Cece Aiello's Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready program, T-Shirt Ready | Sep 16 2019, starts in 23 days.
Super excited for the rollout of the new LIKE feature on the blogs. I am often guilty of reading a blog but not commenting. Lack of time, lack of wit. Lack of blogging superpower mojo. But now I can leave my anonymous footprint all over the blogspace! I hope you're ready.
Sometimes it can feel like only 1 person read our post because only 1 person commented. And that's just not true... A post is viewed easily at least 3x the amount of comments it receives. But having a post that gets no attention... that can feel crappy (Or maybe it's just me?). But now, with the Like button, instant love. Instant acknowledgement. I see you! I hear you! I actually really like that this Like feature is anonymous for now. I'll leave a comment if I want my name known (and you know I do) but for the most part, it's becomes just about letting people know that their words were read and appreciated.
We blog when we're on a program because it is mandatory. The rules of the Kenzai game. But we also blog because we're inherently social beings with a need for our experiences to be seen and heard. A stranger's comment on the internet can sustain us. A strangers comments plus 10 likes? That's like the extra sprinkles on top of a beautifully plated salted caramel pudding. Divine.
Don't stop commenting, but don't be shy with sharing some of that instant boost of dopamine by clicking the Like button.
You know about the Fatpocalypse right? Our fearless founder is upping the ante... http://www.kenzai.com/fatpocalypse
I just livestreamed Patrick's KB1 workout via Twitter and it's pretty awesome. All you KB1 folks, you should totally be following along. He's on Day 5! So many great tips. https://twitter.com/patrickcantype
This day has been a long time coming! My booty is excited, is yours???
Also thrilled to see a few XYs in our crew, these dudes are smart. Aside from all the wonderful benefits of having a strong posterior chain (improved posture, increased balance, lower back relief), Sculpt is the perfect antidote to an epidemic that is sweeping the globe . The World Health Organization is cautioning women of child bearing age (and beyond!) to look out for this horrible Flat Pancake Butt Syndrome that is afflicting so many otherwise perfectly good men. And let's be honest, FPB knows no color, age, or gender. That's why we're all here right?
Finished today's workout and it was really fun to see quite a number of new exercises. Kim's demo video really helped me on the new movements. This is going to be so good!
We like big butts and we cannot lie. To those not in the know (just in case!), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JphDdGV2TU
Yep, this is where I whip myself with a super heavy, super extreme UFC rope on the daily. Kenzai Headquarters.
For extra bonus points, can you identify our beanied friend in the shot?
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
And what drug can be more intoxicating or alluring or powerful than one’s own name? To motivate, to inspire, to appreciate, to shame?
I wasn’t always this attached to my name. There was once a time where I couldn’t pronounce 'Cecilia' or even spell it for that matter. That time was 2nd grade and the year was 1988. You try saying this monster of a 4 syllable name when you can barely recite the ABC’s or recognize letters. #immigrantlife
My cheeks would burn and my hands get clammy whenever I had to say my name out loud. So I avoided those situations like the plague.. not very conducive to making friends as you can imagine. The path to loving my name was hard won and took years. But worry not, I unabashedly embrace my name today. Probably a little too much.
So imagine my delight when I discovered this week that the Foo Fighters had released a song about me- Saint Cecilia- in their 2015 EP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjBUBFKb5zY
Since then, Dave Grohl has essentially become my running coach. He screams, he pleads, he cajoles, he keeps a mean beat. And he calls out my name. A lot. That’s what happens when you put a song with the title Saint Cecilia on loop for a 30 minute run.
Which is all to say, yes- I’m clearly extremely vain (and I totally think the song is about me) but listening to Coach Dave throatily growl my name on repeat has been the best motivator a girl needs to keep the treadmill going. For daysssssss.
Accidentally ran close to 9k instead of 8 but aside from that snafu, it's been all joy and not a grind with Grohl by my side. My mantra was inspired by John M's recent blog which hyped me up for the distance run today. So good! https://kenzai.me/johnm/blog/k-run-day-20-not-a-grind-pure-enjoyment
And yes, you just read a 350 word love letter to my name. Oh vanity doesn't even begin to cover it. But I say, leverage whatever you have, just get it done with more joy, less grind!
The cross training message couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed a mental break. Day 9 and I already need a break? Oy, this does not bode well for my aspirations of being a Runner, with a capital R.
I’m back on the treadmill for now after a consultation with the wise Head Trainer Wardo about the ear pressure and day-long headaches that’s plagued all of my out-door runs. This damn inner ear thing, first it popped my fantasy of being a mermaid and now it forced me back on the hamster wheel.
30 minutes on the ‘mill yesterday about killed me. Not physically, but mentally. I was so, so, BORED. How do you guys do it?? The last 10 minutes sucked all the joy out of my life and I needed a pep talk at 30 second intervals. It was not chill, it was basically the opposite of fun.
So what did I choose for my cross training to distract myself from the mental horror of running? I decided to go a bit non-traditional and showed up to a studio promoting World Fusion Dance lessons.
Well ladies and gentleman, I’m here to tell you that I kinda fell in love with belly dancing tonight. While it was up to me alone to add some pizzazz to the definition of “world”- belly dancing in San Luis Obispo really knows no skin color, age, or waist size. It knows a tinge of cultural appropriation, but who doesn't like to dress up like Princess Jasmine once a week for good fun?
I sucked at it though. Like hard. Like worse than my Day 1 of jump roping. Or swimming. Or running. My body was comically not close to imitating the instructor’s movements. There was zero grace or flow to my elephantine stampede.
They rolled up my shirt so my tummy was exposed and I will confess that the ego was immensely pleased when the older ladies oohed and ahhed on cue and proclaimed I had the “perfect belly dancer body.”
Apparently, being “long waisted” (synonym: short legs) is key to having the desired belly dancing physique. Huzzah! Hip rolls all day for being all torso with baby-length legs. I wonder if having short strong legs also helps me in running??
So I feel refreshed, I feel earthy and worldly, and I feel ready to take on another day’s run.
Bring it on Day 10!
I want to live in a world where I can run.
I do not need to outrun a mountain lion or a bear. I do not need to tell people that my Chinese name actually means Speedy Wind. I do not need to be the fastest in a race or to do a marathon.
I just want to be able to run.
Like baby giraffes, all limbs and no grace- I can still be quite awkward when it comes to learning a new skill. Like running.
I’m not alone in this but I come to running with some baggage having been injured in my early 20’s from running without proper training. It took until recently for me to see that running is not an unreliable playboy that I should kick out of my life forever just because I got hurt once. Maybe running is more like my Mr. Darcy and I just need some time to see that his cantankerous behavior hides the fact that we are actually incredibly well suited for one another. Maybe running is my soul mate.
On the other hand, my love/ hate relationship with the rope is well documented. I respect the rope for its efficiency, but let's face it- it provides a limited static view of the world when you’re doing it. Efficiency all day, but sometimes a girl needs some freedom and romance!
I look forward to learning the art and practice of running. I look forward to not getting hurt. I look forward to having another cardio option besides jump rope. Though I will not be running through any parks before sunrise or after sunset (seen too many Law & Order episode to ever do that), I do look forward to using running as an avenue to explore new cities ala John M. in his his recent European travelogues.
I also really look forward to this "runner’s high" that I’ve heard about. Like is it real?? And will it really make me high? The many questions that I will ponder as I hit the pavement.
For today, the run is done. 25 minutes done, many many more to go. Glad to be training with you all!
Today kicks off Day 1 for new trainees embarking on their journey to get in the best shape of their lives. Nothing more exciting than that! I remember my Day 1- April 1, 2012- Little did I know I was jumping into a program that would shape my life beyond fitting into some skinny jeans. My whole outlook and self perception was about to get turned upside down, inside out.
But those shifts didn't happen over night as much as I wished they did. Nope, they happened sloooowly day by day over the course of the 90 days. That was hard for someone who wanted the TPS reports like, yesterday. So what wise words do I have for these Jedi knights? Be open, be consistent, and whatever you do, don't cut your rope too short. (I've done that not once, not twice, but THREE times. Hit me up for tips on how NOT to do this.)
KB1 grads - what would you say to your Day 1 self?
Sleep is wonderful and restorative in all sorts of ways. I am especially lucky because I am especially a good sleeper. Dead, lights out, heavy as a log. And every morning I wake to the sounds of birds chirping. Real birds, not an alarm trying to sound like birds. Bathed in the gentle light of the morning sun and cozy under my flannel sheets and layers of comforters, I get to come out of sleep slowly and luxuriously. It's unreal to me how good I have it.
I have this amazing opportunity to start the day feeling refreshed and blissful each and every day.
But I don't!
I squander the feelings of peace and dream state insights by immediately reaching for my phone. My stupid giant phone. Gmail, Facebook, Whatsapp, SMS and yes- even Kenzai messages fill my head with a list of short term reactive tasks. Control of my day, gone before I even climb out of bed.
So my Week 4 challenge is a reboot of my morning routine. And to put some skin in the game, I will donate $200 to my least favorite candidate's presidential campaign if I miss a single entry in the next 45 days. A lot is riding on this US election but I am serious about sticking to this habit so yep, doing it. For America, I will emerge victorious.
Got my workout done before my 7 am flight this morning! Tomorrow, the plan is to hit the gym at 6 am to knock out a quick 30 minute workout.
David M. did not steer me wrong, Michael Jackson's One was soo amazing. The athleticism and beauty of the myriad of body types up on stage was the perfect motivating way to close out the day.
Monday's goals: more veggies, less cookies.
KB2, You're Pretty Epic GRADUATION POST
Day 90 workout was a bit more of a whimper than a roar as I am fighting off a cold or fever or whatever ickiness that is knocking at my door. Went though all the workout motions at about a 75% effort and was immediately shivering after I finished the last stretch. But my mood is still high because results is the consistency of efforts, not a one time shot. And we've been hella consistent girls and boys. 90 days consistent! Mission accomplished! Goal achieved! Life dreams obtained or something like it.
I am so, so, so happy that I jumped onboard with my fellow training staff for KB2 + Rennerson. What fun these folks are! Everyone brought their A game in toughness and motivation- I don't think I could have achieved as much without you rag tag crew of crazies leading by example. Oh #raisethebar? Done. Oh run 30 km? Easy. Double unders all day! Grappling tournaments and double exercises? We eat those for breakfast. Pull-up secret challenge, you bet! Dragon boats, tennis games, hell on 2 wheels? 4 am wake up calls? I mean come, on. We got it covered. And special shoutouts to Janet L., Patrick H., and David M. for showing us the way to the peak and circling back to help us there.
Y'all are my rock! The wind beneath my wings! It's always super neat to experience the Kenzai community magic as a trainee... we really have created a special space together. Thank you all for being a part of it!
Enough of the unicorn rainbow talk before Renny rolls his eyes even more... So let's talk numbers. I'm 90/90 on exercise, diet overall was probably a 90%. My weight stayed stable all the way through, with no significant gains or loss. And I lost an inch on the waist, which is the only other measurement I took aside from the scale. Super happy about all this.
Of course my Ma was all 'Waaaa you didn't lose any weight?!' But I know the reflection in the mirror and my weekly pictures weave a different story.
While it's nice to look half naked in our final pics, how I'm showing up (fully clothed) in the world is even better! I hereby attach more photographic evidence. My love for clothes was previously documented so I won't go into too much details on these new threads, but yea- much joy was sparked.
I feel strong and fit. And apparently, I support the US 2nd amendment! (The right to bear arms for non-US history majors... #lamejoke) But the thing that makes me the happiest and want to climb Everest and shout it from the mountain tops is still a number. And that number is 4.75.
It came on Day 84, when I ran 4.75 miles (7.64 km) in 45 minutes on the tready. I ran for 45 minutes! Without stopping! And no music! I didn't notice the distance until I stopped, only paying attention to the time (because: single track mind), but I could have made it to 5 miles, no problem. Still don't love to run, but it doesn't matter. It's another tool this athlete has in her toolbox. So 4.75- that is my favorite number for KB2.
Things I will never ever get sick of: egg whites, your blogs, and avo-veggie-eggy breakfast sandwich! Single track minds have its perks. You can also add feeling strong, confident, and disciplined.
The celebratory burger and beers will have to wait another day as I know the last thing my body needs as it pulls nurse duty is to fight its way through Grease City. Heartbreak City is more like it! For now, I am enjoying my egg whites and kale lemon juice and roasted sweet potatoes with pumpkin pie spice (come on, a girl has to celebrate a little, sick or not) by the fireside as I scroll through all the Final blogs of fellow travelers who made a commitment to themselves and to their health.
So what's next? Handstands is back on the table and I have my goggles and swim suit laid out already like an over eager kid the day before school starts- mermaid lessons start on Tuesday! Life is full of opportunities when you're not afraid to trust your body. Thank you Kenzai!
Pretty chuffed that I got asked at the gym if I was a volleyball player or if I played sports.
No sir, I am not a volleyball player. I just Kenzai- I don't chitchat when I'm working out and I keep to my rest periods like white on rice.
Sweating buckets, #raisethebar30, and Workouts Complete. Kinda on top of the world right now! Push on everyone!
*But seriously, the amount of sweating is wrecking havoc on my shampoo schedule.
The cycle workouts are going fast! Hit it quick and hard, wham bam thank you sir. Done!
Trying to run extra lean and clean on the diet this last week.... more hungry than usual. Or maybe the hunger is from all the salivating about my Day 90 meal after the Global Party on Google Hangout. I'm planning a nice chocolate stout and a HUGE burger with cheddar and bacon and chipotle mayo. And sweet potato fries! Oh Em Gee, yes. And I won't hate myself one bit. Not one iota.
So close guys! We're almost there!
You know how we're always talking about habits? Like, building good habits and routine to ensure Kenzai success? Every day I wake up, and I do my Kenzai workouts first thing in my backyard. Day in, day out. When #raisethebar kicked in, I added a 2nd rope session before dinner. 80-something days this has gone on. It is totally routine, and it is totally drudgery at its finest! Mama is 100% on workouts, so drudgery works.
But this weekend, a work situation unexpectedly created a major hiccup in my routine. I did my morning skips but had to scrap the rest of my workout for the afternoon. Since I was going to be out and about, I packed a bag for the gym (which I've only used once a week for their treadmill but never for my Kenzai jump rope and workout).
I'm a good little rule follower and I am way, way into structure, but damn, sometimes DISRUPTIONS can be AWESOME.
This disruption in my schedule totally reinvigorated my workouts for the past 2 days (of course today I switched it up again by going to the gym mid-afternoon). It's crazy how this change in routine has amped up my motivation and focus so much. KB2 feels new and different and I'm excited to be hitting the workouts in a way that I haven't felt since the first month. It's like spring love all over again.
So if you're feeling a bit in a rut in your workouts, maybe it's time for a shake up in your routine and harness the power of a good disruption! It's not just fancy startup jargon that gets thrown around in TED talks and business books.
It just occurred to me that the cycle workouts coming our way this last week may be may be operating on that very principle to get us across the finish line with mojo and style. Damn that P-dawg is a sly one.
So I'm digging the fact that I can run for 40 minutes, I'm digging my improved push ups and body scoops, and I'm digging the reflection that I see in the mirror. I don't think this makes me vain (it doesn't), it just makes me pretty proud of my efforts and grateful that today I can appreciate my body for what it is and what it isn't.
Back when Kenzai Body still shared a moniker with a street drug, we had these pretty cool banners at the top of our individual pages. And on these banners we had to select someone whose body inspired us. I'm pretty sure mine was Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth Effing Paltrow in all her bony 5'10, 100 lbs ectomorphic glory. And I used to get so down because my body looked nothing like her's (yea, no crap Lucy Liu Sherlock!). It wasn't until after I completed PCP, that I finally (FINALLY) started to appreciate my own body- both what it looked like and what it could do. Better late than never! #bodyacceptance Cue the Dove commercial.
Which is the build up to say, I like my body and what it's doing but I don't think them white jeans in that smaller size are going to work out. The waist & booty are fine- but the good lord gifted me with strong curvy (read: muscular) legs that stayed strong and curvy these 70-something days. I like my legs. Male body builders like my legs (or more accurately, they admire my strong healthy calves as they try in vain to bulk up their own calves).
But the white jeans in 91% cotton/ 7% poly/ 2% elastane premium denim from the Cone mill in the 26 inch waist? They do not like my legs. And I'm OK with that. My legs don't like them jeans much either. They rebel being so tightly constrained. My legs need room to breath! I'm not the problem, the jeans are. So the search goes on for that perfect blend of white denim as we continue to #raisethebar.
In other news, I've signed up for some private swim lessons to kick off the week after KB2! All the chatter about swimming recently made me realize it's high time I move past the drowning puppy stage of my mermaid evolution.
So now the annoying first world question is- pack of 5 or 10 lessons? I also need goggles and a proper swim suit. Got any goggle recs? Tis shopping time! Who am I kidding, everyday is shopping time with Amazon Prime.