Ready, set, GOALS!

I like making goals. Goals keep me focused. Goals give me something to reference. I have recently been working with a lifestyle and nutrition coach, and she’s into goals too (obviously!). I have a whole blog post dedicated to my experience with her geared up for next week, so I won’t go into too many details in this post, but one of the first things Courtney Ustrzyski had me do the first day I sat down with her was to set three goals, and as I’m wrapping up my first session with her, it’s time to revaluate those goals and set new ones.

My goals:

  1. Prepare for my first half marathon
  2. Improve my flexibility
  3. Improve specific synchro moves

And here’s where we’re at.

Prepare for my first half marathon

As we all know, sometimes life throws wrenches into your plans. My husband and I were planning on going to California in November to run Run Disney’s Avengers Half Marathon, but after revaluating some finances, we decided to put the trip on hold. We both also sprained our ankles this summer, which was also part of our decision. While his time at the Pheonix Sports Medicine Experts in Hamilton, Ontario is over, I’m heading into week 10 of my physiotherapy treatment… I am an A+ ankle sprainer. Although my ankle is feeling better each week, my awesome therapist Stan is still working on keeping my cuboid bone where it belongs as those ligaments continue to heal. So, between cancelling the trip and taking it easy on my ankle, running has fallen off my radar.

Goal status: Revamp

I realized that there’s no reason I need California or thousands of Ironmen and Hulks around me to run a half marathon. If I get the green light from Stan, I am going to set a goal to run/walk a half marathon before December 1, 2015. As a further commitment to this goal, I signed up to run the Toronto Women’s 8K on October 24th – the day before I turn 31. Happy birthday me!

Improve my flexibility

Although infrequent, I have been working on this goal. I am a synchronized swimmer after all, and I want to be able to bend and stretch like some of the swimmers I look up to. Splits have eluded me my entire career, but they have been one of the focuses of my stretch sessions. When I started working on this goal, I was a good 6+ inches off the ground in both, and I am happy to report that when my flexible bootcamp friend, who is a pole dance extraordinaire, wanted to see my splits after class last night, I was almost on the floor in my left split. She gave me some great split stretches to help me reach my goal and I’m looking forward to trying them out. My other focus for this goal has been on my shoulders. I’ve had shoulder and pec injuries in my past and I want to set myself up to avoid those in the future. To add this focus into my workout schedule I’ve spent time using the TRXs to stretch out this area. I have noticed, however, that there’s still an area of discomfort doing certain exercises like weighted flies, so I’m going to get Stan to check this out when I’m in next week for my ankle.

Goal status: In progress

I’m going to roll my new split stretches into my itinerary and set the goal to have my left leg splits flat by the end of September, my right leg splits flat by the end of the year, and my middle split to 6 inches off the ground by the end of the year. As for my shoulders, I’m going to continue working on their flexibility and talk to Stan about some of the challenges I’m still having to see if I need some treatment.

Improve specific synchro moves

Russia’s Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina have pretty great body boosts!

The synchro moves in particular I was referring to was body boosts and eggbeater. I need to increase the strength of my inner legs and loosen up the muscles in my hip flexors and groin to see any progress in these movements. It’s our off season at the moment, so I haven’t been in the pool to see where I’m at, but I’ve spent a lot of time this summer doing squats and deadlifts which will help me with the explosive movement of a body boost, and time focusing on my split goals which will help loosen my hips. I think I could still spend more time building my inner thigh muscles though.

Goal status: In progress and revamp

I’m going to take one of my rest days, and turn it into an active rest day of stretching and inner thigh building. Fridays are the days I can’t get to bootcamp, and the night before a synchro practice, so I’m going to take that time to add at least a one hour stretch session that will also include strength building exercises for my inner thighs. For this, I’m going to set a long term goal because I think it will take a few months to build. By the time we reach our first competition this year, which will probably be in May, I would like to review our practice videos and see that my body boosts at the end of the routine are the same height as the ones at the beginning of the routine.

Courtney asked me to set some new goals as well. Here’s what they are:

  1. Spend half an hour twice a week doing yoga or meditating. I’m an extremely focused person who has a tendency in dabbling in perfectionism. While I admire both of these traits, I often find that I get hyperfocused on one thing, lose sight of other things that are important to me, and get overwhelmed and anxious when I try to put all the pieces back together. I always feel calmer after yoga, and I think it would lend itself nicely into my stretching goals, so I’m going to set a small time commitment goal to start and see how it goes. I’ll report back in 10 weeks!
  2. I sought out Courtney originally for nutrition coaching (although she has helped me with much more than that!) As I mentioned above, I’m going to dedicate a blog post next week to my first 10 weeks with her, but I’m also going to ask her to extend my time with her for another 10 weeks. When I started my process with her, I didn’t set any weight goals because I solely wanted to focus on dropping my body fat percentage. However, dropping weight on the scale was inevitably part of that for me, because as I lose more weight and see my muscles more I realize that they’re huge! All those bootcamp sessions have been quietly building a body builder and my getting my nutrition cleaned up was what I needed to find all those muscles! So, I am going to set number goals for my next 10 weeks once I find out what my final numbers are this weekend. Stay tuned!
  3. IMG_7930
    This bar and I will be spending plenty of time together!

    I can out squat and out bench the best of my athletic friends, but when it comes to pull ups, I’m a lost cause. It’s mind boggling to me, and my coaches, because my upper body looks like it should be able to accomplish at least a chin up hold, but I’m not there yet. The road to doing pull ups is a multifaceted for me. First, I need to discover why I’m struggling with them in the first place – is it a lack of strength somewhere? My shoulder and chest injuries? Improper technique? Between talking to my physiotherapist and my bootcamp coaches, I’m going to get this ironed out in September and set my building course for October. If I’m going to be an aerial hoop star I need to get to the bottom of this, right??

What goals are you working on right now? Do you write down your goals? Share them? How do you stay accountable? I’ve never been a big sharer of my goals, but I’m beginning to realize that I think I may of kept them to myself because others can’t see me fail when they don’t know about them! What I’ve come to learn in the recent week though is that I’ve surrounded myself with people who really do care about my success and want to be part of getting me there – so let’s shout out goals from the rooftop and build each other up for success!

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