All posts filed under: Fitness

The Glow of A Warrior Woman

The sun is a glowing ball of fire in the sky and every pore of my body is sweating. I’m on mile three of the morning run, jogging along manicured lawns in an upscale neighborhood outside of Bangkok. The smell of the morning air is a mix of dampness, jasmine, car exhaust and tropical decay. The Thai sunrise looks different to me, seeing it from the other side of the world from my home. That ball of fire in the sky glows a different orange-pink, not a typical yellow, which I learn later might be air pollution. A few weeks after the US election last year I decided I didn’t need to keep delaying my craziest dreams. Reality was upside down, so why keep waiting to see the world? I booked a ticket to go with my Muay Thai boxing gym for a two-week fight camp in Thailand. I’ve traveled internationally maybe four times. I came to martial arts two years ago, after recovering from some chronic health issues. I wanted to celebrate beating the …

I Hated Running… Until I Didn’t

Channel your inner Sophia Petrillo and picture this: Lincoln, Nebraska, 1989. A bookish middle schooler, flat of chest and round of belly, spends her summer secretly devouring The Clan of the Cave Bear novels and trying desperately to manipulate the TV antenna into delivering grainy episodes of General Hospital. Swimming? Only if someone offered a ride to the pool. Biking? Just to the gas station for 25-cent Little Debbie zebra cakes. Weepy anticipating of autumn, and school, and being picked last in gym class? Daily. Twenty-five years later, I remain an unlikely spokesperson for running. I should note that, mentally, I’m Flo-Jo. I fire off more emails before 9 a.m. than most people do all day, and as I feed my infant son intermittently throughout the night, my brain sprints around an invisible track, by turns solving global crises and menu planning for my family of picky eaters. [pullquote]I discovered the unlikely psychological alchemy of energy created by energy expenditure. The more I ran, the more energy I had for running[/pullquote] However, in the words …

Worst in Class: Attempting the New Workout “Beastanetics”

I have never been remotely sporty. The only Olympic event I watch with any regularity is figure skating, and the sole game my softball team ever won was the one I missed. When we ran long-distance in high school, one of my stoner friends and I discovered a shortcut that gave us time to smoke half a joint in the woods and still amble out in time to meet the rest of the class as they were winding down their jog. I hesitate to say it because it’s such a cliché, but it’s true; I was always picked last for teams in school. However, this wasn’t particularly scarring for me because I didn’t want to there in the first place. Not surprisingly, as I’ve gotten older and fatter, my athleticism has deteriorated even further. Muscles I never even knew I possessed now hurt and even worse, my joints scream in revolt if I jump or run too vigorously. I take the same supplements they give Labrador Retrievers for bum hips. Yet, unlike in high school, …

When Lou Reed (Nearly) Beat Me Up in Tai Chi

So let me tell you about the time Lou Reed roughed me up — a little. It was in 2004 or so. A colleague, who’d worked in the music biz, happened to mention that he took a regular Tai Chi class and that the rock-and-roll superstar was a regular attendee. “Excuse me? Repeat that?” “Yeah, he’s a Tai Chi expert, been taking the class for years. You should try it sometime…” Um, where do I sign up? I feigned interest in the martial art of Tai Chi; I’d seen the older Chinese women practicing in the basketball court near my apartment — it looked way too slow for my impatient monkey mind. But the idea of sweating aside one of my rock and roll heroes seemed like either the coolest or strangest thing in the world. I had to do it. Lou Reed and his first band, the Velvet Underground, were the soundtrack to my college years. My roommate dragging on a cigarette on a “Sunday Morning”; dancing with 20 sweaty people in a dorm …

The Truth About Fitness Trackers: How Well Do They Really Work?

Last spring, I participated in my first triathalon. While I was training, whether I was in the pool, running, or on the bike, I began to notice some very fancy-looking fitness trackers that fellow workout fanatics were wearing. And I decided that I, too, wanted to track my progress as I prepared for my first major fitness milestone. But what kind of tracker did I want? A Fitbit? The Nike Fuel Band? A Jawbone UP? I began to ask around to see what people liked and why. I knew that I needed one that worked in the water because I love to swim, but I also didn’t want to spend a fortune. Luckily for me, soon after I started my investigation, I ran into a friend at a party who was wearing a very sleek-looking, modernistic watch. But it wasn’t just a watch! It was the $120 Misfit Shine — an attractive tracker that works in water AND doesn’t look like an aircraft-to-land satellite tracking device. Eureka! I had to have it. A depressing fact …