I have to admit that it has felt good to be slowly getting back into this whole blog and instagram thing again. The feedback I have been getting from long-time followers has been so encouraging and has been a wonderful reminder of why I started sharing my own fitness journey in the first place. It's been an exciting week so I thought I'd get you all caught up on everything.
So probably the most exciting thing I have done this week is really trying to push my training. I reached a new max deadlift (215lbs doubles!) and the depth of my squat at 115lbs is better than it ever was when (I thought) I was squatting 135lbs. I am slowly working chest exercises back into my workouts, but I am still struggling with some anterior deltoid issues. I can just tell that my left shoulder will need a little more work to get all of the stabilizers working at full capacity again.
Back in December I was really enjoying incorporating HIIT into my workouts. I haven't been able to do this as much at the ends of my workouts. Especially because I am doing my workouts at work, and my time is limited. So I utilize the time I do have to get my major lifts in. I do, however, make time for HIIT on Saturday's. This morning, Saturday April 28th, my HIIT workout looked like this:
10x box jumps
10x inclined plyo push-ups
12x 30lb KB Swings
12x High TRX Row
10x Med Ball Over-the-shoulder toss
40s jump rope
(This is brutal - forewarning)
12 minutes total
- 3 overhead press (25lbs)
- 3 burpees (hopping over the 25lb bar between each burpee)
- 6 overhead press
- 6 burpees
- 9 " "
- 12 "
.... and so on so forth..
Today I got to 21 by the time the 12 minute timer ended. Full of sweat and feeling fre$h.
(I use a blend of PE Science's high volume, and amino IV before workouts b.t.w. haha)
20x bicep curls
15x close grip dumbbell chest press
16x lateral raises
1 min warm up
30s level 6
30s level 12
12 Minutes total: 20s work:10s rest
- Mountain climbers
- shoulder taps
- single leg crunch
So that's what my HIIT days are like and I like to think that they make up for not doing HIIT at the end of my week-day workouts. So yea, my workouts are going well and it feels really nice to have that part of my life under control again. It was feeling like I let that priority slip for a bit.
In my last post I talked about how there are aspects of my job that I do not love, but that I was trying to find ways to find joy in my work and ways to create excitement and passion in other areas of my life. I can honestly say that whatever I have done, has been working! I love hanging out with my clients, and working on their programs is fun for me again. It really is all about your attitude.
This week I actually presented the CEO and my manager with an opportunity to create a full-time marketing position within the company. The gym I work for is growing and has some really ambitious goals for the next few years. It was my thought that I would pitch this early to let them know I am interested, but to also let them see that I recognize the potential of this company. Somewhat unsurprisingly, I was informed that although this is a good idea, it is just not feasible right now. I was a bit disappointed but was also really proud of myself. Here I am, a relatively new contractor with the company, with just a diploma and certification to my name, and I not only believed I could present this kind of idea to the CEO of the company, but I was also able take the rejection and use to fuel my future endeavours.
A lot of the jobs and opportunities out there in the world are only going to look at who you are on paper. On paper I don't bring much, and I am learning how to live with this. What I have done with this presentation is break through those expectations that only the people who look good on paper can strive for more, and can share those aspirations with the higher-ups of society. I have a lot to prove moving forward, but I think that if I hadn't taken this risk, that I may not have rediscovered the drive and motivation to be a great personal trainer.
Although the rejection was a kick in the pants, it came at the right time. Summer is just around the corner, so the warmer weather is on its way and brings my best days with it. The undeniably strong pairing of my current state of motivation and ambition, and the happy, energized person I become in the summer has me feeling really excited for the future.
I appreciate all of your patience and allowing me to take my time returning to this weird web-based stage. Every struggle is an opportunity to learn more about myself, and I can assure you I have learned a lot about myself over the past few weeks and I am so excited to apply this knowledge to bring you some of my best content yet.
Do something good for your body today and remember - if you can't find happiness in this world, then go out and create it!
For those of you who have been regular followers of my blog and instagram, you may have noticed that I have taken a step away from everything. Only a few weeks before I stopped posting I had really ramped up my presence online. I had new affiliate deals, I created a facebook page and changed over my Twitter handle to match the rest of the Riri's Discoveries content. I was feeling 100% invested in this project...
When I was growing up I always said I would save the world from climate change Monday - Friday and personal train on the weekends. After a rocky start to my studies in earth and ocean sciences it seemed like the the obvious direction to go was to make what was supposed to be my weekend hobby - into my full time career.
As I began to understand the fitness & nutrition world more I recognized changes in myself. Self-doubt was replaced by confidence. The mental health issues I struggled with for so long were finally under control and I found a way to use that darkness to bring positivity, and a sensitive approach, to other people's struggles. I became infatuated with the power of knowledge and understanding one's self as a tool to improve the quality of life of everyone.
So I studied fitness and health and did extremely well because I was passionate about it. Then I became a certified trainer, started working as a personal trainer and directed the overflow of passionate energy into my instagram page and this very blog. Somewhere along the way that fire was put out.
Over the last few weeks I have watched myself lose grip on my eating habits, succumbing more and more often to the temptations around me. I have had the thought pass through my mind that I was bound to fuck this all up, because that's what I always do. Go ahead, order uber eats for the third time in a row - who cares. For some time I have been feeling like I can hardly enjoy my workouts in the gym because I always feel rushed. I need to get home in time to eat a good breakfast and really make the most of my free time before going into work.
Don't get me wrong. I love being a personal trainer. I have met some truly incredible people and have had the opportunity to watch as people experience what I experienced when I took control on my health and well being, but the demands of showing up to work and being this picture of good health has taken its toll on me. I felt as though I was letting down my clients and fellow trainers. I wondered if they could see the spiralling. I found situations and people to blame for the unhappy mindset I created for myself.
One of the pivotal moments in my life was when I had what was basically a stranger - express that I was capable of anything I wanted to achieve. I just had to go out there and do what it would take to get it. They showed a trust and belief in my abilities that got me out of a multi-year rut. It was the first time in a long time that I wasn't viewed as the university drop out, or the girl with mental health issues, and that I was told that I could decide how my future would unfold.
There are certainly aspects of my life right now that I am unhappy with, and unfortunately my ability to change those things has consequences that would make it tough to pay the rent. So instead of focusing on how frustrating that is, I've decided to create places for happiness to flourish in my life. Create some good so the bad doesn't seem so bad. Design a life that leaves me feeling fulfilled and energized every day, so that my identity and my enjoyment of life does not come from just one source. Yes - I am a personal trainer, but I can also be so much more than that and it doesn't have to feel overwhelming.
So where have I been the last few weeks? Well I've been living in a world where I let the weather get me down, where I let people's off-handed comments discourage me, and where I compare myself to social media standards. It's not fun and I am tired of being in this mental space.
I want to bring back my optimism and positivity and share with you my passion for changing what is wrong and sad in this world. I want you to see that there are small things we can do every day to make life a little more enjoyable. I hope that through my multi-disciplinary pursuits you will recognize that there is so much more in life than the job you have or the education you receive.
It's time to do something good for your body & mind. If you cannot find happiness in this world, then create it.
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's most recent research, her travel adventures, and her personal fitness journey.