What’s new at the gym? (Fitness updates!)

Mercury retrograde ends in two days. I’m getting ready to throw confetti.

[…]

Fitness updates!

Me (one week ago): I’m not joining a second gym for just one class. That wouldn’t make sense. No.

Me (yesterday):

 

Second gym.

 

Who even am I?

Body Combat is leaving our gym for good, so I went looking for a replacement. I wanted to find a Combat class that’s held on a weekday morning… my one requirement. The so-called silver lining to Body Combat’s departure from my gym is that I’m DONE fighting traffic through downtown in the evening, when a 12-minute drive takes 50-55 minutes no matter the route. This is not normal. I do not live in L.A., and I don’t have to play that game, I say!

Not to mention that it’s been a long time since evening classes made sense in my schedule. Body Combat was my one and only.

With this second gym, I have more options than ever all over Phoenix. Hey! Maybe one of the two gyms will open a location specifically in NW Tempe. I figure it’s a matter of time, considering that everything else is being built here.

In Body Pump news, we did the new release (#109) on Saturday, and I’m intrigued. There’s an unusual challenge: a new move with a mysterious timing relationship to the music. I wasn’t able to decode it during that first run-through. How do the beats work with this move? I hope to feel it this Saturday! It’s a great workout, 109. It destroyed my shoulders.

As for Step Plus Abs, I’ve settled into making that class a martial workout, as that’s a surefire way for me to burn up some energy. I quietly go beastmode in there. If she offers a fancy variation to a move, I don’t take it… I stick with the basic version and just do it hardcore. There’s enough footwork happening as it is, and there aren’t too many variations throughout the workout, anyway, so I’m still getting in that agility training.

Them’s my updates! I’ll sign off on a note of fitness motivation (I love this one):

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

People usually go to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” looking to find themselves in the entries. I go to look for people who expose themselves as poets in the lyrical titles they write.

Many of you seemed to appreciate my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” post, so I thought I’d peruse Missed Connections again to curate another one! It’s a joy to look through the entry titles with a poem in mind.

Enjoy this poem written by strangers, for strangers:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

It’s Raining in Mesa
Almost forgot the keys

Crimson lips and glasses
90’s Movie Moment in Safeway
Peaches n cream
Blueberries Everywhere!

Remembering “Red Velvet”
Missing our literature discussions
Do you like art?
Did you make the most of it?

 

 

Intuition: a partnership of gut and brain.

On a bloggy note, about half of what I plan to write doesn’t get written or completed. Today’s post is such a deviation, because today, I’m thinking about disciplines and organizations that taught me simple tenets I’ve never forgotten:

(From piano lessons) Hold back

(From Girl Scouts) Be prepared

(From the Army) Stay alert to stay alive

(From boxing) Keep your hands up and your chin down

Years ago, this young boxing-gym guy (18? 19?) I didn’t know very well refreshed me on all of these lessons together in one second. Our coaches had us sparring, so our mission was to try to hit each other while avoiding getting hit. One of his punches landed through a weakness in my defense. It was a solid right hand. The hardest hit I ever took was from him, and it was my fault, not his.

No one who’s seriously training in combat sports faces their sparring partner thinking, “This person isn’t really going to hit me.” Regardless of who your opponent is to you – friend, gym comrade, etc. – you expect them to try to hit you, and they expect you to try to hit them, and you both think about this as you mentally prepare your respective defense games… and that’s the whole point of the sport. The rules in a combat sports ring (ring, cage, dohyo, whatever) are clear-cut.

Unfortunately, the most treacherous ring of all is the world, itself. When you enter a combat sports ring, you know you’re going to get hit if you drop your guard or make poor strategic decisions. You know that the other person is there to destroy you, and that the only one you can trust to come to your defense is yourself.

In the ring of the world, we don’t know who’s going to do what, or if, or when. The hits we take in real life come in all forms. Every day brings news reports about crimes committed by people known and often loved by the victims, but still, you don’t go around thinking in defense mode around friends and loved ones. You trust that they won’t hurt you, because you have a relationship with an undercurrent of that trust serving as the foundation of your bond.

Trust is scary because it’s easily betrayed. Fortunately, we’re inherently armed. Whether I remember to use it or not, I know that I have one weapon to hold my trust in check: my intuition.

My intuition is a weapon of self-defense that I got for free because I was born with it. Humans are equipped with inner alarms critical to survival, yet it’s so easy to disregard them. Deception or bodily harm. Strangers or people you know. A “bad feeling” that changes your mind about going somewhere you’d planned to go, and then a fatal multi-car crash happens at the time you would’ve been there. Intuition is a partnership of gut and brain, and we all have it built inside of us.

It’s hard to always hear and heed intuition when there’s this other part of the brain that wants to override it for one reason or another.

 

Muntjac deer – my spirit animal (photo credit: L. Bruce Kekule)

 

It’s easy and even natural to drop guard, to read about a murder and say, that can’t happen to me.

Thinking about intuition always brings me back to those tenets I was taught in piano lessons, Girl Scouts, the Army, and combat sports training: Hold back. Be prepared. Stay alert to stay alive. Keep your hands up and your chin down.  

And listen. That’s the most important lesson of all. Our parents usually teach us that one.

 

 

Nothing to see here today, unfortunately.

Friends, for reasons I cannot explain, today is a wordless day, I’m afraid. My apologies. I did receive several more requests for selfies, though, so I looked through my phone and found one that I haven’t posted here yet. I couldn’t find it back in my media library, anyway!

For those of you who asked, here you go:

 

Yours Truly on [2/10/2019]

Happy Friday Eve, and I’ll see you on the flip side, meaning Tuesday. There will be unicorns with pom-poms. Just kidding. I have three posts in progress, so regular content will resume… unless you ask for unicorns with pom-poms, that is. Then you can consider that to be regular content, because I try to honor all requests. Let me know!

 

 

 

 

Reminder to self: this is why. (Minimalism, post 15.)

My beloved bluetooth speaker landed in a Goodwill donation bin a week or so ago. This was not the plan. It was an accident, a mix-up, and when I realized it later that night, a peculiar melancholy settled into my spirit. I felt a little lost without the silly thing. I mean, it wasn’t like I’d named the speaker or anything, but I carried it around with me quite often in this big green tote bag (the one that looks like a handbag, but serves as a duffel, with my actual handbag inside).

Music means a lot to me. My music exists out there in the ether; I know that I could listen to it on the exact same speaker were I to go out and get a new one, but it was my speaker that I wanted.

The next morning, I got to the Goodwill five minutes before they opened, spoke with the manager, and walked out with my speaker, which was found after the kind people in the back searched through the bins for about 20 minutes.

This incident brought back to mind one of the motives behind my minimalism efforts: my desire to resolve my issue with attachment. It’s one thing to love a cherished item, but it’s another thing to feel forlorn if the item vanishes. The thought of my speaker all alone in a bin of discarded electronics actually had me feeling sad for it.

Emotional attachments like this are unhealthy. How can it be healthy when the loss of a material item jeopardizes your emotional well-being? Buddhism teaches against attachment for a reason.

Mind you, this speaker holds no sentimental value for me. It’s just a speaker… and now I realize that it’s kind of like a security blanket, which underscores the problem.

When it comes to minimalism, everyone has their reasons. For me, a minimalism mindset is a worthy one to cultivate because I want to stop forming attachments to material items. If this Goodwill incident was a personal minimalism test, I failed.

I’ve obviously got a way to go before reaching my goal. I’ll keep working on it!

 

 

What there was to see can now be seen. (February Favorites!)

For being the shortest month of the year, February 2019 seemed long and drawn-out. Some awesomeness came out of February, for sure! On the 10th, I added a Sunday cardio class to my workout week, so I’m finally back to five workouts per week: three days of weights, two days of cardio. The last time I was in this place was when I started Body Pump and I was still going to Monday night kickboxing. That was over two years ago! I’m determined to let nothing get in the way of this modality split. If I have to miss a class, I have to find a way to make it up. Yesterday, I found out that I’ll be out of town for a week in June, but I’ll be staying in a place with gym equipment. No excuses.

What else? Looking at my planner’s February month view, I see that I went to many appointments, most of them at the V.A. hospital, and also I went to the dentist and to the optometrist. I had no social agenda items in February at all! I met with 0 of my friends. It was a long and busy month, but it was productive and not at all unpleasant.

Oh! If you read my last post, then you know that Geronimo (our Sonoran desert tortoise) emerged from hibernation on February 28th. That automatically makes February awesome.

Onto the wonderful Little Things, then…

Three Netflix offerings we watched that I enjoyed (in the order that we watched them):

1). Velvet Buzzsaw

 

 

2). Russian Doll

 

 

3). Doctor Foster

 

 

A cosmetic item that I’m finding to be lovely:

4). Pacifica Super Powder Supernatural Eyeshadow Trio (Stone Cold Fox).

 

Pacifica Super Powder Supernatural Eyeshadow Trio in Stone Cold Fox

 

And one random little thing:

5). New glasses. New prescription, new specs. I don’t have a new-glasses selfie (yet), but I can post a pic from the company’s website and link you to the frames. They’re Prodesign Denmark Model 4729 from the Danish Heritage Collection. I got them in Tortoise… of course! They’re light and comfortable, and they weren’t on the pricier side. That’s always a plus.

 

 

 

That about does it, I would say! I hope you all enjoyed an overall good February.

 

 

Guess who came out of hibernation?!! Hint: it starts with GERONIMO. (Desert tortoise update!)

Last week Thursday afternoon, the last day of February, I was walking back into the house from the laundry room when I saw something out of the ordinary from the corner of my eye. Something on the rocks. Something large. It was dome-shaped, lumpy, and vaguely dappled in dusty earth tones. It looked like…

GERONIMO.

It was Geronimo!!!!

Who knew we’d see him again as early as February?! Well, it was the last day of February, but still. We were thinking he’d emerge in late March, maybe early April.

For some reason, I’d envisioned him stepping out of his burrow as if on a red carpet with trumpeters on each side to herald his return. He would march out to reclaim his domain in full Geronimo fashion.

Instead, I found him sitting still on the rocks, covered in dirt and nearly blending in, as desert tortoises are wont to do. His manner of return was perfect.

I went running to him, of course, and his adorable little face poked out of his shell as he blinked “hello” at me. He stretched out his neck and tilted his head up when I petted his nose. I stroked one side of his neck for a while, and then he turned his head in the opposite direction so I could get the other side.

I flew back into tortoise mom mode. A good soaking was in order! Geronimo needed to be hydrated after his long sleep. Hot water gushed from the garden hose for a few minutes before it gave way to the lukewarm temperature Geronimo requires. He sat in his bath and drank water and squirted it through his nostrils.

He got his second soaking today. He likes to soak in the shade, so I propped a parasol on the ground to make an awning over his bath.

Six days post-hibernation, he’s still moving a little slowly; he’s not quite back to his tall, robust, rowdy self. He’ll walk a little, plop down and doze off, then wake up and walk again. He shuffles hither and yon in search of snacks, which are everywhere. He eats the spring grasses on the lawn and the weeds in the rocks with impressive appetite. When he’s not eating, he spends most of his time near his burrow, on and around his burrow’s terrain. He also naps in the entrance of his burrow. At sundown, he goes all the way back in for the night.

THIS GUY. IS SO. CUTE.

Geronimo’s been coming out of his burrow for six days now. Of course, I’ve been taking all kinds of pics. Here he is in all his 2019 glory. He’s 21 years old now!

Geronimo says “hello.”

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello and good night.

 

Hello and good morning.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Good-bye.

 

Good-bye.

 

Good-bye.

 

How I missed his little elephant legs!!!!