Twelve months ago, while vacationing in Hawaii, I came up with the crazy idea of making 2014 the year of, among other things, the Fitness Project. The vision was simple enough - zero in on one form of exercise and one dietary focus per month for twelve months. Do it. Learn from it. Write about it.

2013: The Vision
2014: The Execution




















The execution was more complicated. I quickly learned that without an undue amount of stress it was hard to focus on both diet and a particular workout regime simultaneously and so I pretty quickly jettisoned the diet part and spent what limited free time I had delving into whatever the fitness focus of that month was - be it making it to a yoga class or swimming across mountain lakes.

What was both hard and rewarding was making it all work - paying to go to a barre class when a run out the back door would have been free and way more efficient; having the discipline to go to a tough interval class when all I wanted to do was chill out; rallying friends and family to partake in the experience I was creating. I also learned how woefully inadequate I could feel in so many dimensions - too intense for yoga, too chill for high-intensity interval training, too fat for ballet, too skinny for zumba... and how empowered I could feel - wakening from a deep meditation, crushing a workout, finding strength and length, and shaking my bootie!!!

I am one year older, one year wiser, a wee bit fitter and glad to share some of the highlights from my Fitness Project experience:

Month One - Yoga
Lessons from a Month Dedicated to Yoga: I spent a lot of time looking at myself this month, in the mirror and from all angles in different asanas. By my hundredth downward dog I got to really appreciate the crepey folds of my two-baby belly. In all backbends and standing poses the third eye of my now-outy (i.e., herniated abdomen) belly button winked at me. It was a challenge to not grimace at the imperfections that I usually avoid by not looking. But if these things were impossible to ignore, I found that in the end it was possible to withhold judgement. It may not be as far as complete self-acceptance, but it is a long way from self-loathing. Namaste.

Month Two - High-Intensity Interval Training
The Seven Minute Workout: When its 10 PM and I am a full-days-work-and-kids, two glasses of wine, one bag of trail mix, and one car-fully-packed-for-the-ski-trip into the evening I find that now is when I can finally start thinking about what I might be able to squeeze in for a workout today. Not the ideal, certainly, but the for real.

Month Three - Rock Climbing
Jailhouse: What was so interesting to me about what turned out to be an awesome climbing day, was how natural it felt to be out there, climbing hard on real rock, even though I haven’t done it in so long. Though I am in no shape to climb well at Jailhouse, I was surprised to note how instantly my body reacted to the experience and how effortlessly I was able to drop back into the “zone”. As soon as I started climbing I felt a strange, but familiar calm come over me. It is very real up there on the exposed rock face. The slightest error can mean a fall, not necessarily an injury, but the unsettling feeling of falling uncontrolled through space until the jarring catch of the rope arrests your trajectory. Knowing the consequences, my mind stills everything else and it is just me, and my hands and my feet, and the suck and pivot of my hips, and the spotting of the next hold and the movement – powerful and deliberate. I will feel my body shaking with exertion, but as long as I am calm, as long as I can control my breathing and still my thoughts, I know that I am OK and that I will make it through. It is only when the panic takes over in my mind and I begin to doubt that my fingers and body finally give way and I hurdle through a short gasp of space. Such is the art and the sport of rock climbing.

Month Four - Biking
Have Bike Will Travel: When the time came to leave - nobody wanted to. We all could have spent a few more hours playing and then on our bikes going somewhere else, having another adventure. We test drove the experience of the self-powered get-away and everyone loved it. I am guessing I will get emphatic Yes!es next time around when I suggest another (and longer) such excursion - especially now that my kids have biked to the top of a ridge and gazed waaay down to the ocean and said Wow! We did it!

Month Five - Strength Training
Boot Camp(ing): So next time you are with a group of people, see if you can be the spark that ignites some positive action towards improving everyone's health and fitness - your own, your families, and your friends. Trust me, the beer and the s'mores taste even better after a great workout.

Month Six - Running
Five Reasons to Love Trail Races: For all of the above reasons (and the million I can’t articulate), and despite the crippling next-day soreness, I love, love, love trail running and racing. You will never PR in a trail race, but you will laugh, cry, bleed, leap, fall, fly, pant, gasp, wretch, heave, crawl, jump, climb, descend, smile, grimace, and most of all, and best of all, you will RUN.

Month Seven - Swimming
Better Than a Pool: Aside from the irrational fear of encountering a dead body and the somewhat less irrational fear of being bitten by a fish or something, I literally jump in every chance I get to swim in a natural water body - be it a lake, a river, or the mighty ocean.

Month Eight - Fitcations
Five Reasons to Just Go!: The world looks different from a mountain top. It feels different after a swim in a cold, clear lake. It smells different among towering trees and strong breezes. It tastes different after a heart-pounding run and a day spent playing. Get out and feel that difference for yourself and don't be afraid to try something new - who knows what you might be capable of.

Month Nine - Workouts For People Who Don't Like to Sweat
Knobby Socks and Pelvic Tilts: Admittedly I was a little snobby coming into these classes about what the level of effort might actually be. I anticipated gliding through a workout with a bunch of well-coiffed women who would be more concerned about their pedicures and outfits than the quality or intensity of the workout. To be honest, however, it turns out that I enter such a realm of intense focus and suffering during these classes that I literally don't even notice that anyone else is in the room. All I see is myself in the mirror - covered with a sheen of sweat and breathing intensely as I will myself to keep pace with the instructions and overcome the burning fire and uncontrolled shaking of my muscles.

Month Ten - Up With The Sun
On a Cool, Crisp Dawn: The most successful people I know and read about credit part of their success to the discipline of early morning exercise. While my aspirations are not of greatness, I do have a strong desire to maintain my fitness despite the constant time and life pressures I am facing at the moment. Shoehorning my workouts into the early daylight hours presents a small sliver of possibility, assuming my marriage can withstand it.

Month Eleven - Dance
For the Joy of It: Said "moves" were very sexy as demonstrated by the (did I mention curves-out-to-here) instructor. As performed by me and the many other stiff, slightly awkward and overly-enthusiastic dancers in the room they looked more like moves that would have made Elaine from Seinfeld proud. Note: That didn't stop us.

Month Twelve - Hour of Power
Eight Reasons to Love the Night Run: Between the hours of 9 and 10 PM no one expects anything of me. My husband is working, my kids are sleeping, and work is done for the day. I can take this time for me without anyone noticing and relish in "me time" without the least bit of guilt. I also give something to my dog - so my selfishness is really unselfishness.

And so there it is, a sampling of the journey through 2014. A lot of work, a lot of play and a few good workouts in between. What now for 2015? Not sure yet but I have a few more days here to think of something!
Wishing you a joyous 2015
Here are the workouts I completed as part of my 2014 Fitness Project:

Month Twelve - Hour of Power
  • December 1
    • Run 
    • Weights
  • December 2
    • Run 
  • December 3
    • Run 
    • Weights
  • December 4
    • Run 
    • Weights
  • December 5
    • Run 
    • Spin
    • Zumba
  • December 6
    • Run 
    • Push ups / dips
  • December 7
    • Run 
    • Spin
    • Weights
  • December 8
    • Run 
    • Yoga
  • December 9
    • Run 
    • TRX
  • December 10
    • Spin
    • GRIT
  • December 11
    • Run
  • December 12
    • Spin
    • Weights
  • December 13
    • Run
  • December 14
    • Yoga
    • Hike
  • December 15
    • Run 
    • Weights
  • December 16
    • Spin
    • TRX
  • December 17
    • Spin
    • TRX
  • December 18
    • Run
    • Weights
  • December 19
    • Spin
    • Zumba
  • December 20
    • Run
  • December 21
    • Run
  • December 22
    • Yoga
    • Run
  • December 23
    • Run
  • December 24
    • Yoga
  • December 25
    • Run
    • TRX
  • December 26
    • Run
    • Yoga
  • December 27
    • Run
  • December 28
    • Run
    • Yoga
  • December 29
    • Run
  • December 30
    • Run
  • December 31
    • Run
    • Yoga

Month Eleven - Ditch the Workout, Join the Party
  • November 3
  • November 11
    • Hip Hop
  • November 14
  • November 16
  • November 17
  • November 20
  • November 21
  • November 22
  • November 23
  • November 24
  • November 25
  • November 26
  • November 27
  • November 28
  • November 29
  • November 30
Month Ten - Up With the Sun
  • October 1
    • Yoga
  • October 2
  • October 3
    • Run / Pure Barre
  • October 4
    • Mountain Biking
  • October 5
    • Mountain Biking
  • October 6
  • October 7
    • Weights
  • October 8
  • October 9
    • Spin
  • October 10
    • Run / TRX
  • October 11
    • Run
  • October 12
    • Spin / Weights
  • October 13
    • Yoga
  • October 14
    • Elliptical
  • October 15
    • TRX
  • October 16
    • Treadmill run / core
  • October 17
    • Hill run / TRX
  • October 18
    • Run/Spin/Weights
  • October 19
    • Yoga/Run
  • October 20
    • TRX/Yoga
  • October 21
    • Run
  • October 22
    • TRX
  • October 23
    • Run
  • October 24
    • Bike
  • October 25
    • Yoga
  • October 26
    • Run
  • October 27
    • Run
  • October 28
  • October 29
    • Run
  • October 30
    • Run
  • October 31
    • TRX
Month Nine - Workouts For People Who Don't Like to Sweat
  • September 1
  • September 2
  • September 3
    • Tracy Anderson Method
  • September 4
    • Tracy Anderson Method
  • September 5
    • Pure Barre
  • September 6
    • Dailey Method 
  • September 7
  • September 8
    • Pure Barre
  • September 9
    • Tracy Anderson Method
  • September 10
  • September 11
  • September 12
    • Pure Barre
  • September 13
  • September 14
  • September 15
  • September 16
    • Tracy Anderson Method
  • September 17
    • Pure Barre
    • Pure Barre
  • September 18
  • September 19
    • Pure Barre
  • September 20
  • September 21
  • September 22
  • September 23
    • Pure Barre
  • September 24
  • September 25
  • September 26
  • September 27
    • Pure Barre
  • September 28
  • September 29
  • September 30
    • Pure Barre


Month Eight - Fitcations
  • August 1
    • Gym workout
  • August 2
    • Run
  • August 3
    • Run 7 miles
    • SUP 45 minutes
  • August 4
    • 5 K
  • August 5
    • Climb South Sister
  • August 6
    • Run 7 Miles
  • August 7
    • Mountain Bike 2 hours
    • SUP 45 minutes
  • August 8
    • Run 10 Miles
  • August 9
    • Run 4 miles
  • August 10
    • Gym workout
  • August 11
    • Bouldering
  • August 12
    • Run
  • August 13
    • Top-roping
  • August 14
  • August 15
    • Run
  • August 16
    • Run
  • August 17
    • Spin class / Weights
  • August 18
    • Run / TRX / Yoga
  • August 19
    • Run / weights / Yoga
  • August 20
    • Run / Yoga
  • August 21
    • Spin class
  • August 22
    • 2 hour adventure run
  • August 23
    • 4 mile trail run / SUP
  • August 24
    • 4 mile trail run / SUP
  • August 25
    • 3 mile run
  • August 26
    • Spin / TRX / Yoga
  • August 27
    • Run
  • August 28
    • Spin / TRX
  • August 29
    • 4 mile trail run / SUP
  • August 30
    • 9 Mile trail run

Month Seven - Swimming and Salads



Month Six - Running and No Sugar

Month Five - Strength Training and Low-Carb
Month Four - Biking and Vegan

  • April 1
    • Bikemute
    • Garage Spin
  • April 2
    • Bikemute
  • April 3
    • Sweeney Ridge Ride
    • Bikemute
  • April 4
    • Sweeney Ridge Mountain Bike Ride
  • April 5
  • April 6
    • Spin class
    • GG Bridge ride
  • April 7
    • Garage Spin
  • April 8
  • April 9
    • Road bike ride
  • April 10
  • April 11
  • April 12
  • April 13
    • Spin class
  • April 14
    • Garage Spin
  • April 15
  • April 16
    • Spin Class
  • April 17
    • Garage Spin
  • April 18
    • Garage Spin
  • April 19
  • April 20
    • Spin Class
  • April 21
    • Garage Spin
  • April 22
    • Garage Spin
  • April 23
    • Garage Spin
  • April 24
  • April 25
  • April 26
    • Botano SP Mountain Bike Ride
  • April 27
    • Spin Class
    • Sweeney Ridge Mountain Bike Ride
  • April 28
    • Bikemute
  • April 29
  • April 30
    • Bikemute
    • Sweeney Ridge Mountain Bike Ride
Month Three - Rock Climbing and Vegan
  • March 1
    • Bouldering session
  • March 2
  • March 3
    • Bouldering pyramids until failure
  • March 4
  • March 5
    • Bouldering session
  • March 6
  • March 7
    • Bouldering session
  • March 8
  • March 9
    • Lead climbing session
  • March 10
    • Double bouldering session
  • March 11
  • March 12
    • Bouldering session
  • March 13
  • March 14
  • March 15
  • March 16
  • March 17
    • Bouldering session
  • March 18
  • March 19
    • Bouldering session
  • March 20
  • March 21
  • March 22
  • March 23
  • March 24
    • Bouldering session
  • March 25
  • March 26
    • Bouldering session
  • March 27
  • March 28
  • March 29
  • March 30
  • March 31
    • Bouldering session
Month Two - High-Intensity Interval Training and Gluten Free
Month One - Yoga and Intermittent Fasting
  • January 1
  • January 2
  • January 3
  • January 4
    • Fast (24 hrs)
  • January 5
  • January 6
  • January 7
    • Bikram Yoga
  • January 8
    • Power Yoga
    • Fast (20 hrs)
  • January 9
  • January 10
  • January 11
  • January 12
    • Vinyasa Flow
    • Workshop: Strong and Integrated Core
  • January 13
    • Bikram
  • January 14
  • January 15
    • Power Yoga
  • January 16
    • Power Yoga
    • Fast (20 hours)
  • January 17
    • Shiva Rae Workshop
    • Core Power Flow
  • January 18
  •  January 19
    • Vinyasa Flow
  • January 20
    • Bikram 
    • Fast (24 hours)
  • January 21
    • Rhythmic Vinyasa Flow
  • January 22
    • Vinyasa Flow
  • January 23
    • Vinyasa Flow
  • January 24
    • Vinyasa Flow
    • Power Yoga
  • January 25
    • Bhakti Flow
  • January 26
    • Vinyasa Flow
    • One Yoga
  • January 27
    • Bikram
  • January 28
    • Vinyasa Flow
  • January 29
    • Hatha FLow
    • Bikram
  • January 30
  • January 31
    • Vinyasa Flow
To learn more about my Fitness Project, please contact me at mommytasker@gmail.com,MommyTasker.com, or connect with me on Facebook.

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