Weighty Matters

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Exercising Options

on April 20, 2013

As usual, you all were terrific with your support when I definitely needed it.  Thanks again!

The last 24 hours have been a fun exercise in, well, exercise.  Yesterday, I had a work thing going on that necessitated me being on my feet for three hours straight.  Let me just tell you that this is a whole hell of a lot easier to do since I lost weight.  Overall I just move with greater ease and less pain.  It isn’t a chore for me to escort people around and handle the physical aspects of the job.  After one of those types of days, I also no longer need to go home, knock back 800 mgs of OTC pain relief, put up my feet and whine about my throbbing knee and ankles, stiff back and overall exhaustion.

Sure, I still get a little tired and my knee might be a titch more stiff and sore, but it’s definitely better than it’s been for me in years.  As a matter of fact, after I got home, ate dinner, and three a load of laundry into the machine, I leashed up the dogs and we all went for a nice, relaxing walk.

I then returned home and became engrossed in the live news coverage about the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.   The most bizarre aspect was discovering that I really didn’t need to watch the television knew.  Friends in Boston learned of each development first via their police scanners and posted on Facebook.  We knew the suspect had been taken alive before the networks announced it as breaking news.

I was busily trying to keep myself awake because I had plans to join friends for a late night Zumba session.  Zumba at night?  Yep!  Last night was our area’s Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  My Zumba instructor friends arranged to entertain the crowd at 10:30 and wanted regular class participants to come and dance with them, so I agreed.  Once the music started, a couple of dozen other people — mostly middle school and high school students — joined in.  It wasn’t easy doing all of the steps on the field — harder to pivot — and sometimes I was a little self-conscious about doing the routines all out in public instead of the dance studio.  However, for the most part I had a “Who Cares?” attitude and just threw myself into the exercise and fun.  I think we went for about 40 minutes and had a blast.

When we were finished, I hurried home, washed up and went right to bed, setting the alarm for 6 a.m.  I had to meet up with friends by 7:30 to drive up the Keys for a Tai Chi intensive.  We did three hours of Tai Chi, with one short break.  First off, two full sets, each of which takes about 15-20 minutes.  Then the guest instructor took us through “foundation” exercises.  While some of these do not require a lot of full body movement, in each some part of your body is always moving.  The Dan Yus involve a move much like a basic squat — really good for leg strength, particularly when you do 25, 30 or more of them like we did today.  I also lost count of the number of repetitions we did of a move called Go Back to Ward Off Monkey.  A few dozen, maybe more.  Then we finished with another full set.

It doesn’t matter that each Dan Yu, Tor Yu or other foundation is done slowly and deliberately, or that we aren’t running marathons when we perform a set.  We were bodies in motion again and again and again.  I have to say that I feel incredibly limber and stretched out from all of the Tai Chi.  Between that intensive this morning and the Zumba last night, it’s safe to say that I’ve worked out this weekend, don’t you think?

I’m hoping for decent weather tomorrow morning so that I can get the dogs out for a good bridge walk.  If it’s too hot for the bridge when I get up, then I’ll make it up to them with a walk later in the day.  I find that around 7 or 7:30 is a great time.  The sun’s mostly down so it’s cooler but there’s still enough light.

Zumba dancing, Tai Chi, or simply a nice walk have become my three favorite forms of exercise.  I might not usually do all three of them in a relatively short number of hours, but I really like that I enjoy them all and want to do at least one of them, maybe two, almost every day.

It’s great to have options.

4 responses to “Exercising Options

  1. Hope says:

    Knowing how to Go Back to Ward Off Monkey is going to come in handy later this summer! 😀

  2. Skye says:

    It’s great you have options that you enjoy! When I get an income, I’m going to try Zumba. As for Tai Chi, they don’t have the kind I want in Seattle, which is weird, given that there is a center for it in Portland and Seattle would also be a natural place for it. And my friend has looked into Tai Chi classes and not only can’t find any he would like, but none of his friends with any Tai Chi backgrounds can recommend any locally. 😦 At least there are hills to walk around! So walking will be my exercise, along with the pushups, situps, etc. that I have to begin doing again.

    So glad you are doing well and having fun exercising!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Skye, that’s a huge bummer about lack of Tai Chi that you’d like. Maybe you can explore a different form? Years ago I studied Wu style, then fell away from it until last year when I joined the local Taoist Tai Chi branch. Many moves are similar and the health benefits the same.

      There’s also a video at the official Taoist Tai Chi website if you want to refresh yourself.

      If not then walking around beautiful Seattle is a wonderful option!

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