I ran the SF Urbanathlon with Sarah yesterday in a relay team. It was my first time doing this type of race where you not only have to run, but you have to conquer obstacles along the way. I was given the first leg which was 4.3 miles, had steep hills, and some police barride jumping and stutter stepping through tires involved.
I’ll recap more on the actual experience later, with pictures and everything, but today I want to talk to you about pushing yourself to your limits.
Yesterday was tough. The race started pretty much immediately with us Urbanathletes running up Telegraph hill all the way to Coit Tower. Now, let me tell you…it wasn’t just a hill, it was like SEVEN SUPER STEEP HILLS on a hill. OMG. I kid you not when I say I was probably running up a crazy steep incline for like 20 minutes straight.
My only goal when entering the race (courtesy of Sarah inviting me) was to NOT STOP RUNNING. That was my goal for my first Disney Half Marathon in September and myNike Women’s Half in October. But as soon as I got halfway up my first hill I had a thought of stopping to walk. San Fran hills are BRUTAL. There were people around me who had already stopped to walk. My legs were burning and my quads were on fire. It looked so tempting…It was so easy to just say “hey take it easy”. I fought with myself for about 6 seconds and decided “no, let’s just finish your first hill at least.” So I kept moving.
The hills kept coming at me…steeper and steeper every time! In order to even stay upright and moving, I was basically leaning forward like MJ in Smooth Criminal…
…while running!!! No iPods were allowed either in the race so all I could hear was my heavy breathing and everyone else’s panting and grunts. Not exactly the most motivating sounds in the world.
I kept going and going, even though my strides started getting smaller and smaller. I told myself, conquer this battle one moment at a time. Keep breathing, inhale through the nose and out through the mouth. Instead of looking at the top of the hills each time, I looked at the ground in front of me and took it step by step. I knew I had reached the top once my quads began to feel relief.
I repeated this process over and over for every hill. I kept telling myself – you will not stop. This is only one race. One day. When will you ever do this again? If I am gonna torture myself, I’m gonna torture it good. I’m gonna fight through the pain. I bit my tongue and maybe even swore a little under my breath to get myself through!
I told myself that this was an awesome workout. I would not let me fail me in my one and only goal of NOT STOPPING. There was a burning desire inside of me to stick to my goal. There was no way anyone or anything would get in my way…I was gonna keep moving as much as it pained me.
I concentrated hard. I always tell my students that the mind is more powerful than the muscle and that you can do anything you want as long as you tell yourself you can. So, I kept encouraging my muscles that they could do this. That they were strong. I even picked up a little pace when I did this. Motivating yourself to drive hard is what makes you succeed. And I’m talking all aspects of life too.
So before I knew it…I was on top of Coit tower looking down at the bay and the beautiful city of San Francisco through the lush pine trees. It was a glorious feeling of sweaty pride. Lasted 2 seconds as I drank my water cup up there. Then I was off again. Flying down hill. Fun times ahead…
I hope that gave you a little insight into what goes in my head when I am about to quit and how I keep myself motivated. You really have to focus on your end goal…know it, want it, believe it, and if you desire it badly enough, you will do everything you can to get there. I promise. Be strong and know what you want. And DO NOT let anything get in your way.
What tips do you have for staying motivated?
Motivation is a weird thing. It can make us go crazy hyper for hours or it can make us lazy and self destructive beyond control.
I’ve noticed in increase in lack of motivation comments on facebook and on here. Not sure why though - is it a back to school/getting too busy/seasonal change thing? Just want you guys to know that everyone goes through an “I give up-I hate my body-I don’t see results why even try” phase. It happens every once in a while. I had this type of week last week! I was telling myself it was ok to have an egg roll here and a tortilla chip there, but you know what? My body was retaliating. I bloated up, felt lethargic, and even began developing acne! It was horrendous! Oh and get this…my bad food choices affected my energy so much that when I did my burpees I felt like a zombie from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Slow. Immobile. Limbs stuff and dead.
But you just gotta trust that these phases fade. And you will get back on your feet again. If you can’t get back up today, take a shower, and get back up tomorrow. The key thing is to be RESILIENT. That is one of my fave words ever. You fall, you rise up again. Every time it happens, you know yourself better and you get stronger.
So how do I keep myself motivated when it comes to working out? It’s all about having a vision, seeing it clearly, and making the journey there enjoyable.
1. HAVING A VISION: Clearly see your dream body or dream state of fitness & health. Maybe even cut out a picture of a celeb with a similar body type to yours and paste it on the wall. Look at it every day and know that it is possible. You have the resources.
2. WEARING CUTE CLOTHES: Ok sounds vain, but seriously, I workout a billion times harder when I feel like I look good. I make sure to have my colorful Nikes, my bottom-hugging Body Language pants, and a waist cinching cami from UpVibe on. I also love love love wearing my lifting gloves - they’re super cute and make me look “serious”.
3. PRETEND YOU’RE PERFORMING: Hmm, this might only work for on-stage people…but I love thinking that everyone’s watching me and that in this performance, the audience wants to see me working out MY HARDEST with PERFECT FORM. Ha, sounds stressful. How about this analogy…pretend your crush just walked by. Yup, I bet you just straightened your back and stuck your chest out a little. You may even stop thinking about how hard the workout is because you’re too concentrated on impressing someone.
4. SEEING RESULTS: The number one thing that keeps me going is seeing results. It makes me want to go harder and harder every time. Here’s a little secret…I am an obsessive mirror checker!!! Some people say, don’t check your progress til the end of the week. NO WAY!!! I love seeing even the teeniest bit of difference on my body. I even have self-created “pinch tests” for areas where I can “feel” my fat percentage increase and decrease. (That would be my hips and my face FYI.) You can also see results with a measuring tape or by weighing yourself. Just remember that with the latter, try to weigh yourself at the same time everyday so that you don’t think you gained 5 lbs outta nowhere. Also, if you’re lucky, get your fat percentage checked at the gym for even more accurate physical results!
Those are the 4 things that keep me going. So when you feel like you just wanna eat cookies and cakes and fried everything on a bad day, just stop for a sec and ask yourself not to. Do not be self destructive. Do not hate your body. Be good to it and it will be good to you. Eat clean. Exercise often. And envision the end goal! You want it bad and you will prevail!
1. Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer - Give Me Everything (Sidney Samson Remix) - 129 BPM
2. Nicki Minaj - Super Bass - 128 BPM
3. Switchfoot - Dark Horses - 83 BPM
4. Gym Class Heroes & Adam Levine - Stereo Hearts - 90 BPM
5. Lady GaGa - Edge Of Glory (Bare Noize Remix) - 140 BPM
6. Pitbull & Marc Anthony - Rain Over Me - 128 BPM
7. Nadia Ali, Alex Kenji & Starkillers - Pressure (Alesso Radio Edit) - 129 BPM
8. T.I. & B.o.B. - We Don’t Get Down Like Y’all - 92 BPM
9. LMFAO, GoonRock & Lauren Bennett - Party Rock Anthem (Russ Chimes Remix) - 129 BPM
10. Alexandra Stan - Mr. Saxobeat - 129 BPM
To tell you the truth, I’m not the best at seeking out new songs. I either have to ask friends what’s cool or check out sites rating the top tunes of the week. Luckily, this time, I got a personal email from Chris over at RunHundred asking me to share this playlist with you guys. I was surprised to hear from him because I had already subscribed to their free newsletter a couple months ago!
If you don’t know what RunHundred is, they are basically a website that compiles the best workout songs and emails out what’s hot that week. I love that the BPM (beats per minute) are posted right next to it so that you know whether it’s a fast or slow song.
Musical motivation is sooooo essential to a good, tough workout.
If you want to hear a snippet of these songs, you can go here or just youtube it. That’s what I do!
What songs are on your playlist this month? Tell me! I need more inspiration!
Sorry about the long hiatus! But I’m back now.
Just wanted to get you all in on the latest scoop…
Back in Dec, right before Christmas I had an epiphany and decided that I MUST get samples done for an oGorgeous line of super cute fitness clothes. So what do I do? Buy a ticket from jEtBlue that same night and fly out on Mon and go home on Tues, shipping bolts and bolts and bolts of lycra, mesh, cotton fleece, zippers, and trim back to San Francisco on the bottom of a bus.
What is this all about? Well, the influx of sales in December really inspired me to keep moving forward and grow the line. The super sweet feedback I got from customers truly instilled a sense of earned confidence within me. I felt like I needed to do more. I love love love this feeling, this itching feeling to DO. Just do.
Yoga bags will last you years and years, but fashion is ever-changing. It has been my childhood deam to be a fashion designer and now I am going to make it happen. Just know that there is nothing that can stand in your way except youself…that’s a quote, but I’m going to make it mine. I’m going to own it.
Being inspired is a beautiful thing. The DRIVE can take you anywhere. You feel like life is in YOUR hands. IT is in YOUR control, so make it happen.
Weird though, because sometimes the motivation just comes spontaneously, and it comes in a burst. You act whimsical, dangerously, insensibly, and your eyes are shining bright. I love this. Love this.
Anyway, enough of my random bits of thought.
The new oGorgeous Spring 2010 line will debut featuring three ultra cute and super stylish (yet functional) tops and the most darling sweater in the world.
Can’t wait? Neither can I!
Samples are currently being produced. I’ll upload some snippets of my designs later for your preview.
Take care. And take control.