Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Because my ego and my pride have a masochistic streak, and because I truly enjoy pushing myself as far as I can go, when we were told to grab a kettlebell this morning in Boot Camp I immediately went for the heaviest one which was 25 pounds (If there had been a 30 I would have snagged it instead).

We were told that we were going to walk in a sort of a serpentine around the studio holding the kettlebell above our head and as we changed direction, we would switch arms. 4 times around.
I was immediately concerned for my left side, my weakest side. Not for holding it as I walked but for getting it up there.

The act of lifting the 25 pounds over my head was going to be hard on my strong side but would require lots of focus and determination on my left side. It did and then some. By the last lift I didn't think I was going to be able to get it up there.

I knew I could do it though. I'm comfortable with the 25 pound weight.

Holding it wasn't a problem I could have done another one or two holding it but the switching arms and then while walking forward forcing my arm to push that 25 pounds over my head...My arms were tired by the end.

Of course when we were done with that he broke us up into stations three of which were upper body/arms and two using Kettlebells. Stupid, stubborn, prideful, & anxious to get my arms into shape I again went for the heaviest bell. I never even looked at the weight but I think it was the 25 pounder again.

We were doing one handed swings where you switch at the top. 50 seconds with 10 seconds to rest and move to the next station. By the end of that 50 seconds I knew if I was going to finish class and not drop dead I had to listen to what David is always telling us "Work smarter, not harder" and go down in weight.

I felt disappointed and angry at myself for not yet having the strength to continue to work with the heavier weight. I felt weak and like I was letting myself down. Not really pushing myself.
I realized though, if I work with the heavy weight and can't finish the full 50 seconds or can't give 100% to the other exercises we were doing because I was too exhausted from the heavier Kettlebell then wasn't I only cheating myself?!
What would the point have been? Great. I can swing a 25 pound weight but then what? Then I can't do anything else? I need to be able to give as much as I can to each exercise he sets up for us.

I went to a 15 pounder which was PLENTY challenging and realized that I should be proud and feel accomplished of the work I did do with the heavier weight.
So today I learned to pace myself and "Work smarter, not harder" my muscles worked just as hard with the 15 and my body got a good good workout today.

Today I learned that pushing yourself in only one area isn't beneficial if you then aren't able to give the same push or the same determination and dedication to what lies ahead.
Today I was humbled by an iron ball and reminded not to be so shortsighted and stubborn.
Oh and for the record I WILL get to my goal of lifting that 75 pound Kettlebell.

Next time we do the walking and lifting thing I want to do half with the 25 pound and half with the 30 pound. I absolutely know that I can do it. I have the strength and the drive and the thought of lifting and working with the heavier weights gets my blood pumping and gets me all excited.

However, the difference will be that after we do that, I'll be reaching for a lighter weight.  I won't be attempting to do other exercises with the same heavy weight.

Somewhere David has video footage of me doing swings with a 40 pound Kettlebell. That is my second favorite accomplishment in Boot Camp. The first is when I was able to lift the 30 pounds over my head when I didn't think I could do 25!

I blogged about it here

It should be noted that that video was shot about 2 months ago. Two months ago lifting the 25 pounds over my head was a dream goal. I didn't think I could do it. When I was able to do it the rush of pride and accomplishment...Today I lifted that same weight over my head TWELVE TIMES. Twelve times while walking! Twelve times in a row and THEN went on to do at least 20 one handed swings with it before I had the lightbulb moment. All that in less than two months. That's nothing to sneeze at!

I love the bigger weights and love how strong they make me feel, not only in body but in mind and soul as well. The heavier weights make me feel like a total on top of the world bad ass and increase my self confidence in ways I never thought possible. Being able to work with heavy weights, and pushing myself makes me feel proud. 
I just have to be smart about it...
I'm so hooked on Boot Camp and how it's made me feel over the past 8 months. I'm doing things I NEVER thought I could do and look! I'm learning things about myself too...good for body, mind and soul!

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