Sunday, October 31, 2010

Month-End Review, October

As you all might have guessed by now, I kinda like looking back at the month that was. When I exercise, I note it but I'm usually surprised by what activity I engaged in the most.

My one-two punch was rocking climbing and Wii activities. While rock climbing burns a lot of calories, you don't spend a lot of time on routes; significant time is devoted to safety checks and, in our case, yakking.

I have a feeling that Gingersnapper will back me up on a few inclusions in my exercise tally. Yeah, I'm including the time I hand-washed my poor pollen and sap-saturated car and my stint raking leaves.

And, to tell the truth, raking leaves engaged my glutes more than Pilates or squats. There was also the added bonus of feeling like I was in one big Zen garden. Hope the neighbors didn't mind me singing somewhere in the vicinity of the top of my lungs...

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results: fat burner

  • Cardio Max, 1 x

  • Power Sports Drills, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Stretching, 4 x's

  • Bicycling, 2 x's

    Car Washing, 1 x

    Cardio and Muscle Class, 3 x's

    Lawn Mowing, 1 x

    Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 3 x's

  • Raking Leaves, 1 x

    Rock Climbing, 9 x's

    Swimming, 5 x's

    Walking, 9 x's

    Wii Fit Plus, 16 x's

    * * *

    Route/Rock Climbing Tally for Oct. 31st and it was scary y'all:

  • Kristin's Farewell, 5.8

  • Life in the Pack, 5.8

  • Billy Goat Chips & Life in the Pack, 5.8 (Combination i.e. rainbow climbing)

  • Where the Beer Flows Like Wine, 5.8

  • Now, That's More Like It!, 5.9 (See Below)

  • Photosystem, 5.9

  • Six Week Warrior, 5.9

  • Slammed, 5.9 (Attempted)

  • How was your October?

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    I Owed It To Myself

    I bought a Wii with birthday money but, first, I went through my usual nail-biting of contemplating want vs. need.
    Me to Patti: I'm thinking about getting a Wii but...

    Patti: Did you enjoy it (when I borrowed Kate's)?

    Me: Yes.

    Patti: Then you owe to yourself to get one.
    I was also able to get a Wii charger. My folks were so kind to me and, yet, I haven't started on the thank you notes.

    No one with a clutter problem should be allowed to get a Wii.

    So much packaging and the manual for the Wii is about the same size as my car manual.

    Yesterday, I got so caught up in the obstacle course on Wii Fit Plus that I jumped on the Wii board. The game reset and I got a reminder that one should not be jumping on the board.

    I picked up some games from the library

    and I don't know if Wii conceptualizes games better but I haven't been really digging the videos that I checked out.

    I still love the library -- even when I'm a guest. I didn't tell you all (unless you follow me on Twitter) about my Las Vegas cabbie story. I called a cab and when I asked the gentleman to take me to the library, he was deeply disappointed, wanted to go to The Strip but no one from my hotel ever wanted to go to The Strip and in 32 years no one had ever asked him to go to the library.

  • #1 It annoys me when people exaggerate.

  • #2 The cabbie was the one lacking in common sense because the hotel that I stayed at had a shuttle that would take you to The Strip. So, why would anyone staying at the hotel pay for a cab ride when they had access to a free shuttle???

  • You would have been so proud of me. I didn't get an attitude AND I stayed engaged.

    What's been one of your most memorable birthday gifts that you've been given or that you've given to yourself?

    By the way, I often have this song stuck in my head now:

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Overheard At The Gym, II

  • If you turn that equation (photosynthesis) around, it's combustion. Chris (one of my climbing partners)

  • Stuck Climber: I don't know what to do.

  • Belayer: Keep going up.

  • Less blood in the feet, more blood in the hands. A climber that I was sitting next to; we sighed after taking our rock climbing shoes off.

  • I have a lot of vacation time but not a lot of money. (new, gray-eyed) Mike's assessment on the beauty and cheapness of climbing outdoors.

  • After I got caught blatantly reading the back of someone's t-shirt with tea etiquette quotes.

  • My friends and I went camping and someone brought The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. We took turns reading in a British accent; it was so much fun.

  • Belayer: What are you doing?

  • Climber (on a 5.10 route): I don't know.

  • Climber: Oh, sh@t. Take!

  • Lead Climber: I hate falling.

  • Belayer: Then don't fall; keep on climbing.

  • Voilà.... F#%@.... Voilà.... Nice... (Two climbers who talk, primarily, in French but like to drop bombs in English.)
  • Monday, October 25, 2010

    Headstrong Into It

    I asked Ryan if he would talk with me about climbing; he agreed.

    ‘Drea: How long have you been rock climbing?

    Ryan: I’ve been rock climbing for about eight years now.

    ‘Drea: How’d you get into it?

    Ryan: Through the Girl Scouts.

    ‘Drea: Really? How so?

    Ryan: I came with a group adventure -- like a little group with the Girl Scouts; my cousin is a part of it and she invited me to come along and that’s pretty much how I got into rock climbing.

    ‘Drea: Did you like it when you first started?

    Ryan: I did. I loved it.

    ‘Drea: Have you taken any classes?

    Ryan: I’ve taken all the classes that we offer here at the gym. I’ve taken the six week class – all the basic stuff but the real gist of climbing comes with experience. You have to experience things to really get better at it.

    ‘Drea: Did you learn anything valuable from the classes?

    Ryan: Yeah, but you can’t really teach someone how to lead climb in a class; it’s more of your personal style…

    ‘Drea: So, what are you climbing nowadays?

    Ryan: Right now, I climb about a 5.11… Before I joined the military, I was climbing 5.12’s and V.7’s

    ‘Drea: What do you like more bouldering or climbing?

    Ryan: I will always be a boulderer but because my knees are bad, I can’t really take the landings anymore. So, I’ve just kinda of given up on it and gone back to climbing.

    ‘Drea: Well, I can’t do the bouldering; I don’t like the falling part of it. (laughing) What kind of technique do you rely on when you’re climbing?

    Ryan: Since I’m a boulderer at heart, I use more of my upper body which kind of sucks when you’re climbing routes because you get tired with using your upper body. I’ve been trying to teach myself to use my lower body…

    ‘Drea: How does that work? Because I know that I use my upper body more…

    Ryan: You’re supposed to use your toes and your footwork more and climb more with your frame instead of your muscles but I tend to over grip on things and really pull with them instead of pushing with my legs.

    ‘Drea: Yeah, that’s why my hands look all jacked up now.

    Ryan: Mine look pretty.

    ‘Drea: (laughing) …Are you involved in any other sports activities?

    Ryan: No.

    ‘Drea: So, rock climbing is it? How often do you get to climb?

    Ryan: When I’m not so busy with school, like in the summertime, I’ll be in here five days a week.

    ‘Drea: And you’ve done outdoor climbing, right?

    Ryan: I’ve been all over the country -- from New York to California.

    ‘Drea: What’s your favorite place outdoors?

    Ryan: It’s actually in New York City in Central Park.

    ‘Drea: Really?

    Ryan: There’s a boulder problem that I worked on for the entire time the first time that I was visiting New York City. It was a V.10 in Central Park and the name of the problem was Sweat of the Rapist...

    ‘Drea: :o….

    Ryan: It was really hard and it was a really cool route… Then, out in California, we went to Yosemite and I did some bouldering out there. Wyoming. Colorado. New Mexico -- all over the place.

    ‘Drea: Is there a certain way that you approach a route or do you pretty much figure it out as you go along?

    Ryan: The best way to do it is to look at it and get a feel for the moves first or, usually, I just go headstrong into it as hard as I can -- make my mistakes up the wall then I learn from my mistakes.

    ‘Drea: How long have you been lead climbing?

    Ryan: I'd say about six years.

    ‘Drea: What are some of your rock climbing goals?

    Ryan: Goals? I don’t really have many. I do it because I love the sport not because I want to be the best at it. I do it for me. I just want to be able to get in here more often because it does make me happy when I climb -- kinda like that runner’s high.

    ‘Drea: Yeah, I miss it too. Like now, my calves are hurting but I really want to get in here tomorrow to climb… What was your most memorable route?

    Ryan: My most memorable route was actually a boulder problem. I can’t remember the name of it. I think it ended up being a V.13 and I just worked on it all day in Laramie, Wyoming (by the state college). If you’ve ever been to Elephant Rocks, it’s probably the same texture....but on a grand scale and this boulder problem was right next to this like 1,000 foot wall and it was really over hung with a beautiful line and a dyno right in the middle and nasty crimps and nasty slopers. I worked on that for a good six hours.

    ‘Drea: What part of the military where you in?

    Ryan: I was in the army.

    ‘Drea: Do you mind telling me about your accident again?

    Ryan: I fell done a flight of steps and broke both patella, tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), MCL ( medial collateral ligament) and meniscus and fractured both tibia.

    ‘Drea: How did you get back to climbing condition?

    Ryan: Lots of physical therapy.

    ‘Drea: Was it painful? (Possibly the craziest question that I’ve asked so far…)

    Ryan: ...Like, right now, I’m still doing my physical therapy. I’m about a year and a half into it and it still hurts every day. Like walking from my bedroom to my kitchen to get a glass of milk hurts.

    ‘Drea: What kind of exercises do they have you doing?

    Ryan: It’s more of like strengthening the muscles around my knees to compensate for the joint damage to my knees. It’s a lot of stuff to strengthen my quads and my calves and they said that part of it is that I have overdeveloped calves and it’s kind of pulling on my kneecap… and that‘s why it still hurts so bad. The guy said my quads are underdeveloped and my calves are overdeveloped and he said that it could be from the way that I rode my bike -- all my life.

    ‘Drea: Do you still bicycle?

    Ryan: I try to. I have a little BMX bike. So, I tend to do stupid stuff on it.

    ‘Drea: Do you go on any trails around here?

    Ryan: It’s usually just city riding…

    ‘Drea: You said that climbing doesn’t bother your knees?

    Ryan: Climbing routes doesn’t bother my knees. It’s very low impact and I’m usually climbing in the overhang and it‘s a soft fall.

    ‘Drea: Did I ask you if you liked rock climbing the first time that you tried it?

    Ryan: Yes.

    'Drea: What did you like about it?

    Ryan: Everything…

    ‘Drea: If you were to tell someone about rock climbing and they didn’t know anything about it, what would you tell them?

    Ryan: It’s a lot of fun and you get out of it what you put into it.

    ‘Drea: All right. Thank you.

    Ryan: No problem.

    For my final pictures, I asked Ryan if I could get shots of his Where The Wild Things Are tattoo.

    Whenever I see Ryan in the gym this refrain, of course, pops into my head:

    The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes...

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Reality Testing

    The climbing crew is all over the place. Patti is dealing with some wall situation. It's Chris' son's birthday. Joe climbs as his schedule allows and Becky -- not sure what she's doing. All that to say, climbing will take place tomorrow; I shifted gears, called Anita who swims with me and doesn't mind going on Saturday or Sunday.

    I took my bike along too because today was gorgeous and I couldn't resist hitting Grant's Trail after swimming.

    I often feel like I need to say something like namaste before I get in the pool. Despite my struggle with front crawl breathing et al., the pool provides untold peace. In addition to working on front crawl breathing, I also worked on doing the sidestroke on my left side.

    By the way, I so want this Halloween-inspired swimming suit available at Swim Outlet. Then, I could really assume my identity as Super 'Drea. ☺ After all, I do change (quickly) into a lot of costumes. Really, you should see how fast I get from work to Kate's class and how I change clothes somewhere in between.

    And guess what? I just happened to win a $100 gift certificate from Swim O.

    Congratulations! has sent you a $100.00 gift certificate!


    Congratulations Andrea! You have won a $100 gift card in honor of our Twitter launch. Thank you for being a valued SwimOutlet customer!
    My shoulder feels great. I lifted my bicycle out of the basement and onto the bicycle rack with no problem and I also encountered no nasty tugs when I did the sidestroke. I wanna thank the academy my massage therapist who has been significant regarding my shoulder success.

    In other news, I felt that reality testing was in order.

    I have been quietly freaking out about the number on the scale rising. Ironically, my friend was uncluttering and came across some pictures of when I was really living large...

    I took a few pictures which set my mind at ease to a certain degree...

    If you exercise with others, does the scheduling ever get complicated?

    Hope you're having equally stunning weather in your town and that you were able to exercise outside.

    You are exercising, aren't you???

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    The Gospel According to Kate

    It's Tuesday and that means one thing -- Cardio and Muscle class led by Kate; it's the only exercise class that I attend.

    Whenever there's a substitute, it gives me a whole new appreciation for how well-structured and smooth Kate's class is. There has never been any doubt of how well she delivers a butt-kicking.

    I miss Kate when she's out but about 10 minutes into class, I question my sanity because that's the point when I start staggering or feel like I'm going to throw up or pass out. It's usually just a feeling though...

    Without further ado, the gospel:

  • Sit it, tuck it, push it...lay it all out.

  • We're going to finish off the legs.

  • Definitely a double entendre if I ever heard one. Kate meant that we were going to move on to another part of the body but my legs were also done as in stick a fork in them -- after shuffling, hamstring curls, fast feet and platform-assisted one leg mountain climbers.

  • We're going to do three things. When I tell you to do it, do it.

  • Sports drill anyone? Fast feet with a quick turn to the left or right (kinda of like a defense basketball drill that coaches like to do) plus a burpee-like move and can't remember the third one since I was exhausted and barely moving.

  • Set that shoulder all the way down.

  • (Directive during a rather, um, challenging ab routine.)

  • Breathe, breathe, breathe.

  • Push, push. Push it.

  • Set it up and let it go.

  • (Chest fly directives)

  • Engage the core for the whole hour...

  • Make it work; make it count.

  • Push yourselves...

  • Everything faces the mirror.

  • You all forgot that I can see you in the mirror when you roll your eyes, she said as we locked eyes in said mirror.

  • Tuck it; stand up. Tuck it; stand up.

  • The movement is strong. All your movements are strong.

  • Pick 'em up.

  • (Instructions during fast feet and after legs have definitely been finished off.)

  • Remember to breathe.

  • If you're feeling good, higher modification...

  • Note: Kate has more gospel in her repertoire but it's hard to remember when the butt-kicking at hand requires concentration and the ability to access stamina reserves.

    What's your instructor's gospel? If you don't go to the gym for classes, what's your gospel?

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    A Few Notes

    Note to self:
    Do not head to the riverfront at the same time that the fans are headed to the Edward Jones Dome.
    Note to Rams:
    Win the game.

    I wore a helmet today

    because the last time that I went down one of these

    a corner followed by a patch of gravel almost led to my downfall.

    Unplanned graffiti:

    Planned graffiti:

    Obligatory shot of Mississippi river:

    Obligatory shot of Arch:

    I got in 14 miles but mile six was the most beautiful.

    The displaced homeless (yeah, I know -- oxymoron) who were evicted from one part of downtown have now started to erect tents along the Riverfront Trail. Some of them have bikes but they have no helmets...

    Hope that you got your exercise groove on this weekend.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Rx for The Chronically Tense

    I don't even remember where I got this flyer from and waffled about whether or not I wanted to go but I'm so glad that I went.

    Pressure Point Defined:

    Pressure = Stress
    Point = Position Location
    The workshop was in Dr. Dusty's office and there were about eight folks there, including four who were already clients of Dr. Dusty. Can you tell that I like to write -- Dr. Dusty?

    Dr. Dusty had a little slide show situation, told us who discovered pressure points, that soda is bad news and how western medicine treats sickness instead of concentrating on preventive care etc. etc.

    From there, it was a hands-on workshop and I have to say that there is a new 'Drea because I would not have been comfortable before touching a stranger's body and being touched by someone else that I didn't know. We broke off into the proverbial pairs to try our hands at pressure points and were shown points for low energy, headaches, sinus/congestion and carpal tunnel issues.

    I think my favorite pressure points where for headache and neck tension where you put pressure one inch to either side of the spine. You hold the pressure for about 10 to 15 seconds. The pressure on the neck felt incredibly good. And do I really need to say anything about the attention to the back? I almost melted...

    I don't remember all of the finer points so I ordered a few books from the library but even without books, I've practiced on a few folks and one said that she felt relief from her headache.

    With carpal tunnel symptoms, you can easily treat yourself but Dr. Dusty said that it's better if you have someone else do it for you which echoes what Healing Touch practitioners Kimberly Gray and Vicky Slater said in their podcast: Hands in motion (energy work) is more powerful when you have someone else do it.

    Oh yeah, Dr. Dusty demonstrated on me at one point.

    Dr. Dusty: Oh, you're tight.
    Me: Yes, I know. Even when I'm not tightly wound, I'm tightly wound.
    Ever had acupressure before? What's your Rx for stress?

    P.S. To Dr. Dusty et al., when you tell someone that their tension is "unprecedented," that doesn't foster a relaxed state. Just saying...Also, to use a Phoebe Buffay phrase, Dr. Dusty is freakishly strong. Hands of steel, I tell ya.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    The Social Part Of It

    Here's what my inbox looked like this week:

  • Pictures of What Else? Rock Climbing

  • Climbing, FYI

  • Climbing 5:30 p.m.

  • Climbing This Week

  • Re: Climbing This Week

  • Re: Climbing, FYI

  • So, yeah, the dishes aren't washed and I haven't stretched but I got my climb on this week. I did manage to get in an Epsom Salt bath (while eating a paltry sandwich and reading a book) but I won't be able to do that anymore as I've reached the bottom of the salt box...

    My "new" boss decided to have an Ice Cream Social for all three of her departments yesterday and, even if we didn't eat ice cream, she wanted us to come for the social part of it. The social was not at the most ideal time but I thought it would be rude not to attend. And guess what? I ended up sitting across from a rock climber. I also got some tips from her about front crawl breathing. I wanted to also get rock climbing tips since she's a lead climber and is able to ascend routes in the 5.11 range but I ran out of time.

    I have not been climbing too much out of my comfort zone because my shoulder is still bothering me but here are the results.

    Route Tally for Oct. 13th:

    Billy Goat Chips, 5.8 (Burly for a 5.8)
    Life in the Pack, 5.8
    Scott's First, 5.8
    Steller's, 5.8
    Where The Beer Flows Like Wine, 5.8 (Attempted)

    Photosynthesis, 5.9 (climbed 3/4 of the way as I played guinea pig for some one's belay certification)

    Photosynthesis, 5.9
    Six Week Warrior, 5.9
    Slammer, 5.9 (Attempted)

    Been to any ice cream socials this week? Stuck on the same exercise note?

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    One Minute Solution

    I'm still in love with the whole 10 Minute Solution concept because if I, say, go rock climbing but I only get in five or six routes, I can come home and do additional exercise and be satisfied that I got in, at least, 30 minutes of exercise.

    I tried out 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner.

    Power Sports Drills They should have called this segment one minute solution because I was huffing and puffing about one minute in.

    There are gate swings and fast squats

    Dug the jumping jacks where you cross your arms and cross your legs; I had never done jumping jacks that way before. Don't judge. I only go to one cardio class and I'm on my own for the rest of the week.

    Likewise, I've never played soccer. I wish that I had because it looks like fun -- kicking, head butting, hitting the ball with your head and running with abandon down a field.

    This is sad but I still remember The Explainer article in Slate magazine about the 2006 Zinedine Zidane headbutt seen across the world.

    How was Zidane's head-butting technique? Impeccable. Experts in self-defense and mixed martial arts say Zidane's head butt was a flawless demonstration of the form. He positioned his feet close to his opponent and stepped into the blow, contracting his abdominal muscles to curve into the attack...
    Do you say in Slate if the mag is only online? Also, have you ever wanted to headbutt someone? I digressed...

    I enjoyed the soccer drills – especially the one when you kick the ball across the field. Charging the net, spiking the volleyball, stopping the puck (ice skating), bumping the ball with your elbows flexed while lunging all moved me -- literally.

    In all honesty, I don't really care for lunges but I've read that they are supposed to be the ultimate in lower body exercises.

    This is all about having fun,” Cat Chiarelli says and it is fun even though you're getting your behind kicked.

    The speed and agility drills wore me out. I was breathing heavily but enjoyed the challenge and, as always , because the segments are 10 minutes long, you know that *it* won’t last forever.

    Extreme Intervals -- let's just call this one the leggy segment. You know you’re in trouble when jumping rope is the least intense activity with the exception of the recovery activity. If the sweat is not rolling by this point, to paraphrase Jackie Warner, your “weights” must not be heavy enough. During speed skater recovery phase (the slow down version) – emphasis was placed on control and flexibility.

    Here I am doing snow board jumps followed by alternating diagonal lunges on the traverse plane (CC's words not mine)… Excuse my junky basement (my words).

    Low Impact Fat Blaster -- don't let the name fool ya... You'll encounter hamstring curls, ye ol' grapevine which are moves that you'll do in most cardio classes. Yet, Chiarelli keeps the routine fresh enough that you don't feel like you've been there and done that. The music is peppy. So, expect to move at a fast pace.

    Rapid Results Kickboxing is possibly my second favorite segment on this DVD. Love the speed bag, upper cut, squat kicks, stepping, jabbing, boxer shuffleness of it all.

    Cardio Max For someone choreography-challenged, Cardio Max was the most challenging segment to keep up with but, if you hang in there, you catch on to the steps. I always remember what one DVD instructor said, it's about intention -- so, I hung in there and did my best.

    I really enjoyed this DVD and look forward (can't believe that I write things like this) to incorporating it into my regimen.

    Have you tried out any new DVDs or activities lately?

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Déjà Vu

    Peeling and prying were required to extract myself from bed. I think that I finally rolled out around 10 and it felt like that moment in The Matrix when Neo says "A black cat went by us and then another that looked just like it."

    The same thing happened last Saturday after having acupuncture on Friday evening and, dang, I didn't even ask for the relaxation needle this time.

    My friend, however, asked for a ton of needles prompting the acupuncturist to deliver the corniest of acupuncture one-liners: you're a needle junkie, hunh?

    Then, inexplicably, said acupuncturist asked me if I had heard of this gospel song called Joy, Joy...Down in My Heart and something about if the devil doesn't like he can sit on a tack. When he started singing it, I thought that I was going to fall out of my chair laughing -- especially when he mimicked sitting on a tack. You had to be there...

    What can I say? The new acupuncturist is special.

    Responding to an inquiry from my aunt, I told her that I had just gotten an acupuncture treatment.

    Me: I went to Community Acupuncture.

    Aunt: I hope that doesn't mean community needles.
    My family worries about me. Some of my kin have resigned themselves to the fact that I walk to the beat of a different drummer. Don't we all though?

    When I tweeted earlier that I was in a trance, TJ advised me to take it easy and that's what I've been doing. Hope that you are taking it easy too.

    Note to self
    : Put on lotion before next acupuncture session.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    I Started...I Finished

    There's been a lot of buzz about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It got a mention in O: The Oprah Magazine. Need I say more?

    I admit it; I was leery. The main character is able to sense emotions in food. Any talk of emotions and food makes me think about Like Water for Chocolate.

    I started The Particular Sadness...and I finished. Because most of the Edelstein family has some extrasensory perception, it reminded me of that animated flick The Incredibles which I adored, by the way. Rose tells the story and is the super taster. About her brother she says:

    Mom loved my brother more. Not that she didn't love me -- I felt the wash of her love every day, pouring over me, but it was a different kind, siphoned from a different, and tamer, body of water. I was her darling daughter, Joseph was her it. (48)

    I also liked when Rose characterizes her father:

    The best way I can describe it is just that my father was a fairly focused man, a smart one with a core of simplicity who had just ended up with three highly complicated people sharing the household with him...(103)
    Lest you think that I kept my head in a book all day, I went climbing. As we were finishing up, Patti thought about climbing a few more routes since she arrived after Mike and I.

    Mike: It's not a competition.
    Patti: Apparently, it is.
    See how I have to keep the peace?

    Route Tally for Oct. 7th

    Slabtastic, 5.6
    Oh My God! There Is a Crux!, 5.7
    Grab the Jug, 5.8
    Life in the Pack, 5.8
    Steller's, 5.8
    Photosynthesis, 5.9
    Six Week Warrior, 5.9

    Hope that you are or have been some one's it and that you don't live with too many complicated people.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Foot-Long Memories?

    Me: I have brown rice.

    My mother: I grew up eating white rice. You have a taste for what you grew up with...
    What my mother said got me thinking. I really don't have anything that I crave from childhood probably because the kitchen table was the site where I tapped into my stubbornness when people tried to make me eat things that I did not want to eat.

    I still have temperature, texture and visual issues to this day. Maybe I just have issues; I feel like that deserves and LOL and, yet, I'm hesitant to insert one.

    I do have McDonald's memories and macaroni and cheese (my aunt's) memories. Candy corn, without fail, makes me think of my paternal grandfather which is funny because he used to grow greens and watermelons and whatnot but I associate him with a Halloween treat that he often purchased for the occasion...

    This billboard has been up forever in my neighborhood. When I see it, I think, finally, truth in advertising.

    Did you catch this Nightline segment about foot-long hamburgers?

    Is there something food that you crave from childhood?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Human Flourishing

    Had an appointment with an acupuncturist yesterday. Because it is a community setting and the treatment takes place in a recliner, I thought about taking a book or listening to my MP3 player until I read Getting The Most Out of Your Acupuncture Session.

    But what about the patient with too much weighing on the mind that finds it hard to sit still? Sometimes reading a book is most restful, although I don’t necessarily endorse it. There is a practice of sitting still, its called meditation, and it can take a long time to enjoy that stillness. In my opinion, our society doesn’t place enough value on relaxation, stillness, or prevention.
    I bit the bullet and reclined sans distractions and, I have to admit, it was restful.

    Note: If you do decide to take the meditative and community-oriented route, you might not want to book an appointment at the same time as your curious friend who has trouble locating the off switch and who will then proceed to chat up the equally chit chatty acupuncturist -- almost negating your meditative state.

    I told the acupuncturist that my primary concerns were my shoulder (consistent, subtle kink) and stress. Hmmm, which came first -- the kink or the stress?

    I had two firsts: needles in the palm right underneath the thumb and a needle in my forehead. Very appropriate don't you think? A needle in the forehead -- hitting me right where all those nagging thoughts are wearing me down.

    I'm gonna have to say it was noticeable when the needle entered the palms.

    Between the acupuncture and the rain, I was in a little trance this morning. I finally left bed around 10:00 a.m...

    Last night, I checked out National Geographic's Stress: Portrait of a Killer on Netflix.

    In less the one minute, the narrator gets to the heart of the matter:

    Stress – it is everyone’s inferno bedeviling our minds, igniting our nights, upending our equilibrium but it hasn’t always been so. Once, it’s purpose was to save us. Once, what helped us survive has now become the scourge of our lives.

    According to Dr. Carol Shively of Wake Forest University:

    This is not an abstract concept. It’s not something that maybe someday you should do something about; you need to attend to it today. (01:35)

    Raise your hand if you know that fat brought on by stress is more dangerous.

    Robert Sapolsky, a MacArthur Grant recipient and professor at Stanford University, studied a baboon troop in Africa. His research was almost nullified when the troop ate tuberculosis-tainted meat.

    What Supolsky realized, though, was that there were certain troop members that succumbed:

    It wasn’t random who died. In that troop, if you were aggressive and if you were not particularly socially connected, socially affiliated, you didn’t spent your time grooming and hanging out – if you were that kind of male, you died...

    And what you were left with was twice as many females and the males who were remaining were, you know, just to use scientific jargon –- they were good guys; they were not aggressive jerks; they were nice to the females and socially affiliated – and it completely transformed the atmosphere of the group. (45:00 range)

    I loved what Dr. Shively said about decompressing:

    Whatever it is that works for an individual, they need to value stress reduction. I think the problem in our society is that we don’t value stress reduction. We, in fact, value the opposite. We admire the person who not only multitasks and does two things at once but does five things at once; we kind of admire that person…Well, that’s an incredibly stressful way to live. We have to change our values and value people who understand a balanced and serene life. (34:00)
    In addition, I didn't get this gentleman's name but I think he's affiliated with The Whitehall Study in England. He posed the following question:

    How can we create a society that has the conditions to allow people to flourish?