I began the very popular T25 workout over two weeks ago. Prior to Christmas break, I spent a few early mornings in a friend’s living room following the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred program. With each woman wanting different results, we decided to go our separate ways. When January came to a close, I realized I was (am) experiencing some winter blues, so I decided to purchase the T25 series in hopes of shedding a few pounds before spring while also lifting my spirits.
I invited a friend to join me in my basement at 5 a.m., but I made sure she knew our end-result goals were not the same.
After a few eyebrow raises (my warm-up) while watching the workout preview during the first week, I was ready to T25 it up. I liked Shaun T’s enthusiasm, personality and encouragement. In each workout (there are five), I quickly learned that Shaun T wanted participants to focus. Honestly, I haven’t stopped thinking about “Focus” during my workouts.
Each morning, I do the workout at 5:30 with a friend and then at 6:30 with my husband. And I’ve noticed my focus changes each time. In the beginning, I focused on the fact that I was not as toned as the five demonstrators on the video. I was so aware of the squish around my body sliding up and down like Jello. (I have a sound for this. You would laugh.)
I watched their tight bodies march and jump around in rhythm while I knew I looked more like a clumsy puppet trying to find her footing.
I focused on the clock countdown in the lower left side of my screen, the way Shaun T pronounced his words, whether I was in sync with what my workout partner was doing, or how I could only do an elbow bend boy push-up. I focused on how tired I was or how much my muscles hurt. I focused on everything other than my form.
We began our third week Monday. I have not lost any weight. In fact, I’ve gained weight. Friends tell me muscle weighs more than fat, but when my pants are a little tighter, I don’t care about the muscle or if I’m just big boned. I’m not interested in moving up a pant size.
I’m sure there’s a science behind all this. And as always, I’m sure I’m not following the rules. But here’s what I noticed this week: my focus is different. Sure, I still don’t have the crossing hip-hoppy move down, but my stamina has increased, I can do some moves with attention to detail, and my footwork has improved. My elbow-bend boy push-up has turned into a half-way-down boy push up.
The workout series was expensive, so I wasn’t going to quit anyway, but maybe instead of changing my body, it’s helping my mind.
I’ve paid more attention to what I focus on throughout the day. When I’m in conversation, do I focus on the person in front of me or do I concentrate on what’s going on with my phone? When I’m working, do I focus on the article I’m writing or the big picture for our business? Do I have a focus when I begin each day? Do I have a plan? Do I ever pay attention to details? Do I focus on the positive or negative? Should I have one focus throughout the day, or should I have a present focus for each aspect of my life?
If you know anything about me, you know I’m a “let’s see what happens today” kind of gal. I could care less about a daily plan and more about if I’m spreading love and embracing the goodness around me. At the end of the day, though, I find my focus has been who do I pick up or drop off, what did that text say, how many articles did I write, and I am doing the right thing with my life?
I spent Sunday glowing as I watched old videos on my kids. Really, they were so perfect. But I didn’t realize what treasures they were when they were that age because I was a kid myself. And after I got done being a kid, I was depressed for a few years.
What I remember about that time is that I didn’t know how to be a mom. We just got through the day. There was breakfast, play time, lunch time, play time, the three o’clock struggle, my husband came home, dinner, baths, bed and repeat. I didn’t have a focus. For me, it was just about getting through the next 25 minutes.
Those videos showed me my focus was the kids, though. We painted. A lot. The danced. A lot. We played outside, learned, played games, went on trips. And while I was mentally absent at times, they were happy.
As I looked at them next to me right now, I realize all three are about to enter a different phase of their lives. This will be our last year at Sangamon, and next year two of them will be in junior high.
There isn’t a day or moment that goes by where I know exactly what I am doing. I still feel like I’m discovering this world with each new day. I’m not sure what these next phases will bring. I was so scared to start T25 that I previewed the first day’s work out in my pajamas the night before. I am so scared about what the future holds for me that sometimes I just want to quit the video and move to Fiji.
On Tuesday I realized that when they were little, I could only do slight elbow-bend mommy push-ups. Over 13 years, I’ve probably progressed to half-way-down mommy push-ups.
I think our focus depends on what we can do with where we are in life. Through experiences we gain knowledge, experience and stamina. Then we can apply our always evolving point of view to our relationships, our work, our schedule or our beings.
Like I said, my friend, husband and I have different end-result goals: I don’t want a beach body. I actually want to be a little squishy (maybe less squishy than I am right now). I’d just like to be balanced in my approach to life: that includes exercise and food moderation. And fortunately, maybe this whole exercise thing will help me live a presently focused life.