Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Morning Workouts Should be Illegal

Because I don't like them. That's all.

I subbed the 8:30 Strength class this morning and not only have I been tired all day, but I keep forgetting what day it is. It feels like Wednesday because I've already taught Strength this week. So every time I think "crap I need to come up with tonight's workout", I automatically start thinking of spin profiles. But that's not til tomorrow. Which makes today Tuesday. Which means this week is still long.


I ran the Mardi Gras Mayhem workout again this morning, which was fun. They all obligingly laughed when appropriate, which I love.

Tonight, I'm going to have an imagination workout. We're all going to curl up in the fetal position and I'll describe in vivid detail what we *should* be doing instead. I'm sure most of us will really be on the beach somewhere.

Seriously though, I'll make something up. I'm on it. Seriously.

It needs to be the weekend again. I'm obsessing over the bathroom, which currently looks like this:

Why yes, that is a bloody handprint seeping through the drywall. 
I took off all the wallpaper, recaulked the tub, painted the ceiling, and a whole lot of other stuff that mostly involved expletives. At some point this week I get to learn to repair drywall and then paint the whole thing. It's This Old House but less fun because I'm not watching someone else do it.

So that's pretty much it. I get to go in for a second TB test on Monday (insert thrill-ride screams here), then I get to send in my shot records and resident status form to school. So that's exciting. Spoiler alert: my shots are up to date (more than), and I'm not a CO resident. Yet. I know, I ruined the ending for you.

Man, I'm tired.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The "Easy Enough" Pyramid

First of all, a quick recap of last night. It was fun. There were 8 people, and everyone was in good spirits and they were good sports. During the abs portion at the end, one of them even flipped me off. I guess that means it was a good workout. I added another circuit in the middle as well...deadlifts then sumo squats, then combined squat, lift, press, lower behind your head, squat, etc etc. Meant to simulate a friend being passed out drunk on the floor and you carrying them over your shoulders. Good stuff. 

By the time I got to filling out my time card, I couldn't even write my name clearly, my arms were so wrecked. I've never had my entire body shaking at the member counter before. That was exciting. 

Anyway, tonight's ride is pretty simple...a pyramid of resistance. Every minute we'll add another turn, starting from seated flat all the way up to standing climb. At the middle point, we'll cut back the resistance and  pick up the cadence like we've hit a plateau on a mountain, then add back on all that resistance over the span of 2 minutes, stand up, and take the resistance back down 1 minute at a time. Since ending on easy resistance always feels anticlimactic to me, we'll probably end up doing 2 minutes of redemption resistance too. But man, my legs are super not psyched about it today. 

Shake It Out  -  Florence + The Machine
One Girl Revolution  -  Superchic(k)
Proud (Peter Presta QAF V Mix)  -  Heather Small
Howlin' For You  -  The Black Keys
Blackout  -  Breathe Carolina
Americano  -  Lady Gaga
Untouched  -  The Veronicas
S&M (Come On)  -  Rihanna
Blow  -  (Cirkut Remix) Ke$ha
Turn Me On (Feat. Nicki Minaj)  -  David Guetta - Nicki Minaj
Party Rock Anthem  -  LMFAO Feat Lauren Bennett & Goonrock
On My Mind - Kalai

So that's it. Simple stuff tonight. I'm sure I'll fill the space with jabber, but I'm just really tired today. My entire body was so achy last night that it kept me up then woke me up at 6. In my world, 6 is an unholy hour that I'm not looking forward to reacquainting myself with in the coming months. 

Since the tools I need to use to get my real job done have decided to throw a temper tantrum, I'm going to call it a day and go grab some glitter for this 46 days of fitness challenge thing. OOh I'm even going to make us a hashtag. #46daysoffitness. Tweet it up guys! 

The Day After Mardi Gras

So the flip side of Mardi Gras is Ash Wednesday. I was raised Catholic, and I'll be the first to admit that for the longest time (possibly until last night, I don't know) I've kind of missed the point of Lent in general. I don't think we ever went to mass before school, so I never got to walk around with ashes on my forehead all day like some kids. My blood sugar never really let me fast (the crankiness that ends even a 6 hour fast is enough to make any priest start throwing holy water at me), and the concept of giving something up to get closer to God just never really sunk in.

Apparently Google Image search missed the point of Lent too.  
That's not to say that Lent serves no purpose - I know for some people it's a deeply spiritual time of year, and a lot of people find that their faith is deepened. It's just not that for me. (Disclaimer: This post is not meant as an attack on anyone's faith - it's all personal, and since this is my blog I get to write about how I feel about it. My views don't make yours any less valid and should not be interpreted as any kind of intentional offense.)

That said, I still like the concept and timing of Lent. It's perfectly timed so that just as we're running out of steam on our New Year resolutions, there's a new reason to keep up the good habits. 46 days is just over 2 habit-making cycles, so if you really wanted to, I guess you could even pick 2 habits to make/break. It's a great time to focus on making yourself better, even if the motivating factor isn't theological.

It's easy to shy away from this time of year if you're not totally committed to it - I've seen more than a couple "Lent get bent" posts on my facebook feed in the past 24 hours. I think that just goes to show that there's a pretty big point to be missed in all of it. If the purpose is to sacrifice to get closer to God, there's no reason we can't use that same principle to simply be better. Maybe quitting coffee isn't going to make you more religious, but if the purpose of being "closer to God" is just to live up to your own potential then the Lenten time is the perfect excuse to make that happen.

Anyway, all this to say that I'm going to put some kind of clever little calendar together to give out at class tonight, to challenge everyone to use Lent as an excuse to step up their fitness game. The challenge is simple and flexible - just do something different. It can be as simple as committing to adding 15 minutes to each of your regular workout times or taking a new type of class every week. There are just a few guidelines:
  • It has to be measurable so you'll know when you've succeeded
  • It has to be feasible. If you're running a 10 minute mile, running a marathon in 2 hours by Easter isn't likely to happen. 
  • It has to be habitual. Setting a goal of running a 5k by Easter is great, but the challenge should be to run 4 times a week (or whatever) -  not to run the 5k. The point is to make better habits, not just to achieve goals. 
That's it! Here are a few ideas: 
If the race is 10k or less and the weekend after Easter, I'll even run it with you (or at least cheer you on)...obviously that's only for the local (to me) races...sorry all you distance readers. :-) 

So then. How about you? What are you going to do to make sure another Lent doesn't go by unused?

Fitness and religion aren't mutually exclusive (goodness knows last night's class sounded vaguely like an exorcism...but that's another story), so this challenge can serve both purposes if you want it to. For the purposes of this blog and my classes though, I'm going to remove the religious part and stick with just the fitness aspect. 

I'll post tonight's profile and playlist later today. As soon as I come up with the clever booklet thing, I'll post that too. I may just end up going to Target to get $1 notebooks and bedazzle them before class. Who knows. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras Mayhem

Somehow, I've ended up with a lot of holidays to cover this year. Last week was V Day, I taught the last spin of the year in December, and next month I get to teach on Pi Day. Oh, Leap Day too, I get that one as well.

Today, however, is the best day of the year to all cajun Catholics and partiers everywhere.

Mardi Gras, y'all. It's magical.

You'd never know those proton packs were homemade.
There are a few things in life that are so pre-written as the traditional Bourbon Street Mardi Gras experience. (Given that we were celebrating with my parents and grandparents, it goes without saying that our experience wasn't exactly "pre-written", but bear with me here.)

With that in mind, tonight's workout is designed to make those of us who'll be celebrating at the gym instead of the bar feel more like we're not really missing all that much. Or something.

Mardi Gras Mayhem Workout:

Overall Move Breakdown
The "Gimme Some Beads Mister" Shirt Lift with Squat Emphasis Part 1, The arm lift:
Imagine she's lifting her shirt, not dumbbells. For beads guys, for beads. 
Part 2, The squat emphasis: 

Part 3, Combine the moves. No pic for this, just imagine squatting while lifting your shirt over your head, except instead of living a shirt, we're lifting weights.
The "Yeah, sure, I'll give you some beads" enhanced bead throw with back lunge power generator Part 1, The tricep extension: 
She totally stole my workout outfit. Brat.
Part 2, the back lunge:
Like a front lunge, but the arrows point differently
Part 3, combine the moves. Back lunge with arms overhead and dumbbells down against your back. Explode up onto one leg, flinging beads dumbbells forward, except not really because I want beads, not a concussion.
The Barroom Shuffle Part 1, keeping the drinks out of harm's way. 
     Grab your light weights (or heavies, if you're dreaming of Hurricanes) and brace your feet about shoulder width apart. Keeping palms facing up, raise your arms out in front of you, then out to the sides. Bring them back to the center and down again.

Sort of like what she's doing with her arms, not her legs. Also, "waitress arm lift" does not return the results you think it would. Geesh.
Part 2, Quick feet. Keeping your feet a little bit wider than shoulder width, come down into a wide squat. Without letting your knees track over your toes, come up onto your toes and shuffle side to side a few steps. 
Part 3, Sobriety Test. Combine the moves: come down into the squat and shuffle, with your arms raising front and to the sides as you shuffle. Remember to keep the motion smooth, since your sobriety depends on you making it back to the table without spilling too much. 
Grabbing a Table at Cafe du Monde Part 1, throwing some 'bows into it. Grab a resistance band and hold it out in front of you, about shoulder width and height. One arm at a time, keeping your arms parallel to the floor, pull back like you're elbowing someone's poor grandmother for the last table at Cafe du Monde. Keep the other arm out straight, to keep the space you've burrowed in the crowd open. 

Part 2, moving forward. With a commanding stomp, plant your foot in front of you and come down into a walking lunge. Explode off the back leg like you mean it - take no prisoners. 

Part 3, parting the crowds. Combine the moves. Lunge like you mean it and throw the opposite 'bow as you come down. The same foot and arm should be coming forward at the same time, for maximum crowd damage. 
The Drunken Walk Home Part 1, dropping stuff. With medium weights, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Reach down with your right hand to your left ankle, then come back up, pulling the dumbbell to your chest. Repeat on the other side, because dang if you're not just dropping stuff everywhere. 
Part 2, the wobble. A crossover lunge fit for a Rex. 
Part 3, the drop n wobble. Crossover lunge, bend down to pick up that thing you dropped. Continue walking forward, dropping and wobbling across the room. 
Crawling into Bed Nothing complex here - just a pilates pushup. Start at the top of your mat, walk your hands out, pushup, walk your hands back. Grab some weights for a press at the top if you want added pain. 
The "I drank too much and now I need to get out of bed" abs spectacular Part 1, the first attempt. Starting in a supine (laying down, for all you non-soon-to-be-PTs out there...yeah I know big words, what?) position, arms above your head, come up into a pike. Realize that's not quite the way to get out of bed and flop back down to start over. Repeat several times. 

Part 2, crossed wires. Starting supine again, laying spread eagle, bring your right hand to your left ankle, straight above your head. When that doesn't work, try the other way. Repeat until you give up. 

Part 3, making progress. Plant your feet on the ground and come up into a seated position. Lean back a little and grab a weight. Get confused about which side of the bed to use. Twist back and forth in indecision. Stop, decide to lay back down, but get only halfway before realizing you still need to pee. Start twisting again. 

Part 4, let sleeping crabs lay. Flop back down onto your back again. Do this: 
Flop back down to the bed and give up entirely.
Sleep it off cool down and stretch, all that. 
Gotta run to the gym now. Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Endorphins, Why Have You Abandoned Me?

I'm not usually this blue after a workout, and tonight's was a pretty solid workout.

I borrowed a lot of moves from BodyRock, which means it was a colossal effort...normally if I've managed to actually finish the workout, especially if I'm up front, that means when I get home I'm at least happy.


I dunno guys. The weight of this whole moving/going back to school/quitting my job/living apart from hubs and the critters/changing careers/having to learn how to learn again, especially a completely different kind of learning thing is starting to weigh on me. I won't even get into the stress dreams I've been having (stress + Downton Abbey + Supernatural = Wackadoo central). I'm super excited to get started on this whole learning thing. I'm also TERRIFIED that I'm going to turn out to be a total flop when it comes to memorizing things...like what connects to the knee bone and all that. My BS is in Chemical Engineering...sounds hard, but it's mostly just logic and applying a few basic principles over and over (and over and over...) again. This is learning a lot of really big words, figuring out what they're all doing in a sentence together, then deciding what to do about that.

I just hope I can learn big words fast enough.

I've been looking at ads for apartments/room shares/sublets in Denver, and I've come to the only logical conclusion there is:

The only people who post on Denver's Craigslist are completely and irrevocably batsmit crazy.

No joke guys, the spammers are starting to sound reasonable at this point. Sheesh.

Anyway, I'm going to go wallow in my little stress spiral over by my sewing machine for a while.

You all need Hyperbole and a Half in your life. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seriously guys, I'm so with it

Just to prove that I'm totally hip with what the kids are watching these days, tonight's spin is totally topical.

Yup, we're going to the Grammys.

Now, I thought that I might just rip off the whole thing entirely and see what made the list this year. I recognize like 6 of those things, and 5 of them are Adele.


But, since I don't want to let anyone in on my shameful secret (that I really have no idea what goes on outside my little cubicle and the gym), I made up my own Grammy list. Without further ado, the winners are....

First up, the traditional Inappropriate R&B/Rapper Appearance:

     Forever - Chris Brown
(too soon?)
Best Warm up/Pump up song: 
     I Want You To Want Me (Live)  -  Cheap Trick
Best Working/Fast Flat: 
     Drive By  -  Train
Best Standing Flat with Pickups:
     What The Hell  -  Avril Lavigne
Best Seated Moderate Hill:
     Everybody & Ray Speak No Americano  -  Mashup-Germany vs. Faroff
Best Seated Hill w/Standing Pick Ups:
     You're Gonna Gonna Go Far Kid  -  The Offspring
Best Adele Remix/Working Recovery:
     Set Fire to the Rain (House Remix)  -  Capt Kirk
Best Moderate Running with Resistance w/pick ups:
     Take It Off  -  Ke$ha
Best Standing Moderate Climb:
     Black Betty  -  Ram Jam
Best Jumps on a Hill (during chorus):
     Panic Switch  -  Silversun Pickups
Best Standing Heavy Climb:
     S&M (Come On)  -  Rihanna
Best 2-minute Redemption with Attacks: 
     I'm Shipping Up To Boston  -  Dropkick Murphys
Best Cool down:
     Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand  -  Primitive Radio Gods


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Counterproductive Measures

Last week I may have promised chocolate to anyone who showed up for class tonight. Since I've had a head cold since Saturday and will be making them do circuits without me tonight, I plan on sitting in the back of the room doing them the favor of eating the candy for them.

Trust me, it's a favor.

I'm also filling in for Dawn tonight, since she's got pneumonia. Since romance > pneumonia >> head cold, I'm apparently the only one available.

Translation: 2 full hours to do in a big ol' bag of Reese hearts by myself.

Who said being sick was lame?


Don't get me wrong...hubs has treated me like a princess all day (including a very Nyquil-confused episode with some flowers this morning). But we're also practical and not huge fans of competing with everyone else's affections for table space at the local waiting list. So I have no problem filling in for folks tonight in the name of love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love is in the Hair

I'm a freaking riot guys. 
Finally, the ride I've been promising is here. Tonight's ride is called "Summer Fling" and it's a love story.

We start the ride with Young Blood by The Naked and Famous, which feels like a Levi's ad to me. It makes me wish I lived in Cali so I could go surfing and have bonfires on the beach every night. That's totally all they do out there, or so I'm told. Our story starts on one such California early summer nights, with a bonfire on a beach. We're making friends with strangers who are, obviously, very attractive. We are all supermodels, after all.

The night turns into a summer full of fun, dancing, and PG-level promiscuity (OMG he kissed me!). Then, summer ends and we're all back to school with all the angsty longing that goes along with it. Finally, it's nearly Fall break and we have one final song (Ass Back Home, which sounds WAY dirtier than it is) to sprint us back into the arms of our summer fling.

Somebody To Love - Queen
Young Blood  -  The Naked And Famous
The Boys Of Summer  -  The Ataris
Love in America  -  JTX
Into The Night (Featuring Chad Kroeger)  -  Santana
Drive By  -  Train
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)  -  Rihanna
(If You Are Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To  -  Weezer
Blink 182 - Going Away To College
I Belong To You [Mon Coeur S'ouvre A Ta Voix]  -  Muse
Ass Back Home (feat. Neon Hitch)  -  Gym Class Heroes
Samson  -  Regina Spektor

The rest of the story is left up to speculation and imagination on the drive home. Good thing I married my summer fling. ;-) 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Stuff

If I'd seen this picture years ago, it would have saved me a lot of grief, including a weekend of non-terrifying swim meet failure.


So it's t minus 8 days until everybody wants a lot of money from me, and we're still stuck in this decision limbo. Not surprising...it's a big decision.

That's really all I have to say about that for now. By tomorrow I think we'll have ruled out Indiana (go figure - 2 weeks ago I was sure that's where we were headed), which is at least 1/3 of the way there. But then it becomes like that probability 3 door problem that I never really liked. I just wish we had a game show host to ask if we wanted to trade.

Moving on.

I decided to drop the personal training internship for now, and I'm postponing the test as well. I know, I know. The thing is, I've barely had time to keep tabs on my personal hygiene lately...learning how to properly instruct someone how to squat hasn't been high on the list of "survival mode" skills. I'll be happy if I can get us fed with something other than $0.79 pizza tonight. I wish I were kidding about that. So much for eating clean...sorry Rose.

Not a lot else going on. I taught spin yesterday and my regulars were all asking about schools and telling me why New England is the best place to be and asking why we'd bother moving when we knew we'd be back soon anyway. Sigh. One of the patients I met while observing this summer has been keeping tabs on me too, which is really sweet. I never know what to do when a guy on an incumbent bike yells up the stairs that I'm going to make a fantastic therapist and that he has faith in my ability to make good decisions. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time that's happened.

Anywho. My teaching schedule is pretty light for the next couple of weeks...just Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of the month. That's ok with me - it means I get to spend some time getting to know the new climbing gym that opened up a mile and a half from our house.

Not me, but I did actually take this picture.  
Me. Type 2 fun.
Believe it or not, I used to be a little bit ok at climbing. I'm happy to report that after only 2 weeks, I'm already starting to remember what it felt like and some of my muscles are responding. Speaking of which, we're actually heading there now before the Patriots win the Super Bowl. Have a good Sunday everyone! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Milestone: Nasty Names

Yesterday, as I previously indicated, I was completely fried. Just, utterly overwhelmed with everything. I wasn't even sure how well I was going to be able to hold it together to teach spin. I wound up playing this playlist: 

Proud - Heather Small
Dark Horses  -  Switchfoot
If I Had You  -  Adam Lambert
Miss Murder  -  AFI
I'm Not Okay (I Promise)  -  My Chemical Romance
Thnks Fr Th Mmrs  -  Fall Out Boy
Thriller/Heads Will Roll  -  Glee Cast
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Machinehead  -  Bush
Panic Switch  -  Silversun Pickups
Ass Back Home (feat. Neon Hitch)  -  Gym Class Heroes
On My Mind  -  Kalai
Moving On  -  Timmy Curran

The profile was simple. Three rounds of the following: 

3 minutes 30 up/30 down
3 minutes 15 up/15 down
1 minute up, adding resistance and mentally preparing for sprints
30 seconds sprint
1.5 minutes full recovery
30 seconds ramping up
30 second sprint
2 minutes recovery

I'd meant to do 4 sprints on the last round, but we ran out of time. I asked if they wanted longer sprints or longer prep (30/15) and it was unanimously prep. Wimps. 

After class I was logging my hours and one of my regulars came up to me and the following exchange happened: 

her: "what the heck was that?? I thought you said you were off your game tonight!" 
me: "yeah...that's the magic of spin I guess." :-D
her: "I was looking forward to an easier ride when you said you were out of it...at one point I told Dianne, "this is when I really want to call her a bitch!!"" 

So, there it is, folks...my first expletive name calling (to my face anyway) due to a hard ride. I'm going to tuck that ride away for a while and bring it out when I'm feeling particularly nasty again. I thought it was fun. Hard, but fun. 

Suffice it to say, it was another cleansing ride. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weekend Recap - Aw Screw it

So I had this whole thing about a weekend recap that I was going to write. Then I got ANOTHER email saying I've been accepted at Franklin Pierce as well...so now I have 3 very good, very different options to consider and about 2 weeks before all 3 want to see some deposit money to the tune of >$2k if I deposited at all of them to put the decision off for a couple more months.

As much as this is the best possible problem to have, I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. It may be a few days before I have the mental capacity to write again. Bear with me guys, sorry...