Training To Be A Badass

A while ago, my mom and I were looking up fun quotes to wear on running shirts for a race and we came across one that I absolutely love: “Forget skinny, I’m training to be a badass.”

training to be a badass, getting healthy, strength

Needless to say, that was what we wore then and for every race since. The reaction we get from these shirts is amazing! Runners are constantly cheering us and giving us high fives. I think it’s because this concept inspires people more than the basic concept of being skinny.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve slowly been getting back into a healthier routine. For the sake of working toward specific goals, I am shooting for a specific weight and pant size. But at the end of the day, what I care most about is feeling:

  • Healthy
  • Strong
  • In control of my life

And isn’t that what being a badass is all about?

As things currently stand, I know I’m getting healthier and I’m getting a little more control over myself and my life. But I’m nowhere near as strong as I’d like and I haven’t yet gotten back into weight lifting as part of my workout routine.

So that’s next. I’ve traditionally done weight lifting at home, which I can do again, but I feel like that provides limitations, such as:

  • The types of weights/materials I can use
  • The exercises I can do
  • The way I do those exercises

dumb bells, weight lifting, strength training

Since I have a gym membership, it only makes sense to take advantage of their machines in combination with what I would do at home. The only problem is I’ve always felt a little intimidated about using those. I think the intimidation comes down to a couple of things:

  • The machines are crowded, which means that using them requires shuffling amongst people who always seem in much better shape than I am. I can practically feel their judging eyes on me when I consider starting the machines.
  • I don’t know how to use all of them. At a minimum, I would need a refresher. When I think of taking the time to read the instructions, I envision a line of impatient gym-goers forming behind me, grumbling and groaning at how slow I am.
  • This is a stupid one but I know I should wipe down the machines. I just don’t know if I should be using my own towel (doesn’t seem right) or the gym’s towels (seems like it would take forever and a TON of towels).

I guess it’s not very badass to have self-conscious flashes like that, is it? So my first step toward badassdom needs to be getting over these small concerns and starting on the machines. I’ve been thinking through this a lot but writing this blog post provides the motivation needed to generate the solutions to my issues. So here goes:

  • The machines may be crowded but it’s not always true that those people are in better shape than I am. In fact, some are in worst shape. The important thing is they are PEOPLE just like me, who also want to get or be in shape. There’s no need to be intimidated by them.
  • Maybe I will need to use instructions but I can also observe others as I do each machine, which will save time. And I’ll only need to read them once. After that I’ll be a pro!
  • I took a quick second to look up gym etiquette (how easy was that?) and found out that using my personal towel is acceptable. I only need to worry about the gym’s towels if I forget my own.

So now that I’ve rationalized wiping out those concerns, I guess there’s nothing left to do except get started with the weights. I’ll do that this week but I’m also tempted to come up with a healthy bucket list item to work toward that’s related to building my strength. There are a couple things that come to mind for this:

  • Martial arts (already on my list but lessons are more expensive than I can afford right now)
  • Boxing lessons (LOVE this idea but they’re also more expensive than I can afford)
  • 30-day challenges (already on the list and strongly being considered)
  • Training for body building competition

That last one is a little random but I’m intrigued by it. I’ve never looked into it but I like using training programs so the idea holds some appeal for me. I just wouldn’t want to get “too” muscular so I’m not sure about this option.

Have you done anything special to work on your strength or weightlifting? I’d love to hear what worked for others!

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