Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My First Shoulder Stand

A long time ago, when I first started on my path to becoming a healthier person, I bought a few yoga DVDs. I used these, walking, and Weight Watchers to lose 65 pounds. I liked practicing with the DVDs because I could learn the poses in the privacy of my own home, where no one would see me. For years, I only did yoga with my DVDs and, while I enjoyed it, I was never able to really push myself or learn cool new poses.

Fast forward to now. I've been practicing weekly at The Folded Leaf here in Charleston, and I leave every class feeling like I'm floating (I've also cried a few times on the drive home, but I can't really explain that). I've been able to really deepen my yoga experience. A few things that I've been able to do for the first time:

Get my heels to the floor in downward-facing dog
Camel Pose

And for the first time, last night, an unsupported shoulder stand! I was lying there, thinking that I would fall over like I always do, and all of a sudden, my legs were in the air. My body was not completely straight, but I can work on that. I got the balance right, my hands were in the right place, and it felt easy. I was stoked. Next up: crow pose?

I love yoga.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not That Poison Ivy

I distinctly remember, Saturday evening, as I stepped off of the trail in my flip flops, thinking "I sure hope this plant that is snaking over my bare feet isn't poisonous."

And, of course, it was poison ivy. I've spent a lot of time in the woods in my life but this is the first time I have been afflicted. Both of my feet are full of itchy little red sores and they feel like they are on fire. I also have pink eye, or some problem with my right eye that, the more I think about it, may be poison ivy as well (from touching my foot and then rubbing my eye).

I feel pretty. Oh so pretty.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What It's Like to be Posh Spice

The bike shop that sponsors Brad has a huge selection of products, all of which he can get at an insanely discounted price. One of the perks of being married to a sponsored athlete:

Yes, that is a case of Brownie Chocolate Chip Larabars. And a new pair of Smartwool socks for running. I'm a lucky girl.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Feel the Fear

This morning, one of my greatest fears was realized.

OK, maybe that's a little bit dramatic.

This morning I woke up, ate my almond butter and banana oats, and prepared for a trail run. I headed to the Kanawha State Forest with my awesome Garmin (a birthday gift from Brad) and planned to do about 3.5 miles. I chose one of the flattest, most well-traveled trails in the forest, since I was alone, no one knew I was there, and I did not want to carry my phone (not that it would have reception there anyway). I love trail running more and more every time I do it. There's so much to look at and listen to in the woods, I don't even run with my ipod. I heard a lot of woodpeckers today!

I reached the end of the trail and start heading back, trucking along at my slow speed, enjoying nature and really, feeling that all was well in the universe.

And then it happened.

Every time I go hiking or trail running I worry about tripping and falling off a cliff. There are cliffs everywhere in West Virginia, and the trails are pretty gnarly; rooty and rocky, basically one tripping hazard after another.

Today was the day. I felt my toe clip the root and thought "Oh no, I'm going down." There was a fairly steep drop-off to my right, about 6 feet down into a creek bed full of boulders, and to my left, a super steep uphill. When I hit the ground, the only place for me to go would be to the right.

As I was falling, the following thoughts were going through my head:

"Come on, yoga balance, where are you now?"
"I'm going to fall onto those rocks and it's going to hurt."
"How far am I from the end of the trail? Will anyone find me if I can't walk?"
"Oh christ, are those mountain bikers approaching?"
"Shit, I hope it isn't anyone I know."
"What if I get hurt and can't run anymore?"
"Ow, ow, ouch, ow."

That last one was happening as I hit the ground and slid on my left hip, leg, and hand down the hill.

The two mountain bikers were now rushing to see if I was OK (luckily, I didn't know them). I was embarrassed and could feel my face turning red as I tried to assure them I was fine. I got up, assessed the situation, and realized that I really was fine. No blood, not even a scratch, which I thought was amazing but actually shows that I didn't fall as hard or slide as far as I felt like I did.

I climbed back up to the trail, thanked the bikers, and jogged off on my merry way. I escaped unscathed, except for a bruised ego and a slightly swollen palm.

I am now going to soothe my ego with lunch from Subway. It's the little things, you know.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Future

I've been thinking lately about the course that this blog will take in the future. I have lived in Charleston for over a year now, so I don't really feel like I am documenting my new life here anymore; it's just my life now. Posting has been sporadic because I don't have that many new experiences in Appalachia anymore. I want to keep writing, but I need to switch my focus.

Over the last few years, a lot of my interests have been health and fitness related. I don't want to start a food blog where I take photos of each of my meals (although I read a lot of those blogs) or log every workout (I read those, too). I think I'd like this blog to morph into something more about my life and healthy living in West Virginia, as opposed to my life and being an Appalachian transplant.