I am usually pretty quiet about my birthday. I don’t like to make a big fuss over it. In fact, I make sure that it isn’t on my Facebook profile so it doesn’t pop up on my timeline. I have weird reasons why…hard to explain, so just know that I am a little weird this way 🙂 Everyone has their quirks and this is one of my many.
I started my birthday out just like any other day. I woke up early, got to the gym and did my workout. Last year the computer at the gym said “happy birthday” to me. This year…the volume was turned down so I couldn’t even hear it.
At the gym I had the mindset that I was going to lift some big stuff. I wanted to do something huge today and be proud of myself and feel that confidence that pushes me to lift heavier and basically conquer the world. 🙂 I lift something heavy and something that I know some of the guys around me can’t do…I feel pretty awesome. As I was lifting and figuring out how much weight I wanted to add I tried to think about what I was able to do at my last birthday. I couldn’t remember.
I had no idea what I was lifting last April. I know what I can do now…but I couldn’t remember any numbers or specific exercises from that time in the gym. Luckily…I write about 99% of my workouts down in my notebook I bring along with to the gym. It is a very used notebook and has seen the pounds shed off of me…it is my history of all the hard work I have been doing in the gym. I’m so glad that I have this! The pages are kindof crinkly in some spots lately and that is probably from my sweat…so it is kindof gross if you really think about it.
Today I looked back to see what exercises I was doing about a year ago compared to what I am doing now…and how much progress I’ve made. I do have my work somewhere from back in April but the closest I could find in a hurry was from July…so that is what I am looking back on today.
Deadlifts: July 2012 – 140 pounds Today – 190 pounds
1 Arm Row (with a dumbbell over a bench): July 2012 – 25 pounds Today – 45 pounds
Barbell Squat: July 2012 – 40 pounds Today – 110 pounds 🙂
Push Press: July 2012 – 40 pounds Today – 70 pounds
Situps: July 2012 – maybe 15 in a row Today – 65 in a row
I didn’t improve in every category…like push-ups. I don’t like them. I don’t make myself do them. So…of course I didn’t really improve on those. I can do 10 to 15 regular pushups on average depending on when I do these in the workout. I was able to do 10 back in July.
I know that if I want to improve in something though…I have to practice and push myself to work. That is just how it goes. That is how I started this entire journey. Sometimes working hard hurts. Sometimes working hard means other people are watching me. Sometimes working hard means that I am covered in sweat. But…working hard also means that I reach some goals and that my body is healthier and stronger than it was before. Each day I decide to keep moving forward is a day that I am doing something better for me, my kids, my family and those that rely on me.
For me…this is all about the choice. I can either A) keep working hard or B) end up needing that hip replacement someday. Now, I still might get that new hip at some point in my life but I can tell you this…it isn’t going to happen without a fight from me. To avoid getting that new hip I have to make myself strong. I have to make my muscles work together, especially those that are the deep core muscles and my legs. I either get strong and work on being stronger each day…or I go with choice B.
I am still moving forward with this journey and I am a very young 36 year old now 🙂 (Don’t tell my kids I’m 36…they think I am 25!) I did think about what some of my current goals should be based on what I want to accomplish this next year…so here are a few:
Fitness Goals for a 36 year old – ME!
- Run a mile without stopping
- Do 80 sit-ups in a row
- Do 20 pushups in a row – not the girlie way
- Push Press 80 pounds
- Jump rope 45 seconds without stopping
- Finish Nia Shanks’ workout – one phase left
- Make myself do more burpees
- Make myself do more mountain climbers
- Be awesome in the Warrior Dash and actually be able to run 3.1 miles the entire time by that date.
- Barbell squat 150 pounds
- Barbell deadlift 225 pounds
- Bench press 100 pounds
I remember when my goal was to get to the gym 30 minutes 3 times a week and most of that time was spent on an elliptical because that hurt me the least. I remember when I had a goal of doing a squat with just my bodyweight 10 times in a row. I remember when I couldn’t even lift my legs once on the roman chair. I remember when I didn’t even know what a push press, deadlift or bench press was.
I Remember. It wasn’t that long ago when I was crawling up our stairs.
Small changes. Big Picture.
What goals do you have for yourself? What is the big picture that you see?
Jessica is a mom of three, a licensed day care provider and teaches indoor cycling classes at some local fitness centers in Rochester, MN. Her journey has included dropping over 80 pounds and in the process finding her love of fitness. Some of her favorite activities are strength training (the heavy stuff), spin and boxing. You can read her story here.