Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Promising

Had the hardest time deciding on whether I was going to swim or practice yoga tonight but I never feel right when I don't combine some other exercise with yoga. Lack of cardio plus the fact that I felt hot led me to the pool.

When I got to the pool, didn't feel like I was capable of swimming a single lap...

Spotted a faint rainbow and you would have thought I'd spotted a famous author. What is it about rainbows?

I had no intention whatsoever of swimming a mile. A weeknight? No way.  But I found myself at lap 25 which is close enough to 33 to make me want to go for it.

Of course, I hit the proverbial wall but I swam over it and got into a zone. It felt so good. Feel like I've been on autopilot with so many things --  going through the motions. Hope that tonight was a breakthrough and I hope that the lifeguards weren't miffed that I was the last one in the pool and stayed longer than I usually do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Swim Night Antics

No More 8:30 PM Light
Interesting night at the pool.

As I chatted with one of coaches of the youth team about her husband who'd just had surgery, this woman entered the lane that I had planned to enter.

Chatty Kathleen immediately told her that it was my lane and I told her "No problem; I don't mind sharing." Still, she got out but returned because it was a busy night at the pool.

She (Jill) waited until I got to the end of the lane then asked if we could lane share. Did I want to swim in straight line or circle? She also asked which side of the lane I preferred -- Any way you like it she said.

Jill is a much better swimmer than I am and when I asked her how many laps she usually swims, she said 80. In response to my jaw dropping, she told me that she used to be a swimmer.

I told her that I learned to swim as an adult and she said that I had a nice, steady stroke. Jill used to be a swim coach but says that she can't correct her own kid's stroke because, basically, he won't listen to her.

Kathleen exited the pool as Jill and I were exchanging names. She's my friend Kathleen said. I told Kathleen that there was enough to share. Kathleen also told me, earlier, that she realized that  I could take care of myself...

Had yet another dream. I was admiring the most beautiful blue water and then was involved in what was sure to be a devastating crash but I woke up before impact.




Monday, August 22, 2016

Reset

I've been dreaming a lot.

In the fourth dream, I am trying to make it home but I'm in a car that ends up on top of a building. Somehow the car evaporates and I am left to swing from a ring down to a lower ring/building.

As I'm telling this story to Alison before yoga practice on Sunday, Joy overhears and says that's a total City Museum aftermath. Makes sense.

Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Last night the dream (fifth consecutive) involves standing in front of a buffet of desserts and I'm having a hard time deciding which dessert or desserts I'll eat. Even though there's chocolate in the dessert case, the homemade Twinkie is calling my name. Seriously, I had a dream about a buffet of sweets.

Went to yoga tonight. I have tweaked something in my abdomen. The thing about tweaks and yoga is that it definitely makes your a more mindful practitioner and the thing about yoga on Monday night is that it's a good night to hit the reset button.

*Appendicitis is usually pain in the belly button area and that makes me feel relieved...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Night in Wonderland


Went to a pop-up yoga event at City Museum last night. We had a gentle and funny practice. Katie, who led the class, is like a comedian. I couldn't ask for a better approach to yoga.

Katie pointed out something that I didn't even think about. City Museum does not ask you to sign a waiver. Fancy that...

So, the price of yoga included the City Museum (minus roof access). Hadn't been to CM in ages and so much has changed. First of all, if you want an urban workout, take yourself to the City Museum. The word that kept popping into my head was wonderland. I see why it's open until midnight on the weekends. It's a great place to hang out.

Went with Alison and her son also accompanied us. The deal with kids, for the yoga portion of the program, is that the should be able to handle being in an hour long class and Alison's son is capable of that. Usually, he practices for a little bit then reads.


Because Alison has been to the City Museum way more than I have, she guided me through wonderland and told me little tidbits including info about the artist who made the outdoor birds...

Wisconsin Artist's Sculpture

One of Many Mosaics
I was having a case of nerves about the slide on the sixth floor and Alison's son was greatly amused but I did agree to end the night going down a slide instead of stairs. I had nothing to fear because I couldn't gain any momentum. Guess I had on the wrong pair of shorts. Either way, I had to scoot and use my feet in order to get to the bottom.

Photo Credit: Alison
And did I mention that navigating City Museum provided one hell of a workout?


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Inspired

Chose swimming over yoga last night -- rough decision -- but I'm looking at incorporating a yoga class that I don't normally go to later on in the week.

Alison doesn't usually go to yoga on Tuesdays but, of course, I got an email from her saying that she was going which made my decision even rougher. Also felt like a bit of a traitor as I walked into the pool but I was addressed as if I'd never left. And guess what? Chatty Kathleen was back. Hadn't seen her in almost a year...

Someone that I know tweeted last night "Am I wrong to say that I can't wait for the Olympics to end so that I can watch American Ninja Warrior?" And my first thought was to respond -- These Olympians are your warriors. 

I've been enjoying the games and I'll miss the stories and events when the Olympics end.

Loved this New Yorker article about ocean swimming.

But marathon swimming is not so much meditative as combative.

One of my favorite photos is the Michael Phelps/Chad le Clos "stay in your on lane/keep your eyes on the prize" photo.



I love the stories about Olympians helping one other.


Winning...




Not even getting to start...



Hand-standing before diving...


Etc...



And, oh yeah, this is my new favorite commercial!%*&!@ Feeling inspired by it all...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nowadays

Catsup Bottle, Table and Coat, Roy DeCarava
Yesterday was the last day for the city pool and they were going to have adults only swim again but the day was thwarted by low temps and rain, rain, rain.

It's been gently but persistently raining for a while now. Still, I walked to work. Listened to part of two podcasts including a Kripalu Perspectives one.


On the way home from yoga tonight, I realized that I've been going to Monday night yoga for years now. It's been such an important way for me to set the table as far as having a good or decent week. Actually, it's been a way to hit the reset button on Monday night.

In the Absolutely Positive episode of Kripalu Perspectives, Megan McDonough says that one of things that we can do is ask ourselves is What's working in my life? It's definitely a much better question than What's wrong with me? etc.

I find myself following all of the yoga, meditation and sound therapy accounts on Instagram. Trying to not feel tapped out as people like to say nowadays.




Saturday, August 13, 2016

Float On


Today was kind of a soft day. Managed to finally roll out of bed and get myself together for 11 o'clock Zumba. Ran a few errands then stayed at home for about five hours then I headed to the city pool. Today is the next to last day and they had an adults only swim session from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

When I got to the pool, there were only about four people there. I see why people like to float. I spent about 80 minutes in the water and dedicated some of that time to floating. It was just what I needed as I've been feeling tense lately...

Watched relay swimming and a tad bit of track. I'm enjoying the stories of the athletes including Claressa ShieldsKatie Ledecky and Simone Manuel and all of the other athletes with flair.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, JAM

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Water Will Crinkle

While swimming yesterday, I wore earrings that Alison made for me -- not my normal swimming earrings which I couldn't find them.

A's earrings sounded like wind chimes while underwater. Cool bonus...

Cleaned up then went to yoga after swimming. Pro-tip: even if you think that you've gotten all the water out of your ears, you haven't and when you do partial sun salutations, the water will crinkle as you swan dive. Annie's class was unbelievably relaxing last night -- just in the first five minutes -- and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull off even one downward-facing dog but I did...

A colleague asked me if  I were in the Olympics what team would I be on. I answered basketball and she looked at me in surprise. I said that if I were on the swim team, I'd get my butt kicked and she said that she would too but we're just imagining so I changed my answer to basketball and swimming and, while we're using our imagination, I can dunk too.

I love this Lou Bloomfield video about the physics of swimming.




I also like this story of the Chinese swimmer who used her mystic energy.



Monday, August 8, 2016

But First

Yesterday we were all settled on our mats and then You've been great but when is Joy coming back?

What a question...

At the end of class, I loved it when Erin said And thank you for letting me guide you while Joy is away...

During one of my pre-work reading sessions, I read a Prevention magazine article about Nutritious Movement. My favorite line:

We are capable of moving and repositioning our bodies in small but powerful ways 100% of our waking hours.

I'm not sure what struck the biggest chord, but I'm motivated to dig deeper and move more. Reading Nourish Your Body Through Movement also reaffirmed my decision to keep doing yoga even though I crave the simplest and gentlest of classes.

Listened to the first episode Katy Bowman's first podcast as I walked to work today. Of course, I also checked out Bowman's Instagram account and this post has inspired me to incorporate more hikes into my regimen.

For those of who might think my kids are always stoked to go out on an all uphill hike in the rain, allow me to share this picture. (P.S. My daughter picked this out as the picture to share capturing her mood; she was ok with me posting it.) As you know, walking uphill is different than level-ground walking. We can go 6 miles no carry and 10 miles all downhill, but uphill is where they're least conditioned to (because we keep picking flat because it's easier to go far and thus more enjoyable for all). Nevertheless, going uphill is required to develop the parts necessary for going uphill. To continue to avoid it is to continue to be missing necessary parts. SO. We found a cool 1-mile steep climb in the forest, that leads to an old fire lookout. We'll do this once a day for three more days, improving each time and then they'll get to see firsthand how they improve. But until then, #whinefestcentral #gooutsideanyway #MoveYourDNA #letthemmovetheirDNA #thisispartoftheprocess
A photo posted by Katy Bowman (@nutritiousmovement) on



This morning's pre-work reading material came from the March issue of O: The Oprah Magazine about soul mates. In Work Wife Mallory Ortberg talks about her business partner and cofounder of The Toast. I love it when she writes:
I stumbled upon her work on a different site back in 2011, and the only way I can describe how I felt is that I wanted her brain and mine to collide into one another at maximum speed in the middle of a sun meadow.
Yeah, I think their relationship definitely falls into the soul mate category...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Unofficial

At work efforts are being made to boost morale. There was a coloring event to be done in groups of five. There are not five people in my department or four or three and I'm the only full-time person so I had to go in search of my own coloring sheet and I had no idea who had markers and, in the end, I had no time to color the darn paper anyway.

Before my workplace moved into the building that we're currently in, it was unoccupied and people in the neighborhood used part of a semi-enclosed lawn as an unofficial dog park and, sometimes, they still bring their dogs during the work day. For the record, I would never do that. At any rate, a puppy ran past my window.

video


Our Zumba sub has been a dancer since she was three and we had a super fun class.

video


I'm not in dire straits but, damn, I'm tired and something else which I can't necessarily name.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Gentle Practice

Someone at work said that the staff is like wild horses running in separate directions and I can't stop thinking about that...

Headed to the pool after work although my time was tight.

When I turned down the street that runs parallel to the pool, I could see that there was no one in it but I did see lifeguards on perches. Found out the chlorine level had to be adjusted but it didn't take long.

The number of pool enthusiasts keeps dwindling but hitting the outdoor pool is still on my list of summertime things to enjoy.



Left the pool then walked to the voting station and there was a bit of wait because the polls were slated to close in about half an hour... Went home, ate two Farmers' Market Quesadillas that I'd made on Sunday, signed up for 7:30 yoga class and headed out.

Annie asked many of us how our day had gone and most of us had been running around so we had a gentle practice and I could do a gentle practice all the time.

At some point Annie threw a question out for us to ponder -- What is it inside of you that you know is beautiful? The class was just what I needed and it made me feel less like a wild horse.