Thursday, September 30, 2010

Did Beethoven do the dishes?

Quote du jour: No woman ever shot a man
while he was doing the dishes.

- Anonymous

Video clip du jour:

Did Beethoven do the dishes?
Did Mozart sweep the floors?
Did all those great musicians
Have to do their chores?

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes with the elliptical, ignoring the chores. I got my priorities straight.
Done! Well, almost. Actually did 20 minutes on the elliptical, but considering my cold, and the cramps, and the fact that I put off exercising until 10 p.m. so I could sneeze and feel cramped instead, well, I'm inclined to give the 20 minutes a star. Especially since I /still/ managed to put this exercise ahead of doing the dishes. (Only in my world would this neglect be considered praiseworthy.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last roses of summer

Quote du jour:
The Charities, that heal and soothe and bless,
Are scattered at the feet of Man, like flowers.
- Wordsworth

Prayer requests du jour: If you've got any prayers, positive vibes, or good thoughts to spare, could you send them to Lakeland Jo at the Life in Windermere blog? Her goal is to live to see her son's 18th birthday, and she's undergoing a tricky operation today to try to achieve that goal.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes rowing.
Fail. I got no good excuses. I hang my head in shame.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hammer time!

To me, metatarsalgia sounds like some kind of pasta. But apparently it's doctor-speak for 'pissed off foot.' Doc said the foot is not fractious, just hella swollen. The hammer toe is causing undue pressure on the joints, hence the problems.

He doesn't want me doing anything that will 'overuse' the foot. Like bicycling. Or jogging. Or walking. Or taking the stairs. Or taking a bath. Or pretty much anything else besides sitting, (unless it's sitting in a bathtub, which is verboten). He taped up my foot with a pad thing, which supposedly is going to make my foot feel allll better sometime soon. I can't take it off for a week, so I don't think Doc and I agree on the same definition of 'soon.'

I can ride a stationary bike if I don't use the ball of my foot to pedal. Thankfully, he's given the thumbs up to ellipticals and rowing machines and thankfully I have these in my life.

Frustrating -- I have to give up, at least for now, on all the goals I've been training for. No more 5ks this year. And it's boring to have to track progress by how many minutes I spend sitting on a machine. No matter how fast I row, I'm never closer to shore.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes rowing.
Done! Two days in a row of rowing. I hope that doesn't cause a row.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Planting trees with an ax

Blogging is a great way to excuse slackness. Sorry, can't keep planting trees, have to blog about my doing so. And, of course, taking pictures of the activity.

The evidence

It sounded so simple, in theory. Dig a hole. A whole hole. How hard can that be? Well, when the yard is rife with tree roots (from erstwhile trees), it can be quite the workout. I was reduced to hacking at the roots with an ax. Great for the arms, works up a good sweat, but it takes forever. Probably a young, muscular man... with blond hair and green eyes, nice tan, good build... hmmmn... could deal with this in two minutes.

The accomplices

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes on Ellie the elliptical. That, at least, I know I haven't misplaced.

Too hot to ellipt. 30 minutes rowing instead. The rower is in a cooler room

Done! I really, really didn't want to exercise tonight. Blog guilt works.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Forget Vegas, women find water romantic

Forget Vegas and its 24-hour wedding chapels, Oregon is the quick path to romance.

Went up to the Columbia River Gorge a couple weeks ago. At Latourell Falls, there was a couple down by the base of the fall, kissing each other with the passionate intensity usually associated with the kind of situation where the man proposes and the woman accepts. (Or the other way 'round, I suppose.)

Latourell Falls, minus the kissing couple

The next convenient waterfall along the Gorge is Wakheena Falls. When we got there, there was another couple getting their engagement photo taken by a professional photographer. Their grins were fixed in place, as if the photographer were taking rather a long time to find the shot that would show the world their love.
Wakheena Falls, without the engaged couple

Then we went to the next waterfall, Multnomah Falls. This is a popular place for weddings.

Multnomah Falls... it ain't possible to take a photo of this falls without people in the shot.

By this time, I was starting to see the pattern. The next stop along the road was a campground, presumably a honeymoon spot. I put my foot firmly on the gas pedal and kept right on going.

Exercise du jour: I've had this kickboxing video sitting on my shelf for... um... okay, since Christmas, okay? It's been making the shelf feel like it has a purpose in life, so it's not as if it's been totally useless. I figure I'm never going to crack open the DVD unless I post it publicly up here, and maybe I can do the exercises without pounding the damn foot. Worth a try.

Oh crap. Not done, but for an embarrassing reason. I can't find the friggin' DVD. Maybe I left it on the shelf so long it crumbled into dust? There does seem to be an unaccountable amount of dust on that shelf, which I am loath to put down to my housekeeping skills.
On the other hand, I sure as shooting got a damn good workout today. Planted trees, which involved quite a bit of hard labor and sweating and high-caloric swearing. So I done good. Just not the good I'd planned to do.

Latourell Falls photo courtesy of gharness

Multnomah Falls photo courtesy of travis S.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adios Manuel, hello Rhoda!

Rhoda Bhote, my new best friend forever

Several eons decades years ago, my aunt gave my mother her old rowing/skiing machine. My mother said "thank you" with great politeness if not great sincerity, and stuck it in the nearest closet. Where it lingered until I managed to excavate it and take it to Oregon so it could be appreciated.

However, since the dang thing did not come with instructions, or even hints, I had to wait until my mother could find where the instructions had been hidden so I could figure out what went where and also how to get the seat to move. (Not intuitive. Trust me.)

Amazingly enough, damn foot still hurt a bit when I rowed. Nothing that would stop me though.
It is wonderful to feel that I can exercise!

Exercise du jour : 30 minutes with Rhoda.

Unpleasant task du jour: Made an appointment with a foot doctor for Monday. Have read all the preparatory paperwork -- they warned me to break open a bank vault and bring heavy sacks of gold with me to the doctor's office. Good to be prepared.

p.s. Anyone want Manuel, my manual treadmill?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Foot, meet rant.

My damn foot is a tease.

I've been practicing my own version of RICE (Rest, Ignore, Complain, Eat) and the foot seemed to have been getting better. Walked two miles yesterday, and it didn't fall off. Didn't even hurt much.

So this morning, I walked 1-1/2 miles. No problem.
At lunch, walked 2 miles. A bit tender, but nothing ibuprofen couldn't deal with. Walked another mile from work to the Max, feeling okay.

I figured I was going to be fine. The last mile to the house would be no problem.

That's when my foot decided to make its move. Half a mile from the house, suddenly it feels like someone is stabbing a knife into my 2nd and 3rd toes. Could hardly put weight on the foot at all. Very irritating.

I was a mad limping fool all the way home. This is Not Fair.

What this is, of course, is God's way of telling me I should always listen to Dr. J.

Exercise du jour: Walking and swearing. Tomorrow's exercise will include picking up the phone and Making A Doctor's Appointment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Women need men to take showers... frequently...

Not sure how else to interpret this picture.

epic fail photos - Store Sign FAIL
see more EpicFail

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maybe I'll just stand outside in the rain... I mean, this /is/ Oregon...

This old plumber came out to visit this old house and told this old maid “Yep, you’re right. You don’t have a working shower.”

Nice to know he agreed with my assessment, but could he do anything about it?

“Wellp,” he thought. “For about $300, we could maybe take out a pipe, put in a new one. If that doesn’t work, for another couple hundred we could take apart your bedroom wall and re-do the valve. And if that doesn’t work, you might want to get new plumbing.”

Off to bang my head softly against the wall...

Plus which, I have visitors coming to visit. I'm planning strategies to divert most of the family gatherings to neutral territory, but I don't know how much time I'll have for exercising in the next few days. Except for exercising my self-restraint. I understand that jumping to conclusions is good exercise as well.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

... by THAT much...

Um... I think the best way to say it is with another video clip.

Okay, let's try this again. I'd thought I could compromise with the work stuff and walk at lunch. But noooooo.

The goal for the week was to put myself first, and that's what I'm doing. Off to walk before work.

Done! I gots its done. I iz proud.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Would you believe...

Maybe I'm setting my goals too high.
Run six miles? Not today.
Cycle 20 miles? Mmmmmaybe not right now.

Okay, then would you believe...

Exercise du jour: 3 miles walking. I can do that, damn foot be damned.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

French-kissing a puppy and other tales

I got shot at work the other day.

Well, okay, it was from a nerf gun, but even so. I work in a high-walled cubicle that's set back from the aisle, and not in the general flight path of projectiles, nerfile or otherwise. Still, it came sailing over the tall cubicle and got me in the back.

'"Oops," came the voice of an engineer (from two cubicles over, for heaven's sake).
Another man's voice said, "I told you that one was arced too low."

Turns out they were aiming for the engineer three cubicles over from the nerfssassin. All those math classes and they couldn't figure out how to hit the right target?

Waiting for the Max train home, found myself sitting on a bench watch a man try to persuade his young pit bull that no, it wasn't going to leap onto the tracks or for that matter eat the bubble gum that someone had thrown away. The evil vicious monster* wandered over to me, with a look that plainly said I was supposed to have treats in my pocket. I apologized, but he didn't seem satisfied. He leapt up onto the bench next to me, and stared at me intently. I started to apologize again, when suddenly the dog lunged for my face.**

Turns out what I really needed in life, apparently, was to have my face enthusiastically and very, very thoroughly licked all over. Repeatedly.

I appreciated his devotion to his task, but the owner for some reason saw no problem with trying to carry on a conversation with me while this was going on. I mean, yes, okay, I clearly wasn't annoyed with the eager young dog, but did the man really expect me to respond to his questions? There was no way I could open my mouth without french-kissing a puppy. It was like trying to make small talk with the dentist, except that he usually has got several sharp instruments poking into your gums and there's relatively little slobbering going on. At least, not at my dentist's.

Exercising du jour: Six miles. Maybe not running, but possibly walking/jogging? C'mon, foot, please?

*The adjectives were included to make the story more dramatic.

** Yes, I am trying to make my life sound exciting. Am I over doing it?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Reasons why not to blog

    The desire to blog is similar to all the other biorhythms the flesh is heir to. In other words, the need to blog comes and goes for various reasons:

  • Sometimes you just don't have the urge.

  • Sometimes habit and momentum keep you going, the way a non-runner can keep jogging along to finish a 5k because she's done the couch-to-5k program and gotten into the habit.

  • Sometimes the writing well runs dry, and you're stuck trying to choose between posting a photograph and a deeply profound quotation, or just saying @#!% and going off to catch up on the latest trendy new TV show.

This post is a sum off all those points: I don't want to, habit keeps me typing even though I don't have anything to say and maybe I should just stop.

Why I started this blog

This blog was set up to track and motivate my exercising. "Exercise, try, or post the reason why." I should be blogging about my lack of motivation, trying to reason it out and if possible fix the problem.

What holds me back is the nature of blogging itself.

If I'm not motivated, I said I would blog about that too. Except that when do this, I get a bunch of comments saying "just do it already." What I'm trying to get at is the why behind the non-motivation. If I can figure out what causes the non-m., then I can try to fix the problem instead of always trying to get by on blind bloody-minded stubbornness.

Another problem with posting a blog about lack of motivation

Blogland is an emotional magnifying glass. A little whine is rendered large on the blog, blown up into a melodramatic drama queen rant. A depression fest transforms into an extremely dark post that automatically attracts a horde of light, chipper 'feel better, lol!' comments. Which I find the equivalent of handing a band-aid to someone who's just gotten their arm chopped off: at best it's unhelpful and at the worst it's a blithe slap in the face.

So how do I blog about the problem without the post itself becoming a problem?

See? I'm typing away, trying to do some brainstorming on the page, and instead what my mind is doing is second-guessing (and third-guessing) all the possible outcomes of each road I could go down.

The facts

  • Haven't exercised much.

  • The damn foot feels fine unless I use it. This presents me with a wonderful opportunity to be flexible and devote myself to bike riding and yoga. The trouble is that my mind is on track to run and damn it I don't want no bikes, yogis, or lolipops. I want to achieve the goal I'd set for myself.

  • Stuck in an unproductive cycle.

  • I need to break the cycle I've fallen into. I stay at work until late, finishing things up, then I drive home, try to catch up on my social life, stay up late, get up late, get to work late, stay late finishing things up, then I drive home and lather, rinse, repeat. I find it very easy to get depressed about how my life seems stuck in an endless cycle. Interestingly, I don't get depressed when my life is in an endless cycle of exercising. Maybe I'll re-incarnate as a hamster, get my own wheel, and be happy.

Actually, that's pretty much it. To break the cycle, I need to put myself first once in awhile at work. Last time I did that it actually worked better for myself and for the job.

The Plan (Capital letters always look serious and important)

    Goals for this week:
  • Be flexible. If the foot says no, go with the flow. Yoga's not bad, neither is cycling. Even if neither is what I want, it's still exercise.

  • Be selfish. If I put the exercising first, everybody's happy.

There. At least I've got a plan. I feel much better. Or at least I feel like I've got a plan.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Beavers in Beaverton? What's next, farms in Berkeley?

One thing I like about Oregon is its tendency toward hidden parks.

Behind the huge grocery store, a narrow path leads you past an apartment complex. If you walk between the tall, gloomy buildings, you find yourself on a pleasantly shaded walking path along a stream.

Follow the path down to the bridge over the small lake, and a horde of ducks make a beeline straight toward you.

The other day, back when it was sunny and summery still, I took a walk there at lunchtime. It was a marvelous feeling to escape, even if only for an hour. The people-in-charge-of-parks had started to renovate the bridge, but they had to stop because they discovered beavers had built a dam there.

Couldn’t see the beavers, but it’s kinda cool to know that the original inhabitants haven’t been completely evicted by us newcomers.

Exercise du jour: Walking. Keep it simple and I might just make it.

The title explained: There used to be... maybe still is... a company called Berkeley Farms, who sold milk and had the slogan "Farms? In Berkeley?" It's hard to imagine any agriculture going on in a densely crowded city like that.