I normally don’t take the bait join challenges because well, I’m frequently at a different level than the target audience.  I’m not being pretentious, I just don’t need much motivation to get out the door because I enjoy getting out the door.  I enjoy moving.  I enjoy the time away from my screaming kids chaotic family.  I enjoy quality ME time. 

There are a few challenges to which I fall prey.   Not so long ago, my Ragnar Relay Chicago teammate Run with Jess put on a week long series of virtual races called the Jelly Bean Virtual Race.  She offered a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon & a 21K bike.  I took that as a “challenge” and did all 4 events.  My theory has always been “Go Big or Go Home”. 


I know I’m not a snowboarder but the pic above is just too cool!  By the way, can somebody replace that snowboarder with a runner?  Love you people with mad skills in graphics & Photoshop!

So I haven’t really been “challenged” since the Jelly Bean but Jeni at Sparkalish Roar threw down a small informal challenge this week.  She suggested just focusing on one small goal for the week, like drink more water (which I do) or do 10 pushups every day for a week.  Well, the pushup thing is something with which I really struggle.  YES, I need this!  I’m in the challenge for 10 pushups (minimum) every day this week and hopefully everyday for the rest of my life!  So on Tuesday, I did 12 pushups.  Sounds pathetic, right?  Well, I struggle with upper body strength so this is good for me!  You have to remember  not  to compare yourself to others when setting a goal or accepting a challenge.  The purpose of a goal or challenge is to do something for YOU that will improve YOU.  So don’t go out and run 30 or 40 miles because TTF you know somebody who does that each week.  Focus on choosing a goal that is challenging for you personally.

I have been really focused on dropping the pudge for the Palos Half eating clean this week and drinking my water.  Then I added this little challenge to my schedule.  TUE – 12 pushups, WED – 15 pushups, THUR – 15 pushups & today I did 17!   Whoooooop!

I also upped the ante by eliminating Starbucks from my calorie count occasional routine until after the Palos Half.  Jeni upped the ante on her end by adding chin-ups/pull-ups to her routine.  Damn, that bitch she is tough!  So I went shopping.

pull up bar

In case you are confused, that’s a chin-up/pull-up bar that hubby so kindly put together and installed for me while I was sleeping last night.  

I can’t do any,  not even one pull-up.  How long will it take before I can do 5?  Aby sent me a text message that she did 2 pull-ups before school this morning.  Great, I love it when my 10 year old is stronger than me.    Michael did 4 assisted pull-ups before heading off to a tough day at daycare.  Even better when my 2 year old is stronger than me.  I WILL conquer this.

How about you?  Do anything stupid lately?  Have you accepted any interesting challenges?  Wanna do some pull-ups with me?  Wanna spot me?  Go get yourself  a pull-up bar at Wal-Mart and for $19 you can suffer accept the pull-up challenge too!  How long will it take YOU to be able to do 5 pull-ups?  Let’s race to OUR 5 pull-up goal!  🙂

Challenge yourself, no matter how BIG or small, just step outside of you comfort zone toward a better you!

Happy Friday!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz

1000 miles – Check!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions to be broken but rather focus on a goal that I can work toward during the year which forces me to make a conscious, continued effort to maintain fitness.  This year, my goal was to run 1000 miles, prompted by another blogger, Tall Mom on the Run.  Tall Mom created a challenge to others to “move” 1000 miles throughout the year.  For me, this meant running.  She published a shared spreadsheet and all those involved in the challenge added in their mileage at their leisure. 

I am happy to say that I bumped past my 1000 miles on Saturday’s run.   I was so close all week but with the flu and Mr. Michael’s poor sleeping habits it was hard to get in those last few miles.  To be honest, it has been a struggle all year to rack up miles, and focus on fitness, due to injuries and Mr. Michael.  I never could have reached my goal without some major support at home from hubby and him doing baby duty on the only morning he would have a chance to “sleep in”.  So I am very thankful for his help and the fact that he didn’t bitch too much frequently helps with Michael so I can squeeze fitness into our very busy life.  Thanks, Mick!

Attaining the 2011 goal makes me reflect a lot on where I want to go for 2012.   When one is part of a family, they must also consider others and the sacrifice that they too will make to “help” YOU achieve a goal.  So I do not take goals lightly, it is a serious thing for me and I hope that it is for you too.  I frequently put what I want to achieve on the back burner in order to pick something that is realistic and doable for all of us.  For example, I really want to do an IronwoMan but I know that at this point in our lives, it would be impossible to TRAIN for that type of committment and also LIVE life and PARTICIPATE in the family and WORK a full-time job.  So alas, this isn’t the year, and quite possibly there won’t be time for IwoM training until the lil man is considerably older and can make his own breakfast more independent.  However, my bike has sat on the trainer for several years now and it will be coming off this spring.  I will be going back to triathlon and may possibly just stick to the International distance to keep the peace the training requirements in the manageable range.  So you can look for me and my beautiful bike on the TRI circuit again next year.

And I’ll be probably be wearing my Team TOUGH CHIK jersey.   

Check out the intro to Team Tough Chik and join me and lots of other ladies who will be racing under that name this year……running, biking, TRI-ing. 

Make it Happen!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz