Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bike

Today was an adventure for sure.  Kids had no school so they came with me to the 9am Boot Camp. I went with every intention of doing a back to back class by by the time 9:35 showed up I knew my ass had been handed to me hardcore and to do a second class was not going to happen.

Took the kiddos home tried to stop sweating like a pig, changed my clothing and we headed into the city.

It was my plan to walk the bike to the shop for a tune up and leave it there till tomorrow when I could be kidless to pick it up and then we would go and see my aunt who just moved here from Turkey and lives half a block from the bike shop.

My father decided he was going to join us (My aunt is his younger sister) and was parked waiting for us outside my mom's apartment. I decided to leave the kids in the car with him and ride the bike to the shop which was just 6 blocks away.  I didn't expect them to escort me as a SAG (Support & Gear) vehicle but that's exactly what they did.

Dad drove slowly with his hazards on right next to me and the kids leaned out the window shouting encouraging words and waving at everyone who was around.  The best was when Brian held a bottle of water out the window and said
 "Keep Hydrated mommy!"

Thankfully I do not embarrass easily and this whole exchange had me cracking up. Got to the bike shop, and turns out all Bison needed was air in her tires so they didn't keep her and I had to ride her home. This was a slightly unexpected twist as now my dad had to follow me back to my mom's place so I could put the bike in the basement again.

I HATE HATE HATE riding in traffic. It scares the crap out of me. The quickest route home was straight up West 10th Street. 10th is a narrow street with parking on either side and a hill at the start to boot. (I survived the hill!) but was really nervous since I had a van in front of me and a truck behind me.

It seemed I caught every single light and at one, a cab was making a left which required him to cross into my path. He was fine. I knew he was turning. I had no idea however that the freakin van was going to cut me off and push in front of me to make a left as well.

I honestly though I was going to get hit by the cab who was behind me and in a super rush to get around the van.

I battled two delivery trucks parked in the bike lane who forced me to pull into traffic and had me pedal my little heart out as though my very life depended on it to keep the cars behind me from backing up. (0 to 16 miles per hour in a very short time is rather impressive in my book!)

Despite all of this, I made it home and once I parked Bison I realized just how much I love that bike and how safe I feel on her.

I love the smiles that I see when people get a look at her and the comments that I get. (Some guy today called her the Pinkbot!)
I love how strong I feel when I'm on her. Riding her is a really good indication to me of just where I am in strength and fitness and endurance.

She and I are a team and I cannot wait until Sunday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

30 MS Bike Tour

So this Sunday I'm riding in the Bike MS NYC event.

You all know by now that I ride a single speed 60 pound pink beach cruiser named Bison.
(named by my very astute eldest son. When we picked it up from the shop for the first time he said "Mommy. You should call the bike Bison, because it's as big as a Bison!")


Yeah, I know. I should have a more practical bike for this sort of an event but I love my sweet Bison. We are a team and a good one at that.
You should also know that she and I don't do hills. Or we haven't done hills in the past. This ride will be the one that I'm going to attempt hills. (gulp!)

The ride website says this:
30 Mile Ride: For participants of all levels. Experience Manhattan TRAFFIC FREE via the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, Harlem River Drive and the West Side Highway. This route is mostly flat and does not have any steep hills.

Sounds promising right? Right. Except that I'm a born and raised New Yorker who absolutely knows better. The key words in the above statement are MOSTLY and STEEP. 

Map of the Route

I happen to know that there are hills, perhaps not considered steep by most but to me on my heavy single speed they ARE steep. 
These hills worry me. This will however be the first ride that I attempt to ride them rather than getting off and walking them.

That's not to say that I won't be getting off and walking them, but I will attempt them this time rather than just giving up without even trying.

At least that's the plan as I sit here in front of my computer and type this...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Motivation

It will come to no surprise to any of you if I tell you that I'm a vain gal. I'm not vain to the point where I'm obsessed with my looks and think I'm the cats meow and better than the rest but I'm my own biggest fan for sure.

Back in the 80s and into the 90s I was a rock and roll gal. Weekends were spend at the Limelight (Sunday only for Rock & Roll Church) and L'Amour in Brooklyn and the Scrap Bar and a handful of places in Jersey that I've forgotten the names of.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights were out at a club or at a concert. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday required a new groupie gal outfit that was cuter, tighter and sexier than the weekend before. I rocked the 5 inch come fuck me heels and dresses or skirts so tight it left nothing to the imagination.

My best friend and partner in crime and I learned very early that the way to get into clubs as a minor was to show off the goods. Distract the bouncer with your assets and you would never have a problem getting in. This meant tight and short with more clevage showing than the average gal.

One of our favorite things to do while inside the club or at a concert was be evil catty snotty bitches. We would shred the other girls to ribbons with our comments, making merciless fun of them. We were always the best looking most desirable girls on display at whatever the venue happened to be.

I was able to keep my cute figure until I got married. Then I got comfortable and lazy. Then I had the kids and I got really fat.

We are headed out on the Kiss Kruise in about 20 days and I know without a doubt that that ship will have it's fair share of groupie bimbos with crazy tight bodies and faux boobs who will be rockin the outfits I used to. I've been part of the rock world long enough to know that these girls have it and will flaunt it at every single opportunity available to them.

(this is where the vanity comes in)

I made a promise to myself that I was going to push and shove myself as hard as I could and really work as hard as I could at Boot Camp in that time.

I know I'm not going to lose the 80 + extra pounds I have on me and be able to fit into spandex by the time we board the ship but I need to be able to hold my own against these shallow twits. 

Even if I'm overweight I can still be a smug, catty bitch (I can't help it. Put me around rock and roll and rockstars and that side of me just shows up.) knowing that as far as strength goes I can run rings around these gals. In order for me to have my claws sharp and my tounge sharper I need to have the goods to back it all up.

I need to be able to board that ship knowing that I'm in the best shape I can be in and while I might be a work in progress, I don't look half bad for a 38 year old mother of two.

All this week I've done back to back classes at Boot Camp and really pushed myself with every one. Usually if I do two in a row, I take it easy in the first class so that I have extra energy for the second class.
This week I've gone balls to the wall at every class.

Add to my extra effort the fact that this week I've started jogging with Jesse. Every day a little further and we haven't gone super far but my muscles feel it!

I will continue in this fashion until the cruise (If I don't collapse beforehand!) and will then be able to rock and roll all night and party every day in a happy fashion.

Evidence that I was at one point insanely cute & had a much tighter bod than I do now.

 My goth/glam/punk phase. That's my pal Smash in the background.

 These two were taken at Sea World. I have no idea what I was thinking wearing that outfit out in daylight.
 Ready to go to a Poison Concert.
 Hanging with the horses.
 At Webster Hall. That's my pal Sin.d in the middle and Jae on the right. I'm on the left.
Last photo ever taken of me and my best pal/partner in crime. Couldn't tell you where we were going but we were going to cause trouble wherever it was!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So you all remember when I stepped on the scale two weeks ago and was horrified that it read 190? I've been working super hard doing back to back boot camps and really really pushing myself as hard as I can and today I got on the scale and saw this:

All I have to say to that is WOO-FREAKIN-HOO!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class today

Did back to back classes again today. Jesse & I went for a run in between and today I ran half a block further than I did yesterday.

Because two classes with a trot around the block in the middle isn't enough, I gave Jesse a piggyback ride at the end of the 10am class.

My poor legs are so achy and tired now!

Here is the video. Clearly no matter what we are doing we always have fun doing it.

video

Reason 3000

I know I'm forever going on and on about how amazing Hoboken Boot Camps is but it's all true and I have one more example to add to the
"why gyms suck & Hoboken Boot Camps is the total mac daddy of the workout world"
list.

Last week on Facebook I said that I know I have the strength, I need to work on my endurance and stamina.

Yesterday my beloved Coach (Mistress) Jesse said she knew the perfect way to help me build up my endurance and we would do it between classes (I did back to backs yesterday).

I had NO idea what she had in store for me but was ready for whatever she tossed my way.

At least I thought I was. When she went out onto the loading dock and started a slow jog I had serious doubts. Like a good minion though I started a very slow jog with no idea where we were going and unsure if I could make it more than a block.

She had us run around the Monroe Center Property.

On this map we started out on the 7th street side and looped around by the light rail, up 8th and back down to 7th street.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Monroe+Center+Hoboken&hl=en&ll=40.746997,-74.037724&spn=0.002126,0.004973&gbv=2&t=h&z=18&vpsrc=6
Most of my pals are total gazelles. They all run and they make it look effortless and graceful.  My short run was neither of these things but it doesn't matter. I made it more than half way around before I had to walk. I think that's kinda of awesome for me, a woman who doesn't even chase her kids.

The thing that makes this so totally awesome is not that a short slow run didn't cause me to drop dead but that Jesse read my post on Facebook, and decided to help me reach my goal. She didn't have to offer to take me for a run each day, to help me slowly build my stamina.

She did it because she rocks and she wants to see me be the best that I can be.
Can you tell me that your chain gym trainer would take the time and go the extra mile like this for his clients?

We are going to do it each day to slowly build my legs up and along with it my stamina.

So there you have it. Reason 3,000 why I love Hoboken Boot Camps

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Years Later

Today marks the two year anniversary of my torrid love affair/obsession with Hoboken Boot Camps.
Two years ago today I picked up a 5 pound Kettlebell and thought it was crazy heavy.
Two years ago today David asked me to run half a lap and I couldn't do it.
Two years ago today I touched a TRX band for the first time.
Two years ago today I couldn't do 10 jumping jacks.
Two years ago today the warmup exercises kicked my ass and I wondered how I was going to survive class.

To celebrate my special milestone day I did back to back classes. 9am and 10am.
Today was LOTS and LOTS of leg work, flutter kicks, bicycle kicks, knees to chest.
Today was the first day I've ever been able to complete a full set of 40 bicycle kicks without having to rest my legs.
Today was the first day I've ever been able to complete a full set of 60 flutter kicks without having to rest my legs.

In fact, today, after doing one full class I was able to push myself and crank out every single rep of every single exercise he asked us to do with little or no rest during the reps.

After class I had enough leftover energy to want to attempt to do a deadlift with the two red (32kg or 71 pounds each) Kettlebells.


I was able to deadlift those Kettlebells 10 times.
Me, the gal who couldn't lift a 5 pound Kettlebell two years ago was able to pick up 142 pounds of weight, not once, not twice, but TEN TIMES.

That plus the fact that the cardio didn't kill me and I was able to push myself the way I did makes me feel super strong.

That's rockstar bad ass stuff.




Friday, September 9, 2011

Vacation Countdown & new goals

Monday my sweet husband and I will be married 12 years. 
We had wanted to take a 2nd honeymoon for our 10th anniversary but my mother and sister (the only two people who will watch the kids) didn't feel comfortable at that point watching the boys for longer than an overnight.

When they announced the Kiss Kruise I told him that it was something I would love to do (I've been a Kiss fan for over 20 years) He said if I could get my mother and sister to agree to watch the kids, he would go. I honestly think he thought, knowing their babysitting track record and how they have said no in the past, he would be safe.
Poor guy, they said they would watch the kids.

Kiss is not his cup of tea so we decided to treat this time away, alone together as our 2nd honeymoon. We will have 5 days without kids, on a cruise.

I figured that I should probably step up and pretend to be a good wife and maybe pretend that I'm a girl and wear something other than tee shirts and leggings on this trip.

Of course, the news I got yesterday when I got onto the scale doesn't help me feel very sexy or feminine but I'm beyond that and realize that I must accentuate the positives and eliminate (or hide) as many of the negatives as I can.

We have 33 days till the trip. That means I have roughly 30 Boot Camps to work as hard as I can to transform as much of myself as I can. (I try to get to class 6 days a week)

I did back to back classes today and decided that between today and October 12th when we leave I will do at least 3 back to backs a week. 

I'm not delirious or fooling myself into thinking there will be a full body transformation in that period of time but I can use these classes to keep the muscle I have tone and to continue to work on my legs and ass.

I want to be able to put on my bathing suit and know how hard I've worked to get to where I am, even if where I am is still overweight with lots and lots of cellulite and varicose veins.

On another note,I have found two random goals that I want to work on reaching in Boot Camp over the coming months.

1. I want to be able to do an unassisted pull up/hang.  My body and my muscles are so weird. When it comes to working with weights, I know I'm strong. Stronger than lots of the women who come to Boot Camp (and some of the men) and yet, I do not have the strength or the power to do even one pull up without a boost or a lift.
This feels really off balance to me and makes me feel like my strength is sort of incomplete if that makes any sense.

Granted I can't even REACH the bars at Boot Camp but the one time we attempted them I struggled in a most fierce fashion. That's unacceptable. I'm not asking to do 10 or 20. I want to do one unassisted pull up.


Goal two is to be able to not get torn to shreds by the one exercise that every time we do it I want to drop dead and throw up simultaneously.

There is no other exercise in the Boot Camp bag of tricks that destroys me like this one does.

Loop a tension band around your waist and have a partner grab the other side and "drive" you down the loading dock.  It is the non pullers job to make the person pulling work for every single step they take.  If you are lucky, when you get to the other end, the puller becomes the driver when you guys swap positions. If not, you do a full up and back.

Doesn't look very long or far right? During this drill, it's a freakin zillion miles. 
The last time I did it (prior to today) I had the unfortunate luck of having to go up and back and I couldn't finish. I really thought I was going to throw up.

Today we switched positions at the other end and I was partnered with Coach (Mistress) Jesse. I know she's in crazy shape and has like zero body fat but I've got to outweigh her by at LEAST 60 pounds maybe more. (I'm guessing a lot more)

I knew she wouldn't let me skate but I had no idea I was going to struggle the way I did! I didn't think I was going to make it to the end.

My ass was kicked big time. My legs were like rubber, my hips ached, and I was completely and totally out of breath panting like a dog on a summer day.

All I could think of as I struggled to move forward was this event:

http://www.youtube.com/v/_sqA4gEgXQU?version=3&hl=en_US"> name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> http://www.youtube.com/v/_sqA4gEgXQU?version=3&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="345" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">
These horses are pulling 6,000 pounds and they struggle less than I did today.

I want to be able to do this exercise and not feel like I've just run a marathon with a weighted vest on.

So I guess that's three goals actually.
1. Push hard/train hard till the Cruise so I'm at my best and can feel comfortable about wearing a dress.
2. To work for one unassisted pull up.
3. To get to a point where the resistance band run/pull doesn't tax me the way it does now.

Three very real, very obtainable goals. 
Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to hobble to pick up my kids from school.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rededicating Efforts

I went to the Doctor today and they forced me onto the scale kicking and screaming. I knew I wasn't going to like what I heard but when she told me what my weight was I almost fainted dead away.
190 pounds.
I felt like I'd been  hit in the gut and I wanted to cry.
Two years ago at this time I was down to 172 pounds.
The heaviest weight I've ever been was 205.
I'M FIFTEEN FUCKING POUNDS AWAY FROM THAT!!!!!!!!!

After the doctors appt I had to head to the city to get a script that was waiting for me so I took the PATH.
Tonight is some sort of huge fashion world shopping event in NYC and it seems that my train car was just filled with these itty bitty 6 inch heel wearing, overtanned, dressed to the 9s, each one more beautiful than the next women.

I was sandwiched into my seat flanked on one side by a girl wearing the cutest dress that I couldn't fit one thigh into and on the other side was a gal with legs like a giraffe.

I felt like I was backstage at a fashion show. They were all flawless and appeared to have walked off the pages of Vogue.

I sat there, with no makeup on, my hair pulled back in a claw clip, leggings, oversized Alice Cooper Tee, Black Converse sneakers, Disney World zip up hoodie sweatshirt. I could not be more different than these women.

It didn't help that every single man lucky enough to be in this car reminded me of Tex Avery's Wolf.

As the train pulled out of the station, I found my mood growing darker and darker and my self loathing getting more amped up. I felt ugly and fat.

Then I did what I usually do and started to tear these poor gals apart in my head. Ugly shoes, over processed hair, orange tans, bad makeup. Stupid, shallow, vain...

Then that little voice piped up and said:

"Could any of these girls do what you did yesterday?"

Yesterday the kids went back to school and I was able to go to Boot Camp for the first time in 2 months without them.
I went with the energy and focus of a rabid dog.

We always warm up with bands and a run on the loading dock. Lately, I've been walking rather than running but yesterday I decided to try to run. I got two laps before my shins started to scream (I suffer from shin splints) so I walked the last two rounds.

Once we were all done with warmups we started out doing
10 squat jumps
40 jumping jacks
10 cobra stretches
then
10 squat jumps
60 jumping jacks
20 cobra stretches

I who refuse to do jumping jacks, did all the jumping jacks he asked us to do.
I still hate them & struggled with how uncoordinated they make me feel, how self conscious I get knowing everything is floppin and slappin and flippin and I feel like this. I pushed and did them anyway.

Then the real fun began.

David had us carry every single Kettlebell and tire and dumbell and medicine ball from one side of the studio to the other. Once we were at the other side, we did 2 pushups, 5 squats & 2 burpees.

Without thinking about it I grabbed the two red  32kg bells (70 pounds each) and did the farmers walk with them to the other side of the studio.
Went back, got two of the green 24kg (52 pounds each) did the farmers walk again.
Went back got the two 60 pound cast iron black Kettlebells, walked them to the other side.
Went back and grabbed two tires, carried them over.
Carried over other various Kettlebells but nothing was ever less than 35 pounds.
Last trip was the two 50 pound dumbells.

(Don't forget that in between each carry we were doing all that other stuff too!)

Once we had moved all the equipment from one side to the other, we has to bring it all back to the original spot.

I did the whole thing all over again.

After all that, we did 4 sets of bicycle kicks (40,50,60,80) followed by cobra stretches (10,20,30,40) and inchworms (20,30,40,60) and closed out the class with 80 jumping jacks.
(I grabbed the jump rope rather than doing jumping jacks. It all wiggles and flops just as much with the jump rope but somehow I'm more comfortable with it.)

I carried a total of somewhere around 1000 pounds yesterday with all the weights and Kettlebells.  That's some bad ass shit right there. It wasn't a far distance & it wasn't all at once but it doesn't matter.

As I sat between these fashionable waifs I realized that I will NEVER EVER be what they are. I will never be stick thin and will never care about fashion designers or fashion week or who's wearing what or if I should wear white after Labor Day.

In turn however, they will never be able to do what I did yesterday.
I carried all that weight and did 180 jumping jacks, 10 pushups, 60 squats, 230 bicycle kicks, 130 Cobra stretches, & 280 inchworms and still at the end of class grabbed my 45 pound Kettlebell and did 20 overhead presses lying on my back.

I'm strong and getting stronger every single day. I need to rededicate myself to the weight loss and crack down on what I'm eating but I can't ever forget how far I've come and how 2 years ago (the 13th of this month is my 2 year Hoboken Boot Camp anniversary) I couldn't do 5 jumping jacks and thought the 10 pound Kettlebell was too heavy.

Now that the kids are back in school, I can take my bike out again and get more cardio work in. I can take long brisk paced walks in Manhattan & I can take back to back Boot Camp classes.

I will get this weight back off again. I can't beat myself up over it.

I need to always remember how far I've come and never to compare myself with anyone else. I'm not ever going to be anyone else but me.
I can't forget it! I'm naturally Awesome!

I left the train feeling much better about myself.