Keeping Up

I’m a little bit ambitious with my goals – but it’s always been that way.  Career, education, sports…if I don’t get more responsibility, harder work, or opportunities to grow, I go bananas!

Fun for me is learning, growing, and ultimately achieving – when asked why I don’t dance “for fun,” for example, I’ll say “the fun for me is in training, competing, and reaching new levels.”  I want a challenge, and I want to progress – plateaus don’t work for me.

As soon as I moved to a new state some months ago, I knew I had to find a place to train – not just lift and workout, but to TRAIN.  My Grandmaster in Teakwondo is the real deal, and I feel a bit reluctant to go to another Dojang right now.  But I NEED activities – I did my due diligence and found a Ninjutsu school, as well as  Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, as well as a place to do Aerial Yoga.  

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At first, I had thought about just doing one sport – one is often enough, and really who has the time!  But like I said…I’m ambitious, and usually have a goal in sight with anything I do.  I have wanted to trade the spin bike for something more fun, in part – I get bored very quickly and I need change.  I also wanted to fill in what I perceive as gaps in the training I have had thus far.  So…I took on two new Martial Arts (one of which exposes me to a third, traditional Japanese JuJutsu), as well as the Aerial Yoga (which I do once a week.)

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It’s a lot, there’s no question…  It is a lot to keep up with, and it requires as much discipline to train as it does to take days OFF (I’m MUCH better about that now!)  But as exhausted as I get, I feel like keeping involved also fuels the fire – I love acquiring and honing skills, and I can’t do that from the sidelines.  So no matter how whooped I feel at the end of the week, I am elated to get back to it.

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Some people think I am overly ambitious…but I don’t feel like I’m chasing after anything.  More so, it is aiming to keep up with my passions… Easy?  Not all the time.  Worth it?  1,000%!  

The fire is already coursing through my veins and I know if I didn’t get it all in, I’d not only get ancy, but I’d feel downright glum!  Keeping up means staying in the game – not only is my body happy, but so are my mind and spirit – and I need ALL cannons firing! 😉

 

 

Workouts SHOULD Be Fun

Make no mistake about it…when I lift, I lift heavy…and I go hard.  I will always smile and laugh, and say hello to friends, but I don’t go to the gym to socialize.  I don’t go to make a point, or make a scene, or waste my time.  

I go to work.

For most of us (much to the sometimes incomprehension of others), working out isn’t just about the physical – we aim to achieve a level of physical fitness, absolutely.  But a huge part of it is done for our minds, our spirit, and our emotional wellbeing.  Working out is an incredibly effective “release” of stresses that we all carry with us each day.  

I am waiting on hearing about the date for a promotion in Taekwondo, and it’s been weighing on me somewhat.  The date has fluctuated a few times, leaving many of us in limbo.  We (many of us, at least) train with the expectation of achieving and being better with each day – so technically, you could throw a test at us and we should be prepared, 2nd degree black belt or otherwise.

But I moved and am having to train solo right now…so the not knowing, and needing to plan around it has me a wee bit frazzled.  In this case, one of the best things to do is continue with my regular workouts – it keeps me fit and flexible…and I don’t just mean in my body!

While I am eager to start a new discipline (for various reasons, including injuries, Taekwondo is no longer as ideal for me), I want to stay focused on what I need to know to ensure it is done properly, and to the best of my ability.  As a result, I am deliberately holding off on a new Martial Art until my goal has been achieved.

That said…I NEED something.  I need to have something beyond hauling iron (which I love, of course!)  I like to do activities that are different and challenging – run of the mill has never been my thing.  And so I snooped around and, rather to my delight, found an Aerial Yoga studio not too far away (some call it Anti-Gravity Yoga.)

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I’ve tried a few varieties of Yoga and never found my “click.”  Is it good for me?  1,000%.  But none were the right fit…  Knowing the benefits in flexibility, for one thing, I was always a little bit sad I didn’t take to it.  Then again, where I’m from, it tends to be a “trendy” thing, and perhaps that turned me off too.  It was more about the leggings you had on, and the place you had in the room (as if it was claimed as your own in stone.)  Not for me, and totally defeating the purpose of the practice.

Well…I went into Aerial Yoga (done with a fabric hammock) with an open mind, and fell in love immediately.  I signed up for another class already and I can’t wait to go back.  The ladies – literally ranging from tween to 50’s – were LOVELY , and it was just the hour and a half of peace and inner reflection I needed (plus some physical challenges and PHENOMENAL stretches!)

I had the most wonderful time and it is a happy reminder that we NEED activity, and we should do it for US.  

For that second reason only, we should also have a ball doing it!  It doesn’t have to be treacherous or miserable.  

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If the fit isn’t there, that’s OKAY!  There are so many disciplines – in Yoga, in Martial Arts, in dance, in lifting… SO many options, surely there is something that will give you a lift (no pun intended!) each day.  That’s what it is about at the end of the day!

Tabi-Toes

I planned poorly this morning and ended up in cowboy boots when I NEEDED to be in Chuck Taylors for the gym.  Fortunately I had my Zemgear Ninja Split Toe Low Tabis in my gym bag…I mean, because who DOESN’T!? 😉

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We had a rainy day here, but even if it was nice out, I’d not necessarily wear these outdoors (in my outdoors that is – it was pavement, some gravel, and wet grass – recipe for disaster!)  These are actually made for sand sports and beach environments, and feature a “breathable, drainable 4-way stretch upper” (as in, foot-hugging and incredibly comfortable.)  

zemgear.com photo

zemgear.com photo

All the tabis have “patented high-frequency tech bands” which allow for the ever-important lateral stability – with one reconstructed knee, and one without an ACL…that’s nice to know! 

zemgear.com photo

zemgear.com photo

I can’t stand flip flops – it feels very hypocritical to me too, I know.  But, there’s something extremely comfortable about tabis – they never seem to ride up between my toes and cause discomfort, blisters, or calluses the way flip flops can.  Having worked for a very a well-recognized fashion brand, we were inundated with flip flop sock prints, upper designs, upper materials, sole components, like no other, when Spring designing came about.  They were adorable.  But I couldn’t wear them.  Sad to say, tabis and shorts…or jeans…or anything non-sporty…really isn’t a good look.  

Sigh.

NINJAS SHOULD BE “IN!”

I was wearing my dobok pants this morning when I got to the gym, so I had that going for me!  And honestly, I felt like I was running around in my socks…which I love.  I prefer Chucks for lifting because they are so low to the ground, and flat – not the ideal support (and I DO have foot issues from 17 years of dancing, 16 ice skating, and nearly 3 of marital arts!) but I feel the ground better when I lift in Chucks…and so the same applies with my Zems.  I don’t dare hop on a treadmill with tabis or Chucks, though.