By Nicole Tidwel

I can come up with so many reasons to skip strength training. Laziness, fatigue, thinking I’m strong enough already … the list goes on and on. After my recent double mastectomy, I knew I had lost a lot of stamina and muscle, but a recent ride without stirrups really highlighted that for me. I only rode sans stirrups for about five minutes, but was sore for three days after. Time to get myself in gear!

One of my biggest reasons for not strength training has been my four rescue dogs. Yes, I am a crazy dog lady! The only excuse I can give is that they are all small, so its really like one big dog — at least that’s what I tell my husband. After working all day, I don’t want to leave my dogs again to go to the gym. I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of a crazy dog lady.

Enter body weight exercises! I can do them at home, without any equipment, so no excuses. I have tried YouTube videos, exercise plans from Pinterest, and using the Aaptiv app on my phone. Here are some pros and cons of each:

YouTube Videos

Pros: See the exercises performed by a real person
Cons: Can be difficult to see/follow on a phone. I’m sure someone more technologically inclined than I could sync a phone to the TV, but we all have different gifts and that isn’t mine!

Exercise Plans (diagrams of exercises and reps)

Pros: Once you’ve pinned it, they are very easy to find
Cons: You have to find internal motivation, since there isn’t a person cheering you on

Aaptiv app
Pros: The music and trainer are both motivating, many different kinds of classes
Cons: Since there isn’t a visual component, you need to already know how to perform the moves

This Back On Track #BOTSQUAD challenge has really pushed me to work out, even when I’m not wanting to (all the time). Being accountable to others is a huge motivator for me, and has been giving me the push I need to get healthier.

I am riding in a show this weekend. For those of you who have read my previous post, I tried to show four and a half weeks after surgery, and three days back in to riding, and it went exactly how you would think it would – not great! I’m hopeful that with three more weeks of exercise under my belt this show will be more successful. Fingers crossed!

You can learn more about #BOTSQUAD member Nicole Tidwell here.