At the end of the summer, the thought of working full time for an entire school was overwhelming. I honestly didn’t think I could do it! Well, I’m about to do it since my teaching contract just got extended for the entire school year. I’m feeling confident about it all because of push-ups.
Push-ups. I love push-ups. They are hands down my favourite exercise. They were not always. In fact, before Inner Athletes gym I had never in my life executed a push-up.
My first ever push up was I ever did was this time last year. At my gym, “girl push-ups” are not cool. We are all expected to preform a full military push-up- no knee push-ups for us. My instructor says that a push-up is just about holding plank- lowering yourself down, then pushing-up AND back into your feet.
I remember thinking there is no way that I can do this! But then Sarah (my instructor) told me to get a yoga block. She told me that if I could hit my nose to the block standing tall on its side, that I was exerting the same effort as someone going all the way to the floor. So my push-up goal was hitting my nose to the yoga block. I didn’t have to hit the floor- I had an attainable goal. A goal that I knew I could reach- not that first class- but soon. That first class, I hit my nose to the block maybe half the time- but it was way more than had my goal been full push-ups to the floor. Here I am demonstrating my first push-up goal:
I did the same thing with my school year- instead of thinking of the long school year as a whole (which seems really overwhelming) I “chunked” my goal. In September, I started focusing just on Thanksgiving…. I only wanted to “make it” to Thanksgiving. I celebrated my small victory that weekend, then set my new goal of Christmas. I’m not thinking about planning Easter activities or even thinking about my report cards in January, I am just focusing on getting through to Christmas.
When I started eating clean and losing weight, I didn’t think about the many pounds, many sizes, many inches between me and my goal- I focused on April and my 40th birthday. I just kept thinking, “I can totally do this short term. I just have to do this until April” (which was only 3 months). Of course, I fell in love with my new lifestyle and have kept it up ever since. But at the time, all the changes in my diet and lifestyle were really overwhelming. I needed to “chunk it up” and focus on the short term- not the long term.
Through setting short term goals with push-ups, I went from basically a “muscle twitch” of movement during my first push-up to a full bad-ass- military push-up- where I can touch my nose to the floor and actually push-up again! Very cool!
That’s why I love push-ups! A push-up is a full body workout- it’s not just a bicep workout- you are using your whole body (especially your core to execute a full push-up). Push-ups are a great way to measure your fitness level. “I hit my nose to the block every time this workout.” It also feels very cool, as a woman, to show your Dad a full military, bad-ass, usually only guys can do them, nose to the floor push-up!
Go find your inner push-up! It is emotionally, mentally and physically full filling.
Push-ups are my favourite and so is this lentil dish. It is my go to recipe when I’m short on time and on groceries (this recipe only needs pantry staples).
For my favourite Curried Lentils you will need:
1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) organic vegetable broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced gingerroot
2 tbsp (30 mL) Indian yellow curry paste or powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and then to taste
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
3 cups (750 mL) chopped sweet potato (don’t peel them!)
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) coconut milk ( from the can, full fat)
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup green onions
You can find the recipe on my friend Sarah’s website http://www.innerathletes.net/recipes.html
Choose happy 🙂