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Whether you're in the midst of the second phase of your Earned in Winter challenge, or some variation of your own challenge, I think we are all feeling the sudden urgency of beach weekends, and the swimsuits that go with them, fast approaching. (This is crazy since 5 minutes ago it was snowing, and I felt like we were never going to see temps rise over 25, and summer felt so so far away). 

As we all rev it up a bit, I'm feeling the need for motivation more than ever. And as I've completed my nine days, and ramped up to 5 or 6 days a week since, I've been paying attention to the things that keep me going and thought I would share 5 of those things with you in hopes that they may be helpful to you too.

  1. FOCUS: We all know that being mindful in class is important. Zoning out means form gets sloppy, and we don't get the most out of our workout (story of my life). So, I've been taking that concept a bit further to make sure I stay present by focusing on some THING every class. Lately, it's been my breath. Expanding my rib cage and then contracting and knitting it back together on every single inhale/exhale is quite the challenge and quite the workout. In other classes, I focus on things like completely straightening my leg and pulling up on my knee caps at the barre. Choosing one thing to work on helps me to not only stay present, but  also helps me to push myself to really perfect my form.
  2. GET COMFORTABLE: Nothing ruins my life more than wearing my oldest, most ill-fitting sports bra to a high cardio class. I've been finding that paying attention to class descriptions, and wearing the appropriate clothes and having the appropriate gear (gloves, sweat bands) makes a world of difference in my ability to work out effectively. When the bands are chafing my wrists because I've forgotten my wrist bands, or hurting my ankles because I didn't wear long pants, I focus more on my discomfort than anything else. If I don't take the time to strap into my bands correctly at the beginning of class, I'm battling with rogue velcro for 60 minutes rather than getting lower, jumping higher and squatting longer. Having everything you need--from your water to the right wunder unders is key. 
  3. THINK BODY PARTS: When instructors say: You should feel this in your BLANK, I realize where I should be feeling it and it helps me big time. I adjust my body to feel it there--wherever there is--and all of a sudden I'm doing it--whatever it is--correctly. I learned long ago if you're not feeling IT during a Lithe move, you're not doing it right. Recently, in Tight End, after realizing my inner thighs were the focus, I took all my focus to them--literally thinking INNER THIGHS, INNER THIGHS over and over again with every deep lunge, and it helped me to push through the impossible (for me) box series in that class. Connecting the move with the body part it should be sculpting, helped me to stay motivated to stick with it. 
  4. GET DOWN WITH THE GET DOWN: Listen. I'm not gonna lie. There's nothing I hate more than when an instructor tells me to smile and have fun. Literally nothing. I'm pouring sweat, my thighs are burning, my hair is stuck to my head, my muscles are quaking, the room is so hot, I feel like I'm in bikram Lithe and it's all I can do to focus on my inner thighs and my breath and not keel over onto the girl directly behind me. I DON'T WANT TO SMILE. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE FUN. I just want to GET THROUGH IT. Must I LOVE the torture?? Isn't it enough that I'm here? Have you no SOULS?? But then, some times, some days (if the music is right and I'l slightly less curmudgeonly than usual), I do smile and I do get down, and put a little fun and attitude into my CCS, and I have to admit it really does help. So even though I'm shaking my fist on the inside, Lithing with abandon really is...fun...and does make me smile. Eek. I hate myself. 
  5. FOLLOW A LEADER: Every class has a veteran lither in it, with incredible form. When I'm struggling, I lock my eyes on her and strive to match her drive and form. She shows me how to do the hip swivel thing right, keep in rhythm during complicated CCS, and generally stick to it. There's inspiration all around us in our classes. 

Keep on keepin on ladies. I'm inspired by all the hard work I see around me, and by the pictures for the #earnedinwinter series on the blog. If you have your own tips, feel free to share! I can use as many as I can get!

See you in class!


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I just went through and cleaned out my workout clothes of everything that didn't fit, wasn't comfortable, or wasn't flattering. All the stuff that was the "bottom of the drawer" on laundry day. Nothing worse than catching yourself in the mirror during class and thinking "ugh" due to a bad bra and a muffin top situation.

I vow to toss my ill-fitting sports bras! It's really the safest thing I could do for my mat-neighbors!

I am tossing some of those "bottom of the drawer" clothes today! I totally agree that looking my best in class keeps me motivated and if I still don't feel motivated enough, I definitely peek over at the strong ladies in class to give me an extra boost of energy.

So I'm an admitted mirror hog (apologies to the other people in class with me; hope I haven't knocked you down going for "my spot"), but because it helps me really focus on my form and keep on the beat with everyone else. Focusing on the rhythm/breath and staying in synch with the rest of the room totallllly helps me get through the series.

I never realized those deep lunges on the box in Tight End were about the inner thighs!?! Sayeh, as always, you are full of wisdom.

Lindsay, I wish I could take credit for that, but Jenn Mitchell shouted INNER THIGHS during class and a light bulb went off. My inner thighs were quaking like crazy--and I was like OH. DUH.

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