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.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Special delivery!

I am poised to begin a new chapter in my life . . . on wheels!

Inside each of those boxes is a bike.

And do you know who just carried them both up two flights of stairs?

That's right.

This guy, right here.

Go go kung fu arms!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Y'all, I took Patrick's recent e-mail about our meditation practice to heart. For the past few weeks, when I've thought about my meditation practice, I've been all, helllooooo . . . is this thing on? It started out so promising . . . so (cue melodramatic music) life-changing. Then I hit a speed bump. Um, turns out I wasn't meditating so much as sitting on my floor for five minutes a day thinking about stuff. No wonder I've felt so scatterbrained, unfocused, agitated . . .

Frazzled, like this guy:

So last night I sat on my floor with intention. To breathe in, breathe out. Not think, just be. You know, all that stuff.

That lasted about a minute . . . because this guy:
. . . ran across the floor right in front of me.

I have lived in New York for 6 1/2 years, and I still scream bloody murder when I see a mouse.

So much for flexibility.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

I don't know about you guys, but I started getting TOTALLY bored with the workouts. Fortunately, yesterday, I found the cure: vanity.

I relocated the gym from the den back to its old spot in the kitchen, where a full-length mirror hangs on the wall by the front door. Let me tell you, I could have worked out all day. I was fascinated by watching my own sweaty muscles flex. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I wasn't just getting my exercises done, but actually doing them.

Hey, y'all, whatever works. . . .

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apparently I've been working harder than I needed to . . .

I just looked at today's workout . . . and then looked at last week's workout . . . and realized that EVERY DAY we were supposed to be doing our leg swings and crescent kicks to the tune of seconds. For some reason, I was reading leg swing days as still being done by rep. It did strike me as odd . . . but man, I hope it gave my legs an extra boost.

At least, now I can jump for joy every day. Woot!

I'm going to double jump for joy now that Patrick has remixed the leg swing and crescent kick part of the workout. Tedium, be gone!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Odd-numbered days make me jump for joy!

This week I have been almost giddy whenever I opened the workout to find all those exercises x X seconds. Hoorah! The session will not go on forever! Today, I even did ten kung fu sit-ups per set instead of calling it a day at eight because I had that. much. time.

It's 6:45 a.m. I've just finished working out, and I'm off to one of my favorite parts of the week: Thursday morning yoga!

A happy Thursday to all!

P.S. In this heat, I find that "hang out as long as possible" means "hang out till your hands to slip off the pull-up bar from sweat," no?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

File under: Mindful Consumption

My great friend Pimentao gave me a copy of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. I have been especially interested in the passages on drala, or "energy beyond aggression"—connecting the wisdom of your own being with the power of things as they are. As I was reading on my commute this morning, I came across this timely passage:

Internal drala [oneness in your body] also comes out of making a proper relationship to food, by taking an interest in your diet. . . . You invoke internal drala by developing greater awareness of how you use your mouth altogether. You put food in your mouth; you drink liquids through your mouth; you smoke cigarettes in your mouth. It is as if the mouth were a big hole or big garbage pail: you put everything through it. Your mouth is the biggest gate: you talk out of it, you cry out of it, and you kiss out of it. . . . Maybe you don't need to use it as much as you think. Appreciating your world doesn't mean that you must consume everything you see all the time.

Oh, like, the sangria, cookies, banana bread, and tortilla chips I binged on this weekend? (I was at the same rooftop party as Shivani.)

Over the past few days, my grief has manifested itself in a mixture of all-out bawlfests (even in public!) and complete disregard for my health (i.e. eating junk food—also in public!) I started to see myself as a lost cause. Perhaps I will always solve my problems with food. But, I remembered feeling an acute connection between my desire not to sit with my emotions and my desire to eat a cookie. Awareness. I'm filing the weekend under SUCCESS.