Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Someone Else's Sweat... On Me

In an effort to branch out my fitness abilities, I will occasionally try something different from my usual running (as seen in the previous post).  On several occasions, I've tried yoga or pilates and have determined that I am entirely too wound up to do these activities.  I like the middle portion of the class, but the beginning and the end with all the breathing and relaxing mumbo jumbo - I tend to find myself thinking about my grocery list, what I'm going to watch on the DVR and what I'm getting for dinner.  Maybe that's a sign that I need to keep going back to these classes to relax, but I typically ignore that sign.

It's been a while since my last attempt at yoga but Groupon made me attempt it again.  Groupon was offering a great deal on this newfangled thing called Hot Yoga.  It's similar to yoga, with the small exception of the temperature of the room.  The thermostat is cranked up to a mere 105 degrees while you're doing the yoga. It was a good price and good location, so I bought my Groupon and headed down to the studio. 

Before class, the room was a typical yoga studio with everyone laying down on their mat and meditating - while I stared at my toes and wondered if I liked my current polish color.  Then it started.  These little machines in the corners of the room starting pumping hot air into the room and I started sweating.... and the class had not even started.  Uh-Oh.

Obviously not me.  But you get the point.

The class consisted of a full 90 minutes of profuse sweating, with a bit of yoga mixed in.  I'm not really sure how much yoga, because I was in awe of the amount of sweat dripping off not only me - but all the strangers packed into the room, so I couldn't really concentrate on what I was supposed to concentrating on.  I'm talking about sweating to the degree of dripping in your eyes, running down your legs and puddling in pools on your mat.  It sure is hard to hold a downward dog when your palms and feet keep slipping out from under you.  I think I spent more time wiping the sweat off my body in the attempt to hold a pose than actually holding the pose.  30 minutes into the class, I was insanely exhausted - not to mention nauseous.

One shining light in the process was the instructor.  She mingled throughout the room and gave tips on how to hold poses or adjust your body to get the most out of the class.  But a small problem. 

She was sweating too.  And leaning over people.  Which meant she was dripping her sweat on someone else.  Including me.


You never EVER want a stranger dripping sweat on you.  It's pretty gross.

After a very long 90 minutes, the class finally ended and we all filed into the locker room to rehydrate and try our best not to pass out.  I was struggling to stay alive by this point and was one of the last people to trudge in the locker room.  I was so tired and barely hanging in there, in fact I starting trudging through this long trail of water on the floor.....weird.  Someone must have dropped their water bottle.

Wait.  That wasn't water - it was a pool of sweat, running from the yoga room to the locker room.  A collection of the entire class' sweat.  UGGG.

The saddest part of this whole story is that I didn't realize the co-mingling of sweat until after I got home and started to thinking about the class.  The class made me so tired, that at the time I didn't care about other people's sweat.  I was swimming in other people's germs and I didn't even know it.

They say you eventually get used to the Hot Yoga and tend to like the hot room..... but do I really want to spend a day a week mingling with stranger sweat?  Not so sure about that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fast Girls Have Good Times

I am not a serious runner.  You know - a serious runner, like those people with the crazy belts that hold water, eating that weird energy gel and keeping their pace on the GPS watch.  I am not built to run long distances.  My knees turn in and I don't look like one of those marathon runners on TV.  I have a serious objection to exercising more than 2 hours a day.  And I refuse to change my diet of cereal and chocolate just to run a race.

I like to plug in my Ipod and go running around a cool neighborhood on a nice afternoon.  I may have a distance in mind, but no specific pace in mind.  I like races.  I think they're fun and you usually get good food and a cool t-shirt.  I'm the kind of runner that likes the large races with tons of people.  Yes, you may have to dodge people everywhere, but I like the motivation all those people provide and all the spectators on the side of the road cheering you on.  Honestly, I really need all those people to keep me going toward the end of the race.

Although I sound like a terrible runner, I somehow got this crazy idea that I wanted to train for a 1/2 marathon................................. OK, so maybe the idea came from watching several seasons of the Biggest Loser contestants run a marathon (don't judge me please). 

All in all the race was a great experience.  Completing the race was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but also great fun at the same time.  I'm not really sure how that worked, but it did. While crossing the finish line I kind of wanted to collapse, drink a gallon of water and cry - but at the same time it was one of my prouder moments.  It was something I never thought I could do, but I did it all on my own.  Even with cereal and chocolate.

After the race, all the serious runners were talking about the course, the hills, their time... blah, blah.  My non-serious runner favorite part of race day was all the homemade signs that are put up for the thousands of runners.  They kept me entertained and almost kept me from asking myself for the entire race why in the world I decided to run this far...  Almost.

A few of my personal fav signs seen in Nashville:

"May the course be with you"
"Kick Assphalt"
"Sorry, I've Got To Run"
"Staying up all night making this sign was hard too"

And of course, my all time favorite:

"Fast girls have good times"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Right is Right

I do a great deal of teaching and training in my every day job.  The challenge with this task is making something that could be complex seem like a snap.

A big part of what I'm teaching people to do is to put a device together.  A device with many moving pieces and parts that has to fit together in a very specific order.  Among all the moving pieces, there is one very important part of this system that has to fit onto the right side of the device.  It's tricky, because it can go on the left side, but it should go on the right side.  Have I confused you yet?

If you're still with me.... One of my co-workers always uses the saying, "Right is Right", when referring to this very important part of our system.  She means that the right side (as in the direction left or right) is the right (as in the correct) side.  See, right is right.

Right is right, isn't just applicable to correctly putting a cochlear implant speech processor together, it also applies to TB's recent back surgery.  He's been teetering on the edge of being an invalid for the past few months.  He hasn't been able to sleep, drive or even sit - all due to bringing that sweet 65" TV into our living room.  Totally worth it.  But we still had to do something about his back.

After several months and quite a few doctor's appointments, he ended up getting a shot in his back.  The right side of the spine to be specific.  And wouldn't you know it, the back doctor uses the same saying, "Right is Right."  See, they even marked TB, just to make sure that no one forgot that right was right.

Our sheets are even stamped with the confirmation.
And right was indeed right in this case.  I'm happy to report that TB is feeling much better!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"We Just Have Different Styles"

In a moment of "do-it-yourselfedness", I decided that we should take on a home improvement project - versus our history or just paying someone else to do it.  Since we've moved in, we've hired someone to hang the blinds, paint the exterior, stain the deck, do the landscaping and clean the house.  I was feeling a little guilty and lazy about all this subcontracting - and decided that we could take on the next project ourselves.

Painting the ceiling and built-in bookshelves in the office.

Notice the dark brown color.  Yuck.  Too dark for our taste.

And the dark ceiling beams.  Yikes, those might be hard to paint.....

Painting can't be that bad and doesn't require too much skill, right?  My suggestion was greeted with hostility and doubt by TB.  Serious hostility and doubt. After much convincing, he agreed to make an attempt at this project, but was sure to let me know that my credibility was on the line.  Talk about pressure!

I diligently prepared for painting day, by doing research on the best paints and tools to use for the project.  I wanted our office to look good, but to also prove two points: 

1.   I can prepare for a project just a well as TB can - proving that I am credible and a good project manager.
2.  We could take on a home improvement project and succeed! 
Side Story:  Now is probably a good time to point out a theme in our house, that may explain the comment above about my credibility being on the line.  Sometimes TB gets confused about who I am.  He does often come home in work-mode and thinks that I am one of his employees and not his wife.  He'll occasionally says things like, "Let's have a discussion about our goals for the year." or "Let's table that" or "Send me a meeting invite" or "Why don't you create a deck on that issue" And of course the above mentioned action of often assigning a project manager to each task we take on.

Side story done and on the painting prep:  Now, I'm typically an over-prepared organized person.  BUT, as prepared as I often am for projects, I'm rarely TB prepared.  You see, as Type A as I can be, TB makes me look like a sloppy mess.  He is a super planner.  TB preparedness includes spreadsheets, charts, graphs and research galore!  Checklists and timelines.  From vacation planning to minor purchases.  It's endearing, except when I am painting project manager.  We did assign a project manager to this task after all.  And it was not TB.

And finally, on with the painting. The inevitable happened and we got in a scuffle over whether we should sand  the built-ins with sand paper sheets or sand paper blocks.  I said sheets.  He said blocks.  As we're both furiously Googling the benefits of each and stating our cases, TB stated that this was bound to happen because, "we just have different styles." 

Hmmm.  That's an interesting thought.  We do don't we?  I always lumped us both in the same group, but he made a good point.  I've always been the most organized person in my group of friends and definitely in my family, and I would always get frustrated with the lesser organized folks.  Well, in our house - I am now the "lesser organized folks" that makes TB frustrated. Hmmmm.  That's one side of the fence I've never been on. 

Once we compromised on our sandpaper delimma, it took us 2 weeks, countless hours and few more stupid fights due to our different styles, but the built-ins were complete. And not only complete, they look pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And we both learned a good lesson - there are multiple ways to successfully complete a project.  Perhaps a chart or graph wasn't completed, but it was done well. 

As for proving my two points:

1.   I can prepare for a project just a well as TB can - proving that I am credible and a good project manager.  Check.  I think you'll see by the pictures below that it was a job well done.

2.  We could take on a home improvement project and succeed!  Half Check.  We both got a little discouraged by the ceiling aspect of the project and had to throw in the towel on that one. Pablo's Painting took over PM duties.  Even without an Excel spreadsheet.

The completed project (without books put up - of course)

Pablo's Contribution