Tag Archives: working out

Hot Times in Moksha Yoga

Kathleen and I went to a Moksha Yoga class on Monday, which was definitely an experience.  Moksha Yoga, for those not in the know, is one of those hot yoga classes, so the yoga studio is about 37 degrees Celsius (or whatever-whatever for people who know Fahrenheit) (OK, fine, 98, but only because I’m looking it up already) (hey that’s, like, body temperature, trippy).  Anyway, unsurprisingly, holy crap it was hot.  I sweat a lot when I work out normally, so hot yoga was insane.  My yoga mat was reaching slip-‘n-slide levels of wet.  They advised you bring a full-sized towel, and I didn’t realize until I got there that it was to cover your yoga mat.  Whoops!  A lady actually did pass out, but the instructor reacted so well it just made me feel better.  I’ve read about some hot yoga instructors being medically fuck-witted when it comes to passing out yoginis, but this guy was just swift and awesome.

I really liked the actual yoga practice.  We did not do a hundred million sun salutations (I’m looking at you, Ashtanga Yoga), plenty of the hip stuff I love because I don’t actually need to do it, and we weirdly did three savasana/corpse poses (this is the “lying on your back chilling” pose).  One at the very beginning, one in the middle, then the usual one at the end.  It was really cool, and probably necessary to keep everyone’s heart rates down in that heat.  Anyway, I would like to keep trying it, but I’m not sure if I can take the heat!  I felt on the edge of dizziness a few times near the end, and my heart rate was getting up.  It might be a matter of acclimation, or it might be a matter of ‘not meant for me’.

Bootcamp on Saturday!  We’re on the SMU football field, which means stairs!  And also, those terrible little bits of ground up tires they put on football fields that heat up in the sun!  I seriously hate those tire bits.  When you’re on your hands and knees, oh, how they burn!  It wasn’t too sunny on Saturday, but near the end it started heating up.  We did piggybacks, which I love.  We also did some strange thing where we had to lie on our backs and hold ourselves in a V shape, with our legs straight up, reaching our arms towards our legs, with our shoulders off the ground, for as long as we could.  If it sounds insane, that’s because it is.  It’s also super-hard, and I totally held it for 3:33 minutes, the third best time!  Whoo!

I must go out and census, soon.  The weather has been so nice and hot, lately, it’s been good for walking around and being charming with people.

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Bootcamp’s back, baby!

First day of bootcamp today!  Yay!  I have been such a lazy loaf lately, I am very excited that bootcamp is happening just precisely when I need it most.  So, yes, you all can look forward to me gushing about the terrible things I do outside all summer long, shouldn’t you come too?  Today we were out in the cold, windy rain, which was pretty nice when things started heating up.  It got a little ridiculous when the wind started knocking over all the cones as we were running through them, though.  Usually there’s a penalty for knocking over cones, but about 75% of the time it was the wind, make the damn wind do pushups.  Running around in the mud was entertaining; I came pretty close to one faceplant.  I was more worried about getting unfortunately intimate with a cone, really.  Then there was crawling in the mud, with my old nemesis, the inchworm (this video doesn’t have the 1-5 pushups we enjoyed).  And then a bunch of other stuff.  I’m not here to explain every single thing, I’m  just here to say it was super-fun and awesome and I loved it and missed it so much!  And my hands were basically numb by the end because holy crap it is cold today.  Why, June, why are you doing this to me?

Went out to a birthday bar thing with a bunch of people I haven’t seen in ages/ever last night.  I was determined to a) not get drunk, because hungover bootcamp sucks, and b) eat something ridiculous, because fat bootcamp is completely acceptable.  As such, I wound up with a hamburger with, like, everything on it and then some, including onion rings.  This is a meal that you can enter a bootcamp with, head held high, stomach heavy.

Kickboxing last night!  We practiced how not to get kicked in the head/what to do when kicked in the head.  This involved a lot of spinning on the kicker’s part, which is always super awkward.  It was a good opportunity to rehearse that awesome spinning backfist with which I am passingly acquainted, because that is the thing you can generally do when spinning anyway.  Also, and more importantly, there was a toddler sitting in on the class who was acting out the moves as we were doing them, and it was the cutest thing in the world.

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Gradumacation!

I had my convocation on Tuesday!  Officially a Master of Library and Information Studies, whoo!  It was pretty much what a graduation ceremony is, main surprise was when they let me keep the fancy Masters hat.  Totally giving it to the nephews, because small children in grad gear is freaking adorable.  Now I suppose I can’t call myself a grad student, merely an unemployed fightin’ enthusiast.

I got a bike!  I thought I might be too skittish to ride on the city streets, but it turns out I’m more foolhardy than terrified, as usual.  (Shannon Mason: “More stupid than scared, but she does have fun.”)  Fast bike goes fast!  Down a hill, whoosh!  Then I huff and puff up the hill, because I may practice kicks to the head recreationally but my leg muscles really aren’t used to this pumping action after only two days.

An observation in kickboxing last night.  If I ever were in a street fight, I would probably apologize to my opponents every time my form was off.  “Sorry, that knee really sucked!  Here, let me do it again.  Can you tell me if I don’t turn my hip over?”  Alternately, perennial teacher Kickboxing Erika would be giving tips to her opponents.  “Wait, wait.  If you bring up your left hand while coming at me with that right cross, you can protect your face from my counter.”

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Long Walk to the Gong Show

I had my birthday this week!  There were limited birthday shenanigans, in the form on birthday sushi.  The major shenanigans will occur later, in the form of a joint party with Deirdre.  I think sushi is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday.  Or any event, really.  “Successfully brushed my hair.  Sushi!”  I have found that buying sushi at a grocery store regularly leads to people asking me questions about sushi.  Then I get to play sushi expert, which is great, because my expertise in this case extends to “Sushi is delicious.  It is made of rice and seaweed wrapped around your fondest imaginings.”

I went to a surprisingly athletic free yoga the other day.  I always love trying different yoga instructors, because it’s almost like an entirely different sport (or… practice?  Whatever the hell noun yoga is).  This one was definitely the type to make you sweat and work for your yoga, which is good considering how lazy I’ve been the rest of this week.  I think it was the closest I’ve ever seen a yoga instructor come to making a class do pushups.  I didn’t bother bringing my towel, because it was just yoga, and then I was sweating all over the place because I am ridiculously sweaty when I work out.  Seriously, I know it’s because I stay hydrated and have apparently great kidneys or whatever, but a little less sweat, please, body.  And it’s not when I get hot or hang around, just when I work out.  Oh well, go kidneys.

I went on my very first hike yesterday!  I’ve been on long walks in the woods, to be clear, lots of them, but this was the first one of my adulthood where the path wasn’t, like, gravel and level and all that.  Anyway, it was great!  I missed my fightin’ classes this week, so I’m hoping a six hour hike makes up for it.  A lot of it was up-hill, and there was a lot of jumping on rocks.  I’m surprised, my calves are sore today, it must’ve been more of a workout than I realized.  Hiking is fun.  We found a fort some bored people had built out on a hill, and I declared myself king.  Then I left a log king in the fort, to rule in my stead while I’m gone.  I stuck him in the throne.  I’m pretty sure that log is planning a coup in my absence, though.

After hiking, we had a backyard bonfire that also involved sushi (because, I am telling you people, every event can be celebrated with sushi), and I took off early because I was meeting junior kickboxers to watch UFC.  This, however, turned into a bit of a fiasco, or, in the colourful terms of some of the kickboxers, a gong show.  Turns out last night was a huge UFC match and a huge hockey game, so every sports bar in town was filled up at, like, 8:30.  We had a good time walking all over Halifax, asking bars if they had any room for our poor little souls.  Alas, they did not, so we just went to another bar and talked and had a good time, like a bunch of dorks.  We should have celebrated with sushi.

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A Kick in the Face is Better than None

Aw, this is my last update from this particular reference desk you folks will ever get!  It is completely dead here, because exams are over and it’s the long Easter weekend.  Let us hope I get even one question.  But the memories!  The memories of all my lovely questions!  Oh, such cherishing.

I have had some good times in kickboxing this week, let me tell you.  I got kicked in the face!  It was a complete accident on Rosie’s part, of course, just a matter of missing the pad and hitting my jaw, but it was a hard kick and everything.  It was during drills, not sparring, so it’s not like I messed up by not dodging or blocking.  I was supposed to be in the kick’s way, just a foot and a half lower.  Anyway, I am totally stoked over this.  Kicked in the face = officially hardcore.  Poor Rosie kept apologizing, because what else can you do after you kick someone in the face?  I would feel completely horrible if I did that.  But I got kicked, so I’m just aces.  Anyway, my reaction immediately after the kick was strange.  About five seconds of being completely fine, followed by thirty seconds of freaked-out pain, followed by being completely fine again.  I think in a fight, I’d hit back during those immediate “completely fine” five seconds, and the adrenaline would carry me through the painful part.  I know this is probably common knowledge, but it’s the first time it’s happened to me, so I’m all intrigued.

On Friday, we did a whole bunch of kicking.  I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a simple dream.  That dream is to one day become Anderson Silva.  (IN CASE IT’S NOT CLEAR, SILVA IS THE ONE WHO WINS THE FIGHT.  THAT’S THE ONE I WANT TO BE.)  As such, face-kicking practice on Friday was a crucial part of that goal.  I mean, getting kicked in the face is badass, sure, but at a certain point I would like to win fights in very cool ways.

Bootcamp on Saturday morning!  We did some insane thing called plyometrics.  Wikipedia with it’s fancified letter-words doesn’t get across what plyometrics is, which is jumping.  Jumping a lot, in strange, inhuman ways, while being assured that anyone can do anything for thirty seconds.  A really hard one, but probably my favourite for the “fun factor”, are called rock stars (found as the first workout of this video).  Seriously, you pretend to be a rock star, jumping as high as you can while whaling on your guitar.  The arm motion is completely superfluous, it’s just good goddamned fun, because if you’re already jumping that high, then you might as well air guitar.

Went home for Easter dinner and had Easter dinner times.  It was also part birthday dinner because my birthday is next week.  Whoo!  I got Easter chocolate and birthday chocolate.  Pretty much the best day ever.  I also got cool new sneakers, because working-out people are supposed to get new sneakers every six months and I’ve had mine for almost a year.  And they were falling apart, too, so I guess it’s true.  Anyway, mine are awesome and black and comfy and you guys, I have a confession, every time I get new shoes I imagine myself fighting crime in them.  Cool black sneakers are sort of ideal, and big boots, but it gets a little ridiculous with, say, sandals or high heels.  I started this habit pre-kickboxing, too, so we can’t even blame that.

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Extending the lesson

So many exciting shenanigans, I can barely keep up.  (Everyone please remember, I have a very loose definition of “exciting”.)  I went for a cottage weekend with various of The Girls last week, to celebrate our freedom from MLIS-dom.  I ate such a ridiculous amount of food, I am not joking.  If I ever want to become truly skinny, I have to stop being friend with people who are such good cooks, I swear to Christ.  But that would entail losing both wonderful friends and fabulous food, and I’m pretty sure I look awesome anyway, so I’ll just keep everything.

The cottage was lovely, even though I had to leave a day early for work, like a big big loser.  But I had some forest shenanigans.  I did nature yoga!  I did my tree pose on a rock by a still lake, then I found a rock in the middle of a running stream, so I did tree again on it!  It was harder in the running stream, because of the movement.  This is science with yoga I am doing, not fucking around in the woods on one leg.

Then I had to part with the most precious thing, my mother’s car.  Yes, strangely, after Mom got back from her Caribbean adventure she seemed to want her car back.  Also, her cat.  Madness.  I tried to make a run for it, me and the cat against the world, but I can only get places via Google Maps, so the cops can find me pretty fast if they just check my search history (“Come, Kitty, to the Amherst liquor store!  Then the New Brunswick border, and freedom!”).  Also, if I got lost (and I would), I would probably call Mom, which makes stealing her car a little unrealistic.

Hanging out in Truro was good times.  I again played board games with six-year-old Tyler, and again lost to him.  This time it was Trouble, so it’s less likely he was cheating, the little sneak.  Next time I go up, he wants to play chess with me.  God, as you may remember from this, I have played chess exactly once and did pretty badly (though eventually won).  And considering how much this kid kicks my ass, he’s probably going to be giving me pity do-overs.  I think I need to start studying my chess moves in time for my Easter chess beat-down from my tiny nephew.  I’ll play against the three-year-old after, to bolster my ego.  (He will eat my king and I will weep.)

Kickboxing on Friday!  We took a trip to Thai-land, as in Muay Thai, which is seriously fun.  The stance is different, with the hands out in front instead of up next to your face.  It feels very natural for punching, but defensively a little exposed, since I’m used to getting smacked for not having my hands next to my face.  Also, we were supposed to have our legs straighter and bouncier, but I’m pretty sure I immediately forgot that, the way I immediately forget my grappling stance in grappling, because apparently my legs only like to do one thing no matter how stupid that is.  So, we were blocking an overhand hook, grabbing the partner in a one-handed side-clinch, then kneeing him in the stomach.  Then, block the punch, push the face, knee the stomach.  Muay Thai apparently involves a lot of kneeing people in the stomach, which is a thing I can get behind.  We ended with a bit of the old spinning back-kick, which is fun to do once but hard to do, like, twelve times in a row.  I think I need to practice spinning without getting dizzy or something, if that’s a thing, Classy Erica probably knows.

Also in kickboxing, we did an exercise where we had five minutes for holding a plank.  You didn’t have to hold it for the whole five minute, but as soon as you dropped out of the plank, you were done.  My plank is so crappy, I usually can’t hold it for more than a minute, but then I go in and out of it.  So for this, I didn’t want to be the first person in the class to drop out, so I just tried and tried, and lost all track of the concept of time and anything else, and when I finally collapsed it was three and a half minutes.  Holy crap!  I thought I had the worst plank in the whole world!  That time isn’t the best by a long shot (a few people kept it for the whole five), but it’s way better than I ever even dreamed I could do, so I was pretty excited.  Apparently, according to the Plank Gods, if you can hold a plank for two minutes you are Officially Fit.  But the Plank Gods are kind of biased.

Saturday three-hour bootcamp!  Whoo!  We couldn’t go to the gym, so we did it at the club.  This just meant a little less weight-lifting, a little more whatever-insanity-Gerald-could-come-up-with.  The best insanity was a balance exercise where you stood on one leg with your other leg extended as high as possible, in front, to the side, to the back, while moving your arms up, to the sides, in front.  For a very long time.  Seriously working those balance muscles that I’m pretty sure just don’t exist on me.  My balance is so bad, I had to stand facing away from everyone else, so everything I was looking at was completely still.  I managed to zebra up my legs because I retarded when it comes to skipping ropes, as it turns out.  We also did piggyback calf-raises, and I actually collapsed when my piggybackee hopped on me the first time.  She was bigger than me, and my piggyback posture is apparently bad.  I’ve always been strong enough to power up from my bent back with partners my own size, but it’s different when they’re heavier than you.  So!  Long-time readers may remember my guide to being a piggybackee.  Now I will impart the lessons on giving a piggyback ride.

  • Keep your back up straight.  You’ll want to lean forward, to equalize the weight.  This will actually throw off your balance!
  • Have your legs bent and shoulder-width apart, with one in front of the other for balance.
  • You are strong enough!  Booyah!

Today I finally got back to grappling.  I missed it for the past few weeks because of crazy homework and the like.  But I’m back!  We learned a really cool take-down called the head-snap.  Basically, you just grab the back of your opponent’s head and shove it down quickly, and then they’re on the ground!  And if they only go halfway down, then you choke them.  If they don’t go down at all, then I don’t know what to tell you, my algorithm has failed.  Then we did the Fireman’s Carry Takedown, which is fun as hell but really not something I plan on busting out until I practice it a little more.  You wind up in a weird position after the person flips.  At the end, rolling!  I used the head-snap, which is so simple and effective, so much love.

Last night I went with various (former) classmates to watch some archival footage from the thirties in a church.  It was strangely engaging.  There were home movies of someone’s honeymoon from 1932, documentaries about porpoise hunters, and also the greatest short, ever.  It was about burglars and mushroom casserole and it seriously needs to be remade by Jerry Bruckheimer as a summer blockbuster stat.  No one else in the church seemed to find it as hilarious as us, though, which is weird, because it had the most bizarre plot, but everything hung together perfectly.  Like a perfect short story, that ends with a pile of burglar corpses strewn merrily across your livingroom while everyone laughs.

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Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

Oh man, oh man, the homework is finished, the classes are done, the exams don’t exist, my degree is finished!  All I need is to actually get handed the piece of paper in May, and I’ll be a big-person librarian.  I finished up my work on Wednesday.  Cut to me, on Thursday, completely lost and confused.  Seriously, it’s been so long since I didn’t have anything to do, I’m pretty sure I can’t function like that.  Apparently I need a job and nine million hobbies and parties to go to or I go batty, wandering around downtown, caressing bowls and produce.  Luckily, Friday had plenty of activities lined up!  I think two days of nothing to do would be the end of me.

Friday kickboxing was good times.  We worked on chest and abs, whoo!  I’m looking forward to being in some pain tomorrow.  For one exercise, you laid on your back with your legs straight up above you, and reached up to touch your toes.  Then you did a sit-up.  Then you touched your toes twice, and two sit-ups.  Then three times.  All the way up to fifteen.  I just did the math, and that’s 120 all together.  Urg.  But I did it!  We also did pushups, where your partner does a plank, and you do a pushup on one side of her (facing her), then walk your hands over her shoulders, two pushups on the other side, walk over her shoulders again, three pushups, up to ten.  I remember doing this at the bootcamp last summer and sucking at it so hard, so I was really pleased that I did it, if not elegantly (never elegantly), at least properly and finishing.

Then, kicking things!  We practiced countering a Thai kick with a kick to the inner thigh, which was fun even if I apparently missed that I was supposed to the throwing Thai kicks.  We had to keep our hands down to counter the kicks, which was OK because we were out of range of any punches, but it still felt counter-intuitive to have both hands down.  I now have a pretty nasty bruise inside my knee.  Bruise watch alert!  It’s been so long since I had a really satisfying bruise, I am excited.  I also got punched in the nose because I wasn’t paying attention while I was supposed to be picking jabs to the face.  This happens sometimes, but what was weirdly embarrassing about this time was that my nose started running like crazy!  I was actually worried it might be bleeding or something, even though I knew I hadn’t been hit very hard, it was just so runny!  And gross!  Anyway, that’s my completely necessary story about things that might happen if you get hit in the face.  The more you learn~

I went straight from kickboxing to the MLIS year-end party.  (I’m always entertained by getting dressed up fancy at the club, because usually I dash out in my sweaty clothes without even redoing my ponytail.)  Very nice event, but I would’ve killed for some munchies.  I tried to start a ridiculous dance party with Leah, Naomi and Monica, but by the time the real dance party started I’d apparently lost interest.  I have a very small window of dance-party, it would seem.  Anatoliy gave me very good job search advice, because he is the sweetest.  And generally I caroused and chatted with people.  No drinking, though, because I am poor and sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking.  (Often when I’m poor.)

Having a car is going well.  I am offering rides all over the place, because I feel I have been given a lot of rides and I’ve built up ride-karma or something like that.  And in three days I’ll be back to being carless, so there’s that.  But I’ve come up with a new slogan for myself, based on my driving abilities in a new city, being inexperienced.  You see, I’m not a jerk.  I signal when I switch lanes, I shoulder-check, I don’t tailgate.  My problem, you see, is that I’m profoundly stupid.  I just wind up in the wrong lane sometimes, or I don’t know the rules of turning in this intersection.  So I feel I need a bumper sticker that sums me up: “Rarely an asshole, but often an idiot”  And really, couldn’t this apply to so many of us?  It’s the human condition.  Sometimes, yes, we are assholes, but mostly we’re just rock-stupid.  I am onto something here.

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