Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sweaty wednesday: shannon fierce

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Sooooo, it's the end of March already.  Are you guys still working on those goals from waaay back in January.  I have to admit, I haven't had a good exercise high in a while.  Not that I haven't been exercising, it's just that my heart has been elsewhere.  Like any true addict, I'm jonesin' for a fix.  Today's featured reader Shannon shares her story and talk about just that - keep the fire alive through trying new things and changing up the routine.  What works for you?

I was so happy to receive Shannon's email.  She's been an awesome reader for over a year now, and last year, when I discovered the glory of Lady Gaga, she sent me the link to a video of her Tease and Tone class, choreographed to Bad Romance.  I.  Died.

This girl has one hell of a body - talk about inspiration!  Working hard to keep your body in tip-top shape does seem unfair sometimes, but it's almost always the reality.  I have to say that realizing that before I lost weight has helped me to keep the weight off.

Now, enough from me ... I give you Shannon:

"I have had to watch my weight all of my life, even though I have always been active.  I had to learn that I didn't get to have endless late night pizza and soda in junior high and high school, even though some of my friends could do it without a thought to their waistlines.  I was a competitive dancer throughout high school, which led to a bit of an eating disorder in my teens and early 20s.  I have thick shoulders and small hips and if I gain weight, it's all through my top half (an apple shape).  Because of this I can't carry much extra weight, for both health and vanity reasons.  I used to hate it; I suppose everyone thinks another body type has an easier time looking good.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says "oh, well it must be easy for you."  Most people that look good do work hard to do so, at least in my experience.  I've had to learn  that I will just never be curvy and have learned to dress for my body.  I have to work hard physically and eat right to maintain the fit and healthy body that does everything I ever ask it to.  (thank you, body) 

I started running in my 20's.  When I started, I couldn't even go a half mile even though I was in good shape from dancing.  It was so different!  Running was my main exercise for years and I continually increased my mileage.  When I met my husband he was a cyclist, so I spent a couple years doing a lot of cycling and I completed 2 centuries (100 mile rides) with him!  One day, an old dance friend told me about a new studio that had opened.  I was nervous about getting back into the dance world, but decided to try it out.  I loved being back in the studio and everything dance does for my body and mind.  I started subbing the Tease and Tone class when the owner went on maternity leave, and she let me keep it when she got back!  I've been teaching that class for 5 years.  I still run and recently, have incorporated more circuit training into my repertoire (thanks Jillian Michaels!).  I had been toying with the idea of doing an early morning workout class for a while but was unsure of the commitment.  When Evie (aforementioned studio owner) suggest that I do a 4 week session as a boot camp, I jumped on it and Body Blitz was born.  The timing was such that it would end the day after my 36th birthday, so for the 4 weeks up to my birthday, I'd teach my Tease and Tone class Monday and Wednesday evening and Body Blitz Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:30.  I was nervous about how it would work.  Would I be tired?  Would I get sore?  Would it be too much?  Would I hate having to pack my work clothes with me and shower and change at the office?  I also didn't want to lose my running so I toned it down, but still ran on Tuesday night and at least one weekend day.

I loved it.  For one, I love teaching.  I have been doing it for 20 years and I love watching students grow and gain confidence.  I also love being the motivator behind their progress.  I loved the routines I created and the music I chose.  I was surprised when I ended up loving the logistics of the early morning class as it fit into my life. Before it started, I made myself 3 promises.  One:  Every day after class, eat an egg sandwich when you get to work to make sure you replenish your body.  Two:  On Thursday night do not work out, go home and drink a beer and relax.  Three: Schedule a massage for the day after your last class.

Body Blitz was so great that I scheduled another session for April.  The things that surprised me were how changing it up made such an impact.  I was all of a sudden more eager to do my other workouts with gusto.  The energy from an intense early morning class is unbeatable.  Oddly enough, my body was less sore from this regime than it had been when I was running more.  I had no trouble packing my clothes for work and getting ready there.  Often one of those days would be the day I took pictures for my Fashion Friday posts.

For me, the goal itself wasn't a fitness goal but rather an exploration of trying something new to see what happened and how I handled it.  I'm proud of myself for taking good care of my body and mind throughout the month: I ate well, slept well, organized well, and managed to teach a fun and positive (and hard!) class while maintaining everything else in my busy life.  I can't wait for April.

I took these pics after my last class so share my 36 year old happy and healthy bod.  (One thing those big shoulders give me is a nice strong back :))"


Anyone else in the mood to bust a move, now?

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