Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is It Still Good to You? or Month-End Review, March

Boxing and yoga, followed by kettlebell, is dominating my schedule right now. I went to my first back-to-back session of Hot Yoga and I'm not sure how people do those 30 day challenges since my legs came out of that pretty sore.

While I decided whether or not to take on the back-to-back challenge, I told Patti that I didn't feel like doing much of anything else and she found that funny.

Because you 'don't feel like doing too much else', you're going to do HY. That is so cool. Most people would go home and lie on the couch, but you go to HY... What I really meant was that I didn't feel like jumping around but, trust me, HY wasn't the lesser of the evils on Thursday.

I still feel pretty fortunate that I have multiple activities that I enjoy and look forward to... To rephrase an Ashford and Simpson line, Are your workouts still good to you?

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

Bicycling, 1 x

Give Me 10!

Bonus Kettlebell ToneUp, 1 x

Kettlebell 101, 3 x's

Kickboxing Class, 4 x's

Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

40 Minute Total Body Circuit, 1 x

Rock Climbing,1 x

Swimming, 4 x's

Walking, 6 x's

Yoga, 13 x's

Potential Back-Up Mat with Strap Included

Potential Mat #2 Minus Strap, 68" L x 24" W; Thicker Than Blue One and "Path to Relaxation"


Friday, March 30, 2012

Garudasana Standstill

It usually makes me feel better to acknowledge something that is bothering me so I'm just going to go ahead and put it out there: I hate eagle pose and I feel like my body wasn't made to intertwine like that.

When I saw these "cookies" over at Yoga Spy's blog, it made me smile; now, that's what you call having a playful attitude towards a pose but, if you notice, none of the cookies are doing eagle. Of course, I see the contradiction but I'm making up my own rule: have a playful attitude when approaching poses except for when it comes to eagle. I can make up my own rules, right?

Yesterday, the humidity was high as all get out in Hot Yoga. At one point, the teacher, Val, walked by me and I felt a breeze. I kept hoping that she would walk by again and again.

If it helps, imagine air circulating in your lower back. Val said that after bow pose as we were supposed to breathe into our lower backs but let me tell you, Val, imagination does not help after bow...

Speaking of saying things, I'm almost reluctant to mention this because I don't want to jinx it but since I've been going to Hot Yoga on a regular basis, my contact dermatitis has been dormant. Coinkydink???

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Day...Or Not

My mind got very creative before Hot Yoga class writing all kinds of stories about this pose and that one and how that situation and this one is hard. As I neared the studio, I found a CD with Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman because I needed to hear it.

As I parked, I saw Jeremy outside enjoying the weather. Placed my mat in the studio where I saw a mat with his name written on.

Me: So, you have your name written on your mat. It's something about your name being there that makes me want to take it. Kind of like when I see a do not disturb sign; makes me want to disturb.

Jeremy: Be careful about opening Pandora's Box.

Me: The mat or the do not disturb sign?

Jeremy: (Shrugged)...

Cindy was at the helm tonight and she said many things that I needed to hear:

  • Yoga = Calm Determination

  • Focus on the breath and focus on your forehead.

  • When she said the latter, I was really able to gather myself.

    During half tortoise, Cindy encouraged us to get our hips to our heels then said if we weren't there, we'd get there one day...or not.

    And just as I thought about how much my bow or some other pose sucked, Cindy chimed in with Let go of thoughts about how you did in that pose and I did let go which was very refreshing.

    After class, Jeremy gave me tips about how to approach eagle pose. I don't know what I thought when I joked with him about his mat because Jeremy will, eventually, be at the helm again. Do I really want to deal with what he's going to unleash out of that box of his?

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    The Other Side of the Thai Pads

    Got paired with someone taking their first boxing class and when she got tuckered out, Lee held the Thai pads for me.

    Did I mention how I love it when Lee is on the other side of Thai pads?

    I know that Lee won't teeter or weeble wobble.

    I kicked like someone had made me very angry. I kicked as if my life depended on it and I kicked like I was in a contest. It felt right and rhythmical.

    After sparring, we shadowboxed and jumped rope. My left calf was like I thought we agreed not to do this anymore.

    Lee says that he's been taking pumpkin seed oil and he hasn't been bothered with calf cramps since.

    As I left, Lee told me that my hip rotation and kicks are much better. It'll only be a matter of time before your hips open up. Ah, the things that a boxing instructor says...

    I limped out of class and headed to yoga hoping to work out the kink in my calf.

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    Kettlebell Lockdown

    I've been skimming through Kettlebell for Dummies and came to this part:

    Whenever you travel with your kettlebell in your car, no matter the distance, you need to secure it because an unsecured kettlebell could easily become a dangerous projectile. The easiest way to do so is to give your bell its own seat and strap the seat belt through the handle to secure it. (39)
    Usually, I put my kettlebell in the trunk but also put it in the backseat. I was a little bit amused by securing the kettlebell until I remembered reading in Tina Turner's autobiography, I think, about a musician who got impaled by his saxophone.

    Yeah, it's all fun and games until...

    My new passenger:

    Got to the studio this morning and Chip said We have a new teacher for the remedial class. What to say? Chip likes to amuse. He's definitely jovial and reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield. Another classmate said that Chip reminds her of Don Knotts' character on The Andy Griffith Show.

    Lauren subbed for Marisa and class was a bit disjointed as Lauren tried to deal with people who were taking their first kettlebell class and others who have more experience.

    Lauren pretty much told me that the only way to get better at the clean is to keep *practicing. She also reminded me to make sure that I did the same hip snap that I'm doing while engaging in other maneuvers. She also introduced us to the windmill which I did on one side then forgot where I should place my feet. Barbara turned to me and said It's like triangle pose.

    Me: Oh.

    *Guess I should reference Saturday's post and, simply, exchange yoga for kettlebell.

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    That's Why They Call It A Practice

    Not sure if someone fell asleep while standing up but Jeremy made a point of telling us to keep our eyes open even if we were in the upright position -- That way, I know that you're still alive.

    He also wanted us to keep poses alive by remembering to breathe.

    I got straight up called out during eagle pose. I usually take a break during this pose and that's when I heard:

    Jeremy: Can you do the crossing part?

    Me: My shoulders are tight.

    Jeremy: And that's why...
    Several of us laughed and I definitely felt busted. How did he know that I wasn't "resting resting" in mountain to pace myself?...

    Jeremy gave some good demonstrations. Before standing bow, he pointed out how your shoulder should be behind your head and then posed textbook-style.

    During downward facing dog, he said to make sure that your biceps are by your ears, a really helpful pointer for me.

    And at some point, he reminded us that falling out of poses etc. is why it's called a yoga practice, a nice reminder to hear since it makes me more willing to try poses that I feel are beyond me and, really, there are many poses that I subconsciously forget about until we get to them and then I groan but I try (most of) them anyway...

  • Bow

  • Camel

  • Half Tortoise

  • Standing Head to Knee

  • Camel, in particular, bothers me when I'm trying to do it AND when other people do it but, hopefully, I'll make peace with the pose eventually.

    We lost one today (heat-induced migraine?) and then Jeremy took it out on the rest of us since he doesn't like it when someone has to leave the room. No knees on the floor during plank and we held the various positions on at least one yogi sit-up for a double count. Ouch.

    Beginning Position for Half Tortoise...Forehead Should Get to Mat First and Hips On the Heels but That Hasn't Happened for Me Yet...

    Also, pretty much at a stalemate with the losing weight thing but I like, for the most part, how my body is looking right now.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Our Prana Is His Music

    No Hot Yoga for Crystal or Patti. I told them they were making me leave the room before I even got there.

    Patti: I don’t think you can leave the room. They won’t let you.

    Crystal: You can leave but you can’t come back in.

    Me: At least it's not like probation; you leave and can't come back for a week.
    Even though I wasn’t totally sure about my stamina, I drew inspiration from this post and this one (quite funny) then headed for Hot Yoga.

    Put my mat down and there were only two other mats in the room. When I went back in the room, other people had placed their mats really close to mine. Seriously? There were only 13 people in the room. Spread out, people.

    Before Jeremy assumed his position on the throne at the front of the class, he was like Why is everybody on one side of the room? Thank you, Jeremy.

    I immediately notice that Jeremy has a brand spanking new tribal tattoo on his lower left arm and my drishti stayed on his forearm for a while...

    Your breathing is my music tonight said Jeremy and that made me think of what song? That’s right. Whitney Houston’s I’m Your Baby Tonight.

    As we did balancing stick pose, Jeremy implored us to give 110%. Show that left leg who’s the boss.

    And surprise, surprise. Jeremy gave us a pop quiz. Your prana is your strength and without prana, you _____.

    But people were kind of hesitant to answer because, hello Jeremy, there’s no talking in class.

    P.S. To the newbie who was next to me: leave the perfume at home. No one wants to smell your perfume roasting at 99 degrees.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    The Body Listener

    Some of my folks climbed today but I told Patti that I felt lethargic and didn't think that I'd be able to get myself up the wall.

    I got home and almost instantly climbed into bed. Missed the local news and world news and when I looked at the clock, it was almost 7:30. I still felt lethargic but didn't want to hug the bed too much longer.

    Wanted to swim but didn't know if I'd be able to pull myself through the water and, as I started moving around, I realized that the pool was closed for spring break and now, of course, I have a jones for swimming.

    Checked my gym's website to see if there were any evening classes but almost every class was already in progress or I'd have to haul it to make it on time.

    Thought fresh air might do me some good. Grabbed my water bottle and put pepper spray in my pocket and headed out. As I walked, I thought about boxing: the push back and roundhouse kicks -- how to keep my hands up and not make myself vulnerable.

    I thought about how Lee told me to "stay busy" as I shadowboxed. I sparred with Lee yesterday and it felt good not to hold back on punches and kicks. Maybe that's why I'm all tuckered out...

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Don't Let The Kettlebell Knock You Back...

    As I waited for kettlebell class to start, Mike peeped out from his boxing class and crossed his arms as I had my arms crossed. I wasn't in a mood so I don't know why I projected that body language other than it was 10 and I do prefer to work out in the p.m.

    Kettlebell class in a nutshell:

    Lots of swinging with planks, push-ups, triceps dips etc. thrown in.

    Marisa reminded us to lock our knees at the top of the swing. Hmmm, where had I heard that? Why, it was just yesterday in Hot Yoga during the standing poses.

    Chip was noisy as all get out -- saying that the road looked clean to him as we did windshield wipers whilst holding kettlebells over our chest. He was baffled by Mike's music selections including Hoodie Ninja. I asked Marisa if she had 911 on speed dial because, apparently, she was killing Chip. He did laugh, though, when Barbara walked into class and asked her if she had gotten kicked out of Mike's intermediate one. I had actually emailed Barbara and told her that she might like our class better until she got a better handle on the clean.

    I read something useful in Kettlebells for Dummies about the clean.

    The clean is an aggressive movement just like the swing in Chapter 6, but, unlike the swing, this exercise requires you to keep the kettlebell close to your body. (138)
    Aggressive was the key word for me. Also helpful:

    As you bring the kettlebell off the ground, your thumb goes from pointing backward at the bottom position of the exercise to touching your collarbone at the top of the exercise. Pinch your glutes at the top of the movement, and keep your chest and shoulders square -- don't let the kettlebell knock you back. (139)
    We didn't do a lot of the clean because there was a newer newbie in class.

    After class, Mike walked up to me with a look of fake astonishment on his face while moving his pointer finger across my pectoral area. Marisa said, Yes, she sweated.

    If the workout clothes are not made of dri-wick material, I need to leave it at the store because I sweat a lot. Still, I took myself to Trader Joe's and Target with my completely wet and cheap Champion cotton shirt that I scored at TJ Maxx.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Tuning Into Jeremy's Mantra

    I headed out early because Hot Yoga classes have been crowded but lots of people must have been prepping for the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dogtown and downtown because there were eight people in class and twelve in the earlier one.

    At first, I thought about what a tiny group we were and how I was going to miss the usual chorus of breathing but a butt-kicking is still a butt-kicking and after a while, I started concentrating on standing bow pose and balancing stick etc.

    Funny that Jeremy's mantra today was watching the breath; stay in the moment because I did have a hard time staying in the moment. When we got to the halfway mark, I knew it and focused on it because halfway wasn't good enough for me at that point.

    After cobra pose, Jeremy put his foot on my sacrum and I thought, Oh, shit; he knows that I've called him a Yoga Nazi but he didn't do me in; instead, he provided a bit of Ashiatsu massage.

    Jeremy also told us that our breath is communicating with muscles which allow us to go deeper into poses. He went on to say that we want to have deep (and not shallow) conversations; I couldn't agree more.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Not Drinking the Kool-Aid and...More Gospel from Melinda Frances

    I got an email alerting me that someone "said" my name on Twitter:

    I've pretty much put the kibosh on eating out when someone retires, resigns or gets laid off but, of course, I have felt guilty or felt that I was being too much of a stickler and/or a stick-in-the-mud. I do have restaurants that I will go to including Chipotle (burrito bowl minus the cheese and sour cream), Kaldi's (baked falafel), Local Harvest (veggie burger or egg sandwich with farm fresh eggs) or Sweet Art (Sweet -veggie- Burger or vegan chili).

    I've also felt obnoxious when I've asked family and friends about ingredients in a meal when an invitation to dinner has been extended.

    It's funny when people feel like they must feed you. My colleagues will bring me strawberries or grapes etc. when there's a function going on at work because, by now, they know that I won't eat the cake or drink the "Kool-Aid..." and, yet, I still get plenty of invitations to dine out. After reading The Wall Street Journal article, I felt like I could exhale...

    Hott Southern Mess a.k.a. Melinda no longer works with me but I remembered that I still had more gospel fodder:

  • I'll see you in a tic toc.

  • OH EM GEE...

  • My love for candy is deep and it is real.

  • I need to get my nails done before I lose all of my friends.

  • Paris Hilton always says live every day like it's your birthday.

  • Me: Are you generous with yourself?

    Melinda: I'm the most important person in my world. My cat and David are a close tie...

  • When I was little, I had a cat named Princess Kitten because I was imaginative like that...

  • BRB...

  • I'm so over being an adult.

  • We could be a Blondetourage.

    Melinda about Taylor Swift, Paris Hilton and herself
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    How Not to Ego Trip

    Just hung up five saturated items and not quite sure what I did with the sixth one...Earlier in the program, I went to lay my yoga mat down and could tell that the room was hotter than it's ever been.

    As I stood in mountain pose, I knew that we were going to be in for a wild ride. Sweat was already rolling down my neck. I was also glistening although we had yet to move.

    Cindy encouraged everyone to rest when they needed to. She also advised us to not let our egos get in the way by, say, trying to conquer standing head to knee pose if you weren't ready for it.

    I did not let my ego get in the way. I rested when I needed to and I dealt with my mind because, for the first time, I didn't know if I would be able to stay in the room for 90 minutes.

    I checked the temp afterwards and the humidity was at 64%. I have never drained my entire water bottle before but I was near empty. I had about nine cans of La Croix sparkling orange water in the car but I knew that I didn't want it. I was after something cold. Went to the store then almost drained half of a 20 oz bottle, drank some warm (yuck) low fat chocolate milk (also riding in the car) then finished off my 20 oz.

    Tonight, James Brown and Nikki Giovanni are vying for my attention. Haven't thought of Giovanni's Ego Tripping poem in ages:

    ...I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
    I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

    I mean...I...can fly
    like a bird in the sky...
    But Cindy also made me think of Brown when she said take what you need i.e. a resting pose (mountain, hero or savasana)-- when needed.

    I don't want nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door and I'll get it myself...

    P.S. Getting out of the room almost made me forget about that very challenging chair pose sequence. Almost... And if you think chair pose is not challenging, you haven't done it with Cindy who guided us low down (really low down) into the pose...

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Finish It

    Despite forgetting to keep my hands up, not quite getting the proper hip rotation on kicks, dog paddling instead of properly punching and retracting and despite not being the best sparring partner by forgetting to call out speed punches or power punches to my partner, I feel like I was made to box.

    There were only four of us in class and I almost took a detour to walk because it's so freakin' nice outside but I'm glad that I went to class instead. The hour went by so fast...

    I kept forgetting which hand to start punching sequences with and Lee said start with your left -- it's like using your pawn. I don't play chess so I don't quite get the reference.

    My favorite combo of the night, although it took me a while to get it, was the jab, cross (switch leg) knee then (right) kick. I love side kicks and the shields don't feel as awkward so Rachel, my sparring partner, was able to get off some powerful kicks (and punches) without being hampered by any awkward positioning on my part.

    We usually do three minute bouts and when I heard the timer go off once, I stopped dead in my tracks and Rachel was like finish it; there are so many reasons to like this woman... She also showed me how to get more bang for my buck with my uppercut. I cannot tell you how good it feels when you put some power on a punch...

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    How Marisa Tried to Kill Us

    Went to Hot Yoga yesterday then refueled and decided to go swimming. I find it hard to sit around since I sit around at work so much. I know, I could have done something else like unclutter or plan a meal but who wants to do that?

    I was really sore after my Saturday activities. Maybe I moved in poses deeper than I thought I had. This morning, I was achy, grumpy and tired and knew that I would not be able to double up on activities. I didn't even know if I would make it to kettlebell class but I pulled myself together and ate oatmeal while I dressed even though I didn't think that I would be my best self in class. I also told myself not to try and make up time -- that class would probably be in the warm-up phase when I arrived. It was dumb luck that I didn't make this cop move on my way because I was definitely at that 10 MPH mark when you've bought a speeding ticket.

    Got to class and none of the newbies were there and I felt like they wouldn't show either. It was Alexandrea, Chip, Marina and me and Marisa, surprisingly, remembered everyone's name.

    I'm thinking that Marisa remembered everyone's name because she wanted it to be personal when she tried to kill us: two-hand swings, right hand swing, left hand swing, hand-to-hand swing, tactical and curtsy lunges, Russian Step-Ups, triceps dips, push-ups, squat...curl...presses, knees to feet or, as Jackie Warner likes to call them, UFC's, overhead presses,, presses on the knees, pressing while laying down, windshield wipers, tall sit-ups et al. I thought that I might vomit at one point.

    Good news. We also worked on the clean. I'm right-handed but, for some reason, my left hand clean is much nicer. How weird is that? Marisa said I was stalling when I attempted the clean on the right side and she also reminded me to roll the kettlebell on my wrist.

    Speaking of the clean, Marisa had us do a burpee and when we bounced back up, it was time for the clean. Yeah, I've said it before but it bears repeating: I hate burpees.

    Marisa: See you next week.

    Me: Sure...

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    I Like the Way He Killed Him or The Gospel According to My Aunt Al (Second Edition)

    This coffee mug pretty much mirrors how I feel. No matter how many self-care activities I've engaged in, I've pretty much lost my patience and a whole lot of goodwill by Friday. I was going for my calm-the-nerves Friday afternoon coffee when the mug slipped out of my hand. One of my friends gave it to me a long time ago. I'm gonna try not to think about broken things and, instead, think about how my aunt amuses me...

  • The problem with having kids when you're young is that they grow old with you.

  • You've got a problem; You need to stay out of those stores.

    My aunt to my cousin who loves to shop.

  • My cousin: I have two pairs of brown boots. I need some black ones.

    My aunt: You'll probably get them soon. (To me) She doesn't have too many wants.

  • The store ain't no joke. You wanna get broke; go into the grocery store.

  • Deals ain't got shit that's a dollar anymore.

  • I'm not eating that; it's for fat people.

    After quitting beer, my aunt starting hitting the Neapolitan ice cream hard so I bought her some reduced fat ice cream but she didn't quite go for it...

  • They're not meant to last forever.

    To me after saying that I don't plan on buying another car for a very, very long time.

  • When Leatha gets concerned, everyone should be concerned.

    My aunt re: her sister who is usually unshakable.

  • I've been taking care of me for a long time.

    Re: my cousin's offer to handle things if my aunt runs into problems post-retirement.

  • If she says that she has four, that means she has more.

    My Aunt Al after my cousin window shopped for another reversible leather jacket.

  • Boy, she's wearing that bed out.

    My aunt on Carrie after Mr. Big leaves her at the altar in the Sex in the City movie.

  • I liked the way he killed him.

    After Robert De Niro's character assassinated William Fichtner's in Heat
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Feeling the Heat...Best Of..The Rules

    Lately, I've been listening to Whitney Houston and it's funny when I Wanna Dance With Somebody (I wanna feel the heat...) comes on before Hot Yoga and I, purposefully, play it's Hot in Herre but there are times when I really do think: Dang, it is hot in here. Duh. The temperature does vary from class to class but I think all of the bodies generated even more heat. It was a bit of a TKO tonight but here are some rules to help you negotiate the Hot Yoga ring:

    Rules According to Bridget

  • Come on. You all know the drill. Feet together. Fingers together, even thumbs. Palms toward the mirror.

  • Breathe through the nose; mouth shut.

  • The body follows the gaze.

  • This is all lower back (cobra pose).

  • Your face should look like a Zen monk's. Just because the body is working doesn't mean that your face should be...

  • Rules According to Cindy

  • You're not on a bar stool. You're in a straight-backed chair.

    During Chair Pose

  • Eyes open so that the body still knows that it's working.

  • You can do anything for 60 seconds.

    During Plank 1 and Plank 2

  • Rules According to Jeremy

  • Pull that root bond in. Pull that belly bond in.

  • Hands always open to receive. You never know when you’re going to get a million dollars.

  • Guys, you're constantly moving in these poses.

  • Get your lean on.

    During Eagle Pose

  • Rules According to Val

  • And they had smaller coffins back then so arms closer to the body.

    During Corpse Pose

  • Chorus

    Cultivate that Ujayii breathing...

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Don't Apologize

    As I headed to class, I thought fondly of the boxing studio that had lots of boxing bags but the studio is too far away to go to on a regular basis.

    I kept thinking I'm a bag girl not a sparring one.

    There were seven of us in class and guess who Lee pulled out the bag for? Yes, moi. I worked the bag for about 25 minutes and then I had to spar with this woman who's been boxing for a while. I felt bad for her because it's hard for me to keep up with combinations let alone keep up while someone else is punching and kicking and knowing which way to turn the shields. At one point, my body was all kinds of contorted.

    I grew quite fond of body shots while I worked the bag but when I sparred, I really liked the jab and double kick but my favorite had to be the combination of the jab (left), cross (right), hook (left) and kick (right). I got into a really nice tempo with that combo.

    During one kick, my foot went right through the middle of the pads and towards my partner's side. I told her that I was sorry and she said don't apologize. My sparring partner is about 15 years my junior but I learned a lot from her tonight. In addition to being super encouraging, she was such a good sport about being paired with a rookie.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    All That Matters

    Went to Beginner Kettlebell formerly Kettlebell 101. Mike added another class to accommodate the people who have been training with him for a while.

    Got to class and there were five newbies and four of us from the old Kettlebell 101 which kind of put us in the same position as the old heads from the original class. We tweeners veered toward one another and had time, at first, to twiddle our thumbs while Marisa went over basics with the newbies. We got our own circuits eventually and, later, we all did circuits together.

    It was weird having a new teacher. I missed my other classmates and I was hoping that we'd go over the clean but we didn't. In the end, I got in a very good workout and that's all that really matters. Right before class started and when Intermediate Kettlebell had ended, Barbara (another tweener of sorts) told me that Mike had tried to kill them with double cleans et al...Yeah, maybe I don't miss Mike.

    While I swung, I noticed how symmetrical and toned my arms are. The upper part measures in at almost 14 inches now. I'm hoping that I can locate my measurements from when I first participated in the National Body Challenge to compare. Unfortunately, I haven't been very good about documenting...

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    The Magic Shorts

    I'm addicted to workout clothes -- might as well face it. I hardly look for regular clothes anymore.

    Couldn't resist getting this yoga towel.

    I've been stalking yoga towel auctions on Ebay. Went to Marshalls to get a new yoga mat and, possibly, shorts and was delighted when I looked in the bin of yoga mats and spotted towels on sale for $10 dollars. And, yes, I do use regular towels for Hot Yoga but I've been jonesing for the real thing.

    Also found a pair of Aspire shorts, priced at $7.99; I find them aesthetically pleasing and they fit well.

    I've been searching for Aspire clothing since I found the most wonderful pair of Aspire yoga pants about a year ago.

    I also got a pair of underwear because, apparently, I have a thing for underwear too. The jones actually comes in handy because it sometimes takes me forever to get around to doing the laundry.

    And now for the magic shorts but first a little background. Hazira and I have a running joke about a magic purse because whenever she goes to Bosnian, she goes with a lot of gifts; it's a culturally-appropriate must. Because space is limited, she'll stuff things inside of other things, even a purse, to maximize space. I called it a magic purse because there were at least five items inside of one during her last trip.

    Zone 1, Specially Formulated to Handle the Heat and Transport (haha) Moisture Away from the Skin

    Someone else that I know, a Kenyan, told me that it's not the price of the ticket that gets you; it's the cost of the gifts. This same person had me cracking up when she told me that her visiting sister tried to take many things back to Africa, including a bag of Doritos that she crushed into tiny little pieces in order for the bag to fit in her luggage.

    Mentioning the magic purse makes me think of my trek to the former Yugoslavia. More than missing the international travel, I would love to see this lady again, my lovely host in Zagreb.

    Disregard Rick Steves when he says travel (abroad) as if you'll visit again in a few years. For me, a few years has turned into an eon.

    What’s your workout gear weakness?