Sometimes, when you’re feeling down, you’ve gotta show yourself what you’re working with. After hitting a mental roadblock and beating myself up about it, I unintentionally spent a week pushing myself to build my confidence back up in ways that were really, really physically challenging for me.

Here’s my accidental schedule:

Sunday: HIIT Class with Nike Air Society

Such a dope day with @nikechicago! I died doing a HIIT workout in 90-degree weather, BUT I came back to life. LBS. ? #AirSocietyChi. cc: @tiffanimbell @_asarock

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Nike Chicago rolled out its Nike Air Society for the city’s women in style. Held in a super cool house in West Town that the Nike Chicago team transformed into the Nike Air Society HQ, the event was all about igniting creativity and fueling ambition.

So, after trying on Nike Air VaporMax — and trust me, they feel like you’re walking on air — I decided to be very ambitious by breaking away from all the fantastic mimosa-sipping, fashion styling, and beauty tipping to take a HIIT (high intensity interval training) class with Nike Trainer Kate Lemere.

Let me tell you, this class literally kicked my butt. Halfway through the class, my thighs, glutes, and everything else were all screaming for mercy. I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, but I just yelled and kept on going. And did I mention it was over 90 degrees at the time and we were working out outside on this beautiful patio?

No matter. I pushed through even though at every second, I wanted to quit. And to me, that’s something to be seriously proud about.

Wednesday: Double CYCMODE Classes

Whew! ? So much fun! via @cycmode: ・・・ 1st practice ride in the books. #thankyou

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So, still very much sore from Sunday’s killer HIIT workout, I met my good friend and trainer Paris Hollins at CYCMODE — the city’s soon-to-be newest indoor cycling studio that is different from others in a few ways.

First of all, it has Paris, and if you’ve ever worked out with her, you’ll know that her energy and focus can’t be matched. Secondly, CYCMODE uses these RealRyder bikes that pivot and tilt like you’re on a real, unstationary bike. If you don’t use your core, you can’t really balance … like at all. And thirdly, CYCMODE uses a fully immersive program that projects your trip on a 40-foot projection screen. You’re in this digital world that feels part workout, part IMAX movie and it’s incredible.

I got through a practice class with the CYCMODE team, barely holding on and struggling to keep the bike balanced as I rode. But, even in my extreme tiredness, when they said they were coming back in a few hours to do the ride again, I said, “Me too.” I busted out the second one much better than I’d done earlier and I was amazingly happy at my progress – even as my legs stopped working.

Sunday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

“Thanks to Kanye’s Workout Plan … ” #RnRChicago

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I’d planned on running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, but then life — like it often does — had gotten in the way. I wasn’t able to train the way I wanted to and had signed up for a conference that weekend, so it wasn’t looking good for those miles.

And then, I don’t know. Friday came and I felt guilty about not doing it. I was signed up, I’d did some training, and I knew I could run that length because I’d done it before. So, I texted my friend Fallon late Friday night and told her I’d run the half marathon alongside her. The next morning, after checking into man conference, I ran to another part of the convention center and grabbed my race bib. I was ready.

The day of the race, I was super nervous. What the hell had I’d just done? Was I ready? Well, if I weren’t, I was going to have to be and 13.1 miles later, I was crossing the finish line and kissing my medal.

When was the last time you physically pushed yourself to new levels? How did you feel afterward? Let me know and take a look at these photos from #AirSocietyChi.

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