Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Mad and Even! The perfect workout for the pissed off!

I didn't get mad enough yesterday to go running (and honestly, it's so damn hard to do it when the air is thick with pollen and humidity, so I really have to rethink my workout strategy for the summer), but I did do some prep work.

I pulled my good ole trusty freestanding heavy bag from the corner of the living room.  Look at this baby!
I purchased this piece of gold almost 10 years ago, and even though I downgraded apartment size when I moved into this place last summer, I (almost did, but) couldn't give this baby up.  Back in the day, when I was a gym rat, I had a personal trainer by the name of Antonio. Antonio thought he could scare me when he said that he was going to put me through it, but all that did was egg me on. We did various types of workouts - weights, circuit training, that stupid bike (God love those spin-freaks!), but when he put some boxing gloves on me, it was on!  He thought mentioning (bragging) about his black belt would intimidate me, but I got a weird high off the idea of training with someone as accomplished as him (and I think that solidified in his mind that I was straight up CRAZY).  And after a few rounds of not getting knocked out, and actually surprising my trainer and almost taking out his nuts - just once (I am not going to brag because if he was pissed, I'm sure he would have taken me out, just not as quickly as he could someone else) - I was hooked.  And when I saw that I could actually buy a heavy bag that I didn't have to hang from the ceiling! Ya damn right I went on down to Modell's, plopped my $99 plus tax on the counter, and brought that sucka home in a taxi!

Now, I won't lie and say I box all the time, but it definitely has come in handy, especially during trying times. I'd throw on my boxing gloves (I had to buy kid's gloves because may hands are small, lol!), imagine someone's face, apply all of the training and keep my form and focus, and then punch or kick the crap outta my piece of gold.

I eventually switched from regular boxing gloves to heavy bag gloves, since I had no plans to spar, and really wanted to get the most out of working the bag (aka, I wanted to feel my punches more and the heavy bag gloves are thinner).

There's just something about that 'pop pop pop!' sound that I hear when I throw a jab.  And considering that this is something that I do indoors, and I can control the air in my apartment, this may be my go to workout during the hot and humid months coming up. It can also be my stress reliever (instead of crying or staring into space, I can just hit the bag).  I don't know what the future holds, especially the near future, but I know that the 30 minutes I spent doing different combinations on the bag helped me to feel a hell of a lot better than I have in a while. It's a financial and space investment that I have never regretted.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Uh Oh (Spaghetti-O!)

There's nothing like taking a look in the mirror and really seeing oneself.

I'm not talking about looking into my eyes and seeing into the depths of my soul. I'm talking about seeing myself, literally.

I looked in the mirror today and saw a little jiggle.

Now the good thing is that, unlike last summer, when I totally didn't notice, I didn't see this in, say October, after gaining 15 pounds (actually, it was more like 17).  And luckily, in this case I'm getting flabby from not working out as opposed to eating ice cream everyday. Not that either option is good, but I would think that it'd be better to get back in shape without fighting the ice cream monster. Instead, my monster is the depression monster.

It's like a freaking cockroach, that depression monster. You stomp on it. Think the sucka is dead, and 2 minutes later he's still twitching and before you can run to the run to get a your bigger Easter Sunday show, he done got up and ran off somewhere. And you just know he's going to rear his ugly, twitchy head again, probably when you least expect like, but you don't know when. He's gone, for now, but not for good.

Well, that's what my depression is like - a big, ugly cockroach that won't die. And what happens when I get depressed, I sit down. I don't move.

Now of course, all of the articles and doctors and talking heads say that exercising actually helps your mood in this state, and that is true, but I still have to be motivated to move.

What motivates me to move is getting mad.

When the docs told me last year that I couldn't run because of my asthma, I got mad, and I found a way to get in good enough shape to be able to clock 3 miles per running session in an average of 45 minutes.

When my old neighborhood was clearly becoming more "Boyz in the Hood" than I could have tolerated, and I had to run into the building with my child yelling "don't look back, just keep running!", I got mad, and as soon as we got into our apartment, I started packing. In 2 months I'd found a new apartment and we moved.

So while the past 2 months have been particularly dreary emotionally - to the point where I stopped doing what I loved - which is running - I found myself incredibly sad (I actually described my state of mind as "embarrassingly depressed" to a friend the other day - I just stopped moving. It hurt to move. Especially when you feel like you get hit i the face with a frying pan with every step you take. I was feeling like the T-1000 in Terminator 2, who slowed down with each step after being doused with I think it was nitrogen.

But when I looked in that mirror a few minutes ago I got mad. As in "hell no, I like skinny jeans and not having to walk around holding my gut in all day!"

I can only hope that when I get home later, I'm still mad. Or at least mad enough to run a quarter of a mile (baby steps), because while "mad" has a big mouth and is an attention seeker, "sad" is silent and deadly.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I don't want to 'Think Like a Man!'

I ready Steve Harvey's book some time back, and while I "get" what he's saying, and that he may very well be right about many things, I don't want to think like a man. I want to think like ME, so I have to ask, "Why isn't that good enough?"

Look, I am no closer to figuring out the who's and what's and why's of dating, and I honestly wish I was like Johnny Mnemonic where I could just download information into my head and it is what it is, but like many others, I am a breathing, feeling WOMAN.

While we're all human beings, I'm not naive enough to believe that there aren't differences between the sexes - I'm too old not to accept that truth, however, I also know that after all the trials and tribulations that I've been through in my not-so-short lifetime, that I have earned 'thinking like ME' and not pushing aside my needs and feelings just to make things more comfortable another person who is not willing to be as giving in that department. Why are relationships a game like trying to see who will blink first? Isn't that a waste of time? Time that could be put to better use by living and enjoying together, or even time used to determine whether 'together' is actually not what you want or need?

I don't know everything, but here's what I think:
  • Love, while effortless (the emotion), in practice, can be just as exhausting, if not more so, than those Nalini Method classes I took a couple of weeks ago.
  • There is a fine line between being supportive of someone as they work through their issues, vs. being their emotional punching bag which leads to them driving you crazy (to quote Samantha from Sex and the City,  "I love you, but I love me more"
  • It's hard to give up - at least for me -but everyone has their maximum threshold
  • While I don't know what that "Hey Everybody! We're in love!" feeling is like, I believe in it (I guess it's akin to believing in a higher power)
  • Hibernating from the BS is not as bad as some folks make it out to be.
  • People over 35 years old can act like teenagers
  • You can miss what you never had.
  • Wine really is great
  • A real hug can cure almost anything
  • Look me in the eye and I know... for real... for sure...
  • Avoid looking me in the eye, and we already have a problem
  • You may not die physically from a broken heart, but your spirit can
  • Sometimes everything has to come crashing down in order for something new and better to be built up.
  • I don't know a damn thing.
It's not eloquent, but it's what I was thinking at the moment (actually, for the past few months or so). 
P.S. - I did enjoy the fantasy...ooops, I meant, "movie!"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blow Out: Redux

Ok, so a couple of weeks I tried to blow out my hair with the little comb attachment, and 5 minutes in my arms got tired so I was gave up.  Well, I tried again, and with a little bit more help.

I'm a reformed product trier (I refuse to label myself a junkie at this point in time as I see that period of time in my life when I was simply searching for the right product for me!).

So, I decided I would invest 6 bucks in some Twisted Sista blow out cream for two reasons. 1-didn't want to mess around with crap in my hair that hadn't been in my hair for years (this has no sulfates or parabens), and 2-It was 6 bucks!

So here's what I did.
I co-washed my hair.  I don't usually co-wash since I like and need shampoo and the natural hair nazi's who disagree can kick rocks, but I don't usually like my hair anywhere near straight for more than an hour, so fi I got that feeling, I wouldn't feel like I wasted my shampoo (and time).

I divided my hair into 4 sections and (gasp), used a wide tooth comb to gently detangle my hair. Luckily detangling has gotten easier over the past few months - I wonder if the additional length I've gained with my hair is the reason - and then I clamped my hair into about 6 sections.

I used a dime size of Twisted Sista on each section of my hair, and with the comb attachment on my ionic hair  dryer, on a warm high air setting, I blew it out.

And the shyt worked, lol!

Pardon the expression, but I have a lotta hair. I understand why my mom threatened to cut if off when I was younger because it was just too much for someone with 5+ other kids to take care of, lol!  Anyway,, here are the results of that blowout (which is now in  ponytail and covered with a satin scarf until I can figure out what the heck to do with it tomorrow!

The reason why I even considered blowing out my hair in the first place is because I realize I need a trim, so I'll be doing that this weekend, but it was interesting to see where I was with the mop up top.