Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Learning from gorillas...

With all the kindness of a typical 400lb gorilla, several of my training partners informed me that I needed a break. It may have been implied that if I didn't take one they might just have to give me one, though the choice was mine on which arm. Thus, there was a deload. That particular word remains something of a mystery to me, since it seems to imply something different to everyone. My take? A pause in all training for a brief period.

Day to day I changed my mind on how I felt about it. Started my "Deload" on Saturday the 17th. It was odd trying to find out what to do with all my time, until my body decided for me. Sleep was the answer, lots of sleep and right now, if you please. Falling asleep at the merest mention of a soft surface was a new experience that lasted for the first 3-4 days. Between sleep and naps (one particularly memorable unplanned nap in the tub) I was clocking about 10-11 hours of sleep a day.  Clearly the gorillas had been right, and I needed some rest.

What else was I to do with all this spare time once the narcolepsy passed? Oh, let's see if I still like trashy food. Pizza? Nope. Enchiladas? Nope. Queso? Nope. Frou-frou coffee? Nope. Found myself longing for salad and fish, perhaps a grapefruit. Huh, odd, you mean to say that my brain has been lying to me all this time telling me how much I miss this trashy stuff, but now it tastes awful, or worse bland?  Sheesh, the gorillas were right again!

Follow that up with a Thanksgiving full of family, friends, feasting and folderol.  By the weekend I was chomping at the bit for something to do, so decided to try a few lifts with some of the kids from Full Throttle who were prepping for a strong man. Having not gone heavy in the gym since the summer off season, I was sure this would be more of a laughable hang out session than a true work session.  A sudden onset of giggles while under the yoke was the only laughable situation all day. As it turns out that I matched my PRs in a few lifts for reps, and still rode my bike home. You guessed it, gorillas 3, short-stack 0.

Lesson learned! No chest thumping necessary, my gorillas, deloads will become a regular part of the program. It seems that all-go-no-quit made for a very cranky and mostly useless me. This break offered me the clarity and rest to reset some goals and expectations, and start afresh. Now, to go get my calluses back!




Friday, November 2, 2012

This decorating diva demands!

This decorating diva demands more decore for Thanksgiving.

As one of the MAJOR holidays of the year I feel we skimp on jazzing it up for this special day. Certainly a great deal of fall stuff can ride out the season from September 1st through November 30th. Pumpkins, fall garlands, acorns, squirrels, and the like can grace my mantels, shelves and counters for the entire season. This lends the entire season a beautiful orange and brown palette to

We all know that Halloween gets a lot of love from the craft stores, as it should with all the gory glory it has to offer. As much as anyone else I enjoy my jack-o-lanterns, witches, skulls (some of the sugar variety), ghosts, goblins and ghouls, and do deck out every flat surface just shy of the stove top. However, the day after Halloween all those grisly goodies get tucked away in their bubble wrap and color themed tubs.

Playing dress up is second nature for this theatre kid, so why am I so very ready to tuck away the trimmings for this holiday? To answer that let us look at the way we celebrate these holidays. Halloween is a giddy free-for-all of quick sugary bites and glimpses of strangers in masks. Games played only in the dark, and full of anonymity. Glitz, glamor and gone in a flash, that is Halloween to me. I love this herald of the fall festivities and will never be too old for trick-or-treating.

Thanksgiving is full of rich warm scents and orange tinted memories of being only oven window tall. It is a day spent in my kitchen, draped in an apron, surrounded by my family and friends. Sharing foods we all enjoy, or in the case of my three-bean casserole that they endure so I can enjoy! Breakfast is always something sweet to get you moving, the coffee will be on all day long. Though we no longer do our turkey with a buttered towel cover that must be minded and moistened hourly, all praise to the oven bag, we do still spend hours rotating dishes in and out of the oven and stove top.

Dinner means pulling the tables together, even with the leaves in one table is never enough space, using patio furniture when the doorbell rings just one more time for late comers, a blessing said for another trip round the sun in good company, and the soft silence that descends when everyone's plates and hearts are full.

More than Halloween, more than Christmas, this humble holiday full of simple joys is my favorite of the season, for just that reason, it is humble. It is a time of sharing what you have with those you love in a place that is comfortable.

All I am asking for is a couple of cornicopias and some Thanksgiving themed table runners, I don't think I am shooting the moon here, dammit!!