Archive for the ‘Body’ Category


Elizabeth Warren is My Hero


“The ACA [Affordable Care Act] is the law of the land. Millions of people are counting on it. People who need healthcare coverage.People who need insurance policies that don’t disappear just when they are at their sickest. Like my friend, Guy.

(via Upworthy)


My Friend, Guy


I “met” Guy (or Protoguy)  a couple of years ago, when Dustin Rowles, editor of Pajiba, mentioned that there was a Pajiban struggling with cancer in need of some help. I headed over to Guy’s blog, Work in Progress, and found out that he was a pretty awesome artist in Chandler, Arizona who was getting screwed by Arizona’s laws about healthcare. Take a look at some of his work:







Running Through The Fields

Running Through The Fields

Last Greenseer

Last Greenseer from Game of Thrones

But Guy has cancer, and in 2011, his “I am the 99%” photo about his healthcare situation went a little viral on Facebook right in the middle of the Obamacare debates and was spotted on multiple Facebook pages about the debate.

What percentage is he now, when two years later, after being in remission, Guy was diagnosed with Autoimmune Dermatomyositis, a muscle disorder related to his cancer. The symptoms include muscle wasting, muscle and joint pain and, if untreated will lead to life in a wheelchair or bed. A week later, he was laid off. Two days later, he found out that Arizona has zero Medicaid coverage for adults without dependents. Even though Guy is a father, his daughter doesn’t count as a dependent in this case.

So here’s a talented person, who WAS working, but due to no fault of his own is now stuck. If you think this can’t happen to you, think again. You could get cancer. You could get laid off. And it doesn’t even have to be YOU. It could be your father, mother, sister, best friend, your son.

What can you do?  You can:

Or make your voice heard about healthcare in the United States.

I hope this never happens to you.


DDP Yoga: Beginning


I saw the video of Arthur Boorman (on reddit, I think…), and it’s pretty damned impressive.

Arthur’s transformation was because of DDP Yoga. I checked into it to see how much it was. Ouch $70.00? That seemed a bit much, so I held off.

Since the end of the summer I have been riding my bicycle in the mornings for aerobic exercise. It’s fairly clear that  the denatured alcohol shots I had for the Morton’s Neuroma in my foot didn’t really work, I know that running in a 5k is not going to happen any time soon. Foot surgery is probably in my future, but that will have to happen in the new year for various reasons.

With Hurricane Sandy having made a mess of the roads in the neighborhoods nearby, riding my bicycle before the sun comes up is probably not the best option for me. I was always a little nervous riding in the dark, and roads strewn with branches and other debris seem even more dangerous.

I looked again at DDPYoga and compared it to buying a stationary bike. Certainly it’s cheaper to get the yoga DVDs, and they are portable.  So I bit the bullet on payday last week.

As soon as my purchase went through, I received login information for Team DDP Yoga. Their section for beginners has a lot of information so you can get started even before the DVDs arrive. Very cool – and certainly motivating. There’s a welcome video from DDP thanking me for purchasing the DVDs (!), access to the program guide, and directions on how to start monitoring your progress (via photos and measurements). I’m reading through that now.

My overall impression so far is favorable. Stay tuned.


Running Safety: RoadID


When I get ready to run outdoors, I have a few pieces of equipment that I bring – iPod, phone, stopwatch, but none is as important as my RoadID.

My RoadID Wristband

My RoadID Wristband

RoadID is a really neat way to carry identification and emergency numbers with you, and still travel light. You purchase a nylon wristband and a customizable tag. I’ve engraved my name, hometown and year of birth, along with 3 different contact numbers and one other line. Your year of birth is recommended so that if you are unresponsive, EMT’s will know your age. This can help in treatment.

They also have an ankle version, and a shoe pouch along with a couple of other options.   Thankfully I have not had an emergency where someone needed to contact my family, but it’s reassuring to know that I have that with me whenever I’m running.

Can you see the last line on my RoadID? It is,  “Every run is a great run!”


Never Turn Your Head in Bridge Position


Today was a yoga day. I plan to incorporate yoga at least twice a week, but hopefully three times.  I first got into yoga when my friend Laura told me she was doing the workout on Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss by Gaiam. I was a little skeptical, but I checked my local library and found that they had a copy. This is a great way to do a trial run on a workout DVD without investing any money into it.

At that time I was able to request the DVD from another library and also renew it. I had that copy for 3 weeks before I finally returned it and bought my own copy. I didn’t regret that purchase.

What I like about the combined workout  is that it shows four women doing different modifications of the poses all at once. I initially started out following the intermediate level woman (Marnie?) entirely, but when I got better, watching all 4 together let me do different poses at different levels.

For example, this pose I just cannot make my arms do the full pose in the back – palm to palm, fingertips up. My arms are always too tight to do the advanced version, so I often just do the medium version where you just grab each elbow behind you. Today I did have to put my hands on my hips.

Extended Leg Stretch with hands in full position

Extended Leg Stretch with hands in full position

Extended Leg stretch, modified arms

Extended Leg stretch, modified arms

In quite a few poses today, I couldn’t stretch out the way I used to. I really want to be more limber. The achy stiffness of the previous couple of days stinks. Hopefully getting two yoga workouts per week (or more) will do the trick.

I do need to stretch more after my workouts, but that’s a topic for another post!


Interval Training


Doe, a deer, and Doe's two fawns.

Today I did my first stint of interval training, and it was much harder than I anticipated.

Interval training alternates bursts of high intensity with periods of low intensity.  I did a little bit of research and decided that I would give running .25 miles at a high speed (4oo meters) and walking the same distance. But how to determine where to change from run to walk? I knew my “once around the loop” route was 2.4 miles run, but I didn’t know how to decide where I was changing speeds.  I went to and plotted out different .25 sections and wrote them down.  Going by the road layout and the various corners, it really turned out to be more like .3-.33 mile sections.  If I could run each section faster than 3:00, I would be running faster than my current goal speed.

Planning the run was the easy part! I dashed off at the beginning like that pair of German Shepherds from yesterday was chasing me, and whew! It was tough to keep that pace for the first leg.  I didn’t keep a steady pace, but as best as I could tell, I did run faster than 3 minute miles at least for the first leg of it. The rest were least right around that, give or take. Yes, I do have a stopwatch on the watch I use, but I am not 100% sure each leg was under three minutes.  I’ll have to watch that more closely.  Maybe next time I”ll bring a pen to record the times.

In short – intervals are hard!  I was really breathing heavy at the end of each running section – which, I guess, is the point.

Supposedly this type of training helps you increase your speed. I’m willing to give it a few more shots and see if I get good results. Or maybe I’ll just see a few more deer.


Back on the Road


I got back on the road this morning. I stuck to my plan of running an easy 2.4 miles – that’s once around the loop I run in my neighborhood. It’s mostly sidewalks, with a few areas of pavement running. Knowing that I was going to tweet my pace and time at the end was fairly motivating, I must say.

At just about the halfway point in the run, the route goes uphill from its slight downhill slant, and that midway point is really tough. Today though, there was a teenaged boy with his two german shepherds. I’m not afraid of dogs by any means, but they barked and jumped all around when they spotted me. I picked up my pace at that, figuring that the faster I got out of there, the better. This is the kid that I encountered once before in this area with one of the dogs off-leash.

That day, the all-black german shepherd made a beeline straight for me, and it was quite intimidating. He was just happy to see me though, and he ran around me, barking. The kid ran over and grabbed the dog, and I think we were all freaked out a little bit.

As far as today’s run, man it was humid out! Heading out at 6:00 a.m. made it fairly cool, but I was drenched when I got back. And that’s not due to the sprinklers I ran through, as they were only knee-high.

Today I averaged a 12 minute mile, for a total of 29 minutes. I have to work on increasing my speed. And stamina. And everything!