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My Exercise Journey…and Ashtanga Take Two

I used to always stick with what I knew when it came to workouts – and what I knew was running. I was always very reluctant to try group exercise classes, walking was boring, the elliptical was boring, yoga was boring…I just wanted to go, go, go and feel the rush I got from running.

Obviously, things have changed. I now teach group exercise classes, like to spin and swim every now and then and have a strong yoga practice. I feel like such a more well-rounded person because of my varied workouts. You can find the story on how I became a BodyPump instructor on the “About Jen” page. I discovered I liked spinning and swimming when I dealing with running injuries (although admittedly I have done neither in many, many months!) and last year I discovered a very deep love and passion for yoga.

It’s not easy to try something new. Some of my fellow blogging friends have recently started yoga classes at my studio and have found it to be both empowering and humbling. It takes courage to try the unknown, put yourself out there and know that you might kind of suck at whatever you’re trying. This is especially hard for people who excel in their sport of choice.

Let’s bring this full-circle. Last week, with the encouragement of Sarah and one of my yoga teachers, I tried my first ashtanga class. I won’t go into a full explanation of what ashtanga is because that’s not the point of this post but it’s a totally different style of yoga than I’m used to practicing. The point is that I am not good at ashtanga. I am definitely the most beginner level person in the class and look very awkward trying to piece it all together and figure out the poses.

But I went back again this week. And I was still the worst person in the class but I’ve finally reached the point with my workouts that I appreciate new ways to challenge my body and look at them as ways to grow and learn.

The lesson here? Every single person that practices a sport – whether it be running, yoga, swimming, biking, weight training, anything! – was once “a newbie.” Everyone went to their first class, went on their first run, lifted their first weight. So expand your exercise horizons a little and feel inspired that your body can take on these new challenges. And have fun while doing it!

One last bit of wisdom…try something new with a friend. Oftentimes, the experience is much more enjoyable with the support of a friend.

Have you tried anything new lately? If yes, what? If no, what are you waiting for? What would you like to try?

I know that was a lot to read but hopefully it was somewhat inspiring? 😉

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. FOOD!

A few yummy meals to catch you guys up on since I didn’t blog food yesterday (check out the Overnight Oats recipe that I did blog).

Dinner last night was ah-mazing. A tomato, goat cheese and basil tart (which I will blog about soon on Bakin’ and Eggs), sauteed grouper with fresh herbs from the garden and a salad with strawberries, almonds and balsamic.

Breakfast this morning was a bit of a fail. Usually when I practice yoga in the morning I shower at the studio and pack my breakfast (overnight oats) to eat at my desk. This morning I had to leave at 8:30 a.m. (right when I arrived at work) to go to a client meeting. Breakfast was a Pro Fruition Blueberry Bar. Even though it was tasty it only came in at 160 calories and did nothing to satisfy my hunger. My breakfasts are usually closer to 500 calories!!!

I was so ready for lunch!

Half of a tomato sandwich on Great Harvest Dakota, grapes and a spinach salad with avocado, almonds, strawberries and balsamic.

I had a Honest Green Dragon Tea and a mini Apple Pie Larabar for snack before teaching BodyPump this evening. BodyPump was fun – Sarah came to class! So great seeing my favorite yogi in BodyPump! 😀 (Check out her fabulous new blog where she is documenting how she stays healthy and preparing for a wedding!)

And finally…dinner tonight was something I have had starred in my Google Reader for a very long time.

Artichoke and Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers. Yuuummm….Alexia’s Spicy Sweet Potato Fries on the side along with some grilled zucchini from my brother in law’s garden.

That’s all! Off to bed…happy that I can sleep until 7 a.m. tomorrow after getting up at 5 the last two mornings!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • sarah July 21, 2010, 9:20 am

    Thanks for the shoutout! are you trying for Ashtanga in the morning? I will go if you go 😉

  • katheats July 21, 2010, 9:27 am

    I’ve been too chicken to try that class!!

    • Jen July 21, 2010, 9:39 am

      Kath – it’s REALLY different. You don’t really get the “oh my god, you’re going to have to peel me off of my mat in a puddle of sweat” feeling that you have with hot vinyasa classes but it’s challenging in totally different ways. Tons of twisting and binding (some of which reminds me of things you would see in the circus! seriously!). Also, it’s a more disciplined and spiritual practice. Just really different all around!

  • kat July 21, 2010, 9:36 am

    You are so young to have already learned so much! Or maybe I’m learning things late…lol. Either way, I feel ya on the the “trying new things” and not being afraid to suck. It took me a while to get there but I’m finally there, too. My gym has really been my inspiration – it’s small, personable, and everyone there is so supportive and encouraging. I am so lucky to have found it. That said, I am venturing into uncharted yoga territory and loving it! And Joe is my “friend” to try new things with…he’s all about it. I am still very much a beginner but finding that I’m enjoying it way more than I did the first couple of times I tried it years ago. Still considering your suggestion of teaching indoor cycling to support yoga outside of my gym…although I have found a few classes offered there that challenge me. Thanks for your inspiring words and lessons!

  • amorga026 July 21, 2010, 11:14 am

    I LOVE this post. Your best and most inspiring one to date! Makes me want to rush home, change out of my heels and sprint around the neighborhood.

    • Jen July 21, 2010, 11:21 am

      Ashley – thanks SO MUCH for the sweet words about this post! 🙂

  • Claire Morton July 21, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Your post today look sooooo yummy! The turkey burger and the goat cheese tart! Can’t wait for you to get that recipe on Bakin’ & Eggs! You are solely responsible for my addiction to goat cheese btw.

    • Jen July 21, 2010, 12:10 pm

      Haha! I’m glad you’re loving goat cheese. The tart was incredible – really need to get the recipe up soon. There’s no link to it online!

      I bet the turkey burgers would be good with goat cheese too! 😉

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