Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Month-End Review, January

Took my tender little calf to the swimming pool and it was the perfect place to be.

I think it's kind of funny that I now walk out with the lifeguard. We usually talk about what books we're reading etc.

When we hit the parking lot, there were only two cars and I noticed that she now has a hybrid. The lifeguard said that she had simply run her truck into the ground. Her truck, by the way, had 300,000 plus miles on it. Now, that's the kind of stuff that I like to hear because I definitely want my car to last much longer.

I wonder how many exercise miles my body has on it now. Vroom...vroom... Hope that you got your exercise groove on this month...

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 2 x's

  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Boot Camp

  • Basic Training, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Stretching, 1 x,

  • Arc Trainer, 1 x

    Kettlebell 101, 4 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie, 30 Day Fast Start

  • Upper Body, 1 x

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 1 x

  • Rock Climbing, 6 x's

    Spinning, 2 x's

    StairMaster, 1 x

    , 6 x's

    Treadmill, 3 x's

    Walking, 1 x

    Wii, 7 x's

    Willpower & grace

  • Warm-up, 1 x

  • Yoga, 8 x's

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    He's On A Boat

    Went to Kettlebell 101, got in the room at 8:59 and saw that the class size had exploded.

    I went to my usual spot in the room next to my usual person, Barbara, that I stand next to as Mike started counting. There would be no running around the room to warm-up -- too many bodies.

    As I came down off of a jumping jack, my left calf seized up. I thought it was the beginning of a charlie horse, stepped out to massage it but, no, I pulled it or something.

    My plans for this week will definitely have to be revised:

    Monday: Kickboxing + Gentle Yoga OR Climbing (Depending on Patti's schedule)
    Tuesday: Swimming (or, possibly, climbing if no climbing on Monday)
    Wednesday: Kickboxing or Hot Yoga -- (depending on decision abt climbing)
    Thursday: Hot Yoga (Depending on Monday and Wednesday's Schedule)
    Friday: Rest Day
    Saturday: Hot Yoga and Swimming
    Sunday Kettlebell + ???
    Ah, the best laid plans of mice and 'Drea; there will be no climbing or kicking in my future this week.

    There were so many people in class that Mike kept the newbies in one room while the rest of us went into Studio B. I heard him mention the clean but Mike reassured us that the people who had been training with him for years could offer assistance.

    So, the elder stateswomen of kettlebell were in charge. Someone went to hit play on an iPod or CD player and I'm On A Boat came on. I won't tell you which words I Googled to find this song.

    We were all like "oh my..." So, yeah, I don't listen to the radio much because I've never heard of this song...

    I was okay with the swinging until we got to the clean. When Julie stepped out of our huge circle, I knew that she was headed in my direction. Julie advised me not to start the clean from a deadlift position which I did because I've been watching this video.

    See, I cannot be left alone with videos. Julie also tried to show me how to transition from one arm to the other while doing the clean. I'm hoping that, one day, the clean will become second nature.

    After class, I thanked Julie for her pointers. She was pushing a boxing bag onto the floor and getting ready to take Mike's boxing class. I was just ready to collapse and nurse my calf...

    Oh yeah, there was this one guy who had a kettlebell about the size of a bowling ball. While we did the clean, I couldn't help but notice his exquisite arms.

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Turn Around and Sit On Your Asana

    Usutally, after Hot Yoga, I look forward to the next session because, somehow, my selective memory kicks in. I forget about the horrors of the chair pose sequence -- raising your chest off your legs for five breaths then getting your arms up by your ears and holding that position.

    I forget about the sequence of yogi sit-up, rolling over to plank, yogi sit-up. I forget...

    When Crystal, Patti and I are unable to go together we swap notes about our sessions. I told them that I felt like I had turned a corner on Wednesday when I attended Cindy's class. I also told them that it's really funny that I feel like I've turned a corner because I struggle with so many of the poses: standing head to knee, half tortoise, eagle and camel.

    But I also mentioned to them that maybe this was one of the biggest corners of all to have turned: enjoying Hot Yoga despite not being mega-accomplished. That and, you know, resisting the urge to stand in mountain pose during the whole class.

    At the end of that stomach to back sequence of planks, sit-ups et al., Jeremy told us to turn around and sit on our asanas. Ah, yogi humor; I love it. That's why I still have a Yoga and Spa magazine with an ad from a local studio. It says: we hope to see your asana at our new location...

    Just read this article the other day about yoga and burning calories. Thought it was accurate and I think this video, Shit Yogis Say, is hilarious:

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Clear Your Mind And Your ... Will Follow

    After yoga I wanted to, as Cindy advised in class, let it go with an encore of inhaling, raising my arms, swan diving and exhaling. Also, I could not stop singing after class...

    When I got to the studio, it was not crowded and the class never filled up. There ended up being twelve of us. The possibility of a wintry mix probably kept people at home. It's totally nice to have an uncrowded class and to have an unobstructed view of yourself in the mirror. Wait, did I just write that???

    Cindy was on a roll tonight and her oft-repeated mantra was clear your mind. She told us to stop thinking about work, to stop thinking about other things that might be bugging us and she said my favorite Cindyism: don't let your mind write little stories.

    She also reminded us to activate our palms in mountain, to use our breath as a barometer and if we couldn't breathe while in a pose that meant that we were trying too hard which didn't mean that she didn't push us.

    During the first round, we were testing the water. This time, we're diving in....I saw where you were at the first time...go deeper...
    As she gave instructions for cobra, she told us that we could pretend to be a mermaid or a cobra -- whatever worked for us...You had to be there but it was funny when she said it.

    And speaking of instructions, Cindy is great at giving them. I was able to hold my plank much longer because I listened to her instructions -- table top, fingers splayed out, no swayed back etc. etc. I also felt more solid in triangle pose...Cindy had us cracking up when she told us that we could practice the plank at home. At the 80 minute point in class, no one wants to hear any p words...

    Here's something that you might not know about me: I break into song if I hear a line that reminds me of one. Ask me "When will I see you...?" and I'll start singing The Supremes. So, when Cindy reminded us gaze on the forehead in the mirror -- it was enough to make me think about this song:

    Now, if I can just wind down -- that would be good...

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Make Your Strengths Stronger

    Woke up, thought it was Monday and groaned before I realized the date. It was 8:10 a.m. before I managed to peel myself from the bed. This is the latest time that I can roll out if I plan to make it to Kettlebell 101.

    I/we experienced a worthy beat down but at least Mike makes us laugh. As we were running and shuffling around the room to warm-up, Mike said:

    I know what you're thinking: they don't make me do this at Curves.
    And later:

    Ladies...and Chip.
    Chip is a sweetie and he definitely reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield...

    As we stretched, Mike said that it's not uncommon for one side to be stronger than the other which always makes me think about my yoga teachers. Mike's motto:

    Turn your weaknesses into strengths and make your strengths stronger.
    Mike asked us to find a partner and I groaned inside but it ended up being kind of cool. We basically faced off and there was a line of folks on one side of the room and then another line. Line one would do swings for 30 seconds while line two did push-ups and then we would switch tasks. We essentially did some of the same exercises that we normally do but, for some reason, it made it more interesting to alternate. Also, I can do "squat, release and press" pretty easily so it was something to look forward to when I saw line one doing that sequence.

    Mike said that he would work with us on the clean and he did. I'm still having a hard time getting that move down but I've been reluctant to practice at home lest I pick up bad form and make it a habit. I asked Mike for suggestions and he thought I should take a look at:

  • ArtofStrength.com

  • Jeff Martone

  • Steve Cotter

  • *Jason Brown

  • Not sure which one does Minute of Strength but Gingerzingi had recommended that site too.

    After class, I changed shirts. I should have just brought another set of clothes. Lately, I feel like that's all I do -- deal with wet clothes...

    I headed to the rock climbing gym after class. I would say that I went for the annual membership sale but this year there was a pay online option. I went because I'm always interested in how far I can push myself. I didn't last too long but it was nice to hang out with my climbing buddies.

    A new friend found A.J. I guess he was like I climb walls; I can climb this chair to get a better view...

    And Erin's shorties came with her because they wanted to have fun...

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    I Need Some Fake Exercises or (More) Gospel from Hazira, A Special Friday Night Birthday Edition

  • How do I take care of these (thighs)?

    I'm not doing anything that hurts.

    I need some fake exercises.

  • That's so Bosnian...

  • You'll be talking to your organs soon.

    Hazira to me re: my increasing interest in acupressure et al.

  • The heart sends out the strongest waves...

  • I'm telling you; it's all about balance.*

  • I wouldn't wish someone's mother dying in another country on my worst enemy.

  • Something is going to please you.

    After I put my coat on backwards...

  • I am so impressed with those people who never give up.

    Commentary while watching Conviction.

  • Rugala Se Ruga Pa Postala Druga.

    Rough translation: You become what you laugh at... Hazira made this comment after I told her that I had bought four boxes of Annie's Homegrown Bunnies and almond butter not realizing that I already had reserves at home. I usually chuckle at her impressive food inventory.

  • Please call my soul cell.

    Freudian slip?

  • And the class will have lots of civil people and you like civil people.

    Hazira after I told her that I was thinking about taking a Healing Touch class.

  • *Balance is the key to optimal mental health. Dr. Miranda Baten on The Erica Hill Experiment

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Creating Willpower

    There are four parts to this workout which actually felt more like a fun workshop:

  • Footwork

  • Warm-up

  • Cardio

  • Flexibility & Strength

  • I've never experienced a footwork warm-up; it's five minutes of lifting your heel, tapping just your big toe then just your little toe, rolling the meaty, upper part of the foot around etc. My big toes had a hard time cooperating when it came time to touch them to the floor by themselves.

    After warming up the feet, you warm up the body. And, oh yeah, this whole workout is done barefoot and don't think that you won't get a good workout without your shoes.

    There were some yoga elements to willPower & grace: mile high. Tree pose, a surrender-like breath move and another move that reminds me of a mini backbend.

    Liked the heart to heart portion of the program: walk out for five – make your thumbs and index fingers into a heart shape then put your heart over the hear t shape then balance on the traverse part of your foot that you warmed up previously. Makes for a tough little plank. Then, you flex your wrists and shake them out…

    After cardio, I didn’t have much left in the tank for the flexibility and strength segment which included planks, side planks and push-ups but it’s all good because it’s nice to have a workout to grow into. In addition, there are three (and sometimes four) levels to work at.

    There are a lot of squats and lunges to contend with which made for a good lower body workout.

    I love the energy that Stacey Lei Krauss brings to the table and loved the banter:

    Your body language should say that you have arrived.

    Let's create some willpower

    Most of the time I only think of willpower in terms of food. Not sure why because I do have willpower when it comes to exercise but I've gonna create more of it now.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Got My Drishti on Again

    Hadn't been to Hot Yoga in 10 days and I had to wrap my mind around the HY rituals. I had to make sure that I had bath and hand towels along with water and I had to wrap my mind around the fact that I was going to do yoga for 90 minutes.

    I got to the studio about 10 minutes early (as required), took off my shoes and set up shop. People stay in the room 10 minutes before the teacher steps in but I don't. I can't lay down in that heat prior to class. I read, watch the clock and keep my eye on the teacher until about a minute before class. Mind you, when I got to class, there was one spot left and at least two people arrived after me so I guess people rearranged themselves to make room.

    Valerie guided us through Dante's Inferno:

    We will sip not gulp water in between poses. Put your water bottle about a foot to the right. No leaving the class...
    I felt okay until we got to the standing poses. I backed off of eagle and let my mind write stories: My back is too big. My shoulders are too tight and, in general, I'm just not graceful.

    I did some of the first steps of standing head to knee pose. I was completely off balance and couldn't even manage a little baby standing bow pose. I did like the way that I looked in mountain though.

    I felt blah about my half tortoise pose and bemoaned the fact that my abs, while strong, were not strong enough to get my forehead to the floor before my hands and I could barely elevate my legs during bow pose.

    Valerie cracked me up as we did some version of a head to knee pose:

    We want to feel achy and uncomfortable but we don't want to feel pain or electricity.
    I hoped that she would elaborate but...

    During savasana, I put my hand towel over my eyes and stayed there for a few minutes. I rolled over then rolled my mat up and made eye contact with Patti and Crystal. We headed to the little coatroom where one of my classmates told me that I'm doing good. I was flabbergasted by her comment and I would have looked around the room but she was looking directly in my face so I knew that she was talking to me.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Plus More

    There's someone behind and in front of me with turn signals on as I get ready to pull into the parking lot. I also spot Mike, the instructor, walking up the ramp. I wish that we could all come to an agreement that kettlebell class should start at 9:15 instead of 9:00 a.m. since so many hit the parking lot at exactly 9.

    I already know that we will be pushed to exhaustion during the warm-up. In addition, Mike will see to it that we properly stretch and warm-up our rotator cuffs, shoulders, forearms, knees, and hips et al.

    As we're doing a kind of yogic forward bend, Mike says that this is not a competition. I jokingly whisper "yes it is" as does the woman in front me.

    Mike also tells us when we have our right hand by our ear and our left hand actively reaching towards the floor that it's a stretch that we can do at work while we're at our desk. So many instructors seem to know the havoc sitting down all day wreaks.

    During the stretch phase of the program, I notice that I like what I see in the mirror and I don't add or delete anything from the thought...

    We did a lot of five minute circuits that included two-hand swings, one arm swings, push-ups, burpees, lunges, figure eights and, yes, the clean. Mike is going to give me extra attention with the latter next week. He also had to correct me during the halo. I know what you're thinking; the halo is simple but...

    Towards the end of class, I got noisy. I didn't mean to be but it was the only way to gut it out. At least I made my classmates laugh. When I moaned that I didn't like burpees, the woman next to me said that she didn't like any of it. She was the same one who said earlier that stretching was, indeed, a competition.

    At the end of each kettlebell class, I've felt that it was an honest hour's workout. I feel like kettlebell is such a thorough beat down that pushes me to the brink by asking that I give everything that I have in the tank plus more.

    Oh yeah, one of my classmates did help me out with the clean by reminding me that my thumb needs to point backwards. I'm just hoping that I'll get to the point where doing the clean becomes second nature.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Sour Cream Is Good With Everything or Even More Stuff People Say To Me

  • I’m gaining weight but it’s not a problem; I’ve given up on the losing weight thing.

    Colleague on the difficulty of getting to the gym during the week because of late nights at work.

  • I could never swim like that; I would drown.

    A woman to me after I did the front crawl.

  • Your calves seem more developed.

    Massage therapist

  • That is my worst nightmare.

    Friend at work when I mentioned outdoor climbing

  • Sour cream is good with everything.

    My colleague who mixed two bananas with sour cream, a little sugar and heavy cream.

  • Patti: I never go for that hold. It's a red herring even though it's pink.

    Me: Huhhuhuh...

  • Me: So, was it love at first sight?

    Pam: With climbing, yes.

    (As opposed to love at first sight with her husband)

  • My aunt Debbie: What are you up to today?

    Me: I'm going to this boxing class.

    Aunt: (Enthusiastic chuckling) Girl, you're always up to something.

  • Me to Lifeguard: Is the water cold?

    Karen (woman sitting on edge of pool): My foot is numb.

  • MT: How are you doing physically and emotionally?

    Me: Oh, don't start what you don't have time to finish.

    MT: I have time...

  • Me: I'm fine.

    MT: You know what fine means? F.....Up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional...

    Me:...I'm fine (unintentional).

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Where The Cinnamon and Cobblestone Rolls Are

    Got home from the gym last night all om-ed out from yoga class where Donna kept mentioning the drishti which she had, previously, never mentioned. Don't know why I was surprised but the population of class doubled -- almost overnight.

    Had I known that the electricity had gone out, I would have stayed at the gym. The power company's automated service said that they were aware of the outage and estimated that service would return around 10 p.m. I kept hoping that I would hear devices click on sometime during the night but it never happened...

    I was happy to see Donna. Last week my mat-neighbor, who had on a knit ear flap hat, told me that the sub was in the house again.

    Me: I think I'm gonna leave.

    Ear Flap Hat Wearer: I'm sorry.

    Me: It's okay...
    Months ago, I decided to get an ipod Touch. So glad. I watched the pilot episode of Pan Am and read Original Sin, a sampler that I had downloaded. Went to bed earlier than I normally do because things are far less interesting when there's no electricity. Woke up around 3:45 a.m. and wondered what I would do for breakfast.

    Hours later, had a banana then a piece of wheat bread with almond butter then went by the St. Louis Bread Co. for coffee where the evil, mile-high cinnamon and cobblestone rolls stared at me.

    Nothing to make me take a trip down memory lane like staring at rolls and danishes and paying $2 dollars plus for regular coffee. I used to be such a cafe mocha girl and, as Dr. Phil said, I don't care what you call them cappuccino, frappuccino, caramel latte -- they're all just hot milkshakes.

    P.S. Thanks to my brother, who got me a well-made blanket in Korea years ago, I stayed pretty warm last night.

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Sorting Things Out

    Crystal's Schedule:

    Mon - running
    Tues - HY
    Wed - running and HY
    Thurs - HY
    Fri - running but maybe a rest day
    Sat - HY & maybe a ride if the weather is nice
    Sun - HY

    'Drea's Schedule:

    Monday (TBD + Gentle Yoga)
    Tuesday: Swimming
    Wednesday: Climbing
    Thursday: Hot Yoga
    Friday: Rest Day
    Saturday: TBD (Hot Yoga and/or...)
    Sunday: Kettlebell + ???

    Patti's Schedule:

    tonight: 0ff
    Tues: hy
    Wed: climbing
    Thurs: hy
    Fri: climbing
    Sat: ? one or the other
    Sun: ? one or the other

    Anyone that you swap schedules with? What's your workout schedule like this week?

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    The Hips Are The Engine

    Missed three Sundays worth of kettlebell practice because I slept in one Sunday and because of the holidays.

    Class was packed.

    As we warmed up, Mike reminded us that the hips are the engine for all kettlebell moves. He also told Charlie that he was a very lucky man to be in a class full of kettlebell women.

    Mike did his usual. He broke off the newbies and left the more experienced kettlebellers in another circle. The woman in charge caught me when I was doing the clean. As soon as she mentioned like a zipper, I remembered practicing it with Mike.

    When the groups merged, Mike went for the final blow while Nelly came on the playlist. And, yeah, it was "hot in there."

    After class, Barbara said I heard you singing; it does help, doesn't it?...

    Chased kettlebell class with rock climbing. I had so much energy that I was practically bouncing. David, who is new to our group, had me laughing. He said that you all are the most polite group of rock climbers: Lower me. Please. Belay for me. Please. He said that his crew never rolled like that...

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Drawing the Yoga Nazi Straw

    Had a little jones going on for Hot Yoga because I hadn't been since Monday. Walked in, saw Jeremy i.e. The Yoga Nazi and made peace with that.

    As class started and I tried to get my drishti on, I saw Patti smiling in the mirror and that made me giggle. Luckily, I was able to rein in the giggling. At least I didn't bring my cell phone to class and forget to turn it off. Dang thing rang three different times and Jeremy was like and that's why we turn our cell phones off.

    The humidity was extra high. Sweat rolled off of all parts of my body and really dripped from my elbows. As I picked up my hand towel Jeremy said, Not to single anyone out but try not to wipe the sweat away unless it's rolling into your eyes. He laughed and I smiled...

    I had to go into hero pose a couple of times to rest and I had to back off of camel pose because I thought that I might vomit. At that point, couldn't believe that I had the nerve to have jonesed for Hot Yoga.

    As we went from yogi sit-up to plank to decoy savasana, Jeremy asked us to get back in control of our breathing. When you control your breathing, you control your mind and heart. Let's get some control.

    And I did get control again...And Jeremy? He wasn't too bad today.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    On The Same Rope

    Went climbing after a two and half week hiatus. Walked up to the counter to check in and saw Burke's shining face.

    Me: Happy...

    Burke: Don't Happy New Year me. Give me a hug.
    One of my favorite Burke moments happened as I tried to get over the arĂȘte and he yelled Woman power!

    Burke told me that he had set new routes. Cool. New year. New routes.

    As I belayed for Mike, Frank's friend chit chatted with me. Mike asked for a take and the friend was like I better move on; It's a good thing that you don't talk with your hands. Ah, I've missed rock climbing humor.

    Later on as I belayed for Jessica, I noticed that Erin (newbie) had on new shoes. She said that her daughters gave them to her for Christmas. But they're kind of tight with these socks on, she said.

    Me: Socks? You can take those off now since you're no longer wearing rental shoes.

    Erin: You're a liar.

    Me: Look down at my feet. Look at the guy's feet over there. You're supposed to be able to feel the rock better if there's nothing between you and your climbing shoes. I would also advise you to get foot spray...
    As I approached my last route, Jessica and I went through safety checks. I looked at my figure eight knot and back-up knot. Jessica checked her carabiner then said And we're on the same rope. I started cracking up. You definitely want to be on the same rope.

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Heels and Toes Together

    Lest you think that I've gone completely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs when it comes to Hot Yoga and that's all that I do now, I attended my first spinning class yesterday. I know that I'm in trouble when I start watching the clock and I'm so glad that the sampler class was for 45 minutes. I do have to say that it feels good when sweat is rolling down my nose et al. and I definitely want to take another spinning class. I got the good life t-shirt from the Y's Open House where I took the spinning class. At first I turned it down because I really don't need another t-shirt but I really liked the design...

    When I arrived at the Hot Yoga studio today, Dr. Barbie asked me if I had made a New Year's resolution to do yoga every day. I told her that that wasn't quite my resolution but it must have been a lot of other folk's resolution because the morning class was jam-packed.

    Got to experience a fourth teacher, Rita, who said Happy New Year a couple of times but it was all about the tone and which pose we were at when she said it. I was like, yeah, Happy New Year to you too. She did do a little serious talk about how we were starting off the New Year right.

    Those Hot Yoga instructors are serious about mountain pose but Rita was really serious. She kept reminding us to put our heels and toes together when it was time for mountain.

    There is this woman with a CrossFit body in class. You're not supposed to be looking around but I couldn't help but notice how effortlessly she held a plank after my own had collapsed a mere 10 seconds into a 60 second situation.

    When we did camel and looked back at the wall, Rita said that we were partially closing the carotid and it felt like it but doing camel was not the only time that I had trouble breathing. It's all practice, though, and I'm getting better at the whole breathing thing.