PJ's Fitness Blog

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X Gym Dominates Once Again

DSC_0575 copySo it turns out that stair climbs, triathlons, running races, and obstacle courses aren’t the only contests we dominate as the X Gym. I guess it should be no surprise to report that the X Gym just cleaned house in another fitness competition. Today, August 8th, The X Gym took a “special forces” team of four to the Navy Seal Fitness Challenge at the Bellevue club. This contest required swimming, pushups, pullups, situps, and running, so you had to have endurance, strength and cardio to do well. This makes it a very unique competition, because only people who possess a well-rounded fitness can rank or win.

It is primarily a recruiting tool for the Navy Seals, to help them find folks fit enough to be candidates, but Greg (X Gym member pictured right) heard about it first, and suggested that we try it out. Since we only had about a month and a half to train, it was no surprise that only 2 other people answered the call to battle. The resulting team was Greg, Roby (last year’s X Gym Biggest Loser contest winner and pictured left), me, and Mike (Alki X Gym trainer in the BLUE SHIRT).

What a blast it turned out to be! Roby hurt his knee in a soccer game a couple weeks ago, so he couldn’t do the swim or the run. In true “never give up” X Gym form however, he participated anyway and rocked the pushups, situps and pullups, all past blue shirt standards. Not bad for an X Gym Biggest Loser contest winner alum huh? Looks like he not only kept it off, but turned himself into a stud athlete to boot!

Despite being sick and having a fever of 101, Mike still won the coveted “blue shirt!” This is given only to those who exceed the most elite set of standards. Out of more than 1,000 participants, less than 10 blue shirts were given today. Mike also won a medal for the fastest run, so he proved himself an overall fitness Ninja once again (if he wasn’t so darn likable, he’d make me sick).

Greg was also coming down with a nasty bug, but managed to gut it out anyway, and exceeded blue shirt standards for the swim, pushups, situps and pullups, only to fall short on the run portion from mis-pacing himself early on. Greg still proved himself worthy of Seal consideration however, by receiving the “brown shirt” which is awarded to those who meet the standards necessary for Seal candidacy.

I also exceeded blue shirt standards on the swim, pushups, situps and pullups, but fell short by 7 seconds on the run because of my own mental mistake. This really did chap my hide, mainly because I let my mind get in the way – the exact thing I teach others NOT to do every day at the X Gym!

Here’s what happened and the lesson I learned: I started the run in front, expecting to have to let people pass me, because I am NOT a runner (I actually hate it more than any other exercise and always have). Out of the 27 people in our group, there were two guys ahead of me for the first lap. Even though it seemed like a slower pace than what I thought it should be, I was fine with it, because after all, I’m NOT a runner, so how should I know?

I passed one of them in the second lap, so this left only one guy ahead of me. I told myself I should pace off him, because he must certainly be a runner, and if I can just keep up, I’m doing great, because after all, I’m NOT a runner. Have you detected my faulty mental pattern yet? It’s kind of like watching a train wreck isn’t it, except one train is full of puppies and the other is full of kittens…

In the 3rd lap I figured I must be doing great because I’m still in 2nd, and this must be fantastic since I’m NOT a runner! Then I heard the announcement of our halfway time, and this meant that I was off pace! I had to step it up and make up a bunch of time, so I passed the guy in 1st and took the lead. I maintained this for a while and heard him falling further behind. I thought, “this is really weird to be in the lead, considering how much of a runner I’m NOT.” Now the puppies are sensing danger and the kittens are starting to worry…

I held the lead for the 4th and 5th laps, until a guy passed me on the last lap. I knew I had to kick it into high gear to get the blue shirt, and gave it my best shot. That wasn’t good enough however, because I still crossed the finish line 7 seconds shy of blue shirt standards. The guy in front of me didn’t make it in time either. Second place wasn’t fast enough, and neither was first. We all made the same mistake. Dang! Puppies and kittens are flying everywhere!

This is the exact mental barrier stuff I teach X Gym members how to avoid! I should certainly have known better. Oh well, lesson learned. I now release the “non-runner” in me and will start thinking that I AM a runner. My non-supportive thoughts burned me this time, but they’ll be gone next time. The next Seal Challenge will give me a blue shirt!

There was a really great upside though. I did after all, meet the standards for Navy Seals candidacy and received the brown shirt to prove it. I also won two medals, one for the most pushups and the other for the most situps. That was great! I am quite happy and content about that, and will enjoy focusing on those successes.