A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. His arms started to tremble, he could not hold on much longer. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.  It was the sweetest strawberry he had ever tasted…

What does this mean?  This parable can mean anything you want – it is one of those stories you think about for a while, pack it away, come back to it a few years later with fresh eyes.  For me, it reminds me to live in the moment, but even moreso, how SWEET that moment is.  It’s not just that you live in the moment so that you forget about the dangers around you, but you savour what life has to offer, sometimes its fleeting nature makes it even more precious.  A cool breeze on a hot day working outside, a beautiful dream seconds before you wake up. a child smiling at you on the bus ride to work.  These little moments must be appreciated for all their richness and splendour.

I have learned to apply them to my workouts.  30 seconds in between sets, 2 min in between exercises, 1 day off before I go back to the gym.  I watch the seconds tick down on the clock, and I know that during this rest, my body is gathering energy, its building me up.  I know that muscle gets built while you rest, I know that I have time to refocus and gather my strength.  Sometimes when I am wheezing and sweating after a rough set, Leslie will give me “10 more seconds” before the next set starts.  Those 10 seconds are a frozen moment in time when I can smile, and bask in the endorphins and the good vibes of a hard set.

I can lay on my mat after a grueling hot yoga session and lay in savasana, and let my body reap the rewards of all my hard work.  I can feel my breath, I can enjoy the moment.  I can surrender, and feel good.

On to today!  I knew I had both a training session w Leslie and a hot yoga class to accomplish.  I considered a morning yoga class, but I just HAD to watch Walking Dead and Dexter last night, so I slept in this morning 🙂

This meant I had to rush to work, and after work I had to rush to my PT session.  I could rush to hot yoga right after, but that means I wouldn’t eat for like 6 hours, which isn’t part of my fitness plan.  So the plan was to go to workout at 5:30, go home and eat, have a power nap, then go to a 9:30 pm 60 min hot yoga power flow class.  9 frickin 30 pm… who does power flow after 10 at night??  Good luck falling asleep after that, you will be all wound up!

Add to that, I have not done a really active hot yoga class since early September.  I felt very rusty, unsure of myself.  Add to that today with Leslie was leg day.  Last week leg day I walked into the changeroom ready to puke.  I was positive I was going to pulverized in the gym, then head to yoga and get pulverized even harder, maybe even embarass myself.  There was a tiger chasing me tonight.

Showed up to the gym.  Leg day:

10 min warmup on the elliptical

chatted w Leslie about our scheduling

squats:  135×15, box squats  135×12, x12

one legged bodyweight lunges with CX strap and a hand support (each leg) 10, 10, 10

not coordinated enough for free hands

leg extensions:  75×20, 110×15, 135×15

leg curl off exercise ball:  12, 12, 12

superset bodyweight bootstrap squats to standing calf raises 3 ways (pigeon toes, ballet toes, straight feet):  20/20/20/20 x 3

fat guys and their giant calves

bootstrap squat start

bootstrap squat finish

lazy V raises:  12, 12, 12

lazy because my back isn’t leaving the ground, haha

notes:  after a set of squats, Leslie noticed some rounding in my back, so we put a box under my butt to keep my spine stright.  You don’t sit down, you touch the box for a second then go back up.  It also helped with my timing, so it’s all good.

I am horribly uncoordinated with lunges, so having the pole for steadiness helped with the one legged lunges.

When we did leg extensions, we couldn’t adjust the pad, and it was too high, and put a ton of pressure on my shins (ok, maybe only 135 pounds of pressure, haha).  When I was done with my sets (which I can go heavier on), my shins were pushed in and slightly bleeding, lol!

Do the leg curls make sense?  You put your feet on the ball, and do a butt raise while rolling the ball under your elevated feet.

Do bootstrap squats make sense?  It’s like a bodyweight full squat but you keep your hands on the ground, ha.  Calf raises felt good, I am looking forward to doing more, I think my stubborn fatboy calves respond well to long sets of bodyweight work (60-100 reps per set); not weighted sets of 12, those don’t feel right.

I left leg day not wanting to puke!  Awesome!  My legs felt rubbery though.  I went home, ate some food, listened to music, got under a blanket and napped for 40 minutes.  And it was the sweetest strawberry ever…

Then I headed to hot yoga.

Katie was teaching!  Katie is great.  She knows about my shoulder issues, I think it’s always fair to let the instructor or guide know about your health issues.


Man my eyes look sleepy from the gym and the nap!  ha.

Power flow was interesting.  60 min of some sun salutes, then flows, then flowing through warrior 1s to chaturanga, some core work, 3 legged dog, 2 legged dog (!), hip-opening dog to side plank, crescent lunge to crescent lunge twist, crescent lunge to half moon to wide legged forward bend, reverse warrior to straight leg triangle. side crows, garland poses, crows. pigeons and boat poses and spine twists.  And did I mention lots of one leg chaturangas?  LOTS.

I sat out a bit of the shoulder work, lots of the one legged planks and 2 legged dogs.  I just wanted to take it easy on my shoulder.  The sweat was still flowing though, trust me!  I had to sit out of boat pose, my tailbone just can’t take it right now.  I can do low boats, just no high boats.  No crows for me either, sadly.  One highpoint for me though, half moon felt really good!  You have to stack your hips, and I could feel my hips stack perfectly, it was all balanced on a hand and a foot and the other side of my body extended up and out.  Considering how rusty I was, such a RIGHT feeling half moon on each side was very gratifying for me.

I wasn’t pulverized.  I survived.  I stumbled home, sweaty and happy.  And that was just Day 1 of the challenge!  29 more to go!