Monday, May 23, 2016

The Good Things

Fantasy camp -- that's what the weekend feels like when I allow myself to think about all the good things that I manage to do without fretting about the unchecked items on my to-do list.

The notion of fantasy camp usually leads me to episode 55, The Visa, of Seinfeld when Kramer goes to a baseball fantasy camp and George has the following response:
Kramer goes to a fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp! People should plunk down $2,000 to live like him for a week. Do nothing, fall ass backwards in the money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating; now that's a fantasy camp.
I could get used to three-day weekends and back-to-back days of yoga.

Joy asked us if there was anything that we wanted to work on tonight and this woman answered core work -- her usual answer.  Another woman said that she was going to say core work as well but didn't want to "upset" anyone. It was kind of funny when the very people who asked for core worked started verbally protesting.

For the record, I will never ask for core work in a yoga class. I can do core work at home. I'm all about the gentle things while practicing yoga but I do recognize that not everyone has the same yoga goals...

One goal that I have is how to make fantasy camp extend deeper into the week. I've been watching Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown again. Like what this restaurant owner in Thailand said -- "That's why I've done it for 17 years and don't feel dispirited."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mondays and Fridays

I'm still thinking about the great, warm, salt bath of May 18th.* I stayed in the tub for about 80 minutes and, mostly, read O: The Oprah Magazine and, of course, I just got reinforcement as far as doing more yoga.

In Martha Beck's column she writes:

Mindfulness and meditation -- simply focusing on the present moment, observing one's feelings without judging or reacting to them in any way -- have been shown to increase neural density in parts of the brain related to well-being and raise the happiness set point that determines how we typically feel. (O, page 24)
Took a vacation day and, first things first, went to yoga at 9:30 with Alison and I was, again, surprised that the class was packed. I wanna go to yoga on Friday mornings at that time. Night shift workers? Vacationers? Students? Guess that I could go to work, leave and stay later. Honestly, that's doubtful on Friday seems long enough as it is.

Yoga class was playful but a little bit more intense that I usually like but I totally put myself in child's pose when it was necessary...

After yoga I went to pick up contacts that I'm sampling. Asked the clerk how she was doing and she told me You know, Mondays and Fridays. She went on to tell me that she is the only one out of her group of friends who has to work. She's also amazed that her kids are growing up so fast...

Next up was lawn mowing then errands. I also decided to go swimming and it was pretty funny when the lifeguard told me that this Friday is the last one for open swimming because the summer schedule will start soon.

The lap lanes were occupied so I swam in front of the lifeguards and I had a moment when I felt totally self-conscious and imagined that they were critiquing my technique but I talked myself out of it. My final statement to myself was that the lifeguards are there to watch over me and to intervene if I get into trouble...

I was just thinking how well my Swimsuit for All is holding up but noticed wear and tear today. Kind of like this shortini and I'm in the mood to try new things so maybe I'll purchase one.

*Also slept like a baby that night.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Before Yoga

The studio's Buddha.
There was one person running late for last night's yoga session and Joy took a moment and talked about new protocol. She will close the door as we're centering but will still let latecomers in.

Felt like she was preaching to the choir and also thought that the person was running five or ten minutes late -- not fifteen. I've been in a position before where I arrived a minute before class and turned around because I didn't want to be disruptive. Fifteen minutes late. Seriously? If you really need yoga and the starting time of class doesn't work, do yoga at home for one day or not at all. 

I do feel like I should be able to rise above a disturbance but it's amazing how people entering into a room of quiet energy can be distracting. I don't agree with Joy's solution but it's not my studio and I understand that she has to appeal to a variety of customers...

On another note, Dawn (new yoga buddy) and I were discussing our exercise schedules and how challenging it can be to double up on classes or make a class etc. In the end, I realize how I get stuck on a schedule and I decided to not go swimming tonight since I can go later on this week.

I've been craving more yoga and my attempts at a home practice are not satisfying and maybe that's something to work on.

Before yoga I did about 15 minutes of Kenpo X before I came to my senses. My hamstrings are so tight and kicking doesn't feel very nice at all. Despite the bike crash, I'm feeling more like myself and I'm ready to introduce more cardio into my regimen.

After savasana tonight, this woman asked me Are you still with us? I was...barely. While I enjoyed yoga, it still felt weird not to swim.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What Yoga Is For

The 'Fugee is out of the country and I usually spend Friday nights with her. Had plans to cut the grass, clean out the fish tank or go to Trader Joe's which would have eliminated the need for a Saturday trip. Instead, I crashed. Woke up around the time that Hawaii Five-0 came on and was surprised by the volume of  violence but immediately understood why my aunt Al likes the show...

The human body is amazing, duh. My hand abrasion is still rough but has closed. My leg bruise, which I'd start referring to as a planet, is fading.

Went on a Yoga Buzz field trip this morning to Eckert's. Although a bit chilly, the weather was great and practice was beautiful.

This woman next to me told a kid that Yoga is just to help you relax. Elle talked about our practice being a celebration of bounty. She had me cracking up before practice when she tried to get people to move closer -- There's like three acres up here she said. Elle was also pretty funny during practice.

We got a cone of custard after yoga then went on wagons to pick strawberries. I have a whole new appreciation for people who pick food and my container was small so I didn't pick a lot.

Alison's Son Fascinated by the Camels
The Pickers

Leg Bruise/Planet

Obligatory Pic from Field Trip

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

One Day

Went to visit my aunt Girt on Sunday and she asked me what I had been doing so I gave her the laundry list: yoga, grocery store, cooking, walking, mopping, laundering and I could feel her body language shift then she said You can't do everything in one day...

I was also in a bit of a blue funk on Sunday which Alison noticed after yoga. My funks tend to make Alison nervous but I usually tell her that there's a season for everything.

Went to yoga last night and it was a sweet class even though I felt banged up physically. It was also a good class because I was surrounded by familiars -- two to the right and two to the left. I like what Joy said about going to your edge and being with the pose...

Earlier in the day, Alison sent me a link to a blog post, The Yoga of Being Sad, that Elle of Yoga Buzz wrote. I swear, there's lots of synchronicity in the air...

Went swimming tonight and I usually greet the coaches of the youth swim team and, this time, the husband said that it had been two years since they'd met me and he asked me again about being a coach which just blows me away. Haven't they seen me swim?

I totally feel water competent but I don't feel like I'm a skilled enough swimmer to coach children. I also don't feel like I have the time. He was cracking me up, though, saying that he wanted someone mature because the young adults that he works with won't show up if, say, they've had an argument with their significant other.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Continuing The Ride

Faint Concrete Rash
Took Friday off because I needed a day off. Went to yoga with Alison then we went to have coffee. After coffee headed to the eye doctor and after the eye doctor, mowed the lawn.

Went bicycling this morning. Took my wheel off to get the bike in the car and even though I'd watched videos for quick release bicycle wheels, still didn't feel like I had it on right.

Got another lesson in paying attention to the present moment. As I attempted to change gears and look at the brake pads, I fell off my bike. Think it was because the chained suddenly slipped off while I was still trying to pedal. It's so disconcerting going from being upright to being on the ground and, of course, I had a flashback to when I sprained my ankle.

Several bicyclists stopped to see if I needed help and Alison offered to go back to the car to get bandages; she also offered to abort the ride. I told her that we could continue to ride and that I could get bandages from the visitor's center at mile three.

Didn't realize that the  Mary Meachum Festival was going on.  Two of the guys had already razzed me about my lack of a helmet. I pulled one away from the activities and asked him if he could give me bandages.

We continued to bicycle even though it was windy as hell. We stopped at various points and my bike must have hit the ground four times. During the crash, lost my bell and reflector light but, obviously, I could have lost way more than that.

Finally dislodge that little black piece of road...

I make a point of putting a flat repair kit in my satchel but I seldom carry any first aid items so I need to adjust my packing list.

Saw this woman who I hadn't seen in ages at the Meachum Festival. She's still taking pictures and I thought I recognized her as she turned her camera my way. I try not to worry about being photographed while chunky in public spaces but...

I asked the photographer what she'd been up to and she said Getting old; lucky me...

Also, I can barely keep my head above water. Can't even imagine what I'd do in 1866.

From Mary Meachum Festival

My grandmother had one...

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Went climbing last night and actually had a decent outing. At some point, Patti started talking about Star Wars Day. Let's just say that I once made the faux pas of talking about Star Trek while the topic was about the other Star...

Talking about Star Wars took me back to Jason Schmidt's memoir, "A List of Things...," when he verbally explodes on classmates plus a teacher and he has to go to mandated counseling. During the course of the first session, the counselor questions why Jason wants to be Han Solo instead of Luke Skywalker and Jason responds:

"...Luke wants to be a hero because he's got some stupid idea about being the good guy just to be the good guy. Han and Leia do it because they know why it's important. They understand what's at stake. Luke never even seems to think about that part of it...He just wants to be the guy with the blaster who everyone says 'thank you' to..."

"Luke doesn't want to be good. He wants everyone else to think he's good. It's different. That's why he's vulnerable to the dark side. He's full of pride..." (133-134)

On a completely different note, a new coworker is fascinated by all things Japanese which made me think of Ashima Shiraishi, a young Japanese climber. I read another article about Shiraishi and I like how her father told her to focus on her "small universe" a.k.a. her core.

Back to my new coworker... I love it that she has a tattoo of a Moomin. Too funny...

Not funny? There's no kombucha in this house.