Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lisa the Yogi

A couple weeks ago, I did something I thought I'd never do in a million years: I joined a gym. Influenced by peer pressure, I paid actual money to sweat and make myself hurt all over.

Ok, so that's not the full story, but it's what it boils down to in some sense. See, about six months ago, our pastor and his wife joined this same gym and started taking a power yoga class there. Since Elizabeth and I hang out at all sorts of moms events through church, I heard all about the horrid pain they were put through twice a week and how great it was making them feel. Mark even started mentioning his experiences with yoga in his sermons on Sunday mornings. Now, I've done yoga at home by myself for five or six years now, and just recently started dabbling in the group experience through a class offered by the occupational therapist of a college acquaintance, and I've come to really enjoy the benefits of working out in a group: comeraderie, support, empathy in the midst of pain, etc. So, when my friend Andrea called me to ask me to join her in attending the same class as Mark and Elizabeth, she hit me at just the right time, and I caved.

So I signed up for the promotional 3-day-a-week deal at this local gym called ICE. (No idea why they capitalize all the letters or what it's supposed to mean, but it sure sounds tough -- like by going to this gym, my body is going to be a hard as to be smashed into a million pieces with a hammer or ground up in a blender. Fun.) On my first day, last week on Tuesday, I got a grand tour of the state-of-the-art facilities, received a cool key ring swipe card (like what you use at Kroger to get good deals on your groceries), and was shown where the yoga class takes place. Walking in, feeling a bit trepidatious about what I was getting myself into, I was greeted by familiar faces from church, namely my friends Elizabeth, Mark, Andrea, and Chelsea, and settled in on my blue sticky mat to do some warmup stretches. The instructor -- a chic, strong, and serious looking girl named Abby who also looked strangely familiar (see picture to the left) -- walked in, plugged in her microphone, turned on some soothing yet rockin' music, and began our class with some breathing exercises. She then proceeded to kick our butts for the next 70 minutes until we were all shaking and sweating buckets. I'd never felt so alive and dead at the same time.

As I was walking out of the class, feeling like I was going to need a serious nap when I got home, I suddenly saw a picture of Abby in my head in a white shirt and an Olive Garden tie -- ah yes! that's where I knew her from! Eric and I had worked with her at O.G. back in our Bethel undergrad and first year of marriage days. Feeling a bit embarrassed at her seeing me all red-faced and sweaty while she looked like she hadn't moved a muscle the whole time, I nevertheless re-introduced myself and shared some laughs with her over our server experiences. I went home feeling empowered and strong.

And the next day, I could hardly sit down or stand up without groaning. Thank goodness, on Thursday, we worked our arms instead of our legs and I couldn't lift anything without groaning on Friday. Then yesterday, my abs hurt so much from this Tuesday's workout that I could hardly do either one without groaning. Oh, it's all so much fun!

I'm really enjoying this experience, though. I doubt I'll be able to do it much longer than two months due to budget issues, but I'm going to soak up everything I'm learning and make every workout count until then.

Here's Ian and I doing "oga" at home together. He loves the downward dog and plank poses.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Blogs I Read: Part 6 -- the final installment

Blog #6: Hoosiers Insider
I grew up with my dad being a huge Purdue fan, especially in basketball, the royal sport. Sadly, I didn't watch as much sports with him as I now wish I had, but they were certainly a part of our family life. So I was, by default, a Purdue fan as well.

Then I met this guy named Eric. Who LOVED IU (Indiana University, for you non-sports people out there -- and Purdue's biggest rival). I fell in love with said guy. I began to realize that Eric's love for IU and my disdain for it, especially that yucky Bob Knight guy, could really start to come between us if I weren't careful. So, I crossed enemy lines and joined their team, all in the name of peace.

And now I'm an IU fan.

There, I said it. It's out there in print.

Well, honestly, it's no surprise to anyone that knows me now. I don my IU wardrobe pretty much any time we view either a football or basketball game. I've allowed us to spend hundreds of dollars over the course of six years in Bloomington on season tickets to both sports. I schedule my TV watching time around IU sports events...even baseball this past week. I know the difference between nickel and dime defenses. I know what a spread offense is. I know that the same signal is used for a travel in basketball and a false start in football. I know players' names, jersey numbers, and even sometimes their hometown. I know some of their stories, and I have my list of favorites (A.J. Moye, you'll always be at the top). I've sat in the pouring rain, completely miserable, while stupid Ohio State fans chant their stupid O-H-I-O cheer all around OUR stadium, mind you. I've teared up at several events, including one where our underdog football team (who are always the underdogs because we kind of suck) played my former favorite Purdue in the last game of the season and won it to get the chance to play in a bowl game for the first time in eons.

I'm an IU fan.

And one person who has helped me in all of this is Terry Hutchens of the Indy Star. My appreciation of him began before he had a blog, when I would read his reports of various games and IU situations online. He had an online newsletter, basically, called "Ask the Expert" where he would answer questions sent in by fans. When I was a new IU fan, this particular venue filled me in on all kinds of IU lore and history and kind of got me up to speed. Now, "Ask the Expert" has morphed into Hutchen's blog entitled "the Hoosier Insider," where he writes about things that don't get into his news stories. He also recently put up a fairly comprehensive IU basketball database, with stats dating all the way back to 1901, which is available to the general public in an easy format. In short, he's one of the best places to brush up on one's IU knowledge. You may just find yourself becoming a fan.