Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Standing the Heat or Month-End Review, October

Wanted to commemorate Cindy’s last day teaching hot yoga by attending her class. I haven’t practiced hot yoga in almost five months and, boy, did my mind start talking to me. Would I be able to withstand the heat? Would I be able to stay in the room for 90 minutes?

I also thought about all of the poses that I’d rather not do.

My mind was still noisy when I saw Cindy mention an article, Top Five Yoga Pet Peeves, on Twitter. The article spoke to me, made me laugh and relax and I decided to relax into my practice by trying eagle pose which I’ve never done before in hot yoga.

While we did our final major pose, seated forward bend, Cindy told us that it was a symbolic ending pose to kind of close up after doing so many opening poses. Kind of like a hibiscus, I guess, that opens up then closes then opens up again…

Afterwards, Cindy and I talked about eagle pose and I told her that my body just didn’t wrap like that to which she said I’m sure that it wraps in other wonderful ways…Namaste...

October totals:

10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • 10 Minute Stretch, 2 x's

  • Bicycling, 2 x's

    Climbing, 4 x's

    Kettlebell, 4 x's

    Swimming, 7 x's

    Treadmill, 1 x

    Walking, 12 x's

    Yoga, 13 x's

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    The Savasana Fairy

    Classmate Looking Livelier After Practicing Yoga
    Rhonna told us ahead of time that she would conduct a very special Halloween class. There were several people dressed in costumes and there was candlelight but first things first…

    Is anyone new to yoga? Rhonna asked. Then…Does anyone have a medical condition that I should be aware of?

    I’m dead said one yogi.

    Several of us howled with laughter. Appropriate don’t you think?

    We got in touch with our spooky ujayii breathing, dangled our Frankenstein arms and dived into a witch’s brew/forward fold.

    We even got a treat while in savasana...

    At one point, we had our arms out and head leaning to the side. It took everything in me not to break out and start doing the Thriller routine.

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Five Rounds, Five Reps

    Double Your Pleasure
    Sounds easy, right? Five rounds, five reps and two kettlebells…

    We warmed up as usual then jumped right in:

  • Double Kettlebell Cleans, 5

  • Presses, 5

  • Squats, 5

  • Push Presses, 5

  • Swings, 5

  • 30 Jumping Jacks

  • Rest for 90 seconds

  • Repeat

  • Double Kettlebell Cleans, 5

  • Presses, 5

  • Squats, 5

  • Push Presses, 5

  • Swings, 5

  • 30 Jumping Jacks

  • Rest for 90 seconds

  • After five rounds of this situation, we did body weight exercises including a squat series:

  • Squats

  • Squat Jumps

  • Pulsing Squats

  • Static Squat

  • I don’t know what was harder – that five round series or the squats.

    After swinging and squatting, Marisa said Thanks for working so hard. I know that was a tough workout...An interesting and, as I'm sure Marisa intended, motivating thing to hear...

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    ...To Lay A Tablecloth on Your Back

    Roy DeCarava's Catsup Bottles, Table and Coat
    Still basking in the glow of swimming a mile. I think this is about my fifth or sixth time. Hopefully, I’ll make that milestone more often and the novelty will wear off.

    I don’t get to swim on Saturday often but several climbing buddies were out of town and another, Patti, decided she wanted to unclutter -- a perfect opportunity to squeeze swimming into the schedule. At lap 25, I was slated to leave but 25 is so close to 32.5 that I couldn’t pass it up. I had to fight for the last five laps but I did it.

    Missed yoga last Sunday because of the Rock ‘n’Roll Marathon gridlock but made sure that I got out of the house with enough time to spare since this class averages about 40 people.

    It was the best of classes and the worst of classes.

    People tend to arrive as late as 15 minutes for this super-packed class. This woman who came in late put her mat directly in front me which wouldn’t have been a big deal if there hadn’t been more space around her.
    Who am I? The main character is Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man? When people do stuff like that it makes me want to kick them and I’m pretty sure that you should feel less like kicking while you’re practicing yoga…

    We had a sub. I think her name is Sandy.

    Sandy is very soft-spoken and she told us that from the get-go. She said that if anyone was new to yoga, they should move closer to the front. Otherwise, if we couldn’t necessarily hear her, seasoned yogis could pick up on visual cues.

    Sandy was all about pulling in the core then taking a deep breath and, in general, taking breaths during asanas and between them.

    It was, by far, one of the quietest yoga classes that I’ve attended but there was no need for Sandy to raise her voice. It’s kind of hard to explain but Sandy cast a calm spell over us and she did an excellent job of holding space and, for the matter, guiding.

    When we were in table top, she told us that if she were to place a tablecloth on our back, it would just lay there or when we balanced our spine with one leg and arm extended she said Imagine that someone is tugging at your fingers and toes.

    Before class started Sandy asked, very nicely, for everyone to turn their electronic devices off as opposed to on vibrate etc. and before savasana, she asked that if people had to leave, to do it quietly. I guess you can say that Sandy is good at setting the table.

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Because I Look Like a Badass or Stuff People Say to Me


  • Send that picture to me because I look like a badass.

  • Erin, The Badass


  • I don't know what your level of clutter is...

  • Katie

  • I'm a bit of a hedonist.

  • I'm like a dog. I'll get anything you need and I don't mind doing that...

  • We want to live in the woods and eat vegetables.

  • As I was reading The Sun -- trying to get ideas about becoming the better person that I want to be

  • Lori

  • I'm assuming you're aware of that....

  • Lori to me about the Yoga for Foodies event

    My Brother

  • Because I don’t have any tofu…

  • Sarah

  • S: I went to school in a castle.

  • Me: What?

    S: It was an old castle. I think that's what it was called -- the old castle.

  • I just converted my weight to kilos (55) and now I'm depressed. Seriously, I used to be smaller

  • Your arms are bigger than my thighs. You're gonna have trouble finding shirts for the winter...

  • After Sarah squeezed my triceps

  • I just love breakfast. There’s nothing better -- bread, butter and jam. Those are some of my best memories – having “breakfast dinner.” My mother would buy a big loaf of bread and we’d have coffee….

  • I miss myself... The one who used to be efficient...

  • I had some chocolate that was so good. You know that I love hazelnuts and the hazelnuts are caramelized and when you bite into the chocolate, you can tell there’s something different.

  • May I paint them?

  • After spotting my uncharacteristically long fingernails.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Don't Tell Marisa

    Because of various conflicts, I hadn't been to yoga in a week and decided to try a new, to me, yoga teacher at my gym.

    More than anything, I knew that my body needed yoga since I'm still sore from Monday's kettlebell encounter.

    I really like Rhonna. She noticed that there were new people in class, asked if anyone was new to yoga, encouraged us to use blocks, straps, blankets and modifications, if needed.

    I found myself laughing while in wide-legged forward fold when Rhonna said Say hello to your hamstrings; they thank you for coming.

    When she told us to pay attention to our shoulders to make sure they weren't eating our ears, it was an image that I could hold onto.

    I felt like I had the best of two worlds -- laughter and yoga.

    In fact, Rhonna told us that she liked it when we laughed because she knew that we were breathing. And I liked it when Rhonna told us that yoga is about you and I ruminated on that concept: yoga is about is about you...

    As I think about how sore I am and how I need to immerse myself in a salt bath, I have a certain amount of gratitude for being pushed hard by Marisa. Having pushed my limits in kettlebell class, other tasks felt and feel much easier. And feeling like you can tackle just about anything? Priceless. But please don't tell Marisa about the gratitude thing or she might give me more opportunities to have that feeling.

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Sick Workout

    I’m sick so I won't be working out with you all Marisa informed us. I gave her hell but, in the end, she worked out with us in her illish state then returned the hell back to me. The workout caught me by surprise because the last time we met, Marisa said that we hadn't done stations in a while and I mistakenly thought we would do stations -- guess that's something to look forward to...

    The agenda:

  • 100 Two-Hand Swings

  • 90 Triceps Dips

  • 80 Push-Ups

  • 70 Windshield Wipers

  • 60 Squat Jumps

  • 25 Cleans, Right

  • 25 Cleans, Left

  • 20 Double Cleans and Presses (20 Snatches for Everyone Else)

  • 20 See Saw Presses

  • 10 Burpees With a Jump and Tuck

  • I only did about half of the dips and push-ups since Marisa set a pretty fast pace. If she works out with such intensity when she’s sick, I don’t really want to witness what happens when she’s at full capacity.

    When we started doing the two-hand swing, it was pretty cool as the women swung in synch. Not so cool -- how my shoulders are all bunched up now...

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    I Have My Shirt On

    Since I hadn't seen Leah in ages, I sent her an email to say hi and to let her know that several of us have been climbing on Saturday around 3ish on a somewhat regular basis. As I emerged from the locker room, I saw a child dart past me. That looks like Noah, I say to Patti. I am Noah, he says. And where there’s Noah, there’s Leah and/or Mike…

    As I stood next to Leah contemplating the speed route, Drew walked up.
    Me: I almost didn’t recognize you.

    Drew: One, I have my shirt onTwo,  I haven’t been climbing in a while.
    The funniest look passed over Leah’s face. I explained to her that Drew has a significant starburst-looking tattoo between his shoulder blades so he is much easier to recognize with his shirt off and starburst blazing.

    Drew said that he didn’t get the speed route. I know that I didn’t get it or very far up it on the auto belay.
    The Deceptive Speed Route with Huge Holds
    Leah chuckled after we tried the speed route. I see neither one of us is heading over there to write our name on the board...

    As it turns out, Leah hadn't been online and, therefore, hadn't read my email but how's that for putting something out in the universe and getting and almost instant response?

    The Clipboard...Dane Climbed The Speed Route In Under 16 Seconds

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Conversations with Strangers

    As the pool emptied, the two teenagers who had been horse playing got in the lane next to me. One told me that he had taught himself to swim three months ago. When I asked him why, he said that he wanted to be a Navy Seal and he was now teaching his friend to swim.

    I found his D-I-Y swim project inspiring.

    After a few laps, I made a palm pillow at the end of the lane and then I heard You’re not going to get any exercise like that. The guy was joking put it made me submerge and start swimming again.

    Left the pool and went to Target. As I picked up a Kashi frozen dinner, I heard Is that good? from behind me. Okay, that’s a silly question. You obviously think it’s good if you’re getting it. I’m so tired of Lean Cuisine.

    And, so, I had a conversation with “Lean Cuisine” who’s single. For her, cooking doesn’t make sense because she gets tired of one dish pretty quickly. Sometimes I go to Burger King…I must have had an odd look on my face because she told me that Burger King is much better than they used to be and that she’ll get a dollar salad. I know what I’m doing – I’ve lost 92 pounds. I agreed with her. She does know what she’s doing.

    She’s into Zumba and it turns out that we go to the same gym. Maybe I’ll see you sometime. I usually go to Zumba on Wednesday and Thursday…

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    Steady, Steady...

    At the beginning of the week, tried to do too many things in one day. Left rock climbing and headed to yoga but when I arrived, the class was already in savasana so I retreated.

    The next time that I practiced yoga was on Thursday at home but, now, I prefer practicing in a class but getting in some practice was better than none.

    Last night was kind of lick my wounds night since it was a crazy week so I was glad that I was able to pull myself together and get out the house by 10:30 so that I could make it to Anna’s class.

    I decided to leave my hot yoga towel in the car because I wanted to see how my new mat handled asanas. I slid so much in downward facing dog that, at one point, I thought it would be nice to have my rock climbing chalk.

    Despite that distraction of sliding all over the place, I still enjoyed class and feel more balanced than I’ve felt in the last couple of days.

    Regaining Balance and Color by Balancing

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Like A House That Collapses

    In my mind, I’m begging for Marisa not to call out anymore warm-up exercises because I’m sufficiently warmed up and out of breath but I’m not totally sure why I want the warm-up to stop because the more intense portion of the program begins after that. Fifty minutes of swinging, planking, push-upping etc. leaves me clock-watching – big time. I can never figure out why time stands still in some circumstances.

    I did the clean while Andrew did the snatch which he executed beautifully. Still, Marisa coached him to a more beautiful snatch. It’s like a house that collapses, she tells him – just let it go.

    By the end of class, Andrew’s snatch was not the only thing collapsing. I lay out on the floor then pulled myself together and headed straight for the store.

    The Cupboard Was Bare

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    Smoothing Out The Dog

    Starting singing that Erykah Badu line “my mind is gone…” because that’s what it felt like at the end of yesterday but when I thought about it, I could have used the other line “what a day, what a day…” And what a day it had been. I rolled out late, decided not to go to yoga, took a salt bath, drank coffee, read and didn’t leave the house until 2:30 to climb with five of my buddies plus a new one.

    Cindy and Jeff Working Out the Forearm Kinks

    After climbing, met Patti at Trader Joe’s then another grocery store. Patti was heading to Chipotle and, when I thought about it, I asked her about eating in because my ETA for arriving at home would have been about 8:30 and, by then, I was already tempted to take a bite of someone’s arm. So I guess what I’m saying is that I need assistance with chores and errands or something because the day was fantastic – I just wanted to accomplish a lot more…

    I did go to yoga today. It was so packed that when we extended our right leg, everyone sort of looked back first to make sure that they weren’t going to kick the person behind them in the nose. When we did a full body yawn before savasana, I touched the feet of the person behind me. I told her that I thought her feet were clear but she didn’t trip off of it because that’s just the way it is in this class.

    The Big Breather a.k.a. The Champion Breather appeared 15 minutes after class started. He positioned his mat against the flow of traffic because that’s the only way it would fit. I keep trying to figure out what he sounds like. It’s not that Darth Vader breath that teachers like to talk about and it doesn’t sound like someone who’s fogging up the window. Hmmm…

    As we did sun salutations, Gloria told us to make it smooth and, after several rounds, of going from chaturanga to cobra to downward facing dog, my dog did smooth out. .

    I was shocked when savasana was mentioned. Couldn’t believe it had been an hour -- guess I got lost in class…

    Cindy retweeted a couple of hilarious yoga videos and I’m sharing the one about savasana.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    A Time To Swing

    As I headed to kettlebell class, I was going to tweet that when people define kettlebell they should also use a caveat like: gutting it out will be required but I changed my tweet to: time to swing wanting to get into the right mindset.

    Speaking of tweeting, got home from yoga last night and signed on. It was fascinating to watch the debate unfold on Twitter. Not once did I feel the need to turn on the TV. The reportage, from Bill Maher to Nightline, told me all that I needed to know. I did wonder why everyone kept mentioning Big Bird  though.

    Kettlebell class was tough as expected but I realized, again, how good my conditioning is as a man, about half my age, struggled with a 15 pounder and had to sit out numerous times. The second time he went to the bathroom, one of my classmates encourage our instructor to go and check on him but he was okay. He didn’t puke, pass out or die – Kirsten’s three rules that she doesn’t want broken.

    I felt good while practicing. My lower back, which occasionally wants to tighten during kettebell, didn’t and, overall, I felt like myself…

    After two weeks off from work, returning has been brutal. I’ve heard that when you travel to a different time zone, it takes one day (for every hour) to recuperate. I’m a night owl so I’m sure that my body’s had to adjust to getting up earlier or I could just be experiencing off days...

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Something to Remember

    I joked with someone that I was reading "O is for Obvious" since I was reading a Sue Grafton book but couldn't remember which alphabet I had made it to. Also obvious -- that I'm more than a number on the scale; still, it was good to hear Jennifer Livingston say that along with all of the other cool stuff she said.