Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sisterly love

Last week, I was able to fly to Oregon and spend 6 days with two of my sisters.  It was fantastic!  It only would have been better had Jasmin been able to make an appearance.  Another time, I am sure that can be arranged.
I flew into Eugene, drove to Bend to meet Michaela and her husband.  I had never been to Bend and was awed by what that city had to offer.  Excellent breweries, yoga studios, coffee shops, funky vibe and the hiking was incredible.  Actually, Michaela found a spot that sounded awesome but really was us walking around a parking lot.  Long story and funny to look back on.  At the time, we were both sort of annoyed with the lack of trail.  Basically, the river trail went about a quarter mile before veering off and heading up to the interstate.  We backtracked and found another trail that also led to a parking lot.  Lame, for sure!  Next time, we'll have to research better.
The yoga factor in Bend was fantastic.  Somehow, I managed to find an incredible studio.  I dropped into a class for $12 which included a mat rental.  The instructor was great.  Completely different flow, music and I benefited from the experience.  I posted about it on my facebook account.  Later that afternoon, a friend of mine that I met in New Zealand made a comment.  Amber wanted to know who the instructor was.  I responded that her name was Cynthia.  Amber commented that Cynthia was one of the reasons she became a yoga instructor.  Can you say ironic?
I returned on Sunday to attend another one of Cynthia's classes and made a point to arrive early and talk to her about our mutual friend.
Michaela, Tim and I checked a few of the breweries in Bend, too.  Ten Barrel, Crux and Boneyard.  All had great beer and different things to offer. I felt fortunate to have been able to check out the beers, food and vibes of each place.
After the weekend in Bend, we returned to Eugene.  Michaela returned to work and I was able to tour the city, solo, and spend time with Jade and her family.  I took Mackenzie to lunch, one afternoon, too.  It was nice to spend time with my niece.  I considered taking her to pizza and salad.  I knew that the place I wanted to frequent had lame wine though.  Instead of that, we went to an upscale bar in downtown Eugene.  We tried an array of appetizers which was a new experience for her.  I am glad that I was able to share with her that.  Hopefully she'll look back on our lunch at the Davis and think fondly of it.  We sampled pancetta wrapped prawns, scotch eggs, roasted vegetables and hummos.
My Oregon trip was lovely.  I wish I had had more time to explore the city and see it with my sisters.  The weather was a wonderful change for me.  I could go running at 8, 9, or 10 am.  What a change from Phoenix.  I slept thru my alarm this morning.  I forced myself to go running at 7 am.  It was already 94.  Believe me, I was tempted to put it off one more day.  Yet, the half marathon is next Saturday.  I cannot afford to put it off one more day.
Vacation in Oregon was awesome.  No rain, lots of great conversations with my sisters and yoga was sublime.  Well, yoga in Bend.  The studio in Eugene severely lacked.  No mirrors in the studio and the instructor faces you.  The music was terrible.  I just could never not stopping thinking about how terrible the flow sequence was.  I bought a 3 day pack and so I was committed to it right out of the gate.  Next time, I will find a different studio instead of settling for the one right by Michaela's house.  I wanted to say how shitty the class was to the instructor but didn't feel that it would matter at all.
I feel rejuvenated from my vacay.  And, I loved Bend.  I hope to return soon and check out more of the city.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

sleep issues

In the past few days, I tweaked my right wrist.  Of course, I am right handed and so every movement I attempt to make is made with my right hand.  Signing my name, shaking a hand, lifting any item (I prefer my right hand).  So, in an effort to minimize use of my right hand, I began using my left hand to scoop ice and carry things.
Finally, I considered my options.  I could go to a doctor, chiropractor or masseuse.  Doctor seemed foolish.  It wasn't broken or purple.  I could feel the discomfort while twisting my wrist but still able to do pushups while in yoga. Yea, I still attended yoga while my wrist didn't want to work.  I know, I am lame. 
The chiropractor seemed like an option to have an x-ray.  That and my neck being cracked seemed fantastic.  Otherwise, I do not go to a chiro.
I reconsidered my options and felt the massage therapist was the way to go.  He could assess the extent of my injuries and suggest ways to strengthen my wrist.  And, who doesn't want a full body massage?  I called my place and was able to make an appointment for this evening.  My guy specializes in sports injury and only works nights.  Typically, he'll have an opening at 6 or 7 at night.  I don't like going that late as it breaks up my day. 
Still, tonight, I knew it was imperative that I figure out what is going on with my wrist.  He suggested buying a brace, keeping it straight and resting.  No yoga for a few days.  Seems to be my theme song of the summer.  First there was the gracilis injury and now this.  Can you say annoyed?
Then, people asked me how I sustained this injury.  Of course, the obvious choice was that I had been drinking.  I couldn't pinpoint when it occurred.  Then, I thought about my habits. It wasn't related to yoga.  I have been diligent about my practice as of late.  Not taking risks and pulling back so that I don't tweak my gracilis. Then, I think about my sleeping habits as of late.  
I live in a city that absorbs heat.  Concrete, buildings, constant sunshine.  I drive home, sometimes, at 2 a.m. and it is still 95 degrees.  My house has a one room a/c unit.  I have noticed that if I sleep in my bed in the room separated from the a/c, that I wake up every few hours from the heat.  I decided that I should make a bed on the floor under the a/c to have a better experience.  Due to that, I tweaked my wrist. I sleep on my arm/hand at times.  I know it sounds odd.  I just recognize that I do it.  Several times I have woken up and have experienced dead hand or arm due to no circulation because of how I sleep.  
So, because it's hot and my a/c lacks, I am forced to go get a massage to soothe my sore wrist. It is funny when you think about it.  I tweaked my wrist due to the heat because I sleep on my floor.  This situation will remain until October.  Gotta love summers in AZ>>....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Finding positive thoughts

Yea, it's hot.  I live in Phoenix.  It's not like I didn't know what I was signing up for...every year, in May, it slowly increases, the temperature, that is.  One day, you wake up, and it's 110.  Yuck!  Not going to lie.  It sucks and what sucks more is knowing that there is no reprieve until November.  That's right.  November.
So, you sweat and dream of other places.  I arrange travel and attempt to spend some time outside without wilting.  The majority of intelligent people head to San Diego, the mountains or home if you are a snow bird for the intense months of the summer.
I feel like I have been caught up in the complain arena the last weekend.  How can I not be?  I am surrounded by people that are complaining about the heat, the fact that it's slow in the service industry, etc.  I try to stay positive but sometimes succumb to the b.s.
Then, I read a post on social media about a girl I used to babysit for.  She's suffering from a rare disease where lesions attack the brain and organs.  I read it and think--what the heck am I complaining about the heat for?  Or listening to the negative crap people are spouting off over?  This girl is truly suffering.  She has something to complain about.  Yet, she's still smiling, fighting and hopeful.  I should take a lesson from her.
On that note, I am going to stop focusing on stupid stuff.  I am definitely going to yoga today and then I am paying it forward.  I intend to send a note to Chantel and her family and also find other ways to give back to the community and be positive.
The heat is not going to change.  I might as well embrace it and make the most out of it.  I do have a wonderful life.  If I choose to let people affect me with their manipulations, obligation, guilt, what have you, then it is my fault for not changing my perspective.  I don't have to buy into their b.s.  I can choose to be positive and see the best in them.  Their strengths and maybe inspire them to stop being so negative or gleeful when trying to stick it to someone.
Today is a new day and I am making it a great one.  Yoga, wine, followed by a much needed massage. In the off times, I will write notes and spread the sunshine of Monday.  Cheers!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of july

4th of July, Arizona style, means spending the day in a pool, drinking margaritas & aperol spritzers, and eating brats.  My friend, Lisa, celebrated her birthday, early, by having me and some other friends over.  Her friend, Mark, wanted to make a seafood extravaganza--scallops, seabass and ahi poke.  I was excited til Lisa put the kibosh on it.  She wanted hot dogs and brats and as she was the birthday girl hosting us, we had brats.  They did make green chile mac and cheese which was scrumptious.  And, the brats were ideal for the pool celebration.
Before I went to her house, I wanted to attend yoga.  I had a quandry.  Attend a 9:15 class which I knew was busy or go to a different studio at 10:15 and hope that it wouldn't be too busy.  The first studio offered three classes on Thursday.  A 5:30, 9:15 or noon.  Obviously, the 5:30 was out.  I worked until 1ish and then took Scout on a walkabout.  It felt appropriate since it wasn't broiling outside.  The noon class which I normally attend was out as the instructor teaches a super basic flow class.  I have learned, from experience, that I do not enjoy his class.  I get bored, annoyed and pissy.  The mid-morning class was definitely an option.  However, earlier in the week, I went to one of this instructor's classes.  Typically, it is full of energy and awesome music.  On Tuesday, when I went, I didn't love, love, love it.  It was okay and I didn't know that I wanted to go to the class, knowing it would be crazy busy and leave feeling just okay about the sequence.
The latter studio offers spin, too.  I was hoping that the majority of people would be hitting the spin class.  They had one yoga and two spin classes to choose from.  I liked the time of the yoga class and thought, why not check out this studio?
I arrived fifteen minutes early and barely found a parking spot.  I entered the room and secured a spot and tried to relax.  The class was full and there were more people pouring in.  The instructor guided us into smaller spaces and I began having a mini panic attack.  There was still five minutes before class began.  He found spots for 10 additional people and then chose to let the front know that the class was full to capacity.  The music was excellent and I did feel incredible after attending the class.  The flow could have been more challenging.  Due to the number of people in the class, our movements were limited.  Still, I felt confident that I had made the right decision for me.  I knew that I would have been unsatisfied attending the packed class at the other studio.  Plus, it offers a mix of bikram/flow and it is the same sequence every day.  I get bored doing the same flow.
I left and studio without showering.  I knew that Lisa would let me use her shower or there was a dive pool that I could rinse off in.  I picked up sunflowers and bubbly and headed to her house.  Her house was festive and they were happy to see me as I had the margarita mix in my car.
The day was glorious.  Lots of pool time & margaritas.  Eventually, I left to check on Scout.  I didn't want him without water or food.  I ensured his happiness and retired for the night.
All, in all, a wonderful way to celebrate 4th of July.  Great food, drinks and friends.  I hope yours was stellar, too.