keryx: (Default)
I keep talking about climbing a mountain. Assuming we can get up to Mauna Kea early enough in the day while I'm in HI next month, I can of course walk up the summit trail. But I'm thinking more serious. Like. Kilimanjaro. It's apparently not a technically difficult climb (that is, I don't need to be a good rock climber, which I'm not) so much as a grueling ordeal of altitude. *

Plus, you know. Giraffes.

So let's say I want to do this next year. What do you do to prep for mountain trekking? I suppose I should find this out.

* Funny thing: I appear to be indifferent to altitude up to 12-13K feet. Proves the relative randomness of altitude sickness, that an asthmatic (with a history of smoking, no less) who lives close to sea level is all "whatevs" at that height. Higher apparently everyone starts feeling it.
keryx: (line weight)
I went to the gym on Monday night last week, right after work.

Under normal circumstances, I don't like a crowded gym. Feels rushed and out of control. Monday is always a popular night, but it's also one of few days I'm available in any given week. So, you know. I soldier on.

This past week was traumatizing. First week I'd been on Monday since early January. Resolutionists! Everywhere! I'm not offended by their presence or their noobness, but gah. What the women are there for (I have no idea about the men, as most conversation takes place in the locker room). Lots of self-hate. Lots of self-weighing. Bitter laughs when the fat chick in the room tries to offer another perspective on their "oh I'm disgusting" commentary.

I will not be going back to the gym on Monday night for awhile. Even if the current crowd stays away from weights (gah, you might like GAIN A POUND OF MUSCLE) and opts exclusively for treadmills. Hearing people talk about themselves like that makes me want to cry.

On the up side, I've discovered that older folk, tattooed freaky people and weight training enthusiasts tend to hang at the gym Friday-Sunday. Which makes me a weekend gym convert, apparently. Heh. That's probably how all of those folk ended up there on the weekend.
keryx: (Default)
I stayed at the office until 4am this morning (from 2pm or so yesterday). Then got back up at 9 for a conference call.

At 9, my entire body was like: um, no. It wasn't hard to wake up, but any part I'd worked at the gym or swinging clubs (which I've been avoiding for awhile) in the past few days was having none of this whole moving around thing.

Then! I napped again until another conference call just now. This time when I woke, my entire body felt just fine. Because sleep? Heals. Unbelievably efficiently.
keryx: (Default)
I mean. Not really.

I had a friend who could just look at a movement and reproduce it. I envied that seemingly direct channel from his eyes to his body. A moment ago, I surprised myself by busting some convincing Acadian heel-toe action without even thinking about it.

Which makes total sense. I've been dancing and looking at dance for long enough that, having seen that dance, I can reproduce it. It would be even cooler to practice throwing down in unfamiliar dance forms enough that I could do what he did - replay a movement, then be able to break it down enough to teach it. That's a pretty badass skill right there, mixing unconscious with conscious competence.
keryx: (i robot)
The problem with the gym is that it makes me hungry. Like. Giant sucking void of food-wanting. Persistent hind-brain messages like We need pasta. With alfredo. NOW. This would be fine if I went to the gym at like 5pm, but I keep going at 8 or 9 (after a perfectly sufficient dinner, mind you), and I don't want to be eating again at 10. I do that enough with dance stuff. It keeps me up late. And I don't usually have pasta in the fridge.

So, yeah. That's annoying.

Also annoying is the back-of-my-brain reaction (namely, glee... tempered with front-of-brain horror) to the realization that I'm going to shrink again this summer. I'm taking 3 dance classes in addition to the usual practice schedule (though I expect a light performance schedule), and trying to make it to the gym for 2-4 hours each week. Past experience shows that new activity, especially 5 hours a week of it, will make my body different. Past experience also shows that I may lose my shit when that happens. I hope it will be better if I'm prepared for it, and at least I know now that I'll stabilize size-wise within a year. If I keep feeding the giant sucking void, maybe I'll only shrink at the rate my clothes wear out. I hate wasting perfectly cute clothes.

Other than these persistent annoyances, the gym continues to be a rocking good time. I found a stability ball exercise that hits a lot of what I need to do floor work well, and I had the pleasure of surprising little bitty trainer boy with my core strength. It's so loud and busy at the gym, but what struck me tonight was just how peaceful it is [If you stay away from the people trying to destroy their joints on the elliptical machines. I hope we have universal health care before they get old, cause some of them are just leaping at those machines. They sound like storm troopers.]. Focusing on form and counting repetitions in this strange chaotic setting reminds me of going out to practice tai chi in the middle of the theater building at BillnMary - in some ways the internal quiet is more intense for being hard-won. At home I can create the exact right environment to focus in, but having to work for that focus is - well, it's another dimension of working out, I suppose. I like it.

In other news, I realized this week that I feel called to coaching as a career. It's unclear exactly what form that needs to take, but I'm sure that path is not old-school plan-driven project management. And that narrows the field of my job search. Mostly, though - it excites me, and that's... heh, it's exciting.

I'm starting to look forward to my life again.
keryx: (finger licking good)
I had no idea. Going to the gym? Is RIOTOUSLY FUN.

I've been going once or twice a week for... just under a month, I guess. The classes are greatly entertaining - I've been going to yoga, a yoga-pilates-fusion thing, and one with silly pop music and barbells, and they change routines pretty much every time I go, so it's a tiny little surprise for my whole body. Sometimes my fun friends are there, too! The trainer recommended to me by that dude I gave such a hard time? Is not only not a narrow-minded dumbass but is amusing and fairly insightful for a 12 year old (and has pretty eyes). He's no my-old-coach, but he'll do.

I declare the gym a success. Yay, gym!

In other news: I forgot how in all Jane Austen's books "you're looking fatter" is a total compliment about how you're not miserable and depressed anymore. Yay, 19th century!
keryx: (Default)
Guess what I did last night?

No, really. Guess!

You didn't guess "joined a gym", did you? Because if you know me at all, you know of my passionate hate for the gym mindset. The pain = gain. The appearance = health. All the wildly simplified equations and just the general unpleasantness of the places. Ick.

Anyhow. I joined a gym. My trainer has disappeared off the face of the earth, and I need program design help to figure out some of the dance-prep strengthening I want to do. So when [livejournal.com profile] arovd suggested that we practice together in her gym's (fantastic slippy-floored, mirrored, nicely lit) space... eh, okay.

The environment is... not as bad as I expected. There was one poster that bothered me enough I. Um. Sorta hid it. It was a small act of subversion. We went to a yogaish workout class that I enjoyed, and the space really is fantastic. The people there were reasonably diverse. The guy who showed me around was remarkably tolerant of my continuous ripping on his profession. We'll see if the trainer recommendation he made pans out.

There are a LOT of treadmills. That? Is creepy.
keryx: (glowy ball)
I am, sometimes, more like a character in a chick-lit novel that I'd care to admit. Because, as [livejournal.com profile] cutegaychick said yesterday, my crises?* Are really amusing.

I told you all about the video camera, right? That my dad gave me one for xmas? Well, in addition to recording video of my family and friends for some future date of schmoopiness, I caught some footage of me walking from behind (footage courtesy of mom). And I really didn't like the view of my ass from behind. NOT BECAUSE I AM A GIANT FATTY. I mean, yes, I am a giant fatty [I am SO going to go rename the "fat" tag "giant fatty" when this post is done.]. And, okay, maybe right after coming home from being mommed, I might have been thinking just possibly that being a giant fatty was a Very Bad Thing. HOWEVER, the problem was not the size of my ass but the aesthetic displeasure I experienced watching it move.

So I wondered if my problem could be the non-turned-out walk I trained for a couple of years ago. I used to walk, and stand, and probably sleep, with a distinct turnout (at the hips, like everyone learns in ballet class). It's not good for speed, and it's theoretically not good for my hips (although I think the new walk may have unintentionally contributed to calf and foot issues). But it is, I think, more pleasing to look at. I know because I? Did SEVERAL video takes this morning of different walks, arm and head positions. From multiple angles! I'd show you the videos, but on this point, dearest, loveliest LJ, you do not get a vote.

I wasn't just looking for something I found more attractive (though that was without a doubt the main catalyst), but also checking out this thing with my head. Around the same time as the walk retraining thing, I discovered that I'd been sticking my chin & head out and up for ages, and have since been correcting by constantly tilting my head down. Over time, though, I'd learned to keep my head in a perfectly fine neutral position, and when I installed more mirrors in my bedroom [for DANCING, kids. Don't get all excited.], I could see that I actually look down when I mean to have my head neutral. I've overcorrected. I've also been doing something weird and awkward with my arms. And all this fantastic body knowledge thanks to what could've been one of those old-school "OMG I am so FAT, I need a DIET" episodes.

My crises?* Are AWESOME.

* This is not, in fact, an example of a crisis in the sense of a Great Big Problem; it's just a thing I thought a lot about.
keryx: (Default)
My weekend actually started Wednesday with dance practice. What we do to prep for a big performance, if you're interested ) After practice, we drove to the wilds of Chesterfield because [livejournal.com profile] garrity and family are swell. And I went to bed way early because, I think, I was still healing (I am a little in awe of people who get tattoos that take several hours, given that my own recovery time was so long).

Thursday, as mentioned, [livejournal.com profile] cutegaychick and I went to Natural Bridge to act like dorks.

Friday was basically - get up, run mad errands, get in car at lunch time, drive to DC. We listened to the Buffy musical on the ride up, which made at least an hour of our three hour tour go faster and more fun-like. After that and tech and trying to get food and getting dressed and watching all of the other performances, I really don't remember how the show went. Brettocks and Dave took pictures, if that helps. Some thoughts on the other performances, at least, since I hardly remember ours... )

Friday night [livejournal.com profile] missmeridian and I stayed up too late. Saturday morning was a driving comedy of errors the likes of which only DC can produce. I did not get lost, though! I did, however, get to the workshop late. But in a way that was good - it helped me approach the workshop as just another way to dance and get better and have fun. I tend to keep skulking off to the back to take notes, like writing it down will help (it will at least give me a reference) even though I'm more of a kinaesthetic/spacial learner. I feel like I have to find a way to ingest everything because it may be a year before I have a teacher in front of me again.

This time was different, though - more time to focus on refinement, more willingness to dare and fuck up, no notes taken whatsoever and hardly even a second's break from dancing. It was so cool to see so many beginners there! It was even better to dance with new people! And I left Sunday with a Sahra turn and a calibrated spin which did not suck.

Also, I feel like I've now been invited into a sisterhood of tattooed bellydancers. I think everyone who knew the tattoo is new came up to exchange tattoo stories. Though people did mistake the pomegranate on stage for chili peppers, goldfish, and a variety of other unexpected things, apparently.

So, yeah. That was a really long weekend to not feel at all like a weekend. Just like a different kind of work. I LIKE work, mind you, but it does tire a girl out.
keryx: (Default)
After I went back to work yesterday, all of the greatfeelingness from the weekend immediately dissolved. Not only that, but the things I think of as exacerbated by dance (the pattern of cross-body tension winding up from my left foot/ankle) were in full force by mid-day.

So in last night's training, I was assigned this task - to set several random alarms for myself throughout each day, and record how and where I was, how I felt, etc. It's easy to see what dance trains you to do, but it's harder to decode what you're unconsciously training into yourself all day at work (and of course, it would help if I paid attention.

9:36 )
11:08 )
1:45 )
3:02 )
keryx: (Default)
Blah blah blah, I'm an uncoordinated wimp, blah blah blah. )

On the up side, if I'm bad at it - well, chances are it's a good thing to work on doing well.
keryx: (Default)
I don't think I picked up the harp or did anything other than recuperative CST stuff all weekend. I slept weirdly (3 hours one night, 15 the next) and danced. ).
keryx: (Default)
I'm starting to feel like my harp practice is just a thing I do, like the dance and CST stuff. I think this is a good sign. But. I've also been feeling disconnected from practice in general, so I'm going to start keeping a practice log of everything. It'll be public but cut, so this is the last you have to read about it.
relaxing sunday of practice )
keryx: (Default)
I'm officially declaring what used to be weeks to now be "parts". So now, part 1 is October, part 2 is November & 3 is December - there just aren't often enough breaks in my other training to do my THP more than once or twice a week.

part 3, day 1 )

part 3, day 2 )
keryx: (Default)
Eh, so it's actually week four... but as mentioned, those weeks were filled with obstacles to training. Grr.

Week 2, day 1 )

It's strange how just a little shift in the way you move can spiral out. Based on OMG Squee! my teachers' shift towards a less dogmatic approach, I made a few small adjustments to my dance posture towards a more released CSTishness in the shoulders; adjusting opened up my torso to prettier, more relaxed taxeem (vertical hip figure 8s). Though I mentioned this already.

I also find myself starting to change little bits about the way I move since starting this THP. Though I still can't, say, roll more than a couple of inches up from prone to seated without my arms, I'll initiate getting out of the bathtub with my torso instead of arms or legs.
keryx: (Default)
The last time I actually tackled the new movements was I think while in Seattle. Between the endless October malaise and my complicated dance life, there wasn't time.

But tonight I was having fun! My two sets of five turned into four sets. It felt good - partly just that I haven't trained anything CSTish except for intu-flow for like 3 weeks.

let's do the numbers )

I heart training. Training rocks. Train good, and you train everything good. Which totally applies to life, by the way.

Addendum - hurdler shin roll breakthrough (or breakdown?) )
keryx: (Default)
I learned a new series of movements this week - now focusing on structural strength vs. the anti-dance slate cleaning [I am still amazed at how well that flow works at releasing my specific dance tension. I want to teach it to [livejournal.com profile] arovd and see if it's universal, or just me.]. I'm not what result I'm after; I just know that a lot of my abdominal and back strength is about specific dance movement - I'd like to see what happens if I have more functional strength.

the movements )

day one )

As a side note, I recall a time when I would've considered walking all over Seattle and Olympia a full day of physical activity. At some point, I started thinking of walking as conveyance and not exercise, since I almost started this post with "since I didn't really do anything physical yesterday or today..."

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