In 2011, Major League Baseball kicked off their "Legends are Born in October" campaign to promote the excitement and glory that is postseason baseball. With one swing of a bat, you can cement your place in history, they say. I latched onto the tagline immediately and understood it to mean that I, with my October birthday, was clearly destined to be legen…wait for it…dary.
Living up to the challenge every day is not for the weak of heart, but it's one I think we can all take on in little ways every day. My own examples include: Being a champion at waking up 15 minutes before I have to leave and still making it to work on time; whipping together a beet salad after walking to the farmers market and back; holding on for those last ten reps of bicycles even though my abs are screaming; challenging myself to exercises that I think are way out of my element (see below) even if I end up a sweaty, weepy mess on the floor; resisting the urge to buy another pair of black workout leggings even though they're on sale and I have a coupon.
Regardless of whether or not you had the good fortune of being born in October, I hope you, too, will use this month to be your most legendary self.
Spark: "I Am Amazing. I Am Great."
In today's edition of #MorningGoals, we have Ron Alston and Aliya, Ron's positively adorable three-year-old daughter.
There are plenty of positive morning affirmations out there, but this one (which has been viewed more than 17 million times) covers all the bases and I'm stealing it for those mornings when I'm tempted to Hulk smash my alarm clock before setting it on fire so it can't hurt me anymore.
1. It's an a.m. energizer. Replace "school" with "work" or "wrangling four kids at the aquarium by yourself" and this speech can be applied to every situation. It's a lesson in being humble no matter who you are, no matter who you're with and no matter whether or not you can properly pronounce the word "respectful" yet.
2. It will calm your gym anxieties. Whether you're a newbie to the gym scene or you're pushing yourself to a new PR today, sometimes it can feel like the whole gym floor is watching every drop of sweat coming off your face. That phantom feeling of eyeballs scorching into the back of your head as you back squat can be intimidating and it might keep you from pushing yourself to reach greatness. As Aliya says, remember that you're not better than anybody and nobody, in turn, is better than you. Everyone at the gym is there for themselves. I once spilled an entire water bottle down the front of my shirt on the treadmill and literally no one batted an eye. Most people get in the zone and stay there. Keep that in mind the next time you're feeling scrutinized. Push away those anxieties and just be the best you you can be for no one but yourself. Same goes for the world outside the gym, too.
3. "If you fall?" "I get back up." Yeah, you do girl! Weight loss and maintenance is an up and down, then way down and back up again journey. Remembering that stumbling and even falling are all part of the deal will keep you from turning an off day into an off week and then an off year. Use every slip-up as a chance to learn more about your cravings, mental fortitude and mood. You might recognize that you only reach for the gummy worms after days when you forget to pack a lunch, or you talk yourself out of your workout only on days when you have Pilates on the schedule. Checking in with yourself and readjusting accordingly will not only keep you on track, but it will make your journey more enjoyable and positive in the long run.
4. Mirror, mirror, tell me something good. So often we equate mirrors with negativity. Tina Fey's "Mean Girls" masterpiece nailed the pressure we put on ourselves just by looking in the mirror in one 20-second scene.
Sweat: An Interval-Training Addict Walks into a Barre
You know what really grinds my gears? The idea that certain workouts and activities specifically and exclusively exist for a certain kind of person and only that one kind of person. It's what made me quit cheerleading when I was seven and beg my mom to let me play football instead. Turns out she wasn't so down with me getting pummeled by kids twice my size, but still. I stopped growing after, like, fourth grade, but insisted on sticking with volleyball, despite it being a "tall girl's" sport
Workouts as an adult are kind of the same way. Without anyone specifically saying so, we tend to expect to walk into a CrossFit gym and see a bunch of dudes training for their next bodybuilding competition, sharing tips on their favorite Paleo dinners and arguing about which protein shake brand tastes best. Head to a yoga studio and you'll be greeted by the smell of aromatherapy and Lululemon's fall line. But there are petite girls who can deadlift twice their bodyweight in CrossFit and some of the toughest guys in the sports turn to yoga to enhance their already tough training schedule.
So, I'm ashamed to admit that I had this preconceived notion of what I was going to see when I agreed to try out a local Barre3 studio. Having never known anyone who participated in the workout, I went in with the idea that everyone was going to be ballerina limber with supermodel swag. With my interval training addiction, I certainly didn't think I would even break a sweat doing small isolations in a room filled with tall and thin women. I was even cocky enough to walk into the class with a sweatshirt over my tank top. Wrong, oh so so so very wrong.
As I write this, three days after the class, my quads are still whimpering and asking me what the heck was I thinking? The strong women around me, who had clearly been coming to Barre classes for a while, wiped the floor with that workout, while I was literally wiping sweat off from my mat as I shot daggers from my eyes at the peppy instructor encouraging everyone to drop "just a half inch lower" in our split squat as we pulsed and pulsed and pulsed for eternity.
Heed my advice: There is no workout that is designed exclusively for a specific personality or body type or gender. Cast aside whatever image you've conjured up in your head and open yourself up to experimenting with any and every workout. So much of creating a routine that sticks is finding enjoyment in the activity. There's no reason that you have to do yoga just because it's the workout of choice for all of your close friends—you might be surprised to find that your perfect match is something you never thought you'd love. If you've always wanted see how far you can push your body, start with some proper training and give SEALFIT a go, then pat yourself on the back no matter the result. If you're a guy whose feet start bouncing when you hear Latin beats, try a Zumba class on for size.
Savor: Pumpkin Gingerbread All Day, Every Day
Call me basic if you must, but I am all about some pumpkin treats in October. I can do without the latte craze and I'm not a fan of pies, but any kind of pumpkin bread and a few "Seinfeld" reruns are all I need to make a meh day much better. Back when I was a fresh-faced recent college grad who didn't understand anything about seasonal cooking or proper potluck behavior (let's be real, I still don't, but I do pretend much better), I even brought a batch of pumpkin muffins to a July ladies lunch in Birmingham, Alabama, thinking everyone would be wowed by my culinary prowess. Everyone was confused as they politely ate their pumpkin-spiced confection along with hot dogs and potato salad.
Now that the pumpkins are carved and spooky spider webs are adorning more than four homes on my block, I finally have the green light to go ahead and indulge in pumpkin breads pretty much every single day before we move into months of egg nog and cranberry. Join me and make this healthier option today and often, won't you?
SparkPeople, what are you going to do to be legendary this month? Tell us in the comments!
Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
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