Posts Tagged ‘sit-ups

11
Jun
12

counting down ….

Counting down …

We all have things we count down for.

Sometimes it is something grand like a fight and sometimes just the tick-tock of the clock till the end of the work day.

When I get anxious, I like to think of things in three-minute intervals, plus the sixty-second rest.

It’s a way of organizing my thoughts which otherwise race around in what my old Dharma teacher used to call a monkey mind.

If I set the clock, I can think of things in finite terms. I can count out each second, or count out other things such as the number of sit-ups I can do in three minutes or the number of words I can write, or the amazing amount of tasks that can be completed in between the buzzers.

Imagine, one can actually pretty much empty a sink full of dishes, or run down four flights of stairs, grab the mail from the mailbox and come back upstairs and find that the clock hasn’t even hit yellow yet.

At other times the clock provides order out of chaos.  It quells the what-do-I-do-now panic of momentary indecision, or worse, the I-can’t-get-started rut can be kicked into gear to a set menu of things to achieve–even if that just means taking an interval or two to calm down.

I bring this up as person facing deadlines and the stress that accompanies that. Thinking of the clock and the ding of the round though is helping to soothe me. In breaking things down into the tiny snippets of time I am reminding myself that no matter how daunting something may seem, it is only ever made up of moments; moments that follow one upon another each carrying its own weight and import.

Much as when I train, I can set aside so many rounds for one thing followed by a set number of rounds for another.

In their totality the time winds up to be the same as what had been originally allotted, but somehow in breaking it down into smaller bits, one can see and touch the progress as so many things that have already been accomplished.

 

 

03
Feb
12

Job done and idling.

Job done and idling.

As often happens after big events whether boxing matches won or lost or worse yet, called as a draw; or in the world of work where major projects are completed and all that is left is the mundane, the hardest part is pushing through to the next big moment, especially when there isn’t one in the offing.

That idle time aka “the devil’s workshop” can wreak havoc with your conditioning whether it’s your physical prowess in the ring or the mental gymnastics you apply to a new task, not to mention that steady spiral to that pesky inertia again where nothing seems to move and one feels wedded to nothing more than bad television, too much ice cream and an otherwise cranky disposition.

Rather like empty streets in the in the morning which one can walk around in at will with no one to jostle you or impede your way; the waiting period can be your opportunity to perform all those personal maintenance tasks you never get to. Such as … have you been to the doctor lately? Had your mammo, colonoscopy, bone density scan, round of blood tests? Okay, I know I’m revealing my age a little bit here, but you can get the point.  Had a massage?  Been to a museum? Cleaned out your closets?  Seen your grandmother? Started that blog? Wrote that short story? Signed up for a computer class?

We all carry our lists around of “things to do” whether it’s the daily list of chores of the pick-up dry cleaning variety or the larger ones that have to do with family, friends and importantly our own personal growth.

Given that I am in the middle of just such a period, I can really, really relate to anyone having difficulty getting “on the stick” so to speak. Suffice it to say, I am grateful to have the chance to write about it in Girlboxing, and thank you all for indulging me as I thrash about trying to get my motivation on!

I will say that while I haven’t quite made it to 300 sit-ups yet this week (I’m at 225 with 14 hours and counting till my midnight deadline), I have made my weekly goal of modified push ups — well, actually, I’ve exceeded that one: 60 = goal, 75 = attained.

Okay, we are not talking about a climb to the top of Everest or running a marathon, the little things do count towards the larger goals, even when those goals are not in focus. And sometimes, those little things add up to opportunities you never considered for yourself, and those sorts of surprises lead you right back to the winner’s circle again.

 

28
Jan
12

Big days, little days.

Big days, little days.

Some days are filled with big things and others have the “usual suspects.”  The same it seems with working out: peppy for two or three training sessions in a row and then the dogs. We’re talking no energy, no pop and not so much going through the motions as just having no energy to get where you want to go!

I had one of those mornings at Gleason’s Gym today.  Sure, I did my sweet 16 (four rounds each of shadow boxing, pad work, double-ended bag and speed bag), but did I ever have to work for them.  Lennox kept shaking his head saying, “wake up, girl!” And maybe that helped because I did manage to bring it towards the end with two hopped up rounds on the double-ended bag and some serious da-da-da-da / da-da-da-da on the speed bag.

In analyzing it later, I realized that part of the problem is I’m still not doing enough during the week to keep the momentum up for a meaningful Saturday session.  A clue on how to do that in an otherwise busy life came from my old Peace Corps buddy Mark who had a post on Facebook today proclaiming that he’d hit his goal of 1,000 sit-ups in a week.

I thought, “1,000!?!  That is a lot!.”  Breaking it down to daily increments, however, brought it more in line with what actual humans can achieve! Reading further, Mark wrote about his formula for success: starting at just 130 for the first week until he had brought himself along to 1,000.

Given that I struggled through my 100 sit-ups this morning at the gym (having only done 20 all week) — it occurred to me that if I followed Mark’s formula of defining weekly goals, it might get me off my tush and into a regular daily sit-up routine. Not wanting to set the mark too high for myself the first week, I’ve settled on accomplishing 300 between Sunday and Friday.  That means 50 a day — meaning about 10 minutes!  Seen that way, there is no way I shouldn’t be able to achieve it.  The same thing for push-ups — or my version of them which means on my knees or against a bar at this point.  Sure, I did 20 today at the gym (in two sets of 10 each), but it was hard and strained my shoulder.  So there again, I’ve decided on setting a goal between Sunday and Friday.  I’m staring off with 60, that means 10 a day — or another 5 minutes a day at most!

Summed together, if I give myself a mere 15 minutes a days, I can meet my weekly goal and have sacrificed nothing. No excuses here!

Kudos to Mark for a great idea!

10
Apr
11

Sleep, per chance to dream…

Sleep, per chance to dream…

My sweet sixteen felt more like The Dirty Dozen yesterday.  I worked my butt off — with lots of right to the body, left to the body, straight right combinations during my pad work with Lennox, but was I ever ragged.  I’m not sure how I made it through the fourth round of the that set, but I managed it with some pretty pitiful arm punches, but, hey … I got through it.

The double-ended bag was also pretty pathetic, but I rallied for the speedbag and had really nice rhythm through most of it.  What helped was peering at some pretty great sparring in the two rings in my line of sight — along with my inner Gonna have a funky good time beat (thanks James Brown) and “legs don’t fail me now” entreaties.

What did work yesterday was upping my sit-up chair time to three rounds.  So all in all I was 16 + 3 for the day, if in limp mode for half of it.

In analyzing why my energy was so low, however, I had a true “duh!” epiphany.  Yep, the missing ingredient: Sleep!

From no less a source than Harvard Medical School Women’s Health Watch (link here), six important reasons for getting enough sleep include:

1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Oy.  Who knew.

I mean, yes, I knew, but like many of us, I continue to blow-off the importance of getting those zzzz’s in favor of all the seeming have-to’s, not to mention the dumb want-to’s (like watching really bad TV) that get in the way of a decent night’s rest.

Put another way, getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is no less important to health than eating a balanced diet and doing all that cardio in the first place — and may in fact, help with curbing the pounds and upping your energy in the process.  Least ways I sure hope so!

03
Jan
11

Alarm clocks and the bell

Alarm clocks and the bell

I’ve been hit by the iPhone alarm clock bug.  Yep, my trusty morning wake-up call pooped-out of me this morning — and so my morning is already 45 minutes late.

As someone who loves boxing, I am otherwise bound by life in three-minute intervals: the boxing clock.  The typical timer has three flavors.  Green, yellow and red.  Green is lit-up for two and a half minutes before it dings and turns yellow for a further thirty-seconds.  The next bell is usually a fairly loud racket that signifies the turn to red and a sixty-second rest period.

At the gym yesterday, I used the “yellow” period to quicken up my pace as I trained.  My training consisted of nine rounds on the double-ended bag and a further three rounds on the speed bag before starting the abs torture.  This is not a typical training session, but that’s the beauty of a Sunday, it gives me a chance to challenge myself on different aspects of boxing.

Yesterday was all about lefts and upper-cuts as three-minute exercises.  First lefts, then left-left-right combinations, followed by left-left upper cut combinations and finally, right-left, right-left, right-left uppercuts finishing with the left jab off the left uppercut.

When I train throwing nothing but lefts for some part of the boxing clock or the entire three minutes, I hear trainers in my head talking about how such and such a fighter won a 12-round fight with nothing but lefts.  Hyperbole aside (although I swear someone did do that), challenging oneself to the equivalent of nothing but lefts as a timed exercise has a lot of benefits.  I used to do it as a writing exercise, setting an egg-timer for five minutes and writing down whatever entered my head without letting the pen off the page.

Yesterday’s workout was a variation on that.  Working on speed, agility and most importantly stamina.  By my last three speed-bag rounds I was pretty much “done,” however, I did try to use the last thirty seconds of each round to pound away without stopping on my alternating left hand and right hand 8-count, 4-count, 2-count, 1-1-1-1, speed-bag rhythm.   I was mostly successful and did feel that I earned the latte treat from Starbucks afterwards.

I’ll never get back the 45 minutes I lost this morning — that’s 15 rounds of boxing or nine timed writing sessions.  Oh well.  There’s always tomorrow.

30
Dec
10

Getting the jump on those pesky resolutions

Getting the jump on those pesky resolutions

Yep.  It’s that time of year again — when you need to confront all the coulda’, shoulda’ woulda’s from 2010 to write-up the “list” for 2011.

I will box every day!

In years past, I’ve run the gamut from writing them hung over on New Year’s Day, to thoughtfully considering them for days and weeks before the turn of the year.

To be honest, the New Year’s resolution list is often an afterthought somewhere around the 3rd of January.  By then of course, I’m in a decided catch-up mode which in turn can spiral into a state of New Year’s resolution anxiety if I’m not careful.

This year I’m trying something a little different.  I’ve started my New Year’s resolution two days early — with the goal of doing at least *one* physical thing every day.  Okay, sure, that can be tough, but with a hat tip to Conjuring My Muse, doing one activity — whether it’s one three-minute shadow boxing round in the living room or a full-on two-hour work out at the gym is achievable!  And like doing anything else every day — it’s gets to be a terrific habit.

So to keep true to that New Year’s vow, I threw on my sweats, grabbed my gear (some of it with that new leather smell — thanks, Santa!) and walked down to Gleason’s Gym.  The sweet part was being accompanied by my daughter — and while I must say that the work-out was tough as my latest lay-off has been way too long, I worked out just enough to feel terrific about making the effort. It also helped that she was there to cheer me on, especially when it came to the sit-ups.

I’m heading down to Gleason’s again tomorrow to work out with Lennox Blackmore with the hope that I’ll be able to throw in one or two extra rounds and a whole lot more ab-work.  And though the gym will be closed on New Year’s Day, there’s yoga, fast-walking or dancing to James Brown to keeping me going strong — least ways that’s the plan!

22
Dec
10

Three days until

Three days until

Okay, I admit it.  I’m an excited little kid when it comes to Christmas.  Given that it’s December 22, that means three whole days until — as well as that “eee-gads” feeling ’cause my Christmas shopping isn’t done.

If you’re in a similar boat, and if you haven’t yet gotten gifts for the boxer in your life (or that special something for yourself for that matter), you just may make it if you put in a super rush order with one of the boxing catalogs — though it’s a long shot. (Check out the Boxing Gear Page for a list of online websites and gift ideas.)

The alternative is to run over to a specialty store — if there is one near you (folks in the NYC can always go to G&S in downtown Manhattan) or you can  head over to a boxing gym for gear & t-shirts, and for NYC area dwellers there is always “Mo’s” for something like handwraps.

If that doesn’t work boxers can always use workout T’s, sweats, water bottles, hoodies, winter running apparel (hats, silk gloves, wicking socks, thick tights) and bags to lug all that boxing stuff in.  One- or two-pound hand weights are also great to shadow box with and boxers can always use a nice mat for sit-ups ’cause lets face it, the ones in a boxing gym can get pretty “funky.”  Those kinds of items are pretty readily available — and you can always head to a Yoga store for nice colors and an island of calm in an otherwise crowded mall.

A free lesson or two with a trainer or paying a yearly locker fee are also amazing gestures that would be very appreciated — and of course, you can always donate to a boxing charity in the name of a loved one (check out the Boxing Holiday Giving post for a few ideas).

Whatever you decide, enjoy your three days of shopping!

 

 




July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,581 other followers

Girlboxing Now! on Twitter

Share this blog!

Bookmark and Share
free counters
Blog Directory

Blog Stats

  • 765,458 hits

Twitter Updates

© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: