Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Bikram tried to kill me last night.
And if you knew what I was talking about, you would offer your condolences, maybe make a masseuse recommendation and ask me what I was thinking.
Because really, what was I thinking?
I would then post a photo of my roommates and I dripping in blood, sweat and tears- (did I mention the sweat and the sweat?) and those of you who previously did not know what Bikram entailed would NOW know the aftermath.
The brochure MG, KS and I perused after getting our cheap, one-month memberships informed us that an emotional response was possible when participating in Bikram. I was also trying to gauge the possibility of me passing out in such a setting.
Seemed pretty likely to me.
I wasn't wrong.
MG suggested we come up with a code word when once of us started feeling light-headed or blacking-out, since she and I have been known to do such things. She offered up the word "pineapple" while I went for the more obvious "danger."
In preparation for our first class, we all drank water all day. I drank three regular 16-ounce bottles of water this morning and then two 34-ounce bottles of Smart Water with electrolytes. I ate light and nutritious all day and didn't eat three hours before classtime. I thought I was ready.
Au contraire, mon frère.
The class was wall-to-wall packed and after about 20 minutes of poses in the heat, I could feel my heartbeat getting a little higher than it needed to be. Even sitting perfectly still, criss-cross applesauce style on my mat, I was completely out of breath and dripping with perspiration. The three of us were separated due to getting there on the later-end, and I could gradually see MG slowing down as we went along. I had less of a view of KS, but she powered through about 75% of the way before hitting a bit of a wall.
We all got plenty of practice with the corpse pose, let's say that much.
I left class what I thought was early when I just couldn't take it anymore, but what turned out to be exactly 90 minutes from when we had entered. The class ran about 15 minutes late, and MG clamored to get out the door into the breezy outside to be able to breathe again. KS appeared a few minutes later and her face was kind of frozen and swollen-looking, which I've never seen happen to her.
We dragged ourselves to the car and picked up Crystal Light Icees at a nearby 7-11 as a reward.
The silver lining in all of this was that I think I would actually benefit from these classes if they kicked down the thermostat from Sweltering Amazon Rainforest to Breezy New England Beach Town. I'm strong but inflexible, which Yoga is a great fix for, so I'm inclined to try it again.
In the air-conditioning, of course. Just wanted to be clear about that.
Bikram is one-and-done.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
On Saturday, after leaving the gym, KS received word from KR that she was inviting us over to make homemade pizza and watch the just-released Twilight movie, New Moon. Saturday was a dreary, cold day, so the plan sounded ideal.
We had some time to clean up and relax when we got home, and KS started searching for a good bruschetta recipe to make over at KR's house.
On our way to KR's we stopped at Central Market for groceries, and right when we walked in KS spied a promotion going on, where you could buy a pre-made family meal of baked ziti, salad and foccacia for $19.99 and receive a copy of the New Moon DVD with your purchase. A $20 dollar meal, a $20 DVD, together for only $19.99 while supplies lasted. I think our expressions went from wonder to elation at this discovery. We are incredibly easy to please.
The prepared foods section is at the end of the store from the produce entrance, where we began, and Central Market has a very windy design and is always as crowded as most grocery stores on the day before Thanksgiving, so we covered a good deal of space and dodged a lot of other shoppers while grabbing tomatoes, basil, bread and everything else we needed for bruschetta.
It was literally freezing outside, and so KS and I were both wearing coats. At one point I felt a little warm, so I unbuttoned my favorite plaid coat and kept walking. I had on a light blue button-down tuxedo-inspired shirt from J.Crew, belted across the waist with jeans and flats.
KS and I finally came to the complete opposite side of the store from where we found the New Moon promotional deal. I think we were about to high-five when I saw this girl looking at me like she knew me. (Please remember the part about me unbuttoning my coat, combined with the fact that this grocery store was very busy at this point in time.) As I racked my brain as to where I might know her, she approached me and standing right in front of me said quietly:
Nothing squelches New Moon euphoria like public exposure, let me tell you.
I thanked her profusely while the guy she was with, bless his heart, stood a few feet back, looking absolutely fascinated with the ceiling. I probably turned the same shade of red as the tomatoes I was carrying, while I looked down and found that she was indeed correct. My shirt was unbuttoned down to that place on your stomach/chest right below your bra. There was nothing subtle about it. The patrons of Central Market got a little more than they bargained for... as if dinner and a movie wasn't enough already.
I am a modest and oftentimes reserved person, so laughing this off took some assertion of will, but I managed. I hope that my shirt wasn't like this for too long, since KS and I were together the whole time and she obviously would have noticed while discussing which of the artisan breads she wanted to use for the bruschetta.
This wasn't the same kind of embarrassment as the day I wore the exact same purple gingham shirt as one of the MALE publishers in my office in New York, but it was in the same league.
I was still in a bit of a daze when we left the store a few minutes later, but snow flurries, on the first day of spring, no less, had started to fall.
The things I do for food and Robert Pattinson.
We never forgive those who make us blush.
-Jean-Francois De La Harpe
Thursday, March 18, 2010
You might live under a rock, in which case you could be pardoned, but I hope everyone else is aware that the March Madness games started today.
I'm pleased to say that there are 18 ladies participating in my bracket tournament idea from two weeks ago and I have successfully made gamblers and college basketball-watchers out of all of them.
Granted, $360 in gift cards is also good motivation, but I received many nail-biting messages all afternoon regarding the close games and we had a full house over to watch more of the action this evening.
If you didn't watch basketball today, you missed out. I don't recall such an exciting opening round in recent years. Out of the first four games this morning, two of the games went into overtime (one game had two overtime periods) and the other two games were decided by one point each.
The Villanova vs. Robert Morris took a few years off my life- thankfully Villanova survived by three because I have them in my Final Four.
Georgetown, on the other hand, lost by quite a margin to Ohio. I had Georgetown in my Elite Eight, so I don't really want to talk about it.
Other upsets today include Old Dominion over Notre Dame, Washington over Marquette, Murray State over Vanderbilt, St. Mary's over Richmond and Northern Iowa over UNLV.
And this is just day one!
I'm sitting on a couch perpendicular to MG right now, who keeps picking up her laptop periodically to check her picks and her rankings in our tournament as each game wraps up. This is unprecedented behavior.
Also: Wake Forest and Texas just went into overtime, making this the third overtime game of the day.
Did I mention how much I love March?
MG: "I can't believe I'm watching this."
Me: "You can't believe you're watching basketball?"
MG: "...and caring."
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Conference basketball tournaments are going on this weekend- which actually started on Wednesday if you are okay with letting the end of your work week blur into your weekend.
I'm okay with this, for the record.
The conference tournaments can help escalate a few teams that may have been on the "bubble," so to speak, but for the good teams it can only slightly affect your seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Big East, for example, had upsets in three of their four games tonight, so it might put a little dent in the seeding for some of them.
You want your team to play well in their respective conference tournament not just for bragging rights, though that's a nice bonus and recognition of a great season, but you also want your players geared up, full of adrenaline and confidence for March Madness, which starts next week.
Since the field for the March Madness tournament is 65 teams (including the play-in game), there is a good chance there will be a few teams that you haven't seen play this season.
Well... okay. The chance is better than good. But you have the opportunity to brush up before making any "I wrote it in pen already" decisions.
If you are planning to fill out a bracket this year to enter a pool of some sort, then make Sunday a day where you pick up multiple newspapers. Grab a local paper, (for me it would be The Dallas Morning News,) and a copy of USA Today. Spend some time reading about the teams in the tournament you are unfamiliar with, consult ESPN.com which has a wealth of statistics on teams and individuals. Pay attention to the teams in the middle- the 5-8 seeded teams especially, because that is where brackets start busting a few weeks down the road.
I've tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we'll win again, but I've also tried to handle failure well. If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I've made to sport. Not just basketball, but to sport.
-Coach Mike Krzyzewski