Sunday, November 23, 2014

What I've Been Up To

Happy Sunday (again)! It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Houston, and the sunshine and higher temperatures is a very welcome sight after the rainy days and close-to-freezing temperatures we experienced this past week. I know the rain is a good thing, but it just makes it so difficult to do anything. Traffic is always significantly worse, and all I want to do is curl up and take a nap. Which is exactly what I did yesterday. I went upstairs with the intention of grading expository essays. Two hours later I realized that I had not taken even one essay out of my bag. Oh well!

Anyway, it’s been a little while since I’ve checked in with you guys, so I’ll pick up where I left off: PiYo Live Certification.

I was lucky enough to be able to go not even five minutes up the road to the MAC for Women for this training. Some people came in from Corpus Christi, Harlingen, and San Antonio. Those are some dedicated souls. I’m not sure I would have attended if I had to travel out of the city, because coming home late on a Sunday is never fun, especially after an 8-hour (sweaty) training, but luckily that wasn’t much of a concern for me.

The training itself was great, and left me feeling very sore the next day. Because I tend to stick to running, walking, swimming, and lately, rollerblading (my new blades are one of my best purchases to date), the moves found in a PiYo class are not typically things I would do on my own. What do you do in a PiYo class, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

Straight from the BeachBody website, PiYo combines the “muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.” I would probably consider myself the worst yogi of all time because I find it to be too slow-paced for my liking. And the slow pace isn’t a bad thing, that’s just my own personal preference. What I like about PiYo is that you aren’t holding the poses for long spurts of time. The pace is fast, there are obvious cardio and strength components, and the best part is that this is a low-impact, high-intensity, fat-burning workout. I love running, but I definitely feel it in my knees, especially when I run a distance of seven miles or more. Because I often neglect the strength and stretching part of exercise, I thought this might be a good way to build it into my regular routine. And honestly, I thought it might be fun to get certified to teach a group exercise class should the opportunity ever arise.

Not that I am ready to get up in front of a class and teach after one day of training. Sure, we did lots of cuing, practicing the basic movements and choreography over and over again, and working with specific modifications, PiYo is a very specific sequence. While you can tweak a few things here and there, the poses, exercises, and music demonstrated and used on that DVD release must be what you follow in your class. I would probably want to take a few more PiYo classes before I even felt comfortable thinking about getting up in front of a class myself, but I wanted to get certified while it was still convenient to me.
Our class and fearless leader
All in all, it was a very worthwhile, yet very tiring, day, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn something new. That was also one of my last healthy days, as later that week I started coming down with a nasty cold that I just couldn’t seem to shake. That was probably due in large part that I refused to give in to my symptoms, slow down, and take a day off. I even ran a 14k (8.7 miles) with a fever. I felt fine when I woke up that morning, and I really wanted to participate in this Bellaire Women’s Soccer fundraiser run. Dylan came over later that day and spent most of the afternoon exposing himself to my germs, trying to help me not feel so achy and weak. I was sentenced to my bed the rest of that weekend, as hard as that was for me to do, but it worked, because I felt well enough to tackle the annual Nutcracker Market with my mom that Thursday,

and make the drive to Austin on Friday. The NutcrackerMarket is put on by the Houston Ballet and can be described as a “holiday shopping wonderland.” Vendors from all over the country come to our NRG Center to sell their products to some very enthusiastic women. Seriously. You have to have a good attitude at this event – it is an absolute madhouse, yet such a good way to kick off the holiday season. My mom and I used to volunteer at the event, and then we would shop until we could no longer walk. I came home from college my freshman and sophomore years (bringing some friends along with me), but I was unable to make it home my last two years. The Nutcracker Market was one of the things that drew me back to Houston. I wish I could say I was kidding. Anyway, my mom used to go with her mom (my Granny), my mom and I go, and you better believe I will be introducing my daughter to the excitement and chaos that is The Nutcracker Market. And that’s chaos in a good way. I’m always extremely impressed by how well-organized the event is. Shout out to all of the incredible volunteers – you guys have hearts of gold.
Shopped 'til we dropped - literally!
And the very next day I took off of school a little bit early (perks of having 7th period off), and headed straight to Austin for Texas Men’s Basketball’s opening game against North Dakota State University. Dylan and I went to an early dinner at Hillside Farmacy before watching Texas put a beat down on NDSU. And NDSU is a fairly decent team. We just looked really, really good, and I’m hoping we will be good enough to make a Final Four appearance.

Though the weather wasn’t great, it was still a wonderful weekend filled with good food (would you expect anything less?) and even better company. We revisited Jasper’s – the restaurant we went to in celebration of the end of student teaching – as well as Toastie’s – a fabulous, lesser-known sandwich shop. While the sandwiches are top notch, it’s the table topics that keep this place on my radar. In a society that is constantly obsessed with checking their phones (myself included), it’s nice to focus on unique questions that lead to some good conversation.

We also couldn’t resist going to one of my very favorite restaurants in Austin, Mandola’s Italian Restaurant, for some post-dinner gelato. Calories don’t count when you’re on vacation, right?

I left Austin relatively early on Sunday, so that I could make it back to Houston in time for the Bellaire Volleyball banquet at Braeburn Country Club, which was a far cry from our banquets that took place in the Stratford High School Cafeteria. I was pretty nervous about the speech I had to give, but I think it went pretty well. Public speaking is not my forte, but it was nice to get it over with and be able to enjoy the rest of the banquet. It brought back such sweet memories, and I was once again reminded why I love the game, and why I am so grateful for the opportunity to coach such a great group of freshmen. Coaching led to a little more stress and a little less sleep, gray hairs at the age of 22, and lots of mistakes made, but all that I gained far outweighed anything that I may have lost.

 And I promise I will do better about sticking to my theme of food and exercise – I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I have frequented Hungry’s,

and Salata.

And I do have a few good workouts to share with you guys, but those will have to wait for another post (that will come soon, I promise)! And I’m hoping to actually share some recipes, but those might have to wait until Christmas break, which will (thankfully) be here before I know it. But first let’s focus on Thanksgiving, my all-time favorite holiday, and Thanksgiving break, which can’t come soon enough. Have a great last few hours of your weekend, and fingers crossed that I check back in with you guys this week!

1 comment:

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