This blog post has been brewing in my mind since we started our second round of Insanity last week… it’s hard to put into words, without sounding overly preachy or corny, but it amazes me how the human body can be pushed to change. But even more importantly, how the human mind has to be along for the ride.
We began our first round of Insanity 30–35lbs heavier than we are today, it was less than a year ago. I don’t even remember how I heard about it, but of course I convinced Lisa we were going to try something new and to just trust me. We definitely didn’t love it, but we did our best to stick with it. Being heavier than we are now it was harder on our knees, we often felt like we were going to take the house down with each plyometric jump and our kitten Amber found the workout to be her most favorite part of the day and always seemed to make it out from under one of just as were about to land from a sub par “power jump” or other such attempt, avoiding her tail being crushed by mere inches. We kept trying though and we certainly saw results. I can’t say we gave it 110%, but we gave it a good shot.
I think the best thing I can say from our first round of Insanity is that it prepared us for other tough workouts, like Kettlebell Kickboxing, and it proved that we were capable of one of the “hardest” workouts around.
After Insanity we dabbled in and out of a few different workouts, but since our hardcore bout with Spinning and then Insanity, nothing quite took hold of us until we began training for our first 5K. With hectic schedules the only thing we found time to do was run, but to be honest, simply running is not enough. Over time I found my body began to decondition from the strength it had found through the tough Insanity workouts that we had become accustomed to and this frustrated me to no end. The occasional Kettlebell workout would prove that we still had a bit of our “stuff”, but I knew it was going to be hard to work back up to the level we had gotten to with Spinning religiously and then conquering Insanity. I mean, I could now do a legit push up, not a girly knees push up! I obviously had made progress and I wanted to continue to grow stronger.
Running day after day proved hard on the knees for both of us, but we pushed through and finished our first 5K on December 1. It was quite an accomplishment, but I basically couldn’t walk for a few days after. At that point I knew I needed to get back into serious shape, which seemed weird since I had just run my first race. Throughout my experience I have become a firm believer in the importance of cross training, strength training and keeping your workouts exciting, challenging & changing them up.
I found a good doctor and got the knee checked over the holidays and found out what I already assumed. I was suffering from IT Band Syndrome and Runners Knee and needed to change up my daily workouts and strength train more. I didn’t need a doctor, an MRI and a hundred bucks worth of co-pays to tell me that, but better safe than sorry. It was important to make sure that I didn’t injure myself when I was much heavier and began working out. Though, I was even smart then and stuck to low impact workouts like biking and the elliptical, I guess I have always had a knack for fitness and doing what’s smart and right for your body. Not sure what took me so long to come around, but I guess we all find our calling at different times in life.
Now that I was cleared from the doctor I decided it was time to jump back into something like Insanity. We already owned it, so why not get it going again. We have a “Cross Fit” Groupon that we need to try as well and I am interested in trying some other fun BeachBody workouts like “Turbo Fire”, but it was time to stop waiting and start doing!
Last week, we started off strong. The fit test was hard, but fun. We did even better than last time, but it was still a challenge. By Day 2 I was not feeling it. With all the preaching I do you’d think I was Little Miss Pep during each and every workout, but full disclosure, I am sickeningly human and I was NOT a happy camper during my first day back to “Plyometric Cardio Circuit”. I was hating every minute and I was mad! Lisa wasn’t feeling great that day, so I was solo, she decided to cook a tomato soup while I worked out and I decided I hated everything about that tomato soup! It was the most torturous workout I think I ever put myself through and it so did not have to be that way, but it happens! At that point the idea for this blog started to form. I wanted to share my experience and my feelings overcoming the challenge of that first tough workout. I was being so hard on myself, I had to keep trying to remind myself that it was still week 1, day 2, but no matter what I was just mad that it was so hard. It really clicked for me, all of the times I have read, heard, and even said, “it’s all mental”! That’s not a joke, that’s not just something that people say, it’s truth! If you can overcome your own voice in your head you can seriously overcome anything.
After that angry experience we took a day off, we had dentist appointments, Lisa still wasn’t feeling great and I think I needed a break after my unsuccessful experience the night before. One of the hardest things about Insanity is that it is 6 days per week, I believe we shouldn’t over train, but there are opportunities to stretch and recover and if you follow the eating plan and keep yourself fueled it shouldn’t be a problem, but it can be a challenge.
We returned the next night to “Cardio Power & Resistance” and I swear I felt like a different girl. I think one of the biggest things I realized is how much more fun a hard workout is with a partner. If you have a close friend, family member, spouse, partner, roommate, whoever it is, I seriously recommend you try to get them on board with you! Especially if you are struggling on your own. There is NO way that I would have been able to lose 150lbs without Lisa by my side. Even though we joke that she kicked and screamed through *some* (read, all) of it, even though I may have dragged her from the gym, to random class, to the track, to health food store and showed her umpteen health & fitness links during her work day, there is absolutely no way I could have done a second of it without her support and her pushing me. Some nights it would be a healthy competition at the gym, other nights we would annoy each other, push each other, no matter what… and some nights I was happy to have my peace when she decided to take a break and I continued to be a crazy person, but at the end of the day I need that push from someone who is going through it with me! I think a little bit of my enthusiasm finally rubbed off on her and there were nights I needed her energy to push me harder and we were lucky to have each other through those challenges!
I think about one of our favorite classes, Kettlebell Kickboxing, that class is so hard, half the time I think I’m going to throw up, but it’s the best experience ever. Why? Because you are in a room full of women (and in some cases men too) who are of varying levels of fitness, but who are all going through it with you! There is an instructor rooting you on and you’re not the only one who looks & feels like you want to die. There is something to be said for that comradery, I think it’s really important and that’s something I want to play upon when it comes to my business as a trainer.
We hit “Cardio Power & Resistance” hard together that next night and it felt so amazing to conquer our workout as a team. We pushed each other, we grunted, we cheered, we panted, but we finished and we finished strong. Never had we EVER done such an amazing round of power jumps, our moving push ups were pretty impressive and we counted down our floor sprints “Kettlebell” warm up style. It was fun, it was invigorating, it was challenging and it was a success. It made me feel so good to know that I still had it in me and I could push myself even further than ever before.
Saturday we began the Insanity “Elite Nutrition” Plan to go along with our workouts and I feel even more of a difference. Eating every 3 hours seriously pumps up the energy and I felt less drained throughout the workout. I know for a fact that we were not eating enough calories during our last round of Insanity and I am excited to see the difference that it will make for this round.
The point is, it doesn’t matter what type of person you are. We can all do it. We all have hard days, good days, easy days, bad days, it’s never going to be perfect. But we can’t beat ourselves up and give up. As long as you try to shake it off and pick back up where you left off, you can count it as a lesson learned. It may even be a lesson you have to learn again and again, but it’s one that is worth learning. We have found that our brains have taken quite a bit of time catching up to our bodies. It sounds terrible, but in my mind I still feel 300lbs sometimes, I have to remind myself that I am “average” sized now and sometimes I still don’t believe it. If we practice some positive mental work and we train our minds as hard as we would like to train our bodies, I think we will all find anything that we attempt to be just a little bit easier. You don’t have to be a pro, you just have to try to give it your best, at the end of the day that’s all that matters!
I hope that sharing our experiences, our challenges, our successes & our story can only help those who need it. Whether you want to lose 5lbs or 50lbs, whether you want to feel better, or get more toned… we are here to help! We will continue to share what has worked for us and we look forward to being able to take on clients once we complete our certifications. For now, stay tuned for upcoming “Fit Clubs” and feel free to message us if you have any questions about any of the tools that have aided in our success!