Bush Cheer Squad

Fair warning: This is not a political post in any way.imgres

I’m literally talking about a bush that I pretend to be hoards of fans cheering me on while I run. And by run, I mean when I physically attempt to move my body at a faster rate than usual by putting one foot in front of the other.

I don’t like running all that much anymore. Getting back into shape sucks. And it’s all I can do to push myself to keep going on a very short and easy run that would take my former runner self absolutely no time and hardly work up a sweat doing.

Plus, I don’t listen to music, so I let my imagination run free.

And one of the things my imagination does is pretend that this unruly plant who’s branches stick out onto the sidewalk at one of the points in my run is actually a hoard of people cheering me on and holding out their hands to give hi-fives.

That’s all I really wanted to say.

It makes me feel both ridiculous and motivated. As all the best mind-tricks do.

So, yeah, no politics talk.

 

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Couples Running

I don’t often like to get too much into my personal life here, but I am going to take a quick pause from my usual policy of “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE” to tell you something cool about my significant other.

Sometimes we actually go running together.

As some of you may know, I haven’t been competitively running for a long time. I two-children-running-on-beach_70368391changed my focus a while back to more weight training and whatnot. But we’re doing a little dual-motivation challenge with each other that’s making both of us hop back on the running horse. (Metaphorically, of course. He actually hates horses so this can only be a metaphor.)

It’s not easy to find a running partner in any capacity. I tend to like to run (and usually just workout) alone. And I still like to do that. But having someone else along for the jog is surprisingly nice. Especially when you genuinely enjoy that person’s company. And I genuinely enjoy his. Which makes my genuine frustration for getting back in shape ease up a little. And makes me look forward (even just a little bit) to going running. Because it means I get to hang around someone I enjoy being around. Even if we’re both doing something we both aren’t super excited about.

It’s nice.

As nice as running can be for be for me at this point I guess.

Anyway, I could talk about it more but that already feels like an over-share for something I tend to stay very private about so I’m gonna go hide in the shade in the corner and wait until you forget all about this and we can all go back to staying quiet and not talking about my personal life because it’s “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE.”

Exercise for Sleep

Tpuppy snuggleshere are multiple excellent reasons for exercise. I write about them constantly.

One I rarely talk about is the fact that it helps me (and most people) sleep soundly.

I have a lot of energy. I’m a pretty energetic person. I’m actually really aware of my energy level because it’s a good indicator of my inner mood. If I’m exhausted midday, it’s likely because I’m doing something I don’t want to be doing. If I’m sleepy at night just before bed, it’s been a good day of accomplishments. If I’m still anxious when I’m going to sleep, odds are I didn’t exercise and/or be productive enough that day.

Exercise, for me, is the opportunity to not only clear my mind and gain some perspective on what does and does not actually need to be done in the day. It also gives me a place to let out some of the pent up steam from various projects or interactions throughout the day. It energizes me if I’m feeling drained (and know it’s not from lack of sleep) and it calms me for the rest of the day.

I use my energy level as an indicator. And it typically directly corresponds to my exercise consistency.

Yet another reason to add to the long list of why getting up and getting moving is good for you.

 

Personal Space

I get not everyone knows gym etiquettepersonal-space-animals

I understand that it can be uncomfortable to take a class for the first time when everyone else seems to know what’s going on.

I even applaud that people can be in classes they’re way under-qualified for physically because they want to challenge themselves.

Cool, mama. Do your thing.

But there are some basic human interaction rules that still apply while you’re in class.

And there was a lady in the last Kickboxing class I took that was apparently completely unaware of all sense of personal space of basic class etiquette and it drove me bonkers. And of course only really affected me because God has a wonderful sense of humor.

So it started out like this. I get to class (on a rare rainy day in LA) on time. I’m in a good spot towards the back so I won’t get yelled at by the intense teacher I love but with direct eye line to the front. I’m evenly spaced out from the other participants, as is custom, and I’m ready and rearing to go. Class starts and a girl snags a spot a little too close to me, but it’s next to her obvious friend so I let it go.

And then she strolls in. About 10 minutes late. Casually strolling. The woman that will become my enemy throughout this class. I shall call her “Nancy.” Short for “Fancy Nancy” because she wasn’t so much kickboxing as she was doing whatever fancy move she felt like.

Nancy chooses the respectable spot open just in front and to the left of me. Nancy decides to start doing really whatever she feels like while the rest of the class does specific, disciplined moves. She kinda flops around. Of course I find this hilarious and am immediately distracted, but I let it go.

Until Nancy, about five minutes into her own unique workout, starts creeping near me. She starts straight up invading my personal space.

Now, let me remind you what kind of workout this is- Cardio Kickboxing. We are moving non-stop and we are kicking and punching. So if you get too close to someone, they could kick and punch you. And Nancy had, slowly but surely, gotten into my own kick and punch bubble.

But see I didn’t want to move. I can be really unreasonably stubborn about certain things. I got a good spot in class and I was maintaining my area as was everyone else in class, so why do I need to adjust to this woman? Instead, I did what I do best and got silently angry and mumbled “GO AWAY” to her between punches. I legitimately almost punched her a few times. In fact, about 15 minutes into class, when Nancy was basically standing on my left foot, I started using my frustration for her as inspiration for my hardcore punches.

I thought about shoving her.

I just admit that on the internet.

I, a pacifist who meditates regularly and believes in balance and happiness and zen, legitimately considered shoving a stranger out of my way.

That’s how frustrated I was.

I didn’t shove her. Eventually I glared her down and made a dramatic gesture to move to my right so I could have more space. I made a point to look around and see if anyone else was struggling with this. Of course not. Everyone else in class was having a perfectly normal class experience.

personal space dilbert

Nancy was standing so close to me it looked like we were friends so it made the teacher think we were pals and she equated us.  I know this because at one point, the teacher came over to break down some moves for us and looked at both of us and said, “Watch me, girls.” Then did the moves. I got pissed. We were not equals. I was kicking butt and taking names and Nancy was making fancypants moves all over the place.

Eventually, the only other girl slightly affected by Nancy (the one who originally got a little close to me to do the class next to her friend) left to get some water. When she came back, she chose to stand in the No Mans Land spot Nancy had abandoned in order to tie herself to my leg. I was glad the girl did this. I hoped it would encourage Nancy to move into her spot farther away from me. It did not. I had to keep moving.

I kept getting more pissed.

Luckily, unlike my frustration with the texting chick next to me in Yoga class, I was able to actually kick and punch away my anger during this class. Eventually the girl abandoned the No Man’s Land and I got fed up with Nancy. I stopped moving (a big “No no” in this class), let out a deep sigh of frustration, glared at Nancy, and moved up to the empty space that gave me plenty of personal room to get the rest of my moves in easily and happily.

Nancy didn’t even notice I was gone. The only thing she noticed was that she now had a direct view of herself in the mirrors and apparently liked what she saw. So she spent much of the rest of the class staring at herself and doing her own “Fancypants Nancy” moves in them while the rest of us pushed through a very difficult class until the last minute.

In the locker room afterwards, Nancy was talking to her friends were talking about how difficult the class was and dabbing off the mild sweat that had accumulated from staring at herself while other people around her got their asses kicked.

Nancy is what I like to call a Personal Space Cadet.

(PYT) Member Appreciation Day

bikiniDisclaimer: I don’t know this chick. I just googled “PYT” and she had abs so I figured good enough.

The other day, my gym had “Member Appreciation Day.” I had seen the signs up for it but didn’t think much of it. I like to be left alone at the gym. And when I’m running errands. And when I’m at coffee shops. I’m mostly a hermit who can sometimes trick people into believing she’s social.

I only noticed because a trainer came up to me after I did a set. He asked me if I liked the exercise I was doing, because he had a variation for the same muscle group that was even more challenging. He called my exercise “skull crushers” (which made me feel pretty badass) and showed me another tricep exercise using my bodyweight and gravity. I was my usual quiet gym self, barely mumbling a thank you as I reluctantly did what he showed me. I shyly looked off and said thank you so he would go away. He smiled and found another gym member who was working on squats. He then worked with her for quite some time on different exercises. I even saw him helping her stretch a while later. Before I left, he was working with yet another gym member and showing her some exercises.

I thought it was odd someone was wandering around giving tips and pointers, but then saw a sign for “Member Appreciation Day” and put two and two together. Then, I realized that the man was only hovering and helping young, female members of the gym. He had a very specific way of showing his “appreciation.”

I can’t prove that he was biased. But I do know that the other two women he was working with seemed a lot friendlier than I was, and he was with them for a whole lot longer than he was with me. And that there were a ton of men everywhere… who seemed to need no help at all.

I appreciate the appreciation… but I’m onto you, buddy. I’m onto your little games.

And also if I had known you were hitting on me, I would have been so much friendlier! Next time just make it more obvious!

Armband

armandI got a little luxury lately.

It’s really not a big deal.

It’s a minor change. Something I used to have but didn’t upgrade and lived without for years.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint.

It’s pictured here.

I got an armband for my iPhone while I workout.

I’m really excited about it.

It’s so simple, I know. I just never made the commitment to getting one because I always tucked my phone (which I keep around for music purposes not for phone calls, silly) in my pants. Or sometimes in the back of my bra.

Yeah, it was sweaty. Yeah, it often slipped down and caused me to embarrassingly have to go chasing for it. Yeah, it was uncomfortable. But it was cheap so I liked it.

But I finally caved and got an armband. Well, to be fair, my mother bought it for me for Christmas. Because we all know I don’t spend money on such frivolities (god, I really do sound like such a scrooge!).

The point is, I’ve used it every day. And I love it. And it’s wonderful.

Sometimes you really should invest in the little things that can make such a big difference.

Back to Running… Reasonably

homerI’ve talked a lot about running and lifting on this blog. If you don’t feel like getting totally caught up, here’s the story in a nutshell: I used to run a lot. Then I hurt myself. Now I lift a lot.

There. You’re basically caught up on two year’s worth of posts.

There is a part of me that misses running regularly. It won’t ever become my go-to exercise since I think I’m much more suited for the lifting lifestyle (and a much bigger fan of the results). But I find running to be extremely honest. If you run regularly, you will get better at it. If you haven’t run in a long time, you cannot fake being good at it. It will hurt. And you have to push yourself through the pain (but not too hard… otherwise you’ll end up with problems like me) over and over again until you get back in shape. And it’s humbling. And I like to be humbled.

But this year, I’m prepared. I’m of course going to continue my regularly scheduled gym routine (because I find it the most efficient and effective for me), but I’m also going to add back in little bits of running. Even if it’s just a mile here, a set of interval sprints there, ten minutes on the treadmill…whatever. And I’m prepared because I got a specialty running sock that supposedly helps when you’ve got a messed up club foot like I do.

It’s not a traditional club foot. I call it a club foot because it hurts like I’ve been standing in heels in da club for hours after ten minutes of running.

Anyhoo, I’m excited about it. And because I’m all about being reasonable this year, I think it’s a reasonable compromise between my present lifting self and my past runner.

Happy 2015!

reasonable logoIt’s finally here! OMG! It’s the new year! It’s upon us! For once I woke up not hungover and well-rested! It’s a miracle! I’m so excited! I love the first day of the New Year! Everybody is in the zone to self-improve and to think about all the ways they can be a better, more well-rounded person in the upcoming year. It’ll only last 2 weeks, but it’s the most fun 2 weeks of the year because I can actually talk to people about goals and the future and finding balance and nerding out on self-improvement books and inspirational quotes! AH!

I, of course, have a bunch of resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Truth be told, I still need to tweak and solidify many of them. I don’t take this shiz lightly, as my avid readers know. I have a general list of things I want to work on, but I need to go through and make them strong goals- clear, actionable, and reasonable.

One of the biggest ones for me is getting my new business, Reasonable Revolution, off the ground. I’m offering goal coaching and consulting. I help people organize their life, strengthen their goals, keep the accountable for what they’ve promised themselves, and find ways to be more productive and effective on all elements of their life.

I’m really freaking excited about it.

Our mantra is that you can achieve anything you want… as long as you’re reasonable about it.

I’m excited to help people do something that comes naturally to me. And I finally feel like I can give back a little using resources I’ve been (often unknowingly) accumulating for years. It’s my passion. So I’m stoked to share it with you.

But I know that right now everybody’s got great energy and excitement for the near year, so they’ll be working on their goals on their own. But in 2 weeks or so, when you’ve realized you may have bitten off more than you can chew and don’t understand why you’re again not achieving what you set out to do and getting down on yourself… check out Reasonable Revolution. And we can help you get reasonable.

 

*This was originally just going to be a post about the New Year and how excited I am for it, but I guess I got even more excited about my new Reasonable Revolution business so I kinda went all advertisy on you. 2015 me is already surprising me! Hooray!

Inner Game of Ten-YES

Inner-Game-of-TennisThanks to my new subscription with Audible.com combined with the hours I spend in my car in LA traffic, I’ve become quite the avid “reader.” I get to listen to all sorts of audiobooks on subjects that interest me that I would normally never make time for.

Which is why I can happily report that I “read” “The Inner Game of Tennis” finally after it being on my to-read list for the better part of 5 years. And I had no idea what to expect. I don’t even remember what inspired me to put it on the list. But I do know that I enjoyed it. It breaks down your mind into two different selves and lets you learn how to better trust yourself… but shutting your other self up.

It’s more than that. And the focus is, obviously, through the game of tennis and through athletics. But I found it invaluable for the creative world, too. I find most lessons from athletics highly valuable in my creative career.

I’ll probably re-read it ASAP just to get it all better in my head. And because holiday traffic in LA gets almost unbearable, so it’s nice to be productive while driving.

Batgirl

batMy good friend Whitney (who has a hilarious website you should check out here) has this contraption. It’s for hanging upside down. Or maybe upsidown, depending on your education level. I had heard of these contraptions and heard they were good for you before, but I had not experienced it for myself.

Well thanks to Whitney, I got to experience it for myself. I got to hang upside down like a bat. It was kinda awesome. And very intense.

Whitney helped me flip over slowly. And truth be told, I didn’t go all the way upside down my first try. That’s pretty intense for anyone and I wanted to take ‘er easy. But my second try I did. For a total of 20 seconds. Then I got the giggles and had to come back up to catch my breath (thanks a lot to my hilarious soul buddy who got me giggling while I was hanging). But even just angled mostly upside down is very intense. The blood rushes to all sorts of places it’s not used to going and your body gets jiggly in ways you didn’t know it could jiggle.

If you’ll recall my last post, I had a minor back issue for a week or so. I tried this hanging thing to help it out. I didn’t feel anything at first except a good (and odd) stretch all over. Then as I was coming back up, there was a very specific point when I could feel my vertebrae screaming at me. We isolated the pain! I found the exact angle I needed to stretch it out a little on this terrifying medieval torture contraption. And I worked it out. And cried a little. But as a creative-type, most of my friends are used to randomly crying at any given moment, so everybody stayed cool.

And the next couple days I really felt great. I’m actually considering getting one of these contraptions myself sometime. It seems to work wonders and Whitney swears by it.

Plus, if people ask what you’re up to, you can say “Just hangin’ out” and then laugh uncontrollably at your own cleverness.