Boot camp and beyond

The weather outside is frightful
25 November 2006 (Saturday), 11:49 pm
Filed under: NaBloPoMo, Photos

Unlike the Scissor Sisters, I do (or did, a few hours ago before I began to turn into a pumpkin) feel like dancin’. The end result is the same, though: No sir, no dancin’ today. Due to the weather I’ve spent the night lying in front of the so delightful fire instead of heading to the Legion for Stomp it Off! Driving on snowy Vancouver roads is a losing proposition I try to avoid. It’s not that I can’t drive in the white stuff: I’ve lived in Ottawa and Montreal. It’s the other drivers that freak me out.

Behold the snow coating the roofs of neighbouring buildings:

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

And look at the difference in visibility towards the Granville Street Bridge between these two pictures:

The weather outside is frightful Clouds shrouding the top of the Wall Centre

I really can’t wait to head to the Philippines. Mon pays ce n’est pas l’hiver, c’est la plage. Which won’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t know the song, but my country really ought to be the beach.

Come the revolution, I’ll be claiming beaches for my own. Also, first up against the wall will be people enforcing anti-grunting policies in fitness clubs. What’s next, no sweating policies? My Adventure Boot Camp has a no swearing policy but if you break it you do pushups. You don’t get kicked out.

I don’t grunt or groan often, but sometimes it’s the only thing that helps me push through the last ten seconds of holding plank position. It’s a good thing I don’t belong to one of the gyms in the article, as my response to people whose delicate ears can’t handle grunting would be “Suck it up, princess.”

Also of interest in the New York Times, distance runners may have an increased risk of skin cancer. Not that surprising, but I did wonder about “Even though, by chance, the nonrunners had more benign moles and freckles and significantly higher sun sensitivity as determined by eye color and skin shade, the runners had more solar lentigines and more lesions suggestive of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, two less aggressive skin cancers.”. They say it’s by chance, but I wonder if those more prone to burning tend to self-select out of pursuits involving a lot of sun exposure? Maybe that’s why, even though I no longer hate running, I have no desire to become a distance runner.

Sometimes I worry that this will be a liability some day, when evaluating scenarios like “what if I’m in a situation where I have to run for hours on end to survive a zombie attack or something”, but it’s not a big enough motivator. (In fact, such thoughts just remind me of this this ‘a softer world’.) Of course, my dream life of living on the beach doesn’t make much sense from an avoiding skin cancer perspective either, but I’d be willing to trade a bit of longevity for always being warm and near the ocean.


No rest for the wicked.
24 November 2006 (Friday), 10:46 pm
Filed under: NaBloPoMo, Sleep

After getting up five days in a row before five am, tomorrow I need to wake up by 3:30 am to drive Mounir to the airport.  So tired.

I take it back.
23 November 2006 (Thursday), 11:00 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, Dancing, NaBloPoMo

” it is not my butt that hurts, nor my arms or upper back. No, it is my calves.”  I retract that statement.  Parts of my body that were sorer than sore as soon as I woke up this morning, and even more so after the very upper body weight lifting-intensive hour of stability ball boot campery:   my butt, my arms, my upper back, my shoulders (raising my arms above my head = excruciating), my calves, my thighs.  My abs are not too bad, but I’m pretty sure by tomorrow morning they’ll be sore.

Tonight was the last session of the intermediate/advanced swing dance class.   My aching muscles are thankful that it was less strenuous and more feeling-the-musicy.  First we did some walking across the floor paying attention to stretching, then sinking into the hip of the leg that had just stepped (forward, backward, and then with a pivoting rock step triple step).  Then we did a lot of playing around in closed, followed by a pattern of three swing outs, one circle, four bars of 6-count stuff (like tuck turn, change of place, inside or outside turn, possibly with the lead turning), then 8 counts of just hanging out and playing with the music.

I need to work more on a) connecting with the floor, b) connecting more with the lead’s hand on my back by sinking back like I’m sitting on the edge of a barstool, and c) enjoying the dancing more instead of worrying about how well I’m following.  Not so shockingly, it’s easier to follow well when I stop worrying about it.  Leo emphasized that it’s about the journey, not the destination.  At least until the next class series in January, focussed on moves and repertory; that class will apparently be all about the destination.

22 November 2006 (Wednesday), 11:14 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo, Photos

Futile was my search for poetry online about sore muscles and/or feeling the burn, and then I remembered this picture from my flickr stream.

When we saw this cactus on the edge of a cliff on Maui last year, I was compelled to pretend to sit on it. About 15 years ago my best friend composed the following masterpiece of a poem for an English assignment:

I sit upon a cactus.
My butt hurts.

And it did hurt when the wind blew and for a millisecond or seven I wasn’t actually pretending to sit on the cactus.

Despite the many squats and duck walks and push up tests (I “only” did 30) and horizontal arm rotations what went on for frickin ever and tripods (one-armed plank) that were part of Wild Card Wednesday, it is not my butt that hurts, nor my arms or upper back. No, it is my calves. I have no idea why.

Tomorrow it will surely be my abs that protest, for tomorrow is Stability Ball Thursday.

I’ll fight you.
21 November 2006 (Tuesday), 9:16 am
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo, Tracking progress

This morning’s boot camp consisted of a lot of boxing drills and a bit of one-on-one punching through the pads T’ai had on his hands.  So much fun, but so knackering too.  The muscles along the side of my back are sore, especially on the right side (because I punch with my right, jab with my left).  Watching boxing on TV (or even worse, live) has no appeal for me — I don’t like watching violence — but having a first-hand understanding of a little bit of the skills they need makes me admire boxers more, in the abstract.  Doing more boxing-specific training at some point appeals, as long as I never have to hit someone’s face.

I didn’t enjoy boxing as much the day we did it at the first boot camp I attended, this time last year.  Having a few more tries to synchronize all the movements makes it only a little easier, but it removes some of the frustration of just not being able to make my limbs do what I want them to.

Another thing that’s improved a lot in the last year is my ability to jump rope.  The first camp I kept tripping over the rope and was hard pressed to skip more than ten times without getting tangled in it.  The second boot camp, last February, I committed to not being afraid of it anymore, and once managed 55 jumps in a row (I was counting).   Today our warm up was jumping rope for about ten minutes, and I only stopped a couple of times due to badly timed jumps (and a few more times because of coughing and not being able to breathe).  I also managed to spin the rope and jump faster than ever before, though I’m still nowhere near able to skip as fast as boxers or skilled elementary schoolers.

Burning out the bug
20 November 2006 (Monday), 9:39 am
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo

This morning’s inaugural boot camp session was good fun. Things I’m particularly happy about:

1. I can run again! We ran around the new indoor location for two and a half songs to warm up, so not quite ten minutes, and my foot (and the rest of me) felt great. The weak part of my foot feels a tiny bit tender now, so I’ll contrast bath it tonight.

2. The intensity level was pretty high, and I mostly only coughed when I stopped moving. After the warmup we were alternating between agility courses (hoop-running, hurdles, agility ladder and running lines) and upper body weight-lifting at our mats (alternating incline rows, then an upright row-lateral raise-bicep curl-press up sequence, then tricep extensions lying down), and then did five or ten minutes of abdominals (plank, crunches, hip raises, bicycles) before stretching. I also worked up quite a sweat (which, in the two weeks of exercising on my own, really only happened with the Get RIPPED to the Core! DVD), so I’m hoping I burned and sweated out the rest of this cold.

3. After boot camp I went back to sleep for an hour. From 2:30am onwards it felt like I was waking up every ten minutes or so (from strange dreams of monster invasions and finding a wallet that was stolen years ago, and hanging out with people I haven’t seen since high school, and other people having affairs with Keira Knightley) — with that extra sleep I now feel ready to face the day.

4. This has nothing to do with boot camp, but did you know that London Drugs is one of the places you can get a marriage licence in Vancouver? It’s true.

Also, apparently it’s not against the law in British Columbia to marry your cousin. From the  Application for Marriage Licence pdf, “A man may not marry his Grandmother Mother Daughter Granddaughter Sister” and “A woman may not marry her Grandfather Father Son Grandson Brother” — you’d think now that same sex weddings are legal they’d add language preventing women from marrying their female relatives and men from marrying their male relatives.

Some other NaBloPoMo blogs and their entries
19 November 2006 (Sunday), 5:54 pm
Filed under: NaBloPoMo

The plague is still making me cough and sneeze, etc. I’m so looking forward to waking up at 5 am tomorrow and heading to the first day of the My Adventure Boot Camp two week mini-camp.  I may actually need to wake up 15 minutes before five, in order to clear enough snot out of my head that I can run and do whatever else T’ai has in store for us.

I’m tired of whining, though, and lying on the couch coughing up lungs is getting boring so I’ve been reading the blogs of other NaBloPoMo participants. I clicked on blog titles pretty much at random (titles that appealed to me had a better hit-rate) and only got part way through the As (after the people-donating-prizes and numbers) before there were too many tabs open in my browser. Here are some entries I’ve particularly enjoyed, in no particular order:

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