Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Motivation - Kim

Morning peeps!  It's been a while since we have had a Monday Motivation Blogger.  We're switching things up today with a :sound the trumpets:  Bike Rider!  Woohoo!  We've had lots of runners-  but so far this is the first bike rider motivational story.  I met Kim two years ago.  She is friends with my friend Elizabeth (of the Shamrock Shuffle Motivation Monday- Elizabeth).  Since meeting her two years ago for Elizabeths first Shamrock Shuffle she has been a source of inspiration and motivation for me.  After meeting me briefly for all of two hours, she became a huge cheerleader of mine, training and then competing in my Triathlon and has been my go-go-go you can do it girl, ever since.  So, as soon as I heard she was doing the Tour de Cure, I knew it was my time to cheer for her! (well, in spirit anyway-  since she lives in New York and all)

Anyhow-  you don't need anymore of my wordiness gumming up her story- so without further ado, Kim!
Kim pictured on far right 

Up until two weekends ago, I had not been on a bike in about 14 years. So when a co-worker asked everyone in my office if they’d like to do a 30 mile bike race around Manhattan for the American Diabetes Association’s “Tour de Cure”, I had my reservations. Thankfully, the idea of cruising around the city on a nice summer day with friends and getting in a great workout, all the while raising money for a wonderful cause, trumped any hesitation I had in signing up. After all, riding a bike must be, well “just like riding a bike”. Right?

I’ll admit that I did not train as I probably should have for this event. I had every intention of renting a bike a weekend or two before the race, at the very least to just test my comfort level.  But, life got in the way and before I knew it, race day was here without once going for a test drive. Thankfully, I had been keeping up with other workouts in my day to day life that allowed me to survive race day.   

Roughly two and a half years ago, on my 30th birthday, I made the decision that enough was enough. It was time to get in shape, lose weight, and starting living an active and healthier lifestyle. Despite some ups and downs and though not yet near my goal, I’ve stayed (for the most part) on track with my workouts and have made great strides in getting healthy. I run fairly often, have completed some road races (including a half marathon) and thanks to the help of an ex-Army Airborne Ranger who I’m lucky to call my trainer, I feel stronger and more fit than I have since high school.

Three years ago, I could never have kept up with my group on race day. Some of the people on my team had done these bikes races in the past. I mean, they even had the outfits and gear that just screamed “I’m a bike rider!”. The others who made up the group were almost ten years younger than me. But, turns out that did not matter. Ten miles into the race and halfway up a steep hill near the George Washington Bridge, my quads started to burn, I was gasping for air and sweat was pouring down my face. But then I thought to myself that these feelings – the pain, the desire to keep on pushing to just get this part over with - was the same feeling I’ve had a million times in the past two and a half years. It was the same feeling I have with my trainer when he makes me do what feels like a million squat jumps. It’s the same feeling I have when running, on my last mile and can see the finish line off in the distance. You have to just keep repeating “you’re almost there…!” and soon enough, I would be, the burn would go away, the hill turned to flat land and all I had to do was keep pedalling.

Race day turned out to be wonderful. We raised nearly $3800 as a group for a very important cause, had beautiful weather, and I saw parts of New York City that I otherwise never would have seen from that perspective. But most importantly, from a personal standpoint, we were able to cross the finish line as a team. I was right there with my group, no worse for wear than anyone else, as we cruised across the finish line and celebrated a job well done. 

Congrats to Kim and her whole Tour De Cure team!  Kim's fund raising website is still active.  If you would like to donate to her Tour DeCure fundraising site, raising funds for Diabetes, please click here  

Have you recently completed a race and would like to be a Monday Motivation featured writer?  Email me at millie at and let me know!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't Be Intimidated!

The Show Me Your Guns challenge has reached its halfway point. From the responses I have gotten back, were a few that discussed still being intimidated at the gym.  And not necessarily intimidated to use the equipment, but intimidated by the gym rats that work out there.

Ok-  If you walk into the gym and see Mr Muscle Men working out, spitting on the floor, flexing their pecs or just in general acting like muscle men-  just remember.  YOU pay dues to that gym too!

HE is NO BETTER than you are.  Just because he's all buff and toned and tan doesn't mean he is any better of a person than you are.  Everyone, INCLUDING YOU has a right to that equipment.  So don;'t let their impatience, huffing and puffing, or in general holier than thou attitudes scare you off.

If you still feel leery about using the equipment when they are around, then perhaps until you get used to your routine, try going at an off hour.  I know what you're going to say, because I use the same excuse "But the gym is on my way to/from work-  and THAT is when I work out... once I'm home I don't WANT to go back to the gym"  trust me.  I know.  Either immediately before work, or immediately after work are the only two times I can work out either.  Because if I get home and plop myself on that couch I will find every excuse in the book to not get back up and out the door again.

However, until you feel comfortable in your surroundings and have done these workouts enough times that you could change the weights on the machines in your sleep-  it may help you be less intimidated if you try going at an off hour (like 8:00pm)

If you are still a bit intimidated-  go to the front desk and ask if someone can walk you through how to use the machines (most gyms offer a familiarization to the equipment for free)-  and if you are still unsure, it might be a good idea to hire a trainer.  Even if its only for one time... it might be worth it to have someone holding your hand and cheering you along as you do it.

No matter what though-  that muscle man who is giving you the stink eye, does not hold your happiness in his attitude.  YOU are there for YOU.  And if Mr Macho man can't handle it.... TOUGH.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wow! Long Time No Talk

Holy moly. Its been a while!

So, I guess I should probably fill you in a bit on what's been going on. Brutus found greener pastures with a new gym. So, I havent seen him for a while. We're trying to get our schedules figured out and see where we can meet so he can start kicking my butt again.

The summer term started um, two(?) weeks ago.. and it took off running. So I've been more than overwhelmed trying to balance work and school. Why do I always do this to myself? Thankfully, the term is almost over already- only three and a half weeks left- yay.

I have a book to review written by Chris MacCormack. It should be up later this week.

Ive been getting some questions about the Water Proof IPod Nano I'm testing, and why I havent blogged about it. The Water Proof Nano is in the testing stages still. So there will be some bugs and such to work out while, well, working out.

The one that I had took on water and had to be sent back to the manufacturer. I just received my replacement, and hopefully it will go along swimmingly from here on out (pun intended).

If you are a SHOW ME YOUR GUNS participant. We are ALMOST at the 6 week mark. I will be sending out an email in the new few days with the midpoint check in information ( I cant believe its been six weeks! Holy moly time flies)

My Dad, Sister and I have signed up for the Naperville Triathlon at the end of the summer. We are currently planning on doing it as a relay, however, Im tinkering with the idea of seeing if I can do the full monty. I'm not quite sure how that would work tracking wise, or, if they would allow me to compete in the whole thing without tracking me (though that would kind of stink considering I wouldn't know my times then)but considering it will be my only Tri this season, I kind of feel like I should really be doing the whole thing.

This weekend is the Naperville Women's Tri. I'm so sad I'm not going to be competing in it. But lack of time, and some unexpected travel has prevented me from competing.

So, sorry for the frenetic whirlwind post :)

I'll update more later!