I’ve been trying to learn to be flexible with my running goals and the methods that I use to meet those goals. Most running tips out there suggest that you create a long-term goal, with a specific end date, and then break your bigger goal down into a series of smaller, specific goals. My perfectionist-side loves this method. I will make a chart and create a journal – recording all runs and the necessary cross-training details. The down-side is that when I cannot meet a short-term goal I am extremely hard on myself.
Without using a goal-setting method I tend to flounder around but I also have a ton of fun while I’m crashing about between unrealistic dreams of endurance and realistic steps of short runs with the kids in tow. This week, was a week for floundering, and I decided to try out Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred videos. I was intent on having fun. I even invited my husband along for the adventure!
For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Jillian, she is the personal trainer from Biggest Loser who has a ‘No Pain, No Gain’ mentality, with a really soft and squishy heart underneath her pushy exterior. I chose to try her 30-day Shred video because a number of my new-mommy friends had used it to regain their body shape post-baby. I’ve done the level 1 of this video, but have never applied it in the way Jillian intends you to.
The video is separated into 3 workouts, each one targeting a different level of fitness. Level 1 was my friend post-babies and, due to my serious lack of goal-planning, was the only level that I ever tried. The workouts are built on the premise that 20 minutes of exercise per day is enough to get you ‘shredded’, as long as you stick to Jillian’s rule and put your absolute all into the level you’ve chosen. She also suggests that you not remain at one level for too long – building your fitness as you move up each level – until you magically posses a body that is lean and mean!
And for those of you who are not acquainted with my husband, he too has a heart of gold and has nothing but the best of intentions when providing tips and encouragement to meet my lofty running goals. The difficulty he and I have, when it comes to fitness, is that he loves to provide unsolicited ‘encouragement’, and I have a really hard time accepting his sound advice. Still, I thought it would be fun for us to try out the second level of Jillian’s video together. Hey, I thought it would beat a sedentary night of folding laundry together!
Shortly into our workout, the combination of an on-screen Fitness Guru and a live Exercise Physiologist was becoming a little to much like a one-two punch to my ego. My inner monologue started to sour and that little perfectionist inside of me wanted to burst out and attack! I tried to keep those awful thoughts that we perfectionists have on a frequent basis locked inside, but my mind was quickly becoming a thought trap that was spilling out one and two-word frustrations with every push-up and dumb-bell row:
My inner monologue: ‘I thought I was in shape’, Husband’s voice: ‘Get down lower with your push-ups.’, Jillian Michaels’ voice: ‘You should be getting out of breath here, but keep pushing!’, Outer voice: ‘Okay-ah!’.
Inner monologue: ‘I am trying my hardest here!’, Husband’s voice: ‘Straighten your back out.’, Jillian Michaels’ voice: ‘If you want a body like this, you have to push yourself!’, Outer voice: ‘No.’.
Inner monologue: ‘You should just quit, because clearly you’re not doing something right’, Husband’s voice: ‘Lift your knees up higher’,Jillian Michaels’ voice: ‘Don’t give up now, this is where it counts!’, Outer voice: ‘Shut-up!’.
Apparently, Jillian Michaels + my husband = one intense fitness combo that is just too much for me to handle:-)
Our fun evening of fitness ended with my husband silently retreating to the shower and me making an unsuccessful attempt to complete the workout, and then finally banishing myself to the back yard to finish toy clean-up and lick my hurt ego’s wounds. Thankfully, my husband is a very gracious man; he accepted my apology, re-assured my ego and we were able to enjoy the remainder of the evening together – folding our laundry.
So here’s my question: How do others meet their long-term goals – I’m wondering what people do to keep up their strength training and cross-training. And secondly, do you have success in sharing your goals with your spouse? If you do, I’d love to hear how you manage it:)
Oooooo – and I dare you to try The 30-Day Shred… with your spouse.