Friday, June 25, 2010

42 - Rhubarb

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. What do you do when life gives you rhubarb? Or in my case, a rhubarb plant that is an overachiever? That's easy! You grab the strawberries that came in with your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box and make yourself some homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie!

This week's mindful consumption involved more of the mindful aspect than the consumption as I set out to make one of my favorite pies totally from scratch. I don't like to buy convenience items, like pre-made crust or canned fruit. Pie is best when the ingredients are (more or less) freshly harvested from the garden.

A good pie takes time to prepare: slicing each strawberry, washing and chopping rhubarb stalks. You must pay attention to what you are doing, otherwise you may have an unintentional ingredient in your dessert. (That may be why they call it "finger food".) You must be aware of when your dough reaches the right consistency. And you must be patient as you wait for things to chill or blend flavors.

Of course, mindful patience doesn't necessarily mean standing around staring at the dough and fruit and waiting for it to be ready. I took that opportunity to do my Friday workout: j-ropes, wide angle stretches, and meditation. Yeah, I know the meditation wasn't on the list, but I figured why not. It's not like I had anything else to do but sit and wait!

The mindful creation continued with rolling out the dough and putting into the pie dish, then filling it with the fruit mixture, and finally letting inspiration take you as to how you want to top it. I went with a full pie top crust with "moon" cutouts for venting. Into the oven so it can bake, and another chance at mindful patience. I was hungry and it was a good time for my KFB dinner!

Although the timer went off, it's always good to check the pie itself for doneness. It's not a cookie-cutter world—everything and everyone is different. All pies are not the same. Some may need to cook longer or shorter. Some fillings may need more or less sugar. Some crusts may need extra butter or not. Each pie is just as different as people. We're not all the same—why should a pie?

This pie needed to stay in the oven a little bit longer. Once the crust was a nice golden brown, out it came to sit on the rack to cool. More mindful patience, although a bit of mindful excitement started coming into play. Just the thought of sweet fruit juices dancing upon the tastebuds.... Patience, young grasshopper!

Finally the time came when I could cut into it and have myself a respectable sliver of pie—not too big for that would be gluttonous, and not too small to leave one craving for more, but one that was just right to allow satisfaction and no desire for the rest of it.

But the best part about a pie—being able to share it with friends. A pie is far too big for one person to consume in a sitting, but just the right size for others to become part of the momentary mindful creation that you began all those many little nows ago.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

41 - Arms

So, as I was standing in line at the grocery store, I was looking around at everyone else who was waiting for their turn to be checked out by the cashier. About three people ahead of me was this guy whom, in my opinion, looked pretty fit. His chest was toned, his stomach was flat (with just a hint of ab definition that could be seen through his t-shirt), and nicely developed arms upon which the veins were just popping out.

Curious, I looked at my own arms in comparisson to his. Somewhat to my surprise, my arms were almost like his—veins and all! That definitely helped to perk up my day a bit! I had toned arms! Woo-hoo!

(Now if only I could get rid of the last vestages of the fat around my mid-section so the abs could peak through. I know they're there—I can feel them—just can't see them yet. *sigh*)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

40 - Quake

One of my co-workers stopped by my cubicle to make a little small talk before going back to her desk. We had only conversed for a few minutes when suddenly another of my other co-workers asked/announced rather loudly, "Did anyone just feel that?"

Some people were on the same page as her. "Oh my god! You felt it too?" Meanwhile, there were those like me who were a little confused as to what she was talking about. "Feel what?"

"It was the weirdest thing," she said. "It was like somebody came up behind and shook the back of my chair. Then I saw that my printer was shaking."

Another person chimed in: "I was looking at the cubicle and it was wobbling."

Yet another person piped up: "My coffee had ripples running through it!"

Finally, someone said the words that had been floating through all of their minds. "That was an earthquake!"

Now there were those of us who hadn't felt any trembling whatsoever. "Are you sure? It could have just been the vibration from the train out behind the building." There was a quick check out the windows to see if the train was there. It wasn't.

"It was an earthquake I tell you!" insisted the first co-worker who made the observation. Quickly a debate arose between those who had felt it versus those who hadn't. Was it a quake or wasn't it?

Immediately a number of people in our little section of the building began logging onto the internet and searched the website of one of the local news stations. They had nothing about the tremor. The debate continued.

A few minutes after the initial event, an article popped up on the news website. The vibration had been felt all over the city, but there was no confirmation that it was an earthquake.

Because there was confirmation of something on the news, the doubters finally began to concede that maybe something happened that they didn't experience. The conversation eventually evolved into stories from those who felt the tremor, and the doubters began eating it up—almost as if they were trying to force themselves to live something that they had missed.

The complete tale is that there was a 5.0 earthquake that occurred near Ottawa, Canada. The seconds long tremor was felt as far south as Pennsylvania, maybe even further.

The interesting thing about the whole experience was watching my co-workers who had not felt the shaking. Despite the number of people in the building who experienced, those people refused to believe it until it was confirmed on the news website. Now, one could hardly blame them—we don't live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, so it was a little bit out of the realm of their realities.

But still, to ignore the evidence of people right next to them in favor of a news agency halfway across the city is just a little odd. People are just a little too detached from the life around them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

39 - Humid

There's been a lot of rain and the temperature doesn't want to seem to drop. This equation means that humidity level is freakin' high. It also means that I am sweating up a storm when doing my workouts, regardless of the time of day.

First thing in the morning I start off with 10 minutes of stretching, 15 minutes of j-ropes and 8 minutes of abs, all before breakfast. Usually somewhere in the middle of the j-ropes, the sweat just starts pouring down my face and into my eyes. I think I'm getting better at "zen jumping" 'cause I can't see a thing when that happens! My workout clothes immediately go into the hamper after that.

Then, after my half-hour walk around downtown during my lunch, I'm back at my desk hugging my little fan in an attempt to cool down. Yeah, the building has air-conditioning, but the breeze from my fan seems to help me cool down faster.

And by the time I get home after work, the humidity is so high that all I have to do is look at the j-rope and I start breaking out into a sweat! When I've finished with the KFB exercises for the day, another set of workout clothes go right into the hamper. I've only got about 6 sets of outfits, which means that I have to do laundry about every two to three days just so I can have some clothes to workout in the next day.

Of course, the upside of all the humidity is that it usually makes me more thirsty than normal, so water consumption is up. I don't necessarily like the flavor plain water, so I've been making fresh brewed ice tea with some of my favorite Celestial Seasonings teas, sometimes with a touch of agave nectar. Mmmmmmm! Tasty!

Gotta go now. I've got to throw another load into the washing machine.

Monday, June 21, 2010

38 - Shadow

The first day of shadow-boxing—man, was that fun! Okay, so I probably went a little overboard screaming "hiya!" with each punch and kick, but it made for a great time that ended all too quickly! (The lowest my iPhone timer will go is 1 minute, so I do more than the 40 seconds recommended by the sheet. The time still flies by!)

Slowly I'm getting better with the pull-ups. It's taken most of the year, but I'm actually getting closer to getting my nose to the bar—at least for the first couple of reps. The rest of the time I'm able to pull myself up (without needing to put my toes on the floor!) so it doesn't look like I'm just hanging there in some sort of seizure.

Yeah, nothing too profound to post today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

36 - Pride

Today is Pride Celebration Weekend for the Gay & Lesbian community here. The starts off with a rainbow flag raising outside of city hall, followed by a parade, which ends at a cultural event in a plaza outside one of the museums. There will be lots of music, food, merchants, dancing, community groups, and—because the weather will be hot—lots of shirtless guys! (Some will definitely be good looking and then there's the other who really should put their shirts back on.)

So, with all the fun and festivities going on in the city, what am I doing sitting at home?

It's called plumbing issues. The sewer drain is backing up into the cellar. Luckily we caught it pretty early so it was just a small puddle, but that meant we couldn't run any water until it got fixed. It also meant that someone had to stay home to wait for the plumber to arrive.

Today was going to be a pretty busy day beyond Pride. We also have a graduation party to attend but it's a bit of a distance away. I knew I was going to have somehow squeeze KFB in there somewhere this day—and amazingly enough, the universe provided the answer.

Off I ran with the day's new "reduced time" KFB exercises. It was a breeze to go through! I think I must have gotten use to the longer routine because it felt like it went too quick. Well, I only had time to kill, so I ran through the targeted punches and kicks from last week again.

The plumber eventually arrived around 1pm. A relatively quick roto-rooting later and the problem cleared up. Soon I'll be on my way to Pride (after a quick shower). I'm going to walk all the way there—it's about 3 miles down the hill and into the city in 90 degree weather. I'm prepared for it, though. I've got my water bottle and sunscreen lotion sitting by the door.

Later dudes!

Friday, June 11, 2010

28 - Indulgence

Every Friday, a group of my friends gather together at someone's house to watch movies—and eat. Pretty much it's a potluck dinner anytime we socialize with each other. Sometimes we seem to non-verbally coordinate very well and have a healthful spread fit for a king. Other times it's not so good as it is desserts as far as the eye can see. Tonight was a mostly healthy night.

My indulgence really didn't take on the typical quality of craving something sweet or salty—items that are usually associated with junk food. Strangely enough, I had the desire for eating more than my 140 grams of veggies for dinner.

Ever since I went vegetarian, my friends have been pretty good about bring some sort of veggie dish for me. Over the past few months, the number of vegetarian items have increased as many of them have been on a health kick—going to the YMCA or the gym. I don't know if my success from PCP had anything to do with their motivation, but I like to think it did.

The way the spread was set-up, we didn't have to walk very far to grab something to eat while the movie was playing. In fact, we didn't need to walk at all. We literally covered this rather large coffee table with food which we then proceeded to sit around. Although some items did need to be eaten off plates, most were pretty much of the finger-food variety.

The evil about this kind of grazing is that a person can have absolutely no idea how much food they have put into their system. The movie is playing, people are talking and having a good time, and you've only eaten one carrot stick—or at least you think that's all you've eaten.

I've shrunk a number of sizes since last summer and I'm a bit more conscious about what I'm eating. I allowed my self a little extra helping of pasta salad; noshed on roasted parsnips topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives; took a bit more of the artichoke dip; and hit the point where I could say that I was 100 percent full.

Meanwhile, I'm watching everyone else eat. And eat. And eat. And eat some more. I'm not sure if their cognizant of how much food is going into their bodies, but I am. Granted, there were a lot of distractions going on with veritable smorgasbord before them that required no energy whatsoever to retrieve. It was the total opposite of "mindful consumption" which could be best described as "mindless grazing".

Unfortunately, my partner and I couldn't stay there much later than 10pm. We had a bit of a walk ahead of us (yes, we hoofed it to our friend's house) and I wanted to be home early enough so I could get some sleep before needing to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at work the next morning. (Yay Saturday work schedules.) Plus I wanted to hit the farmer's market for my weekly supply of veggies before I needed to clock in.

And now it's time for me to punch out. Goodnight all!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

27 - Cheater

I cheated and looked ahead. Tomorrow is indulgence day. I'm not looking forward to it. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I haven't been the paradigm of diet perfection the past few weeks. This was so unlike PCP-me who remained vigilant and faithful throughout the entire program. KFB-me seems to be a cheater. Oh, it's never anything big or horrendous—just little items like a cookie here or a bit of extra carb there.

Because of those slip-ups, I don't feel I deserve to have an indulgence day. That's suppose to be a treat for being good, not for slackers like me. But I know that I'm going to allow myself to indulge anyway. That's pretty sad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

26 - Coexist

There's another blog that I read, almost on a daily basis, called Break the Illusion. It's written by this young gay guy who calls himself Davey Wavey. Most of the time his posts are very "zen spiritual" (if that's a term), but then there will be entries that are very frank and blunt about sex and sexuality. In his video entries he is almost never without a smile and almost always without a shirt—and pants. (It helps that he pretty damn hot!)

In one of his more recent entries, Davey talks about coexisting with others. (Be forewarned before clicking on the link—the second half of that entry talks about his trip to Chinatown in New York City and includes a picture of carved phallic items being sold in a store there.)

Although his post is quite interesting, what intrigued me more were a number of the comments that turned into mini-discussions/arguments. Sometimes those commentators get real nasty and there are moments when I wonder why the heck they bother reading Davey's blog when all they do is insult him. I do have to give it up to the boy, though—regardless of how vehement people get, he always seems to keep that smile going. I'm not sure I could do that.

Anyway, I don't know how or why, but my mind latched onto the conundrum of coexistence with others and the whole concept has been bouncing around in my brain—even during my meditations. ("Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Oh, here comes that coexistence thought. Wave to the nice subject as it goes by kids. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Looks like coexistence is passing through again. Everyone get out of the street! There it goes again. Breathe out. Breathe in....")

In the post, Davey says: "But at the end of the day, we don’t all need to be on the same page; we don’t all need to be friends. But we do need to live together. We need to coexist. And as such, I think it makes sense to have a healthy appreciate for opinions, ideas, cultures and beliefs that aren’t our own (with the exception of racism, sexism and all the other -isms that minimize others)."

Here was the first place my brain paused. Did his statement just make sense? On one hand he says that we need to appreciate other opinions and beliefs and yet he excludes "-isms that minimize others". That isn't coexisting with everyone because he's just blocked anyone who believes in an -ism.

Now, as one commentator responded: "In Iran (and other places I'm sure), they hang teenagers for being gay ... I don't need to live with these people or coexist with them. I need to see them disappear." Obviously this person doesn't believe that people of different opinions can coexist together. He seems to feel that the only way to live together is to get rid of everyone who doesn't fit in his ideals.

A responder to that comment makes a point: "If you want people to accept your views and beliefs I feel it’s critical to set the example and respect theirs, whether or not you agree with them. I think it’s a crime against humanity to kill someone for choosing to be whatever they will be but if our reaction to that is crushing their system and replacing it with our own we are no better than they are."

It was immediately argued by someone else: "I should respect the views of murderers, rapists and child molesters? If someone can’t tell good from evil, well then I just feel sorry for them. And if they can’t stand up to evil when they see it, they’re just cowards."

To which the responder adds: "I understand that some of these behaviours are harmful while others aren’t. We have laws to deal with behaviours that are harmful. But hatred towards these people isn’t helpful in the least. Without some compassion we will never understand why people act as they do and believe as they do."

The argument continued with: "...there ARE evil people out there. Rational, sane people recognize the difference between evil deeds and differences of opinion. Believing people deserve to die because they are gay is an opinion, killing them because they are gay is an evil deed. That is a line that sane, rational people do not cross." This person at least makes the distinction between beliefs and actions, which is fairly valid point.

But I think this person summed up the conundrum best: "The inherent paradox of suggesting people should allow different viewpoints to “coexist” or suggesting that all beliefs are o.k. and valid for people to have is that eventually there will be beliefs that directly oppose *that* idea. There are some belief systems and viewpoints that specifically say one should convert others to yours, or that people who don’t see the world/believe like you are bad. . ."

For a while, this puzzle has been bouncing around in my head. There are people out there who say that this world would be a better place if everyone could just learn to live together, and yet what they really mean is that the world would be a better place if everyone believes just like me. Some say that we could live in harmony if only we got rid of the "evil" people—but who gets to dictate the definition of evil? Is it truly possible for people to coexist without putting any qualifiers or conditions on each other in order to have a harmonious relationship?

Somewhere along the line, the different fragments of thought that had been swimming in my gray matter began to fall into place. I get it—but I can't seem to express what's in my head. It's like trying to explain to a van Gogh painting to a blind person or a Beethoven symphony to someone who is hearing impaired. It's more than just the colors or the notes. There's an experiential quality to them that just can't be put into words.

But it's not enough to just know. One has to live it, incorporate it into their actions—their being. The hard part is over, and yet the hard part hasn't even begun.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

25 - Weak

This past weekend is still affecting me. Although time seems to have returned to a normal pace, my stamina hasn't. I was doing alright during the jump rope and Strength section of the workout sheet, and I was still going strong at the beginning of the Agility section—that is, until I encountered the Kicks. My legs started getting more and more tired, I began sweating up a storm, and my form eventually went to hell. I think I was pretty much dead by that point. Thankfully I only had the Flexibility exercises to go. Hopefully the energy levels will return tomorrow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

24 - Exhaustion

Who knew the two late nights and a pretty killer walk over the past three days would whup my ass today? At work, I was dragging like anything and the clock advanced ever so slowly. Then I got home an did the exercises—still dragging and time was moving at a snail's pace. Dinner and soon I'm going to bed. How does a day fly by and creep at the same time?!? Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

23 - Walk

Even though the past couple of nights were late ones (there I go again, staying up way past my bedtime), I managed to wake up around 7am to begin my very busy day. Knowing that I was going to be on the go most of the day, I decided to start out the morning with the exercises.

Breakfast was the same thing I pretty much have everyday: raw vegetables, a hard-boiled egg, an organic multi-grain cereal (extra fiber!), a slice of homemade multi-grain bread, and milk. (Yeah, I'm pretty boring on the meal front.) Then it was time to get ready and leave the house for the day.

First stop: the 18th Annual 5K Walk/10K Run for AIDS Community Resources. I have proudly participated in this event for the past four years. I count myself lucky that I haven't lost any close friends to this disease, which makes it all the more important that I do something to help those who haven't been as lucky.

The drive to the event was interesting to say the least. The weather was being very temperamental as it would change from sprinkling to torrential downpour back to sprinkling in a matter of minutes. Well, the AIDS Walk occurs rain or shine, so I made sure I had my umbrella with me.

Amazingly, the weather gave us a brief respite. The organizers had everyone line up—runners in front, walkers behind them. With the cry of "Ready, Set, Go" we were off!

I've learned from past experience that the best place to be is right behind the runners. I have a pretty quick stride and there's nothing worse than getting stuck behind people who like to saunter and refuse to move out of the way no matter how much you try to excuse yourself. When you're behind the runners, they take off like a shot which leaves a huge open space in front of you and all the saunterers are behind you.

With my iPod playing all of my quick-beat dance tunes, I was on the move. I quickly left the pack of walkers far behind me and was only a few steps behind some of the slowest runners I have ever seen. That didn't last very long as they started slowing down while I continued my steady pace, eventually passing them and then leaving them in my wake.

As I rounded the last bend of the trail, one of the event organizers stood before me at the fork and asked me, "Are you a runner or walker?" (At this point the walkers went one direction to finish their 5K walk, while the runners when the other way to do their remaining 5K.)

"Walker," I responded.

The organizer grabbed his megaphone and announced to the people at the finish line, "First walker coming through!" A big smile crossed my face at hearing that announcement. I was going to be the first walker to cross the finish line!

As I walked under the balloon archway set-up for the walkers, I turned and looked at the finish line for the runners. The first runner was crossing his finish line at the same time I was crossing mine. The timer over the runner's finish line read "36:57".

Although other runners came in shortly after the first one, it was a good ten or so minutes before the next walkers crossed under the balloon arch. The last walker finally crossed the line somewhere about an hour and fifteen minutes after we had started.

It's still hard to believe that I did a 5K walk in 36 minutes! Of course, I think all of the warming up and stretching from the morning's exercises helped immensely with the stamina and stride that my legs were producing. I was totally pumped by that achievement!

Unfortunately, the organizers don't recognize this type of accomplishment from walkers, just runners. They held a ceremony to give out awards to the first runner in, oldest runner, youngest runner, first and second runners in different age groups, most participants, most money raised, and so on. Nothing for the first walker in. (I totally understand why they don't. It's very hard to judge walkers as someone could easily cheat and run most of the route and walk only at the end. It's difficult to do that for a runner.)

However, some of my teammates didn't like the perceive snub that I received for the amazing feat I had just performed. So they took it upon themselves to recognize me for my accomplishment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

22 - Horse

I think I have found a new exercise that will replace the love/hate relationship I had with the Plank. "I have given a name to my pain, and it is Horse!"

The Horse Stance wasn't that bad in the beginning, but at a hold of 40 seconds it is a killer. Which probably means that I'm doing it correctly.

The first set was no problem. The second set was a little harder. Set three found me starting to quiver during the last few seconds. The last set started my legs shaking and almost giving out. Pretty much the same experience I had way back when the Plank was introduced into the routine.

Someday we might be on speaking terms, Horse, but not today. Definitely not today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

21 - Agony

At the time it sounded like a good idea. Well, actually it didn't. It was more of an okay idea which I decided to go along with. Little did I realize that by the end of the night it would prove to be a really horrible idea.

After the meeting last night, a couple of our friends decided that they wanted to go out and grab some dinner. I hadn't planned on dining out and I really didn't want to stay up late, but my partner wanted to socialize with them and they promised it would be an early evening, so I acquiesced and a decision was made about where we were going to eat.

Now Friendly's really doesn't have the best menu in the world, but that was where they wanted to eat. I hadn't been in that restaurant in quite some time, but I figured I could probably find something vegetarian and relatively healthy to munch on. So off we went to the nearby location.

Much to my surprise (not really), they offer little options for a vegetarian. Every salad is covered in meat, they don't offer any veggie burger alternates, and about the only thing that came close to being somewhat vegetarian just so happened to be deep-fried. There wasn't even any fruit offered! How sad is that?

Well, needless to say, I sat there while every ate their meals, sipping my tall glass of water. One friend apologetically offered some of their onion rings and I knew I would feel guilty if I refused them, so I took a couple and ate them.

After the dinner was finished, they all decided to get ice cream sundaes. Well, by that time I was feeling a little peckish, so I placed my order for some too. I knew it wasn't going to be the greatest stuff, but it was at least something. The desserts arrived and were devoured in short order.

About 15 minutes later my stomach felt like someone had just kicked it. The most unpleasant cramps started settling in too. I was a little surprised to experience it, because I hadn't felt that way for the longest time! But I knew what it was and what was going to happen.

I quickly urged my partner to pay the bill and we dashed out the door and flew home, all-the-while my stomach making the most horrific sounds and convulsing. We pulled into the driveway, I leaped from the car, into the house, and rushed into the bathroom—which is where I remained for the next half-hour or so.

One would think that would be the end of the story. Ha-ha! My body had other ideas.

Although things were mostly quiet throughout the night, when I got up this morning my stomach once again proceeded with more cramping and I had to spend a bit more time in the bathroom. This has actually gone on throughout a good part of the day. I have eaten very little in the way of any kind of food—diet or otherwise. The stomach wouldn't handle it.

It finally started to quiet down this evening. The weird noises have stopped, and I haven't had to spend a lot of time on the toilet. I've actually started feeling hungry now, so I'll get something to eat. Everything should return to normal in a little bit.

I will say this—that is the last time I'm going to Friendly's for quite a while. This whole experience made me remember why I hadn't eaten there in a long time—it's because their food has made my stomach do this before. Much of this occurred before I started living a healthy lifestyle and had been written off as quirks with my body. Now I know it's just bad food. I am sure this experience will be firmly burned into my memory, and that will definitely remind me I'm never walking into that place again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

20 - Hookey

I am skipping out on KFB today—no workout whatsoever. This was not the original plan I had this morning. Unfortunately there were a number of circumstances that went way beyond my control.

As some of you read a couple days ago, I had a deadline to finish a newsletter. Today was the actual printing date. I knew there would be very little time for me to race to the printer, pick up the copies, run home, assemble it, have dinner, and fly to the meeting. So it seemed that KFB for today would be a bust.

Then I had this brilliant idea! My partner had the day off! I quickly called him this morning, told him to pick up the newsletter for the meeting tonight. In my mind, it all worked out—the newsletter would be finished which would leave me just enough time to workout, grab a little dinner, and then go to the meeting.

When I arrived home, I discovered that all plans had been thrown out the window. First thing I discovered was that the newsletter pages were spread out all over the table. That meant my partner didn't assemble it. Of course, I realized that I never specifically told him to put it together—I just inferred it.

The second thing I noticed was that all of the pages were wet. When asked, he told me that he had walked to the local copy store to pick up the printed pages. Once he had paid for them, he put them into his backpack and walked home. Unfortunately he also had his water bottle in the backpack, and it leaked.

Seeing that everything was ruined, it was an emergency dash to go back to the printer, have the whole thing reprinted, fly home to assemble, quickly grab something out of the refrigerator, and—as soon as I finish writing this—zoom to the meeting.

So no KFB today. That sucks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

19 - Shoes

The message today indicates that a change of footwear is suggested. The big clunky sneakers are good for jumprope, but hinders the other movements. A light shoe is recommended, especially one with a flat sole, or we can go barefoot (depending on the ground/floor condition). What I'd really love to get is a pair of Robin's toe-boots!

It's amazing how much shoes really affect the stances! With the big clunky sneakers, I had no problem balancing on one foot. It almost felt like I was anchored to the floor.

I have a pair of deck shoes that I decided to try out. They are lightweight and have flat bottoms—and they launch like anything when you kick! Luckily all breakables and cats were not in the room when that occurred!

Then I went barefoot. I couldn't believe how wobbly I was! It's just so weird that I felt more stable in the big clunky sneakers than I was barefoot. I'm sure that will change over time as I get use to little to nothing on my feet when practicing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

18 - Swamped

It's the first day of the month. It's the first day back after a long (and eventful) Memorial Day weekend. One of my co-workers is on vacation this week, so I need to do her job as well as my own. Plus, because of the long weekend, I will also need to help out our call center as they will be swamped. Then sometime tonight I will also need to work on a newsletter that needs to be finalized, printed, and mailed by Thursday. Yeah—I'm feeling a bit swamped at the moment.

Nevertheless, somehow I will make it all happen, even with throwing in today's workout. Actually the exercising shall be more of a help than a hindrance. The kicking and the punching will be very therapeutic as I picture different faces in front of me receiving the blows I shall give. Then, once all the aggression is out, it'll be time for some stretching and meditation—leaving me well relaxed to tackle the newsletter.

I am so looking forward to going home.