Fitness checkmarks.

One of the things that was feeling out of whack as things with M continued to get closer at the end of last year and into this year was my workouts (combined with the holidays where overeating is a fact of life!).

So, if you know me, I love my workouts. I love to try new challenges. And I love to make goals for myself every few months.  My workouts make me feel balanced.

I finally feel like I’m getting back to that balanced stage. My workouts are back to a steady cadence, and that feels good. And my latest challenge? The Core Fusion 30-day Challenge with my sister, Jess, as I mentioned in a recent post. We’ve started it this week and for 30 days, we will be focused on our core, doing these workouts 4-5 days a week with a couple of days of cardio and no weights. I posted to my sister’s blog today on progress from my standpoint and I am reposting it here (I am not directly linking to her blog as it is more public than mine, and even mine really isn’t that anonymous as much as I initially wanted it to be!), for your reading pleasure.

Is that definition I see?

Well, it’s been almost a full week since starting the Core Fusion Challenge with my sister and I have my own takeaways in addition to those she’s shared all week (all of which I firmly agree with!).

  • Definition improvement so far? Yep! I can already see some changes (and this is PMS week for me, so that says something!) and can feel the changes for sure. I feel stronger in my core and my back and know that with time, my form will start to improve.
  • Neck pain. Like whoa. My biggest issue right now is neck pain. I know that with time, that too will go away, but I have gotten frustrated with it, because I feel that it is impacting my ability to improve my ‘curl’ position. I try not to hold onto my head to give my neck a break, but sometimes I find that I need to do that in order to get my shoulders off the ground more. Any tips, CF pros out there?
  • Fred DeVito (aka founding member of Exhale Spa and Core Fusion) is awesome. A couple of weeks ago, as I started to tackle Core Fusion as part of my workouts, I was getting super frustrated with the ‘curl’ position and wasn’t sure what the proper way to modify was (laying back, trying to lift the shoulders up, little by little, or starting from the top, leaning back, litle by little). I tweeted to Fred my question, and he emailed me (through my blog!) and asked if we could chat and he would share some tips. How awesome is that?! We talked to the next day and though I felt like a giddy schoolgirl talking to a celebrity, he was super nice and gave me some great modification tips. Talking to him also made me feel better that it will take time to improve BUT (and this is a big but), you will see improvements relatively quickly. And he’s right. Which leads me to…
  • Motivation is directly correlated to success. Feeling and seeing improvements even within a day of doing CF has really boosted my motivation to stick with this routine. I admit, I was skeptical at first only because I tend to get really frustrated with my inflexibility and feared I’d give up too soon. But I know that I won’t because seeing improvements has given me a huge boost of confidence (and the fact that M put his arm around my waist and said ‘wow, strong!’ without my even mentioning anything about it, was huge!).
  • This is a huge mindset change for me. I know Jess has mentioned this in several of her posts, but this is a huge HUGE mindset change for me. Doing CF is a completely different ‘cardio’ workout than I am used to and it has been a struggle for me to *only* do CF every day with just a day or two of additional cardio mixed in, and NO weights. NO weights…I almost rebelled against that one. <editors’ note – she started to rebel, legit. I can vouch for this!> I love weight work. But, at the same time, at the end of this challenge, I will have renewed vigor for weight workouts and I need to give this my undivided attention.
  • I must do at least 2-3 weeks of CF DVDs before I dare step foot into Exhale Spa to do the week unlimited. I know it sounds silly, but I would like to improve my form more before attempting ‘live’ classes. I have only gone to one before and while I had a great workout, I felt self-conscious about how many modifications I needed. I think in another week or so, I will be ready!
  • Boot Camp is by far, the most difficult all-around workout. Pilates Plus is by far the most intense core-only workout. Damn. Never ceases to amaze me.

This is one of my major focus points for this year…in my new year’s resolutions workout-wise. I’ll call this one a solid checkmark as we are tackling this head-on, together, and I am excited to see our progress by year’s end! My other goals for this year – get my running mojo back (I have struggled with running ever since running a half marathon last fall, not sure why) and perhaps run another half this fall, and learn to swim so I can do a triathlon (fail on this…I am having the hardest time finding a swim instructor! Any tips?!). So, I am getting there, one month at a time, and one challenge at a time.

Anyone else love to set personal goals and challenges or am I just a weird over-achiever? 😉

32 thoughts on “Fitness checkmarks.

  1. I would like to say that I am personally offended by this post. I would like to point out that it is wholeheartedly selfish of you to interrupt my movie watching eating time with this fitness nonsense. How dare you 😉

    ahahahaha! In any case, I will be emailing you as you mentioned in the comment on my post today and get some pointers from you on possible at home workouts.

    I am so impressed (read jealous) of you and your dedication to fitness. You rock my socks (pink socks).

    1. Ha! You are hilarious Marisa. But yes, DO email me! I am serious about that, I have tons of useless useful knowledge on this stuff 😉

  2. i did something like this in april with my 30-day yoga thing. it was really nice to have a goal and keep it up. i’d like to get back into it again, now that things have settled down a bit. i’m also taking my first ballet class in several years on wednesday, and i cannot WAIT.

    it’s weird; as a kid, i hated gym class. now i love the way i feel after working out. so strange…

    1. I hated gym class too! Too funny. And wow, ballet class, that’s awesome. One thing I am horrible at is any form of dance. I envy those that are so good at it. And your yoga challenge sounds awesome too!

    1. Haha. To each his/her own on this one too, right? I agree that goals, no matter what they are, are good for mind, body, soul! So true.

  3. That’s great that you’re doing well with the Core Fusion Challenge. I think it’s inspiring that you set goals and challenges for yourself. I try to set myself goal each year, I’ve set educational goals for myself one year where I did night courses in holistic massage and beauty therapy. My fitness goals for last year were to improve my cardio and strength ( did a lot of Cathe). My personal goals in the past was to get rid of my watch (I try and live in the present and not rush as much).

    Some of my goals for this year include giving up diet coke (drink way too much of it) and to work on flexibility and core strength. My personal goal is to stay in the happy place I’m in mentally and to be open and ready for a new relationship.

    1. Susan, I love your goals!! Especially the one about losing your watch…that’s a great idea. I don’t wear one normally anyway but I like the significance of getting rid of it for that reason. I am hopeful for you in the relationship department as well!

  4. I just started doing some core work this week in addition to my swimming, biking and running. I’d rather not do situps, plank pose or anything else that requires the use of my muscles, BUT I know it will improve my overall performance when it comes to doing the things I love, like swimming and running. So, I’m doing it. Well, and because I was feeling fat this week. I admire your love for this kind of stuff, I just don’t have it, I’d rather be swimming 🙂

    1. Yes, I was TOTALLY resistant to core work too at first because I just plain hate it. Not sure why I do, but I do! But I do love challenges, and I know you do too, even though you are into the swimming and I have yet to accomplish that. But I will!

  5. Pilates is so good for your core. Talk about strong!

    Regarding a swim instructor: I talked to the local gym I belonged to and also the community center locally and found a teenager who was really mature and a star on the high school swim team. He helped me so much. What I’d like to do, beyond that, is take a Masters Swim class. Google that in your area. It should help you.

    1. A good core will help with my future swimming too 😉 Good suggestions, I will have to start asking around locally. I don’t know who teaches at my gym, but I wanna see who I most connect with, since this is kind of a really intimidating thing for me!

  6. LOVE the gym. and I am a super big goal setter.
    I go to the gym 7 days a week. I am some what obsessed with it.

    But there is always an area I feel I can improve.

    AWesome post!

  7. If we lived closer, I’d so teach you how to swim! I was on a swim team for YEARS…loved it.

    I guess you’ve already tried your gym?…have you checked a local triathlon group in your area? They’re usually a great resource!

    1. Aw! That would be fun! Coincidentally, I have a friend with your name who lives nearby who DOES know how to swim, but I am not a member of her gym (and can’t get out of my membership, grr) and can’t go to hers. Boo. For some reason, I don’t like the instructors at my gym. Since I was an instructor there for a bit, it just feels too close to home and I’d rather go elsewhere. complicates things.

  8. You are Ronda are seriously sickening in your ability to motivate! This is all awesome! One of my main goals for the year is to get in optimal shape. I’ve been doing cardio pretty hard lately. I also just bought a bike trainer and a Zumba series. I need to get my ass in gear with strength training too. Maybe I’ll have one of these super motivating posts soon!

  9. I have the neck problem whenever I do Pilates…which is probably why I don’t do a lot of it. I think the main reason is because of a car accident I had a couple years ago where I was rear ended. It mostly hurts with any Pilates moves. Someone once told me it strengthens your neck and keeps you from having that hanging turkey thing; I should hope so 😉

    That’s cool that he got in touch with you personally and helped you with modifications. One of the drawbacks from DVDs is that you can’t get help if you need it. I’m glad this wasn’t the case for you.

    Good luck on the rest of your challenge!

    1. Yes, the neck pain is tough, but with more work, I know that it will strengthen. And it was awesome talking to Fred, it was so helpful and motivating!

  10. Yay for you! I’d love to find a good core workout. Perhaps I’ll look this up. My running mojo is in full gear – but running doesn’t necessarily help with toning, so it looks as though I’ll be looking at lifting some weights, not something I’ve always liked in the past.

  11. I read this post and then made myself an egg-white omelette for breakfast instead of what I really wanted to have. which likely included a croissant. Thanks for making me feel guilty, er, inspiring me! -T.

    1. LOL! That’s funny, but um, good I suppose, right? 😉 Hey, I am guilty of splurging, don’t get me wrong. Hello superbowl party yesterday!

  12. Good for you! I firmly believe that seeing the success can help you to be more motivated. Love the concept of Core Fusion. I’m hoping to be back to my pre-cancer weight by the charity fashion show in April. I’m back in physical therapy since treatment left me so weak, but I’ll do the best that I can. xoxo

    1. Thanks, and I agree with you. I’m glad you are in physical therapy and have great goal in mind! I know you’ll surpass it with flying colors!

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