Thursday, January 29, 2009


I feel about 80 ... no ... about 73 years old. Specifically, I feel like my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

The past few weeks, I've been taking advantage of our county employee fitness program. Different classes each night Monday through Thursday. It's been wonderful and I sat in glee last night after realizing just how tight my thighs are becoming. GLEE!

You know that glee you feel when something you've been working hard on begins to show progress. That "Oh yeah, that's right, uh huh" feeling.


The progress hasn't been pain free. Obviously, when you're working out and building and rebuilding muscles, there's some soreness involved. My lower back aches now and then ... it bothered me last night and during the day today. Annoying but no biggie. I thought I'd attend kickboxing tonight but perhaps take it easy on any of the moves that might put extra strain on my lower back. Often, if I have a sore muscle, a bit of exercise loosens it up, makes it feel better.


So, at roughly 4:50 p.m., I dutifully changed into my workout clothes in my office. My last step was to raise up my left leg to put on a sock.

How dare I do such a thing!

Such a simple, every day, BASIC movement. I lifted my leg and, for the first time in my life, actually bellowed in pain and nearly dropped to the floor. In that span of 5 seconds, I went from someone gleeful about tighter thighs ... to my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems. At least that was my immediate and likely (hopefully) exaggerated reaction to the pain.

Of course, it didn't help that clearing the snow off my car as I left work brought me to tears.

It didn't help that I had to slowly lower myself into my car with my hands behind my back then use my right arm to pull my left leg inside ... kinda like my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

It also didn't help that 30 minutes later I was flat on my back on the floor of my apartment with frozen peaches under my back ... at the advice of my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

According to Dr. Peter F. Ullrich ... Jr. ... lower back pain is one of the most common conditions and reasons for office visits ... and four out of five adults will experience it at some point in their lives. Well, okay ... I suppose that makes me feel less pitiful. At least I'm not by any means alone. But ... the estimate that 90% of patients with such pain will no identifiable reason, i.e., "here, let me actually FIX that for you," is just annoying. It reminds me of going to the doctor and having the amazing diagnosis of stress.

If in doubt, stress caused it.

If the words, "it's likely stress," come out of any professional's mouth tomorrow, I will cause physical harm to another.


Meanwhile, I have some peaches to eat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kickboxing with Cadets

My Tuesday night kickboxing class also takes place at the training room for our local firemen/women and last night's class had an added treat ... one of the firemen poked his head in before class and asked our instructor if it would be okay for seven of the cadets (all male) to participate.


Our answer to this request was a hearty "SURE" ... provided that said cadets take the front rows. *evil grin*

This experience taught me several important things:
  1. Never worry about what you look like during a fitness class - believe me - everyone looks like an idiot no matter how hard they attempt to avoid it.
  2. A person's ability to keep a beat is in NO WAY related to their attractiveness.
  3. At some point, every woman should get to watch manly males attempt aerobic exercise to music .... MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Debut of the Doohickie with the Jingly Bits

Yeah, I should probably learn some belly dancing terminology, eh?

Monday night is belly dancing night in Justacogitating land at the moment. As noted in an earlier entry, the class, taught by Na'imah, takes place at a training room for firemen, which at times leads to awkward wanderers, feelings of silliness, and general sassiness.

I prefer to label myself sassy rather than rude. Anyone disagreeing with that assessment can suck it. *bright grin*

A coworker of mine recently returned from a trip to Egypt with an arm full of belly dancing .... uh ... doohickies with jangly bits ... you know, those wraps with the coins that you ... wrap ... around your bootie before shake shake shaking away. Hmm ... according to the wonderful Wikipedia, the proper term appears to be the ultra-exotic"hip belt" even though it's certainly more of a bootie scarf if you ask me.

My coworker had been determined to haggle the market man down to $5 (quite a bargain) per hip belt and ultimately succeeded by offering to buy everything he had left. The result? I am now the proud owner of two ... TWO doohi ... I mean hip belts ... one a bright light green and one a bright blue.

I tried out the green Monday night, relishing in the jingle/jangle. The belt absolutely adds to the experience and fun. Of course, I also quickly realized you can jingle/jangle the belt right down your derriere, rump, heinie, caboose and/or moneymaker.

I apparently need a sailor to teach me some knots.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is It Even Possible??

You know that feeling you get right before a charley horse hits? That feeling of inevitability that leaves you afraid to move lest something be the final trigger that results in you popping up in bed frantically rubbing rubbing rubbing, crying, moaning .... um .... all in a really BAD way ... in the hopes that the painful cramping taking place will subside? Yeeeah. I just had that feeling.

In my left glute aka butt muscle.

That's a first.

I was lucky. I managed to slowly stretch and loosen and avoid the actual charley horse but it left me wondering two things:

1. Who is this Charley and what the heck did he do to his poor horse??

Apparently, the phrase "charley horse" was first used in the 1880s among baseball players! Its true origin is disputed. Some say it began with an actual horse named Charley while others claim that it originally referred to an injured baseball player who limped like one of the elderly draft horses that used to be used to drag the infield. Modern Language Association (MLA):
"charley horse." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Houghton Mifflin Company. 22 Jan. 2009.

2. Is it even possible to survive a full-fledged, butt-muscle charley horse?

May I never EVER know the answer.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Belly By Any Other Name ...

Life lately has made me acutely aware of my sore and/or jiggly bits. Such is life after the beginning of employee fitness classes. Each Tuesday and Thursday include kickboxing after work. The classes are taught either by Tammy, the perpetually in-shape, all-around instructor or Sadie, a young woman appropriately named (it has been suggested this is a shortened form of "Sadistic"). Consequently, this morning I find myself absentmindedly rubbing my bottom, something I should quickly find a way to avoid before heading into work and Court.

Ah, but Mondays .... Mondays are reserved for belly dancing.

I showed up for my first belly dancing class having absolutely no idea what to expect. Taught by Na'imah (not her real name - duh!), the class began with the request to rub our tummies of various sizes and to be happy they exist as those pouches of blubber that never quite go away no matter how many crunches we do are absolutely necessary for belly dancing. [I KNEW there was a reason!!!]

Now, stand with your feet a normal distance apart, i.e., you should not be able to see light through your thighs ("I am SO ready for this class!"), knees slightly bent, and "zip" up your butt.


Use your lower abdominal muscles to pull your bottom forward, tucking it. Ziiiiip. Now use your upper abdominal muscles to lift your chest. [Feel ridiculous yet? Oh, just wait.]

Slowing begin to bend one knee further than the other, back and forth, back and forth. Now, double time it ..... okay, double time that .... and faster, and faster .... you are now doing your first shimmy. [For those who are wondering, this is at least four times faster than the potty dance.] Now, if it appears that you've descended into some sort of seizure, you're locking your knees. Never ever EVER lock your knees when belly dancing. Bad things that should only be seen on SNL happen when you lock your knees.

The class progressed and Na'imah eventually directed us to line up on one side of the room for our "attitude" exercise. [Oh, no.] We were then instructed to saunter Beyonce or model style across the room exercising our sexy, confident attitudes.


Na'imah wonders why I'm shaking my head with a maniacal smile on my face and I blanch at explaining. What do I say? That embarrassment doesn't seem to quite cover the feeling I'm having? That the stupid-ass grin on my face is now sorta semi-permanent? Oye.

Two steps into my nightmare, a side door opens and three firemen wander into the room and begin to mill about. [Did I mention that the classes take place at the training center for GRFD?]


I stop. Everyone else, of various shapes and sizes, has continued to saunter, to walk with attitude, across the room except for me. I'm not moving. Huh uh, no way, no how.

Na'imah again wonders at my behavior. This time I know exactly what to say. "Ya'll [pointing to the firemen] need to get the hell out."

There are some brief chuckles.

"I'm serious, I'm not moving while they're in here."

Am I being childish? I don't care.

The men can get in line with the rest of us and show some 'tude, zip and shimmy, or ... they can get the hell out. There is no in between ... there is no try ... there is do ... or do not.

Still chuckling, they left. Whew. And I painfully made my way across the room.


Soon thereafter my first belly dancing class ended. I'd shimmied, gingered, and snapped those hips. I got into my car, patting my belly (or "pooch") and thinking seriously about purchasing one of those doohickeys you wear around your waist with the little jinglies (I probably need to get a better grip on the lingo).

The following class, I'll learn that I give good "frosting" ... oh my. This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Fantastic!

Or so I've been told.

Granted, the guy who exclaimed this (twice, no less) was possibly drunk and most definitely distraught but, hey, I'll take the compliments where I find them.

I am also suppose to keep doing what I've been doing.

Now, I tend to wonder at this advice since I'm not really where I want to be at this stage in life and someone, somewhere, presumably more worldly and intelligent, said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action but expecting a different result.

So then, if I just keep being my incredibly sarcastic, slightly (ha!) bitter self and occasionally speaking without thinking, I will continue to be deemed fantastic by drunk and/or frazzled men?

Alrighty then.

A New Love

I think I have a relationship. Things started out slow ... I'd see "B" every week then every few days ... we now see each other almost every day. We're Facebook friends, of course. "B" is always happy to see me ... ALWAYS! Do you know just how nice it is to be greeted every day with a smile and sweetness?

"B" bought me a Christmas gift. It was so sweet, the type of gift that tells you someone was thinking about you in particular and the types of things you love before buying it.

And communication! Oh. My. God. It is so nice to know that if "B" and I have a disagreement, a discussion, not an argument, takes place. Just recently, "B" called me at work to let me know that my advise had been heard and was being followed.

So, "B" is always happy to see me, bought me a gift, and listens to what I say. We see each other every day and life would not be as sweet without our time together.

I think I must admit it to myself at the very least ... I'm dating Biggby Coffee (aka always and forever Beaners)!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Right (Albeit Left) Side

I few minutes ago, I turned off the TV and light after several entertaining episodes of NCIS (how did I miss this show for so long?), then attempted to turn off my head, and go to sleep. That's when it hit me ... an epiphany of sorts.

This past weekend, I did some cleaning and decided I wanted to move my bed. Now, given my 5'3" (on a good day) frame and the fact that my bed is a king, moving the beast by myself takes some leg work. By leg work I, of course, mean that at several points during the maneuver I was on my ass and pushing with my legs (I have strong legs). I'd managed to lift the mattress up into a standing position and, with a wish that it not fall on me, I pushed and prodded until I'd moved my bed a couple feet. Whee-hoo.

Given the location, I also ended up changing "my side of the bed" from the right to the left. As I was going to sleep tonight, I found myself wondering about how we choose our side of the bed. I found myself looking back in time to when, if ever, I'd slept on the left side of the bed. And it hit me. Like a ton of bricks.

This wasn't the first time I'd switched sides of the bed. I remember that during my first, only, and failed marriage, I slept on the left side. I ended my marriage on the left side, I began and continued single-hood on the left side, and so it might have remained unchanged until I ended up changing my side to please another. Yep, roughly two years ago, I changed sides to please a boyfriend ... and I didn't realize that, hadn't remembered or thought about that, until tonight.

Changing to please a guy hits a particularly tight nerve of mine. I made some massive changes, none good ... NONE GOOD, during my marriage in attempts to please a guy. You would think that the first time I wandered, post-divorce, through a Target and found that I lacked the simple ability to pick out kitchen items without automatically choosing what my ex-husband would have wanted, I would have learned my lesson, but nooooo. When I started dating, I'd find myself constantly wondering and worrying over what the guy was thinking at the time when I should have still been considering whether I even liked him. And so it continued for years.

And so it also entered into my last relationship in various ways ... including my automatically changing "my side" because we were both lefties. No thought, it was automatic. And, long after that guy took off, I remained on the other side.

Now, some other realizations came along with this first one, but I'll save those for myself. The important thing is ... I'm finally back on my side.