Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Whether You Think You Can Or Think You Can't, You're Probably Right

8 months ago I began a life-changing journey at the hands of Mark Fisher and his team of ridiculous humans.  Their motto is as follows:
More is not better.
More is more.
Better is better.
More is sometimes worse.
Enough is plenty.
You are enough.
High five.

"You are enough."  I quote this to myself every morning in the shower, and I'm starting to believe it.  8 months ago I had hurt myself running, was full of cortisol from various stressors, had no idea why my 1200-calorie-a-day diet wasn't working, and was sure I was destined to eventually turn into the Mama Cass I saw in the mirror (albeit with the voice of Karen Carpenter...don't hate).

(Interesting that my images of myself are both 70's singers with eating disorders.....)
I never knew there existed such a place as magical as the one Mark's team has created down on 39th Street.  I can't think of a time when I haven't been excited to go to class, and even the days when the commute sucks or I have to stop what I'm doing at work to put aside time for myself to get there, get dressed, and then get home, it's always worth it.  Upon entering I'm greeted with smiles, hugs, and lots of encouragement.  Once in class the instructors never fail to inspire and set the tone for the next hour of self-love -- be it Matt's costumes, Staci's cheering, Katie's "get-a-heavier-bell-slut" attitude, Geoff's aura, Harold's humor, Stephanie's music, Amanda's all-around-awesomeness, Brian's tear-inducing pride in me, or Mark's reminders to really look at myself in the mirror that make me nod my head rather than the former shaking my head in disappointment.

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, 
you're probably right." 

These words are my constant mantra in class.  The days I think I can't, I'm right and convince myself as such.  But the days I know I can, I fly higher, push the ground further, row faster, swing harder, plank longer, squat deeper, and love more than I ever knew I had within me.  I've sweat more, cried more, lifted more, and cared more in these past 8 months than I have in my entire life.  All because a group of foul-mouthed misfit toys who genuinely care about everyone's goals toward health and hotness.

We have a Facebook group where fellow members ("ninjas" as we're lovingly called) can post anything from funny quotes/pictures to confessions of falling off the healthy wagon to sharing family stories of how they got where they are today.  I look forward to these messages, and even though I'm less participatory (that's the introverted side of the ambivert I am) I feel for these people like they are my family.  We sometimes list our upcoming short term goals like sticking to a workout routine while on vacation, or in a recent case long-term goals like running a marathon next year.

Last weekend I decided to kill it and go all out to usher in November.  I got to the Clubhouse and saw familiar smiling faces ready to go after it as well, including the Mama Bear of my Snatched group.  As an individual she is so beloved and with good reason... she's a freakin' rockstar of a friend.  As a fitness champion her story never fails to awe-inspire.  When she started 8 months ago, she was doing planks against the wall in place of push-ups.  After nearly 30 pounds lost (and a sexy new waistline to boot) her goal is to do 1 perfect push-up before the end of the year.  In the middle of class I heard Brian talking her through her modified push-ups, and at one of our set breaks he turned the music down and told us that during the next set my beautiful friend would be going 1" lower to get even closer to her goal.  She did it during the next set, and at our break something amazing happened.  We took our breather to relish in the glory that had just happened on a mat in the back row.  We lived in the moment of a fellow ninja going 1" lower on a push-up.  I got teary.  We applauded.  It was such a beautiful moment that I'll cherish forever.  It's for reasons like this that I spend time, money, sweat, and tears with these people.

Today I'm stronger than I've ever been, the fittest adult version of myself, and more in-tune with my body, mind, and soul than I ever knew was possible.  I'm at a place where I'm eating 1700 calories a day, consisting of 170g of protein (wowza), between 113g and 170g of carbs, and between 38g and 63g of fats.  Translated: a whole lot of chicken, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs.  I track my intake with My Fitness Pal and I have a "buddy" who keeps me on track (and brightens my days with fun and inspirational emails).  I workout 3-4 times a week -- 2 classes at MFF and 1-2 at home.  I'm considering shaking this up a bit in 2014, but for now that's where I live.  I've lost pounds, inches, and clothing sizes, but I try not to make that as public as the change I've made in me (you can take the girl out of Disney, but you can't take the Disney out of the girl).

My most-frequent trainer, helper, teacher, and friend (Brian Patrick Murphy)

If you're in the NYC area and want a taste of unicorn-loving, ninja-becoming, brilliantly ridiculous glory that continues to change my life, check it out and tell them I sent you.  And if you're not nearby, check out their always serious, but not so serious you ever get a chance to be bored YouTube channel!!  (Warning: Not Safe For Work... these fools use some serious language and hilarious references you'll never get out of your head)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Whiskers in the Sink

For years I have prided myself on keeping a tidy house, making sure all dishes are drying on the rack before bed, not leaving for work with clutter strewn about, and never letting the laundry hamper overflow.  I've been used to a schedule of refrigerator cleaning on Monday, dusting on Tuesday, sweeping on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and so on.  In addition to the cleanliness, I've spent a number of years priding myself on the concept of "my space is my space and no one else's...except maybe Indy's...on a really good day".

I've been trepidatious for this month to come around for awhile -- dreading the reminders from Novembers past, worrying about slip-ups in my eating and workout glory, turning 35 without achieving "x" goals or "y" accomplishments, and replacing human contact with that of Pine-Sol, Swiffer, Lysol, and Mr. Clean himself.  So this morning when I began my usual routine of stumbling out of bed and into the bathroom through a bleary-eyed haze, I was momentarily taken aback at the whiskers in the sink.

The guy I've been seeing, no... the man who has completely captured my heart stayed the night in Astoria last night so he could be picked up more easily to head out to his annual college reunion for the weekend.  His pick-up time scheduled for much earlier than my eyes deign to open (6am), he clearly showered and shaved in a too-early rush leaving behind a few traces in my sink.  Without knowing, he brought to the forefront of my mind NOT stressful memories of 2012 trying to get back to NYC in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, NOT chilly autumn evenings spent ordering takeout and watching "La Vie En Rose," NOT frustrations of being told I need to put my running sneakers in the back of my closet.  No, this morning's vestiges brought back a conversation I had with my best friend in November 2006 when I broke out on my own and began making a life for myself.  I distinctly remember saying, "being alone will mean no more whiskers in the sink."  At the time that was my half-joke/half-realization way of saying my bathroom will be clean because no one else will be there.  But over the years, it's something I've actually missed.  It's a sign that I'm not doing this alone.

I've dated guys (Lord have mercy have I dated more than my fair share...), and none had the interest, the comfort, or certainly the familiarity to shave in my bathroom.  And now not only did this perfect complement complete a basic grooming ritual, but he did it with ease, while I slept in the next room.  Most importantly... I let him.  I happily let him.

French memoirist Francois de La Rochefoucauld (say that 10 times...) said, "The greatest of all gifts is the power to estimate things at their true worth."  Pretty sure I got an incredible but unexpected gift this morning in the form of those little whiskers.  This month is gonna be pretty great.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld -- super hot mustachioed wig wearer

*Note A: Today (November 1st) is Author's Day.  Maybe it's a sign I should dabble again in my love of writing.  Yeah, I think it is...

**Note B:  Below is a picture of me and my Andrew.  For those of you not connected to me on Facebook, pretty sure it's time to show him off.  I think he's gonna be around for awhile.