Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jesus Freak

Hey hey hey! Just got back from Zumba and as you may expect, I have a few things to say:

First, there were so many people (around 20) there and this gave me quite a few mixed feelings. For one, I'm a bit introverted and I'm all about small class sizes. Then again, it's great that so many people are wanting to workout. But then again, I experienced a little bit of egocentrism (specifically imaginary audience) and think everyone is staring at and judging me (I was smack dab in the middle of the room today). Then again, if everyone is staring at and watching me then they know I've been here before and are looking at me for guidance (I am so full of myself, apparently). And then... I just decided to not think about it because I was focusing more on everything but working out.

Second, that song that i couldn't remember but I could remember the actual workout (click here for that blog entry) well, it was coupled with a different song today. I was so stoked that it was a song that not only did I recognize but it was the first one I knew the lyrics to. As you may have guessed from the title, the song was Jesus Freak by DC Talk (1995). I'm not sure if it's because I've done this workout a few times before now or because I was paying more attention to singing the song in my head but it seemed so much easier this time.

Third, I recognized another song! That song from Beetlejuice, Jump in Line (Shake, Shake Senora). There are parts of the workout to this song that I remember but it'll probably take another time of doing it before I can post it. I know that it works a lot on legs and jumping and arms and then the occasional posing like you're the star of the room. Yup, that made a lot of sense, I know.

Fourth and lastly, I have tips!!

The song doesn't really matter so long as it's up beat and you can rock out to it
 The workout doesn't have to be over when the class is over, jog or ride your bike home 
(if the weather continues to be nice, I think I'm going to start riding my bike there and back)

Get a partner! Whether it's just somebody you go to class with or maybe a spouse or just someone off the street, even if you don't make an agreement, they become an accountability partner  
(for me it's kind of this blog because I've convinced myself that people actually read it)
I've probably said this before but it's so important. Just drink water all day: If you're feeling a bit hungry - drink a bunch of water and then eat 30ish minutes later, can't focus on what you're doing - take a walk to the drinking fountain and back, working out - drink an entire water bottle at least! Just hydrate (with water, preferably)!

Yup, those were my thoughts for the day. I don't have any real plans to workout (physically) for the remainder of the day, though I still have quite a bit of homework (mostly reading) so I will be working out my brain (like that semi-annoying commercial where the girl says it's harder to workout her brain and I just want to scream at her like, "you're too skinny and probably workout all the time. Of course it's harder to workout your brain 'cause you don't have one!"... that's not true. I'm sorry. I love people). Actually, if the clouds hold in their rain a bit longer, I may convince my boyfriend to walk to the coffee shop instead of driving (I figured if we went somewhere to study we wouldn't be distracted by the things in my apartment like my cats and the TV and how I need to water my plants and.. you get the picture). Hmmmm, I'll think about it (I'm not a fan of being cold and wet). Whelp, that's it for now. Until next time (perhaps Monday), live long and prosper!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adolescents and Heels

I intended to post last night but I had a presentation this morning and I thought my time might be better spent finishing my poster. Any whozzles: Last night, I lead games for the middle school youth group. Usually I try to give the kids something different then usual and go through about three games. However, there is one game in particular that they love that I decided it would be okay if I gave into it - Kick the Can. 
Pretty simple game: flip a garbage can over in an open area, those who are not it get to run throughout the entire building avoiding the taggers. If you are tagged you sit around the can. In order to be untagged, someone from your team comes and kicks the can (everyone is free). Usually works best if the teams are unevenly numbered. It's also a great game for the youth leaders to be more involved in the game since they are usually the taggers. Last night I added in my own flavor and for each round assigned different people to be it (e.g. anyone with black on their pants, anyone wearing pink or red, etc.)
As for working out, as a chaser you can get quite the workout chasing energetic 6-8th graders around the building. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee during Zumba so while I did play, it was minimally (which I was bummed about, especially since I chose the game).

Now today was another story. As I said in the beginning, I had a presentation this morning which means dressing all professional like. I was reminded (as I was on Valentines day) wearing heels is workout in itself. Since I'm a commuter, I obviously have to park in the commuter parking lot. Unfortunately for me, it is on the opposite side of campus from the building I needed to be in (and the classroom is on the second floor). So, my workout for today was walking across campus in a hurry (though I was there in more than enough time), attempting to juggle my huge poster and binder (having a poster that's only a foot shorter than you can be difficult to carry), and then walking back to my car afterwards. I did have to chuckle to myself when I got to the classroom because I was just about out of breath and starting to sweat. Phew-ee.

By the way, I saw this today and immediately thought, "YES! That's exactly how I feel [after doing the ab related Zumba workouts]"

Hope that brought a list half smile on your face. Also that's probably the only workout I'll do for today because I am absolutely exhausted (a combination of not as much sleep as usual and stress overload). Until next time, live long and prosper!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So much sweat

I did it; another 5:15am morning to be at Zumba at 5:30 (First time I wasn't late, actually). I didn't sleep well last night at all and had to get up several times for various things so actually getting up was more of a challenge then usual. Once I was up and on my way to Zumba, I was glad I had decided to go but I definitely already looking forward to going to bed tonight (I love my 8hours of sleep each night). 
Okay, so Zumba today: Two things I quickly began to notice about this morning: 1. I was incredibly sore (both from the new workouts we did on Monday and riding yesterday) and 2. I was sweating a lot. I mean, both are good signs, right? Anyway, I remembered two workouts this time (but not the song to the first one... sorry) so here they are:
  • Song 1
    • normal pushups (either full out, on your knees, or on your knees and barely bending your arms - choose your challenge)
    • pushups with your fingers pointed in (this works other muscles)
    • pushups with your hands making a triangle (this one kills me and, once again, works different muscles)
    • Turn over and, remember when you were a kid and did crab races? Yeah, do that pose and pump your body up and down (so crab like then table like)
    • normal crunches
    • scissors (on your back with your legs up in the air moving up and down)
    • Now move back up the list and you're done
    • If at any time during the pushups you're like, "nope, not gunna happen" take a second or two and do the "child's pose" (sit back on your knees/ ankles, then lean all the way forward, almost like you're bowing).
  • Skyscraper - Demi Lovato (You'll need a chair or something to balance against)
    •  Start out with the chair facing away from you, and lean your forearms on the back of the chair), work out begins when the words do
    • Lift one leg in a bend (I'll refer to this as 'down') and in four counts (smoothly) do the following (verse 1)
      • Off the the side
      • all the way stretched out (like you're kicking to the side)
      • back in
      • down
    • Now push that leg straight back and hold it there (chorus)
    • Bend your leg up as if trying to push your heel to the ceiling (chorus)
    • Straighten that leg out again (chorus)
    • Now switch and repeat the above with the other leg (verse 2 and 2nd time of chorus)
    • Facing forward, spread your legs as if doing a squat, and get up on those toes (Rest of song)
      • 2 counts down, 2 counts up (repeat)
      • Occasionally mix it up by moving slowly down for more counts and then back up or by holding it down for 8 counts (perhaps whenever she changes her volume of singing)
      • Finish the song on a good note (we usually finish with the holding down but whatever is a challenge for you, go for it)
That first workout is a killer! It was a new one on Monday and we did it again this morning. Skyscraper is also difficult at times, especially if we've already done other leg workouts before. I did also remember another song that, when it plays I can remember parts of the workout.. though I'm not sure how great I would be at explaining them since it's more of a dance. The song is Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira ft.Freshlyground. It's a lot of movement with the arms and the legs and little bit of salsa and, yeah, lots. Oh and one more! Work Hard, Play Hard (which I believe I've mentioned before) is all about standing abs. There ya have it, I actually remembered a few things. 

I also found this video and while I prefer working out fully clothed and with my hair pulled back, I think this is pretty close to how we work out to this song. So watch that if ya want to perhaps see what I'm talking about.

I also thought of more advice to share:

Enjoy what you're doing (I'm sure I've shared something along these lines before but I think it's really important) - if you don't, you're not going to stick with it


BE POSITIVE (now I know I've said this lots but it's also so stinkin' true. I hate waking up at 5:15am but I do it to laugh at the sun when it finally decides to show up. Seriously, I walk out of the building we meet in just when it's starting to lighten up and I think, "Beat ya again Mr.Sun!")

That's all I have for you right now. I might post tonight after youth group since I'm leading games but we'll have to see and I'll definitely post tomorrow after whatever workout I decide on (I know I said I'd go for a jog but the forecast isn't looking like that'll happen). Until next time, live long and prosper!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back in the Saddle

It was finally nice enough outside to ride my bike to class. I was a tad nervous at first simply because it's Oregon and it could rain at anytime but it turned out to be perfect. What I discovered around this time last year is that it takes me just as long to drive to campus as it does to ride my bike (with all the stop signs and such) so time can never truly be an excuse. Plus, I get to park my bike much closer to the building my class is in then the far side of the commuter parking lot. AND! I save gas. All wonderful reasons to ride my bike. Oh, and I love being out in the fresh air.

Bike photo
The picture is not my personal bike but this is the type of bike that I am currently riding (Grand Record Motobecane). It works out quite well for just commuting around town but long distance... it needs some work. I'm not a huge fan of it changing gears on me randomly and the seat swiveling side to side. Meh, I'm over it for now.

Back to the actual working out. I wanted to continue riding but without my workout clothes on and a bike that doesn't actually fit me, I figured it might be best to head back home and get working on my homework. I did allow myself to go the long way around to my apartment, though.
The final stretch of road before turning into my apartment complex

There's just something so peaceful about riding your bike on back roads with no sounds but the wind rushing past you and the distant sounds of the city. I know you can get the same sort of feeling when running but since my runs are more like fast walking, I prefer the saddle. Well, I suppose I should do that homework I mentioned. I have a big presentation on Thursday that I need to be prepared for and another experiment to put together for another class (not to mention all the reading and other small assignments from my other classes). Eh, it's all for my future so I best just suck it up and get to. Until next time, live long and prosper!


I didn't get a chance to post, though Zumba did happen. It went much different then usual and, well, I liked it! There wasn't very many people there so the leader/ instructor decided that we would do more Pilates and Yoga exercises than actual Zumba. While calming music played in the back ground, we balanced on one leg in a crouched sort of pose, lunged in "warrior pose" and stretched our mid-section doing a move called the swimmer. The last 15minutes or so was entirely spent centering our bodies and relaxing. Now, this may seem a bit unrelated but I am always surprised in the places that I find God. While sitting there in that butterfly pose, deep breathing in and out, in and out, in with peace and out with stress, I was so overcome by the presence of God in that moment. Now this blog is all about working out whether that be physically, mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually. While I went to this Zumba class to simply workout (and because it was really fun), I've been challenged in numerous ways and strengthened not just my leg muscles. All this made me think of a few tips that I want to share with ya'll:

Make your beliefs a part of your workout (whether you do that through prayer, doing a daily devotion, or taking time to center yourself both physically and spiritually).

Surround yourself with common beliefs (that can be as complex as your religion or as simple as wanting to talk positively about others) it makes working out so much more enjoyable.

Know your limits (know how far you can reach down when stretching or that you have to take a quick break from squats) but...

Always push yourself (don't just go through the motions of a workout but really push yourself to make the workout worth it).

Yup, that's what I took away from Zumba yesterday. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow morning (especially since the sun is finally starting to show itself earlier) so I'll let ya'll know how that goes too. Until next time, live long and prosper!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walk, walk, walk

I've made the move! 

Now, before this site I had another blog spot but due to odd updates to the site and blah blah blah. I decided to move, 'nuf said. Anyway, if you so desire to read my previous posts here's the link
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From here on out I will be posting here, though.

Now onto the stuff that matters.

So since I was visiting family this week, I didn't get to go to Zumba on Saturday. However, I did "workout" in other ways. Yesterday (being Saturday), I did a lot of walking. For example, I wanted some time with my boyfriend so we drove to Walmart and just walked through each of the aisles (and occasionally tried to hide from each other... okay I was the only one hiding but those are just small details). Today, my boyfriend further assisted me by taking me to a local park for a small picnic (which we ate in the car 'cause it was a little too cold for me) and then walked his dad's dogs one lap around the park. Now, one lap seems a little pathetic except that these dogs, well mainly just the little one, loves to sniff and look at... well everything.

 I suppose introductions are in order: The black lab is Harley who my boyfriend has had since middleschool (Yes, I do remember when Harhar was just a lil puppy). The other one (I don't remember what breed/s she is) is Daisy and she is the one that can be quite a handful sometimes mainly due to all of her energy. Both are fantastic dogs and I love getting to visit them. 

Anyway, so I primarily walked Harley around (while my boyfriend walked Daisy) because he knows not to pull on the leash. However, at one point Daisy decided that pooping needed to happen right then and there but we had left the doggie bags in the car so I continued, slowly, walking with both dogs while my boyfriend hurried back to the car to retrieve the bags. We finished our walk around the park and spent another 30minutes on a bench just chatting while the dogs sniffed around and occasionally barked at other dogs and such. Well, that was enough workout for me for today (Okay, I guess that still doesn't make it any less pathetic but whatever).

In all seriousness (like that ever happens), I am heading back home tonight and am taking a bike with me (that fits) so that I have a bike to ride until I go forward with my plan to buy a fancy new one (the one in the picture on the sidebar). Plus, I'll now have 2 bikes at my house so my boyfriend and I will be able to go on short rides together when he visits on the weekends. Workout plan for the next week:
  • Monday - Evening Zumba
  • Tuesday - Evening Zombie run
  • Wednesday - Early morning Zumba
  • Thursday - Evening Zombie run
  • Friday - bike ride?!
  • Saturday - morning Zumba
Well, that's the plan anyway. That's all I have for now. Until next time, live long and propser!

Brain and Body

Hello my dear followers (which I believe is no one at this time). I apologize for not posting for a week but I was rather sick (as I mentioned in my last post) and have finally been well enough to get back to working out. While I didn't do any workouts since last week's Zumba (unless you count giving my obnoxious cat a hair cut), I was sure to keep my portion sizes down and drank lots of water (pretty key to weight loss). This morning however, I successfully woke up on time to go to 5:30am Zumba and, let me tell you, it was great!:

So I was a minute or two late but they hadn't started yet so the introvert in my rejoiced because I wouldn't have to small chat with anyone. However, the first person I meet eyes with is someone I haven't seen there before but, well, lets just say we used to live together and that ended that friendship. At first I was like, "Ugh! Why is she here?" (besides the fact that this class meets at her church). Then I remembered my promise for lent (which starts today with Ash Wednesday; No I'm not Catholic but I think it's a great tradition)- No negativity towards other people (no road rage, no gossiping, no malicious thoughts, no complaining, none of that). So, for the remainder of Zumba I alternated between thinking as many positive thoughts about her as possible and secretly challenging her at the start of each dance. In the end though, I left Zumba feeling quite positively towards her and have decided that while our friendship may not have worked out, I'm a-okay with that, and I hope she is successful in all she does. Truly! It was also kinda great because I ended up working out harder than I have before and I worked out my brain a bit too.

And that was my early morning at Zumba. Here are a few tips/ words of.. wisdom(?) I thought up in addition to my internal battle:

Set realistic, short term goals (e.g. I want to be able to get through an entire song focused on abs without having to rest) and when a long term goal is met, you'll be pleasantly surprised (e.g. Oh my gosh! I have a six pack!)

If you think negative thoughts, you'll be a negative person so think positively

Nothing is more attractive then self-confidence (so just go for it!)

Well, that's all I have for now. Until next time, live long and prosper!