Friday, August 29, 2014
Quasi-Inclusive Gym ... [the one with that "Stop" + a Hand Logo - its real identity co-incidental to this blog post] ... and, like upscalegymfullofyoungpeople.com, it too is full of young people (and it is, actually, super-upscale--we are no longer talking about the mid-market--which, in my world of job instability and expensive rent, is still upscale and expensive to ME ... BUT at a price point actually somewhat above the one that's around that of the IHRSA bunch ...] and I guested at it.
Short-duration guest pass, that's why I'm free to blog.
So, nature must abhor a vacuum. Not too frequently is a guest gymster (who looks like he/she knows what they're doing) approached by a personal trainer trolling for new clients in this slow, uncrowded; everybody-who-is-anybody-is out-of-town or over at The Open, period.
This time, I think the reasons I was NOT approached are more obvious. For one, I look intimidatingly gaunt/so not-young/so not well-heeled. I am now quite a bit more hollow-cheeked than is shown in my avatar. For another, seeming cardio queen (however feebly motivated at any one time)--not usually approached.
You see, my feet are in such uncorrectable shape (due to surgery being non-indicated because I was 43 at the time of poddo diagnosis) that I now do BOSU aerobics where Step Aerobics used to reside ... Even on an overinflated BOttomSideUp ball (on the dome side, of course). The personal trainers milling around use BOSU balls with their clients ... a LOT, but with the flat side up. They did not look particularly inspired in their offerings... not like the military-style drill sergeant personal trainers I vaguely remember from upscalegymfullofyoungpeople.com ...
But remember, this super-upscale gym guns for the more aesthetically driven repeat business and not the burnout, killer, 6 weeks-to-the-wedding bunch. Their charges are obviously frequent-fliers and seemingly quite motivated ... I learned from my experience as a yoga studio fairly regular attendee, that you treat the high-value customers with kid gloves (I had not been one of them) ...
Anyway, overall, the vibe was different. The music was better. Not hipster or hip-hop. Nearly perfect for my workout. If the BPM got too fast, I trained flexibility and worked in some intervals before doing arabesques, chassees, or kicks while one foot was on the dome's top.
I saw some gal doing YogaBoxing in the vacated studio where a boxing of some sort class usually was ... She shortly got dressed thereafter (while I was gearing up for another short round in locker room) and practically sailed out of that gym. Looking like the celebrity reporter whose workout she probably just imitated.
But me? I was nobody to be messed with.
I had not been approached by any personal trainer, per se; but by a licensed nutrition specialist, trolling for clients.
Can't win. Had a lengthy discussion with him.
I was not seen doing the workout that celebrities don't do, by this nutrition guy.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
It helps that I had been treated right in a live mat pilates class series. No substitute for being supported by one's live pilates instructors (I've had the privilege of being taught by four of them since 2012). Otherwise the journey would be one of unlearning, unlearning, unraveling, unbundling and unlearning some more. And finally re-self-teaching/being re-taught. Which requires a lot of internet research and comparing of notes. So inefficient. Besides, I'm deactivated off of Facebook, finally. So I can't/won't go there for dubious "pointers", "freely" given by the pros.
It also helps that my body is more suited to pilates than to yoga. Not a question of having more core-strength to start, but more a question of how my bones will move in their joints (whether transcending my joint pain or not), and my relative physical accessibility to the practice.
I am not naturally lithe and limber enough; and not quite short enough at just over 5'4" tall, for--whether through jerking or floating into "poses"--tricking myself into getting opportunities for that isometric exercise. On the other hand, isotonic and isokinetic exercise were MADE for me. Why I'd temporarily forgotten that, I'll never know. Because, quite frankly, I'm not afraid of intentional muscular "burn".
Interesting to note, I discovered a hybrid class that's close to being a cardio barre routine which my body takes to, so far. It's called Zenga.
It has a yoga, cardio dance, and almost a soft martial arts-y feel.
It was invented by STOTT Pilates, and taught by P.J. O'Clair. And it does its thing for me, in less than an hour.
However, being that I've studied breathing techniques under J. Brown Yoga (though via DVD), I've found that breathing deeply, slowly and regularly is the key. I've got to re-learn the reversed breathing I've on occasion used for the STOTT-inspired and STOTT-derived classes in the past (both live and recorded).
I have also put together my own mat pilates routines (classically-based and, thus, somewhat different--blatantly ripped off (derived) from pilates master Amy Brown) by this time.
Guess I better stop now. And just breathe !
Friday, August 01, 2014
This is a very long story. About six years ago, I’d enrolled in several series of vinyasa yoga classes taught by these young people in a hurry. Location was the then-closest studio to where I lived, that had a wood floor and looked polished and serene.
My painful feet–needing prescribed orthotics when I wear shoes–had kept me willing myself to stay off the dance floor for years (most of that time I’d become obsessed with lap swimming). My second-ever commercialized yoga studio class had been, imho, mistaught for its being yoga (a lot of slow yoga flows with NO cues WHATSOEVER for down-modification – having all the drama, with none of the vinyasa krama; and no “listen to your body” prompts that I’d grown used to and loved at my previous New York Sports Club yoga classes–for YOGA); and thus I’d yelled at them right after class, and accused them of trying to teach me DANCE and not yoga … I’d wound up purposely avoiding taking any more classes from this green teacher (only told after-the-fact that she’d had a few months of classroom yoga, let alone teacher training) hired and kept on, for the purpose of pyramid-like expansion scheme of this yoga chain for several months. (only found THAT out after-the-fact; as was her first name--I guess in the ancient shala in India, expecting only "regulars" they'd NEVER INTRODUCED THEMSELVES before sessions) In many other ways, had got off on the wrong foot, for what that’s worth in the long run.
A LOT, as it happens ...You can tell a lot if a class seems run a little like a secret society or not–where only the 5x/week regulars know the name of the sudden sub (see above). This green yoga teacher seemed to really be in yoga to advance and to learn; it is entirely possible she comes from from a good place and early on owned the fact, without apology, that she teaches the high-value (meant in a market-research sense only) students her own, newer and different, studio of this chain attracts.
My involvement with yoga-only as a form of physical activity for a two year period and particularly with this the first of a half dozen yoga studios I would go to, practically all of them (including Cyndi Lee’s then-OM Yoga studio, which says a LOT--NYC misses you, Cyndi!) less commercially-minded than this one; and how far down they’d dragged my spirit and how ugly the situation became, until it got better the more and more primarily-home-practitioner-friendly the studio would be, on average. There had even been one that pioneered a program in donation Freeform Yoga, which I eagerly, regularly attended.
But do know this: I had loved dance (or, more accurately, cardio dance-exercise) for YEARS prior to a packed schedule resulting in my swimming becoming
landlubbing and thus my seeking yoga so as to, like swimming, keep
me working out but not too much on my feet. My elastic arch supports worn on both feet served as a red flag to some yoga bulls, depending on the studio. It hadn’t been just that first one; but I had been lucky. It had only been 2 of them.
So now, I come back full circle. I will not do 9 and 10 hours a week of physical activity to manage what has presented as a fairly severe case of Type 2 Diabetes. I am 59 and not that vigorous; and I love my mat pilates too much. I am the most Type A with dance exercise; a bit less so with pilates, and vinyasa/power/hatha/any trendy-a$$ flow you could imagine–whatever–brings up the rear.
So non-Type A with yoga, I’m better off (if it isn't my OWN routine) with the yoga being old school. It had taken quite a while for me to get J. Brown’s Yoga Video - that oceanic breathing! - for example; but once I’d gotten it, that has been my go-to. No more Body by Bethenny… makes me sick! But in contrast to yoga, less than an hour at a time with vigorous dance knocks down my blood sugar, It’s healing.
I’ve been told not to bring up the past, to let it go…
Sometimes the most yogic thing you could do is to live in your feelings–it is not all about protecting someone else’s ears. Your best bet is to try to allow an appropriate passage of time in between, so that you could get your details straight and dispassionate!
You CAN speak your truth.
But I also swear by attention to the tone of presentation, as in Louise DeSalvo book Writing as a Way of Healing ...
Sunday, June 22, 2014
This entry goes out to an old-school gambling haunt of my late Aunt. And I used to tag along with her on her multi-day, comped jaunts to Atlantic City. Until about 6 years ago. Just before I had gotten my job, which lasted - this, the second go-round with the same company - just under 6 years.
But it is not dedicated to them. I do not hate gambling is that I used to like to play "21" - a lot! - in its mobile game format. No money to buy the game (it was the cartoonish, dumbphone version) and no cash money to play it. [It's no Farmville sort of setup].
I had thought I was going to get the $30 back from my day trip passage cost, and go a-browing and a-eating (at a fancy place) down the Boardwalk, at The Pier Shops.
No such arrangement.
Now, I did the expected thing, and when and only when I was ready (after having a tall cup of Starbucks and a fruit salad that I doctored up with carb-slowing-down ingredients I'd smuggled in such as nuts and seeds and cranberries and less than a small packet of honey--there'd been no tasty protein-rich snacks to be had!)--and then a walk as fast as I could go with a pull-cart in tow (with my diseased feet) ... and I went to work.
I didn't know what I was doing, and I found out later that I forfeited the money I put into the slot machine and walked away from it. I went to security, and in so many words they'd told me I was SOL on that one.
I went outside the casino and FUMED about this for awhile. Got on the cell phone, and was talked down. "We know you're not a gambler. Just walk away from this!"
I said, I gamble every day, living in New York City, trying to live on what I earn; (now newly laid off) and trying to piece together anything resembling a steady wage! I gamble every day!
I was told that what I just described is NOT gambling.
And, being hypereducated in the economic sciences, I know--deep down--that what was just told to me is absolutely true. It is a market -- which could be construed as a gaming system of sorts (but that is a theoretical construct and not the actual practice in brick-and-mortar Main Street not Wall Street - reality...) but NOT THE SAME THING!
I went back into the casino and ranted and raved and nearly threatened to make a scene... to go to Public Relations! Anything!
I am a Type 2 diabetic (though physically I don't look the "stereotype"), and looking back, I guess I'd figured my early-afternoon snack a little wrong ... damn! Doesn't take much to get me on the mild sugar high ...
It turns out that two managers--one by one--helped me out. Restored my coupon (and ensured business elsewhere in the hotel). If I were PRO-gambling (as opposed to non-hating of gambling--and a fan of that "21" video game), I would have written a letter to the head honcho of the casino. I told one of the security managers that.
He said every day, they get one or two newbies. They used to get people who would pocket the money when it had been in cash or converted chips, and not in non-redeemable for cash, voucher. I had been one of them. At the rate I gamble, I would have had to live at that one slot machine for 4 months. with just a $30 stake, that I'd paid for with my passage.
Anyway to this casino - and apologies to any recovering compulsive gamblers out there: "You run a fine establishment."
But you are not getting a letter, review or testimonial from me.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I cannot believe I'm reading this. I really heart this. This is this nutritionista's wet dream. This is this so-over-commercialized-holierthanthou-yoga practioner's wet dream - squared! This is this well-managed 59 year old diabetic sufferer (raised in da Bronx, myself) wet dream to the 10th power!!
I quote here:
"I wished that my metabolism wasn’t so anti-veggie. I wanted to be good to animals. But try losing weight in the South Bronx, where "vegan" food like rice and beans give you big butts and no Sir-Mix-A-Lot. Try being good when you fear type-2 diabetes."
My only provisos here, is that you cannot eat a whole truckload of animal protein AT ALL, you cannot eat too many KCal per day AT ALL, and you don't always avoid sugar or sugar products when low-carbing, in my world (I don't do Atkins).
It is only recently, that I started even following the American Diabetic Association guidelines at all. They don't know the half of the supplementation I feel I must take, the only kinds of exercise that (counterintuitively) work for me against this diabetic wasting syndrome I have suffered with for the longest time since diagnosis nearly 17 months ago, nor how frequently I could get away with eating, nor that I recently found out that I have to severely taper off my coffee consumption ...
I'd been chasing the American Association of Endocrinologists' guidelines (putting an Alzheimer-fearing spin on them, personally)
Every case is different.
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