30 Workouts 30 Days

Okay – so the title of this month might be a little misleading… as I only completed 25 workouts in 40 days… but sometimes life gets in the way.  Or sometimes loss and grief get in the way.  It’s important to pause when important events occur and take a moment to reflect.  I’ve always been an advocate to feeling your feelings; if you’re sad, be sad and don’t try to push passed it.  But you should also remember to take time for yourself.  As someone who works in retail, I spend most of my day making sure other people are happy.  As someone who manages a large group of people, I also spend most of my day making sure other people are happy.  And I am very good at my job.  Customer service is phenomenal and employee turnover is minimal.  But when things happen in my personal life, I often forget how to make time for me.  I took several days off from this 30 day challenge, but in the end realized the importance of personal health and making time to pursue it.

The month started off strong!  Week One included at 7 mile hike around Ramona Falls, several runs totaling 10.87 miles, yoga, and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I burned 1,570 calories!

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Week Two was also pretty fun.  I took a yoga class at a new studio called Yoga Refuge, hiked 5.29 miles with steep elevation gains at Multnomah Falls, watched a Daily Burn video for MMA, took 2 Crossfit classes with Jade, ran 2 miles, and did some outdoor cross training with my sister.  I burned 1,781 calories.

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Week 3 consisted of a few less workouts, but still very enjoyable.  I went to the gym with my dad and ran 2.8 miles alongside him while he began training to run a half marathon with me next year.  That was very inspirational and motivational for me.  I played some golf at McMenamins Edgefield, but mainly just drank.  And then I took an introductory Crossfit class at a local gym.  Only 3 workouts this week, but I’ve been traveling.

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Week 4 was a little better.  I went to Yoga Refuge twice this week. There was one class where I was the only student and it was completely personalized for me and I loved it!  Got to do a lot of shoulder strengthening and hip openers.  Bought a new bike and went on a 3.2 mile loop around the waterfront.  I ran one mile under 9 minutes, which is my fastest mile yet.  I also got to attend Grit Fitness – which is a weekly workout session a friend of mine hosts.  He piles up all types of workout gear in his car and unloads on the side of the street under the Steel Bridge.  Friends and strangers on the street can do strength training with bands, sledgehammers, ropes, kettle bells, or run up and down stairs, in a fun but seriously demanding environment.  It is highly enjoyable but I am definitely the least fit person there.

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Week 5 included at 5.2 mile hike around Silver Falls, a 15 mile bike ride, and a 2.45 mile run.

Silver Falls boots

So here are the stats – I traversed 52 miles.  I took 4 yoga classes, 3 Crossfit classes, 1 Grit Fitness session, several strength training workouts, and set a new personal record for fastest mile.  I got to spend time with my favorite people in the world.  I took a moment to reflect at the top of Mount Tabor and at the beautiful waterfalls at Multnomah, Silver, and Ramona Falls.  I pushed myself to get out there when I didn’t want to, but also knew when to take a break.  Of course I didn’t hit my goal.  I almost never do.  But I still keep making goals and shooting higher and higher.

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May – No TV Month

Sometimes this blog is about learning or doing something new.  Sometimes it’s about challenging yourself to change your behavior and learn a new habit.  When I realized last month that I watch television for at least 30 minutes each and every day, I knew it was time to try something new.  I don’t have cable TV, or even bunny ears to get regular channels.  I have Hulu and Netflix on a Roku devices that streams instantly.  This means I can watch The Daily Show or stream the entire series of 30 Rock anytime I want.  So that’s what I was doing.  And “anytime I want” turned out to be a lot.  I know I don’t sit in front of the television as much as some Americans, but for me, it was a lot.

Nielsen reported in 2009 that Americans watch television for an average of 5 hours per day?!?  Now, the results are a little harder to track because of the newest ways to watch.  The older generation is watching a lot of broadcast TV and the younger folks are watching on the internet, whether it be TV shows, webisodes, or silly cat videos on YouTube.  The newest approximations average 39 hours of your average week are spent watching something.  That’s another full time job! What can you do with an extra 39 hours per week?

I wanted to find out.  No television meant I might do the dishes as soon as they are used.  Or I might get around to putting the laundry away as soon as the dryer buzzes.  Or I might read more.  Who knows?

As it turns out, you can find a lot of ways to relax when you are avoiding television.  I was playing Sudoku on my phone or reading Wild before bed.  I read fashion magazines and news articles in the morning.  I listened to a lot of music on Spotify and discovered (or perhaps rediscovered) some new music including but not limited to Ivan and Alyosha, Nick Drake, The Last Bison, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps.  (Of which, I most definitely recommend watching the Thao video.)  I kept my house clean and even mowed the lawn.  I worked a lot too, staying late or taking work home.

I also gave in to my TV watching urges and cheated 5 times.  When Mr. Adventure came back from Asia, we watched TV all day (re: I watched TV all day while he slept.)  The day before a huge presentation at work when I needed to clear my head and I’d already visited the treadmill, I watched a whole weeks worth of The Daily Show.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever hit a goal I’ve set for this little project and I think that’s the point.  The goal is to challenge yourself, but also do what you want in the moment.  Keep making lofty goals for yourself even when you know they might be unattainable.  Don’t punish yourself for not completing as planned and keep positive as you move forward into your new challenge.

In retrospect of No TV Month, I’d like to say it’s a challenge that everyone should do.  Maybe you need to take baby steps and limit TV first.  Watching TV can be relaxing and educational but it can also be disingenuous and has a tendency to glorify stupidity, violence, and conflict.  There are much better ways to spend your idle time.