The breaking news is that I've tweaked my quad muscle! ARGH! Maybe not serious, but quite unnerving given that tomorrow is the TOUGH MUDDER. Literally on the last 30 yards of my run. The truth is I WANT to do the Tough Mudder, and being injured is not acceptable. Popping ibuprophen and hoping for best.
Morning yoga yesterday. That's the catch up.
Running in a light rain on a warm morning can be lovely. Especially, when the rain is hitting the river, and the wind is down, and the smells of the grass and trees and rain is strong. And, also, the running paths are empty. In the evening I stopped in at the gym to work on the pullups. I'm shocked at how week my pullups are. All I did is change into a t-shirt, but otherwise kept on my long pants and street shoes as I hit several upper body machines. That made me feel cool. Something about going to the gym in civvies that sort of hardcore.
Tuesday yoga. You don't get credit for any pushups or situps or squats, but, well, those are all in the vinyasa, knowhatimean?
Monday evening improvised workout: Jump rope for 20 minutes, then the old school stair climbing machine, then a "10 Rep Count Down" of pushups, burpees, pullups, and dips. The pullups went a little better, but I'm still living in fear of my amazing lack of pullup strength. By the end of this routine, I was drenched and stalking around the Equinox in Tribeca like a madman. Count it.
My friend Jamie and I have, over the years, gone out to the high school fields to do the "parcourse." We went again on Sunday to help me prepare for the Tough Mudder, which is now less than a week away. Placed around the perimeter of the various lush playing fields (football, lacrosse, soccer, tennis) are a half dozen exercise "stations." A station consists of a few bars, or a platform, and a sign that tells you what exercise to do, (pull ups, situps, knee raises, vaults, etc.), and how many reps. Basically, you run (or sprint) between the stations, do the exercises, and move on. It's pretty tough, but feels good to be outside, running on grass...
Just now I looked up "parcourse," and discovered the father of this sort of "fitness trail" is Georges Hebert, a French soldier who discovered fitness while serving in WWI. Funny, I had always thought it was "Par Course" and the "par" came, as in golf, from the number of reps one is supposed to do. Actually, it's "parcourse" as in "parcourir" which roughly means "to run around" in French, and has nothing to do with reps. (It's also the root from which "parkour" comes, the amazing modern form of "free running," also was born in France.) Anyway, I'm suddenly a big fan of Hebert, who called his fitness system "La Methode Naturelle." Apparently Hebert was inspired by the amazingly fit people he saw living in remote rural areas in Africa and the Indies, and he wanted to devise a system that mimicked that kind of naturally healthy way of life. His motto was:
"Être fort pour être utile" or "Be strong, to be useful."
Wiki on Hebert
Yesterday eve I stuck around after salsa class for cha cha class. There were just four of us: two women, myself, and a man of at least 70, with snow white hair wearing crisp new jeans and black shoes with a button down oxford shirt. Cha cha, we learned, is essentially salsa with a triple step built in ("cha cha cha.") It's danced to slower songs, but it allows the dancer a lot of space to improvise. We learned a routine, and I was struggling to get it, while the old gentleman nailed it right away. I felt a little competitive, but also thought how cool he was, and what a catch he must be among the older ladies.
Here's to dancing the cha cha in our 70s. Count it.
Here's to the assisted pullup/dip machine! It takes two terrifying but great exercises, and makes them a bit more user-friendly. Wednesday was my second double of the week. My arms are now very spent, and I'm going to have to do some research into how much rest time is required for muscles to repair themselves. This extra prep for the dreaded Tough Mudder is sort of fun though. If feels good to feel good. It's also making me vain. I'm walking around all pumped up and wanting my muscles to look big. Ha! It also makes it harder to bind in yoga.
In non-fitness news: Saw Martha Wainwright last night perform Edith Piaff and Kraftwerk (and some of her own songs) at PS1 MOMA. She was amazing, singing at the center of this geodesic dome they had set up, with projections on the inside. It was quite moving. On my way to the show, in the subway, a man was singing Stevie Wonder in the train station. That was moving too. Here's my point: Music. It's good, and must remember to keep it in our lives. E.O. Scott says that singing and dancing are distinct evolutionary steps, and possibly even steps beyond the development of spoken language. Count it, homo sapiens.
Martha singing Edith:
Made it to early yoga yesterday, and could barely do the vinyasas thanks to aforementioned evening workout.
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