Friday, August 13, 2010

The End.

Rather than leave you with tremendously deep thoughts about the Kung Fu Body, I'll just say this: it was not at all what I expected. At times, I totally resented it. At other times, it was TOTALLY AMAZING. Looking to KFB for the same results I got on PCP was nigh on an impossible task, and I finally realized it a couple of weeks ago. The workouts are way more fun, that's for sure, but like Patrick said in his last e-mail to us, you can't go home again. I've learned that lesson in more than one way this year.

Still, a lot has changed in 90 days. Since KFB began, I have:

*turned 29.
*expanded my kitchen skills exponentially.
*come to my own understanding of death and the afterlife.
*started a writing group with Shivani and some other friends.
*discovered roller derby.
*signed up for that holistic nutrition certification course.
*made new friends.
*sung lots of Dolly Parton.
*driven cross-country for the third time.
*gotten a bike.
*watched my homeboy Pacato flourish in a creative new career.
*discovered eggplant caviar (thank you, Heather.)
*received loads of compliments on my arms.
*let go of many, many uncomfortable ideas about my body.
*embraced positive thinking with a simple word: YES!

And that's just a sample. . . .

So, instead of analysis, I will leave you with some milestones—
Standing Jump: 10.5 inches (26.7 cm)

Consecutive Ball Punches: 25

Morning Standing Forward Bend: Fingertips to floor with slight bend in knees; fingertips to tops of toes without bending knees

Standing Jump: 10.25 inches (26 cm)

Consecutive Ball Punches: 136 (That last one was sort of a whiff, so I stopped because I had to go to work.)

Morning Standing Forward Bend: Palms on the floor. Whoa.

And some photos—



. . . so you can draw your own conclusions.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your encouragement and thoughtful commentary. To everybody currently doing or thinking about starting PCP or KFB, I wish you all the best!

To all the TOTALLY BAD ASS PCP veterans-turned-KFB KNOCK-OUTS, I think a Day 91 happy dance is in order.

See you soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

On in 5, 4, 3, 2 . . .

I'm blogging to you live from my wide angle forward bend. Currently six minutes in. How do you guys spend this time? So far, I have looked into an insurance matter that should have been paid back in April (could have made this half-hour stretch incredibly tense) and called a casting director about an HBO reality show based on Brooklyn couples (Pacato's idea.)

I realized the other day that saying YES! probably means I should take time for those people with clipboards who try to get the man on the street to stop and support their causes. At the very least, I can hear them out. Ignoring people on the street is such an automatic response for me in this city where everyone wants something from you. Seriously? I don't have five minutes to spare?

I am reframing my attitude in so many positive ways without even intending to. I used to find excuses for not even pursuing my own interests . . . like, say, attending an urban gardening seminar by myself. (I rode my bike to one last week!) Now, I believe that I can do things I previously would have been too afraid to try (like, attempting a handstand in the middle of the room—not yet successful, but that is not the point.)

Speaking of saying YES! to stuff, do you guys know anything about Soka Gakkai International? This tiny lady handed me a card in the subway the other day. This mission may require a wingman.

Also, while I've got you, I'm considering taking a holistic nutrition certification course. An e-mail put the buzz on me a couple days ago, and I can't stop thinking about it. I'm not sure what to do. Mostly because it is quite expensive (which could affect the "does not compromise my bank account" tenet), and I don't care so much about the certification part (although, I suppose it could be handy) but about the learning part.

Double hmm . . . maybe I should start a separate YES! blog that could help connect me to other cool experiences. Ponder, ponder . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010

Who needs the grocery store?

Yesterday, my YES! project took me on an unusual adventure through the wilds of Brooklyn's Prospect Park: foraging! Pacato, our new friend Ali, and I joined a four-hour tour led by the incredibly knowledgeable (and always prepared) Wildman Steve Brill.

The Wildman shows us how to recognize amaranth.

We found all kinds of edible leafy greens, berries, and varieties of cherries, as well as medicinal plants.

Yum, I can't remember what this green bean-tasting plant is called.

We simultaneously discover burdock root . . . and the fact that we forgot to bring a shovel so we couldn't actually take any home.

Turns out I really enjoy foraging. I may make it a hobby. At the very least, I am definitely going on another tour in the fall. When we got home, I made a tincture for skin irritations using jewel weed, some mugwort tea (good for preventing PMS symptoms and creating lucid dreams), and a dinner salad of lamb's quarters (with a spinach flavor), that green bean-tasting plant, and wood sorrel.

Voila! (Turnips—I think?—foraged from our CSA box. And salmon, from the local fish guy.)

What's that you say? You want more of the Wildman?

Oh, all right.
Impromptu jam session, Prospect Park 2010 from Emily Drum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go on, ask me.

I've decided to start saying yes. Not okay (sigh) or sure (whatever) or maybe (not) but a resounding YES. If you need one more person on your football team or a square dance partner (okay, I need a square dance partner) or a writing tutor (for fee or barter) or a batch of brownies for your bake sale, yes, I will do it. As long as it doesn't compromise my well-being, my values, or my bank account, I'm in. In fact, I'm totally stoked.

As I've gotten older, like many people, I've started getting set in my ways. By nature, I love to try new things and go new places. When I was younger (um, not that long ago), I was always up for anything. But for some reason, I've started thinking up excuses for why I just can't.

No wonder I feel so much discontent with my life.

I've been reflecting on this passage from the Sacred Path:

You can see people's connection to internal drala by the way they behave: the way they pick up their teacups, they way they smoke their cigarettes, or the way they run their fingers through their hair. Whatever you do always manifests how you feel about yourself and your environment—whether you feel kindness towards yourself or resentment and anger towards yourself; whether you feel good about your environment or whether you feel bad about your environment. That can always be detected by your gait and your gestures—always.

It reminds me of a sentence in Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God about the disconnect we often experience between who we believe ourselves to be and who we actually are. For me, that disconnect hits home in terms of my aspirations. I love my job and my community in Brooklyn, but I don't aspire to sit behind a desk or live in a crowded city my whole life. There are too many new experiences to be had and dormant (or as-yet-untapped) passions to explore. I want to do it all! Yet, I just can't bring myself to jump.

Instead, I stick to my routine: workout, work, capoeira, Internet, sleep . . . with a little (sometimes a lot of) eating in between. And then I complain about how I want to DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE!

I've become a crotchedy old lady, and I'm barely 29.

So what can I do right now to reverse the aging process?

I'm quitting refusals cold turkey. And I'm not going to straddle the fence anymore.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hey shorty

So . . . I'm in North Carolina right now. I didn't pack my jump rope because the last time I was here, we found my dad's old jump rope in a closet—a cotton number with wood handles. Not that jump ropes take up much room, but I'm really big on packing as little as possible. FACT: after a solo vacation to Israel in 2008, authorities questioned me for half an hour at Ben Gurion International Airport because I had apparently packed suspiciously little for a ten-day trip to another country. (I will admit an extra pair of jeans probably would have been a good idea.)

At any rate, my dad was a short dude, at 5'6". And I'm 5'1". But that jump rope must have been from when he was ten. I could not get the thing to clear my head and my feet. It's not often I get to be too tall for something.

BREAKING FACT: My mom just informed me my dad got the jump rope when he was training for a marathon, which means he was in his mid-thirties. He had definitely stopped growing by then.

Eventually I did make it through my ten minutes.

And I would have used ping pong balls for the rest of the face, but I got all cocky yesterday morning about how much time I had to get ready before a car arrived to take me to the airport. Suffice it to say, I will be shadow boxing my way through this week's workout. . . .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Straight from the farm box . . .

Now that's what I call a fresh egg!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I took a KFB vacation today. This week, I've kinda been over being told what and how much to eat. My mind is having trouble reconciling wanting to make its own choices with living up to my commitment to the program. (My mind usually wins, but it feels more like a desperate rebellion than a conscious choice.)

Patrick warned us we might be tired this week. I've been exhausted, fighting to keep my eyes open during the day. Morning KFB + evening capoeira + all-day heat is a monster equation for fatigue. But this morning, my whole body hurt. So I opted for sleep instead of exercise. I made no-bake cookies when I got home from work, and the sugar high inspired me to go to capoeira instead of getting all kung fu in my living room. Then I had a beer with a friend.

In short, the day was AWESOME.

Sometimes, a girl just needs a vacation.