I feel like I keep talking about this (because I mentioned it on my Facebook page and now here), but the thing is it is a really big deal for me. So, sorry about the bragging.
On Thursday, for the first time in my life, I managed to do a pull-up. It was crazy and I didn't actually think it was going to happen so soon. I just went to practice, and the next thing I knew I actually had my chin over the bar. I tried a repeat, but one was all I had in me. That's OK. Now that I know I can do it, I'm going to keep working on it.
Never in a million years did I dream I would be achieving this milestone at the age of 40. When I was 20, I couldn't even run a mile and I could not do a push-up. I got plenty of exercise at the time, but I also got very little sleep (thank you, dorm life) and my diet was a mess. It was the height of the fat-free craze, so I pretty much lived on iceberg lettuce with fat-free ranch dressing, bagels with light cream cheese and pasta with marinara sauce. Gross! No wonder all my working out didn't result in fitness. Diet matters. Age does not.
Anyway, I know a lot of women want to achieve the elusive pull-up so I thought I would just share what I did to get there. First of all, I tried. Especially over the past couple of weeks, I tried every time I walked into the gym. Practice, practice, practice.
Also, I had a good night's sleep the night before and my diet had been on track. In other words, I had had no sugar or alcohol. On Wednesday night, after a really rough day, I wanted a glass of wine but decided against it. If I had poured the wine, I am pretty sure the pull-up would still be a goal rather than a reality. Alcohol has a huge (negative) affect on how I feel and how I sleep. I truly believe that if you want to sleep well and kick butt at the gym, alcohol is best avoided and your diet needs to be clean. Not that I always avoid alcohol (I don't). And sometimes I have bad food days, too. But if you're working toward a goal or have something important coming up, maybe save the vino and sugar for another time?
Finally -- and I think this is probably the key right here -- after months of saying I wanted to do a pull-up but not even coming close, I started to believe it was possible. I started to have faith in myself. I also work out with a bunch of cool people and I have a coach who believes in me, too. They all cheered me on and they totally get why this is important to me. I mean, it is just a pull-up, right? Well, no. It is not just a pull-up. It is huge.