Friday, December 31, 2010

Year-End Review OR Haven Found

Looking at this review tells me that I've fallen out of love with the gym. It was cool when I first joined about two and half years ago because I was able to jump-start the weight loss that had plateaued with just walking. Now, I feel like I'm wasting money by going to Cardio and Muscle Class once a week. Although, in the last few weeks, I've been trying to hit the gym more often.

In addition, December marks my one year climbing anniversary of sorts. While December of '09 was not the first time that I climbed, it was when I started climbing consistently and stopped having pre-climbing jitters. I could have never imagined how the rock climbing gym would become such a haven.

Here's how things went down in 2010. I hope that your year was equally productive. Did you find yourself relying on one activity over others? See you on the flip side of 2011 where I plan to rock steady...

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fix Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

  • Power Yoga, 8 x's


  • 10 Minute Solution: Belly, Butt and Thigh Blasters!

  • Better Booty Camp, 1 x


  • Belly Flab Fighter, 1 x


  • 10 Minute Solution: Dance Your Body Thin!

  • Ballet Sculpt, 1 x


  • Cardio Dance Party, 1 x


  • Dance Toner, 3 x's


  • Get Fix Club Mix, 1 x


  • Smooth and Sexy Moves, 4 x's



  • 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts

  • Firm Flat Abs, 3 x's


  • Total Body Fat Burner, 2 x's


  • Upper Body, 6 x's


  • Ultimate Stretch, 7 x's



  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

  • Basic Training, 1 x


  • Fat Burning Blast, 3 x's


  • 10 Minute Solution: KnockOut Body!

  • Knockout Body Blast, 1 x

  • Fierce & Fabulous Abs, 1 x




  • 10 Minute Solution: Quick Sculpt Pilates

  • Core Conditioning, 1 x

  • Buns and Thigh Sculpter, 1 x

  • Standing Pilates Sculpt, 2 x's

  • Strength and Flexibility, 3 x's

  • Total Body Toner, 2 x's



  • 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner

  • Cardio Max, 3 x's

  • Extreme Intervals, 1 x

  • Low Impact Fat Blaster, 1 x

  • Power Sports Drills, 5 x's

  • Rapid Results Kickboxer, 1 x


  • video


    10 Minute Solution; Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Sleek and Sexy Abs, 4 x's


  • Stretching, 66 x's


  • Total Body Toner 1 x



  • Adaptive Motion Trainer, 2 x's

    Arc Trainer, 1 x

    Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies, 3 x's

    Bicycling, 40 x's


    Boot Camp Class, 1 x

    Cardio and Muscle Class, 34 x's

    Car Washing, 1 x

    Crunch: Candlelight Yoga, 5 x's

    Drills to Make You Sweat Class, 1 x

    Elliptical Trainer, 1 x

    Lawn Mowing, 11 x's

    Muscle Works Class, 1 x

    Personal Training With Jackie: Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs, 3 x's

    Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Lower Body Circuit, 1 x

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 24 x's

  • 40-Minute Total Body Circuit, 5 x's

  • Abs Only Circuit, 1 x



  • Personal Training With Jackie: Xtreme Timesaver Training, 3 x's

    P90X

  • Ab Ripper, 2 x's

  • Cardio X, 2 x's


  • Raking Leaves, 2 x's

    Rock Climbing, 84 x's

    Rowing, 1 x

    Shooting Hoops, 4 x's

    Stair Climbing and StairMaster, 21 x's

    Step and Interval Class, 7 x's

    Swimming, 48 x's

    Treadclimber, 3 x's

    Treadmill, 27 x's

    Walking, 83 x's

    Walking Pilates, 1 x

    Wii, 63 x's

    Yardwork, 2 x's

    Yoga for Weight Loss, 1 x

    Zen to Den: 20 Minutes Yoga, 1 x

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Calendar Fodder

    I was going to get a 2011 Women of Rock Climbing calendar and I thought, hell, I'm a woman. I climb rocks.

    January?


    February



    March


    April


    May


    June


    July


    August


    September


    October


    November


    December


    It would probably be simpler to just get the calendar. Of course, there was a Groupon for Shutterfly a few days ago and I didn't get it. Bummer...

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Holding The Third Eye

    I laughed at myself when I got hiccups and started looking for one of the acupressure books that I have around. Acupressure has become My Big Fat Greek Wedding Windex.

    Of all the acupressure books that I have around, I've been enjoying Michael Reed Gach's book of late.

    As acupressure evolved, each of the 365 points was named poetically, originally with a Chinese character. The imagery of its name offers insight into either a point's benefits or location. For instance, the name Hidden Clarity refers to the mental benefit of the point: It clears the mind...The Three Mile Point earned its name because it gives a person an extra three miles of energy...(6)
    And who can disagree with this observation?

    Breathing is the most profoundly effective tool known for purifying and revitalizing the body. (11)
    I think my favorite named acupressure point, so far, is Letting Go.

    Depressed? Acupressure's got you covered -- plus a few tips from the author for dealing with depression:

  • Aerobic Exercise

  • Take a Stimulating Shower

  • Deep Breathing Exercises

  • Moving and Breathing Meditation
  • Gach believes that the following elements are essential for personal fulfillment which thwarts depression:

  • Self-Love

  • Mutual Relationships

  • Meaningful Work

  • Goals and Visions for the Future
  • Diet is also discussed throughout the book and I can always use a reminder because, while I've tamed the sugar beast to a certain extent, I'm still addicted to processed foods:

    Diet also plays an important role in building resistance to illness. When we eat processed, preserved, or devitalized foods, we weaken our immune system and our resistance because these foods have been stripped of necessary nutrients and fiber. (118)
    More on diet:

    If you have difficulty concentrating or want to improve your memory, you should stop eating foods that are high in sugar...Eating a lot of sugar also strains the pancreas, which according to traditional Chinese medicine is damaging to your memory as well as your mental and emotional stability. (161)
    Another special reminder for me:

    Pain or tightness in the shoulder area often reflects a person's overall emotional and physical state. A stressful lifestyle, emotional strains, physical injuries, and fatigue can contribute to constriction and pain in the shoulders...

    The shoulders are the repository for much of our tension and stress...(197)
    One more point from Gach:
    Exercise naturally regulates and balances your whole system. (225)
    I'm hoping to acupressure my way out of my constrictions and, I have to say, that I'm still enjoying doing acupressure rituals for wellness.


    P.S. For my friend Hazira, here is information for insomnia.

    Stress, pain, grief, and anxiety can exacerbate sleeping disorders. Peace of mind is essential to falling asleep...According to traditional Chinese medicine, an uneven distribution of energy can also cause insomnia. (131)


    The Gates -- Not Bill and Melinda but:




    Inner Gate (P 6)

    Location: In the middle of the inner side of the forearm, two and one-half finger widths from the wrist crease.

    Benefits: Relieves insomnia and several other common complaints that can keep one from sleeping, such as anxiety, palpitations, nausea and indigestion.



    Spirit Gate (H 7)

    Location
    : On the inside of the wrist crease, in line with the little finger.

    Benefits: Relieves anxiety, cold sweats, and insomnia due to overexcitement.

    ***



    And my new favorite acupressure point...Third Eye (GV 24.5)

    Location: Directly between the eyebrows, in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead.

    Benefits
    : Relaxes the central nervous system for relieving anxiety and insomnia. (133)

    And for real, how many times have you instinctively held your third eye?

    (Hmmm, don't know why eye one looks puffy...)

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Just About Everything I Need

    According to Happiness For Dummies,which continues to stick with me, there are certain items that you really need and the rest are wants. Of course, we all know that but those shiny objects still beckon.

    Humans have few actual needs -- the things that are vital to our physical survival. We need air, water, food, shelter, and a certain amount of sleep, and that's it. Everything else -- jewelry, cars, fine clothes, a vacation home, a big-screen TV...are things we want out of life. (Happiness...305)

    And I do feel like I have just about everything that I need or want but here are a few items that I mull over.

  • Black Purse


  • Bodybugg


  • Digital Tire Pressure Situation


  • Ipod Touch


  • Rock Climbing Shoes



  • I love this Confession of...series; This time mall Santa is confessing and the 80-year-old says:

    Because of the physical demands of suiting up as Santa, I have to take care of my body on and off of the job. I get up everyday at 6 a.m. to walk a mile. I take vitamins, and my wife, Marilyn, fixes me balanced meals. My employer, Noerr Programs Corporation, hosts a three-day Santa University conference in July where RBSs (Real Bearded Santas) learn proper posture and sitting and breathing and techniques. I also depend on moms and dads to help me by lifting their kids onto my lap.


    In case you get in decadence mode, check out this article about 10 activities that burn the most calories.





    Happy Holidays and I hope that you have everything that you need and a lot of the stuff that you want.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Overheard Everywhere

  • I see the answer to our question -- Bordeaux.


    Woman to man in grocery store...



  • Once you start treating me bad, forget it. I dig in and, boy, do I dig in.



  • I wear two suits and shorts for a better workout.

    One of my colleagues who is a swimming machine; she does a mile in 35 minutes -- 39 minutes on a slow day.



  • It was broken at the radial head. It was hurting mid-shaft...I kept thinking that I was a baby...

    I didn't go to the ER because I'm an ER nurse and ER nurses don't go to the ER.

    Wasn’t that the stupidest thing?


    Nurse reluctant to go to hospital after slipping on a black walnut and falling. Her arm was broken in two places – at wrist and at radial head (near elbow); she even chided herself for how she fell since she instinctively put her hand out to brace her fall…



  • Woman: You know Pat from SNL?

    Me: Yeah, Androgynous Pat.

    Woman: Only I'm more masculine than androgynous. I always thank God that I look feminine. Otherwise, I'd be in trouble.




  • My heart hurts. I think I'm going to die very soon., A colleague




  • I'm going to risk it and, if I get the flu, frankly, I could use the days off.

    After an announcement that flu shots were being given at work...




  • When I go out to drink coffee, I don't drink coffee.

    Overheard at Work...




  • Everybody's so stressed out. It's just another day. You can't stress out about everything.

    At work...




  • Ugh, no, I don't eat grilled bananas -- that's the other Africans.

    A colleague after someone described preparing grilled bananas...




  • Yeah, closing the barn door after the horse is gone.


    Re: post-theft modified behavior (overheard at work)...
  • Monday, December 20, 2010

    They'll Fire Soon Thereafter

    Abs -- probably my least favorite section of body that I deal with and I actually shuddered a bit when I saw the Jackie Warner cover but was definitely heartened when I found out the ab work included nary a crunch.

    Warner promises a path to sleek and sexy abs –- Jackie-style. There are two (approximately) 15 minute ab routines – one is done standing up and the other on the mat. During the matless routine, part of the warm-up includes punching laterally – loved it. I was huffing and puffing by the time my straight arms (holding a weight) were meeting my lifted knee. Other moves that you’ll encounter include the: Squat Swing, Figure Eight (with weights) -- really dug this move. Tap and push (Loved it.)

    Result of routine: Two days later, my lower ab sidewall was still feeling the Jackie-style love.

    ***


    The mat portion of the program is just as engaging as the first once. You’ll kneel on the floor and reach one arm up at a time to warm-up and, actually, kneeling is a good place to be because you’ll find yourself saying a little prayer at some point.

    Those abs should be firing even though it's the warm up Warner says.

    If they’re not firing during the warm-up, I promise you that they’ll fire soon thereafter. Activities that you’ll engage in during the mat routine: Weight between knee -- elbow meets knee (diagonally).

    Swimmers -- a scissor leg move that I also liked. It was a simple maneuver and I felt it immediately.

    video
    (Floor Cam)


    Side Oblique Plank (You'll try to get your elbow to meet your knee while in plank position.)

    video

    Modifications are available. After side planks and, before the next exercise, I paused the DVD to see how much time had elapsed because I was feeling *it.* The display reported that 4:58 minutes had elapsed. I took a deep breath and hit the play button. Next up was a plank twist. I did my best to keep up and drop my hips to the mat as many times as I was asked. You'll get to swim again with knees up (tabletop), shoulders blades off the mat, weights in hands -- arms moving.

    And the words you never want to hear: These are a little bit more challenging -- burpees. I already felt challenged before that B word. Jackie-style burpees are a two-part move that look frog-like. Hands down, frog position – you move your legs in and out. Hips stay straight back doesn't dip Warner advises. About halfway through the burpees, I opted for the modification -- done moving one leg in and one leg out alternately.

    Next up are the bridge, leg circles and a plank with a leg lift. By the time Warner got to leg jacks, my comments had gone from exclamations of Oh God to an important question Are you serious?. Doing Superman never felt so good. And child's pose? I embraced it wholeheartedly.

    The ab workouts are great and a lot of cool moves are incorporated. Yes, the workouts are challenging but feel the challenge and do it anyway. Okay, that's not how the saying goes but you know what I mean...


    *Disclosure: I received this video without charge.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Best Moments

    A question posed by Happiness for Dummies:

    If I asked you to identify the ten best moments of your life, could you do it? (100)
    I can barely remember what happened two months ago so here are some best 2010 moments:


  • Bones -- The Discovery Of



  • Catching A Glimpse of Definition in My Biceps




  • Commitment to Self-Care




  • Discovering the Wonder of Acupressure




  • Getting a Feel for Front Crawl Breathing




  • Getting A Globe Vienna




  • Lifting My Voice i.e. Speaking uP



  • Rock Climbing Accomplishments


    (Ascending 5.9 felt really good)



  • Securing Organizer




  • Three Week Vacation



  • (I went. I saw. I bowled.)


    Gratuitous Bowling Picture



    What about your best moments of 2010?

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    The Habits of Happy People

    I have to say that Happiness for Dummies did not knock my socks off the way The Happiness Project did but the author made a lot of valid points.

    People are more playful when they’re happy – they’re interested in golf, tennis, marathon running…Happy people are more likely to exercise on a regular basis. (190)
    Here’s W. Doyle Gentry’s four-ingredient formula for happiness:

  • A feeling of safety

  • A sense of satiation

  • A sense of perspective

  • Quietude
  • Someone must have really talked to Gentry about the importance of exercise because he frequently mentions it and cites a study done by two psychologists who found:

    Those employees who were low on the hardiness scale and who failed to exercise regularly had nearly seven times more illness than their co-workers who were hardy exercisers…(83)
    In addition to reminding folks to be grateful and to be true to themselves, the author also gives out homework. One task is to identify the best moments that have occurred in your life. Gentry also has suggestions for what to do if you’re no longer satisfied with your regular routine. The last suggestion in this segment says:

    Stretch, moving beyond your usual comfort zone. (109)
    This reminded me of one of my teachers who used to constantly say stretch your mind. Most of my stretching, of late, has occurred via rock climbing and swimming where I’ve really had to get out of my comfort zone.

    Gentry says that there are three core components when it comes to making sense out of life:

  • Order

  • Affiliation

  • Meaning
  • I liked his suggestion to have rituals for the beginning and end of the day. He has one suggestion to send close friends emails and wish them a pleasant day. Later on, he expands on the idea:

    If you want to have a happy relationship…you have to let the people closest to you know how much happiness they bring to your life. Happiness should never be taken for granted – it needs to be shared. (140)
    The author talks about healthy selfishness, a concept that I embrace wholeheartedly. Here are a few of Gentry’s examples of healthy selfishness:

    Catching up on your sleep when you’re exhausted.

    Exercising several hours a week at your favorite gym. (208)
    If you’re still not convinced that healthy selfishness is good, Gentry gives another reminder:
    Remember: You need to leave room in your life for yourself. (213)
    Gentry expands on the idea of healthy selfishness by discussing the importance of creating energy:

    Some things in life take energy and other things create energy. Regular exercise creates energy – it leaves you feeling refreshed and renewed. A good night’s sleep does the same thing. Laughing creates positive energy. Hugs create an infusion of energy both for the hugger and the person being hugged… (211)
    Earlier in the book, I liked Gentry’s advice to walk away from annoying situations. I also like what he says about coworkers:

    Never view those with whom you work as the enemy. (224)

    As I was writing this up, I realized that Gentry did cover a lot of territory. He talks about raising sane children, eating a healthy diet and he, eventually, gets back to the E word:

    What’s the best form of exercise? According to a friend of mine who owns and operates his own health facility, the best exercise for you is the one you’ll agree to do…(290)

    Have a favorite For Dummies book? Feel like sharing a best moment?

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    The Gospel According to My Father

    My father was a Marine who loved to talk about his Parris Island days. His brother told him that he needed to turn in his badge when he got his hat shot off after responding to a domestic violence situation as a police officer but the turning in of the badge did not happen.

    When someone dies, I try hard to remember the things they said. It's funny because the sayings pop into my mind at the unlikeliest of times...



  • Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

    My father's typical joshin' around with his buddies.



  • That's not even a dog; I should shoot it.

    About Thatch, my brother's Cocker Spaniel. We had Doberman Pinschers when I was growing up...


  • (That's Brutus, one of several Dobermans.)



  • You gotta die somehow.

    To one of his associates that was flirting with me.



  • She's the world's oldest teenager.

    My father about his sister.



  • You'd rather eat cake than cornbread?

    My father to me. I was the pickiest of eaters but never about sweets.



  • Baseball is interesting if you understand the game.



  • I don't like chicken. We had so much of it when I was growing up.



  • My father: You're a part of me. So, if you go over there, it's like I'm going too.


    Me: What if I can't figure it out?

    My father: You're smart. I know that you can do it.

    Me: You're spoiled.

    My father: You are too.

    My father schmoozing me to go over to my aunt's house and help her figure out a deep fryer. He had promised her, around 7:30 a.m., that he would come and help. It was round 2 p.m. when the schmoozing started. I went to help my aunt and we did figure out how to get the thing going without blowing ourselves up. In the meantime, I was fascinated by how much oil went into the fryer.


  • I hit him so hard that he went back to writing poetry.

    My father about a poet that we knew who referred to himself as Hurricane R during their football playing days.


  • Doctor (before knee surgery): Do you exercise?

    My father: I chase women.



  • When your mother and I were courting, we went to a carnival and the Ferris wheel stopped. We were stuck up at the top but I didn't care. I was satisfied just being with her.


  • You're gonna have to start calling me by my first name.

    After my father spotted a gray hair in my head. In essence, I was cramping his public persona.


  • This is the best milk that I've ever had. This is the best pineapple that I've ever had.

    My father after major surgery.


  • When I die, I want Dora to sing Danny Boy at my funeral.


  • I hate to tell you this but, if you see a squirrel, don't try to avoid it. You'll end up hitting other people's cars and causing lots of damage.

    (My father's advice while teaching me how to drive...)


  • No one else can drive but you. You have to watch out for everyone and yourself too.


  • A look over your shoulder will save your life.

    (More driving advice)
  • Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Redemption Song

    I guess you could call this a debriefing, of sorts, from yesterday's experience.

    Ironically, as I was waiting and waiting for the chiropractor and upset that I didn't follow my first and second mind to walk out the door, I was thinking that I hadn't gotten properly angry in a while, which is good because when I get angry it takes me so long to come down from that anger high.

    Initially, I had no idea how long I had waited since I don't normally wear a watch and, like a casino, there were no clocks in the chiropractor's office. I watched as he went from one room to another -- sometimes at a frenetic pace -- manipulating people's lower bodies on weird tables that rotated.

    I kept thinking that I didn't even really want him to touch me because he was in such a frenzy. There was not one thing -- not one that was relaxing about the few minutes of acupressure that he did provide. In fact, I was praying that he hadn't done damage. I was also miffed because I didn't have anything to keep me occupied. Not a book or an MP3 player. When I go to get my hair cut, I take a book because there's always the possibility that waiting will occur. This clown didn't even have magazines in his office. I digressed though.

    I had gotten off of work (two hours) early because we had our annual holiday party and I felt like I just wasted the gift of precious, extra time. In addition, I was supposed to meet my friend Hazira at a certain time then we were to proceed to another friend's home (Asmira) by a certain time. I'm not going to mention the fact that I wanted to stop by Big Lots to find Wasa crackers and such.

    I threw three people's schedule off. When I picked up Hazira, I was good and angry at this point and, when I get angry, I can't talk. I can bang on the steering wheel but I can't talk. Don't worry. The banging is brief and I have yet to break my hand in this manner...

    We arrived at Asmira's and Hazira sat down for an interview with a student. Asmira told me that I could just chill out and I asked if I could use a computer so that I could dispense with some of the yuckiness. Asmira quickly set me up AND brought me a huge mug of green tea with a touch of organic honey and lemons on the side. The cup said The Boss. Hee-hee.

    After I wrote for a bit, I got busy with Asmira's Wii. Then, we had dinner of baked fish, vegetables, salad with Craisins, walnuts, blue cheese and spinach, Russian bread etc.

    It was a great meal and the company was great too. I laughed especially when Asmira's husband came home and told me that The Boss cup belonged to him.

    Whenever I've been a guest at Asmira's house, I feel immediately at home. The house is warmly decorated but that's not it. I feel as if I could stay forever. It has the feel of a bed and breakfast or sanctuary. What it is, though, is Asmira -- her hospitality is huge.

    After 11 p.m., we were joking about overstaying our welcome. Asmira told us how Bosnians joke and say:

    We are going to bed so that the guests can go home.
    It sounded much better when she said it but what I'm going to say is that my evening was redeemed by Asmira's hospitality. Thanks woman and my apologies to Hazira for a rather intense ride...

    I'm pretty much pain free -- another valuable realization from yesterday's experience.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    The Littler Waiting Room

    I'm so gullible. I went to an acupressure workshop and the chiropractor's office kept contacting me to come in for an acupressure session which I was looking forward to. I thought it would be a nice Friday evening treat.

    I get there and I wait and I wait. I toy with the idea of leaving when someone comes to tell me that they are sorry for the delay. I wait more. I finally get taken back to a room and I think of that Seinfeld episode where you think you've made progress only you get taken back to a smaller room to wait even more.

    I think I waited for about an hour and a half and ended up with about two minutes of an acupressure session then was told that the vertebrae in my neck are out of alignment and that is what is causing my shoulder discomfort. Really? Seriously? In addition, I can come in for x-rays in order to really ascertain the situation.

    I'm so mad at myself and can't believe how naive I can be. What a waste of my time...

    Scene from The Ex-Girlfriend Episode of Seinfeld

    JERRY: Waiting room. I hate when they make you wait in the room. 'Cause it says "Waiting room." There's no chance of not waiting, 'cause they call it the waiting

    room, they're going to use it. They've got it. It's all set up for you to wait. And you sit there, you know, and you've got your little magazine. You pretend you're

    reading it, but you're really looking at the other people. You know, you're thinking about them things like "I wonder what he's got. As soon as she goes, I'm

    getting her magazine." And then, they finally call you and it's a very exciting moment. They finally call you, and you stand up and you kinda look around at the other

    people in the room. "Well, I guess I've been chosen. I'll see you all later." You know, so you think you're going to see the doctor, but you're not, are you? No.

    You're going into the next waiting room. The littler waiting room...

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    How To Say Goodbye

    I don't do Weight Watchers -- never have -- for some reason but, of course, I saw quite a few posts about the new points system.

    This title caught my attention recently:

    Outrage: Weight Watchers forces us to eat fruit!

    The company rolls out a smart new diet plan with more emphasis on health -- and a furor ensues


    I really dug the ending of the "outrage" article by Mary Elizabeth Williams, a Salon magazine writer.

    We have a lifelong relationship with our bodies, and like love, that relationship is healthier when we put good things into it. And like love, sometimes that takes thought and effort. Yet the basic notions of more apples, fewer cookies and stopping when you're full that Weight Watchers are embracing makes a lot of common sense. Common sense is still there in all of us -- right there in our guts next to the Sabor de Soledad -- and if we take the time to respect and listen that wisdom, it will reward us in ways that, unlike a weekly points system, are incalculable.

    And speaking of Mary Elizabeth Williams, she really hit the ball out of the park with her article Elizabeth Edwards: Don't call it "losing" to cancer which she wrote yesterday morning before Edwards died and I thought Edwards' last epistle to the world was profound and I was deeply moved:
    I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that...
    What a gracious way to say goodbye; so glad that she had time...

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Overheard at the Pool

    I've had a real swimming jones of late and I'm happy to report that my front crawl breathing is getting better. I was able to swim 200 yards (not consecutively) without pulling up. In honor of my success in the water, here are things that I've overheard at the pool.


  • Father to son at pool: Move your arms in wide circles.

    Son: I'll go down.

    Father: I won't let you go down.




  • Father to son at pool: I'm ready when you are; feet all the way to the edge.

    Son: (Sound of jumping then peals of laughter.)




  • Just because it's hard doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, Same father to son.




  • I'm the boss, Father to son before the father's two quick laps before the start of swimming lessons.




  • Swimming instructor: You're eight years old. You're a strong boy. You've stopped three times. Go. Go. Go.




  • Son to father about swimming: I don't think I'm made for this.




  • Father to son: Kick your legs and move your arms in a circle. If your head goes underwater, breathe out of your nose.




  • I don't know how much longer I'll be able to swim, a man at the pool with limited vision.




  • How do we swim?, Teacher

    Streamlined., Her two students

    (The teacher played a game with her students. Every time she said streamline they were to raise their arms straight up in the air.)




  • We’re going to rock and roll but only our shoulders.

    Same teacher re: the backstroke.




  • Instructor to kid on diving board: I need to see your toes. I need to see your toes. I see your toes.


    Kid then uses toes to head in the other direction.



  • Father to son, Number one: don't breathe too much...




  • Father to son: Streamline. One then the other. Never put both arms down at the same time. Any questions?




  • Father to son: You streamline with the backstroke too but instead of looking down, you look up.





  • Definition provided by recreation center: open swim means that the rec area, slide... and lazy river are available to children and adults for play.





  • What happiness do you have to report?

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Stuff People Say To Me

  • I'm in a size 10 and they are getting tight; I don't want to go up to a size 12. I started going to the gym. I'm also going to try the cabbage diet and see what I can take off in two weeks with exercise and diet...


  • That's ridiculous. One my colleagues when I told her that I had spent 80 minutes at the gym the previous night in order to stave off hibernation syndrome


  • If you're not losing any weight, why do you need to buy new winter tops? Hazira, one of my friends


  • I've gained 50 pounds but I'm happy. I'm too busy to cook and, when I'm on the go, I eat fast food. I know that I shouldn't eat fast food but Iranian food takes two to three hours to cook....I'm not small but I'm not too big. I'm still at the point where I enjoy dressing up.


  • Nice teamwork. Sophie to me after I did some drumming on Patti's forearms after she tackled The Gift of Flight a.k.a The Forearm-Killing route.


  • There's a Groupon for an advanced rock climbing technique class. A hint? from Patti


  • I have gray matter. I just don't use it. I'm so into my body.

    I drink a gallon of water a day -- not because I like water but because my coach tells me that I need to...You need to drink more water.


    Thanksgiving is not really that big of a deal to me. I think we should be thankful every day. Also, people see Thanksgiving as an opportunity to be a glutton and I don't do gluttony. A grappler, stepper and yogi.



  • Anyone said any interesting stuff to you lately?

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Being 'Drea

    There's this part of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project that continues to stick with me. Well, there are quite a few parts of her book that stick with me including the cut people slack portion of the program.

    Rubin talks about accepting true likes and dislikes and how that acceptance frees you up to do other things. In embracing true likes and dislikes, Rubin lists things she'll never do.

    But I have to admit it -- being Gretchen and accepting my true likes and dislikes bring me a kind of sadness. I will never visit a jazz club at midnight, hang out in artists' studios, jet off to Paris for the weekend, or pack up to go fly-fishing on a spring dawn... 122
    Of course, I think this is an exercise you have to be careful with because you don't want to put something out there that you might potentially want to do and then you've mentally and verbally put the kibosh on it -- not cool.

    Having said that, here's my list of things that, although I might like them, will probably never happen in 'Drea's world:

  • Girly Girlishness

  • Hooping It Up Professional Basketball-Style

  • Replacing Rick Steves

  • Synchronized Swimming

  • Hurrying about in The Amazing Race

  • Frequenting Parties

  • Amusement Park Enthusiast

  • Sewing or Crocheting Competently

  • Mastering Trilingualism

  • Walking a Wire Professionally





  • What are some of your true likes?

    ...I realized that just as clearing away my nostalgic clutter and my aspirational clutter in January had opened up more space for the possessions I really use in the present, relinquishing my fantasies of what I wished I found fun allowed me more room to do the things that I did find fun. Why worry about jazz clubs when I really wanted to design my own Book of Hours? Be Gretchen. (126)