Friday, April 16, 2010
Congrats Dave! This challenge turned out to be everything I could've imagined and then some! Awesome! Way to go to EVERY ONE that was involved!!!
Dave Johel Story...
You can find Dave at
Dave Johel (davejohel)
Holiday Fitness Challenge 2009-2010
Leading up to the challenge…
October 2009: I was celebrating my one year anniversary with Beachbody workouts. During the past year, I had completed 3 rounds of P90X and was finishing up my first round of Insanity. I had great results over the past year, losing almost 15 pounds and getting below my goal weight. My definition was good, better than I had ever had in my life…and I was 47 years old.
Before P90X, I had done little exercise for the past 20 years. I was active, coaching my son’s basketball and baseball teams. I played softball and windsurfed as often as I could, which was not that often anymore. My nutrition was not good but it was not terrible either. I never let myself get too heavy. Over the years I had purchased dumbbells and a home gym. But I didn’t know HOW to work out, so it never lasted more than a month and I never got results.
A co-worker started P90X and I did not want to be looking back in three months at his results and my more of the same. When I started P90X I did not immediately join the beachbody online community. I tried to get my own group going at work. We encouraged each other and we kept a shared workout log. A few more in the office joined us. After a few months, however, the novelty of a workout routine wore off for the others.
I started slowly getting results, so I kept going. If I had good nutrition, the results would have come much quicker. By the third round I was still working out 5 days a week. I ordered Insanity after reading more and more about Interval workouts and really enjoying P90X Interval Plus. I finally joined beachbody.com in August for two reasons. I wanted support during Insanity, but I also wanted to ‘Pay It Forward’ with my workout commitment, enthusiasm and tips for success. I had started to become obsessed with working out. What a change from 10 months before. I initially found a great message board, ‘Insane Motivation’, and became hooked on the Beachbody Community. I also learned how to push even harder in my workouts because of Insanity.
Once Insanity was complete, I searched the message boards to see if I could find some additional motivation to keep going. Some of the boards had thousands of posts but I wanted something a little more personal, where you got to know the people. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto the ‘Holiday Fitness Challenge’ thread, but I liked the idea to stay accountable and motivated through the holidays, so I jumped in. And how could you deny the enthusiasm that Jen Mangum (jenmangum) brought to the message board.
The Holiday Challenge…
I remember when I started, I told Jen that I had just finished Insanity and was planning on only working out 4-5 days a week, just to maintain my results. Jen said that the accountability chart may change that for me. It sure did. I wanted to see that symbol next to my name every single day. So I started my quest of no scheduled rest days. If I was sick, injured or just could not fit it in, OK. But I would not schedule ahead for a rest day.
I started the challenge with my first round of a P90X/Insanity hybrid. Chris Bush (ChrisBush) had posted a hybrid workout. It looked like there was some real thought put into the workout sequence. Great! That sure saved me some time. I really started to like the accountability and charts kept by Chris. It was also great to start to get to know many of the other challengers who helped me along the way.
Chris Jolley (Xformation) had posted pictures of his dinner plate and refrigerator of ‘clean food’. It really got me thinking about my nutrition. I was good, and each round I got better. But he helped me realize that I needed to keep pushing myself toward better nutrition. Then, with the conference calls with Mark Briggs and Missy Costello, it really got me thinking about how important nutrition is to achieving my overall goals. They were a big help. And although I’m still struggling at times, I can hear them giving me encouragement to make the right choices.
I think it was Jen who asked us all what our goals were for the challenge. I put mine out there to do 100 consecutive push-ups (at the time I could do about 50). I was going to start in about a month, but 2 weeks later, Dale (coachazgremlin) said he was ready to start the 100 push-up challenge so it meant that I had to start, too. I have to admit, I was nervous about it. Posting my results each day for everyone to see, whether I was doing good or bad as I went through the weeks of training scared me. I was afraid about failing. But Dale kept me going and we pushed each other along. In the end, I was able to do 98 consecutive pushups. I just couldn’t get 2 more. I was having too much shoulder pain to continue the work so I had to quit there. Still a good accomplishment I thought. I learned that it was OK to be scared. You push through, do your best. And even if you don’t meet your goals completely, you may just do more than you had ever thought you could.
Throughout the challenge, I was looking for additional DVD for Yoga to put into my schedule. So I asked for help with suggestions. Sandy (sandy429) came back with recommendations almost instantly. I noticed that she did yoga nearly every single day, and looking at the pictures of her handstands on her profile, I could tell she knew what she was talking about. Throughout the challenge when someone would ask a question, Sandy and I would respond with nearly identical answers. She also works out every single day as I try to. I’m really lucky that I had the chance to meet her on this challenge. She motivates me on those days where struggle to push play.
One of my goals now is to increase the number of pull-ups I can do. I’m somewhere in the low teens (12-14). When I hear of Joel (biffman) doing pull-ups with a 20 pound weight vest and Dave (bronze508) increasing his reps from 15 to 20, it really gives me the encouragement that I can get better and stronger and to challenge myself to do more.
I finished my first round of my P90X/Insanity hybrid during the challenge. Now my goal for the rest of the challenge was to increase size in my arms and chest. I was not getting this done with the hybrid workout, so I needed something different. Valerie (dimndntheruf1) had mentioned that she was doing a P90X Muscle Blast routine. Muscle Blast is doing the two P90X resistance workouts twice a week. I modified the workout she posted a little and have been doing this for the past 60 days. I’ve started to see increases in my weights, reps and size. So this has been really helpful. Valerie was the October 2009 Million Dollar Body winner. She knows how to Bring It!
Around January 20th during the challenge (I wrote down the date), it hit me... workouts were no longer a chore. I look forward to them every morning and if I miss a morning, I am worried all day that I will miss it later in the day. It’s become a natural part of my morning and my new lifestyle.
Once March came around and we were into our fourth month of the challenge, getting motivated to workout became a little challenging for me. I don’t know if it was the daylight savings change, spring in the air, little league baseball practice most evenings or what. But what got me through those few weeks was the constant motivation I got from the Fitness Challenge message board, Chris Bush ‘s accountability chart and my posted goal of working out every single day during the challenge.
I ended up with over 150 consecutive workouts. I know I’ll miss some coming up. But I also know I’m going to feel better the more I work out and the more I put into those workouts. Intensity is one of the keys. During the challenge, I liked to post my accountability early so that if someone was struggling to get going that day, they could log on and see that ‘davejohel’ was already done, or currently in the ‘supergym’, so they had better get going too.
During the past five months, I’ve had about 10 people ask my advice on one topic or another, for weight loss, finding your abs, gaining muscle or staying motivation. It feels great to be able to share my success (and my failures) so that they can also learn and improve their health, body image and self confidence.
I made not have had dramatic gains physically during the Holiday Challenge, but I do feel that I had gains mentally and emotionally on my fitness journey. I look forward to ‘Pushing Play’ and encouraging others to do the same. I’ve really enjoyed the Challenge and know that it, and the members who contributed to it, made a big difference in my life and I hope I have in theirs.
Day 1 (10/20/08)
Goal: Lose weight and get in shape Day 375 - Fitness Challenge start (11/3/09)
Goal: Gain chest and arm size (strength) Day 520 - Fitness Challenge end (3/31/10)
Weight 184 170.5 172.5
Waist NA 32.5 32.5
Chest NA 38.5 39
Biceps NA 14.25 14.75
Pullups 8 12 14
Pushups 45 50 70 (max=98)
Body Fat % NA 13.4% 9.6%
Holiday Fitness Challenge between Insanity and Holiday Challenge Photos:
Monday, April 12, 2010
Every time I try something new or think about doing something new, I get that uneasy feeling inside. Ya know that, I'm not sure if I can do this or not? What if I fail feeling? For example the first time I moved to Nashville I was scared to death! Seriously! I was a small town girl who was completely clueless how to drive on the interstate, didn't have a flipping clue how to use a GPS, and had no idea where to even begin! I'm telling you when we first got there I wanted my hubby to drive me everywhere and at times just wanted to lock myself inside of my house! Crazy right? And let me tell ya the first time I decided to "just jump" in my car and go for it, everything that could go wrong did go wrong! The rain was pouring down, I was screaming at my GPS, "you stupid you know what", and got lost about three times, before I started to get the hang of what the hell she(GPS) was saying LOL! From that point on it just got easier and easier. I realize most people wouldn't feel the way I did, but for me that was a life altering experience. I realized I could do something I didn't think I could! I have a million experiences like that, as I'm sure most of you do as well. So for me with each and every one, I'm learning that sometimes you need to "just jump"!
Yes I realize that its good to think before you do something, but sometimes thinking gets in the way of just doing and you end up missing out on everything. Seems the more I think about something, the more I just end up talking myself out of it. If we always knew how something would go, then it wouldn't be near as scary or fun. Its the not knowing that you just have to go with sometimes and say "what the heck I'm gonna do this"! I always seem to find a little bit more about who I am and what I'm made of when I just jump and go for it. Sure sometimes I fail and run into regrets, but honestly even the regrets have lead me to a better me. So these days if there is something I really want to try, I do everything in my power to talk myself in to it. Life isn't waiting on me, so why would I want to miss out on it?
Exercise might not be jumping out of a plane, but for some of us just the thought of putting running shoes on and going for a run seems impossible! Exercise can be as scary as bungee jumping to some of us and stop us in our tracks every time! If you haven't worked out in ten years, one might think its too late now to even begin. You might think you can't do anything, so you end up doing nothing. Now I don't know about you, but that is one regret I don't want to feel. I mean ask yourself honestly, do you like the feeling of thinking you can't exercise? How does it feel to believe you are not capable of walking 3 miles or running one? Do you feel good about yourself when you think you couldn't do a set of weights even if you tried? How does it make you feel when at any time in your life you come across some obstacle or hurdle and the first thought you feel is "I can't, I can't, I can't"??? I don't know about you, but anytime I'm faced with something I think I can't do, I automatically feel regret or feel like a failure. My confidence level goes down and I get overwhelmed with doubt. That's why for me, if there is something I find important enough to want to try, I just jump and see what happens!
I find that the trying is better than the not trying. For example I'm NOT a runner, but I just signed up to be a "Girls on the Run" coach, so I can run a 5K in May. This is something I've NEVER done. At first I thought there was no way I'd be able to run this far, but yet with each and every practice and each and every prayer...I'm getting better all the time! Funny how something so small can seem so big, but for me this is one thing I've been nervous about. Or signing up to be a Turbo Kick instructor when I've never lead an exercise class in my life? I'm still shaking and scared to death, but I'm working my ass off every day to figure this out and start teaching. I still don't know how I'll do, but damned if I'm gonna stop. I'm just jumping in head first and hoping to come out on top in the end. Sure I might fail, might make a complete idiot out of myself in front of a group of people, might forget the steps...blah blah blah the mights just keep adding up, but I'm feeling stronger every day and that's what keeps me going!
So maybe you are one of those people who haven't worked out in years, but you are getting so sick of always telling yourself you could never do an hour of weights, or ever run a 5k, or swim 50 laps in a pool,...whatever negative thoughts about what you can't do could be erased with just beginning! Meaning taking baby steps to whatever it is you are sure you would never be able to do. Maybe you want to run a marathon, but haven't exercised in 10 years. Well maybe now is the time to just walk 1 mile today and maybe 2 miles tomorrow. Then heck maybe next week you could walk for 15 seconds and then run for 15 seconds and so on. But if you don't start somewhere, you'll just end up going nowhere. Is that really what you want to keep doing with your life, your health, and your body? Is that really a feeling you enjoy feeling? If it is then just continue living the way you are living, but if its not then maybe its time for you to "just jump"!
So I challenge you this week to do ONE thing you've always wanted to do! Or something you think you could NEVER do. Just a small step in the direction of something you think you CAN'T do! If its swimming 50 laps in the pool, maybe nows the time to at least swim 10 laps and see where you go from there! Just do something that will lead you in the direction of whatever it is you're afraid of and go ahead and dive in head first and see what happens! You might be faced with obstacles...people might judge you, cut you down, you might worry what you look like, that little voice in your head will try to talk you out of it, it might go against the way you live now, and on and on! There just might be a million reasons telling you that YOU CAN'T do this, but I want you to go ahead and do it ANYWAYS!
Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum