Sunday, February 25, 2018

Music Share - Calm, Folk, Indie Bluegrass & Love

Early quickie post this week, due to our thrilling Monday morning meeting with our H & R Block tax professional tomorrow!  May the Gods of freelance and 1099's be with us...

I also happened to have finally finished a yoga playlist I started a zillion years ago.  The inspiration / missing musical pieces of the puzzle were brought to me a couple of weeks ago when I had the absolute privilege of attending a friend and doula client's birth.  She and her husband are musicians, and music played a huge part in the labor and birth.  We have similar (and similarly eclectic) tastes and we had a great time figuring out the "push playlist" or the right song for any particular adventure of the induction process.

So this list is a mish-mash of a few favorite love songs, some covers, and some beautiful music from that incredible birth experience.  It runs about an hour and is great for background to Sunday chores or a mellow yoga practice.  Enjoy!


Monday, February 19, 2018

The sound of silence (sort of)

A lot of runners, particularly runners my age, can't imagine running without listening to something - music, a podcast, a book on tape.  Some actually prefer to only ever run without anything in their ears, using it as their opportunity to escape from the endless, endless input of information coming at us at all hours these days.

I fall somewhere in between.  If I'm not putting any particular thought into it, there's always a playlist I'd like to listen to (it helps me keep my pace up) or a podcast in my endless queue to be heard.  I have to remind myself that I actually not only like to run with nothing, but it's so unbelievably good for me and necessary for my brain. 

My word for 2018, Listen, is partly because in lieu of listening to my own brain (which is quite interesting all by itself), I feel constantly compelled to listen to something.  There is so much incredible material out there for consumption, and it's so easy to just let your headphones be glued to your ears for every single commute, every errand, every chore, every time you're not interacting with another human being (and even sometimes when you are).

As a result, I have a hard time remembering the simplest things, and when I suddenly stop all this input to do something like, say, meditate, my brain jumps at the chance to have a little free space, and that's when the planning and the processing of memories and the, "Remember we're out of apples!" all comes flying at me at once.

Running unplugged is unbelievably freeing.  Having the chance for my mind to wander - and yes, it spends a big chunk of the time planning and organizing and predicting - is so valuable to sanity.  I can keep my breath in a steady rhythm, pay deep attention to my form and to any little pains that might pop up, and it also gives my brain a chance to come up with brand new mantras for myself to push me through.  It may not have the relentlessly driving beat of Eminem, but it has something so much deeper.

If you aren't a runner, try an unplugged walk.  If you live in the city, you won't be treated to the sound of silence (unless you have fancy noise canceling headphones) but you'll be treated to the sound of something so much better - total, unfiltered you.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Beginning Again (and again and again and again)

For a yoga teacher, I'm sometimes a very inflexible person.  I can get extremely agitated, impatient, and ridiculously bent out of shape when faced with obstacles and detours in my path.  Injury, illness, obligations - these things have come and knocked my plans off the shelf many times. 

I always seem to have a sense that someday they won't - similar to the arrival fallacy in happiness research. (I'll be happy once I...fill in the blank).  It's that sense that someday I'll get to my starting line, and it'll be the last starting line I ever have because I'll go on a smooth, uninterrupted, lifelong streak of good health and complete control over my schedule.

I'm almost embarrassed to write that because it's so unbelievably laughable.

Life is interruption, chaos, disappointment, and adapting to what gets thrown at you.  It could be something profoundly huge and life altering like cancer, or something not so profound like a temporary injury or illness.  Pregnancy and new parenthood is a great way to introduce utter chaos and throw your expectations out the window.  Achieving your goal can be what sends you back to a place of beginning again - unless you're a professional athlete, you're probably not going to pop back up and run 18 miles the week after completing a marathon.  You back off, recover, and if it's still your passion - you begin again.

Even something like a work, family, or friend emergency that takes up time that you'd previously blocked up as yours will throw you off your best laid plans, your carefully drawn path, and in my case, your painstakingly OCD race training plan.  Time passes, fitness gets lost, and you're back to square one.

Is it the end of the world?  Of course not.  But for me at least, it is a lesson that needs to be learned over and over and over again, and a mental resilience and adjustment that constantly feels new.  I can get so rigid in my desires and expectations that I sometimes fall apart in the face of these adversities instead of sitting back and surrendering to circumstances out of my control - riding out the wave until I can grasp the reins again and take back over, at least for awhile.

I'm about to officially start training for what I hope to be a year of racing triumphs - the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19th, and my long awaited shot at the New York City Marathon on November 4th, both with my work wife and sole-sister Laura Frye by my side (check out her awesome YouTube channel to follow her running adventures!).  More than in any previous year, I'm building in injury prevention strategies to keep myself strong, mobile, and on top of any nagging issues before they become bigger issues.

This bout of the flu I recently recovered from pushed the start date two weeks, and it also (re)taught me the invaluable lesson that applies not just to fitness but pretty much everything - life requires the serenity prayer.  We need the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and most importantly, the wisdom to know the difference.  We need wisdom not to push ourselves when life is stepping in to tell us to take a different path, and we need wisdom to push ourselves when we're perfectly capable of hopping over an obstacle that shouldn't get in our way.

Life is a series of starting lines.  The closer I get to accepting that - with all due reverence to the holy Indigo Girls - the closer I am to fine.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Flu 2, Me 0

I was sooooo inspired and ready to go...

I've been knocked out of commission the last two weeks by a flu that just won't quit.  It wasn't the scary strain, I don't think - no hospital visits for me - but my last two weeks has basically been a cycle of sleep as much as possible, work, collapse on the couch with Breaking Bad, cough throughout, repeat.

Needless to say, it hasn't been a great breeding ground for blog inspiration - or inspiration of any kind, really, except for how freaking inspiring it is to watch the best show of all time again.

I'm still not 100%, but I made my first foray back into the land of the living today with a chill yoga class that was just my speed.

I'd really love to share the semi-restorative class which was the only thing I was able to bring my sick, exhausted body to practice the last couple of weeks - but first, get yourself a free trial of Yoga Glo - it's worth it!

This class, Get Grounded When Deeply Fatigued and Depletedis an absolute must for this flu season.  So sleep, hydrate, and wash your hands.  And if it attacks you - the only answer is to surrender to it.

Here's hoping I'll be back to my inspired and energized self soon!

Grieving to Believing

I took a bit of a blog hiatus recently - we've had a lovely few weekends with Marc's family and with my mom coming to visit, and I&#...