Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Fickle Zealot

If I recall, when last I left you I was all ate up with CrossFit and Herbalism. I'm really sorry to burst your bubble, but it turns out I was completely full of shit. Not only did I give up on the herbalist school, but I also dropped out of CrossFit. Evidently I was doing exactly the thing that I was trying to avoid: latching on to the shiniest trend that caught my eye and obsessing over it with no real follow through.

I would like to justify this by thinking of the whole experience as trying things on for a little while to see how they fit. Except for I kind of convinced myself in the dressing room that the things were going to be my new uniform for ever and ever. heh. So that didn't work out quite like I expected. But you might have seen that coming. Perspective and all.

So now my new latest thing is Real Estate. Because why not? I took an online licensing course which I thought I'd be able to complete with less time and hassle involved than commuting to the physical class for two to eight weeks depending on how I registered. I was incorrect in that assumption. It took me... (counts on fingers)... FOUR MONTHS to get through. In my defense I'm pretty sure I skipped the month of August almost entirely but still. It was a lot longer than I'd originally anticipated.

BUT I FINISHED! Which, if you know me in person, is kind of a big deal because I leave a LOT of unfinished projects in my wake.  butanyway, then I actually took the final exam for the class and PASSED! And a week later I took the State Licensing Exam and PASSED that TOO! Woo hoo!  Except for that was all the way last Friday and it's Wednesday now and I don't quite know what to do next.

Find a Broker is the obvious answer. It's the how of that that's tripping me up at the moment. I just have to call and set up interviews and see which place I like best I suppose.  This is assuming I'm going to be in a position to choose from multiple offers of course. Something about horses and carts here.

ANYWAY, so that's the latest. I just need to keep myself in gear and make a few phone calls and pray to the harmony of the Universe that nobody asks for a resume.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Zen of CrossFit

When I think about meditation, I think about raked sand gardens and lotus flowers and a bunch of monks chilling out in silence on some mountain in Tibet. I do not think about weight plates clanging around on the concrete floor of an unfinished warehouse while some version of bass-thumping hardcore music blasts from the speakers overhead.

Yet if meditation means that you intently focus on one thing and clear your mind of all the petty chatter, then CrossFit is the most meditative part of my day.

When I started on this journey... first of all, I didn't realize it would become a journey (I know. I drank the kool-aid. shhh) but secondly, I never saw zenlike coming.

The thing is, when you're doing the Workout of the Day there is nothing else. There's no: does Game of Thrones start this weekend or next; how much longer til I pay off that credit card; is quinoa paleo?

None of that.

There is only: chest up; heels down; dig it out; and that's only how many reps so far?!

Nothing else exists. Until you're done of course and you lie down on the floor for a little while catching your breath and grateful to be alive.

I think the obvious difference between meditation and CrossFit is the competitive aspect. Whether you're competing against yourself or other crossfitters, I just don't think you can quantify meditation with a stop watch or reps per minute. And I don't know any monks personally but I doubt they get on facebook and declare how hard they crushed a meditation session.

Which is probably why a lot of crossfitters come off as douchey. I get it. Which is why I refuse to post about CrossFit anywhere except here.

Having said that, I have to get this out. I signed up for a competition. Because it seemed like a great idea at the time and it's just a small, local, women's only thing and they have 3 different levels, so OF COURSE I'll be considered a Novice since I just started all this nonsense last month, and what's the worst, right?


After answering the registration questionnaire I somehow got placed in the Intermediate category and now I'm totally freaking out because I do not feel anywhere near an Intermediate level when it comes to this sport. I have to google what the exercises are most of the time. I can't figure out how to get my grip right during a back squat so the bar doesn't go all crooked. I still tip forward a little coming up from an air squat and I'm barely even ready for banded pull ups at this point. And if that sounds like Intermediate then Beginners must be hobbling around on crutches or something.

I'm pretty competitive is what I'm saying and I signed up for this event to challenge myself not to end up in some America's Funniest Videos epic fail montage.

So I'm going to have to address this when I go for class tonight because I've either got to get out of that category or we have to seriously improve my skills these next 5 weeks because the last time I pulled a sled there was a toddler riding on it and the only time I flipped a tire I was changing a flat on the old minivan. So yeah, we have some work ahead.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Back to School

An accidental benefit of this CrossFit thing and its making me want to write again is that in writing again I'm getting my schoolwork done because I've told myself I can't write a post until I get an essay, test, or lesson completed. Which actually got me to finish two essays I've been putting off for weeks now.

See, I've started an online program to become a Master Herbalist. Which makes me feel kind of weird and defensive to admit out loud because it reminds me of a stunt for some stereotypical middle aged woman who goes bananas with every New-Age Enchantment Du Jour to try to find herself. At first I had a rough time justifying that this was any different than when I watched my mother's friends seek out nirvana through past life regression sessions or Jazzercise or whatever over the years but then I remembered that I am doing this as a small act of rebellion against that kind of behavior.

Because last Fall a friend of mine paid a bunch of money to drink the kool aid about this AWESOME MIRACLE ANTI-AGING SERUM and she approached me to get in on buying/selling it. At first I thought, "You know, I've been looking for an opportunity to make some money on the side. How serendipitous!"  Then I did five minutes of research and found: A) I could buy the same product she was pitching for the same price on ebay, and 2) that meant that if *I* bought into the program too joined her on this journey! to start selling the stuff myself introduce people to this amazing opportunity! then I'd lose my ass probably still have boxes of the stuff in the back of my car long after the company founders retired to Belize.

At which point I decided that I would rather learn how to make my own miracle potions than to shill for someone else. So I got clickety online some more and here we are. Enrolled in a Master Herbalist diploma program which I think is pretty cool. It's endorsed by the American Herbalist Guild if that makes it sound any less sketchy to you which it did to me so there.

The reason for the Master Herbalist direction is that the healthcare system is so fucked up anymore. With all the commercials being for medication lately I've noticed that the lists of side effects that take up half the commercial have become less cautionary sounding and more like a subliminal backbeat on the soundtrack of smiling people RVing into the Grand Canyon. Like, "Yes, you're fat, achy, and stressed out to the point of sexual dysfunction. And possibly always will be even if you take our pill with all these scary, risky side effects. But don't pay attention to all that because you'll miss the Dire Straits music."


My more immediate reason to become a Master Herbalist is that I can't find decent Tincture of Arnica since my father stopped making it himself and I have two teenage boys who like extreme sports and take a lot of falls in the liking and there's not one thing better on the planet for getting rid of a giant, swollen, painful bruise than Tincture of Arnica. And the stuff you can get from the Horse Supply Catalog is made with rubbing alcohol instead of grain alcohol and it doesn't work for shit (which a horse probably won't tell you but is my 13 year old's freely offered opinion. you're welcome) The tincture is applied topically, FYI. I'm mentioning this so you don't think I feed my kids liquor. or rubbing alcohol.

ANYWAY, I want to be able to make that and whatever other non-prescription, natural remedies I can conjure up is what I'm saying. And I don't really feel like that's a bandwagon activity. yet.

In other news, my second Crossfit class is tonight. I am about as crazy sore from the first class as I expected but I'm definitely looking forward to more and I didn't necessarily expect that. It's a very competitive environment but I am mainly competing with myself. Since there are very few people who are harder on me than me, I'm pretty sure positive results will follow.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Fitness Obsession That Starts with a Groupon. Probably.

When last I left you, I mentioned I was going to be doing the whole Brazil Butt Lift thing. Well, yeah, not so much with that. What I forgot to consider about the Brazil Butt Lift experience is that it's a choreographed workout routine. Aside from one low-level aerobics class I took in college 20 years ago, choreographed workouts and I do not get along. Whether it's my unreliable sense of balance or my fierce individuality, I cannot manage to keep up with a roomful of people who can lunge and grapevine with Rockette-like precision. It's frustrating and I'll walk out of a class faster than you can bouncily say OKAY! FOUR MORE! 

So the idea of partaking in such nonsense in my living room where I have easy access to the remote control...all I can say is "Obrigado anyway, Leandro," and, "Go to hell," because I'm pretty sure most of those testimonials were exaggerated. 

soanyway, if anyone wants a like-new set of Brazil Butt Lift dvds they're yours for cheap.

After that failed attempt at getting an ass you can bounce a quarter off of, I joined a gym.  So the stubborn 12 pounds I haven't been able to shed since quitting smoking are all but a distant memory.  And Commence with the Monetary Acrobatics! Right? 

Meh. It's been almost 5 months and it doesn't seem to matter whether I count my calories or don't, or drink a gallon of water a day or just one bottle, or go to the gym 3 times a week, or 4, or one...I'm not getting anywhere except discouraged and a little desperate. 

I even did the Apple Fast again but that didn't accomplish the miraculous transformation I was hoping for.  I thought about joining Weight Watchers again because even though it took a while, I reached my pre-baby weight not too long after I had kids. Or maybe the Cabbage Soup Diet (I'm a little embarrassed to say) again because that worked for a couple of pounds and only took a week to do. I thought about investing in a trainer but that's more money than I want to spend. I thought about doing the Master Cleanse but I live with and cook for 3 other people and I don't feel like fully exposing my insanity in that way for 10 days. I thought about yoga because 1. Jennifer Aniston and 2. despite the group setting I'm pretty good at it and like it a lot. But the class times and places would cause more stress to get to and from and thereby defeat the purpose. *Sigh.* bummer.

Then....browsing Groupon like I'm apt to do, I came across an offer I've seen before, and almost bought before, but I'm straight up terrified of it. Two months of Crossfit. Like any good recreational stalker I looked at the company's website and facebook page trying to get a feel for whether or not this was something I should be seriously considering at all.  Then I started googling information about Crossfit in general. The more I read the more I started thinking this might be the thing for me. Even though it has its own language and culture I felt like it focused on challenging yourself and strength and empowerment and RAH! etc. And I can scale back the workouts if I need to, and there's something for everyone, and nobody is going to force me to wear those dumb looking knee socks if I don't want to. Anyway, I could at least try it for 2 months.  I'll either hate it or love it. Given everything I've read about it so far I know there's not going to be an in-between. 

As you might expect by now, I bit the bullet and bought the Groupon. I even went by the place after work to take a look at the facility and meet the people which is something I probably should have done before I made my purchase but I knew if I didn't jump on it right then I'd let another year go by before I got my ass in shape and, well, I'm not getting any younger. But the guy who gave me the tour was really nice and all the people in the class I saw were women and there was a lot of big eyes and enthusiastic nodding on my part so I'm pretty sure I lucked out with the right location for my new cult.

My two months starts on Monday. I am nervous and excited and I'm probably going to have to document my progress here because if the past week is any indication then I'm going to want to talk about Crossfit. A lot. And I know my boyfriend is going to get sick of it and I can't afford to annoy everyone I know on facebook since that's where I'm planning my 25th high school reunion. Which is this year. Which probably weighs heavily on my motivation now that I'm thinking of it.  

So yeah, if all goes well I'll be posting here about how I crushed the WOD and hit a new PR and any revelations I'll have from eating Paleo or whatever. I'll even post before and after photos. Once I get to the after part. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The One After the Hiatus

"Human beings do metamorphose.They change their identity constantly. However, each new identity thrives on the delusion that it was always in possession of the body it has just conquered." ~ From "Xenocide" by Orson Scott Card

I read that the other day and it struck me. I have been thinking of getting back into writing for a while and I considered starting a whole new blog. New name, new hosting, the whole deal. But then I read the above quote. And realized...dammit. I'd just be deluding myself that the new blog is all there ever was. Trying to deny the existence of this space that got me to where I was in le blogosphere however many years ago when I was on my blog-a-day mission. Plus it would be a pain in the ass trying to get new followers. And it's not like it would be anything that much different than what I was writing before anyway, although I did toy with the idea of niche blogging for about a minute. But good googly I know I'd get bored with that before the first post was finished.

So, even though I'm a little freaked out about picking up writing again, I'm doing it anyway. Probably because I'm freaked out actually. And because writing is one my Birthday Resolutions. Well, writing and completing the Brazil Butt Lift 60 day transformative workout plan. Which scares me too. But I won't be starting that until the kids get back in school because the idea of them walking in on me sweating my unbalanced ass off is not so much scary as it is wholly unacceptable.

But wait, go back, (I imagine you thinking) why on earth would I be freaked out? Mainly because this is like therapy for me and when I was going to therapy regularly I'd never end up talking about what I thought I wanted to talk about. The session always took it's own turns and I landed someplace that had very little to do with where I had intended to go. Which was probably better. But still a lot to process.

So yeah, I want to organize my thoughts and get some of my sense of self back. Because Candy Crush is an awesome time suck and everything but I'm starting to get the brain of a jelly bean after (don't judge me) 655 levels. I am hoping to achieve some kind of zenlike nirvana-ish enlightenment this year since I'm 42 now and according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Answer is 42. So I'm morphing that to mean that the answer will be found somewhere during the 42. Because why not.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

C'est La Mort

It was a 3'x4' sheet of silvered glass I picked up at a garage sale for five dollars. I'm assuming it spent the first part of its reflective life on someone's bathroom wall before it came to live with me. I kept it in a storage room for a while before it commanded to be put on watch over the naked minutiae of daily life this house has to offer. Blood, sweat, tears, laughter, sex, death, all of it. The mirror saw, yet kept a polite distance reflecting only the ceiling from most perspectives. Like a watchful eye with a perpetually skyward whistle.

When the house demo/rebuild happened and I was going to need a new paint color in the living room the mirror expressed to me some anxiety. Everytime I looked at it thinking I should move it for painting it told me it would break.

Move = Break rang in my head.

It might be weird that I think inanimate objects express feelings in my direction. But I couldn't help it.

I enlisted help to get the mirror down because I remember putting it up by myself and that caused more than a couple panicked hyperventilating moments. I mean, it weighed more than 50 pounds and I had to balance it up a ladder and over my head to get it on its perch over the fireplace. How I managed that without a trip to the ER is still mysterious to me.

So it got down fine enough and it rested against a wall or a sofa or another wall or wherever was most convenient at the time. And each time someone moved it for practical reasons they explained how it had to be moved or else it would break.

 Move/Break. It was a thing. Not just me.

So somehow the mirror got moved against a kitchen wall to be out of the way. Which was probably the stupidest place since that particular wall gets the very most traffic in the house of all the places and when I heard the thrashing shatterous noise of glass against the floor from around the corner I wasn't at all surprised. Just disappointed in the careless way the mirror finally got dead. I guess I expected a more glorious exit. 

Death doesn't always happen with glorious. Sometimes things just die.

I picked up the pieces of mirror as best I could. Plates, shards, slivers, dust. I saved a lot of them in a box to make a mosiac because I think the mirror reflected a significant part of my life that shouldn't just be tossed out. It should be made into something pretty. So I maybe might cover a planter with it or whatever. Whatever it is is going to live outside. I think whatever the mirror absorbed probably needs to not be in the house anymore.

It was what it was and it's gone. It's meant to be something different now. And that's fine too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm Not Dead; I'm 3D

I'm not dead. I've been very much the opposite of dead for quite some time now as a matter of fact. I've been three dimensional and not doing much online except playing facebook slingo and clicking the Like button every so often.

Okay, so I'm not displaced anymore like I was when last I left you either. I made good on my promise to move back into the house as soon as plumbing was installed. And I was one hundred percent serious when I said I'd move back in walls or not. Because walls weren't done and BAM! I said thank you to the outlaws and left a trail of flame to get back here. Nothing went awry during my time with them, but I didn't want to stick around and take my chances of that happening.

The renovation is working its way into week...six? eight? I have no idea. It's been a long fucking time though and I still don't have everything finished. Well THEY don't have everything finished. But even the stuff I've been responsible for is not completely done either. Tiling the laundry room floor for example. I still have a few left to do there. It's just sticky vinyl tile and stupid easy and I really have no excuse except I kind of ran out of steam. And I have to finish painting the laundry room. Which...I mean, come on. It's the laundry room. It's my least favorite room of the house. I really don't want to spend oodles of time in there for any reason so the delay is psychological and I already primed and painted two bathrooms and a big ass living room with a vaulted ceiling and everything so give me a damn break already.

The cabinets are back in where cabinets are supposed to be. Countertops will be coming sometime next week. I think. Which means they'll probably be in sometime the week after that because nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has gotten done when they said it would. I will concede that the countertops did get delivered on the day they finally said (which was two weeks after the day they originally said). But in my mind "delivered" meant "installed" and in their minds "delivered" just meant "dropped off." So the cabinets sat in boxes in my living room for two days. mocking me. It was practically painful. but they're in place now so yay. and omgthankgod.

It's been a grueling process is what I'm trying to say and part of the reason I haven't been internetty is because I didn't want to put you through the same hell I've endured. you're welcome. I was waiting until everything was finished finished before I wrote anything here again but I've come to realize that if I kept that promise to myself then I may very well never write again and that prospect didn't thrill me in the least. And I've said, "This time next Friday it'll all be put back together" for so many weeks now I can't even finish the sentence without laughing like a crazy person. I'm only a couple weeks away from wallpapering a cell with all the Fridays cut out from the calendar probably.

Anyway, amid the hullaballo we've planted a vegetable garden and a couple flower beds. Because I had zero control over anything going on inside the house so closet control freak me had to exert influence over something and WAHLAH! Tomatoes! and cucumbers and watermelons and zucchini and green beans and peppers and peas and some other stuff that I forget right now. radishes maybe. herbs and whatnot. And that was fun and satisfying and everything's doing really well so far.

There's been plenty else going on in the last month or so and I really could have kept it updated here with things like the time the Kreepy Karpet salesman tried to pressure me into not only a sale but also a date one afternoon. Even though the guy was dripping with turquoise jewelry and eyed me like I was standing on an auction block, it was mainly off-putting because it happened in front of Thing 2.  Dude didn't get the sale or the date but I found the interaction an exceptionally valuable teaching moment to explain to my 10 year old how not to be a douchebag when he grows up.  The More You Know *ting!*

I've also found out that when workmen start to rant at me for reasons beyond my control, I accidentally do my best impression of the pothole voice from that Geico commercial. mm