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12 Weeks Later... My BHIP Fitness Reflection

10:10 AM

The second best piece of paper I ever got from UCLA. 12 weeks of working out at 7am, culminating today. Proud of my dedication, consistency, and seeing something difficult to completion. #UCLA #bhip #workingout #healthandwellness #fitness #fitspo
A true testament to my gangsta...
At 5:50 (terribly late) this morning I dragged myself out of bed, nervous and dreading the last day of BHIP (Bruin Health Improvement Program). I had been hearing rumors about running miles, a million pushups, burpees, squats, and more. With a cup of clean coffee in hand, I pressed ahead, anxious about what the final workout held.

It wasn't that bad.

Depending on how much time you had, you could either complete a Murph or Smurph (1/2). It was hot at 6:50am (71 degrees) and I know I wasn't properly hydrated, so I opted for the 1/2:

Run 1/2 mile
150 deep squats (like too-short shake that monkey scrub the ground deep)
100 pushups
50 ring rows (akin to a pull-up)
Run 1/2 mile.

At the end of my semi-grueling workout (the worst part by far was the pushups), I was awarded the certificate of completion and t-shirt you see above. I walked away from the track swelling with pride and accomplishment. I stuck with it. I did it. For 12 weeks, I got out of bed before the sun was up, and pushed myself through an hour long session of some of the most challenging workout combinations imaginable, on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Here are my 12 reflections for the 12 week program:

12. Regular exercise requires commitment. At this point in the game, working out has become a regular thing for me. Although there are some days where I just don't feel like it, I still manage to get some movement in. I've learned to accept that taking a brisk walk, or a workout bike is still a whole heck of a lot better than doing nothing at all.

11. Getting to campus so early made for great traffic on the 10W and 405N, and I also got great parking. For non-Angelenos, this isn't a big deal. But when you can make it from Adams/LaBrea to UCLA in 15 minutes or less, that is nothing short of God at work!

10. I can't eat before working out in the morning. Some folks can, I just happen to be one of the ones who can't. It makes me incredibly nauseous.

9. You don't have to know someone's name to be an encouragement to them. For the past 12 weeks, I have been in a workout class/group of about 15 or so people. I know maybe one or two names, but the camaraderie built around toughing it out together surpasses that fact. We high-fived, cheered, and encouraged eachother, day after day.

8. 12 weeks flies by. It seems like just yesterday, I was learning to correct my squat and deadlift form. Next thing you know, I'm running up and down stadium stairs carrying a 50lb sand bag. Focus on knocking down one day at a time. It's not about how many days lie ahead, it's about how many you've already conquered!

7. Sometimes, willpower and determination will be the only things to pull you through. There were mornings when I absolutely loathed the idea of getting out of my bed to work out. In particular, those were the days it rained. But I kept repeating to myself, you'll never forgive yourself if you quit now. So I got up, and got kicked around in the morning, so I wouldn't be kicking myself later.

6. I am so grateful for what I learned, in terms of gaining correct form to complete workouts. I used to wonder why my knees were in such pain after squats. I was doing them wrong. Now, I'm squatting away like a happy camper -- and my the difference in my legs tell the story!

5. Even though my pushup form is wack, I feel stronger than ever. Last weekend, I picked up my almost 9 year old nephew, just to see if I could. I used to pick him up all the time when he was younger, but since he started sprouting like a bean stalk, I haven't done much in the way of that lately. So when I did it last weekend, I shocked him and myself. And I hit him with this reminder: just because you're almost as tall as me doesn't mean I can't still handle you. Boom. Lol.

4. I didn't lose a ton of weight, or a bunch of inches. But that doesn't mean I'm not healthier than I was. I'm stronger. I can run faster. My endurance is better. I can lift heavier weights (properly). The smaller jeans are coming, in due time....just gotta work on #2!

3. There's no greater sense of accomplishment than seeing something to completion, to the best of your ability. Point. Blank. Period.

2. Exercise without proper nutrition is (almost) pointless. The biggest eye opener for me. Since I began my health and wellness journey about two years ago, I have been working out somewhat regularly (I've never missed more than 3 days of working out). But my diet still very much sucked. Some weeks it was okay-ish, others (namely weekends), were a complete clusterfudge of fried foods and sugar. As I have embarked on my 17 Day Clean Eating Challenge, I am seeking to shift the paradigm in a major way for myself. Perhaps after the end of this 17 days, I will begin to see some of the changes I truly desire, and keep going from there. It's true: you can't out-exercise a bad diet. Take it from me. You won't necessarily gain weight, but you won't lose it either.

1. You have to be mentally prepared to commit to the idea of health and wellness. Completely and wholly. What stops you from working out isn't a bum knee, a bad back, or a sore hip. It's you, and it's all in your mind. Often times, we give up on ourselves before our bodies are ready to quit. The biggest thing I've learned while running up and down hills I dreaded as a students, and doing pushups on the ground right after it rained was that it's all in your mind. If you think you can do it, you will do it. If you doubt yourself, you won't. Simple as that.

Have you recently embarked on a health and wellness journey? What knowledge have you gained in that process?

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