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i will be the first one to say “i do not like pilates.” but on the flipside, i absolutely love pilates, that is the workout on the apperatus. maybe it’s the years of being used to the movement and particular breath work in yoga, where my body just has a hard time to adapt to mat pilates – the form you find in most gyms around the country.

working on the pilates machinery is a completely different animal to tackle. i view it as more strength training than stretching.  it is a beautiful compliment to a yoga practice. it’s also deceptive. you only do a few moves (maybe a count of 8 or 10) and that’s it. you move on to the next thing.  it’s deceptive. you don’t feel the work you have done until later. but oh how glorious the delayed onset muscle soreness is when it does sink in.  

Anne Marie took it a bit easy on me because my ankle was feeling rather sore from hiking yesterday. (clutzy me tripped four times.) i guess she planned a very leg intenstive workout and she had to switch gears. also some of the work, i felt it in my bad hip (down the sciatic nerve).

overall i had a great time working out this way. i wish i could take classes in pilates reformer but they are so dang expensive.  eventually i suppose.  everytime i am lucky enough to get on the pilates equiptment with instruction,  i find the pull to get deeper into it.  she had me on the reformer, the cadalliac and the chair. it was a good lesson, and man i feel it across my upper back.

with this being a holiday weekend, i have no idea what i am going do phyisically. friday and saturday are about the same schedule…i teach a class,  then i have a massage client. i do have sunday and monday completely off, and i am considering going hiking again (although i would have to pay for parking) only if i can go in the early morning.  if i can’t go hiking then i’ll pick up a season parking pass  ($10)and head to the beach for a walk.

oh and on the way to hiking yesterday, i noticed a bike path/route. so it’s another option in my get fierce journey.

i haven’t started the food journal yet, but i back to actually making sure i eat regularly. there was a lemon bar and a glazed donut i did snack on, but the majority of my food has been been clean and whole foods.

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that was said to me by a stranger, a random yoga student, as i was talking to Stephanie the nutritionist. it hit a nerve.

i do want this. but it is not my absolute number one top priority because that slot if filled by my business. i have to make money, and i have to pay my bills…fat or healthy. that is just a fact. i do understand the sentiment behind the statement, especially these last few weeks.

business has been doing great this month. when business is good, it means im always on the run which equals my eating is not proper.  meals get skipped, and when i realize i am hungry i make the quick (usually calorie laden, non nutritious) choices.  breakfast gets skipped and my first meal doesn’t happen until noon many times during the week.

stress has been a huge factor these last few weeks withtense relationships withfriends. one thing i did notice was since i was busy with work, emotional eating wasn’t a huge factor.  i didn’t crave the usual comfort foods, but then again i didn’t have time to sit down and truely poor myself into the foods i would normally gravitate too.

activity is a big key to this journey. before teaching yoga i would practice every single day.  there were changes in my body when i did that.  practicing yoga also triggers something in my head when it comes to food choices, so my eating habits changed.

my emotional eating, besides being busy, may have also been tempered by my work in the veggie garden. working in the garden is almost a zen like experience.  i get passionate and excited about growing my own food. there is nothing better than going into the veggie patch and picking out your lunch or dinner. unfortunately, the garden is still in the baby stages, and i can’t pick anything besides chives and rhubarb. working in the garden is a huge stress reliever.  it’s physical labor – hauling bags of composted manure, digging, walking back and forth from the mini greenhouse, etc. i do enjoy it.  expect more gardening posts.

i did have a moment with a personal trainer at one of the gyms. he offered to work with me every monday, but that didn’t happen.  we did get together for one training session and i had a good time. i really liked his style. i am really out of shape and not where i want to be physically.

working out in the gym is okay. personally i prefer various activities.  last summer, one of my yoga students Michael, introductedme to hitting tennis balls. i had an absolute blast. during the winter i even found two tennis rackets at goodwill so i can grab anyone willing to just hit balls when spring came.  it hasn’t happened yet. i haven’t found anyone to play withwho’s schedule meshes with mine, but i am working on it.

today i went hiking after my yoga class. it was always on my list. i live in such a beautiful and diverse small state, it doesn’t take long to get to a nice hiking spot. Claire (another yoga student, see a pattern here) and i headed off after class. it’s about 5 to 10 minutes away from the gym. such a beautiful day for it too. after being all stressed for the last few weeks, it really helped melt away the emotional toll on my body.  i totally needed it since my body got mad at me and overslept, making me miss my 6am Tuesday morning class.

the combination of being physicial, but  it was actually taking the time out for myself that really made me feel good.  (since i knew i was going hiking today, i made sure i had something for breakfast – wheat toast withpeanut butter Skippy’s natural.) Claire’s company was great, and it was nice learning about her.  we took the easy trail which leads to the tower. i had to rest a few times, and my hip starting aching close to the top towards the tower.  Claire also mentioned when she’s starts out for hiking season, she’s the same way. the hike was going straight up, and the view was worth it.  the weather was perfect – blue sky and not very hot.  it seems to be something we may do again. personally, if i can figure out how to get there myself,  i would love to go once or twice a week.

i was so inspired by my hike today that i stopped off my favorite market for veggies and fruit. i splurged and purchased a few oranges and they had jicama. ever since bravo’stop chef episode with a jicama salad, i’vebeen wanting to try it just never knew what it looked like or where to buy it.  lunch today was a nice salad – greens, grape tomatoes, sprouts, cucumber, and a hard boiled egg with a white balsamic dressing.  my choices become better. while i was waiting for the egg to boil, i was tempted to grab a bag of chips, but i didn’t. that was why i splurged on my oranges. i grabbed an orange and yes it was yummy.

tomorrow, i have a date with another yoga student (mmmmmmmm i see a pattern here) Anne Marie who is working on her pilates certification. personally i am not a big pilates fan, but i love the reformer (a machine that uses the bodies resistance and springs).  it is very core-centric.  i look forward to it, then maybe i’ll get into the garden again.

i do want this, life happens though.  me wanting to be healthy isn’t about just losing the weight.  it’s about a lifestyle and behavioral change,  finding that balance.  if it was just about losing the weight i would be in weight watchers for the 8th time. or heeding the call the Jenny Craig across the parking lot from one of the gyms keeps calling me.  it’s not about particular diets, because i don’t believe they work in the long run.

Stephanie mentioned that i should do a food journal.  i don’t like them, i feel guilty when i don’t have something clean. but understand it will give her a better way to guide me into changing my eating habits. the summer will be easier to eat well since i have my garden and i never shied away from veggies.  the real test will be the fall.

Stress is absolutely my downfall.  When i am overstressed, i get overtired. My body feels the dis-ease and wants to curl up under the blankets rather than workout.  The cravings for junk increase, and occasionally win out. For the last few weeks i haven’t been able to shake the nausea and wonky stomach. (If you prescribe to the philosophy of astrosigns, Ayurveda, or Chinese medicine, due to my birthday and/or disposition, i’m more prone to stomach issues during stressful moments.) It was a combination of things – taxes, money, work, life in general. I was so under the weather that i craved junk, but i also made some Matzo Ball Soup to help soothe the emotions and the tummy.

Now that taxes are done and over with, i did feel a bit better. The other stuff is still there, but i have to be more proactive in pulling myself out of the funk.  Workouts usually do help, but it’s making that first step that is always the hardest especially when you are on your own for most of the time. I was working out with Michaela, but our schedules have been off these last few weeks, and i’ll be honest, i’m kinda tired of gym workouts. With the weather getting nicer, i’m looking forward to going on hikes. I hope that can happen.

Food has been an issue because of money. It’s expensive to eat clean. Cheap products are filled with fillers that cost next to nothing. This weekend (pay week), i have to sit down and figure out what do i want to eat this week.  I need to plan, because i really do want to incorporate Raw eating into a clean diet. But over planning overwhelms me so i have to find a balance.

Balance. What a word. Just writing it reminds me of what i need to do with life in general, not just food. There is an aboslute disconnect going on with my mind and body these last few months. I’ve packed on the pounds when i started to lose my yoga practice. I teach, but my personal practice has fallen, and i feel it even more now.  Money and time have been the biggest issue in rediscovering my practice.  I do hope that i can work on this before summer.

There is another part of my life that has been way out of balance. All i have done for the last five years has been work. I work seven days a week, no vacations. Fortunately, i am someone who loves my job. It is a dream to do it and get paid for it. Unfortunately, in taking such a passion in my life and turning it into business…i don’t have another outlet. While watching a Korean drama, Boys Before Flowers, i did discover a new passion to include in my life. Art has always been a part of me. I have painted, i love photography, and when i came back to university for my second try, i really liked pottery. In Boys Before Flowers, one of the main characters was a potter. Just seeing the beautiful craftsmanship of the artwork shown in the drama,  made me miss having my hands on clay creating something. I was hoping to take a pottery class at the end of April, but money got in the way. I still plan on doing it, just not at this moment.

Balance, i need to find it in eating, in life, in work and in play.

things come up. my journey never stopped even though it felt like i fell down the rabbit hole. honestly i can’t remember the last time i wrote on this blog. if it wasn’t for the nudge Kevin gave asking why i haven’t updated…i don’t know when i would have.

in a way, it reminds me of my journey with weightloss throughout my life. with robust enthusiasm i jump on board and feel deep down how much i want to do it. then a distraction or two happens and eventually the strong path i was on disappears. not forgotten, just not as the top priority. the desire to lose weight and become fierce in body is still there, just not as strong. it’s not new, i am not the first one to feel it and i won’t be the last.

in the last few weeks, although i haven’t written, i have been working out and changing my eating habits. january came and i fell in a funk. along the way i happened to find a workout partner, a lifeguard at one of the fitness centers. we can only get together on tuesdays and thursdays, but it has helped light the fire within me again. Michaela’s goal is to be fierce for her wedding in June so it has been a nice goal. not my personal goal, but because i am the type of person who tends to want to help others it pushes me to push her on occasion. it’s not one sided at all, she pushes me when i feel a little lazy and vice versa.

due to Michaela i have been reintroduced to swimming. as a kid i was always in and out of the water during the humid connecticut summers. it’s been a while since i have been waterlogged and my skills weren’t that great when we first got in the pool.  it was nice to revisit a old passion.  what i do in the water right now isn’t really swimming.  to build up strength in my troublesome leg and hip, i’ve been primarily doing laps with the kickboard and aqua jogging.  adding this  activity into my workout plan has helped – my hip doesn’t hurt me as much, and flare ups with the sciatica has been few and far apart. improvements have been gained within the weeks since i’ve hit the pool. i’m able to do more laps continuously without taking as many breaks when i first started and with aqua jogging i am able to take off the float belt.  i will continue with this for a bit longer then Michaela will reteach me how to swim properly.

the swimming and working out with Michaela has opened a nice door for me to workout. when we didn’t hit the pool, we set up our own little bootcamp in one of the aerobics room. it is more fun having a workout partner especially when you are running suicides, and are able to encourage each other to use a bigger dumbbell or do one more rep. outside of working out together, it has pushed me in working out more.  before my yoga class i would find myself on the elliptical or treadmill for ten minutes. that grew to more time and even me staying after my class to get more time in. eventually i got myself to push it to 60 minutes. it didn’t take much time to get there. what i have become most proud of is my progress. i can tell i am getting stronger, not just with my “swimming”, but seeing the gains in mileage on the elliptical. recently i’ve upgraded the weights i use from just eight and ten pounds, transitioning to twelve pounds.

doing this, and slacking off this week…i realized i need more. i need structure. need more of a plan in what to do. i need to take that next step. honestly, that next step does  hold some fear.

on a fitness community blog i got into a discussion with another about a question that was posed. a poster was asking for direction because she was a chronic binger. i put out a list of my ideas in how to help conquer it including the help from a therapist or a dietitian. one thing i wrote was how the biggest thing she had to do was be serious about working on the problem.  another commenter said i was setting the person up for failure and that the original poster’s first priority would be to get into therapy. i still stand by what i said.  no matter what the addiction is, if you don’t take your desire to fix the issue seriously, doing what you can and have to, then you really are setting yourself up for failure. i know because i’ve been there and done that.

even though i slacked off for the past week, i’m still serious in my pursuit. to confess,  i am a bit scared. i’ve been chubby all my life. there has never been a moment where i was a good healthy weight. so what happens when i am not anymore? the universe has been aligned for me to finally reach that moment this time around. i am working with a dietitian and a few days ago i was offered to be trained by an amazing person at one of the gyms closer to home. (meaning less driving, and frequent access as opposed to the other wonderful opportunities.) i have positive support around me. it’s like all the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together really well. and with the possibility of success around the corner, the fear of what happens after that sets in.

i won’t focus on the fear, but it is healthy to realize it is there. it’s healthy to know that it could play a part in failure if i allow it.

there are a couple of topics that have come up so i will be updating again soon.

list making runs deep within me.  maybe it’s a virgo thing.

after writing yesterday i thought about what should i do about exercising.  sure i have my gym partner Michela on some days….but what about those days without her?  My biggest downfall in the past has been resting days when it comes to working out.  it becomes easier for me to stay in resting mode than to just keep moving.  it doesn’t have to be a big workout, just something to keep me on track. the antsyness drives me nuts when i do get into the groove of working out and have resting days.  i have to keep up that drive to continue to move.  so my plan will not include any official resting days only lighter days. if my body does say rest, i will.

the other thing running through my mind is that i’ve been wanting to play with ellen barrett’s studio workouts.  when i was able to attend her classes at the studio, i enjoyed them.  unfortunately, she closed her studio but she did release the workouts on dvds. i don’t own those specific dvds, but she did a similar series for crunch fitness which i do own.

challenges have also been a really good motivator for me, since i can be a little competitive (only when it is against myself). i’ve always wanted to do a 5k as a challenge, but sometime last year i admited to myself i really don’t like running. that might be one challenge for myself that may never happen. surprisingly, i found another. on a few other fitness forums and weight loss/fitness blogs i’ve seen the one hundred push up challenge. why this? for me it’s doable and it falls in line with my yoga goal of being stronger to practice some of the fancy arm balances. it’s also a challenge that i can incorporate in my gym workouts with Michela.

my plan included dvds, audio workouts, spin classes, and Ann’s plan for me when i worked out with her. i will have to check on what gyms offer spin classes that fit into my schedule. due to my schedule, i have to be able to change things as needed.

The Rambling Rotation for the next four weeks:

Monday Ellen Barrett dvd & Cardio

Tuesday – Gym workout  (based loosely on Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred dvd, Ann’s workout, & cardio); Push Up Challenge

Wednesday Ellen Barrett dvd & Cardio

Thursday – Gym workout  (based loosely on Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred dvd, Ann’s workout, & cardio); Push Up Challenge

FridayEllen Barrett dvd & Cardio

Saturday & Sunday wild card days.

Possible Saturday Spinning &/or Gym workout  (based loosely on Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred dvd, Ann’s workout, & cardio); Push Up Challenge OR seeing clients OR  rest

Possible Sunday – Saturday’s workout plan if it doesn’t get done that day. OR Cardio Coach on elliptical & Yoga

i forgive myself. i am not beating myself up because i fell off the wagon.

to keep being negative about it would just sink me down even further.  i understand what happened. last year around thanksgiving my dog, who i raised since she was about a month old or so, got really sick.  cancer. a tumor that invaded the vena cava and stole her oxygen trying to get to her heart. on december 6th, 2007 we had to let her go because there was nothing else we could do for her. it broke my heart.

thanksgiving was always the day we celebrated her birthday, since she loved food. it was pretty much exactly 10 years to the week when she came into our lives that she also left us. needless to say i was a mess on the inside. i hid it rather well. i would talk about her and my sadness. i did my job. i smiled and laugh….but inside i was numb. very numb. even as i write this, christmas lost it’s joy.

i fell into stop and shop cupcakes, bags of kettlecorn, soda after months of not having any, chocolate and peanutbutter, turkey chili dogs with potato rolls, etc.  clean eating? what was that during those weeks. the gym became just a place i worked at, not workout in. my bed became my friend, and BJ’s wholesalers became a place i wandered around in to take up the time.

i can make up all kinds of excuses, but what it came down to was just lifelessness. the drive was still in me. i still admired those at the gym who worked out pretty good — pat, tayna, debbie, amanda, and strangers who had their pony tails flying while running on the treadmills. i admired yell for her commitment to yoga during her sabataical from the real world while she lived in san diego. i admired the women who were brave enough and survived ann’s bootcamp classes.  i admired all of them, while i couldn’t make myself do anything but mourn and eat.

thursday morning, michelle got her groove back…well sorta. i found a workout partner – michela. she also fell into a slump with experiencing the  economic downturn firsthand.  in a way, i understood her funk. we talked a bit. i’m not sure what possessed me to call her at 7:40am in the morning, but i did. happily she answered and didn’t hang up. i had a preschool yoga class at 8am and then the rest of the day free until the early evening. she met me at the Y and we played around at the fitness center.

since it was all last minute, i didn’t have a plan. she wanted to work abs. and i just wanted to move. so i recalled many of the things ann (the trainer and bootcamp queen) had me do during my short time with her.  it felt good.  we did lunges with curls. squats with raises, used the medicine and bouncy/stability balls. we even got on some of the machines. it was just awesome having another person’s energy around to workout with. to push each other and to chat a little while working out.

she texted me this morning with three words: “my abs hurt!” mine did too, and i loved it! i sit and type now feeling the soreness in my arms, i miss this. really i do.

working out with someone is 10x better than being on your own.  i think that is why i enjoyed having a trainer when i did.  unfortunately i can’t afford another one at the moment. so when i don’t have michela …i have to dig down and push myself.

we are going to make a go of working out together more often if possible. the only thing is i can only do it when i am in her neck of the woods, which is two to three times a week. and she can only when she doesn’t have to work one of her part time jobs.

it inspired me, and i am aching to move. so i sit here dedicating myself again to this blog and to my goals. my head is swirling with ideas for our next workout session, and what i can do on my own.

one of the fitness forums is doing a winter yoga sadhana and i am most likely going to join.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS.  My body is feeling it this morning.  Saturday i was planning on going to Karen’s Spin class, but i had to take my mother on a few of her errands.  That evening i packed my bag for Sunday and made sure to include my spin shoes and my seat cover to take Julia’s class after my yoga class. I came close to talking myself out of it. Oh so close. Julia took my yoga class, and i could have walked out of the room. Instead i stayed.

Paul, another instructor, helped set my bike up with me since i’m still getting use to it. I first got on the wrong type of bike. I didn’t know there were different ones. My clips wouldn’t be able to click in on the first bike i rolled out.  I did a lot better than my first class. I was able to do some jumps, and stand up in the saddle (sorry if i got the terms wrong) longer than before.  My left hip started to hurt a bit about a half hour in. 15 minutes before class was done, i did feel like i wanted to quit. I wanted to give up.  Julia, like Karen, has that attitude towards spin in “do what you can.” Backing off was the best option. It made me stronger to complete the class. The stretching afterwards felt amazing, and since there wasn’t a class afterwards, i rolled out my yoga mat and went into a nice hip flexor stretch – piegon pose. So yummy.

For the rest of Sunday and the whole day Monday my hips did not have one ounce of pain or discomfort within them. I didn’t hobble out of my Escape like a 100 year old woman which sometimes happen when i have a long drive. The beautiful thing about the day after spin class….my butt wasn’t sore.

Monday was a day of movement as well. I taught my two classes, but inbetween i had a tiny Pilates Reformer lesson. I say tiny because i had to fit it in between teaching my classes, there was only a 15 minute window which was well worth it. I am feeling it today. The names of the pilates moves/postures i’m not fully sure of, but we did a few plank postures and i got a nice extention in the split. My pecks and core are so feeling it, and i love each one of those DOMS.

Tuesday;s workout? I don’t know yet.

My ass hurts. Even though i used the gel seat for spin…my butt was still in a slight discomfort today. I was hoping to take Julia’s spin class after my yoga class today, but she suggested i wait. In time i am hoping to do at least three spin classes a week as I grow stronger. In the mean time i need to do something.

The idea of moving the body everyday in someway has been popping up on various fitness sites i check in on.  It doesn’t mean i would workout every single day, as i know the body does need rest, but a walk would count. Honestly, this may be the best way for me to go. If i tend to miss a day at the gym because i am suppose to rest, it seriously screws me up because i want to move and play when i get into the habit.

Starting to tomorrow i will do some sort of movement outside of my teaching classes. No routine, no set schedule, just moving and having fun. And if i miss a day, i have to start at Day 1 again. For someone like me, who can get obessive when it comes to numbers  this could be a good thing. To keep me going will be small rewards like ITune cards. (Music to infuse my workouts). For every 15 days i get $15 in ITunes that will not be work related music.

To start in small steps..my goal this week is to move every single day this week. Monday to Sunday.

Food goal is to stay on track.

SPIN

Talking myself out of going to spin class would have been very easy. In fact, I came very close to it. None of the reasons really were valid. I do this all the time. Get excited about something, then the reality hits and i am forced to go through with it or back away. Saturday morning i packed my shoes, my seat cushion and some water …off to Norwalk i went. It’s not the closest fitness center, it is about a 20 minute ride if the traffic is fairly light. The choice to go and take Karen’s class was a decision.

It was comforting that I knew this place and had friendly faces who take my yoga class there with me. It helped that Karen is super awesome (and a powerhouse of energy on the bike) and looked out for me. I felt comforted, i felt like i belonged.

My main goal was to just keep peddling for the full class. I didn’t have to do anything fancy (jumps and all that) if i didn’t want to.  When i did feel strong, i did try some jumps. I made my goal — i did the class and i peddled all the way through it.  Afterwards, a woman i never met before gave me kudos. She mentioned she had only been able to do 20 minutes when she had first started.  Dave and Lisa, a wonderful couple who takes my yoga classes, also gave me kudos. Before class Dave warned me about Karen’s enthusiasm for jumps and sprints. It was cute. The whole vibe was good. I think that helps, and i look forward to next Saturday. I even made a client book later in the afternoon so that i can attend class and shower.

My personal reward for going to the class (the first one is always the hardest) and making it through was an ITunes card (i’m addicted). Of course this lead me to be inspired in shaking up my yoga class as i am infused with new music.


THE PERFECT MOMENT AND WHO I WANT TO BE…

Years ago when i went to my first yoga class every, I came out of class saying to myself “I want her life.” I didn’t know my yoga teacher’s life outside of the classroom. All i knew was that she was a yoga teacher, a massage therapist, and a reiki master. It wasn’t what she was doing, there was just a blissness to her. Years later…i’m pretty darn close to that description.  I didn’t expect to be here today doing what i love. Honestly i didn’t expect to be a massage therapist and a yoga teacher, but i am.

I always wanted to drive a Jeep since i was at least 10 years old. There was always something about Jeeps. Maybe it was the sense of adventure i always associated with it. The commercials of a Jeep parked next to a flowing river, and campers having a good time. Yeah i know, i was 10 believing in the marketing. It never got away from me though. Last year when looking for a new car because the Sundance died on me, the Jeep Liberty was on the top of my list. I got a used Escape instead (the Jeep Liberty was too close to Fairfield soccer mom for my tastes), which is still in that category of adventuresome 4 wheel drive. My reasons for a small SUV have more to do with my profession and gardening addiction, but always in the back of my mind I want to be that adventurer. I have that freespirit, or need i say inner athlete adventurer within me.

Deep down i want to be the active girl. For years i’ve tried to do kayaking lessons for my birthday, things just haven’t worked out. I see bikers on my drives in Westport and Norwalk, although i it is a sport i never was fully interested in, i do envy their ability and being able to get out and play in Mother Nature. I always wanted to check out indoor rock climbing, and just recently i learned that a local spot had closed (bummer). I just always wanted to be that kind of girl who is up for any thing, or can say “i’m going to Vermont/camping/hiking/fill in the blank for the week end. I live in a beautiful state that has so much to offer, and i don’t take advantage of it. I envy those cars who have bike, ski or snowboard racks on them. I smile at suvs who have a canoe or kayak strapped to the top. There is just something about it. I wanna be that kind of girl.

Just today, I was telling Julia (another wonderful spin instructor with great energy who takes my class).  I asked her about the possibility of taking me out on a ride when i get stronger.  When we thaw out of our winter, it could happen as long as i keep up my spinning and strengthening my left leg. I’m not really a cyclist, but i want to experience it at least once. It would be great to play outdoors. Julia was telling me about the amazing parts of Connecticut she has seen because of her rides.  The bonus would be giving me the opportunity to meet new people, which has been harder. Julia did mention that a lot of cyclists are men, so that was an interesting tidbit.

On my way home i thought about all this. The trees were in all of their glory in various shades from green through yellow, to golden oranges and bright reds.  I was hitting a hill on the Merritt and my cd player was starting to play The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves.  (You may have heard it in a car commerical btw.) It was the perfect moment. Here i was thinking about the person i want to be at this point in my life.  The person who wants to seek adventures in nature, to explore and play in this great backyard i have. All i could do was smile. This is what i want and what i am working for. It was just the perfect moment, as if it was in a movie. Any other song could have played right then and it wouldn’t have worked, i had the location perfect, and the voice over in my head fit like it was made for that moment.  Who am i to argue with the universe.

Saturday’s spin class did more than get me moving my body, it’s getting me moving on my path.  Losing the weight is a need and a bonus. I think right now my ultimate goal is to keep pushing myself to explore these athletic endeavors.

When i turned 30, I wasn’t fearful. I put myself on the path to be who i am now. I hit 35 this year, and i am putting myself on another path of who i want to be. All i can say is 40 should be damn interesting and i can only hope that i am living life to the fullest in the years between.

The amazing and lovely Karen (the spin leader at the Y) has been so generous in sharing her spin knowledge with me.

It started with a small request in guiding me to the proper spin shoes. When i took spin ages ago, my thighs got wonderfully thinner. The downside was my booty being sore and my feet going numb. A good friend gave me a gel seat to comfort the butt slightly, but my feet would just be in pain for the last 30 minutes of class. I dropped spin because i couldn’t deal. Years later when i started teaching in the gyms, i got to ask questions of the various instructors about their classes. Amazing what ya learn by just asking questions!

Spin shoes was the answer to my numbing tootsies. But how does one buy spin shoes? What is a good spin shoe? Karen not only gave me advice, but she offered a nice morning of breakfast then taking me to a shop in Wilton/Norwalk so i can get fitted.

It started as a gray yucky morning, but turned into an amazing one by the time we parted. Before breakfast we stopped off at another gym we both work for (different locations, but same company) so I can get a tour of the new facility. Breakfast was a gab fest….it was like talking to someone i’ve known for years.  Karen has such a positive wonderful energy to her.

When we left the diner, the sun was breaking through and the leaves on the trees were just popping with colour. The cycling shop was just a whole new world for me. I think it was part of a few different outdoor activity shop (kayaks and canoes where in the back on the side, a ski and snowboard shop i think was next door, etc). It was just awe inspiring. These are the kind of things i want to experience. As a kid from an inner city, this is stuff i was never really exposed to outside of the olympics on the television.

Maybe it was the vibe of the space, or the excitement of buying new shoes — even if they are only meant for spinning. It just felt right. Yeah there was the occasional feeling like an outsider looking in, but it felt like i did belong there a little (that deep inner athlete in me). I was just in awe of all the bikes and stuff that went with them. I knew if i went alone, i would be seriously overwhelmed. I was absolutely grateful in having Karen there with me, to guide me.

Tomorrow i will go to my first spin class since buying my new shoes. I hope to eventually go to a spin class three times a week if my schedule allows. The virgo in me has been going spin nutty, reading what i can, checking out the message boards at SparkPeople.com.

Deep inside of me, i just want to be that athlete. I want to move and not huff and puff. I want to be stronger and not afraid to try new things. No fear.