Wednesday, June 18, 2008

be inspired

Today while I was floating swimming in the pool ... as part of the training for our triathlon in August ... I was again convinced that the reason I am out floating swimming over my lunch hour instead of sleeping at my desk, is because I have a goal.

Charlie and I have pledged to each other that we'll be participating in this triathlon, so now we've got to get ourselves prepared. I have to be able to swim 500M in the ocean, ride my bicycle 15K and then, run 5K.

Hopefully, without passing out cold or being carted off in an ambulance.

When I came home from work tonight and was checking out the comments to my last post, I noticed that a lot of people WANT to get in shape. They want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but they don't have the motivation to get there. What I believe is that once you get in to an exercise routine that you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it - and you are more likely to begin making changes to promote healthy living to other aspects of your life.

I certainly didn't have the motivation to do anything until I signed up for something and now I'm stuck committed. But the simple fact is, I'm actually enjoying myself because it's becoming more fun (despite my strained calf muscle that I still can hardly walk on - minor detail) and all that talk about endorphins is TRUE!!

Which is why I can be up at 1:30 in the morning updating my blog - after working all day and knowing that I'll be up again in four hours with a hungry baby and two hours after that with three three-year-olds.

Shazam!! I've got ENERGY!!

(or maybe I'm an insomniac?)

I was telling Charlie - and this probably sounds totally cheesy, but what the heck, I'll throw it out there anyway - wouldn't it be cool to put out a challenge that would encourage people that want to start exercising to do it. There are exercise teams all over the world that folks could join, but perhaps you live in an area where you don't have access to one ... or perhaps the time commitment is too great.

So, let's just say ... that by the end of August, you have to be able to do something that you can't physically do, right now.

Maybe it's walk a mile or run 10K. Maybe it's swim for 15 minutes or ride a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes. Maybe it's do 100 sit ups or jump rope 500 times. Or, maybe it's run up a flight of stairs without needing to lay down and rest.

Whatever it is, it's something that you are challenging yourself to do. And it is something that you can do, given your lifestyle, time limitations, and geographic location. Along the way, I'll do my best to encourage you. For those that actually jump on board and do this >> I'll have prizes. Like a CD of my favorite work-out music. Look out!! Here comes the Hot Stepper!!

Now, before you say you can't do something ... watch this video. (Thanks Deana!)

Then, watch this one.

When I look at Henry and see how rapidly he is doing new things, I know it is in large part because he is watching his siblings and he is inspired by what they can do. My baby definitely isn't going to let the fact that he can't yet walk - hold him back from climbing to the top of a 6-foot slide even as his mother is yelling and hobbling out the door to try and catch him before he topples over the side.

You can do anything you want to do.

You just have to make up your mind.

So, what are you going to do?


  1. I agree that having a goal really helps. I also think having support helps as well. I have wanted to lose weight for awhile but couldn't get motivated and felt overwhelmed. The last time I was whining about my weight, my husband pledged to support me in the process (get up an exercise with me, cook meals for me). I still was unsure that I could be successful but determined I should stop complaining and just do it. For the past few days, I have felt more motivated then I have felt in a long time.

    So my goal would be to continue my new way of eating and exercising and to have lost 5% of my body weight by August.

  2. Every time I see that playset at Costco, I think, "thats Jenx4's playset"

    DH and I have a goal to lose 20 lbs each. Originally, after I had the twins, I wanted to lose the baby weight before they were 18 months old (9 months on, 9 months off x 2) but since they are nearly 20 months old now, I missed that goal....sigh

    BUT we will not give up! It helps a lot that he is doing it with me.

  3. OK, I'm game!

    I've been doing the couch to 5K program but haven't totally kept up with it 3 days a week, and keep repeating days, etc. So my goal by end of August is to actually be able to run 5K, however slowly.

    Seriously, a triathalon?!?!? Wow. Just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide under my bed. But I have no doubt you can do it, Jen!


  4. I cannot love your blog any more than at this. exact. moment. What an awesome idea.

  5. I want to run a 10k, but not until next year when I'm not pg anymore. For now though, I really need to start doing my prenatal yoga so I can at least try to be in shape a little.

  6. What a great idea! Last year I started working out and did great...I could do 40 minutes on the elliptical AND strength training and even a little bit of running which I've NEVER been able to do. Then December came and I "didn't have time"...then January, then February, etc and I still didn't have time. Now I've started again and couldn't even do 10 minutes on the elliptical without DYING.
    I'm your deadline I'd like to be back to at least 40 minutes on the elliptical and a decent strength training workout without feeling like it's killing me.

  7. Love your blog! I am not much for commenting but I must say reading this really hit home. I am 27 yrs old and a new mom by adoption. My son is the best ever. I can not imagine my life without him. I to want to get healthy to do all the fun active stuff when he gets older. I was a cheerleader & played softball & allstar softball for 9 years during school. Now I am lucky chasing him and running around outside with him does not kill me. We had went through some hard times with infertility, a infert study, etc. And that is when I put on 80 lbs. It was the hardest thing I ever dealt with in my life. I do not even know if I really ever dealt with it. It never goes away. By since we have adopted our son I thought it would change I would lose the weight & all. But what I come to realize is that even though I am extremely happy now being a mom... its easier to eat the ice cream than it is to get up and make that effort... what does that teach my son..I tell myself..

    watching those videos had me in tears... Very much inspiring!
    I stated last week on a diet began a diet blog... and did very well
    got out of my sugar comma.
    but then I had to go to a wedding w/out my honey and there lay the cookies... and then the cake at my table setting....with rasberries in the middle... Yummy!!!
    Lets just say till monday I was like a little kid chocolate all over my face... in sugar induced comma. I am again trying to get of it...
    wish me luck....

  8. OH Jen you couldn't just say good job??? Keep going at a pathic rate and maybe someday you will look like Tyra Banks?
    Ok my goal is! To run/walk the 10K in Aug 10lbs lighter and in 78 mins. (I am doing 17.5 min/miles now)
    I also want to be able to swim against the current (at the local floating pool)20feet by July 10. (I can go three feet now). ps I love the endorphins:)too.
    pps If anyone wants to send me wonderful healthy recipes that are not full of perservatives or fake sugars bring it on:)
    Jen you ROCK! You are just as inspiring as those two video's to me. Four kids, working out side home, clean house, organized, funny, and inspiring. Thanks for the kick in the pants......over and out.

  9. I just started on WW and am exercising each day, mostly for my health. I found a great site, that offers community and support. Glad you are getting that endorphin rush!

  10. very important do you do that thing where you write a word and draw a line through it? I love it!!!

  11. Now that I've read your post, I have a real comment! =)

    1st - LOVE the playhouse!
    2nd - I just ran my first 5k on Memorial Day after having triplets in August. I'm trying again in September because I didn't like the results.
    3rd - I'd love to do a triatholon someday. But I need more time than August.
    4th - As for something I can't do that I'd like to be able to do by August...does passing the Ice Cream freezers in the grocery store without picking up a 1/2 gallon count?

  12. I'm in! Always looking for motivation -- Just finished (crawled) an 8k last Saturday. Was only able to run about 1.8 miles of it - disappointing but hey.

    Blamed poor eating habits: addictions to Diet Coke, ice cream and peanut butter cups; among other things. I really began complaining and asking why?, why? why? Then I thought of my dad and others like him in our family and friends who are struggling to stay with us due to illness.

    Feeling moppey yesterday and going through e-mails I came upon one sent from our wonderful cousin Peg who sent a great video - (I'll e-mail it to you); so inspirational. About a father who runs marathons and triatholons w/his son who has severe disabilities.

    This morning I headed out and tried to get back on track w/my workouts and change those miserable eating habits....gonna take a lot of help from my friends (and family)... !

    Your blog is coming just in time for me.

    Since we are going to have that family reunion w/many cuzzins- in two years at the Boston Marathon or Disney... Hey...Your bloggers ought to meet us too! ;-))

    I'm IN! Love, Marg.

  13. I think I may have to pull out my roller blades and start blading along the beach. I used to love roller blading. I don't like running and going to the gym has never interested me. Thanks for the kick in the pants! (and thanks in advance for getting Here Comes the Hot Stepper" stuck in my head for the next three days.)

  14. Oooooo, go ahead and challenge me on the day my kids get out of school. Fine, hit my competitive hot button. Ugh!

    My goal: exercise three times a week and do a 5K (under 40 minutes) in Sept.

  15. So cool! I am very proud of you, and you have inspired me. Thanks!

  16. I used to walk 2 miles a day. It may not be a triathalon but for me it was good and I lost weight. I gave up about 5 years ago and can not talk myself into getting started. I try about every 6 months and last a day or two and then I just come up with some stupid excuse and give up....I need to get motivated....

  17. I have a feeling that this will become so popular that we'll need a spinoff blog for the Jenx4 (I liked that name) ... "Jenx4 Fit Challenge" ... Ummm...My goal is to exercise 3x a week until Aug. I just started WW after having my third baby in Feb. I've lost 5 lbs, but I need to lose at least 5 more. I'd love to run another mini marathon too (I've done 2) - maybe in September!

  18. I loved the picture of Henry climbing up the slide. These "second" kids have a lot to keep up with! I bet you don't wonder why Austin was potty trained and riding a bike before he was 2.5. Henry will probably be potty trained when he's like 1.5 at the rate he's going!

    Do you even begin to know how much you have changed in the last 6 months? You've started doing stuff for yourself again and you are HAPPY! And I'm happy for YOU! You sound like your old self again.

    I'm going to watch you exercise right from the comfort of my computer screen!!! :) GO JEN!

  19. The Rick and Dick clip gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. It not only represents reaching your goals, but the essence of parenthood. Sniff.

  20. Jen,

    Really this is a great thing and hey prizes never hurt. HA! Anywhoo, I am going to run a 5k. As of yet I have a lot of work but not a lot of time...i'm really hoping this turns into a hobby of sorts. i've always been intriged by runners the way they keep going and going but never thought i could do it. i'm motivated i think partly by hearing you talk about it and partly cuz i think it's something i've always wanted to do. i told my hubby i really need to get a new pair of "running" shoes that are at least a half size too big...please continue giving advice as you're all i have. i do plan on finding a group, i think that kind of motivation will help...meaning seeing a lot of people keep going that maybe want to quit. it's good to have a support there it is. my goal is to run a 5k July 19th. i just today ran 2 miles without stopping...i'm determined. now i need to go get an ice pack for my ankles and knees and take a couple of ibuprofen ;0)

  21. I'm always up for a good challenge.

    With moving in less than week my husband and I am motivated to get back to making exercise a daily part of our lives. Moving is always a great time to start over!

    I haven't quite figured out yet what my goal is going to be besides just actually doing 'something' exercise related each day. Whether it's a run, sit-ups, or whatever. I'm not going to make some ridiculous goal that I get mad at myself for not meeting, so let's stick with something physically active each and every day!

  22. I've been reading for a while and am always amazed at how much you cram into the same hours in the day as me! My husband and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary in a week and we don't yet have children, but I love your stories and ideas. I'm taking you're challenge and my goal for the end of August is to be able to run 1/2 mile. I have to start small and set a goal I think I can achieve or exceed.

  23. Very inspirational Jen. Glad you liked the video I sent you. I have a few goals. Right now I am working on not biting my nails(which I have done all my life) I told my mom if she quit smoking(which she has done) I would quit biting my nails. I am working on 4 weeks of nail biting free. One thing at a time I guess Next will be my weight. I think I can, I think I can.

    WTG to you and Charlie.

  24. Jen, you are a true source of inspiration! I haven't gotten as far as running yet (I used to be a sprinter at school, but always hated running), but I try to get out of bed and go roller blading on Saturday mornings and weather and workload permitting on week days. I agree with those who say company is a vital motivator, but I have noticed that one thing that works for me is sneak training (a.k.a. no elevator if going to the third floor) and a step counter with speedometer. That way I can really see how many steps I pack in in a day and my goal is 12000-15000 a day (I have an office job with insane hours, but I have noticed that a quick 15 minute walk during the lunch break and walking to and from work gets me within the target most days).

    I know this was a late response, but I have been away from this sight for almost two months and am just catching up, now I'm going to have a sneak peak on July 4th to see how your race went :-)