Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

Eat Less, Move More Thursday February 3, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Runner — The Professor @ 9:18 am

We all know that if we want to lose weight we have to eat less and move more, yes?  For reasons that I would rather not explore I have never been able to both eat less AND move more.  At the same time.  This has always been an either/or proposition.  Prior to Yogi, I found it much easier and more satisfying to move more and simply try to be reasonable (most of the time) with what I eat.  Now that I spend my days:

  • Doing laundry
  • Feeding an increasingly distractable Bean
  • Cleaning bottles
  • Reading stories
  • Standing strong on my conviction that napping happens in.the.crib
  • Dealing with a dog who thinks he is the baby
  • And generally ensuring that the house and everyone in it stays on track

I don’t have much left over for exercise in the formal/intentional sense.  Or course there is technically time for it if you ascribe to the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” school of thought, but I don’t.  I like to sleep.  I need to sleep.  My family needs for me to sleep.  So….. a new day has dawned.  The “Eat Less” day.

I’m back on the Weight Watchers train.  I’ve done it once and I’m doing it again.  In my absence they have made some changes and somehow now fruit is free!  I don’t really get the wisdom of that exactly, but I’m in.  This is the 2nd week in my Eat Less (or at least more thoughtfully) Life and so far, so good.  Here’s hoping I can get off all the baby weight that I gained before swimsuit season. 😉 Snort….

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New Horizons Thursday December 9, 2010

Filed under: The Runner — The Professor @ 10:53 pm

For the last six years I have been a fairly consistent runner and occasional yogi.  On the running front that has meant hitting the road three to four times a week and running an average of three miles at a go.  In that time I have run only two races, the first was a 5K and the second was a half-marathon.  One thing that I’ve learned from running in races is that I’m not all that big on running in races.  It’s not a terrible experience, but it’s not really my thing.  However, one great fringe benefit of running a race is that (at least if you’re me), you have to train for it.  I’m not sure I ever would have ventured much beyond six or seven miles if I hadn’t trained for a half-marathon.  My favorite runs are the long, leisurely ones where I’m not making an effort to push the pace, but only enjoying the time outside.

Over the years, the yoga has been much more inconsistent.  I’m a big fan of Brian Kest and use his DVD series when I yoga at home.  But, it is not an understatement to say that I have fallen in love with hot yoga.  Hard.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to heat my house to 102 degrees in order to stretch myself into odd positions on any kind of regular basis, so I have to go to a studio.  Going to a studio requires time, money and advanced planning.  All of those things are not routinely easy to come by.

Now here I am with a baby and just as everyone says, a baby changes everything, including your exercise routine.   I had gotten pretty serious about yoga in the months before Bean was born, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made it to yoga since he was born.  Running?  I had already gotten pretty far out of running shape during the summer with all the yoga, so running is an even less compelling idea.  Where does all of this leave me?

Mommy and me Yoga!  That’s where! Bean and I are going on Saturday.  We’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Supta-Vajrasana AKA Fixed Firm Pose Friday July 23, 2010

Filed under: The Runner — The Professor @ 3:01 pm

For reasons that I do not understand, this pose is the scariest pose for me.  It has been that way from Day #1.  This is not to say that it is the most physically demanding, but that it is the most emotionally demanding.  I can feel the coming of this posture in my heart rate.  As the posture before it winds to a close, my heart starts racing.  Getting into this position puts my body into full-scale “I’m going to die!” panic.  This sounds (and is, I guess) dramatic, but my response is truly this strong.  I have to really trust, to get into this position.

What’s so odd about this, is that the pose looks like this:

It is not a pose that anyone warns you will be emotionally vulnerable.  There is no unprotected exposure of the jugular as in Ustrasana Camel Pose.

And there is certainly no dizzy, I’m going to topple to my mangled death unbalanced-ness that accompanies the back-bending portion of Half Moon.

So why does sitting with my tail btw my ankles and my feet pushed flat into the ground terrify me?  It is the weirdest thing.  The panic intensifies the more my feet flatten; that feels like the physical source of it.  I guess it will just be a mystery.  Or maybe, in a former life, I had some terrible experience involving breaking my feet.  You never know….. 😉

 

Bend it Like Bikram Thursday July 15, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Runner — The Professor @ 1:41 pm

The Runner is on sabbatical.  It’s July and the heat index routinely exceeds 100 degrees, so obviously it’s time for hot yoga.    😉  Yup!  The Yogi is back in town.

I have found a studio that is a short, easy drive from the house and is super clean.  I am loving the clean factor.  Unlike my old studio which was carpeted (yuck), this place has a floor that is mopped after each class and is not porous.

If you’re wondering what happens in a typical hot yoga class, I thought I would show you.

This, my friends, is the Standing Floor Bow.  I wish I could tell you that I can get (and stand comfortably) in this pose, but that wouldn’t be true.  I try to get in this pose and that’s what it’s all about.  Process.  Process and patience.  Classes are traditionally 90 minutes (although my studio offers some shorter options) and ultimately focus on the breath and moving the body into a series of 26 postures.

The class opens and closes with exercises focused primarily on the breath.  In the middle of all that breathing is a series of Standing exercises (stretching and balancing focused) followed by Floor exercises (spine strengthening and stretching focused).  The ratio of Standing to Floor is about 60:40.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in the yoga game so my first week of classes has been rough.  Lots of sweat and shaking muscles and LOTS of soreness.  Strangely though, I love it.  Looking forward to more.

 

A Few Things Exercise Has Taught Me About Myself Friday May 28, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Runner — The Professor @ 11:02 am
  • A combination of sweat and sunshine is very, very good for my soul
  • I have control issues (surprise, surprise)
  • There is no chance that I will ever become a gym rat – something about the gym environment is aversive – NOT a fan
  • Years of regular exercise does not change the fact that baby got back – I think this may just be the way I’m made and I’m pretty ok with that
  • My primary obstacles are mental and not physical
  • If money (and to a lesser degree time) were limitless I would do Bikram yoga every day – I LOVE it.  The ritual, the breathing, the heat, the blissful sensation of surrender, collecting hard evidence that I am unbelievably powerful just as I am
  • Long, slow runs feel more natural and satisfying to me than shorter, faster efforts
  • Loud music allows me to make it through a strength training session
  • Baker is an excellent accountability buddy – I owe a lot to that boy
  • No matter how many conversations I have with myself, I would rather do just about anything than do a workout on the elliptical (SO unbelievably boring)
 

Motivation – You Never Know Where You’ll Find It Thursday April 29, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Runner — The Professor @ 5:27 pm

Total mileage for the week – 0 miles

So, about the running.  It’s not going so well.  A funny thing has happened….. I’ve been going to the gym.  Weird, huh?  Even stranger is this stat:

Total strength training sessions for the week – 2

This is a 200% increase from any previous week.  Although I know all about the health benefits associated with strength training for women AND I have a family history of osteoporosis I resist it.  In a big way.  For these reasons, it was pretty crazy when I was suddenly inspired to go for it earlier this week.  I owe it to a rather unlikely source.

Here’s the story…..

I was plugging away on the elliptical, counting down the minutes when a very large black woman caught my eye.  Smack dab in the center of the weights area, surrounded by big, beefy men was this bright light of a woman.  I guess she had some kind of aerobics routine in her Ipod, because she was absolutely rocking out.  Kicking and punching and shaking her tail feathers.  This is not the kind of thing I typically see in a gym.  At least not in my gym.  This woman was FABULOUS.  She was just doing her thing and making it look quite good.  Putting a smile on my face at the gym isn’t an easy task, but this woman did it.  She brought a smile to my face and a nudge to go ahead and hit the weights.

Thank you!

 

What Can I Say About Running this Week…. Thursday April 22, 2010

Filed under: The Runner — The Professor @ 3:00 pm

It’s hard.

That’s what I’ve got.

Actually, the running isn’t as hard as the starting to run.  If I can actually get myself out the door, I’m golden.  I am totally prepared to take it from there.  It’s everything that leads up to the run (or any form of exercise really) that demands all the motivation.  This is the kind of thing that waxes and wanes.  Sometimes I just have to give myself a little nudge and sometimes it takes more of a shove.  I’m in the midst of a shoving period.  Lately one of the first thoughts that comes to my head when I wake up is, I don’t want to run today.  It’s sad, but true.  That little message echoes throughout the day until I either buck up and do it or cave and decide to bail on exercise for the day.  Can you say big, huge waste of mental energy?!  Um….yeah.  I hate that.  Unfortunately, hating it doesn’t seem to change anything.  I guess that is the way it goes.

I guess the message of the week (for me anyway) is that it’s ok.

  • It’s ok that sometimes I just don’t feel like it
  • It’s ok that I’m not a natural runner (whatever THAT is)
  • It’s ok that a 9 minute mile is probably my top pace

All I have to do is run anyway.  What’s so hard about that?