Friday, February 17, 2012

What scares you? Now, go do it!

"Do one thing a day that scares you."  I've seen this quote so many places.  It's a good one, because when we do something that scares us, we are venturing outside of our comfort zone.  More times than not we discover that the scary thing is actually the thing that will bring us the most positive results.  Case in point: the personal challenge I set for myself this week, to do a "double" on Friday morning, consisting of a 75 minute hot yoga class followed by a 60 minute hot pilates class.  May I mention that I haven't done pilates in probably 10 years?  And that after Isabelle's intense hot yoga class, I'm usually completely physically spent and ready to hang out in child's pose for the rest of the day?  Yeah.  So, I signed up, and I did it.  It helped that my friend Kate was there, always encouraging and inspiring, and just a fun person to be around.  Plus, she can totally rock a headstand.

So I donned my finest yoga garb, shlepped my awesome new mat to the studio, and set out upon my journey.  Turns out, the yoga class was the most challenging, sweaty, intense one I've done thus far.  I brought this measly little hand towel with me and it was toast by 20 minutes into class.  Beads of sweat kept running into my ears and eyes, and my mat was covered in pools of it.  The room felt like a rainforest today.  I worked harder than I've worked in a long time, and I executed a pose at the very end that I never dreamed I could do, and it felt so, so good.  SCORE.  I was so ready to go home and shower, and then I remembered that I was already signed in for Round 2: hot pilates.  Crap.  I took a bathroom break (no pun intended) and had a really hard time pulling my yoga pants back up around my waist because they were completely drenched in sweat - TMI? - as if I had been swimming in a pool.  Grossness.  Accomplishment.  Call it what you may, I was ready to call it a day but I forged ahead, back into the heated room.

Did I mention that I haven't done pilates in over 10 years?  Back when I did it, there was no such thing as a pilates ring.  This little doozie:

Turns out, that ring of fire (literally - it made my inner and outer thighs and abs feel as if they had been set ablaze) made all the difference in the workout.   A-ma-zing.  Might have to invest in one for my own personal use at home and at the gym.   Anyway, I had forgotten, until this morning, just how much I love pilates and more importantly, how much I RESPECT it.  Without using a single weight, only the weight of your own body, it sculpts your core, legs and glutes like no other workout I'm privy to.  I think I've fallen back in lust with it.  Lust, as in, I want it more.  Again.  Now.  Well, maybe not now, for I don't think my abs could take another gut wrenching second of it.  Because it was JUST THAT GOOD.

What I'm getting at here, folks, is the importance of venturing outside of your comfort zone.  My dear friend Mari is big on this, and I can see why.  It's when we push ourselves to do something outside of what we THINK are our limits, that we see the most results.  Case in point, when I got home from my double whammy today, as I was getting ready for a much needed shower I glanced in the mirror and saw more definition in my abs than I've seen all week.  A bit miraculous, really.  And I swear that my jeans felt just a tiny bit looser.  Could be the fact that I pushed myself through pain, hesitation and fear, and sweated buckets for 135 minutes today.  I ventured outside of my comfort zone and now, 8 hours later, I'm feeling quite comfortable.  Ecstatic, really.  So try it, you just might be surprised at how possible the seemingly impossible is.

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