Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

The Swimmer
November 24, 2011

We all have things we like to do, that bring us closer to who we are. For some its car racing, for others, its mountain climbing, still others are lucky enough to have this feeling doing what they love while doing their work.

For me, it’s either cooking or dancing. I don’t know if the sensations are equivalent for each of us, but somehow, it sparks light in us. I was talking with someone the other day that is training for the upcoming summer Olympics. He’s a swimmer. I asked him what he felt when he was swimming. I wanted to know if it compared to how I felt when I was dancing.

The swimmer told me that the first thing he found was that it gave him a sense of ‘peace’. He said he felt united with the water. There was no duality. It gave him `drive’ and he said “I feel one hundred percent of me”. Purity was attached to this feeling and also a tremendous amount of ‘clarity’. When he’s  submerged underwater he said, ” I sense a power and I feel anything I put my mind to becomes possible”. He said that the water helped him to focus. It shuts out the outside world and all of its distractions. There is only a ‘one’ feeling’.

When I’m dancing, the feelings are similar. I go somewhere and connect to the music that is playing. I don’t know where I go, but it’s a different space. I try to let the music `do me’ as opposed to listening to the music and dancing to what I am hearing. It may sound strange, but there is a major difference between the two. The world around me disappears and I am focused. I feel energized and in control. Outside influences disappear. I feel at one with the music, and what I am doing. As with the swimmer there is `clarity’.

Meditation gives you the same feelings. As does, ‘being in the moment’. I think that’s the key to all of these feelings.

A single focused moment, that keeps repeating itself.

Color Your World – Update 8
May 16, 2011

 

Instant. That’s how we expect everything to happen. We’ve been spoiled.

When I started this program two months ago, I assumed it wouldn’t take too long. But I was using time as a basis for my reasoning. Try and take ‘time’ out of your equation while on any self-improvement gig. I’ve viewed a set of photos of ‘before and after’. I see some improvement. Photos of yourself in the beginning, and then again at intervals along the way really help you to focus on areas that still need improvement. But there is a way to go.

How far is ‘a way’?

I have an image in my mind that is driving me further. At 62 I want to be in the best shape and health of my life. Why now? It’s because I didn’t do it sooner. As you age, life takes on different meanings, hopes, wishes, desires. It’s nice that we still have these traits. We’re not out to conquer the world as much as we are out to conquer those things we feel we didn’t accomplish. However, I do see youth doing things now a days that I hadn’t even considered twenty or thirty years ago. The societal atmosphere keeps changing, and as it changes, so do our selection of choices from which to draw down from.

Some things that I’ve noticed:

Re-igniting my desire for meditation has brought some new awareness and also some old memories. When I was meditating the other night, I could feel my energy building around me. It began to ‘wobble’. To the point that I thought I was going to fall over in my chair, even, while being seated. I haven’t felt that feeling in thirty years. I’m glad that I am exercising. If you begin to meditate, you have to make sure your body can handle the extra energy you develop. Interestingly enough, in many subtle ways, life is improving on itself. The more self-awareness you develop, the less unpleasant experiences enter into your life. A pleasant paradox. Going deeper into who you are is the change you really want. The resonance you project is the music people hear subconsciously. The sound should match the universe.

We have a long, long way to go.

Color Your World – Update 6
April 16, 2011

Since I made it through the first month, I’m going to relate progress by other means, instead of daily.

Progression is based on comparisons. I saw Garrett over the weekend and in comparison, I felt I hadn’t even started exercising. Seeing him gave me great incentive. I still have a long way to go.

This week, I took two rest days from my exercises. When I look to see changes, I realize the changes are coming slowly. Mentally and physically. Some times I feel disappointed. I realize that if I want to get into the smaller size t-shirt I bought two weeks ago, I have to keep up my discipline. Buying a t-shirt smaller than you can wear presently, is the proverbial carrot before the horse. As is writing about it. You must put a challenge ahead of yourself in order to accomplish your goal.

Today, I’m switching out some of my exercises. Take on a new challenge. Something you have to learn, because it is new. Something that will develop a different part of you.

This week at work has been intense, as have the last few months. It culminated last evening in total exhaustion. But this morning I feel a peacefulness I haven’t felt in a while. Today, I’m just going to go with the flow and enjoy the day to its max.

Color Your World – Update 5
April 8, 2011

Day 25. I’m glad no one was around to watch me as I went through these magazine exercises. I felt uncoordinated, awkward and a complete failure as I struggled to the exercise showed in the photos. It’s something new to work on. Some part of me is resisting actions, moves and contortions. I’ll keep at them until I feel a rhythm and smoothness in the forms.

Day 26. I only did push-ups today.

Day 27. Nothing today. Feel unmotivated

Day 28. I felt less motivated than yesterday, but I got up and started on the bike. By the time I finished the bike, I was sweating all over. I worked the last half hour on my upper body. I haven’t returned to the magazine exercises, but will do a portion tonight. After I got off the bike I felt so pleased I beat my own resistance to exercising. The best part of today so far was when I stepped out of the shower and I started to feel the endorphins kick in, and I began to feel on top of things again. It really does make me feel great and I feel I want to accomplish things.

Tried to smooth out the rough edges on one of the magazine exercises tonight. I’m getting better.

Day 29. Bike and regular upper and lower torso exercises. Added running on the spot while I used heavy back and forth motion on my arms. Only managed five minutes. Left me breathless and had to rest.

Day 30. Woke up at 12:40am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I always have a hard time sleeping before a major function. Too many things on my mind. Got up at 5:30am, but didn’t do my exercises. When I left for work, I was angry at myself for being stopped by my own inertia.

Day 31. Had a great workout today. Made up for yesterday. One month today. Will take photos again this weekend and compare them with the ones taken at the beginning. I don’t want to post them yet until I finish my second month.

Day 32. Another great workout again today. I actually wanted to get out of bed and start. I couldn’t wait. It’s making me feel so good. Also, the best part about looking back over the last month is the fact that even though there were lots of trials and work related events that should have stopped me, they didn’t. I feel so much better for it. You can still keep your discipline even through upsetting circumstances. As a matter of fact, it’s better that you do.

Color Your World – Update 4
April 1, 2011

 

Day 18. Made walking my exercise today. Lots of walking. Managed a meditation and finished up with some dancing later on in the evening.

Day 19. Worked the chest area with more push-ups than I normally do and added other chest exercises I had seen on a video. After that I concentrated on the core area and did a lot of work on my waist line, finishing off with leg work.

Day 20. Just a normal workout today. Finished with an extra 20 push-ups in the morning and another 20 push-ups before I went to bed. Read a little before bed also.

Day 21. Three weeks today and it makes me feel good that I’ve gotten to this point. I guess the best part is how I feel in the mornings. I definitely feel like I can take on the day and whatever comes at me. I enjoy the exercises more in the mornings, than at night. I’ve always been a morning person and I feel I’m in flow when I do the exercises early. I think, however that if you are naturally a night person, you might enjoy exercising better at night. When I look at my body I can see some changes. My stomach has shrunk, my chest has lost a fair amount of ‘looseness’, and my legs are firming up. (Still waiting for the butt area to contract). But I have hope and encouragement. Less TV and more reading is helping also. It’s positive things and it’s giving me a more relaxed perspective. Favorite music helps too. Overall, the progress spurs you on.

Today I worked more at ground level with leg lifts and backward push-ups, stomach crunches and squats.

Day 22. Sore all over again today. Taking a day of rest.

Day 23. Just normal exercising today with the bike, push-ups, squats, leg and core work.

Day 24. I was thumbing through some magazines and I found some new exercises to try over this weekend. Today I will concentrate on star squats, speed skater, knee-up jump lunge and sumo kick.

Color Your World – Update 3
March 25, 2011

Day 12. My day of rest.

Day 13. Drove back to L.A. today. Had time to review the last weeks efforts and reflect on next weeks goals. Did not exercise today, but concentrated on meditation instead.

Day 14. Bike and a great session with upper and lower body exercises. Endless problems at work. I’m glad I kept the exercises up. It’s giving me more energy to handle the flow, coming down the pipeline.

Day 15. I increased the tension on the bike today. A little harder ride, but I made it. My other exercises are getting finished in less time. I guess my speed has increased on doing the same exercises, in less time. I added some squats to my routine today.

Day 16. For some reason, the bike today was very hard to do. By the time I had finished I needed a towel to dry myself off. I felt like I stepped out of the shower. The next twenty minutes I did a meditation instead of my usual upper body work out. I feel I got more out of the meditation than the exercise today.

Day 17. No physical exercises today. A day of rest. Read some of my ooga booga books instead. Exercise the mind.

Cleansing
March 24, 2011

I can only guess that the world is going through a major cleansing. Springtime always brings an out pouring of energy, and somehow this year, the energy is causing major upheavals.

The only thing we can always count on is energy. How we use it, govern it in our lives or take it in, determines how we feel. It is the common denominator in our connection with the source. There is a lot of submerged mud that has been stirred and it is now rising to the top of the lake. In order for the waters to be cleansed again, this mud will have to be removed.

We’re going through our own little cleansing at work. It is in progress as I type. As I walked into the premises this morning, it felt good. The energy is higher than it’s been in months. There is also a lot of bleach in the air.

Personally, I’m doing a cleansing. Exercising has given me more energy. I feel better in the mornings, and today during my meditation, for the first time in years, I felt a touch of my old self. The one I use to love. It was a great feeling. Discipline and centering are helping. When you clean inwardly, it kills off part of your ego, and the ego rebels and trys to stop you. It’s like you have to scold it and put it in its place if you want the cleansing to work.

We’re all running as fast as we can, but you can’t run any faster than what you’re doing right now. Build your energy and let it do some of the work for you. It’ll never let you down.

Color Your World – Update 2
March 18, 2011

Day 6. This will be a day of rest. I ache so much in my chest that it reminds me of how I felt after my triple bi-pass heart operation.  The rest of my body is not much better. It needs a little down time to rest and recover.

Day 7. Started back on the bike today and my regular routine. Managed everything well. Did not increase any levels or amounts. Yesterdays rest did me well. I feel revived today.

Day 8. Today I added a few new exercises. Don’t know the name for it, but I call it a backwards push up. It’s for your triceps, back and chest. I didn’t feel as tired after my exercises today as I have in the past.

Day 9. Woke up late, because we met a friend last night and the dinner hour stretched. Tried to make-up the exercises after work, but it was a late day there also and felt too tired to progress.

Day 10. Managed all of the exercises again. Increased leg stretches and pull-ups. Increased overhead arm raises and chest exercises. I’m still looking lumpy. I guess all of this came on my body one bite at a time and it’ll leave the same way. I’m wanting better results quicker, but it all takes time and patience. I’m also trying to remember to keep mental images of how I want to look like as I work out. Through out the day I try to remember to say “I am light” during mundane tasks, or waiting in line somewhere.

Day 11. Back in Palm Springs. No bike, so it’s just my body and me. The exercises seem more taxing on me, but I’m liking it because I feel it will be better for my results. It’s Friday today and I’m going to do a review of my progress or non-progress and set up a goal for next week to follow. I will review my emotional and mental state of mind, physical feelings and looks, and how I feel about my spiritual progress over the past eleven days. Is the change working or am I forgetting and missing anything? Are there areas where I can improve? Am I letting the ego cheat me out of anything, including the truth?

Color Your World – Update 1
March 12, 2011

This is day two. I woke up with the feeling that I exercised. Subtle aches throughout my body. I repeat yesterdays scenario, but find I have to cut the exercise bike time by three minutes. I developed a charlie horse cramp in my left foot and lower calf. I’m jumping around the room to get rid of it. You must remember, I’m sixty-two, not twenty or thirty-two. I manage to get rid of it and follow-up with my other exercises. I do one-hundred counter push-ups and forty crunches. I also increased my leg and arm exercises by twenty each. I manage ten minutes of exercise before I go to bed.

Day 3. I don’t feel like getting out of bed to do the exercises. I feel a few more aches today, but they are muscle aches. My body is resisting. I can’t let my wishful thinking stop me. I get out of bed and climb on the bike. I watched an exercise infomercial program on TV last night called ‘Insanity’. I picked up a few pointers, and when I was biking today I held my core stomach muscles tight during the complete exercise. I also tried some of the moves I saw on the program, but I didn’t use the intensity that was shown. I plan to work up to it, in a short while. I managed my fifty minutes and as I finished I looked in the mirror. My butt still has two droopy wrinkles and my chest has not hardened yet. But, it does seem better and I definitely have more energy in the mornings and during the day. It makes me feel happy.

Day 4. I’m laying in bed and my arms feel like they are going to fall off. My lower abdomen is also hurting. Yesterday I did leg lifts where I pulled my knees right up to my chest. Fifty on each leg. I guess they worked.

I’m in Palm Springs today and the setting is different. I don’t have an exercise bike, so I will have to adapt and do my fifty minutes of exercise without any external machinery. They do it on ‘Insanity”, so why not here. I’m going to try to do regular push-ups today and a few other things I want to try out. I’ll let you know how it goes when I’m finished.

Well I managed to put in my fifty minutes, but it was more difficult. I did manage twenty-five regular push-ups and more upper body and leg work. However, when I looked in the mirror later, my body looks somewhat lumpy. Worse than it did before. I’m trying to even out top and lower body work outs and times, but maybe it’s the fat layers that are different in different places. Anyways, I’m still sore, but still happy.

Day 5. I ache all over, but I get up anyways. I do some warm-up stretches. That seems to help. I feel strangely quiet on the inside today, as I do my exercises. A lot of the excitement of starting this routine is ebbing. I know I have to keep going, but I’m quiet about it to myself. I look outside and there is a lot of sunshine and a brilliant blue sky. It helps me. I continue. I’ve been good with my food intake. I switched to a lot of fruit and vegetables and very small portions of meat or fish. About four to five  ounce portions. Little or no carbs right now. I drink more liquids. Yesterday for lunch, I made myself a salad sandwich. It was really quite good. Cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, whole wheat bread and some non-fat dressing. It filled me up and made me feel healthy after I’d eaten it. Breakfasts have been whole grain cereal or oatmeal (a small portion really fills you up), or lo-fat yogurt, or a hard-boiled egg, or fruit. Lunches overall have been generally a salad with a small portion of meat of some kind, or depending, no meat at all. Dinners have been small portions of protein with a vegetable and small portion of carbs. If I snack, it’s been a handful of nuts or some kind of fruit. Last night Eberhard and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant and had Mongolian beef and Wor Won Ton soup. I kept my portions small on the steamed rice and beef. I felt full even though I didn’t eat a lot. The soup helped.

I didn’t increase any of the amount of exercises today. I kept the status quo. I did manage twenty-five more regular push-ups and fifty sit-ups, plus my other routines. The exercises felt very hard to do today, but I did them.

Color Your World
March 9, 2011

It’s 5:00am. Today I start my change. I turn on the TV to Public Broadcasting. It has a program on about photography. I watch for a half hour as the guide takes his photos through Arizona and parts of Utah. Not only is it beautiful, but I learned something about light, shadow, composition. As a matter of fact it reminded me of how I used these same placements on a plate of food when I cooked in my restaurant. I drank a cup of coffee while watching this. It’s the only cup I have each day.

Well, it’s now or never I thought. I got up and climbed on the exercise bike. Switched channels to the local news and biked for a half hour. I could feel my legs when I was done and I was sweating heavily from my head and body. I switched channels to BBC news at 6:00am to catch the world news.  I haven’t exercised in quite some time, so I’m beginning slowly, so my body does not go into complete shock. My mind is already in shock. I did fifty wall push-ups (actually did it against the kitchen counter). I don’t think my arms have the strength to hold my whole weight. Then I did thirty crunches, followed by stretches, front, back and side leg lifts. I remembered a few exercises I use to do when I was younger. More like a yoga exercise. I used them also. Butt clenches with one leg forward and hold the core stomach tight….ten each leg, for a count of fifteen seconds. Side crunches to get rid of the spare tire…twenty each side, overhead lifts….thirty each arm. Total time twenty minutes.

I turned off the TV and did last night’s dishes, made the bed and began my morning clean-up for work. With the noise off I was able to concentrate on doing a visualization of breathing in and out of my heart, while picturing it as a giant golden sun. All the while shaving, brushing teeth and showering. Dressed, shut down the apartment and got in the car for work. Turned off the car radio and concentrated, while driving, on my breath, to a constant repetitive phrase of ‘I am light’, till I got to work.

At work, I opened the office with its usual rituals. Lights, computer, blinds and downloaded emails from last evening. Went to the kitchen and gave instructions for restocking, prep and making up stock items. Asked if they had any questions or concerns, and answered them. Got a cup of tea and ate a hard-boiled egg.

Back in the office. I respond to emails, type up the new orders that came in, turn on the second computer to do invoicing from yesterday and call clients on yesterday’s orders to see how everything went. Process invoices, credit cards, quickbooks and review supervisor sheets. Van #1 needs wiring review. No power to lights in back. Van #4 is ready for tire rotation and oil change. We send Van#4 in for service. Review with supervisors any discrepancies on orders and procedures from yesterday. Compliments where necessary. Post Weekly Specials for next week and email to all clients. Post pricing from latest purchases into our control software and review prices and effect on our menu pricing. Handle phones and emails, type new orders, trip to post office and that brings us to 12:00 noon.

For lunch I eat a single chicken drumstick, mixed green salad with a tablespoon of dressing, and drink a Perrier. The next hour I devote to current clients. Give them a call and touch base and see if I can increase any sales from them. The rest of the afternoon was spent in answering phones, doing proposals for clients, checking supplies, taking out materials for tomorrows orders that I had just received, and phoning back one friend in Canada, who I couldn’t talk to when he called.

I left work at 5:00pm, got home at 5:20pm. Brought a lot of vegetables with me and some chicken breast. I make up a vegetable soup for dinner, with enough to last me the rest of the week, plus a little more. I take a portion of the vegetable soup and add a roux (thickener) and the chicken breast. I’ll have this for a change, once in a while for variety, during the following week. I freeze what I’m not using for this week. I have a bowl of the vegetable soup (14 different vegetables and beans) and a cup of milk. I happen to like milk. I’m trying to bring my calorie count down. I watch the evening BBC World news, and turn off the TV, read one of my favorite books. I take twenty minutes and try to get back into a quiet meditation. Then I do another twenty minutes of exercises while listening to one of my favorite CDs. I set up the laptop to type the rest of this blog, but for some reason, I cannot get a connection. After trying for half an hour I give up and decide to go to bed.

I won’t be as detailed in my follow-ups on my change. Today I was trying to see how much productive and informative work and information I could achieve in a normal day. I will add and subtract as I go along. I do enjoy watching the travel logs on PBS. Since I can’t get there in real life right now, it allows me to be educated, entertained and gives me a broader sense of understanding of the world we’re living in now. Something to look forward to if I eventually get the time to travel. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to find out what you like and what works for you. I’m only trying to put those things in my life that resonate with me and make me feel alive.

You should too.

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