Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Have Answers or Month-End Review, June

Gluteus maximus memory is what I had today as I got on my bike for a second day. Last week was perfect pool weather and this week will be ideal for bicycling.

A woman that I know suggested getting in touch with the sit bones for a more comfortable bike ride but, yeah, I need to replace my gel seat cover.

Got ready for yoga in 10 minutes which made for a rough practice session. As we practiced, I thought about Ann Pizer, the yoga journalist for She once tweeted What is your favorite pose? At the time, didn't have an answer but I realized this a.m. that I really enjoy warrior two or as Gloria says vira (...bhadrasana) two, half moon and fish poses. My favorite sequence, hands-down, is the earth salutation...

How I moved this month:

Bicycling, 3 x's

Boxing, 4 x's

Kettlebell, 4 x's

Rock Climbing, 6 x's

Stretch Max, 3 x's

Crooked Photo of  Captivating "This Way" Graffiti

Swimming, 4 x's

Walking, 8 x's

STL Riverfront Trail

Yoga, 8 x's

Zumba, 1 x

Did you do any of your favorite activities? Did you move (more than you had to) this month? :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Setting One's Self Up

Whatever it is that you're doing...Sometimes the body just needs rest. That was Jen to me after she asked about my shoulder.

It's, obviously, true but hard for me to "sit on the bench."

I also listened in as Jen asked Gayle about her knee because the areas surrounding my knee could use attention as well as I wait for the tightness around it to release.

I wasn't even sure whether I wanted to practice yoga or not. I was in a decent enough mood but I quickly scratched that train of thought.

After the M*A*S*H report, we headed into meditation. I recommend propping, Jen said. If you're supported and comfortable, the body is not distracted during meditation.

I promptly propped myself against the wall and thought about the benefits of practicing with the same teacher and the benefit of setting one's self up for comfort. During savasana, I put a bolster under my knees and placed a bag over my eyes. At Jen's suggestion, moved my arms out so that they were not so close to the axilla and so that I could experience more openness plus put my palms up to receive any flashes of intuition...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After The Triceps Dips

Came home from work and popped some Trader Joe's breaded chicken into an appliance and organic peas into another then played Running With Friends for a while. I've never played Words With Friends but I can see why Alec Baldwin got kicked off the plane.

Ate my chicken and peas then right before kettlebell decided to taste my sunflower seed butter. Well, it tastes like sunflowers seeds but ewww...

The first round of kettlebell practice was non-stop for nine minutes. Don't remember the entire circuit but it went something like this:

Push-ups (one hand on the kettlebell -- the other tapping the kettlebell)
Jumping Jacks
Around The Body With A Catch & Lunge
Row, L& R

Hmmm, I'm missing five but, trust me, by the time we got to the rows, a minute seemed like an eternity.

We took a two minute break before tackling the next circuit:

50 Two-Hand Swings
50 Triceps Dips

A Moment of Silence...for how whipped I was after the triceps dips.

40 Two-Hand Swings
40 Suitcase Deadlifts

30 Push-Ups
30 Two-Hand Swings

20 Burpees
20 Two-Hand Swings

10 Thrusters
10 Swings

After that, we grabbed the medicine ball and did pulsing lunges and ab work...

Went from kettlebell practice to the library to return The Night Circus. Never got more than five pages in before getting distracted by other books. It was non-renewable and already overdue. Stopped at home to pick up my Aunt Al's birthday gifts then headed across the river. The June babies have worn me out.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Not My Regular Sparring Partner

There were only six of us, initially, at boxing class and by 6:15, I knew that my regular sparring partner was not coming.

I partnered up with the person who stood next to me during the warm-up. Not knowing someone, standing face-to-face and in close proximity? An introvert's brief nightmare.

Still don't know my partner's name but he was super nice.

The seventh student walked into class about 15 minutes into the session and quickly had to sit down after a moving series of Dude, the youngest one in the class, looked downright woozy.

She broke him down quipped my sparring partner. I thought about it afterwards. I've seen the woozy one walking after class and he probably got broken down by the heat prior to class.

We worked on self-defense moves at the end of class. One exercise involved rotating on the hips (as if someone had pushed you down) and kicking at the same time. Part of me didn't want to do it because I knew it would be an awkward maneuver and I said as much. My sparring said: Now is a great time to practice then...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The One With The Red Shirt

Went to Zumba yesterday after not having gone for over a month. Figured it was not smart to swim again with the shoulder tweak and, even though my knee is slightly tweaked, I figured that I could still work around it in Zumba.

I'm still out of my discomfort zone with the "exercise in disguise" but the teacher is funny and I love music. Also loved the woman with the red shirt on it that said love. If you look up stepping up to the plate in a dictionary, her picture is sure to be there. She was totally present for her workout. I enjoyed how she enjoyed Zumba...

Went to yoga at nine because I wanted to get the most out of my day. Practicing with a tight right knee and tender left shoulder made for an interesting time on my mat.

After class, ended up talking with Gloria for 20 minutes about athletes, books and food then talked with Alison and Sherry about yoga clothes and sleep walkers. As we left, this yogi wanted to know if class had been canceled. We calmed her down and told her that we had been chitchatting since the first class and that the 11 o'clock class was still on.

Even though I had to adjust my plans and didn't supersize my day as I had planned, I maximally enjoyed the interactions that I had with Alison, Gloria and Sherry because it's nice to actually look into people's eyes, peer into a warm face or, for real, hear them laugh out loud.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Little Tug



An "e" seals the vocative case for Bosnian or the universal case of calling children in from whatever play they're involved in.

Can't say that I blame Amir for wanting to lunge at the ball one more time. I had intended to enjoy the ambiance of the pool and do the elementary back crawl since my shoulder is a little tweaked but once I saw a lane open up, I got out of the pool, grabbed my goggles and started doing the front crawl. I felt a little tug in my shoulder area but nothing major.

Stayed in the pool for about 30 minutes and when I left the warmth of the water, a cool breeze greeted me making me quickly located my towel.

I felt incredibly relaxed at the pool. After spending the week in my windowless, freezing workplace, it was so refreshing to be outside.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Other Foot

Marisa's kettlebell classes are getting more and more CrossFit-ty and, before that, they morphed into something more scientific-y.

This approach actually worked in my favor for once because my shoulder and pectoral areas are tender. I did backstroke movements and did a push-up before deciding to go to class and those felt okay but if I move my arm to an upright position, I get yucky feedback. I knew that the cleans and one-hand swings might be interesting but we actually did very little swinging tonight. We did stations for 40 seconds and paused for 20.

Stations included but not limited to:

Slam Ball
Triceps Curls on the TRX
Triceps Dips
Butt Kickers
Kettlebell Row
Agility Ladder
Double Kb Clean
Double Kb Squat
Russian Twist
Kicks, Boxing Bag
Jumping Jacks
Around the Body with a Lunge
Halo with Squat, Curl, Triceps Extension
Tactical Lunge
Speed Skater

I was able to do most stations but I definitely had to modify on the double cleans because I couldn't handle the load with one side of my upper body tweaked.
When I got to the agility ladder, I was fine hopping on my grounded right foot but, on the return trip, I couldn't move for what seemed like a very long time. My brain was not getting the message to hop on the other foot.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

No Scorecard or Demerits

Seized the moment and went swimming. It was the second 88 degree day and I knew the water wouldn't be warm but it wasn't going to get any better for a while.

As I painstakingly made my way from the shallow end to deeper water, this woman said, almost apologetically, You're not going to have very much room to do lap swimming. Guess what? I don't need much room. I positioned myself close to the divider and although there was horseplay nearby, I went for it. Jo Ann said I'm going to take my chance and do laps while you're doing them and, later, I can't swim like that...

I'm shocked when someone tells me that they can't swim like me. I don't feel like the most competent swimmer but I guess I'm more competent than I think I am. While I was in the pool, I looked at the clear sky and the green trees and just soaked it all end. As I waited for my lane to clear, this guy said This has to be one of the best ways to get exercise. Agreed but, apparently, I kept my head under water too long because I woke with a total chlorine hangover...

Scene of the Hangover
Headed to yoga to dispense with the hangover. Gloria told this newbie that she could use the wall for poses but the newbie wasn't totally convinced. Gloria assured her that there was no scorecard or demerits in yoga. After class, the newbie told me I made it. I won't give up. Cute...

Listened to Bob Marley as I headed home Three Little Birds came up and I didn't really feel like listening to it and fast forwarded but I went back because I can use all of the "...don't worry about a thing" message.

Walked past the window in the kitchen and something caught my eye. Went closer and was delighted to see a Cardinal and it stayed there until I captured the moment.

Outside My Window

Grabbed my climbing gear to rendezvous with Cindy and Tim. Climbed five routes then headed out because Sundays are busy days...

Cindy Tackling a 5.9, Corner Pocket
And what I remember from yoga class? Part of Gloria's class-ending mantra -- May you have a calm mind...

Friday, June 14, 2013

In Charge of Relaxing...

Practiced yoga on Sunday and haven't been on my mat since then. Remind me not to do that anymore.

It's been a very violent couple of weeks in St. Louis and I could have used extra time on my mat... 

Watched Somewhere Between, a documentary about adoptees from China. One of the young ladies, Jenna, was an overachiever but went from being a coxswain to a yogi. 

About yoga, she said:
After the trip to Spain, I stopped crew first because it was just too much and I ended up switching to yoga which was polar opposite in some ways. Because crew I had to be on the ball all the time -- responsible for everything: taking initiative, being very verbal. In yoga, I was just in charge of myself, just in charge of relaxing so it was a really good change...
Of course, the mention of yoga is not the only reason that I really liked this documentary.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Six-Letter Word

Ninety five degrees today but 82 tomorrow. It was the perfect time to hit the pool but, no, I just had to go to kettlebell practice. When Chip said I hope this workout is not for us, I was sure that the list on the whiteboard was meant for Marisa's other clients but I was wrong. My first line of defense is usually denial in case you're wondering...

Modified Circuit:

10 Inchworms with Push-up (Instead of Burpees)
25 Two-Hand Swings
9 Inchworms..
30 Two-Hand Swings
8 Inchworms...
35 Two-Hand Swings
7 Inchworms...
40 Two-Hand Swings
6 Inchworms...
45 Two-Hand Swings
5 Inchworms...
50 Two-Hand Swings

I absolutely do not care how long it took me to finish but Marisa kept track. It took me 17 minutes to inch my way through that circuit. Erin and Princess Tiffany came late and still finished before me and they didn't modify which meant that they started out with 30 burpees. Julia did a semi-modified workout and had to leave early because she got nauseous.

I swung with a 12 kg kettlebell then switched back to a 10 kg when we did a minute of cleans and presses, snatches, etc.

As I looked at those burpees on the whiteboard, I thought about the pool and wondered about my decision-making skills.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Climbing Mojo

Went climbing on Sunday and made it up this 5.9 and it was exhilarating. I've been conservative with climbing and totally igged someone who told me that I needed to challenge myself. I wanted to tell her -- You worry about your climbing and I'll worry about mine.

I've been doing my version of duathlons on a regular basis but since my pool has been closed, I've had more time for climbing.

It's not just spending more time in the climbing gym though. I've been present. My mind has been into it. I have dipped my hand into the chalk bag of tenaciousness. Okay, that was very corny but it's that kind of night... I felt it again. I think my climbing mojo has returned...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Do You Really Like To Read?

Woke up and watched part of the French Open. Totally mesmerized by Serena Williams' body. She is thick and I relate.

Whenever I read one of those articles that try to quiet women's fears about bulking up, I chuckle. I won't pretend to be as in shape as Serena, but I'm a bulky exception...

Shook some of the cobwebs out, lifted my bike out of the basement, stopped by the mailbox and headed to the park to enjoy the perfect weather. Ran into friends of a friend and chatted with them for a while, came home, ate Chobani then walked to the library to return books that were no longer renewable.


Road to the Library Paved with Wildflowers
I recently read A. M. Homes' May We Be Forgiven. It's been described as a dark comedy and it is. After reading those 480 pages, I read Homes' memoir, The Mistress's Daughter. Just found out that the author has won an award.

Went to Cindy's birthday bash. Don't know what the ratio of yogis to non-yogis was but I'm pretty sure there were more yogis. I chatted with Lisa, newest yoga teacher that I know, and we talked about hoarding and food waste for a while. Lisa asked me if I loved to read then recommended that I try Farm City. I didn't even check to see what my number was in the library queue.

Happy Birthday To Ya...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Not Kafkaesque

Kettlebell class was delayed by one hour which meant the swinging started at 7:15 p.m. I am an evening kind of person but I also know how easy it is to slump after work and I hoped that I would have the energy to make it through practice.

Had a smoothie for dinner...Got to Marisa's place to find out that she was en route. I surprised a few people by saying Why don't we start warming up? I figured that Marisa would walk in at any moment and why delay the inevitable?

Our workout was challenging but not Kafkaesque. I liked the first circuit that we did:

10, Two-Hand Swings
10, Two-Hand Swings
10, Two-Hand Swings
Burpees (or Inchworms) etc.

It was a series that made me feel the burn but it didn't make me feel discouraged. The combination that always gets me is the clean and squat which is simple but strenuous after just a few reps. The combo that I could do for an extended time is extension...Not sure what makes the latter more accessible than the clean and squat...

The smoothie was a good choice. I drank it around 5:30, felt full but not too full and felt energized during my workout. My lunges were on point and my figure eights were inspired. Definitely a workout that I felt good about...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tougher Than It Looks or Overheard in the Gym

  • It's tougher than it looks.*

  • A newbie climber while ascending a route...

  • You are amazing

  • A mother to her climbing daughter.

  • Feet, feet, feet

  • A father to his climbing daughter.

  • My butt was vibrating the whole time

  • Becky to me as she lowered Patti then checked her phone.

  • What do guys wear to yoga? 

  • Doug to Gloria

  • Don't forget. I can make your life miserable

  • Patti to David who is dating Patti's daughter.


  • I don't think that I know this route well enough.

  • Stuck climber

  • I think that's far enough.

  • A shortie halfway up a route...

  • Are you in the right mind to give me a soft catch

  • One lead climber to another.

  • Remind me never to get pregnant.

  • A male climber to his pregnant climbing partner who was trying to figure out how to put on a special harness.

    *The way I felt tonight...

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    ...Yoga Land

    Woke up and went back to sleep as I often do. Second time I woke up it was 8:20-ish and not enough time to pull myself together and get to yoga unless I wanted to do grumpy, lazy yoga.

    Went to the 11:00 o'clock class. Gloria read from Meditations from the Mat and the passage she read went something like You are right where you need to be. I'm glad that Gloria read that excerpt because I was sluggish and still not sure about being on my mat.

    Almost immediately, though, this newbie made me laugh. She burst into class, said that she was 57 and tired and didn't want to be in the front. After giving her the lay of the land, Gloria encouraged her to find a spot where she felt comfortable...

    After savasana, I felt better. Talked to my mat neighbor and she said: I needed that...Frankly, I'm going to visit my mother and she stresses me out...

    I've been thinking about a friend of a friend and, therefore, someone that I was friendly with. My friend's friend recently died from lung cancer. On his obit:
    I have fought the fine fight. I have run the course to the finish. I have observed the faith... 2 Timothy 4:7
    A friend of the family has also been on mind. She died about a year and half ago from triple negative breast cancer which I'd never heard of until that point. On her obit, a portion of an Abraham Lincoln letter:
    Sorrow comes to all...Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better...and are sure to be happy again.