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Stay with the struggle.

An attitude I’ve held is evolving.

I used to cheerfully describe myself as “a physical coward,” to excuse myself from working out, working hard, getting out of breath.

Stay with me, this isn’t (just) a fitness post.

This morning in a hybrid spin-rowing class, I reached my inner limits twice, and kept going. Not prettily, but without stopping. I hated it, but I loved it, and I’ll do it again. My trainer, Jenn, cautiously told me early this month that she noticed I was happier after a more challenging workout. I was a little surprised to hear it – I assumed paddling in the shallows would make me happier! But she pointed it out to me, after months of working together, and it’s true. Now I’m actively embracing it.

Here’s my zen moment where it all comes together.

dviiib

After this morning’s efforts, I realized that some people (myself included) may only see a surface quest to lose weight, and miss the deeper mission. It’s about matching wits with your brain. It’s about pushing through the conversations in our head about can’t. It’s about sacrificing your comfort zone for one hour, to reach goals you never could before.

As Jenn says, To achieve something you never had, you have to do something you never did. This applies to everything in our lives. When I’m burning, aching, sweating, shaking in that workout, I’m not joyfully thinking “Yeah! I’m gonna be soooooooooo skinny omg!” I’m hating every heartbeat but I’m digging deep into my gut, the place that Kipling defines as your own will. I’m staying with the discomfort instead of literally throwing in the towel.

Sure, hopefully a better body will be one nice result, but I’m actually learning about perseverance, will, drive, personal choice, personal power. I’m learning about the struggle – and how to go into it.Nike_Make It Count 2013_8

It’s a question we face constantly: To evolve through the challenges or stay comfortable. To take a risk or remain safe in a rut. Nor is it a one time decision, it’s week to week, day to day, and then minute to minute when you find yourself cursing that you ever thought a spin class/Excel tutorial/learning to weld was a good idea.

If I I can’t push my limits for one hour in a gym, how am I going to push my limits in my art? In my career?  As with everything we really love, you’ve got to embrace the process as much as (or even more than) the result.

 

I like this evolution.

 

Let Me See Ya Do the Jane Fonda! Episode 3 with For the Glow

Welcome to Episode 3 in a series about my 21 Day Workout with For the Glow! This is a little sidebar from my usual musings on acting and filmmaking, to bring an honest account of my experiences in one of the actor’s biggest responsibility – physical fitness. I hope to inspire you or at least, make you laugh! Catch up on Episode 1 and Episode 2.

August 24  – August 27 (Days 7 – 10)

Friday morning I got a tweet from poor Jenn, whose detox blues found her breaking out in hives and battling a fever. Either of those by itself makes me feel like a giant baby. Saturday and Sunday we planned to have off while I was at an intensive acting workshop. Sunday night, I was just leaving class close to 11pm and exhausted. We bailed on Monday. That’s life.

Four days without a workout is pretty scary when you’re on a 21-day block, but I chugged healthy fluids (kombucha, water, fresh pressed juices) and did my best to eat well. Sometimes life demands extra attention – these workshops are notorious for being intense, but they only happen every three months. It’s a trade I’m willing to make – my goal just becomes, how do I fuel myself better?

August 29 (Day 12)

We take a few measurements today. I’m terrified. Four days off was a necessary hurdle but I’m scared – what if the workouts that came before aren’t enough? The dreaded numbers come in: My waist is the same, but I’ve lost an inch from my hips. A whole inch! That may not sound like a lot to you, but in the skinny jeans world it’s the difference between sizes! In 12 days and 8 workouts, I’m down an inch! I’m shrinking! Yay!

i put this here because it’s cute and has nothing to do with my real measurements

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Icy Hot Bad Kitty: Episode 2 with For the Glow

Welcome to Episode 2 in a series about my 21 Day Workout! This is a little sidebar from my usual musings on acting and filmmaking, to bring an honest account of my experiences in one of the actor’s biggest responsibility – physical fitness. I hope to inspire you or at least, make you laugh! Catch up on Episode 1, here.

August 19 (Day 2)

I think this says it all, don’t you?

RIP Wonder Russell

I literally could not move after our Sunday session.

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