March 26, 2015
I feel like before I can get on to any of the many topics I'd like to write about (volcanoes, the 35th anniversary of Mount St. Helens' big eruption, the radio show coming up next week, which is about volcanoes, and excitement about hiking partway around Mount Rainier this summer.... which I guess all amounts to volcanoes, volcanoes, volcanoes) (oh, and the value of Twitter, where I've connected with people who... um... study and work with communities around volcanoes...)
Okay, fine, here's a picture of a volcano:
[Rainier from Paradise, where I toured with my mom and aunts last summer (more photos on Flickr) and plan to hike this coming August.]
... but what I feel like I need to write about first is goals.
I started the year with that great five-week challenge. It got me to the gym, cooking, writing blog posts, meditating, and creating clear work/personal barriers (because I needed evenings and weekends for my goals).
Since then, I wrote two blog entries. In the week after the challenge.
So much for creating habits, I guess.
I've gone to the climbing gym... twice? Three times, if you count the time I was going to ride the bike but ran into Leah and Marianne and talked to them for an hour instead.
I did ride my bike home from work on Saturday (bussed there to get it), partly to facilitate riding my bike to and from work on weekdays, which I have yet to do. My bike was at work for... well, since June. How do I know? Because I rode it for Bike to Work Day. And then I didn't ride it home. (It was only Bike to Work Day.)
And sometime I think last month Jane gave me a five-day pass to her upscale gym and we did a five-day fitness challenge which turned into a four-day fitness challenge which is still pretty good, and on day four besides I so slaughtered my calves that I couldn't stand up straight for a week. No exaggeration. (Keep in mind I also have a desk job, so no good ongoing stretching and circulation during that time.) I was going to write a blog entry called Dancercize about how:
I generally think I'm a pretty good dancer until I get into a dance fitness class and then I feel like a total whitey uncoordinated suburban goof. Jane and I went to a class together and although I stole glances, I generally made a point of not looking at the four other women in the room (instructor excluded) because, well, do unto others. And, I had to have my eyes glued to the instructor to try to constantly figure out what was going on. I was smiling the whole time, I think out of equal parts amusement, joy, and embarrassment.
Later in the week, I went to a class by the instructor that Jane adores. Jane couldn't make it, so it was just me. No, really, I mean it—it was just me. Well, and the instructor. It was a snowy Wednesday evening, and apparently the few regulars weren't regular enough to come out in a snowstorm. So we flipped around some options and it was her last time teaching on Wednesday and my pass was about to run out and she said she needed a workout anyway so sure, why not, let's do a half an hour.
Amanda is a-ma-zing.
And, yes, my calves abhor her.
She went through posture, walking, ballet (which is what I'm sure killed the calves—plié, revelé), then some swing. She even broke things down for me before the songs so I had a fighting chance of keeping up. And then... well, we were having so much fun that we just kept going for the whole class.
And then, a week later, I still couldn't stand up straight.
When I told my co-worker, Sarah, she suggested this, which is of course an oldie but goodie (and much easier on the calves):
So the exercise part is a minor failure. But I'm determined to get back on track, and an even better track at that, especially as the weather warms up. Because I need to get in shape for backpacking. Which I have a revived excitement for. My since-first-grade friend Anna and I decided to hike part of Rainier's Wonderland Trail this summer and that's a great excuse for looking forward. Marianne got me geeking out on ultralight backpacking (because who WOULDN'T want a light, comfortable pack?) and I ran out and bought this and is it weird if I pack now for a short trip in August?
And there I go. I wasn't going to talk about backpacking, but I just got too excited. More on that later.
Cooking. I took a bit of a hiatus and now I'm back to it. But even better than doing it once a week, I'm doing it as needed, which is generally more frequent. Except for tonight. I was so hungry after work that I went to get tacos. (And I'm kind of more interested in putting together dry, light meals for backpacking. Since when am I obsessive?)
Mediation. Honestly, I just completely forgot about it. I was back on the mat this morning. And it was pretty nice.
All in all, it's probably unfair to call the last month a fail. I'm working toward betterment. Healthier habits and a better sense of where I want to be, and what I need and don't. I'm embracing the mentality of the ultralighters: Do I need this? No. Do I want it? Maybe. If it's not a yes, shave it off! All this stuff adds up, whether in weight or space (my overcrowded apartment) or money. I think I'm going to forego a ski pass for this next winter and focus on trying out the cross-country trails.
Everything adds up.
And backpacking doesn't cost much.
(Neither, incidentally, do volcanoes.)