Monday, April 20, 2009

HOT yoga

So for some reason, this Easter (April 12th, not Greek Easter) I decided it would be a REALLY good idea if I spent 90 minutes in a 100+ degree room doing intensive Bikram Yoga. And so I did. With a bunch of other crazy girls.

My friend Suzie bid and won a private session of Hot Bikram Yoga at the Sweatbox and invited a bunch of her girlfriends to join in. And so we did.

I have done yoga in the past, mostly Hatha, but I had never done anything like Bikram. In Hatha yoga, a lot of it is focused on flow where you do a series of poses and try to move seamlessly through them. Bikram has a lot of similar poses as Hatha except that you do them in an entirely different way - there are 26 moves and 2 breathing exercises and you go through them each twice and much quicker - Pose, Hold, Switch! Also, you do these poses in a very humid hot room.

Let me tell you, I have NEVER sweated this much. Check out our before and after photos...

BEFORE

AFTER

Okay, so you can see the sweaty abs on some of the ladies, but check out a close-up...


Do you see the sweat-matted hair? Do you see that GIANT sweat spot on my stomach? See how shiny Suzie is? And this is all after we have left the hot room and toweled off a bit. Impressive, no? Well let me tell you, on a cold blustery Easter stepping into that "Sweatbox" seemed like a wondrous event. Until I started moving, and voila! I lost every single drop of sweat my body can produce. Hooray!!!!

And then there was Greek Easter... I think Dunc wants to write about that on his blog, so I will let him... oh the tension! Oh the anticipation!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CLAMS!

Well lookee here, someone is blogging with only a few days between! I'm improving!!! This blog will be significantly shorter than the last. All I have to discuss is our FABULOUS dinner last night.

Our wonderful friend Ashley, and former roommate, rejoined the Ole' Brown family for an impromptu, but totally delicious dindin. None of us were craving anything and the only thing we could think of was pasta. Boring. After some discussion we decided on pasta with veggies and clams. Ashley has some great skills in the kitchen and came over to help prep and brought some wine for drinking and cooking. She had the fabulous idea of heating up some garlic and onions in wine than adding that to the water which we would steam the clams over... SO GOOD.

Banana (aka Anna, our roomie) provided some great linguine from Trader Joe's - two different types, Garlic & Basil and Spinach & Chive. We tossed the linguine with sauteed zucchini, bell peppers, onion and garlic, fresh tomato and topped it off with our delicious clams and some of the steaming liquid (onion/garlic/wine) and VOILA:



The dish in all its glory (in a dish from the Momlette, we love our wooden bowls!)


A lovely freshly steamed Manila clam.



My delicious bowl of goodness.



Blurry Ashley enjoying the food deliciousness.

Today, while cleaning the kitchen, I decided to reorganize some drawers, and look who helped! He is sooo helpful!





He is so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Worst Blogger EVER.

Just in case you all didn't get the memo with my lack of blog-activity, I AM BAD AT THIS. If you are ever curious about the day-to-day goings on at Ole' Brown (the casa where Duncan, Oly, Butters, Anna, Fran and I live), Duncan is much better at keeping up to date. He just blogged about his AMAZING work in the backyard, seriously, huge improvements. Also, he added some photos from our weekend adventure in the quad on campus (famous for its springtime cherry blooms, for all you out-of-towners), followed by a visit to Central Cinema for some dinner and for our viewing pleasure, Arnold in Predator - GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!!. Regardless, Duncan is by far better at this whole blogging thing, so if another month passes by and you don't hear from me, I am alive and well (sort of, more on that in a bit), and check in with Dunc to see what we've been up to.


As far as adventures in Betsyland, I continue to be REALLY good at hurting myself. To give you some perspective on my current injury, let me tell you a little story.


Waaaaaay back in March of 2008, I embarked on the journey of losing the "Office 20" - aka, the lesser known weight-gain phenomena, and "weigh" (oh puns, I am hilarious....) more dangerous than the "Freshman 15" because you are older (slower metabolism) and it is less talked about. So I signed up for step aerobics, started running again and began to bike more often. Oh and also focused on portion control, thanks to the advice of an MD and one Mr. Paul McKenna.


It was awesome, I had totally missed step aerobics from my days of stepping in high school and would come home after each class and show Duncan and Anna my routines - they would just nod their heads and smile politely - nerdy, I know, but I loved it.



(See? I even created tables of our two-week routines...)


Then one day I was struck with an insane(ish) idea - my step instructor was subbing for a Total Toning class and invited me along, so after step I jumped right into toning. Now let me preface this next portion with the fact that I suffer from a problem called "being Overly Competitive" - when I run on trails, I always hunt down someone in front of me to beat, even walking to work I do the same, in my fitness classes I have to be the best, lift the most weight, have the best form, you get the idea, I have a problem. So in this brand new class, I decide that I don't need to stay on "Level 1".... pssshaw, I am going all out. Whenever my instructor pumped it, I followed.


Bad idea. This was only a few months in to a huge increase in activity for a mostly sedentary body. The onslaught of activity from running (Dunc and I trained for and ran a 10K with Logan), biking, stepping and now high intensity toning pissed my body right off. I began having pain in my left knee walking up and down stairs and god forbid, I had to take all the risers off my step in class (EMBARASSING, for me...). So I sought out the medical advice from one of UW's Sports Med doctors. He and his resident could not diagnose the actual issue, and decided the best thing to do was to stop training for a week or two and take some high strength anti-inflammatories. Great. Stop working out and take some drugs. NO THANK YOU. I kept going, just at a lower impact and took running out of the picture. Although, I did add in a Cardio-Kicks class over summer quarter, I figured it was better than working out on a step?


I was fortunate enough to visit Mamz in Tacoma for a day at a market where her chiropractic office had a booth. They had a sign out talking about knee pain, among other things, and I thought I would stop by. I did, and lo and behold, there was a REASON for my left knee pain, my right hip is a bit wonky (technical term) making my right leg shorter than my left leg, thus I put more pressure on the left side. TA DA! So when I came back north, I found myself a local chiropractor, Natasha Whittaker Ayers, who started taking dang good care of me and got my knee back into tip top shape.


Fall of 2008, I had Natasha advise on which classes I could take at the IMA. She let me stay in Cardio Kicks, but had me take a weight-training class to strengthen my quads and hamstrings to help prevent future knee problems. Unfortunately, she never could have forseen that I would go hiking in terrible shoes and sprain my ankle! Whoops. If that weren't enough, I did the same thing a month later, in the same shoes in my cardio kicks class. Freakin falling apart over here!!!


I was injury free for the past 4 or 5 months and working out a lot between High Intensity Training, Total Toning, weight training and running... until last Sunday I got a cramp at the end of a 5k run. The cramp seemed a bit different, but crampy nonetheless and was located around my right hip area. But this cramp did not go away and later that evening made walking almost impossible. I, the minor hypochondriac that I am, thought it was my appendix until I consulted with Duncan and Web MD. The pain did not resemble it at all, so I held off on the ER and got an appointment the next day with my doc. She figured out pretty quick that it was a muscle issue and got me in with a physical therapist within an hour.


My physical therapist is awesome and diagnosed the issue pretty quickly - I had pulled my hip flexor. Turns out this is a pretty important muscle, the ole' psoas connects from your groin/abdominal floor, around your hip to your lower back. I told my therapist that the pain went away while I slept, and she told me that meant my body needed rest.... Boo. She told me that I needed to stay off my feet as much as possible for A WHOLE WEEK. The worst part is that my injury especially hurt when I engaged my abs, so the only thing I could possibly work out was my arms. Boo. She did however provide a number of great easy stretches for my hip, and after staying out of the gym and following her suggestions, I am healing fine.


The good news is, I had my second session with her and I CAN GO TO THE GYM!!! I am cleared for a few cardio exercises and she provided some strength training. I don't know if anyone else is as excited as I am right now to get in the gym, but I am super excited to get working again!!!!


I bet this was way too much information about my medical history of sports-related injuries, but hey, its all I got right now. Duncan covered the fun stuff! I promise to try and provide less medical information in my next blog and plan on doing it in less than a month... probably...

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