Baltimore fitness


Whenever I work out in the morning, I set my intention that whatever I end up doing, whether it be a CrossFit workout, a 2 mile interval run, a spin or yoga class; that this will be the most challenging part of my day. Once I finish the workout, I know (or keep reminding myself) that the rest of my day will be easier than my workout, and that I can face and do anything because I’ve endured the hardest part of my day.

This morning I took a 75-minute spin class.  I knew it was 75 minutes only after the instructor mentioned we had another 40 minutes to go as I looked at the clock and almost passed out. I didn’t, but in that moment I had two choices: to quit or to stay with it.

“This is hard for everyone. Get over it and keep going. If you want this to be easy, raise your hand.”

No one raised their hand. Not even a flinch. #cojones

Challenge accepted.

The irony of this is that I found comfort in the challenge. That everyone is going at a level that is the most difficult for them.

Push through whatever it is you’re facing. We all go through hard times, and you're not alone.

It'll be worth it - and - you'll have a story to tell because you survived.

on time.

A few weeks ago the weather here in Baltimore caused delays and school closings around the area, and I had a plan to take a yoga class at a studio that’s 15 miles away from my home. Since news outlets don’t post anything related to fitness studio closures, I called to find out if classes were still on and if they had showers at their facility. This is important because I had a meeting to attend right after class and didn’t want to drive back home to change. No response, so I left a message – tweeted them with the same questions – and went about my business. As I finished up my morning meetings, the studio tweeted me back saying yes they’re open and yes they have showers. “Sweet! On my way.” As I was driving there, I got a phone call from the studio manager who was returning my message (not knowing that I had already received confirmation via twitter) and answered my questions. I told her about the twitter interaction, she was pleasantly pleased and just as surprised as I was and I told her I’d see her in 20.

Today, I got a phone call from an employee at another yoga studio (let’s call her Sara because I didn’t get her actual name) where I’ve only attended once. Sara called to let me know that tonight’s class was cancelled and that they’re calling people who’ve attended this class in the last few weeks to let them know so they don’t waste their time driving to the studio.

Grateful and surprised that these two studios actually called and followed up. Neither wasted my time, and there’s value in that.

i don't have the answers.

I [think I] started a movement. Well… here we are.

Ever since I’ve “escaped” the norm – I’ve been trying so hard to avoid it.

It = Corporate life.

People who’ve left their comfortable jobs have gravitated towards me for guidance - even if they haven’t directly asked me for it.

I take it it’s because I’ve experienced a pinch of what it’s like – I’ve tasted and felt what it’s like to take the leap; and for some people, having a blueprint to follow helps.

However, this is my own route. I’ve created the path for me. It’s time for you to create your own rules. What works (or didn’t) work for me, may or may not work for you.

Navigate with your gut, your feelings and pay attention to what feels good.

In any given situation, don’t allow fear or failure to deter your focus. Use them as a guideline to restructure your outlook.

judgment day.

For 10 minutes I was in my element, on the other side of training.  I coached an athlete who recently started CrossFit, as in today was her 5th workout. CrossFit Owings Mills introduced a “new” type of programming wherein every member will be doing some sort of benchmark workout, titled Judgment Day.  It sounds scary and almost Terminator like, but it’s actually quite opposite. For the next four weeks of programming, the movements from the benchmark workout will be a focal point of the next month.  At the end of the four weeks, everyone does the same benchmark workout again, to see if he/she improved.

“Having someone judge your workout adds an element of accountability and pressure that is not always found in the daily WOD.” - Coach Nick

To get a true feel of what it’s like to be in competition mode, this box introduces a format in which members can be the coach/judge and competitor.  In a pretty packed class of about 20-30 athletes, we were broken down into pairs and the head coach explained how to be a judge (e.g. what to look for in each movement, what a “no-rep” is).  In addition to counting reps and looking for good form, the judge is also there to encourage the athlete through the workout.

I didn’t realize how much I missed this aspect of coaching – cheering on an athlete to fight through each rep.  I took into consideration that my partner was new to this (she mentioned she’d never been in a competition like this before) so I made sure I wasn’t being too hard on her.  Since this benchmark had a time limit, in the moments where she was resting I gave her succinct cues on how to strategize the next movement, by breaking down the rep scheme.  As a newbie, and I’ve been through this as well, you don’t necessarily know how to strategize the WOD.  Typically you just fight through each rep ‘til exhaustion, and that’s not necessarily the best way to go about a workout – as in you’ll get burned out early on.

Completing all 270 reps (ranging from single-unders to thrusters to pull-ups) in 9 minutes and 42 seconds, she finished her first competition-like workout under the 10-minute cap.  Although exhausted, and lying on the floor in true CrossFit fashion, she was completely stunned and elated that she got through it all.

Kudos to her for pushing through, and I’m proud to say I had a minor role in her accomplishment.