Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Nuances of Body Language

I went to the gym after school today. I could feel a migraine brewing and came really close to bagging it. One of my colleagues actually suggested that the workout may make me feel better, and quite honestly he was right but only to a point, its a few hours later and I'm back where I started, though it was nice to have a bit of a reprieve. I'm glad I didn't bag it though. If I had I would have missed a laughable experience.

I decided to get a coffee on my way home. As I was getting back in the car this speeding object on the sidewalk caught my eye. It was a wheelchair motoring along at mow down speed, it looked like the guy was doing at least 45 MPH. It caught my eye because he hit a bump and almost flipped the thing and he nearly took out an old lady. I looked at his face. It was focused, determined, aggressive...he had the body language of a speedskater racing the race of their life. I stopped to watch him. He crossed the parking lot of Starbucks where four people leapt out of his way, then cut across the street mid-TRAFFIC mind you, nothing was stopping him. Why was he racing?

I thought about one of Kelly's entries a few months ago, and found myself trying to imagine how she would write about this. This in turn led me to yet an entirely different parody. What philosophical thoughts would be paired with this scene if it was Andrew writing? There would definitely be some sort of enlightenment. What was interesting about this is that as soon as I logged on tonight I ended up having a conversation with Andrew about this very thing.

I find myself thinking about the Olympics quite a bit this year. I am not sure if its because I have a few friends involved with the team, or if its because I know that one of them, Trevor, is having the experience of his life right now and I know how excited he must be. It gets me thinking about the persistence and determination required to make it that far. The expression on wheel-chair mans face reminded me of that development.

I delivered Chris's old slideboard to the coach that taught me about strength training today. In between my own sets I watched him as he completed a plyo workout that was quite intriguing. I could see a hint of that same intensity that I spoke about above as he proceeded to complete several reps of this circuit that contained a series of jumps, box jumps, sprints on the treadmill and medicine ball tosses. I found myself studying body language paired with the dynamics of movement. I would say that despite the pain he was in, he was generally enjoying the workout, which according to Andrew is the most important component of training (I agree). His focus was unwavering. On the other hand, I also watched several students ditching their "ab work". No one would know. I found myself wishing I had that liberty. I am embarrassed to even attempt "ab work" in front of anyone. The student's body language was entirely different, it lacked determination.

I have spent time in the gym with a colleague who is intense about his workouts to say the least. I am trying to decide where I fit on that spectrum as I push farther with each workout. I don't want to give up, yet I seem to lack some drive lately. I know that my body language speaks volumes. Maybe I need to just see the money in the bank to gain back the confidence?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What I really meant to say...

So, this past weekend, as we endured the snow and endless drive to DC, what I was most looking forward to the Julie Child's style nurturing I would receive from Richard. He is one of the most adventurous cooks I know and the hospitality, well that is off the charts. I knew that as soon as we arrived at Richard's I would have a drink in my hand a snack in front of me and feel about as comfortable as I do in my own home, or even more so. (Is that even possible?)

What I find interesting is that I have spent the past month basking in the memories of my trip across the pond. The night before I left I had uploaded Julia and Julie to my IPOD thinking that I would need something to do in my downtime away. I never had the time to watch it.

On Sunday, I woke up at 7 AM, way before anyone else dared to stir and with the night before still very evident in my head. Richard had welcomed us the night before to the "Julia hospitality" as he proudly handed me a glass of wine. I laughed. On this particular morning however, as my head swam, I couldn't sleep. I decided to watch Julia and Julie. I felt instantly like I was in some sort of parallel universe. I actually wondered what it would be like to cook my way through a cookbook, and what is even funnier, was that I almost felt intrigued enough to try it. Except, I am not sure it would be one of Julia's books. While watching this movie, I thought about my childhood and how much I loved to cook while my mother really did not. I often turned to the book my mother was given by my grandmother, The Encyclopedia of Cooking (Given, 1959). At that time, my world consisted of the neighborhood boys thinking I was the best cook on the planet, especially when there was a homemade snack at the end of a game of flashlight tag or some other adventurous after-dark feat.

When I got a bit older, as my own cookbook collection grew. My mother eventually gave me the Given's volumes. At that time however, I was a vegetarian, and pretty much cooking my way through Nikki and David Goldbeck's American Wholefoods Cuisuine (1983). This is still the "HOLY" cookbook. Anna will most likely inherit it, despite the fact that its falling apart. As much as I enjoy a steak, I really miss being a vegetarian and wish I could take on that lifestyle once again.

On Sunday, after a breakfast out, we shopped the farmers market, and I marveled at how even here I have become the discriminating shopper. While I sit here listening to the movie FOOD INC I thank my lucky stars that the e-coli infection I suffered after the Am Cup 2 meet in December was not of the hemorrhagic variety. The pain I suffered in that week was far beyond any baby I birthed so I cannot even imagine. Last summer I decided that shopping local was important, after this experience, I have committed to it. I question every piece of lettuce I eat, cook things to oblivion and pray that eat bite will not be my last. The movie ends with this

I have been a bit road weary lately. I have traveled almost every weekend since the coaching clinic I facilitated in Morrisville in November. I wanted to go to DC this weekend. It was a diversion from the speedskating schedule. I know, I went to London which had nothing to do with ice, yet it played so heavy on my soul afterwards that my studio work has occupied every stitch of free time outside of school and Chris's training schedule. In any case I am counting the days until it is a date with my bike instead of a drive to ice. I am praying that I get through the next few weeks.

I have been in the gym every other day for a few weeks now. My body never seems to recover between sessions, I guess that is what Bud meant a few years ago when he talked about being perpetually sore? I guess the magic number of 45 has made an entrance just as he said it would, eventually. Yesterday, when all was said and done, I had had a pretty tough workout, tomorrow I go back for more. I have these goals in mind, but they just don't seem to have the same passion, even though everyone is telling me how great I look. I haven't stopped long enough to step on the scale, so quite frankly, I DON'T know, I honestly think I am too tired to care.

So what I really meant to say was that I have learned some very important lessons this season, and friends and family are at the top of the list. So is health and HAPPINESS. Passion is important, as is new life. Three of my friends are having babies soon, and while I don't wish it was me, there is still a bit of envy and wonder. One friend is getting married (or maybe I should say two), and there again the appreciation for new beginnings. Then there is the Olympics...GO Trev , go USA, and Ryan you make a really great mentor!

What I really meant to say is sentimental is EVERYTHING!