Water Resistant

I have made the “Drink More Water” resolution every New Year’s Eve for at least the past 20 years. No lie.

I go on week-long streaks of water-drinking, then revert back to “camel” mode where I don’t drink much of anything (except my morning coffee) for months on end.

Even though Tim wrote it explicitly on my training schedule that I was to drink LOTS OF WATER on the 2 days prior to the Half Marathon, did I?

No.

Did I carry a heavy camelback filled with water on the trail?  Yes I did.

Did I drink that heavy camelback filled with water on the trail?  Welll..,sorta. I drank some of it.

So yesterday, and today, I am trying to replenish fluids by drinking massive amounts of water because I felt terrible yesterday and it was all because I was dehydrated.

I have to find a way to make water drinking more palatable and a permanent habit.

Suggestions?  Anybody been “water-resistant” and overcome it?

On The Rocks

I am currently drinking an electrolyte replenishment drink called “Zenergize.”

I have a blood blister on the bottom of my left big toe.

I am walking down the steps one at time, verrry slooowly whispering, “Ouch, ouch, shit, ouch.”

I got home from the Dam Half Trail Challenge yesterday afternoon, dropped my bag of smelly clothes on the kitchen floor, went down, turned the hot tub up to 104 degrees, popped 2 Stellas into the freezer, took a hot shower, retrieved 1 icy Stella and drank it in the tub while jets of hot water pounded the aches out of my tired and beaten body. Then, after the soak, took the other icy Stella and

Taped. It.To.My. Knee.

If you’ve ever had a cocktail with me in a martini bar (oh, and you really should!) you know that I drink my martinis “up, with a twist.”  “On the rocks” is a complete abomination.

The Dam Half was one of the most beautiful trails I have ever been on around here.  Deep hemlock forest, mossy streams, fields of wild blueberries, miles of ferny meadows, soft peaty trails with enough terrain changes to keep you from ever being bored.

Jackie paced me (and a whole line of people behind us).  She is an incredibly strong hiker.  She makes striding along at a very brisk pace for 13 miles look easy and effortless.  Her attitude is a quirky mix of ebullience and reverence– ebullience for the sheer physicality of the activity itself, and reverence for the setting in which it is taking place.

I was so happy.

Then, at the end, at mile 11, there was a long steep climb they call the “Stairway to Heaven.”

It is the killer.  Someone had put a little fake gravestone at the start of it.  “RIP” it said.

hah, hah).

I knew about this going in.  I even saw pictures of it.  The pictures showed rocks on the trail.  “Okay, some rocks,” I thought.

For a while the rocks were annoying, and then the rocks became a pain in the ass.  And then…wtf. rocks..

Steep trail?  I’m fine with that.

Long, steep trail?  Alright.

But steep and long with rocks so dense that each footfall requires a Supreme Court decision?

No.

At the top, Jackie was waiting with the Flip video.  (You’ll see it in the clip below)

She said, “Only about 25 more yards and you’re at the top.”

“Thank the hell god,” I thought.  (My legs were shaking, my brain was fried from too many judicial foot decisions.)

When I finally reached the top, I looked down, and there, and as far as my eyes could see…

MORE ROCKS.

I wanted to cry.

If you’ve ever hiked with me (and you really should!) you know that I take my mountains straight up, with a twist.

Just like my martinis.

100 Recipes: Nut-Crusted Tilapia

Oh boy am I in a food rut!  Same thing every week, almost.  So this being Rosh Hashannah and all, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to try 100 New Recipes this year. I got the idea from Orbitalmechanic, a LJer I have followed for a number of years.  She does this, and it’s a good idea, I think.

Here is my first recipe.  I got it from Prevention Magazine.

*** a sidenote here about Prevention: Every single issue has the words “Belly Fat” on the cover.  Apparently if you want to sell magazines, a surefire way to do so is to put “Belly Fat” somewhere on your cover.  (Hear that, Mt. Home??  Belly Fat.  Just sayin’)

This month it’s “Walk Off Belly Fat.”  Other months it’s been, “Beat Belly Fat,” “Melt Belly Fat,” or “Begone! Belly Fat.”

ENOUGH ABOUT BELLY FAT ALREADY!

(end of rant)

The other night I tried this fish recipe and it was easy and really good.  The pecan crust on the tilapia was a nice complement to the soft fish, and I loved the mango peach salsa with it.  I did kasha instead of rice, because I’m not a huge rice fan.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

Pecans

Tilapia fillets

Fresh lime

Fresh peach mango salsa (I used plain peach salsa which I found in the ethnic food section of Wegmans.)

Directions:

Finely chop 1 cup pecans in food processor or put in ziplock bag and crush with mallet.

Season both sides of tilapia fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Dredge fish in flour, shake off excess, dip in milk, and then coat thoroughly with nuts.

Heat a thin layer of canola oil until just done, turning once, about 5 minutes in all.

Stir the juice of half a lime into 1 cup of the salsa and serve with the fish.

Enjoy.  And, good luck with that…. BELLY FAT!!

hahahahahaha

Mission Statement

I am reading a book called Trust Agents now and there is a section on setting goals.  Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, the authors, are all for goal-setting.  How will you know where to put your energies if you don’t have a direction? they argue.

I understand this, I do.  And I agree with it.

But I’ve always been of the Zen persuasion when it comes to goals, and that is: Goal is path, path is goal.

In other words, I try not to be so focused on the goal, that I neglect the very life being lived right under my nose. Because really, it’s this person, this interaction, this conversation that constitutes my life.  People and situations, if they are viewed just as a means towards an end, or a goal, become de-humanized or de-realized. And I, by treating them this way, become just a punk.  A creep. A user.

That being said, I still think it helps to have a direction, a destination to steer towards. So I have been thinking of where I would like to see the studio go in the next few years and I have come up with a kind of Mission Statement.

Here is my first stab at it:

I want to create an active community of people who know each other, interact with each other, like each other, and who have some kind of spiritual practice whether it be yoga, or art, or gardening, or social activism or physical fitness. This community will see Main Street Yoga as a gathering center: a place to meet, share, plan, and give and get support for individual and collective efforts to make their own lives and the community healthier, happier, more vibrant, creative and prosperous.

This is my mission for the studio.  This is my goal.

(If you know, and practice at MSY, did I miss anything? Would you like to add anything?)

Yoga as Release Valve

I practice yoga everyday.  For me, practicing yoga is spiritual hygiene.  I would no sooner skip a day than skip a day of brushing my teeth or showering.

Most people I know who practice yoga do it once a week.  And when they skip many weeks in a row?  Well, it’s never pretty.  They come in looking like shit.  They look like they’ve been through the wringer.

Even a once a week practice, though not ideal, can open a valve and release a little built-up pressure and tension, enough to prevent a ‘blow up.”

A “blow up” could be snapping at the kids or the spouse.

A “blow up” could be having a fit at work (even if it’s not a visible fit, but just a freak out moment in the bathroom or on the car ride home.)

A “blow up” could be going too deeply into the wine bottle or having too many beers in an attempt to release pressure build-up.

A “blow up” could be an extended period of bad food choices with the resulting energy yo-yos and psychological bottoming outs.

A “blow up” could be “the blahs.’  Creative blahs, social blahs, life blahs.  No energy for anything.  Too much TV or internet.

If the kids, the job or life knocks you for a loop, the practice can be the smelling salts under your nose, the sip of water, the cool towel to the forehead.

Ahhhh…

Professor Mike

This morning, late as usual, I put on my yoga clothes, slipped a hoodie over my shoulders and walked out into HOLY SHIT IT’S COLD OUT HERE!

But the sky was perfectly clear, and there was just the smallest sliver of a moon with some amazing star or planet hanging right next to it, like its best friend.  And there was also another planetary object, smaller than the first, forming a little trio of Moon, Star, Star

Pavel was already there when I walked into the lounge.  I said, “Did you see the moon???”  (Pavel is a Russian exchange student from Volgagrad here this semester and for a moment I wondered if they could see the moon in Russia, — that’s how sleep deprived I was, and am, at that hour.)  So I doused the lights and we admired it, hanging in the sky, right over the bank.

The moon and its planetary companions were the pre-talk of Morning Yoga.

Jean-Anne thought the planet might be Venus.  I said it was either Venus or Serena, I could never really tell them apart.

Even though I SHOULD be able to tell them apart because I got no less than an “A” in Astronomy.  And not only that, I was excused from the Astronomy final because my average in Astronomy was astronomically high.

But godforbid me for saying this: I hated Astronomy –except for the starry nights when Professor Mike would bring his telescope up to the football practice field and we would all take turns looking through, and marveling at, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter and the craters on the Moon.

Astronomy was tough.  It drove me crazy.  I hated every second of it, even the classes when we got to stare up into the dark night of the planetarium and follow Professor Mike’s pointer as he talked about “the ecliptic” which I still, to this day, do not understand.

Professor Mike was droll and dry.  He would insult the schmendricks in the class (and there were hundreds of them) and they would just laugh, not even realizing they’d just been called idiots.

I remember he said that he bought his wife The Old Farmer’s Almanac every year for Christmas.  (I remember thinking to myself: “Buddy, that better not be ALL you bought her for Christmas, ‘cause you ain’t that good lookin’”)

This morning, as Venus and Regulus flirted with the tiniest sliver of the Moon in the clear, cold September sky, Professor Mike died.

I feel really, really sad.  But what a pretty night to die.  I think he is probably enjoying his new view from beyond the ecliptic.

‘night, Professor Mike.

4 Minutes, 33 Seconds

Last night I went to Christine Moulton’s recital.  (Christine’s the one who has me hooked on Ashtanga and keeps me inspired.)  For her “day job” she teaches flute in the MU Music Department (she’s a superstar).

For her recital last night she enlisted a guitarist, an English horn player and a soprano.  The whole thing was great.

For the last piece they performed John Cage’s 4’ 33” (4 minutes, 33 seconds).  This is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence.  Here’s what happened:

The musicians came out as if they were going to play.  They adjusted their scores on their stands.  The singer stood, holding her score in a book, open, in her hands.  They nodded to each other to signal the start, and then they sat there.

For 4 minutes and 33 seconds they just sat there.

The audience squirmed.  Some snickered.  Somebody coughed.  The English horn player cleaned her instrument. I could hear sounds from outside the theater.  I closed my eyes and listened to everything I could hear.

After 4’ 33” they stood up, bowed, and we all clapped.

It has always been my experience that when a group of people gather to sit in silence as in a Zen hall or a Quaker Meeting, the silence is very deep and there is an energy to it, a positive “charge.”

It’s invigorating.  (That’s why people like to meditate together.)

Last night’s 4’ 33” wasn’t like that at all.  It was a very tense, anticipatory silence.  It was an awkward, let’s-get-this-thing-over-with silence.  It felt like the audience was holding its collective breath, and when the applause erupted, it felt like a collective exhalation.

Funny.