Category Archives: Fitness Files

Crazy Stew

Life is kind of chill these days, lots going on, but no one thing is out of control, I feel dare I say…balanced…sort of? I LOVED the response to the last blog entry. I’m always fascinated by what people like to read and how they came to love the habit. I think Erica said somewhere that book recommendations are like wine, totally dependent upon personal taste. I LOVE Shiraz for example, but you can keep your bottle of Beaujolaise! But I digress. I leave you with a “stew” of things that are amusing, disturbing, and hopefully interesting. At the worst, you’ll kill 10 minutes of your workday!

[1] My friend and Semester at Sea Colleague Michael Maniates has an article in the Washington Post (WaPo) about how our need for ‘easy’ ways to go green, isn’t actually getting anything done. He’s smart + funny, so you’ll enjoy him as much as I do!

[2] Speaking of articles, yall know I love Malcolm Gladwell, who do I love MORE than Malcolm? David Sedaris of course, who has a hilarious piece in Esquire titled: “Six to Eight Black Men” and it is as ridonkulous (as SpinChick would say) as it sounds.

[3] I’m a badass/dumbass (take your pick).

Example number one: I was out until almost 2am on Friday night/Sat a.m. and my friend/colleague SpinChick still managed to drag me to an 8am Spin Class. I wasn’t particularly conversant at that time but I do remember mumbling something about “I hate your guts” but I’m not sure. At one point I looked over and she had rolled up her right t-shirt sleeve and she had a fake tattoo of a diesel truck on her bicep and I almost fell off the bike laughing.

Example number two: I went to bed considerably earlier on Saturday night but with more wine in my system (what?! you’ve never heard of the wine diet? it’s kind of like south beach with less food and more tannins) and managed to make it to the 9am Spin Class with KJ in tow. There were no fighting words or fake tattoos that time. But lots and lots of 80’s classic rock music.

Example number three: I am doing an Introductory Karate course in the Shorin Ryu style and I’m enjoying it. But every now and then I get the feeling that I’m a little too old to be messing around with this. My 23 year old private tutor has been studying this style for….16 years and after a workout with him on Friday night I finally understood the reasoning behind hip replacement surgery. So if you see me hobbling down the street with an uneven gait…don’t even stop to say Hi, just keep it moving and let me live my teenaged dreams in my (near) middle-aged body.

[4] I finished Kickboxing Geishas and I loved.every.page. It was a fun, fast read and having been to a couple of the cities in Japan that the author visits made it more accessible. Definitely a recommended read for any Japanophiles. I am hoping to keep my eyes open long enough to start Stumbling on Happiness.

[5] I have a good friend who has returned to the often baffling, sometimes seedy and always entertaining world of dating. I have decided that observing a close friend date and experiencing their ups and downs is WAYYYYY better than actually doing it myself. All the fun, none of the expense and no STDs!

Speaking of dating, here’s two quotes that will be not at all applicable to my dear readers:

1. “You don’t pay prostitutes to sleep with you, you pay prostitutes to LEAVE.” (from the film Four Brothers which I watched saturday night w/ KJ).

2. “You’ll always lose money chasing women, but you’ll never lose women chasing money.”

There you have it folks! Words to live by! Aren’t you glad you checked in? Don’t worry about that slimy, nauseous feeling, it’ll pass!

Hey, can someone buy this for me? I heard this record out at a martini bar recently, and I must make it mine!

 

Fitness Mojo

I officially hit my first weight-loss milestone yesterday. I am now down 16 lbs to my pre-Semester at Sea weight. I have been working on lifestyle and diet changes and for the most part I’m enjoying the journey. I seem to have hit both a physical and mental plateau, so I need all yall to send me some good “get your butt in gear” mojo. Work has been crazy (but good) and I’m heading to Canada in a few hours so….wish me luck!

Reset Button?

I am so ready for it to be Friday.

[1] Dear Distracted Driver: Thank you for almost side-swiping me and making my life flash before my eyes. It put a lot in perspective and made me feel a giddy rush of gratitude that I am alive. Actually that feeling hasn’t quite worn off yet. Please watch for crazy chicks on motorcycles, we’ll love you for it.

[2] Dear Karate class: Please stop kicking my @$$. I couldn’t close my fist and I have a helluva purple bruise on my left forearm. It is ON!! No more Ms. Nice Chick!

[3] Dear Frost: Go away. I’m not mad about having to scrape my windows on monday, but I am mad that you’re signalling the end of golf season. I need a few more weeks, you’re like a parent coming home from vacation early without warning.

[4] Dear motorcycle: I’m sorry that I dropped you in the driveway, I am distracted and busy. Forgive me, I promise to always feed you premium unleaded fuel and polish your chrome.

Last week was so…sublime, this week? Not so much. Let’s all turn off the lights, get under the covers, snooze and wake up and forget all this has happened.

And yes, I know that life is good. Great in fact, but even us eternal optimists have an “off” day every now and then.

Happy Halloween Ya’ll!

Not Drunktastic

 

Sorry I’ve been off the grid the last few days. Work is getting busier by the week including new trips on the horizon (a return trip to Miami and a trip up to Toronto and Montreal). After the hustle of the last few weeks I was ready for a mini-road trip and headed down to Maryland where I met up with The Entreprenuer (TE) and The Attorney (TA). TE is a photography aficionado and TA is a “culture vulture” so we hit the Corcoran Musuem for the Annie Leibovitz exhibit: A Photographer’s Life.

The exhibit was really amazing. I loved her portraits of Jamie Foxx, Oprah, Colin Powell and a couple of shots of Serejevo and Rawanda the most. Wandering the museum with TE and TA was also a pleasure because we all felt comfortable going our own way so that we could linger where we wanted and get drawn into whatever compelled us. I loved how most of the photographs were black & white, but every now and then there’d be something in glorious color. Likewise most of the photographs were pretty large, but there were groupings of small prints that forced you to get intimate with the exhibit (wait, that didn’t come out right).  There was also an Ansel Adams exhibit in-house and that was interesting though I’m not a big fan of landscape photography.

We ended up acting a fool and having a good time which led us to drinks and bad, bad (but oooh so good) food at Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles in DC and a late night, raucous showing of Tyler Perry’s new movie: Why Did I Get Married? Now if you’ve ever been to an African American film, at an African American theatre, with a packed African American audience, I don’t need to tell you what went down. Let’s just say that everybody had a good time and thought that the characters on the screen could hear their individual comments.

Sunday, TA insisted on watching Inside Washington so I mustered up the energy to hit the workout room and put in some time on the treadmill to combat the previous evening’s fried goodness and preempt the afternoon’s revelry.  TE picked us up and we headed out to Linganore Winery where we met up with The Politician (TP) for the Jazz and Wine festival. And by festival I mean hundreds of people, in camp chairs with coolers full of crackers, cheese, grapes and summer sausage. It was great to see a diverse crowd (ethnicity, age, families, LGBT, groups of friends, etc) and to relax in the sunshine on a near perfect day listening to the David Bach Consort and wondering when exactly we became our parents? Wait, we’re not our parent’s yet but these two are.

Despite the wonderful nectar available (I highly recommend the Skipjack, TE’s favorite and the Sangria, TA’s favorite) no one was “Drunktastic” at least not in our group. But there were a few others who may have been. To include the 3 women next to us who drank at least 5 bottles of wine, the old white dude who kept hitting on all the older black women, the barefoot hippie teenagers twirling and kicking up dust, and the saxonphone player who kept coming out into the crowd to check out women. I joked at one point that there was only two ways that the day could be better, and one of them actually came to fruition. And thats all I’m gonna say about that!

I apologize (but not really)

 

This might be turning into a (not at all interesting to you) hobby blog. I apologize, but not really. I’m sure the only thing worse than reading about my motorcycle obsession, is reading about my (one sided) golf addiction. I will soon be giving you details on the technical aspects of all of my hobbies…aren’t you excited? What? I’m nosey, yes I DO want to know about your hobbies and how you’re spending you’re free time!

I wanted to be hanging out with some old friends this weekend, but time and circumstances prevent(ed) that.

I did however get to play some golf (what’s new, i’ve played more this summer than ever), again this weekend. One of my housemates has a membership at the local Kountry Klub (they are perfectly wonderful to me) and I can play all I want for $25 on any given day. The weather today was sublime here in New England, mid-70’s, warm sun and not a cloud in the sky.

I’m loving my new Nike SP-3 golf shoes (pictured) and hit my driver pretty good today. I got the shoes on sale in June but have been wearing my older Nikes most of the summer, but the toe-box on those is a bit tight so I’m going to use those for muddy/wet course days.

I banged out a 200 yard drive right down the fairway on the 3rd hole! My putting however makes me want to cry and fling my putter into the nearest water hazard. I only lost one ball today and that was because I was too lazy to try to find it. I walked two miles this morning, went to the gym and by the 9th hole I just didn’t care anymore.

So, all this to say. I missed my friends in VA this weekend, but I think I made the best of it. I’m working on increasing my overall level of activity and fitness and New England seems to be full of gym rats, cyclysts, runners, hockey players, golfers, etc. We’ll see what happens when that first frost hits!

For all yall working on fitness goals here’s a great post from Gretchen over at The Happiness Project:

Exercise helps make you happy. People who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. They also get relief from anxiety and mild depression, comparable to medication and therapy.

But even when you acknowledge the tremendous benefits, if you’re not already exercising regularly, it can be hard to adopt the habit. I managed to change myself from a natural sloth to an enthusiastic exerciser by using all these tricks:

Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week.Never skip exercising for two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise no matter how inconvenient.

DON’T link exercise to weight loss as a way to motivate yourself. Although it’s quite true that people who exercise regularly are far more likely to keep weight off, you’ll find yourself justifying missing your run by turning down two Saltines. And if you don’t lose weight easily (who does?), you’re likely to give up exercise as futile.

Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him.

Think about context. I thought I hated weight-training, but in fact, I hated the weight-training area of my gym. Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Do you hate the loud music in your gym? Is your work-out so exhausting that you can’t face the rest of your day? Re-think your choices.

You must exercise frequently. If you think you’re staying in shape by joining games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing four or five times a week. Twice a month isn’t enough.

If you don’t have time both to exercise and take a shower, find exercise (weight-training, yoga, walking) where in many cases you don’t need to shower afterward.

Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer? (they’re only $25). Exercise is a high life priority, so this is the place to spend some money if that helps.

Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, i.e., don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or bike for an hour. I have a friend who never exercises unless she’s training for a marathon.

Beware of magical thinking:
 Having a gym membership doesn’t mean that you go to the gym, and owning a yoga mat doesn’t mean you practice yoga.
 Just because you were in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now.
 Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.

 

Happy Labor Day All!