Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yoga: For Beginners

There are a few things that have always been consistent with my character: I generally run into someone everywhere I go and I'm usually running about 5 minutes late.

In the past year or so I've really worked on my punctuality, unfortunately, today I had a lapse at a rather inopportune time: walking into my very first yoga class.

Oh yes, I was that girl.

I walked into the gym at 5:00 on the dot, when class was starting, and ran into a girl I knew from High School. She worked there and assured me they probably hadn't started yet and had a coworker walk me to the other building where they hold classes.

Perhaps the fact that I had to go back outside should have been enough to signal that I should just do some cardio and call it a night. But no, I'm stubborn (which is also consistent with my character) and continued.

I walked into the room and everyone was already lying down on their mats. I looked behind me, as though the kind staffer who walked me over was also going to introduce me like the new kid in the first grade, and then grabbed a mat and joined the rest of the class on the floor.

Thankfully she was still in the breathing/warm-up portion so I caught up simply by catching my breath. Maybe this yoga thing wouldn't be so bad after all...

And surprisingly it wasn't. Sure there was the moment that I realized I hadn't grabbed a strap and the man next to me had to gesture across the room to where they were located, and the 3rd time we did downward-facing-dog where the teacher came over and fixed the way I was holding my back, and the violent shaking when it came time for abs (which the lovely instructor, who was probably all of 19 years old, was kind enough to tell me was a good thing, "it means it's working!"), but I've made worse physical foul ups.

I made it through to the end, apologized to the instructor for being late, and exited (much more quietly and more relaxed than when I entered).

Looks like I'll live to 'namaste' another day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

From Old T-Shirts to New Activewear

One day on my drive to the tanning salon, which was just a few minutes from my house, I realized that, if I lived in the city, I could easily walk the distance.

However, I'm an impatient person and walking takes too long, so I decided I'd run it. You inevitably smell like tanning booth when you leave anyway (I describe this as a medley of tanning lotion and sanitizer, which kind of smells like Malibu Rum, which I hate), so what's a little perspiration added to the mix?

I clocked the distance on Gmaps Pedometer, which is an amazing site if you've never heard of it, and figured out that it was .98 of a mile. Seriously do-able.

That was 4 years ago and, while I no longer tan, I recently started running again and I'm up to 3 miles 2-4 times a week.

Unfortunately the weather is getting colder and, thanks to daylight savings time, it's now dark when I get home so I need to figure out an alternative. So it looks like I'll be doing the unthinkable: joining a gym.

The beauty of running is that it's free and, as an added bonus, you don't have to talk to anyone. With my headphones on "I'm in the zone, Chief" and no one can bother me. I also get to wear a frighteningly beat-up workout ensemble of old college/bar/vacation t-shirts and lacrosse shorts or cotton leggings. But now, while I don't plan on socializing while I'm at the gym, I know I'm going to feel out of place if I don't look the part, at least a little bit.

So tonight I'm going to Old Navy , armed with a 30% off coupon that also gives to charity, to spend as little as possible on active wear.

I hate paying money to replace my perfectly functional ratty old lax shorts, complete with paints stains from a summer gig a few years back, but at least I'll be doing good for charity. And working out improves my mood, which is charity for the people who have to see me everyday as well :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

End of Day Update

While my wallet won't be happy to hear it, my hands still feel amazing - over 12 hours after application!

Thankfully they sell La Prairie at Nordstrom so I can at least get some points when I purchase this amazingly effective cellular hand cream.

It looks like a trip to the mall is in my near future.

La Prairie Plug

Fall has rushed in as quickly as, well, me when I'm late to a hair appointment. So quickly, in fact, that I didn't even notice that my hands have begun their winter transformation to sandpaper.

Try as I may to avoid it, every year my hands get super rough with the change of the seasons. Think Scarlet O'Hara when she goes to see Rhett Butler in prison and he realizes she's been working in the fields (minus the actual manual labor).

Over the years I've tried multiple hand creams and solutions;

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (this is like Chapstick - it creates a protective wax coating, which prevents further damage, but does nothing to actually repair)
Bath & Body Works Look Ma New Hands cream with paraffin (definitely nourishing, but quickly removed the first time you wash your hands which, in cold season especially, means constant reapplication)
Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (a combination of the previously mentioned creams).

Since the Kiehl's seems to get the job done, but still needs time to soak in, I apply it before bed. You can feel the residue washing off in the morning, but at least it feels like it did some work first.

This morning my mother gave me the sample she got of La Praire Cellular Hand Cream so I used it when I got to work and the heavens opened up the angels sang and my hands feel like velvet.

Granted velvet has it's price, $95 to be exact, but I might be willing to make an exception, you know, just this once.