I was thinking back about where this all began for me. When Four was almost 1 yr old, I talked The Bestie into taking a Zumba class with me. She hauled her cookies 40 minutes to my house, once a week, so we could drive another 20 minutes together to take this class. We did 2 sessions (12 weeks) and I loved it. Life happened, and my One's dance class got moved to the same night and made it impossible for me to take the class any longer. Approximately a year later, One and Two started taking pottery classes at the community center. While we (The Bestie again) were sitting and waiting for them to be done, we observed that there was a Zumba class in the building DURING the same time frame. If we had to be there every week ANYWAY, why not take the class too?? The Bestie signed up with me, again because I just drag her along whenever I can. She was only able to do another 2 sessions-she has a lot of health issues-but I stuck with it. After taking the class for nearly 9 months, I decided to become an instructor. I had no job prospects for it, but I wanted to be able to do it more so why not?? Several months later my instructor wanted to "retire" and handed me her class. It's the class I still teach, and there are a handful of students left that originally took that class WITH me.
I lost 15 lbs in that first 9 months of class and I made no other changes. I don't diet well, and I was only exercising that ONE time a week. 1 hour once a week, and I lost 15 lbs. I wish I had measured myself instead of focusing on numbers, because I know I lost several inches in my thighs.
Zumba became a "gateway exercise" for me (*think gateway drug..*) And now that I was 15 lbs lighter and my heart and lungs were stronger, I could run again. I loved running YEARS ago when I was in high school. I started the couch to 5K program with a friend, and we met up 3 or 4 times a week to walk/run. I signed up to do a mud run with a bunch of friends. I was HOOKED. I did a color run, a glow run, an electric run. But obstacle course/mud runs were my happy place. I like the added difficulty level that the mud/obstacles adds. It pushes me harder than just "running." And, I like to be pushed.
I started BikiniBodyMommy, and do two rounds of her program (which I HIGHLY recommend.) I lose inches. I'm happy.
I have a friend who I met through Zumba, we attended the same class originally and both became instructors. She taught at a gym, and started working out at the gym in addition to teaching. She started taking CrossFit classes. She signed up for a Spartan race. She invited me. After reading about it, I KNEW I wasn't ready for that. Fast forward a year. She asks again. She assures me that I CAN do it. But, I'm really uneasy about it. I'm NOT strong. I am a good runner, yes. I've done obstacles, yes. But nothing even CLOSE to the level of a Spartan. I consult another friend (who has done more races than he can probably count, and is by all accounts the most badass guy I know.) He tells me the truth-which is why I consulted him-that I can't do it, right now. I CAN train and absolutely do it. He suggests Warrior Dash as a "try and see," since it is harder than the obstacle/mud runs I've done, but not as hard as a Spartan. I sign up. I drag some friends. It was AMAZING. It was hard. But I finished. And I finished in decent time. One of the friends and I discuss half marathons WHILE running the Warrior Dash, and decide we want to do one together (He has already done one, I have not.) I come home, and sign up. 4 months later I completed my first half-marathon.
I decided my new goal was a Spartan race.
I bit the bullet and signed up. I installed a pull-up bar in our house. I joined the gym. I joined bodybuilding.com and started a program at the gym. I lift weights. I run. I do pull-ups and burpees. I get sick. Really sick. I lose a full month of training just weeks before my first Spartan race. I sign up for the 2nd race to complete my trifecta BEFORE even completing the first. Because I believe I can do it.
I show up to my Spartan and meet up with the ONE friend (Warrior-Dash and half-marathon friend) I could convince to run it with me. Turns out he didn't really read anything about a Spartan race, and was expecting something Warrior-Dash-Esque. He was in for a shock. We did it. SLOWLY. But, we did it. Together. I was/am so super proud of him. I was/am so super proud of myself.
Over the last year, I've lost nearly 19 inches total. I have the measurements from when I started BBM, and I did comparison measurements last month to see how far I've come. My weight hasn't really changed, but that's ok. I am happy with the way my pants fit, and that's what really matters. I'm also SO MUCH STRONGER. SO. MUCH. Just this week, I had a new milestone! I was able to do the bars at the park. I've NEVER been able to do them. Not ever. And, I'm currently 'nursing' a shoulder injury (I see the Ortho in 2 weeks, that's the earliest they could get me in) so it makes it even more impressive to me. I am strong enough to do them, even with my shoulder being less than 100%. That's a BIG deal.
Now, I'm signed up for Spartan Super, and will be signing up for Spartan Beast (after I volunteer and receive my free race) this year, so that I get the Trifecta medal. The Bestie asked me "What's next? What is there for you to DO after you've completed this?" I didn't hesitate with my reply, because, yes I've already thought it out...Tri-Athlon. 2016 is the year of the Tri-Athlon. The Bestie had a fit of giggles. I'm always moving, always training, always pushing. Why WOULDNT I know what I'm going to be training for next year? ;)