Day to Day

Comfort zones

I think every now and then we need to be knocked down a notch or two whether it’s from a fitness standpoint or life in general. It helps us to not be complacent and reevaluate goals.

Now that my energy levels feel like they’re getting better; at least my desire to stay in bed until noon has diminished, I’ve begun exercising more. I signed up for a personal trainer at my gym that I’ll meet with twice a month, and I also signed up for small group class themed around sculpting and kettlebells that meets weekly for the next three weeks.

I had a day before the class began to think about how badass* (*please keep reading I’m not that egotistical!) I was for signing up for personal training and an hour-long class. The bad ass feeling completely went away 5-10 minutes into the class. You know, 10 lbs don’t seem like much to be lifting but it tends to sting a bit when you do it 100 times. Not to mention, I’ve been doing very little strength training the past few months. I guess I thought it’d be like riding a bike and I’d magically be back to where I was. The entire time I kept thinking, why am I sweating so much?! I felt fine other than being hot and then a sudden faint feeling hit me about 35 minutes in as I finished doing lunges. I told the instructor I needed to stop for a minute and I’d be back. I ran off to the shower room and sat there with my head between my legs trying not to move so I could regain my composure and so I wouldn’t throw up. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anywhere I could throw up so that wasn’t an option.

It took me about 10 minutes to get back up and head back to my group. I was met by one of the owner’s and she told me to lie down and she’d get an ice pack. I started feeling better a few minutes later and the instructor told me I could join in for the cooldown if I wanted. I did that and as soon as the class was over I had to run back to the shower room. My clothes were soaked and I needed cold water on me. The thing with being lightheaded is even the simplest tasks, like taking off clothes are impossible. I momentarily thought about sacrificing my Fitbit and heart rate monitor just so I could get into the shower. Thankfully, I didn’t and just sat there. Plus, all of these scenarios went through my head of, if I do get my clothes off, and actually need some sort of medical help, this will be incredibly embarrassing. Needless to say, I opted to just sit in my wet clothes until the feeling subsided.

I felt better eventually, changed my clothes, and made it back to my car. I didn’t feel embarrassed by the situation until I was driving away from the gym. That’s when tears began to well up in my eyes because of events that just transpired and also because it’s realizing you’re not good at something. I had a moment to feel sorry for myself but then I realized I stepped out of my comfort zone. I did things I hadn’t done before. I did burpees and didn’t die for god’s sake! Those are good things. Yes, strength training is not something I’ve been doing consistently lately, and never for that long, and so it’s to be expected that I would suck.

A few years ago, I took a boot camp class at this same gym and had a similar experience, and unfortunately never went back to that class. At that time, I might’ve gone to the gym once a week if I was lucky, so it’s no wonder I felt lightheaded. I made up all sorts of excuses as to why I wasn’t going to go back to that class. The truth was I was a coward and it was easier to be complacent than to actually put forth the time and effort to change something. With this most recent experience, instead of running away, I see the areas that need work. I can’t expect to be good at something without practicing it a lot. I very well may get lightheaded again at the next class but things won’t change unless I change.

What have you done to step out of your comfort zone?

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  • Reply
    July 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I can think of moments like that back in college when I took step aerobics. I am a competitive person, so being in the class and seeing all of the girls doing the “advanced” moves, I decided I could too even though I hadn’t been stepping very long. I started off okay but then tried to do one of the hop up on the step and kick high moves and found myself on my ass. lol

    It was humbling after I’d gotten so smug about being able to do the other advanced moves the other girls (much thinner than me) could do, but I stood up, adjusted my step, and got back into it.

    Another time was after I finished college and moved back home and even though I hadn’t worked out in months and I was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life, I thought that I could still walk the 3 miles I walked the last time I worked at the job I’d found myself back at. After not even half a mile, I felt like I was dying. Cramps, light-headedness, nausea, etc. I struggled to make it to my car, climbed inside, and cried my eyes out.

    But it was the wake-up call I needed. I allowed it to encourage me instead of discourage me and I wound up losing nearly 50 pounds (I’ve struggled with the same 10 pounds here and there for the past year and really still could lose another 50 lbs). It’s good to see that you didn’t let this experience discourage you and you are realizing sometimes it takes a lot of practice to get back in shape or to get in shape for the first time. Before long, you’ll be looking back at this post and thinking, “Oh man, look at all this progress I’ve made!” 🙂

    • Reply
      July 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Amy, thanks for replying! I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I think where we differ is, I don’t feel as though I’m competitive at all; I think my issue is I live in a little fitness bubble (heh) and now that I started working out with others it’s easier to spot my weaknesses. I think it’s awesome that you got right back up and kept on steppin’. That’s determination and the reason why you’ve lost the weight in the first place. 50 lbs is very impressive!

      I know exactly what you mean about struggling with weight at times. I’ve been struggling with the same 5 lbs but I’m hoping with this recent experience I’ll push right on through!

  • Reply
    Kathy V
    July 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I had a trainer for a while, who I saw once ever week. I’d feel like a total badass…until he switched up the intensity every 3rd week. And thus, every third week I had a near-vomit experience. I got a couple free gatorades out of almost losing my cookies…
    Only twice did I almost faint. Both times I wasn’t even worried about getting to the locker room. Don’t push yourself to make it there if you have to sit down *right now*. They should all understand that. And also, it’s totally ok in a class to not do things full intensity if it is going to make you sick. Even doing some of it is better than doing none of it. There’s no shame in working up to it.
    All in all, though…good for you for stepping out of the comfort zone and working through it!!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

      They were definitely understanding, I really couldn’t ask for a better gym. Unfortunately, in the small workout room with 6 others, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit unless it was on a ball or a bike otherwise I would’ve plopped down right there. I think my issue is when I workout with a group or with a trainer I feel I work out harder than I would alone, and you’re right, I do need to work up to it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dorothy Inman
    July 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I am doing my first triathlon on July 21st. It’s actually a tri relay because I can’t run (for medical reasons), but I am doing a swim (in the Ohio River) and a bike. I have been training like crazy for the past few weeks and have had those light headed moments as well, but I have pressed on. After a 10 mile bike ride today I did not want to swim at all, but I pulled myself up from my boot straps and did it anyway. I swam all 40 minutes non stop and felt pretty good towards the end while I was doing it. I have never exercised this hard in my life, but I FEEL so much better as a result. Yes, my legs and arms are sore…as well as my butt, but I feel like I sleep better and have more drive during the day than I ever had. Your post is very timely. Don’t give up. You can do it 🙂

    • Reply
      July 2, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Ooh, your first triathlon! That’s very exciting! I can’t even imagine training for that; I can’t swim so swimming 40 minutes seems impossible! You’ll definitely look back fondly on these times down the line. I remember training for a few races last year and it was hard getting out of bed at the crack of dawn but how I felt after completing those races will always stay with me. Keep up your good work!

  • Reply
    Thankful Thursday | THEMACGIRL*
    July 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

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