Monday, February 28, 2011

Month-End Review, February

February was short but not entirely sweet. I'm looking forward to losing the cough and feeling energetic again...I went to the traditional gym one time. I need to hurry up and get over this notion of the gym being my security blanket because I'm just wasting money.

Here's what I did in 28 days:

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Hip Hop Dance Mix

  • Hip Hop Basics, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Sleek and Sexy Abs, 1 x

  • Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 3 x's

  • Upper Body Sculpt, 2 x's

  • Lower Body Firmer, 1 x

  • Core Makeover, 1 x

  • Yoga Stretch & Flex, 1 x

  • Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 8 x's

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

    Rock Climbing, 6 x's

    Swimming, 2 x's

    Treadmill, 1 x

    Walking, 6 x's

    Wii Fit Plus, 11 x's

    How was your February?

    *I received 10 Minute Solution: Hip Hop Dance and Give Me 10! without charge.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Sore Third Eye

    Went to see the acupuncturist to address, mainly, my low immune system (lingering cough), low energy and lack of focus.

    Mr. Acupuncturist wanted to know if there was congestion and where I was at in the cootie stage. He also wanted more details about my lack of focus.

    Mr. Acu: Is it a fogginess?

    Me: No; it's lack of concentration.

    Mr. Acu: Are you doing something that you don't want to do?

    Mr. Acu doesn't mince words, does he? He went on to check my pulse then the needle games began.

    Be careful of what you tell Mr. Acupuncturist because you just might end up with a needle in the top of your head.

    I heard Mr. Acu ask another client if she was going to read or rest. I had actually thought about bringing a magazine and I did bring my MP3 player but once the needles were inserted, all thoughts of reading or listening to music rapidly faded. I was, as usual, in the fade out zone.

    As the last head needle was taken out, I wondered when I had started crying. I hadn't; my third eye had started to leak.

    Cool fact from Mr. Acu: All points on the body can be accessed via that little marvelous microorganism, the ear.


    After acupuncture, I went over to Hazira's to hang out and we watched My Best Friend, a French flick; you'll have to ask Hazira how she liked the film because I fell asleep in the middle. I did like the parts that I saw though.

    Last night, I slept the sleep of the just. It was the most solid sleep that I've had in about two weeks. In fact, I found it hard to roll out of bed at 10 but I knew that if I didn't, I would be late for rock climbing.

    Ran a few errands after climbing, ate lunch, felt depleted and found myself horizontal by half time of the Florida/Kentucky game. I napped for about four hours and I still don't know who won the game.

    Since I've been hanging onto my bed of late, I think Hazira missed me OR I must have really looked bad because she gave me a back rub. I've known this rascal for over 10 years and didn't know she had such skills which are either newly acquired or one she's been hiding.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Giggling In The Gym

    I hadn't been rock climbing since Feb. 13th when I first started feeling odd and then oddness turned into illness.

    I wondered if I would have enough energy to climb but I actually spent more energy trying to cough into my shirt rather than on people.

    After I climbed this one route and was huffing and puffing when my feet hit the ground, Mike said Is it good to be back?

    It was good and it felt good to ascend a formidable route without feeling lethargic.

    Climber to friend: You're safe because yadda yadda yadda...

    Me: Is that what you tell everyone who climbs with you?
    Then we all reassured the newbie that she was safe as all get out.

    As Jeremy headed out of the gym, he told Patti and me: You two were awful giggly tonight. Every time I heard giggling in the gym, I looked up and you two were in some corner with your heads together -- giggling.

    Jeremy was just mad because he didn't get his giggle on.

    As I got ready to ascend my last route, Patti showed me her calluses. I showed her mine which were illuminated by chalk.

    Patti: Your calluses are cool.

    Me: I only have them because I maintain a death grip on the wall.

    Patti: (Demonstrates her climbing style.)
    When I grow up, I'm going to climb pitter-patter style like Patti...

    Route Tally for Feb. 24th:

    Rumpelstiltskin, 5.6
    Coffee Stout, 5.8
    The Letter Eye, 5.8
    Jack and The Beanstalk, 5.9
    Rodeo Clowns, 5.9
    The End of 2010, 5.9 (Attempted)

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    (Even More) Stuff People Say To Me

  • I had forgotten. I don't remember you being that big; that must have been when you were at your biggest. Don't do that anymore.

    One of my colleagues after she came across a picture of me from a luncheon that we attended years ago.

  • You were wearing black; that didn't help. You know, you were just you then but now I notice the difference., Same coworker after more old pictures surfaced

  • Where did you get that from (ying yang pendant) and why are you wearing it?, Acquaintance

  • Since you're athletic..., Another Acquaintance

  • You were a good subject. Thank you., Student massage therapist.

  • Slopers are just good for finding the next foothold.

    Tim and I arrived at the climbing gym at the same time one day. We climbed together and since he was rocking the 5.11+'s, I picked his brain.

  • OCD...Jeremy's quiet comment to me after I inquired again about how many routes he had climbed. I like to count routes and, apparently, I like to know if other people are counting too.

  • You can make your own hummus. (Said by several people)

  • You're so secretive. I'm like a river. I just flow. I say everything..., Colleague

  • Beautician (watching as I get my hair cut): I want to cut my hair but I've been growing it out.

    My Barber: Maybe you can cut it for the summer. I've been doing her hair for about eight years now.

    Me: I think about growing it out every now and then but then I immediately change my mind.

    My Barber: I keep expecting her to come in and ask for highlights.

    Me: My hair is too short for highlights.

    Barber and Beautician: No, it's not.

  • Me: I can't believe that Michael is more into running. Who knew? The secret lives of rock climbers.

    Patti: Climber...Runner
    Climber...Couch Potato

  • Are you drinking plenty of fluids?...They have Emergen-C on sale at Walgreens...If you need anything, let me know..., Chorus heard through the monster February cold of 2011.
  • Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Feeling Human Again

    Not sure what I had but it certainly wasn't common. Thought I had made it over the hump on Wednesday but I hadn't. Went to work on Friday, left around 1 p.m. since I was sitting in my office with a coat on and resisting the urge to put a cap on. Essentially, I got straight in the bed and didn't really emerge until this morning around 9:30. Somewhere in between, I got warmer, shed two layers of clothes and started to feel somewhat human again.

    For this bout, coffee did not taste good. I also had to leave Echinacea tea alone. Ditto for Ricola. I continued to down "Emergen-C" even though it started to taste bitter too.

    I lost my appetite and/or slept through meals, took more ibuprofen than I've taken in a year and wondered about people who are in chronic pain. Oranges totally saved the day when I could get something down.

    I missed swimming on Tuesday, weights on Wednesday and my usual rock climbing session today.

    I feel as if my muscles have turned to mush.

    On Wednesday, I kept thinking if I could only get out in the sun (it was 68), I'd be okay -- must have been delirium setting in because I never made it outside.

    I feel as if I've rejoined the land of the living and I can't wait to get back to my regular routine.

    I even had the nerve to lose weight. I will say that losing my appetite made me take a hard look at snacking habits. Okay, maybe it was a medium-hard look.

    Hope you all are well...

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Breath-taking Antagonism

    You Can Heal Your Life is suggested reading in Happiness for Dummies and my friend, Hazira, has a version of this book, Heal Your Body so it was already on my radar.

    When I went to visit Lori, another friend, the book was on the countertop and we started looking through it together.

    I had gone to retrieve You Can Heal Your Life from the library when I almost busted my kneecap. Ironic, ain't it?

    I decided to request You Can...because Lori and I had such a fun time looking through the little blue book (Heal Your Body) portion of it.

    I was gonna read the whole book but, alas, my interest was mainly with the blue book portion of it.

    What had Lori and I laughing?



    Probable Cause:

    Breath-taking antagonism. Mental eruptions.

    New Thought Pattern:

    Harmony and peace, love and joy surround me and indwell me. I am safe and secure.

    * * *

    Disclosure: I'm not much for affirmations of this sort but I still found the probable causes interesting.

    * * *



    Probable Cause:

    "What's the use?" Feeling of futility, guilt, inadequacy. Self-rejection.

    New Thought Pattern:

    I live in the now. Each moment is new. I choose to see my self-worth. I love and approve of myself.

    * * *



    Probable Cause:

    Small outbursts of anger.

    New Thought Pattern:

    I calm my thoughts and I am serene.

    * * *



    Probable Cause:

    Violent rejection of new ideas. Fear of the new.

    New Thought Pattern:

    I digest life safely and joyously. Only good comes to me and through me.

    * * *

    I actually have something that I cannot heal right now. I started feeling off on Sunday and it's been downhill since then. I've been mostly horizontal, headachy and enduring chills (Mental contraction, pulling away and in. Desire to retreat. "Leave me alone."). My eyeballs even hurt. I can't remember the last time that I was sick like this and I'm hoping whatever my body is trying to shake off will make its exit soon. I can't take too much more of aching.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    A Short Valentine's Day Story

    My father was a not a big gift giver and forgot my birthday more than once even though it was a mere six days after his birthday. He would also occasionally say that my mother was just being ornery when she wouldn't deliver on his birthday so you would think that he would have no problems remembering when I was brought into the world.

    My father often remembered me on Valentine's Day though.

    If you were a card, you would be queen of hearts -

    If you were in movies, you'd be a great star -

    This is my 2011 puppy courtesy of my mother; she said that she couldn't resist.

    Hope that you have plenty of sweet Valentine's Day memories or sweet memories from some other day...

    Update: As soon as I hit the publish button, my Aunt Girt was at the door. She dropped off this V Day bag below. I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something and thought about going out to get ginger tea and there's a baggie within the bigger bag that has about 15 bags of tea -- two of them green ginger. Are you kidding me?

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    When The Stove Eye Is On Four Or Five

    I was hanging at Hazira's on Friday night. We ate dinner, chit chatted then watched a quirky little flick, Cyrus, followed by a little of Michael Palin's New Europe.

    Right on cue, 'round 11:30, my left hand (holder of the most bumps) started itching. I try Shea butter then rubbing and more rubbing. Hazira, who happens to be a Healing Touch practitioner, decided to do unruffling.

    Almost as soon as her hand hovered over my left hand, I felt the heat -- like the kind of heat you feel when the stove eye is on four or five.

    By the time Hazira finished with the unruffling, I felt coolness, drowsiness (okay, it was close to midnight) and itch-free.

    On the way home, I listened to Goran Bregović's Silence of the Balkans and wondered where I had put my Ederlezi CD.

    Thanks to Hazira for drawing out the heat...


    Happy Birthday to my mama (who kept me away from hot stoves and everything...)

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    The Ice Capades

    On Jan. 31st, St. Louis was preparing for #SnOMG -- as it became known on Twitter but before the snow, there was ice and the city was at a standstill which was a thing of beauty, I tell ya.

    We didn't quite get #SnOMG but we got ice with staying power and a special brand of snow that had an unprecedented amount of people stuck in it. But the ice? It glistened.

    Roads less traveled have been treacherous. People have been walking in the middle of streets and just, all in all, treading carefully.

    Although I was extra-careful, I lost traction when I left the library yesterday and my left knee smacked into the ice activating my tear ducts. My exercise life flashed before my eyes.

    The knee is a little sore but I can put weight on it. I tested it out immediately by exercising when I got home (smart, I know) then I soaked in my favorite salt, Epsom. I exercised again today and there's still a trace of soreness but, overall, I feel lucky that I didn't fracture anything because I would be beside myself if I couldn't exercise. I'm so going to enjoy the 50's this weekend and, you know, being able to walk around relatively pain-free.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Acupuncture Stagger

    I have this on-again off-again patch of bumps that like to live on the back of my hands.

    I decided to use Aveeno at work and at home even though I have a huge vat of hand soap. I also started using Dawn (with Oil of Olay) dishwashing detergent.

    For some reason, I wasn't keen on going to the dermatologist but the itching was getting to me. Then, I thought about acupuncture.

    Dermatologist. Acupuncturist. Dermatologist. Acupuncturist.

    I saw that the acupuncturist had an opening on the day of my dilemma, booked an appointment online then headed there after work.

    Acupuncturist: What's going on?

    I told him and, in return, I got one of those looks. One of those I-might-not-be- able-to-help-you-looks.

    Mr. Acu: Have you been to a dermatologist? Skin situations (paraphrased) are tricky.

    Ever heard of Cold Tar shampoo? You might want to use that; it's good for eczema...I will still see what I can do...

    Ten needles in left foot. Ten needles in the partner foot. Several needles in each ear. Two needles in each arm.

    As Mr. Acupuncturist is inserting needles, he said that sometimes allergies are a result of diet and asked if I would consider a cleanse situation.

    Me: You mean a water, cayenne pepper, maple syrup situation?

    Mr. Acu: No, I mean a brown rice yadda yadda yadda situation.

    I tell him about the stuff I eat then he suggests that it might be too much sugar. The thought that I eat too much sugar gets me to thinking. I don't do the hardcore stuff anymore (Cream Puffs, Gooey Butter Cake, Snickers) but I still have a sweet tooth that I satisfy with graham crackers, TLC bars etc.

    Mr. Acu: Do the bumps itch?

    Me: Usually at night.

    Mr. Acu: Of course, that's when you're tired.

    After all the needles are in, I sit back and it's not too long before my eyes are closed. I'm so drowsy when the treatment is over with that I have trouble walking in a straight line.

    When I take my coat off the rack, I see the acupuncturists' credentials with a note about how much training licensed acupuncturists receive -- 1600 hours if I remember correctly. And a chiropractor? One hundred credits and they're board certified. I chuckled as I staggered out the door.

    Post-treatment, I slept soundly and itch-free.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    A Look At Devotion

    I was immediately drawn into Dani Shapiro's Devotion. Okay, I know it sounds like I'm immediately drawn into everything but I'm not. Shapiro got my attention with the first sentence.

    A woman named Sandra was cradling my head in her hands. (1)
    Shapiro goes to a Master Level energy worker but she was expecting something else.

    Would she be insulted if I got up and left? I was twitchy, impatient. Disappointed, too. It was rare that I allowed myself such a self-indulgent, not to mention expensive, hour. (2)
    Shapiro goes from rolling her eyes to crying by the time the session is over with.

    I feel like I belong to the same tribe as Shapiro:

    I wanted to be someone who not only bought flaxseed oil at the health food store, but actually ingested it. There was no end to my desire for self-improvement... (8)


    Inside each joy was a hard kernel of sadness, as if I was always preparing myself for impending loss. (9-10)
    Shapiro calls herself the blond sheep of her family since, during her childhood, she didn't have much to do with her father's family in large part because her mother couldn't stand her in-laws. After the death of Shapiro's father, she wants to spend as much time as possible with her Aunt Shirley, her father's younger sister who, at the time of the book, was in her mid 80's. During one visit to her aunt, she forgets about certain decorum:

    I rang the bell. Shit. It was Shabbos. I had forgotten, for a second. I shouldn't have pressed a button, shouldn't have set off the chimes inside her darkened house. There was a brass knocker right there in front of my face. (78)
    During a meeting with Steve Cope, director of Institute for Extraordinary Living at Kripalu, Shapiro questions her quest for meaning:

    I wondered out loud whether this desire of mine for a little bit of this, a little bit of that, was spiritual and intellectual laziness. The smorgasbord approach to deeper meaning. (84)

    As I think about other aspects Shapiro's book, I want to give it my own title -- perhaps Dani Shapiro's Search for Meaning or Get Out Of My Head Dani Shapiro. There were so many aspects of Shapiro's book that I related to whether she was talking about her son's infantile spasms or her Orthodox SWAT team of a family.

    On another note, I kept thinking about this song while I was reading Devotion.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Food Wit Friday

    It's Friday -- time to up the frivolity. Here are food quotes that, for some reason or another, amused me.

  • You're not my Chinese food but helllllo.

    Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens

  • Doug: If you could think of one thing missing from our marriage what would that be?

    Carrie: A commitment to dieting?, The King of Queens

  • Don't ask if they want ice cream. Everyone wants ice cream. Even lactose intolerant kids want ice cream.

    Jake to his Uncle Charlie on Two and a Half Men

  • It's not mixing. The coffee doesn't even recognize it.

    Frank on Everybody Loves Raymond about skim milk

  • Libby: I take it the diet's off.

    Dennis:...But don't come down here while I'm eating my full English breakfast with breakfast...and expect me to make things easier for you. Can I please get some ketchup?

    From Run Fat Boy Run

  • Dr. Lightman: What is that?

    Dr. Foster: Chocolate pudding.

    Dr. Lightman: Who eats pudding at 10 o'clock in the morning?

    Dr. Foster: People who like pudding.

    From Lie to Me Epi 1, Season 1

  • Dr. Foster: Chicken Dumpling?

    Dr. Lightman: Oh no, I never eat meat I can't see. No, really, you have no idea what's in there...

    From Lie to Me Epi 2, Season 1

  • I found Food Fight, a King of Queens' episode, hilarious. Doug has an unforgettable food affair.

    I also like the episode, Furious George, when Doug is supposed to go to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting but ends up going to a meeting for abused men and gains weight because he eats donuts and cake at the meetings.

    I almost forgot a Seinfeld episode about yogurt that's supposed to be low-fat. Loved it.

    Have you been watching something and heard a quote about food that made you laugh?

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Power Defined

    Workout DVDs are just like a book or movie; you don't know what you'll get until you delve into it; one person's gem will make another shake their head in disbelief. I unwrapped Power Yoga and popped it into my Coby player to find out that Ashley Turner is a body-mind psychotherapist who believes that the most effective solution to any challenge addresses body, mind and spirit.

    And here's what you will encounter -- in Turner's words:

    Begin with a strong grounding round-up series progressively intensifying into powerful stand up poses to create muscular strength and endurance. Next, move into the core or power center for an invigorating abdominal sequence. We finish with detoxifying back bends followed by deep relaxation.

    Power Yoga is a challenging workout. The power part should have tipped me off.

    I feel like I'm constantly being reminded that controlled movement is the key to a lot of activities. Some of the best advice that I've been given about rock climbing came when I was trying to get over the arête on this one route and Patti told me that the movement is controlled and deliberate. You'll hear similar advice from Turner and you'll be amazed by her body control and strength.

    I also liked Turner's tone and calmness. She talks about the importance of maintaining a deep breath and, if necessary, backing out of a pose which I had to do several times because of fatigued and I took Turner's advice to go into child's pose when I needed a break.

    There were several sequences that I really enjoyed including opening up the throat and shoulder rotations -- probably because I feel like my shoulders need extra care.

    Navel pumping was interesting and it made me think of chest-thumping which I think we should all do when we finish a good workout.

    I'm not going to lie. I was more than ready to cross my feet and hug myself (a sequence) about 30 minutes into the DVD which is an hour long. Emptying the head, shoulders and neck was nice too.

    I liked Turner's talk at the end -- especially the definition:

    One definition of power: Nothing to prove, nothing to hide

    We build our belief in ourselves by showing up time and time again – especially when we don’t feel like it.

    Our actions create habits and our habits create our lives...

    Creating wealth, health and happiness is an inside job.

    Do you practice yoga? Have a favorite yoga DVD?