Yoga Girl and Goat

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“Yoga sensation Rachel Brathen (aka Yoga Girl) has inspired others to grab a yoga mat and get going—including her baby goat Penny Lane! Last Christmas, Brathen received the adorable creature as a present from her husband. Together, they’re dedicated to running an animal rescue. “All she wants to do is sit on our laps and watch TV and climb things … and chill on the couch looking cool with her underbite,” writes Brathen, referring to Penny Lane.”

Don’t miss the full story and additional photographs here: My Modern Met


Running With Anguilla. On Christmas Day.

palm-trees

“What are the winter months?”

The cab driver chuckled.  “You’ve not been to Anguilla Sir?”  He paused and continued.  “There are no winter months, Sir.”

Who you callin’ Sir? Aha. Old and stupid. 18° 15′ North – standing on the Equator. No seasons.

That was a week ago. It’s 6:10 am.  52° F.  We’re trudging up a severe incline at Mianus River Park in Connecticut, back to reality.  It’s Christmas Day.  391 acres. No humans, no superficial chit chat – ISTJ magic. Squirrels, Zeke and me.  He’s at my heels, the clanking of his steel tags breaking the morning silence.  He’s panting. I’m heaving.

It was a week ago.  It was 82° F, gusty, the fronds on the palm trees slapping.  Anguilla’s beach, fine white sand sifting through your toes, walking on cotton.  The sea is warm, clear, the white sand carpets the ocean floor.  I’m floating on a thick foam mattress, the tropical winds sashay the hammock.  Wispy clouds, paintings, lazily pass overhead.  If there was heaven….

That was a week ago. It’s a muddy track from the rains. Footing is sloppy.  The Sun is working to burn through the clouds. Mist is rising from the earth.  I’m over layered, overdressed and overheating during this December heat wave.  And there’s Anguilla. Ever present. But, could you live there? [Read more…]

SMWI*: Everything is boring that does not happen in a chair

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After the customary indulgence over the holidays, here’s Donald Hall, the 87 year old American writer and poet (and Poet Laureate), offering work-out inspiration. Think “Opposite Game” you played with your kids.

My trainer, Pamela Sunburn, works me out Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. She’s tiny and strong, four foot ten and a hundred pounds of muscle. If she had to, I’m sure she could carry my two hundred pounds slung over her shoulders. For half an hour each session she has me do cardio on the treadmill, squat with five-pound weights, lift tenners over my head and out from my sides, stretch muscles, stand up no hands with a beach ball between my knees, and do push-ups (as it were) standing against a wall. Exercise hurts, as well it might, since by choice and for my pleasure I didn’t do it for eighty years. (Once in my fifties I walked four miles.) […]

I sit on my ass all day, writing in longhand, which Kendel types up. Sometimes in a car I would pass Pancake Road, two miles away, and see a man walking his collie, the dog stepping out on his forepaws, two wheels harnessed to his backside. These days I no longer drive past Pancake Road or anywhere. I push wheels ahead of me instead of pulling them behind me like the dog. With my forepaws holding the handles of a four-wheeled roller, my buckling hindquarters slowly shove my carcass forward. I drool as I walk, and now and then I sniff a tree. […]

I went out for cross-country. As I did laps for endurance, I heard my eighty-year-old coach— the war had resurrected elderly faculty— mutter, “Truck horse.” My feelings were hurt. I worked on improving my style, but when I ran cross-country, agony rotated from ribs of one side to ribs of the other. I faked turning my ankle. […]

I have been told that as a baby I crawled up on a kitchen table and devoured a quarter pound of butter. I spewed it out quickly, and mouth-memory has endured in my distaste for yellow milkfat. Because it was so athletic to climb the table, perhaps my misadventure also led to my athletic malfitness. […]

Exercise is boring. Everything is boring that does not happen in a chair (reading and writing) or in bed.

~ Donald Hall, Physical Malfitness. Essays After Eighty


Notes:

Running. With Cream and Cheese. (TMI)

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The Fast was not part of any religious experience, ‘Tis the season, but the execution of a containment exercise. We order cocktails before dinner.  Rachel was giddy in her counter: “the Dimwit thinks that skipping lunch is a Fast.”  There’s no point in arguing with the closed-minded so I sit quietly sipping my tap water watching the mocking escalate, with Mother and Son now piling on. Who’s she calling a Dimwit? Who raised this thing?

Yet, I knew.  I just knew, a bad outcome was coming.  The late night dinner was preceded by a full day in the Sun and an empty stomach following the end of my Fast.  My Fast.

I open with warm bread rolls (and who’s counting after three) – all carefully lathered with cheesy butter and baptized in virgin olive oil squeezed from some tree on an arid hill in Greece.  This was followed with a Caesar salad, fresh crispy greens, a light-just-right Caesar dressing and razor thin strips of Parmesan cheese cultured from some cow grazing on a hillside in Southern Italy.  The knife and fork then worked the entrée, a heaping portion of three-layered eggplant lasagna topped with cheese, broiled to a golden crisp.

This was chased down with three intermittent spoonfuls of Rachel’s garlic mashed potatoes, with the buttery succulence coating my tongue and lips. In my fourth attempt, the sharing was shut down: “Dad, ENOUGH!” – batting my spoon back and moving her dish beyond my reach.  [Read more…]

SMWI*: Shake it!

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Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Image Source: Mennyfox55 (Sumo v Child)

 

Running. In Warsaw.

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The hotel lobby. (~2006)
High cathedral ceilings. Dark wood grain walls.  Turkish Rugs that run and run.
There’s a whiff of lemon in the air, the wood floors scrubbed by the overnight crew.
The Bellman, adorned with a red cap, offers a “God Morning” in broken English, and quickly drops his head back to his book.
A step back in time.

There’s no mistaking Warsaw (Poland, not Indiana) for the youth and flamboyance of Barcelona or the hushed old money wealth of Geneva or the modern efficiency and hum of Tokyo.

Warsaw is the Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Long past his prime and wearing deep scars of bone jarring defeat. Tired, hurt and a heaviness that lingers.

It was a slow run 9 years ago.
An early Sunday morning in autumn.
A single 40-minute run cutting deep furrows which are turned over and over again. [Read more…]

SMWI*: Walk. Now.

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In the back of my awareness,
I also know this:
The day will come when
I shall have to recall the luxuriant splendor of long, solitary walks,
rather than take them.

~ Katrina Kenison, Present. Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment 


Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration.
  • Photo by Maxine – My Perfect Void – My october | Russia, 10/30/2015.

Running. With Rain.

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56° F.  Rain spitting on the windshield.
The convoy rolls out to Mianus River for a trail run.
Zeke sighs as he curls in the backseat.  Anya settles in the trunk.
The Wolfpack is draggin’.
Their leader rides the slow lane on I-95 thinking about the benefits of a long walk on his joints.
99 days. 3 months + since your last trail run. What a lazy a**.

Rain stops.  Clouds hang low.
We pass through the gate.
The Park is empty but for a fisherman making his way upstream.
Both dogs pull on the leashes. A sharp tug gets them to heal.
Wait! I’m not ready for this yet.

I look up.
A gold leaf canopy.
I look down.
A solid gold leaf carpet.
Someone is laying tracks.
[Read more…]

SMWI*: It’s a shame that sometimes

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It’s a beautiful thing
to have lungs that allow you to breathe air
and legs that allow you to climb mountains,
and it’s a shame that sometimes
we don’t realize that that’s enough.

honalie


Notes:

SMWI*: Fly!

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Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
  • Source: wsj.comA dog catches a flying disk during a competition in Moscow. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters.
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