Walk it out

Mar. 9th, 2015 09:35 am
clevermanka: default (gray boots)
One of the things I've been working on for years is walking/gait mindfulness. During my rolfing sessions with Risa Kern at Kinetikos, she periodically evaluated my gait and standing stance. She taught me to drive my forward momentum from my posterior chain and think about how/where I was placing my feet. Walking should be an even forward motion of propulsion, not a series of arrested forward falls. Many people's gaits are driven by their quads and their feet aren't involved any more than acting as the thing that keeps them from falling on their face. This Breaking Muscle article is mostly about how to fall safely, but it has a section on good walking habits, too.

Walking is so good for us, especially for those of us who spend a huge portion of our lives in front of a computer--either seated or standing. Remember, kids, switching to a habit of standing for eight hours a day isn't a great improvement over sitting for eight hours a day. Both wreak havoc on your body. Switch it up every hour or so and try walking around for a least a few minutes every hour. But if you're actively doing damage to your body while you're walking, that's not so great, either. Learning how to walk again is frustrating and yeah, it takes a long time. I still fall back into old (bad) habits once in a while, but I find keeping a mindful attitude toward my body while I'm walking to be more enjoyable than just plodding along unconsciously.

clevermanka: default (winter)
It was so cold this morning that when [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick gave me a ride to work (bless him), he couldn't get the car doors open, and had to crawl in through the hatchback of the Subaru (this would not have worked in the Crossfire) and then push the doors open from the inside. And then my door wouldn't shut, so I had to hold it while we drove to campus and then he had to hold it closed on the way home. Good thing he has long arms. At least the sun's out?

I'm not kidding when I say I don't remember the last time it wasn't sunny on February 2 here. I do remember the last time we didn't have snow on the ground for my birthday, though. It was in 2010, and my 40th birthday party.

Speaking of, a few people came over to help celebrate my birthday on Saturday and it was Good Times. Someone brought me Djarum Blacks which was very sweet of her, but I haven't smoked in ages but I had two of them and two days later my lungs are still hating me and I honestly didn't really enjoy them all that much. So does anyone want the rest of this pack?

My office is an annoying temperature that is too cold without my extra sweater on but too warm with it.

I ordered some nose jewelry from a seller on Etsy and she either didn't read or ignored my purchase note to please make the pin shorter than usual. Just looking at the piece in the bag I can tell it's going to hang below my nostril. It's just enormous. I wrote her, but she says on her store that she doesn't do refunds and I'm not a little upset about this. I mean, it wasn't cheap, you know? I know if she refuses, I can leave unhappy feedback, but that doesn't give me back my nearly $80 because she charged fucking ten dollars for shipping.

Day Two of this Whole30 and am feeling good. My body was ready for it. I made a whole bunch of treats for my birthday (semi-paleo things like these blondies and these brownies) and I ate, like, one of each of them because meh. I've been feeling so bloated and stiff and just generally blah lately that I'm psychologically and physiologically ready for a system clean-out. Wasn't even tempted to put coconut milk in my tea yesterday and that's huge. Coconut milk is actually fine on Whole30, but I've been using too much too often and that's a lot of calories I'm not using when I'm not lifting heavy so I decided to cut that habit, too, while I was at it.

[livejournal.com profile] sherwood21 sent me this article on how to sit smarter. So many people decide to transition to a standing desk without realizing or acknowledging the fact that standing for hours and hours a day is nearly as bad as sitting for that long. There's a lot of stuff I'd never thought about, like foot placement and pressure when sitting, as well as deep breathing. I'll be incorporating those things during my sit-down time at the office.

Speaking of postural stuff, I'm on day three of the four-week posture alignment program I mentioned last week. It's pretty impressive. The first exercise doesn't do much for me (I think my calves are too tight?), but the second and third ones are amazing. I was surprised and dismayed at how little my torso rotates when I keep my knees and hips stacked and upright during a prone twist. I've always thought my spine was flexible, but what with Dr. Jonah's analysis and now this, I'm learning different. When I'm in the third pose, with my legs on the chair, I feel how unevenly my sacrum rests against the floor. I'm already starting to feel a pulling on the right side, just above the butt dimple, and a slight ache on the left, which (I think) means things are moving and shifting. Hurray for immediate progress/reward!

Speaking of progress, I'm gonna see how much super-focused eating changes my measurements, especially in regards to abdominal swelling. Here are my numbers as of February's Whole30, Day One.

Weight: 169.4
Waist: 33.5"
Navel: 40.5"
Hips: 44"

I won't measure again or weigh until March 1. I know that's not technically thirty days, but I am so in love with the perfect month of this year's February.

Isn't that just so soothing to look at? I mean look at that. God damn. So nice.


Jan. 23rd, 2015 10:03 am
clevermanka: default (shake shake shake)
Right before I left for work yesterday, I discovered that the spreadsheets I created for today's morning meeting hadn't saved properly. I had the raw data, but about two hours of formatting work was gone. I managed to recreate everything this morning in only ninety minutes, though. Done in plenty of time for today's 11:00 meeting.

After talking with [livejournal.com profile] msmitti about it, last night I put on some music and danced in the living room for my daily half hour of movement. It was fantastic and I'm doing that more often. The thirty minutes flew by and even though the last song to come on during the time frame was a slow, steamy one (always more tiring to dance to because low low low), it was great--like really pushing it in the home stretch. When I finished, I had sweat dripping off the end of my nose. I certainly did some work and had a lot of fun doing it. Much more fun than walking.

I'm getting excited about February's Whole30. I'm taking the extra step of not just cutting foods that have crept back into my life (too much dried fruit and nuts, flavored teas, stevia), I'm re-introducing more demanding movement for short periods of time (like last night's dancing).

Last night, I was basically doing HIIT for thirty minutes--all out for about 30 seconds of a song, then a minute or whatever to sort of just groove and get my breath back, then throwing myself back in until I started to feel it get tough, back off until I had my energy back, etc. I didn't feel any lingering fatigue last night or this morning, so I think I'm safe as long as I keep it to half an hour. I can apply this to boxing as well as calisthenics. For boxing: spar or hard bagwork for 30-60 seconds, then walk it off or practice my (pitiable) kicks until I get my wind back. For calisthenics: burpees, lunges, or airsquats for 30 seconds, then appropriate calming but active yoga poses for a minute. Down-dog is good for that, so is bridge pose and some seated twists. I'll research others so I have a rotation.

I need to buy a timer/stopwatch so I'm not constantly looking at the clock.

In other exciting news, our UPS delivery person is lying about getting signatures from packages. Over the holidays, he claimed the other secretary signed for packages when she was on vacation and yesterday he claims to have received a signature from me when I was at lunch. In the meantime, people are complaining about lost packages and calling me because UPS is telling them that I signed for them. We've filed a complaint--well, two complaints now, since we filed one on behalf of the other secretary earlier this month. What an idiot.

God, Hiddleston is so beautiful in that last gif. *sigh*
clevermanka: default (ass2)
I am in a good mood today, despite it being fucking cold here. I really don't know what's going on, but I'm not gonna question it. My energy levels have been good. I've been sleeping well. When I (only occasionally) wake to pee in the middle of the night, I can fall back asleep. And this morning I had the energy and motivation to do something different with my Thirty Minutes of Intentional Movement: I did a combo of yoga and calisthenics that got my heart rate up and made me feel good and exercised without feeling wobbly or overworked.

Whether it's my various supplements (good god my supplements), Dr. Jonah's treatments, my commitment to movement, my efforts to avoid constant rage, or a combination (probably a combination) I feel great. It's...kind of amazing.

This is a fascinating article on tight hamstrings. I do not have tight hamstrings, but I do have tight hip flexors and some difficulty with glutes and hamstrings firing correctly in a squat. I'm going to try that motor sequencing test and exercise this week.

Speaking of movement and general body mechanics, I discovered an interesting thing this morning. I engage my abs and glutes at my standing desk much more effectively when I let my heels rest on the downward slope of my fatigue mat. I've heard about negative rise heel position, and this sells me on it. I wouldn't want to walk around like this, but for standing, it's great. It improves my posture, and that's (not to brag) saying something.

I've been spending money indiscriminately lately. It needs to stop soon, but it's just so nice to spend a bit of money when I have it. Some of my more exciting purchases include a pair of these amazing potholders, this cardigan which I loved so much I actually bought it new on impulse at Costco last night, and a bunch of flavors from Republic of Tea that I've never seen in local stores like Coconut Cocoa and Safari Sunset. Yes, I know they have "flavorings" which can sometimes be problematic, but fuck it. I wanted some indulgence teas for this winter weather so I bought them and I shall drink them with relish and glee.

On the spending money front, does anyone local want to go in with me on ordering some Shea Butter, sustainably and responsibly sourced? It's a great price per pound, but the shipping for one container from Africa is a little steep. If two or three of us go together on it, it'll be more reasonable.

Does anyone remember there was a Brenda Starr movie? Does anyone local want to watch it with me? I think I need to see it for the costumes and subtext. I dunno if it's rentable from Liberty Hall, but apparently someone uploaded the whole thing to YouTube so if you don't mind shitty quality visuals...

I'll leave you with this amazing painting I saw on Tumblr. You guys. YOU GUYS.

I need a print of this. Where does one hang a painting of oneself, emerging naked and enraged from a well? WHO FUCKING CARES. I want it, and if I ever find it, I shall find a place for it.
clevermanka: default (circus)
Today's Tumblr is Tuesday, December 2: Trees.

Does anyone else remember this clip from the Muppet Show? I remember being, like, eight years old and laughing my ass off at this. It was on one of their albums, too, and I would laugh at that, even without the visual.

I'm in a good space today. Last night I slept for slightly more than eight hours (whaaaaaaaaaat!) and it was, apparently, adequate and restful because I feel great physically and mentally. I think it's been about a week since I upped my progesterone supplement (could have sworn I documented that but I guess not), and I also started standing on my vibration platform again yesterday, so maybe that combo is helping? Whatever, I'll take it. SLEEP IS GOOD.

I have two posts swirling around in my head right now. One is how I've started dealing with anger and directing it in a positive fashion. The other is an exploration of my recent introspection about depression and how it affects some people (me) differently. Of course right now is the busiest time of year for me and I don't have a lot of time for writing long thinky posts. I'm adding to them when I can, though, and would like to get those posted and out of my head in time for the new year. I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions, but setting goals for the new year is a huge thing in our culture. I'm not immune to the influence of feeling like a fresh start on January 1 is somehow blessed.

Edit: Oh! I forgot to mention my appetite is back, but it's in a very changed form. I've always been one of those people who doesn't have a stop eating switch. Like, unless my stomach is stuffed full, I can always push more food down. Which is why it's so weird when my appetite disappears (and that usually only happens in times of severe emotional stress). On Sunday, I started to develop an interest in food again and that was really great, but it's different now. Last night after I ate a regular-sized meal (half a sweet potato, about 1/2 cup cooked spinach, and a good-sized chicken thigh), I felt comfortably full. I thought about the brownies that are sitting in the fridge right now, but I wasn't interested in eating one. I just wasn't hungry.

This is kind of huge.
clevermanka: default (made-up 2)
BREAKING NEWS: The pathology report just came in! Diagnosis: Seborrheic keratosis, irritated and inflamed. No evidence of malignancy.

You NEED this in your life. SFW. Seriously. Watch it.

I got a bill for the cortisol test I had done at Dr. Burt's office in March. The one that I had to go in to talk to him about, and pay a co-pay, so he would sign off on it and send it to insurance. Guess what? It never went to insurance. I got a direct bill from Quest Diagnostics. FUCK YOU, FIRSTMED. I am so so so done with you fucking asshats. Calling them today, and if I have to go in for another appointment and another co-pay, I'm not sure what I'll do. What sort of recourse do I have? Other than shaking my tiny fist in anger?

The wound in my shoulder is starting to hurt more, which is annoying. I suppose it's logical. Things tend to hurt more as the skin heals. I can't bear to put a bandage on it anymore because the surrounding skin is starting to get irritated from the adhesive. I hope it doesn't dry out too much without being covered. I'm not even thinking about what I'm going to have to deal with if this is actually SOMETHING. You know? nope nope nope nope nope Don't have to worry about that anymore!

In much-better-even-good news, I did my weight-bearing/high intensity ACTIVITIES today (still trying to think of "working out" as "activity" so as to not overburden my adrenals) and I feel good. My legs are a little shaky (still!), but internally I feel pretty great. Burpees kill me, though. Man. I can't do ten in a row without getting winded and feeling wobbly. Forgot to mention, though, at Sunday's session with Andrew I did deadlift reps (five sets of seven) at 95lbs, which was my two-rep max when I first started Crossfit last year. That was encouraging!

Andrew gave me a movement to build up my lower abs so they can engage (taking over from the hip flexors and adductors) on Knee-to-Elbows. I was getting frustrated with those because I can't even get my legs to a 90-degree angle before things just stop firing. I can hang there and squeeze and flex and try my damnedest to get my knees higher, but nothing happens. I'm not exhausted, I'm not at full range of motion, I'm just stuck. It's weird. So I'm doing these crunches where I hold a dumbbell (eight or ten pounds) between my feet, lie on my back with arms overhead clutching something stable, and then do the Knees-to-Elbow movement. The trick is to keep the upper abs curled in and not let the middle back come up off the floor. Man, that is hard! I don't remember the last time my abs were sore like this. I like that feeling because it tells me something got worked for the first time in a long time.

Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, June 25: Things I Would Wear (given appropriate weather and finances). Alas, the Kansas climate doesn't facilitate dressing like Adam Ant Visits Thunderdome for more than two or three weeks out of the year.
clevermanka: default (Respirator)
My new theme song:

I want to do this with some of my old concert tickets. Beastie Boys, David Bowie, TOOL, yeeeeeessssssssssssss.

Andrew just texted me. He's ill and won't be able to meet with me today, so we rescheduled for 8am tomorrow. I'm already in my workout clothes, so I'd like to go ahead and do something strenuous. Plus, since [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick is headed to the Campbell Conference in about two minutes, I could workout to loud music on the stereo system (a rarity since he's usually asleep when I'm doing my 6am activities). But I don't wanna be fatigued for tomorrow's session so I'll just do some yoga.

I don't think I've mentioned how awesome it is to be so minimally involved with the Campbell Conference this year. It's FUCKING AWESOME. Ahhhhhhh. Ninety percent of the shit that happens is all SEPs. I made the right decision ditching those responsibilities, for sure.

Saw this on Tumblr:

Gothic ghost story? Jim Beaver? Benedict Cumberbatch?

Hm. Maybe instead of yoga I'll do some dance drills. That sounds much better, yes.
clevermanka: default (punch it)
Although I was an immediate convert to Puscifer's V is for Vagina:

I was not as easily swayed by Conditions of My Parole:

After a few listens, though, I've started to appreciate it. It doesn't move me like V does, but it's still very good. As I was putting it away after listening to it (again) last night, I noticed that the jumpsuit Maynard is wearing has a prisoner number ending in BR549. This cannot be coincidence. And it's pretty fantastic.

Yo, this is good information on willpower vs. habits. I recognize myself in some of these things. Not necessarily with the eating ones--I shed my poor eating habits years ago--but when it comes to movement, I'm guilty of falling into bad habits. As I read in another Breaking Muscle article, fitness is (largely) a matter of priority. If it's my priority to develop good movement habits to become fit, eventually I will get there. And yes, I did do my resistance training this morning.

clevermanka: default (Hello Kitty Poops)
For those of you who are on a fitness path, but aren't a regular reader of Nerd Fitness, what are you waiting for? Steve hit it out of the park again today in his article about building good habits.

Speaking of good vs. bad habits, I am driving myself to distraction trying to figure out what to eat and what not to eat. Good = Eating right for me. Bad = Freaking the fuck out. I've decided that I'm going to simply eat how I've eaten normally (for me) until I can get an appointment with one of the Doctors Khosh (or one of the other doctors in their practice). I'm calling today to see when I might be able to get in.

Yesterday I was slogging through CSSF summer stuff (my meeting with housing is this morning) and was absolutely miserable. HATE HATE HATE. Then I heard the door to the conference room open, announcing the end of a defense. After the committee give the new PhD a round of applause, she dropped off some paperwork to me and I was like "YAY DANCING TIME WOO HUGS" for the twenty seconds or so that she was in my office. And then she left and it was back to CSSF stuff and I was all MY SOUL IS CRUSHED I HATE THIS. I seriously need to find a way out of this for next year because this is ridiculous and damaging.

I'm not embarrassed to proclaim my affection for trashy pop music, and that extends to trashy country pop music. It's cool to like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash (and yes, [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick, Johnny Cash sings country music--Deal With It). There are some people on the fringes who extend some respect to Buck Owens or Ray Price. But once you start including Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings in your Like Pile people start looking at you funny. Include Garth Brooks and the party is over, man. Okay, well, yeah, I'll admit Garth had some pretty crap stuff, but "Friends in Low Places?" Man, that song is fucking golden. Seeing this post by James Sinclair today cheered me up. I like the twang, and I like that shuffle beat rhythm, but country music lyrics are the best of any musical genre out there when it comes to sass, innuendo, and heart. You can disagree with me, but that doesn't make me wrong.

I have a zillion things that I've been saving up for a content-free post, and I figure this is a good time to vomit them all out. Here you go. Click for gifs, YouTube embeds, and other miscellany )
clevermanka: default (smoke)
So, I'm sorry, ladies, but...

[livejournal.com profile] tama_grey is a brave, honest soul who puts her evolving life goals on her LJ and shares how she's doing with each one. At the risk of embarrassing her to death, I gotta say that I have such respect and admiration for this woman. She has worked incredibly hard to overcome various life troubles and she never quits. She might get knocked down or experience setbacks or get depressed or feel rotten, but she never quits. Baby, you are amazing. Anyway, yesterday she put up some new goals and one of them is: ID (by my physical reaction when I think of them) top stressors in my life right now and brainstorm a few ways to reduce their impact.

I love this idea. I have stressors that I love (my gravitation to last-minute costuming schedules) and I have stressors that I hate (the shit with the summer workshop/conference stuff). The problem is, my body doesn't differentiate between my beloved and hated stressors. So I'm putting a huge burden on my system by indulging and allowing these things to consume my life. I need to find a way to minimize all stressors, so I can then pick and choose the stressors I want to retain.

Conveniently, Whole9 Life (parents of the Whole30), posted an article today about rest and recovery and how our bodies respond to different levels of stress.

Also appearing on my F-list in the last 24 hours was a post by [livejournal.com profile] shrijani where she mentioned eliminating (or at least reducing) one particular negative character trait not to benefit others, but because indulging that negative character trait is bad for her. More good words, in good time, from another person I respect. Because, yes, continuing to navigate and manage the CSSF summer stuff the way I've done for the past five years is beneficial to a lot of other people, but it is very, very, very bad for me. And I no longer want to do things that are bad for me.

Er. Except for smoke. *tsk*

So, now. What to do with this information. Time to ponder.


May. 1st, 2012 09:21 am
clevermanka: default (skyline smile)
Two nights in a row of seven hours of sleep, people, and I am on top of the fucking world! Seriously, this is what it feels like to be not exhausted? I totally forgot what this was like.

So I'm a little manic today. Watch. Out.

Winning GIF of the day:
Nice things

I don't remember the circumstances, but a while ago I was in a group of people and someone was saying how the people she knew who'd read Doyle's Sherlock novels were often put off by the homoerotic subtext (and sometimes not so much with the subtext, there) of both the RDJ movies and the BBC show. To those people, I can only say: This shit is canon, people. This shit is canon.

Martin Freeman's perfect face is perfect.

Jon Stewart, CALL ME. We should totally be dating, yo.

Speaking of fears, last night I crushed one of my fears. I not only did a box jump, people, I did a fucking WOD that incorporated box jumps. Box Jumps:

The woman at the 0:50 mark? That's what I did for like five minutes while [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick alternately held my hands and stood behind me and the two coaches working with us encouraged me and gave me advice. I started with a tiny little riser thing (the sort used for step aerobics) and the coaches gradually added additional stands until it was just a few inches shorter than the box. It took me a long time, and more than once I landed a jump on just one foot (like the same woman does at about 1:05). But I did 'em. Box Jumps. Mine. By the end of the WOD (where we did sets of 21, then 15, then 9, interspersed with another movement), I was landing them every time--even when I was tired.

Side note, especially for my dueSouth peeps: One of the guys working with me last night (I think he's a new intern) could've been Benton Fraser's younger brother. The resemblance was uncanny. He even had Fraser's short haircut. I wish I could figure out how to get a photo of him because seriously.

One of the things I love about Thomas, Kyle, and Steve (the coaches I've worked with the most) is they use this phrase "Even when you're tired." Pay attention to form even when you're tired. Just keep moving even when you're tired. Don't give up even when you're tired. There's no "if you're tired" because you will be tired. If you're not tired at some point during a WOD, yer doin it rong. So yeah, even when you're tired. Even when you're tired.

Yeah. Life shit in general? Don't give up. Even when you're tired.
clevermanka: default (bonecruncher)
One of my grad students just showed me this. The art of Troy Gua: Le Petit Prince. Wow.

What did I do in my life to cause me to see on a G+ post that this picture reminds someone of me, and what I can I do to ensure that never changes? Because, really, if I go to my grave remembered as someone who had the potential to carry two wine bottles, an oversize bag (potentially full of more booze), and a lamp while wearing its lampshade? I obviously lived right.

After having such a decidedly negative reaction to Adele's first two singles, I'm shocked at how much I love her latest release.

I mean I really like this song.

Rumor has it that I'll get the serger back today. Only a 48 hour delay, which is not debilitating at this point. Provided I don't get arrested at Saturday's march/rally in Topeka, I can get back on track with a full day of sewing on Sunday. I'll be able to put in some good time on Thursday, too, if I skip Hippie Drum Circle.

Wednesday and Friday are Moar CrossFit. Yes, I passed my movements test, and I did my first Fran (which I guess is some sort of litmus test). This technically qualified me for "white bandana status" which means I can do WODs with the big kids in the deep end of the pool. This is the Fran WOD:

Note: I did not do it in one minute fifty three seconds. I think I did it in something over six minutes, with a ten-pound bar and two bands helping me on the pull-ups. BABY STEPS!

I’m still having issues with squats, due to some under- and over-development issues in my adductors, quads, and glutes. I’m guessing 22 years of bellydance with no cross-training is the culprit. So I’ve been advised to continue attending the elements classes and doing one-on-one “squat therapy” with the coaches until they’re no longer worried about my knees caving in (even on air squats). I’m excited that I’ll be able to do Real Squats at all, though, after two physical therapists told me I’d never be able to do them. Even if it takes me a year to get there, that’s cool. I’m not in a race or anything.
clevermanka: default (dotell)
I have an eye exam this morning at 9:15, and then acupuncture at 10:30, so I'm just sorta hanging out on the couch with some coffee and the internet, thinking wouldn't it be awesome if every morning was like this. YES, YES IT WOULD.

At my eye exam, I'm going to ask Dr. Crandon about colored contacts. I've always wanted blue/gray contacts (especially if I can scrounge the money to pay for a spray tan for dancing at KCRF), and that eye color would be perfect for the Sherlock costume, too. They're shockingly cheap when you don't have a prescription put in them ($48 for a pack of six pairs!), so I don't feel like I'm putting a lot of (well, a lot more) money down for this costume. At least the coat is going to be mighty fine.

Oh, hey, speaking of money. I'm selling my short bloomers at Star Struck Clothing here in town. Tell your friends, tell your grandmas. Bloomers. At Star Struck Clothing. I also make custom orders, so drop me a line if you're interested. $30 a pair.

My latest exercise crush, Nerd Fitness, just posted a video of himself exercising all over the world. I'm embedding it, but please also go watch it on YouTube so he gets the page hits/views counted. And like it, too. Here is his post about it, and if you read it, you'll understand why I'm asking you to give him some page hits and share this yourself.

And speaking of exercise, last night I totally earned a gold star for going to Crossfit even though I was completely wiped out. Yesterday was a bad day for me, pain-wise, and even though I slept probably eight hours on Sunday night, I was still running on a sleep deficit. I had to take two naps at work. My left hip was aching pretty bad, even after the walk home, and I worried about making it worse but I was more worried about what it would do to my mental space if I skipped out on my promised schedule. So I went.

OMG they had us run with a fucking kettleball for kind of a long way. For me. Shoot me. Man, I suck at running. Then we worked on handstands and headstands, which have never been a strong suit for me, although I certainly gave them my best shot. Thomas, the trainer who spent so much time with me last week, gave me some ideas about why I have such a hard time getting upside down even when I have no mental block with it (like I do with box jumps). And of course of course of course it's related to the issues I have with my hip pain.

Basically, every muscle group between my hips and my knees is fucked. Quads, hamstrings, IT bands, adductors, abductors, all of it. If it's not tight, it's weak and tight. Thomas hypothesized that all the tightness and lack of strength is what makes it near impossible for me to kick up into a head- or handstand. Once I'm up there, I can stay for a reasonable amount of time (handstand better than headstand). It's the getting up there that's so difficult. And (possibly, probably) all because of the issues I have with weak and tight upper leg muscles.

So--something to add to the To Do For My Body list: Serious daily stretching and foam rolling of those muscle groups. Daily. And by Daily, I don't mean "days I remember to do it." I mean "daily before you're allowed to eat dinner." These things must loosen up a bit before they can develop into long, lean muscles.

There's a metaphor in there, somewhere.

New leaves

Apr. 15th, 2012 10:14 am
clevermanka: default (smoke)
You know you've turned a corner in your approach to food when your impulse purchase at Costco is a five-dollar bag of organic baby kales.

Today I'm seriously and for real quitting smoking cigarettes until KCRF. I'm off to smoke my last one as soon as I click "post" here.
clevermanka: default (withMcKitterick)
We survived our Intro to Crossfit class!

At one point, I thought I was going to throw up (they had us run for godssake--I don't even run when chased), and after that I just walked in a little circle before I felt like I could pick up my kettleball and proceed to the next movement. And you know what? Nobody sneered, nobody yelled at me with some misguided form of aggressive encouragement. One woman came over to make sure I was okay. I laughed and said "I'm just not throwing up here." She smiled and said "That's cool. Start up again as soon as you're ready."

I did have one freakout/meltdown when they had us do box jumps. Those...didn't go so well. I am the girl who cannot make herself walk down stairs without looking at her feet, hates being carried, who cannot ride a bike or roller skates, who didn't even crawl until way late and was nearly two before she walked on her own. I do not like not having ground under me. Not at all.

[livejournal.com profile] mckitterick stood in front of me so I could sort of hold his hands as I made my first try. I barely managed two jumps before my brain said "that's enough." Once [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick left to do his own (stellar!) box jumps, I stood in front of my box and looked at it and could not get my feet to leave the floor. Two of the trainers came over to me and gave me (good, patient, friendly) encouragement, but no go. I don't think anything short of a loaded gun to my head could have made me jump on that box. The trainers must've seen that something was very wrong and this wasn't just a matter of my legs not being strong enough. I think I'd gone pale and I know my hands were shaking like crazy. The lead trainer guy working with us said "That's fine. No problem. Just do step-ups on the box." Step-ups were great. Step-ups were fantastic. I did my step-ups with a smile.

Our WOD (Workout Of the Day):
Run I don't know how far--100 yards? with a medicine ball
15 Kettleball Swings
15 Box Jumps (or Step-Ups if you are Miss Red)
15 Sit Ups
12 Kettleball Swings
12 Box Jumps
12 Sit Ups
9 Kettleball Swings
9 Box Jumps
9 Sit Ups
Repeat run with medicine ball

I finished with a time of 17:29. I could've gotten it closer to 17:00, but the woman who was behind me had gotten a heavier medicine ball on the last run and she was struggling as she ran toward me on my way back. I stopped and made her switch balls with me--nearly doubling the weight I was carrying the last half of the second run. I didn't care if I came in last (although I didn't, quite--she and I tied for last), and she looked like she was just suffering, poor thing.

When we finished up with everything, I realized I'd had fun (well, except for the running parts). I'd had more fun doing this than any other exercise program or personal trainer sessions. Everybody's just so nice. Not sickeningly nice, but friendly and pleasant and approachable. And there's certainly no opportunity to get bored.

At dinner afterward, [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick wondered if the people who run the place thought we newbies were a bunch of wusses. I don't think so. I think they don't judge at all. They're just happy we were there and gave it our best shot. After my experience with Trainer Chris D and his frequent disparaging remarks about other training styles (and other trainers), I like this non-critical approach to fitness training.

I can do this thing.

Thank you so much to [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick for going with me (and paying my start-up fee). You are my rock star.
clevermanka: default (minoan)
I got to bed at 10:30 last night, which means I was awake for twenty hours yesterday. You guys. It was an interesting thing to note, though, that I was feeling much better than I would have if I tried to stay up that long after having awakened at a normal time. Says a lot about one's internal biorhythms. Woke up at 5:30 this morning, but what with the time change, it was really 6:30, so according to the clock I totally slept in.

Yesterday was crazy errand running and house-tidying day. I got some major scores at the thrift store, including a gorgeous suit jacket that is going to be my Sherlock suit jacket. It's just...perfect. Pics later, when more of the costume comes together.

Bonus Jacket Story: When I bought it at the Sally, it still had the dye tag on it. Somebody had probably stolen it, then gotten flummoxed (or lazy) as to how to remove the tag, gave up, and donated it. The woman at the store didn't have any advice for me, so she sold it to me for half price and wished me luck. We had to run out to Sears anyway (we keep going out there, partially because we want to shark any more Good Deals and partly because I think we're both in denial about it Really Closing), and while we were there, I noticed that their dye tags were really similar to the one on my coat. I managed to talk a very nice salesclerk into removing it for me--seeing as how it wasn't a brand they carried and it still had the Sally tag stapled to the collar. So yay for a beautiful new suit jacket for two-and-a-half bucks!

I also found [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick a bunch of suit vests that fit him beautifully. Obviously some guy with a fondness for vests died or something because there were five vests, all the same size, all clumped at the end of one of the racks. The man is good for vests for a while. I think he's got nearly ten now. He wears 'em well. Oh, we also scored him a killer pseudo-military looking lightweight jacket which is a really good thing because as we were leaving the house I remarked on how awful his old jean jacket looks on him now. Just way too big. I'm gonna strip all the patches off it (some of them are pretty crooked, anyway) and transfer them over to this new jacket.

Speaking of patches and jackets, I have lost my own patch-covered garment. I'm pretty bummed about it. Some of those patches...I have no idea how to replace them. =(

A couple more errands today in KC. [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick very much wants to see John Carter of Mars, but I wasn't terribly enthused by the previews and what I really want is to get back home and start working on the drum case that I didn't even get started yesterday.

I am thinking that for this summer I'm going to commit to One Creative Project Every Weekend. Sometimes it'll be the same project (I imagine the Sherlock stuff will keep me busy through the end of May), but every weekend I want to spend at least four hours doing something that involves creating stuff: clothes, art, even car stuff. It just has to have two components: One, it's actively doing something, and Two, it has a tangible result. Four hours. Every weekend that I'm home.

Today's weather is a bit disappointing after yesterday's gloriousness. The poor squirrels on the back patio look pathetic. It must suck to eat your breakfast in the rain.
clevermanka: default (wrestler)
Pity party's over!

There's nothing wrong with pity parties, mind you. You just gotta limit the guests to a list of one, and make sure it doesn't last more than 48 hours.

So although I had to cancel my evening plans (I'm not going to push it), I'm not going to sit on the couch with hookah, wine, and porn like I did the past two evenings. Tonight is finishing the laundry, some light house-cleaning, and perhaps a bit of journal work--with frequent rests accompanied by my friend The Heating Pad. And then early to bed.

Hauling myself out of my Pit of Despair doesn't mean I've got any more extra cash lying around, though, which kinda sucks because BroTips opened their online shop today. It's a good thing they don't have any of my favorites yet: (Number 10, Number 889, and Number 1094.
clevermanka: default (against the ropes)
When I get home from work and errands tonight, Imma open a bottle of wine, put on some loud fucking music, and dance my ass off.

What. A. Day.

clevermanka: default (tesla)
I've kinda gotten used to this three-day weekend thing. Adjusting to the normal schedule of the coming week is gonna suck. We get one more three-day weekend for MLK day, though, and I'm going to take at least the Monday of my birthday week off. So...three three-day weekends in January? Not bad.

And very necessary since I won't get another vacation opportunity until March. After that, I won't get a chance for more than one or two days off at a time because once April hits, I'm into my second-busiest time of year (at least as far as my Real Job is concerned). Come May, things are coming down to crunch-time for the CSSF Summer stuff, and then June and July is the CSSF Summer stuff, then the new grad students get here in August. September and October are a blur because of KCRF and then whoa it's November and application season starts up again and then it is 2013 Holy Shit People This Is My Life.


At least I get to leave work at the end of the day and rarely do I take anything home. Very Good.

[livejournal.com profile] ms_danson posted an inspiring notion yesterday that I'd like to share with my circle here:

"Practicing the skills I want to have."

The skills in question are people skills and emotional management skills. I've been trying to avoid reacting and switch my mind into the meta-game mental space of "how would I act if I had these skills". This changes things around a bit. Instead of thinking "you fucking bastard" and just getting angry or acting out; I think "what outcome do I want" and "how do I act in order to encourage this outcome".

To make it clear: this is a brain hack I'm doing on myself to change my own behaviour to something more desirable to me.

Isn't that a great way to approach something you don't really want to do? It goes along well with the idea that willpower is a muscle that we can use only as much as it's exercised appropriately. With that in mind, I am going to start pretending that I am a full-time professional dancer and behaving as such. Well, you know. To a point. I'll skip the anorexia and chain-smoking (delightful as that might sound). But choosing to exercise before indulging in evening wine? Mostly, yes. Saying no to fruit--which I know causes insulin spikes and weight gain? Mostly, yes.

New approach to self-improvement: Go!

I love how the tags to this entry are paired opposites.
clevermanka: default (secretary)
Tuesday's post about my work e-mail inbox? It's all made worthwhile when I get stuff like this:

"Thank you for working so hard to make sure my application is complete. Already, KU has gone above and beyond for me, and I cannot tell you how eagerly I will await a response to my application. I cannot thank you enough."



clevermanka: default (Default)

April 2017

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