Friday, November 30, 2012

Humbling or Month-End Review, November

I often think about how humbling kettlebell class is... Marisa drives us hard for 60 minutes when most kettlebell classes are 30 minutes or 45. Luckily, I’ve learned to rest when needed.

Kettlebell practice is not my only humbling exercise. Rock climbing and yoga have provided plenty of moments as well. All in all, I’m just grateful that I continue to want to move my body and that my body holds up -- something that my tweaked hip has reminded me of...

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix
  • Cardio Kickboxing, 2 x's

  • Cardio Kick, One of My Fave 10 Minute Segs

    10 Minute Solution: cardio hip hop*

  • Hip Hop 101, 1 x

  • House Party, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Dance Your Body Thin!

  • Smooth & Sexy Moves

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

    10 Minute Stretching, 2 x's

    Bicycling, 1 x

    Kettlebell, 4 x's

    Latin Cardio Party*, 1 x

    Leaf Raking, 3 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Total Body Circuit, 1 x

  • 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 2 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 1 x

    Swimming, 7 x's

    Walking, 7 x's

    Yoga, 12 x's
    Any recent, humbling exercise experiences?
    *Disclosure: received without reimbursement.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Lock The Ankles Not The Knees

    Missed the pool during its closure.

    Swim mom (SM) was back and, as she gave her daughter more diving tips, it crossed my mind to ask her if she’d teach me some fundamental diving techniques.

    After coaching her daughter for a while, SM worked with her son on the front crawl.

    Some of my best swimming tips have come from eavesdropping on adults teaching kids.

    Lock the ankles but not the knees…Don’t cross the midline of the body….Left stays on the left and right stays on the right…That’s what the black line is for…

    What I like about SM is that she is hands-on, demonstrates, checks for understanding and gives positive feedback. I think she would make a great teacher for adults too…

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    The Grease That Slid Down The Counter

    I ate the macaroni and cheese. I had enough sprouted grain bread for one almond butter and preserves sandwich for the ride back home – so I ate the mac and cheese and it was definitely not low fat. There was not one thing about the concoction that had reduced anything.

    I ate the fried turkey even after I stepped in the grease that slid down the counter and made a puddle.

    I ate the sweet potato pie knowing that sweet potatoes are sweet enough.

    I traveled with oatmeal, sprouted grain bread, Chobani, preserves, Kashi snacks etc. but, in the end, I didn’t carry enough.

    I did not like breaking my four year streak of not eating fried foods but I’m moving on and, next time, I’ll take more food…

    I went on a pre-Thanksgiving Day meal walk and was hungry when I returned. I peeled an orange and asked my sister-in-law if she wanted any of her orange. I got those for you, she said. I also have oatmeal

    The last time that I went she had granola bars for me as well. Very sweet…

    When I went for the walk, my uncle joined me…

    The next morning I got teased for pretending to be sleep while playing games on my iPod.

    Me: For your information, I was watching Men with Kids so that I wouldn’t disturb you early-to-bed folks and I was listening to music to quiet my mind after that.

    Debbie, my aunt: Yeah, because you didn’t get to quiet your mind when your uncle joined you for a walk.
    Hardy har har, my peeps are so funny…

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Until Then

    Treasured my time at the pool yesterday knowing that it will be closed for almost a week and, besides that, I feel more and more at home in the water. In addition, my mood improves and I sleep so solidly after a stint in the water. I had, and I don't use this word often, a lovely time.

    During kettlebell class, I felt as if I could barely lift my arms towards the end but, apparently, there was still life in them as they did not bother me one bit while swimming or maybe that speaks to the wonder of what the body is capable of.

    As I showered, Chatty Kathleen made me laugh. Her granddaughter, who is about seven, went to change in the bathroom but she forgot major items but didn't want to come out. Kathleen, who never wanted her in the tight quarters of the toilet, told her:

    Be brave. Show courage. Come out naked...
    I wished Kathleen a happy Thanksgiving and told her that I would see her next week when the pool reopens and she wondered whether or not she would survive, as she calls it,  her broken back until then...

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Words to Watch Out For

    Marisa walked over to give me a high five after class Thanks for hanging in there.

    A high five was not the only thing that Marisa gave me. Watch out when Marisa works out with you or says Get ready for the pain. I told her that she hadn’t really been treating us with kid gloves up until that point.

    We did progressive circuits:

    60 seconds of swings, right and left

    60 seconds snatches, right and left (120 around the body with a catch for me)

    60 seconds clean and press, both sides

    90 seconds of swings -- right and left sides

    90 seconds of snatches (180 seconds of around the body… for me)

    90 seconds of cleans and presses, right and left

    120 seconds of swings...

    120 seconds of snatches (240 secs of around the body for me)

    120 seconds of cleans and presses...

    My calluses were very pronounced and the only thing that I could really feel at the end of class.

    Should Have Gotten More Than One Tube

    More of "This" Needed As Well

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    The Cue Taker

    Patti and I often exchange schedules so that we can figure out when to climb and, sometimes, in the middle of figuring out logistics, Patti morphs into guru:

    Me: On Wednesday, I plan to go to that workshop from 6 to 8. I'm not too crazy about going but it will probably be helpful...

    Patti:  You may be surprised by your workshop. I know you were hesitant about climbing at first and look where it got you!
    Because of changing schedules et al., I haven't seen some of my climbing comrades in a while but almost everyone was accounted for today. Missed you Cindy and Tim...
    The Gang: Patti, Crystal, Kristen, Leah & Mike
    Morgan, The Tireless and Very Sweet Ten-Year-Old
    Kristen Had The Right Idea
    I'm going to take a cue from Kristen and go off to stretch. My MT told me that if I'm in a time crunch and I have to choose between stretching before or after exercising, stretch afterwards.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    I Am At The Helm

    I narrowed my exercise choices to Zumba and yoga but didn’t really feel like jumping into a new adventure so I nixed Zumba but had to look for a yoga class that I don’t normally go to because there wasn't a class that I wanted to attend at my regular gym.

    It’s often unnerving to walk into a new situation but I went anyway. Fast forward to savasana -- tears started to roll. I’m definitely in a weird space right now.

    As I drove away, I felt such intensity in my throat -- as if a sock was in there or a boa constrictor around it. Interesting since I went to a mindfulness workshop yesterday. I found what the therapist said about the throat chakra very interesting. I can’t remember what she said exactly but it was something about the throat chakra being the gateway between the heart and brain.

    Release...and relief. My lower back was tight and, now, it’s not; I think I have bow pose to thank for that.

    Now that I think about it, we did this Breath of Fire situation at the beginning of class and I've never done it before and wasn't comfortable with it either. Almost feel like if someone initiates the Breath of Fire, it's kind of like doing Reiki and permission should be asked first. I want to say that I was not at the helm but it is my yoga practice and I should have not participated in the exercise if I didn't feel comfortable. At any rate, I think BOF might have contributed to the sensation in my throat.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Not A Walk In The Park

    Marisa, Mistress of Pain, Demonstrating a Windmill
    During kettlebell practice yesterday, I started to question my entire fitness routine and wondered if I've been doing enough cardio. I felt like I had absolutely no stamina but when Marisa stepped out of the room for a moment, Patrick said I never thought that I’d look forward to getting back in Mike’s class. I felt relieved when Patrick said that because I've been to Mike's class and it's not a walk in the park...

    Went to Rhonna’s yoga class hoping to alleviate soreness but forgot that Rhonna likes chaturangas which don’t feel nice after your arms have swung, pressed and cleaned a kettlebell the previous day. Ditto for swimming. It was pretty cool, though, to watch this mom teach her daughter how to dive. At one point, the mother molded her body around her daughter’s in order to show her proper form. It was a Kodak moment for sure.

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    You Have Tons of Space

    The Calm Before The Heat
    Had weird, intense dreams about my car. In one part of the dream, my car just stops all functions and everything goes dark and when I try to restart it, not a light or spark. Nothing. Later, some relatives come to tell me that my rental car has a flat tire...

    I bought a group coupon back in May with the intention to try hot yoga at this studio in the fall. Going on Sunday meant that I would have to give up Pure Yoga ’s Sunday class but it’s good to try new things. Right? Except, there are days when I want to blend in and be anonymous which is hard to do when you barely have hair and your skin tone is quite brown and I had a feeling that I was going to stick out at this studio. Everyone was, of course, super nice.

    I arrived early in order to register and I asked this woman about the locker room and she said that there wasn’t really one and that if I were leaving the class I’d better put my mat down first and it did end up being a sardine-like situation but no one seemed to care.

    It was a Vinyansa –type class: chaturanga, cobra or up dog, downward facing dog etc. I have long known that my downward facing dog leaves a lot to be desired. The teacher, Seabrook, came over and placed her feet on my hands then tried to adjust my arms. Oh, you’re a strong one, she said. Yeah, I’m kind of like a tree in that way...

    The next time Seabrook came over she helped me twist. I immediately told her that my shoulders were tight but I still got adjusted. You have tons of space, she said. The lesson from that interaction is that I should at least attempt things before I give up on them.

    I kept thinking that the hour was a very long one but when I looked at my iPod I saw that class had been one and a half hours even though the schedule, I thought, said one hour. Thanks to my neighbor who asked me if I was okay when I showed signs of staggering...

    Later On In The Day

    When I arrived at my massage therapist’s office, she checked in with me as usual. I told her that I had migrating neck and shoulder tension. She wanted to know if it was from day to day. No, from fifteen minutes to fifteen minutes, I told her.

    As I’m on the table, my mind is going 100 MPH. I tell myself: the face is soft…the face is soft…let go, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then she stretches my neck from the center to Timbuktu and I wonder if necks are supposed to stretch that far even though I’m confident that my MT knows what she’s doing. As my neck is in the Timbuktu region, I inexplicably and suddenly relax but feel like crying. Don’t cry I tell myself. Too late. They are tears of the silent kind that roll out like water from a faucet with worn washers.

    My MT encourages me to let whatever it is come to the surface. I eventually ask for some tissue because where there are tears, there’s snot. I was going to offer to put the tissue on the floor and then pick it up later but she told me to give it to her.

    Me: Thanks

    MT: Wherever you are -- that’s where I’m at

    Went to see Pilobolus yesterday. They were brought by Dance St. Louis and, before the show, DSL put up  facts about dancing and it makes me want to pull out my workout DVDs that incorporate dancing and it also makes me want to finally take a Zumba class.

    One quote on the marquee still sticks with me: Dancers are the athletes of God. After seeing Pilobolus, I can’t disagree.

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    ...LIke Real People

    In addition to being exhale day, it's also "take a break" from exercise day. The only kicking that will occur is when I kick up my feet to watch a movie.

    On a recent flick night my friend, Lori, said that one of the reasons that she likes foreign flicks is because the people look like real people. Romantics Anonymous elicited that response along with responses of laughter et al.

    I also enjoyed Sidewalls.

    Whatever you do today, enjoy...

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Where My Car Keys?

    Didn’t really feel like going to kettlebell class but, you know, if those feelings are followed too often, anarchy might ensue.

    On the highway, started to see a lot of red lights which was unusual and I kind of hoped that I would be too late to participate in class but my kettlebell mates were only about halfway into the warm-up when I arrived so I hadn’t missed much.

    I was sluggish, lacking in stamina, wondered if I was wasting money and took more breaks than I would have liked but….

    At one point, Chip’s favorite Ninja song came on. I’m not Japanese... I’m not Chinese... Where my car keys?

    I leaned toward Chip. If she’s asking where her car keys are at, she must be taking a kettlebell class...

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    If At First You Don't Succeed, Rake Leaves

    My car misfired or something on Friday and I was hoping that it was my imagination but as I got on the highway to head to the climbing gym on Saturday, something didn’t quite feel right. The engine light popped on and the car starting shaking. I took it to a mechanic who told me that an ignition coil was gone. Funny since I have new ignition coils. I’m starting to think that my “regular” mechanic has been using cheap parts.

    I tried not to pout about my car but I had been looking forward to decompressing through physical activity and I had been looking forward to seeing friends. Instead, I raked leaves which ended up being pretty therapeutic.

    Zen-ish Garden
    And, so, the plotting began. I automatically scratched swimming for Sunday – too far away but how would I get to yoga? It would take me 42 minutes by bus and, avoiding busy streets, 25 minutes by bike. I could easily strap on my yoga mat or borrow one, albeit an icky one, from the gym.

    In the end, my aunt let me borrow her car. I swam, raked more leaves and tried to oscillate my breath during downward facing dog. Alas, I didn’t feel much oscillating happening but it was nice to be sockless, on my mat and connected to so many people.

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Tell Them to Make a Note or Stuff Massage Therapists Say

    One of my friends told me that massage is a luxury and, to a certain extent, it is. Even though I go back and forth about whether or not I’m being decadent, I do know what stress has done to my body and I know what it’s capable of doing. It’s been a crazy, seemingly never-ending week and, if I could, I’d head straight to a massage therapist. At any rate, I wanted to share some of things that massage therapists have said to me…

  • Compared to the right, the left side of your back felt tight and your hamstrings...What have you been doing to your body?

  • Me: Were you on automatic?

    MT: I tune out. I mean that I tune out in order to tune in...I'm listening to the music etc.

    Explanation to me after foot was massaged, an area that I usually have avoided...

  • Me: It (calf) smarts when I put pressure on it.

    MT: Then, I apologize in advance for what I'm about to do.

  • When you call, tell them to make a note to warm the oil...

  • Your shoulders look good...

  • Oh, that's good; that's deep into the muscles.

    Response when I said that my armpits were sore

  • I can see the tension. When I told MT about tweaked neck…

  • Me: You certainly are chipper today.

    MT: I've been massaging all day. It's kind of like the feeling you get working out at the gym.

  • You're tight today so let me know if I go too deep…

  • Your deltoids are popping...

  • Are you doing something like CrossFit?

  • It's the regular "waa waa" music...

  • Take off your earrings...

  • Take as much time as you need...

  • Be good to yourself...