Femoir the Podcast – Season 3, Episode 104: The Marathon

Hello again faithful friends!

Another Friday, another episode of Femoir the Podcast. This time we’re running with the theme of a marathon, inspired by the LA Marathon (ALL PUNS INTENDED).

I discuss auditions for a comedy show I’m part of, talk about general marathon training (mostly metaphorically), and when we face rejection we have to try, try again.

It’s a short and sweet episode, as these show notes reflect.

Subscribing and rating the show helps, but listening keeps me inspired to keep a’going so thank you!

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Get Your Reps In

female2In many ways, I approach my career athletically. I grew up playing lots of different sports and learned the value in practicing daily for incremental improvements in order to become overall better during game time. I understand that every chance you get to practice even the smallest of moves, you improve your overall performance in the game. I also understand that it’s helpful to take notes of specific games and how you did in them to analyze and see what you do well and what needs improvement.

And I apply a lot of that to my career. Daily. I treat performances as game time. I do the best I can given whatever surroundings conditions I’m playing in and analyze how I did afterwards. I know it’s not the same because in the entrainment world- especially in comedy- so much is arbitrary. But you can find ways to evaluate yourself. And you can understand how different moves help overall performance.

For instance, I consider doing stand up open mics the same as doing cardio at the gym. It’s necessary and can make a big difference in your overall physique. But doing hours and hours of it doesn’t always give you the best outcome for your time investment. You’ll improve, of course, but it’ll be incremental. And I consider writing like lifting weights. The more time I spend writing- whether it’s these blog posts, screenplays, short films, sketches, stand up jokes- the better I become as a comedic brain. In the best case scenario, in a good workout, you can get in both your weight lifting and your cardio sessions. But if you only choose one, you can just choose based on the immediate goals ahead.

Lately, for me, I’ve been lifting more weights and doing more writing. As a result, I’ve sculpted my body more effectively and created a ton more opportunities for performances that feature my strengths and sensibilities I wouldn’t otherwise have. And I’ve been happy with the results on both ends.

But I’m of course itching to find time to get that cardio back in my routine. I like to get those reps in on the mics to stay fresh and connected to the community. Even just one mic a week (or a couple cardio per week) and I can keep from getting too rusty.

So gotta keep the performance and practice routines balanced. Otherwise you get fat and not funny. And that’s just an odd combination.

I don’t mean it. I just needed a way to quickly end this post because things were getting too real. 

Gym Discovery

discoveryThere’s a gym in Hollywood I don’t frequent, but I’ve gone a handful of times. Part of the reason I like LA Fitness in the first place is because there are lots of locations so I can go to different places depending on what side of town I’m on.

The Hollywood gym, which is right in the heart of Hollywood just steps from the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, is one I go to on occasion. Part of the reason I don’t frequent it is because I didn’t see a free weights section. I figured there probably was one, but I never looked too hard. I just stuck with the easy to see machines and simple cardio.

But the other day… I kept walking. I walked down a hallway I’d been near before and decided to just keep going.

Why didn’t I do this before? I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know where I was going. But the truth is, I didn’t know where I was going. And the more important truth is, nobody was paying attention to me. And the most important truth is, even if they were paying attention, I don’t care about the opinions of strangers.

And there it was.

A huge free weights section I’d never seen before. A giant chunk of the gym that I had never before discovered. I was like Christopher Columbus (because there were already tons of people there who clearly knew it existed but I felt a weird sense of ownership because I found it for the first time myself which doesn’t really make sense but I felt proud anyway).

Lesson learned: Never stop exploring. You never know how you’re limiting yourself until you push the existing borders and boundaries of the world around you.

Also, every gym probably has a free weights section. So just keep looking.

Podcast Episode 65: All In – Show Notes

pooh bearMany apologies for the delay in this Femoir: The Podcast, friends! This episode, I talk having a personality that only knows how to go “All In” on something.

I talk about my upcoming web series (again), The Other Client List.

I also talk about a girl that makes me giggle like crazy. You can follow her hilarious quips on Twitter.

I talk about studying improvisation everywhere I could. Some places include The Second City Chicago, iO Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, with Gary Austin Workshops, at The People’s Improv Theater and at the Master Improv Retreat, UCB, and The Groundlings. Among other places. Like I said… a lot of friggin improv.

I also try and make reference to this Winnie The Pooh Quote. It’s a good one.

 

Shape Shifter

Remember when I used to be able to run long distances? Me, too.fatty

I remember in my head. My body doesn’t seem to recall that at all.

I’m trying to diversify my workout. I genuinely love running and haven’t been doing enough of it. And I need to get out and do more of it- whether it’s sprints or short or long distances. I live in a paradise. I need more excuses to both exercise and get outside. Running combines both of them beautifully.

I remember why I took a break from running and I’m ok with it. I like lifting. And I will always maintain that lifting and variations of lifting are a more effective and efficient way to get your body into better shape than any other form of exercise.

I just miss running. That’s all.

My body is out of running shape. I went for a run around my neighborhood this week. I didn’t go fast. I didn’t go far. But I did feel it.

I hurt. I had side stitches quickly (that I simply yelled at and pushed through). I was breathing really heavily. I know because people would turn to make sure I was ok. I took out a headphone to hear myself. It was like a person learning the accordion but not giving enough of a push to make the note come out fully so it just sounds pathetic.

Like I’ve said before, it’s not a matter of getting super slender. It’s just a matter of feeling strong. And when I run, I feel weak.

But I guess it’s always nice to have something to work on.

And based on the amount of chocolate I ate post-run, I’ll be working on it plenty over the next few months.

Owie

I hurted my back.screaming-kid

Just a widdle.

It hurted. I pulled sometin while doing somethin.

It hurts.

I’ve iceded it. I layed on a tennis ball so I could work it out. Still ouchie.

Hopefully time and some serious stretching can make better.

Don’t have money in the piggy bank for a massage right now.

Hurtie. Owie. Ouchie.

Me pathetic and child-like when hurting.

Boo.

Resistance is Futile

borgSteven Pressfield, one of my favorite modern writers, writes about this idea of “Resistance” as a prevailing universal force that keeps us from accomplishing that which is most important to us. His basic point is, when you’re doing something worthwhile and creating, you will feel tons of resistance. And that’s natural. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, the act of creating- even though not always a highly physical action- will create resistance.

It seeps into everything. You really want to write that chapter in your book but you somehow spend the whole night on Twitter. Your apartment suddenly becomes in dire need of a thorough cleaning the same night you set aside to start your screenplay. You sit down to write a blog and instead look at pictures of Jay Z and Beyonce.

Reading and learning about this concept has changed my life. Once I realized that what I was doing was sabotaging my own creativity, I could use the resistance to my advantage. I could learn that every time I find myself not doing something, I just have to be aware that I’m not doing it and take note of what that something is. Because clearly it’s important.

For example, when I was writing my book and web series at the same time, I would force myself to sit down and have long writing sessions. I would set aside clear times where I went off the grid. And I would stare at a blank piece of paper with no idea what was going to come. I’d give myself every advantage to be productive and I would still think of creative things to do other than write. But I realized that I was resisting. Which meant I was doing something important. So I’d push through and write anyway. Not because it was the best stuff I’ve ever written. But because I had to show myself that I could beat resistance.

It’s the same with my physical fitness. I like running distance races not because I plan on winning anything, but because I like training my physical body not to give up and to push through. Lots of times when I write it’s just to force myself to focus- not because I think it’s the most profound thing I’ll ever write. I just want to practice pushing through. I do open mics for comedy not because I expect my new agent to be waiting for me in the audience, but because I want to practice pushing through the nerves of standing in front of people and saying stuff (that often isn’t funny…yet).

Lately, I’ve felt a lot of resistance. At first I thought maybe it was just a reaction to the fact that my web series is in post-production so there’s not a whole lot I can do for it (which is not true- there’s still lots to be done on my end. Tons, actually. Erg.). But I’ve realized it’s because I’m at a new phase of creation. I need to revamp my book. That will take a lot of creativity and discipline. I’m working on several submissions. That will take a lot of creativity and discipline. I’ve got a few new projects on the docket which will- you guessed it- take a lot of creativity and discipline.

So I’m resisting. I don’t make time to sit. I peruse dumb pictures on BuzzFeed or Facebook. I don’t focus. I throw too much out there.

But I see it now. So I’m gonna do something about it. Because clearly these things that need to be created are gonna be amazing. Otherwise I wouldn’t be resisting them.

My Girl, Jill

jillYears ago, I was a big, big Jillian Michaels fan. I read her book “Master Your Metabolism” and was totally hooked. I bought her 30 Day Shred DVD, subscribed to the podcast, and watched more YouTube interviews with her than I’d care to share here. I loved her.

But my fascination started to fade. I realized that she was a wonderful gateway drug into the fitness world for me and gives you that needed boost when you’re looking for quick, easy workouts and ways to regain a healthy lifestyle if you fall off the bandwagon. But like most of my intensely obsessive phases, I outgrew her a bit.

I still admire her work ethic and her workouts, but I’m just not obsessed anymore. I used it as a springing off point for my own research into what works for my body and my own fitness goals.

But then this past weekend, we had a little Renaissance. I was running late in the morning before getting to work and I really wanted to get a good workout in. I calculated how much time it would take to get to the gym, park, and still get in an effective workout before I came home, showered, got ready, and started fighting traffic on my way to work. I realized I really didn’t have time.

Then I remembered my girl, Jill.

I have a her Ripped in 30 program. I didn’t do it much because my apartment used to not have enough space. I also love going to the gym, so I usually would rather just do that. But on this Saturday morning, I realized all the factors were aligning and I could revisit my old fitness buddy for a quick and effective workout.

So that’s what I did. I did the week 1 Ripped in 30 workout. And it was great. It was everything she promises her workouts to be. Quick, challenging, doable, and effective. I even had a little extra time to add some extra arms and abs work on my mat afterwards. And I felt great. She had all the elements that I loved and hated about the DVD that brought me back to my obsessive days.

I even did it again the next morning (for time constraints again).

There’s really no excuse to not getting in a good workout. If you can’t make it to the gym or don’t like going… I don’t want to hear it. My girl Jill has put in a lot of time an effort to create great workouts you can do quickly at home and fit into any busy schedule.

So thanks, Jill. Can I call you Jill? No? We’re not friends? We’ve never met? Nobody calls you Jill?

Aw, Jillypooh. You’re such a joker.

Days Off

angry lion

Last week I wasn’t exactly myself.

I’ve been a little distracted by several projects on the docket. And I took some time to work on them. And I got a little behind on many of them (which is what happens when you take too much on by yourself). So when I got behind, I had even less time and more stress to get done all the things I wanted and expected myself to take care of in a given week.

I’ve talked before on this blog about how often my exercise takes a back seat when I’m working on other projects. I try hard for it not to, but it happens sometimes.

That’s what happened last week. But I learned a valuable lesson.

While it’s ok  to cut yourself some slack if you don’t make it to the gym every day, it turns out I’m no exactly myself when I don’t make it to the gym often. I took a four day break. Four full days where I did no exercise at all. And honestly, as I look at the schedule, I don’t know of anything I could have fixed to make it better.

So by Friday morning, I was a total b*tch. I wasn’t friendly at all. I headed over to my partner Arye’s apartment to work on some stuff for our web series, The Other Client List, and I was crabby. I was cussing non-stop and blaming everyone around me for every little thing. I noticed I was doing it and knew it was a result of something being off-kilter, but I didn’t know at the time what. Then I realized what… I hadn’t been to the gym. I haven’t been great about my time management. I have been letting a lot of social media suck away valuable creative or healthy time. I’ve been a little distracted during the weeks as a result from so much focus on the weekends. All in all, I just wasn’t myself.

Luckily for me, Arye has an adorable dog named Sasha. I stormed into her apartment an angry b*tch and was greeted by a smiling, adorable, cuddly furry creature that just wanted to love me.

I sat down on the ground immediately and nearly broke down as Sasha let me cuddle with her.

She saved me from the angry person.

So now begins a new challenge to myself. I took care of a lot of me things last night and got plenty of rest. Starting tomorrow, I get up early. I exercise and create in the mornings. I take care to be in bed by a reasonable hour. I monitor the amount of time I spend on meaningless social media and internet searches. And I meditate. Daily.

These are goals I often have. But when I’m not careful, I let them slide. I learned last week what happens when they slide for too long. It ain’t pretty. So gotta fix it.

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

Jogging on the Corner

Hey you. You runner you. I’m super proud of you for getting out for a jog. I think it’s great you’re exercising your body. I bet you feel better about yourself right now. As well you should. It’s great to run. Running is fun. In fact, they should call it funning.

Not really because that’s a dumb word. But you get the point.

Now listen. I want you to listen very carefully when I tell you this next bit of advice. Are you listening? Ok. Good.

Here it is: Stop jogging in place on the corner while you wait to cross the street.

Did you read that? I hope so. I made it bold so you can really see it better.

Don’t do it. It’s a waste of your energy. By waiting a short amount of time for the light or traffic to yield you the right of way, you’re not going to lose any momentum from your run. By jumping up in down in place, you not only waste energy that could be better spent concentrating on a better running for but you also look real silly. And it’s not the kind of looking silly that might actually serve a purpose. It’s the kind of looking silly that doesn’t serve one.

You’re not burning significantly more calories. You’re heart rate is not going to plummet so much in the short period of time you’ve stopped running to lose any of the benefits running allows it. If anything, it’d be better for your heart to change up the pacing of your run so you can challenge it to get even stronger.

I have a personal policy that when I see someone out for a run, I say a quiet, “Good for them” to myself. I like to pump people up. I’ve been the beneficiary of strangers giving encouragement, so I want to do that for others.

But when I see a running hopping up and down on a street corner waiting for a light to change, I can’t bring myself to encourage it. It makes me sad.

So stop making me sad. Stop hopping in place and pretending you’re continuing the jog just vertically. You’re not. You look like a silly amateur. Take the time to breathe deeply, catch your breath, maybe stretch a little, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the run you might otherwise be missing as you’re on the go.