Crazy Eights: XI

1. I really miss running.  Especially now that the weather is nice and cool, I get pretty envious when I see people in my town out for a run.  *sigh*

2. I’m fully back into my Pilates classes now, so that’s helping me to be more satisfied with my level of fitness.  It’s not a cardiovascular workout, though.  Last week I rode a stationary bike at the YMCA.  It was nice to do something to get my heart rate up a bit, even though I was kind of sore later.  I’m also considering using the elliptical machine because I think that will put less pressure on my foot than walking does.

3. Christmas is just over two months away.  Have you started shopping?  My knitted gifts are nearing completion; I have two started and one more to start, and then some small finishing up to do on several.  I think I’ll get done in time.  Gifts for Chef are a whole different topic.  I have ideas, but I haven’t begun shopping yet.  I’m starting to feel the pressure.

4. Oh, gosh.  One of my dogs just flatulated.  It is a far more horrible smell than when humans do it.  Dog gas is horrendous.  Chef and I have been known to bury our heads under the covers when it happens at night.  Or pull our shirts up over our noses if it happens while we’re watching television.  The dogs don’t seem to notice, though.  Or when they do, they flatulate next to us, and then leave the room.  RUDE!

5.  I recently bought three pairs of pants.  They are all the same brand, same style, and the same size.  The army green ones fit.  The gray ones fit.  The khaki ones are too big.

6. I’ve been thinking more and more about trying to start a small business of my own.  I am not sure what it would be, though.  I have ideas, but I don’t know if I have the motivation and dedication to make them work.

7.  The other day, I had this random phrase flit through my head: “Walking through the world in a corduroy suit.”  I don’t know why.  Did I hear it somewhere?  Is it in a song?  Did my brain just randomly put those words together?  It has been puzzling me ever since.

8. You know my husband?  Chef?  Well, I like him.

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Fitness on One Leg

I probably don’t have to tell you that I’ve really missed running lately.  Although the weather this week is very warm again, we’ve had some really beautiful days that would have been perfect for a nice run.  When I drive to or from work and I see runners, I admit to some envy.  I want to be out there, too.  But I will have to wait until spring.

In the meantime, I’m working on staying fit as much as I can.  It’s certainly not easy.  No running, or even walking.  No cycling.  Nothing that requires weight on the right foot.  However, Pilates does not require weight on the feet!  I was so happy to get back into the YMCA on Saturday and participate in my Pilates class again.  The teacher was tough, and it was exactly what I wanted and needed.  Lots of work on the abs, back, and hips.  Finally, my right leg got back to work!  I fear that it’s becoming puny in comparison to my left leg, but since shorts weather has passed for the most part, I’ll just keep those gams covered until they are of equal size again.

I had originally anticipated that the use of crutches would beef up my noodle arms.  I don’t think that has actually occurred.  In my opinion, my arms look and feel pretty much the same as they always have.  I’ve considered getting out the weights in order to work those arms a little more (because if I can’t work my legs, maybe I should work my arms, right?) but then I realized that my arms are already getting tired of carrying me around every day, and if I lifted weights, those upper appendages might just revolt and refuse to do anything at all.  And since what little mobility I have right now is important to me, I decided to forgo the weights.

Every now and then, I like to remind my right leg that it still knows how to move around and do work.  I’ve been known to suddenly start moving my leg around as I’m sitting in a chair, just to prove that I can still do it.  I’m able to put more weight on my right heel and the outside of the right foot now, so sometimes I hobble around, a few yards at a time, without my crutches, just to prove that I can.  (And to give my arms a break.  And so that I can actually carry something from one spot to another.)

In two weeks and three days (not that I’m counting), I anticipate that the doctor will release me to full weight on my right foot.  I am very excited for that day.  No running, of course, but maybe some cycling?  Perhaps the elliptical machine at the Y?  A walk at the park?  It will seem like heaven.

I Don’t Like Zumba

I’ve been thinking for a while about trying some exercise classes at the Y, aside from Pilates.  I’ve gotten very used to my individual fitness pursuits — things I can do by myself like running, cycling, weight training, or using the elliptical machines.  But people I know keep talking about Zumba and how much fun it is.  And hey, I’m a girl who likes to have fun.

Zumba is supposed to be a combination of dance and fitness.  I like to dance, and I like fitness, so I thought this might be a really good class for me to take.  And since everyone says it’s “soooooo much fun,” I figured it was worth a shot.

My local YMCA is offering a class right now called “Intro to Zumba.”  The idea is that some people want to try Zumba, but are intimidated with all the dance moves.  The intro class is supposed to help people ease into it.  This class is actually offered at a time when I can go, so I thought this would be a great way to get started.

I walked into the exercise room about 10 minutes before class to find it already filled with about 20 women.  I didn’t know any of them, which left me standing a little awkwardly in the back of the room, but I didn’t let that bother me even though everyone else seemed to have brought a friend along.  Instead, I did a little people-watching.  By 10:00, when class was scheduled to begin, I estimate there were 30 to 35 women in the room.

Now, I have a little quirk:  I don’t really like women.  Especially large groups of women.  I don’t go to women’s Bible studies or women’s retreats, and I don’t go to Girls’ Night Out.  I avoid wedding showers and baby showers.  It’s just way too much estrogen in a small space.  So the fact that this class included a smallish room jam-packed with women was the first strike against it for me.

Then the class began.  The instructor, Sharon, was perky.

If there’s anything that irritates me almost as much as rooms full of women, it’s perky womenI just don’t do perky.

Strike two.

I’m sure that part of the appeal of Zumba is that it is a mixture of dance and fitness.  I guess it’s supposed to feel like you’re just at a dance party, but you’re getting a workout.  But here’s a news flash for you: You can get a workout just by dancing. The instructor led the class in specific moves we were supposed to be doing — these work the abs a little more, those work the hip area, the rest are just a good cardio workout.  But in my opinion, the Zumba dance moves are boring.  I really like dancing, and I like the challenge of difficult dance moves.  I like practicing to get them right.  The Zumba moves are pretty simple, and it’s repetitive.  And that’s probably a good thing for a fitness class, because you want people to catch on quickly so they can get their heart rates up within the hour you have.  But it doesn’t feel like dancing to me.  To me, dance is not just a workout — it’s fun, it’s interactive, it’s challenging, and it has variety.  Zumba didn’t do that for me.

Strike three.

If I’m going to take a fitness class, I’d rather just work on the fitness.  Give me a body part to work until it burns, and then let’s work on the next one.  If I’m going to do some cardio, I’d rather run or bike alone than be surrounded by women and be encouraged by a way-too-happy instructor.

And if I’m going to dance, give me tough moves that take time to master.  Give me a partner with whom I have to work things out, or give me a performance for which I have to get ready.

I’m pretty sure that I’m the only woman on earth who doesn’t love Zumba.  I’m okay with that.  Just add it to the list of things that makes me a little bit odd.  (The list includes the fact that I don’t really care for chocolate, I almost never wear makeup, and the aforementioned dislike of large groups of women.)

You might love it, but Zumba is definitely NOT for me.

How Chef Works Out

I write a lot about my workouts — my running, Pilates, elliptical training, and my 100 push-ups plan (yes, I’m STILL stuck on week 4, but I’m hoping to move on to week 5 soon.)

But Chef works out, too.  Just not in the same way.

First, ice sculpting is a very physical job.  He has to move around blocks of ice that are 300 pounds.  He carves them with chainsaws die grinders that are pretty heavy.  He’s on his feet a lot.  This is serious work — especially compared to my job, which involves sitting at a desk and moving the pile of papers on my right to a different stack on my left.

In the winter, he’s not only carving for business, but also in competitions almost every weekend from January through early March.  He burns a lot of calories wrangling that ice in 20 degree temperatures.

In the summer, he’s still carving, but he also plays team sports.

Chef is on the church softball team.  They usually have practice on Sunday afternoons and their games are every Thursday evening.  There are a lot of guys on the team this year, so Chef hasn’t had as much playing time as he’d like, but he gives it his all every time he’s out there.

And on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he meets up with a bunch of guys to play soccer.  You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Chef’s a pretty fast guy.

Here are some photos of Chef in action (He’s in a blue shirt and blue shorts):

You know how I try to stay fit, and you know how Chef stays fit.  How do you stay fit?

Stymied!

Last Friday I had planned to go for a five mile run, but since we were celebrating our anniversary that day and I knew we’d be walking a lot, I decided to forgo the run.  Good thing I did, too, because after hours of walking around the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, my legs were  plumb tuckered out.  Good thing we got to sit down for the Indianapolis Indians game!  The Indians beat the Columbus Clippers, and then there was a fireworks show… just like the fireworks in my heart as I thought of our wedding day ten years ago.  (Oh, sorry.  Was that too sickeningly sweet for you?)

The next day, my legs were still tired, so instead of running to the YMCA like I usually do for my Pilates class, I biked.  It wasn’t as much of a workout as walking, but it was plenty for my tired self.

Sunday I managed a two-mile run.  Monday I took a day off from exercising (though I did mow the yard).  Tuesday I was planning to bike to work, but forecasts of severe thunderstorms changed my mind.  I did manage to make it to the Y for four miles on the elliptical machine, though.  Today it was raining pretty hard when I got up, so no biking to work today either.

I’m having a hard time getting all my exercising in!

On top of all that, I am STILL stuck on week 4 of my 100 push ups plan.  In fact, I had to move myself from the middle track to the easiest track.  I also found out that the 10K I was planning to run next week has been shortened to a 5-mile run due to construction on the Greenway.

I feel stymied at every turn.  I AM still a runner!  I’m just having a hard time living it right now.  But I’m trying to get some exercise in — biking and elliptical machines are still okay.  It’s cross-training, after all.  Plus I plan to go canoeing with friends this weekend, and that will help work my noodle arms.

How are you doing on your workout regimen?

Small Town Slacker

It has been a week since my last run.

It’s been hot, and I’ve been busy.  Last Friday, I rode my bike to work (12 miles, round trip), and my body was too tired to go for a run after that.  Saturdays I usually run to the YMCA and take a Pilates class, but I had big plans for my holiday weekend.  Instead, I slept late on Saturday and then got up and mowed the grass, did the laundry, trimmed the trees, and planted the herbs we had bought at the Farmers’ Market Friday evening.  I also sanded and primed the canoe in preparation for painting.  It was a very busy day.

Sunday after church, I worked on the canoe some more before we visited family and watched the Indy 500.  And Monday I cleaned the whole house, did another couple of loads of laundry, watched Chef play soccer, went grocery shopping, and then prepared food for Monday Night Dinner.

So all of that, along with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s, not to mention the stupid chronic foot issues I have, made running seem a little less than desirable.

But the holiday is over, and I’ve got a 10 K coming up this month!  It’s time to get back to work!  Who’s with me?  (Please?  Seriously, I need all the encouragement I can get right now.)

Physical and Financial Fitness

It’s long past time to pull out the old Sonic Flyer.

I wanted to ride my bike earlier this spring, but I noticed that the back tire had a rather large bulge in it.  Fearful that the tire might pop while I was miles away from home, I put off riding until we saved up for a new tire.  Finally, the money for the tire fit in the budget, and Chef and I went to the store to buy it.  And then the tire sat on the kitchen counter for a while.

I asked my father-in-law, cyclist-extrordinaire, to help me change the tire.  He agreed, and came over one evening for dinner and we went into the garage to get the job done.

Only, Chef and I don’t really have any tools in our garage.  (This was a confusing concept to our neighborhood friend, Dennis the Menace, who came over one evening asking to borrow a set of Allen wrenches.  Chef told him we didn’t have any.  Dennis said, “But you have that garage out there!”)  There used to be tools in the garage, but when Chef moved his business out of the home a few years ago, the tools went with the business.  We really need to buy tools for home.

Anyway, we needed a wrench to get the wheel off the bike, and we didn’t have one.  So the bike had to keep waiting forlornly in the garage.

A week later, I came home to find that the wheel was off my bike.  Hooray!  Chef had brought home a wrench and taken off the wheel and replaced the tire.  The next day, he put the wheel back on, and I went for a nice five mile ride after work.

A couple of years ago, when gasoline got up to $4 per gallon, I started riding my bike to work.   Although gasoline is cheaper now, I think it’s high time I started taking the old Sonic Flyer to work a couple of days a week.  Mondays and Thursdays I have to drive to the post office to get the company mail, and there’s no good way to get from the post office to my workplace on a bike, and on Wednesdays I work for Chef.  But I think it’s completely reasonable for me to ride to work on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Thankfully, there is a shower at the doctors’ office, so I can freshen up before I start the work day.  The office is a mere six miles from my house, and it takes me a little over half an hour to ride it.  Since I start work at 6:30 in the morning, I know I have only a short time before it’s back to being pitch black in the morning, and I don’t feel safe riding when it’s really dark.  But for now, the sun is starting to come up by the time I would need to leave, and I have a reflective vest I can wear, as well as a blinking red light to clip onto my back.

I honestly don’t know how much gas money I would save by doing this, but I know it would be some.  And some is better than none, right?  Plus, it will help me shave off the pounds I’ve been trying to lose.

Do any of you bike or walk or run to work?  If so, is it for your physical fitness, your financial fitness, or both?

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