Everyday Super Heroes
So over the past few weeks, I’ve been searching for super hero t-shirts.
I wanted to get ones for Jodie and I to wear during her first 10k race. A Wonder Woman shirt just felt appropriate because Jodie IS a wonder woman!
But honestly, it was near impossible to find super hero t-shirts for women, let alone t-shirts with female super heroes on them!
The only few I could really find that weren’t impossible to get were just a tad bit too ridiculous for me.
So in the end I settled on a couple of men’s t-shirts with The Flash logo on them (which I did feel was appropriate for our race!).
But I was still surprised and disappointed that there wasn’t more female super hero apparel easily available for women (let alone more female super heroes show by mainstream media!). There were Barbie t-shirts and “Girl Power” t-shirts…but no SUPER HEROES.
I know this is a random thing to complain about, but it really bothered me.
Why aren’t our girls encouraged to be super strong. Super Fast. Super POWERFUL!?!
And then I realized WHY I had become obsessed with finding a super hero shirt for Jodie…
Because I wanted to express to her that I thought that all of her hard work, strength and determination made her a “SUPER HERO!”
For the last month, if even that long, we’d been training for a 10k race.
Before this past month, we hadn’t really done any running. Lots of weight training…a few sprints, but no real running of any length.
She was nervous to commit to a 10k knowing that we had only a few weeks to train. The last time she’d run that far, she’d spent months working up to it and training hard. And here I was telling her that she was going to go from never really running to running 6.2 miles straight.
I told her that she would be fine, but, while she trusted me, there was definitely doubt in her eyes.
But despite her doubt, she threw herself whole-heartedly into the training.
She focused on eating clean and sticking to her eating program even during stressful days. She stepped up her weekly workouts and pushed herself harder and further than she had before.
She made time for a healthy lifestyle even when there wasn’t time to spare between work and taking care of her beautiful two-year-old daughter.
Jodie committed to the 10k and didn’t let anything deter her from success.
And today all of her hard work paid off.
While there were no big awards…No huge paychecks….No huge public praise…Jodie did run her first official 10k race with a personal best average mile time.
But what is more important than the fact that she ran a fast mile time is what she proved to herself.
I think that during all of the training, Jodie began to believe more and more in herself. Her confidence climbed.
And today…she just gained concrete proof of how incredibly strong she truly is.
Today Jodie proved something to herself. Today Jodie became her daughter’s personal super hero (whether or not Jodie or her daughter know it).
While Jodie’s daughter won’t remember this race, she will witness other of her mother’s super hero feats. She will witness her mother’s strength, determination and perseverance throughout her life as she grows up.
And these feats of strength that she’ll witness, will lead her to become a super hero herself.
There may not be many female super heroes out there in the mainstream media or on girls’ and women’s t-shirts, but there are plenty of female super heroes that live among us every day…
They are fighting every day to become stronger, healthier, and more confident individuals. They are pushing themselves to accomplish things that they didn’t previous believe possible.
They face fears and risk disappointment and failure…
These everyday super heroes don’t have any super powers and most don’t even have a super hero suit (unless their friend does happen to buy them a The Flash t-shirt….)
And, unfortunately, everyday super heroes don’t always get “the bad guy.”
But the crazy part is…despite all the risks, fears and failures…despite all the setbacks and disappointments, these everyday super heroes never give up!
And honestly, the fact that these female super heroes accomplish such great feats without any super powers makes them even more awesome!
Jodie…You are an amazing and strong woman! You are an inspiration to all of us and more importantly, you are an inspiration to a future generation of women!
Mind over Matter
So today I went for a run since I’m actually committed to doing a half marathon this spring…ICK.
Ryan and I have occasionally done the 4 mile run on the beach boardwalk by our house. And honestly, I never have any trouble with the run even if I haven’t been doing any running of any kind.
We even just did it the other week and I cruised along while talking to him. It was fine…not fun…but fine.
BUT while I can even easily survive running 6 miles alongside Ryan, I never really run over 1 mile by myself.
Unlike any other time that I train, I can’t quiet my thoughts when I run for anything over a mile.
I can completely focus and push myself to my limits when I do circuits or weight training or even sprinting, but when I run for longer distances, all I seem to do are focus on any and all little annoyances.
Oh my shin feels a bit tight. Oh my sock is rubbing a little. Oh the headphones aren’t staying in exactly the right spot.
Seriously, I think I focus on every little thing hoping I can just convince myself to stop running.
And the crazy part is, occasionally I will actually get myself to stop.
I’m not actually in pain. I’m not even actually tired.
Usually I’m actually jogging slower than I need to be, but I convince myself that I’m worn out and need to stop because I continue to focus in harder and harder on the little annoyance.
It’s crazy. I can push myself till I’m bleeding or near passing out when doing my circuit, weight training, sprinting workouts, but when I’m running…If I feel my pant leg or shorts leg even rubbing (even if it doesn’t hurt at all), I will use it as an excuse to stop.
For me running for over a mile by myself is a the BIGGEST mental challenge. I need someone there to distract me from my mental whining.
Rarely is my body actually tired when I run. Rarely do I actually get a cramp or stitch. Rarely should I actually ever need to stop. But more often than not, I will cop out when it comes to running.
I will find any excuse to stop. Seriously…any excuse.
My body is fine…my mind is the weak link.
So today I knew I had to suck it up and go for a 5 mile jog by myself. I began all of my mental whining about say…5 seconds in.
Oh the front of my shin is a little tight. Oh my headphones don’t seem to be staying in that well. Oh I think I may be starting a stitch in my side.
But I kept jogging. On my way down the boardwalk, as my the annoyances kept being repeated over and over in my head, I began to psych myself out.
Crap…maybe I should only do the 4 mile run Ryan and I have done. That would be good enough right?
That is when it hit me…
When have I EVER settled for good ENOUGH!?!
So I kept running past our usual turn around spot and headed for the 5 mile half way point.
As I ran back, the negative thoughts began to creep back in. What if I just stop here? Ugh…I’m getting a crap in my side. Why are my headphones not staying perfectly in my ears?
Then I started counting the streets. As they seemed to drag on, I started getting more and more down.
I literally shook my head at myself. What the heck was I doing!?!
My mind was being weak!
I dragged my eyes off the street signs and said to myself, “I WILL do this.”
I then reminded myself that the faster I run, the sooner I will be done.
So I picked up the pace. As I could see myself getting closer and closer to home…as I could see the Newport Pier coming around the corner, I began to sprint.
Just two more streets…
I’m pretty sure the people walking by my house thought I was crazy as I came charging around the corner, but I didn’t care.
I WAS DONE!
I’d made it.
I’d not let my mind give in.
It really is mind over matter. If your mind tells you that you are tired or hurting or uncomfortable, you will stop EVEN if your body really doesn’t need to. If your mind tells you that you CAN do something, you will do it even if you have to overcome stupid annoyances!
So don’t let your mind hold you back!
Some random fun to celebrate Friday….just because!
Two things I found this week while shopping that I absolutely LOVE:
1. Macadamia nut butter
2. Coconut Chips from Trader Joes
Also, I went rock climbing with the team last week and LOVED IT!
What better way to see all of your training pay off than to feel physically fit enough to take on any challenge!?!
AND Ryan got a trigger point “Grid” for his birthday…which I’ve stolen to use like every day!
And finally…wish me luck.
I’ve started a new training program which I’m pretty sure will end up upping my deadlift AND help me accomplish a few feats on the VersaClimber and battling ropes. The program was designed by one of the owners of Innovative Results and I’m interested to see the results!
Have I mentioned before that I love self-experimentation!?!
Right now, I’m just working my butt off…and I haven’t been so sore consistently in a while. Although I do feel better after my 7 mile run yesterday. (Uhm yep…I ran 7 miles…who would have thunk it…BLEH…haha)
Anyway, stay tuned for some unconventional tips to help you up your deadlift!!!
HAPPY FRIDAY! Get some delicious healthy snacks, go play and then foam roll for a little recovery! 🙂
Workouts – What should we really be doing?
So last night when I was talking about workouts with a friend I realized how deeply it is ingrained in us that not only are certain exercises the key to weight loss success but so is a certain duration of activity.
She assumed I ran a lot and worked out for long periods of time because I’m “thin” and “in shape.”
Most women assume the same thing. They believe that running and long workouts are the key to weight loss success.
But they are wrong.
For one, I rarely ever run and when I do it usually is sprints or really light jogging if I’m going any distance over a mile.
And two, I don’t think any of my workouts have been anywhere near an hour for months now. Shoot, at least a few times a week my workouts aren’t even longer than 15 minutes!
Running and cardio in general is a key piece of the weight loss puzzle, but it isn’t the only piece. Strength training, and diet, are also very important.
If you don’t do strength training, you won’t add muscle.
Why do you want to add muscle when your goal is weight loss?
Because by adding muscle you burn more fat. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories allowing you to lose weight more easily and keep the weight off!
If you only do chronic cardio, when you take time off and eat normally, you will find the weight goes right back on. Also, you will find that your body will get used to the chronic cardio that you are doing and that you will constantly need to be upping the amount of time you spend running to get the same calorie burn!
BUT if you’ve added muscle, you will find that you won’t gain the weight back near as easily because you’ve raised your metabolic rate by adding muscle which needs more calories to be maintained!
Also, strength training will help prevent injuries that may develop from repetitive motions, such as running, that would hinder your progress or keep you from working out!
So while cardio is important, STRENGTH TRAINING, is actually more key to maintaining a healthy “in shape” weight!
Now to workout length….
Workout intensity is what really matters when you are trying to figure out how long your workout should be.
When I go for a hike or a walk, my workout will be longer. BUT if I workout super intensely, there is no need for my workout to pretty much ever go over 45 minutes.
So it isn’t that long workouts can’t be good, but if you are working out super intensely for an hour, you are probably going to either burn out or start feeling the effects of overtraining, which will actually hinder your progress toward your goal (be your goal weight loss or added strength or merely feeling fitter!).
So I guess to sum up what I’m saying is there is no one form of exercise or a certain length of time you have to spend working out to reach your fitness goals!
Variety is key!
(HMMMMM….Variety is key….That sounds familiar….I was going to link to another post here but there are too many preaching this on this site to pick just one! :-))
The Boston Marathon
I would say “To run a marathon” is on most people’s fitness bucket lists.
Can I just say, “I don’t get it?”
I just don’t have the running gene.
I love sprinting. I even enjoy jogging a couple of miles with Ryan when it is super warm outside.
But run more than five miles?!?
I think I would die of boredom before I hit 10….or stop and get ice cream.
But I’m definitely the minority.
So many people raise money just so they can run the Boston Marathon. While they are raising money for a great cause, most of them do it because they want to RUN. To them, running a marathon is a major feat of fitness.
But is it a major feat of fitness or just a major feat of stupidity when the average person runs one?
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t believe how freaking fast the top marathoners are. I honestly think they run faster than I even sprint. But they aren’t just recreational runners crossing something off their bucket lists.
Seriously, while it is “impressive,” is it stupid for the average person to run a marathon? I mean marathons are really stressful for your heart not to mention your body in general! Check out this post called ” Run for your lives.” (I think the title is super funny by the way!)
So can someone just explain to me why this would ever be on your bucket list? Why do so many people think that running a marathon is “badass” and a huge feat of fitness?
I just don’t get it.
Love the Support
So yesterday I stumbled upon two different articles that support the Man Bicep beliefs.
This first article basically states that eating like a Caveman is good for you! THANK YOU!!! The diet can help you lose weight and improve your health – it can lower your blood pressure AND your cholesterol. Seems like carbs may be a bigger problem when it comes to high cholesterol than fat is!!
Of course, this article does recommend lean meats, which you may think is contrary to what I’ve said in the past, BUT I support eating “fatty” naturally raised meats such as grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef, even the fatty cuts, is leaner than it’s grain-fed counterparts. So yea…eat “lean” aka grass-fed, naturally raised animals! 🙂
Second article that I LOVED is about NOT RUNNING! This is a post about weight training and dieting to lose weight/fat NOT running. I totally agree that cardio isn’t the best tool for weight loss and that there are actually a lot of negatives to chronic cardio.
So if you want to look super hot, stop the chronic cardio and start weight training! 🙂
Chalk up two more points for Man Bicep and 0 for Conventional Wisdom!
Jillian Michaels – I hate running too
So I found out last week that Jillian Michaels hates running and I 100% agree with that sentiment. I run as little as possible and if I have to run, I prefer to do sprints. I just get too freaking bored running long distances.
BUT running is good for you. So I force myself to do it. I usually force myself to run by including it in a workout – like in crossfit workouts like the Murph (1 mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, 1 mile) or the Small (3 rounds of 1,000m rowing, 50 burpees, 50 box jumps and 800m running). But sometimes I do manage to just do a cardio day like yesterday.
Yesterday I actually did what are probably my two least favorite things – running and rowing. I’ve already mentioned I hate running, but rowing is also up there among the things I hate most. BUT unlike running, I force myself to row at least a few times a week. Boredom isn’t a factor when I row – surviving is. Rowing is probably one of the hardest activities for me, which is why I force myself to do it. I’m determined to get better at it.
Anyway, yesterday I did a workout that included both running and rowing and was purely cardio aside from the tough ab circuit before. I’ve included both the abs and the cardio workout below. Even Man Bicepers need to do cardio even if we do like lifting weights more! 🙂
Abs: (Repeat circuit 3 times)
15 Knees to Elbows (Hanging from a pull up bar bring your knees up to your elbows.)
10 each side Cable Cross Rotation with Press (Put the cable as low as it can go. Using the rope attachment pull from low on your right , pull across your body and up toward your shoulder rotating your body so that you can press the cable up and out on the left side.)
15 TRX Knees to Chest (Holding a push up position with your feet in the TRX band, bring your knees in toward you chest without raising your butt up.)
10 each side Russian Twists (Use weight!)
Walk 2 minutes
Run 7 minutes
On the third round:
Walk 2 minutes
Run 7 minutes