Friday, August 31, 2012

The Toughest Workout or Month-End Review, August

Wednesdays = Kettlebell; Saturdays = Climbing; Calendar = A Beautiful Mind
 With the remnants of a hurricane headed our way, figured I'd better say goodbye to the outdoor pool. Brrrrr, chilly water. I got in about 30 minutes before everyone left at which point I got out of the pool because swimming solo is not allowed...Seems like the outdoor pool just opened. Ditto for August.

Also temporarily said goodbye to X's and, instead, just wrote down my exercise of choice. Not sure that I "fooled" myself much because writing down the actual exercise instead of using X's was still a chain that I tried not to break. I was much better about rest days though.

Tomorrow marks the start of National Yoga Month and I dream about doing yoga for 30 days. My initial thought was to do yoga in a classroom setting when a wise person, Katie, spoke up and said that I could divvy it up and do yoga in small sessions at home. I'm glad that Katie mentioned that because the scenario did not occur to me since I have a tendency to have an all or nothing mentality...

I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that two of my toughest workouts this month had absolutely nothing to do with a gym or studio. One day, I helped prepare for a festival and I lifted a lot of chairs and tables for a huge chunk of time. Now, that was a workout!

10 Minute Solution: Get Fit Mix

  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • 10 Minute Stretch

  • Bicycling, 3 x's

    Kettlebell Class, 5 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie: Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs

  • Standing Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs, 1 x

  • Rock Climbing, 5 x's

    Swimming, 5 x's

    Walking, 9 x's

    willPower & Grace, 1 x

    , 9 x's

    What was your toughest workout this month?

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    Words That Make Me Want To Scream

    I spent time before kettlebell practice wondering what Marisa would come up with for class and I also thought that if I heard the phrase box jump that I just might scream.

    I had to tell myself that I’ve had made it through every class and that if I needed a break, I could always rack my kettlebell or just plain take a seat.

    As I chatted with Chip, I told him that Marisa was sleeveless but that didn’t stop me from wondering what she had up her sleeve.

    But you know what? I made it.

    I made it through the jumping jacks, mountain climbers, plank jacks, two-hand swings, cleans, presses, squats, curls, Turkish Get-Ups, Russian Step-Ups, Russian Twists, push-ups, around-the-body catches, squats, lunges and dips. I also noticed, while cleaning on the left side, that my 22 pound kettlebell felt light…

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    The Serious Swimmer

    As I prepared to gradually lower myself into arctic water, this man asked if I wanted his lane. You're a serious swimmer, he said. I was all kinds of flattered but still felt like Lois of Malcolm in the Middle when she thinks she’s a graceful dancer but, in reality, is very awkward.

    Awkward or not, It felt amazing to be back in the water. I felt strong and very competent .

    Chatty Kathleen was at the pool and she recently had a neurolysis procedure. She's experienced severe pain before but said nothing compares to the aftermath of having nerve endings killed...

    On another note, I found out about the trash the dress ritual on the Today show. Very sad that Maria Pantazopoulous lost her life trying to trash a wedding dress in a river.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    I Want a "Workout" This Cool

    I told the guy next to me that I liked how Cobu's gym bags matched their outfits and he said that they looked like Power Rangers. I agreed -- especially the yellow one with the amazing quadriceps...

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Tough Class

    Marisa: Andrea hates me right now.

    Me: Hate is such a strong word. How about intensely dislike?
    I could never hate or dislike Marisa. She is so appropriate, polite and personable but, man, she behaves as if she works for Beat Downs “R” Us.

    With two kettlebells, we did front squats, 30 box jumps, the suitcase deadlift (15), 25 box jumps, calf lifts (15), 20 box jumps, cleans (10 right and left), snatches, 15 box jumps, lunges, rows and then push-ups.

    Let me back up and say that I was already wasted from the warm-up and by the time we got to the third round of front squats, box jumps, deadlifts, calf lifts etc., I was speechless.

    I was just about green with envy when this one woman snatched 36 pounds especially since I don’t know how to do the snatch but I only had a few moments to dwell on greenness because a whole lot of my energy was devoted to not falling too far behind the three women who were jumping and swinging like crazy.

    Last week, this woman asked if we could do the Turkish Get-Up towards the end of the class and I called her Little Miss Turkish Get-Up as in Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes.

    As we walked toward our cars, LMTGU said That was a tough class. I didn’t even think about asking for the Turkish Get-Up today.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Allow The Day

    Allow the day to disappear; it doesn’t belong on your mat. Sharon had me right there and I had absolutely no problem allowing my day to disappear because it had been wacky.

    As we did thunderbolt pose, Sharon told us that she thinks people should do thunderbolt and downward facing dog every day. No wonder DFD is heavy in her rotation.

    I was pleasantly surprised when we did earth salutations, a sequence that I wouldn’t mind doing daily.

    I also enjoyed fire hydrant pose– makes me smile every time...

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    You're Going to Need A Bigger Towel or Overheard in the Gym

  • It's going to be interesting riding a motorcycle after this... Man in climbing gym

  • You're going to need a bigger towel. Cindy to two newbies who brought hand towels for Hot Yoga.

  • If you find something beyond your reach, step up. David to someone who had just finished Rock Climbing 101

  • Just think of it as climbing meditation. Kristen to Cindy

  • Kristen -- Thinking About It...

  • The arête is a rut... Kristen

  • You look so easy from the bottom. Cindy to the Zen Garden route.

  • Cindy Tackling the Tornado Simulator Route

  • Dad, stop worrying. A kid reassuring his non-climbing dad that he was properly attached to auto-belay.

  • Hippie bath... Cindy's stance on our debate about whether to shower before or after climbing.

  • Dad, he wants to be belayed...

  • I don’t ever want to get on a slackline again. A male youngin who had been vertical but took a sudden seated position on the slackline.
  • Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Where The Weird Things Are

    Sara mentioned this book on her blog and I remember her saying that the author was snarky. I found this to be true as well. Didn't really care for the title of the book but it stems from a comment that the author's sister made upon hearing that the author planned to study yoga in Indonesia:
    When I told her I was going to Indonesia to study yoga, she said that if Bali turned me into one of those yoga bitches, she would strap me down and force-feed me steak and beer and cigarettes until I came back to life. (Pg 71 of 1143)

    I read Yoga Bitch in increments -- five minutes before yoga class or five minutes before departing for work. Since the book is on my iPod Touch, reading it in small segments seemed like the perfect approach since I wanted to hold onto the experience...

    Other yogis have said it different ways but the meaning is the same and I also feel similar to Suzanne Morrison when she writes:
    I remembered something about yoga that was easy to forget in the world of celebriyogis and sacred schwag. At its best, it nourishes something real in me. Something vulnerable and authentic, where I am most myself. (1012 of 1143)
    There's another passage in the book that really moved me. Suzanne’s friend gets married and the friend’s husband says “I would have done even weirder things to marry Jessica.”
    I used to think that sort of sentiment was corny, but isn’t that exactly what we’re all looking for? Someone who loves how weird we are? A lover, a mentor, a God who looks at you with all your peculiarities and contradictions and sees not a design flaw, but a perfectly, uniquely lovable soul? (1000-1001 of 1143).

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    There Is Nothing On Your Mat

    Downward facing dog is a pose that I have trouble getting comfortable with. My hamstrings are tight and my feet never reach the floor even if I walk them in and I feel like DFD also agitates my triceps.

    Of course Sharon, my teacher tonight, had us do one of her favorite sequences: downward facing dog to plank back to DFD to plank. For fun, she had us assume DFD again then we shifted the left foot over to the right and went into side plank then to DFD then to side plank.

    Is it getting hot or is it just me? One of my classmates wanted to know and we all laughed.

    There’s no need for hot yoga; you have your internal combustion, Sharon said.

    Yeah, Sharon killed us softly...

    At the beginning of class, she usually asks if anyone has requests. Someone wanted to work on spinal rejuvenation so Sharon brought out the yoga wall toys.

    We did downward facing dog by getting into a pelvic swing, walking our hands out, placing our feet on the wall and getting on our toes. Once we walked our hands out, Sharon wanted us to get on our forearms and let our heads rest. That was the most amazing downward facing dog that I’ve ever experienced and my back felt properly stretched.

    During savasana, Sharon was like there is nothing on your mat. No stresses. No worries. Nothing that is not beneficial to you. She also told us that our mat was a safe space. She said other meaningful stuff but I kind of got lost in my breathing and my internal cheerleading of Talk that talk Sharon...

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    No Shoe Left Behind

    I wear flip flops a lot and they are perfect shoes for heading to climbing because I don't have to get out of one pair of shoes to get into climbing shoes. Ditto for flip flops and swimming/yoga .

    As I headed from the climbing gym on Monday to yoga class, an unidentified belt got really noisy, the battery light popped on, the temperature gauge rose and I pulled over and the car dumped antifreeze on the ground.

    I put my climbing gear in the trunk and was happy to discover my tennis shoes since I had to walk about 30 minutes to a pay phone.

    I got my car towed pretty fast and I was happy for several reasons including the fact that it was 100 degrees the next day; 100 degrees and climbing shoes do not mix.

    Ah, the joys of car ownership:

  • Ignition Coil One (blows in Feb.)

  • Ignition Coil Two (blows in August)

  • Water Pump (blows in August even though it was replaced when timing belt was replaced two years ago)...

  • When I called roadside assistance, they wanted to know if I/the car was in a safe place. Thanks for asking...

    In honor of Flick Friday, here are a few movies that I recently enjoyed.

    Hope that you're enjoying Friday and that you're in a safe space.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Message To The Body

    Scene of the Crime
    I thought about Stacey Lei Krauss, creator of the willPower Method, as I headed to kettlebell class. In her willPower video she says, and I’m paraphrasing, to watch your facial expressions because you’re sending a message to the body.

    I also thought about one of Bridget’s favorite expressions during hot yoga class: the face is soft…the face is soft.

    Last night, I went to yoga class and the teacher kept telling us to relax the muscles in the face.

    All this pre-game mental chatter occurred because I knew that kettlbell class would be tough.

    As we warmed up, I thought about how I hate mountain climbers. Later on my hate went to dipping my triceps, pulsing while lunging and burpees.

    The ninja song didn’t even provide any motivation.

    Any my face? I was too busy concentrating on generating power from my hips so that I could swing my kettlebell efficiently.

    Did you see this video of Olympian Sarah Robles? After watching the video, I wanted to send her money...

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    They Make You Feel Strong...Introducing Kelli

    Kelli's Strong Back...A Kettlebell Perk
    It was just a matter of time before I asked Kelli if I could take pictures (and ask a few questions) because I love it when she does post-kettlebell asanas and I really love it when she lifts into bow pose.

    In addition to admiring Kelli's asanas, I also admire her fierceness. There were times when I staggered or whined from fatigue and wanted to stop swinging my kettlebell but knew that if I looked in Kelly's direction, I'd get inspired to dig deeper...

    'Drea: How long have you been practicing kettlebell?

    Kelli: I have been practicing kb for almost 2 years. I started it as something to do in the fall/winter and to add to running and playing Camogie for strength/weight training. I have since developed a tendon injury in my ankle (40 years of playing sports finally got to me) and I cannot really run anymore and have stuck with it. It is great cardio and little/no impact. I also really gravitate towards group fitness classes.

    'Drea: What's your favorite kettlebell move?

    Kelli: Do you really have to ask this one? Turkish Get Up and the snatch. :)

    'Drea: What's been the most challenging kettlebell maneuver?

    Kelli: It took me forever to really become good at the snatch. I am not sure if it was that I really had a deficient muscle group or whatever but it was so frustrating! It is one of the best exercises and really important to be good at for a good practice.

    'Drea: How long have you been practicing yoga?

    Kelli: Regular forms of yoga on on off for a very long time but last December I did my 1st Bikram class in FL with my sister-in-law and didn't hate it or die from it. :) I kept going and continued when I got back to St. Louis, 1st with Bikram but then moved to Prana for their Hot classes and have been going there since. I love it there! Awesome teachers and a great facility.

    Kelli in Bow Pose

    'Drea: What's your favorite pose?

    Kelli: Um, I would say my "best" poses are the Spine Strengthening Series and anything with flexibility like Standing Separate Leg or Standing Separate Head to Knee but my favorites are the Triangle/Warrior type poses I think, they make you feel strong. My least favorite is Salabhasana/Locust, I fight that one big time. :)

    'Drea: Any particular Olympic event capturing your attention?

    Kelli: I am an Olympic junky winter/summer, I watch it all. It is fun to see crazy sports you never see any other time (luge/bobsled, rowing, archery, fencing, etc) but I find myself watching sports I played a lot also...there is nothing I won't watch!

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    A Bit Untied

    Made myself roll over and out before I really wanted to but glad that I pulled myself together in time to make 11:00 a.m. yoga – especially since it was Pure Yoga’s last day to substitute.

    She did her usual preamble:
    May all beings everywhere be happy and free….And may our practice on the yoga mat contribute to all beings' happiness...Shanti/Peace
    It was a great class and the perfect way for me to start my day. Love the body yawn -- simply achieved by stretching your arms overhead and pointing your toes.

    We did an inclined plank and, in my opinion, a plank is a plank is a plank.

    Pure yoga had us do shoelace pose but my shoelaces were a bit untied.

    Savasana was sweet.
    Sometimes you have to slow down to get strong…There’s no reason to hold onto anything...You have access to this state of relaxation all the time.

    Gloria also talked about the joy of acceptance and gratitude. Don't know about you but I feel way more grateful after practicing yoga.

    Also went climbing and my fingers, quads and toes are thanking me right now.

    Kristen Demonstrating How We All Felt at End of Climbing Day

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    10 Things That Make Me Happy: Yoga Edition... à la... Just Here Just Now

    Read a post over at Just here. Just now. about 10 things that make Lisa Jones happy. Jones was inspired to create the list after hearing rich people (on a Bravo show) talk about material things that made them happy. I was inspired to make my own 10 things yoga edition after reading her yoga list.

    10). I love saying Namaste at the end of class. More often than not, saying Namaste makes me smile…

    9). When I fall out of a pose at the same time as someone else and we both smile.

    8). I love the restful night of sleep that happens after I’ve practiced yoga.

    7). Post-Namaste nod or smile to someone that I know visually but don’t really know.

    6). When someone makes room for me in class.

    5). Hearing Om.

    4). Using bolsters, blocks, blanket and eye bag for savasana.

    3). The energy cultivated by practicing yoga with others.

    2). Finding myself doing tree pose while talking to people or waiting in line.

    1). Earth salutations.

    What's something that makes you happy -- yoga-related or otherwise?