Pushing the limits

“To try is to risk failure. But the risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” 
– Anonymous 

Just like this blog, I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and pursue something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now: a group instructor certification. I’ve been taking group fitness classes for almost a year now and I’m truly enjoying myself. I love how group fitness makes working out fun and challenging and I’ve made some great new friends along the way. Working out has always been something I love to do but at the gym I’m currently at, it takes my love for working out to a whole new level. I’m constantly seeking ways to improve myself within a class, even if it’s a class I’ve taken a hundred times. No class is the same but each time you leave feeling like you really got a good work out in and that you pushed yourself to the next level. I live for the high.

The group fitness certification was an opportunity that I stumbled upon. I wasn’t actively searching for it, nor was I even settled on the idea of perusing it; It sort of fell into my lap and I couldn’t ignore it. I follow the gym on Facebook and they are actively updating with schedule changes, promotions and facility news. Monday night’s status was nothing different: class schedule for Tuesday, bootcamps to sign up for and then right at the bottom it said “Interested in becoming a group fitness instructor?? Message our Facebook or stop at the front desk!! Opportunity this weekend to become a CERTIFIED instructor at our club!” I scrolled past it, not giving it much thought. The next morning, I woke up and it was the first thing on my mind. I did my normal Tuesday morning workout, got dressed and went to work, and still, was the only thing I could think of. Finally, after unsuccessfully trying to ignore it,  I decided to text the gym owner’s daughter to fully understand what this certification would entail. She responded back quickly and enthusiastically, with all the information and encouragement she could give through a text message. She quickly sent another text, “so you’re interested?” I paused. I guess I was interested.

After much deliberation (Could I actually do this? Could I teach a class? What if I fail the test? Will I even know what this guy is talking about?) and asking my friend/gymspiration/instructor her opinion, which she said would be an amazing opportunity for me and I shouldn’t turn it down, I had half decided to actually go for it. It wasn’t until later Tuesday night, while out with a group of friends from the gym for a happy hour where I made up my mind. Two of my closest friends were there and when the topic arose that I may be completing this certification, they were extremely supportive and happy for me. I guess that was my turning point, knowing that two of my best friends, the girls I would trust my life with, were behind me on this, and that reassured my wavering confidence that I can, indeed, do this. I wasted no time in texting the gym owner’s daughter back saying “Yes, I’m in for Sunday.”

Here’s what I do know about the certification:
1. It’s an all day event this upcoming Sunday at the gym
2. Most of the day will be spent with lectures, so I need to bring a notebook and a pen
3. There will be a mock class portion in which I would need to teach the class a workout routine
4. The 60-minute test will be at the end of the day, around 6:30/7pm

I was also told that I would need to study basic anatomy, physiology and cardio respiratory – so here I am, notebook and pen in hand, googling everything I may need to know so that I can pass this test on Sunday. I was never very good at science so I am getting a little more nervous (even discouraged) but I am going to push through and try to work through this so I can feel a little more comfortable with the material that will be presented to me.

I can do this. I have faith in myself and I believe that doing something out of my comfort zone will only improve, not hinder, me. I’m scared and I’m definitely nervous about Sunday, but Eleanor Roosevelt once say: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I have to push past my comfort bubble in order to live the life that I see myself living. Even if I’m scared I will fail, at least I can say I tried.

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Let’s give this a whirl…

Just like many of my friends, I am obsessed with Pinterest, the online pin board full of great ideas, crafts and recipes. I find myself constantly refreshing the browser to see if new pins have been added and what goodies they may hold. Once in a while, I’ll find a pin that’s too good not to try so here are a few that I’ve completed successfully.

1. Blackhead Remover – Blackheads have been my biggest nuisance since I hit puberty. They’re always there – they never go away and I swear I’ve tried everything out there to make them disappear. Once, in high school, I was so desperate to get rid of blackheads that I would put egg yolk on my face — I had learned of this idea from a beauty magazine….I didn’t see any results.  So when I saw this blackhead removal pin, I was skeptical but thought “what the heck, I’ve tried everything else!” Plus, it used household ingredients I already own, so I didn’t have to go to the store to pick anything up. I have to say, although it looked weird and bubbly as it dried for the 5 minutes, my face felt a lot smoother and cleaner afterwards and it did reduce the amount of blackheads that you could see on my nose, chin and cheeks. I will definitely be doing this again.

2. Interval Treadmill Workout – I hate running on a treadmill but I despise running outside when it’s cold out even more, so, usually, I suck it up and try to do the quickest treadmill run ever. It’s not that I don’t think the treadmill is a great exercise tool, I just get BORED! Same scenery, nothing new to look at, no wind in my face…. it’s just boring. That is, it was boring until I found this interval treadmill workout. This workout is a quick 20-minutes (or longer if you want) that leaves you feeling great afterwards. Set the incline to 2 and then every few minutes you’re increasing or decreasing the speed. I had to alter the chart the first few times i did it (there was no way I was going to be able to run at level 7 on my first try) and I’ve increased the speed little by little. When I start to get bored with the treadmill workout, I know I have to kick it up a notch. Now, I look forward to runs on the treadmill – plus, interval training helps burn fat faster.

3. Kick My Butt Cardio Workout – In order for me to feel sufficient in my workouts, I need to sweat. If I don’t sweat, I feel like the workout wasn’t as successful and I need to push myself harder. I try to switch up my workouts often so I don’t get stuck in a rut and I was so excited when I found this on Pinterest. It reminds me of Shaun T.’s Insanity workouts that I did this summer and it’s quick and effective. After this workout I left feeling accomplished (well, I left hurting, winded and sore, but I felt accomplishment in there, too!).

4. Delicious Apple Snack – I eat an apple every morning and I like a certain type and taste of apple (can’t be too sour, or squishy and the skin shouldn’t just peel off when you bite, there should be more of a crunch). I’m very particular about my apples but figured I’d give this recipe a try so I bought a lemon and an orange and let the apple sit in the juices over night. Let me tell you, this was delicious. I wouldn’t eat it everyday, it was a tad too sweet, but it was definitely something I’d make again. Plus, 3 fruits in 1 snack – count me in!

5. Windshield De-Icer – I actually tried this pin this morning! We had a little snow fall yesterday so I knew that my windshield would be iced over this morning when I left for work. I hate having to defrost my car because it takes too long and it’s cold, so anything to shorten that process is definitely worth trying. I bought a spray bottle for a $1 at Big Lots! and mixed 3/4 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup water last night. This morning, when I went out to my car, I started the defrosters and then got out and sprayed the windshield, rear window and side windows. By the time I had gotten back in my car, the rear window was clear! I had to run my wipers a few times to get my windshield clear but this process was much faster than me just sitting in the cold car waiting for the defroster to kick on and clear the windshield. I will be keeping this spray bottle handy to use every morning!

6. Peg Board Jewelry Board – This was a very easy project and I was able to complete it in a weekend! The hardest part was putting the hardware through the pegs, the rest was a piece of cake. I chose yellow since it’s my favorite color and bought the hardware and spray paint from Sears Hardware. It was relatively inexpensive too and I love how it turned out. Image

7. Our Alphabet – For our 1 year anniversary back in February, I made my boyfriend a book of “Our Alphabet” and filled it with things that pertained to our relationship. It was cute, easy and best of all, very personal. For example, J – you fell in love with a Jersey girl; A – Adworks, where we first met; M – “It’s a-me, Mario!” (since we enjoy playing Mario Kart / Mario Party together). He loved it and I really had fun thinking of 26 different ways to describe us.

I really love Pinterest and I plan on making a lot more things come this holiday season. Hopefully they turn out OK so I can post them.

Follow me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jks724/