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

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

Of Hip Hinges&Mountain Climbing…

I must be doing something right because my trainer (P.B.U.H) added new exercises to my routine. He also tweaked an existing one just to see if I could take it up a notch. And a tiny notch it is. A wee one really but I have been extremely pleased (and tired) all day because things got taken to a slightly higher level.

Speaking of higher levels, doing step-ups on a 16 inch high box is my new nemesis. I mean who designs these things anyhow? I am 60 inches high. I’ve stopped using the word tall when I mention my height because when you’re 5 feet, you are anything but tall. But being vertically challenged is a story for another day. I’ve also been called a preshrunk-shrink back when I was studying Psychology but I digress. Ah yes…16 inch box is baaad. I gasp, pant and puff a la the Big Bad Wolf only without blowing anyone’s house down!

Anyhow, the reason I’m pleased is quite simple. I can endure a little more than I could one month ago. Even a week ago. I break into a sweat later and later during the exercise sets each time and don’t always need a water break to recharge myself after every 5 minutes. And those voices inside my head saying, “Have Mercy!” and “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” have kind of faded. Not gone away completely, but faded a bit.

Today I started doing something called a Hip Hinge- you fix your hip/lock it in a particular position and keeping bending till you touch your toes or ankles. So your torso is functioning like a flap that opens and closes. I was not a fan initially of hinging the hip but it worked out. And then my instructor sprung another surprise on me by getting me to do something called a Finisher. That nearly did finish me off since it was in the fag-end of the exercise routine but after it was done, it felt pretty damn good. After my heart stopped pounding in my ears and I could feel my limbs again that is.

I’m turning 37 soon and honestly, this is the worst I’ve ever been physically. I was actually in much better shape while my kid was an infant and a toddler (no surprises there) but over a point of time the eating became haphazard and so did the sleep and I made the mistake of thinking that I had time for a do-over. I have it; but just barely.

So when I can move from one exercise to another, do a new one without needing a bolus of glucose just to feel alive again; it feels really good. I suspect those are my endorphins talking but I hear them loud and clear!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to hobble away to my bed and sleep for 12 hours.

Image courtesy-clipartfest.com

Tales of A Pear-Shaped Femme

This is a gym diary. Expect more blood, sweat (swear words) and tears than in the Spartacus series; barring the nudity *winks*

And that is the only nod to the adult humor I’ll be indulging in before I embark on my journey into discovering who is hiding under all the lard lovingly piled on in the last 7-odd years.

How do I know it’s been that exact amount of time? Well despite not being svelte back in the early 2000s either, my life underwent a paradigm shift in 2009. Mommyhood..cue the trumpets and drum roll.

My sleep cycles, metabolism and adrenaline levels went haywire and then they seemed to have plateaud at a point which is neither good or desirable for an almost-37 year old with an active husband and grade schooler.

A therapist I had interned with many aeons ago said I had all the makings of a myopic-personality. It was fed through my inherited myopic vision and it kept me from being able to envision the future realistically with all the curves in the roads.

I thought it was quite a big load of bull and carefully earmarked it as the kind of ambivalent and vacuous utterings I would have to make if I ever became a registered psychotherapist.

At 36+ am neither-a psycho or a therapist. But what I am is a person who hasn’t been careful enough with her health although I have enough sense to know that bacon, grits and sirloin burgers well done with home fries need quite a bit of legwork to not settle around the hips and torso. And am vertically-challenged into the bargain as well.

Definitely not a good half decade of eating and physical health decisions.

But realizations only takes you so far if you lounge around munching on low-fat chips or celery with dip and still aren’t doing anything to push yourself out of inertia.

So for my 37th year am attempting to give myself the gift of good and sustainable health.

I will attempt for more self-control and endurance and not try so hard to resemble a pear. Or a pineapple. Or a tomato.

Damn! Am hungry again!!

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen

This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.

There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.

I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!

Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!

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The Mine Field That Is My House

Many moons ago I had spewed a bit via this post but last night I realized that my modest home is quite fraught with stuff that’s likely to blow up (figuratively) or cause me to blow up (literally).

Case in point- My kid and his quest for building a dino army keeps showing up (read under) all foreseeable and some not so foreseeable places. Last night’s trip to the bedroom was an obstacle course par excellence!

This is how it went down- focus on the word down. Now the charming child I’ve brought into this world, had locked Red and I out of our bedroom? Did I mention we’ve been co-sleeping, exclusively? It’s not fun. But since his room and ours has a connecting window that opens up from his room, I thought I’d sorted things out quite alright. Erm…not quite.

So just on the other side of MLM’s window is a futon and ahead of the futon is a few open feet of room followed by the bed. I always keep a bit of a gap between the window and the futon for these reasons and also to make it easier to sweep and mop but that was to be my downfall in every sense of the word.

So the space behind the futon was littered with dinos. The pointy kinds. I think the beak of a Quetzalcoatlus (pronounced as  /ˌkwɛts(ə)lkəʊˈatləs/ for those who give a damn) or a Pteranodon (drop the P while saying it and you’re gravy) poked me in my foot leading me to leapfrog over the entire width of the futon and step on a Hotwheels car that effectively got me half airborne till I broke my fall on the futon. And being the superb athelete that I am, I was suprised that nothing was broken…bones and futon included.

So up I get, seething in anger and ready to grab the kid by the scruff of his neck and dump him in his room and his quite comfortable bed when I stepped on a marble and hopped on one foot to go and sit on the air conditioner’s remote which was parked right where I would normally sleep!

A lopsided, ballet through the air to land in a graceless manner in a bed where a rapidly growing child was sleeping diagonally across. Naturally.

Oh by the way, did I mention it was rather dark in the room just the LED glow from the AC spread a dim light over a negligible part of the room? Nevermind…that’s usually a given.

 

After School Huffiness

The brat got off the school bus with two holes in the school uniform that hadn’t been there when he’d got on the bus in the morning.

When I asked him (with a slight frost in my voice) he told me that a “Screaming Death” had made the holes.

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For the uninitiated, a Screaming Death is one from the stable of Dreamworks Dragons. It’s an ultimate badass dragon ergo also the love of MLM’s life ever since he laid his dragon-loving eyes on it.

Anyhoo he flat out refused to tell me how his school uniform happened to get ruined in that holey fashion and kept saying it was the dragon who did it. I told him that because of his behavior the tv was off-limits and I wasn’t going to talk to him till he told me the truth. And he threw a tantrum. A typical one with the screeching and minor feet stomping.

And then it got atypical. He sat and watched me ignore him for a bit and got out his trolley bag. Then this is the conversation that took place between us:

MLM-“Ok Ayu. I’m leaving.”

Me- Bye.

MLM- I’m going to count to 3 and you are going to put the tv for me.

Me- snorts in derision. “Yeah…not going to happen kid.”

MLM- ONE. TWO. THREEEEEE! Ok. FINE! I leaving now.

Me- B-Y-E.

MLM- while making a show of pulling his suitcase along and grumbling the entire time, “I’m not going to be your friend,grumble grumble. I’ll go and live in Kolkata (where my parents live) and never come home again!grumble grumble. I’ll watch tv there every day because (mentioning his grandmother’s name) loves me and you are MEAN!!”

Me- So go already. Bye.

MLM- Going till the main door and struggling to open the lock. “Open the door! I can’t leave, it’s locked.”

Me- opening the door for him…”Don’t forget your shoes. Bye”.

MLM- Struggling to get his trolley over the doorway…Ayu help me. I can’t leave…”

Me- Helps him put the bag outside the door and leaves.

MLM- Comes back in a bit and says, “I’m hungry”. I want to be your friend again. Please give me peanut butter and jam sammich?”

Me- So when do you want to leave the house and go stay in Kolkata?

MLM- I’ll go tomorrow. After the birthday party (mentions a friend’s birthday party he’s supposed to attend tomorrow).

Me- rolls eyes heavenward and goes to make PB&J sandwich.

Two minutes later I get a hug and someone plants a kiss in the vicinity of my hip and says you’re my best friend. These sammiches are DE-LI-SHUS!

And life goes on.

Yet Another Epiphany

I had another Ah-HA! experience this morning while “attempting” to explain to MLM why something is desirable and why something isn’t. People (parenting experts, those whose kids are no longer a pain-in-the-ass and those who are blissfully childless) usually say that it sets a bad example to communicate with a growing child using largely negatives viz “NO”, “NOT”. “DONT” et al. However, given that the vocabulary of most children who aren’t prodigies or savants of some kind are largely rudimentary till the middle school years, it becomes a tough job navigating the world of communicating what you want with what your child can comprehend.

But I have finally realized the biggest challenge I face day in and day out while trying to bring this boy up- I have to be an adult in the face of his childishness. And therein lies the rub. I no longer know how to be a child and he’s not reached that stage where he knows anything else but how to be a child.

Just a few minutes back, I had another locking-horns session with my offspring. Reason? He’s been using a turtle stencil to draw outlines on an otherwise pristine ivory colored wall. Again.

The first time this was noticed and commented upon, he apologized. In a flash. And went off to do whatever it is he does when one road to mischief has been shut down. Today when I noticed the second drawing I called him to ask why he had drawn on the walls again when he knew it wasn’t appreciated at all. He simply replied that he wanted to. No defiance. No attitude. Just a simple statement of fact.

And that in nutshell is how children usually are. While some are more compliant, for reasons known only to them, others are more willful in the sense that they are guided largely by their whims. A state that many older people fall back into in their advanced years.

But try as I might, I couldn’t explain to MLM why I was upset. He finally came up with a solution of wiping it off with water. But the crux of the problem escaped him and it entirely escaped me how to clue him in.

As adults we live with and in cliches. We stay in the lines. It starts by learning to color in them, writing within in, standing in them and also driving in them. We don’t always turn into lab rats or hamsters in their wheels but we become regulated. And can also see the benefits of such a life for its opposite is chaos in some form or the other.

But a child, especially one right out of early childhood is all about seeing his or her environment as a giant canvas, playground or anything without boundaries. They want to color furiously all over the paper. Never mind that the dam fruit they were to color got buried under the strokes. They want to scribble on walls because that’s the largest unending surface that surrounds them everyday. They want to climb higher, use the bed as a trampoline because everything that gives them a sense of freedom, even briefly, is exhilarating. Never mind that you’ll be replacing the mattress or the bed springs will poke through before long. It’s just so much more fun than just calmly lying down somewhere and sleeping.

And this is why I blogged this. Right here and now. So when I’m about to have an aneurysm tomorrow or day after from whatever my son wasn’t supposed to have done but did so anyhow; I can take a quick peek at this post before my head blows up. Hell! I’ll have to clean up that mess too so I might as well read these pearls of wisdom and count to a 1000 and keep telling myself there’s always school and the next summer holidays are a year away.

Amen!

There’s A Dinosaur In My Bra!

No. I’m not high. Yes, I wish I was. And yes, I have a child. Ergo the weird things ending up where they ideally ought not to.

Sitting down and finding a clothes pin jammed up in your butt crack is passe. Stepping on Batman and theoretically emasculating him when you get up to pee at 4 in the morning is also so-been-there-done-that.

Now, having a wee serpent stare at you balefully while you rub the sleep out of your eyes and cope with an imminent heart attack is the new definition of normal. And while your nervous system gets even more nervouser and tells you to flee, the mother part of your brain tries to calm it down by saying, “There’s a 5-year old on the loose. That’s all.”

Having kids is honestly an adventure. And for quite a while, you’re going in blind. It’s a war on some days but for the most part it IS fun. They can wake up one morning and tell you they want to see stingrays and whale sharks (making you think you have a mini-Animal Planeteer on your hands and feeling good that the boy is growing up) and by evening on the same day they are watching the television upside down because apparently Pink Panther looks better that way.

And that’s what I’m going to tell myself while I fish out the mini-extinct lizard from my cups and set it down carefully next to the Triceratops, the hotwheels car and the Batman who has his head on backwards.

Never a dull moment!

Zero. Dark. 2:37 AM

I wanted my first post in the new year to be witty, funny, tongue-in-cheek but I guess I’ll be falling back on my old form of ranting about my kid. My forte in life et al.

This morning my darling ray of sunshine switched on all the lights in my room at 2:37 am and tapped me on my face till I woke up; to tell me he could feel the germs in his stomach moving around. Yikes.

I thought it was time for a visit to the loo and suggested as much, while scrambling from the bed and trying not to fall over the Batman figurine that mysteriously ended up underfoot or getting tangled in the bed sheets. But no. Apparently it wasn’t about going to the loo at all. My brat couldn’t sleep and had been thinking about the rumblings in his tummy and decided that a middle of the night bout of calisthenics would ease his mind and body.

So there I was, puffy eyed and puffier-faced with a severe case of bed hair, trying to focus myopic eyes on a 5-year old who was exercising in front of me and who wanted to discuss his tummy germs at length.

After pondering about tossing him out of the window and eventually nixing the idea, I managed to get him back into bed so we could discuss the way ahead. It seems he knew the course of treatment- no doctors but quite a bit of medicine, the yummy kind. And of course, no school. NATURALLY.

Kids are funny creatures. Their minds work in mysterious ways. They process information, look at things in a manner which is unique to their ages and bent of mind. Those were the things I was trying to tell myself as the hands of the clock crept closer to 3:00 am and the verbosity of my kid kept increasing.

Finally, I did the only thing that made any sense. The only thing that was a viable and legal resolution to the entire situation- I woke up his father, passed the buck and went off to sleep in another room.

I think that’s what I’ll try to do in 2015 more and more- react less. Not fight against the inevitable or the inexplicable. I’ll figure out how to tackle things and if I don’t succeed I’ll pull in an unsuspecting person and pull an escape routine on them 🙂

But seriously. Happy New Year blosgosphere peeps. Have an excellent year. May your thoughts and words never fail you and may you end up on more and more people’s’ reading lists as time goes by.

Salut!