Hello dear friends, if you’re reading this, you have found the APRIL entries of my diary of my Fitness Journey for 2014. I will be adding to them as the month goes on … drill down to get the latest entry. It is only ONE of the New Year Resolutions I made for 2014. The others are displayed on the ‘My Gym Journey Diary’ tab on the top of my blog.
Thursday 3rd April 2014 … Ten Days to go until Challenge ends!
Well, the count down on the front of my blog tells me I have ten days to go until the end of my Gym Challenge! I can hardly believe it … but I have to say I am very tired at the moment. It’s like anything, you see that deadline approaching and it becomes harder and harder to keep going.
Why am I so tired? Many reasons, not least amongst them the Boot Camps I have been doing these last two Saturdays followed by the hard Foxy class the Tuesday after. This morning, after a long (but lovely) day out with my sister yesterday, I decided not to go to the gym. With my mind made up I sent a text message to my gym buddy Pat saying I wouldn’t be coming today.
Simple enough … right? No wrong! I sent the message to the wrong person … I sent it to my daughter-in-law in error (Pat’s daughter). Well, she would have to be the worst one to send this to because a reply came back pretty quickly, telling me basically to get up and get going! No excuses. Oh dear, I was so horrified I sent Pat a message saying perhaps a light work-out would be a good idea as I was tired!
And so it came to pass. I am so pleased I went as I weighed myself and I’ve lost more weight … almost 3 kg. Finally, I can believe it. People keep telling me how trim I look but I simply have not believed them. Then today as I walked into the gym building, one of the fellow challengers called out to me “Oh, you have lost weight! I haven’t seen you for two weeks, I can hardly believe how good you look!”
Now, isn’t that what every woman wants to hear? I can hardly believe it … but right now a good sleep would make me smile more ha ha. Onwards we go … TEN days to the end … but then it’s not really the end is it? You see, the Gym Journey must go on until the end of the year. Perhaps it will go on forever in one form or other?? Perish the thought!
Sunday 6th April 2014 … Hating Pumping Iron but doing it anyway!
Where am I at today with this challenge? Firstly, let me say how much I love Sunday friends. It means I have permission (in my head) to stay in bed with my cup of tea and read the papers. Geoff always tires of reading and gets up to start making breakfast for us. As I do most of the cooking by choice (I love to cook) it feels so decadent to have bacon and eggs for breakfast cooked for me. Who’s even thinking about the gym on such a day?
I could hardly believe we had slept for 10 hours last night. I have felt so lethargic since Wednesday that I wanted to get out of the 7 am Gym Challenge on Saturday morning. Pat was unable to come as she was helping out a sick friend by cleaning the house for her and was getting enough of a workout doing a kind deed. However, without Pat I was again tempted to just ‘forget’ to go, but I set my mind on getting up and moving whilst ignoring every impulse to flee.
And things did not change while we were all pumping iron either! Loud music was blaring out and the instructor was all hyped up yelling out “Go! Go! Up with the weight … hold it now … you can do it … just two more lifts!!” He was pumping iron with us. But I have to say dear friends, that I wanted to hit the instructor. I wanted to turn off that confounded loud music that seems to be synonymous with gym activity and leave.
I wanted to put up a big sign which said “I feel crook!!” I would have prefaced it with “Feel sorry for me today.” One participant was nice to me when he asked what was wrong (was it THAT obvious?) and told me to modify my exercises … which I did. Fifty minutes later when it finished, I felt no better and no worse … I just felt woeful. Geoff collected me and we went off home so I could recover.
I did not improve all day, however, this morning I have woken up much improved and think I can now make it to the end of the Challenge on Saturday 12th April afterall! It was as if I had a touch of the flu but yet I wasn’t sick enough to lie on my bed and moan for all the world to hear me! What a shame because I might have felt better with a bit of tea and sympathy. As it turned out I was glad I had persevered against all the odds as I feel so much better today.
The countdown is on … SEVEN days to go!
Monday 7th April 2014 Coping with Others’ Negativity
The countdown to the end of the Gym Challenge tells me the end is getting closer. I forgot to write yesterday about the Seminar I went to on Friday night at the gym for the Challenge. It was a seminar about how to maintain one’s fitness and motivation once the Challenge finishes on Saturday. I found it very useful as I have never intended for it to be a 9 week wonder for me. I want it to be a lifestyle change.
We discussed the things that might make us lose our motivation: friends who try to bring us down and will not support our growth was a big one up for discussion for the women in the group especially. One women my age was about to lose a close friend who simply could not accept that Marge has lost an incredible amount of weight over two years and can’t wait for her to put it all back on.
I talked about someone I knew who has always been jealous of every challenge I ever undertook and only measured it according to her own worth. For example, went I went to university in my forties, the comment was: “Now what is going to happen to ME? I’ll be a nobody now.” Another time when I blogged every day for 2012 and I achieved my goal, the comment was, “Well, you’re going to stop THAT nonsense now aren’t you?”
One has to learn to ignore these comments or challenge the person about them as I tried to do at the time. Because this friend is wonderful in a lot of other ways, I am reluctant to get rid of her! Therefore friends, I wanted to write in my diary about the things that will come along to challenge us besides the act of taking part in the official Challenge as well.
Saturday 12th April 2014 The 9-Week Challenge comes to an end
The 9-Week Challenge is all over bar the shouting! The things that Pat and I did this morning amazed even us. The people left sending in the Challenge – those who had not pulled out for various reasons – gathered together this morning for the final harrah … there was high excitement as we came together this one last time. The feeling was of camaraderie as it has been the whole 9 weeks.
Two girls in their thirties (?) that Pat and I have got friendly with – Sue and Gina – have been really fantastic. They are at the gym every day encouraging one another, having their ‘extra things to do challenge forms’ ticked off as they completed each task. Pat and I took one look at those ‘extra things’ and nearly had a fit as we realised they were too much for us old dears. We went back to doing the basics without battering an eyelid.
Hopefully, Sue and Gina will win something for their efforts. They are looking fabulous! It would not surprise me if Pat and I win something for just turning up each time!! In fact, the Personal Trainer Manager told me we are worth our weight in gold just by the encouragement we give to others … I thought that was a lovely thing to say.
Never, at any time, have the Personal T’rainers made us feel ‘less’ than those who can do sooooo much more than us!
The opposite is true … they have praised us every time we succeeded in something that was modified to suit our older bodies. High fives all round. Help in how to do the task the right way without injuring ourselves. It never ceases to astound us. I do not feel any discrimination before of the age gap … I only feel caring and support.
Yes, I feel a little sad … yet excited that the journey will go on.
Sunday 13th April 2014 Looking Back … and Forward
I woke on this rainy Sunday morning to discover that the excitement of Saturday 12th April has died down just a little. It’s hard to believe that my 9-Week Gym Challenge is officially over!
Done and dusted now.
All I am left with is stiff limbs and sore legs as a result of doing the final tests to determine how much better I am after 9 weeks of exercising and eating ‘Clean’ (no junk). It could be such a let-down … but it is hasn’t totally hit me yet. The warm glow and feeling of satisfaction is still with me at this stage.
I have reached the three moderate goals I set for myself. I’ve lost 4 kilos (my goal was 3 kilos); I can walk up stairs easily without stopping to catch my breath and I can get up from the floor without needing someone on the other end pulling me up!
Wow! I think I am changed forever by taking on this challenge nine weeks ago. Rightly or wrongly I believe ANYTHING is possible now. Pat and I want to work out the best way to continue to keep fit and stay strong for many years to come. The gym will certainly be the main ingredient in the mix.
In two weeks time, we have a Red Carpet Cocktail event to celebrate completion of the Challenge. Dressed up to the nines, we will get a certificate (or something similar) to let us know we did it. Can’t wait. I think I’ll have to get a new cocktail dress for the occasion as all my old things are looking a bit shabby or a bit tight … just haven’t lost enough weight yet to look super-duper for this celebration.
Shops here we come!
But in the meantime, we are going on a trip to Hervey Bay for 10 days. At least we won’t have a chance to be too let-down by the Challenge ending. The whole family will be joining us over the Easter period at least, so there will be no time to be missing the gym!
Sunday 27th April 2014 Cocktail Party Celebration
Here is an extract from the post I wrote on my blog after attending the Cocktail Party on Friday 25th April to celebrate the ending of the 9 Week Challenge. For the full blog check out this link: https://tessross.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/a-new-theme-on-the-journey-called-life/
“You see, it’s like this. For the better part of this year I have been focused on my Gym Journey … to lose weight and get fit by doing the 9 Week Challenge. Sadly, the journey with all the people Pat and I met doing the challenge has come to an end.
We celebrated on Friday night by getting all done up in our best finery and attending a Cocktail Party for all the Challenge participants from the four ‘Go Health Club‘ gyms. There were good prizes up for grabs and great food which kept us sustained for hours. The food never seemed to stop.
Oh we did have a good time! Therefore that particular journey is now officially over. Pat and I were hugging and kissing all the Beenleigh participants as they left last night … we will miss them after our last nine weeks together.
Let’s take a moment to shed a tear or two …
But on a brighter note one of the girls (Sue), who we watched in awe as she trained so hard, won a Wild Card prize for her wonderful effort at the gym. The applause that went up from our club left the others looking quite ordinary. Congratulations are in order for Sue … and also for her friend Gina who must have just missed out.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, the theme on my blog.
This theme enables me to change the banner at will. It may sometimes change depending on the topic. Who know? It’s all at the author’s whim! I hope you like this idea. For the moment, this picture is an invitation to ‘Walk with Me on the Journey we Call Life.” I loved putting that invitation ‘out there.’
Besides, I liked the look of the picture and I feel as if I’ve begun another journey now that the Gym Challenge is finished. Not that we won’t be attending the gym … we will … but the focus has gone hasn’t it? It’s funny that. It reminds me of when you come to the end of a good book and you can’t quite let go of it just yet. You have to keep on re-reading the parts that made you laugh … or made you cry. It’s a bit like a loss really, or a relationship break-up because you feel bereft.
Well, that’s how finishing the Gym Challenge feels like to me. There is now a bit of a void in my life. I’m sure it won’t take long to find something else though, just give me a week or so and something will crop up. Now dear friends, let’s talk about FAILURE!
You see, people often tell me that I have achieved a lot of things during my life eg going back to study in my forties, recommencing in the workforce when I was fifty and then later blogging every day of 2012, completing my Diploma of Editing and Publishing and editing my first book. But, things have not always been quite as easy for me as it would appear!
When I was away, I was led to think about the number of failures I had earlier in my life. In fact, I recounted to my husband over a cuppa, the number of attempts I’d had to complete my Year 12 so that I could apply for university. Four attempts I had and each time I only lasted a few months before something or other (wrong time, wrong place, wrong subjects etc etc) caused me to ‘chuck’ the whole thing in. On the fifth attempt many years later, I finally succeeded!
And then it wasn’t easy-going either for I failed to get into the course at uni that I wanted to study! More waiting and wondering what to do next. Finally, I opted to stay back a year at Tafe while all my friends from the Year 12 course went to university. Oh, it was so hard! Yet, I knew if I was to do what I wanted, I needed to get my entry score higher and try again.
I succeeded the second year and the rest is history dear friends. But I do believe that the path I took was the right path for me because the people I met on the journey, the experiences I had and then finally, the man I met during my last year at university was all part of a plan for me personally. This man was instrumental in recommending me for a job and it was thanks to him (and my own record) that I had a career in the Federal Government.
So friends, as I finish up today, let me encourage you all – as we walk this Journey we call Life – not to be daunted by failures that come your way. And there have been other failures in my earlier life also which I will write about at a later date. Who knows where the journey will take us? You may have to wait to see where life leads you. Only now as I have got older, am I seeing the pieces of my life fit together like a jig saw puzzle.
It sure feels good to be able to see it this way! Therefore today I want to leave you with a quotation which might just inspire you as much as it has inspired me:
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill
If you really like reading this April diary, you can read the March entries of my Gym Diary on this link: https://tessross.wordpress.com/daily-resolutions-diary/march-2014-diary-ongoing/