All You Need:

All You Need:
Tools of the Trade

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 21 - Kangoo Jumps

Wednesday, April 21
Alt Mode. - Car Pool, Kangoo Jumps
Points - 2
Gear-black energizer pants, black 5 yr pima tee, black stride jacket

I woke up 6am to be ready and waiting outside my door for Pheobe to pick me up at 6:30am.  We had a store meeting bright and early with a surprise workout at 7am sharp. "Bring 2 pairs of socks" was the only hint.

Low and behold, Robert with Kangoo Jumps rolled in with a dozen pairs of Kangoo Jump shoes (see pic above) in tow.  We definitely worked up a sweat and "burned 25% more calories" with these babies. After our workout, I asked Robert if I could borrow a pair to make my way home in.  I had every intention of enjoying a beautiful walk home this afternoon, but if I could Kangoo, that would be an incredible experience.  He agreed and I was stoked.

I estimated that what would normally be a 1.5 hour walk would take 2-2.5 hours.  It took me an hour to get up and over the Hyperion Bridge.  Time was not dictated by difficulty but rather personal interactions with others on the street.

Being the friendly and social person I am, I stopped to talked to interested people on the street.  As you can see, I even encouraged those who would fit into them try them on.  That is Amy on the left.  I  met her right out side the scooter shop on the corner of Brand and San Fernando.  Charolette, right, was the cute girl behind the counter of Sweets for the Soul when I walked in.  

Let me tell you a little secret about these shoes...Once you get over the looks of shock and skepticism from the passer-byes, you start to feel like you can do anything.  They were my own felix felicis (for those of you who don't know what felix felicis is, it is liquid luck).  I felt that whatever I wanted, whatever I wanted to accomplish, I could successfully.  And what I wanted to do was talk to Sweets for the Soul about renting their kitchen space and talk to 55 degrees, an excellent wine shop in Atwater Village) about having a chocolate and wine tasting.  I did both of those things.  These are not actions and conversations I'm new to, but sometimes it takes a lot of courage to straight up walk into such places and put yourself out there. With these crazy new fangled shoes on,  how could I go wrong?  The owner of Sweets for the Soul was out of town, but I got her email address.  I talked for 15 minutes with the owner of 55 degrees and even had him bring my website up.  We talked hand-crafted, artisanal chocolates before he gave me Stephanie, the event coordinator's contact info.  Perhaps I didn't talk to the right people at that moment, but I did get their contact info and left a lasting impression.  

I only made it as far as the end of the Hyperion Bridge.  I was offered many rides home, but wanted to enjoy the experience.  I was finally picked up by my friend, Apolonia, whom was having a bad day and just got off of work.  Luckily, I picked up a bottle of wine at 55 just for that reason.  

When I woke up that morning, I had no idea what was in store for me.  I've learned to invite and welcome opportunities into my life.  When they show up, you have to seize them, no matter how silly they may seem.  

April 20 - Flat in the Rain

Tuesday, April 20
Alt. Mode - Biked
Points - 2
Gear - To work: black wunder unders, passion swiftly racer back, senorita pink power y, black running henley, bold blue check leader of the track At work: langoon, senorita pink astro pants, lagoon 5 yr pima tee, black stride jacket, reebox run tone

If Run Club was on rain or shine, I was biking rain or shine.  Besides, it was only drizzling out.  I loaded up both panniers (one full of snacks for run club) and fitted them with their bright yellow built in shower caps.  And away I went.

The drizzle picked up full on rain by the time I hit the streets, or at least it seemed.  I had a hard time seeing with all the water flying in my face.  My visor did little to keep it out.

Halfway through my ride, it felt hard to pedal.  It wasn't my legs, but rather the amount of pressure it took for me to crank the pedals.  I looked down at my front tire.  It was fine.  I looked down at my back tire.  It did not look fine.  In fact, it looked flat.  No wonder it felt so difficult.  And of course, it had to happen in the rain!  Why hadn't I taken my own advice of checking the tire pressure in my tires once a week.  Fortunately, I knew The Bicycle Mart was right around the corner.  I passed it almost everyday with the intention of stopping in.  Now, I had the perfect reason and excuse.

I walked my bike in, dripping wet.  A gentleman popped his head out from the back work room.  It was Bob, the owner.  He's been there 31 years! Sells new and used top of the line street bikes, fixes up used bikes, and will build you one from scratch.  I told him what brought me in, my flat.  When I went to actually feel the back tire, it wasn't flat at all.  The weight from both of my bags weighed the back tire down and only made it look flat.  Huh!  Well, it got me into that store.  I decided to buy a small travel bike pump since I didn't have one.  Next to the bike pump was a bike bell that said "I love my bike." Bike bell?!?!?  I didn't have one on of those.  I asked Bob if he had one with a tiger on it.  He replied, no, but that he could get one for me by friday.  Yes! I'm so stoked.  That's just what tiger needs.

Back into the rain I went.  Only half a mile to go.  I put turned my ipod back on.  A couple minutes later, horrible static filled my ears.  Rain must have seeped through the protective band and gotten into it.  AAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  Not my ipod nano!  That's also my running ipod with my nike+.  How was I ever going to run again? Now I'll have no idea how far or fast I've run.  There goes my training!

Luckily, I got to work real early because I had extra work to do.  Having learned from previous experiences of riding in the rain, I knew full well to pack an entirely new outfit, including shoes, socks, and undies.  And thank goodness I did.  I was soaked to the bone.  There is nothing more wonderful than putting warm, clean clothes on (especially socks) when you're wet and cold.

The clouds parted and made way for blue skies for run club.  4 people showed up, 2 regulars and 2 newbies.  Even so, it was one of the most touching and inspiring runs for me because of the authentic connection I made with Sophie, a new run/walker.  That's one of the biggest reasons I love my job.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 19 - Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Tuesday April 20
Alt. Mode -
4.15 - biked
4.17 - drove
4.18 - biked
4.19 - drove to Calabasas
Points - 4
Gear - black wunder unders, black jogging skirt, senorita pink power y bra, passion swiftly racerback

Its been 5 days since I've shared my adventures.  Life got pretty busy here for awhile.  Its Chocolate of the Month (COTM) crunch time which means I spend all my free waking time making, packaging, and shipping out chocolate.  Sure, it sounds glamorous, but this month's Chocolate, Honey, Banana, Almond-Butter Cups are pretty time consuming.  Needless to say, its hard for me to justify taking 3 hours out of my day to walk to and from work when I need to maximize every moment of my time.

I did drive to work for my closing shift on Saturday.  I was bringing chocolate to Amanda.  I couldn't have it melt.  It need to stay in my nice air conditioned car.  Plus, at the end of a long night at 11pm, I was so thankful to have my car at hand.

I drove to Calabasa yesterday afternoon.  I did make the honest effort to find a metro line, bus, or commuter rail that went out there.   I would have loved the down time to read.   With my unfamiliarity with the area, I didn't have much luck.

I'm closing tonight.  Its overcast.  I am slightly overwhelmed by how much is on my plate, intentionally or otherwise.  Luckily, I've been listening to Brian Tracy while I make chocolate.  He suggests writing everything you have to do down on an index card.  Prioritize.  2 items on your list contain 80% of the solution.  Do those 2 things first and continue to prioritize and cross items off your list.  If something else comes up, don't fret, write it down.  Before you go to bed, write whatever didn't get done today on tomorrow's list.  I've been using this method for the past week and it is helping immensely.

Sometimes life gets busy and we get caught up in the hecticness.  I could sit here all day and beat myself for getting off track from my goals.  Instead, I remember why I'm doing all of this and realize that I am living my goals and dreams.   A busy week is part of the process.  I just have to remember to breathe, breathe deeply, and enjoy.  I have the rest of my life to sleep.  Now its time to get back on the tiger and ride!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 14 - War & Peace

Wednesday, April 14
Alt. Mode - 0
Points - 0
Gear - Black team spirt crops, black all out tank

I'm sad to say that I drove to my sweat drenching work out this afternoon.  Brian Shiers' War & Peace class kicked my booty.  I loved being able to keep up with, if not endure more than the guys in attendance.

I drove because the Toluca Lake Sports Center is approximately 8 miles from my house.  Not to mention the long, gradual hill that is Toluca Lake.  To be honest, the idea of biking there scares the crap out of me.  Because of that, I vow to do it at least once by the end of this month.  You can hold me to it.  I might not be able to walk afterwards, but I'll do my darnedest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 13 - See, Dreams Really Do Come True.

Tuesday, April 13
Alt. Mode - Bus and Bike
Points - 2
Gear - black empower crops, passion swiftly racer back, black running hennley, black jacket stashed in running backpack, Reeboks run tone sneakers

I dropped my mom off at the airport this afternoon.  I'm both happy and sad to see her go.  Now, I can turn my focus onto the class I'm teaching to our run club tonight.  Its a class that I've had in my head for almost 6 months.  Its 30 minutes of warm up yoga specifically for runners, 30 minutes of mindful running, and 30 minutes of cool down/detoxifying yoga to optimize recovery time.  This is also to aid in our training for the upcoming Keep LA Running 5k/10k in July.

After hours of going through the poses, correct alignment, science behind it, and all the planning I could do, I decided to take the bus.  I felt that it would be the best way for me to stay calm, relaxed and do last minute prepping before my big day.  This was all the case until panic set in due to the poor planning on my part.  What was I thinking taking the bus at 5:00pm through the traffic and backed up intersections??? What was supposed to be a 45 minute ride, took 75!!!

None the less, I did stumble upon a great pre-run meditation in Running Within that I ended up reading during the class.

To me, the evening was a complete success even though it did not unfold like the well laid plan in my head.  We stretched on the green of the Americana because I found out hours before that the quite community room I really wanted to use was booked.  Quieting and tuning out the noises and distractions around us is just part of the process, right? The run itself was fun. I got to run with some folks I haven't yet.  I love sharing that encouraging experience with others.  And boy could I feel those butt sneakers (reeboks run tones) in my calves and upper inner thighs.  I swear, by the end of this month, there better be some noticable difference!

We ended the evening laying down our mats and stretching right in front of the store.  Much to my surprise, we did not get questioned, harassed, or stopped by mall security once.  By the end of the night, I had realized one of my goals, to teach the class I had in my head, to share my insights and knowledge to my community. 

Since I bussed it to work, I rode my bike (which had been stashed upstairs in the store from an evening my mom picked me up) home.  It was the hardest bike ride home not because my legs were sore, but because of my yoga mat.  I wedged it into the built-in straps of my run backpack.  When I put it on and started riding, the yoga mat kept hitting my helmet and making things difficult.  I should have just gotten off my bike and readjust the mat, but I had too much of a high from teaching to stop.  By the time I arrived home, I had a crick in my neck from holding my head in an awkward position.  Lesson learned: take the time to adjust and do it right. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 12 - The Beauty of Walking

Monday, April 12
Alt. Mode - Walking, Carpooling
Points - 2
Gear - black empower crops, bold blue cool racerback, bold blue check leader of the track jacket stashed in my running backpack, reeboks runtones (If I haven't said it before, I can really feel the shoes working in my calves and my tookish)

I took 117 pictures on my way to work today.  Leaving 20 minutes early was not enough to get me to work on time as I lost track absorbed in the immense beauty and color around me.  It rained this morning and all the drops glittered like diamonds in the sun.  I'm like a raven and love to look at anything sparkly.    I'm also a huge math/science/art nerd.  I love the optimization formulas that manifest themselves in the unfurling of pedals and leaves.  For example...If you were to look closely at the center of a Sunflower you will see that there are in fact 8 circles going in one direction and 13 in the opposite.  These 2 numbers are sequential in the Fibinocci Sequence.  This is the result of the flower's intuitive nature as it creates the optimum surface area to maximize sunlight exposure for photosynthesis.  (You can't see it, but I just pushed my bridge-taped glasses back onto my nose). I love that stuff! 

I did in fact go into someone's yard and front steps to get the picture of the Calla Lily.  I don't regret it.  

April 11 - Soemtimes you just need a day off

Sunday, April 11
Alt. Mode - 0
Points - 0

Today, my mom and I slept in.  I made a delicious breakfast muesli with grated apples (see recipe below).

Erika's Morning Muesli (1 serving):
1/2 cup rolled oats (I actually use a blend of rolled rye and barley flakes I get from the bulk bin at Nature Mart because I err on the gluten-free side)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp almonds, chopped or sliced
2 dates, chopped
2 apricots, chopped
1 apple, grated (use a box grater, food processor,
Large splash of orange juice to moisten the museli mix.  I juice half an orange with my hand juicer.
1 tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
coconut, shaved or grated (optional)
**If you don't have OJ, you can use milk or soy  milk.

Because we slept in so late, we were a bit rushed at the Iver Farmer's Market.  It lost its leisurely and peaceful vibe that I love so much, but was still fun.  On the way back to the car, I realized my keys were missing.  They're on a carabiner which I always attach to my purse when I turn the car off.  Today was no different as I proceeded to lock my keys in the trunk.  Who doesn't love hanging out in a parking lot waiting for AAA with their mother as she tells you how much she worries about you and your scatter brained nature?  I forgot to mention that the day before, I left my purse at Lemonade.  I swear she brings it out of me.

We spent the rest of the day laying around the house, relaxing, doing our nails, and watching movies.  Sometimes you just need a day off from the hustle and bustle and just pamper yourself.  I need to be the best me for me in order to be the best me for you.