Hot Hot Hot

February 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

The temperature dropped here this week and it coincided with a promise I made with a friend to attempt hot yoga for the very first time. I’ve branched out to yoga and Pilates this year but hot yoga seemed…well, like a gross pain in the ass. But I went and while it was gross, it wasn’t as much of a pain as I thought it would be!

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Truth.

The place we went charges $25 a class (though yours truly was there on a free week pass) so the entire facility, down to the locker rooms, was much swankier than where I go to the gym for $25 a month. The room where we had class was lit by candles and had soothing music playing while the instructor softly called out our poses. It was also like 104 degrees. But honestly, the heat didn’t bother me so much as all my damn sweating did. I put a towel down on my mat because my feet kept sticking to it and I was dripping wet before we got through the warm-up. It wasn’t a super intense class though so I managed alright and was pretty proud of myself at the end of the hour. Mostly for not puking or passing out. And I can tell you that the 17 degree Chicago air felt pretty amazing when I walked out of the building.

So how did my friend and I celebrate? Tacos and margaritas, of course. Gotta stay hydrated somehow!

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Walk it Out

December 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I have officially been wearing my Jawbone step tracker for one entire year. Every day, I’ve managed to hit at least 10,000 steps. That’s a lot of walking! Here are some things I’ve learned:

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Ah yes, I’m familiar with this look.

  • It wasn’t easy. 10,000 steps is (for me) essentially about an hour and 45 minutes of walking each day. Since I don’t have a car and commute to the office, I walk a bit every day by default but there were many days that I had to force myself to go back out for another long walk in order to actually hit my steps. On some days, I literally had to plan around it and I often went out of my way to incorporate more walking.
  • Location matters. There was a big difference in my steps depending on where I was. It was always easier to hit them in Chicago and when I traveled to visit my family in other states where public transit isn’t as much of a thing, I felt it. I can’t even tell you how many laps I’ve made up and down my mom’s driveway in order to walk a little more! I’ve gotten spoiled to living in a place where there are sidewalks and I no longer take that for granted.
  • It becomes addicting. Logically, I know that I don’t have to “hit my steps” every day. But I’m just a little Type-A and once I started I just couldn’t stop. There was something about that daily vibration on my wrist that I just had to have! Sort of like a good habit. Which I guess is the point…
  • My tracker didn’t count stairs as two steps. Bummer, especially considering how I live on the third floor of a walk-up.
  • It did, however, count my elliptical and treadmill time at the gym. But not the stationary bike.
  • Some people thought I was crazy. I didn’t dispute that but I am glad I kept it up.

And because I think it’s interesting, here are some of my stats from the last year:

  • I walked an average of 13,698 steps a day
  • I walked the most in May, at 486,376 total steps
  • I walked the least in November, at 379,375 steps (not surprising given the wedding weekend and all)
  • Speaking of, I logged 11,478 steps on my wedding day…and I took off the band before the ceremony so that didn’t include all of my dancing, which probably added a few thousand more!
  • The most I walked in a single day was 26,746 steps (thanks to working an overnight at the museum…those nights were consistently my highest)
  • Overall, I walked 5 MILLION steps in 365 days.

Clearly my size 10 feet have done me some good after all!

 

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Yoga Time

April 26, 2016 at 2:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I attended my second-ever yoga class about a week ago and I lived to tell the tale!

I took one yoga class years ago at my old gym and while it was okay, it clearly didn’t make enough of an impression on me for me to go back. That was literally at least two years ago and in that time two new yoga/pilates studios have gone up right around my apartment. I wanted to sign up for classes but figured I should try one of the free classes offered at my gym before signing up for an actual commitment. Why don’t I just always take the free classes at my gym, you ask? Because the studio faces the weight machines and gives everyone working out a great view of the asses of everyone in the studio. This is especially undesirable since I don’t really know what I’m doing with yoga and would prefer not to have an audience if I land on my face.

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I can do…like half of these.

But I prevailed! I toughed it out for the entire hour of class (even though I thought about tossing in the towel – literally – every two or three minutes). And while it wasn’t easy, it was pretty awesome. I was surprised with my own strength and endurance and also really inspired by those around me who were clearly much stronger and much more flexible than I’ll ever be. But perhaps with some more practice I can be like them, too!

Truth be told, though, I haven’t been back since. However that’s mostly because I’ve been so busy I’m having a hard time staying on top of my regular workouts, let alone trying to incorporate something else in the mix. But it didn’t kill me so I plan on going back – and not waiting two years to do it! And maybe eventually I’ll work my way to one of those actual studios.

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Tough Technology

March 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I’ve been wearing one of those step-tracker/personal trainer doohickeys since the end of last year and I have to admit, I’m a little addicted. I personally sport the Jawbone, which I think it more stylish than the Fit-Bit while doing  basically the same thing. This contraption counts my steps and tracks my sleep, which is basically all I wanted it to do and it does come in pretty handy. It’ll track my calories too but I mostly like to see how far I walk and how much I sleep I get because it entertains and motivates me. Case in point: I’ve hit or exceeded my 10,000 steps every day this year! My sleep, on the other hand, isn’t as strong. And the Jawbone notices these things – then completely calls me out on it, which I guess is the whole reason I got it.

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Word.

I worked an overnight at the Museum on Friday evening and I racked up over 17,000 steps by the end of the day (meaning midnight Friday night). But wait, there’s more! Since part of my job during these overnights involves making rounds through all of the exhibits to ensure kids and parents are eventually going to sleep, I keep busy long after midnight. As you can see from this screenshot, I walked over half of my daily goal in steps between midnight and 2am! And my whopping 2.5 hours of sleep was about average for the overnights, so there was no surprise there. But I did think it was funny to have my phone app lecturing me like my mom. It even told me to take a nap! Which I didn’t do. I’m a grown-ass woman who can sleep when I want and no pocket computer or fancy bracelet is going to make me do differently!

But really, I’m pretty tired this week and a nap sounds great. Is this what people mean about technology becoming smarter than us and taking over? Because if AI has a half of the discipline that my damn Jawbone seems to think I should have, we’re all screwed.

 

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Tough Stuff

July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

So, I’m still going to the gym.  Crazy, right?  It’s been something like 9 months and I’ve actually stuck with it this entire time.  In fact, I woke up early on Saturday and went to work out before heading into the museum!  While it’s possible that parasites have invaded my brain, I like to think that I’ve just gotten into a new routine and that it’ll last for a while longer.

Mama said knock you out!

I usually do the same cardio/weights while there but recently I got re-acquainted with a long-lost hobby: boxing.  When I was in high school, I asked for a punching bag for Christmas and was rewarded with 60 lbs of awesomeness that hung in our basement.  I was never really shown how to use it or what form to have but I would wail on that bag to relieve my teenage angst and it was a beautiful thing.  Unfortunately, giant punching bags do not travel easily and it still resides in my mom’s basement.  However, the gym has a bag and after finding some old gloves a few weeks ago, I had a go.  And promptly made my knuckles bleed because I’m either a) a total bad ass or b) unable to properly throw a punch.  It’s probably the latter.  But it helped get out some frustration I was having with one particular co-worker and I felt much better afterwards, bloody knuckles and all!

While I’ll admit I haven’t lost a single pound in all this time, I do believe I can tell a difference in the overall shape and tone of things.  And I’m seeing muscles in places I’ve never seen muscles before, so that’s a bit of inspiration to keep this whole thing up.  Plus I do feel better after my work outs and in a twisted and sadistic sort of way, I look forward to them.  Plus plus, they’re taking the money for my membership each month whether I’m there or not so I might as well use what I pay for.

And my co-worker?  He better hope he never comes across me in a dark alley.

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The Runs

May 11, 2011 at 11:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

No, not like that.

What I’m thinking of today is this whole running/jogging thing I’ve heard so much about.  I know I’ve written about my insane inspirational friends who have run marathons and these days my sister is even included on that list.  I also know I’ve mentioned once or twice that the only time you’ll find me running will be if I’m being chased.  By zombies.  With chainsaws.  Monsters, rabid animals, teething children and hardcore Fox News watchers are also included in the list.

Still not gonna happen.

I’ve been thinking about it though because a few people who sit near me at work are avid runners and that’s been a popular topic of discussion as the weather (finally) warms up.  I’ve decided that with each degree the temperature increases, 32842 more Chicagoans decide to lace up and hit the streets.  I also had a conversation with a buddy of mine last night about how running helps him to clear his head and put his priorities in order.  He finds it relaxing.  I find it hard to understand.  To me, running was always something I was forced to do, either by evil gym teachers or heartless sports coaches.  I associate it with pain and torture, mostly because that’s what it is.  There’s a big move recently towards more “natural” running, i.e. running barefoot or with specially designed shoes that make it feel as though you’re sans sneakers.  This makes a bit more sense to me but only because, evolutionarily speaking, our bodies are made for running barefoot on grass and not in shoes on sidewalks.  However I also think that our running evolved because we were both predators and hunted ourselves – hence the current nonexistent need for my vegetarian, coddled American ass to hit the pavement.  And I’m fine with that.

Although a part of me does admit to being intrigued by this whole thing…especially as more and more people are raving about how great it is and many of them were once fellow haters such as myself.  What’s going on here?  Brainwashing?  Conspiracy?  Lack of hobbies?  Sheer lunacy?  I have no idea but until I figure it out I’ll be happy sitting on my back porch with my Cheez-Its and beer while I watch as everyone else jogs up and down my street.

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Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad My Car Was Totaled

May 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I’ve been living sans car for about a year and a half now (thanks to the drunk guy dressed like Santa Claus who ran over it while it was parked in a driveway…yes, you read that right), and while there are some things I miss, I’m actually pretty glad I no longer have a vehicle.  I know this may seem bizarre to some and trust me, if you had told me three years ago I would be happily lacking a car, I’d have thought you were crazy.  Luckily I live in a city that makes this possible, as there is no way that I could live back in Indiana without one.  I may long for wheels on grocery day but that’s about it.  Here are a few reasons why:

1.  Saving Mucho Moola

I no longer have to make a car payment or pay for insurance, oil changes, new tires, new brakes, new transmissions, new air fresheners or anything else car related.  When I hear someone complaining about the $500 payment they have to make to the auto mechanic, I silently give praise to that drunken Santa.  Sure, I pay in public transit fees, but that is significantly less than what I would be shelling out to own a vehicle.

2.  Gas Prices Don’t Bother Me

This is sort of related to Number One but I feel it’s so important it gets it’s very own numeric spot.  I happen to live in the city with the highest gas prices in the country and it is so wonderful to ignore them.  I pay no more attention to gas prices than I do to the homeless guy peeing on the sidewalk.  It’s really quite liberating (for both of us).

3.  I’m So Green!

I’ve always been a bit of a tree-hugger but lacking a car gives me serious hippie points.  It feels good to know that I’m not really leaving much of a carbon footprint when I go out and about and I’m glad to do what I can to make this city a tiny bit easier to breathe in.

4.  No More Tickets

This is a big one.  I have Hereditary Lead Foot Disease and it has caused problems in the past.  I’ve been pulled over many times and though I gave up counting years ago, I would say a safe estimate is somewhere between one and two dozen.  Because of said lead foot, most of those instances have resulted in actual tickets.  I sure don’t miss that panicked adrenaline rush that comes from seeing those flashing lights in a rear view mirror, and I sure don’t miss shelling out money to appease the speeding gods.

5.  No More Road Rage

I never had huge problems dealing with this but I did notice my rage increased the more I did city driving.  Now I can calmly walk along, laughing at those poor drivers stuck in hours worth of traffic.  Speaking of traffic, this is something I almost never have to deal with now.  Sure, I might get stuck in a bit on the bus, but I can always hop off and walk instead.  In fact, there are many times when I’m walking home and keep pretty much neck and neck with the traffic flow.  I can see how much this pisses people off while they sit in their cars, and I can only smile.

6.  No Worries About Wrecks

I’ve seen more than a few accidents while walking around and I am so happy I no longer have to concern myself with some idiot messing with my car.  Obviously, Santa already took care of that.  I also never have to worry about leaving my car someplace after a night of drinking, because as long as I can walk I can get myself home.  Actually, as long as I give my address to a cabbie I can get myself home.  How sweet it is.

7.  More Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

Not literally.  Well, there are a few pockets of flora that I stop to sniff but for the most part, the city doesn’t smell all that great.  Nonetheless, lacking a vehicle has given me opportunity to take my time as I get myself around.  I notice things on foot that I would likely fail to see in a car.  Also, I’m able to enjoy all those great people watching moments on the public transit – if you’ve read those posts, you know they provide quality stuff.

8.  I’m Actually Getting Exercise

Yup, I’ve inadvertently lost some weight now that I live in the city.  I walk a lot, at least a mile a day and sometimes four or five times that.  I wasn’t trying to drop the pounds but it happened and I’m not complaining.  Well, it would be nice if my pants fit better but that’s about it.  It’s also pretty convenient to have a built in exercise regimen that I can adhere to without planning or thought.

9.  No Parking Woes

I’ve been in situations where I’ve driven for hours, just trying to find parking in this blasted city.  This is no longer a concern to me and I really, really enjoy that.

10.  Seriously, I’m Saving So Much Money

I figured I’d bring this list full circle.  I know I’ve already mentioned it but I cannot imagine dishing out hundreds of dollars a month on car related activities.  It sort of worries me because if I’m ever in a situation where I need to buy a car again, I might just be too cheap to do it.  I guess only time will tell.

All in all, I think I owe drunk Santa.  And I also hope I never encounter a drunk Santa, ever again.

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