flexagon: (Default)
Tuesday: I went to my first ashtanga class in a long time (it was a 2nd series one) and it was really great. I got all sweaty and got my lotus pose (this only happens when I'm really warmed up), but at the same time it didn't kick my ass nearly as much as ashtanga used to. I may keep going to this one since it seems to feel so good, and make Monday my rest day. Decisions.

Wednesday: nothing because the Red Line had some kind of emergency and I couldn't get to acroyoga. Dreadful!

Thursday: 25 pullups at work with [livejournal.com profile] rifmeister in the afternoon, and then went to acrobalance where two things went very strangely indeed. First, there were 29(!) students in the class -- the previous max was 15 and that was considered a crazy influx of people in its day. It was temporary too. Poor Z-dawg hardly knew what to do with such a giant group tonight, and the floor was crowded. That said, the other weird thing was that I totally did a back walkover for the first time in weeks, and then another one and then another one. Then I went off into corners to obsess/practice until I was so tired I started dropping myself on my head and had to stop... I probably did 15 of them tonight all told. It felt AMAZING. It's the first time I ever had them consistently enough that I could actually practice the move on my own, repeatedly. After the first one they didn't even overstretch my rib muscles... they felt good. :-) I am totally in love and want to do about eleventy trillion of them tomorrow instead of going to work.
flexagon: (Default)
Are you tired of the Tuesday "oh my god, I did X tonight"? That's unfortunate if so, because oh my god, you guys, I did my first back walkover tonight! Nobody was spotting me, there was nothing I can use to tell myself I only almost did it.

I'm sure it looked funny, and it stretched my intercostal rib muscles like crazy. Later in the night I did a second one that I think probably looked less funny. So, now I've done two. :)

Didn't get to practice back tucks at all, so there was no building on last week's little triumph, but that's all right. Acrolife is good. Walkovers are something I've been close to for a long time, so I know that tonight wasn't a fluke, and I don't need a springy floor for them either; I'll be able to practice them on grass and other surfaces like that.

As an aside, I've lost the last two entire workdays to Frustrating Technical Troubles, and I kind of am mentally blocking out the fact that I have to go to Montana in two days, and our new kitty doesn't like any of us yet. Bright side! Walkovers! Okay.
flexagon: (Default)
I saw a middle-aged woman on the train this morning whose bag said:

Do yoga. Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

I used the world's most popular search engine to see what the hell was up with this mangled motto. Turns out it's a small piece of lululemon's ridiculous manifesto, which is why yoga was mentioned, and I'm not the first to skewer it. Really though, "Children are the orgasm of life"? Well, could be, could be... my understanding is that when you're actually dealing with them you're all jittery, and once it's over you feel quite relaxed and remember the whole thing as being wonderful. There are similarities. I admit, though, I have no idea what this has to do with yoga.

* * *

I wrote that this morning. Tonight, I finally had the good workout I've been waiting to have for about the last two weeks. I could tell you all about my discouragement with gymnastics, and how much I wish it emphasized mindfulness the way yoga does, and how 2 weeks ago I was really thinking about quitting (and about crying in class, which I didn't do... quite), but that would be boring. Anyway, tonight I decided I didn't give a shit, and had more consistent kickups to handstand than I think I've ever had before. I even (almost) did a 180-degree pirouette, and had a couple of reasonable handstands that I straddled up to and held briefly. Go figure.

Anyway, I'm glad I went instead of doing the other thing I was tempted to do and staying horribly late at work. (My plan is to go in horribly early, instead. I am so overwhelmed). Because the universe likes to laugh at me, I got email from 23andme.com tonight saying my genetic profile is ready to look at. Very funny. :P I'm not remotely ready to look at it, not until I'm a lot more rested.
flexagon: (Default)
Edit: I'm glad nobody commented on this yet, because I forgot what I most meant to say: what I hate about gymnastics is the incessant thudding and pounding. Probably half of this is because I'm bad at working with velocity and momentum, but the other half is that I really don't like the shock waves rippling through my skeleton. It's not that I'm getting old either - I've always preferred for my exercise to not hurt me on a regular basis. I'm weird that way.

Gymnastics tonight: front handsprings down a wedge ("the cheese"), and working on tick-tocks. Mostly, that meant I was falling from a handstand to a bridge but with my feet landing on panel mats, then awkwardly walking it in and trying to kick back over my hands -- like the end of a back walkover. I got all the way down to 2 mats thick, which is a lot better than ever before -- and rather close to zero -- and if I'm motivated, this is also something I could do at the regular gym with the help of an aerobics step. I stopped doing these last week after feeling a most fascinating stretchy/crackly feeling through my sternum and front ribs, but everything seems all right again now. Must have been something loosening up.

There is now a place I can get to when I stand on my hands -- er, which is to say I now sense "on my hands" as being a place I can be, that has area, rather than just a point I pass through on my way over. When I'm kicking or pushing up, what I'm thinking these days is put yourself there!. According to the teacher, who I'll call Moses, I should be thinking something more like squeeze your butt to avoid piking!, but hey, one thing at a time.

I walked for about five miles in the lovely temperate air yesterday. Today I made a new friend. Tomorrow?
flexagon: (Default)
Last night, studying NASM stuff with my friend Pole Dancer, I was nattering on about something, maybe the heartbeat: the atria contract and then the ventricles (based on the same nerve signal, but the AV node slows it down en route), and thus we get the classic two-beat lub-dub that you hear when you press your ear to someone's chest. She said "You make this stuff all so interesting!" I said "It is interesting and cool... isn't it? All this stuff is real, it's about what's inside us all the time!" And she said "It's exciting and interesting when you teach it. Have you ever thought about being a teacher? You'd be a great teacher."

I think she thinks a bunch of things about me that I think about Dan the Cat. Without trying to duck the compliment, it's kind of scary to realize it's all relative. I feel a certain weight of responsibility -- which I guess is the whole point of studying with someone else. I don't necessarily mind, because if I'm studying while thinking how to not only understand but teach the material, I'll learn that much better and I know it.

I hope I have mentioned that working on handstands every day is the bomb. I'm used to extremely slow progress, but, well, not lately. Today (when I took my daily PT-stretch-and-handstand break) I held a freestanding handstand and counted to 20; it probably was not 20 seconds but I bet it was a record. Tonight at gymnastics I also measured that mat I straddled up to last week: seven inches thick, not four or five. Tonight no such heroism was on display: I just straddled up normally in front of a crash pad, again and again and again. Once or twice I caught my balance for a few seconds, but I made it up, I don't know. Definitely over 20 times. I still seem to lose the feel of straddle-ups in between sessions, but by the end of a session it feels like I hardly need to jump. And every time the neural pathways get reinforced. You know what I really like? The word accretion. Yep, and tamales and dodecahedrons. :)
flexagon: (Default)
I have to hand it to gymnastics, which is running two nights a week now: it's capable of training me plenty hard without bothering my hamstring. I've been doing handstands every day at work, and when I mentioned that the teacher said he could tell I'd been working on them -- which almost has to be a lie, but a kind one. Anyway, I did handsprings in the harness on the trampoline again, then tried to take the front handspring over to the tumble track, where it promptly evaporated. Le sigh. Maybe that is what Wednesday is for; today is definitely a rest day. A rest, go to PT and have a date with my bug day.

I'm done reading Code now, and the book club at work is beginning to move into the book we're really covering. Near the end, Code was covering binary-coded decimal numbers, which meant talking first about binary numbers that fall between integers. These work about the way you might imagine -- the numbers after the dot represent negative powers of 2 instead of negative powers of 10. So, 1.1 in binary is 1.5 in decimal; 0.11 is 0.75 in decimal, and so forth.

That dot is referred to as a binary point. And I honestly thought it was a typo. What? There's nothing inherently base-10 about the term decimal point, I thought. Hello, does the "dec" in "decimal" mean nothing to you?

The Numerical Relations office is probably going to send me off to sensitivity training if they ever get wind of this.
flexagon: (Default)
This evening I went to gymnastics, and they strapped me into a harness on the trampoline to hold up part of my weight, and I did front and back handsprings (front ones without a spot, even) and it was grand. More, please!
flexagon: (Default)
Gymnastics was great last night. I brought a... friend? A weak social connection?... well, I brought a person, and she and I worked on handstands the whole time after class broke out into individual work. I taught her how to roll out of one, and for the first time ever, I straddled up a few times without rocking back strongly first to build some momentum. I also worked with Noah again on cartwheeling out of a handstand -- it's getting a little more intuitive. I still don't know how long it will take until I can do that from a real, accidental overbalance, but soon I'll probably start trying.

What Noah has to say about handstands is this: Think about how a little kid learns to walk. You have to learn handstands like that. Try them every day, preferably more than once per day, and it doesn't matter if you have to walk around a bit, or break form, or fall. It doesn't matter what you do. That's how the body learns, just slowly building up intuition and zeroing in on those balance points. I don't agree that the best way to learn is to do a bunch of perfect handstands with a spot -- it's better to have to fight for it and learn how to get there.

I feel pretty damn tired today. It bugs me that I'm doing more and more things that would really seem to warrant a day off afterward, but I am. Maybe I should drop to working out 5x/week. Or maybe it could be argued that skating at lunch on Tuesday really wasn't so kosher since that was supposed to be my day off. How do you all decide when to rest?
flexagon: (Default)
Class went so fast tonight. This time I decided I did want to work on back handsprings, basically because everyone in my little group now seems to be way better than I am at them. Starting on the slanted-up end of a trampoline track, I now can at least go over my hands (sometimes falling to one elbow) but I'm always landing twisted and I'm not sure why. Hmph. I did some straddle-ups too, but mostly not until I was tired, so I lacked last week's exquisite sense of focus... and I totally forgot to work on that straddle-up and roll drill.

Mostly, I cannot believe the class is half over. And I wish I were still working out. At the same time I'm glad tomorrow's my rest day. I make no sense.
flexagon: (Default)
2 minutes of jumping jacks = my calves are going to be nonfunctional tomorrow.

10 pushups, then 10 seconds in down dog, then 9 pushups, then 10 seconds in down dog, then 8 pushups... = OH MY GOD. I was still going, very slowly and on my knees, when they told everyone to stop, but my pecs may be nonfunctional tomorrow too.

Back handspring drills on the trampoline track just made me pissy. I wasn't ready for them, and anyway, I don't care about back handsprings. Why they're trying to teach them to me is a mystery... certainly not based on my saying I wanted to learn the stupid things. Also, I react badly to being told to hit the mat harder ("Harder! Harder!"). Ugh, shades of tae kwon do. I was beginning to think things like waste of a nice Monday night and maybe I'll just stop wasting my time here.

So, I wandered away to where the other teacher was working with our token dorky 13-year-old on handstands. There, where I could fall onto an air mattress if I went over, I worked on straddle-ups to handstand and... they clicked. It was not very dramatic. I did one and then another and then, was that five in a row? six? what's happening!? seven! I got too into counting and messed up the eighth. The other teacher (who is very tall, black and chill) noticed me after a while and we talked about them a bit. Also about tuck-ups (I did one) and pike-ups, and a drill involving alternating straddle-ups and forward rolls. Now that they have clicked, assuming the click sticks, I can work on that next time. :)

When they work, they feel more like "rock and press" than they do like jumping much.
flexagon: (Default)
This gymnastics class was different from the first one in a lot of ways. More people showed up this time, and the initial part of the class (aside from the initial laps around the track) was completely different. We had to do ab stuff, and some leg-conditioning stuff, which were pretty much impossible for me after doing squats on Sunday, and after that they set up some different practice stations and it was kind of a free-for-all. Somewhat disappointing -- if we did the same things every week, I could theoretically observe myself getting better at them over time.

Cool moments: I did a back walkover (the kicking over part) all by myself on a foam wedge, and also a back handspring with a spot. My cartwheels/roundoffs were better too.

After last week strained my right forearm I've gone back to pretty religiously doing my forearm routine in the morning. It takes a little time, but I'd forgotten how good it feels. And this week my forearms seem okay -- go figure!
flexagon: (Default)
The adult gymnastics class was partially controlled chaos. Read more... )

A nice thing happened at work that I thought I'd mention. At about 4PM another group checked in something that broke our build. I calmly went, talked to the head of that group, figured out their intentions in doing the checkin, stated that our group should have been informed before people did things like that, came up with a plan, went and explained the situation (and my plan) to my boss, got the plan approved, got people working on it and sent out email. Afterward I realized that I hadn't even really broken a sweat... I just handled it. Nice job, flexy.

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