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CATS_MEOW_0911's Recent Blog Entries

BAZOOKABOBCAT finds her beautiful

Friday, October 28, 2011

BAZOOKABOBCAT wrote a blog so wonderful that it brought tears to my eyes. It's about being beautiful in everyday moments. I can't find the words to adequately describe her poetic blog, but here is the last paragraph from it:

"There's no magical formula. It's not possible to suddenly say, 'Well, I've hated myself all day but I guess right now I can say I feel beautiful.' No no. That's too easy. Find ways to feel deeply. Find ways to be peaceful. Don't take things too seriously. Laugh more. Those are the moments when you'll find the way to be beautiful."


Check it out:


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4557090

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/30/2011 4:42PM

    Thank you so much! It was indeed well-worth reading and it's authentic too.

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JITZUROE 10/29/2011 3:57PM

    Thanks for the tip and have a great Halloween!!!!
Bren

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KKINNEA 10/28/2011 12:06PM

    Nice blog - thanks for the link.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/28/2011 10:42AM

    Very inspiring!

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Jiu Jitsu + Muay Thai=New Approach Needed

Monday, October 24, 2011

I went to my first Jiu Jitsu class this morning. The class was small and Nate, the head instructor, showed me some of the basics. The movements were very different from what I am used to doing in Muay Thai, other activities, and everyday life. One minute I was doing a somersault, the next I needed to use all my might to prevent being pinned. I had to break out of the guys' grips and try to pin them. They didn't go as hard on me as it was my first day (they didn't grapple me into submission, we just practiced positions), but it was still very challenging. It was hard work, but very enjoyable. Nate was very patient with me, as were the other guys I was grappling. Since the movements were so different from Muay Thai, I wasn't worn out for my Muay Thai class. I like the gentle manner of both Nate and my Muay Thai coach Eric; neither will let me slack, but they aren't the in-your-face yelling/mocking types. Working with trainers like them makes me want to work really hard.

I've realized that I will need a different approach to my overall exercise program with doing Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Traditional weight lifting is probably not going to do a lot for me, at least not focusing a lot of my time on it. I am almost done with Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System, but I think I am going to abandon it so I can build some functional strength. I got through the first 2 mesocycles, the first one to build muscle endurance and the second to build muscle mass. The third mesocycle focuses on building strength, but building strength in fixed positions is not going to help me much with martial arts. The first 2 mesocycles were by far more important with spurring me towards my fat-burning goals and increasing metabolic flexibility.

I keep swearing up and down that I will do more kettlebell workouts, but I keep running out of time. Kettlebell conditioning would be more functional for martial arts and build ab/back muscles at the same time. I am going to aim to do kettlebell conditioning 2-3 days a week. I will do more isolating strength training for muscle hypertrophy 2 days a week, either total body both days or do lower/upper body on opposite days. I will try to do at least one of the workouts at the gym so I don't slack off.

I have been pleased with the results of the small amount of yoga and Pilates I have been doing and plan to keep that up. Yoga takes precedence over Pilates, but I will try to do Pilates 2-3 days a week and yoga 3-4 days/week. I have been doing Pilates or yoga when I get home from work at night, and have enjoyed them as a way to unwind. I have been doing anywhere from 15-60 minutes depending on how I'm feeling. Today I realized that yoga in particular will be good cross-training for Jiu Jitsu (imagine doing an explosive bridge pose--looks like a Jiu Jitsu move). Yoga and Pilates have also helped loosen up my hips for better kicks. Of course, both will help build my stabilizer muscles in my abs, back, hips, and legs.

My schedule will look something like this:

Monday:
Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes (2 hours total)
Yoga

Tuesday:
Kettlebells/Cardio Conditioning (about 1 hour)
Pilates

Wednesday:
Jiu Jitsi and Muay Thai classes (2 hours total)
Yoga

Thursday:
Strength Training/Cardio Conditioning (1-1.5 hours)
Pilates

Friday:
Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes (2 hours total)
Yoga

Saturday:
Muay Thai sparring (about 1 hour)
Kettlebells/Strength Training/Cardio Conditioning circuit (1-1.5 hours)

Sunday:
Yoga (no intense activity)


I'm sure the schedule will vary due to life circumstances and how I'm feeling, but that's the general picture. The great thing is, none of this really feels like exercise, it's just what I do for fun. But it doesn't hurt that Jiu Jitsu+Muay Thai=Buh-bye, body fat!



Image fromhttp://tnation.t-nation.com/



Image from http://www.muaythai-fighting.com/muay-thai
-kick-techniques.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/27/2011 10:20PM

    Sounds great!!

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SMILINGTREE 10/27/2011 5:32PM

    Thanks for sharing your schedule. I had wondered how much time you spend working out each week - I knew it was a lot, but wow! It's good that you are having fun, that makes all the difference in the world.

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CANNIE50 10/25/2011 5:18PM

    You are a fierce athlete, honey. I salute you. emoticon

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ALISHAB3 10/25/2011 5:17PM

    How about a dose of CCC? Cathe's Cardio Core Circuit? It has a lot of explosive work and great core conditioning that you might find useful in your martial arts classes.

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/25/2011 4:19AM

    I am completely impressed by your dedication!
It sounds like a lot of fun...it is great that you have found something you enjoy so much.

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CHAOSTHEORY635 10/24/2011 11:27PM

    You should seriously consider Olympic lifting. There's nothing better for training explosive hip extension (which, uh, happens to be super important for martial arts)! Kettlebell stuff is good too.

I also agree with Archimedes that your strength workouts could be a lot shorter and still VERY effective. You're better off training full-body movements (deadlift/squat/press/lunge/O-lifts
) than stupid isolation exercises--takes less time, builds more strength, elicits a greater hormonal response. If you feel like that's not enough time, hit some hardcore mobility work before and after.

You're making jiu jitsu sound like a lot of fun...

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/24/2011 10:36PM

    OH, YOU GO GIRL, BUT YOUR SCHEDULE MAKES ME TIRED
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
YOU HAVE SUCH STAMINA AND DRIVE...KEEP IT UP, BUT TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, TOO!
MARY
emoticon

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BECKY3774 10/24/2011 5:45PM

    Your schedule for workouts makes me look like a complete slacker! emoticon

I'm thinking that the yoga and pilates will also help alot to ease your muscles, and like you said, stretch them out. I have become way more flexible with yoga. I love it!

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APIRLRAIN888 10/24/2011 4:14PM

    Awesome I can see how yoga will help

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MIIMA-ME-MY 10/24/2011 2:38PM

    Jiu-Jitsu is very intense physically but fun! I have been doing it for a little more than a year (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and really enjoy the way I can freeze big boys down with the right lock! eh eh

Looks like you have a strong plan, here. Good luck! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/24/2011 2:39:08 PM

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The Week In Review: I Dream of Jiu Jitsu

Sunday, October 23, 2011



No, this is not me...but it will be soon... Images from http://www.briansgeniebottles.com and http://3.bp.blogspot.com.



I absolutely adore my new gym. Not to sound like a nut, but I feel like I have missed out on the past few years of living with being away from real martial arts training. My other kickboxing gym just didn't cut it and I have quickly realized that I hadn't really learned anything there. I think all of us have our little fitness niche, and for me, it is martial arts. Nothing else even comes close to igniting that fire in me. Martial arts is way more than just physical activity, though; it is a lifestyle. In a way, I feel like I've had a fresh start with this whole journey with going to my new gym. My only regret is waiting so long to find a new place, but it was the right place and the right time, so it's happening now. I have been enthusiastically hopping out of bed to get to Muay Thai for the past month, and had been tacking on boxing for additional exercise. But something has been missing and I just hadn't been able to grapple it...

I dreamed of Jiu Jitsu this week. I had done some Jiu Jitsu a few years back when I was training with a mixed martial arts team. My coach, Kru Mike, is one of the best Muay Thai instructors in the country, but I wasn't grasping grappling techniques. He wanted me to focus on Muay Thai only when I just wasn't getting it. That was fine; I really stunk at Jiu Jitsu. I don't feel that I focused on it very well, though. The gym I go to now is known for it's Jiu Jitsu program, and I was thinking that I would give it another shot at some point.

Jiu Jitsu is the class before Muay Thai. I've been watching these guys for a month now and had been toying with the idea of trying it out again, this time learning from esteemed instructors. I haven't been terribly thrilled with the boxing classes, in which I have been wanting to learn actual boxing techniques. It is more of an aerobics class, which is not what I'm looking for. The boxing trainer, Ty, also seemed frustrated with the limitations I have because of my knee in being able to do conditioning drills. Of course, ironically, my bad knee was the reason I was doing boxing in the first place. I had asked the gym owner and head Jiu Jitsu instructor, Nate, about doing Jiu Jitsu eventually when I first joined; I just wasn't sure if I was up for the challenge yet.

I came home from Muay Thai on Wednesday and took a nap. I had a dream that I was learning Jiu Jitsu. In my dream, Nate made me take him down several times (and this is a 6'+, 200+ pound guy--he was even bigger in my dream). I took him down easily and felt very powerful. I felt like I could take on and do anything. I woke up with an overwhelming urge to do Jiu Jitsu. I mean, I wanted to do it right that second. I immediately wrote to Nate and asked when I could get started on Jiu Jitsu training. He told me to show up any time, so I have my first class tomorrow. I will be doing Jiu Jitsu followed by Muay Thai 3-4 days a week. Now, I realize Nate won't be so easy to take down in real life, but I will gain some valuable skills in trying to do so, and will hopefully get very strong. I will be the only woman who does Jiu Jitsu regularly; I guess there is another woman who shows up sometimes, but women don't seem to be interested in Jiu Jitsu. Working out with the guys will be a challenge, but I know they won't go easy on me because I'm a chick, so I have to be ready to fight back. I'm fortunate in that I don't get intimidated easily...




Nate, Jiu Jitsu instructor; image from http://www.nextlevelcombat.com



Jiu Jitsu class at my gym. Image from http://www.facebook.com/pages/10th-Planet-
Jiu-jitsu-St-Paul-MN/120855144613201



Image from http://www.victorytapout.com/pictures/JIU_
JITSU1.jpg



I got to do Muay Thai sparring yesterday, which was the first time in several years. My other gym did not allow me to spar, but the fact is, you can't learn Muay Thai without it. Sparring helps me learn my strengths and weaknesses. It is intense and sometimes nerve-wracking, but I'm happy Eric asked me to try it. There were only 3 of us (myself and 2 other male students), so we took turns. They really challenged me and forced me to think about what they were going to do. Eric helped me with blocking and counter attacks. It was an intense workout, but since it was so mentally taxing, I didn't even notice the physical exhaustion. I had a great time and will do sparring every Saturday.

A few years ago, when I was training with Kru Mike, my life revolved around martial arts. Every choice I made was based on whether it would affect my training. "Do I want to want to eat that? No, I'll feel like crap when I'm training tomorrow." Now that I have a routine with my new gym, I have fallen back into that pattern of thinking. It doesn't mean I will never have junk food or a drink, but almost every choice revolves around whether it will affect my training. Martial arts has a way of focusing energy on a very specific task, with a support group that wants you to do well. That was what was lacking at my other gym--no one knew my name, people were rude, no one cared. I now have that camaraderie with a group and look forward to getting to know my fellow fighters even better. I am a martial arts student, and it doesn't matter that I weigh 254 pounds right now nor that I will weigh almost 100 pounds less next year. I feel like an athlete inside and out, and soon I will look like one. It is nice to know that my fellow fighters will not treat me any differently in between. I just can't wait until I look as fit as I feel.



Image from http://www.fighterwarehouse.com


Of course, I can't do martial arts all the time. I made an effort to do yoga more often this week. My goal is going to be to do yoga nearly every day, and I've been doing it either first thing in the morning or after I get home from work. I am aiming to do at least 15 minutes at a time. I am extremely inflexible right now, but I know regular yoga will restore and improve my range of motion. I feel so much less stiff this week despite beating the crap out of my body with Muay Thai. I have been enjoying yoga and am glad I have been inspired by SparkFriends like EMRANA and VALERIEMAHA to incorporate more yoga into my life. I hope the gentle strengthening in the legs will help my knee and help keep my spinal arthritis symptoms at bay. I'm hoping that activity will continue to be easier if I have better range of motion, although I know weight loss will continue to help with joint pain.

This week I shot past the 40 pound loss mark after a couple of weeks of starting my fat-blasting phase. I'm at a total loss of 43.8 pounds--50 pounds is so close! It's pretty simple: I just have to show up to my martial arts training and work hard, and the weight will come off. Martial arts is aerobic and anaerobic training, strength and endurance, fun and discipline all rolled into a single sweaty package. All that Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu will just gobble up this body fat, and my strength training, yoga, Pilates, and walking will round it out. Of course, eating right has helped, too.

My eating has been mostly spot-on, with a few indulgences, but I'm burning around 7,000 calories a week right now, so I'm not too worried about it. I've noticed that my appetite has really regulated itself. I went out for Thai food for my mom's birthday, and even had a piece of cake, but then I wasn't hungry for the rest of the evening. That used to be unusual, as I would feel ravenous within a couple of hours of any size meal. Now I feel like I have the appetite of a lean person, and my brain and stomach communicate now (and the emotions usually agree, too). The rest of this weight loss journey feels like it is very doable because I'm not on a diet. I eat Thai food and cake, fries and beer, pizza and brownies, but only sometimes...and only when I really want them. The guilt and shame I used to feel with food is gone.

As a reward for my 40 pound loss, I treated myself to some new cloth pads from Party in My Pants ( partypantspads.com/ )--yes, reusable menstrual pads. If you've never tried reusable pads, I highly recommend this company--cute fabrics, too! (I figure any men that may come across this blog are mature enough to handle the mention of menstruation emoticon). I switched to using these about a year ago and have never looked back. I spent about $100 on more pads, and those will last me for years.



Examples of Party in My Pants pads. Image from http://cupwire.ca/articles/40853


I blogged yesterday about seeing John Lithgow talk about his memoirs and getting to meet him briefly when he signed my copy of his book. I will always remember him saying, "Erin!" I had a great time with my brother, too--we talked, real conversation, instead of sitting in awkward silence. Exercise has brought us together, plain and simple. He started doing marathons because of me, and I am tickled to be someone's fitspiration. Kickboxing gave us time together where we could get to know each other better through movement, which led to real conversations. I finally have the little brother I always wanted; it makes life a lot richer.

This was a big ol' week for me with lots of excitement--and I'm pleased to know that it will only keep getting better. Well, I think I've covered everything--Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, losing 40 pounds, John Lithgow, menstruation...hope everyone had a wonderful week!





"Weight loss is easy--all you have to do is work really hard at something you really enjoy doing."
-Me emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/27/2011 10:20PM

    You are doing great!!

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CANNIE50 10/25/2011 5:17PM

    Amen to "looking as fit as I feel". You are something else, Miss Erin.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 10/24/2011 9:35PM

    You are such a badass!

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JITZUROE 10/24/2011 1:46PM

    You sound like you are in a fantastic place with the belly and brain playing friends! That is so huge! I am so jazzed for u!
Have fun at the new class and kick some a**!
Bren

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SYZYGY922 10/23/2011 11:00PM

    Congrats on your success!

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GABENSEBSMOM 10/23/2011 1:48PM

    So, so, so happy for all of your success, Erin! You are such an inspiration in all that you do! Keep up the fabulous work! emoticon

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EMRANA 10/23/2011 1:26PM

  I loved this! You are in such a wonderful, positive, place! It's very inspiring to read.

I also love that you've found your niche in the martial arts. I practice Integral Yoga, where we embrace and practice all the different branches of yoga, not just the poses on the mat. We take our yoga into every aspect of our lives, much like you are doing with the martial arts influencing what you eat and what you do away from the training sessions. It really does shape the entirety of your life in such a good way.

The yoga will definitely help your spinal arthritis. It's done wonders for mine as I've regained my asana practice after my ruptured disc. Who needs a spinal decompression machine when I can achieve the same results actively, and mindfully?

Congrats on the weight loss!! I'm so happy for you! I know it's been said many times, but there needs to be an "I loved this" button.

emoticon emoticon

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ALISHAB3 10/23/2011 11:17AM

    Erin- I'm going to tell you a little known secret, yoga is a forma of martial arts. There, I said it. Its true. So, in reality, you are doing martial arts all the time, its just different kinds. The yoga practices help relieve physical impediments to an effective meditation practice and if you really think about it, pretty much all martial arts is a kind of focused meditation.

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AIRPEACH 10/23/2011 10:08AM

    Congratulations on the loss, and all of the things you've been doing!
Never heard of party in my pants, I'll look them up.
Regarding martial arts, I love them too. I did Judo when I was a kid, and there is a lot of grappling involved in that. I tried Tae Kwon Do about 10 years ago, but it didn't feel right. I found Aikido about 6 years ago, and pretty well had to stop again within 6 months (finances and health), but I think that's the discipline I love the most, and I will get back to it. Good luck with your training!

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DDOORN 10/23/2011 9:22AM

    What an AWESOME job you're doing mixing up your workouts with yoga and martial arts!

Love your line: I just can't wait until I look as fit as I feel.

That's me whizzing along on my bike! :-)

Don

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DDESERTDDAWN 10/23/2011 9:06AM

    Wow What a week it has been for you!

I wish you great luck with the MA! How fortunate and smart you are to have found your niche and gone for it. BEING important to the team is important-- they will appreciae you and you them.

Congrats on your second gift to yourself. Loved the 'party in my pants' info and chuckle-- GREAT that we can finally have a sense of humor about this stuff. Thanks for heads up on the newer versions of re-usables felts! I, too just reached the 40pounds loss mark. Perhaps I will get a giftie for me, too!

Had to comment twice 'cause I just read two great blogs!

cheers,
dDawn emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 10/23/2011 7:55AM

    Very interesting, go for it! Congrats on 40 lbs loss! And wow never heard on the party in my pant! How cool

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BECKY3774 10/23/2011 7:20AM

    Erin,
I'm so sorry, but there are no parties in my pants when it comes to menstruation. emoticon

You have had such a HUGE week! I'm in awe of all that you fit into your schedule, and all of the many classes that you are able to take. You are truly an inspiration to doing what you love to get to where you need/want to be. Kudos to you for figuring it all out! And Congratulations on the forty-three pounds!!

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JSALERNO 10/23/2011 6:33AM

    SURE DOES SOUND LIKE FUN

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/23/2011 2:46AM

    Congratulations on crossing the 40lb mark! That is awesome. That is a very interesting reward you gave yourself too! I have often thought of trying the cloth pads, I used to live in an area that people called "Granola Village" because there were a lot of "Hippies" in the neighbourhood...so , cloth pads were often discussed there. I am going to check out that site.
I love reading your blogs because your excitement about your martial arts training rocks!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

~D

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/23/2011 1:57AM

    I LOVED THE VARIETY IN THIS ONE, ERIN!!!
THE MENSTRUAL PADS CALLED PARTY IN MY
PANTS MADE ME JUST emoticon WHAT A
HOOT, AND HOW TERRIFIC FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NEW ACTIVITIES AND SOUNDS
LIKE YOU FINALLY FOUND A GREAT FIT WITH YOUR NEW
GYM!!
ENJOY!
MARY
emoticon

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CHAOSTHEORY635 10/23/2011 1:35AM

    Staying healthy gets a lot easier when you get to the point where everything you do affects your training. Community is really, really awesome for helping you want to stay on track, too--I get the same kind of support at my Crossfit gym. Glad the new kickboxing gym is working out well for you. I still miss martial arts and have toyed around with the idea of doing something like jiu jitsu--I've always been a little afraid of being thrown around a lot, though. Perhaps that's unfounded? Can't wait to hear your account of what it's actually like!

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Uhhh...Hi John...Uh...Mr. Lithgow...

Saturday, October 22, 2011



My brother called me yesterday and randomly asked me if I wanted to go see Garrison Keillor interviewing John Lithgow about his memoirs today. The event was at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, the set of "A Prairie Home Companion." I happened to have tonight off because this was the day I was going to throw a baby shower for someone, but they decided they didn't want me to do that. Since John Lithgow is one of my favorite actors, especially after his character on Dexter, I said I would go.

John Lithgow wrote his memoirs titled "Drama: An Actor's Education" about his experiences with becoming and being an actor. I bought the book at the theater before we went in for the interview. We were in the third row right in front of Garrison Keillor and John Lithgow. I'm not terribly familiar with Garrison Keillor (what kind of Minnesotan am I?), but I knew he had a dry and witty sense of humor.

Keillor gave a wonderful introduction, and it was a pleasure to hear John Lithgow read from his book. I was a bit star-struck to see him sitting 10 feet away from me. The parts he read from his book were quite engaging and actually humble. He shared a story about reading a bedtime story to his ailing father that had me in tears. There was a Q&A part, and my brother got up and asked him if he enjoyed playing villains (he said he does).

He did stay to sign books, and fortunately I was in the front of the line. I kept wondering what to say. Do I call him John? Mr. Lithgow? Would he even care? Before I knew it I was in front of him, and I settled for, "Thank you so much for coming tonight, Mr. Lithgow. I really enjoyed it." Whew--I don't think I made an ass of myself.






Yay, I'm glad I got him to sign my book! And I got to shake his hand...



My brother and I went out for beers and food, and I actually had 2 beers, which is a rarity. I had a wild rice veggie burger and fries. Ironically, I was within the appropriate ranges for all the macronutrients today, which is unusual for me. All right, bring on the beer! (Just kidding.)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Overall, I was glad to spend some time with my brother. We had real conversation about all sorts of stuff. I'm glad that we have a closer relationship now than we have in the past. Just goes to show the bonding power of exercise.

What a cool evening!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNETTEMOM 10/26/2011 6:53PM

   
wish I would have been there: he's such a unique guy

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JSPIN74 10/24/2011 10:06AM

    what a great evening with your brother (sounds like it for sure)...and i LURVE Mr. Lithgow myself...very cool :)

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HIPPICHICK1 10/23/2011 11:30PM

    How cool is THAT?!
emoticon
That trumps throwing a baby shower squared...or even to the 10th power!
I'm loving that you are your bro are hanging.
emoticon

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DDOORN 10/23/2011 9:21AM

    Lithgow is a WAY COOL fellow! How AWESOME to meet him in person!

Don

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DDESERTDDAWN 10/23/2011 8:46AM

    Hey there. I'm envious too! Ever since Mr Lithgow showed up in The World According to Garp I've truly respect him and his style. What lucky happenstance that you were ready to go! How great that you took that invitation and had a great evening with your brother and John. heehee Thanks for sharing it.



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JITZUROE 10/22/2011 11:14PM

    WOW!!!! I am so jealous!!! I think I would have gotten flop sweat and ran away..... : ))))
Bren

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FRAN0426 10/22/2011 10:53PM

    What a wonderful evening for you and your brother to share, glad you had a great time---- to have stayed in your nutrition range emoticon

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GEOPENGUIN 10/22/2011 7:24PM

    I always liked him in the "odd" roles like Buckaroo Bonsai or World According To Garp!
Grats!!!

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PAMMY222 10/22/2011 6:46PM

    That sounds fabulous!! What a great event, and day, and meal!! Lucky girl.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/22/2011 4:32PM

    OH GIRL! I WISH I COULD HAVE JOINED YOU. I REALLY LIKE JOHN, AH, RATHER MR. LITHGOW I MEAN, AND FIND HIM TO BE SO REAL AND UNPRETENTIOUS WHENEVER HE IS ON ANY TALK SHOW. I LOOK FORWARD TO READING HIS BOOK (ALTHOUGH, MINE WON'T BE AUTOGRAPHED)! LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF IT WHEN YOU ARE DONE. I LOVE HOW THE EVE FELL INTO YOUR LAP, AND WHAT A GREAT NIGHT YOU HAD, FROM THE GREAT SEATS TO THE AUTOGRAPH AND THE TIME WITH YOUR BROTHER OVER DINNER. JUST A GREAT BLOG. THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING IT ALL, IF I COULD NOT JOIN YOU, IT WAS THE NEXT BEST THING.
MARY
emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/22/2011 4:33:10 PM

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FROGGERHKC 10/22/2011 4:25PM

    How exciting! I would love to meet him, even for a minute!

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JILLYBEAN25 10/22/2011 3:42PM

    John Lithgow?! That is so mega awesome! He's the coolest! I would have totally been a blubbering idiot trying to talk to him. I admire you for keeping your cool. emoticon

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KKINNEA 10/22/2011 2:53PM

    Nice, I had forgotten that was going on but had heard about it. Sounds like it was a great time!

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AIRPEACH 10/22/2011 2:26PM

    sounds great!

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CANNIE50 10/22/2011 12:52PM

    What a wonderful evening, start to finish. I am so glad you were able to enjoy this with your brother. Thank you for writing this blog, I was able to enjoy this vicariously thanks to you.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 10/22/2011 12:40PM

    What a wonderful night! That's so great about you and your brother getting closer...

Last year, I watched every Third Rock from the Sun episode (in order, of course, because I'm finicky about that kind of thing.) That show has a lot of seasons! I laughed so hard! John Lithgow is so freakin' funny!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

By the way, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

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HILLERYH 10/22/2011 12:33PM

    Garrison Keillor and John Lithgow?!?!?! Sooooo jealous!! At school, I put a stream of Prairie Home Companion podcasts in a playlist and nap to the sound of Keillor's voice. Its so soothing and relaxing.

Glad you had a good night though. And a wild rice veggie burger sounds yummy... Where did you eat?

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EMRANA 10/22/2011 11:50AM

  I don't even know what the best part of this blog is ~ so much good stuff in here! I'm glad you were able to experience such a fabulous evening and meet someone you've admired for so long. That wild rice burger also sounds reaaaallllly intriguing. emoticon

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GABENSEBSMOM 10/22/2011 9:16AM

    So glad you had a great night out! That's so exciting! emoticon

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NANCYRUBIO 10/22/2011 8:51AM

    How exciting for you--the night couldn't have been more positive. emoticon

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MUSICALLYMINDED 10/22/2011 8:42AM

    I always get kind of starstruck around famous people too, haha. I wouldn't know what to say, either :) Sounds like a fun evening.

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BECKYSRN 10/22/2011 8:34AM

    Cool....I like John Lighgow too! And I felt the same way when I got to meet Julie Harris when she was doing her Emily Dickinson show...and I still have the autographed copy of The Belle of Amherst that she signed for me...
emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/22/2011 9:21:01 AM

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APIRLRAIN888 10/22/2011 8:26AM

    Very nice night

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BECKY3774 10/22/2011 7:59AM

    I'm excited that you got to meet John, but I'm even MORE excited that you and your brother have such a special budding relationship. I am jealous of that, since we all know how I am with MY brother. emoticon

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JSALERNO 10/22/2011 6:06AM

    COOL, I LOVE JOHN!

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/22/2011 2:44AM

    I am super jealous!!! I love John Lithgow ever since I saw him in "The World According to Garp" and "Terms of Endearment"...of course he was great in "Dexter" too.

Sounds like you had a great evening.

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The Week In Review: Ritardando/A Tempo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ri·tar·dan·do/rētärˈdändō/
Adverb: (esp. as a direction) With a gradual decrease of tempo.
Noun: A gradual decrease in tempo.

a tem·po/(ä tĕm'pō)
Adverb & Adjective: In the tempo originally designated; resuming the initial tempo of a section or movement after a specified deviation from it.





This week had positive and negative aspects to it. I euthanized my 19-year-old cat Kaia on Tuesday, which was a difficult choice to make. I have realized since then that I had been really tormenting myself with the decision and now know that it was the best choice. Although losing a pet is always a negative experience, it was a positive choice for Kaia. Thank you for all my friends who stopped by my blog and gave me goodies.

I also finally saw a sports medicine doctor about the persistent pain in my knee. He believes that I have ilitotibial band (IT band) syndrome, albeit pretty severe. He actually encouraged my to do more kettlebell work, which is cool as most doctors shun kettlebells because they don't understand how to use them. He was also familiar with Pilates and yoga and encouraged me to do more of both of them. I got a cortisone injection and it does seem less painful, but still feels the same during activity. At least I don't feel like I will ruin my knee altogether by doing kickboxing, but I hope that he will do an MRI on it if it isn't improving over the next couple of months. I am also positive that weight loss will also continue to help my knee feel better. I just hope to be able to return to running at some point; I feel lucky, though, that I've been able to do kickboxing.

My eating this week has been mostly good, but I admit to a binge on Tuesday night after I got home from euthanizing Kaia. It wasn't "as bad" of a binge as some, but a binge nonetheless. I didn't eat to the point of feeling ill, though, and still got up and went to Muay Thai and boxing the next morning. Part of the reason I binged was because I didn't have any good food readily available in the house and I was genuinely hungry, so I ordered food (a slice of pizza, mostaccioli, a salad with tofu, and a vegan peanut butter bar). I need to be more vigilant about keeping satisfying food readily available in the house. I also haven't cooked in a while, at least not in large batches; with the cooler weather, I should make a large batch of ratatouille or chili.

This week was about as close to perfect with exercise as I could expect. I went to Muay Thai and boxing on Monday and Wednesday (2 hours each time) and Muay Thai yesterday. That's 5 hours of martial arts training. It will actually be a little hard NOT to lose weight if I'm working out like that; all I have to do is show up. I aim to do 5-7 hours of martial arts training a week, and this week was a good test to see how my knee would feel. It does not feel aggravated and feels fine during workouts. Eric, my Muay Thai coach, is sensitive to my knee issue and makes sure I modify if needed. There are a lot of knee strikes in Muay Thai, but my knee seems to do okay. But Ty, my boxing coach, seems a bit frustrated with my knee issue. He knows that a major reason for doing boxing is that my knee bothers me. I can do all of the boxing stuff, but no jump roping, ballistic conditioning movements, or deep bending motions. If he continues to be frustrated with me, I will tell him I don't need to be in his class if it annoys him that much. I'll see how it goes over the next few weeks. Ty is intense trainer, which I appreciate, but if there's something that will aggravate my knee, I won't do it. I'm not there to impress him. He seems to mistake my inability to do some exercises as unwillingness or defiance, and I won't let him trick me into pushing myself beyond what my body can tolerate.

I am almost done with my first round of Cathe Friedrich's STS program, during which I have been doing upper body only. My arms are noticeably different and have a lot more muscle tone. Now that I have a better idea of what is going on with my knee, I will return to lower body strength training. I will start STS again next month, this time doing lower body as well. Actually, my legs look pretty good with doing Muay Thai, Pilates, kettlebells, and band work; my calves actually look really nice, if I do say so. Doing more squats and lunges will help develop much-missed strength in my legs, though. The movements won't be as deep because of my right knee, but I still plan on doing some plyometrics to build power. I've backed off of lower body strength training for over a year, and I actually miss it. I look forward to doing more.

As usual, I felt like I could have practiced my saxophone more and worked harder. My teacher Jeff seems satisfied with my progress, though. Before my lesson on Tuesday, I realized I had barely practiced the week before, with getting ready to go out of town and then traveling. I was also not in the best mood on Tuesday with knowing I was euthanizing Kaia that night. I told Jeff I wasn't feeling the best and asked if I could work on an actual song rather than doing any other the technical exercises that I hadn't worked on. We worked on a section of a Handel piece I've been picking away at for a while.

I was hitting most of the notes correctly, but he said the piece had no life to it because I was holding back too much. I admitted how much of an introvert I am and I know that I'm very reserved. While I'm not shy, I don't tend to put myself out there in front of people I don't know well, and I feel very exposed when I play. He said, "I know, but you can still show off a bit." He marked 2 sections with "ritardando" followed by "a tempo." This meant that I was supposed to slow down during that part and play in a very showy manner, then return to the original pace of the piece.

"Uhhh...I don't think I'm really capable of showing off."

"Well, I'm an introvert, too," he told me. "Just exaggerate the playing; it may feel wild and crazy to introverts like us, but it will probably be just right. Just imagine you're saying, 'Look at me!'"

I tried playing it again, and it felt very uncomfortable to play in a show-off manner. I slowed down at the "ritardando" and played as exaggerated as possible. It felt a little forced to me to play in a way that says, "Look at me!" Jeff said it sounded much better.

Maybe Jeff is right. I could stand to show off every once in a while; I've earned it. I tend to overshoot in most areas of life, and it usually comes out just right in the end. I should stand up and say "Look at me!" more often.




"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
-Lily Tomlin

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SABLENESS 10/28/2011 12:21PM

    Sorry about your feline companion. Even when it's the best decision, it isn't easy. Sounds like you're doing a great job of checking out the knee issues; it's always best to know what's going on so you can help and not further injure yourself. Hope everything's going well for you. emoticon

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JILLYBEAN25 10/21/2011 11:35PM

    My condolences on the loss of your beloved feline companion. I went through a similar situation several years ago; its difficult, but you know you did the right thing by ending their suffering.

I'm glad you have a sports medicine doctor that seems so knowledgeable! That was one message my sports nutrition teacher relayed to us a few weeks ago- sports medicine is a different animal than general medicine, so see a sports med doc for issues like that! I've never tried kettle bells, but have always wanted to. Awesome progress for you despite IT issues!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/21/2011 6:27PM

    I HAVE READ YOUR BLOG TWICE NOW...I WAS NOT ABLE TO COMMENT FOR SOME REASON THE FIRST TIME AND THEN, AMAZINGLY, IT CAME TO MY EMAIL AGAIN, NOT SURE HOW OR WHY BUT...I AM GLAD YOU ARE FINDING SOME PEACE WITH KAIA'S PASSING...YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. AND HAVING LOST MY TWO "BOYS" THIS PAST YEAR I UNDERSTAND YOUR GRIEF! I STILL HAVE SORROW AND MISS THEM! I THINK IT GREAT YOU FINALLY SAW A DR AND HAVE AN ANSWER. AND YOU MUST STAND YOUR GROUND FOR YOUR OWN HEALTH!!
I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR MY GOODIE, IT REALLY CAME ON A DAY I NEEDED IT!
TAKE CARE, MY FRIEND!
MARY
emoticon

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JITZUROE 10/21/2011 4:26PM

    Hiya! I never got the notice that you posted this blog (boo!!) I guess I will just have to stop in and check regularly, but that's no problem since I adore your photo!
I am so glad you got a solid diagnosis and that it is not a bone/cartilage issue. I had an IT band issue years ago, and as much as it hurt all the time (and I was worried it would never stop!), the strtching and regular massaging of it myself DID help tremendously.

I completely understand the binge too. Am I allowed to say on this that I am I did the same and had waaaaay too much wine trying to forget my sadness over my 19 year old cat when I had to put her down? Well, it's true. I wish you healing for your knee and your heart...
Bren



>



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GEMINIAN1 10/20/2011 12:54PM

    I'd be leery of anybody not taking a syndrome seriously.
I'm just sayin'; just my opinion.
Sounds like it's your opinion too.
Again, just my opinion; but, a good trainer would figure out what you CAN do, focus on that, and have you working on that while everybody else is doing what you can't?
I'm assuming that's what's going on; but, he's still frustrated with you.
Not very supportive and motivational.
Go you and Cathe ... emoticon
I hope you're having a great day my friend ... :-)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/18/2011 3:51PM

    IT problems are very common. I hope you can get it corrected soon.

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DDOORN 10/17/2011 3:45PM

    One of our local Sparkers has struggled with IT band troubles also...you might get some helpful pointers from her: LADYGWEN25.

Don

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DDOORN 10/17/2011 3:45PM

    One of our local Sparkers has struggled with IT band troubles also...you might get some helpful pointers from her: LADYGWEN25.

Don

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ALISHAB3 10/17/2011 11:43AM

    I have a friend that has had success using a foam roller. You might look into that.

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HIKINGSD 10/17/2011 1:17AM

    ((((((hug))))))

What a difficult decision to have to make. I believe you have done the right thing too.

Hope your knee feels better soon!

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CHAOSTHEORY635 10/17/2011 12:29AM

    highly recommended: http://is.gd/I0zzyd
if you're doing squats, make absolutely certain your tight IT bands don't lead to your knees caving in! keep your knees OUT or you will see more knee problems in the future. (a warning from experience and definitely not in the spirit of "omg don't do squats"--squats are awesome! if you make sure to do them correctly.)

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MUSICALLYMINDED 10/16/2011 10:50PM

    I do love the music references! Haha I just taught some of my elementary students the term "ritardando." They were going to sing in a statewide choir with other students and I reminded them that if the conductor tells them to remember to do the "ritard" not to laugh. They thought that was hilarious. Ha- kids are funny.
You are learning some great life lessons in your sax lessons...it's great you are taking so much from it.
Speaking of knee issues, I have had some weird soreness in my knee. It mostly acts up when I do lunges. Then again last week when I did Zumba two days in a row. I'm trying to give myself a resting day in between classes because it's so high-impact. I hope I don't develop an injury from doing too much. I think you're right to do what's best for yourself and not risk an injury in your Muay Thai class. Don't let him to convince you to do something to harm your body and set you back.

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CANNIE50 10/16/2011 9:19PM

    There are great stretches for I.T. band (which I am sure you doing) and my friends with IT band issues who do these stretches regularly do get relief from them. I am so glad you have a doctor who is supportive of your fitness pursuits, and knowledgeable as well. Good for you for not caving for an annoyed fitness instructor. It is not easy to hold our ground but we are the ones who will suffer the consequences if we do not. I am glad you have some peace of mind about your beloved Kaia. emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/16/2011 6:25PM

    WELL, LOOK AT YOU!!!!! emoticon YOU BET YOU DESERVE IT, AND FOR MANY REASONS! EXPAND YOUR WINGS AND IF YOU CAN'T FLY, ATLEAST YOU CAN SHOW YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES, AND FEEL EMPOWERED!!!!
CONTINUED SUCCESS!
MARY
emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 10/16/2011 5:15PM

    Hug great blog sounds like u r doing the right things

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NIAGCHRIS246 10/16/2011 5:00PM

  My condolences on the loss of your long time friend. I know the feeling of making that last choice for your beloved pet.

Did you check the drugstore for support wraps for your knee? I have used them when I injured my knee, they are very effective and not terribly uncomfortable.

Music is a great way to lose shyness. It is one place where you can legitimately show what you got!

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