolved and so she felt that she never got quite as shredded during 80 Day Obsession as she thought she would.

However, the only reason Autumn was able to figure out what was wrong with her is because she was her own advocate; she was her own detective. Even though her doctor would tell her she was healthy, Autumn kept chasing leads: “Yeah, but I don’t feel right, and after I do X I’m more sore than normal.” It took persistence and finding the right doctor to run the right tests to solve the problem. But more importantly, it took Autumn being in touch with her body to know something needed to be solved in the first place.

As you go through this 80 Day Obsession journey, you are going to connect with your body more than any other time in your life. You can’t help it. Between the focused workouts and the concentrated nutrition plan, you will see the cause and effect of exercise and healthy eating. And, as a result, it may shed some light on some undiagnosed health issues; issues that you once took for granted as normal, but when they consistently occur despite eating a clean diet and in the face of regular exercise, tells you that something might be wrong with your body.

That was me. For the amount of work and healthy eating I put into 80 Day Obsession the first time around, I didn’t think my end results were as good as they could be. Even going through this second time, ESPECIALLY going through this second time, I realized that some of the stuff my body experienced on a day-to-day basis was not natural, even though it had been happening for years.

So, I made an appointment with my GP: All blood work came back normal.

I made an appointment with a naturopath: Adrenal cortisol tests came back normal.

I made a second appointment with my naturopathy to test for more food sensitivities.

And BOOM! There it was: I am severely sensitive to EGGS. I’m not allergic, but I have a severe gut reaction in the 2-48 hour span after eating eggs. Which explains why I have been having issues throughout 80 Day Obsession and the last few years because I’M EATING 2 HARD BOILED EGGS EVERY MORNING FOR BREAKFAST AND EGGS ARE IN EVERYTHING.

If not for 80 Day Obsession, I would have never discovered this sensitivity. I would have just continued to think my explosive situation was normal.

But something about 80 Day Obsession inspires you to want to live your best self. And that includes playing detective when it comes to your body and your health. As a result, I now have to figure out a different source of protein for my pre-workout meal. BUT, even better, I now have the PERFECT excuse to not eat my body weight in baked goods: It’ll make me sick! Kinda. Let’s just say I’ll be seeing the effects for the next day. And it’s not pretty. And now I know why!

So, play detective. Because your health is worth it. And if you’re not getting the most out of 80 Day Obsession as you think you should, you might have some underlying issue that’s holding you back.

Any thoughts or questions? Shoot me a message. Or check out the usual link for Beachbody stuff.

Happy sleuthing, gumshoe!

Phase 2, Day 46: Cardio Core (aka The One With All the Sweat)

First, a visual from today’s workout:

Cardio Core
I’m not crying that’s just sweat in my eye

That was the end. Where I was littering drops of sweat in my area of the tennis court and couldn’t get the loops off my legs because my fingers were too slick with moisture to grab on to the rubber. I should look happy, I know. After all, it’s the last round of Cardio Core in Phase 2! Huzzah!

But honestly, this workout kicked my ass. Or maybe I kicked its ass which is why I was sweating so much. Either way, my pores opened like the Grand Coulee dam after a solid quake and it was all I could do to keep the puddles of sweat around me from growing into lakes.

The sweat fell so freely because at a certain point in this Cardio Core, I found myself embracing the hard and challenging to get just ONE MORE rep in before Autumn called time.

On the burpee push-ups, that meant trying to get at least 5 reps in.

On the stupid weird butt-kick-hop thingies, it meant going for at least 12 on each leg.

On the mountain climbers on the floor, I aimed to beat whatever number I got in the last round, which means I started at 44, then went to 45, then ended at 46.

Mission accomplished.

But just because I conquered the goals I set throughout the workout doesn’t mean the damn thing got any easier. Which is strange, I know. Just like checking boxes off your checklist, you’d think that meeting your fitness goals means that the workout gets easier to do.

It doesn’t.

Why is that? Repetition/practice in most things usually means you get better at a task that eventually feels easier. Practice typing and you become a fast typist. Practice reading and you become a speed reader. Practice shooting hoops and it gets easier to make a three-pointer.

But practice working out…there’s no corollary. Because the workout doesn’t get easier; you get stronger. Which means you have to push yourself to a whole new level to chase the burn.

That explains, I suppose, my face in the photo above. I just killed Cardio Core, yet I looked like I wanted to cry. Or throw up. And I think I actually wanted to do a little of both.

Did I feel good about finishing the workout? Absolutely. After I gathered my stuff up for the walk home. But in the immediate aftermath, I thought only about keeping down my pre-workout meal and wondering if the SPF in my moisturizer would leave weird stains on the tennis court concrete. It wasn’t until the sweat eased up and my breathing slowed that I appreciated what I did.

What was cool, though, was that others also noticed what I did, too.

To explain: See the people in the background of this photo?

Triple-looped
Check out the audience in the background.

Those peeps were there to watch two co-workers? Friends? Cousins? (Honestly I couldn’t sort out the connection) battle it out on the tennis court. They came prepared too, with lawn chairs and coolers and hats of various shades. When the co-workers? Friends? Cousins? finished their match, everyone cracked open beer and wine coolers and toasted their…success.

This was right as I was finishing up, which meant I was hurrying to get off the court before anyone noticed the mess of sweat I left. However, as I was walking away, one of the guys in the lawn chair called out, “Hey! You’re working hard there, lady!”

I shrugged and gave a half-smile, “Gotta earn that beer!” I called back.

This led to an offer to partake in one of the cool bevvies they had in the cooler, but I had no interest in sharing alcohol with strangers as my sweat left weird butt stains on my tights, so I politely declined and walked home.

There was a time when I would have been flattered by the offer of the beer. But today, it was the observation of how hard I was working that made me proud.

If you have stuck with 80 Day Obsession this long, this is when others start noticing. They notice the effort you put in at the gym and the clothes that are starting to hang loosely and the increased focus you have in other aspects of life. They notice that you perhaps stand a little straighter or speak a little firmer or give your opinion more definitively.

80 Day Obsession will spill over into everything you do. You can’t help it. The same determination you showcase in eking out one more rep of burpee push-ups in Cardio Core will start to show up at work; at home; at school. That sweat you’re putting in? It’s changing not only your body but your mindset, your life.

You started a workout program. You’re getting a lifestyle makeover. Embrace it and enjoy it and let that sweat fall where it may.

And if you want more inspo or Beachbody goods, check out the usual link. Or email me for the goods.