Monday, February 27, 2006

Yoga - the new Iron Man training

I haven't been surfing and my muscles have grown soft and it was getting harder to climb three flights of stairs, so I told myself that every morning I had to do SOMETHING physical. I "ran" one morning last week and I decided that I would unfurl the yoga mat that has a permanent curl from a year of non-use. I didn't feel ready to go back into the studio because my back was semi-seized and I figured that doing some basic work at home would be challenging enough. So, Friday, after some basic warm-up poses, I started in on doing 2 sets of 10 vinyasas. By the twentieth vinyasa, my heartrate was up and I was sweating. It was a better workout than my "running."

Throughout the day, I found my arms weary and my legs like jello. I couldn't believe how much of a physical workout the yoga was... and how out of shape I was.

Saturday morning came with a BUNCH of pain as the lactic acid from the yoga workout had time to work its painful magic on my sedentary muscles overnight. Yi-yi-yi.

Sunday, I was able to move enough to resume vinyasa-ing, and I did so again this morning. I imagine with the weather this week, I'll continue this new Iron Man training. Already, my back feels stronger than it did when I was a big blob and I actually can't wait to get back in the water.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Stoke meme

Whiffleboy got me to thinking in this post which was inspired by Jason's post about "why we surf." How do you explain the stoke?

For a violin-playing, straight-A-getting, Chinese-American girl raised in Central Illinois, surfing was not actually on the envisioned trajectory. But for anybody who knows me, they will understand it when I say I surf because it's the one time in my day where I don't (and can't) think about anything else. My mind empties all its over-analyzing tendencies, dumps all worries about yesterday and tomorrow, and just concentrates on the oncoming wave.

What I write in this blog tends to be me, coming back to reality, over-analyzing with twenty-twenty hindsight.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Trails

Since there was supposed to be a swell today and Mr. Me is away this weekend, I made plans to go to visit Little Miss N in Del Mar. I figured San Diego County handles big waves better than L.A. beach breaks and the surf spots are plentiful so people don't all crowd the points.

Miss N was fostering a trio of part-border collie pups for the weekend so Saturday night and Sunday morning was full of fun projectile diarrhea and waddling cuteness. Thank goodness I got out of there before I took this guy home.

This morning, we met up with a couple of other girls at Trail 3. It wasn't big, and came in at chest high on the sets, but I had a great time with some slopey shoulders to work with. I caught so many long rides that I was tired of paddling back out. I know I'm going to pay for all the fun tomorrow when I sit at my desk and my back locks into place so I am unable to fully straighten when I stand. Good times.

It was a good morning, and I barely had enough energy to make the haul back up the cliff. As I was about to go into cardiac arrest, I found out why there is a bench installed about two-thirds of the way up, right before the last steep climb at Trail 3.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Hat - no joke

Whiffleboy thought I was kidding about the hat. I was paddling back to my car and I heard my name called out from the glare of the sun. Nice to finally meetcha! Hope the waves picked up!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Hat

There's this look that surfers in the line-up give to a new surfer paddling into the line-up. It's that glance out of the corner of the eye over the shoulder. When the new surfer appears kooky, there's a discernible stiffening movement and maybe a wary snubbing. I especially love it when my friends in the line-up do it to me when I bring out the hat for the first time in the winter season. Then, when I get closer and they can hear my loud laugh, jaws drop and shoulders relax and then they make fun of my hat.

Yes, I have a neoprene hat that looks like this. But this is not the hat I wear. I wore this neoprene hat about three times last winter. I was looking for something that would help keep the water out of my ears because I felt like the cold winter water was starting to really damage my hearing. I wandered in and out of stores and browsed online for options but I was feeling a little vain. But then one of my favorite flirty guys at one of my least favorite surf shops said I looked "cute" in it, so I bought it. (Sound like a guy, don't I?)

In the water, I disliked how the neoprene earflaps created a weird echo-chamber against my head. And I looked like a dork. So I stopped wearing it.

Instead, this is the hat I wear. (Actually, this is not my hat, the hat looks a lot like this, but there's a poofy ball at the top.) I wear a knit wool cap with earflaps that tie under my chin. I found it at the back of a drawer full of clothes I moved over from the East coast. It keeps my head warm and keeps most of the impact of the water from shooting into my ears. I decided that if I was going to look like a dork in the water, I'd prefer looking like a TOTAL dork. The choice is purposeful and I feel if you intend extreme dorkiness, then you can cross the line into being hip. And that's what I'm all about. Being hip. Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The good kind of sore

"Running" (more like a half-jog/walk) on the soft sand: exhausting, bad sore. No smiling, but there is a gritty realization that it's GOOD FOR ME. That's what I did yesterday.

I hate things that are GOOD FOR ME. That's why the hardest workout I've had in the last two weeks has been lifting the strip of bacon from the grease-soaked paper-towel lined plate to my mouth. Decidedly BAD FOR ME.

But then there's surfing, which I haven't done much of lately. It is a pretty equal mix of GOOD FOR ME and BAD FOR ME, but I've been avoiding it because of 1) laziness and 2) unappealing conditions.

I told myself this morning that I wouldn't even look at it, because the longer I look at it, the more think I should go "running." So this morning, I didn't look at it and pulled out my newly fixed Cooperfish. So pretty. So heavy. I forgot about that part.

At the car, pulling on stinkerrific booties, I had a debate with myself. Leash or no leash? I didn't hear crashing waves and the bigger waves I could see from the parking lot were just mushing over, so I thought to hell with it. No leash. If I have to swim it will be GOOD FOR ME.

Because of the deceptive waves that mushed out even though the tide is better now in the mornings, I did a lot of paddling for nothing which is GOOD FOR ME and I hate that. I had a good time though when I realized that surfing, even in the cold, is fun. I did forget how to surf a little. Foot placement on this board is a fluid thing and I was a little unsure after such a long absence from the Cooperfish. Also, the lack of leash was a bad decision on my part, because it played with my head and I didn't take bigger waves because I didn't want to swim.

In the end, I started taking the bigger waves just cuz and had to swim, not too far, once. THEN, paddling back out after a wave, I had to turtle and I KNEW I'd lose the board before the wave even washed over me. I've noticed the last couple of times I've been in the water and it's been so cold that I have a contact problem with my bare hands. My board feels more slippery underneath my bare skin and even when I rub my hands together they feel odd. I don't know why this is. Maybe there's a scientific explanation.

OR maybe my newly instituted night-time moisturizing regimen is taking helpful wrinkles off my skin.

I swam in and now I'm experiencing the good kind of sore in my shoulders and upper back. "Running" makes me grumpy and achy and want to die and surfing makes me tired and sore and feel alive.