I know, I know, pride goeth before a fall and Ego will keep you from true Enlightenment. I do, in fact, believe in humility and having a servant’s heart; I believe in knowing that you will never know all the answers and that there will always be someone who is doing the exact same thing you’re doing but with more success; I believe in accepting that we are all part of a big cosmic web, where no one part is inherently more or less important than any other part, so we should all play nicely and share the toys.
I also believe in celebrating your own victories, because a) you can’t always guarantee that someone else will celebrate ’em for you, and b) sometimes hearing about someone else’s triumphs will provide that little boost that one needs to get him/her out of a slump–kind of an “If she can do that, so can I!” sort of thing.
So today I’m totally braggin’.
Approximately two months ago–on January 12, according to the little tracker thingie–I joined Fitocracy. You may have heard me mention it before; basically, it’s a site that makes exercise kinda-sorta game-like: you exercise, then you come tell the site what you did and it awards you points, which combine to let you Level Up. You can get bonus points by completing quests–usually sets of pre-selected exercises–which help you level up faster as well as giving you nifty online badges to show off to your friends. And as we all know, I’ll do just about anything for the promise of points and leveling up and getting completely real-world-valueless prizes (stickers, anyone?), so Fitocracy has been a fantastic tool for me.
Now here’s where the bragging comes in.
Today I went scrolling back through my activity on Fitocracy, because it stores the workouts you’ve entered and I wanted to see if I could remember the name of that one exercise I did that one time (for the curious, it was “Bodyweight Close Squats”). And suddenly I had an urge to play Pin the Sticker on the Awesome Lady–so I went back and looked at my first workout. I wanted to see how far I’d come, y’know, because I knew I’d made progress, but wanted to see the numbers fo’ realz.
Frankly, it was a little more dramatic and impressive than I’d anticipated. Here’s what the record shows:
Workout 1, January 12, 2012:
- Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 8-lb weights, 3 sets of 8 reps
- Bodyweight Squats: 2 sets of 8 reps
- Seated Bent-Over 2-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 8-lb weights, 2 sets of 8 reps
- Standing 1-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 8-lb weights, 3 sets of 8 reps
That workout earned me 53 points (remember that number–it’ll be important in a minute), and I remember feelin’ pretty cute at the end of it, because by gosh, I’d exercised for realsies. I’d gotten up and done something, and while I was fairly pooped by the end, I felt very accomplished, because I had in fact accomplished something.
And I am not here to mock that workout. It was real, and it counted, and I’m still proud of myself for doing it. It marked a day of very real change for me–the jogwalking had been fun while it lasted, but it didn’t have any real staying power; this whole “working out in my living room” thing, on the other hand, has been happening 4-5 times per week for the last two months, so we seem to be on to something here. January 12 was a big day for me, and I earned every one of those 53 points.
But the bragging part is coming up … now.
Here’s the workout I logged yesterday:
- Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
- Tricep Kickbacks: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
- Dumbbell Step-Ups: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
- Weighted Calf Raises: 30 lbs (2 15-lb dumbbells), 5 sets of 10
- Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts: 15 lbs, 4 sets of 10 (something in my hip went “spang”, so I ended up switching to some gentle stretches and calling it a day. Hence fewer sets of everything from here on out).
- Supermans: 30-second holds, 4 sets; total of 2 minutes
- Leg Lifts: 4 sets of 10 (I need to get some ankle weights)
- Weighted Crunches: 10-lb medicine ball, 4 sets of 10
- Side Crunches: 4 sets of 10
- Short Bridges: 4 sets of 10
- Stretching (for cooldown): 10 minutes
That workout earned me–wait for it–1,355 points. I got nearly as many points (49) in one set of weighted crunches–remember, that’s one set out of four–as I did in my entire first workout.
The moral of this story is twofold:
1. I rock the casbah, and am slowly but surely excavating an inner bad@$$ who’s significantly stronger, bendy-er, and more hardcore than I would’ve realized, and
2. If I can do this, You can really very a lot truly totally 100% absolutely do this.
My scale and I are still having trouble relating to each other. I tell it that I did a 1355-point workout yesterday, and it tells me that I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds over the last two months, and have lost exactly zero since last week. I tell it to shove off, because lookit how much better my clothes are fitting and please observe that I can wear this jacket that I couldn’t zip two months ago, and it tells me to go away and stop pestering it.
So according to the scale, I am still at almost 350 pounds…but by god, those 350 pounds can do some pretty impressive things. No, I can’t outsprint a zombie yet, but I can pick up a cinder block and bash it into his head 50 times or so (and if that doesn’t do the trick, then I can serve as a great warning for the rest of the survivors). I don’t have the stamina yet to hike 5 miles to the nearest water source in the Zombiepocalypse, but I can haul the water, 30 pounds at a time, up into the fortress once you come back with it. And I don’t have six-pack abs (well, maybe I do, but you can’t see them under the insulation yet), but I can … y’know, actually, never mind. This is a family show, so we’re just not going to talk about things I can do on my back.
So you’re darned right I’m bragging about myself today. I’ve earned it; I’ve sweated and cussed and worn myself out again and again, and I’m coming to love the feel of achy, well-worked muscles and the endorphin rush that goes with ’em. I can do this, and you can do this, and as I’m learning fresh every day, we are all more bad@$$ than we think.
So go! Have your 53-point day today, and I’ll be ready and waiting to celebrate with you when you have your 1350-point day. You can do this. Trust me.