Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not Exactly With the Greatest of Ease

Saturday I shook off a dusty old Groupon and took a flying trapeze class at Emerald City Trapeze. That was so frickin' fun!  I cannot recommend the experience enough. Last spring, my friend Amber  took a flying trapeze class at the same place and when I read her blog post about it I was so very jealous.  It sounded like such a blast!   Something a little dangerous, but not really, that would totally push me outside my comfort zone.  So I invited my future sister-in-law and off we went to fly through the air.

Before you get up on the actual trapeze the instructors walk you through "ground school" where they teach you how to jump off the platform, walk you through exactly what is going to happen and then take you through your moves on a stationary chin-up bar.  Now, before I actually got there I was worried that my noodly bookkeeper arms would be an issue.  What I should have been worrying about, and what somehow never crossed my mind, was my core strength, or lack thereof.  Once they showed you the moves:  hang from the bar, lift your legs up through your arms and loop them over the bar and want me to do what?!  Oh shit.  This was going to be a problem.   I have such little core strength that it is a wonder I can actually walk upright.  I didn't think my legs would get up onto that bar.  With a lot of help from the instructor and some very ungraceful movements I hefted my stems up there and finished the rest of the moves:  release your hands, bend back, look back while reaching your hands out, put your hands back on the bar and then release your legs and dismount.  They promised us that it was easier in the air with momentum and a kind of momentary weightlessness a the height of your swings.  I hoped like hell they were right.

Seriously, the scariest part of this whole thing was the dang ladder.  It was tiny and bounced with every step.  It was also very high.  But they have you safety harnessed in for getting up the ladder and then they undo that line and strap you into two other safety lines before you do your trick.  The platform is narrow and you stand and contemplate your fate while you hold onto a safety bar with your left hand and reach out your right to grab the trapeze.  Then the other super scary part comes which is letting go of the safety bar with your left hand and grabbing the bar.  Mind you, you are about 25 feet in the air and you have to lean out over the net, away from the platform to do this.  The instructor has hold of your safety belt, you are harnessed in and in case all of that fails there is a huge net at the bottom to catch you but it is still a little terrifying to let go and reach for that bar.  It goes against all of your instincts. Once you have the bar in your hands you get the signal to bend your knees and hop off the platform and go swinging out over the net. 

Now, what is supposed to happen is exactly what you did in ground school.  At the first high-point of the swing the legs are supposed to go up and over the bar.......and I couldn't do it.  Wasn't happening.  So we went right into the back flip into the net.  Kick legs forward, back, forward and then grab knees and flip.  That was a tremendous amount of fun and something I was actually able to do each time.  After the rest of the class got through with their first turns we got to go again.  Same thing only less nervous on the platform and ladder.  I jumped knee hang.  But I was closer.  Third time I came so unbelievably close, I almost had it.  After watching the video I think a little more knee bend and I would have had it.  But the last back flip I did was pretty great so there was at least that.  So, because I wasn't able to complete the moves I obviously couldn't do the catch but I loved watching the rest of the class do it.  Everyone but me and the 13 and 10 year-old boys got to do the catch.  My sis-in-law to be decided she wasn't going to participate in the class during ground school so she didn't get to go either. 

I can't say enough great things about this experience.  I don't have a fear of heights but it still was pretty scary.  I was a little shaky and sweating like the proverbial whore in the proverbial church.  You are asking yourself to do things that your mind does not want you to do.  But the instructors were so kind and genuine and supportive and the set-up was so very safe that it helped me be able to go for it and try something totally different and, frankly, very awesome.  I plan on going back in a few months once I work on my core strength.  I WILL get my legs up and over that bar and I WILL get to do a catch.  I have unfinished business with that trapeze.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weekends of Fun and Sun

The last two weekends here have been absolutely fabulous.  Sunshine, warmth, super busy and oodles of fun.

The previous weekend we spent time out in Woodinville attending the opening of a new brewery that one of Kevin's co-worker's started.  We then met some friends for some wine tasting and sitting out in the grass enjoying the sun.  Seriously, between the scads of wineries, breweries and new distilleries Woodinville is rapidly becoming a "drunkard's dream if I ever did see one" (RIP Mr. Levon Helm).  We left our spots in the sun and headed out to the ballpark for our first game of the season.
No surer sign of spring exists than the beginning of baseball season.  Bonus:  we actually won!

Sunday we took advantage of more beautiful weather and headed up to LaConner to tiptoe through the tulips.  More daffodils than tulips were in bloom but it didn't matter because it was still stunning.
This last weekend involved even more fun and sunshine.  Friday night was "Apollo and Carmina Burina" at Pacific Northwest Ballet.  One of the best programs they have done in awhile.  Truly stunning. 

Saturday I took my very first trapeze lesson; more about that in a post to come and maybe even a video.  I then had a nice lunch with my future sister-in-law where I tried pho for the first time and then went home to do some yard work and more sun sitting, long walk around the neighborhood and a late viewing of "The Hunger Games".  Sunday Kevin and I met our friend JB for lunch and then back to PNB for another run at "Apollo and Carmina Burina".  Then there was more sitting in the sun at Seattle Center, this time with ice cream.
Once we got home we decided that we needed more sun so we hopped down to a local park and sat out until sunset.  Hmmmm, I'm detecting a theme to these days.

Unfortunately, what didn't happen either of these weekends was any running or working out.  Such perfect weather and I couldn't manage to drag my ass out the door to run.  But man did I synthesize some vitamin D so that was healthy, right?  The running can wait when there is this much to do.  Besides, that is what work nights are for.

I hope everyone has been enjoying some beautiful spring days themselves.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blast From the Past

Did you know that Orange Julius still existed? Did you also know they are nowhere near as awesome as you remember them being?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 6, 2012

I usually do a half-way point check in for my yearly goals but, in an effort to keep myself on track, I am doing quarterly check-ins this year.  I feel pretty good about how things are going so far.  Let's take a look....

  • Exercise a minimum of three times a week - Ummm, this one isn't as good.  I averaged 2.38 times a week for the first quarter.  Some of those were yoga classes and some of the running days were run/walk heavy on the walking.  No surprise then that my St. Pat's Dash was as bad as it was.  The last two weeks have been much better and I am hitting my three run minimum and it has been more running than walking so I feel like I can pull this one back in line.
  • Lose 30 lbs. - Nope.  But I am lower than I was two weeks ago.  So that is something, right?
  • Volunteer at least 40 hours - At quarter's end I was at 4.5 hours but put in four more last night and have some things lined up that should be fun.  And yes, I count the half hour of someone trying to poke my skin and drain my blood as volunteer time.  That just isn't the fun kind.
  • Take four different classes - I have signed up and taken two so far: yoga every Monday and a one-time embroidery class.  I am not counting the ballroom dancing classes that we were doing through March until our teacher retired because I was already signed up for those when I set my goal. 
  • Travel one place in state I have never been before - Not yet, but I think wine in Walla Walla is calling my name.
  • Travel one place out of state I have never been before - Done!  New York City, Virginia and Hershey, PA
  • Read a minimum of one book a month -  I was afraid I might have low-balled this when I set the goal and I think I did.  It just seems like there wasn't enough time to read the past few years so I wasn't sure I could find the time to squeeze in even this small amount.  Turns out if you make time even a few minutes a day and also have a vacation that involved long plane rides you can accomplish lots o' reading.  It also helps if you (inadvertently) pick some shorter books.  Through the first quarter I have eight books under my belt.
"Maybe Baby" by Lori Leibovich
"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" by Barbara Demick
"The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach
"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins
"Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins
"Turn Right At Macchu Picchu" by Mark Adams
"Terroryaki!" by Jennifer Chung

How are you doing with your goals?