Sunday, May 26, 2013

A little pink to start the day

The nice thing about people knowing of my obsession with pink is that loveliness like this occasionally shows up at my house. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Getting the Rush Again

Four years ago when I committed to getting in shape I would get these "rushes" of adrenaline about 45 minutes into an intense workout.  This is often termed a "runner's high."  It felt like this: a rush of heat, then cool then a complete sense of calm and relief.  Then I could go about another 15 or 20 minutes and then my body was finished.  I felt tired and energized all at once.  To describe the experience as awesome is an understatement.

Over time this euphoria occurred less and less.  A kettle bell workout was about the only thing that would trigger the high and even so it wasn't consistent.  I suppose the good news was that I was getting in better shape, the bad news was that I was missing my euphoric rush

On the other hand, I had a general sense of peace after every workout, everyday.  I assumed that I was no longer going to experience the rush because I was living the the benefit of regular physical activity.  My body had adapted.

Until yesterday.

I'll be honest, I've been working out but hardly as intensely as I probably could.  My exercises have been like brushing my teeth a few months after seeing the dentist - I still did it but probably not for as long as I should or with as much attention to detail.

Back to yesterday.

At the gym we have a new trainer who's a few years younger than I am and in much better shape.  A couple of weeks ago I showed her some core exercises for postpartum moms and she showed me a few good exercises for the shoulder and upper back.  We discussed working out together in the future.  I was both terrified and excited by the prospect of exercising with her.

So, we made a date to train.  I let her decide what we would do.  She showed me two workouts she had designed.  Both looked like the work of the devil.  

"Which one do you want to do?" she asked.

"You pick," I replied.  I did not want to be responsible for picking my own method of torture.  I felt a little sick already.

"Ok, we'll do this one," she said showing me a sheet with a mixture of cardio, core, and full body exercises.  ugh.

OMG, what had I done? 

To be honest, my fear was that either a) everyone would see in real time just how bad of shape I was in or b) my certification as a trainer would be proven fraudulent or worse, c) I would vomit on the floor of the weight room.

Fortunately, none of the above happened.  Though I had to modify a couple of the exercises for my knee and achy shoulder, I kept up and I completed the entire set of exercises.  Plus, about 30 minutes in, I got THE RUSH!  Just like old times: an all-over sweat, heat then coolness with a surge of both energy and peace.  

So, I think we'll do it again next week.

But I'm still letting her pick the workout.  

Want to give the workout a try?  Well, here you go....

100 jumping jacks -(I did 75)
12 high knee lifts with elbow - each leg
12 single leg box step ups - each leg
12 single leg dead lifts - each leg

Then, this is where the fun begins:

For 10 minutes, do the following without rest if possible - I took breaks for water. And I used an assisted pull up machine.  After 3 sets, I switched to dips which may explain why my triceps ache a bit today!
12 pull ups/chin ups
12 ball crunches

We're not finished yet!  For another 10 minutes:
12 pushed ups with pike - I did mine on an exercise ball.  After 24 I switched to regular push-ups.

But wait, there's more!

2 minute sprint on treadmill.  Rest 90 seconds.  Repeat 2 minute sprint.

Stretch.  Hydrate.  

Be well and have fun.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How do you caffeinate?

My husband and I are kind of coffee fanatics. In our house there are no fewer than 8 ways to make coffee. Depending on my mood and the beans available I  choose how best to make my brew. 

Large party: plug in percolator that makes about 30 cups dunkin donuts
Smaller gathering: kitchen aid drip with Starbucks pike roast
Sunday breakfast for two: Bodum French press (glass or stainless steel) using Small World Love Blend
Quick hit: nespresso pod
Longer hit: nespresso soy latte 
A bit more time: Stove top Moka with Illy coffee
Traveling: pour over with French roast
Feeling retro: Stovetop ceramic percolator  
In storage for my future mid-century weekend retreat: Francis Francis mint green espresso maker. 

Clearly we are not the only ones who are this obsessed!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Putting it all together

I recently celebrated 13 years of marriage to my husband, Mitch.  It got me thinking about the early days of our courtship and something I said to him after just a few months of dating.  But first let me back up a bit.

Before I met Mitch I felt like I could only share parts of myself with certain people.  My nursing colleagues got the feminist interested in women's health.  My radio friends got the quirky indie music lover. My knitting friends got the yarn-obsessed stitcher.  My groovy friends got the yoga and spirituality dabbler.  A few guys at the gym witnessed my dead lifts and bench presses.  Another group of guys helped me buy comic books.  And then there were my fellow cinemophiles, bibliophiles and fashion-followers.

And so one day I said to Mitch, "I don't make sense. I'm all these different parts.  I like to shop at Saks but I read comic books and wear pink Birkenstocks."

His response, "It all makes sense to me.  You're Marisa."

And that's how I knew I had met the love of my life.

But yet 16 years later I am doing the same thing.  I parse out different parts of me to different groups and in so doing I often feel fragmented.  Plus I was doing it here, in the blogosphere.  I had one blog for crafting, another for fitness/wellness and I was just about to create another for dilettantism.

And then I thought, why can't I just be all of this in one space?  Where I can be me, Marisa.

Obviously I can and this blog, my original one, is the perfect place for it.  Here I will explore multiple themes: Creating, Exploring, Growing, Parenting, Thinking.

There will no overall theme other than my own interests and reflexions on life. 

Come along with me and let's have some fun.  It's a new day.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

So many books. So little time.

I saw this today at Barnes and Noble. 

Holy smokes!  I remember a time when the entire needlework section was a couple of shelves. Now it goes on forever. Embroidery, knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, felting, tatting, smacking, ribbon work. Crazy. 

Honestly most of these books have similar projects. Lots of aprons, many hats and socks and the requisite baby bag. 

But they still overwhelm me. I wish I had more time to stitch and create. 

So for now, I will dream of creating. And enjoy every minute of it. 

Happy Stitching.