Balance

balance

The half marathon training is in full swing.  Once I let go of placing judgment on time and let go of self-doubt it became easier.  However, self doubt is like a weed, I have to constantly pull it up and throw it out.

The only difficulty about this training so far is battling to keep it in the #1 priority slot of life.  There have been numerous things thrown at me.  They aren’t all bad things.  Mostly good things.  Opportunities actually.  Opportunities that demand a huge chunk of my time. Opportunities that have shown up to fight with my training schedule.

So mentally and emotionally, I am drained and in the process of refilling my cup.  I won the battle by the way.  It was hard as hell.  I gave my all to my proposal submission AND kept my training schedule AND handled the additional workload AND balanced the mother hat and the wife hat.

Perhaps I too easily take the all or nothing approach, feeling like I had to choose one over the other.  Balance is what I chose.  Balance left no sacrifice.  Balance was key to having it all work out.

Until next time…

Part of getting older is realizing that you can integrate all these different areas of your life, rather than the adolescent mindset, which for me lasted a long time, which says, ‘It’s all or nothing. Chris Robinson

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In The Beginning

At the start of this blog five years ago, I made a commitment to move my body.  I have honored that commitment.  So much so that I became a SPIN instructor in September of 2012.  I have remained an active SPIN instructor from the day I received my license up to now.  In fact, I am sitting here typing in my yucky workout clothes from my SPIN class earlier today.  I am typing in my yucky workout clothes because I need to get this out.

For as much as I like moving my body, I also like to eat.  On this journey I learned about different foods.  I became a vegan.  I loved vegan food. But something happened.  After I hit the 100 pounds lost mark, I thought I had made it.  Conquered all my food/fat demons.  But I was wrong.  I started slipping.  I went from vegan to vegetarian to “any-thing-goes-but-watch-it-tarian”.  Afterall, I am a spin instructor, I work out 3-4 days a week, what could possibly go wrong?

I gained weight – more than half of it back.  But I was still working out, right?  Beastmode on the bike.  My classes have waiting lists all of the time because I don’t hold back.  We go THERE every time and I love it.  I love spin.  I also loved my sordid relationship with pancakes, french fries, cakes and pastries.

A few weeks ago I received a direct message on Facebook from a college friend:

MAR 9TH, 7:46AM

Hey Montrice, when is your new book coming out, and are you still working out and eating right? I haven’t seen any workout posts from you. If you fell, get back up, bc you inspired ppl!

 

ME: Hey Chris, The new book is out, releases 3/27/16. http://www.montrice.net   Cannon’s Crash Course 

Yes, I have fallen down. I’ve been working out though.
 
The eating has been a challenge.
I’m working on it
 
I will be in Dallas in May.
 
May 21, 2016
 
Black Family Magazine PResents
 
2016 DFW Literacy Fest
 
3200 Lancaster Road
 
75216
 
Cool!! I’ll mark that on my calendar. You should still post about your battle, own that you’ve fallen, bc ppl will see that they can get back at it too. This should also be your next book
 

ME: ok, it sucks! Falling in a glass bowl. How does one fall AND still be an instructor at Club FItness? You are right. I will own it.

True to my word, here I am owning it.  But something else happened.
 I held a book signing a week ago from today.  We had crafts, giveaways and a photographer.  The camera don’t lie!  I saw all those photos and they looked nothing like the “me” in my mind’s eye. I saw them and I was SHOOK. I wasn’t depressed or down in the dumps I was just very present in what laid before me.
I didn’t know who that person was in the photos.
Those pictures were like the little directory in the mall that says YOU ARE HERE.  Which is great to know but it’s not where I want to be.  It’s not where I’m going to be.
Since the book signing, I have increased my raw vegetable and fresh fruit intake, increased hydration and make sure I get enough sleep.  As of this morning I am down 7 pounds and have yet to measure but I will do that shortly.  I also came clean in my class today about what happened, where I am and where I am going.  They were all very excited and so am I.
Until next time…..
Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Some Japanese dude.

The Mini Trainer

phineas

Through tiny slits my eyes adjusted. He was standing over me dancing. It was a combination of the funky chicken and an epileptic seizure. My bed became his trampoline. “Mommy, get up! It’s the last day of schoo oool, the last day of schoo oool. Can I wear my hat?” Pulling covers to chin I muttered a faint, “MmmHmm.” I blinked and he was gone, in another room talking a mile a minute. I picked up the cellphone. It was just 6am. This was my rest day, or so I thought.

The school was a half mile one way. Above us sky was full of dirty cotton balls. The kid wanted to walk to school. I looked upward once more and agreed but stressed we needed to hurry. A smirk spread across the big kid’s face. “Wanna race to the big yellow sign?” I nodded and we took off. I was pacing him and it was a great feeling. My lungs completely full, legs extending, heart pumping. I smiled at us, two years ago I would have never imagined.

We reached the yellow sign. “We’re gonna keep it up mommy! HUSTLE! HUSTLE! HUSTLE!” There was SO much authority in his voice. So hustle I did! My completely full lungs were getting warm. I wondered if his version of keeping it up meant running all the way. My question was soon answered as we neared the entrance of the school. He was Huff and I was Puff, through ragged breath we shared a hearty laugh. “I love running with you Mommy!” That was music to my ears. With a monster hug and a quick exchange of I-love-yous, he was gone to enjoy his last day of 2nd grade and mom jogged the all the way back home.

Until next time…

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. – James A. Baldwin

Rip Van Winkle

Early morning workouts are the best!

Early morning workouts are the best!

So THIS is what narcolepsy feels like? Eyelids were 20 pound weights. This was the sleep I could not fight, TKO. The morning workout had the best of me yesterday. An hour after an early dinner, slumber fell upon my like concrete blocks, heavy and deep. I stirred briefly around 10pm after 4 hours of snoozing. Went back and quickly found the REM cycle.

I’m not sure if it’s the switching of time or the addition of a weight routine heavier than the 3-5 pounds I had been use to. Whichever, it was the best sleep I have had in a long time.

As predicted, my eating was perfect yesterday. The morning workout kept me conscious of everything I put in my mouth thereafter. So at the crack of dawn this morning, I got up and did it again. My arms and chest are still warm on the inside. It’s a beautiful feeling!

Until next time…

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.- Thomas Jefferson

Gratitude

gratitude

I am not a morning person – at all. I prefer to sleep in, I choose to get up. The benefits outweigh the perceived inconvenience. Early morning workouts keep me on track with my eating plan all day. Pus, I get to work out with Michael Jackson and Jay-Z. The last thing I want to do is sabotage all the effort just made. I have also noticed I am 10x more alert by the time I start work. Lastly, I am guaranteed to sleep like a baby at night.

This morning I was wrapped in my thoughts of the people affected by the devastation of Oklahoma tornadoes yesterday.  There were 51 killed, 20 of those children and the death toll is expected to rise. Those people have greater concerns than getting to the gym. As we remain under the threat of storms all day today, I am very aware it could have easily been here, could have easily been me.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to get up and move my body early in the morning even when I don’t want to. So I mashed out 2 miles on the Precor and wrapped up my back, ab, oblique routine and continued to pray for those in Oklahoma.

Until next time…

Compassion  is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism. – Hubert H. Humphrey

To Leave Or Not To Leave, That Is The Question

just do it

My first intention was to retrieve my new hire packet and go home.  Tornadoes had ravaged Oklahoma and St. Louis was beginning to have bad weather. Tornado watches all over the plains and midwest part of the country. I wanted to make it home before it all started.

When I walked into the gym, I didn’t ask for the packet. That small firm voice wouldn’t let me.  I went straight to the treadmill and hammered out a good mile.  I paid close attention to my form and breathing, trying to make every movement count.  It felt wonderful.

After the treadmill I hit the weights.  Outside lightning lit up the night sky, inside we were all like little worker bees who seemed to dismiss mother nature’s workings. Chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps were worked to exhaustion, especially the triceps.  My arms feel like warm noodles.

Once done, I finally get my packet from friendly cool man Luke. This past weekend I nailed my audition at Club Fitness for a Spinning Instructor substitute position.  Taking this next step is exciting and motivating. However, I do not like evening workouts. I prefer to start my day with them. It provides a huge sense of accomplishment that stays with me all day long.

Therefore, I bid you all good night. Tomorrow I will be there bright and early.

Until next time….

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”  ~Deepak Chopra

New Beginnings

Progress Over Perfection

Progress Over Perfection

Eyes  full of compassion and frustration while listening to me go on about the last few months, he took a sip of water and simply stated, “You must be willing to recognize when seasons begin and end in your life and not overstay our time in that season. Hands down, you’ve had some rough times but you already know what to do. It’s a small hiccup don’t let it trip you up. Get to work.  Choose growth over grief. This is your opportunity to begin again only this time more intelligently.”  I leaned back in anticipation of escaping a forehead thump that never came.  That ladies and gentlemen concludes the “Get off your ass and make it happen” speech, my dear friend’s response to my confession of a 19 pound gain.

So simple, so true and right on point it was. There was nothing else to say and plenty to do.  I went home and wrote out two plans: one a workout schedule complete with lots of variety of cardio, weight resistance, endurance and recovery, the other a menu comprised of mainly fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and beans.  Anxiety had subsided and a quiet force had taken its’ place.

Stay tuned, the journey from TWOderville to ONEderland begins in 5, 4, 3, 2……

“You never fail until you stop trying.” – Albert Einstein