Warrior Princess

August 23, 2016

Seriously, Though, I’m Old

Filed under: Fitness, geriatric musings, yoga — ggirl @ 12:49 pm

gray wolf yawningNo quote today.  All quotes about getting old are of the inspirational ilk.  Please.

Looks like I’m re-upping with my personal trainer.  I’ve been training with him for 25 minutes a day 3 days a week.  I’m fine with that.  Yesterday we discussed my trepidation about a one hour session three days a week along with my usual two days of yoga.  I’m not giving up yoga.  He believes I can do it.

I said,”Hey, remember me?  I’m going to be 63 in 2 months.  I need recovery time.  You kick my butt every time I’m in here–and that’s great–but I’m going to be 63 in two months.  I don’t recover automatically.”

“After a while you’ll get used to it,” he tried to encourage me to spend some extra money.  He’s  clearly unfamiliar with the concept of old.  Also my obstinacy.

“Let me add that I’ve had a couple of rounds of strong chemo, extended radiation, a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.  These events are exhausting, among other things.  The fatigue hangs around forever.”

He nodded his 30-year old head and said consolingly, “You’ve been through a lot.”

That’s it.  End of conversation.

There actually are some good things about being geriatric.  Not being able to work out at the level I once did is not one of them.  Listening to a veritable youngster trying to convince me I’m not old (thereby rubbing my face in my ever-diminishing abilities) is most assuredly not one.





August 16, 2016

The New, New Normal

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Fitness, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 4:01 pm

wolf crossing river“I have traversed many kinds of health, and keep traversing them… and as for sickness: are we not almost tempted to ask whether we could get along without it? Only great pain is the liberator of the spirit.”~ Oliver Sacks, The  Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales

I’m what’s known as a Breast Cancer Survivor.  It’s now in remission.  I really hate it when people give me a perky smile and tell me that’s great.  They believe it’s gone now, but breast cancer is incurable.  My little friend is always with me, waiting to pop up and say hi. I have a blog in which I described my cancer journey.  It’s here if you’d like to follow along.

Given my general unwillingness to deny that presence, I’ve become highly motivated to find the gift.  They are many.  One of them is a need to always be as physically fit as I can for a woman of my age.

To that end I’ve retained a personal trainer.  All of the people I know who have one are a little snotty about it, so I’m a bit nervous about how this is going to affect my usual self-effacing manner.  Our first meeting was on Monday and my good man, Duy, pushed hard.

I love that.  Do not waste my time with exercises that are geared for old people.  There is spiritual redemption to be found in physical movement, I think.  When it’s time to leave, I find a clarity and openness to other people.  I am profoundly immersed in each moment as it passes.  I’m happy even though my little friend has taken up residence.

So now I have a personal trainer, a guide to a new vision of the world.  Time to also avoid snotty, if I can.

August 11, 2016

Return of the Jock, I Guess

Filed under: Fitness, yoga — Tags: — ggirl @ 4:10 pm

canstock16589291“Work out not because you hate your body, but because you love it.”  (I don’t know who said this, but yes, yes, yes!)

Several years ago, a friend of mine asked me, somewhat critically, when I became a jock.  Puzzling.  The idea that anyone would call me that is simply mind-boggling.

Until I was 18, I hated exercise.  I used every possible means to avoid it.  During required physical education classes, I refused to go in when it was my time to enter the basketball game.  Captains of the teams I was supposed to play on thought I was a moron.  Okay by me.  When softball season rolled around, I created an outfield so far out you could barely see me back there.  When we were up to bat, I always went to the back of the line.  Didn’t see much action.  Of course, part of the baseball thing was that I have virtually no depth perception, so I was constantly getting hit in the face with the ball.  Funny now, but not so much when my glasses were jammed into my face.

When I was 18, a boyfriend dumped me for a girl who was a ballerina.  I also read a bio about Zelda Fitzgerald (F. Scott’s wife), who began her ballerina training even older than I.  Stupid reasons, maybe, but I found my love for moving my body.

Since then aside from the worst days of chemo, I’ve pretty consistently been active in strength training, cardio, dance and (yes!) yoga.  I love/hate yoga, but I decided I need to develop some specific muscle groups to improve my practice.  I’m also aware that moving your body in different ways is really good for it.

So.  On Monday I joined a gym.  Today I got a personal trainer.  Just typing that word makes me laugh a little.  Let the fun begin.  I’m officially gung-ho.  Hurt is my middle name.  My yoga practice is going to thank me for this and I have a new opportunity to love and have compassion for this hard-working body of mine.

But no jocks in this room, baby.

August 9, 2016

Grunt Boy

Filed under: Assholes, Uncategorized, yoga — ggirl @ 4:06 pm

wolf eyes“When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation.”
Donna Quesada, Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers

After yoga class today, I found myself walking down the stairs behind Grunt Boy.  I slowed down as we approached the door, desperately looking for a way to avoid hitting the door at the same time.  Oh fuck there’s no way to avoid it.

So, of course, here it comes.  “How do you like our new yoga teacher?”

Oh okay.  Goddamnit.  Fine.  “I really like her.”  I kept my voice absolutely cold.  Here comes the Southern politeness training.  “How about you?”  Any idiot could see I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in his thoughts on this subject or any other.

Fortunately, we had reached the end of the sidewalk.  I veered off in a direction that would never get me to my car, but would certainly get me away from Grunt Boy.  “Have a great day.”  In my famous friendly-impersonal tone of voice.  I waved.

Grunt Boy made some disappointed response.  I guess he thought we were going to stand around in 102 degree heat and talk about down dog or something.

I’m going to have to face the face that I’m a long way from yogi and a very long way from Buddhist.  I have some new yoga classes in a new venue this week.  If the universe had any sense, this kind of thing would never happen to begin with.



There’s Always One, Even in Yoga

Filed under: Assholes, yoga — ggirl @ 3:22 pm

wolf eyes“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.”
Patañjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Tuesday morning yoga class, there he is–the lone male in the group.  He’s an old guy (by which I mean somewhere in my timeframe, maybe a little older) who manages, every single time, to harsh my yoga-mind.

Problem one, he grunts and groans while performing asanas.  There are at any time 10 to 15 practitioners on your average Tuesday morning.  We are all women, except for one (old) guy who doesn’t seem to be showing up anymore.  And the remaining annoying one.  Aside from him, no one ever feels the need to grunt or groan.  No one.

Problem two, he seems completely unable to master getting the props back into the storage room (about the size of a small walk-in closet).  One of the props we use is a strap.  Proper storage procedure, roll up strap into a coil.  Everyone. Ev.ry.one manages to get that done before entering the closet.  Not Grunt Boy–he waits until he’s in there and then meticulously rolls up the strap.  Sometimes he must do it twice.

Meanwhile, the rest of us patiently wait for him to stop being special and get the hell out of the closet.  I am perhaps slightly more annoyed.  I’ve rolled my eyes at him several times as he’s exited.  I try to rush in there before he has a chance to hog the close area but inevitably he sashays in and eats up all of my personal space.  Every single bit of it.

There goes my savasana calm openness.  I watch myself breathe.  Nope.  Not working.  I allow myself to be irritated and watch that.  How does that feel?  It feels fucking distracted and like my blood pressure is zooming up to 179/120.

Today was a very, very special day with Mr. Grunt.  But more of that later.


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