Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fun-ish or Month-End Review, June

Went to my treadmill and elliptical gym this morning to practice yoga. This is the second time that I've attended Anna's class and she is in love with vinyasa flow. It's chaturanga this and chaturanga that...Although, she always gives you the option to go straight to downward facing dog. Anna talked "us" through tortoise pose. It's a fun...ish pose, she said but did concede that she probably had an easier time getting into it because her arms are long. When I think about it, most of the activities that I'm involved in have elements of fun-ishness and hellishness; guess you can have everything...

5 Day Get Fit Mix
  • Cardio Kickboxing, 3 x's
  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner
  • Power Sports Drill, 1 x

  • Bicycling, 2 x's


    Give Me 10!
  • Bonus Kettlebell Tone Up, 1 x
  • Cardio Fat Blaster, 1 x

  • Kettlebell Class Practice, 3 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training
  • 15-Minute Total Body Circuit

  • Rock Climbing, 3 x's

    Swimming, 8 x's

    Walking, 9 x's

    Yoga, 10 x's

    How would you describe your workouts?

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    If You're Going to Swim Like That or Stuff People Say to Me at the Pool

  • I don't know if there's going to be enough room in the pool now that I'm getting in.

    (I was in the pool by myself.)

  • Now, you're going to have to get out of the pool if you're going to swim like that and show everyone up...

  • (Two of Us in Pool at This Point)

  • Have you been watching the Olympic trials?

  • They have amazing bodies -- like triangles. Yeah, my body is totally like that.

  • Me: We all have different shapes.

  • Kay: And God loves us all, doesn't he?

    Well, sometimes I think he loves people with triangles better. I'm like an inverted triangle.

  • Don't let me interrupt your exercise.

  • I think that I have your routine down. White glasses for freestyle and dark glasses for the backstroke.

  • See you in four years (at the Olympics)...

  • Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Olympic Size Me

    Hit the pool yesterday and the water was divine.

    The lanes? Olympic-sized. That's not the actual pool that I went to but I wanted to give you an idea of how dang long the lanes are.

    If you haven't heard, I've struggled mightily with front crawl breathing but I finally got the hang of it,  for the most part, and, as a result, the black line in the middle of the pool has lost its sway over me and I swim back and forth at will for 25 yards anyway.

    I was interested to see how I would fare for 50 yards. My first time down the lane, I sputtered before I reached the end but on my second attempt, I settled down, relaxed and breathed calmly. It was a nice hurdle to get over... As I rested at the end of the lane, this man said that he was practicing for a sprint triathlon. I usually finish last but I don't know too many 70-year-olds doing triathlons. I congratulated him in advance.

    After swimming I went to practice yoga and, because I putzed around, I got to class a minute before start time. Hello front of the classroom. The class hadn't been packed since January...Donna usually tells us to take out our eraser and get rid of the day's worries but she was on a mission last night and had a laundry list of things for us to get rid of.

    Another classmate arrived about seven minutes into class. Before, I would have been annoyed but last night I actually thought there's room up here by me. I felt good after swimming but I felt entirely centered after practicing yoga. As I tweeted, yoga class was on point...

    Gotten over any hurdles lately? Gone to any amazing yoga classes?

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Ninja Lite

    On the Down Swing
    At first, it was just Chip and me and while Chip tried to decide on what 25% off kettlebell he wanted, Marisa started class. Warmed up with the usual assortment of flavors: jumping jacks, mountain climbers, plank jacks and "bend your feet and touch them." I was pretty much done after the warm-up and pretty sure that I'll never want a personal trainer.

    At one point, Marisa said that she was being  nice and I thought if this is nice Marisa, hmmm...

    Marisa had a bruise on her leg from a kickboxing class that she taught. Her student kicked her instead of the bag. I wanted to engage in a little kickboxing myself...

    There just seemed to be no space between circuits. We did a tabata-style circuit and I swung my usual 10 kg kettlebell but alternated with a 16 kg which was the first time that I've picked up anything heavier. After 20 seconds of swinging the 16kg, I felt like I could toss my regular kettlebell as if it were a small rock.

    Don't put it down this time.

    How did Marisa know that I was thinking about putting down the 16 kg?

    I slid, like butter, out of a plank. I did the two hand swing while others did hand-to-hand. I was punch-drunk, people.

    Not even Chip's favorite Ninja song could inspire me onward. Chip did have me cracking up when he referred to tabata as Chewbacca.

    At the end of class, I collapsed on the floor. The woman behind the counter was smiling from ear-to-ear and amazed by my stillness and speechlessness. Nothing worked at the end of class -- not even my vocal chords.

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Uncool Like Dat

    Got up and did sun breaths, then couldn't resist going for a walk since it was mild.

    Did a sufficient amount of slugging then decided to hit the pool. It was tough deciding whether or not to go inside or out. I like to kick it and lounge around poolside but I also like to kick it down the lane. I headed indoors and it was a totally good decision since there was an empty lap lane. I swam for about an hour and called it a day.

    Lately, I've been suppressing the urge to freak out about my weight. Watched Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Jeff called himself Sasquatch when his brother wanted him to hide. I totally related to Jeff. There are reasons that I have not freaked out. I can still wear four-year-old clothes and I've had to make adjustments to my swimsuit that I bought in October.

    The Refined Look of Crude Adjustments and Safety Pins

    My body is dense and, to put it mildly, it's uncool to reduce everything to and harp on a number.

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    It Depends on How Mental You Are or Overheard in the Gym

  • Belayer: You just have to step up with the right leg and let go.

    Climber: Let go?

  • Better than ever.

    Meghan's daughter's enthusiastic response to How are you?

  • Mom, will you spot me?

    A.J. (who wanted to boulder) to Leah

  • A.J.'s Pancake Impression

  • Switch position!

    There's a trio of French-speaking climbers who brought along a newbie and the belayer was giving the climber instructions in French when I heard him switch to English on a route call Switch Fast. Guess the route was appropriately named.

  • Yoga has helped me with my balance.

    Woman with limited vision

  • Patti: A lot of climbing is mental.

    David: Yeah, it depends on how mental you are.

  • David, Level of "Mental" Unknown

  • I think this route requires tallness. It also requires technique.

    A belayer to a climber

  • Feet up then hands up.

    A climber offering advice to a newbie

  • I think that I may actually throw up.

    New Hot Yoga Practitioner

    You don't hate me, do you?

    The nauseous one's friend

  • Microfiber Towels -- Good for Absorbing Sweat & Vomit, If Necessary

  • Roll this (mat) up for me; you're 25 years younger.

    Mother to daughter after Hot Yoga

  • Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    The Millionth Time

    Tried out a new gym with a ring and everything. Dude (Tim) was like this is an actual boxing gym and made me take off my earrings.

    Tim had me shuffle around a circle while practicing a one-two punch. I shuffled one way then the other and the shuffling alone wore me out.

    Next, we all headed toward the bags. One group worked the bag for a minute while the second group did conditioning (squats, jumping jacks, bob and weaving, plank jacks etc.).

    My shoulders were screaming about halfway through the drills.

    After working the bags for about 20 minutes or more, we headed back to the spongy floor to shadowbox.

    We formed two lines and Tim gave some complicated combination which he quickly modified for me. I did a one-two punch with a slip to the right and some other situation. He had me cracking up when he told us to get back in line and keep going -- I don't think that anyone has done this for the millionth time.

    After shadowboxing, it was time for push-ups with a partner. One person performed reps, while the other counted. The mission was to do 25-20-15-10 and five. My arms were buckling at one point but once you get to the 15 zone, you start knocking them out fast just to be done.

    I went to a much-needed yoga class later on and when I came home, I wondered why the porch light was off. No electricity. Grabbed my fully charged iPod Touch and listened to podcasts, played games, took a yoga break courtesy of Kripalu, had a little email tennis going on with Cindy and hoped there were no slugs on the porch.

    Caught light out of corner of my eye but it took a while for it to sink it that the house was fully illuminated and the lights were back on.

    My upper body and forearms are wrecked on fire. Not a good idea to go climbing but I did; my pectoral muscles,axilla armpits, triceps fingertips and wrists will thank me even more in the morning.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    The Illish Days of the Weekend

    Climbing with a View
    Practiced yoga, swam and read on Saturday and that Ice Cube song, Today Was A Good Day, popped into my head. This day was pretty good as well. Going with a the-more-the-merrier philosophy, Cindy, David, Jessica, Mike, Patti, Tim and I went to check out the new gym in town, Climb So Ill. We stayed for about three hours then headed to Crazy Bowls and Wraps to eat. We had such a good time. Do-over, please.

    David Makes His Way to the Top, Picture Courtesy of 'Drea's Sky Cam

    Jessica Taking a Well-Deserved Break

    Cindy Demonstrating a Hardcore Yogi Sit-Up

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    There's A Balance Goddess!

    My family pretty much thinks that I lost my mind long time ago. And rock climbing? Icing on the crazy cake.

    However, my mother just told me, matter-of-factly, about a boulderer on Rock Center and I think it's pretty cool that she knows that bouldering is different from top rope climbing. Check out this 11-year-old who climbs with joy...

    I was on Twitter yesterday having a conversation about Cirque du Soleil when the Balance Goddess chimed in. What, there's a Balance Goddess? I told her (Lara Jacobs Rigolo) that yogis love Balance Goddesses and Lara said that she loves yogis.

    Speaking of balance, I had to find a film in the opposite corner of In the Land of Blood and Honey so I watched Ready? Ok!, a sweet little movie with a sweet little message.

    Salud to Friday!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    A Season for Everything

    Just went to my last hot yoga class for a while. I started the adventure with friends, Crystal and Patti, but now I've been going by and for myself for a while. I've missed C & P's presence but other faces have become familiar and welcoming like the woman who was my neighbor tonight. We smiled at each other repeatedly as we spun around for yogi sit-ups, planks and seated forward bend.

    I was under Cindy and Jeremy's watch most of the time but it goes without saying that I will miss all of my hot yoga teachers.

    I'm also going to miss gathering my towels, water and recovery beverage; seeing the sweat dripping from my fingers and elbows and the final savasana at the end of 90 minutes when it's time to look back in wonder.

    One of favorite parts of Cindy's class has been her reminders to clear your mind. She'll follow that by saying it's impossible to not have any thoughts which frequently makes me think of a Malcolm in the Middle episode when Malcolm tires of being a genius and Reese gives him tips on how not to think.

    While I didn't get a brain freeze, I cleared my mind, smiled, chuckled and tried to breathe deeply into my Buddha belly. :)

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    For Example

    Haven’t been to the pool since sometime in May and to say that I’ve been itching to swim is an understatement. I got to the pool around 8:20 and it was still crowded. The lifeguard told me that the man in lane one usually leaves at 8:30 and, sure enough, he got out like clockwork.

    I did my thing and as I headed toward the locker room, this woman stopped me. She pointed to her granddaughter and said that she had told her to look at me swimming laps and that I was in a lap lane and that was why they couldn’t get in those lanes because it was for people swimming laps.

    When I took swimming lessons, my teacher told me that I’d be able to swim a lap by the end of the classes but I never imagined that I would one day belong in a lap lane. I think it’s pretty cool that the grandmother took time to teach her granddaughter a bit of swimming etiquette.

    On another note, did you all catch the Thunder/Heat game? Kevin Durant represented...Or, as others said on Twitter, he was an assassin...he was on fire...

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    The Turkish Delight

    As I put my kettlebell in the car, it seemed extra heavy. I wondered, again, why I exercise, thought about shifting gears and going for a bicycle ride but I also know how important it is to do strength training, so I pressed on.

    Even with feeling out of balance, I managed to pull off a half decent kettlebell clean on my left side. In fact, my press looks good on the left side and, overall, I feel like there is no maneuver that I cannot do on my left side. Want me to do the hot potato then press the kettlebell with my palm? No problem. But it's an issue with the right hand which is an interesting scenario for a right-hander. Marisa has a theory but didn't get around to. She does think that maybe I need to try a 12 kg kettlebell now. We'll see.

    As Marisa discussed a circuit, Barbara was like Oh, we're going to do the Turkish Delight. I started cracking up. Barbara told a classmate the contents of Turkish Delight: starch, sugar, pistachios etc. I don't even like Turkish Delight, she said. And, of course, I've had TD before because it's got...sugarrrrrrrrrrr. Maybe Barbara just thinks that the Turkish Get-Up is delightful.

    Marisa had us do the Turkish Get-Up in reverse. I was stumped and couldn't move. Finally, she verbally walked me through it. I am not an a.m. exerciser and then throw something at me in reverse? Ha...

    Hope that you've had some delight in your day...

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Upping My Game

    Just finished with Choices, part two of The Weight of the Nation and the three people who weigh 400 pounds or more are still on my mind.

    It totally resonated with me when one of the experts said that one chocolate chip cookie can undo 20 minutes of jogging or the other one who said that exercise alone is not an effective weight loss metric but, of course, I still love to hear this:
    Physical activity is ALWAYS good for overall health. Physical activity really is the wonder drug. If you have regular physical activity, you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, less likely to have cancer,  less likely to become depressed, less likely to be injured, less likely to have arthritis, less likely to have osteoporosis, more likely to feel better about yourself and be more productive at work…(35:10)
    I have the exercise part down but I need to recommit on the food front. Although I haven't had fried food, soda or German chocolate cake in ages, I'm capable of doing much better with food choices. And, to tell the truth, I've also slacked on my one hour (minimum) a day exercise rule; I'm capable of upping my game.

    The other day, a farmer gave me a snap pea which I popped in my mouth. It was delicious all by its lonesome. So, I'm not quite sure what my problem is and, as if I needed more proof, I just started reading a Rocco Dispirito book:
    When you cook, you are in control of everything you put into your pan and thus into your body. You decide how many calories and how many fat grams you eat in any given day... 

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Feel This Tribe Around You: A Look at 30 Days, I Am and Y: Yoga Movie

    Found my way back to Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days which I abandoned with only three episodes remaining. The last episode is 30 Days on An Indian Reservation and it was really moving. I loved it when Spurlock participated in the daily ritual of running toward the sun then greeting it then saying a prayer for his family. He also realized the importance of being present and has a transforming sweat lodge experience.

    I felt full of hope after watching I Am, a documentary written and filmed by the man, Tom Shadyac, who brought you Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Shadyac has a bicycle accident that leaves him with injuries and depression. He decides to seek out the likes of bishops and psychologists to get their take on happiness et al.

    One person that Shadyac interviews say:

    When Darwin wrote the Descent of Man, he mentioned survival of the fittest twice and he mentioned love 95 times.
    I know that I've frequently referenced survival of the fittest as well...I also like the person who said:
    The basis of nature is cooperation and democracy.
    Obviously, it's been said before but when you see example after example of cooperation  in nature, it can be a goose bump-inducing moment. Loved the ending. Thanks to Cindy for bringing this documentary to my attention.

    At first, I didn't think that I was going to like Y: Yoga Movie. The narrator's voice seemed a bit creepy and shots of the sky seemed a bit kitschy but I got on board loved it. Diamond Dallas, featured in Enlighten Up!, is back telling the store of how wrestling took a toll on his body. He's told that he'll never wrestle again but, after doing yoga for three months, he's back in the ring. I also like when Dallas said that yoga will give you mental flexibility, a gift that I've gotten from yoga.

    I love it when Seane Corn talks about how her life was, theoretically, falling apart and how her life was complicated but that she got the sense that things were unfolding as they should and she also had a sense of joy. When she thought about the source, she pinned it down to the yoga class she had been to earlier.(21:21)

    There are several celebrity yoga practitioners interviewed -- probably more than I recognize but the person who stole the show for me is Andre, a teenager who struggled with bad Andre and good Andre; he's quite a character and you can see how yoga has transformed him.

    At the end of the film, I loved it when he says:

    To the people who fucked with me, I say thank you because, through them, I learned how to forgive... (1:14:00)
    Hala Khouri, a yoga teacher and Andre's mentor, discovered yoga after a cancer diagnosis. I like what she said at the end of one of her classes:
    As you drop into your breath, as you drop into your being, feel this tribe around you. We all came here today as a collective... (1:13:40)

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Plan B

    Even though I signed up for boxing class online, got there and was told that the class schedule had been changed. Getting to class and not being able to exercise is like dropping the last piece of a Clif bar or going to Local Harvest for a veggie burger and discovering that they are closed because of a special meeting. Notice the food references?

    I had been at home for 90 minutes waiting for boxing class to start. What to do before my momentum took a complete nosedive? It was too muggy for a walk but not quite warm enough for a swim. I finally decided on 30 minutes of cardio then left to catch my p.m. yoga class.

    Donna: Let it all go -- at least for an hour...The only one that you should be concerned with is you on your mat...Every body is different. Some people are tall. Some people are short...Some people have been practicing for 15 minutes and some people have been practicing for years...My mother was one of the first yoga teachers in St. Louis so I've been practicing for a long time...Yoga also made my mother a very mellow mom...
    That must have been cool -- having a mellow mom...Donna always tells us not to do anything that hurts and that she can modify any pose. As we started to do tree pose, Donna said that we could hold on to the wall or something if we needed to and I saw the sole man in class jokingly hold on to his wife then they both smiled at each other.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    There's A Rack Out There for That

    You only need a mat, towel and water for hot yoga but when I pulled into the parking lot, I discovered that I had left my mat at home. I actually had a new mat in the car but didn’t want to use it for hot yoga so I rented one. Problem solved.

    Jeremy was our captain and he was on a mission but, first, he went over the rules of engagement.
    Check your ego at the door; there’s a rack out there for that. 
    It was taskmaster Jeremy and funny Jeremy at the helm. Still, I was in utter disbelief as Jeremy went into a soliloquy of sorts while we were in chair pose. Hold a pose for five breaths? Try fifteen or more. After triangle pose, Jeremy wanted us to keep our knee bent. Feel those quads on fire? Yes, Jeremy, I did feel that and I’m going to feature my quadriceps in a new DVD called Quads Afire.

    I did have a sufficient supply of stamina this morning so I guess that it was all good. One needs to be challenged, right? Also learned that my biceps should be in the vicinity of my ears during the standing backbend.

    On another note, I watched In the Land of Blood and Honey which I have been avoiding. It’s just one of those films, like Hotel Rwanda, that you know that you should watch but...In the end, though, if people had to endure atrocities, the least I can do is watch the story.

    I thought Angelina Jolie did a really good job of telling a complicated story, in two hours, about the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims in the former Yugoslavia. It is interesting that Jolie decided to go with the actors speaking in English; it worked though. The rating on this trailer speaks volumes. There are over 14,000 dislikes and only 2,000 likes and the comments turned nasty early in the game.