tumblingdays: Post-It Note that says "Walk Around the House Like a Fucking Champion" (defiance)
This morning I accomplished something really challenging at the gym. I've been working toward being able to do planks, which require a good deal of core strength. They are not easy. If you've never seen the exercise, here is an image: http://cdn.womenshealthmag.com/files/images/0905-poster-side-plank.preview.jpg. Not me. I think eventually you straighten out the bottom arm, but I am definitely not there yet, and with my arthritic shoulder may never be. Still, I can do this pose for 30 seconds on each side, with a 30 second basic plank in the middle. (Another image that isn't me: http://www.fithacker.com/images/plank.jpg.)

I was sitting up after the second set of these thinking, "How in the hell can a minute and a half be that LONG?!?!" when my personal trainer said, "There. Wasn't that worth it?" And I realized that holy shit, I just did a full set of planks without giving up, without my body giving out, without falling down, without losing my breath! Holy shit.

I've been working toward incremental improvements in fitness for so very long that I had forgotten when I first started working out that I was proud when I broke 10 seconds on the basic plank and that I couldn't even get my hips off the ground to do a side plank. Here I am, poo-pooing at my minute and a half, and it is SO MUCH farther than I've ever been. Even better, those planks were just a stop in the middle of circuit. There were weights and crunches and rows going on.

I don't regret that I've opted for incremental fitness. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love to get fit really quickly, but that's not realistic. This process- where I set small (very small) incremental goals and then meet them and then set a new goal- is much more effective than any get fit scheme I've seen. Sometimes my new goal is related, sometimes I get bored and do something completely different. Some goals just get sidetracked- earlier this year I got a wild hair to learn how to do cartwheels and after falling often I moved on without ever really getting it right. Permission to simply fail and move on is part of the plan.

On another note, I finished Chapter two of Women Food and God without any new insight. Chapter three gave me A LOT to digest. I plan to re-read it and blog about it later. It merits some consideration.
tumblingdays: (celebrate)
Despite my initial rough start, I actually ended up having a very nice weekend. My husband and I went to Nashville's Tomato Art Fest on Saturday, where we met up with friends, viewed local art work, listened to music, and ate fried green tomato BLTs. It was a good time.

Yesterday evening, we joined friends to celebrate C's graduation from college. C, like me, took the scenic route to a college degree. I know how hard it is to go back to school as a full-fledged adult. It feels like squeezing yourself back into a too-tight space. I'm proud of her for doing it. We stayed later than we intended, meeting new people and getting to know other people better. It was a lovely night.

This morning, I walked four miles. This is a personal best for me, and I am pretty darn proud of it! Shell and I took our time, so we took a full hour and an half to get through it, but I have never walked four miles before without stopping. Just two weeks, I walked my first formal 5K, and she and I are doing another one in October, but this was a new milestone, and I'm celebrating it.

My husband and I followed that up with a second graduation party this afternoon for another excellent friend. He just earned a masters degree. People who can keep going back to school impress me so much. I'm not much for classroom learning, and he, like my husband, is clearly a scholar. So cool.

We ended the evening playing a board game with friends. The game is based on the Battlestar Galactica tv series, which I never liked. I admit that I was prepared not to like it, because I didn't watch the show and I don't usually care for strategy games, but it was a really good time. I'd totally play again.

Now I'm at home and preparing for my week. I'm trying to live my new favorite quote:

"Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space."

So I'm spending a little time this evening contemplating the spaces I will inhabit this week and what energy I can contribute to them. It's a meaningful meditation at the beginning of the week.

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October 2011

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