Saturday, May 30

*New Swestie-ism*: Good neighbors?

Not! And not mine either... near my kids' school...

Thursday, May 28

Body Step



When I was in high school, I wanted to "exercise." So my friend Eric said that he would take me for a run. I wore a t-shirt (with a regular bra... I know, TMI, but it IS pretty funny... who had heard of sports bras back then!) DENIM shorts, and some sneakers, probably Keds, that I wore mostly all of the time, every where. We went to a track across the street from my home, and it was mid-morning in July... a scorcher already, to say the least.

We started to run, and after about, um, 90 seconds, I was so winded, I had to stop. Now Eric was a football player and therefore already conditioned, and suggested that we slow down... I don't remember what happened after that, except that I thought being physically fit was like a TALENT, something you were just born with. I didin't understand that you had to get yourself fit... through lots of hard work and, well, SWEAT.

When I was a junior in college, I spent the year in Germany. While I was there, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the delicious food and beer... and gained a few pounds... how many, I'll never know... me in my size 8 perfection never thought to weigh back then... ANYWAY. My tight, uncomfortable clothing became hard to bear, and a newer friend, Steve, stepped in and offered to run with me. He was the one who enlightened me about the whole concept of getting into shape as opposed to just magically being in shape. So, we went to the canal that flowed through our beautiful, pituresque college town (Freiburg im Breisgau) and started running. He led me, and we ran painfully slowly (my pace), and his only stipulation about helping me was that we would start with 20 minutes, and that I could only stop once...

...Well thank you Steve, cause I'm now thirty-six years old, and I still haven't stopped... taken a break from time to time, but I just love to run, and straight running carried me through until after my second child. That's when I trained to become a yoga instructor. I've taught mainly in gyms since then, and eventually, I started teaching other classes at the gym... weights... cycling...

And then came Les Mills...

Who?

Les Mills is a company out of Australia that offers instructor trainings for their highly athletic, super-challenging classes. They have everything from kick boxing to cycling. I started with Body Pump, the original barbell class that strengthens the whole body while burning lots of calories and increasing endurance. The training itself is grueling... physically and mentally challenging with the added pressure of having to do a practical test (video review) for final certification. I passed this, and have been teaching Body Pump for the past two years now, and I love it...

Now I'm ready for a new challenge!

Enter, Les Mills' Body Step Training.

Body Step is a high intensity cardio challenge... if you thought step aerobics was old school... you're right... but Body Step *ain't* your average step class... think high propulsion... racing heartrate... simple choreography... not being tangled up in the hell that is a sixteen step combo where you can't get past step eleven... the video above doesn't even do it justice!

I'll let you know how it goes! Wish me luck!

Monday, May 25

Why I love my Volkswagen...



Cause I feel cool like this commercial when I drive it at night...

This Volkswagen television commercial, entitled Milky Way, came out in 1999. I remember distinctly the first time I saw this ad; I was piddling around in the small, full living room of my city apartment, that had a wonderful wall of windows, adorned by oodles of plants instead of curtains. I heard he music. It stopped my in my tracks.

Back then, either the internet wasn't as useful, or I wasn't a good user of the internet. There was no Google to find out who sang this song or to figure out how/if I could get it, but I knew that I loved it and must have it.

Aside from the haunting, lovely, moody melody, the photography of the ad was breathtaking to me, and the sentiment behind it... well, it was always how I felt... and still do. I would get dressed to go somewhere, and that somewhere always seemed lame in comparison to just enjoying the beauty of a balmy summer evening.


I wasn't able to find out who the artist was for weeks, when I heard some DJs talking about it on a morning radio show. I immediately bought Nick Drake's CD, "Pink Moon," and it has been one of my favorites ever since.


Right now, those little fluffy puffs that are flying around in the ad are flying around in Richmond too. I might have to make my own music video of this song...


Enjoy!
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