Wednesday, October 31

Down to the wire

Alt title: Crunch month

My October entry into the New 2 U Cross Training Challenge is the latest of my entries to date. (Thank goodness for 31 day months.)

My only goal going into this month was "stay on dry land," because my last three entries into the challenge were all aquatic.

Little did I know that being airborne 3 weeks out of 4 would also complicate this month's challenge. (Anyone know of good exercises to practice in seat 13B of an MD-88?)

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have changed my schedule for the world. Attending a conference and running my way through Williamsburg, VA was pretty awesome. But my schedule was tight enough that I had a hard time fitting in basic workouts, much less getting creative. 2 mile run around the block on my lunch break? Check! Research, find, drive to, and participate in a Zumba class? ...Not gonna happen.

But with only 7 days left in the month, I realized that I couldn't let a little schedule squeeze derail my Challenge! So I did what any good blogger would do...

I asked Twitterverse and Facebookland...
... and I got several excellent recommendations:
  • Kia (@Keyalus) recommended BodyRock.TV
  • Jim (@jmacpcola) recommended a circuit of 4 x 25 each: pushups, crunches, lunges as fast as possible
  • Hubby suggested tennis (maybe prompted by a birthday present he received from our family?)
  • Lori CS suggested I just suck it up wake up earlier
So, what workout did I crunch into the end of the month?

While Lori's suggestion is a clever one, I'm not the kind of person who can skimp on sleep. I envy those who can, but I start stumbling for words when I'm sleep deprived -- not a good situation for a teaching-heavy and conference-heavy month.

So Kia and Jim won.

On Monday I did Jim's circuit of 4 x 25 push ups, crunches, and lunges. I breezed through the lunges (and yes, one lunge = one on each leg). I figured the crunches would be easiest, but I felt those because I did 'em right after the pushups (and good pushup form engages the core). But the pushups... nearly killed me!

Ok... ok. I'm being dramatic like Jim Cantore on a sunny day. But... I've never in my life done 100 push ups in one workout.
The verdict: 100 push ups = new PR for me! (And I'm bloody sore now!)
Pros: What I loved about this workout was the simplicity. I can do this circuit in any hotel room. In any time crunch. Heck, I could probably find a way to do crunches at the airport.
Cons: Um. None. Thanks, Jim!

As for
I'll admit that I was a skeptic.

I skimmed through videos and found that many focus their cinematography on sweat dripping down the instructors silicone cleavage. All I could think was:
"What is Kia getting me into???"
I almost turned the videos off, but in the spirit of "out of my comfort zone," I persevered with a workout that I would have dismissed otherwise.
The verdict: Loved it! I fit 12 minutes of high intensity intervals in before a morning class, worked up a sweat... and... I'm gonna' be sore tomorrow.
Pros: Most of the workouts are brief and can be completed with minimal equipment in a living room or hotel room. The interval timer on screen was also a nice touch.
Cons: Um... The cleavage shots were a little excessive, and if it hadn't been for Kia's recommendation, I would've ignored these workouts forever. Also, the exercises were a somewhat complicated, and there was precious little instruction about proper form. These workout videos are not intended for newbies.

Next month... tennis!
(We'll see how long it takes me to break the racket or hit someone 3 courts over with my serve...)

How do you balance competing priorities?
Any suggestions for an aspiring (but completely uncoordinated) tennis player?

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