Author Topic: Fitness inspiration needed  (Read 1659 times)

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Bethalize

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Fitness inspiration needed
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:59:21 AM »
I did really well in my fitness last year. I was very motivated, because I had autonomy, mastery (thanks to some great coaches and trainers) and purpose (get fit!). Now I'm struggling. I need new fitness goals. I have to pick something to work towards, but I am utterly stumped as to what.

Please share your sporting goals and achievements with me to inspire me. I'm hoping you'll share and I'll go "a-ha! I want to do that."

WillyNilly

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 11:09:51 AM »
Well what kind of fitness do you do?  What level are you?

Last year I did a Warrior Dash which is essentially a 5k obstacle course in mud.  it was a super fun.  If 5k is too easy, there are harder similar experiences like the Tough Mudder or Spartan race.These races involve more then just running, its running up and down hills, on uneven slippery terrain, there are swimming obstacles, and climbing obstacles, and balance obstacles, as well as jumping and crawling involved, so if your goal is to complete every obstacle you really need to cross train to be prepared. If you are less into the mud and silly obstacle stuff, a tri-athalon is a classic goal that will require you to cross train.

For me having a goal of a specific race keeps me motivated.  I like the fun, eclectic nature of the mud runs - its a goal, but its got a level of goofy attached to the accomplishment.  Sure I feel proud when I push myself and run a longer race then I'm used to, but when I do a mud run, I not only feel proud, I'm laughing at myself and my friends too. I enjoy the 'team' aspect of the mud runs as well.  The warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder I know both have a spirit of 'no one finishes until the last person finishes', so while sure for the very fastest its a race, but for most competitors its simply a goal to finish, and people will take the time to pause and help each other out (even total strangers) and everyone roots everyone else on.

Bethalize

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 11:18:36 AM »
Well what kind of fitness do you do?  What level are you?

 As it happens, I'm above medium fitness in cardio, strength and flexibility, and I'm reasonable at endurance. I'm still very heavy though so if you make me run I'm down and out much sooner than anyone else. My knees are getting better though, so as I get lighter running becomes more of a possibility.

I'm not looking for a personal solution, although I'm happy to talk about it. I really want some inspiration. Hearing about things that other people have done can get me fired up to try something.

Well what kind of fitness do you do?  What level are yoThe warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder I know both have a spirit of 'no one finishes until the last person finishes', so while sure for the very fastest its a race, but for most competitors its simply a goal to finish, and people will take the time to pause and help each other out (even total strangers) and everyone roots everyone else on.

That sounds awesome. I had no idea such things were out there.

WillyNilly

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 11:36:57 AM »
Well if you want a story of inspiration  :D
As I said last summer I did Warrior Dash. I'm the wrong side of 35 and a US size 14, so not a peak athlete by any means. I was born pigeon toed and bow legged and had to wear corrective shoes and get physical therapy until about the age of 8 just to walk.  Oh and I have a heart murmur. And I come from a family of overweight non-athletes (not even sports fans!)

But I always wanted to run.  When I was younger I was self conscious over being fat and didn't want to take up running or jogging because I thought kids in the neighborhood would make fun of me. I was an avid walker though. At the age of 32 I decided to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer - a marathon the first day, a half marathon the second. I completed my marathon in less then 12 hours. The next day I blew out my knee at 8 miles.

Then I got laid off from work and decided, what the heck I'm going to run.  I started the couch to 5k program and just got out there and tried. And 2 years later I did my first 5k, the Tunnel to Tower in NYC. For there a friend suggested another 5k, which I did a few months later, then 2 months after that I did the Warrior Dash, where I completed 11 of the 12 obstacles.

I never, not at 7, 17 or 27 would have ever in a million years have thought that by age 37 I'd have half a dozen 5k's under the belt, but I do.  When I first started running, half a block would leave me breathless and with shin splints. On SuperBowl Sunday I did a 4 mile race through Central Park (NYC). Sure it took me twice as long to finish as the winner took, but I did it. And I finished with a smile on my face.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 11:39:15 AM by WillyNilly »

MrsJWine

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 12:18:07 PM »
I was going to say, sign up for a few short runs or run/walks. I've heard that's great motivation for improving.

I'm still kind of overweight (within recommended range, but I can *feel* that I'm not at my ideal weight), but when I started running I wasn't. Try Couch to 5k; I had to repeat the first five weeks, I think, and then all of a sudden I was able to run for a long time. I had some shin splint issues, but my sister gave me some pointers on how to run better (short, quick strides, instead of long, lopey ones), and those evaporated. I had some knee issues, but I've been wearing patellar stabilizers and focusing on strengthening the thigh muscles, and those issues are almost gone now, too. My point is that you may be able to safely do more than you think you can.

I've signed up for the Warrior Dash this summer, and it has really motivated me to do my lifting even when I don't feel like it. Next I want to do a triathlon, half marathon, and then hopefully the Tough Mudder next year sometime.


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ilrag

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 12:24:25 PM »
What kind of fitness activities do you enjoy, OP?

afbluebelle

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 12:28:57 PM »
What kind of fitness activities do you enjoy, OP?

That is the perfect question... Mud runs are awesome, but they aren't for everyone. zumba/dance classes can be a lot of fun, and there are really great instructors out there. Our local ones do a lot of community events to fundraise for charities, and it is cool to go shake some tail for a good cause. Pick a goal, but make sure it is something you'll enjoy ;D

But I seriously recommend Tough Mudder. That was stupid fun! Warrior Dash ended with less bruising though  ;D
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Bethalize

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 12:43:06 PM »
What kind of fitness activities do you enjoy, OP?

I personally like BoxFit, escrima (a martial art with sticks), tai chi, the rowing machine, weight lifting, tennis, shooting, golf, netball, swimming, aquarobics. I'm not hard to please for 45 minutes, but the couch to 5k is something I am trying to get out of my comfort zone, not because I enjoy running or walking. I hate Zumba though. The same routines, week in, week out. Yawn! I can't spend as much time in the pool as I used to because it has a very bad effect on my skin (seconday Sjorgen's syndrome). I'm having to get weights to try to make aquarobics effective. I had a heart rate of 120 throughout the last session, I want to be 130-150 for effective exercise.

I really do want to hear what has worked for other people. The point of being inspired is not that someone comes up with the perfect things for me, but that I get to hear other people talking about how great it felt to achieve something.

MrsJWine

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 12:50:45 PM »
Changing things up really helps me. I started running for that reason, and so I'd have something I could do wherever I went (my "thing" is swimming--hard to do without a pool). Hated it at first, but I've started to love it. I run every other day, swim every other day, and sometimes if I don't feel like doing either, I'll get on the bike or arc trainer (those things are awesome for working muscles you don't get to).

Getting together with friends really helps, too. I go over to a friend's house once a week, and we do a video together. I go to water aerobics with another friend once a week.


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afbluebelle

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 12:55:01 PM »
I like long term goals with short term challenges, if that makes sense. I've always done the squadron 5ks, so I decided to do a 10k. Then they had a "lazy man" triathalon competition that I entered, and that was cool. After a while I was getting bored with run times, so I did more hiking and hashing in Korea than I did running. Hashing led to mud runs, and now I'd like to do a couple more Tough Mudder/Spartna type events to see if I can get my time down. They also opened up a Krav Maga studio, so I'd like to give that a whirl as well.

To be honest, I don't do Zumba classes, so everything is always new to me... I just like the large events  ::)
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RegionMom

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 01:00:08 PM »
I can 2nd and 3rd the mud runs, but I did a Foam Fest 5k, which involved a lot of mud!  My 15 yr old DD did it with me and she kept me going, even when all i could do was walk, she stayed with me.
I also did a karaoke 5k where the runners received hand held plastic microphones and the music truck paced us, with speakers carried in jogging strollers.
so, the "fun" runs are worth the effort.

I have a friend that told me her insomnia was keeping her up so she went out walking any time of the night, usually around 4am.  well, I offered to go with her if it was a bit later, and we have been doing that for a few weeks now.  Cold, not fast, but it is energizing, and it is pretty cool to say at school at 8am that you have already exercised!

also, I have a few pieces of pre-kid clothing that I cannot let go of, and with the weight loss I have been doing, they actually are a possibility in a few, well, many months.

Just this week I went for a bra fitting at a fancy department store.  Two bras I bought were "only" $40, and there is a definite lift that I needed!

Lastly, for now,may have more later, I have kept one dress and one pair of jeans that are big big big on my now, like, fall off, just like the ads, but I keep them so I can see how far i have come.  Like, almost 80 lbs, with more to go.  I considered joining Biggest Loser, but did not want to be away from my family that long. 

I have lost over an inch...in my neck!!  And lots more overall.  I have been buying better shoes, and paying more attention to my nails and shaving my legs--if I look and feel good, it is easier to not sink into food when emotions hit.

So, thanks for starting this thread.  I have yet to make it to a gym, but I know i need to add the weight training.  I am getting flabby arms and I need to tone!!


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GratefulMaria

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 01:42:34 PM »
I'm 50 this spring and about twenty pounds more than where I want to be.  I also have knee issues and finally went to physical therapy near the end of last year.  My goals are to continue a slow climb back to feeling able to move around energetically, and especially to squat without pain.  My attic is waiting to be cleaned out!

The biggest recent difference I've felt has been in my frame of mind.  I used to get through my workouts by letting my mind drift to other things to pass the time.  That just, for me, made them feel longer.  When I finally focused on how my body was feeling, what it was getting out of the work, it felt more real and went by more quickly.

The attic is still a mess, though I'm more hopeful now.   :)

Where's the Quiet?

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 01:47:48 PM »
I decided last fall to get my butt in gear and get rid of the rest of the baby/stress/whatever weight. A friend introduced me to CrossFit and it has been awesome! You can jump in at any time and the workouts are challenging, no matter your fitness level. The goal is to do them as quickly as possible. So some WODs (workout of the day) are less than five minutes, while others can be much longer (the longest I've done is 1 hour 37 minutes). Yesterday it was brutal! While I would have been able to complete it when I first started, it wouldn't have been as fast. We had to do a total of 300 walking lunges, 150 squats and run 3000 meters (that was the easiest part lol). Since I've started doing CrossFit (and training for a 10 mile race) back in October, I've lost nearly 30 pounds, have gone from being able to do 5 push ups at once to 20, can see muscle definition beneath the fat (I still have another 20-25 pounds to go) and my resting heart rate has dropped by 8-10 points. It's been a lot of fun and the workouts are different every day, staving off boredom. www.crossfitmamas.com is the site I use if you want to check it out. They repeat workouts every 6 months to a year so you can compare your progress when they come up again.

The other thing that has helped with my motivation is committing to running races with family and friends. I'm doing the Foam Fest with two of my kids this year and have other races planned. I want to be prepared this year, unlike last year!

Good luck in regaining your passion for fitness!

lilfox

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 03:20:00 PM »
I'm closing in on 40 and I need to maintain a pretty regular exercise schedule in order to stay in shape.  The good thing is, I've been doing it for several years and now I find if I slack off for more than a week or two, my conscience gets to me and I find inspiration in that.

The big motivator I had to really get in shape in the first place was to agree to do a sprint triathlon - 0.4 mi (750 m) swim, 3 mi (5 km) run, 12.5 mi (20 km) bike.  At the start I couldn't jog a quarter mile without having to walk, could barely swim two laps without stopping for a rest break, and hadn't been on a bike in probably 10 years.  Perfect, right?  I didn't do an official couch-to-5k program but the strategy was the same, incrementally lengthening the sections I jogged vs. walked.  I love swimming so getting a chance to do more of it was great.  Biking I could take or leave, and that was my weakest segment because I wasn't as motivated to improve.  But, 4 months later I did it.

Now I sign up for 5k runs a couple times a year and use that as my motivation to at least keep up the ability to run 5k.

I've found a quickie workout that is kind of fun - the Deck of Cards workout (I think that was on Biggest Loser?).  Take a standard deck, assign a different calisthenic to each suit, and do as many reps as the value of the card.  Running through all of the cards back to back, it takes around 15 minutes and you can watch TV at the same time.  Bonus points if you use a pinochle deck!  If any of the exercises you chose were too easy, switch it up next time.  I've used push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups or leg lifts, and squats.  Other options include burpees or mountain climbers, calf raises, lunges, and added weights for bicep curls or tricep lifts.

TurtleDove

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Re: Fitness inspiration needed
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 03:33:39 PM »
Great thread!  OP, it sounds like you are fit already and mostly need motivation to stay interested and excited.  This is where I am!  I have always made fitness an important part of my life, but since I turn 40 this year I wanted to really push myself.  Rather than sign up for yet another marathon, I started doing mud runs and obstacle races.  Then I decided to choose some challenging yoga poses I wanted to work toward - I have made significant progress toward my ultimate goal of Scorpion by 2014, and I am not a flexible person at all - I simply set the goal and work toward it every day, and have set other easier poses as goals to keep me motivated.  I follow a group of other yogis on instragram and we motivate each other by posting our progress and tips for various poses.  As another poster posted, I also recommend CrossFit based on what you say you enjoy.  I am considered intermediate in some areas and advanced in other areas after two months, and I work out alongside elite athletes as well as people who are just working out for the first time (not always in the same workout, but my point is that you don't have to be superfit or supernovice for CrossFit to work for you). The workouts can be scaled so everyone gets a good workout and it is an awesome way to stay motivated because you set goals and see results generally every workout in some way or another. If it helps, I am excited for you and this thread motivates me!