Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wipe The Sweat Off Your Face or Month-End Review, June 2011

Saw this t-shirt in the gym last night:

You have a choice. Throw in the towel or wipe the sweat off your face.
I'm proud to say that I did wipe quite a bit of sweat off of my face and I wore my black Speedo for the last time tonight; it's officially a goner. Hope that you wiped a lot of sweat or water off your face...

10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts

  • Upper Body

  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

  • Basic Training, 2 x's

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Stretching, 1 x

  • Bicycling, 2 x's

    Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 2 x's

  • Yoga Stretch and Flex, 1 x

  • Lawn Mowing, 1 x

    Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 5 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 6 x's

    Swimming, 8 x's

    Walking, 14 x's

    Wii, 4 x's

    Yard Work, 1 x

    Yoga, 3 x's

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    CSI: Yoga and The Space Between Your Eyebrows

    Had a substitute teacher for yoga. She (Kate) left the lights up on the left side of the room and someone asked if they could be turned off.

    It's hard to be me, Kate said then asked the closest student to come up to where she stood.

    I'm trying to talk. I'm trying to observe...
    We found a solution. The blinds were opened and enough light entered the room so that lights could be turned off much to the relief of Opal who was next to me. Kate also played music for us even though she thinks that people should be able to relax without outside stimulation.

    Regarding solutions, Kate asked if anyone was bothered by anything because she was pretty good with fixing stuff including menstrual cramps etc.

    I quickly realized what Kate meant about the difficulties she faced once I saw how much she interacted. The class felt like laughing yoga too because Kate had me cracking up a lot especially when we hugged our knees to our chest; she said this position was the wind one but it was all in the way she said it...

    Kate had us start in corpse pose with our heads toward the center of the room. For the next fifteen minutes, it was litany time. At first, I thought hush but then I got on board and a smile spread across my face time after time:

  • Relax your mind.

  • Relax your crown.

  • Relax your forehead.

  • Relax your eyebrows.

  • Relax the space between your eyebrows.

  • Relax your nose.

  • Relax your lips.

  • Relax your chin.

  • Relax your heart center.

  • Relax your navel center.

  • Relax your arms.

  • Relax your hands.

  • Relax your wrists.

  • Relax your fingertips.

  • Relax your spine.

  • Relax your buttocks.

  • Relax your legs.

  • Relax your ankles.

  • Relax the top of your feet.

  • Relax the bottom of your feet.

  • In between spurts of instructions to relax, Kate tells us about carbon dioxide, oxygen being carried to cells, breathing diaphragmatically plus in three parts of our chest and, later, how muscle grips bone. This chatter, of course, is what made me think of Crime Scene Investigation. She also tells us to breathe in one continuous flow from the tips of our toes to the crown of our heads. Somewhere along the way, I leave the jerky breathing behind and I leave the tension behind as we make a fist and raise our arm one to two inches off the floor then flop it down. Repeat with other hand and legs...

    After we do the root lock and a crocodile pose, I take off my glasses and even my earrings get in the way.

    We come back to this part of the program:

  • Relax your mind.

  • Relax your crown.

  • Relax your forehead.

  • Relax your eyebrows.

  • Relax the space between your eyebrows.

  • Relax your nose.

  • Relax your lips.

  • Relax your chin.

  • Relax your heart center.

  • Relax your navel center.

  • Relax your arms.

  • Relax your hands.

  • Relax your wrists.

  • Relax your fingertips.

  • Relax your spine.

  • Relax your buttocks.

  • Relax your legs.

  • Relax your ankles.

  • Relax the top of your feet.

  • Relax the bottom of your feet.

  • Kate is telling us to feel the love and compassion for ourselves and to feel the love and compassion for others and she reminds us that we have the power to tap into this relaxed state at any time.

    It was so odd during Kate's relaxation litany, I kept thinking of her as a guide and it made me think of a line in the 23rd Psalms -- thou art with me.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Crude Alterations

    Decided to hit the indoor pool since the high was only 82 in The Lou but as I headed to the pool, I prepared myself for the possibility that pool water could be just as chilly as the water in the outdoor pool but it was not.

    Sometimes when I'm doing the back crawl, my arms start to feel heavy as all get out and I have that urge to switch to the elementary back crawl when Bob Harper pops into my ear, Stand up and finish what you started, which is usually incentive enough for me to propel myself down the lane. For some reason, Harper only talks to me when I'm in the pool. Go figure.

    At one point, I was doing the front crawl and went into the water awkwardly resulting in water up my nose. Before I would have pulled up and grabbed the side to regroup -- especially since I was in eleven feet of water. I didn't do that though. I just kept marching down the lane. I guess that I finally feel more comfortable and spontaneous in the water.

    While the scale has not moved, I've had to make crude (no sewing skills) alterations to my swimming suits because the straps kept falling down and the upper part of the suit, in general, was not stable; there's nothing more annoying than trying to swim and having to stop to make adjustments. On the other hand, loose suits are a good sign.

    Swim Outlet is tempting me with their star-spangled sale but I think I'm in between sizes so I'm not going to make a move yet but one can look, can't she?

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    In Case of Fire

    Just what do you take when the roof is on fire?

    I read about The Burning House project on the Unclutterer blog, I believe, and thought about what would I grab if the house were on fire. This exercise has me thinking (again) about scanning photos and centralizing scanning important documents.

  • Car Keys

  • Money

  • Nikon Coolpix

  • Passport

  • Photo Albums (with childhood pictures)

  • Wallet

  • Gut reaction items are above. If I had longer, I would return for my bike and Wii because I invested significant money in them. I know, I know; things can be replaced.

    I also wonder why I continue to hold onto stuff if I would grab so few items? Exhibit A -- a random sample of seldom worn t-shirts. I'm hoping that it will become easier to part with stuff...

    What would you grab?

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Let's Twist

    And my yoga teacher was not talking about Chubby Checker.

    We did a little bit of this move -- sort of but without a chair; body twisted, hands together with one elbow pointing toward the ground and the other toward the sky:

    We always do shoulder shrugs and rolls. And who knew that shrugging and rolling one's shoulders while breathing could be so beneficial?

    Favorite lesson of the night: be gentle to your neck. Hope that you all regularly get in a fair of amount of twisting, shrugging and rolling...

    *Disclosure: I received YSS
    without charge at a time when I wasn't doing yoga on a regular basis. Now, it's me and the cards and I'm going to use them in small and big places.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Steel Cut Oats & Egg Whites or The Gospel According to Chiquita

    Chiquita is my cousin and her gospel follows:

  • Dot. Period. The end.

    Something that Chiquita will say when she's made a credible argument about something.

  • It's not going to end well because it didn't start well.

    Commentary on a situation that was not handled in a nice fashion.

  • We're not going to sit up here and let you die because you don't have insurance.

    My cousin to another cousin who was feeling miserable.

  • I went to crêpes: etc. in the Central West End. They have the kind of food that you like.

    Me: What kind of food do I like?

    Cousin: You know, steel cut oats, egg whites; they have an extensive list of that kind of stuff... (points at me).

  • I love their BLT's; they (Crown Candy) don't have your kind of food there.

  • You know how some people are just kind of off-brand?

  • I do not want to go to work. I say that every time I see you, don't I?

  • Me: Want some (baked Lays)?

    Chiquita: I'd rather have cardboard.

  • I wouldn't mind eating steel cut oats but not when I got out to eat...

  • Do you think that I change purses every time I change outfits? I don't have on anything blue...

    Re: my comment that my purse didn't match anything that I had on.

  • You can't hurt my feelings.

    Our aunt was in the ICU and this guy, who didn't seem to be waiting on anyone, came in, got on the phone and talked extensively. The nusre had been calling with updates and Chiquita went and asked him to get off the phone. My aunt Al said that the telephone man was going to hurt her feelings...

  • I need to get back in my lane...

    Something that Chiquita tends to say when she feels that she's gotten over involved or feels it was something she should have never been involved in from the get-go.
  • Friday, June 17, 2011

    Make Me One With Everything

    I've been wanting one....*


    It's hard to see the design on my arm except in direct light. I was told that I should have kept the henna on overnight but I kinda like the subtleness of it plus it has settled into a nice copper-like color.

    I got this henna situation while I was on vacation in Florida.

    The pillow got it too...

    Saw this clip, "Dalai Lama Confused by Pizza Shop Joke," on Good Morning America; it's pretty funny if you ask me.

    Happy Friday...

    *Thanks Nichelle for rockin' the freehand design.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Stop The Presses

    Instead of cooking, I've relied on Steamfresh veggies, Trader Joe's frozen foods etc. and I've been diggin' Local Harvest and Sweet Art's veggie burgers which are, by the way, completely different burgers but equally good.

    Local Harvest's veggie burger is beans-based served with a cucumber concoction and hummus whereas Sweet Art's has lentils, carrots and is served with a secret sauce on one wheat bun and ketchup on the other. I looked at veggie burger recipe after recipe until I found one that sounded doable. I didn't use artichokes, black olives, celery salt, parsley or sage and I decided to double the recipe which called for four ounces of this bean and four ounces of that bean. I thought that I would never finish assembling burgers.

    Since I use organic beans with modest sodium, my veggie burgers were initially on the bland side. To remedy the blandness, I topped them with Trader Joe's pineapple salsa. They did taste better the next day but I'm sure they would have packed way more flavor had I included the black olives et al.

    I recently got the July/August issue of Natural Health and guess what it had in there? Veggie burger recipes. Hopefully, I'll be in the mood to cook again before fall.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    The Making of Smiles

    My response to This Emotional Life's tweet:

    Re: what made me smile ths weekend: pool time, a woman's hat & umbrlla at Race for Cure, my climbing partners' camaraderie.
    Other things that made me smile: Hazira's How did you like the movie? after I fell asleep on My Wife's An Actress and J.J. Barea's mismatch against LeBron James which resulted in a offensive foul against James.

    Patti's encouragement on Sunday definitely made me smile on the inside. It took me five attempts to get over the arête on a route. Finally, after pulling my hips into the wall (Patti's suggestion) and abs in, I was able to elevate myself, grab this one hold and get over the hump.

    Patti's observation on my arête work: Nothing's wrong with your technique. Later on, she gave me a compliment on my burgeoning technique in general. Leah said that I was ready for lead climbing and jokingly put her money where her mouth is by saying that she was going to put a down payment on the class for me.

    The lead climbing class, as it turns out, is full so Mike (Leah's husband) and I, are on the waiting list.

    Route Tally for Sunday, June 11th

  • Baby Steps, 5.7

  • Dig In, (Fifth Time Is The Charm), 5.9

  • Duchess of Cambridge, 5.7

  • Paranoid Troglodyte , 5.9

  • Paranoid Troglodyte (Halfway), 5.9

  • Pinkerton , 5.8

  • Static Report, 5.9

  • Summertime, 5.9

  • Leah said that any day that one is able to climb is a good day. I'm going to say that I had a very good day since I spent almost four hours at the gym. Half of it was climbing and half of it was yakking. It was enough climbing, though, that my abs, armpits, calves, forearms, sidewalls and triceps are feeling the love.

    What made you smile this weekend?

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Like Granite

    Dreamed that I was sleeping in a room with four beds. I had one bed. A teenage male and woman occupied the others. I sensed someone was on the other side of the door and went to open it.

    My father was on the other side. When I let him in, we exchanged a few words then he got into bed.

    I had a massage by an extraordinary MT yesterday. She has quite the repertoire of techniques and I never feel like an hour is short with her because the experience is so solid.

    She told me that my shoulders, which usually feel like granite, were much better. I really think it's yoga that has taken care of the shoulder tightness.

    Post-massage, I was in a dazed state and ultra-relaxed which, I think, allowed me to sense my father at the door.

    Odd topic for a Friday, hunh?

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Peace Source

    In one of Farty Girl's recent posts, she talked about a place that provides constant peace. My most peaceful place has been the pool whether it's indoors or out. Must admit, though, outdoors moves me more.

    Yesterday, I chose the pool over yoga although I could have stretched myself and done both but I'm trying not to run myself ragged.

    I headed out to Hazira's where the pool is at, asked her to put sunscreen on my back, stole a couple of bites of watermelon and stayed in the pool for about two hours.

    I got in about 15 minutes of swimming before I got chatted up -- first by a woman who left her daughter in the shallow end while she talked to me and next by a man who was there with his wife and kids. Apparently, the wife and kids had other people to talk to.

    I darted underwater whenever one of them got distracted as I tried to get in at least 30 minutes of swimming.

    I missed yoga, though, because I'm finding that it's been a place of peace as well.

    After swimming, I headed to Hazira's and ate more watermelon. I'm really digging the ritual of swimming then watermelon. Apparently, I like water inside and out.

    Wednesday: more sunscreen, swimming and watermelon. ☺

    What's been moving you lately?

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    There's Nothing To Fear But...

    As Hazira's niece, Arabela, showed me her new high tech camera, Hazira said, That's an unkind camera; it shows everything.

    Right before heading into Jasper, AR, we pulled into a gas station and I cracked up when Leah pulled out her camera. I'm a shutterbug but I seldom take gas station photos. I had forgotten about the pic until Leah sent a link to her pictures.

    I was apprehensive about clicking on the link because Leah has one of those unkind cameras that shows everything.

    See for yourself -- the camera.

    Shooting Back at Leah

    What I Feared...The Thunder Everything Thighs Up Close

    The Gas Station Shot of Patti & Me


    Part of the Climbing Posse

    In the end I accept, if not fully, that my ability to be active trumps this epic plateau that I'm experiencing.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Making Sure It's Done

    On the way back from Arkansas, we stopped at Subway. I hadn't eaten a lunch/dinner sandwich there in ages and I thought that I could incorporate Subway in the future until...

    I watched an episode of The Biggest Loser* and the contestants raved about a new Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. I checked the nutrition stats and was shocked that the sandwich packs 900 mg of sodium and that's the six inch one. Then I got curious about the turkey sandwich I had eaten; it had 810 mg of sodium. Because folks on The Biggest Loser are regular consumers of Subway fare, I thought that it was pretty much okay but I'm not okay with that amount of sodium.

    I did dig what Bob Harper said to the contestants during the Last Chance Workout on that episode:
    You guys all have the physical strength. Now, you need to find the mental strength to get through this...
    I don't know if it was mental or physical strength missing today because I hardly had anything in the tank for rock climbing. I did a measly four routes:

    Pinkerton, 5.8
    Ghost, 5.9
    Green, 5.9
    Paranoid Troglodyte, 5.9

    Jessica had me cracking up when she wanted to see how much stamina she had left:

    She told me: I like to make sure it's done before I take it out the oven.

    *While many have fallen out of love with The Biggest Loser, it continues to give me goose bumps and makes me want to push myself harder.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Taking on The North Forty

    I survived camping but I probably wouldn't make a good Survivor contestant. It rained and hailed on the way but the rain stopped and the campground was not that muddy and the breeze was amazing. Jasper, AR is beautiful.

    The tent parts baffled me but, luckily, Patti knows her way around stakes and bendy things. It was incredibly windy Saturday night and if the tent had not been set up right, it would have blown away.

    After setting up camp, we didn't waste time heading out to climb. Afterwards, we ate around the not-fire, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and watched people cook and do yoga. Being unplugged is both shocking and refreshing.

    At night I heard car doors closing, dogs howling and what I thought was a jam session. Kristin said the music probably came from her cell phone at 4 a.m. which she slept right through. I usually sleep like that but...

    The second day we got up, ate breakfast and headed back for more climbing. We were out scoping routes and climbing from just about 9 to 5. Camping was not as bad as I thought it would be. And the climbing? Definitely worth the journey.

    The Way to The North Forty

    'Drea on Cotton Candy, a 5.6 -- 65 foot route

    Patti Doing Her Thing

    Playin' Chameleon

    Patti Lead Climbing

    I paused mid-route to snap a photo of Patti and Leah; Leah snapped back.

    Kristin Braces Herself and Chalks Up Before Ascending

    Noah's Turn

    Leah said I'm totally going to lead climb this route (Sour Girl, a 5.10b route). I told her to have fun. This guy sitting behind us said, You said that like she's going on a roller coaster ride or something...

    Leah's First Attempt at Roof of Sour Girl

    L's Last Attempt of the Day, Sour Girl

    After returning from Arkansas, I said goodbye to Patti and she asked, When are we climbing again? I started chuckling about her one-track mind.