Saturday, July 17, 2004

Hey.   Back again.  Here every month, just like clockwork.  There just hasn't been much to say.   It's been a very slow month.  I've only been able to practice a couple of times a week,  sometimes less.   As for Mysore classes, I think I was able to get to one of them in the entire month.  This week, I was able to go to Mysore Thursday and Friday but my teacher was out of town for a much deserved vacation.   Figures. 
I would have thought practicing this  infrequently would have resulted in me losing ground but I think I've kept most of my range of motion.  I did lose endurance though.  When I did both the first and second series poses in the Friday class, I got a lot more tired than I used to.  I started to skip the attempts at Viparita Chakrasana at the end  because it takes alot out of me usually and I didn't have a whole lot left in the tank.  I went ahead and tried to do what I could on my own.   I didn't do the assisted part where we actually end up doing the sequence, as opposed to me just trying to do it..  But I did try to do it on my own.  I only get to try that when I'm in Mysore class really.  I don't think I'll have too many more chances at Mysore in the next few weeks either so I had to at least try it.  Unfortunately, I still suck badly at it.  I think there's supposed to be some kind of bend occuring in the back but I just end up doing one of those "Timberrr!" things.  Every time I try and arch my back  to lower my chest and let my legs drop down, I tend to lose my center of gravity back to my front side and end up falling that way instead of lowering the other way.   So, by the time I've managed to actually get my feet over and down, I've already ended up doing five or six handstands of varying duration.  When my feet do come over, they tend to land too close together and I usually fall over to one side or the other.  The worst is actually landing it.  Then I realize that going back up and over is not physically possible.   I can stand up after coming over but not without moving either my feet or hands in from the initial landing position.  I didn't expect this one to come easily.
We're going to a workshop up in the Mt Shasta area soon.  I'm hoping to get in  classes whenever and wherever I can to try and get back in shape for that.   The workshop is geared more to my wife's level than to mine, so I need to get it going again so that I can get as much out of the class as I can.  The classes that I have been able to get to recently have been mostly weekend improv classes and a couple of second series classes, so I have gotten in some reps.  But I'm not at the point that I feel good about doing that level every day.  When I only do a hard class  once a week, I can psyche up for it.   Doing it every day, 'nother thing.
Ok, enough with the kvetching.  I've noticed that personal blogs, mine included, gravitate toward that mentality.  Lots of self deprecation, if only's, i'm not worthy kind of writing.  It's easy to slip into for some reason. 
I took my kids for a hike in the hills the other day.  I have a friend who wants to hike up Mt. Whitney this summer, so she asked me to do a practice hike with her.   We had both tried the Whitney hike with a couple of other friends about five or six years ago.    We didn't make it then for a variety of reasons.  She's been training pretty hard for this attempt.  We were going to hike on a trail that goes up a relatively low level peak in our area called Mt San Jacinto.  You can take a tramway up from Palm Springs to the trail head at 8400 feet altitude.  Saves a lot of slogging up the  trail on the other side of the mountain that goes up from the 5500 foot level.  From there, it's a 5.5  mile hike to the top.  I didn't think we'd be doing too much distance.   We were there mainly for her to get used to hiking at altitude with a pack on, so I took the kids along.  Dad bonding with the kids.   What a guy.  As you might expect, the kids sprinted ahead of us old folks.   I gave them the obligatory warning about the tortoise and the hare, with the usual lack of effect.  We stopped and had lunch after a couple of miles.  I thought we'd head back after that but it was still early and they wanted to keep going so we went on for another mile.  From there, we could see the trail going up the last couple of miles.  Nobody was hurting so they kept going.  The kids started to flag when we were about a mile from the top, at roughly the 9,800 foot level.  My son was the first who wanted to bail out.   I told him he could quit at any point, I didn't want this to be a death march for them.  He bitched about it but he couldn't bear the thought that his sisters would go to the top and then give him a hard time for bailing out.  We had had a house guest stay with us recently. The guy had told Jake a couple of aphorisms, one of which went something along the lines of, "The easiest thing in life is to quit or fail".   He looked at the girls onthe trail ahead and angrily said, "Fine!  I'm going."   We went a bit further and my youngest slipped and scratched her hand.  She looked tired and didn't want to keep going so I stayed with her while everyone else went on the top.  By the time they got back down to us, it was 5 pm.  Given how they seemed on that last bit going up, I was a little worried at that point that they would be so tired from going that far at altitude that they would run out of steam and have to stop on the way down, putting us at risk for having to hike in the dark.  That, or they might be fatigued enough to trip or fall, maybe getting hurt.  Then we'd have really been in a tight spot.   They were tougher than woodpecker lips though.  They knew they were doing something hard and they pulled together  There was none of the ususal bitching and moaning and cat fighting.  I know it was only a hike, but to me it was one of those times in life where you find out what you've got, what kind of person you are.   I was extremely proud of how they did.  So, I didn't rub it in that the 60+ year old lady we were hiking with beat us down by at least a hundred yards.  Tortoises rule.  We were all very tired by the time we got home at 11:00 that night.  Next day I was dogging it.  The kids, however, never felt a twinge.  It was just another day to them.  Youth rules. 
Tomorrow, I going to Sunday first series.  Given all the crap food Ive eaten today, I'm expecting a fairly dense expereience.  One last kvetch.   Good to be back.  Hope I can keep myself going.  It's more fun after I've finished one.  It's kind of like doing practice: once you get going, it gets easy to do.  If you put if off, it gets easier to not do.