Sunday, July 31, 2011

Welcome to the Sauna or Month-End Review, July

Welcome to the sauna I was told as I stepped into the pool the other day. I swam more than anything else this month which made perfect sense to me given the long term heat advisory. Likewise, I headed to yoga on Tuesdays for more than one reason but mainly for peace of mind and to find relief for my tight neck. Looks like my shoulder tweak has found a new home -- maybe the tweak is moving upwards and out.

I'm feeling a bit more toned lately, kicked a Chipotle habit and bought a swimming suit the next size down. While the current one is loose, I'm not quite ready for the next size as the new one is too tight; if I had a private pool, I'd keep it... Been watching a little bit of the 2011 World Swimming Championships and it's cool to watch the mechanics of people who've been in the pool just about all of their lives.

What I've been doing with my life this month:

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fix Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing

  • 10 Minute Solution: Best Belly Blasters! *

  • Belly Fat Burner, 1 x

  • Perfect Pilates Abs, 1 x

  • Six Pack Ab Attack, 1 x

  • Waist Slimmer, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Sleek and Sexy Abs, 1 x

  • Stretching, 1 x

  • Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 1 x

  • Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Ab Circuit, 1 x

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

  • 40-Minute Total Body Circuit, 1 x

  • Rock Climbing
    , 6 x's

    , 15 x's

    Walking, 6 x's

    Yoga, 4 x's

    P.S. I'm at my friendly neighborhood library because I have yet another virus on the home computer but I did take this time to pay off my fines with food -- a win win situation.

    Hope your July went well...

    *Disclosure: I received Best Belly Blasters without charge.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011



    Leanne (next door work neighbor): I'm sorry.

    Me: What? Did you go to Sweet Art? Oh no...Where's the veggie burger?

    Leanne: I forgot. At least I thought about you.


    Leanne: I'm at Local Harvest. Do you want a veggie burger?

    Me: Yes.

    Leanne: It's cold.

    Me: I don't care; it can be warmed up.

    After work, I go to the refrigerator and I see a container with veggie burger on it.


  • Pinto Beans

  • Carrots

  • Bell Peppers

  • Oats

  • Tomato Paste

  • Yeast

  • Wheat Gluten

  • Bread Crumbs

  • Sage

  • Cumin

  • Mustard

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • The container was much heavier than I expected. I open the lid and discover four veggie burgers for the price of $6.99 -- that's how much you pay for one veggie burger at the Local Harvest restaurant.

    I've been to the Local Harvest store but never spotted the burgers. I am thrilled with Leanne's find and, you know, thrilled that she thought about me.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Hurting A Lot A Bit ... or ... Overheard Everywhere

  • Don't fight the water; move through it.

    Father to son at the pool

  • Grandma, I'm not Willie. I'm SuperEffenFreakingAwesomeDude.

    Child to Grandma who was sitting in the bleachers at the pool

  • Tell me again why these shoes are supposed to be tight?

    Son to Father at rock climbing gym

  • You can chicken sling it.

    Another climber's solution to the lack of bolts on a route at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

  • This wall is just beating me up.

    Climber attempting to ascend a 5.11 d route

  • It should only hurt a little bit. If it hurts a lot a bit then you need different shoes.

    One climber to his friend, a newbie.

  • Would you like coffee? Or tea?

    A climber to his friend who was stuck on a route.

  • No, no, you're not a man. You're 17; there's still a teen in there. You're not a man...

    A mother (who is usually in intense mode) to son

  • Burke: Thanks for not letting me down.

    Meghan: Well, we voted by committee and the answer was no.

    Burke: I just didn't see the sequence...

  • I want to practice falling.

    A young lady working on lead climbing
  • Saturday, July 23, 2011

    ...Brain on Clipping

    This is a quickdraw.

    This is a rope.

    This is a rope through a quickdraw.

    This is my brain on clipping...

    Interesting climbing day. We were in the gym for 2.5 hours going at an easy pace. One route's crux has baffled me for quite a while. I figured it (Paranoid Troglodyte) out. So gratifying.

    Route Tally for 7/23:

  • Spring Clean, 5.6 (2 x's + Down Climbed Once)

  • Best Flavor, 5.8

  • Pinkerton, 5.8

  • Buena Vista, 5.9

  • Paranoid Troglodyte, 5.9

  • Ghost, 5.9
  • Thursday, July 21, 2011


    Alex Jamieson, Morgan Spurlock's partner, was not pleased when Spurlock decided to do his 30 day McDonald's diet but finally gave her blessing once Spurlock agreed to turn himself over to her for detoxing post-experiment.

    This book was not on my radar until Farty Girl mentioned a veggie burger recipe in it.

    I've so enjoyed this book. Even the cover moves me.

    I tried the veggie burger recipe first. I don't think that I've found the ultimate veggie burger but I liked it -- especially since it had a level of moistness that two other recipes did not.

    I had fun making recipes in this book. I tend to have a knack for finding recipes that require a lot of preparation but I was able to get in and out of the kitchen in no time with these concoctions.

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

    Loved the Cilantro

    Mini Pizzas


    Can't wait to make falafel and walnut burger patties. I'm so in the zone that I might even try my hand at almond milk.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    When The Student Is Ready

    Having worked my abs yesterday, it made perfect sense that we did ab-related postures during yoga class; that's just the way my life works.

    It took me a while to settle down too but I totally enjoyed the lion pose. We did the Mountain pose modification with tongues hanging out like Michael Jordan when we roared.

    During corpse pose, the instructor talked about feeling the benefits of yoga and how we were in the perfect position for relaxation. Yeah, I ruminated on that comment and plan to get in the perfect position often.

    After yoga, I went with my friend Lori to get baked falafel. As we enjoyed our dinner, we got chatted up by a yoga teacher (Michael) who was reading the Anatomy of Hatha Yoga. I may or may not go to one of his Hatha classes and he may or may not go rock climbing with me.

    I swung by Whole Paycheck after dinner looking for spelt flour and I honestly didn't know there were so many flours: coconut, amaranth, soy and arrowroot...

    I also needed tahini but left the $8.00 + jar of organic tahini on the shelf. I know an international store where I can get it for much less.

    Line of the night by way of Michael from his yoga teacher:

    Americans like to work out -- not work in

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Nowhere to Hide

    Got to the gym and locked eyes with my Lead Climbing 101 teacher who had a bright smile on his face. Are you going to practice lead climbing?

    Spokeswoman Patti: Yes.
    I practice clipping and it's not so bad seeing that I'm less nervous outside the parameters of class.

    I'm on my second route when Leah enters the gym and she asks Jessica and Patti if they're torturing me.

    Patti: That's our job.
    When I get down from my second practice route, Jessica wants to know if they talked to us about when to clip in and I assure her that they did tell us to clip in between the waist and shoulders although I didn't demonstrate that on the route. She goes on to tell me that it's one thing when you're backed up by a top rope but when you're lead climbing without a back-up system, the falls are, well, not very nice.

    Leah: Have you practiced lead belaying today?

    Me: No.

    Leah: Why don't you practice lead belaying me?
    In all honesty, I hadn't see anyone practicing lead belaying in the gym and didn't realize that it was allowed. Don't know why I thought that and, before I can say no...

    Leah: There'll be no harm. I'll be on top rope...
    So, I practice lead belaying. I'm nervous and put the belay device on wrong. The good thing is that I realize the set-up is wrong.

    Jessica points out when I forgot to lock off and Leah reminds me to stand closer to the wall. Likewise, Jessica reminds me that by stepping to the wall, I can instantly give someone slack. Leah also lets me know that if a lead climber falls before the second clip, they're pretty much going to hit the ground.

    Did I mention that lead belaying feels awkward?

    Later on in the program, Patti asks me if I want to practice lead belaying again.

    Me: I think I'm done for the day before I completely squash the idea of lead climbing.

    Patti: It's all new -- just like when you first started climbing. You'll get the hang of it...
    Other than the practice lead belaying, I actually had a good climbing day. I felt calm and I had stamina.

    Route Tally:

  • Baby Steps, 5.7

  • Best Flavor, 5.8

  • Pinkerton, 5.8

  • Buena Vista, 5.9

  • Dig In, 5.9

  • Ghost, 5.9

  • Paranoid Troglodyte, 5.9 (2 x's)

  • Saturday, July 16, 2011

    From Saucy to Non-Saucy in Four Days

    I really did myself in on Monday or maybe fatigue has been accumulating for a while but when the opening credits rolled for Barney's Version, I was out like a light about five minutes into the flick and didn't move for another two hours plus. Nice Friday, hunh?

    I'm told, by Hazira, that Barney's... is a good movie but sad.

    In all honesty, I think it was the Healing Touch that made me sleepy. Hazira was kind enough to work on my calf which has been tender to the touch.

    Healing Touch and self-massage seems to have taken care of the tweak but not the fatigue.

    This morning, I raised my head long enough to let Jessica know that I would not being joining her and the 'rents for a 20 mile bike ride. I later emerged from the bed around 11:00 a.m. and only because I made myself get up.

    I finally decided to tackle my brake light thanks to the internet because my car manual was not very helpful at all. Some nice person left perfect instructions for disassembling the light situation. At one point, half of my body was in the trunk to get at the final and trickiest lug nut but I finally got the precious little bulb out.

    While I got the replacement bulb, I also got windshield wipers because inspection time is near. I felt so accomplished for someone who rolled out of bed at 11. Hope your Saturday has been relaxing or whatever you needed it to be...

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    The Rat Grew on Me

    I showed up for Lead Climbing 101, a class that my rock climbing gym offers and while I was not a bundle of nerves, I was definitely nervous because, first, a second waiver was placed before me.

    Everyone gets the rock climbing is inherently dangerous warning in books, gear, videos etc. but lead climbing is, apparently, and inherently even more dangerous...

    It was an hour before we actually hit the wall, though, because we went over practical information about how to check one's rope for wear and tear, how to flake the rope, the anatomy of quickdraws and lead belaying which is definitely different from top rope belaying.

    And we practiced clipping which didn't prevent me from back clipping when I actually started climbing.

    I've actually forgotten what Nick, one of our instructors, said was the cardinal sin of lead climbing but I do know that I committed another cardinal sin -- lack of communication.

    I was so focused on clipping that I forgot to tell Mike when I was clipping which is not cool; I should have been consistently communicating with my belayer, the most important person in my life when climbing.

    It was a lot of information to take in about the delicate balance of giving enough slack but not too much or not pulling the climber off the wall because you have the rope too tight. I kept forgetting that a lead climber needs about three feet of rope when starting a route.

    I didn't forget that you need to spot the climber in order to control their fall if they should happen to separate from the wall when starting his or her ascent and I didn't forget to holler rope when pulling the rope down to prevent some unsuspecting bystander from walking by and getting popped in the head.

    You can give a climber a hard or soft fall. Through no skill of my own, I was able to give Mike a soft fall when he detached from the wall.

    Trisha (co-instructor) asked for me to take a fall when I got past the fifth clip. It took a few moments for me to get composed which prompted Trisha to say trust your belayer, trust your belayer.

    In my mind, it had nothing to do with trust. I know that Mike's a great belayer but I've never liked roller coaster rides. When I finally let go, I kept waiting to stop falling and I eventually did.

    What can I say? Never trust an instructor with a rat tattoo on her arm. Actually, the rat grew on me.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    When Not to Rock the Baby

    I felt rather saucy yesterday and decided to do the total body circuit on Jackie Warner's Personal Training DVD.

    My abs + hamstrings + quads + gluteus maximus, minimus, medius = sore. Unimaginable soreness with every little move.

    Oh my God. Yoga was not very restorative. Warrior Two? Rocking the baby? Bending? Climbing stairs? Kneeling? Sitting? Standing? Ill-advised.

    I'm not a fan of hot summer baths during stormy weather but it is definitely Epsom Salt time...

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    It Smells Like Play-Doh or Stuff People Say To Me, VII

  • I couldn't do that -- counting calories and watching everything I eat -- but kudos to you.

    My nephew, Dylan, while we were at a wedding reception for one of our aunts

  • It smells like Play-Doh.

    Dylan's comment about my Margaritaville hummus.

  • Me: Is that Chobani pineapple?

    Melinda: Yes.

    Me: Did you get it from Target on Chippewa?

    Melinda: Yes. The woman at Target said they disappear really fast. I told her that's because of my coworker...

  • Don't forget: don't unclip the last two.

    Helga to me as I seconded a route. I'm very glad that she reminded me.

  • You looked like you were afraid that you were going to fall. That's my job. That's what I'm here for...

    Patti reminding me of her belayer responsibilities as I struggled on a route.

  • Associate: I missed you on Saturday.

    Me: (Crumpled brow)

    Associate: At the naked bike ride.

    Me: (explosive laughter)

  • Climber: It's nice to watch someone else climb when you're trying to figure out a route. I did what she just did on that part but she's (Patti) a lot more graceful.

    A climber waiting for the autobelay. The guy is completely right; Patti is a graceful climber.

  • I was cheering for you (as I climbed "Dig In"), spit flew out of my mouth then came back and hit me in the face.

    We were talking about oddness and Laura gave me an example of the odd things that happen to her.

  • I'm a breathing coach too...

    Massage therapist

  • The skinny people who complain about needing to lose weight...we should force feed them lard.

    A friend who's trying to lose weight
  • Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Being Dropped in the Right Place

    When people ask me what I'm doing on the weekend, I usually respond with You ask that question as if doing something is a good thing. I like to make a commitment to slug life on the weekend but that's not completely accurate since I usually manage to exercise before I slow down and, like everyone else, try to take care of a plethora of tasks in two days.

    Hit the rock climbing gym this morning and Tabitha had me chuckling because she asked Patti how many people she had brought along this time. There were six of us and it was like speed dating or musical chairs the way we changed partners...

    I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy. Hazira will relate to this part in Mockingjay:

    ...More than ninety percent of the district's population is dead. The remaining eight hundred or so are refugees in District 13 -- which, as far as I'm concerned, is the same thing as being homeless forever. (6)
    I like the technique used with two of the survivors of the Hungers Games. For the main character and shero who tried to figure out what happened, she was told to start with simple truths and work up to more complicated matters:

    My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped...(4)

    When I finished Mockingjay, I missed it and was eager to get another book in my hands. Patti told me that if I liked The Hunger Games, I would probably like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo even though she said the first chapter slowed her down considerably.

    The other slug activity that I like to engage in is watching movies and I've seen three really good foreign flicks recently.

    Favorite lines from Buddy:

    Elisabeth: I think we should break up.

    Kristoffer: Break up?

    Elisabeth: Our relationship is going nowhere.

    Kristoffer: Does it have to go anywhere?

    Also liked Patrik Age 1,5, a Swedish flick.

    And another Swedish film, The Swimsuit Issue.

    I really enjoyed what I saw of Swimsuit... I fell deeply asleep but the parts that I saw were great and it wasn't like a lot of foreign films that drop you unceremoniously; it drops you in the right place.

    I watched this movie yesterday and I'm usually so excited to see Friday roll around but I'm also wiped out by then. Guess I'll watch the middle part that I missed out on and I hope that you're not so tired that you fall asleep repeatedly during your weekend...

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    The Tandem "Yes"

    Leah, Patti and I were climbing yesterday when one of the lifeguards approached me with a yellow piece of paper. I searched through my mind to figure out what I had done.

    Did I take my brake hand off the rope?

    I was totally confused and could barely hear Matt when he said, You're on the waiting list for the lead climbing class. Do you want to sign up?

    Before I could open my mouth, there's a tandem Yes from Leah and Patti.

    What they said, I tell Matt and, before I lose my nerve, I sign up for the July 13th class instead of the one deeper in the month.

    Really, how do I get myself into these things? I know what you're thinking -- Leah and Patti...

    Self-doubt crept into my mind and I followed the feeling and figured out that I still feel clumsy on the wall. Never mind that I climb 5.9's these days and that July 6th was one of the best outings that I've had in a while since my climbing felt more controlled and relaxed and I felt more secure.

    There is anxiety around not doing well in the class. I finally told myself that it's a class and classes are to provide instruction.

    The other issue? I continue to compare myself to others. Didn't my yoga teacher just advise against that the other day?

    In addition, what probably got my heart rate pumping was actually watching a part of the class the last time they had it AND having to sign an additional waiver to say that lead climbing is inherently more dangerous than top roping...

    Route Tally for July 6th:

  • Spring Cleaning, 5.6

  • Spring Cleaning, 5.6

  • Spring Cleaning, 5.6 (Down Climbed)

  • Baby Steps, 5.8

  • Best Flavor, 5.8

  • Buena Vista, 5.9

  • Dig In, 5.9

  • Ghost, 5.9

  • Paranoid Troglodyte, 5.9

  • Static Report, 5.9

  • Leah leading climbing -- figures out the crux

    Patti takes on the route that Leah lead

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011


    Decided to take a vacation day to double my weekend because, you know, two days are not enough and, really, four leaves me longing for the next vacation.

    I had my eye on the pool and was set to rendezvous with Hazira right around the time the pool opens. Hazira was getting her shopping groove on and was running a little behind so I left a message letting her know that I was headed in the direction of the water.

    Flip flops, check. Sun screen, check. Goggles, check. Gate to the pool? Locked. I swiped the magic magnetic card but the gate didn't give. Yet, I saw three boys on the other side although they didn't make a move to let me in.

    Finally a woman appeared to say that, because of the holiday, the pool is closed. What? She also told the boys that they needed to get out of the pool. I should have jumped the fence too. How lame to close the pool on July 5th.

    When I have my mind set on something, I'm not usually deterred. Plan B involved going to a recreation center about 15 minutes away from the first pool. Thanks to Hazira for accompanying me even though she didn't really feel like it and thanks for paying the entrance fee. ☺

    After swimming I dropped Hazira off, made a pit stop then headed to yoga. The regular teacher, Jaime, inquired about Kate, the sub, then proceeded to talk about not comparing ourselves to others while doing yoga. He also said that poses might seem difficult at first but with relaxation and patience etc., we'll be able to get into those poses eventually. Relaxation and patience -- a lesson that I've been hearing a lot about lately...

    We used the wall for back work and it felt good. It seemed like we were making letters with our legs. I kept thinking of Sesame Street. Is there a muppet that's into letters or am I thinking about Count von Count?

    Reenactment: Butt against the wall. Legs are joined together first then separated. Felt really good.

    One leg stands alone but the "standing" leg eventually joins the one on the floor for a twisted situation. Om.

    Hope your holiday weekend was enjoyable...

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Or Something

    Headed to the pool at 7:45 last night. As Hazira and I were walking, she said that it didn't look to promising because we didn't see anyone. I told her that the pool is supposed to be open until 9 and I finally spotted someone who turned out to be the lifeguard and who got back on duty as we entered.

    I think everyone else went to get dinner or either got heat exhaustion because, to put it mildly, it was a scorcher yesterday.

    The water was perfect and it was so cool to do the elementary back stroke and watch the orange mix in with the blue as the sun went down. I also like the lights around the pool at night...

    Went climbing today and just about everyone was there. The gym will be closed tomorrow so I guess people didn't want to miss out.

    Mike said that he wasn't feeling the whole climbing thing of late. I completely know where he's coming from. I told him that sometimes it's good to take a week off.

    Leah asked me why I wasn't keen on joining Jessica and Patti for this 40 mile bicycle situation. I'm just curious since you like cycling. I thought it was a good question especially since it easy to just say no.

    I'm not really digging events right now -- especially the fundraising portion of the program. I know it's for a good cause and I love it that the American Lung Association came up with the Master the Met stairclimb. I totally appreciated my lungs after climbing over 1,000 stairs but, for the moment, I'm not feeling the bike event.

    As a matter of fact, I'm not feeling like cooking, washing dishes or even lifting a finger right now and it has nothing to do with the soreness in my fingertips. I feel like I should be in a more satisfied state or something.

    Stepped out of the rock climbing gym and caught a bit of the air show. It was a nice finale to climbing.