Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drop it like it's HOT...Yoga, that is.

Imagine this- you're in a room full of scantily-clad individuals, sweating profusely, twisting and turning your body in ways you never imagined possible, inhaling, exhaling....aaahhhhh- oh, i forgot to mention- the room is 105 degrees! This is the world of Bikram hot yoga. Ok Ok, let's get the technicalities out of the way for all you amateurs- Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga popularized in the early 1970s. Classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, done in a room heated to105°F. Why anyone would subject themselves to this experience was beyond me, that is, until I tried it for myself for the first time yesterday morning. I am SORE from head to toe from all the bending, flexing, stretching, turning, twisting, balancing on one foot until it went numb. However, it was a great experience and I plan to do it again- multiple times. Why, you ask????

Besides being a very relaxing experience, hot yoga has several benefits for the body as well as the mind and soul. Here are just a few:
  • Reduces injury
  • Reduces the effects of stress
  • Tones and strengthens muscles
  • Increases energy
  • Increase balance & coordination
  • Weight loss
  • Increases metabolism
  • Boosts immune system
  • Enhances the function of respiratory, muscular, endocrine, & circulatory systems
Aside from the 64 year old man that decided to wear skin tight biker shorts and set up his mat in front & center, I had an awesome first experience with Birkram Yoga. CHECK- that's another thing off my bucket list. NAMASTE! (i have no clue what "namaste" means, but it seems to be a popular term in the world of yoga)

Here are just a few of the poses we did:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Give Oliver some Porridge

Your body is your temple. "Yeah, whatever," we say. As hard as our bodies work to keep us going, we do very little to appreciate it. We neglect our feet, our personal slaves. They take a beating every day, might as well start calling them Kunta. We overlook our lungs that work diligently every second, yet they're SO humble. Lord bless em. We don't even recognize our heart. That guy never skips a beat (...until he does :-/ ). And not to mention our kidneys. Those dudes put in overtime shifts to rid our bodies of the toxins we fill it with everyday. Now that's loyalty. So how come we never stop and say "thank you" to our bodies.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I think it's about time I showed a little appreciation... let my body know that I'm grateful. I'm sure it'll appreciate the gesture and recompense accordingly. Wait? Doesn't that sound a little...selfish? Not really. The way I see it, its a tit for tat situation. You take care of your body and it'll take care of you. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Quid pro quo. You get the idea.
So I'm on a quest for wellness. Physical and mental. I want to meditate more, incorporate more exercise, yoga, and most importantly- eat better. Its difficult for us to realize that food plays a major role in our overall wellness- both our physical and mental well-being. So this might be a bit of a struggle.
I'm not saying I'm about to go all green leafy vegetables on ya'll-- you know the type that don't eat something unless it came from a perfect organic seed planted in perfectly fertilized soil (no pesticides or weeds) and harvested at the perfect time not a minute later. No. -___- I need a french fry and a shot of Cuervo every once in a while. But I'm definitely going to make a conscious effort to have my fair share of fruits, vegetables, and "clean foods." I've already cut out beef and pork. I refuse to give up chicken and fish because, by God, Tofu is not a substitution for meat no matter how you cook it. Stop listening to people who say that. They are lying. (I mean, come on...really?)

Here's the part when I suggest that you do the same (not so much because I care about you but more because I think my life is awesome and everyone should live theirs as I do.) Freudian slip?... perhaps! lol....I digress. Wellness is important. I don't think anyone can argue otherwise. Too often, we forget about our little organs and we treat them like a fat, bald-headed version of Oliver Twist. Take a day, a week, a month, 10 seconds even- do something for poor little Oliver. All he wants is some porridge. He deserves it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Another item checked off on my "LIST" I finished my first half marathon! It's been a long journey and I've learned at least 2 important lessons about myself. I started training for this half marathon in February. Back then, I huffed and puffed after 2 miles. I had a set back in March because of emergency surgery. I was out for about 4 weeks. After recovering I decided to continue training, despite desperate pleas (from my mother) for me to just stop. Lesson #1- I'm pretty stubborn (or persistent...tomAto/tomAHto).

Lesson #2 is more important, and not necessarily just about me. It came after I arrived in San Diego for the race. I woke up Saturday morning with a mind-numbing pain in my back and a sharp uncomfortable feeling in my chest. I started to worry. So, I visited the medical tent at the Expo Center to get a doctor's advice. After examining me for a while, the Dr. told me that I had COSTOCHONDRITIS (inflammation at the junction of my ribs and sternum). He didn't know what caused it. I asked him "Will I be able to run in the marathon tomorrow?" He said "well, you could, but you'll be in a lot of pain... so it's your choice."

.....And THERE was Lesson #2. I have a choice. What a concept! A CHOICE??? It didn't take me that long to make up my mind because I immediately thought of Donielle. She didn't have a choice about how quickly her hair would fall out from the chemo. She didn't have a choice about being hooked up to that got damn oxygen tank. She didn't get to choose how her body would react to the bone marrow transplant- the only thing that could have possibly saved her life. But she did choose to live every one of her last days to the fullest. She was brave and she never quit. So, my choice was simple. I chose to run that race...every single mile...for all the choices Donielle didn't get to make.

If you want to learn some things about yourself, you need to take on a challenge. I'm not saying to dedicate 5 months of your life to train for an endurance event, but do something out of your comfort zone. You will start to realize how strong you are (or can be), how confident you are (or aren't), how much passion you really have, or how many things you take for granted- like the power of CHOICES.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't Quit

I'm finally done with recovery...I had to have a blood transfusion and emergency surgery for a ruptured cyst on my ovaries. Yeah, it was kinda scary. Luckily, I'm was able to save my ovaries. My insides are in tact.

So I'm back to training for this 1/2 marathon. I started training a few days ago, which was really frustrating. When I was training before (pre-surgery) I got into a good body was used to running, I was increasing mileage, my time was improving. But 3 weeks of rest took my body out of that mode...almost completely. It was so hard to run 2 miles! So I started feeling a little discouraged. I'm not gonna lie... I started to doubt myself. Then I was hearing negative things from other people. I fed into that for a little bit and started to convince myself that I shouldn't do this. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe my cyst ruptured for a reason. Maybe I'm not cut out for this after all.

But of course, I thought back to the reason I started this journey in the first place and how excited I was to be doing something for someone who did so much for others. I gathered up my courage and remembered "Don't Quit,"- a poem that has gotten me through the worst of times.

So I've realized that, realistically, I probably won't be able to complete this 1/2 marathon the way I wanted to. But the most important part is that I WILL complete it. If I have to walk, skip, hop, or crawl across that finish line...I will do it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Every Journey Begins With a Single Step

Just got in from a workout...PHEW! I haven't run like this since high school!! Right now, I'm just doing about 2 miles a day, and THAT's killing me. It's crazy to think that in less than 4 months, I'll be running 13 miles. But every journey starts with one very small step. So, I'll take it one day at a steps. Actually, baby steps is an over-statement... I feel like I'm crawling for now! lol

I am amazed at the support and encouragement I'm getting from family and friends. That, along with the motivation I get from the memory of Donielle Evans, are what will push me towards that 13 miles.

Just the fact that I've started this journey has encouraged me. I'm sure it'll be an amazing experience and I'll learn alot along the way. Most importantly, I'll be raising money for a cause that's so dear to my heart- that's what its actually all about. So....

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