Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Workouts With and Without Friends or Year-End Review, 2011

Got up around seven in order to be at an 8:00 a.m. Hot Yoga class. The only reason that I went is because that class was the only one that Crystal, Jessica and Patti could make. There’s no talking allowed during class but it’s still nice to do a workout with friends. My balance, by the way, bites early in the morning...

I had forgotten some of the activities that I engaged in until I compiled this review. A newer friend asked me if I ever did anything normal like walk for exercise. I find it very hard to resist a long walk when the weather is stellar. Plus, I've had some of my best epiphanies while walking.

There are many days when I gnash my teeth about the variety of activities that make it hard to stick to my philosophy that money spent on fitness is money well spent. I wish that many of the things that I enjoy could be housed under one mega facility and I'm still mulling over the best financial approach to my various pursuits. On the other hand, I'm thrilled that there are many activities that I like to do and that I enjoy moving my body even when it's an intense workout.

I've gained five pounds (well, four since I've taken up Hot Yoga) but no panic here since I still fit comfortably into pants that I purchased three years ago. Looks like I did gain muscle logging in miles of swimming et al.

I heard a lot of memorable things from coaches/teachers/instructors but one of my favorites and maybe because it's fresh in my mind is when Cindy told us during a Hot Yoga class to not let our mind write stories. This strategy is very effective when negative thoughts creep in. Lately, though, there's less and less negativity hanging around my neighborhood...

Happy New Year. Hope that your 2012 is filled with all kinds of fitness pursuits.

10: Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 6 x's

  • Power Yoga, 2 x's

  • 10 Minute Solution: Best Belly Blasters!

  • Belly Fat Burner, 1 x

  • Bikini Belly, 1 x

  • Dancer's Abs, 1 x

  • Perfect Pilate Abs, 1 x

  • Six Pack Ab Attack, 2 x's

  • Waist Slimmer, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Dance Your Body Thin!

  • Smooth and Sexy Moves, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts

  • Arms and Shoulders, 3 x's

  • Firm Flat Abs, 1 x

  • Lower Body, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Hip Hop Dance Mix

  • Hip Hop Basics, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

  • Basic Training, 5 x's

  • Fat Burning Blast, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Pilates for Beginners

  • Core Basics, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: rapid results fat burner

  • Low Impact Fat Blaster, 2 x's

  • Power Sports Drill, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Arm and Shoulder Sculpt, 1 x

  • Sleek and Sexy Abs, 7 x's

  • Stretching, 10 x

  • Bicycling, 18 x's

    BodyGo Row Classes @ CrossFit, 7 x's

    Boxing, 9 x's

    CrossFit Basic Training, 5 x's

    Give Me 10!

  • Core Makeover, 1 x

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 13 x's

  • Lower Body Firmer, 1 x

  • Upper Body Sculpt, 3 x's

  • Yoga Stretch & Flex, 3 x's

  • Kettlebell 101, 4 x's

    Lawn Mowing, Leaf Raking, Shoveling, (other) Yard Work, 9 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie: 30 Day Fast Start

  • Lower Body & Abs, 1 x

  • Upper Body, 2 x's

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Ab Circuit, 1 x

  • 40-Minute Total Body Circuit, 3 x's

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 57 x's

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs

  • Standing Crunch-Free, 1 x

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Xtreme Timesaver Training, 1 x

    Rock Climbing, 78 x's

    Shred It with Weights, 1 x

    Sprint Triathlon, 1 x

    Stairmaster, 1 x

    Supreme 90 Day System

  • Chest and Back, 1 x

  • Swimming, 75 x's

    Treadmill, 10 x's

    Walking, 111 x's

    Wii Fit, 51 x's

    Willpower and Grace: mile high*, 2 x's

    Yoga, 54 x's (12 x's during month of Dec)

    *Disclosure: I received this DVD without charge.

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    The Bluff

    Patti sent me a link to Living Social's deal of the day which happened to be three belly dancing classes for $14. I don't know why I sent you this deal, she wrote, except that this is one activity that you have not tried.

    I'm not a dancer although I did try 10 Minute Solution's Dance Your Body Thin! and liked it but those are definitely moves that won't leave the house.

    I shrugged as if Patti could see me through cyberspace and said that I wasn't interested.

    She wrote back to say that I was lily-livered or something like that. I wrote back that I would try it if she would but she declined my offer.

    I resisted the urge to call her lily-livered as well and just asked her to get back to me if she changed her mind.

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    They Call This The Drishti

    Walked into the locker room and saw this totally sweaty, red-faced and spent woman.

    Me: Recuperating.

    Her: Jeremy.
    My immediate reaction was happiness because if Jeremy taught the previous class, he would not be the teacher for the 7:00p.m. class. But what if he taught back-to-back classes? Damn.

    This newbie was chatting up the woman at the desk.

    Cindy: I'll be teaching the 7 o'clock class.

    Me (silently): Yes!
    Cindy had her hair back so I hadn't recognized her.

    I like Cindy's style. She's firm but not a commando. When she entered the room, she set down the rules.

    Rule number one: No leaving the room or else I'll tackle you she said followed by light laughter. She went on to demonstrate the resting poses etc. etc. then we got down to business.

    Cindy also explained the importance of gazing at your forehead in the mirror. They call this the drishti, she said.

    At several points, we stopped to get reacquainted with our breath and Cindy told us that we could tap into the power of our breathing at any point during our day. A bit later, she told us to not let our mind write stories; in essence, we were to concentrate on our practice and release tension.

    I now see the point of gazing at your forehead in the mirror. It was totally helpful during camel pose as I was quite loopy and it settled me down and it was also centering when I had my peace fingers wrapped around my big toes.

    When I was at the store, I couldn't resist picking up coconut water for Crystal and Patti. I gave it to them after class. They were tickled not unlike I was tickled at the beginning of class when I placed my mat near Patti's.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    You Should Be Your Tallest Self

    Got to experience another teacher besides Jeremy and she (Cindy, I think) was a tad bit less intense.

    This is my third Hot Yoga outing and, while I still sweat, my body is not the rainforest that it was on the first try.

    Here's a sampling of the coaching that went on:

    Just melt.
    There was no pun intended by the instructor and, really, after bow pose, you really do want to melt into the mat.

    During the decoy savasana, we were told:

    Eyes open. I'll tell you when to close your eyes.

    After our brief savasana, we went into plank and that was intense. Crystal implored us to stay there though.

    This is 60 seconds out of a 90 minute class...

    As we held a rather intense chair pose and rose but only lifting our upper bodies off of our knees.

    Leave your lower body where it's at.

    During tree pose, we were told -- knee to the side, crown reaching toward the ceiling and shoulder back:

    You should be your tallest self...
    I did feel pretty tall and majestic in my alignment.

    After class, Patti said We're thinking about going climbing this afternoon. After I closed my mouth, I said: Let me know...

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    On The Fourth Day of Yoga

    My Monday night yoga teacher said that she would be subbing at another branch of my gym. I thought it would be nice to get all centered for, not only Christmas Eve, but for transitioning to 2012.

    As I got out of my car, I saw other people emerge out of their cars with telltale mats in a variety of colors.

    The instructor for Drills to Make You Sweat took her class up until the absolute last second. A little rude if you ask me.

    Our yoga class was full but not uncomfortably so. There was a wife and husband with their son attending and I thought that was pretty cool...

    So, I started yoga with Donna on Monday. Did Candlelight Restorative Yoga on Wednesday, Hot Yoga on Thursday and, as I ended my week with yoga, Donna was her usual supportive self telling us to honor our bodies and reminding us that:
    Your breath is your power.
    During my first class with the Yoga Nazi Jeremy, he told us that yogis have lived without food and without water but not without prana.

    Okay, living without prana is not a groundbreaking revelation but what Jeremy did do for me was to help me with breathing. As he reminded us to breathe, he did a five count for the inhalation and a five count for the exhalation. I've been practicing a five count and it's been, surprisingly, helpful as far as me being a better breather.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Decoy Savasanas

    Went to Candlelight Restorative Yoga yesterday and went to Hot Yoga today. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

    When I went to my first hot yoga class last Saturday, I knew the basics: take two towels and water. I also knew not to wear anything that would become transparent.

    Crystal via Patti also advised not to eat too big of a breakfast.

    What I didn't know was the other stuff so I was surprised when the instructor told us to make sure that we could see our forehead in the mirror and, when he monitors the room, he makes sure that you are gazing in that direction. I read this after the first class on Yoga Spy's blog:

    I do Iyengar yoga, not Bikram yoga, which involves looking at one’s mirror image while doing asana.
    Jeremy a.k.a. The Yoga Nazi doesn't usually teach on Thursdays but, as I entered the room, Patti whispered to me that that Jeremy would be the teacher.

    I put my mat near the back and near Patti. Looked at Patti and got tickled. Luckily, I made it through the giggle phase because there was really nowhere else to go with my mat. When Jeremy came in the room, he moved people around and I ended up back near the front again. Oh well...

    As you might have heard, I'm the hard one
    . That's what Jeremy said before he laid down the law:

    Water breaks between poses, no looking around, no closed eyes and no leaving the room. If you think you need to leave the room, raise your hand and I will have a discussion with you about it. If you get tired or cannot do a pose, stand in Tadsana (Mountain Pose) or kneel in Vajrasana (Sitting Pose). No fidgeting. If you absolutely have to wipe sweat off because it's about to roll in your eye, do it...

    I felt like the heat didn't bother me as much this time but I also felt more worn out. Jeremy had us doing yogic sit-ups then planks. We kept going from our backs to our stomachs and there were a couple of fake savasanas thrown in.

    When we finally got around to the real savasana, Jeremy actually said Namaste before he left the room.

    During Downward Facing Dog, Jeremy said that I our feet should be hip width apart and that our hands should be shoulder width apart. He came over to me and said Your hips are not that big. Guess my delusions of grandeur kicked in again...

    Monday, December 19, 2011


    Eight of us rendezvoused for rock climbing and it was fun playing musical climbing partners. When Jessica and I climbed together, I asked her if she knew how to do Eagle Pose and she quickly put her arms and legs together. As I tried it, I made a comment about my shoulders and Jessica added, and I'm paraphrasing, that I had something else sticking out that prevented me from doing Eagle. I laughed because I hadn't thought of that.

    I also asked Jessica about flip turns because I think it's about time. She suggested that I practice somersaults on land and that I remember to breathe once I actually start practicing in water.

    After we've climbed for a while, we usually ask one another how many routes we have left in us.

    Me: I'm done.

    Patti: I don't see your fork.

    Me: It's in my forkarm.
    When I repeated this joke to Leah and Mike, it was like someone hit the instant replay button. Their faces slowly crumpled upon hearing the punchline. Patti got in on the joking too.

    Jessica: I'm going to change.

    Patti (while slipping her arm around Jessica): Don't change. You're lovely the way you are.

    Me: Don't go try to please me...
    As we were leaving, we exchanged holiday greetings. Leah was trying to spare me a sweaty shirt when I pulled her in and said Have yourself a sweaty little Christmas.

    And, now, I can't get this song out of my head...

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Hot Yoga Eve

    Well, actually, it's not the eve of hot yoga since I went today but that's what Patti called it as we reached the end of our countdown.

    I'm not quite sure when I agreed to try hot yoga because I don't really like a lot of heat but figured that I could survive a hot yoga class if I was able to survive Las Vegas in July.

    The Yoga Nazi teacher introduced himself then handed down the rules and the one that sticks out the most is that once class started, you were not allowed to alter the aura by leaving the room.

    I seldom take a shine to anything of a mandatory nature so I just filed that away. Other rules included:

  • No talking in class

  • No cell phones (applause) etc. etc.

  • No intake of water in the middle of a pose

  • If you get tired, assume the position on your knees and gaze...

  • Eyes open (with exception of Savasana) at all times

  • I decided to wear my green t-shirt made out of bamboo and my sole pair of official yoga pants and they worked beautifully.

    I managed to find myself at the front of the room and I survived that too.

    Even in regular yoga class, I can't manage Eagle and it was definitely unmanageable since I was completely slick with sweat. In the end, my shoulders are way too tight for this move. And Standing Head to Knee pose? Yeah, that didn't work for me either.

    As we did yogic sit-ups and planks, I tried to gauge what time it was and was so relieved when the 1.5 hours was up.

    We went into Savasana and the teacher said that we should hold the pose for three to five minutes. I've never had a yoga teacher walk out during Savasana but today was the day. What happened to holding the space? That's something that Madonna did beautifully in Candlelight Restorative Yoga. Or, since Hot Yoga is kind of hardcore, should I not expect the teacher to hold the space?

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    The Massage Nazi

    Three weeks after I send a text, she says that she might be available in two days.

    I tell her that I might be there.

    She also asked me to come fifteen minutes earlier than originally proposed but still saw me at the original time.

    When it's time for the massage, the first place that she lays her hand on is my sacrum although her usual first point of contact is the back.

    She has really strong hands and the first time that I received a massage from her, I knew that it was going to be special the minute she put her hands on my back.

    When the massage is over, she moves from my head to my side and gently touches me. When I open my eyes, she flashes a 100 megawatt smile, tells me to take my time and that there's no rush.

    As I put on my shoes, there's a knock at the door.

    Me: Did you think that I had fallen asleep?

    TMN: I was like she took me seriously.

    She changes the sheets as we chit chat and she tells me how much the session will be.

    I hand over the dead presidents.

    TMN:I like it when my clients pay in cash.

    The Massage Nazi knows what she wants and she also knows how to start and finish a massage...

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    You Haven't Done Child's Pose Until

    As I was driving away from the rock climbing gym, I second-guessed my decision to head to yoga. It was dark, raining, yaddayaddayadda.

    I have two visits left on a group coupon and since Yoga Wall is on hiatus, I decided to try Candlelight Restorative Yoga.

    I walk in and about seven women were already on the floor. Some of them looked as if they were about to give birth.

    I rolled out my mat and it looked completely jadan. The teacher, Madonna, quickly came over since I have a tendency to stick out. She gathered props for me: a strap, eggs, blocks, a blanket, a bolster and eye bag.

    Madonna assembled some props and asked me to put my back to the bolster. I put the soles of my feet together and put the strap at my back then over my head and, finally, around my feet. The eggs supported my knees and I reclined with an eye bag. It was like reverse Savasana and Madonna did ring a bell to bring us out of each pose. She told me ahead of time that they usually hold one pose for about 10 minutes.

    Next, we did Crocodile. Most of the props were moved to the side except for the bolster which we placed our ribs on while placing our foreheads on an egg.

    After Crocodile, we put our legs up on the wall and put our eye bags back in place. The bags, by the way, smelled divine.

    At some point, we did Child's Pose by placing the bolster at our knees then laying on it. Amazing. I felt like it was the first time that I've gotten the full benefit of the pose. As I was in Child's Pose, I thought Yoga, where have you been for most of life?

    During class, Madonna came around to massage feet, legs and shoulders -- the shoulders with some mentholy situation. I know that the massage and yoga communities are intertwined but I'm not sure where the whole massage during yoga comes from. Never mind. Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

    We did Savasana and Madonna preambled by saying that it was the most important pose. After we came out of Savasana, we ended the class with three "Om's." Madonna's got some pipes on her. After "Om," you know what came next:


    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    You're Taken or Overheard Everywhere

  • You should be more respectful to your belayer.

    Leah to her friend Jessica

  • Do they sell gloves or something? My fingers hurt.

    Newbie rock climber

  • Excuse me; it's overflowing.

    Woman in Trader Joe's new to the coffee grinder. I reached around her and apologized as I shook her can to make room for more coffee.

  • Cekaj! Cekaj, man!

    One horse playing Bosnian to another while in the pool. Cekaj = wait...

  • You need to get out. Now...

    Lifeguard to man who got up a full head of steam and dived into the shallow end.

  • I'll climb anything from a 5.2 to a 5.12.


  • Climber: It wasn't pretty.

    Her friend: It was beautiful. I'm very proud of you.

  • I like leeks in everything...


  • The body has an amazing ability to heal itself if given the proper nutrition.

    Bryan, acupuncturist

  • Climber: Take.

    Belayer: You're taken.

    When the climber has reached the top of a route, he or she usually says "take" or "take it up" and the belayer says "gotcha." The belayer, in this instance, is a native French speaker and I really like the way he turned the phrase after his climber asked for a "take."
  • Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Brace the Lats

    Warm-Up for Kettlebell 101:

    Run around the room. Run around the room swinging one arm then the other. Skip around the room. Shuffle towards the mirror. Shuffle in the other direction. Make use of all the floor space while running...

    After the warm-up, another newbie said: Okay, I'm done. I gave her a high five then went to assume the position near my kettlebell.

    We moved on to our usual of jumping jacks et al. Warmed up the shoulders a bit more. Warmed up the hip region and the knees...

    Mike was not playing around (row, push-up, around the body and catch, shoulder press, squat curl). When it was all over, he had administered a very thorough beat down.

    We did our regular kettlebell swings and we did that darn one minute circuit of lunges. It's official: I cannot stand that curtsy situation.

    The newbies got introduced to the swing and release. Um, I didn't quite catch on to that one. Not sure if this is the one that Mike said you should have T-rex arms for...

    I have to say that I like it that Mike insists that we get into a circle or, really, an oval. It makes you feel more connected to your classmates.

    Towards the end, we sat down and took our legs far apart. Each person said a number and we did arm presses and some other move. There were eleven of us so it was pretty intense.

    We also did ab work. Have you ever held a kettlebell over your chest while doing bicycle motions with your leg? Or extended your straightened legs toward you then the floor? We also did windshield wipers with our kettlebells poised above our chests.

    Mike also introduced us to the waiter walk. You put the kettlebell in your hand and hold it out as if you're a waiter serving someone and you can't curl your fingers around it. Mike said that when you're doing the waiter walk, you should brace your lats. There was not enough bracing in the world for me to be able to serve. I tried with my right hand and got absolutely nowhere with the left.

    I bought my first kettlebell. I was going to get it from Play It Again Sports but they only had the kb's in five pound increments and Mike suggested that I get a 10 kg. Like luggage, I need to put an identifying marker on my k'bell because I don't want anyone to walk away with it. Maybe I should name it too. I like Adabelle or, maybe, just Belle.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Don't Run From It

    I have been jonesing to swim but when my designated swimming days came around, I couldn't bear to go out in the cold then get into a cold pool but today it was in the 40's and I was determined to go.

    It was nice and humid inside and the water actually had a smidgen of warmth. I played with a baby and talked to Chatty Kathleen but still managed to get in 24 laps when Bob Harper kicked in...stand up and finish what you started.

    I got in 33 laps and it wasn't as taxing as my previous pursuits of a mile. I won't say that it was easy because my arms were aching since I did Jackie Warner's Personal Training with Jackie: 30 Day Fast Start* yesterday.

    I chased the burn or maybe the burn chased me.

    How my arms got sore:

    Pyramid One:

    Push-up and Bicep Routine (i.e. one push-up, one biceps curl...two push-ups + two curls...repeat until you get to ten.)

    Pyramid Two:

    Chest Press and Biceps Curl

    Pyramid Three:

    Chest Fly and Outward Biceps Curl

    Pyramid Four:

    Row and Head Banger

    Pyramid Five:

    Wide Row and Kickback

    Pyramid Six:

    Side Extension & Kickback

    Right around pyramid four, Warner advises you to chase the burn instead of running away from it. By the fifth pyramid session, my arms were on fire and I couldn't finish pyramid six.

    I did the lower body segment last Sunday and my hamstring muscles were so tight that I couldn't straighten my legs in yoga class. I took a salt bath and the next day, in true pyramid fashion, my quadriceps got in on the soreness.

    *Disclosure: I received this video without charge.

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Unique Climbing Invitation

    I've been waiting for Leah to wax poetic again...

    We checked our schedule,
    Then checked it twice;
    And hope that you'll be nice
    To climb with us this yule.

    This Sunday Fair
    The fun starts at eleven
    Will there be all seven?
    The question remains where?
    Which location
    To practice our vocation?

    * * *

    In addition to poetry, here's a little rock climbing humor.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Gazing at the Third Eye or The Gospel According to Donna, My Other Yoga Teacher

  • Savasana is a gift that you should give yourself every day.

  • If you're not breathing, you're not doing the practice.

  • Wherever you go, you must breathe.

  • (While we tried to get our fingers to our toes)

  • Heart center open...

  • Let your head hang low -- like a piece of ripe fruit.

  • I don't like to hear the word "ouch."

    While we were doing pigeon and curious pigeon.

  • Strong and majestic -- like a mountain...

  • Even though your eyes are closed, you're gazing at your third eye which is right above the bridge of your nose.

  • Your tush should not torque.

    During chair pose

  • Wherever you go, it should feel good. This pose is a restorative position.

    Donna on child's pose. She told us that we could put our big toes together or whatever felt good to us...

  • Yoga Girl didn't amuse me as much as Whole Foods Parking Lot but it did amuse...

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Keep Your Eye on the Kettlebell

    Pain is temporary -- wish that Mike had said that at the beginning of class. Mike also had on a t-shirt that said: pain is weakness leaving the body. Yeahyeahyeah...

    We did calisthenics and lots of stretches before getting to swing. And how long does it take to feel the pain? Just one short minute.

    Kettlebell Swing, 30 Seconds
    Jumping Jacks, 30 "
    Right Arm Swing, 30 Seconds
    Mountain Climbers, 30 "
    Left Arm Swing, 30 Seconds
    Criss Cross Jumping Jacks, 30 "

    At some point we did planks to push-ups and regular push-ups in between swings but I've tried to put that out of my mind because it kinda hurt.

    Next, we did a lunge while pulsing the back leg and moving the kettlebell from one side of the front leg to the other. We also did a curtsy situation with the kettlebell and the side lunge was saved for last.

    After lunging around, we got to incorporate more lunging when Mike asked the people who knew the Turkish Get-Up to stay put and do them while the rest of us went off to learn the TGU. I was introduced to the TGU at CrossFit but it was during basic training and I haven't done it since...

    Mike demonstrated first then five of us worked on getting up. The one and only guy in the class, poor thing, has big challenges with coordination -- even bigger than me.

    We worked on the TGU without the kettlebell first. Next, Mike told us to take a shoe off and we practiced with our shoe which was a pretty cool exercise because you had to move carefully to keep your shoe balanced on your hand. Practicing with a dumbbell was next. By the end of class, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of how to do the Turkish Get-Up. I'll have to start practicing at home so that I don't forget.

    Oh yeah, Mike told us not to just grab the kettlebell but to roll to it, cradle it then lift it up. He also said that you want to keep your eye on the kettlebell. Is that like keeping your eye on the prize?

    Things That I Need to Remember:

    The leg that's bent is the leg on the same side as the kettlebell.

    Take it to the bridge i.e. your leg can't go through if you don't lift your bootie.

    Remember the way that I came i.e. the moves are exactly the same but in reverse.

    P.S. Thanks to my classmates who were keeping an eye on me and offering tips while we were doing that curtsy situation...

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Losing Track of Time

    No wonder Whitney asked how long we usually climb. Glanced at the clock and couldn't believe that we had been at the gym for three hours. Not sure what time was spent yakking and what time was spent climbing. It was probably half and half. Patti and I had not seen Mike and Leah since October so I guess there was catching up to do.

    I thought about what I could have been doing but we're all busy and we all have stuff to do. We exercised and enjoyed ourselves -- definitely worthy pursuits.

    Whitney getting her stretch on or either showing respect for the wall before ascending. Whitney hadn't climbed in five years but she did great. Climbing must be like bicycling...

    Even though Leah (lead) and I (top rope) started out ascending together and joked about synchronized climbing, I think she was surprised when I called her name or maybe she was surprised that I had my camera in my hand.

    Mike tackled this 5.10 route and is at the crux.

    Patti, who is in orange and belaying for me, wanted to know if I was showing off since I paused to play photographer. For some reason, I like to take pictures when I'm perched near the top of the route; guess I like the view.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Sexxi Drea or Best of the Blogger Stats

    Every now and then, the Blogger stats make me laugh. A sampling of recent searches that brought people to my blog:

  • wild drea

  • bully t shirt

  • drea hard

  • i'm to tense when swimming front crawl

  • blogspot old lady sexy

  • black boulderers

  • sexxi drea

  • i'm a tart t-shirt

  • "peed on jessica"

  • how can i motivate myself to get rid of my clutter

  • *Indeed, how can I motivate myself to get rid of clutter?

    These shoes are toast. The toe box has a little window and the rand is coming apart. I climbed in them for almost two years and I've gotten my money's worth. They smell and they're dirty so why can't I part with them?

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    What's Not Sore or Month-End Review, November

    Hit the rock climbing gym at 6:00 p.m. and didn't leave until around 8:30. We haven't had an outing like that in a while and it felt good even though Monday rock climbing followed by Tuesday boxing and another bout with climbing have left my biceps tender; hope that means that they're growing. What's not sore is my elbow. Massage, self-massage and soaking in Epsom Salt seems to have done the trick.

    While I missed more days of exercise than I would have liked to, I felt like I got in a lot of quality work:

    10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Sleek and Sexy Abs, 1 x,

  • Bicycling, 2 x's

    BodyGo Row Class @ CrossFit, 3 x's

    Boxing, 2 x's

    Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 1 x

  • Kettlebell 101, 2 x's

    Leaf Raking, 1 x

    Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

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

  • Rock Climbing, 7 x's

    , 4 x's

    Walking, 3 x's

    Yoga, 8 x's

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    The Bread and Butter Combination

    Skipped my regular yoga class in order to finally check out the boxing class at the gym that I got the Groupon for. I no longer feel right if I don't get in yoga twice a week. I did go yesterday and it was an amazing class which made me feel better about missing tonight's session.

    Got to the boxing class and the teacher divided us. The more experienced boxers sparred with each other.

    The newbies got to prance around on the balls of our feet before we touched the bag then we got around to what our instructor likes to call the Bread and Butter combination -- the one-two punch.

    After that, we practiced the three-four (a hook on each side).

    We also practiced kicking and, after working on two basic ones, we did a combo. The instructor said that the first straight kick is to make the "person" implode while the second kick should cause teetering.

    I really like the roundhouse kick. You lift your knee up -- like a dog at a fire hydrant -- then you kick and hit with your shin.

    So far, I like the kettlebell class better than the boxing at this particular facility. I like the way calisthenics are incorporated in the other boxing classes that I've gone to. The other classes also seem more fluid. It still felt good to hit the bag and I was definitely in the mood to kick.

    Oh yeah, the instructor reminded us to breathe. He actually wanted us to call out the number for each punch and the corresponding letter when we got around to kicking. He said that when you’re holding your breath it creates unhealthy, internal pressure. I love it that I keep getting reminders to breathe...

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Every Woman Should Know How to Clean

    I'm many things but I'm not really an a.m. exerciser but since my exercise schedule is getting complicated, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to Kettlebell 101 because I didn't want more time to elapse between classes. I made it to class in the nick of time.

    After the last encounter with kettlebells, I thought my upper body would be sore. Not.

    I cannot fully describe how sore my hamstrings were. I took at least two Epsom Salt baths, a yoga class, did self-massage and hamstring-specific stretches but the 'strings remained sore for almost four days...

    For today's warm-up, we ran around the small room, rotated our arms while running, shuffled to the side, skipped and ran backwards. I was so happy when we started doing stretches. The stretching portion included but was not limited to a figure eight with our arms; my mind/body connection is so challenged when we're supposed to reverse the figure eight. We did this one stretch where you cross one leg over the other with the feet right next to each other then bend at the waist. Mike was impressed that we could all bend post-Thanksgiving.

    After the warm-up, we did swings, one arm swings, the press, catch and lunge, rows, around-the-body with a catch, push-ups etc. After this series, Mike took us three newbies to the side to work on the clean while the bigger group did Turkish Get-Ups et al.

    Did you know that you're leaking power if you don't properly rack the kettlebell on your biceps and forearm during the clean? I didn't.

    It helped when Mike said that the motion for the clean is like zipping up a jacket. I kept making a popping sound when racking my kettlebell. Mike said it was because I was strong* and kind of flinging the kettlebell (10kg) up but he said it's a lot to learn and we'll just chalk everything up to kettlebell practice.

    Things I need to remember:

  • Hand Off Body (During One Arm Swing)

  • It's Not A Squat Stance

  • Squeeze the Butt

  • Thumb Back

  • Don't Try to Control the Kettlebell (During Swings)...

  • I was a mess when I tried to swing and clean. Mike was like don't overthink it. How did he know that I'm prone to overthinking?

    Even though Mike was joking, he is right: every woman should know how to clean.

    *Other people keep telling me that I'm strong. I'm not sure why I need to keep convincing myself. In addition, when I shuffled past the mirror, I noticed that I am more toned even though I've been thinking otherwise.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    What's Hot, What's Not: Holiday Edition


    Carrying Around Almond Butter, Instant Oatmeal and Larabaras in Purse

    Not Hot

    Well, It Was Hot When It Came Out Of the Oven


    Incorporating What You Learned in Bootcamp-like Classes for an Outdoor Workout

    Not Hot

    Finding Out There's a Fitness Room but Getting Bored by Spinning Bike

    * * *

    Not Hot

    Packing So Lightly That There's No Margin for Error


    Finding Free Laundry Facility at Inn In Case of Packing Errors

    * * *

    Not Hot

    The Relative Who Almost Downs a Bottle of Vodka Right After Turkey

    * * *



    * * *

    Even Hotter

    One Year Old Niece Who Toddles Off With Water Bottle, Catching Up with Relatives and, You Know, Getting Rest

    Nephew After Dinner

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Crossing Another Book Off The List

    As I uncluttered, I went through magazines and found a recommendation for this book in O: The Oprah Magazine.

    Grennan initially signs up to volunteer at an orphanage for a couple of months and really has no idea what he is getting into.

    As it turns out, wondering what you're supposed to do in an orphanage is like wondering what you're supposed to do at the running of the bulls in Spain -- you work it out pretty quickly... (16)
    Before I could utter a word I was set upon -- charged at, leaped on, overrun -- by a herd of laughing kids, like bulls in Pamplona. (17)
    Grennan starts Next Generation Nepal and helps to reunite children (trafficking victims) with their families.

    Despite the trafficking, caste system and poverty, it's a tale with a couple of happy endings and it's a book that left me wanting to make a trek to Nepal.

    The book also made me remember how convenient life can be:
    Other times, when the children were at school, I would go into Kathmandu to visit a simple, run-down artificial climbing wall, where one could practice rock climbing right in the city. The commute to the outdoor climbing wall took three hours, round-trip...(44)
    Don't think that I would be an avid rock climber if it involved three hours of travel time for each outing.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Approach The Kettlebell As If...

    When I saw this picture in my daily Groupon newsletter, I knew that I wanted the coupon. I checked out the website and saw that, in addition to boxing, the gym also has kettlebell classes so I took myself to Kettlebell 101.

    Before we started the instructor, Mike, asked us newbies if we'd been exercising. One woman, Mary Ellen, said that she hadn't exercised in six months. Whattttttttttt??? That's mock shock because ME certainly had enough stamina to make it through the class which started with shoulder, arm and hip rotations. We also did three versions of jumping jacks with mountain climbers thrown in and a few other things that I can't remember.

    Before the warm-up this woman, without any solicitation on my part, told me that, for three months, she only took a kettlebell class once a week and dropped a size -- didn't lose any weight -- but dropped a size.

    After the warm-up, Mike asked the newbies to follow him and he left one of the more experienced class members in charge of the larger group and stepped over to give them new tasks in between instructing us.

    We worked on the kettlebell swing, press, around-the-body (recovery move), one arm swing, etc.

    Mike talked about the importance of hip action and how he approaches every kettlebell as if it weighs 100 pounds. He also said that the kettlebell is a mobile gym -- if you know how to do it and incorporate circuit training. I think he likened it to having a airplane but needing to know how to fly it.

    After Mike stayed with us for about 40 minutes, we joined the larger group and did more stuff in 30 second segments, including a push-up series where we tapped the kettlebell with one hand...push-up...tap with the other hand...

    Mike reminded us of the importance of breathing, a reminder that I seem to get in many settings these days.

    After class, the same woman who told me about dropping a size suggested that I get protein after class. She was super nice and everyone else was for that matter -- proving that there really are more nice people in the world than not.

    Other classmates smiled and warned me about impending soreness. I thought, yeah, I just went shopping and I've got Epsom Salt for that...

    And, oh yeah, Mike said that he's done a lot of training and he finds that a kettlebell workout provides the best full body workout. They all say that, don't they? It is a pretty intense workout though.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    I'm Usually Toast

    I had an epiphany at the pool. I streamlined and I stayed streamlined for, apparently, longer than I usually do. I must wobble or roll out of my streamlined position but I maintained during this outing and I immediately thought about my Tuesday yoga teacher when we do mountain pose.

    He tells us to put our feet together, to lift our toes up and spread them apart and to make sure that each and every part of our feet touches the mat. I'm missing a step that he talks about but, in the end, he tells us that our body is in perfect alignment at that point.

    As I did the front crawl, I tried to maintain the alignment of being streamlined. I thought about my swimming teacher who told us that if you swim a certain way during front crawl, you'll be like a torpedo in the water and I also thought about another teacher who drilled into her kids that they needed to swim streamlined.

    By lap 25, I knew that I wanted to chase a mile.

    When I did the back stroke, I thought about my rotator cuff. Of course, the muscles are doing their job all the time but I have major appreciation for them when my arm is going backward and past my ear.

    Around lap 27 while doing the side stroke, I started to feel tension in my triceps area and, at some point, the tug in my elbow that has visited of late started to make its presence known.

    By lap 30, I think that I'm about to make myself cry and I employ Patti's rock climbing strategy of not pausing for fear that I will stop.

    Once I got in 33 laps, I hoisted myself on the surface of the water and floated.

    I ran an errand after swimming and I noticed that I wasn't toast the way that I usually am after taking on a mile.

    Boxing and CrossFit classes have made me deal with discomfort and go beyond that.

    After talking to a friend and discussing how I juggle my fitness schedule, she suggested that I pick one activity and stick to it. Never...

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    The Heat Sequence

    Tamal Dodge says that The strap is a great tool. I couldn’t agree more. I love props whether it’s a stability ball, resistance band or a ball for Pilates and now that I’ve fallen in love with yoga, I have even more props to play with.

    During the Hatha program, I enjoyed using the strap around my feet and I also enjoyed grabbing it close to my ankles for an amazing butterfly pose and even though I lost my balance and rocked backwards, I liked using it during boat pose. I also enjoyed the shoulder stretch since the strap was incorporated. Hatha felt particularly good following a day of rowing and rock climbing since my hips were intensely sore.

    During the Flow program, Dodge brings the heat. He incorporates reverse warrior, baby cobra, plank, inverted bicycle and downward facing dog. I liked the chair, crescent and sun salutation sequences. This session definitely has a cardio aspect to it and I welcomed the cool portion of the program that came towards the end.

    I thought that I would feel weird during yoga at home by my lonesome now that I've gotten accustomed to classes but I was wrong. It still felt good and savasana and the half-fetal positions were still quite tasty.

    While the DVD says for beginners, I think most people would enjoy it. I've been going to yoga classes for about six months now and I'm starting to feel less like a beginner...

    I also visited Dodge’s website and I feel like there’s a yoga retreat in my future. Hope it’s the near future.

    Been to any yoga retreats? If so, which one did you enjoy the most?

    *Disclosure: I received this video without charge.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    I've Got Muscles

    Checked the CrossFit schedule and noticed that an open house/open gym overlapped with BodyGo Row. I almost emailed Laurie to see if there was a mix-up but figured that we'd be just about finished with class by the time the open house started and that we didn't warrant that much attention that an open house was an impossibility towards the end of class.

    The Mission

  • Row for 200 Meters

  • Eight Figure Eight Kettlebell Swings + Eight Push-ups

  • 200 Meters

  • Eight Figure Eight Kettlebell Swings + Eight Push-ups...

  • Laurie asked Keri if she was going to use the human-size rubber bands for her push-ups and she set up a bar on the weight bench for me.

    I decided, though, that eight push-ups were doable even if I had to do them slow.

    The figure eight kettlebell situation stumped me more than the push-ups.

    For our next mission, we rowed tabata style and, after that, we rowed for a minute then hopped on and off to do:

    Slams (20)
    Wall Balls (20 with 12 lb Ball)
    Box Jumps (25)
    Burpee Pull-Ups
    Sit-Ups (35)
    Ring Dips (20)
    Walking Lunges...

    I started with the box jumps because I figured that I wouldn't have the wherewithal to finish them towards the end and I was right. Next, I took on sit-ups then ring dips. While I was on the rower, Leeny (there for the open house) spotted me. Leeny was one of our coaches during basic training.

    The last thing that I worked on during that 12 minute session was wall balls and Leeny joined me -- right by my ear -- imploring me to continue. Oh. My. God. I almost fell sideways. And, for the record, it is extremely hard to quit when someone is enthusiastically, loudly and firmly urging you on.

    Laurie asked me if I was able to finish with 500 meters. I hopped back on the rower. Leeny got next to Connor pushing him to finish by a certain time. Then she came over to me to cheer me on and moved on to Keri to help her finish.

    I wished my classmates a good night and headed toward the rock climbing gym to meet up with Mike, Lisa, Patti and Erin, a newbie climber. For some reason, I feel like I climb better after rowing -- maybe it's an adrenaline thing...

    Earlier in the day, I thought about my weight -- how it's going up. I'm pretty sure that some of the gain really is muscle but I also feel the need to count calories again.

    Mike, who hadn't seen me in a while, said that I looked smaller. It was really nice to hear that today.

    And Laurie is funny. Whenever she introduces me to a new coach or another CrossFitter, she tells them that I'm strong and usually refers to my dubious kettlebell technique as proof. I don't care; I've got muscles.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    The Alternative

    Did I really want to go to yoga since I went yesterday?

    I was sure that I could benefit from a few shoulder shrugs et al. because the day had been tedious but yoga was a bit aggravating too. Someone took "my" spot when I went to put my belongings away; someone's cell phone rang a few times and another person came to class 30 minutes after it started.

    I did notice that I'm much better at one of my favorite poses. It was easier to get into and there was only slight quivering.

    After yoga, I wondered if I was really in the mood to go swimming. I wasn't quite jonesing even though I haven't been in about a week.

    The alternative, though, was to sit on my behind to zone out and watch Hoarders or Breaking Bad or the last episode of Out of the Wild.

    I logged off, put my suit on, threw my towel, flip flops, goggles, lap counter etc. in my gym bag and headed out.

    I did my usual song and dance of easing into the water by trying to warm up by standing in one spot while rubbing water into my skin which never makes first contact any easier when your forehead finally hits the water. Of course, my body instantly adjusted to the temperature and I never looked back.

    There were only two people in the pool when I got there which made for a peaceful night.

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Walls Again

    I went to pick up The Glass Castle and it wasn't on the shelves for reserved books which is not unusual since I sometimes notice that a book has arrived before the staff has had a chance to put it in its proper place.

    The clerk went to look in the back. No book. He went to look on the shelf and I was glad when he didn't find it because I would have been embarrassed by an oversight.

    He went to the back to look again and found it. Someone had put it to the side because it had been damaged by water.

    Did I want to wait for another copy of the book? No, I did not. He marked it as damaged and I went on my way.

    I have the urge to sum up this book in two words: rough childhood -- the kind that you hope that no child has to survive. It's the kind of childhood (part of it) when the switch is flipped and the children are more parent-like than the parents.

    I was moved to tears when the author decides to move to New York (before graduating from high school) to join her older sister. The scene that got me is when she says goodbye to her father and gets on the bus.

    Another scene that moved me is when the family, because of legal trouble, heads to Phoenix. Walls is looking forward to seeing her grandmother (the subject of Half Broke Horses) when she's told of her grandmother's death.

    I couldn't believe I'd been sitting there thinking about Grandma Smith, looking forward to eating Cream of Wheat and having her comb my hair and cuss, and all along she'd been dead. I started hitting Mom on the shoulder, hard, and asking why she hadn't told us. (92)
    Even though Walls wrote The Glass Castle before Half Broke Horses, I'm glad that I read them in the order that I did.

    Friday, November 11, 2011


    This new yogi got into a pose and wanted to know what it was called.

    That's downward facing dog someone said.

    If it's downward then why am I up?

    I started cracking up. She was serious but it was funny the way she asked.

    Dana summoned me over to her mat. She wanted me to pack up and move next to her because she was sure that the woman with stinky feet would come and "sit" next to her. But you can't giggle she said. Isn't that a backhanded invitation? And, of course, I get the urge to giggle most when someone tells me not to and how cute of Dana to think that I was so fresh. My feet had been inside of my shoes all day. Well, for feet that had been inside of shoes, they were okay.

    So, I put my mat next to Dana's even though I was now in close quarters in between Dana and Caroline. I managed not to giggle except for when our teacher had us do mini-planks and cobra then commented on his student who taught the class the previous week.

    He talked to the student about planks which she tried to annihilate us with. Dana said that her arms were sore for three days after plankgate...

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    The 10th Interval

    I love it when Laurie gives us a choice. We could row for two minutes, do a series of push-ups, hop back on the rower, squats etc. OR row for five thousand meters. I chose the latter but as we rowed, I turned to Connor and said Did I choose this?

  • Row for 500 meters

  • Rest for one minute

  • Row for 500 meters

  • Rest for one minute

  • Repeat...

  • After about 1,500 meters, I started loosening the straps on my feet, walked around and flexed my ankles then I would strap my feet back in and row.

    I was worn out when I hit the 10th interval and my legs felt like jelly.

    As we headed out, Kerri started up with her mantra: If you can do the rowing class, you can do the regular CrossFit class.

    I haven't really talked with Kerri about any apprehension that I feel about the CrossFit class or maybe she just assumes I'm apprehensive because she's never seen me in the morning class which I'm not able to attend anyway because of work.

    I do have apprehension about the regular class and wasn't going to lie. This other woman, Marissa, said that she found rowing harder than the regular class and offered to accompany me to a regular class so that I will have a familiar face present. She normally goes in the morning but said that whenever I'm able to go, she'd make it work. I found her offer incredibly sweet...

    After BodyGO Row, I went to Trader Joe's and, since I was in shouting distance of Target, I walked across the parking lot and picked up the last two containers of mango Chobani.

    Hopped on the highway and wondered if I should join Lisa, Mike and Patti who were climbing. I decided that if my legs weren't too sore when I got out of the car, I'd go in and climb a couple of routes; I got six in before we headed out.

    Wonder what I'll do tomorrow...

    Random fact: Efficient rowing and rock climbing rely on the legs and not the arms.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Odoriferous Light

    Went to try out a boxing gym that's closer to me and knew when I had arrived because I had seen the building on the website. Love the building, especially the windows.

    The young lady at the desk pointed out where the cubby unit was located and she also explained that people were warming up by jumping rope. After I put my gym bag away, I went back to retrieve a pair of lightweight gloves minus the fingertips. In addition, the gloves weren't nearly as odoriferous as the ones at the other gym. When I called to schedule a class, the guy did warn me that although they sanitize the gloves, some of them do still smell.

    The bags at this gym are not as dense as the bags at the other gym. Therefore, I can roll my hand wraps and put them away for now...

    The class was packed and when it was "go" time, half of the class went to do strength training and the rest of us boxed and kicked. I like that the class was divided into two parts.

    I wasn't crazy about the strength training approach but it was okay. When I finished with class, everything that I had on was wet. Boxing seems to bring out the body monsoon.

    I felt more at home at the other boxing gym but it's just not feasible to drive that distance on a regular basis.

    One thing is for sure: I really enjoy boxing and I need a boxing home.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Carrying Books

    I seldom take reading material to the rock climbing gym but there was the possibility that Patti might be running behind schedule because of rush hour traffic and I'd rather read than twiddle my thumbs.

    I'm so glad that I was carrying that book under my arms. Otherwise, Brandi would not have asked me what I was reading and we wouldn't have gotten into a conversation about books and she wouldn't have told me that she was reading Half Broke Horses. I don't know when the book would have fallen onto my radar because no one else has mentioned it to me.

    When I finished reading the book, I turned it over, read the authors' bio and blurbs by other authors and quickly requested the author's first book, a memoir. All that to say, I really liked Half Broke Horses, a "true life novel" about the author's grandmother.

    In the Author's Note, Walls says that she intended to write the book about her mother but her mother insisted that her mother was the one who had lived a remarkable life. Lily Casey Smith, Wall's grandmother, died when she was eight so a lot of of what she relays about her grandmother has been passed down to her.

    However, since I don't have the words from Lily herself, and since I have also drawn on my imagination to fill in details that are hazy or missing -- and I've changed a few names to protect people's privacy -- the only honest thing to do is call the book a novel. (272)
    Here's one of my favorite passages in the book. Casey Smith responds to her first husband, Ted:

    "You have a mighty high opinion of yourself," I told him. "The fact is, you don't love me, and you haven't destroyed me. You don't have what it takes to do that." (82)

    I also liked what Casey Smith said to her second husband after he grew weary of his wife's run-ins with different people.

    "These showdowns. It's becoming a pattern."
    "It would be either a pattern of me standing up for myself or a pattern of me getting pushed around." (180)
    I love a woman who stands up for herself...

    Downloaded or had any interesting books tucked under your arm lately?

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    I Knew It...or More Stuff People Say to Me

  • Me: I strain to hear the teacher.

    Opal: Honey, I don't even try that anymore. I just look at Dana and follow her; she's been doing yoga for a long time.

  • Me to Lifeguard: So, what are your tips for front crawling breathing?

    Lifeguard demonstrates then: I think you just need to make a goofy face.

  • You're running kind of late, aren't you?

    Lifeguard to me as I arrived at the pool at 8:30 p.m.

  • You still have time to get your workout in.

    Gentlemen to me. I got to the pool at about 7:15; it closed at 8

  • I knew it.

    A response from a friend at work who asked me if I was going to have Papa John's pizza -- provided by work during preparations for a special event. I said no.

  • What's your name? That's my sister.

    Someone would climb then belay then someone would hold Keri's baby. When it was my turn, Celeste's big sister approached me -- probably wondering who the stranger was holding her infant sister.

  • I like how when she's taking it easy, she does routes that we find challenging.

    Leah's Mike on how Leah was taking it easy by top rope climbing but still rocking 5.9's and 5.10's while nursing her shoulder.

  • Gratuitous Picture of Leah When She Wasn't Nursing Anything

  • No one wants to be up front...Even the instructor falls and he tells us not to base our practice on someone else's.

    Dana re: her crowded Sunday yoga class and how everyone wants to be in the back of the class.

  • Lisa: You make interesting moves when you climb. I just hop to the next hold. Hop like a bunny.

    Me: What's your Chinese zodiac sign?

    Lisa: I don't know: Bunny. Asshole...

    Me: (Lots of laughing)...

  • Interesting First Move or Interesting Composition -- You Decide

  • I did a century both days.

    An Upper Limits staff member who was having a conversation with Patti and me after spotting Patti's MS T-shirt
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Hard To Sit Out

    Googled " sore...should I...exercise." Surprised that I haven't settled on a definitive answer before now.

    My quads and glutes are still sore from boxing class on Monday. You would think that the yoga class that I went to immediately after boxing and the yoga class that I went to yesterday would have helped alleviate the soreness but it didn't.

    I took myself to BodyGo Row class and survived but when I saw Laurie write on the board, I groaned (inside) a little. Since I don't go to the regular CrossFit classes, I haven't been lifting weights and it takes me forever a minute or two or three... to get the coordination down.


  • Two minutes of rowing (damper at four)

  • 10 Deadlifts (40 lbs?)

  • Two minutes of rowing (damper at six)

  • 10 Hang Cleans (26 lbs, Laurie referred to these as Hand Cleans?)

  • Two minutes of rowing (damper at eight)

  • 10 Catch Presses

  • Two minutes of rowing (damper at ten)

  • 20 Swings

  • Rowing Drills

  • 8 Deadlifts
    8 Hang Cleans
    8 Catch Presses
    8 Swings

  • Ab Work

  • I didn't hit myself in the face with a kettlebell while doing catch presses so I'll count tonight as a success. Looking forward to reading while soaking in Epsom Salt. In all honesty, I don't think that I was completely amped to exercise and I was looking for an out when I Googled exercising while sore but it's hard for me to sit out...

    Postscript: Tried to do a pull-up but, apparently, the bar at the CrossFit box is much higher than the one at the playground.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    The Front-Runner or Month-End Review, October

    If I were keeping a poll of most memorable months, October would be the front-runner. I bicycled for almost 30 miles, did a sprint triathlon, returned to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, cut the grass (and it had the nerve to grow again) and discovered the joys of wall yoga and boxing.

    As I uncluttered, a never ending project it seems, I came across the 10th Anniversary edition of O: The Oprah Magazine and saw 10 Biggest Health Mistakes by Bob Greene.

    #1: They (people) work out simply to burn calories. What matters more is exercise intensity. Vigorous exercise dulls your appetite while moderate exercise stimulates it.
    I was definitely surprised that I hardly had a appetite after hiking and outdoor climbing recently. I hate half a sandwich in the middle of climbing and the other half for dinner (along with some fruit etc.). In addition, I got reacquainted with intensity during boxing classes. Shauna had the line of the night as she sat on the floor while we tried to catch our breath:

    Let's go. I'm not just down here (on the floor) for fun.
    She also warned us not to drop the medicine ball on our face as we lifted one leg and held the medicine ball in our opposite hand. Here's my log of activity for October and I'm so glad that I managed not to drop a medicine ball on my face.

    Bicycling, 3 x's

    BodyGo Row Class @ CrossFit, 2 x's

    Boxing (and Kickboxing), 7 x's

    Lawn Mowing, 1 x

    Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 4 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 5 x's

    Sprint Triathlon, 1 x

    , 4 x's

    Walking, 9 x's

    Yoga, 9 x's

    Hope that your October was memorable...

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Three Eggs to the Back

    Went to Yoga Wall class which I missed last week because of the trek to Arkansas. It was just enough time away for me to get nervous and make myself ponder how I get myself into such things as practicing yoga on a wall.

    I'm glad that you came back one my classmates said when she spotted me; thought that was quite sweet and welcoming.

    Of course, the class was fine. The instructor, Sharon, is super nice and very good and the woman next to me on the wall is a giggler. Just the person that I don't need next to me or maybe I did need her today.

    I had planned to go to a boxing class immediately after yoga. I had even packed pineapple Chobani yogurt and a Honeycrisp apple to nosh on in between but my chest, hips et al. had been seriously opened up. I hung upside down, to the side and got an amazing stretch by placing one foot on the wall while holding a strap and pulling in the other direction. Sharon joked, as we were getting a serious twist on, for us to make a wish. We also did the revolved triangle pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) and I wonder which position made my glutes sore.

    Even the start of class was a bit intense. We started by placing three eggs at our back for a kind of mini backbend. So, yeah, I returned home.

    After savasana, I'm usually hard-pressed to wiggle my fingers and toes so I'm not sure what made me think that I would survive a boot camp-like boxing class afterwards. Again, Sharon agreed to be watchmanwoman during savasana which was fine by me. When she started talking about how if thoughts about xyz enter your mind, I thought she was going to say stop them but she said that opposite -- a strategy that has, surprisesurprise, been working for me...

    The Yoga Wall class will be on hiatus since one of the teachers has to have surgery. I'm going to miss it but I'm sure that I'll find another activity to fill the void.

    On another note, it baffles me that I cannot do a shoulder stand. Guess I'll add that to the list of things that I'm in pursuit of. Along the same lines, I was at the park practicing pull-ups and progress is being made. It felt good to hoist myself upwards...

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Return of the Arm Slayer

    Shauna leisurely chatted up a boxer as she spotted the Rally Squirrel on her t-shirt as I wondered when she would tell us to stop doing jumping jacks and, it's not until I'm in push-up position, that I remember how Shauna likes to kill your arms before you even put on gloves.

    Towards the end of cardio, a reminder from Shauna:

    Don't just touch those bags, hit 'em.

    I was happy to hear gloves off until I realized that the ab portion of the program was about to begin...

    I survived the ab work and I'm hoping that the STL Cardinals will survive game seven.

    I didn't have the heart to finish watching the World Series last night so when I woke up, I was really surprised to see a cardinal on a bat sitting in the box for Friday's forecast. Go Cards.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Do Bears Really Crawl?

    One thing that I know for sure: If your body is not glistening by the end of a boxing class, you must have gone into the locker room to hide.

    Before class started, some people warmed up. I, however, wanted to reserve my energy for the pending beat down.

    I watched as this youngin leaped up to the bar that holds the boxing bags. The bar has to be at least 10 feet tall. After leaping, he hung on for a little bit, stabilized then started doing pull-ups. I didn't realize that the watcher was being watched and this woman was like We can do that -- no problem. Then, we start talking about our struggles with pull-ups.

    Class went like this:

    Warm Up

    Run around the boxing bags.

    Do long jumps until you reach the end of the row of boxing bags. (4x's)

    Bear crawl, 5x's, followed by two Push-ups until you reach the end of the row. (4x's)

    Sprint to the End of the Row. Jog to the Front. Sprint. Jog. Sprint. Jog.

    Gloves On

    (On The Bag) Body shot. Body shot. Cross. Hook.

    Off The Bag

    Jab. Jab. Cross. Hook.

    Off The Bag

    Squat. Squat Jump. Squat then knees to elbows.

    On The Bag

    (Off The Bag) Alternating Lunges

    (On The Bag) Burn It Out and Punch for One Minute

    Off The Bag


    On The Bag (for some punching combination that I can't remember)

    Stand Up Mountain Climbers

    On The Bag

    Planks to Push-Ups

    Off The Bag

    Ab Work

    What Boxing Bags Look Like When You're On The Floor Doing Ab Work

    Sidenote: I noticed that I felt stronger while doing push-ups.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Tackling the East Side of the Ranch

    Two and a half years ago, I didn't know that Patti existed and, up until six months ago, I didn't know that Leah was around either but there I was around 4:00 a.m. on Saturday preparing to rendezvous with Patti, Leah, et al. before heading to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

    Once we hit Arkansas, we didn't waste much time before heading out to climb and after climbing, we set up camp, ate dinner, sat around, chatted and read. At seven something, I crawled into the tent and listened to my peeps talk about satellites and shooting stars.

    Patti wanted me to take a look but I told her that I could see the stars from a crack in the tent but she wasn't satisfied and harassed me until I came out to witness the beautifulness of it all. She pointed out The Milky Way and a satellite while Mike told us about the A-Train satellite constellation.

    Around 10, it started to rain and Patti abandoned the tent. I, in all honesty, was too sore to move. I took a look around and didn't see any rain coming in and continued with my tossing and turning.

    The next day, we made our way to the Cliffs of Insanity, a trek that is definitely a reminder that no one needs a gym.

    On our way back to The Lou, Patti said: I can't wait to get home to...

    Me: ....slip into something fresh???

    Patti: To slip into a shower.

    As I walked toward my house, I felt a stinging sensation. I knew, without a doubt, that it was a tick. Ewww, ewww, and ewww. I no longer had to wonder what a tick looked like. My knee crease still stung after that sucker was removed...

    Mike Making His Way Up --From the 'Drea Skycam

    The Crowd Goes Wild for A.J. -- Also from the Skycam

    Hobo, One Cool Little Dog

    Diamond Falls for Patti and Vice Versa

    Leah Stops To Smell The Roses

    Morning at the Campsite

    Patti Salutes The Sun

    'Drea Embracing the Cliff...Special Thanks to Noah for the Camera Work

    Find Leah --in a Lime Green Shirt

    The Horses of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

    Additional Notes:

    Thanks to Patti for letting me know that I had to let the wet tent air out. The prospect of setting up the tent by myself was a bit daunting but I did it. Patti and I actually talked about how amazing equipment, from rope bags to tents, is made. And as always, thanks to YouTube.