Friday, June 27, 2008

Wanted + Other Inspiring Movies

So I went to see the Midnight showing of Wanted last night. Check out my other blog (linked on the right hand side) to read my Angie love fest as it is much more appropriate there. Although I will say she's fucking hot.

That is really partly the point of my post, but I'll get there in a minute. One of my favorite quotes from the movie, like, tattooable quotes was, "What the fuck have you done lately?" It was great to be able to think, a whole hell of a lot, thanks! All the months of training and I finally realized I have been doing some amazing shit and I should be damn proud of that. It goes with the Bernarr MacFadden quote I recently added over there ---->
I still wont flex for my girlfriend though.

Back to the hotness. I love action movies, and I'm not phased by violence, so much so that I have to make a conscious effort during the movie to ask myself, "is this violent?" because inevitably someone will ask me, and I'll say no, then they will go and be pissed at me and really it just never registered. In case your wondering, it is violent, and its awesome.

I think one of the reasons I really love action movies is that the actors get so bulked up and strong...their badassery just inspires me to lift more, go harder, be stronger. Sort of like my favorite Nike commercial:

Anyone know what song that is? Can you spot Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury?

Here is a short list of some movies that really got me fired up/motivated:
1. Tomb Raider (+ the sequels)
2. X-Men (+ the sequels)
3. Batman Begins
4. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
5. Underworld (+ the sequel)
6. GI Jane

Post your most inspiring movies to the comments!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Case Anyone Thought She Got Lucky

Parker dunked again last night against Seattle, I have a feeling she's only warming up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Record

WNBA News:
Parker Dunks
Photo by: Gus Ruelas, AP

I wish she would have done it when I was there, but I'll take it. That makes her the second woman to dunk in the WNBA. Her teammate, Lisa Leslie, was the first.

In other news:

When I first started getting back into fitness and all things healthy, I decided to buy a pedometer. On days where I don't work out in the morning (read weekends) I try to get my 10,000 steps. On the rest of the days I wear it more out of curiosity than an attempt to log steps.

A month or so ago I racked up over 14,000 steps when I went to the city shopping and wondering around one day.

Saturday I walked an unbelievable 20,727 steps! I would say about 2-3,000 of the steps came from "dancing" around at the concert I attended, but the rest were from walking. Craziness!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Drive By

Just dropping in to say I'm guest blogging over at the wonderful Mizfit's site today.

Also, I finally got my 20 pounds!

I think I will celebrate by buying myself a much needed racing suit for swimming as mine is pretty worn out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Good Challenge

So today in bootcamp, we had to do a circuit. It was a pretty garden variety 6 station circuit. Well, that is until the rowing station became the challenge station rather than the rest and recuperate stations. Usually when we have rowing as part of a circuit, we are given a target for the number of meters we should row before time expires and we move to the next station, but most of us (ahem, read I) usually take it easy. This morning was a whole new ball of wax.

At the end of the instructions our trainer tells us that after we complete the circuit three times, we have 100 burpees to do. There is a catch, and isn't there always? If we row our 200 meters in 45 seconds, we can knock off 5 burpees for team 0700. I, of course, wasn't planning on rowing 200m in 45 seconds, but throw a good challenge at me and the threat of burpees and I was there.

And just in case you don't know what a burpee is, check this video out. It’s the best I've seen… the music is classic. I like it because it shows a full burpee (burpee's w/o pushups at the bottom are ½ burpees), just sayin'.

The ones at the end are burpees w/ a pull-up, just in case you're that badass.

I guess I need a good throwdown to get me motivated, but it sure as hell worked. I got my 200m under time on all three of my attempts. Actually, I was coming in closer to the 40 second mark than 45, so that makes me really stoked. This is huge progress for me as back in January I couldn't row without pain in my knees from my tendonitis. Just another example of why it's not always about the weigh-in at the end of the week.

O, and I am this close to getting my jumping pull up…

p.s. not only did team 0700 not do any burpees, we wiped away all the burpees we "owed" for left behind cups, and we racked up 35 for our trainer to do. She is such a good sport…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hard Knocks

Even when I was playing sports year round, I wasn’t injured this much! I have played multiple sports throughout my life but in middle school and high school I played tennis, basketball, and softball. The only injury I had/have was tendonitis. In both knees, ugh, oh well.

I have been plagued by a bunch of minor injuries since I really started getting back into training and working out. I wonder if it is because we do such a variety of training moves that come from multiple disciplines and before I was always doing really sport specific exercises.

Either way, it’s always something. Aside from general soreness, I’ve had multiple tweaked body parts in the last 5 months. In late February early March, I had some soreness is my lower back, which I think was from doing kettlebell swings with poor form and possibly too heavy of a bell. My left shoulder has been acting up lately and it also bothered me for a week in April. Almost all of May, I was feeling some sort of pull in the back of my knee which was the longest and most limiting injury. I really couldn’t do much cardio (running, jumping rope, even walking was irksome) and my progress suffered. Recently, I scraped three of my toes on the bottom of a pool. It doesn’t really hurt much when I work out because of how my shoes are cut, but when I play tennis it is all bad because of previously mentioned shoe troubles. The more annoying thing about scraping my foot was that it also chipped some of the polish off my pedicure. Lame.

In WNBA news, I went to see the Monarchs v. Sparks game this weekend. My girlfriend got me tickets as an early birthday present and she also gave me a wicked Parker jersey so I could show up to the game representin’. Sadly, Parker didn’t show up to represent in the first half. She only scored 5 points and the Sparks were down 31-44. Aside from the horrid refereeing, the Sparks just played poorly. The Monarchs also were playing fast + good defense, but they shot 18 free throws in the first half and the Sparks shot 3, a testament to the referees for sure. The reason I think the Sparks will take it all the way this year is that they came back to win the game 74-66. They have the skill and the game knowledge to turn it on and make great comebacks. Leslie played great in the second half and she finally got her points in the paint. This excursion reaffirmed my feelings that I will be spending a lot of time at ARCO. My girlfriend and I also decided that the Sparks waited to get going until they were shooting at our end of the court, so yay for me getting to see Parker up close, and her and Leslie delivering a few blocks. O, and a mad shout out to little Bobbitt, every time she came in she tore it up, made plays and buckets and got her team fired up.

Oh, and since I will be living in Sac we decided I need to have a jersey for a Monarch player since they only play the Sparks 3 times a year. I think since I already have the best player’s jersey, I could pick a Monarch player based on pure hotness. If it was based on skill, I would take Lawson for sure, plus we are built the same.

What do you think?

#21 Ticha Penicheiro


#14 Nicole Powell
Monarchs Storm Basketball

cast your vote in the comments :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

When the Sum Equals its Parts

This week was disastrous in the way of food.

The Parts:
4 pieces of a variety of cookies (they were delightful, see below)

3 pieces of cake (1 piece would have been acceptable as it was my roommate's graduation, only problem was that half the cake came home with us.) I also ate tri tip three different days, once at the party and twice for lunch. It was damn good, but just a lot more meat, and fatty meat at that, than I usually eat.

2 nights out drinking (Granted I only had one drink each night, but still, those are calories I don't usually consume in a given week.)

1 piece of strawberry shortcake shared three ways (that one was fucking worth it!)

The Sum:
Instead of losing that last pound to get my 20, I have instead gained a pound and am again at 18, with 2 pounds to get to my mini milestone.

One the bright side, I exercised a shiton this week, which is probably the reason I only gained 1 pound and not 5. I had personal training on Saturday and it was awesome despite not being able to lift a gallon of milk the next day. I attended bootcamp everyday this week. On top of that, I went and did some lap swimming (ugh, I scraped my foot on the bottom, but that’s a post for tomorrow) and I played tennis. I also walked to and from work everyday except for Monday evening when we went to get Pho, and Tuesday evening when I took the bus to get to the pool before they closed.

Another plus, I am really pissed off that I followed two really good weeks with this shit. This just motivates me to super plan my week and go back to eating like a rabbit. By that I mean a lot of veggies and lean protein, I do not mean eating less.

Back to the strawberry shortcake, it was amazing, and in the old days (read 6 months ago) I would probably go get some every week. We finally tried Oakland's Bakesale Betty, a bakery delight.

Sidebar: I learned a few years ago to never stop exploring. Two of my favorite Santa Barbara establishments, Red's and South Coast Deli, I only discovered in the last 3 months that I was there. I still crave them all the time. I can appreciate having "go-to" restaurants, bars, etc. but I never stop trying new places, especially if they come highly recommended by multiple people.

Bakesale Betty's is one of those places. Everyone raves about it. When we got there it was about a half an hour to closing and there were tons of workers assembling/making treats in the back. There must have been 10 people standing shoulder to shoulder working away. Betty and another worker were in the front where all the goods are. We were mulling about trying to decide on what to buy when the woman behind the counter handed me a cookie to try. It was pecan shortbread. There were three of us and I immediately started breaking it up to share. While I was doing this my two companions were also handed cookies of their own, a ginger snap (my favorite of the three) and an oatmeal cookie. Cookies are all well in good, but the first thing that caught my attention was the strawberry shortcake in the refrigerated case. Strawberry shortcake should only be eaten with biscuits; sponge cake/pound cake needs to find a new home. This was the most delightful sweet biscuit with tons of strawberries and home made whip cream (see image above). Needless to say, the three of us made short work of it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sometimes You Just Need Pho

Pho (pronounced fuh, not like fa which makes me think falalalala) is one of those things I will miss a lot. It’s not only the Pho, because you can get Pho, granted at varying qualities, in Sac. It is the whole experience surrounding my favorite Pho place and the neighborhood it’s in.

A typical Friday looks like this:

6:00am – get up and go to bootcamp
9:00am – leave for work
6:00pm – get picked up from work and drive to our favorite Pho place
6:30pm – pass by Lake Marrit in Oakland, comment on the beauty and suggest taking a walk after Pho*
7:00pm – eat delicious pho and bullshit
7:45pm – walk to the bar three shops down to continue bullshitting
8:30pm – walk across the street and get some cake to soak up the booze
9:00pm – go home and watch TV until we decide to call it a night

*We never walk around the lake, we just like to talk about it, which makes us feel better about the booze and the cake. Plus, it is really pretty and we do walk around it at other times, just not as part of this adventure.

Yesterday was Monday, and that makes our Pho adventure sort of untypical:

Two things that make a Pho place great
Good mix-ins: bean sprouts, basil, jalapeƱos, and lots of lime wedges

Also, they must have at least one gigantic fish tank, this place has two.

Our Pho always comes out in less than 5 minutes. Gently placed in front of us were 3 large shrimp Pho’s in beef broth. This is mine:

Usually I finish it all, but it was just too hot outside, so sadly I ended up leaving most of my broth.

Oh well, no use crying over left Pho when there are beers to be had.
(mine is in the middle, I’ve found my tolerance has significantly lowered since I started working out and watching what I eat/drink, also beers tend to make me all cotton mouthy at 6am and that’s no fun when you have to work out)

The best thing about Baggy’s is the neon green jukebox. We got 9 songs for $2, you can get 25 for $5, I know craziness. Usually one of us has some drama, that’s why we have our weekly therapy sessions. Tonight our jukebox selections were mostly my friend and I being jerks to our other musketeer. She picked the ones that don’t follow the theme. See if you can figure it out.

1. “Another One Bites The Dust” - Queen
2. “Call Me” - Blonde
3. “Take Me Home Tonight” – Eddie Money
4. “Wrong Way” - Sublime
5. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” – The Police
6. “Moon Dance” – Van Morrison
7. “The Hardest Button To Button” – The White Stripes
8. “It Wasn’t Me” – Shaggy
9. “Lady Marmalade” – Patti LaBelle

Just for fun and to continue the sentiment:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Shoe Carnage


This is what happens every time I try to buy new shoes. My feet are biggish, and pretty damn wide. I love ASICS, but they don’t make cross trainers. I need new shoes for playing tennis. My knee was fine, thankfully. But, I did get a blister on my thumb from my good ‘ole western grip. Also my right pinky toe was getting smashed the whole time, thus the new show hunt.

I figured out I needed a size 9 wide in Avia’s, but of course they didn’t have them there. I will have to check out other stores because my current tennis shoes are just not going to cut it.

At least I’m not the only one with shoe drama.

Good news for the weekend: Nadal trampled on Federer AND the Celtics pulled it out (108-102) even if they did play too loose in the 4th.

Friday, June 06, 2008

When Someone Is That Damn Good…

Sometimes you forget to breathe, to stop and check out the world around you. Seems my Parker love has given me a case of short term memory loss. I mean, the NCAA finals were not that long ago, and the WNBA draft was just after that. What I'm getting at is the Minnesota Lynx. They are the only undefeated team left in the WNBA. They are set to face off against the skilled Connecticut Sun (5-1) tonight.

The 3 rookies the Lynx acquired in the draft have been on fire. I have spoken about the other Candice, hailing from Stanford and putting on a show at the 2008 NCAA tournament. She averages almost 15 points per game (PPG) and is shooting at 45%. Their other guard Seimone Augustus
hails from LSU and led her team to 3 straight final fours. She averages almost 20 PPG and is shooting at 51%. Nicky Anosike, one of Parker’s teammates at Tennessee plays forward and center. She averages 12 PPG and is shooting at 47%.

I continue to be excited about the season. It too early to project anything, but it looks like it will be a great summer. In other bball news, 9 members of the women's Olympic basketball team were recently announced. I hope Sylvia Fowles is okay after the nasty spill she took the other day.

I would also like to wish my trainer a happy 29th birthday! She is a total badass and one of my biggest inspirations. I mean really who can deny the Jessica Zone.

Speaking of birthdays, this week was also my girlfriend’s birthday, and last week was one of my best friend’s birthday as well. Needless to say, I was a little indulgent with the deserts and meals out. But, I am happy to report, walking promotes weight loss! I kept to my 5 days a week morning work out routine, but I also tried to get in as close to 5 miles of walking a day as I could. Well, Guess what? It paid off! I lost 2 pounds this week despite some celebratory food. Yay. Only 1 more pound to go to get 20! Oh, and I almost got my pull up today ☺

I am scheduled to play some tennis tonight and I really hope my leg holds up. I pulled?strained? something in the back of my leg not so long ago, and then it magically went away on its own. It seems lateral movements irritate it. I hope this isn't a problem, because I have really been itching to get on the court lately, especially with this great weather we've been having. Go Rafa!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekend Discoveries

1) I only have 3 more pounds to go to reach 20lbs lost to date. That makes me really excited. Part of me wants to try to lose it all in one week, but I know that’s not really healthy. At least that mini milestone is in sight!

2) Living in the Bay Area, I am not a stranger to kink. San Francisco is of course home to Folsom Street Fair and one of the biggest Pride events in the world. I’ve known a few professional dominatrixes in my time, but I never really understood hiring one. I mean there are always episodes about them on CSI, Law and Order: SVU, and even House. Still, I just couldn’t get into it.

Well, this weekend I had an aha! moment. No, I haven’t decided I suddenly need a dominatrix. I’ve just begun to understand the need to give up control.

See, what I realized was that my personal training sessions are kind of like hiring a dominatrix. I pay someone to punish me. I give up complete control and do what she says when she says it. Resisting only makes things worse. I like that. I love the dizzy/queasy feeling I get afterward. I have never felt more thoroughly like I got my ass kicked then after a PT session. The soreness in my muscles serves as a constant reminder of the experience for days after. That is all. I finally get it.

3) With the exception of a few sports like soccer, watching sports really makes me want to go outside and play them. It probably helps that I’ve actually played most of the sports I watch for at least 4 years. I have decided that I need to find a pick-up basketball game, or get some peeps together and start my own. I also need to reconnect with my tennis partner and get on the court at least 2 times a week. I wonder if I can train too much? There will be a considerable amount of time between my morning bootcamp class and playing tennis after work…I guess time and the scale will tell.

4) I love dance movies and dance shows but I hate to actually dance, go figure. My favorite of the dance shows, So You Think You Can Dance, just started up again. One of the judges, Mary Murphy, pretty much makes my life and is amazingly entertaining. I could watch this 10 times a day and laugh just as hard every time: