Friday, December 11, 2009


My plan was to do kickboxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rough week this week.
Tuesday was a horrible day and I just slacked off and didn't go. Then yesterday (which was Thursday) I went to the gym and they had changed the schedule so instead of kickboxing it was Zumba. Why is Zumba following me around? I really don't appreciate being stalked like this. Zumba, I told you, you're just not my type. Thanks but I'm just not interested. Okay then, Bu-Bye!

I was really quite irritated by the change. I had a busy afternoon. Here's what I did.

- got off work, went straight to the grocery store to buy some last minute stuff I needed for my weekend trip
- went to the bank to get cash for my weekend trip
- got home and made dinner, made cupcakes, did laundry, packed my bag, did the dishes, blogged, tracked calories for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
- drove all the way to the gym (not my normal a gym that's further away and a pain in the ass to get to and one that I just don't like going to anyway)

I planned everything around going to that kickboxing class and went way out of my way to get there while squeezing all that shit in so I could still get home and get to bed at a decent time because I was getting up earlier this morning to go to the gym. I was very irritated when I got there and there was no kickboxing class. Way to warn people ahead of time that you're changing the schedule you LA Fitness buggers.

Instead of the stupid class, I just hopped on an elliptical and did some good cardio with that. Oh well I guess, I really hard. Bastards.

So, next's my plan. I'll go to the kickboxing class on Tuesday and there's also one on Saturday mornings so I'll do that one. Depending on how I'm feeling after the weekend, I might do the Monday night class too. We shall see.

Have a good weekend.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Okay, so I didn't get to the second kickboxing class this last week. BUT, I did go to a Zumba class. I've heard about Zumba a few times and read about it in a couple blogs out there but never saw or tried a class myself. I noticed a class added to the schedule at my gym this week so made plans to try it on Friday.

When it got to Friday, I did not want to go. I was just tired. My body just felt totally spent. But, I didn't do the second kickboxing class and I said I would do Zumba anyway. So I went. I was really proud of myself for doing it. But I'm just not impressed with it.

I wear a heart rate monitor when I'm working out so I can estimate how many calories I'm burning more accurately than the stupid machines show. I put my HRM on and the final number was not impressive. I had an average HR of 105 for one hour. Maybe that's fine for some people but for me...not so much. My fat burning zone is at 140 which is already considered low intensity. 105 is barely exercise. I think I get a better "workout" vacuuming my house.

I will say this though, I don't think I'm big on the dance exercise classes. I tried a hip hop class a couple weeks ago and hated it. Again, not a good work out. And I just don't appreciate anything from the hip hop lifestyle. I hate the music. I hate the clothes. I hate the language. I hate the attitude. I just hate it. I tried to be open minded about the hip hop class but I thought it was just a joke. But I tried. I was actually excited for the Zumba though because I've heard great things about it.

The teacher was great. I walked in and saw her standing at the front of the class and didn't realize she was the instructor until she started greeting people as they entered the room. I would guess that she is in her early 40s. She is very obviously obese too. Okay, I'll admit it. I judged. First thought in my head was "how in the hell are YOU gonna help ME lose weight?". I know, I know. I'm an asshole sometimes. We can't control our thoughts but we can choose what to do or not do with them. So, I noticed the thought and responded to myself by rolling my eyes and added an appropriate statement I think: "shut up, you don't know what you're talking about". I sure told me. :)

She started the class by just jumping right into it. It's very specifically choreographed moves to predetermined songs. There seems to be about 4 or 5 moves for each song that you do over and over and over. Then the next song comes on and there are a different set of moves. Half way through the class, the instructor interjects a little tidbit. She shared that she had as of that day lost 100 lbs doing Zumba over the past year. She brought a picture to show everyone too. Very inspiring for anyone.

All in all, I was glad I went but I doubt I'll go again. I just enjoy much higher intensity stuff. I'm down for the kickboxing or the Punk Rope any day. The dance stuff, not so much.

Here, check out some Zumba:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kickboxing Baby


Who knew?

Totally high energy, fun, and no props needed. I like a class that doesn't use props. It doesn't happen often, but when it does and it's good, it's really good.

I got to the gym at 6:45pm last night, class was set to start at 7. There were already a couple people there waiting and stretching. I don't know why but when people show up early to stretch in every which way, it always weirds me out. I know stretching is a good thing and everyone should do it but something about it just weirds me out. Especially when it's the one guy in the class. You know the guy. Wearing spandex bicycle shorts and a microfiber sleeveless top with the towel-like head band to soak up all the sweat to be had in the near future. The running in place and stretching his quads guy. The one who starts sweating if he turns his head too fast. Oh, and don't forget the tuft of fuzz peaking out the top of his microfiber sleeveless shirt, in the back. Ewwww!

Some of the beautiful Bellevue people started filtering in as the time got closer to 7. I love the beautiful Bellevue teenagers. They're always fun to watch. They always have the new fitness clothes and spend all their time primping before a class. Pacing back and forth in front of the mirror as if they are watching someone beautiful from a distance, but oh, it's themselves. Yes sweet little insecure young thing, it's you. Good job.

So the class started with some warm up stuff and the instructor went through the basic movements and a brief introduction about what to expect in this class. I thought that was nice, especially for me, one who has never done a kickboxing class before. Then she hopped right into it. Literally, we started bouncing around and air jump-roping and there were some jumping-jacks too. Jab, cross, upper cut, kick. Jab, cross, upper cut, kick. Shuffle forward as if to attach your opponent then retreat with your guard up. Front kick, side kick, back kick, side kick, squat, squat, squat. Shuffle side, shuffle side, kick, kick, kick. You get the idea right?

I freakin' loved it. Does that make me a sick person? I don't care! I loved it! It really made me realize how far I've come in just a couple short months. The class was packed with all these thin little girls, a couple guys, and 3 bigger girls (including me). You'd think that the thin little cute things would be able to get through the class with no problem. Not so. There were a couple really fit people in there but mostly, they were out of breath and ready to quit after about 15 mins. I didn't stop for a min. Yay me! I can't wait for my next class on Thursday. It's going to be a different instructor so I'll get to see how the class might differ by who's teaching it.

I'm not jumping off any bridges here but I did have a thought. Maybe I should go check out a real kickboxing gym for a couple real kickboxing lessons. Nothing wrong with the aerobics versions at all. Love them so far. Love! But, last night's class got me wondering what the real thing is like. Oh boy. I might just have to do it.

Also, I know, I've been light on the pics of my activities. I would love to provide pics of all the crap I'm doing. I'm having a bit of a problem with it though. I do most of it by myself and it's a little difficult to take my own picture jumping rope while I'm jumping rope. Know what I mean? I'm going to try to get my work out buddy and/or hubby to join me and snap a few so I can share with you all the humiliation I endure. :)

Do you have any experience with kickboxing? The real thing or the aerobics version? What? How do you like it? How do you not like it?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kick Your Ass...Biatch

Today's the day. My first kickboxing class. I was totally planning to wait for any posting until after I take the damn class but I just can't hold it in. I'm so excited. I could really use kicking someone's ass for sure.

Let's see if I can do this diplomatically. Um....people suck. No. Damn! Um...people piss me off? Um...No, I can't do it. For the most part, people are selfish assholes with one thing on their minds...themselves. I try to believe in the good in people, I really really do. And I'm usually pretty good about it most days.

I'm not well equipped with infinite patience though. I have zero patience for people who talk the talk but when rubber hits the road, they just can't quite pull their head out of their ass to make shit happen. If you can't (or won't is usually more like it in most cases) take some serious action and own your choices then shut the fuck up.

I'm starting to get really tired of people talking a good game with absolutely no balls to do the walking. If your feelings are hurt, speak the fuck up, don't pout about it. If you're mad, be mad. If you're slacking, just admit it. If you aren't willing to do what you need to do to make things happen, stop saying that you are. You are not a victim. No one is. Damn people. Whining selfish people. Get over yourself and get out of my way. If you're not willing to help yourself, no one else can help you either.

Sorry, just needed to vent a little. No, this is not directed at any one in particular so don't go getting all sensitive thinking that I'm being passive aggressive. That's not my style. I'm just aggressive. If you pissed me off, chances are that you know it well already. And if you are one of the lucky few, your face is going to be on that punching bag tonight. Oh ya. I'm kicking your ass all over the gym. Actually though, I'll be using that fuel to fire up my ass for the kicking. Thanks for that by the way. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking Forward to a KickAss December

I'm a bad little active blogger. I know I totally didn't do my job in November for this blog. I did jump rope a couple times and I was definitely very active all month. I actually lost a couple pounds through it all...even with the Thanksgiving holiday feast. I figure, I owe it to myself to breathe some new life and energy back into this here little active blog. I'm going to do that for the lovely month marking the end of the year. End it with a POW, BANG, POP, KICK!

DECEMBER is going to be one kickass month. Here's the plan.

KickBoxing! Oh ya baby. I'm gonna kick kick kick my way to a tighter, firmer, lovelier ass all month.

This is the schedule of classes available every week:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 7-8pm
Saturday 9:45am

I'm committing to Tuesdays and Thursdays every week this month. The only week I can't do it is the week of Christmas because I'll be playing nursemaid to my sister who will be having a nasty surgery that week and she lives out in the middle of nowhere. Since I probably won't be able to get to the gym at all that week, I will bring my jump rope with me and do that every day I'm with her. I'll think about going for a run a couple times too if I'm able to get out for a little while. Oh, maybe I'll dig out my good ole fashioned work out videos and bring some Billy Blanks with me. That'll give sis and her family a good laugh for sure. You see what I'm willing to endure for this active lifestyle thing? You see? It's all good.

Bye Bye November, Helloooooo December.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I'm just going to take a moment to whine about my current situation here.

I did the 6 hour jump rope class and had no problems, until after it was all over. Then I go to the gym and now I have a problem. The other day, I got on the elliptical machine like I always do. I turned on some music and started doing my thing. My heart rate was getting going but I just wasn't feeling satisfied. I felt the need to just kick someone's ass so I decided it should be my own. So, I hopped off the elliptical and hopped on the treadmill.

I typically grab a treadmill for some speed walking and perhaps a few 2min intervals of jogging at a brisk pace. I don't do it all the time but maybe once or twice a week. Well, earlier this week, my shins started hurting. I don't know if maybe they're just still sore from the crazy jump rope episode or if I did something to them on the treadmill. I did some jumping rope today at the gym and again, my shins are hurting me.

Then work out buddy and I attended a hip-hop dance class at the gym just moments ago and woo doggy are my shins a barkin'. What did I do to myself? What happened? Ugh.

I don't want to have an injury. I don't want to have anything get in the way. I'm doing so well and seeing results and feeling great. I don't want anything to come close to even having the potential to side track me or slow me down. Damn it!

Okay, that was my whining. How was I?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jump Rope Ouch

Sorry for the delay in getting going on the month for Jump Rope. On Sunday, November 1st, I attended a workshop for a kick ass jump rope exercise class and it took almost an entire week to recover from the damage done to my calves.

So here's how it went.

10:00am - I arrived at the YMCA, found the room, shook hands, signed in, and did all the friendly introduction stuff. There were probably 15 people there, 3 of which were men.

10:30am - The demo class started. Yeehaw! Seeing that it was the day after Halloween, it wouldn't have been right to ignore the obvious theme opportunities here. Class started with a little warm up, just to get the muscles woken up and informed that they were about to have their little asses kicked something serious.

10:40am - This is a guestimation of course, I was far too busy to stare at the clock to know for sure. Time to start jumping over those ropes people. Just a basic little hop, no big deal. Hold it for about 2 mins. Keep with it, don't quit on me, it's just 2 mins. Have any of you jumped rope for 2 mins without stopping..ever? Give it a try and tell me how you feel.

10:43am - Time for some interval switcharoo stuff now. How about a few squats and various other calisthenics.

10:46am - Pick up your ropes and starta jumpin'. This time, on every verse of the Rob Zombie, I want you to switch it up. Maybe start with a basic jump, then switch to some cross overs, how about changing direction and swing the rope backwards, and continue that through the entire song. Nice job.

10:50am - Ready for your first relay race? No? Too bad...let's do it. Since it's Halloween and all, how about we use pumpkins. You know, the plastic kind with the black handle that you used when you were a kid for trick or treating? Ya, those ones. Run half way across the gym, place your pumpkin on the line, run the rest of the way, return to pick up your pumpkin and hand it to the next racer. Run run run. 3 mins. Nice.

10:53am - You guessed it, time to jump rope again. This time, we're going see how many double-unders we can do. Oh ya, you know what I'm talking about. Where you swing the rope twice under one jump. That'll get the heart rate up there if you haven't managed to get it working so far. Again, keep up for the entire song.

10:56am - Game time. Oh boy, time to rest? Not so fast. Game time in Punk Rope means you're going to be moving around at a vigorous pace for no less than the duration of the next song. This game is called witches brew. Fun game. And very very tiring. You wanna know how to play the game? Guess you'll have to go to a class in your area around Halloween to find out. :) Neener Neener.

11:00am - Jump jump jump that rope. This time, we're going see how fast we can jump to the fastest song in music history. Can you make your feet keep up with the nasty fast beat? Oh, and don't forget that you get to keep it up for the entire song. Oy!

11:04am - Another relay race? Na. I'll be nice and give you some calisthenics to do instead. Hows about a few push ups, squats, and so on. Ya. That'll do it.

11:07am - Freestyle jump rope now. Do whatever you want for the duration of the song. Fun.

11:10am - Another game. This time, it's ZOMBIE TAG while skipping of course, because that's what zombies do, they skip. :) So much fun. I feel like a kid again. I very very tired kid.

11:14am - More jump rope. Maybe we can play double-dutch or egg-beater now. How about jump rope baseball? Whatever works. Just jump rope.

11:17am - Time for a team exercise. This is fun, we can get creative. Yay!

11:20am - Okay, with 10 mins left of class, perhaps we should start to cool down a little. Do some upper body work, get that heart rate to slow down, do some good stretching, maybe a bit of abs. That should do it.

Congrats! You made it, if you're lucky. :)

Okay, so that was the first hour of the workshop. Now add 5 hours to that. That was pretty much my day, give or take.

My calf muscles were screaming at me all week. I think the real theme of the Halloween class followed me home because I was walking like Frankenstein until Friday.

The best thing about it is...I'm now one of the lucky few allowed to teach this class. So, I get to do it over and over and over to lots of other people. Yay! Now I need to work out the details and figure out when, where, who, and how much. Damn details.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Kick Off - Jumping Rope

People! I'm soooo disappointed. I only got two votes for what I should do with myself for the month of November. Two votes? That's it? Now I really feel like I'm just talking to myself. I seriously need more followers to this damn blog. Maybe I need to make it a bit more interesting? How? What do you want to see? What do you want to read? Do you want to see videos of me hurting myself doing whatever it is that I do? Do you want me to take pictures of funny things and make fun of them? Do you want me to get all deep and spiritual with you? Okay, that one isn't going to happen. Sorry. Well maybe a little but that stuff wears me out. I don't have enough energy to be spiritual all the time.

The two votes were for Pilates and Yoga. I have to say that with two puny little votes, I'm just going to throw them out and not even consider they happened at all. I would love to have some group participation here. Hows about I just go with what I've been up to? You like that idea? Well, do you? Fine then, don't answer me. Rude.

I must admit that I think I chose the wrong activity for October. Although I did make it out on the course a couple times, it was hard to do it enough to make it a topic for the month because the weather was just horrible. Whoda thunk it possible in the great Northwest?

Here's what I'm up to lately...PUNK ROPE. I love Punk Rope. I've mentioned it a couple times already so you should view those posts for a bit of back story if you're interested. Here they are:
Punk Rope Baby
Weigh in day #3
Oh Sooooo Tired

Yesterday, I spent 7 hours at a Punk Rope workshop where I became a certified Punk Rope Instructor. Yes boys and girls, it's true. I am allowed to teach the greatest fitness craze ever to grace this planet. Now, I need to figure out where I will be teaching it, who I will be teaching it to, how much I'm going to make people pay me for it, how I want to get the word out, and all those little details.

I've also decided something else that may shock and surprise you. I am going to become a certified personal trainer. I've already read a million health and fitness books and looooove learning new things so why not put that together and have another tool to add to my tool belt. I am in no way considering leaving my day job. I went to college to have this cushy day job and won't give it up for anything but I am intending to add this little fitness endeavor to my after work hobbies and interests. And if it brings in a bit of extra income...yay for me.

Right now, because I don't have a solid plan for exactly how I will bring Punk Rope to the Seattle metro area I'm not going to officially state it as my activity for the month. But, I will say that I plan to sit down and make a solid plan for exactly how I will do that and then take the actions necessary to get it up and running as soon as possible. In the meantime, I'll be jumping rope all month. Practice, practice, practice. I can easily do it at home if I want or at the gym or wherever so it'll be easy to fit into my daily life no matter where I am. And, I need to seriously get my calfs better conditioned because 6 hours of rope jumping yesterday tore my shit up.

  1. Any ideas for what you would like to see new in the blog, please let me know...seriously. I do this for me yes it's true but I do still want support and encouragement from followers and so far, I'm feeling kinda lonely here.
  2. Any ideas for where you would like to see Punk Rope, please let me know.

If you don't like commenting for everyone to see, you can always click on my profile and send me an email. I would love it if you did. :)

Happy Monday all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Golf and Stuff

The weather around here has been horrible lately.

Rain rain rain and more rain. Every day, I've had my clubs in my car waiting for an opportunity to head to my favorite course down the street from my house and every day my intensions are shunned by the rain. So instead, I decided to share with you some of golf swag by way of pictoral.

This hat is the best hat ever. It was my father-in-law's. Then he gave it to Hubby. And guess who stole it. Hehehe. ME! But doesn't it look so cute on me?

This one is another newspaper boy style hat but a hip girl version. I've had it forever and wear it on the course in the summer. I have a great kahki skirt and my black/white Nike golf shoes that it looks great with.

This was all the crap I got from the EWGA spring social this year. Don't ya just love show bags? I do.

Some more of my lovely golf hats. The blue on the left with the sticker was one I won at a tournament last year, actually so is the Titleist. Gotta love high handicaps. I got the Canada hat in, hmmmm....where was I? Oh, Canada. Three day weekend fun in Canada which concluded with a rainy round and all I have to show for it is this hat.

When I'm not wearing one of my newspaper boy hats, I'm wearing one of these. Black is my thing, leave it alone.

Gotta love those Mariners. The little thing next to it is a golf ball shaped chapstick container. It was a stocking stuffer last Christmas from my wonderful in-laws.
Close-up. Aint it cute?
Here's another silly stocking stuffer. If you can't tell from the picture, it's a golf club lighter. Don't believe me?

See....I told you!
Now this is the joy of all golf swag joys. Yup, it's a golf themed tea pot. This was another gift from the in-laws. Actually, my mom-in-law made it very clear that it was dad that hunted this beauty down and sent off for it.
And the other side. I don't care what you people think. I love it! I just wish I had the cups to match. :)
A couple golf books for you. This one is cute. It's just got some basic common sense kind of suggestions in it.
As far as I'm concerned, this is the bible of golf books. I struggled so much before reading this book and Ben cleared it all up for me. Thanks Ben, you're the greatest.
And this is a cute book too. Not necessarily going to help anyone with their technique or anything but it's mildly entertaining. It was also a gift.
How about some movies? Golf movies anyone?
Can't beat Tin Cup. Normally I think Kevin Costner is a douche but this role fits him perfectly. You have to love the golf poem. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you have to watch the movie just for the poem.
I love love love this movie. Pre transformers star and he's awesome. The only thing about it that just irritates the crap out of me is his dad's hiddeous French accent. Ew! He makes French sound ugly.
Need I say anything?
Hail the king of all golf movies. Bow to the king!
I found this in a discount bin somewhere obscure, I can't remember where. The story of Bobby Jones. Mildly entertaining but wasn't in the box office for a reason.
Great movie, if you like dramas.
I hope someone is getting to enjoy the fairways and greens because I'm not. :(
Maybe I'll go play in the rain and wind anyway. Hey, it can be fun. Don't forget the flask of Jamison.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Roller Derby Rocks!

I just saw the new movie "Whip It" last night. Love it! How can you go wrong with Drew Barimore and Juliette Lewis.

If you haven't guessed it yet, the movie is about roller derby. It takes place in Austin, TX. Drew is the crazy funny one on one team and Juliette is the superstar cocky roller girl from an opposing team. The movie is kind of a coming of age for a teenage girl with lots of girl on girl rollerskating and fight action. Bad ass!

So anyway, this is not a movie review. I just felt the need to share roller derby as a possibility for one of my activities next year maybe. I already have rollerskating on the list but never even considered turning it into roller fighting. Hell ya! I have some aggression. I'm a mean little shit sometimes. I might be short but I can hold my own with the badest ass girls around. Now if only I could balance on roller skates.

I use to have roller blades and tried them twice I think. My hubby and I took a couple trips around Greenlake in Seattle and it was fun and all...until I fell flat on my ass. You know that fall. When you swear that everyone around could hear your tail bone hit the cement and throw that paralyzing shot up your spine causing everything between your jaw and your toes to tighten and freeze as though you were just electrocuted. Ya, I had a few of those and that was enough for me. Ouch!

Okay, now that I think about it...maybe roller derby isn't for me. I dunno. We'll see. What do you think?

Here's the trailer for the movie:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Punk Rope Baby

I know this month is all about golf but I just stumbled on this.

Who has ever heard of Punk Rope?

It's a first for me.

I was reading Bitch Cakes archived blogs and came across this awesome shit. Check out her awesome blog.

I seriously MUST do this.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Golf, A Game or a Sport?

That's the question.

Depending on who you are and how you think, you could answer either way and probably be right. Don't believe me? Well, let's look at both separately.

What is a game?

Most people look at a game as an activity of some sort that is a fun an enjoyable experience to share with others so something like that anyway...right. Disagree? Comment!

Here is the actual definition of a game:
a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators

Interesting...the definition almost sounds like a sport.

Now, what's a sport?

I would say a sport is something definitely competitive and requires athletic performance. By athletic performance, I'm talking about a level of performance that not everyone can just decide to get off the couch one day and poof they're an athlete. I'm talking about athletic training, endurance, agility, etc.

Let's see what the actual definition of a sport is:
an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Ha ha...even more interesting. Golf is one of the activities actually listed in the definition itself.

I've always leaned more on the side of golf being a game rather than a sport. But....but...I would have to say that it does take an element of physical prowess referred to in the sport definition. And you do see the pros go through some athletic training and injuries and recovery from playing their "game". It's not a clear cut case I don't think.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WTF...Par 3 Biatch?!

So, I played 9 holes at an 18 hole course. Standard 72 par course. I scored a 49 on the front 9. Nice! It felt good too. Let me tell you. The problem is this...I went to a par 3 course a couple days later which are typically 9 holes as well. Hehum...I shot a 46. WHAT!!! A 46? On a par 3 course?

For those of you that aren't so good at math, allow me.

Par 3 course = 3 shots per hole with 9 holes total.... 3 x 9 = 27. To par the course, I would have had to shoot a 27. I shot a 46. That's not so good. Yuck!
Now, if we look at a typical 72 par course and I hit the front 9 holes. Assuming the front and back nine are scored the same... 72/2 = 36. To par the front nine, I would have had to shoot a 36. I shot a 49. Not great for some....but for me it's good.
It was a very disappointing day at the par 3 course to say the least. But, let's stay positive here...

The 18 hole course I played was Foster Golf Links. I did end up playing with my good friend who had never played before. She was soooo nervous going out there. I remember my very first time on the golf course. I was petrified too. Especially on the first tee. They call your name, and usually there are other groups waiting for their turn watching you with all their eyes watching every move. Ew! Shivers down the spine. But...we had all the odds in our favor. We were not paired up with anyone so that helps releave some of those nerves. And, there were no other groups standing by staring us down. Another huge help for the nerves.

First tee: I went first...hooked it. :( I dropped another ball and...hooked it again. Damn it! Perfect way to start off a day of golf. The friend bravely stood up to the tee box, placed her ball neatly on the brush tee, grabbed the driver and swung. Wholy freakin' shit! It went straight...right down the middle. Are you sure you haven't done this before...jerkface? JK. Love you T. :)

Okay so maybe I just needed to get warmed up. Ya, that's it. Warmed up. MmmmHmmmm. We found my balls, turns out they weren't so far gone. I recovered nicely and went on to have a pretty damn good golf experience. Sunk 2, count them...1.....2.....seriously long 1-putts. I didn't take out my measuring tape so I don't know exactly how long but one of them was in the rough grass surrounding the green. Yup....a ways. It was close enough to the green so I just whipped out my putter and went to it....oh my's rolling straight for the hole....oh my... !@# it went in. Or, it almost went in. Well, the stupid flag was still in there so it ended up bouncing off of the flag and resting right by the damn thing. We counted it as going there!
Here are a couple pictures. This is my first timer friend. Looks like she got the hang of it.

Here is some of my handy work. It was actually a good drive. It just took a few minutes to find the tee because it came up with the divot and flew about 15 feet landing upside down.

Here's me and my lovely set up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lovely Golf

My first real golf outing of the year and it was LOVELY. I admit it fully right here and now...I love golf. I love everything about it.
  1. I love being outside on the beautiful courses.
  2. I love the sparrows dive bombing me in the spring.
  3. I love the frosty ground in the early spring and late fall.
  4. I love the sweaty golf in the summer when I get to wear my golf skirts. Yes, I have golf skirts. I love those too, and my golf shoes and gloves and especially my fancy ball marker.
  5. I love the trees changing.
  6. I love the tiny bit of anxiety you get when you step up to the first tee box and are being watched by others standing by waiting for their turn.
  7. I love the flask of Jameson that resides in my golf bag.
  8. I love the psycho golf nazis that feel the need to dictate how everyone else plays their games.
  9. I love that sweet sound you get when you smack the shit out of a ball straight down the fairway.
  10. I love the sound of the ball falling into and circling around the bottom of the cup after a very successful putt.
  11. I love losing balls in the water hazards so I can go hunt for them with my fishing pole.
  12. I love finding other balls that have been long abandoned by their owners.
  13. I love marking my balls before I start. I always write "Golf Happy" on my balls because every time I flub it or top it or whatever and get frustrated, I pick up my ball and see that and somehow it makes me feel better.
  14. I love the mind games I play with myself.
  15. I love the amount of patience and peacefulness I have to harbor to have a successful day of golf.
  16. I love watching others as they golf. The grandfathers and grandkids playing together. The husbands and wives. The lady golfers. The one woman invading in on the boy's golf day. The boy's club with their beers and cigars. The people that have spent way too much money on all their golf stuff so everyone else will think they know what they're doing. The first timers that look around to make sure no one is watching them before they take their shot. I love you all.
  17. I love the sand traps. Yes, you heard me right. I love them. It's good practice and it breaks the monotony of grass, grass, and more grass.
  18. I love the drink cart girls driving around with all their alcohol and snacks for everyone.
  19. I love the course marshalls that wonder around and offer up little tidbits of advice for those they deam worthy.
  20. I love putting practice.
  21. I love waiting around for my name to be called to the first tee box. It's like I'm the chosen one every time. Gotta love that.
  22. I love playing different courses to meet new holes and hazards.
  23. I love playing the same courses so you get to know all their bumps and bruises and stories of past lovers.
  24. I love playing in the rain, hail, frost, wind, sun, and snow. Yes, I've played in all of the above as well as thunder and lightening but I didn't enjoy that one.
  25. I love the sit down with a beer and your golf buddies after a round is over. At that moment, you all realize that you just shared a bonding experience with each other. It's like going to camp or war with someone. You can't help but feel some sort of bond with them after sharing that experience whether good or bad or indifferent.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Driving Range

If you've never been to the driving range before, prepare yourself. If you go regularly, you'll have to think back to when you very first started golfing. I haven't been to the driving range in several months before this adventure. I don't even remember when it was so it was definitely a while ago. Well, after going to the driving range and swinging some clubs for an hour or so, you will get tired. I mean, you use muscles that you aren't really use to using so a day or two afterward you can feel it. It's not necessarily painful but you might feel a slight ache that you don't recognize. Well, after not going for a few months, I was concerned about this phenomenon. I was expecting it. I wasn't disappointed. Ouch!

I am left-handed in most everything except sports. I started learning to golf a couple years ago as a left-hander but found every book I read and every instructor that I met were use to talking to and for the right-handed player so everything for me was backward. And, clubs and gloves are hard to find for the left-hand dominant player. So, I decided to switch and learn to play as a normal righty. It made things much easier. It's not the first thing I have learned to do to fit into the right-hand society and probably not the last. Don't ever accuse me of being inflexible. :)

Okay, so here's how I typically do it. Yes, I have a method to my driving range practice sessions. Deal with it! I grab a bucket of balls. I find a stall away from those people that think they just have the awesomest clubs and swings ever that just must be in the first couple stalls where everyone can see just how awesome they are in all their awesomeness. I hate those people. Get some self esteem...Losers! Anyway...I find a stall somewhere away from those grunting idiots. I set up just like all normal people. The first club I pull is my 8 iron. It's my happy club. When I'm feeling inadequate or stressed out, I know I can hit some good shots with my 8. It's good for me to start off with. I swing a few times. Actually, I like to hit 3 perfect shots in a row with my happy club before I decide to move up. To me, moving up in my clubs means less loft. So, once I get a few good hits on my 8i, I move to my 6 or 7 iron. They're still easy swingers but give me a bit more distance so I can get a good feel for distance and consistency. When I hit 3 perfect shots with one or the other or both sometimes, I move up to my hybrids and woods.

I still have a Prince starter set that I bought a few years ago when I was taking my very first lessons ever. Last year I said I would buy some good clubs this year if I play as much as I did last year. That didn't happen so I still have my starters. Well, my starters came with the normal wedge, 9,8,7,6 irons, putter of course, and my woods which consist of 1,3,5,7,9. Yes, I have a few hybrids. So anyway, after hitting my irons, I'll grab my 7 wood and swing it a couple times. I don't put much stock on it though because it is my nemesis. I hate my 7 wood. Or maybe it hates me. I just don't know. Our relationship has been blurred over the past couple years. As a matter of fact, last year, a golf pro friend of mine gave me a new Callaway 7 wood for a birthday present because he knew just how much my relationship with my Prince 7 was strained. It's a lovely Callaway. Sweet. When I can make it sing, it's beautiful. The problem with my new 7wood though is that it's for normal sized women. I'm 5' tall though so I need short girl clubs and my beautiful Callaway 7w is just too damn long for me. When I choke up, it's lovely but I feel like I'm abusing it when I do that. Well, now I have two 7woods that aren't so good for me. As if one wasn't enough. So, I typically end up feeling not so happy after hitting one or both of my 7woods. But, I do my best to get 3 good swings in. Then I'll pull my 5w. Now my 5w is a trusty companion. It's like a booty-call, friend with benefits. You don't really have a deep relationship but when you need it, it comes for you. When I'm not sure about my distance and accuracy, somewhere 120+ yards out from the green, I can pull my 5w and it usually delivers a warm fuzzy feeling in my toes. I love my 5w. A few practice balls with my 5w is a good recovery from the disaster of my now multiple 7woods. Then, I pull my 3w and eventually hit a few with the big dog. I don't really like to practice my drives though. I usually choke on them at the driving range which makes me feel inadequate when I get to the tee box for real. I find that if I just tee up and go for it, I'm good to go without practicing the failure at the driving range. Works for me. Then I'll pull out my wedge and practice accuracy for pitching and chipping. I always feel like I'm wasting my balls and money at the driving range for chipping practice though so I tend to limit my practice there with that club.

This particular trip to the driving range was especially good though. My friend who has never been golfing before decided to join me with her boyfriend and my husband. We all decided to give her our individual tips for proper grip and stance and many tidbits of advice for perfecting her underdeveloped golf practice. You never know how someone is going to take 3 different conflicting suggestions from 3 different people but I was pleasantly surprised. She handled herself very well. :) The boyfriend was probably the most interesting of the 3 of us though. I have decided to refer to him as the golf whisperer now. His voice so soothing in her ear, his touch so light and loving upon her grip, his direction so sensitive. He may be more likely to put a new golfer to sleep than to teach them to golf but hey...whatever works right. Whatever we told her though...WORKED. She started smacking the shit out of some balls, making us all look bad of course. I love it when that happens. She was doing very well which was exciting because it built her confidence enough to agree to go to an actual golf course with me. Stay tuned for that story. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009


I feel like I need to share another experience I just had. During the month of hiking, I did another activity too. I tried kettlebell training. A friend of mine has been dying to try it for a long time and because I'm such a good friend and because of this active lifestyle thing I do, I agreed to do it with her. And I was actually excited about it.

Here's how it went:

We arrived at the tiny little office space building and tried to get upstairs to where the "gym" was located. The elevator wouldn't even acknowledge that we had pushed the button requesting a lift. So my friend called the trainer asking how to get in the building. Unfortunately, the trainer wasn't so sure how to make it work either. Being the judgemental ass that I can be sometimes ;) I'm thinking "this ain't good". But I maintained my composure and tried to have a positive attitude about what my wonderful friend was getting me into.

We finally got upstairs after the trainer came down to let us in. There were 4 of us total: the trainer, her mother, my friend, and myself. And here it comes...another judgement. Damn! The trainer seemed nice enough but there was just something about her that made one of my eyebrows raise without my permission to do so. Oh well, keep my mouth shut and my judgements to myself. Perhaps all is well and this is going to be an eye-opening life-changing experience. I'm looking for the best here, can you tell?

The warm up was definitely the deal sealing judgement for me. This alleged warm up consisted of 12 minutes of bouncing and shaking limbs in all directions. I'm thinking to myself "why in god's name am I paying $20 for this?". Oh yes, I like my friend and I'm open to trying new things. Yes, yes, yes...that's right.

I have to say that before I even agreed to try this with her, I already had some reservations. I looked at a YouTube video of a kettlebell workout and wasn't impressed. I've learned a lot about working out and weight lifting and healthy living. I feel like I know enough to at least see something and adequately evaluate it as being a good idea or not. Well, when I first saw the kettlebell workout, my first thought was "that can't be good for the body". But...I did it anyway.

So the trainer started going over the basics of how to grip it and how to stand and the perfect amount of arch in your back...etc. It was then time to try it. I picked up my lovely pink kettlebell and swung it around a couple times. Not bad. I did it a couple more times...oooo....that was a little twinge in my lower back. Damn it! "Okay, how about we try another move" she said. I have an open mind and maybe she knows better. She is after all a trainer right. Um....

We went through the basic one hand deal, then the two hand deal, then cleans, then presses, jerks, overhead squats, and a weird plank position thing. Let me explain cleans to you a little here. Cleans are when you start with the one hand deal then you let the cannon ball with a handle flop on your forearm and you hold it there for an undisclosed amount of time. Why....I have no idea. But that's how it works. I was actually good at it I guess. I don't know how someone can be good or not at flopping a heavy weight on your arm repeatedly but I guess I had good form. Cleans didn't seem to hurt my back so I thought they were fine. Um...ya...NO. I had a 4" bruise on my left forearm and a 2" bruise on my right arm after doing the lovely cleans. I'm not a big person so 4" of my forearm is about half of my entire forearm.

Get the picture? No? Here are some visuals for you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October. October? OCTOBER!

All I have to say is "what the fuck?" It's October now. The year just disappeared. I mean, I was busy this most years. But I didn't realize the entire year is almost gone. Wholy shit! I totally had to look at several calendars just to make sure I wasn't making some huge mistake thinking that it's October already. You know, how you go through your week completely forgetting that Monday actually happened. Every calendar I found said October 1st and yet as I write this, I just stopped and looked again. Either I'm OCD or this year went by waaaaay too fast.

Okay, so now that it's October, I have to choose another activity. Hiking was fun. But it's time to let it go and move on to something else. Hmmmm.....what should I do. Where is my list? Ballet? NO! Summer activity, summer activity, summer activity, ah...there we are a few things I can do. Indoor activity? Not sure if I'm ready to give up going outside altogether yet. We can still have some nice days here in the northwest in October, as long as it doesn't snow early this year.

Oh, I know! Golf. I haven't been golfing at all this year. The nasty days, I can go to the driving range or I can just suffer through the rain and wind and hail. I did last year. Okay, so golf isn't new to me. I've done it once or twice. Actually, last year I was on the course at the very least once every week. Most weeks was 2-3 times though. I got a little obsessed...what can I say. I joined the EWGA Seattle chapter and played on a league all year plus weekend fun events and went out with some girlfriends and my hubby a couple times.

This year, I went golfing once in February when there was still snow on the ground and I went to the driving range once a couple months ago but that's it. My poor lonely clubs have been sitting in my trunk all year. If I don't do it now, I'll end up skipping it altogether this year. Sacrilege! Looks like I'm going to swing some clubs then. First order of business is to hit the driving range for some practice swings. Then the putting green to see if I can remember how to do this sport.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Redwood Forest Hike

I took a road trip with my husband down highway 101 from Washington to California. Along the way, we stopped off in the Redwood forest of course. Driving through the beautiful trees was just amazing.

I've heard about their massiveness and have seen pictures of them but really didn't realize just how incredible they are until I stood next to them.

We stopped off at the Trees of Mystery first and of course took a couple pictures with Paul and Babe.

Then we did the tour and took the sky train up to the top.

They say the view from up there is amazing. Unfortunately, we were there early in the morning and the fog was thick so we didn't get to take in the beautiful views. But then we took the hike straight down the mountain. We were told that it was a hike only for the advanced hiker. It didn't look too bad because the trail was wide and well kept.

There were a few areas along the way that had a rope to hang on to for support. The challenging part wasn't the condition of the trail, the challenge was in the grade of the hike. I've done some steep hikes and this one takes the cake. Straight down for 1 mile with no flat areas to speak of. This is a trail that is best done on a tobogan or sit on your butt and slide down. I consider myself active. I lift weights, I do all kinds of cardio, I do yoga, I hike, I swim, I play tennis, etc. Nothing I do as far as exercise could have prepared me for this down hill adventure. I don't know what going straight down a mountain does to your muscles that makes it a different experience from hack squats or the similar but this tiny little hike ripped my legs apart. My quads were a little used by the time I got to the bottom but that's to be expected. It wasn't a surprise. No. The surprise came the next morning. All I can say is OUCH! Getting out of bed hurt. Standing hurt. Thinking about my legs while lying flat on my back hurt. Who said anything about walking...whatever. I wasn't able to walk right for 3 days. I didn't walk, I waddled. Good thing a road trip is mostly spent in the car because if I had to walk more, I would have been absolutely miserable. Luckily, I recovered early enough to still enjoy San Diego, LA, and its surrounding areas. It just made me realize that I need more time on the trails if I want to achieve the level of fitness I'm aiming for.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mercer Slough Hike

First of all, I have to tell you that I learned somethiing new after this hike. I wouldn't really consider Mercer Slough a "hike" but it was a nice stroll through the park anyway. Slough can actually be pronounced three ways: sloo is the pronunciation for northern US and Canadian marsh land, slou (sounds like cow) is the pronunciation for muddy swamp area or a condition of degredation, and sluf is the pronunciation for something that is shed or cast off such as dead tissue. I know you were just dying for a grammar lesson right. Doubt it. Oh well, this is my blog and I'll talk about grammar if I want. We got to the trail head and decided to just wonder aimlessly through the area just to eat up the hour or so that we each had available for this little adventure. One way or another we actually ended up doing a big cirlce and it worked out perfectly. Much of the slough is a meandering boardwalk path through trees and shrubs and tall grasses. There were a few areas where we got to step off of the boardwalk and onto the soft spongy ground. Each and every path we took was well maintained and clearly marked with signs pointing to all the different twists and turns complete with distance for each route. I found that pleasantly helpful so we could decide before hand if we had time to take a right or if we should take the left instead being that it was 1/2 the distance. We only saw two other people the entire time we were out and about. One was jogging the trails and scared the shit out of us as he passed by silently and very unexpectedly. The other was a woman walking her dog. It is by no means a challenging endeavor even for the most novice of beginners. I wouldn't call the scenery beautiful either. There is no viewpoint and we found no beautiful blooming gardens nor a majestic canopy of trees. However, there are a number of charming meandering paths and footbridges over small creeks. There is also a decent sized water way that you can float or just cross over using the bridge. It was not challenging, it was not interesting, it was not pretty. Why bother with this place...unless wondering around a swamp is what you consider a good time.

Thank god for the company I had or it would have been a complete waste of time...for what I was looking for. Oh well, can't win them all I guess. Next!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coal Creek Falls Hike

Wallace Falls was the first idea but it didn't exactly happen that way. Weather! We thought it might be okay but an hour drive just to get to the trail head didn't seem like a good idea for the likelihood of being confronted by a terrential down pour. So, we decided instead to check out our very first trail adventure on Cougar Mountain. One thing we learned on this hike...Coal Creek Falls did not have any falls about it. I'm sure the nice little trickle I saw on other's pictures happen every so often but September seems to be the dry season for poor little Coal Creek Falls. Conversation was good though. We talked all about the likelihood of running into an actual cougar on Cougar Mountain. What ever would you do if you ran into a real live cougar in the wild, after shitting your pants that is? Run? Not a good idea. I think they like to chase so that probably wouldn't be a good idea. I read somewhere that you should do what you can to look bigger than the cat and make lots of noise but never ever run or block off their escape route. And if attacked, fight back like you've never fought before. A normal size cat is insane when it attacks. If you have never been through that before, it's not fun. I can't even imagine what fighting with a wild cougar would be. So of course after an hour of having this conversation and being out in the middle of Cougar Mountain, every little noise was making one of the three of us jump every few minutes. Makes me wish I could be a fly on the wall watching us three idiots freaking ourselves out. Silly. But it was a decent hike especially when you're not use to hiking. It was a good uphill sprint to get the heart rate kickin' then it turned into a narrow meander through the carved out trail system. After reaching the "Falls" it winds around a bit then starts back down the mountain. The trail down didn't seem as steep as the up though. And even though it was raining, we didn't really feel much of it as most of the trail is covered by a canopy of trees high overhead. I would recommend this trail to those of us inexperienced hiker in the area but I'd try to avoid the wild animal attack conversations. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September Activity - Hiking

After very little consideration on the matter, I have decided to hike through the month of September. The Northwest is rich with hiking trails all over the place. Some simple strolls through meadows of wildflowers, some ass kicking vertical climbs. Waterfalls, lakes, caves, ice fields, lava tubes, rainforests, you name it, we've got it.

I've never been much of an outdoorsy tree hugging wilderness woman. Don't like the woods. I hate roughing it in any sense of the word. I've tried camping a couple times and it's just not for me. In my mind, acceptable camping must include porcelain and a down-pillow top mattress. Without those two must-haves, you can count me out. I don't know. Maybe I've just never had that wonderfully fun and exciting weekend camping trip with friends so my camping experiences are limited. Perhaps!

Never much enjoyed hiking either. Never liked the sweaty dirt dripping down my face and neck. The insect carcasses stuck to my skin are not pleasant. I can do without the blisters on the feet. Don't particularly enjoy the claustrophobic feeling I get with all the trees everywhere and the inability to see further than 100 yards in any direction. I'd have to say that my least favorite thing about hiking though is that you have to focus your attention on the ground in front of you for footing and I inevitably end up feeling dizzy after about 20 minutes. I know, I know...I'm a whiner. So true! I admit it fully.

I'm more of a beach girl myself. I like the wide open spaces where you can see the horizon. I enjoy being a spoiled city girl. I've worked very hard for my lifestyle and I enjoy pedicures and Fendi shoes and meeting friends for pink fruity drinks after sitting on my ass in my office all day. BUT, I've decided that if I want to be more active and I really want to push myself, I should do the things that I wouldn't normally do. This is one of those things. I can't promise that I'll be happy and cheerful about it but I can promise to do my best.

I'm starting with my first official September hike this weekend. I think I'm going to head over to Gold Bar and check out Wallace Falls. It should rain so I'm sure that will add to the experience or at least to the entertainment value for the two whole people reading this. Any suggestions for other hikes I should check out this month? I need ideas.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tennis Lessons - Final Thoughts

Okay, I took lessons.

Final thoughts: They suck!

The first two lessons in the beginner's class were good because I learned the right way to smack the ball around. But after that, it was just a bust. The second week of lessons were nothing but practicing what we already learned. I was willing to overlook that though because I was excited to learn how to keep score and play doubles in the advanced beginner course.

Here's how the advanced beginner course went: I arrived to the first lesson and saw 4 of the same 6 people from the beginner course and the same instructor. Of course, I was feeling a little apprehensive at that moment because of the potential for an adolescent rodeo. Well, the instructor decided that we all needed more practice before we could move on to learn any advanced techniques. Instructor: "Single file line everyone, I said SINGLE FILE LINE, at the starting line please". The response of the class went like this: Me (the good student) at the starting line in tennis ready form of course, adolescent rodeo begins behind me where the siblings start playing some tiny tennis and chasing each other around the empty court next to ours, the Wife from last class is leaning on the fence and twirling her racket around in circles, the invisible wierd kid is sitting cross legged on the ground bouncing a tennis ball while probably day dreaming about what superpower he would like to have. After another louder and more direct bark from the instructor, everyone fell in line behind me. First, two forehands in a row. Then, two backhands in a row. Followed by two overhands. Finally, all line up along the starting line to practice serves. That was the first class of the advanced beginner course. The second one went pretty much the same but with the addition of practicing volleys too. Then when the second class was over, the instructor announced that we probably wouldn't be covering any new material next week either. Well, that was a problem for me because I PAID FOR LESSONS. I didn't pay for practice. I can practice for free. See, this is the problem when teachers have to teach to the lowest common denominator. The idiots get to just be idiots while the rest of us get ripped off. I did not return for the second week of "lessons". Instead, I chose to meet up with my husband and one of my workout buddies to play tennis elsewhere. Since then, I've played 2-3 times every week. Wish I could say I'm getting better. Unfortunately, I'm not. I blame my racket. And after my husband decided to play a bit with my racket, he agrees. I'm sure I'll keep playing. Not because I want to be the next McEnroe or anything even if I do identify with some of his court side etiquette. It's just fun and being the perfectionist that I am, I want to improve. I highly doubt I'll ever take lessons through a community center again though. If lessons are ever in my future again, I'll make sure to do some research and get private lessons.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tennis - Week 2

A little disappointed in the second week at tennis lessons. I was all excited about learning new things but quickly found out that what was learned in week 1 was simply repeated and practiced in week 2. I didn't need to pay for that. I thought I was going to learn new techniques or scoring or something. But paying $11/session to practice felt like a rip off. So now I have the next session starting next week. It's going to be the advanced beginner class. Oh boy. Look out. I wonder if we'll just practice everything from the beginner class. No, wait. We already did that. Oh, I know. They'll teach us how to practice on our own. No, that's too simple to be the advanced beginner class. Okay, okay, maybe I should give them a chance. My understanding is that I will learn to play doubles in the advanced beginner class. Well, all I can do is go and see.

I really do feel like I'm getting better though. Perhaps it's all the practice. Or is it the Wii Tennis I've been playing. Hmmm... That's a tough call. The past few days, I've been drugging myself up with muscle relaxers. I don't know what I did to myself. If it was tennis or yoga or sleeping wrong or whatever, I have no idea. But I have had the stiffest neck and shoulders and back ever. My poor little body doesn't like all the jerking around. Perhaps it's because of my legendary dinosaur racket. Time for a new racket? Hey now, that's a good reason to go buy one. The one I have now is horrible. I've been using my husband's actually. But when we play together, I have to use my dinosaur so I'm sure it's all his fault.

Writing: Some days you're feeling it and others you're not. Today is one of those days that I'm just not feeling it. I need an attitude adjustment today. Any suggestions for wiping the shit from my eyes so I can view the world with hope and excitement again?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tennis - Week 1

This was my first week for tennis lessons. Lessons are being held at a middle school just down the street from my house and they are open to people 13 and up. So I was expecting that there were going to be twenty 13 year-olds jumping around everywhere and I would be the only adult in the bunch. That image in my head alone was enough to make me second guess this tennis lesson idea of mine. But, I took a deep breath and told myself I was going to go through with it all the way to the end no matter what. If there were going to be a gaggle of tweens taking over the tennis courts then so be it. A little patience and acceptance and understanding and patience and patience and more patience never hurt anyone. Besides, I've been trying to be a nicer person anyway. So bring on the challenge.

I got to the court and the instructor looked like he's about 13. He’s not of course. I would guess mid to late twenties. There were two teenagers there already, siblings. So I introduced myself and shook everyone's hands. Right off the bat, the instructor took a look at my ancient tennis racket and started making fun of it. I got this racket when I was 10 years old for Christmas. It was my pride and joy as a kid. I even slept with the thing for about a week after I got it. And I've managed to hang onto it for 22 years. Not only is it three times heavier than any racket made in the past decade but it is also a junior racket so the surface area is severely lacking compared to what I should be playing with. Oh well, I sucked it up and was ready to move on with lesson #1. Another very shy boy walks on the courts, followed by a middle-aged couple. There were now six of us present and ready for our very first beginner's tennis lesson. I was pleasantly surprised by the small class size and the diversity.

Day one consisted of basic grip and tennis ready stance. We learned and practiced forehand, backhand, and volleys...oh boy. Alex, our instructor stood on one side of the net to feed us balls while the six of us stood in a single-file line on the opposite side. One at a time, he gently served each of us two balls to practice each move. We ran through the hopper of balls practicing our forehand then it was time to gather them all up and back to attention to move on to the backhand. And on and on it went for an hour. It was no military line mind you. The siblings were competing on everything and bopping around our half of the court while everyone else took their turns. For each ball that was hit, they took turns running after it only to hit it back over toward the instructor. That got old fast. But they were having fun. Eventually, Alex had to tell them they were being annoying and they stopped. I respect someone who just tells it like it is. Then there was the shy kid. He’s the kid that sits in the corner of a room avoiding eye contact with anyone and seems to just hope he can disappear completely. He was doing really well with all the shots but stood in the back of the line with his head down and his shaggy hair hanging in his eyes. I always find myself wondering what kind of adults these people are going to become. Will he snap out of it and be the next Bill Gates or will he be on the 11 0’clock news? I can only hope for the former. I also hope his parents don’t keep guns in the house. Oh, that wasn’t nice. See, I try but every once in a while they slip out. Damn!

Lesson number two was interesting. I got there on time and was the only one for the first ten minutes so I got a little private instruction until the siblings showed up. My husband and I smacked a few balls around the day before so I felt practiced and ready to go. It was me and the siblings for another 20 minutes or so, then the wife from the middle-aged couple arrived. She was alone. No husband. The shy kid was nowhere to be seen either. That’s probably not surprising though. Now that I think of it, he might have been there and I just didn’t see him. Oh well. For lesson #2, we learned overhead shots and serves. I’ve never had any trouble with serves. I have always done the traditional overhead serve and am pretty good at it actually. Well, as good as you can be without really knowing what you’re doing. So I wasn’t worried about these two new items on the agenda. Afterall, how hard can an overhead shot be when you’re use to doing the traditional serve anyway? Um…ya! I hit a couple overhead shots over the bathrooms and into the baseball field. I missed a few completely. I did manage to get one or two under control though. You know how everyone has their own weird things they do when they’re learning new things. In learning to play the guitar, I made all kinds of faces, still do actually. Now that I think about it, I do the full body flex on my guitar too. In learning to golf, I swore like a trucker on crack. Every other word out of my mouth was four letters. If I were to be bleeped my first few times on a golf course, you would have only heard “mother, piece of, god, wholly, for….sake, rammer, face, etc.” And that would be without taking a breath in between. Well, in learning to play tennis, I’ve apparently decided to start twirling. I take a swing (whether I hit it or not is another story) and promptly proceed to finish my follow through with a little spin move. Perhaps I should put a tutu on for my next lesson.

So now that I have two lessons under my belt, I’m feeling much better about everything. Well, that is except for the soreness in my left forearm (I'm left handed). I think I’m going to have to take a day off of tennis practice so I know that I will be able to hold my dinosaur racket next week for lesson #3. So far, the kids aren’t that bad and the instructor is someone I can respect. I’m having fun. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me next week. Scoring? Playing an actual game? Who knows.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it,
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it,
Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,
If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want,
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

Things as they are 1916
Berton Braley

Prelesson Thoughts

It's funny. I'm a little nervous. Excited and nervous. Today is the big day. Today is my first tennis lesson. It's silly that I'm nervous actually because I've played tennis before. I took a summer of lessons when I was a kid growing up in eastern Washington. I can honestly say that I don't remember a thing I learned all those years ago. I just remember the ball machine spitting balls at me one after the other. Probably a good thing that I start with something I'm relatively familiar with so I don't run away screaming.

I called the community center yesterday to register for all the beginner and advanced beginner lessons for the month of August. As the woman was registering me she confirmed the advanced class. At that moment, I got a picture in my head of people running around the tennis court with their cute little white skirts on hitting the ball back and forth with elegance and grace while I sit in the middle of the court pouting because I don't know what I got myself into. Good thing we caught the error and hopefully registered me with all the beginners instead. Crossing my fingers that the 13 year olds don't point and laugh at me.

The other thing I found interesting when registering for the second term of lessons was that she didn't believe that I wanted to preregister all at once. She actually tried to talk me out of it. She said I might want to wait to register for the second term until after I know I like the first term.

I've been much more aware of my own thought processes lately and I guess it's making me more aware of other's as well. I've always had a "I am woman hear me roar" kind of attitude and presence about me. I don't think I'm annoying about it though. It's more of a "I can conquer anything if I want it bad enough" belief. Well, lately I have been accutely aware of people's uncanny ability to limit themselves with their thoughts and unfortunately, those that limit themselves also tend to share it freely with whoever will listen. I'm not suggesting that the woman on the other end of the line was intentionally trying to limit me but rather because that was her first thought, her first response, perhaps she limits herself. Some people might just say she was being helpful and/or cautious. She WAS very nice. To me, words of warning (when danger is not involved) sounds limiting. If you're going to limit yourself or others for that matter, then...what's the point of even trying? I say make a decision and go for it. There's no need to determine how far you can go before you even start. Just go!

1. Make a decision
2. Act!

I don't think it needs to be more complicated than that. There is a poem that I think puts it much better than I ever could. I'll post it separately for all to read.

Wish me luck. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kickoff - Tennis

Deep breath in...deep breath out...

I've struggled with this active lifestyle thing for quite a while. I have dedicated myself to change only to eventually stumble and fall. I've always managed to pick myself back up and mend my wounds. Although I never give up, I also never quite maintain the level of dedication that I know I am capable of and that I desire so deeply.

Of course, I have had many reasons (aka excuses) for my failings. My husband isn't as supportive as I'd like. Afterall, he's the one that craves the sweets and has no problem getting up and running to the store for a late night ice cream fix. Never mind the fact that I take his spoon and dig in. And what about the friends that have come and gone in my life. Now I love my friends, past, present, and future but they haven't all been the most active people. Most of them have been more interested in meeting for lunch or drinks than in heading to the gym or a yoga class with me. I love lunching and drinks just as much as the next person but sometimes getting off my ass is what is necessary. Today, I'm blessed with a group of friends that understand this concept and we have been able to strike what I consider a healthy balance.

The truth of the matter is that I have struggled with the sticktoitivness. I can run on the treadmill like a mad woman. I can show that elyptical machine who is boss. I can swim lap after lap. I can hang with the muscle heads in the weight room and feel perfectly comfortable. I can make some very healthful and yummy foods. I enjoy all of these things and more. I love the healthy and active lifestyle. Then something happens, whether it's that time of the month or trouble in marital paradise or family drama or allergies. Something happens that takes the wind out of my sails and I lose momentum. I'll be kicking some serious ass for a month or two then I have a week or two of deflated motivation which seemingly negates the progress I just made. Essentially, I run around in circles chacing my own tail.

I think having goals is a positive thing and I encourage everyone to think about what they want for themselves and their lives. I do it all the time. I also judge myself very critically if I don't meet my own expectations. So, instead of reaching for that specific waist size or number on the scale, I'm dedicating myself...committing to just changing my lifestyle for good, one activity at a time, one month at a time.

My life, my body, my heath, my attitude today is not a result of who I am at this moment. It is a result of the choices I made yesterday and the day before yesterday. Tomorrow will be a result of today's choices. So I'm choosing to be active. I define myself as an active person. I am Living Active.

The activity for the month of August is tennis. I will take tennis lessons twice each week and share my experiences. The good, the bad, the horrible disasters, and the lessons I learn about myself along the way. Although this is a personal journey, I absolutely welcome anyone and everyone who may like to join me wheter in person or in spirit, you are all invited.

Ready, set, GO!