Monday, August 31, 2015

The Same Hour or Month-End Review, August

It very much feels like Friday to me. Worked yesterday so I'm sure that's why I have an urge to embrace the weekend again.

Went to yoga tonight and being in class has a way of making me feel awkward and yummy all in the same hour.

After class this woman had me cracking up. Don't make me unroll you she said to her mat which was not fitting in her bag. She then proceeded to put on shoes. Only, the young lady who comes with her father was patiently waiting nearby. These are your shoes, aren't they? she said to the young lady.

"Mat woman" told me that she had come home to find that her cat had pooped in her daughter's room and that the day had gone downhill from there. In the end, she chalked it up to Monday madness and seemed to be in a pretty mellow post-yoga mood...

It really is that time again, isn't it? I walked a lot this month which made me look up quotes about walking.

As people are walking all the time, in the same spot, a path appears. -John Locke

Bicycling, 4 x's

*Kenpo X

Just Walk: mix + match
*Dance Wall, 1 x
*Light Walk, 1 x
*Short & Sweaty, 1 x

Lawn Mowing, 1 x

Swimming, 5 x's

The Tone Every Zone Walk
*Circuit One (Upper Body), 4 x's

Walking, 24 x's

Weight Watchers 7 Day Tone & Burn
*Tone, 1 x

Yoga, 7 x's

Zumba, 4 x's

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Peace And...

Made my way, serpentine-like, to the Riverfront Trail thanks to the Arch project. As I went down a little hill, saw a group of people on one end of the parking lot and Alison on the other.

My Spidey-sense started tingling. It's unusual to see non-bicyclists on this parking lot unless the Rams are playing.

Greeted Alison and did a mental checklist of the things in my car. I could replace everything but wasn't keen to return to broken windows. I expressed concern to Alison and she felt similarly but we rode on. I also took into a account that bicyclists hop on and off the trail at different times during the day. Still was happy to see a police officer around mile three and, later on, a bicycle officer near mile five...

There's something so peaceful about being on the trail looking at the green grass, blue sky, muddy water and the family of turkeys. Not so peaceful were all of the little squished frogs along the path. Not sure what happened there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Moon Was Out

July 28th
I remember the delight of walking outside to lightness at 8:00 p.m. on July 28th. Different story yesterday because the moon was out. Not that I don't dig the moon and I'm definitely enjoying the fall-like weather except for the whole thing of wanting to swim outdoors a little longer...

As I walked home from work, kept taking pictures of the sky and the weather was so perfect that I couldn't resist hopping on my bike and taking a spin around the park too...

At some point discovered that Elizabeth Gilbert is on Instagram then discovered that she has a podcast. Further discovered that the podcast is new and tied to her soon-to-be-released book.

In the podcast, Do What Ignites Your Soul, Gilbert sounds like a personal coach and, at one point, jokingly refers to herself as a fairy godmother. Personal coach? Fairy Godmother? Not sure...but I like what she told the advice seeker about her accelerating on the runway via certain steps but it was time for her to take off and fly. Gilbert's podcast made me think of Cheryl Strayed's new book.

Also listened to Ron Funches' Autistic Son Loves Oreos With Bacon, a Sporkful episode. I'd never heard of Funches and couldn't really get into the comedy sound bites so I'll have to check out one of his longer sessions to see if his comedy resonates but maybe nothing should be funny today.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another Savasana

I saw you a phrase that I now hear from coworkers. Some want to know if I need a ride and when most find out about the length of my commute, they tell me how lucky I am. Feeling a bit Where's Waldo?-ish.

During this morning's walk, listened to a 10 minute Hillary's Yoga Practice Podcast but couldn't find my home in other podcasts. Tried listening to The Tim Ferris Show, The Body Sphere and The Sporkful but nothing really held my attention. Listened to an entire Sporkful episode about falafel but the ravioli one is not moving me although I keep giving it a try.

On the walk back home, listened to "How Does A Home Birth Midwife Work," a Slate production. I'm totally diggin' Slate's Working...

The weather is so divine that I finished my workout by taking a spin around a park.

Doggie Outside Window at Work
Went to yoga tonight and this woman said This place is so relaxing that I started yawning when I walked in the door. I didn't have the problem at the beginning but it was very hard for me to move after namaste. I totally wanted another savasana...

On another note, I have several social media accounts. Not even sure why I signed up for Vine or Instagram but, lately, I've been drawn to Instagram and it makes total sense because I've been drawn to photography since high school, maybe before.

Below is one of many photos that I've liked on the 'gram.

Amanda Bingson, Hammer Thrower

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Can Stand The Rain

Alison At The Top of a Mini Hill
Alison and I had a 10:00 a.m. bicycling date. At about 9:15 got a message from Alison that it was drizzling heavily in her area.

The only thing that I'd noticed about the forecast was the mildness but, of course, there was a 90% chance of rain at 10:00 a.m. but a low possibility for the rest of the day.

We could have gone to Zumba but, being the stubborn person that I am, asked Alison to meet me at the riverfront anyway. We stayed in the car for about 10 minutes as it drizzled then headed out. Around mile 2.5 the sky got very interesting so we stopped at mile three where the visitor's center is at; it's the only shelter along the trail and we stayed there until the sky opened up.

Talked to the staff, listened to the rain and headed out when the rain subsided. Of course, it started drizzling again but we were already wet from the get-go because neither of us had towels to even wipe off our bike seats. We sang Singing in the Rain and Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head quite a bit.

We had mud on our bags, body and clothes but we had a fun time and I felt more energetic and happy after our bike ride even though the workout was cut short. Later on someone told me that the rain can be cleansing. It certainly felt that way. If I had been keeping track this week, today's bicycling outing would be a high note on the happiness graph for sure.

How To Add More Meaning...

Red Rocks???

The Mighty Mississippi River

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Cue

Got to yoga class ten minutes before start time and most people had already set up their yoga nests so I was left with a front and center spot -- it was either front and center or take the back of the bus position so I sat up front.

Noticed the father who brings his daughter, who is about 10, to class. She is the only child in a room full of adults and I think about how fierce she's going to be. Fierce in that sense that Emma Slater talks about in the August issue of Yoga Journal.
I also noticed a change in my mental resilience: I became so much more positive, and little daily setbacks didn't faze me anymore...
And the young one will also be fierce because her father spends quality time with her...

My father once called one of his sisters the world's oldest teenager and he could say that because he had teenage tendencies but I know that I have been on such solid ground for so long because of the time that my father spent with me...

Joy loves to tell us to stop whatever story line we have going and tonight she went on to talk about how we tell ourselves the same harsh stories 80 something percent of the time and how we talk to ourselves in ways that we wouldn't talk to other people.

I have to say that I became much better at self-compassion after reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project so I'm less prone to speak harshly to myself but I still appreciate reminders. Thank you Gretchen...

Joy's line of the night at the front end of savasana:
And now you're the softest human being on the planet.
That was my cue to stop engaging my muscles and to, in general, let go.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On and On

Came home yesterday and had my "exhale" cup of coffee then went to work on the fish tank in an attempt to get a jump on weekend tasks.

Happier Habitat

Woke up hard then went back to sleep which meant that I got a late start on mowing the lawn but I was determined to get mowing off of my to-do list. It was unbelievably hot at 10:00 a.m. Mowed the back yard then took a break so I wouldn't drop from heat exhaustion. 

Time for replacement mowing shoes.

Finished the yard then washed my hair and put a conditioner on it. Whilst I waited had a wonderful cup of coffee and read a couple of magazines courtesy of the public library via the Zinio ap. Since my DVD player is working again, haven't borrowed anything from Hoopla but Zinio is working for me. Just saw The Distracted Mind on Hoopla -- might have to check that out...

Went to Target and bought a sleeveless top for sleeping that was on sale for $6 something. Looked again at shorts but didn't really see anything.

A Pocket?
Quiet Blue Sleeper

Later on in the day...

Headed to the 'Fugee's so that I could swim because I know the days at the outdoor pool are numbered. As I got ready to exit the pool, heard this little voice -- Hi...How are you? How's the water?

The weather was unbearable in the morning but by the time I got to the pool at 7:30, it wasn't hot anymore. The water was almost perfect but when I got out half an hour later, the air temperature was cool...

Stopped by Shop 'N Save to pick up two items that I could have gotten at Trader Joe's earlier but wasn't sure what I was going to cook. Hadn't been to Shop 'N Save in ages and was shocked to see the illuminated display shelves. 

Bright Lights, Lots of Candy

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Twists and...

Spotted on the way to the library.
Wasn't disappointed when Patti said she had landscaping that needed to be taken care of and, therefore, would not be able to climb and, as Patti pointed out, it was too nice to climb indoors anyway.

Got home and put on active wear then walked to the library to return two items. Trying to see how long I can keep my fines at $0.00. 

Walked for an hour then kicked back to watch Big Bang Theory while eating Tofu Fried Rice with Trader Joe's chicken poppers on the side.

Took the opportunity to go to Gloria's 7:00 p.m. yoga class. Couldn't believe that it had been 10 days since I'd stepped on my mat. Felt at my edge a lot but twists made it worth the trip.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Missing Yoga

Saw this sign on my way home, slightly diff route.
One of the Zumba instructors, Alisha, likes to say Reward yourself with water at the end of a song.

I've come to think of walking to work as a reward since it feels like additional free time. I especially like walking because that's when I devote time to podcasts.

Listened to part of Live from The Moth GrandSLAM and was not that moved but I guess you can't expect every podcast to be a slam dunk. Although Jeff Simmermon, who was the third "batter," didn't disappoint.

Listened to Kate Braestrup's Moth story on Sunday and got goose bumps... Braestrup's realization makes me think of the Ferguson Library's tweet below and, since I've made sport references, I have to say that I was tickled by a joke on A Way With Words.
Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?*

I've been averaging one yoga class per week lately and I desperately want to change that... I miss yoga.

Thought about Gingerzingi when I read this article about quitting yoga. What's the opposite of quit? That's what I want to do with yoga...

*Because the referee kept calling fouls...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Share The Pool

From My Anti-Stress Ap
At 4:15 p.m. yesterday called Lulu's Local Eatery and asked for an impressive amount of Buddha bowls. Gave my name for the order and Lulu said I should have known it was you. I laughed. Are you getting bowls for the whole week? she asked. More laughter...

After picking up the Buddha bowls, met up with the 'Fugee and another friend. We were headed to check out the other friend's new house. Headed to Illinois during rush hour and the commute took 45 minutes. The 'Fugee and I have a whole new appreciation for our short commutes...

Had my eye on going to the pool this evening but wondered about the wisdom of devoting time to leisure. Feel like I've barely been to the outdoor pool so I let the dirty laundry and clutter wait another day.

I really had no intention of doing any real swimming. Finished listening to the Melissa Walsh episode of Inspiring Awesome then took off my outerwear, grabbed my goggles and headed in the vicinity of the pool when I heard this mother tell her child (Nevaya) that I was going to swim laps just like Mr. Such and Such does. Share the pool, the mother advised. I was touched because usually the opposite happens and "lanes" collide.

At one point Nevaya warned her friends that I was swimming laps and I asked Nevaya if she wanted to get by and she said Naw, I'm doing laps too.

Every time I took off, Nevaya took off so I acknowledged her by asking how long she'd been swimming. Since I was three, I think. Maaa, Maaaa - how long have I been swimming?

Nevaya turned back to me and told me that I was a good swimmer. I told her that she was a good swimmer too then she said It takes a lot of hard work -- so you can get mo' better. Too cute.

Before Nevaya's mother left, she thanked me for my patience and Nevaya also came over to thank me for letting her swim with me.

I ended up swimming much longer than I planned to because I didn't want to disappointment my little shadow...

Since I'm on the subject of swimming, here's an article about "swimming while black." Had flashbacks today, mostly pleasant,  about my stint learning how to swim.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Got home yesterday, fell asleep on Lester Holt and didn't wake up until 7:30-ish.

The subtle but persistent discomfort that I'd been experiencing for a couple of days went away and I felt refreshed when I woke up.

Went to Zumba tonight and, at one point, we were doing a three step salsa move and I got caught up in looking at sneaker brands when my attention shifted to the movement and I had a moment of gratitude for feet.

It was a really fun class and I found myself appreciating not only feet but different styles of moving and body types...

Saw this article about Nona Faustine and I would never pose nude in public but more power to her. Another article that caught my interest was one about Busta Ryhmes who was arrested for throwing Muscle Milk.

What's up with the gym rage? I kind of understand though. Trying to lose weight will make you want to throw things. Although, swinging kettlebells is therapeutic enough for me.

Monday, August 3, 2015

You Hear The Shutter Click

Picked up Yoga and Spa Magazine plus Healthy Planet yesterday at the grocery store and knew that I would read them in the morning while drinking coffee.

Almost spit out said coffee when I came across a picture of myself. Public yoga. You hear the shutter click and know that pictures exist but you never know when and where they'll turn up.

I understand the desire to take pictures. I get my love of photography from my father and I will never forget being in college and sitting with bell hooks. When I asked her if she minded if I took pictures, she said By all means, document.

When I first spotted the Farm to Yoga picture, thought about how huge my back looks. Well, I've had a huge back for a long time and strength training certainly didn't help matters.

I noted the position of my head in the picture. My head should be down and not up but who knows what was going on. I'm a on a less-grippy mat than usual.  Maybe I thought tilting my head would make me stop sliding...

Having my image in Yoga and Spa is fitting. I like integrative stuff. Don't think that I would ever do it but I found the article about floating interesting.

On an ordinary note, I've owned yoga sandals before and I like the look of the ones being advertised. I pursue a healthy lifestyle. I'm more comfortable with downward facing dog and while there's lots of room for improvement, there's lots to celebrate too.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Time or Month-End Review, July

Struggling with time but it's not lost on me that I spent two hours walking around Forest Park this morning. You can't have everything... Still wish that TaskRabbit were in my area or maybe I can use Fivver...

Enjoyed my walk. Listened to new, to me, podcasts Criminal and The Sporkful. Will have to get both another try. The Sporkful episode that I listened to was Morgan Spurlock, Guinness and Pepperoni Rolls. They talked a lot about Guinness and, as someone who doesn't drink, I didn't find it very interesting.

Also listened to my old stand-bys Slate's Working and The Moth. Love Pam Flowers' dog sledding story. Spoiler alert? Pam Flowers says that she tells kids: You're never too young to have a dream and never too old to make it come true. I also really like Duff McKagan's sobriety story.

Didn't get in much bicycling, climbing or practicing yoga. On the other hand, I honored my body because walking was calling my name... On another note, I enjoyed this article about a modern-day nomad. Loved his pictures too.

Month-End Review:

10 Minute Solution: Knockout Body!
*Kickbox Crosstrain, 1 x
*Knockout Body Blast, 1 x
*Upper Body, 2 x's

Bicycling, 1 x

Climbing, 2 x's

Dance It Off & firm up!
*Rock It!, 1 x

Just Walk: mix + match Walk Blasters
*Short & Steady, 2 x's

Just Walk: Tone Every Zone Walk
*Circuit 1 (Upper Body), 4 x's

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits, Party Songs
*Mile Two, 1 x

Latin Cardio Party
*Samba, 2 x's

Lawn Mowing, 1 x

*Kenpo X, 1 x

Swimming, 4 x's

Walking, 20 x's

Forest Park



Weight Watchers 7 Day Tone & Burn
*Tone, 1 x

Yoga, 4 x's

Zumba, 7 x's