Thursday, October 7, 2010

frustration and discomfort (and things I actually do like about fall)

The thing about winter, and why it doesn't get my wrath, is because it's supposed to be cold. I'm simply resigned to that.

Well, it's been a little while since I've posted. I'm hardly on the computer at home, and this is the crazy-busy time of year at work.

First things first, I suppose:
While I did not come close to finishing 30 classes in 30 days, I think I did between 15 and 20, which is a far more regular practice than I've had in a long time. I think it really helped in getting better results with the chiropractor, too. On the 26th, I did my first class without water — I think it was the first, anyway. I didn't plan on it, but I got to the studio late and didn't have time to fill my bottle nor grab a bottle from the cooler.

I didn't die. Actually, it wasn't even that bad. I wouldn't want to make it a regular thing, as I like having the option of taking a sip when I (think I) need it. But water-free class went fine. Class on the 30th was cancelled because of flooding and a power outage in the area, and I was crushed that there was no class. I know, it surprised me, too.

These days... ohhhhhh, these days.
Like I've written before, the initial problems that got me in the door to the chiropractor's office are pretty much resolved, which is fabulous. But my muscles are quite, very, surprisingly, unbelievably sore in the hours and day after my appointments. Then my weird skin pain kicked back up into high gear. I scratched an itch on my shoulder one night, and it felt like I was digging into a deep bruise. Awesome.

The BF and I took the dogs for a hike this past Saturday afternoon, and although the scenery was stunning, the hike was really physically challenging for me. Within a few minutes, I was out of breath, and my muscles (HELLO, HAMSTRINGS!!!) were screaming at me. I kept up, and threw sticks for the dogs while he climbed, but on the trip back to the car, my legs felt like Jell-O. By the time we got home, it was all I could do to take a shower and pass out. This hike wasn't exceptionally long, either. Gahhhh... Couldn't help but think, What is wrong with me???

And over the past two weeks, it has felt like my back muscles have been slowly developing the texture of beef jerky. Everything in spasm, all of the time, especially between my shoulderblades and spine. And the exhaustion, oh mannnn. Normally, when I get on the train in the morning and evening, I get a little something done before I sleep for about 20 minutes, whether it's knitting, editing, reading, or playing stupid games on my phone. Now, it's hard to stay awake for a few minutes until the conductor checks tickets. Then, my head drops and I probably drool all the way to work (or home).

Something funny:
All last week, I felt bombarded by "I love fall" sentiments. I love that everyone else loves fall, and some people write about it just beautifully.

Me, on the other hand, well, I do not love fall. Not even pumpkin spice lattes. After about a week of glorious 60ish-degree days, I've had enough, thanks. It portends only colder things to come, and cold makes my body very, very uncomfortable. (I once read a piece called "You Know You're From San Diego If..." and it included "...if it's below 60 degrees, you're freezing, and if it's above 85, you're dyyyying it's so hot." It's pathetisad, but mostly true, for me.) So BF's mom was waxing poetic Saturday about how lovely fall is, and made the mistake of asking if I didn't love it. I'd had it. I said something to the effect of, No, I don't. It gets cold, and I don't like being cold. It makes my body hurt. I'm ready to move to Southeast Asia where I can love hot-and-wet and hot-and-dry year-round. (And the food!)

Well, my little friends, I've learned to be careful what I wish for.
I went to yoga Sunday, and the room felt extra-hot. Maybe it's me, I thought, as I took a knee for the umpteenth time (the HAMSTRINGS!!! from the hike, 'member?). But then I noticed my neighbor R, who I've never seen sit, was sitting. And he's usually on the hot side of the room, anyway! The teacher temporarily opened the door between the studio and the lobby, and put the fans on full blast, and generally tried to cool us down even a smidge. In the first, long, savasana, it felt like the bottoms of my feet were actually on fire. Which I've experienced before (the feeling, not actual combustion), but never at this studio. Thank goodness this was not an accidentally-water-free class: My lips were cracking.

Turns out it was 116 degrees.

OK, UNIVERSE! I get it. I will not express my disdain for chill any longer. I will accept the temperature as it is every day, and rock the heating pad as often as I need to in an attempt to stay reasonably pliable. I will invest in SmartWool and live another several months wearing their long-janes under my jeans (I heart SmartWool).

Stay Positive:
In an effort to be positive, the BF and I are going to come up with one thing every day that is good about fall. (He loves autumn because it is prime rock-climbing season here, and prime surfing season at home [amazing that I still call it that, but that's another post for another day].) This is an easy list for him.

Through the fog of my crankiness and crybabyness and general wahh, wahhh of the past few weeks, and which you've just read through, I've come up with a few things I like:
Fewer tourists in the way at Grand Central and hindering passage along the sidewalks on my walk to work.
The smell of wood-burning fires.
No mosquitos!!! (This is a big LIKE.)
Wearing beanies.
The crunchy noise leaves make underfoot.
Rain. (Which I realize isn't limited to fall, but it reminds me of my very favoritestest season "at home": winter at the beach.)
Rooting for the little guys in the baseball playoffs. (Go Twins! Go Rays!)

Another positive: After one particularly chilly train ride home, it occurred to me that as hot yoga has helped me learn to love the heat, perhaps cold yoga would help me better deal with chills. My plan: Start a worldwide empire of yoga studios, renting out old meat lockers wherein we can practice a predetermined sequence of postures to a dialogue delivered by someone wearing a snowsuit. Class temperatures will not exceed 40 degrees (Fahrenheit, to clarify for any non-U.S. readers I might have) — mind over the matter, right? Instead of coconut-water coolers, we'll have hot chocolate and soup ready to serve up after class.

I think it could work... you?



  1. i literally burst out laughing, close to spitting on my monitor at the thought of meat lockers. hilarious and gross at the same time. as a former prairie girl, the cold is in my bones, so i'm in.

    i totally get the cold and its impact on the body, so i respect your *slight* disdain for cold weather. after a summer of heat, my knees don't even like to be exposed at home. who knew i was so modest...

    congrats on the challenge, the waterless class, and to making an effort to be friends with autumn. thx for the mention, too :)

  2. oh, for your list:

    not having to bump into sweaty, smelly non-yoga peeps on the NY subway and Central Park is actually kinda nice with TONS of crunchy leaves.


  3. First of all, while I love fall everywhere and every way it comes (except pumpkin spice anything - ick), I HATE winter. A really lot. I don't mind visiting winter, but I don't want to live in it. I'm not a SoCal native, but it will always be my favorite place to live.

    Second, I'm so glad to see someone else use the word pathetisad.

    And third, yoga in a snowsuit is one of the funniest visuals ever.

  4. @Lala - I love the subway aspect. Unfortunately, I don't get to Central Park nearly often enough!!!

    @Dorothy - Thanks for stopping by! I wonder how you feel about winter in LV. I imagine it'd be a unique combination of moderately cold, and really fucking dry, with some stretches of too fucking cold. Don't get me wrong, I hate winter too. But it is what it is. And at least I have a big puffy jacket to help deal. :)

    Glad you liked my contributions. :)

  5. Your "The thing about winter..." statement reminds me of my favorite scene of Lawrence of Arabia. I don't know why.

    It's the part where Lawrence puts out a match with his finger tips and doesn't flinch. So Potter tries it, too, but flinches and says, "IT bloody well hurts!" Lawrence replies, "Yes." "Then what's the secret?" Potter asks. Lawrence responds, "Not minding that it hurts."

    1. Paul, that's an absolutely perfect illustration of what I meant. :) Thanks so much for checking in here!