Sharmali Arumugathasan

Sharmali Arumugathasan

Kenzai Member
Trainer
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The US contingent had a little bet that team USA was going to wipe the floor with Team England in last week's FIfa WWC match. Sara , Jess and I had absolutely no clue about the game and what our odds were, but of course we had to fly the flag for our girls. Bad idea. 50 burpees were at stake. Here's the damage. 35 degrees under the HK sun and my recently snipped doggy in his cone looking on in bewilderment as his empty sack photobombs my shot!

Never let it be said that I don't pay my dues.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BznIZv9HiUs/


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I’m killing 20 hours in Dallas in a motel in the middle of nowhere. The shuttle bus driver just suggested I have dinner at Hooters. I decided a microwave meal in my room was probably a better idea.

So my Costa Rican adventure is over and I’m heading home tomorrow. I said before I did this trip that it was going to be my Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love trip. Well there was sun, exotic beaches, yoga and spiritual healers of sorts but sadly no hot Brazilian dude to whisk me away, but it certainly was an eye opening trip and I’ve learned so much.

This was my first ever solo vacation in 20 years and to say I was nervous about it is an understatement. Aside from business trips I’ve never travelled without my family or friends and I had visions of being the pathetic woman getting lost , mugged or sitting like a sad Billy No Mates at dinner glued to my phone for company. Turns out I’m not as pathetic as I thought I would be and I did good!

There’s something incredibly liberating about being alone in a foreign place without being defined as a wife or mother as my life had been up till now. Nobody has any expectations of you and suddenly your own limitations that you’ve set yourself disappear. I found myself making friends with 18 year olds on gap years, a 25 year old recovering addict who’d just lost her boyfriend to drugs, a well to do Boston woman going through a divorce, cool surfer dudes, a vibrant beautiful yoga teacher who had just come out of a toxic relationship, PHD wielding neuroscientists exploring the world. And the list goes on. I’ve never met so many diverse people that I would never have crossed paths with in my normal life. The highlight of my learning experience was realizing that a middle aged couple from Arizona who had befriended me and the Boston divorcee, were actually swingers. I think I actually choked on my mouthful of ceviche as they made that announcement. My sheltered Sri Lankan upbringing had never exposed me to people like this and I thought I was living a bad episode of Jerry Springer in slow motion. What followed was a serious debate about the pros and cons of monogamous vs polyamorous relationships, and it was definitely an educational moment!

Anyhow moving swiftly on… anyone who has been in one of my training groups will know that in our icebreakers I’ve said that I have a crippling fear of the ocean and drowning. So no one was more surprised than me as I
muttered thanks for pistol squats between mouthfuls of sea water as I found my balance on a 9ft board in the Pacific ocean wondering if I was going to actually die.

Well whaddya know, the girl did good and actually caught some little waves!

On a bit of a buzz I thought I might as well conquer some other fears while I had obviously lost my mind. So up I went to do a zipline. But not just a regular zipline. I mean when you’re nervous about speed and heights why not just do both upside down? I remember hanging upside down hurtling down the wire towards a tree thinking WT actual F are you doing? This is now offically a mid life crisis.

Attempts to kill myself for entertaiment aside, the highlight of the trip was hanging out with none other than head honcho Mr. Doyle and his super cool family who are currently living la pura vida out in Costa Rica for a year. Bonus fun to also meet a couple of my current KB trainees Rachel H and Laurel G who happened to be out there too!

Holiday tales conclusion...what I learned from this trip is that Kenzai has changed my life and I’m a stronger, more confident, capable and resilient person than I was 5 years ago. It may sound overdramatic to give the credit all to Kenzai but I can say that getting your body in shape gives you a whole level of empowerment which if used wisely can help you focus your mind on achieving anything. 5 years of almost regular training has given me discipline, self awareness and I think a much more positive outlook on life, even through difficult times.

It's never too late to take back control of your body, your fears and your aspirations.

#kenzaifit mentally and physically all the way to San Jose!

Photos: My kids were completely in disbelief about the surf and zipline antics and the response was “ pics or it didn’t happen” So visual evidence attached for the nonbelievers!


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Well that was fun... 
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... in a pull your teeth out slowly one by one fun kind of way...

It’s over, hallelujah and thank the Lord. Let me start by saying that I hated almost every second of this training cycle. No it wasn’t because the programme sucks. It’s because it was bloody hard and is not for the faint hearted. I signed up for KB3 knowing full well that it would either make or break me. 2016 has been one of the most challenging years I’ve experienced in a very long time. It was a year of transition and unknowns and at times I’ve felt like I’ve been in a battlefield dodging bullets and just trying to make it out alive. I won’t bore you with the dramatic details but life was difficult. I clearly remember a video call I had with Thomas and Ward earlier in the year where I basically said I was going to quit Kenzai as I felt like I was about to spontaneously combust with stress. But being the zen masters that they are, they gave me my space and I realized I actually needed to be here doing this to get myself back on track.

KB3 started the same day as KB1 groups , and the same day as I returned to corporate work after a 5 year break ( I don’t consider my Kenzai gig as a job as I love it so much)
Month one involved getting used to a new routine of full time day job, passing tests for day job, trying to juggle kid stuff and worrying most days about my son who’d just gone off to boarding school. I was a little overemotional to say the least. Add the KB3 workouts to that mix and reality hit home pretty much on day 1 that I had bitten off rather a lot, so I better get chewing or prepare to choke.

Month 2 the workouts were just getting harder and longer, there wasn’t much sleep going on and I was wired up. I was short tempered with my kids and generally not a happy bunny. Cookies were launching themselves at me like nuclear missiles and I took a long slo mo trip through the valley. Physically no doubt I was getting stronger and leaner but my legs were heavy and lack of time meant I was skimping on the stretching so I felt quite clumpy and bulky.

Month 3, to add to my misery I had to take an exam to re-certify my personal training qualification which I’d left till the eleventh hour. Cue more stress and lots of cramming. I began to slack on reading the daily lessons because I didn’t have any extra mental bandwidth to absorb anything but the essentials. I started to zone out and blogs became more infrequent. I can say without exaggeration, that every single cell in my body has battled with me to not workout these past 90 days. Even on day 89, the prospect of just 10 minutes skipping was a huge mental struggle. I actually fell asleep putting my daughter to bed and had to drag myself outside at midnight to do it.

So why did I do it ? Here’s the thing. There are always going to be rough patches in life. My KB1 and 2 experiences were pretty easy going and so reaching day 90 was sweet but nothing I didn't think I could handle when I started.
KB3 was another beast altogether. I needed to prove to myself that I was made of durable stuff . One thing I am certain of is that getting your body in shape has nothing to do with your physical prowess but everything to do with your mental strength. I read a quote once, I can’t remember where it came from but it has always stuck with me. “ Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening”. I absolutely believe you are what you think. Think you're weak, crap and going to be a failure, and you bet you will be. So doing KB3 for me was a test of self talk, to prove that whatever life throws at you, it doesn't matter because you can self talk your way to a better place. I wrote previously in my blogs about being obsessed with the “I did it” buttons. Janet commented that maybe it wasn’t the satisfaction of clicking the button that appealed to me but more the visual of seeing row upon row of green ticks. I thought about that and realised that it was actually neither of these reasons that pushed me against the odds to do 90 workouts. The only thing that got me through is pride. Not the arrogant pride of being able to say look at me I did 90 workouts, but pride in myself for believing I can do what I set out to do.
I have a pretty high pain threshold and also a very strong work ethic which means I hate to let myself down. I knew that if I quit KB3 ( and I definitely thought about it) or if I just half assed it with no integrity, then that was going to be pretty damaging to myself.

So how did it end? Well literally in tears. I’m not ashamed to say I did shed a few tears on completing the day 90 torture. I defy anyone to do 100 yahoo jumps and not weep like a baby at the end. But in seriousness, it felt damn good to come out of this training cycle in one piece. I guess I shed tears of relief that I didn't let myself down. I’m grateful for no injuries and I’m grateful to Patrick for creating a programme that pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that I needed a GPS and sniffer dogs to find my way back. Training is about getting uncomfortable and making yourself comfortable with that discomfort. Does that even make sense? I know what I mean, hopefully you figure it out with your training...

Thanks to my Cheetah staff crew for the laughs and seeing your happy faces each week on video calls.
And special shout to our honorary Cheetah and my virtual training buddy David M, who so kindly gave me an almost daily heads up of what horrors were in store with the workouts as he had them done and dusted at the crack of dawn whilst I was still procrastinating at midnight. Kenzai people are the best.

RIP KB3 and 2016, gone but never forgotten. 2017 I’m ready for ya baby!

ps. Sorry for the f- word in the 1st image, but sometimes only the f word can sum things up succinctly.


Day 87 - inches vs kgs
Waist

I see some of the Jade ladies getting disheartened about the lack of movement on the scales. I know some of us in Indigo had the same frustrations, so I wanted to share some pics.  I started pcp with a goal of dropping to 50kg from the 53.4kg that I started at. It didn't seem like much of a target, but it was a weight I remember being in my 20's, and I wanted to see that number again. It hasn't got there yet, and is hovering around the 52kg mark, so I could say I didn't reach my goal. But the truth lies elsewhere.  I  blogged on day 44 that I had dropped a dress size and had gone out and bought new clothes. Today I wore a pair of the smaller trousers bought on that day, and they are around 2 inches too big at the waist now. And my watch, which sat comfortably on my wrist on day 1 is now sliding up my arm. So if there's one thing you need to do to spur you on to day 90, it's to  just ignore whatever those damn scales are telling you ...the tape measure is definitely your best friend.


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