Well, it’s now week 5, which means the Ab Challenge is finally over! *Cheers*
I feel pretty accomplished with completing my first challenge. Some days it was extremely difficult to not just head home immediately after my workouts. But, I stuck it out and now I’m much better at a lot more ab exercises than before.
My goals for the challenge were:
- To get better at doing the actual core exercises
- To make doing core work after my regular workouts more habitual.
In my opinion, I’ve achieved both, so I’m calling the challenge a success!
If you’ve ever hung out with me or have ever seen me walking down the street, you’d know I always have a pair of headphones with me.
In fact, when I was packing for my summer training and competing with the Ghanaian National Athletics team, I made sure to pack 3 different pairs of headphones as back up. The pair I had been using at the time were cheap and had been known to break pretty often. (Even with 3 extra pairs, I still had to buy a new pair while I was abroad 😦 )
Basically, I can’t go very long in my daily life without music playing, workouts included. Sometimes as background noise, and sometimes as a way to get a burst of energy to finish my last rep, music really gets me going and makes even the worst of workouts just a bit better.
“That’s what our training is for, we practice not panicking, we practice breathing, we practice looking directly at the thing that scares us until we stop flinching, we practice overriding our Can’t.”
A quote to get my week going. Something to remember when attacking those hard workouts – it’s all in preparation for the time when all you can rely on is your training and instincts.
This week’s update features a new exercise called 30-30-30s.
One of my teammates, Steve, showed it to me this past Friday, and it is pure torture. He learned it from one of our past teammates, Zach, and was kind enough to give a demonstration.
Another update! Earlier this week I realized I never said how long the challenge would last, so I’m just going say it will last 5 weeks total, so this is the halfway point!
The numbering of the challenge posts kind of makes it a little confusing in terms of my weekly progress, but it is the third week for those who might have gotten confused!
One word to describe my first week back is: satisfying. Another word would be: sore.
Last week was my first full week back training with the team, and I was ecstatic about it. Our usual training schedule was a little off because of the long Columbus Day weekend, so everything was basically delayed a day – speed on Tuesday, tempo on Wednesday, etc., etc.
This is just a quick update on the challenge! It’s been one week since I started and so far, so good.
My teammates have all been very supportive and have even joined me on some days as I did the exercises. I can already see an improvement; I can do some exercises for longer now, and the ones that aren’t too difficult have become even easier. Hopefully in a few more weeks I’ll be an abs master 😛
Last week, I did an ab circuit with my teammate, Tessa, after one of my weightlifting sessions, and it ended with me marveling at Tessa’s amazing ability to do each exercise longer than 20 seconds.
I’ve never been the type of person to stick to something very long, unless it happens by accident. But, as I’m trying to change my bad habits into good ones, I figured I’d challenge myself every now and then, just so I get those small bursts of accomplishments, while I wait for the bigger results to come.
My first challenge is…ABS!
The other day, as I was rolling out after lifting, I couldn’t help but feel great about myself. I was sore and exhausted, but that feeling of being back at work on the track and in the gym made all that fade into the background.
When someone asks me why I love to run, I usually reply with “I do and I don’t”. Which is true, in a sense. I don’t particularly love running in and of itself. But, I do love the feeling of crossing the finish line and seeing a new PR, of crushing a hard workout and knowing that most people would have given up, of feeling fit and healthy and motivated to keep pushing. I love everything that running gives me, but just so you know, I am slowly learning to like running. I’m sure the love will come later.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
This week has been a trial in keeping on track (excuse the pun, haha).
I’ve always been one to get disappointed in myself easily. If things don’t go perfectly the first time, it’s easy for me to see myself as having immediately failed, and it’s hard to rev myself back up again. I’ve known this for a long time, so I knew that trying to change my attitude and be more motivated and optimistic would be one of my hardest challenges on this journey to achieving my goals.