That’s what I wrote on my To Do list after a while because I was too lazy to write out the three things the letters represented. I didn’t intend the letters to spell anything, it just was the order in which I did what they represented, and yet, YES was the prefect word for what I was doing for my body. Y/E/S stood for Yoga, Endurance, Strength, the three things that were the keys to me getting in the best shape of my life three times. When I was training, for 5 days a week, I would get up at dark o’clock, go do an hour of yoga, go out and run 4+ miles, and then do an hour of strength, weight, and HIIT workouts. On Saturdays I would do a long run or speed working depending on my training schedule, and Sunday would be more yoga and strength or HIIT, or both. I got the strength and flexibility from the yoga, the cardio endurance from the running, and the strength and endurance from the HIIT and weight workouts. Y/E/S. This trio was the combo that my body LOVED. I’ve never felt so good as when I’m incorporating all three in my life. So this year I’m getting back to Y/E/S.
I belonged to a yoga studio for almost 10 years and went nearly every day when I was running races and training. I found it made such a difference in not only my flexibility and strength, but also my recovery from both races and brutal workout sessions. One of the many things I love about yoga is it can be whatever you need it to be. Want to sweat, push yourself, and get strong? There’s a class for that. Want to chill and de-stress? There’s a class for that. Want a bit of both with some stretching, too? Yep, there’s a class for that. Taking a yoga class before I went for a run helped stretch out my body and warm me up. It was also great to do a little yoga after a long run and stretch things out. Or, if I was too sore from a previous workout to do another one, I could push myself gently in a yoga class and give my muscles a bit of a break while stretching and strengthening them as well. There were times when I didn’t do any yoga when I trained, and really felt the difference. I’d be stiff, my body didn’t recover as well, and I just didn’t feel as good overall as I did when I made yoga part of my workout routine.
When my schedule stopped being compatible with what my studio was offering, I eventually gave up my membership, and ended up taking a break from practicing. I’m a yoga teacher so I have no excuses for not rolling out my mat and practicing on my own, but, yoga is the one area where I’m not self motivated, I prefer to be led, and enjoy it so much better when I can take a class. After struggling to find a program that really motivated me to roll out my mat, I never found one that gave me the same energy of a class until I discovered YogaGlo. Originally a physical studio that taped their classes, a few of which I had the pleasure of attending while they filmed, they’ve expanded into so much more online, and are now known as Glo.
For less than $20 a month, I get unlimited access to all kinds of yoga classes. One of my favorite things about it is I can search by teacher, style, level, duration, and more. They offer classes as short as 5 minutes or as long as 90 so it’s hard for me to say I don’t have time for a class. And its not just yoga, they have pilates, meditation, courses, cooking classes, and more. Some of my favorite teachers from whom I took studio classes are on there like, Kathryn Budig, Kia Miller, Tiffany Cruikshank, Elena Brower, and even Annie Carpenter, under whom I did my teacher training. I still struggle a bit to roll out my mat, but Glo has made it so much easier to get back into the habit of practice. And if I want, I don’t even need to change out of my pjs.
What was supposed to be a bucket list, one and done, half marathon at Disneyland, turned into a decade of running. I don’t actually enjoy running, but I do love what it does for my body and my endurance. Plus I needed to train for the races I was doing so I sucked it up got my miles in, and now it’s a part of my life. Trying something new to get me back in my running shoes, I’ve signed up for Run The Edge-Run The Year 2019. It’s a challenge to run, either individually or collectively as a group, 2019 miles in the year 2019. As I’m aiming to do more races in the future, I’m hoping this helps motivate me to get out there in the mornings, get my miles in, and improve my endurance.
I’m also a fan of Jeff Galloway. His interval method and training programs not only improved my race times, but saved my knees as well. I always did better on a race, and recovered faster from one, when I followed his training plan for it, and I plan to follow them for a few half marathons in this coming year. I’m looking to get some new ASICS running shoes and custom insoles from Road Runner which I find helps keep my knees happy, too. I’m also looking to up my interval times and work on speed work for a potential marathon in the next year or so. With all the upcoming miles in my future, getting back to a yoga practice is going to really help.
Having been the fat kid/adult most of my life, and an introvert, I was never interested in going to gyms or taking classes. I’m much more inclined now, but not all places have schedules that work for me so it’s hard to justify paying for a membership if I don’t use it. Plus, if I travel at all, it makes it even more difficult.
I’m a huge fan of DareBee workouts. They have individual workouts, programs, and challenges you can follow, but what caught my eye the most was they have a lot of workouts that are geeky, movie, tv, or gamer themed. Being a geek at heart, it’s way more fun for me when the workout is called something like Black Widow, or Starbuck, or Batcave. They have a great search feature which lets you look for workouts based on type, difficulty, focus, equipment, etc. which is perfect when I’m looking for a geeky themed one or when I want workouts just using weights.
I love their programs, too, like Iron Born, or 30 Days of HIIT, which are a collection of workouts over a number of days. They even have interactive programs with story lines and are a bit like choose your own adventure which shakes things up a bit. Darebee workouts are my tried and true, go to workouts because they’re all relatively simple, I can do as few or as many reps as I feel up for, and know I always get a good workout from them.
Another workout I love incorporating is the letter or alphabet workout. These are fun because you can use them to spell out a word, a phrase, anything you want. I usually use a couple alphabets, so that I can spell the word/phrase out twice and get a longer workout, and sometimes tweak the exercises a bit to add more weights, or other exercises I want to focus on more. Also, I don’t think I’ve yet to spell something that didn’t have burpees in it, so these workouts tend to push me. More than any exercise I’ve ever done, burpees get me in shape the fastest. I both hate them and love them, but they work!
Y/E/S worked three times to get me in the best shape of my life, and I’m looking to it again to get me in shape a fourth, and final time. I won’t be doing an hour of each, every day, though the plan is to eventually get back to that. No, I’m starting small, building a base. Maybe a 10 or 20 minute yoga class at Glo. Then maybe a 3 mile walk or run. Then maybe a couple sets of a Darebee or a single letter workout. Start slow, work on getting a little bit better every day, and focus on the journey of getting healthier and happier in 2019, and beyond.