Tag Archives: exercise


So, a couple of weeks back I resumed exercising. I tend to feel very counter-productive when I work out. When I don’t work out, I’m fine with a plate that looks like this:


Well, maybe not THAT little, but you get the idea.

I work out and turn into this:

I call it an acute case of exernoms. Unlike the cookie monster I do not eat only cookies, either. To quote Soup King, I eat “all of the things.”  So I might have two servings of pot-roast and veggies, dessert, and then go back and nibble more pot-roast. Granted, I am doing weights and attempting to build muscle, but it never seems to quite work how I’d like it to. I have managed a teeny tiny increase in my arms and improved my leg strength marginally, but now my pants are mocking me. Oddly though, the scale doesn’t budge, at least not enough to count. Going up and down in a two pound range is water weight. I don’t really care all that much about the number on the scale, but I do like my pants to button. So if I make my “white girl” butt less flat, does that mean my pants won’t fit forever more, or will there eventually be some give somewhere else so that it all works out?

I try to feed my exernom urges with things like dry roasted edammamme or celery and peanut butter, or an apple, but the dark side is powerful.

Image You don’t know the power of the exernoms.



Stop the Madness!

I read this book…okay I skimmed this book. It’s how to tackle a 13-week walk to run plan. I looked at the first week and said, “I can totally do that.” I could and I did. This is week two and I took Marble with me for the walk/run around the neighborhood. It entails eight intervals of four minutes walking followed by a minute of running.

Here’s Marble’s commentary:

First walk interval

Ooh, a walk, a walk, a walk. We’re going for a walk!

First Run

Ooh! A run! Haha, I’m beating you Mom!

Second walk interval

Hey, don’t we usually turn there? We’re going on a long walk? Cool!

Second Run

Again? Okay. I’m still beating you!

Third walk interval

Whew! I’m winded. We’ve never gone this way before. Mom, there’s lots of cars over here. I’m not sure I like this route.

Third run

Are we running from the cars? I’m totally on board with that.

Fourth walk interval

Good heavens Mom, where the heck are we? Are we there yet?

fourth run


Fifth walk interval

Hey, that was our street. Where are you going? Home is that way!

Fifth run

Mom, are you nuts? You’re running AWAY from the house. Come on, let’s turn back. Please?

Sixth walk interval

It’s not too late. We can totally go back home. Mom, are you even listening to me?

Sixth run

Again? Really? Can we maybe just like sit? That patch of clover looks like an excellent spot.

Seventh walk interval

Why? Why are we still walking?

Seventh run

ZOMG WHY??????

Eighth walk interval


Eighth run

ZOMG! I see home! RUN HOME!


I have to admit, my legs feel that one. I wonder who is more sore, Marble or me?

Don’t make me hit you…

After a bike ride around the neighborhood I put dinner on and then went back outside to practice some jo staff moves for a few minutes. The staff is heavier than it looks, so it gives my arms a bit of a workout.

Along comes one of the neighborhood kids.

“Hey, Mr. Smarty Pants’ Mom!” (Of course, he used my son’s actual name.)

“Hey.” I keep right on doing my figure eights, imagining that I’m whacking someone on the head with each strike.

“Man, I just had to come down here and say you were like rollin’ on that bike.”

I pause in my jo staff exercises as he comes within striking distance. I may be able to make it look like I know what I’m doing, but in all honesty, my jo staff skills are rudimentary. I’d rather not hit him on accident.

I reply, “Well, yeah, it’s called exercise.” He laughs and I continue talking. “If I don’t want to break bones and stuff when I get older, I have to build muscle.”

“Yeah.” He pantomimes a hurt back.

“And you are?”

“K*. I used to ride with J and Mr. Smarty-Pants.”

“You go to Woodale Middle?”

“Woodale High.”

I nod. “I didn’t want Mr. Smarty-Pants there because of the gangs, although, I’m not so sure his current school is all that much better.”

“Yah. Although, they got pedophiles over there.”

“At his school?”

“No, Woodale.”


“Yeah. I may just finish my eleventh year and then get a job.”

I launch into a pro-education pep talk, encouraging him to stick it out, maybe see about transferring to another school. He nods, but I get the feeling he’s blowing it off.  I keep the pep talk short and then say I have to go see to dinner.

He extends his hand and I shake it right as he says, “I just gotta say, Mr. Smarty-Pants is lucky.”

In my head I’m filling in stuff like, “for having a mom who cares about education, or who watches out for him”, or any number of other things.

“Cuz you are beautiful.”

I’m suddenly quite thankful for the jo staff in my hand, just in case. Uhhhh, kid, don’t make me hit you. He grins and walks away.

He shall henceforth be known as Mr. Creepy Hormones. Unfortunately it occurred to me that there may be a disconcerting number of creepy hormonal teens in my future.

Maybe I should practice knife katas outside instead.

*Name redacted to protect the player.


Downward dog, Face Dog?

Years ago, after I had my second child and bought a exercise video to get back in shape, I discovered that some things became quite difficult to do with an audience, especially one that spent a lot of time on the floor.

No sooner would I lie down to do tummy tucks or leg lifts than a toddler would sit on me. An extra level of agility training got added to the aerobics exercises: don’t kick my child in the head/body as the kid darted around me like I was the newest Indiana Jones adventure.

I never did really get into the whole exercise video thing. I’d do it for a bit and as soon as I found a way to walk or ride a bike, I opted for that.

Soup King got a DVD set of yoga videos for Christmas. After two 6mi rides this week, I felt the need to do something a bit less intense and coaxing Soup King to use said DVDs didn’t seem like a bad idea.

Yoga is supposed to help you find serenity while you strengthen your body. Doing yoga with three kids and three dogs watching is like the uber intense drill sergeant version of zen.

“You WILL be zen, mister! My granny can stretch better than that!”

Zeke thought, of course, that I wanted to play the minute I sat on the floor. Marble wanted in on said playing. Millie complained that no, she should be getting the attention. I had to crate Marble and Zeke, as I’ve attempted exercising before with Marble in the room. She thinks there’s something terribly wrong and maybe if she slobbers all over me I’ll get up.

Millie doesn’t have a crate. I gave her a rawhide in hopes of distracting her. It didn’t quite work. In addition, the minion gallery felt the need to comment on our progress.

Mr. Smarty-pants: “Mom, your thighs jiggle.”

Miss Diva: “Soup King, you’re supposed to hold your leg STRAIGHT. Look, watch ME!”

Miss Drama: “I can do that better!”

Miss Diva: “Uh-uh. I can!”

Me: “No, Millie! You cannot sit on my face!”

Okay, so maybe not exactly zen, but no one got kicked in the head.

Get the message?

I was doing rather well. I worked out several times a week for a whole month! Sure, I walked at lunch yesterday and will probably do so again today, but it isn’t quite the same as a workout.

What has put a kink in my attempt to get fit?

The universe.

No, really! My workout bag, my sneakers, and my workout clothes have all gone MIA. I’ve looked, but I think the universe stole them when I wasn’t looking.

Fine. I get the message.

I’ll stick to fun activities for now, like pulling weeds (YOU may not think it’s fun, but playing in the garden is my zen.) and herding chickens, and the ever popular dog leap. What’s that? It’s a test of coordination. One must leap over the dog that sprawls suddenly right beneath your feet. Doing this exercise in the dark adds an extra level of difficulty. For cardio, I’ll continue with my current regimen of minion stealth attacks. Mr. Smarty-Pants likes to combine the scare with lifting me off the ground, so I get both a cardio AND another test of balance. Plus, he’s getting a whole body weight-lifting workout! It’s win-win!

Somewhere out there a black hole is trying to get a trim event horizon while wearing gray and aqua sneakers. I have no idea what you should do if you see it. Perhaps you should take a picture and make bazillions of dollars. Wait, maybe I should do that.

Where’s my camera? Hmm….The universe probably took that too.


I can haz holodeck*?

Even those unfamiliar with the world of Star Trek, have heard of holograms. In the real world, they make hologram stickers and other little things where the image appears to pop out at you or move as you tilt the item.  Scientists are working to create real-time images, but we aren’t there yet. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, they went a step farther than a flickery little image or even a life-size image used to send messages. Thanks to a marvelous thing called a holodeck, the people on board could project any environment they wanted. Not only did things look real, but they felt, smelled, and sounded real as well. It was essentially a virtual reality room which didn’t require a suit or interface of any sort. In general, the ship’s crew and passengers used it for exercise and recreation.

Far fetched? Absolutely.

Awesome idea? Totally.

Here are my top five reasons** why I want a holodeck:

1. Weather control

Today I walked outside and instead of breathing the normal 78:20ish Nitrogen to Oxygen ratio, I was hit by a wall of water vapor. My lungs take extreme affront to oxygen accompanied by those two annoying little hydrogens. (Water= H2O) How can I enjoy a walk or bike ride if I’m breathing water?

2. Insect control

There’s more of them than there are of us. I’m pretty sure if they figure out to stop fighting each other they could usurp control of the world and subjugate humanity. The roaches know how to avoid Raid! I’m telling you, they are smarter than you think.

I love outdoors. Unfortunately it comes equipped with creepy crawling insects, flying nuisances, and annoying disease vectors. Sure, they each serve a purpose in the ecosystem, but only an etymologist could argue against the dream of going outside in the summer without dosing oneself in stinky poison.

3. New diet plan

  If it’s made of light, it can’t possibly have calories, right? Not to mention, I could eat a grilled mushroom, swiss, burger with all of the toppings and not feel as if the Grim Reaper was stalking me.

4. Pet day care

If there’s no bugs and it’s a confined space, the dogs and even the cats could romp and roam to their hearts’ content until I announced, “Computer, end program”.

5.  Gravity can’t get me

    Holodecks come with built in safety measures. Unless you are a thrill seeker and turn them off, the program won’t let you get hurt. For someone who trips walking across a flat surface, this could come in quite handy.

Can we program in a beach please?

*The military should share.

**The any location, time period, etc seems to be a given, in my opinion.


Correct me if I’m wrong…

It appears I have been under the false impression that P.E., also known as Physical Education, involved you know, physical movement. It seems that it’s more of a theoretical study now. When I asked what my kids did in P.E. I expected something I recalled from my childhood: kick ball, nerf (or regular) dodge-ball, relay races, soft ball, volley ball, soccer, basket ball, four-square, hop scotch, dance games, tumbling, bowling, and of course, the dreaded exercises and yearly physical fitness test. My first grade PE teacher ambitiously attempted to teach first graders basic self-defense. I suspect his youth and ambition underestimated the brevity of six-year-old attention spans. In any case, no where do I recall cup stacking listed as an invigorating sport sure to teach cooperation, burn calories, and foster a healthy sense of good sportsmanship.

To be fair, after checking out “speed stacks” I admit that it is a good way to improve eye-hand coordination, but video games do the same thing and most people agree that sitting on your rear for long periods of time is not conducive to good health.

In case you have the false impression that I was one of those kids, the ones that could run fast, scored every game no matter the game, and was the picture of athletic ability, imagine the exact opposite of that and you have me. Gravity and I share a close adversarial relationship in which I frequently trip over my feet, the ground, or nothing at all. Keeping my eye on the ball never helped, seeing as how my eyes and brain disagreed on the three-dimensional location of the object flying in my direction. As a result, when it came to picking teams, the only people picked after me were those four times my weight. I didn’t totally suck. I loved a good game of dodge ball, even when the dang thing hit me square in the face, or four square, and I only sometimes fell on my butt when playing hopscotch.

I never claimed PE as my favorite subject, but over the course of twelve arduous years I learned about games, I stayed moderately active, I learned good sportsmanship, learned perseverance, and found activities at which I didn’t suck. The news goes on and on about the obesity epidemic, and yet we sit kids down and have the stack cups instead of walk or run a mile, or do jumping jacks. Walking or running doesn’t require special equipment. So, money can’t play a factor, and I happen to know that my children’s school does have equipment for most, if not all of the activities I’ve listed.

Add in the whittling away of recess time, and don’t get me started on the insane rules, such as no running, or touching each other because someone may get hurt, and the system is reinforcing a sedentary lifestyle. This compounds discipline and attention issues because the children aren’t expending any energy and as a result are fidgety and inattentive.

As a parent I’m incensed at the utter idiocy of the powers that be which replaced actual sports with something that at best will prepare our failing education system for careers as, say, dishwashers. When my children say that they move more in music class, which to me means they have an awesome music teacher, than in PE, it confirms in my mind that the system isn’t messed up, it’s broken.

If you really want me to rant, ask me about the absurdity of not giving letter or number grades in grade school, and potentially all the way through twelfth grade.

So, I ask you the public, is this an isolated occurrence? Perhaps they just have a bad teacher? Please, comment and share your stories.