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On Being Full-Out
Today we are going to talk about being “full-out,” which is not to be confused with “Full House.” Because in real life, going full-out means being balls-to-the-wall and, as my spin instructor this morning said, “not bullshitting it.” (I wanted to make that the title of this post, but I thought my mom might be offended by the swear word. Gotta clean it up around the parents.)
On “Full House,” however, full-out means several things:
- Starving yourself and then spending 100 hours on the Stairmaster and subsequently passing out at Family Gym Day (DJ, you little delinquent).
- Having to miss a family vacation due to “fog.”
- Raising your twins while living in your deceased sister’s husband’s house with his own three children and one creepy non-uncle who has a thing for “wood chucks that chuck wood.”
So let’s stick to real life, OK? It’s more relevant.
Growing up in a dance studio, we used the term “full-out” a lot. You could either mark your routine, which is basically half-assing it and being lazy and doing things that will certainly not help you on competition day — or you could, obviously, perform full-out in the rehearsal studio, just like you would on stage. Guess which one is more helpful when you’re going for the platinum medal?
This applies to real life. You see where I’m going with this right? This is not a story about my current inability to plié and grande jeté.
Real life. Fitness. Running. Go.
I’d consider this to be my first week “back” from the stomach-flu-that-turned-into-a-Crohn’s-flare-up saga. Am I truly “back?” No. Last night marked another major milestone though: I slept through the night! There was no 1 AM night sweat wakeup and no 3 AM mad dash for the bathroom. All was calm in Ali’s bed. Psyched!
Overall I’ve still got the nagging hip pain and the knee aches that come and go, and there are still times when my stomach alternates between feeling sweetly settled and in a complete state of disarray. But I’m convinced I’m on the upswing — and I’m convinced that has as much to do with the steroids as it does with my mentality.
After spending a ton of time in bed and not working over the past few weeks, it was easy to fall into a routine, even once my health started to improve. I had gotten really accustomed to staying in bed, and it was a wonderful place! The gym? Central Park? They’ll still be there when I feel like returning.
But this week, I forced myself to get back into it — slowly. I didn’t want to run too much on account of the knee and hip, so I did a good amount of cross training.
I did a Chisel class on Monday, in an attempt to get those “weak glutes” toned up. I did a spin class Tuesday, and then had two fantastically stop-free runs on Wednesday and Thursday. I find the more time I spend circling the Reservoir and the Bridle Path, the happier I am.
Last night I even forced myself into a yoga class at my beloved Crunch Gym.
And I mean, I don’t mean to brag, as Third Grade Ali would say, but I did go full-out in class last night. Usually I’m a major yoga slacker, if I even make it to class in the first place. I really didn’t even want to go last night, but then I remembered how my left side has been hurting lately, and I thought about how good a nice stretch would feel. I do enjoy yoga — except chair pose, which is loosely translated to arjdndrasankasa uriktava — and always leave on that breezy yoga high people talk about.
The yoga instructor, whose real name is Carl and whose yoga name is maybe something like Crouching Tiger Hidden Bow Pose, always offers variations on each pose. He shows us how to make it easier or more difficult, and often times I stick with the one-step-up-from-basic option. I don’t always attempt the binds or the arm balances or the tripod headstands, because I don’t want to fall and potentially injure myself (by myself I mean all the people around me who would be crushed when I fall on them).
But last night I was all, “You know what? I showed up to class today. I may as well make the most of it, right?”
And so I bow posed and I binded. When we had the option of doing backbend hip lift plow pose something or going into wheel pose, I became a human wheel. I went for it.
And crow pose — that scary-looking one where you balance up on your forearms — I held that for a solid 30 seconds.
Is that not impressive?
Dang it. I felt good about it.
Usually I’m wobbly and I fall, but Instructor Carl The Great taught me to shift my focus forward instead of down by my feet, and boom! Balance was achieved.
This week, as much as I’m trying to be in tune with my body and how it’s feeling so as not to push it too hard right away, it has felt really good getting back into my sweat routine. I’d like to be running more, but in the meantime, I’m loving doing these other things.
I could have slept in this morning, but instead I went to a spin class. Every time the instructor — Ben T. — said to turn up the resistance, I turned it way up. I again had that same mentality (uh, especially after he demanded that we “not bullshit this morning”) that I showed up, I may as well push myself.
And now I must say, I feel pretty dang good. I’ve got a few days of drugs cruising through my system, I’m foam rolling, I’m icing and I feel like I’m making a decent effort to take care of myself and not overdo it. Hard two-a-day workouts? Yeah, I miss them. But this is the smart move right now. I’m sure my body will thank me eventually. Maybe. Probably not.
In final news, I booked it to the office this morning with a massive massive suitcase in tow containing everything I don’t want to move to my new apartment and would rather stash at my mom and dad’s house until they move someday (hopefully never) and make me take it all back. I haven’t seen my family since Christmas and I miss them. My love for them has always been evident:
I’m kind of hoping that I can do some data entry or something for my dad tomorrow, because apparently that’s what I used to do for him (the “accontant”) and I brought in some serious cash. Dad, I’ve upped my charge, but we can discuss. It’s negotiable.
Back to my point, because I think I was on my way to making one…
Be full-out. I firmly believe that getting out the door, getting into the gym or just getting out of bed are the hardest parts of the day. Once you get going, go all out. Be fearless and ruthless and don’t just show up — really show up.
[I just stepped down from my perky motivational soapbox.]
I wish you all a fabulous Friday, a wonderful weekend and a lot of good sweat and delicious eating.
TELL ME SOMETHING YOU’VE DONE FULL-OUT LATELY: Come on, you knew I’d want to know, right? Did you push it as hard as you could right from the start line to the finish? Did you suck it up and do your dishes that had piled up and out of your sink and onto your stove, even though you really just wanted them to stay dirty forever or become magically washed on their own? Or maybe you realigned your priorities so you could maximize friend and family time rather than Facebook time. Share it. Brag your little hearts out.