Saturday, March 22, 2014

FINALLY! Deadlift goal met...

So, last year I participated in a TEAM fitness class at my gym. I joined because it was quite a bit of strength training and I knew that I was not doing enough strength training on my own, especially since my kettlebell classes had ended a few months earlier.

I liked the classes but it was a little frustrating for me because I felt like they were always talking about goals and what we imagined looking like or what our goal weight was. Personally, I had long given up having a weight goal or a "perfect" body type. I just knew I wanted to be healthy and strong.

Ben, the trainer who led the class, told me that I really needed to have goals and would ask me what they were. I finally blurted out, without really thinking about it, that I wanted to be able to deadlift over 200 pounds. Since the beginning of the classes, the deadlift was my favorite lift, even though it was done with the cable machine. Why 200 pounds? I really have no idea but at the time, it seemed like a attainable but challenging point.

As the class went on, I realized how much I like the strength workouts but I really wanted to take it the next level. At some point, the cable machines were just not cutting it any more. I spoke with Ben about it and he arranged for me to meet with a personal trainer. It did not take long to realize that I wanted to learn more about free weights and Olympic weight training. I knew that this was the next step in my fitness journey.

I told Travis, my first trainer at the gym, that one of my goals was to deadlift over 200 pounds. We worked on deadlifts along with other lifts. While with kettlebells, I was able to deadlift two 88 pound kettlebells (176 pounds), lifting with a bar is a lot different. Even though I would get frustrated from time to time, I did love lifting heavy things. I did like working with Travis until he left the gym. Now I am an introvert and I do not deal well with change. Before Travis left, he set me up to continue working with another trainer, Adam. Adam would also help me with my lifting. It took me quite a few sessions to settle into working with the new trainer. 

Working with Adam, I have been working on a lot of things and trying a lot of new lifts. I did have a few difficult times. I hate failing and there were times I would fail to complete a lift. It would drive me crazy.

About a month or so ago, I was able to deadlift 175 pounds but just once. I know I wrote about it before here. My response was not the best. I vowed to get rid of negative hasn't been perfect since then. In fact, two or three weeks ago I really thought I was going to give up personal trainer. I was worried that the rest days I was taking based on his advice were really going to sabotage my fitness efforts. BUT the same day that I was frustrated by all of this, he start to teach me another lift....and I loved it. I knew that I had to stick with the weight lifting and I needed to improve my attitude. I am working on that. I am not doing things that cause me to question what I am doing. I am staying off the scale because it just plays games with my ego. I am sticking with the rest days and the stretching, at least for a month to see what happens.

So, since my 175 pound deadlift, I did a 180 on my own. Another PR. Then with Adam, I did multiple reps at 175 pounds. I have been doing speed work with the deadlift and rack deadlifts. Earlier this week, I asked him if it was okay if I tried to lift heavy on my own today and he was fine with it.

I went to the gym today to see what I could do with my deadlift. After my warm up, I set up the deadlift in the back corner of the gym. I did some warm up lifts and then tried 185 pounds I was able to do a 3x3 with this new weight. So, I thought maybe just maybe I could lift 200 pounds, my goal since last summer.

I put the appropriate weight on the bar and started to visualize lifting the weight. I just couldn't do it. I tried and tried and tried but even though I could get it off the ground, I couldn't make the last move to stand up. Fortunately, Adam and another trainer were there, talking to each other. They started to encourage me. Honestly, I was quite happy that I had done the 3x3 at 185 pounds but I really wanted to get this weight lifted.

Adam had me try some things to activate my glutes. He had me lift from a slightly elevated state. I did it. I then was ready to try the 205 pounds from the ground, one last time. AND I DID IT. 

GOAL MET and crossed off my 50 during the year I turn 50 list. Now on to more goals! 

My husband, who is my biggest fan, presented me with this charm today. I love it so much and I love even more that he believes in me.

It is such a good thing to set a goal and reach it. I am still feeling good about it.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

And They All Cheered for Me....

Today I participated in a Polar Plunge. A friend that was to do it with me had to go out of town at the last minute so I went solo. This particular polar plunge was very team based. I did not know that when I signed up to participate. It did benefit the Special Olympics and was sponsored by law enforcement around the area. There were all types of teams....and then there was me. My husband came as moral support...and my own personal photographer but he was not plunging.

I got into the queue for the plunge. When I had checked in, they had said that I could ask the teams around me if I could plunge with them so I wouldn't have to be alone. Honestly, I thought about it but I did not want to get into the middle of their moment and I did not realize that EVERYONE was part of a team.

So, team after team was announced and they plunged away. People in costumes, law enforcement teams, family members of Special Olympians all went. It was fun to watch people (although mostly I was just anxiously awaiting my turn). I decided that I had to do it on my own. When I got to the front of the line, I told them it was just me on the team. The announcer embraced it and got the crowd cheering me on. So I plunged. It was COLD COLD COLD but I did it.

The water was not deep so you had to make an effort to get under the water. When I did, the freezing temperature of the water (38 Fahrenheit) took my breath away and it kind of scared me. But I got up, high fived one of the firemen, and left the water. I completed my first ever polar plunge....and everyone cheered for me. It was an extreme step out of my comfort zone...but isn't that what my lifestyle changes have been about over the past few years.

I can't wait to do my next one!

Monday, March 3, 2014

So many comments at the gym....

I am having an issue again....wanting to be more anonymous at the gym. This past week it seemed like EVERY day I was at the gym, someone approached me to say something. They were all nice comments and I was good about saying thank you and continuing my work. I don't know why it is so hard to accept people saying good things to be okay with people noticing my progress.

Some days I would just like to be in a corner at the gym with no one noticing me. I do tend to work on things in the corner and at hours that there are few people at the gym. I choose the treadmills in the odd areas of the gym.

BUT I will not let it get to me. I will be proud that people are noticing changes. I will be proud that people wish they could dead lift like I do. Enough of the putting myself in the corner and getting my hackles raised when people invade my personal space.

On another note, this weekend is a polar plunge that I am going to participate in. I have NEVER done anything like this. It could be interesting.