Of Mat Jumps and Face Packs…

I don’t consciously try and make the blog titles esoteric or cryptic even..they just pop out of my head, all baked and ready to go. Quite like how this happened. And in case anyone is interested (Pshaw! Yeah right…) how that happened…read it right here.

Onto the actual stuff I wanted to convey…I’ve been doing some different things as a part of my gym routine and one of them is to jump on mats. Big deal, right? Wrong!

Jumping on 3-4 3 inch mats stacked on stop on each other in a way that you land on your feet, don’t wobble and don’t sound like The Hulk landing is something that 30-somethings may have some trouble with.

For us, jumping went the way of the Dodo. Especially for the heavier amongst us, viz moi, find it a tad difficult to do without either feeling ungainly or self-conscious.  In any case, whatever we can’t do any longer, or have stopped doing; is the focus of what we need to do to reboot this state of being unfit and unhealthy.

This morning, after a good night’s sleep and an even better awakening, I stepped into TGIF mode with a vengeance! After dropping off the offspring, something that always gets a big grin on my face a la this momand a nice stroll around the campus, I oiled my hair, put a cucumber pack on my face and was dancing blind aka without the glasses to everything from the Moanna OST to jazzy Hindi songs. And feeling quite peppy and not crying out for the oxygen cylinder like before.

All hyperboles aside, when you can and do jump up and land lighter on your feet than you have in more years than you can count, it’s a fantastic feeling! This is why kids are always jumping…it’s fun! Each time you go up in the air, it’s exhilarating and when you come down again you’re buoyed up to zoom straight back up! It’s liberating at the very least and extremely affirming.

I want to go on a trampoline right now but am not sure about the weight limitations on them so I will take it easy for a bit but I might play hopscotch. And soon!

Listening to- You’re Welcome (Moanna OST)

Image courtesy: Justin-hebert.com

Saturday Bloglet#2

Meanie Mommy recommends pretending to be seriously and totally grossed out when your offspring threatens to pour slime on your ankles and legs. 

The child will pour and rub like a zealous slime-pourer and rubber and you will get a lovely little massage from those soft little hands. Accompanied by wicked cackles from a munchkin of course!

Saturday Bloglet

When your ever-active 7 year-old starts imitating Woody Woodpecker’s laugh before the caffeine has infiltrated your bloodstream and you think he sounds like a cross between a constipated horse and a psychotic clown.

The Shackles of Empowerment

After publishing my post last evening, I was thinking about how things are in the world around me these days and I can’t help but think of women and how some lives are changing every day and others might be stuck in a different era for all the changes they have been exposed to.

While I was growing up, emancipation was a huge buzzword. We read about it in regarding to the freeing of the slaves, the changes in South Africa and now these days it’s all about being “empowered”; even more so if you’re of the female gender.

Webster’s Diction defines empowerment as-

  • authority or power given to someone to do something.”individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings”
  • the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. “political steps for the empowerment of women”

I, for one, would like the second definition of the word to be more prevalent with the first definition coming in to facilitate and enable the latter as and when necessary.

It seems very claustrophobic at times  when a woman in this day and age *has* to subscribe to be empowered or supporting empowerment for the rest. I’m all for free will and all the other requisite freedoms being the norm for an individual, rather than as an exception but having to get on the bandwagon for a “Cause” whether I feel like it or not, seems rather forced and not much of an empowerment.

The household help that I have; I view them as rather empowered. They earn for their families, they raise their kids, they participate in all social functions, festivities and still manage to get more done than people like myself who hire them to make our lives easier. They may still have to defer to the men in their families but then again, I do too. I defered to my father while I was growing up and often defer to my husband in decisions pertaining to our family. And yet I can very confidently state that I am rather empowered to “do my own thing” and live life on my own terms.

The moms who work 12-14 hours in a day are fantastic management experts without necessarily being in that role. They see to their career progression, have a semblance of a social life, take care of their health, raise their kids and still remain productive people for the most part. I would call them empowered too.

The SAHMs, me included, who manage things on the home front; either out of a need or a want and have supporting families who enable them to choose whether they want to work 10-hour days outside the home or work throughout the day in a systematic manner inside; I view us an lot empowered as well.

So why do we have these labels of Feminazi coming up when a women talks more stringently of other women being stronger? For that matter, why do we *have* to show support for things which are personal choices for most urbane women?

I know a family where the mom of 2 young girls lives in an South East Asian country while the rest of her family live in India. Her kids are raised jointly by her parents and her husband and everyone, right from her parents to her spouse, is terribly hands on and the girls are happy and well-adjusted. The mom flies down to India for almost every single festival, occasion and event and am sure is proving to be a strong role model for her girls. As is the grandmother. Are these 2 women empowered by our definitions?

Isn’t our time better spent in spreading messages of hygiene, safety for women and children at large? Do we really need a high-level CEO alone talking about Work-Life-Balance? Can we spend time lifting up each and everyone who tries to do something new, different or just tries to chalk out a separate place for themselves to shine? Do the ones bringing in a paycheck have to champion the cause of those who don’t?

So where does the source of our empowerment lie? Who gets to take a call about my self-worth and the thoughts that I “ought” to think? Maybe sisterhood isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be if we all need to be on the same page and forget to respect, however grudgingly, our individual differences.

Something to think about.

A Few Words From A SAHM

I am a SAHM. I like writing the abbreviation rather than typing out the whole shebang viz Stay At Home Mom. And I think quite a bit of time and effort is being spent on Mira Rajput and her choice of words regarding her own daughter.

I suppose if I wanted to, I could extrapolate, that when Mira Rajput used the word “puppy” in reference to leaving her child behind at home while she went out to work, she was likening all the children “left behind ” to puppies. It could also be that it was a less than tactful choice of words to describe a situation which is touchy, difficult and something that women can genuinely never really come to terms with, IMHO.

But again IMHO, Mira Rajput is neither a role model for women, of any age, to emulate; nor is she an expert in parenting. She is merely a young woman who is thrust into the limelight because of the man she married and because of whom each and every action of hers is scrutinized and dissected.

Do I think it was an unfortunate choice of words? Yes. Do I think it was maliciously meant and demeaning to women around the world? No. Why not? Because I don’t give a fig about Mira Rajput or her opinions! I am too busy “working” as a SAHM raising my own “puppy”.

Ladies, with all the nonsense that surrounds us in the world these days; can’t we ever let go of the stuff that the media reports? Choose not to get wounded when nouveau celebs express their opinions about random things. Because it’s on their radar, doesn’t mean it should resonate so strongly with you. Or jar you so badly. These people aren’t the last word. Let’s stop giving them the podium and pulpit.

*mike drop*

 

Gym Diaries: Jelly Arms & Pokey Things

This Thursday my trainer started me out on a slightly ramped up routine. Either that means that YAY! my stamina is increasing or that I really need as much help as I can! Am sure it’s a good blend of both because I do find it easier to get back into a groove without getting into what I call my “soggy-sweaty-mess” state and also because there is extensive help required in getting to desirable levels of good health.

Anyhoo…for the most part this particular regime has me moving my whole body more than the previous ones did and the way that’s happening is partly comical and outright ouch-inducing.

One of the exercises consists of me jumping onto a set of mats from a bent-knee position with arms swinging to give me momentum. But there’s a catch- I MUST NOT THUMP! My trainer lands like a cat. Barely any sound. But I THUMP. Quite thumpingly. He asked me not be terribly consciously of myself while jumping and to do it the way I used to as a child. I took him at his word and he said in his I-want-to-praise-you-but you-aren’t-there-yet tone, “That’s better. Now do it without the sound”. And therein lies the rub. Chunky people create sounds. We haven’t been light on our feet in a while so our movements overall including treads, gaits are fairly heavy. So I have many jumps to go before the thumping stops.

Now comes the more painful part of my story. The dreaded nemesis of the gym, the foam roller with the pokey thingies poking out all over it, has made a return in a vile form. And my thighs are begging for mercy. I’m supposed to lie down in a plank position and keep the instrument of torture under my thighs and just roll back and forth. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yeah, so were the circles in Dante’s Inferno!

But all drama aside, going to the gym has shaken loose one of my biggest fallacies: that my lard is going to protect me, dull some sensation of pain etc because there are layers of it just under my skin. But nooo…pokey things are designed to cut through fat and poke away to glory and make you cry for mommy. I really, really, really don’t think I’ll ever like that thing and am pretty sure that my thighs are getting permanent grooves in them from all the back and forth rolling.

Onto the jelly arms. No guesses here. I started on weights. And after the first 8 reps there was mini earthquake measuring around 5.7 or so in the Richter scale in my arms. And then there were aftershocks. I couldn’t fathom how wobbly my arms got. And this was with just a 3-kg weight.

The reason going to the gym often ends up being a slap in the face for many and leads to drop-outs is due to the image of yourself that you see emerging. Stamina, endurance seem to be words in a dictionary and you really don’t know how to summon any up and want to just lie down on the mat, have the world leave you alone to curl up and sleep away the hurt from the pokey things.

But those who can endeavor. Sometimes by getting their angst out via blog posts. Those who can’t, take a step back to less intense activities or attack the bag of chips with a new-found love or vengeance. But I decided that very day; the only jelly I wanted to see was on my plate and not in my limbs.

PS: The next post may need to be posted with Google Docs Voice typing because the era of jelly arms isn’t over yet.

Image courtesy- media.giphy.com

Movie Review: Logan

Wolverine. Aged. Not Healing at the speed of light. Dying….oops! Spoiler alert!

Logan is the most extreme addition to the Marvel comic-movie universe till date. I’d say it leaves Deadpool behind solely because there’s just one of Deadpool and there’s more than one individual who bares their claws in this movie. Else Deadpool was slicker, funnier and definitely the better movie.

The reason Logan didn’t work for me personally was due to the action sequences and the overall flow of the movie being repetitive. It has its share of imposed pathos (C’mon, kids being made guinea pigs to create the perfect soldier is any day gasp-worthy vis-a-vis what Logan was originally put through), a long-lost daughter, Professor Xavier being gaga with fleeting moments of lucidity and horror of horrors- Logan turning into Old Man Logan.

Jackman’s make-up is flawless as a person who’s tried hard to stand the test of time and taken a beating every step of the way. With his angry old man demeanor, unkempt beard and displeased air throughout; he resembles a real wolverine in manner more than ever!

The violence is a bit OTT but it fits in well with the dystopian world the director wants to showcase. My interest in this particular franchise started waning from the first standalone Wolverine movie onwards. Nothing can bring back the kick-ass (literally) fun of Logan and Victor’s face-off with Wade on top of the nuclear reactor!

So while I was moderately entertained for a little over 2.5 hours, it’s finally curtains for Wolverine on the big screen and I really hope they don’t try to make reboots of this particular franchise with anyone else. Old man or not, Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine!