Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let's Pound Some Pavement!

Well, it's that time again. Time to start training for the Half coming up in May. Now, I know some reading this might think that sounds funny, or that a Half is a bunch of "weak sauce", but I have never been a runner. I enjoyed sprints but only at 100m, anything else I considered "distance" and just wasn't into it.

The beginning of my running journey started with the Couch to 5K (C25K) running program. It got me going gradually and switched up the workouts enough so that I never got too bored or too winded. Once I graduated that program I was able to finally tackle a 4 mile run, a goal of mine since about the 8th grade. I have tried this running thing, I swear, every year since I was about 14 years old and failed - until last year.

Last year I dedicated myself to the idea of running. Damn it, I WAS going to become a runner if it killed me (and some days I thought it had). I signed up for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, paid my $85 and said, "Well..that's it! You're running 13.1 regardless, because you sure as hell didn't just blow $85 for nothing!" So I started my training in November utilizing this training workout: Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training Program

Sometimes it was hard to keep up with, but I told myself I had to keep going. Closer to the half I upped my "distance" and veered away from the training schedule. One week I did 6 miles...the next week my distance run was 8, then I had three 10 mile weeks, and then went right to 12 1/2. After the 12 1/2 mile run without ANY stopping, I realized this was happening.

The day of the race came and I was excited and confident that I would finish. People joked about getting "picked up" because they wouldn't make the maximum time frame, but I knew I was going to cross that finish line. Not only was I going to cross it, but I was going to do it with a smile.

I took in everything that day. All the sites, sounds, feelings, etc. Around mile 11 my knee started to REALLY bother me to the point where there were some tears shed, but at that point there's no stopping!! I trucked on and crossed the finish line, arms in the air, smiling, at 2:37:36.  When my medal was placed around my neck and I had my picture taken, I knew I had officially become a runner.

....about 10 minutes later when I collapsed near an ambulance I also knew that running COULD kill a person haha. But all I needed was some sugar, and then I was good to go :)

That day taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to. That was a goal I had for over a decade and consistently gave up on, but that time I dedicated myself to achievement and just went for it, and I did it.

I have already signed up for the Half again this year which falls on May 5th, I believe. It's time to start training. This year I want to focus on some speed work, and more diversity into my workouts. If I did it once, I know I can do it again...and hopefully in less time!


Good Lord in heaven I have the worst time sometimes keeping up with this thing, but I'm not giving any excuses because there aren't any! I can only tell you that there are going to be many more blogs to come!
Check in every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for some inspiration, health and fitness tips, or stories about my personal journey.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Time to Switch it Up

And a happy October to YOU!

So far, October has been a whirlwind of activity which is why I have not been on here very often. Work is killin' me, business is boomin', photography is going great, and there has been a ton to celebrate!

I love Fall...I think it's one of the best seasons around. Lately, however, it has been pretty darn cold around here. Last year we were spoiled with weather still well into the 70's in the Pittsburgh region around this time.  Fall means sweaters, scarves, hats, coats, and BOOTS! (wahoo!!) All sorts of baggy clothes to make you feel comfy and hide your, er, problem areas.


I think this is why so many people gain weight during the winter months is because of the clothing styles that are out there. When you are wearing shorty short shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits you are much more aware of your body than you are when you are wearing hoodies, sweats, and cow neck sweaters (are those still in style???). Many people turn to veggies and fruits in the summer because they are jam-packed of water, and they are a light snack. Who wants beef stew on a 95 degree day, right? Well, then the Fall chill sets in and we want comfort food. Mmmmm. Crockpot food...MMM! PUMPKIN PIE! OH YEAH!  All of these can lead to some serious weight gain if we are not cognisant of what we are putting in our bodies.

So what do we do? Do we just succumb to the Winter blues, gain that weight,and then totally freak out the first time its warm enough to wear last year's Capri pants and they don't zip? (GASP! NOT AGAIN!) Or do you take action now so next year your Capri pants STILL don't fit...but it's because they are falling off your body! I'll take Option #2, please.

One of the things I love about the fall, is the changing leaves. Now I understand not all of your are lucky enough to be able to experience this in your own town, but if you are GET OUT AND ENJOY THEM. How could you not love walking down this trail?

With Fall also comes rain, wind, and eventually snow and freeze as we get more toward the winter month. Often times, unless you are a die hard runner, you are moving your workouts inside...or maybe you just don't work out period. Well, it's time to start thinking about how this year is going to be different for you. Trust me, I love Lifetime movies as much as the other person. I love my Dexter, Real Housewives, and everything else that I watch when their new seasons come out in the Fall/Winter, but I use them as a reward for AFTER I do my workouts. How are you going to workout this Fall? How are you going to stay motivated? If the gym is not for you, or you have signed up before only to stop going, then I recommend you checking out some of the other tabs on this blog that house some great workout programs. You can also head right over to my website www.beachbodycoach.com/Nik4213  and checking out all that I have to offer.

Is lack of motivation your thing? I got your back! Anything you purchase from that link above comes with me :)  All wrapped up in a nice little package. Have you ever wanted a personal trainer but couldn't afford it, well tadaaaaaaaaaaaa! Here I am! I don't come to your house, I don't tell you to keep your knees above your ankles as I watch you do a squat, but I am here as your coach for motivation, support, tips, trick, recipes, you name it. I get you to where you are going. Period.

So if you are looking to change, if you are looking to try something new, I encourage you to take a look around on that site. If you have any questions, you can email me at nik4213@gmail.com.

Look, last year I was not who I am now. I was nowhere near it. I was unhappy, I felt defeated every day of my life. I wanted to give up. I wanted to just accept that I was the way I was, and then I found these programs and they CHANGED MY LIFE. The support I received from MY coach CHANGED MY LIFE. I would not be here week after week blogging about how to change your life or the lives around you, how to stay positive, and how to give everyday your all if I hadn't chosen one day to draw a line in the sand and start giving everyday of MY life MY all.  So if you are ready to do that, if you are ready to say enough is enough, and if you need a helping hand...please let me know.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Imagine the Possibilities

So, I had this random idea the other day that I started to employ in my own life just because it is something I am passionate about, but I felt like sharing it might help the idea to spread and thus benefit more people.

I love to help people. One of the most frustrating things for me is when I can't.  I love to motivate others towards their goals, and realize that their dreams can become a reality. I feel like one of the most wasted things in life is a person's own idea of their self worth. There are so many out there that do not have a support system.

The other day I went out onto some random Facebook group pages and poked around. I participated in the posts, because I wouldn't be on the pages if I didn't have an interest in what they were for, but then I went a step further. I read other people's posts. See, here's the funny thing: this keyboard and this monitor are a safety zone for so many people. Did you ever meet someone who could talk the biggest game over the computer but then didn't have the guts to say something to your face? The same can go for people sharing their goals and their dreams. Some people feel that an online community may be the only place they can go to let these things out.

So I looked for people going through milestones in their life, or struggles, or that were trying something new. I read through a LOT of posts, and chose three of them that I felt I could relate most to. I phyiscally messaged those people a very short "Congrats" "wishing you luck" "I have been there! You are going to do great!"...something along those lines.  I started by telling them that this message was probably random, but that I had been in a similar situation before, you will get through, you will accomplish this, etc etc...if you ever want to talk *insert topic here* feel free to message me back; if not I hope you have a great day and good luck!  The message was nothing detailed, it was nothing creepy. It was an honest well wish from my heart.

I actually got a message back. The girl had stated that my message made her day and that she didn't have much in the way of a support system for what she was doing (which was running her first 5K). Honestly, I wasn't expecting ANYONE to message me back, but it made me feel good that someone could RETURN the kind words. I don't think that happens enough.

So I got to thinking...if I did 3 people a day that would mean that I could positively influence 21 people a week; roughly 90 per month...1080 per year. Wow.

Imagine if other people had this mentality of just influencing 1 or 2 people per day...and you weren't looking for kind words back because all your end goal is, is to spread something positive rather than negative. Can you imagine the profound impact that could have?
I always say that you never know what another person is going through - even if they are always smiling. And you never know who is facing a struggle and just WISHING that someone would notice their hard work...imagine if you were that person. That little shining beacon of light that just randomly popped into their world and said, "Hey...you don't know me...but I believe in you...and you're going to do great."  It's like a random act of kindness but this is more: this could turn a person's day, outlook, even potentially life if it is an extreme enough case, around.

I know not everyone will agree with this post, and I don't expect you to. All I'm saying is to imagine the possibilities. How many times do we haphazardly flip somone the bird while driving, or mutter hurtful words under our breath when someone cuts us off, or how many times do we participate in hurtful gossip just to lift ourselves up? We can spit out those hurtful words and gestures without even thinking about them..and in doing so we are spreading negativity. Then that person is mad and they pass their bad attitude off onto a co-worker who takes it home to his wife, who takes it out on their children, etc. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but many times something that evokes emotion in us turns into a chain reaction. All I'm saying is imagine if we focused on making that chain reaction a positive one.  Surround yourself with positive people and you will be come positive.  Once you do, reach out to others and "spread the wealth".