Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A (nother) Beginning

Ok, so, it's clear that I didn't keep up on the blogging very well from the summer.

That's all about to change though. Or maybe it won't. It will depend on whether I feel like I have anything interesting to say. Or, if so, whether I have the time to type it all out.

Lots of things on the "life plate" though, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Know Why the Nettle Stings

I don't, actually.

Know why it stings, I mean.

But I DO know that it DOES sting. Or at least I know that whatever I grabbed ahold of in Discovery Park to fix my bike stings, because my fingers are still "buzzing" with that "needle-y" kind of pain.

Should I cut an X in my skin and try to suck out the poison?

Wait, before I leap to any incisions, let me back up... two days ago I decided to run some stairs, followed by sprints. My hips felt pretty tight, and I could tell that it was affecting my ROM (and thus tugging on my lumbar spine), but for the most part they went ok. About 4-5 hours a later, however, I noticed that my left knee was bothering me. In fact, most movements became a little uncomfortable. That same discomfort was present today, so rather than going for a run (I don't think I could have done it even if I had wanted to), I decided to take my bike out for a ride. Keep in mind that this is a 13 year old bike. Not in the best of shape. I've taken it to the gym and back, and around the neighborhood a bit, but that's about it. Today I decided I was going to ride out to Discovery Park.

The trip out there was pleasant and rather uneventful. However, on my way back up the hill in the park I noticed a scraping sound. At first I thought that my little foot clips were on the bottom side of the pedal (instead of my foot being in them), but I quickly noticed that they were no longer securely attached and were dragging on the street every time I pedaled around. Trying to be as creative as possible I started looking for things to stick through the holes so that it would stay attached to the pedal. The little twig worked momentarily but in very short time the clip popped off again. That's when I decided to find something to tie in through the hole.

You would think, with all the strong, fibrous plants out there, that it wouldn't have taken long to find something with enough strength to hold the clip to the pedal. You would also think that I would have noticed that the first thing I picked up had thorns on it. On the contrary.

It's hard to say whether it was that, or the next couple of things I plucked from the ground that really did the damage. My eyes were looking for something strong enough to hold a knot and I wasn't really paying attention to anything else. Not that I would have known what it looked like anyway. All I know for sure is that right now, as I type, my index and middle fingers on my left hand are throbbing in a pin-prick-ness kind of way.

Moreover, not only did I not find a plant with the required tensile strength, I also seemed to become fully aware at how muggy and buggy it was right there where I stopped. Irritation mounting, I took the clip completely off the pedal and tied it on to my crossbar. THEN, with that issue temporarily resolved, I got to resume my climb up that big a$$ hill. Ugh.

What is it with cycling, anyway? It's not that I didn't work hard on my ride. I kept up a decent pace, and I pushed it hard on climbs, and I was huffing and puffing intermittantly...but when it was all said and done, I didn't feel very taxed. Certainly not like I do after a run.

I guess a heart rate monitor is my only solution. Need to see exactly what's going on. The feedback will be useful because I have a couple of clients who cycle quite a bit and are disappointed that they aren't losing that much weight. Hmmmmm...

Two sidenotes: One, I have to give a deposition on Thursday. I've been called as a witness in a trial. I wasn't all that stressed about it, but the lawyer I talked to is making me watch a tape on depositions. He wants me to see all of the "tricks" they're going to use. Tricks? Great. Secondly, when I went in to the aforementioned lawyer's office on Friday afternoon I realized, once again, how SOOOO happy I am to not be working in that kind of business environment anymore. Those veal-fattening pens and flourescent lighting and re-circulated stale air posing as air conditioning. Ick.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

An Exhausted Ramble

Today, I felt beat down. Like seriously beat down. My body is so fatigued that all it can think about is food and sleep. Ugh...hate that...

This afternoon, on my way back to the gym from an appointment with my accountant, I heard a Nick Drake song on KEXP. I think it was called "Things Behind the Sun." Not only was it beautiful to listen to, but it reminded me all of those other "parts" of me that aren't being fed right now. And that lack of balanced nutrition leaves me feeling a little spiritually ill, just as I would feel physically ill if my dietary nutrition was off so much. It's like I'm eating nothing but peanut butter, or artichokes...and it's enough to keep me alive and kicking, but at a deeper level my nutrient levels are being seriously depleted.

And also like eating just one food, I seem to be CHOOSING to just focus on work-related things. It's the catch of being self-employed, right? You have the OPTION of working less, but choosing to do so can seriously damage your financial situation. Oh well, a few months ago I gave myself until the middle of July, at which point I agreed to force myself to take time off. Two weeks away from that, and I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that I'm ready.

Side note: the NBA draft was on Tuesday. Brandon Roy, from UW, went 6th. To Minnesota and then to Portland in a trade. I feel really lucky to have been interning in the UW weightroom when I did. I had the chance to work with two current NBA players, Nate Robinson, and now Brandon Roy. Very cool.

Earlier today I had lots of good, deep, meaningful thoughts to write about. And now that the moment is here, I have no idea what they were. And even if I did, I'm not convinced I would have the energy, or the words, to commicate them here. That's fine. This is all apart of the human experience. My human experience. And that's what this is all about, right?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

F the DKR, and the new Cool

So first things first... f the Dillon Kreider Rule. Yesterday I had 11 clients and an hour class, stuck in to a 14 hour timeslot. BRU-TAL. The DKR rule quite plainly states that someone, ANYone, should have cancelled. But no one did. So between 5:45am and 8:10pm I had two free hours...from 1p to 3p. Of course, my obsessive nature required that I somehow struggle through at least a 30 minute cardio during that break. Throw in a little lunch, some CD purchases and a quick coffee (double tall iced americano) and that was about all of the free time I had. God bless self-employment!

I don't know about you, but when I have to be around people for that long, I kind of just want to hermit away for a while. No talking, no listening. And that's precisely what I did when I got home. Fortunately a great Cool blew in and dropped the temp a little, so I grabbed a chair and sat out on the front porch. With my laptop, of course (c'mon, it's not like I have nothing else to do besides train people).

Oh, and as it turns out, grapefruit juice, some lime, some tequila and a splash of 7up, all mixed together in a glass, seem to go well with a night like that.

The great Cool continued through the night and in to the morning. To the point where I would label this morning as almost PERFECT. It was/is so beautiful. It makes me just want to sit outside and do nothing. And by nothing I mean just sit and look, and listen.....to the world, and the rambling dialog in my head. Maybe I should call it witnessing. Buddhists would. That kind of witnessing is so much more than "looking" and "listening" though. It involves ALL of the senses; a visceral sponging of reality. Or soaking. Slight nuance in intent, perhaps.

But for now I tap away at my keyboard...finishing up here, preparing for my afternoon/evening clients, etc... soon to be immersed back in to the flow of the day. Trying to keep the witness from falling in to unconsciousness.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Granted, in many parts of the world, or even in many parts of this country, 91 degrees isn't terribly hot. In Seattle, however, 91 degrees qualifies as a "scorcher." Fortunately, Seattle also frequently has nice breezes that keep the temperature from really feeling like it would in say...Houston, or Phoenix. That reprieve allows for two groups of people; those who commit themselves to an all day sun escapade (where they will "hold" their bodies under the burning rays as long as they can possibly tolerate), and those who head inside by 10am, where they stay tucked away until at least after 8pm.

And then I suppose there are the "tweeners"...the ones who were out enough yesterday that after another 2 hours today gave them that "whew...i've had enough sun for one weekend" feeling. That was me. Which is funny, because there was a time when if the sun was out, i was out in it. Not sure what's changed exactly. All I know is that after running stairs and sprints at mid-day, a cool, breezy living room, my laptop, and a recorded World Cup match was just the ticket. And now, at almost 9pm, the evening is about perfect.

I can see "manic" lurking just around the corner. Waiting to ambush the unwary traveler. The weather, the light... it's a wonder anyone gets to bed by midnight...even the early risers.

There is an issue...pulsing inside me...that is causing me quite a bit of dissonance. I know what it is, but I'm not completely sure yet how to find resolve. Or maybe I do and am just not ready to act on it.

How long can we let those things go? At what point will our day to day experiences and actions be colored so strongly by them that we finally move to stronger action? What compromises will we make? How much integrity will we allow to slip away?

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Seemingly Eternal Sun

I know that if you live north of Seattle (Canada, Alaska, Iceland, etc...) you will say "Oh yeah, well you should see what it's like here..." but let me give all of you "southerners" an idea of what late June and early July are like here (when it's not cloudy and raining).

I woke up this morning at 5:30am and it looked like it was noon because there was so much sunlight beaming in to my bedroom. At 7:30am it could have just as well been 3:30 in the afternoon outside. I don't mention this as a complaint, by the way (ok, well, only in that it's more difficult to sleep). In fact, this is what all Seattle-ites live for (though there are a share of natives that almost detest the sun and long for the cloudy days of winter and the six daily shots of espresso). This is why most of us endure the domestic abuse of gloom from October to May.

These days, the sun that we have is transformative. It brings out a different Seattle. People seem friendlier. More willing to laugh. There are more people running, biking, kayaking, climbing. And all of those attractive people that mysteriously disappear to some exotic location after Labor Day get bussed back, under the cover of darkness, and make their debut appearance at Greenlake. I sometimes think that the population of Seattle doubles in the summer. Kind of the reverse of a college town (only there are three major universities in Seattle, so it's definitely not). It amazes me that, besides the beautiful people who are clearly bussed out, there are enough nooks and crannies in Seattle to store all of these people through the winter. Perhaps there are caves or unused Metro bus tunnels that I am unaware of. I wonder.

Anyway, today I only had three clients. A make-up call of sorts for my day yesterday. And well worth it. Totally sunny and high's in the 70's makes for the perfect Seattle day (believe it or not, Texans/Floridans/etc, at 75 degrees everyone here is in shorts and sandals. And shirts are optional.). So all afternoon I've just been outside, not really doing much at all. Oh, sure....I could have gone for a run. Or a ride. I could have worked on my laptop and done the 45 hours or more of business stuff I have to do. But instead, I just walked around. Such a treat.

I had a dream last night about Santa Cruz. Though I don't know if it was really Santa Cruz. At some point I also must have been in another country, because this tall blonde guy hollered out to me "Hey surfer!" (he was addressing me, but I'm not sure why he called me that) "Is it pretty easy for you to understand what we're saying?" (the assumption being that a) I was a native to this country in the dream, and b) the "we" meant he and other "Americans"). I just said "Yeah, I understand everything. I'm from Washington" and just kept walking.

Ahhhh...what dreams may come...

Enough for now, the sunlight beckons.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Solstice Beginning

"The days are sieves to filter spirits, reveal impurities, and show the light of those who put their shining into the universe."- Rumi

To be honest, I have no time to blog. Or very little time, that is. And lacking that time (and therefore, creativity) what would I say?

Rather than have a purpose, I've decided to concentrate on the detail, day in and day out, and let the purpose, the overall pattern, emerge on it's own. And the detail, at least these days, is all about the trials and tribulations of 1) being a personal trainer and strength coach, and 2) owning and operating one's own business.

So, offering no background, no lead-in, no context... today was a fifteen hour day. Ten clients and one class in that fifteen hour time span. No wait...check that. I forgot that the Dillon Kreider Rule rang true. The DKR states that if you have seven or more clients scheduled in a day, at least one will cancel the day of the appointment. I made up the phrase "Dillion Kreider Rule", but I did not make up Dillon Kreider, nor her rule. She's a real person (and trainer) and she really did say that (one day, two or so years ago). And indeed, at 10:25am, my 1pm client cancelled (technically, just re-scheduled until tomorrow).

Even so, the word of the moment is "exhaustion". Hopefully soon to be followed by "sleep".

Pretty boring thus far, huh? That's ok. It's more for me at this point anyway. Thanks for enduring.