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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are you a lurker?

As I'm getting more involved in the blog world, I'm amazed to see the traffic that some blogs get.  In addition, I've noticed the trend of giveaways, a great way to get people involved with your blog.

While I'm not yet ready to do a giveaway (I don't think I have the traffic), I do want to do a tease for the giveaway that I will do once I know who is out there reading.

Here's what I'm going to give away.

No, not all of them, but one of them.

What are they?  No, not snakes on my floor.  Resistance tubes/bands!  As you can see I have three different thicknesses on the standard style.  In addition I have one double tube that has a loop in the middle that allows you to fasten the tube to something stable (like a railing). 

Disclaimer:  These are not new.  I will however do my best to make them nice and clean before sending them your way.

When I do this giveaway, you'll get to choose which one you want.  Sounds fun, right?  There are about a million different exercises that can be done with resistance bands, so they are a great tool to have in the arsenal.

But first, I need more traffic.  I need to know people are reading this blog.  So if you're a lurker (meaning you read but never comment), take this opportunity to say hello.  No pressure, I don't bite.

If you enjoy reading this blog and have a blog, I'd love a link on your site. 

If you like any of my posts (spin rides, recipes, whatever), share a link on facebook or another site.

When I'm convinced that people are reading (and enjoying) my blog, I'll activate the giveaway.  Ideally in a couple of weeks.

You like?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

behind (no, not that one!)

I'm a little bit behind the blogging ball again.  My apologies.

This morning as I was driving to class, I had all these great topics in my mind and now that I'm actually in front of the computer, they seem to have disappeared.  Bloggers block?

So as you may have noticed, I had asked for input on Glee music, then went ahead and put two (short) songs in my latest ride.  This week was the much talked about Britney Spears episode so I DVR'ed it and sat down to watch about an hour after it's air time.

Let's just say I'm definitely not a Gleek.  Yes, some of the music is OK, but overall, the show does NOTHING for me.  Am I alone here?  Not sure if I'll keep giving it a shot or remove it from the DVR and live a Glee-less life.

Fans?  Foes?

I'm also watching the Event, although I'm one week behind and am not exactly sure what I think of it.  I think it's going to go a little sci-fi and that's not my cup of tea.  Not writing it off yet.

Last night was an example of the power of exercise and why exercise will always be my drug of choice.

I wasn't feeling great yesterday.  I was overall run down, with a bit of a head/ear/face ache.  But it was boxing night and I hate to miss the class, so I dragged myself to the gym.

Did a quick 15 minutes on the arc trainer to get my sweat on and then took class.  True, when we ran at the beginning of class I did more of a jog, but mid-way through the class I was feeling fine and my energy level was up.  It never ceases to amaze me!

This morning I was going to sub out my class but instead chose to teach but take it easy.  I am one of those instructors who is right there with you, I'm telling you to work hard and you're listening because I'm working hard as well.  Due to the beginning of a few injuries I feel that I need to take it easy.  My goal was to try and teach off the bike.  Wow, that's hard.  I ended up on the bike not pedalling, walking around, standing in front, and then back on the bike riding.  I had no clue what to do with myself for the 45 minutes off the bike.

If you instruct, do you teach off the bike?  If you take spin classes, what do your instructors do?

OK, time to prep for class.

My song of the moment:  Just a Dream by Nelly

Monday, September 27, 2010


I love this!  Love love love.
(This is a youtube embed, so give it a moment or two, it will eventually load)

Saturday spin sesh (on Monday)

I really did have the intent to post this on Saturday, so without further ado, here it is.

Special thanks to Annette for her hill repeats.  Love them!  This ride is a mix of a few different things, but the hill repeats do play a prominent role.

A few things about this and most of my rides. My classes are typically 45 minutes long. If you do a 60 minute class, in this case you can just add another hill.  But unless otherwise specified, my classes are 45 minutes including the warm up (not including the cool down). 

Also, I ventured into some unknown territory here, the world of Glee.  So far I haven't gotten much of a response about it, so I say that that's a good thing and I'll keep them in the ride for now.  They're just recovery songs so in my opinion they're not quite as important as some of the other songs.

Get What You Give - New Radicals - 3:54
Warm up

Sweet Child of Mine - Guns N' Roses - 5:56
First hill, 5 minute version.
2 minutes seated, 1 minute standing, 2 minutes seated, followed by 1 minute flat/downhill.
Adding resistance every minute or so, starting with a moderate hill (about a 5 out of 10).

Dance Dance - Fall Our Boy - 3:00
First hill, 3 minute version.  This is the same hill we just climbed but we have to do it in (considerably) less time.  Go go go!
1 minute seated, 1 minute standing, 1 minute seated.  Adding resistance every 45 seconds or so, with the goal of keeping the resistance the same as it was on the 5 minute version.

Halo/Walking On Sunshine - Glee - 2:06
Recover and get ready for hill #2

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson - 6:02
Second hill, 5 minutes up.
I use this as my spur of the moment hill, meaning that I don't plan out what I'll do until class starts.  This morning I did 2 standing, 1 seated, 2 standing.  Then back to the flat road for 1 minute downhill.

Amazing - Seal - 3:02
Second hill, 3 minute version.
Once again, mimic the 5 minute version, but pick up the pace and squeeze it in in 3 minutes.

Sweet Caroline - Glee - 2:00
Recover before our last repeat

City of Blinding Lights - U2 - 5:50
Third (and final) hill.  Seated 2 minutes, run 1 minute, standing climb 2 minutes.  Again, starting at 5/10 and adding resistance as desired.

Magic - B.o.B. (feat Rivers Cuomo) - 3:16
Final 3 minute version.  Seated 1 minute, running 1 minute, standing 1 minute.  Keep that pace up!  We should be nice and out of breath by the end.

Animal - Neon Trees - 3:32
Short (I said short) recovery on the flat and then right in to sprints.  First one is at :45, second at 1:38, third from 2:36 to the end of the song.  Use the chorus as your guide for when to sprint.

Take It Off - Ke$ha - 3:35
Love Is Gone - David Guetta and Chris Willis - 3:21
Final two songs are tough.  Let's do some jumps.  Counts of 8-4-2.  Recover quickly, add moderate resistance and start with one minute of 8 counts, followed by one minute of 4, then one minute of 2.  You may need to adjust the duration a bit, but the plan is to jump for at least 6 minutes.  Good news is, once this is done, the work is over.

Crazy - K-Ci & JoJo - 3:40
Cool down!!!!

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?  If you have any good ride ideas or just songs you'd like to see added (or are currently loving), drop me a comment.

Happy Spinning!!!

Gray and rainy Monday

So I didn't post my Saturday Spin Ride as promised, but I will get it up later today.  My word is bond! :)

Saturday was busy and I didn't even turn on the computer (LOVE those days!).  It was a great day!

A few girlies from college came to visit.  Started my day off teaching, then a quick trip to the gap (I had a coupon for 50% off jeans, didn't buy anything though), then the girlies and I all met up to take a private boxing class.  Super fun!  Totally kicked our a$$es and I loved EVERY minute of it.  Then recovery, an early dinner, and then a fun night out on the town.  Not exactly sure how it transpired, but I was definitely behind the bar at one point.  Fun!

Wrapping up my Monday morning coffee break and getting psyched up for class #2.

Read something the other day in Women's Health that kind of stuck with me.  I'm sure I will not paraphrase accurately, but it talked about how women strive to be fit and thin but as we age at one point being fit is actually a detriment to our appearance.  In other words, at a certain point, having some extra weight is a good thing.  Make sense?

I have to agree.  When I see women in their 50s+ and they are very thin, it's kind of uncomfortable.  A little extra padding would likely make them look healthier and thus more attractive.  Agree?  Disagree?

OK, later gators, I'll be back in a few hours.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Two posts in one day, but this is just a quickie.

I'm looking for input.

What do you think of the music from Glee?  Do you listen?  Have instructors been using it in classes?  How would you feel if they did?

I'm up in the air and right now toying with the idea of throwing some of the shorter songs in as recovery or pre or post class tunes.

Was wondering what others think.  Let me know!

Location location location

Do you take group exercise classes?

If you do, where do you tend to stand/sit?  In the front of the class?  Off to one side?  In the back?  Do you always try to get the same spot/bike/machine?

When I was taking spin classes I liked to be right in front.  I didn't want to look at people's butts.  Yet I guess I didn't mind them looking at mine.  Now on the rare occasion that I do take a spin class, I stick to the back corner, let the others have the prime seats.

For fitness classes I also used to try and secure a spot with good mirror access.  I wanted to be able to watch my form.  Now, it depends on the class.  In boot camp I tend towards the back corner.  I know my form is OK so let the others be in better view of the instructor.  In boxing we run around too much to really have spots, but I do like to have a view of the mirror when we're stopped.

Yesterday my boot camp instructor (who I happen to be friends with) told me he wants me to be in the front.  Um, OK.  He said I was doing well and I should do that in the front, not in the back.  So I promised him that next time I take the class I'd be in the front.  I'm definitely not shy, so it's not an issue having people watching me, it's just a deviation from the norm.  But it's all good and I'll let you know in two weeks how the view from the front was.

Any good weekend plans out there?

A few of my college girls are coming to visit tomorrow.  We're kicking the get together off with a fitness activity.  Imagine that!  We're doing a private boxing class with my friend the boxing instructor.  Then at night we're hitting the town and I plan on wearing my sparkly shirt.  Woo hoo!

Have a fab weekend!  xoxo

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Still a bit hectic here today, appointments in NYC and CT.  But busy is usually good. :)

Some random thoughts...

Gym Clothing
I don't get the really skimpy outfits that people wear.  Is it that I'm jealous that they can pull off microscopic shorts?  Maybe a little jealous, but even if I could, I wouldn't.

Qorn (not sure of the spelling)
I bought their "chicken" patties and am not digging all.

Peruvian Lillies
The best flower in terms of longevity.  My friends wedding on Saturday had them as one of the arrangements on the table, so of course I took that one home.  Still going very strong from Saturday, plus a few hours in the car. (FYI, mine are white, and soooo pretty!)

Push ups
I don't get why sometimes they come easy and other times they just don't.

Spinner's Block (like writer's block)
I've been wanting to create a few new rides but when I sit down to do it, it just doesn't happen.  Thankfully a few rides have been shared with me and I'm hoping they will inspire me.  :)

Crazy lightning and storms last night.  Unfortunately I had the "pleasure" of driving through them.  Not fun.  But boy was the lightning pretty (and scary).

I think that's the bulk of my random thoughts for the moment.  Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yes, I've been slacking on my posts.  But no, I haven't really been slacking in other areas.

The reason I've been bad is because I've just been really busy.  The past few days have been crazy, plus I'm still a bit tired from overdoing it last week.

As another blog reminded me, this morning was the High Heel-a-Thon on Regis and Kelly.  Unfortunately I was teaching this morning so I missed it.  Bummer!

My sister introduced me to this event a few years ago.  She's by far one of the biggest Regis and Kelly fans I know.  She works, so she records every episode and watched it later in the day.  Anyway, one year we were all together at my parent's house when the High Heel A-Thon aired.  It was a blast to watch.

I would consider doing it if it weren't for the fact that just thinking about running in high heels gives me shin splints.  Ouch!

I know there are a lot of themed races out there which is totally up my alley.  I know there's the Princess marathon (or maybe it's a half) at Disney, warrior races in various areas, urban-athalon's, etc. 

Have you ever done one of these sort of events?

Aside from Spin Odyssey I haven't done any physical events.  And yes, SO has an overall theme of breast cancer awareness, but that's not a real theme.  Maybe next year I can wear some sort of fun sparkly pink costume.  Now the gears are turning.

Happy Wednesday all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've got the Mondays...

Good morning!

Just sitting at Panera finishing up my coffee and enjoying my (second) breakfast.  My mother introduced me to these and they're quite tasty and only 100 calories per pack.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  Mine was good.  Saturday I taught and then headed to NY for a friend's wedding.  Sunday was spent with the fam celebrating my mom's bday (which is today!).  Happy birthday mom!

Back to the grind today and I'm feeling the after effects of my overdoing it a bit last week.  Class this AM was rough.  I think I managed to fake it for them and give them a good class, but boy was I dragging.  I just felt off.  My usual peppiness just wasn't there.

I have one more class to teach today and am hoping this caffeine kicks my energy in to overdrive.  Fingers crossed!

OK...I'm off to try and find my motivation.  Let me know if you see it around.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spin Ride Saturday

Since I initially started this blog with the intent of posting spin rides and have been slacking, I'm going to work on fixing that.

The plan...Spin Ride Saturdays.

This one is called Summer and my creative names.  Ha!  I have both a 45 and 60 minute version for this one so I'll include both. 

45 Minute

Beautiful Day, U2 - 4:08
Warm up

Hot in Here, Nelly - 3:50
Seated climb, the fun begins.  Don't let it get too heavy, there's still a bunch of climbing to come.

California Gurlz, Katie Perry feat. Snoop - 3:54
Come out to standing 2 for a run.  On the chorus come out to three for speed bursts.  Then back to the run, and so on.

Summertime - Will Smith - 4:30
Back to a seated climb.  At this point we're starting to feel that hill getting a little heavy.  Don't max out, still 2 more songs to go.

Summerlove - Justin Timberlake - 4:13
Alternate 30 seconds in the saddle with 30 seconds out in 3.  Add resistance as you wish but remember there's still one more climbing song to go, so let's not try to kill our riders. :)

Heat of the Moment, Asia - 3:52
Standing climb, let's finish up this hill.  Picking up the pace on the chorus, very heavy in the end.

I Get Around, Beach Boys - 2:15

Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle - 3:45
Light climb, jumping (6 or 4 counts) on the chorus.  Add a little resistance throughout to be sure that everyone feels a moderate hill by the end of the song.

Sandstorm, Darude - 3:45
There are two one minute sprints on a hill on this song.  The first starts at :29 the second is 2:29 (i think).  It's nearly impossible to go slow to this song, it just breeds energy.  Remember, it's a sprint, but it's seated on a hill so the legs shouldn't look out of control.

Cruel Summer, Bananarama - 3:26
Don't touch the resistance from the previous song.  Climbing, your choice as to the saddle/standing mix up.

Panama, Van Halen - 3:32
Final song.  Big hill.  Out in 3, adding resistance to get to a heavy hill.  If I'm sensing good energy I'll make them go from standing 3 to the saddle for 5 counts each.  Mix it up, have fun, but make them work as it's the last song.

Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett - 4:10
Cool down

Now here's the 60 minute version, use the same beginning including Cruel Summer, then skip Panama and use the following songs.

Summer Rain, ATB - 4:23
Heavy climb, ideally out of the saddle.  Play with pace and resistance.

All Summer Long, Kid Rock - 4:59
Recover.  This is a long song so I usually have those that feel up for it put a light road on and pick up their pace to a slightly uncomfortable level.

Good Vibrations, Marky Mark - 4:30
Seated climb, moderate hill.  Adding some resistance throughout but try to keep it moderate/heavy.

Boys of Summer, the Ataris - 4:18
Moderate hill still, sprinting against the resistance on the chorus.  Feel free to add as the song progresses, thus challenging them further on each sprint.

Panama, Van Halen - 3:32
Heavy hill, just like in the 45 minute version.  Last effort.

Cool down

While the summer is definitely on it's way out, it might be fun to do a themed ride in February or March, maybe even buying some leis or something silly like that.  Just an idea.

Happy spinning!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thank goodness it's FRIDAY!

Wow, this has been a loooooong week!

Burnout ensued this morning after class #6 in 5 days.  I just ran out of energy and motivation.  I was on the mats doing abs work and was incredibly tempted to make my towel into a pillow and just lie there for a while, maybe take a nap.

I did come home and sort of take a nap, so that was nice.  At least I have a full 24 hours of recovery before my final class of the week.

On the agenda for today:
  1. Supermarket
  2. Iron my dress for the wedding tomorrow
  3. Try on the dress with the shoes I bought to see if either pair work
  4. Polish my nails
  5. Dye my hair (maybe...i have a bunch of ugly grays showing but what if by some ODD chance it comes out wrong and I end up with purple hair?)
  6. Pack for NY
  7. Charge my ipod and attempt a new play list if I can find some motivation
  8. Clean (least favorite activity ever)
  9. Hit up Bed Bath & Beyond for the wedding gift (hopefully at least one item is still on the registry)
  10. Eat dinner and collapse, provided all of the above are done
I'm most excited about #10.  Big surprise, right?

Lesson learned this week.....JUST SAY NO.  No, I'm not talking about drugs, although you should say no to those too.  I'm talking about feeling like you have to help people whenever they ask. 
This week I swooped in to save the day for a couple of spin instructors who couldn't teach.  And what was the result?  Burnout and exhaustion.  Not good.
By saying yes I was being helpful and nice, but ultimately it was not a good decision for ME.
This has been noted and I am going to work on being a little more selfish in that area.  So we'll see how that goes. 
I can't say though what will happen the next time I get a call that someone desperately needs me.  Guess I'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.

Try to do something this weekend for YOU.  Take some time to do something that makes you happy, just you.  Let me know how it goes.

What is going to make me happy this weekend is having a drink at the wedding, enjoying delicious food (I hope), and then sleeping in on Sunday and not going to the gym.  Now that's a weekend!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cut 100

Here are a few ways to (painlessly) cut 100 calories out of your diet. 

Have egg whites instead of full eggs
When eating waffles, use Reddi-Whip or sugar-free syrup instead of regular syrup
Leave the cheese off your sandwich
Use mustard instead of mayo
Skip croutons on your salad
Use salad dressing sprays instead of dressing
Substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream
Replace the oil or butter in recipes with unsweetened apple sauce (Trader Joe's makes the best)

Hope your Thursdays are going well.  I'm off to teach in a few and hoping that traffic isn't too bad.  It's gotten quite dark here and I'm sure that rain is on its way.

Has anyone been watching Thintervention on Bravo?  She did a nice little upper body circuit with resistance tubes that I'm going to copy.  I'll share it here once I re-watch and write it down.

Top Chef finale was last night.  Don't worry, no spoiler here.  I'm OK with who won but overall I don't know that I was enamored with any of the final three.  This finale might have been my least favorite of the seasons.  But oh well, I still watched and enjoyed every minute.  I recorded Top Chef Just Desserts and will get to it in the next day or so.

OK, off to the gym.  Enjoy your evenings!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My everything hurts


This has been another big spin week for me, and it's not over until Saturday.
2 classes on Monday, 2 on Wednesday, 1 on Thursday, 1 on Friday, and then the final one on Saturday.  Too much!

So yesterday was my off day and I did my usual boxing class.  But before class I went outside for a run (about 2 miles).  Then class.  The class was small so he had us doing more running around the room.  Just what I needed.  Plus he had us do a little boxing one on one with him, rapid fire.  It exhausted me.

Right now just about every body part hurts a little.  Not hurts as in an injury, but just as in being tired.

I have a wedding Saturday after my class and think that that first drink will feel sooooo good! 

Speaking of which, as of now the plan is to wear a gold dress.  What color shoes would you wear?  I have black but they seem to be too harsh.  I'm looking for nude/neutral gold, but no luck yet.

Have a fab hump day!  I'm going to lie on the couch before it's off to teach my evening class.

Things that make me happy

In keeping with the positive theme, I figured I'd take a few minutes and list some things that make me happy.  Doing something like this forces you to focus on the positive.

So feel free to leave me comments with what makes you happy.

  • Writing this blog and then finding out that someone (other than me) actually reads it
  • My family and friends (I can't even imagine where I'd be without them)
  • Dessert
  • A full spin class with great energy
  • Dogs, puppies especially
  • Vacation and travel
  • Eating out and trying new foods
  • Laughing
  • Music
  • Warm weather
  • A good nights sleep
  • New clothes (not something I can take advantage of at this time, but still)
  • New shoes (see above)
  • A good workout
I know there should be more things listed that are in the now, but right now I can't think of any more.  One day....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good things

Finally, good things.

A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to apply for a job with 8 Minute Dating (it's a speed dating type thing).  I went speed dating back when I lived on Long Island and while no romance came out of it, it was really fun.  I remember thinking back then that running those sort of events was definitely something I could do.  So I happened across the 8 Minute Dating site looking for events in my area.  There were no events but I did see a link that said "Become an Event Organizer".  So I went for it.

I had to get two recommendations (one personal, one professional), fill out a bunch of stuff, send them a photo, etc.  Given my semi-professional job hunter status I wasn't too worried about how I did.

They received all of my info and said that they'd let me know if I was selected.

Well...... I WAS SELECTED.  They emailed me on Saturday and it ended up in spam so I didn't see it until yesterday.  I went ahead and completed the process and am now officially an Event Organizer for 8 Minute Dating in CT.

It's only a part time thing but it's still something and a good place for me to channel my energy and time.  I can't wait to see how this goes.  If you live in CT and are single, definitely consider coming to one of my events.

Unrelated but not totally...

I had gone on a casual date on Saturday with a guy who was about 10 years older than me.  While it wasn't horrible, it definitely wasn't great.  But I put myself out there and did it.

Last night I went for another casual date with a different person and I'm happy to say this one was much better.  Who knows what will come of it, but at least it was an enjoyable night.

So two good things in one day....I'll take it!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trampy trainers

Hehehe.  Fun title, right?

This topic has come up a bunch in conversations lately.  I obviously know quite a few trainers, both male and female.  And what I'm seeing more and more is that in many cases male trainers are trouble.  Not trouble to train with, but trouble in terms of wandering eyes and extracurricular activities (putting it nicely).

Just today my friend told me a story about a male instructor who is simultaneously sleeping with quite a few women, most of whom he met through his class.

Which made me wonder how many other male trainers/fitness professionals that I knew were doing the same. 

Look at the evidence.  Most of the trainers are good looking.  They may train both males and females but we all know that females don't mind working out with a good looking trainer.  These clients may be young and single or older and married, but regardless, they usually come to love their trainers, maybe even developing crushes.  Which just makes things easy for the trainer, should they wish to go in that direction.

Again, I don't have concrete evidence for any of the guys that I know, but I am quite curious and plan on looking in to this further.

What has your experience been?

Happy Monday!

Hello from my usual Monday Panera visit.  Now that school is fully back in session, traffic was a bit heavier than I'd like, but I made it, and only a few minutes later than usual.  To explain why I'm here, I drive to Panera between classes because it's half way between the two gyms.  It gets some of the traffic out of the way on the earlier side and allows me to caffeinate, which is VERY important on a Monday morning.

How was your weekend?

Mine was good.  Yesterday was TOTALLY fall.  I couldn't believe how chilly it was, and it was gray.  Great day for being inside watching football, but not much else.  But overall the weekend was low key, which is fine with me.

Yesterday at the gym I did a bunch of upper body stuff, then ran 2 miles on the treadmill.  It was a pretty good workout although I'm not really feeling it in my upper body today which makes me wonder if maybe I slacked a bit.

Worked on perfecting my form on the wood choppers, my move of the moment.  I had wanted to try this move for ages but was a bit intimidated of it.  Thankfully I was able to have one of my trainer friends show me how to do it correctly.

Apparently it's a great move for targeting the obliques, and area that is often ignored (or at least neglected).

Thing is, I've yet to feel sore after doing it, so I'm wondering if I'm doing it wrong or not using enough weight.  Next time I see one of my trainer friends I just might have to ask for an evaluation of my form.

There's also a lower version of this exercise where the cable is anchored low and you lift up to the opposite side.

Don't try this without first asking about correct form, but once you have, give it a go and let me know what you think.

I'm off to drink more coffee and try my hardest to wake up and find some energy for class number two.  Hope your Mondays get off to a great start!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never forget...

Sorry I didn't get around to posting yesterday.  I'm sure you're all losing sleep over it.

So today is 9/11 and I truly will never forget what happened on this day 9 years ago.  Wow, it's been 9 years.

I was just a baby, newly out of college, kind of thinking the world was my oyster.  I was living at home and looking for a job.  My daily routine consisted of rolling out of bed somewhere around 11, and then starting my day.

On 9/11 I woke up ready to watch the Price is Right.  Only when I turned on the TV to watch I found something very different.  Having just woken up, it took me some time to piece together what in the world was going on.  And when it happened, I realized the world would never really be as we had previously known it.

I started bawling (which now isn't much of an oddity for me, but back then it was).  I frantically tried calling my dad who worked in NYC.  Even though he was in midtown and far from the towers I needed to know he was OK.  He was.

I lived about 45 minutes outside of the city but that day as I was driving somewhere I could see the smoke on the western horizon.  I went out and took a picture but somehow managed to misplace that photo over the years, however I assure you it still exists in my head.

I think I had a dentist appointment either that day or the next day and I started crying in the chair, and somehow that was OK.  I think everyone had been crying a little more than usual.

While I was lucky to not lose anyone close to me, I know of many many people who did.  Growing up on Long Island, it was very common for people to work in NYC.   It was a time of such sadness.

Red, white, and blue themed things started popping up on cars/windows/houses and I remember feeling proud about the sense of unity that came out of such a disaster.  I was so proud to be a New Yorker.

On this day (and every day really), I will remember what happened and honor those who tried to help and those who lost their lives.

Please do the same. Tell your loved ones that you love them (and then enjoy your weekend).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday (my default title when I can't come up with anything clever)

I'm not liking this posting in the evening thing, but I'll get back to the morning posts soon.

Happy Thursday!  I'm all messed up as to which day it is, but since football is on I know it's Thursday!

Odds and ends for today's post.

Class this morning

I took a total body conditioning class this morning.  I haven't taken one of these classes in years.  I'm loyal to my boot camp and boxing classes with an occasional yoga or pilates thrown in.  It was OK.  I'd give it maybe a B or B-.  The pace was a little slow, we had recoveries after every exercise.  I guess being used to boot camp this came as a shock.  The moves were OK, but really nothing I didn't already do.  Lunges, squats, jump squats, side squats, dead lifts, pushups, bicep curls, chest fly, triceps extensions, skull crushers (although he had a nicer name for them), and standing rows. 

Did I love it?  No.  Did it do the trick, yes.  I got a full body workout in without really having to think about it.  Which is why I am a huge proponent of taking classes.


Do you know what this is?  I didn't until yesterday, and in all honesty, I still don't know exactly what it is.  I know it has something to do with intense short intervals with brief recovery, but that's where the understanding ends.  Here's an article that explains it a bit better.

In summary, 20 seconds all out work followed by 10 seconds of recovery, repeated 8 times.  I'm intrigued.

Present to myself

Given my current situation, I never buy anything for myself (besides food).  Today I was errand-ing with my sister and came across a little sparkly something that made me smile, so I bought it for myself as a bday present.  And since it wasn't too pricey and it makes me happy, I went for it.

It doesn't photograph well, but here's a sample of the sparkle.  Love it!

And with that, I bid you goodnight.  Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And once again...

She's gone MIA.  She would be me.

Sorry for not posting recently, today (Wednesday) I taught and then headed down to NY to visit with my family.  Busy day = not much computer time.

Just saying hello!  Hello.

This morning I was encouraged by one of the gym managers to go for additional certifications so I can teach more than just spin.  This is something I've been toying with for a while, but unfortunately all these certs cost money, which is something I don't really have right now.  But I'm looking in to it.  I kind of want to teach a boot camp class (Sergeant Jessica anyone?), or maybe bosu.  So we'll see...

Class this AM was good.  Now that school is back in session the gym routines seem to be getting back in to their groove.  My 9:30 class is frequently attended by moms, so school being back in session means they can come back to the gym, which makes me happy.  Conversely, traffic is now back in full effect.  Ugh.

Made a delicious peach/plum cake this afternoon.  It's my paternal grandmother's recipe and it's handwritten (by my mom) on a calendar page from her planner.  The year?  Well that would be 1987.  I love that!  It's not exactly healthy, but it's not too horrible since it uses a small amount of dough.  Maybe I'll share the recipe one of these days. :)

Since I'm in NY my gym schedule is a bit off so tomorrow morning I'm going to take a total body conditioning class.  Am curious to see how it is since I haven't taken one of these classes in years.  Will let you know.  Am hoping to maybe learn an exercise or two to mix up my routine.

But now it's late and I need to sleep.  Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Organic Eats

This is what I had for dinner on Saturday night.  I was not feeling like cooking and totally went for convenience (and it was on sale).

I will admit that I misread the calorie content and assumed one serving when it was actually two.  I might not have bought it if I had realized this prior to taking it out of the package.  And then of course I couldn't eat just half.  Duh, Jess.

It tasted really good, but then again, for the 440 calories it contained, it should.

Looking further at the nutrition facts I'm realizing that it's not necessarily a healthy choice, but I suppose it can be considered the lesser of two evils (depending on what the other evil is).

I'm pretty sure I had been reading good things about the Cedarlane brand, which is why I wanted to try it.  And yes, it tasted good, but here are some of the ugly nutrition facts:

Calories: 440
Fat: 18g
Sat Fat: 8g (42% daily value, yikes!)
Sodium: 1220mg (52% daily value, yikes again!)
Dietary Fiber: 6g  (not horrible)
Protein 18g (not too bad)

It's up to you whether you want to try this.  Based upon calorie and fat content I probably wouldn't recommend it, but based upon taste I would.  Your call.

Home gym

I'm totally not one to workout at home.  It's truly a last resort for me and isn't usually anywhere near as productive as a trip to the gym.

Here's a shot of my "home gym".  With the exception of the stability ball, these are all courtesy of my last gym, which closed.  On the last day they let their favorite members take a few things home.  (Not shown, but acquired, a jump rope and some resistance tubes.)  The weights range from 5-15lbs.

On Sunday I felt guilty about going to the gym on a beautiful day, so towards the end of the day I decided to try to do a quick upper body workout at home.  So I turned on some music, opened the sliding door, and went at it.

It was short lived and not very successful.  But, it was better than nothing.

I started with push ups (as always), then did bicep curls, overhead presses, triceps kickbacks, lateral raises (front and side), chest presses on the stability ball, concentration curls, and then another triceps exercise lying on the floor (just looked it up, it's called the Skull Crusher, here's a picture, aptly named especially when the weight is heavy).

Then I got bored and lost all motivation, plus my sister called (she's in Miami), which was a great distraction. 

So my home workout wasn't the best, but then again, it did cause me to sweat more than just sitting on the couch, which was the alternative.

Next up I am hoping to buy a DVD or two that might get me to actually work hard at home.  I'm thinking Jillian or Jackie.  Any suggestions?


Monday, September 6, 2010

Knee jerk reaction

I realized I never followed up on my knee and my appointment with the orthopedist.  Not that I think you've all been waiting with bated breath, but I figured I should follow through.

So the doc said he thinks it might be my medial meniscus.  Which is way better than it being one of the ligaments.  He did find it strange that it would start bothering me without any sort of injury to spark it.  He said that if I were older and not in shape it would be possible that it would have just been worn down over time, but since I'm not he wasn't so sure what may have caused the issue.  Perhaps I had an injury but didn't register it as an injury.  Just a thought.

So the next step is an MRI, but since my insurance isn't the best, we're taking a conservative approach and first doing Aleve/ice every day.  I'll go back in a bit under a month and if there's been no improvement we'll move forward with an MRI.  So more to come.  No difference yet, but it's early.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here goes nothing

This post isn't about being Fit (or eating), but I figured I'd write it anyway (and on a Sunday).

Yesterday I did something exciting....drum roll....I signed up for an online dating site.  A paid site.  I'm not going to say which one because that's not important.  But it is official, I'm on the hunt. Ha ha.

I've dilly dallied with the free sites and have been less than impressed so I figured it might be time to try something new.

My parents actually bought me the membership (don't laugh too hard).  Apparently they'd really like me to meet someone.  Which I think is quite sweet.

So in honor of my (semi) full disclosure, I figured that if any dates should come out of this I might do a little write up on here afterwards.  I'm thinking it might be fun and mindless stuff to read.  Agree?

I've been a big proponent of online dating since I was in college, which was way before the whole movement took off.  I know quite a few people who have married people they've met online so I know it's possible. 

So once again, here goes nothing.  :)

Friday, September 3, 2010


The September issue of Fitness Magazine had a great article entitled Flex Time.  This article included what they called the Gumby Scale of Great Flexibility.

It was a great article and included 7 ways to test your flexibility, and then exercises to improve flexibility in the needed areas.  It was easy to try and a bit eye opening.

I consider myself somewhat flexible, obviously more so in some areas than in others.  After taking this "test" I learned that I need to work on stretching my obliques.  Who knew?  I never even really thought of them as a body part to stretch, period.

I managed to find a link to the same information on fitness website, so here it is.  Give it a try, have fun with it.  Let me know how it goes.

Follow Up

My post yesterday got some interesting reactions and since it's been on my mind I figured I'd write a quick follow up regarding a couple of the points.

I realized that while the word "nurturing" wouldn't be used to describe me, the words "caring" and "helpful" would be.  Case in point, someone desperately needed a spin sub today at 9a, I was already teaching at 6a so I didn't really want to do it, but she was in need, so I caved.  I do go out of my way to be helpful to those I care about.  But if you come to me whining about having a cold, all you'll get from me is a feel better and maybe some Advil. :)

Which brings me to another thing, which I think most people would agree with.

I don't like complainers
Don't just complain and wonder why things don't change, make those changes happen.  If you're sick, rest up and take meds.  If you're unhappy, take steps to do things that make you happy.  In case you're wondering, I do practice what I preach.
Thankfully I don't encounter complainers too often. :)

And the kids thing...
I'm not some evil monster who wishes bad things on children.  Hardly that.  If you've met me you know that I am in fact a giant child so there's definitely some irony in my discomfort around kids.
I can and will happily be around a friend's children, I'm just in no rush to get one of my own.

Better?  Do I seem like less of a monster?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Unapologetically, this is me

Wow, there are soooooo many blogs out there, I don't know how people have the time to keep up with all of them.  Now this comment is coming from someone without a job, which means I have a lot of free time.  Yet even I can't dedicate all the time needed to really go through all the great/fun blogs out there.

But in my morning skimming session, I noticed a common theme of "owning up" and "accountability", so I figured I'd jump on that bandwagon and share some things about me.

I really really want a job but a small part of me doesn't mind being unemployed
I know this sounds bad.  Believe me, the desire for a job wins out.  But part of me is scared.  I've had plenty of jobs that I've hated.  Jobs that have made me cry.  And honestly, I'm nervous that I'll be so anxious to get a job that I'll end up taking the wrong job.  And yes, I'll have a salary again, but I might be unhappy.  On the flip side, I do recognize that a job doesn't define anyone so I do know that even if I'm unhappy, I can get through it.  I think it's just the unknown and breaking what has now been a 16 month habit.

I love to eat
I've come to accept that I will never be what anyone would call skinny.  But I'm OK with that.  I probably could attain it but I'd have to change my eating habits and limit myself in ways that might make me unhappy.

I feel guilty when I eat too much or don't get to the gym
I'm working on this one.  Not so much changing the habits but rather just working on not feeling guilty, being more accepting of my shortcomings.

I'm not fast, nor am I truly a runner
To me, running was always the definition of fitness.  And for years and years I couldn't do it.  I can do it now, but I've had to come to terms with the fact that I will never be fast.  I know anyone can "learn" to run, but I honestly don't think my body was built for running.  I have endurance, but I will never have speed, and that's OK.  I will never win a race, but I will hopefully finish. (although I'd have to actually run a race to know for sure)

I dream of having a salary again...and a bike
Living at near poverty levels is humbling, as I'm sure you can imagine.  I think about how exciting it will be to finally be able to spend money on non-essential items.  Like a bike.  I really want a road bike because I think that I have potential in that area.  I want to ride in races and not just finish.  I'm not a true runner, but I think that I could be a cyclist.

If I had to choose between the two, I'd always choose dessert over a drink
I love sweets.  Unfortunately my body doesn't like excess sugar, but I enjoy it so much that sometimes it's worth the splurge as well as the not-so-great feeling afterwards.  Drinking on the other hand, I can take or leave.  I never drink alone.  I will admit that I'll go out on occasion and DRINK.  I will drink to get drunk.  I know that sounds bad, but it's true.  I do appreciate the occasional glass of wine, but unless I'm really craving it, I'll usually pass it up.

I'm not particularly nurturing
Don't get me wrong, if someone close to me is sick or injured, I will help them and take care of them to the best of my ability.  I'm not heartless.  I'm just not overly nurturing.  I don't have that motherly instinct to take care of people.  Which brings me to the next topic...

I don't like kids
I know I'm not alone on this one, although sometimes it feels as if I am.  Being 31 and single I'm constantly surrounded by couple friends having children.  And while I'm happy for them, I just don't get it.  Having a child (or even being around children) has zero appeal to me.  I do admit that this feeling may be subject to change (when I meet an amazing man perhaps), but for now, it is what it is and it truly is who I am.

So, ending with the doozy that might make people roll their eyes is my style.  I am most of the time unapologetic for who I am.  I have my quirks, my weird feelings about things, but they are what make me me and I'd never push them or inflict them on others.

Anything you want to share?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday's recap of Tuesday

Happy hump day!

This post is obviously a bit late.  My energy level today (when I wasn't teaching) was practically negative.  I spent a lot of the day lying on the couch and in pain (more on that later).

Yankees game was last night and it rocked my socks!  My sister and I acted like we had never before been out in public.  We were so excited by the seats and all they had to offer.  Here are some pics.

First we started with dinner in the Legends Club.  Sam from Top Chef was the guest chef.  I LOVE him.  He was awesome (and quite easy on the eyes) and took a pic with me and my sis.
The view from our seats.
A nice shot of one of the home runs.
My sis and I by the dugout after the game.
The night was great fun!  All the food and non-alcoholic drinks were included, so needless to say, we chowed.  Plus, the Yanks won, always a bonus!

So the pain...I'm not sure exactly what happened but I seem to have injured myself during my softball game.  Seems like maybe I pulled one of the muscles by my ribs.  So breathing hurts and coughing is unthinkable.  It's kind of odd because it's onset was delayed, but I'm sure it will pass.

Both classes were great today, which I needed since my energy level was a bit low due to the pain factor and the extreme heat.

Off to veg on the couch, more to come tomorrow!