Sunday Challenge

Monday is heading straight for us, ya’ll. 

By the time I get in bed on Sunday night, I tend to have a fairly calm feeling of “oh boy… here we go again”. Probably a much too negative attitude about the upcoming week, but I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.

I usually run through the list of my weekend To-Do’s, feeling proud of what I accomplished and planning when I will finish what I didn’t get around to. (My vacuum is waiting just outside my bedroom door quite patiently, and my dryer just buzzed at me – quite impatiently.)

Half of my apartment got vacuumed; half my laundry got washed and folded. But, my meals are prepped. I made it to the gym today, though I really didn’t feel like going. The kitchen got cleaned. I had dinner with a sweet friend last night, although declined dinner with two other sweet friends tonight in the name of “adulting” (a term I hate, by the way).

The To-Do list lives on to face the work week – but I’m ok with that. I feel rested, and accomplished for what I did do. Not a bad way to start a fresh week in my opinion.

Tonight as I climbed into bed (yes, with my tea for my friends reading this), listened to the rain, and scrolled through Pinterest, I saw this:

bad day

Even after scrolling past it, I kept thinking about it. Specifically, how hard it is to do. Specifically, how important it is to do.

One of the conversations I had with that sweet friend at dinner last night was about how hard it is – but how important it is – to be able to humble yourself for a bigger purpose. Fights with your significant other, disagreements with boss, fussing children. It takes a whole bunch of self control to step back and stay calm, instead of lashing out when you’ve already had a bad day. Or even worse, when you know you’re right. Being able to do so, she and I agreed, makes that situation better 100% of the time.

This week at work we’ll start one of our biggest events of the year. It’s some of the most challenging and rewarding times – some of the highest highs, and almost always some very low lows.

With Monday heading straight for us, with that conversation still ringing in my head, with this inspirational quote staring at me from my computer screen, I decided to make it my challenge for the week.

I challenge myself to treat the world better than it will treat me. 

There are sure to be some challenging days ahead. BUT there are sure to be some amazing days ahead, as well.

By challenging myself to this, I’m agreeing to be bigger than whatever is making my day really bad.

I’m also agreeing to create an environment better than whatever is making my day amazing.

Honestly, I don’t know what is going to be more challenging! …Honestly, I actually find that pretty exciting.

Whenever it is that you’re reading this – I want to challenge you to create a challenge for yourself. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be.

Maybe it’s completing the WOW from last Wednesday. Or finally getting around to doing meal prep. Perhaps it’s taking the dog for a little bit of a longer walk than normal.

Challenge yourself to actually finish your to-do list.

Maybe your challenge is taking something OFF that list.

Complete that school assignment ahead of schedule.

Don’t have dessert with dinner. OR! Let yourself have dessert with dinner!

Maybe it’s the same as me – treat the world better.

 

Just find something. Something that is going to test you, that’s going to push you. Be intentional about it. But for the next seven days, focus on it.

Allow yourself room to fall short, but allow yourself the grace to keep going. 

 

Let me know what your challenge is for this week! And let me know how it’s going! Whatever it is, you have at least one person in your corner cheering you on.

 

WOW Wednesdays!

Workout

Of the

Week

Wednesdays

Wednesdays are now officially your WOW Wednesdays! (Thanks to Boyfriend for that idea! And thanks to Boyfriend for the original workout that I adapted into this one!)

Each Wednesday I’ll post a new workout that I’ve done that week, and challenge you to try it! There will be descriptions for each exercise, and videos if I can find them.

I’ve done this workout twice so far- once last week, and again yesterday. Last week I used a 20 pound kettlebell and a 40 pound bar. I also had the Upright Rows at the set of 8 – but that was too much for me at 40 pounds. I modified it as I went last week, and stuck to that modification when I did it again this week. That workout is listed below, with the weights I used in parenthesis. You can click on each exercise for a demonstration of how to perform them.

14 Calorie Row (level 6)

12 Single Arm Kettlebell Swings (25#)

10 Medicine Ball Slams (20#)

Barbell Sumo Squats (40#)

Barbell Overhead Press (40#)

Barbell Upright Row (40#)

Complete two rounds, maximum effort, only resting during transition from one exercise to the next. Rest for two to five minutes, and repeat. Complete for time.

Don’t skip your warm up or cool down! At least five minutes. I typically do an incline walk on the treadmill, a slow row, or jump rope.  

 

Last week I completed the first two rounds in 8:15, and the second in 7:46.

I aimed to beat my time this week, but wasn’t sure if I would or not. Yesterday I was feeling pretty sluggish and didn’t have much energy. BUT – I knew it would be a fast workout, and the harder I pushed, the quicker I would be done!

My first two rounds I finished in 7:43. Faster, but just barely! (Just barely is good enough in my book.) I took two minutes to rest, and at that point thought best case scenario would have me maintaining the same pace. But again – I knew the harder I pushed the better I would feel.

The second two rounds I finished in….

7:23.

What?!

It’s not the most intense workout I’ve done. But seeing that time drop so substantially made me feel so great.

Hard work does pay off! Don’t let your mind trick your body otherwise.

 

Notes:

This workout does require a good bit of equipment. Some movements are adaptable for little to no equipment with a bit of ingenuity. If you need suggestions for modifications, leave me a comment! 

Medicine Ball Slams do not have to be performed by bringing the ball behind your head like the link shows. Doing so would be a great way to incorporate a bit more triceps, though. When I do them I lift the ball straight up, and slam it straight down. I aim for the ball to land between my toes – at the top of my feet, but not too far out in front. I catch the ball on the bounce, and immediately lift it back up and begin again.

For the barbell sequence, you can perform each exercise without putting the bar down. For the sumo squats, keep the bar across your back. Transitioning to the overhead press, lift the bar overhead and begin the press from about collar bone level. I did as many strict presses as I could – relying on just my arms and shoulders to lift. As I got a little more tired I allowed myself a small jump-up as I lifted.

The barbell upright rows were the hardest for me. I used the same 40 pound bar for all of these, and lifting that much here was a challenge (…which is why I only did four of them).

 

 

Today two of my coworkers and I completed CrossFit Open’s 18.2 workout. We did 18.1 last week – it was a killer, but it was so much fun!

18.2?

Ya’ll.

My legs are still a little shaky. (We skipped 18.2A, in case anyone is keeping track – we all agreed that it was a little too challenging for us.) I had a lofty goal of finishing around six minutes. When the first coworker finished just under eight minutes this morning, I knew six would be out of my reach when I did it this afternoon. And it was – I finished last out of us three, at 11:05.

But I know I pushed myself as hard as I could, and that’s what I care about. 

I’m not a CrossFit-er by any means. I’ve never gone to a CrossFit gym and I’m about 50/50 on what I like and dislike about it.

But I can say that the family CrossFit builds is pretty cool.

Having an opportunity for my coworkers and I to come together to do such hard workouts and cheer each other on is awesome team building. Plus, being asked what we’re doing gets to start conversations with other coworkers that we might otherwise miss out on.

It’s also a common interest with Boyfriend. Being able to talk to each other about our workouts, and challenge, encourage, and inspire each other to try something new and difficult helps our long distance seem a little less distant.

The videos of people all shapes and sizes, disabilities, ages, etc… pushing themselves to compete and complete these workouts is incredible. If you are needing some motivation to go workout, check out this video.

 

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These workouts are challenging, that’s certain. But it’s not impossible.

 

Challenge yourself! Make modifications if you need to. Just get it done!

Carving out a few minutes of your day to take care of yourself makes all the other stressful parts of life just a little bit more manageable – for me at least. And hopefully, for you too.

HAPPY EXERCISING! 

Of course, always talk to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen. If you know your body shouldn’t do something, listen to it. Push yourself, but only as far as you know is safe.