Category Archives: Health/Fitness

The Curious Case of the Lap Top and the Yoga Mat

I like research. Not the I-had-no-choice-as-to-my-research-topic-and-now-I’m-reading-a-book-about-the-Donner-party-and-I’m-squeamish type of research (true story: thanks Mr Mozden). I’m talking about looking up how to julienne a cucumber in the middle of cooking dinner research. Or  which type of jeans would look best with your body research. Or, my most recent endeavor, how to bend yourself into a pretzel research.

It all started when my parents bought my brother a nautilus system for his birthday. Now, I’ve used one of those before, but this thing is HUGE. With lots of  protruding metal bars and huge circular weights that you have to load on yourself. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the war I would inevitably wage with this thing.

And the war was short. It won. Hands down. After 20 minutes of staring at it in slight confusion, I opted to start looking into yoga. Relaxing and a good workout.  And without all of the scary equipment. I’ve gone to a few different yoga classes, but never really had the time to make it a regular thing; so why not do it myself? Let the research begin.

I spent two days just looking through different poses, tips, sequences and stretches, hoping it would all get absorbed into my brain before I hit the mat. On that third day, I knew it was time. And so, armed with a yoga mat, a bottle of water and my laptop, I descended the stairs to my basement, traversed through my cat’s lair (really, though. It’s his spot. And if you don’t acknowledge it, you’re a goner), and found my way to the exercise room. About a half hour later, I’d attempted one pose, and then, afraid that I was doing it wrong and would somehow pull every muscle in my body, I stopped, opened up my laptop and began to look up again exactly how to do it the right way.

This carried on for another forty-five minutes before I collapsed onto the mat, a ball of frustration and tension (so much for yoga being relaxing). As I reached for my laptop to look up cool down techniques, I was hit with a strange thought- maybe researching something while you’re doing it is a bad way to go about things. Maybe it’s just a clever way of procrastinating. Maybe your laptop is what’s holding you back from succeeding in holding the warrior pose longer than 10 seconds. Maybe…

…I should probably look that up.

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Operation Track is a Go.

I am not a runner. Not by anyone’s standards. Igor from “Young Frankenstein” could easily beat me in a race. After he had a few Jager Bombs. And twisted his ankle.

I am also not a patient person, especially when it comes to myself. If I think I should be able to do something, then I should be able to do it by the end of the day. Gradually building up to things, making reasonable short term goals to climb towards long-term ones…these concepts do not work well with my general state of being.

And yet, I have always been fascinated by running. The passion this sport ignites in people is incredibly seductive, especially when you’ve never experienced it. It’s also one of those things that you have to start slowly and work at continuously, gradually pushing yourself past your original limitations, onward… clearly, this was made for me.

Regardless of my obvious short-comings in the world of running, this fascination has led me to my most recent endeavor. Let’s call it Operation Don’t Look Like an Asshole on the Track- or Operation Track, for short. Recently, I was introduced to a 6-week running plan for new runners. And since I know nothing about how to do this (if you have ever had the misfortune to see me run, you understand how true that statement is), I thought perhaps it would be best to turn to someone who knows what they’re talking about before I end up on crutches. Or just out of breath and no closer to being able to run two miles in one go.

I wish I could say I was writing this at the conclusion of week one, and boy do I love it, how could I have waited so long to start, yada yada yada. Nope. Day 1. And it’s just as wheeze-inducing as it’s always been. But this time, there’s a determination that I have never experienced with running, a need to prove to myself that I can do this. I am capable of doing this. And so, as much as I would love to wake up a runner tomorrow, or just stick with pilates and call it a day, I’m going to commit to this. It’s something I can control, hold myself accountable for, and feel good about doing. I mean, the last time I started something that covered all of those, I started writing a blog. Pretty good motivation, if you ask me.

So, any tips for new runners?