Thursday, July 1, 2010

Digital Sabbatical

I'm on Digital Sabbatical for the month of July. See you in August with updates on life, KFB and new collaborations.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Doctor of the Future

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eventually, I Want to Be Able to Fight Like This

A one-take fight scene from Monga. Via my friend Elle La Mode on Twitter.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This is Where I Jumped Last Night

Balcony Night Jumps, SF

Howard St, San Francisco
The jumps went faster than usual.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wellness is: Willingness to Look Like an Idiot

That ball is the bane of my existence right now.

One ping pong ball, suspended from string, attached with masking tape. Suspended from an air conditioning vent.

Why do I hate it so? It makes me look like an idiot.

Last year during the Peak Condition Project I learned indoor rock climbing. Everything about it was awkward for me. At first. The stepping into a harness. The shape of the rock-like protrusions on the wall. The release, falling to the ground. The smell of the climbing shoes. The chalk under my finger nails.

But it got easier. And I know as I let my mind be still, the ping pong ball will become a friend, not an enemy. Looking at it hanging there right now, there's nothing daunting about it in the least. It's when it's flying at me, I'm missing and the exhaustion sets in that I get the heebie jeebies.

My climbing instructor reminded me last year, "don't get frustrated up there." The same goes for looking like an idiot. Don't get frustrated, or stuck, there. I think it's one of the things that holds people back from trying a new sport, taking a healthy risk with their wellness practice. Unwilling to look like an idiot, we skip the awkward stage by not engaging in it at all.

If you're reading this post and that's you, let it go. The most skilled rock climber in the world probably looks awkward when he puts on a ballerina outfit and tries to plie for the first time, right?

Look like an idiot. The payout is worth the risk.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Karate Kid, Then & Now

Two weeks ago Joel and I watched The Karate Kid (1984). This weekend we watched the new version.

Top, 1984. Bottom, 2010.

Even watching the trailers you get a sense for how different these two films are from a pacing perspective. There were times during the 1984 version that I had to stifle yawns. Contrast that with the 2010 version when I had to use the restroom but didn't want to leave for fear I'd miss a scene.

It's fascinating to me how movie-going has changed. Slowing down isn't an option anymore. Modern audiences demand more speed, more explosion, more action.

In the twenty-six years between the films, movies have changed, America has changed. I'll leave the scary blanket statements to Patrick. But go see the film. Before you do, watch the 1984 version. Notice your patience levels from one film to the other. Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Off the Wagon!

Last year I fell off the wagon with The Peak Condition. It was the first week of June. This year, KFB, I fell off the wagon again. Went back to my post from last year and realized the parallel - same exact week - the first week of June. (Patrick's response: "great! You can use the same photo you used in last year's post!" Patrick, why does your mind always jump to the lazy answer?!)

I am off alcohol, sugar (with the exception of 3 tiny squares of 80% chocolate, on Sunday night, with control - and a little honey/agave with yogurt) and carbs (except for what's required in the diet). I'm rocking on the food aspect, but last week lethargy hit like a wall and I didn't do much besides my jumps for four days. Happily, I am back on target. Wondering if there's a connection between cutting out all the buffers (food) and the lethargy. It's like when I quit coffee. Felt out of it for about two weeks, but then bounced back with an energy I hadn't known pre-quitting.

Was talking with someone recently about healthy addictions. I don't just want to cut out the food that doesn't serve me from a health perspective. I also want to get excited about the food that will. I'm starting with "cooking" using the new Vita-Mix and will go from there.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Women, Food & God [VIDEO]

Women, Food & God via my friend @suebob

Right along the lines of my most recent post, Hooked on Social Media? From Addiction to Discernment

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Iron Gym [VIDEO]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Legs. Ride 'em Cowgirl: Week 2

This week my high school ROTC training kicked in a few times. That girl in the photo? She was in marching band, ROTC, every club under the sun and had 6-pack abs (ish) under that pleather jacket. She also didn't ride horses and in no way was a cowgirl, so who knows what the photo's all about.

Back to the workouts. This week I had to channel the internal drill sergeant. Five more. Push on. Fix form. Breathe. (Ok, that last one is the yoga instructor in me. I don't know that many sergeants that would remind you to breathe while you're dropping and giving fifty.)

Abstaining v Moderating

I'm an abstainer. Which is great to know. (What are you?)

It means that when I decide I should scale back on something it means I'm going to have to quit first. It's possible to moderate once I have quit completely. But I need to have abstained for a year or so in order to be sure I've really broken the habit.

Coffee/espresso was the first stop. Sugar was the second. (This I've been able to solve in an abstain-during-the-week fashion. No refined sugars of any sort M-F with small doses on the weekends - usually in the form of a dark chocolate.) Alcohol is third.

So this week on I'm off alcohol until the end of the KFB. Then I get to open a bottle of Gigondas. It's on the counter to remind me of my reward. And tempt me through another set of kicks and punches. Maybe I enjoy the punishment?

Body Fat Down

Right. Body fat is down already. No surprise. If you were following along for the Peak Condition Project you know my take on being a skinny gal. If not, let me summarize: skinny doesn't bother me. Slim/skinny/thin is all I've known all my life (I weigh now what I weighed in that photo - and I've heard everything: are you anorexic? Do you diet? Do you have a tapeworm? No, no and gross). I'm telling you this so you know - I'll probably lose a little more weight during KFB but not because I'm trying to. The diet shifts to nearly all vegetables in week three. And vegetables keep us slim. Add an hour plus in workouts a day, you see how slim happens.

The Legs

Already noticing more tone in the legs and feet. Kicking up into handstand (one of my goals with the KFB is to practice Adho Mukha Vrksasana with confidence - not what's pictured here, this is tripod headstand) is moving towards becoming effortless. At least I can see how it will eventually become effortless. Because I have long legs I find myself in the posture and feel out of whack. My feet seem so far away. And, honestly, having your feet in exactly the opposite place of where they usually are is awkward. Anyway, this is something I'm still working with.

Thanks for following along. Let me know if you have questions on anything. I'm always happy to clarify or expound or return to the drawing board if need be. Your participation is welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Base: Week 1 [VIDEO]

I'm one week into Kung Fu Body and want to get you all up to speed on where I'm at on the health, wellness, strength, flexibility and agility fronts. This is the base of it all, and I think it'll be helpful for you to know what my base health practices are to see where I get to at the end of the 90 days.

I plan to post just once a week here because I also hold down daily posts at The Mindfulist, 5 posts a week at and once a week or so at Elephant Journal. I'll do my best to make the weekly update worth your while!

I'm in great shape health-wise. (130lbs/lean mass 110.6lb/5'10.5")

I gave up coffee/espresso in October of last year. That has had a positive impact on my life. Here's how. Because I'm not buying coffee, I'm not spending as much time in coffee shops. Coffee shops have a lot of sugary/fluffy white foods. Since I'm not ordering a daily Americano I'm not eating a daily scone. Also, I'm not regulating my emotions/energy peaks and troughs with a "hit." It has been amazing to see the positive results of giving up coffee. (Note: I'm not suggesting you do the same, I'm just letting you know my results. Also, if you're drinking Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream on a daily basis, you need to read this.)

Energy levels (as mentioned above) are solid. The workouts aren't easy, but they're well within my comfort zone. Day seven's 750 jumps was a bit exhausting, but when I put down the jump rope I feel like I've done great work.
Cutting out carbohydrates has been straightforward. I had already eliminated refined sugars except for on the weekends (after reading Michael Pollan's Food Rules I realized that was one of my final hurdles. So, I've been cutting back to just sugar on the weekends. Next (and final?) frontier for me: giving up alcohol altogether. We'll see how that goes. I love a cold stout after a day at work.


This is one area I'm aiming high in with KFB. I've been increasing the amount of work I do in arm balance postures and am showing signs of improvement, but I still have a way to go. I add arm balances to the end of each KFB workout (at the moment, hand stand and moving slowly from tripod to head stand and back down with control). Legs not the issue - always the arms.


Easiest aspect of KFB for me. Because of my yogic background, this is the one portion of the workout where I don't feel awkward at all. Punches/kicks aren't something I'm naturally good at. The short video clip at top is from a recent one-on-one yoga session with Skanda Yoga founder Ken von Roenn. It was the first time I've come into the full expression of King Pigeon, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. My plan is to come into and out of that more gracefully at the end of KFB.

State of mind. State of body. State of balance-in-motion.

Happy to be on this journey with you, fellow balance seeker.

To kung fu as a way of life!