Friday, April 27, 2012

Make Time to Stretch

So I just got done teaching a lunch time spin class. I LOVE having that break in the day...I don't do well with working out in the morning, and lunch workouts break up the day nicely. The only problem though, is that it's a 45 minute class and my lunch break is technically an hour.


I usually end up taking an hour and a half when I spin, mostly because I know my coworkers appreciate it when I shower post-diaphoresis. (Woah big words.)

So the workout is 45 minutes, the drive is about 15 minutes total, and shower/dressing time is 25 minutes (don't judge, I like my showers). So that leaves about 5 minutes to stretch, which is nearly never enough. What ends up happening looks like this: 

11:45: leave work, head to gym. 
11:50: get to gym, get changed, head upstairs
12:00: set up for class and talk to folks as they come in
12:15: class starts. ride hard and whatnot. 
12:55: cool down and stretch
1:00: hustle back down to locker room to shower and change
1:20: back in the car
1:30: at my desk, starving. make lunch, carry on with my day. 

So after 40ish minutes of hard work, we stretch for not long enough, then go back and sit at our desks for the rest of the afternoon. 

Sounds like a good plan, right? Not so much. 

If you're a lunchtime warrior, the 4ish hours post-workout can determine how you feel the next day. Particularly if you're working a desk job, getting up to walk around and stretch every 20 minutes or so (or at least every hour) is going to help a LOT. Doubly so if you're just getting back into a workout routine and you're pushing your limits already. 

Here's a great tutorial with some lower body stretching you can do at your desk, even if you're sharing cube space. Even if it seems goofy at first, you never know who you may inspire to get more active by not being shy about your routine! 

Now, if you want to get really outgoing with your stretching, here are a few other suggestions: 

Standing desk pigeon.  
Hike a leg up and lean on over.  You can do this in the break room too, particularly if you want to "claim" a table or counter.

Commandeering the Boardroom
This one works better the higher up the corporate ladder you are. That said, the shock value is much higher if you're a lowly peon. 

Crying calf stretch
This one's a good one if you're an attention seeker. Go make some coffee around 2:28, strike this pose, and wait for everyone else to come in for their coffee and ask if you're crying. 

"How clean are these floors?"
That hamstring stretch could get you a raise if you do it right. Just saying. 

And last but not least, here's one for those of you who don't work a desk job: 

Those last two should be done in rapid sequence for maximum efficiency and awkwardness. 

Seriously though, there are no limits to how you can stretch at work. If you're really that embarrassed about it, book a conference room for 15 minutes at 3 PM and lock the door. Even better, be ballsy about it and schedule a 15 minute meeting for a few coworkers, and lead everyone in some stretching. 

Because let's face it...chances are, you're all wearing more clothing than this team is. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday I was on top of things. I had the profile planned out, the playlist synced, and the ride printed up and ready to go.

Then I left the printed copy on the printer.

So I winged in (wung it?) and everyone got to see that I have no idea where Ohio is in relation to Indiana and the rest of the mid west.

Oops. Looking at that map, I'm still not really sure how I'm missing Missouri and Kansas to get to CO, but I guess that's the mystery of the interstate highway system.

On a related note, I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last few weeks, as my "classes left" count dwindles and I face massive upheaval in pretty nearly every aspect of my life. This last year and a half has been nothing short of miraculous for my self-esteem, and that's largely been due to the innumerable mistakes I've made while teaching.

In the beginning, it really bothered me to make mistakes...being off beat (I'm basically never on), miscounting reps on one side, skipping entire sets of exercises...I was out of breath 90% of the time because I was so nervous all the time. I made a VERY conscious effort to NOT point out the mistakes though (even that I wasn't perfect at) and guess what? 9 times out of 10, no one noticed. That one other time, we all laughed it off.

So as the months have gone on and as I've taught more and more, I've embraced my inability to keep a beat or keep count, and have either found ways to compensate for it or found ways to laugh it off. My confidence has grown, and with it I've gained a new comfort in my own skin that I never had before. I've stopped trying to be like other instructors (though I still take their classes for inspiration and motivation!) because let's face it - my regulars come to my classes because they like how I teach. I like to think my classes are tough  but conquerable, and that everyone leaves feeling happy, sore, and accomplished, even if it's just a little.

On that note, this is a friendly remind to all you gym bunnies out there: your instructors and trainers are people too, and no compliment goes unnoticed...even the simple act of asking who does a song you like is encouraging. If you enjoy a class or a song, tell the instructor...I guarantee it'll make his/her day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bad Blogger

Jeezo flip, I've been terrible at keeping this blog up lately. Sorry about that. Obviously things have gotten busy, but excuse.

Moving on.

Yesterday was maybe one of my most active work days ever. I got up early and taught Katherine's 8:30 AM strength class, then rode from the gym to work (3.5 miles) on my bike. After work, I rode back and taught my 5:30 PM strength class. The riding to work thing was fun and not terribly novel, except that I had to ride through a rotary to get there and back.

Going 3 exits in a rotary on a bike is terrifying. Nevermind that there are 2 bridges (read: wind) between the gym and work as well. On the way back to my car last night, for the first time ever I started wondering if my bike were too light. The way the wind was blowing me around, I was sure I was going to end up with it pulled out from under me at any second.


So last week I gave my notice, and it was...anticlimactic. No tears, no throwing of things, nothing. I'm so disappointed when people in real life are way more professional than they are in my head.

Moving on.

Tonight's class is going to be a simulated ride of my impending road trip:

There's just so much Nebraska.
Starting in southern NH, I'll be cruising through MA, NY, PA, OH, IN, IL, IO, NE, then CO. 10 states, 32 hours of drive time.

I just looked it up and apparently it's only 5.5 hours to drive across Nebraska...why does it feel like 2.5 days???


So 10 states is easy enough to make into a ride:

NH: Warm up. Pack your stuff, we're heading west. Pee before we get on the road, I'm not stopping the car until we see the Rockies.
Open Road Song - Eve 6 - 3:18

MA: Just a few bumps in the road called the Berkshires out here. Add resistance and stay in the saddle for a seated climb.
Highway Unicorn (Road To Love) - Lady Gaga - 4:16

NY: Add a little more resistance as we head into the Adirondacks. Towards the end we get to the Great Lakes, which were terrifying the last time I drove through them (in January - hello white out) so we pick up the cadence a bit, drop the resistance a bit, and power through.
Fall (Remixed By M83 VS Big Black Delta) - Daft Punk - 3:55

PA: Just a short stretch, but it takes forever because of all the Amish folk clogging up the roads! Slow and steady (moderately heavy) on the verses and quick and light (out of the saddle push) on the choruses when we pass the horses. Plug your noses!!
Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) - Big & Rich - 3:22

OH: Settle back into the saddle and pick up the cadence. We're almost at the hotel for the first night. Recover last 1:30.
Shut Up And Drive - Rihanna - 3:33

IN: Let's face it...there's not a lot in IN. However, there's still a lot of traffic on the highway, so we decide to play some games. Leapfrog the class, half out of the saddle, half in the saddle, 30/30.
Follow Me Follow Me (Fast 5 Hybrid Remix) - Tejo Black Alien and Speed - 3:08

IL: Come back into the saddle and settle in for a bumpy flat. 30 seconds flat, 30 seconds jumping for the duration of the song.
Bend it Like Beckham - Do Your Thing - 4:40

IO: Bring it up into a standing run to get to our second night's resting place sooner. Recover for the last minute - we're at my aunt-in-law's house for the night.
Zombie (Techno Remix) - 5:22

NE: Hands down, the worst part of the drive. Literally nothing to see for miles but corn fields, it's appropriate that the song for this phase only has 2 words to it: Barbara Streisand. Every time those words come on, add resistance or pick up the cadence just a bit. 
Barbara Streisand (Original Mix) - Duck Sauce - 5:00

CO: So close to the end! Kick up the cadence and soften the resistance down to a level that you can sustain at the upper end of your comfort level.
Celine Dion - I Drive All Night - 5:19

Cool down: Imprint - DoubleDrive - 4:00

So that's it, that's my drive to CO. It was boring to write, I'm sure it's going to be a party to myself...with the cat howling next to me because he's too smart to eat food laced with benadryl. Stupid cat. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Let's face it. Every aspect of building a career is in some way analogous to a committed relationship.

You have that awkward first date (the interview). Maybe a friend swore you'd be a perfect match. Maybe you just randomly threw yourself out there and got a bite. Maybe you hired a matchmaker service. Whatever the case is, it's inevitable - that first encounter is always awkward. At least in dating you can alleviate some of it by having a bottle of wine handy.

Trust me when I tell you...that does not fly in an interview.

The really nasty thing about jobs though, is that you're then expected to just jump right into this relationship based on that first date. You don't get to meet the friends or family, and you get just the best possible image of what it could be like, and a promise of "benefits" that may or may not end up even being benefits. Both parties end up taking a huge risk on each other by accepting each other as employer/employee, and as often as whirlwind romances work out in the rarely goes so smoothly in real life.

But, we toil on. Sometimes the relationship gets bumpy and we get mad at each other, but usually it works itself out.

Sometimes, though, you just grow apart.

That's where I'm at. I've "decided to go in another direction" and am "breaking up" with my boss today. It's not her, it's me. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to say today, but here's a solid list of options:

  • “Maybe this break up will be good for you, since you’ve never really experienced pain before.”
  • “The problem with our relationship is, we’re in a relationship.”
  • “Just the fact that you had to sit me down and talk about our communication problems means that were not going to work out and we should end our relationship.”
  • "I can’t believe you won’t let me go to a strip club in Vegas. This shows you really don’t care about me.”
  • “Really, our time together has just become more effort than you’re worth.”
  • “I know we’ve been together for a year, and I do love you, but you're a damn Virgo and I’m a Scorpio, so we both know that Aries is much better for me.”
  • “I’ve put three thousand miles on my car since I met you!”

So that should be a fun conversation to have. 

On a related note, tonight's spin is going to be something about breakups and the 5 stages of loss or something clever like that. But for now, I need to go have The Talk. 

Or "unemployed"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yard Work Challenge

After hauling 8 bags of mulch to various places around my driveway and 5 bags of dirt (yes, dirt) to the back yard, I finally understand why the contestants on Biggest Loser run so slowly when they've got stuff to carry. Nevermind how it was nearly impossible for me to push all that on a cart across the parking lot at Lowe's.

It's also a lot more work than you'd think to scrape and paint a shed. It seemed like a 2 hour job, and maybe it was, but man it felt like 10 hours.

Then I ran out of primer.

That was pretty much my weekend. That, getting the last laser treatment for the tattoo I didn't like, and teaching a friend to quilt. Good times.


Tonight's workout was going to be something based off a deck of cards, but I'm not sure I can pull that off. I'm half inclined to show up in my painting clothes as it is, so suffice it to say, I'm not really committed to the idea. Maybe next week.

Only 5 more classes to teach.


Moving on.

I've been doing really well eating veggies lately. The last 5 days I've brought a big tub of cut veggies to work and have just munched away at them between about 2 PM and 5 PM every day. Shockingly, I haven't had a single blood sugar plummet day since I started doing that. Go figure.

I should go plan tonight's class. Crap.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quick Playlist Post

Wow, today just got away from me.

Anyway, just a quick post to post the playlist: 

Amazing (Radio Edit) - Inna
Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh)
Boom Boom Boom  -  Outhere Brothers
This Is Your Night  -  Amber
No Limit  -  2 Unlimited
If I Had You  -  Adam Lambert
U And Ur Hand  -  Pink
I Like To Move It  -  Reel To Real
Dota  -  Basshunter
Tarzan & Jane  -  Toy-Box
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)  -  Journey
Seven Nation Army (The Glitch Mob Remix)  -  The White Stripes
Souvenirs  -  Switchfoot

If you owned Jock Jams 2, you may recognize about 90% of tonight's list. Don't hate. The ride is from the Spinning profile book, and is intervals. Sweet, sweet intervals. I'm also rocking the workout tonight after class, AND I ate more than .5 servings of veggies today. Who's a freakin' grownup now, huh?? 


Anyway. Off to class. 

Finish What You Started Friday

I won't even try to take credit for that, but I still think it's a clever idea and a great way to end the week.

Lately I feel like my weeks and my weekends are two completely separate lives, and the only times they meet are on weeknights. I only wish I had some cool alterego that I could blame for being exhausted come Monday morning.

Unrelated: I'm on Pinterest now, and am going to do my best to make a habit of pinning the original source of each picture I steal from the internet, as well as the search phrase that landed me there. You know, for posterity.


This week's been a good week. I've worked out every day since Monday (even if it was only 12 minutes of Bodyrock last night...still counts), and I've gotten a lot accomplished on the house.

We decided to hire a contractor to fix up the siding, rather than have me take a week off of work to do it myself. Everyone's happier this way, trust me. So we're giving that guy a deposit today, and this morning I ordered the actual siding for it. This weekend I get to hang out at Lowe's and get corner boards, plywood, and windows. I know, so exciting.

I thought if I left this open for long enough I'd have something interesting to say, but I don't. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Miracle

I feel like I've been complaining about my back a lot for the last 40 days or so, but I can't find the posts where that happened. I'm also feeling more than a little lazy today.

Anyway, courtesy of the Mardi Gras workout (which I ran twice in a row...bad idea), the last 7 or so weeks have given me a new appreciation for what my lower back does for me. Like, stops my spine from snapping when I sneeze apparently.

No laughing matter. I haven't been able to even do situps for the whole time. That's definitely the reason for my love handles, not at all the 8 million robin's eggs I ate this weekend.

Anyway, all that to say, I woke up on Easter morning, sneezed, and then cried tears of joy. For the first time since Ash Wednesday, it didn't hurt. It would appear that I involuntarily gave up use of my lower back for Lent this year. Go figure.

That said, it's still got its twinges...but it's not constant pain now, and it's not inhibiting my movement anymore. Translation: I can touch my toes again, and that makes me happy.

Speaking of Easter, this weekend we went to NC to visit hub's mom and her husband. My parents and his aunt/uncle/great aunt also stayed the weekend. My aunt/uncle came down for the food too, so dinner was 13 people strong. It was really great to have everyone together, especially since it was from both sides of the family. It's becoming a tradition that we go down there for Easter, and I'm loving it. Hub's 92 year old great aunt even made the trip, which is really something.

Aside from the fun of being able to hang out with everyone, it was also nice to just talk...I came away from the weekend feeling loved and supported in what's gearing up to be a pretty stressful 3-5 years ahead. I have a pretty great family and family in law, and knowing they've got our backs really makes this whole thing seem manageable.

It also doesn't hurt that my parents *still* hide Easter eggs, and this year I was the youngest one hunting for them. I only found 1! I know their tricks and I still only found 1!

Speaking of manage...this is The Week I get to have The Talk with my manager. Blerg. It always feels like having the "it's not you, it's me" conversation, except way more passive aggressive (potentially).

So there's that.

Oh right, and then I'm teaching strength tonight, which is probably what you guys were looking for in the first place, right? Unfortunately, it's only 1:30 so I got nothin' for you yet. Check back in a couple hours, I might have cobbled something together. Maybe. Probably. Yup.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Relax, Don't Do It

Tonight's spin is going to focus on using breathing to control heartrate and, subsequently, power. The first half is going to be a lighter, faster hill while the second half will be a heavier, more nasty hill, based on the music.

The break is the Relax remix, where we release the tension and get funky for a few minutes. Then, crank it up and ride it home.

Wild Ones - Flo Rida Feat Sia
What You Waiting For?  -  Gwen Stefani
Tobacco Island  -  Flogging Molly
Machinehead  -  Bush
Our Truth  -  Lacuna Coil
Sail  -  Awolnation
FGTH_Relax 2006_MC_Remix
Bring Me to Life  -  Evanescence
Uprising  -  Muse
Seven Nation Army (The Glitch Mob Remix)  -  The White Stripes
Losing My Religion  -  Lacuna Coil

So that's it. Pretty simple tonight. I'll probably add pickups and whatnot as they feel fitting.

Sarah (hi Sarah!) and I are going to do a set of Bodyrock intervals tonight after class too. I'm writing that down so we can't back out and claim fatigue or laziness. It's only 12 minutes, how bad can it be right?


Yeah, should be good times. 

Sorry I've been absent lately (again). This whole selling the house thing is turning out to be more work than I could ever have imagined it would be. Seriously, anyone out there want to just buy the house and resell it yourself? Anyone? No? Sigh.