Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Big Pose

I know enough about yoga now to know that Gloria was working up to a big pose. We did a lot of hip openers but I got the reminder that I needed mid-class as we worked on stretching our hamstrings: no shaking, no shivering, no struggling. And the big pose? Bird of paradise...

Alison and I headed to the Riverfront after practicing. Strange weather that we're having -- San Diego-like breeze but lots of humidity.

At first I wondered what was wrong with my bike. It felt like it was barely moving. Wondered if the bike shop person had adjusted my brakes so much that they were preventing the wheels from moving freely. Also wondered if my tires were properly inflated.

There was nothing wrong with my bike. I was struggling and so was Alison. We did about 8.5 miles and called it a day...

I've had my eye on the graffiti below for some time. For some reason, I've dubbed it Michael Jackson. I've also had my eye on the flowers which have an interesting make-up and finally decided to start blooming.

Kayakers caught my attention as well. Didn't even know that people were allowed to kayak among the barges.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Long Enough

Because of yummy weather yesterday, I felt compelled to go to an outdoor yoga class.

There ended up being a sub who's into Qigong and we did this exercise that I've done before but wouldn't think to do on my own. We started by extending our right arms. With an open palm, we patted the inside of our arms then the outside and we moved on from there and ended up with the sacrum.

Before we got to the Qigong part, we stayed on our backs long enough for me to get enchanted by the blue of the sky, the arteries of the trees and the birds flying by.

After yoga I scampered off to Zumba -- kind of a backwards way to do things but that's the way the classes fell.

Slept beautifully and feel like it was the yoga with a side of Qigong that was instrumental or maybe it was everything.

Need to find a shorter version of this exercise...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Melissa Episode

According to my Fitbit progress report, Sunday was my most active day.

I remember Sunday well. It was the day that I finished watching the Melissa episode of Extreme Weight Loss.

When Heidi goes to Melissa's house to tell her that she has been chosen, Heidi witnesses Melissa driving a lawnmower, a short distance, to retrieve mail.

Melissa goes from riding a lawnmower to executing all manner of physical feats. I was inspired by Melissa's realization: I should have been living my life this way the entire time. I also had equipment envy. The contestants get to play with such cool toys.

Inspired by Extreme Weight Loss, I practiced yoga, walked, swung (kettlebell) and danced. Took time to stretch as well but...

I don't think that my hamstrings have ever been as bunched up and tight as they were the last two days. I suspect that it was a combination of cycling, deadlifts and squat/curls.

Did downward facing dog (in various places), stretched more, took an Epsom salt bath and, finally, relief -- how sweet it is...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Further Down The Road

The New One
As I made my pre-bicycling smoothie, started singing How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? out of nowhere and it stuck in my head for quite a while. My heart didn't feel broken but maybe it broke sometime in the middle of what felt like a rather long week...

A bunch of parks and recreation folks reminded me of a chain gang and I started singing a very off-key version of Chain of Fools. Also sang Home on the Range and Happy. Poor Alison had to listen to me sing.

Alison and I decided to tackle the entire Riverfront Trail since we both felt really good. After bicycling on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, I'll round it up to a nice even tally of 22 miles...

Finally tackled something on my to-do list. It dawned on me that I have a man's bike with a seat made for, surprise, a man. The bike felt right and still feels right except for the seat (past tense).

Could have saved myself money if I had purchased a woman's bike but you know what they say about hindsight.

Picked up my bike at lunch yesterday, headed to the shop after work and consulted with a tech. My favorite part of this visit was the tech's rather involved explanation of why my brakes are making noise. At any rate, my ride was much more comfortable today but the real test will be my assessment of the situation tomorrow and, further down the road, the challenge of back-to-back rides.

Reward for Going Uphill

Cakeway to the West, Happy 250 STL
Bicycling on  Chain of Rocks Bridge
Arch's Reflection

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Process

Had planned to go to Bhakti yoga again but when Kelly told me that she wouldn't be able to attend, I decided not to go. Didn't have the nerve to go without her.

Also missed Alison's company at Zumba but I've been going to Zumba long enough to have the comfort of familiar faces.

Stomping was on the Zumba program and I really enjoyed it. Made me remember the step classes that I used to go to... I was a bit out of my comfort zone since Alisha subbed for Shawny which meant the songs and routines were mostly new to me but who needs a comfort zone?...

Got to visit an office with plenty of windows. Plus, the ceilings were high and the walls were painted white with the exception of a huge circular area in the ceiling painted a lovely shade of blue. Everything was amazing including the break room and deck area. I totally envisioned myself in one of the longue chairs on the deck...

View from 16th Floor
Practiced yoga outdoors yesterday and got my butt-kicked from the very beginning since Kim started off with planks. About 15 minutes in, I got with the program but, initially, had doubts about surviving. Savasana was incredible. Kim told us that she would walk us through the process of relaxing and she delivered.

Wait, wait...let me get this picture.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nowhere To...

As I wrapped up my 10th lap and I was about to switch from the front crawl to the backstroke, I saw shadows then sensed someone getting closer to me.
Can we get in your lane? We don't have anywhere else to go.
The way the woman phrased the sentence made me think about a teaser on the local news about marijuana refugees.

The two got into my lane and we gave each other plenty of space. As usual, having someone else in the lane made me swim more efficiently. Around lap 20, another lane opened up. The woman who had been swimming with me exited and said Thanks for letting us get in your lane. I wish that I owned it! Even if I did own it, I'd still share...

Felt like my body was just warming up at the 20 lap mark and there was a part of me that wanted to swim longer but I wanted to shower then stop by Target. Also ended up going to another store and I'm so wired right now...

Got my weekly progress report from Fitbit:

Most Active Day: Saturday
Least Active Day: Friday

That report is not surprising since I tend to go all out on Saturday even when I'm not bicycling and Friday is my rest day.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

There Are Hurdles

Would did you do to my brother? my aunt Girt asked as soon as I took a seat last Sunday.

Knew that my uncle had struggled at the end of the bike ride last Saturday but he'd also told me that he had been riding around in his neighborhood etc.

Also, when I ride with others, I try to make sure that I stop for breaks. Actually, when I'm by myself I like to stop too. At any rate, I don't want to be the reason that someone gets discouraged and doesn't try an activity again...

Dred and Harriet Scott Statue, Old Courthouse

Set out on my own this morning and didn't know if I wanted to tackle the whole trail or do part of the ride. Since I didn't have anything pressing standing in my way, I headed toward the end of the trail.

About 15 miles into the ride, I struggled to get close to the Arch again. Even though I'd been drinking water and had an orange, I know why those wise bicyclists have two water cages. Got home and slammed down four glasses of water. Checked my email and had a new Fitbit badge. Supposedly, I've climbed as high as a hot air balloon travels (2,000 floors) since I've had the Fitbit.

It's nice to have an electronic cheerleader and validation for knocking out those hills on the Riverfront Trail. There are hurdles in the form of a wicked incline that you have to get up before crossing over and getting to the end of the trail at the Chain of Rocks Bridge and, hello, you get to immediately climb back up an incline once you decide to stop looking at the Mississippi River and head back downtown.

SLPD Representing...
Geese Representing...
No matter which gear I had to change into, I was determined not to walk my bike up a single hill  -- my second challenge of the day. Mile tally: 21.6...

Selfie For The Shy Person

Heat, 1; 'Drea, 0 
Listened to several podcasts and almost fell off my bike when I heard a StoryCorps episode about the Monson Motor Lodge incident that happened in St. Augustine, Fl. Several demonstrators jumped into the segregated pool and the manager poured acid in. I believe it was J. T. Johnson who said that he wasn't worried about the amount of acid and he also knew that they would be removed from the pool fairly soon.

It's hard for me to listen to We Shall Overcome and I'm pretty sure that I turned the sound down when Congress marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by singing that song but hearing the story of the Monson Motor Lodge made me think about how I so freely jump into any pool that I want...

On another note, the 'Fugee and I watched The Lunchbox last night. In her words, it's a lovely movie.