#WorkoutStreak Challenge – Thanksgiving to New Years!

I don’t want to wait until the New Year to consistently start my workouts again like some people do, so I am starting a #WorkoutStreak challenge.  I started yesterday on Thanksgiving and it will go till (at least) New Years.  I always have had issues with being stuck doing one kind of workout.  For instance, when I was marathon training, I was only doing cardio or running-related workouts.  Before that, I did a lot of strength training at the Sweatshop.  I never have had a good balance between cardio and strength training.  For this challenge I will mixing between yoga, running, and strength training.  The requirement for every week is that I do at least two yoga workouts, two running workouts, and two strength training workouts.  On the last day it can be a wild card day – any workout.

Yesterday I started with yoga.  Because of the amount food I inhaled during Thanksgiving, I decided to do Caley Alyssa’s cardio yoga again on Beachbody On Demand.  This time I opted to do the more difficult track and used the yoga blocks less.  As you can see, there was a good amount of sweat steadily streaming me into my eyes.

#WorkoutStreak Challenge Day 1
#WorkoutStreak Challenge Day 1

Everything is better if you have a group to join you! Who wants to join me? Leave a comment below to let me know if you want in also!

The #WorkoutStreak Rules:

  • Challenge goes from Thanksgiving (11/23/17) to New Years (1/1/18)
  • Workout every day in any way you like: gym, running, walking, yoga, etc
  • Use the hashtag #WorkoutStreak with a picture/stats from your workout
  • (optional) Follow me on Instagram or Twitter so we can track each other

Let’s get going!

11/20/17 – Cardi-yoga

I was planning on running with BWRC today for their Monday 4mi and hill workout, but Justine is still getting over her fever. And today I think she just plain out had enough of any medicine. Each time we had to give her the scheduled Motrin or Tylenol she was scream bloody murder and turn on the water works. She hasn’t acted like that since the summer where she’d throw a fit of something isn’t going her way. I knew this time it was related to her illness so I made sure to give her extra rubs on the back and tight hugs today. Since Jaz cancelled her trip to San Francisco because of our sick one, I thought it would be a dick move up leave her with the screaming child while I go run.

In its replacement I did a Beachbody On Demand yoga video – “Cardio with Caley Alyssa“. I have made some progress with my yoga over the past couple months dating back before the marathon. I’ve done Insanity in the past so I liked the Beachbody workouts and now with this On Demand app, you can pick from a ton of different workouts from yoga and Pilates to Insanity and P90X. Each week they send an email to you about which workouts you did for the week as well as how much time you worked out with them. And when you slack off and don’t do any workouts, they email some motivation. It’s actually pretty nice.

Progress email from Beachbody

I have definitely noticed that my upper body is stronger and my hips and legs seem to have more mobility as well. The core still (and probably always) will need more work. I am sure it has gotten stronger but I’m still having to stop every now and then to rest in “Child’s pose”.  Eventually I will take another yoga class so the instructor can show me proper form, but until then I will stick my videos on Beachbody and maybe even hit up some Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T!

Original image from Beachbody On Demand app

What’s the Deal with Crossfit?

Over the past year or so, I have been seeing more and more friends fall in love with Crossfit. Naturally it intrigued me since it presented what seemed like a pretty big challenge workout after workout (refer to my marathon training days). From the limited exposure I had, it looked like workouts that were heavily focused on olympic style lifts and a lot of gymnastic moves, and of course, burpees! Pretty intimidating to say the least. Like everything in life, there are advocates of this workout and there are people who are highly against it. It appears the anti-crossfitters think it can it highly dangerous and have no gains. I had to see for myself.
Continue reading “What’s the Deal with Crossfit?”

It Always Starts with Family

March 16th marked the 16th year since my dad passed away from a heart attack and stroke. After 16 years I don’t think I was ever truly able to articulate how I felt about him or even how I felt about missing him. I always knew that his absence is a huge void in my life, but year after year my life was filled with other things. That is just what happens naturally with life. You get busy and you grow further and further away from what you were when you were a kid. Now that Jaz is pregnant I have realized that I miss my dad in an entirely different way than how I did when I was 17 years old.

I talked it over with the Selfless team as they are now my outlet for any creative ideas and came up with a wonderful idea to honor my dad on the 16th year of him not being here with us. I decided to write a letter to him about how I have gotten through the past 16 years. Mike came to our place and shot the video while I read the letter to my dad. I honestly thought I would not cry at all reading this to a camera. Well, I was wrong. Here it is:

I thought it was just incredible how Mike took a central theme out of my letter that I honestly didn’t know existed -“It Always Starts with Family”. When I was writing the letter, I kept thinking about how it was when my dad was around. I struggled with remembering specific things more than I would like to admit. But I guess that is what happens when time passes and you start to forget how things were when you were just a teenager. After Mike had shot and edited the video, I realized even more that my dad’s legacy will continue to live on. Without even knowing it, I was sharing the values and lessons that he taught me about the importance of family in life.

Along with the video, we worked with my awesome trainers at The Sweatshop to hold a special all-day event in honor of my dad called “Sweat 16”. They opened the doors to everyone and instead of having 2 boot camps on Saturday morning, they had a 6 hour boot camp that consisted of 16 minute workouts with a rest in between. The rest segments were really like 1 minute long. It was crazy! We also teamed up with local organizations Chicago Run and The Chest Foundation to come out and talk to everyone who came out to the event. My brother Tony and my friend Erick came in support of the event as well as the current customers at the Sweatshop who I have come to know over the past year. I had a chance to talk with everyone there to share my story and then proceeded to workout for 3 of the 6 hours. It was such a great event that kicked off the day on the right foot (in a lunge).

After the event, Jaz and I headed towards my mom’s house to meet with my family to celebrate my dad’s life. A few years ago we stopped calling it a death anniversary, and instead we called it a “Celebration of Life”. We thought it was a more appropriate name as every year we continued to meet up and celebrate another year of life and love together as a family. Even with my dad gone now, his family stills continues to grow, depend on each other, and love each other even more. I know he is smiling down on us.

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Intensity

Every so often my trainer Matt from the Sweatshop sends a motivational email to all of their clients.  This week was really got to me.  I thought about it the rest of the week and how this may have just started as an email about working out, but it can also be used in life.  To make changes, you have to be willing to go outside your normal routine and push a little bit harder.  Here is part of the email he sent out:

SWEATSHOP RULE: “INTENSITY
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, blast fat, get stronger, faster, leaner, etc.
You’re going to have to WORK HARD.
You’re going to have to PUSH YOURSELF.
You’re going to have to STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Read it here-
SIMPLY GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS WILL NOT GET YOU THE BODY THAT YOU WANT.
Do you know when REAL change happens?
It’s when you can barely lift out those last few reps because your arms are on fire, and everything in you wants to give up…
BUT YOU DON’T.
It’s when you’re gasping for air out of breath, your heart is beating out of your chest, you still have 20 more burpees to go, and everything in you wants to give up…
BUT YOU DON’T.
It’s when you’re brain is telling you that you can’t possibly do that…
BUT YOU DO IT ANYWAY.
No one said this was going to be easy, but you know what?…
That’s why the majority of the country is out of shape, overweight, and at risk for numerous health diseases.
BECAUSE IT TAKES HARD WORK TO CHANGE YOUR BODY AND MOST PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR THAT QUICK AND EASY FIX:
That next diet, that next gadget, that next workout fad, that next “magic” pill…
THIS IS NOT YOU.
You DO NOT talk on your cell phone in between sets.
You DO NOT spend 90 minutes pacing yourself during a workout.
You DO NOT make excuses.
You DO NOT always choose the “easy” road because it’s “easy.”
You DO NOT simply go through the motions.
You DO NOT listen to that little voice in your head that always tells you to stop.
YOU DO NOT GIVE UP WHEN THINGS GET HARD!!
 
YOU DO demonstrate “INTENSITY.”

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Suffice it to say that this week’s workouts after receiving this email were incredible.  As much as I have been working out since the New Year, I admit I have been pacing a bit through the workouts.  Time to push a little more, run a little faster, and breathe a little harder.  Once I can get into this groove I think I will be good, but until then, I will be exhausted after workouts.