Thursday, March 31, 2011

Month-End Review, March

Now that my arm and hand have healed, there are no limits on what I can do. I'm happy to be lifting weights and rock climbing again and I can't wait to hit the pool this weekend. You really don't miss your water until... Here's how I stayed active in March. I hope that you moved a lot in March as well.

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner

  • Power Sports Drills, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

  • Basic Training, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Total Body Tone Zone, 1 x

  • Bicycling, 2 x's

    Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 4 x's

  • Upper Body Sculpt, 1 x

  • Yoga Stretch & Flex, 1 x

  • Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 6 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 9 x's

    StairMaster, 1 x

    Supreme 90 Day System

  • Chest and Back, 1 x

  • Swimming, 3 x's

    Treadmill, 3 x's

    Walking, 13 x's

    Wii Fit Plus, 8 x's

    *I received Supreme 90 Day System without charge.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    A Tattoo Of Sorts

    I finally broke down and made an appointment with the dermatologist because I was tired of itching.

    Of course, my itchy little patch of bumps played possum but, finally, on Saturday night I felt itching and I was, for a brief moment, happy. I looked and saw the usual round raised bumps which recessed a little but there was just enough evidence to show the dermatologist.

    Just as I suspected, I got medicated cream to see if that works first. I also asked the doctor to look at my arm. She said to put the kibosh on antibacterial cream, use Vaseline and make sure that I put on sunscreen; otherwise, it's going to leave an even nastier scar.

    While my arm situation still had scabs, one of friends said that it looked like a tattoo and it still looks like a tattoo. It figures. I've been wanting a tattoo but...

    Saw this video over at LMT or Bust. I'm so glad to, pretty much, have full use of my arm and hand again.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    The Kicker

    Another 10 days had gone by and I still hadn't heard from the massage therapist.

    Had I blown things out of proportion?

    Was I being a prima donna?

    I finally decided that I couldn't let the situation draw out any longer, sent the email that had been sitting in my drafts and felt sorry when I hit send because I didn't want to do it. I wanted *it* to work out but I also didn't want to be disregarded. If someone is disregarding you, it should definitely not be your massage therapist -- someone that you go to for restoration.

    I got a rapid response back with an apology, an explanation and an agreement to refund the money at a later date -- if that's what I really wanted. And, then, the nail-biting started. Was it really what I wanted?

    The kicker is that I like her. She's funny and into martial arts (like that too) but the last few months have left me wanting to get in the ring with her. I figure that we're evenly matched. I outweigh her but she is trained.

    I didn't want to end "the relationship" but I didn't know if I could depend on her to consistently reply to correspondence and, because I'm prone to hold emotional grudges, I thought it best to just get closure especially when I found myself thinking about how rottenly she had behaved while getting a massage from another therapist.

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    S Words

    Gave climbing a try even though my hand sore is still a little sore. It went well but I didn't push it.

    Me: I saw the move that you did where I always get stuck but I don't think I can manage it because you're taller than me.

    Patti: You're so full of shit.

    Me: I don't think that I've ever heard you say that word before.

    Patti: Smiling and looking at me like get on up there.
    I mimicked Patti's moved and climbed The Letter Eye better than I've ever climbed it before.

    Me: I need to climb like you more often.

    * * *

    I thought we were finished with snow but apparently not.


    Oh yeah, thanks to Jessica for an amazing hand massage. Jessica was like relax your arm; I get that a lot...

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Not Where I Want To Be

    My aunt Girt, a nurse, asked me how my abrasions were doing. The thing about abrasions, she said, is that they get infected very easily.

    My mother (also a nurse) wanted to touch my arm. I looked at her suspiciously, at first, then let her touch around the wound.

    My aunt Alice is not a nurse but we jokingly refer to her as Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She thought I might need a tetanus shot, wanted to know exactly how the incident happened then said, We might need to take that bike away from you.

    My aunt Alice reminds me of Marie in the Liars episode of Everybody Loves Raymond; she knows how to suss out the truth.

    I miss swimming, climbing, doing planks and lifting weights.

    I miss moving around effortlessly.

    Even though I haven't been doing my usual routine, which might be a good thing, I've decided (again) to exercise for a minimum of an hour a day. I've been slacking on that time frame and, as result, I'm in maintenance mode which is not where I want to be.

    I still have around 15 pounds, if not more, that I want to lose.

    Okay, I'm going to put antibiotic cream on my abrasions because that's what my medical staff said I should do...

    Marie susses out Raymond's lie (1:36).

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    You Don't Miss Your Skin Until

    I went back and forth about whether to swim or bike on Sunday and the sun finally won out because I couldn't imagine staying inside on such a gorgeous day.

    I hit (more on that later) the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, was pleased with my post-tune up bike and my energy level.

    On the way back, these bicyclists that I had climbed an incline with had stopped and that's when I noticed the huge bird in the tree. It was a Bald Eagle. There was a friend of the BE too.

    We got pictures. I tried to get closer but the Bald Eagle would just go to another tree. It was totally worth it because I got to see that spectacular wingspan.

    (The BE is sitting in the tree -- to the right -- then takes off.)

    As I got further down the road, I took my hands off the handle bars. Now, there are some places along the trail that are better for no-hands bicycling than others. I chose the wrong spot. Before I knew it, I was headed into the levee wall at a nice rate of speed. I put my arm out to prevent a spectacular crash and instantly felt my hand give. I noticed that my arm was ashy and saw that I had left even more skin on the wall.

    What I've noticed in the last couple of days is that my left hand is much stronger than it used to be, sleeping is an interesting proposition, drying off with your non-dominant hand takes much longer and people who don't normally grab your arm, will grab it.

    Just another lesson in how nice it is when the body is running smoothly. Today's a swimming day but I won't be going. I'm grateful, though, that I seldom get injured.

    After Photos

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    The Cup Is Already Broken

    My dedication to self-care thing has hit a bump in the road.

    I went to this massage therapist several times, decided that I felt comfortable with her and figured that I should do the practical thing and get a package. You're familiar with massage packages, right? Typically you buy a certain amount of massages up front and get the, say, sixth one free or at a discount.

    As soon as I bought the package, the massage therapist stopped being responsive to emails. She would answer one email then not the next. I completely understand if someone is busy but to not respond is just foul. I thought about venting on Yahoo Reviews, Yelp or Twitter but I really didn't want to take that route.

    When I've seen the therapist, she's been professional (for the most part) and personable. I also sensed that she is a hustler which is not an entirely negative thing in my mind.

    I think it's safe to say that I have been a fighter -- often in defensive stance but, as Tina Turner sings, I don't really want fight no more.

    Having said that, I still feel like Bernie Mac in that Secrets and Lies episode of The Bernie Mac Show -- I want to be unpunkable:

    Yeah, I know what you did, Jordan.
    I know it was you.
    It was you that cut down that cherry tree.
    Jordan, you're trying to punk me.
    I'm going to let you know I'm unpunkable, okay? (3:00)*

    When I didn't hear from the massage therapist a second time in a six week span, I was thinking that she is going to make me do something that I don't want to do and that's going to cost me more money.

    I drafted a letter noting my frustration and stating a request for the return of my money. I shortened it -- made it less harsh because, really, I don't want to fight. The email is in my drafts and I was going to send it in a few days but I felt like just drafting the email signaled the end of the relationship. I don't get rid of annoyance easily and I certainly wouldn't want the person who is annoying me to touch me.

    Of course, I hear from the massage therapist before I send the email. There was a part of me hoping that she wouldn't respond because I don't want to deal with her anymore -- knowing that she might respond when and if she feels like it in the future.

    So, okay, what kind of lesson am I supposed to learn from this experience?

    Patience? Understanding?

    I remember this story that was in Prevention. Geneen Roth goes on a meditation retreat; the teacher holds up his favorite cup and says As far as I'm concerned, this cup is already broken.

    I also remember something that Hazira said to me years ago when a friend properly broke my heart. You can enjoy your friends without them being perfect. This concept is a hard one for a perfectionist to swallow. Or, it's a hard pill for a purist, as Patti likes to call me, to swallow.

    I don't try to be a perfectionist but I'm a Virgo:

    You are bashful, but you have all the necessary wiles and weapons, including a determination to pursue happiness. You seek romance, and commitment is an integral part of it. If you are in love, you go to any lengths to make sure it works. On the flip side, if you are in an unhappy relationship, you will snap the cords with ease.

    You can be deadly practical and divinely romantic at the same time. You are a perfectionist, but not perfect yourself. You have your negative traits. You can be sickeningly prompt, and think that you are the best critic in the world.
    I also think about Alice Walker's The Same River Twice where she responds to critics of The Color Purple. It sticks with me how Walker says that the character, Mr., even though he's an abuser, that his love for Shug Avery redeems him as a human being.

    I used to actively look for that redeeming quality in people. But now?

    I returned the therapist's last email and I'm waiting to hear from her again...

    *The whole unpunkable thing starts when Bernie Mac has Jordan fake an asthma attack so that they can go to a Clippers game (to see Michael Jordan before he retires) then Jordan uses the secrecy surrounding the fake attack to get away with many things.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Eye of the Bunny and Other Stats

    Since Friday usually finds me trying to tap into the light side, I thought I'd post more search keywords that people used to find my blog:

  • sexy foot photos of older females

  • Maybe I got this hit because I talked about squeezing my toes or because I posted this picture.

  • earthbound spinach manure lagoon

  • describe a drea that have a tremendous impact in your life

  • one x party

  • garfield cartoon strip crawbar in my eye

  • happiness

  • quote "if it had not been for you..." salvador dali

  • quotes about climbing with the word belaying in them

  • doug heffernan and lactose intolerant

  • breathtaking antagonism


  • michael j fox and tracy pollan 26th annual rock and roll

  • Eye of the Bunny may very well be my favorite search keyword. Happy Friday y'all.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Invisible Force Shield

    When I was a kid, no one took my bike for a tune up. No matter, I dropped my bike off on Saturday to get one because I wanted to be ready to roll this week. The bike was ready on Monday but I had no desire to pick it up because we got snow and it was a slushy mess.

    The snow was gone by Tuesday so I went by the bike shop. Something looked off about my bike but I took it out and loaded it. I should have followed my first mind because when I tried to take it for a test spin, I discovered that the seat had been adjusted way too high. I got so mad. I started to look for some tools, threw a paperback book against the wall, longed for something to smash and headed out for a walk. When I returned, I loaded my bike and headed back to the shop because I knew it would take them a few minutes to do what would take me forever.

    This guy adjusted my bike and I rode around in the shop for a bit and almost wiped out a red Specialized bike. The seat seemed better but when I went for a ride today, dismounting was quite interesting. I'll try to adjust it myself this time. I was wiped out after my bike ride. It's amazing how quickly you get out of shape for a particular exercise. I enjoyed my ride though.

    On another note, my office mate is sick again. Last time, she had to take a round of antibiotics to kill her cooties. When she told me, I pulled an invisible force shield around me as I remembered the chills that I had a few weeks ago...

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Overheard Everywhere (Second Edition)

  • Shawna, if you want to win, you gotta just kick...

    Lifeguard and mother of shorty who was racing against high schoolers...

  • He never tells the story from the man's perspective...It was all right but I would wait until it comes out on DVD.

    A barbershop customer on Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls

  • She had a gansta job. She would clock in then go and do whatever shopping she had to do.

    Overheard in the barbershop

  • He's shrewd. He's shrewd. You gotta be gangsta to be president.

    Discussion about Obama overheard in barbershop

  • I can't do "xyz" because I got papers.

  • Had not heard that phrase about having papers since I was on jury duty several years ago until I overheard this customer in the barbershop talking about having papers.

  • I thought you were my husband. I saw a bald head...

    Woman to a man as she wandered around coat section at Macy's.

  • I feel like I've been drop kicked and that someone played dodge ball with my body.

    Receptionist who was suffering from a cold

  • Do you want Booty?

    Mother to her shorty in the organic aisle

  • There's fear when we walk down the hall together.

    Overheard at work

  • Ahhhhhh, God.

    An intense sigh from a woman walking down the hall at work.
  • Saturday, March 12, 2011

    The Box and The Buddha

    Patti alerts me about the time of the St. Patrick's Day Run and Parade. I leave the house early but I still get stuck in logjam after logjam. The rock climbing gym has a nice parking lot but I cannot get to it because street after street is blocked off.

    I come very close to turning around and going home but I finally park in a spot that I'm not entirely sure is legal and I make my way through the crowd and hike to Upper Limits. Well, I wanted to walk after rock climbing but the order got reversed.

    I'm thirty minutes late but I see Jessica go into the door right before me. I'm annoyed and Jessica wants to know what my anger alert level is. Orange and red are running neck and neck.

    The good part: there are not a lot of climbers in the gym.

    I climb Jack and the Bean Stalk and the part that has always given me trouble, doesn't. I climb The End of 2010 and I make it further up than last time -- before I need to ask for a take.

    Jessica: Where to?

    Me: I can't believe that I'm saying this but Pandora's Box.

    Jessica: You're saying that because you know what kind of climbing day you're having.
    I have my left foot on the Notorious B-O-X -- the crux of the route that has been stumping me big time.

    One hand on the box and one hand on the hold that we refer to as The Buddha

    Stepping on The Buddha hold as I make my way to the top

    After climbing, we go to Sweet Art. As we get to the counter, the guy says I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the kitchen is closed and I feel myself turning sour again; there is nothing on the bulletin board, door or website about when the kitchen closes. I thought you had new, extended hours. We do but the kitchen closes at 3:30, he says. I look up at the clock which says 3. Finally, this lady says that she will hook us up with Sweet Burgers (i.e. veggie burgers).

    We get our Sweet Burgers in no time. They are warm and delicious.

    Patti: You need to climb angry more often.

    Me: Will you make me angry next time we climb?

    Patti: No problem...

    St. Patrick's Parade Route Tally:

  • Rumpelstiltskin, 5.6

  • Jurassic 5, 5.7

  • Let Me Smang It Girl, 5.8

  • The Letter Eye, 5.8

  • Jack and the Bean Stalk, 5.9

  • Pandora's Box, 5.9

  • The End of 2010, 5.9

  • Rodeo Clowns, 5.9

  • On the alert scale, hope that you're having a green day.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    The Last Word

    Me: By the way, I should be able to hit the gym around 4:45 tomorrow...

    Patti: …It’s like you can read my mind. 4:45 works for me.

    Me: ...We've been climbing together too long...

    Patti: We haven’t been climbing together long enough.

    Me: Touché.
    Patti told me that I have to have the last word when we're emailing. It's either "touché" or "roger that," she said. I was surprised and said that my last word syndrome was my way of trying to politely end a conversation.

    Wynne said that I should change the title of my blog to Angry Black Woman and, today, she told me that I had such a look of annoyance on Monday. I told her that it had been a difficult day and I even left the gym after only doing four routes since I'm not digging many of the routes in the gym right now.

    Despite not meshing with the routes, here's my tally for March 10th:

  • El Muchacho de Pizza, 5.6 (Ascended)

  • El Muchacho de Pizza, 5.6 (Ascended)

  • El Muchacho de Pizza, 5.6 (Ascended)

  • El Muchacho de Pizza, 5.6 (Down Climbed)

  • El Muchacho de Pizza, 5.6 (Down Climbed)

  • Crapulous, 5.8*

  • The Letter Eye, 5.8

  • Jack and The Bean Stalk, 5.9

  • Rodeo Clowns, 5.9

  • The End of 2010, 5.9

  • *I did say crap at least three times while I was climbing Crapulous.

    What's your tally for today?

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    My Shero -- The Sore One

    Lisa (newbie climber), Mike, Patti and I met up to climb. The three of them got there before I did. Two of Mike and Patti's friends also showed up to try out climbing after we had been there for a while.

    First, Lisa left and, around 7, I left. I had a feeling that Mike and Patti would be at the gym for a spell with the other newbies.

    The next day I got an email from Patti saying that she had done 12.5 routes and everything was sore, including her hair.
    Me: Are you still up for climbing on Saturday?

    Patti: I am able to climb tomorrow… duh. I am into pain. I am a rock climber.
    ohmmmmm ohmmmmm ohmmmmm ohmmmmm

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    R & R: Reiki and Rock Climbing

    I initially wanted to talk with Joe about rock climbing but while we were on the ground in between climbing routes and I was doing a little acupressure on Patti, I found out that Joe is a Reiki practitioner and I ended up talking with Joe about R & R: rock climbing and Reiki.

    ‘Drea: So, tell me about Reiki. What drew you to Reiki?

    Joe: A couple of different things. I’ve always wondered about what was really happening in all those stories in the Bible with Jesus healing people and Reiki seemed like an intriguing possible framework for understanding Jesus’ healing and, also, I just enjoy learning about different kinds of ways of looking at how different human beings can care for each other or help each other and so that healing energy concept was really fascinating to me.

    ‘Drea: Did you have a Reiki treatment before…?

    Joe: Not really -- not until I was actually going through the process myself. And part of it was, it was described to me as something you kind of -- you need to just experience it to get it... It seemed like a no lose situation. You can try it out and it might not really be your thing or you can try it out and find that it is nice and then you can practice it.

    ‘Drea: And what level are you at?

    Joe: I'm just level one.

    ‘Drea: Do you plan on going any further with it?

    Joe: I’m hoping for that. I’m just not sure…There are so many things that I’m interested in and I’m not sure if that’s the one that I want to create that space and spend that money and time on.

    ‘Drea: And what else are you interested in? Number one?

    Joe: I’m kind of interested in everything but, like I was saying before, I’m really into that Integral Life Practice – the framework for understanding all of the insights into humanity and then practicing and developing as human beings and kind of creating a new paradigm for organized religion and I’m really interested in nature and spending more time in nature and learning about nature, especially trees. I love trees. I love reading literature. I love reading poetry. I love listening to new music. I like listening to old favorites, writing music, playing guitar, playing the drums and singing...

    ‘Drea: I didn’t know you were a guitar player.

    Joe: I’m not very good at guitar but I’m working on it.

    ‘Drea: There’s always room for improvement. Are you self-taught?

    Joe: Yeah.

    ‘Drea: So, who are some of your favorite musicians?

    Joe:...The Beatles but I like a wide variety of music. I really enjoy classical music and I enjoy jazz.

    ‘Drea: What about literature? Poets?

    Joe: For poetry, I particularly like Wilke and Wallace Stevens and, actually, one of our friends, Anthony Carelli, is writing poetry right now. He’s just coming out with a book in the spring and I think he’s an incredibly gifted poet in addition to being a really wonderful human being so I can’t wait to see his book and I hope that it really does well.

    ‘Drea: Favorite poem? Hard to pick one?

    Joe: It’s hard to pick one, yeah, but most recently I really was enjoying the poem that a couple picked for having it read at their wedding. It ends with “Wing to wing and oar to oar…” I’m trying to remember – The Master Speed by Robert Frost…That was beautiful.

    ‘Drea: Your favorite book? Or, one of your favorite books?

    Joe: I like a lot of different authors and a lot of different subjects and stuff. I keep coming back to – I just plain enjoy Huckleberry Finn and I enjoy it as a metaphor for all kinds of human experiences...

    ‘Drea: What’s your favorite place to climb?

    Joe: Wherever the heck I can…(laughter) I’ve been climbing trees in Tower Grove Park and that’s been really fun.

    ‘Drea: Cool…

    Wild Moves On The Rock, Part I

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Six Word Memoir

    I read about the Six Word Memoir project at The New York Times. Here's my six worder for the day:

    Transformed Saved my life by losing weight.

    What's your six word memoir?

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Just Show Up

    Amy Dixon looks all cute and coordinated on the DVD cover of Give Me 10!. When I popped in this DVD, it was go time since Dixon and crew were vigorously marching and pumping their arms before I was in my exercise stance.

    I should have known that the jig was up when I spotted Dixon’s black unitard situation which looks militaristic. I was already sold and here’s why. You know the Pittsburg Steelers' Troy Polamalu, right? People who aren’t Steelers’ fans dig Troy. Why? Because he brings it every single game. Dixon has that kind of exuberance.

    As soon as Dixon’s sneakers hit the floor in the Fat Blasting Cardio routine, it was love at first sight. To borrow an Outkast line, Dixon is so fresh and so clean...and fun.

    I don’t remember all of the moves but I loved the bounce pass and jump/shoot routines in Fat Blasting. A big up for the whole FBC routine in general.

    In Upper Body Sculpt I found the front raise with weights while in plank position pretty challenging and got my balance and strength challenged in the Lower Body Firmer with the lunge-leg lift-kick sequence.

    In Core Makeover, I enjoyed the challenged of the Plank Pike move which is, essentially, a side plank crunch. Yowza.

    In Yoga Stretch & Flex, Dixon reminds you to keep your breath alive and, as with the other segments, I like the spin that she puts on a move. I wish that I had a KettleBell so that I could fully participate in the Bonus KettleBell ToneUp. You can do the routine with a dumbbell but...

    In Fat Blasting Cardio, Dixon says something about the choice of making your moves big or small. She said it's up to you but just show up. I love that three word phrase. If I had to add anything, it would be don't forget water because you're gonna need.

    By the way, the segments are all 10 minutes each; hence, the give me ten...

    Are you showing up or faking the funk? If you've tried Give Me 10!, let me know what you think.