Monday, March 30, 2009

A little funk and a little fire

Okay, I've been in a bit of a funk lately. About my work, my dancing and all sorts of other things. Spring typically triggers this in me and I get this overwhelming desire to change/move/reinvent/create/organize/clean along with the desire to just sit and be still. It's a lot of restless energy to deal with, coupled with an over-active mind that seeks to find a context for it all. So who knows what will happen in the next few months...but I've been having some interesting conversations on the subject. I'll keep you all posted on that.

As a side note, although I know my house and the local HEB are very close to a fire station I did not realize the advantage until last weekend. On a random trip for groceries on a Saturday afternoon I was rewarded with a vision of hunky fire fighters shopping (yes...shopping), and meal planning (okay two were carrying baskets, one went for ice cream and the other one planned). Wow, great smiles, great shoulders, nice tushes and they can cook. Almost made we want to go home and ignite flammable materials just to see them in action. But I didn't...

Second side note, I signed up for a 31 day build a better blog challenge which starts on April 1. It could be a joke, but I won't know until later. So you'll either see much more activity out of me or a really sarcastic note. Possibly both if you're lucky.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Behold, my new-found power!

The mind is so tricky in how it works. If we tell ourselves something is difficult, it becomes so, if we tell ourselves it is impossible, it never occurs and if we think something will hurt, the pain just starts pouring in.

I’ve been seeing Timothy since last June on a weekly basis. And yes, I pay him for pain each and every time. We laugh, I sweat, (and swear) and each week I go back hoping it will be easier each time but it isn’t…and for good reason. This training program works on the concept that you come in once a week, and Timothy will do everything in his power to exhaust all of your muscles. You don’t do a lot of repetitions and rarely spend more than two minutes on each piece of equipment, and each week he either adds more weight or expects faster repetitions. You don’t get water breaks in between, he doesn’t let you off easy and he almost always make you do plank at the end.

I’ve now developed a love/hate relationship with plank. Often I hope Timothy will get distracted and forget about it. Sometimes he offers me a choice, which makes me feel extremely guilty if I opt out, but I usually think of plank in a non-fluffy/non-happy/non-joyful/non-loving way. I know it has to be done, I know it’s good for me, but don’t make me look forward to the experience! However, today felt different and I was looking forward to plank, in a hopeful, let’s get to know you over drinks kind of way. I was full of optimism, excitement and expectation for the best possible outcome.

Several weeks ago I had a revelation during plank when I was able to let go of the physical pain, quiet my mind and just focus on the task at hand. During the workout today, Timothy kept talking about mind over body…essentially his version of a ‘mushin’ or no-mind philosophy. His pep talk was so inspiring that when it came time to do plank I had that gleam of optimism, that glint of hope that today I could find the ‘sweet spot’ again. Instead of dreading the last few minutes I embraced them, flirted a bit, and even showed a little cleavage for good measure.

And, I blew it out of the water. A gloriously full two minutes in perfect position, with no wobbles, no shaking, just good solid form. And, after a brutal workout that left my arms numb I’m celebrating. Plank, if you were here right now, you’d be getting damn lucky!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not in a sharing mood

Dear Austin,

I know you love your parks, especially on a pretty sunny day like today. I too was hoping for a brisk walk through my neighborhood park, followed by practicing my Tai Chi form. In fact, I hadn't decided which of my two locations would be the spot for my martial arts practice, and waited until I had taken one long loop through the park to make that decision. I did not however plan on sharing my space with so many people tonight. Some observations:

  • For the three young guys at location #1 who appeared to be practicing Aikido, I would suggest a little more time in your Dojo or Dojang. You appeared very uneasy with your skills and not used to practicing in a public setting, you looked a little hot and sweaty in your gis and seemed very distracted by some redhead who appeared miffed that you were in her spot.
  • For the three elderly folks who arrived at location #2 rght before me, and who appeared to practicing some form of Tai Chi or Chi Gong, I would suggest a little more action and less staring into the bushes. You appeared a little unfocused on your task, dawdled too much and were way too oblivious to the redhead who appeared puzzled that she had lost another spot in which to practice.
  • For the father at my new location (now #3) who told his son that 'the lady is practicing Tai Chi', I appreciate the commentary and I'm glad you had a general feeling for what I was trying to accomplish. I would state for the record that tripping, stumbling, and losing composure are not trademarks of a good practice. Neither is stomping your feet in the dirt when you forget major sections of your form.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday

In Texas, March 2nd is a day of celebration for two reasons. First, it's Texas Independence Day, a celebration of Texas' independence from Mexico. If you're a Texas history buff you'll also realize that it's Sam Houston's birthday as well. Sam, in case you don't know him, was the first president of Texas, and a major leader in the the fight for Independence.

For me, March 2 is a much more personal celebration. It's my Mom's birthday, and if she were alive today we would be celebrating her 76th year. It's hard to believe but it's been eight years since she passed away all too suddenly, and although the anniversary of her death has become less emotional for me, the anniversary of her birth seems to become more poignant as each year passes. Perhaps it's because I can't show or tell her how much I love her, I can't plan on a surprise or a present, I can't call to wish her happy birthday. All I can do is miss her...terribly.



So, in the hopes that the Internet has truly reached all corners of our universe, I'm hoping Mom's following along, reading and watching, and today...she knows that I'm still wishing her happy birthday and she knows that I'll always love her even if I didn't say it often enough!

P.S. For those of you who still have your Mothers around...go call them...now. And, send them my love as well.