Saturday, December 15, 2012

Long days...

What do you do on the weekends? Is it your time to relax and unwind from the week? Or is it the time for you to run errands and accomplish things that you may not have time for during the week?

My weekends are usually spent at the gym. I wake up early and get myself going for a long day ahead. The amount of time that I spend in the gym will vary on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Today I spent a little over six hours in the gym. Yes, I know that is a long time, probably more than most people spend in the gym, but I am doing what I love. 

During the week, I am coaching numerous classes and it is hard to have long training sessions, so in turn I am able to do more on the weekends. I coach early in the morning on Tuesday, Thursday (5:00am) and Friday (5:30am). On Friday's I am at the gym until 7:30pm... this is a very long day but I head home once I am finished and get ready for the next day. 

Waking up early on a Saturday is hard. After being up and about all day Friday, it would be nice to sleep in and rest up at times, but there are things I want to do and accomplish. I can think about my goals and wish for them to come true, but we all know to make something happen, we have to put the work into it ourselves. No one can do it for us. So I wake up at 6:00am, give myself time to drink my coffee, make breakfast and head out. 

It was a brisk 34 degrees this morning, but I open the gym, turn the music on and focus on my warm up. As I write this post, some thoughts run through my head: what do people think of when they are trying to get motivated to go to the gym? I have realized through coaching group classes and one-to-one sessions, some are more determined than others. I'm curious of the thoughts/sayings that people may think to themselves when they are getting up: the bed is so much warmer than the gym; it is too far away; I don't have enough time; it won't be worth it, etc. 

I can guarantee you one thing: yes the bed is definitely warmer than the gym. It may be a fact that the gym is far away; this 'far away' is different for everyone. I used to live about 7-10 minutes away from the gym, then I moved in with Alex, and now I am 25-30 minutes away. So it is definitely further away than before, but I do what I need to do to get to my gym and train hard. Waking up at 6:00am on a Saturday to make it to Max's weightlifting class at 8:00am is what I need to do. I am happy with this though because I love every minute that I am at the gym. I am putting in the hard work that is needed to make progress. I have made this change and I feel great about it because life is amazing right now and I am very grateful for a lot of things. 

Today I took Max's class and we focused on the snatch. I made sure to drill lighter weight and focus on my technique. Once I started to feel the what I needed to change in my lift, I added weight and was able to work up to my PR weight of 143. I tried for 145, but missed three times. I got underneath each lift but lost it because I was too far forward on my toes. I dropped to 133 and focused on hitting that numerous times. Reflecting back on the class, I am happy because I was able to hit 133 a handful of times. Yes, I admit that I would love to hit 145 and plus some, but I am content in a very good way with my day and what I achieved. It is definitely better than laying in my warm bed :). 

After class, I tested for my 1 rep max (RM). I warmed up and ended up hitting 200, to which I was very happy about reaching this number because it has been awhile since I have hit 200. My max a few months ago was 205, so hitting this again was awesome. It was not the fastest front squat to say the least. My friend Julieann was watching and said she wasn't sure if I was going to drop it or finish the squat, which made me laugh because it took me at least a solid five seconds to get out of that sticky spot. I fought for it long and hard but I got it.

Following my lifting, Alex had a interval met con planned for me with pull ups, kettle bell swings and double-unders. While getting ready for this workout, I started chatting with Erica and she joined me, which was fun to have a partner to workout with. Once we finished, Julieann and I started talking again and asked if I was finished or had more planned. We chatted for a little bit, talking about what I would do next and what our plans were for the rest of the day. 

The next part was one rope climb, one muscle-up, on the minute for 15 minutes. This was a lot more challenging, both physically and mentally. I was able to get all the rope climbs, but only 4 muscle ups. The hardest part was doing the muscle up, missing it and then being able to let it go. It was frustrating because I would get almost on top of the rings on some reps and others I would get through but lost it through the rings, so I made sure to clear my mind as much as possible and focus on the next minute. Being able to let go missed reps or lifts is huge. One cannot worry or consume themselves over a missed rep. Yes it is important to look back and see what you did right or wrong or what you can correct from that lift or rep, but once you do, move forward and focus on what is ahead of you. 

Finally, I closed with a max handstand walk, 20 hollow rocks, rest and repeat 4 times. I ended up walking 8ft, 18ft, 21ft and 21ft. I was excited about this since this has been a big weakness of mine. I definitely have more to work on but I am happy that with all the work Alex and I have been putting in with my training, we are able to see  an increase in my handstand walk. I feel more comfortable being inverted and I feel as thought I have more control. I rolled out and stretched for about an hour after, I took my time and really sat in some of the stretches as I feel my body needs it. 

I know people say, how do you roll out/stretch for that long?! (and I feel that there is an exclamation point afterwards lol). With the amount of volume that I am doing, I feel better when I have a good warm up and cool down session. Stretching, using a ball, foam roller or band to mobilize helps keeps me flexible and I am able to stay on top of how my body is feeling. I believe it is very important to constantly check in with yourself. 

To recap, this was a very long day, a little longer than some days but it worked out well since I had more time. This was a lengthy post, so thank you for those who read all the way through. Thank you for reading my blog, you all make a difference in my life. You all have made an impact in my life, thank you to all those who support me, believe in me and encourage me! Thank you to Alex, who has been the biggest supporter and motivator, I am very grateful for you. Thank you to all my friends and family that are there in a positive manner, it means so much. Go enjoy your weekend, go spend your long day doing what you love - ride your bike, relax in a coffee shop, travel to a favorite spot of yours, train all day in a gym, spend it with your family, read your books. Do what it is that makes you feel alive inside.

~ MCA

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