Tag Archives: 30 day challenge

Mile 1501: Butthurt

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“Well, these days I’m fine.
No, these days I tend to lie.”
–Imagine Dragons, “Amsterdam”

Miles Last Week: 58
Total Miles: 1501

Last month, I graded myself after finishing the 30-Day Ab Challenge. This month, though, I don’t have to go through that charade to know that I failed July’s 30-Day Butt Challenge. Actually, I didn’t even do the last week, so I guess I get an Incomplete.

So, for those keeping track, here’s my report card so far:

Planking=F
Abs=C
Butt=I

During the three challenges that I’ve…attempted (I can’t even say completed)…I’ve noticed two things.

1.) The numbers increase very quickly. Sure, you start out at 5 lunges, but then, just four weeks later, you’re up to 125. On each side. Plus three more exercises. That’s kind of a lot.

2.) The exercises start to take a long time. I’m just saying.

It’s not that I couldn’t have at least tried to finish the booty challenge–I just sort of dropped out at the end. The time-saving part of my brain won out and reasoned that I already average over 8.5 miles a day six times a week and, really, that should be enough sometimes, right?

Which is why I fail July. (I mean, “Incomplete” is basically code for “we just haven’t given you an F yet.”)

It’s also the inspiration for the August challenge–you know, since I’m doing these every month now. This is not an Internet-sanctioned challenge. It’s one I made up. Take that, Internet! I don’t need you…this time…

I’m calling it the 15-Minute Challenge, and it works exactly the way you would expect. Devote fifteen minutes a day to some exercise of your choosing. By my calculations, there are two big benefits to this particular test.

1.) Simplicity. You don’t have to worry about complicated things like calendars or counting. Just start the stopwatch app on your phone and go.

2.) FREEDOM! For this month, at least, gone are the shackles to one section of the body. I can lift weights. Do cardio. Have a leg day, an arm day. Paint my face blue and pretend to charge an army–whatever. But I’ve pretty much decided that it’ll probably mostly be upper body stuff.

Shootin’ for an A on this one–or at least finishing it so that I have a 50% completion rate.

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Mile 1393: The Plight of the Uncoordinated

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“Tighten up on your reigns.
You’re running wild, running wild. It’s true.”
–The Black Keys, “Tighten Up”

Miles Last Week: 57
Total Miles: 1393

Can someone please explain to me how to do a proper squat without falling over?

For a couple of days over the last week, I’ve replaced lunges with squats to add some variety (ahem, to save time) during the booty challenge.

I’m familiar with the concept of the proper squat: back straight, thighs parallel with the floor, and knees not to extend over your toes. I just can’t seem to do all of this at the same time.

 

But really, how is she not falling backward? Source

But really, how is she not falling backward?
Source

If I keep my thighs parallel with the floor, my knees extend over my toes. If I keep my back straight, my thighs don’t stay parallel to the floor. If I keep my knees from extending over my toes, nothing does what it’s supposed to.

It’s like workout whack-a-mole.

Doing lunges is even worse. I look like someone trying to fake her way through a sobriety test in the wee hours of a stereotypical New Year’s morning.

Such is the lot in life for the massively uncoordinated. Normally, I’d just shrug and accept that I would never do squats or lunges perfectly,  and would your knees extending over your toes be the worst thing to happen, anyway?

But form is important–so is not falling over. After all, if you don’t do exercises correctly, you can hurt yourself. No one wants that. Sometimes you just have to suck it up (or in, as it were) and do it til you get it right.

It’s probably a core thing, right? It seems like it might be a core thing. Pretty much everything is a core thing.

Don’t make me go back to planking. I won’t do it.

Mile 708: Planking Vs. Planking

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“It’s got to happen, happen some time.
Maybe this time I’ll win.”
–“Maybe This Time,” Cabaret

Miles Last Week: 47
Total Miles: 708

In this world, there are two types of planking.

The first type looks a bit like this:

My sister planking on a semi truck, back when it was cool.

My sister planking on a semi truck, back when it was cool.

It’s really simple. You just lay there, face down with your arms at your sides and your legs together, very much like a plank of wood–hence the name. Planking in weird places kind of became a big thing a couple of years ago, but it’s pretty much over now. If you don’t remember the movement, don’t worry. You missed a couple of chuckles and “That person is crazy for doing that on a billboard,” and that’s about it.

The second type of planking looks a bit like this:

This one’s a bit trickier. You have to hold yourself up on your elbows and toes while keeping the rest of your body straight. If you’ve ever done it, you know that you really feel it in your core and it’s usually only about ten seconds before your whole body starts shaking from the effort.

When a friend of mine recently posted a 30-Day Planking Challenge on Pinterest, it was unfortunately the second type of planking that was challenged.

My reaction to this pin came in three stages:

  1. Oh, planking for thirty days. Maybe I could do that.
  2. YOU GET UP TO FIVE MINUTES?! Oh, no. I definitely can’t do that.
  3. Well… maybe I can…

So, yesterday I did that second type of planking for twenty seconds, and I’ll do it again today. Tomorrow, I’ll do thirty seconds, and I’ll keep going until I can perhaps get up to five minutes on September 1st.

I’m sure there will be several points at which I will wish that I can substitute the second type for the first type of planking, but, unfortunately, that’s not what Pinterest dictates. I’m ruled by the Internet.