A couple of lessons in humility

Lesson #1: Stop trying to be TUFF
I like to lift heavy weights. But you probably already knew that. Heavy weights usually means lower reps. Keeping it in the 5-8 rep range is my favorite way to workout. So it is much to my chagrin when I must lower the amount of weight I lift to do higher reps.

Well, I’ve been feeling pretty damn chagrin-y lately.

I’ve started a new workout regimen. You can check it out here.

The routine is broken down into three four-week phases. I’m in the first phase right now. All the exercises in this phase are 3 sets of 12 reps. I’m not used to doing that many reps, so I have to go lighter with the weights. Me no likey. Makes me feel like…a wuss. Also, I am not liking the leg-day routine. You’re supposed to use the leg press and leg extension machines, both of which I firmly believe suck. When it comes to legs, I’m a squat, deadlift, lunge and glute-ham raise kind of girl.

I pride myself in being able to lift heavy relative to my size. So while it might sound silly, I’ve actually had a bit of an internal struggle going lighter with the weights these past couple of weeks. I can’t help but think, Ugh when I’m doing 75 lbs on the lat pull down machine, or using 30 lb dumbbells for a chest press.

So why am I doing it? Because I know I need to change things up, and I’m interested to see what kind of results this bodybuilding style workout gives me. Ultimately I want to drop body fat while sacrificing as little muscle as possible. (You can expect some muscle loss whenever you lose weight.) If I could even PUT ON some muscle, that’d be great, however I highly doubt that will happen. That’s actually a future post right there.

I just have to suck it up and stick it out. I have to get over the fact that the way I LIKE to train may not be the best way to get the results I want. I also have to get over wanting to appear tough by lifting heavier weights. The only one keeping tally of my so-called tough-girl quota is me. I just need to get over myself, you know? After these 12 weeks are up I can go back to my “strong girl” routine.

Lesson #2: Embrace losing and freakin’ calm down.

My self defense class…good lord. When it comes to grappling I turn into a rabid chihuahua. I get so worked up, tense, frustrated and angry that I can’t think clearly. Not a good quality for a person in a fight to have, especially a small person who can’t rely on strength to save them. I end up thrashing around, making stupid mistakes and wasting a lot of energy.

Me during my self defense class.

So, David came with me to my class on Thursday. Everything was cool, and at the end he and I did some live groundwork (that means wrestling at almost full force, but no striking involved this time.) There were several times where there were submissions right in front of me, but I didn’t see them because I was so tense and frenzied. I think I get that way because: 1) getting tense is a natural reaction to fighting and I haven’t learned to control it yet. 2) The longer I’m engaged in a fight/wrestling, the angrier and more aggressive I get. 3) I take the whole thing way too personally. I don’t like to lose, and if I do poorly I’m in a pissy mood for the rest of the day.

So guess who was a bundle of joy last night. Yeah. The disappointment was written all over my instructor’s face. I stewed in my own shitstorm for a few hours. I mean, I KNOW that losing is part of the game. I KNOW that I will not always do well, and that I should accept that and not take it so personally. It’s the accepting part that’s having trouble seeping in to my stubborn skull.

Also, learning how to relax and keep a cool head while the adrenaline is coursing through my body has been a challenge for me. I suppose it’ll just take more practice.

But anyway, I have to swallow my pride and keep on trying. That’s life, eh?

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