Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

I'm sorry, did I roll my eyes out loud?


Under the "once a barn girl" category -- shower this am got cut short when the hot water disappeared rather instantly; sadly this happened just after thoroughly lathering shampoo.  Ugh.  Fail.   So had the pleasure of dunking my head in the ice cold water to get the suds out, but there was no way I was doing the conditioner thing under those circumstances.

No big deal right?   Definitely very much a first world problem (my favourite kind ;).  However, my hair is very fine, very long, and there's a lot of it.   This means that without chemical assistance it's nearly impossible to get a comb through it.  hmmmmm other options?   Show sheen!   Lol well not quite, but the puppy version.   Yup, Sasha's leave-in detangled worked wonders on my hair.  For the win.

Nicole and I are starting Core de Force tomorrow -- if you've any interest in joining us, let me know! Anyone welcome!   To kick this off, I did half an hour on the rower this eve -- I should be sufficiently sore to start tomorrow.   Lol ah well.  Not my best plan, but it's the kind of mindless exercise I wanted tonight.




Finishing out the week



So just to finish off the story -- I did, in fact, complete the "Week of Hard Labour" successfully.  The 3rd day was core, and I really didn't think too much of it.  Compared to Core de Force or P90X type core workouts it didn't seem nearly as bad.  Until the dreaded day after the day after.  OMG.  I literally couldn't sit or stand straight.   It wasn't the usual muscles, but the ones on the side.  It was like they just collapsed in so all of me wanted to curl into a ball or slouch in a chair.   Absolutely brutal.   Was three - four days before I felt like a functional human being with reasonable posture again ;)

This was followed by an arm day, and then "full body".  I'm not actually certain which of the two did me in, but the following day I was trying to talk on my phone, and after about 30 seconds was having trouble holding it all the way up to my ear.   I also couldn't handle washing my hair after the full body workout.  So yeah.   The workout itself was incredibly boring and repetitive -- if you're going to try it, have a TV or something playing for background interest.  It's certainly not like any of the others I've done where you have to pay attention to keep up.  But it was very definitely effective.

Since then I've done a couple X3 videos but nothing serious.  I'm thinking maybe I'll finish out the remaining weeks of X3 and then decide what I'd like to do next.  May try 21 day fix extreme again -- I liked those workouts just not the trainer...   Alternately Core de Force.  Or maybe a mix of week of 1, week of the other?   We'll see...

Today's dose of psychobabble...

So years ago I did the full on Myers Briggs thing and was INTJ. The only things that stuck of that assessment was that the I was Introvert (lol no surprise there) and that it was supposedly a fairly rare combination (maybe I’m not imagining it when most people don’t seem to see the world the way I do?). The J stuck with me because young me didn’t realize how judgmental I actually am ;) Slightly more self-aware me acknowledges that’s actually pretty accurate ;-P I remember nothing of the N or the T other than that they were the letters assigned.

I know that given time, it’s been mostly shot down and promptly replaced with other equally shoot-down-able theories ;) People do use it at work though – I’ve been asked a few times if I knew my letters and what they are. Lol regardless, yesterday this random quiz popped up on my FB (you know how reliable those are eh?) but it was super short so I figured I’d give it a go, and sure enough it gave the same combo of letters. Hmmmm okay. I didn’t agree much with the description though so I went digging through old stuff and Google until I found a more in-depth review which is so many ways was bang on. And the ways that weren’t at all a fit (specifically – I’m known at work for my people skills, but it’s decidedly not a trait of this type) I realized after thinking about it were things that I worked very hard to cultivate and mostly learned the hard way – not things that necessarily came easily.

I was chatting with a mentor at work and she, having only known me for the last couple years, wondered if I’d actually get the same results if I did the test again. Well I’m not committed enough to go pay to do the whole intensive thing again, but I did find a middle-of-the-road freebie version; I think maybe 15-20 questions? I resisted the urge to tweak my answers and went with what actually was. And…


Yup, exactly the same result. The T/F is right on the borderline – which intuitively strikes me as correct. I could go either way with that one. I don’t remember the percentages I had way back when, so I can’t say if they’ve shifted at all. But still the same letter combo. Although looking at this chart – it has an extra random letter ;) Lol but it didn’t show in the results, so I guess they’re just expanding their analysis.

Some of my favorites from the description (which this site calls Architect):
  • Architects form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population” -- sweet, normal is boring.
  • “Architects are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict” -- I’m pretty sure I said something like this in the “This is Me” post a few days ago.
  • Architects are often given the title of “bookworm” as children.” -- ummm yes.
  • Architects radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality.” -- I don’t know if this is true or not, but it sounds good ;)
  • Architects use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios.” -- pretty sure this is my job description
  • Authority figures do not impress Architects, nor do social conventions or tradition, and no matter how popular something is.” -- This.  I always used “all the cool kids are doing it” as a sarcastic joke.   Until I became friends with someone who is the extreme opposite and hugely motivated by them; I will never be able to respect this, but I try to understand and trained myself to bite my tongue.
  • If something piques their interest, Architects can be astonishingly dedicated to their work, putting in long hours and intense effort to see an idea through.” Well.  Have you read the blog?  ;)
  • When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, Architects tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses.” -- Yup
  • Architects will keep up with just a few good friends, eschewing larger circles of acquaintances in favor of depth and quality.”  Quality over quantity.  
  • And of course at work: “As their careers progress further and their reputation grows, so will the complexity of Architects’ tasks and projects. Architects demand progress and evolution, new challenges and theories, and they often accomplish this by pushing into more active strategic positions.” Lol says she who’s actively seeking a strategy position.   It also suggests PM as an appropriate role fit.
Anyways – just amused me so thought I’d share. Have you ever done one of these? How did it resonate with you?

May the odds be ever in your favour...

Yet another year that I am not planning to play the Nanowrimo game (National Novel Writing Month - to the uninitiated; it's pretty amazing).  It's the first year in a long time though that I could potentially have made the time to do so, so I'm considering that a step in the right direction :).  It's just that I'm choosing to direct that time to Spanish lessons instead.   And no, I don't spend nearly as much time on Spanish as I'd spend on Nanowrimo, but I spend enough time on it that there's no longer sufficient time left over for writing -- at least, not if I want to remain gainfully employed ;).  I will aim to up the blog posts and maybe get in a few flash fictions though in the spirit of the month.

Re Spanish -- I have a new teacher due to the fact that my previous teacher has left indefinitely to backpack around South America.  Lol he's super excited about it and has never travelled anywhere so I'm happy for him and appropriately jealous ;).  But it meant I needed to find someone new.  This was quite the search -- I'm amazed how many online instructors don't teach on weekends?!?!?   And most of the teachers in Spain are out because the timezones are prohibitive.  The teacher I have now does a much better job at getting me to actually speak Spanish (win!) lol but is not as good a teacher or as prepared for the lessons.  However, given that *anything* is progress given my current level, and they lessons are super affordable, I'm giving this brute force immersion method of learning a try ;)

Duolingo's claims are a little overambitious ;).
By 51% I'd expect to be able to have/understand at least basic conversations in Spanish.  Sheesh.
In unrelated news - I finished the Fusion Fitness program.   The last week wasn't nearly as exciting as the first three, but overall I'm glad I did it.   Was an interesting variety and I got to try some new exercises.   This week I'm doing the "Week of Hard Labour" -- which is entirely weights (no cardio) and with a different instructor.  I don't really like the instructor but it's only 5 days.  The exercises are all very standard type that you would find at the gym with the average trainer.  I figured that was an okay thing to do for a week.  Then I'll find a new insane program next week.   Debating between finishing the last month of X3 or doing something entirely different.  Lol stay tuned ;)

Hmmmm or on second thought, maybe I *should* do Nanowrimo....   I just looked it up and last time was 2010?!?!  


This is me


So I stumbled upon this online, and saw a few interesting answers and some very odd.   Then I shared it, and got all kinds of different answers, but all one word.   Amazing how poignant one word can be.  Or six, as per the classic short story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

But I digress, and because one-word has never been my thing, I thought I'd see what I could come up with that met the above criteria.

*this section inserted after writing below: Lol so that was more fun, and more personal, than I expected.   Re-reading, I deleted three lines that I felt was too close to breaking the rules as outlined above (two about family - "friends" and one about travel - "things you did"), but otherwise left it in the order it came to me.  And while the inner-editor in me wants to go back, I've decided in the interest of honesty to post as is.  It gets a little babbly -- consider yourself forewarned.*

So here goes...

Stubborn.  Happy.  Idealistic.  Cynical.  A lover of words, I clearly cannot pick just one.  I'm an adventure enthusiast and paradoxically a seeker of calm. Animals almost always make me happy; people occasionally do. Photos and memories make me smile. Dreams give me a reason to wake up in the morning.  If somebody tells me I can't do it; odds are I will -- unless I don't want to  (see "stubborn" above ;). A young spirit in a grown-up body with an old soul.  A lover of moonlit nights and sleeping through sunrise. One who neither trusts nor forgives easily but loves fiercely and forever.  A believer in logic and science and dreams and magic.  Thunderstorms energize me.  I see no reason to interfere with or be offended by the way other people choose to live their lives, unless they cause harm to others.  I am fascinated by how people's minds work, and often wish I could hear what was going on in them -- if only for a few seconds.  I lament not knowing all the things I'll never have enough time to learn.  My imagination amuses me to no end and I enjoy the contrast between what it sees and reality; when that line blurs, I hope medical science is at the point it can provide clarity.  Normal is boring and to be both feared and avoided.  Change is revitalizing.  I love technology, but have no wish to be ruled by it.  Silence is preferred over small talk.  One of my favourite simple pleasures is to curl up in a comfy chair with a sleeping dog, a purring cat, a good book, sunlight - or torrential rain - and nothing else I have to do.   A bubble bath, a beach, a waterfall, or a hike in the woods by a stream will all put me in my relaxed happy place.  Apparently water is a thing.  Sun is also a thing.  Someday, I would love to live somewhere that doesn't see winter.  Horses help me feel truly alive, confident, and happy.  Most of the time.  I have yet to outgrow waterparks or playground equipment (although somehow the monkey bars are So. Much. Harder. than I remember :).  The darkest hours of the night are my favourite time of day, and the thing I resent most about work is that I no longer get to appreciate them.  And as those hours are approaching, I will now turn off my technology, run a warm bubble bath, and savour every moment of it.

Good night.



Body type: not terrible but definitely enjoys pasta

So last night I slid the workout in at the last minute - which of course resulted in me being wide awake well after bedtime. Amazing arm workout - part of P90X3, which I was doing before so I have 2 months of records (3 tries of this video) and both weights and success rate have gone up significantly- so pretty pleased at that ;). Admittedly a couple of them took me to the point of failure today but still - improvement :)

Woke up a couple hours later with my arms and back zombified. Oops.

Lol and then today... Okay so today was 1-1 Plyo Legs. The 1-1 videos are filmed in what appears to be Tony's home gym -- a home gym by the way that I'm extremely jealous of ;). It's an hour of, well, plyo and legs. It started with a few different types of squats at ridiculously high reps - 40-50 each type?!?!. So much so I wouldn't have believed I could do it, had I not, in fact, just done it.

After that, however, things just got crazy. And I started live blogging ;). So consider yourself forewarned -- the as it happened story of my 50 minutes of exercise this am (sorry didn't occur to me till I had too much time on my hands so warmup and first 10 mins not included):

3 min wall sit? Wtf? Ah well -- at least it gives me time to type. Hey the notes say 1-3 mins. Why did we pick 3? Who was on that committee?

20 exercises. There are 20 exercises on today's list.

"I feel like I can do 5 more?" Who ARE you?!?! Seriously - nobody does that.

I just learned this is a step up from P90X for people who want to up their reps. I am not that person.

I may have fallen over after leap frog squats. At least I landed on a bed. But that makes getting back up even that much harder.

I am definitely breathing heavier than in the cardio routines.

Wtf - now chair squats?!? So not in my contract. Apparently it's a different muscle group - I don't know if I'm drinking that Kool-Aid. Two rounds of 45 seconds for this one. Better than 3 mins with the wall, but, well, no wall helping out.

Zigzags - I'm totally doing my own pattern ;). Ziging and Zagging, but not at all in the same order or direction Tony is.

Omg now the chair squat is on one leg?!? 90 seconds switching legs every 10. I cheated at one point - turns out if you cross your legs it's significantly easier. Who knew??? And the last 10 I did with both feet on the floor. 90 seconds does give me plenty of time to blog though ;)

50-100 reps?!?! I'm sorry, unless it's nap time, that's completely unreasonable. This would be tire runs. Suffice to say my tires were pretty flat. And my knees didn't come anywhere near my elbows. Earning my "honesty water" now.

6 exercises and 20 mins left. Not that I'm counting.

Oh - a new one that seems way less stressful than the others! But wait - after 50 reps it still hurts. Blah

Oh good - more jumping squats. Squat to chair and back. Sure - totally reasonable. Frig. Yes those are in other P90 vids so I've done them before but not after 45 mins of squats!

Woohoo - one I like! This one (a side lunge w weights) I rarely feel while I'm doing it but always feel the next day. Since I'm going to feel everything tomorrow, nbd. "We're done! No we're not." Tony's a jerk ;-P

"The monster - hardest one in the batch and we put it right at the end." I second my above comment. It reminds me of an old trainer I had who said that to do the job you had to be really good, understanding, and just a little mean ;)

Yeah I got those in and pretty well fell over after the last one. Squat, jump and spin 180, squat. Oh good - we get to do it again and spin the other way *sigh*.

Okay they got me - didn't make it all the way through that one :(

And now squat jumps on one leg. I did this, but the "squat" was more of a slight lowering (my fingers were closer to my knees than the floor!) and the "jump" was maybe a mm off the floor, or may have been more of a heel-lift.

And the last one! Picture a pro downhill skier doing mogels and now do that in your living room. Side to side jumps w knees always bent moving forward, and when you run out of room, backward. Would be almost fun if it didn't follow all of the above. And at 110 reps - too much of a good thing.

Oh and do you remember yesterday's arms? I'm actually finding it hard to hold my phone and type this at the same time.

Done and Done.  I feel so amazing right now.  Tomorrow, otoh...  Well that's future Lauren's problem.


Exercising would be so much more rewarding if calories screamed while you burned them.

So I’m still in the program  Just haven’t been super inclined to blog the last few – mostly because they haven’t been terribly blog worthy.

Saturday I did HC22 cardio. It was hard – all the HC ones are. It was repetitive – all the HC ones are. Lol as much strength as cardio so overall wasn’t thrilled. But it’s only 22 minutes, so if there’s going to be one series I don’t like, I’m just as glad it’s the shortest one ;) They also pretty well never show modifiers in this one, but what I found out is they *did* film them! And the modifier for this one posted the link to all the modifications in the FB group – so thought that was fairly cool. I didn’t actually watch it, but still appreciated that it was there.

Sunday was rest day – woohoo! And I think the first time ever I’ve had a planned rest day. Lol – all the programs have at least one a week, but mine usually gets moved randomly to whatever day I don’t manage to get any exercise in that week. Was actually surprisingly nice to be able to look forward to it instead of just accidentally using it up. Made for a true rest day. Interesting concept ;)

I totally do this ;)
Monday was more cardio – of the P90X version. This one I really enjoyed – although arguably wasn’t amazing cardio. Started with yoga for a warmup, which was surprisingly effective. Common sense I guess that you can move better after stretching and becoming all bendy, but that’s the first time I’ve actually seen such dramatic results. Then the workout itself had a decent variety. Some of the MMX type moves, which I love – but again, I didn’t find these nearly as much of a workout as Core de Force. Then some plyo, which I generally hate, but these ones were almost too easy – again, not as much of a workout as I’d expect. And then… I don’t even remember what finished it off. It was fun, it kept moving, and I got a workout. But arguably just not as good a workout as some of the other programs. To put in perspective – I was sweaty, but my hair wasn’t soaked ;) Lol that’s actually the bar by which I measure cardio now.

Today is all about the arms – but I haven’t done it yet; my bed was just too comfy and too warm.   Workouts are way more challenging after work, but at least it's one I like.  Wish me luck!

Trying to remove your sports bra after arm day... The struggle is real.

My spotters ;)
PSA for women with a long ponytail -- tie it into a bun or some variant before inviting an ab ball to the workout.  Felt all kind of special when I rolled back, weights in both hands, and realized I'd rolled onto said ponytail, effectively trapping myself.   Fortunately weights weren't all that heavy, so was able to roll myself forward again, but really?  lol sheesh.

This might be the first upper body workout I've ever experienced that involved zero push-ups and zero pull-ups.   And while I really enjoyed the lack of push-ups, I admit I missed playing on my grownup jungle gym ;)

So today was P90X2 Shoulders and Arms and clocks in at just under an hour.  As with the last hour one, it had an excessively long warmup that actually didn't leave me all that warm ;).  The workout itself was excellent though.   A series of - as you might expect - arm and shoulder exercises.   Most of which are done while standing on one foot to engage core/balance.  The reclining ones were done on the ab ball, which is always moderately entertaining.  Then you repeat all the exercises twice more.

Tucker wasn't nearly as impressed with my selection as I was ;)
Throughout this I used all my weights from 2-15lbs.  And yes, 15 is about the biggest I use for arms so for me that's good ;).  And the exercise I used two for, the woman on the TV was using nothing ;).  Since she is in WAY better shape than I, I'm calling that a win *g*.  Got through all three sets without lowering the weights or modifying.  Was feeling pretty good and somewhat proud of myself.  And then I went to pick up my phone to send a text.   Oh dear.   Literally holding the phone and trying to text at the same time was proving to be a sincere challenge.   I sense tomorrow will be interesting ;)

I will say though, the cool down was amazing.   Used the ab ball for a shoulder stretch (I know, random eh?) that was both a - incredibly effective, and b - possibly the best thing I've ever felt.  So exactly what my body needed.  So yeah, that alone made the workout worth it.
Current state
Interesting quote of the day: "don't let your goals screw up your workout" -- as in, if you target 10 and still have energy left, don't quit just cause you reached 10.  And conversely, if it's not working out for you today, accept the 8 and keep going.

Definitely one I would try again, but I'm coming more and more to believe that the 30 min workouts really are just as effective as the hour ones.  Mostly because they move much faster and don't include warmup or cool down.  Since those are the ones I'm more likely to stick with, kinda happy that's the case.

The fountain of youth

So I left for work at 6am and got home about 7:40pm.   Very long day, but I still pressed play :)

Fortunately it was yoga day, so low stress.  Supposed to be P90X Yoga -- but that's 90 minutes and, well, see above.  So I did The Fountain Of Youth -- last week's hour-long yoga (that I didn't do last week) instead.   Honestly, not one I'd do again.

So first we have the fact that yoga bores me combined with the fact that I cannot do it -- makes me really dislike the entire experience to begin with.   But this entire hour, I could do; there wasn't a single "you've got to be f'n kidding me" move.  Which tells me it wasn't particularly challenge.   Yoga's also supposed to be restful, but the background had a weird clicking sound that entirely got on my nerves -- for that reason alone, I'd avoid this video.   The pics I saw on FB of people who did the workout that was supposed to be today -- it looks thoroughly impossible so other than the 90 min commitment, I'd like to try it.  Maybe on rest day -- we'll see.

On the plus side -- the instruction on this video was excellent and gave me some tips that greatly changed how I was doing basic moves that are seen in every vid.  So for that reason alone, I'm glad I did it.   And also, my body feels so much better -- so it was worth doing.  My back and legs in particular are way less tense than they were.

Which is good -- because tomorrow is an hour of arms and back!  Yikes!


I can't get out of bed; my fitbit is charging and the steps won't count.

This morning my husband got up at four am.  This is a pretty standard occurrence that I generally meet by rolling over and going back to sleep.   Then at five he’ll come in and say goodbye, and I go back to sleep again.  Then I get up for real around six.  It’s like extended snooze alarms.

Except today when he got up, I couldn’t fall back asleep.  And was thoroughly unhappy about it.   Lay there till after he left, still hoping that maybe I just *might* manage a few more minutes.  Alas, was not meant to be – and worse, my brain was spinning around things that annoyed me more than a decade ago involving people who haven’t been part of my life in nearly as long.   This did not lead to a happy Lauren.

This might lead to a happy Lauren ;)
So I figured I could continue to lie there, failing to sleep, and becoming more unimpressed with my wayward mind.  Or I could get up and actually get in today’s workout – which knowing my work schedule today I was afraid would be a challenge. 

And so realizing that exercising is also a good way to burn off angry (even if it’s misplaced, decades-old angry), I chose the dedicated version and pushed play.   Today’s was Triometrics (for a laugh, reread the first time I tried it.   Not as dramatic as some of my “first time through” posts, but still fun to compare).   In summary – it’s an entirely leg workout where each exercise gets progressively harder over 60-90 seconds.  While not one of my top favourites, it is one I enjoy.   And while it’s one that it’s easy to cheat on, today there was no cheating.  Today, when my legs were already toasted from some workout or another that’s being blocked by my memory for the sake of my sanity, today I chose to push it.   The jumps were real jumps, the squats were very deep, and the modifications none.  Well – that’s not entirely true – no modifications until the point that I literally couldn’t do them anymore.  The last two exercises I got to level 2, but few to no reps of level 3.  And being at work is killing me.  

Can’t sit straight; come to think of it, sitting at all is painful.   Stairs are a special kind of hell.  My back is still feeling the other day and my lower half is toast from today.  And just to join in, whatever muscle connects the shoulder blades is making itself known anytime I dare to sit up straight ;)


But plus side – I did the workout.  I *really* did the workout.  And I was in a much better mood at the end of it.  Sadly that mood was fried within about half an hour of getting to work *sigh*   But that’s not Tony’s fault ;-P    I also tried a new protein powder that scored particularly highly on the science side of things that – I was pleased to discover – didn’t taste gross.  For the win :)

And for the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to yoga day tomorrow.