Archives for category: movnat

this morning i did my very favorite kind of workout.  i worked and it was outside.

it was time to bring in some more fire wood.  i think i did about 8 or 9 trips.  the wood is kept in an outbuilding down a little hill from the house.

it was a horrible continuous disappointment to kenai because he thought that i was heading us to the trailhead of the hill we usually walk in the morning.  seven times he was excited.  the eighth time he just sat and watched me.  the ninth time i’m pretty sure he gave me the finger.

i’ve been back to pretty strict paleo since the first of the year.  i did no wheat over the holidays and i deserve a medal for this.  the holidays were spent in mennonite country at a mennonite grandma’s house and hanging out in a mennonite bakery for internet a couple times.

anyhoo, one of the pesky side effects of being primal is lots of energy.  as i loaded up the wood strap with purposeful reach and squats, hefted it up, walked up the hill, i thought i could do this all day.  i probably could have if my stomach didn’t start grumbling so bad.

no, i don’t eat before my first physical activity of the day.

another thing that i like to do is to get as acclimated to the temperature as possible.  meaning, i try to wear the minimum in the cold.  generally as long as my head, neck and feet are warm, i’m good.  my purple flannel owl peejay bottoms and a long sleeved t-shirt, socks and boots, my red kikoi and a knit hat was all i had on.  of course, i was always half expecting to hear two soft plinks when my nipples hit the ground.  but, i could barely hear my footfall on the snow.

so, if 145 pounds of hot haitian ass carrying about 10-15 pounds of wood didn’t make a sound, i never would have heard my nipples fall into the snow.

there are only two really great ways to work out as far as i’m concerned.  1. something that leads to a real, visible accomplishment, i.e.: firewood for the next few days in a nice neat stack, a mountain climbed, an obstacle course conquered and 2. dancing.

so, after this morning’s wood stacking, with this extra energy my still intact nipples and i are ready to boogie.

 

because i’m completely narcissistic, my new year doesn’t begin until my birthday.  that’s when i do all that self-reflective inner work that leads somewhere:  that somewhere being a list of ways to ‘improve’ myself.

i think that that list is going to be pretty slim this year because i’m sick of the whole concept.  if i was an arsonist and a good enough one to not be caught, the self-improvement aisles of bookstores and libraries would be my signature target.  i might even become a house visiting arsonist and leave little blackened ash piles in people’s homes.  who doesn’t have a couple self-improvement books?  i just have to figure out a way to make money out of this victimless crime and i would be set for life.  a nickel per burnt self-improvement book seems about right.

resolutions tend to fall in the same bucket as self-improvement books.  generally, because people make lists of ways to go back to being something that they never were.  they are also setting themselves up for failure because they want to conquer things over which they have no control.

for example: i will lose 35 pounds this year.

will you?  you might.  you probably could.  but, that’s completely out of your control.  your body may completely disagree with you.

instead, try this: i will build the habit to eat like i’m meant to and move like i’m meant to.

this is something over which you have control.  you’re not trying to do something unnatural like “loving those who hurt you” or going down a fruitless path by “becoming a money making machine”.  it’s even better than “controlling’ anything.  it’s what your body wants to do.

so instead of overcoming your nature and trying to improve yourself, just allow that nature to develop.  it’s easier and loads more fun and i don’t have to come to your house to set fire to anything.

my furry feral friends, i hope you had wild weekends away from your computers and gadgets.  the outdoor time with just our bodies, plants, and others always refuels me in ways that nothing else really can. since i’m always on island time, i just found out that may is mental health awareness month, so i’ll be writing a couple times a week about depression.  after this month, it will probably make an appearance at least once a week in my posts.  it’s an important issue to me.

but, today is monday, and i like to let y’all know what i did with my weekend.  i would also really, really love to hear how you spent yours.  hint, hint, nudge, nudge.  below.  in the comments.  like, type it in, people! my weekend started early.  i got to go up to montpelier on friday to visit my new friend.  she’s not paleo, but she’s hardcore weston price.  so in the spirit of open mindedness, i sacrificed myself on the altar of a thai rice ball.  sweet baby jeebus, yum!  it was so good that it is the first thing i report in a weekend chock full of awesome.  it was still warm.  of course, gluten free, which is essential.  (in the spirit of full disclosure, weston a. price was my gateway into paleo eating.)

we wandered around for a little bit.  in town, we walked three stories up to a dance school that i hope to frequent in the fall on a very regular basis.  i really miss dance classes.  yes, zumba, i flirt with you and you’re fun and all, but you just can’t scratch that deep dance itch.  (montpelier also has a kickass crossfit gym.  i really, really miss this one that first seduced me with it’s hardcoreness.  this is how i’m easing into the announcement that i’m moving to montpelier in the fall.

okay, back to the weekend. my friend C asks me, rather nonchalantly, if i’d like to go feed some lambs.  what?  hells to the yeah!  so i got to meet the lambs.

bottle feeding the lamb...it would sigh after each swig. melted my little wild heart.

after loving on the lambs, we walked up to check out the others that were able to suckle from their moms.  there were 14 of them.  they were frolicking (literally and only when referring to lambs is that verb viable).  they also had a llama and a cow to keep them company.

llama

cow.

(i’ve labelled them to avoid confusion.)

after the animal time, a.k.a. future buffet recon, we went to her house and snacked on raw cheese, chopped veg, and fermented veg.  we then went to a party and supplied beef sliders and roast turkey.  so yum.

saturday was supposed to be my son’s first flight lesson.  most teenagers rebel with drugs, sex, piercings.  mine can’t.  so, he rebels by deciding to be a pilot.  it’s all very passive-aggressive.  he knows i’m terrified (terrified!) to fly.  born with no wings, no hollow bones and all seems to be proof enough to me that i shouldn’t.  i digress.  his lesson was cancelled due to bad weather.  (vermont, up yours!)

so, he went to spend the night at his buddy’s place.  that’s right, kids.  the wild woman had the place to herself.  she celebrated by watching this movie while awaiting the rapture, going for a run (A. RUN.) with the dog, and ate fish smothered in onions that had been sauteed in almost a cup of butter and a red wine reduction.

first, the movie.  i love this kind of shit.  i would love love love to be a spy and hit man, with all those sweet skills.  but not like in real life, cuz it’s actually pretty boring, all that data collection.  i love the adventure.  but, in my dream, i’m never in any REAL danger and when i find my target, i fire a dart with a slow-release drip of chocolate.

secondly, the run.  after watching jason statham, i always tend to have a mysterious surge of energy.  hmmmm….i chose to pretend i was ‘on a mission’ by tethering the dog to my waist with his leash, putting on my vibrams and heading out the door.  kids, i was surprised by how far i went!  i think that the three things that factored into the distance were: 1. it has been a really, really long time since i’ve run, so i wasn’t burnt out.  it’s not my favorite thing to do.  2. i was on a trail i’d never been on before, so it was novel.  3.  jason statham crush chemicals.  i also didn’t stress myself about it.  it wasn’t a “workout”.  it was just me and the dog out having a good time.  so, i would run, sprint, walk, rinse, repeat.

third, the fish.  it was supposed to be steak.  but, the aforementioned kid put the steak back in the freezer instead of the fridge. the onions were already golden, soft in the butter and the wine, so i just grabbed some frozen fish and let it stew together.  not my first choice, but, butter and wine and onions all combine in a way that the rest doesn’t matter all that much.

of course, the house to myself meant i could get naked and walk around.  so good for the wild soul!  shed those clothes as often as you possible can!

oh, and, yeah, there’s this little thing that happened, too.

if you can't guess, here: my hair is purple in some places.

clearly, someone watched far too much of this as a kid.

sunday was equally full of fun.  the kid came back.  we hit the rocks by the river near our house.  both of us in our vibrams.  i’m still too cold to go completely barefoot.

the water is brown because of tannins, not sewage.

for dinner, since the kid was back, no fish, no onions, no wine.  but, i’ve done my best to raise him right, so it was steak….sauteed in butter.

that was my weekend.  hit me up with your adventures.

george mallory apparently said when he was asked why he needed to climb everest, that he had to do it “because it was there”.

why must we head outside and be wild?  because it’s there….for now.  not to be debbie downer all over your day, but, the wild is disappearing.  both the external wild that beckons from the out of doors and the internal wild voice that pushes to be true to your animal self.

so, after visiting my cousin like a quadra-dozen times, i finally hiked the mountain that is only a couple miles up the road from her.

when i took off that morning to climb it, her hubby told me that he’d see me later that afternoon.  i was back in two and a half hours.  the hike itself took me about 1 hour 45 and i took my time getting to the top and hung out a little bit in the tower.  i felt like a rockstar.  and to toot my own little horn (it’s not the size, kids!), i hiked up that mountain all the way to the fire tower at the tippy top in a dress (i don’t know why more people don’t do this.  it’s SO much easier to pee on the trail!) and nearly barefoot with the pup in tow.

i loved this trail because it was so varied.  some patches were really, really rocky.  others were mossy paths.  then, there were boulders to climb.  one point, with rock walls scaling up on each side, looked like the broad gates to another dimension.  one place looked like a meadow.  on the way up, there was one 200 foot stretch that was shrouded in mist.  one the way down, the mist shattered into teeny, tiny rain drops.

my furry, feral friends, if there is an unexplored corner that exists in your familiar territory, this is the time to wander through it.  walking up this trail, sometimes actually gripping rocks to climb, hopping over snow-melt streams, and at one point getting second wind and sprinting up through a little gorge reminded me of who i truly am.  all the titles (mom, sister, daughter, student, writer, funny-girl, cousin, bla bla yada yada) fell away one by one as i climbed.  it was just my legs, my heart beating, my skin breathing, and my sweat glands earning their keep.

so this past weekend, it was a mountain.  it doesn’t have to be so dramatic.  is there a path near your house that you’ve never walked?  a trail that you’ve never ridden down?  a puddle of water you haven’t splashed through?  a tree you haven’t yet climbed (or just hugged…not to get all fruity on you)?  a corner of your backyard that you don’t haven’t sat in?

go outside today, find a new place, and GET SOME.  then, send me some pictures of your outing.

here, for your visual enjoyment, are some pics of the mountain adventure:

rock it, man!

almost to the top, it gets "meadowy"

can you tell that i'm a mom who's sick of carrying other people's shit?

the fire tower. notice the cables near the top. they were keeping that baby on the mountain.

from the top of the tower-the great sacandaga river off in the mist

resting and smiling at the top of the mountain.

"you're turning violet, violet!"*

a breeze had come through and scattered the path with white blossoms. this pic doesn't do it justice.

back to the bottom (isn't that green psychedelic? no retouching!)

i allowed my gym membership to lapse.  yes, i did.  well, i have a membership at another, far less convenient gym that doesn’t have the things i like to do (pool, climbing wall) that i made the mistake of signing a contract with.  kids…say no to the gym contract.  it is harder to get out of than marriage.  trust me, i’d know.

anyhoo, the one gym that i was going to nearly every weekday is no longer receiving my money nor my funnily-clad presence.

it is a little panicky not to belong to a gym.  doesn’t every health conscious person worth their weight in seaweed wraps belong to a gym?  not this wild woman.

there are a couple contributing factors to this decision.  one, it is gorgeous outside.  i can be outside for a couple hours with no fear of losing toes, ears or nipples.  secondly, my workout partner (see below) has been so restless with nothing to do that we’ve had to resort to anti-anxiety medication.  he needs to run!  third, and i believe i’ve mentioned this, i hate the general gym environment.  faces drag, people religiously monitor their calories burned, no one is really having a good time.  even during zumba, there is a general lack of booty fun because the message of DANCE has been overshadowed by AEROBICS.

in celebration of my gymless self, i went for a hike.  in the woods.  near the river.  i literally went over the river and through the woods, people.  i slid down a hill.  i jumped from rock to rock over rushing water.  i ducked under low-lying branches.  i hopped over even lower-lying fallen trees.  i used the trunk of a fallen tree as a balancing beam over the water.  i scrambled up the hill.  the whole time i did this, my sense were on high alert.

i’ve heard the bears rummaging through my trash lately so i know they’re out.  i was aware of their existence.  the terrain went from deep humus to rushing snow-melt river to boulders to mossy  trail to gravel.  the light moved from full-on sun to dappled shade.  sometimes i had to take my sweater off because i was sweating and then i’d have to put it back on because i was cold.  i did all this wearing these and keeping a hold of him:

all three of my readers, i felt alive.  yes, my muscles were a little sore.  yes, i was out of breath.  these things happened in the gym, too.  but my whole being was present outside.  all of me got a workout, my mind, my senses, my muscles, my animal self…..i was wild.

here are the goals that i have as i embark on this path:

daily goals:

1. spend more time outside than i do in (if anybody has great job ideas where i could get paid to be outside, please hit me up with any and all ideas)

2. eat like a cavegirl

3. sleep at least 8 1/2 hours every night

strength/fitness goals:

1. squat 1 1/2 times my bodyweight (can it be done by lil ol’ me?  we’ll see…)

2. swim a mile in open water

3. finish a sprint triathlon….maybe this one?

4. be able to climb a tall tree really quickly

5. dance a lot (a lot.)

skills acquisition goals:

1. make jerky and pemmican

2. hunt and skin/butcher a buck (of the deer kind…calm down gentlemen)

3. get proficient with a bow and arrow

4. be able to build a fire the old, old fashioned way…basically one step away from waiting for lightening to strike in just the right place

5. be able to navigate using the sky (where the heck is north?  since the second grade when i found out it just wasn’t up i’ve had issues.)

i have a shit ton more.  i’ll be adding a page of just my goals and hopefully tick them off one by one.

i’m so curious what you want to be able to do.  comment away.

yesterday we talked about the accepted measures of fitness from one point of view. i’m so excited to introduce you to the point of view of someone that i just can’t get enough of lately. i’m reading his book: muscles et beaute plastique that he wrote for women (in 1919) and i love that so many of the issues are still the same. in one passage he says that men who don’t appreciate women who get strong and put on muscle basically are misogynistic little dicked asswipes. (i paraphrased.)

his motto is: be strong to be useful. his approach to fitness is very skill based. he also encourages all of his “workouts” to be done outside wearing as little as you can get away with. my kind of guy.

his name is georges hebert and since he encourages outdoor workouts with very little clothing, i’m sure you’ve guessed he’s french. i also am working through his book: guide pratique d’education physique. i realize that all of his frenchiness may make him little inaccessible to english readers. luckily, i bring you: THIS GUY. swoon, right?

he also is french and doesn’t wear a whole lot when he works out outside. i’m also going to get to train with him in june. erwan le corre is friggin’ awesome for taking hebert’s work, expanding on it and bringing it into this century and making it available to the less francophone of us.

this system of fitness is far more skill based. each workout (i HATE that term….this stuff is way too much fun to be work! how about playout?) should include these 10 skills. don’t worry, when you’re playing outside, you tend to cover all 10 pretty naturally.

they are:

1.walk
2.throw things
3.climb something
4.picking something up
5.running
6.balancing somewhere
7.walking on all fours
8.jumping from or onto something
9.swimming
10.self defense practice

if you’ve ever watched kids play or remember what you were like out on the playground (before you discovered barbie dolls and ken dolls and found out how you could make them play with each other….i digress), you’ll know that all 10 of these come very naturally. hence, hebert’s brain baby? his system is called “methode naturelle” or natural method for those who found the french nearly impossible to decipher.

i LOVE it. it is accessible to everyone (except for the swimming which you may need to go out of your way to do) and completely scalable. it is something that you can do with your kids on your lawn. urbanites have run with it since its inception and we have this. yep, that’s right, hebert’s work spawned that phenomenon.  although it tends to be a very male dominated sport (all the fun one’s start that way, don’t they?),  girls do it, too.  i look a lot like this when i do it. (i’ll tell y’all a personal story about this soon.)

tomorrow, i’ll be hitting on one more way to define your fitness.

here’s to getting outside, nearly nekkid and playin’ around like kids!