Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Friday, August 29, 2003
So, the drama with the crashed computer continues. The good news is that the new computer shipped this morning and should be installed by next weekend. All this thanks to a good friend of ours, Carmen, who is willing to help us set it all up. Yes, yes, I know: I am very hardware illiterate. Anyway, that's not why you read this blog.

I spent all day last Tuesday at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. I had a blast and I vow to do it again next year but two days instead of just one. Thanks to my friend Amy for making it tons of fun running around from court to court, cheering on the underdog. Can I just say one thing??? Some of the male tennis players have the most amazing legs and butts. If you ever get to watch Fabrice Santoro play, you must. The sight of him in short shorts alone is worth the price of admission.

Spending a day watching these athletes play tennis has made me do two things: play more tennis to improve my game AND work out harder at the gym to improve my fitness. It truly is an inspiration to watch athletes live. Of course, one can gain inspiration from watching them on TV but the fact that you are not looking at the athletes perform through an "entertainment box" really brings home the fact that these people push their bodies to limits that are just incredible. And, that's only what I saw happening on court! I am sure the amount of work performed before even hitting the court to play a match is 10 times more grueling than what is displayed in front of the paying public.

If you ever need inspiration or motivation to get yourself in the best shape possible, try attending some type of athletic event where you can see bodies performing sporting movements that sometimes defy logic and common sense. It really does inspire. Later.
Sunday, August 24, 2003
At one time in my life, I thought that living without access to a gym facility would drive me insane. Afther the past couple of days, it has occured to me that living without access to my AOL e-mail is what may drive me insane. Unfortunately, my computer has crashed and needs to be replaced. Happily, my household will be acquiring some new and more fabulous hardware within the week. Hence, I have been limited to computer access which limits my blogging abilities. Anyway, here I am, so...

One of the nastiest things I see at the gym is when anyone exercises in sneakers with no socks. Is it just me or does anyone else find this disgusting? The idea that your feet are producing sweat that is filled with toxins & germs that produce vile odors is just downright gross to me. What is up with people who do not wear socks when they workout with sneakers? Is it really that much of a bother to go get some socks to wear with your sneakers? How does anyone stand the chaffing that the rough insides of a sneakers cause to the skin of their feet? I cannot even begin to describe the shivers this sends up my spine.

I guess what really grosses me out is the idea that this person is bringing their nasty stinky shoes and, hence, stinky feet back to their abode. For some reason, foot stink is one of the most disgusting body odors to me. I tend to get this picture in my mind of evil bacteria lurking in shoes and between toes when I think of smelly feet. I can handle underarm odor but the idea of someone having smelly feet leads me to believe that they are not the most hygenic individual around.

What makes me really cringe when someone is working out with sneakers without socks is that they are generating sweat in their sneakers leading to this squishy feeling that I find just absolutely unbelievably disgusting! Maybe I am just neurotic about cleanliness. Okay, I admit that I can be a bit anal-retentive at times. But c'mon... Later.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Like all instructors, I have my favorite students. These students are not necessarily the ones who can do every single exercise or combination in my classes. They are not the ones who attend my classes every week - they do show up with some regularity, so I actually remember who they are. And they certainly are not always the fittest students in class. The one thing that they all have in common is that they seem to enjoy the class no matter how old the routine or how bad a mood I am in.

There is one specific student who takes my Step class who has me in awe whenever he attends. This god is 6'-3" tall with an exceptionally lean body. He moves with such grace and has strength to spare when it comes to power moves. As a matter of fact, he tends to add his own moves that have me giggling with nervousness. My biggest fear is that he will influence someone not as strong as him to do some moves that may cause them harm.

The other day, after an extremely fun and strenuous class, said god of Step came up to me and said, "You are the best Step instructor ever." Needless to say, I almost fainted. I held my self up, gave a small laugh, and said, "Oh, I just show up and shake it around. Not really a big deal. But thanks, you are very kind." Deep down inside, I was thinking, "God, I would drink your bath water."

After thanking him, I turned around to start teaching the 10 minutes of abdominal exercises that I tack onto the end of class. This is when he really is quite the sight to behold. He has such control of his abdominal muscles that it makes me sick with jealousy. This man really has me enthralled.

Above all the stunning physical attributes he has (have I mentioned that he is very visually attractive), he also possesses some interesting characteristics. I once got a chance to chat with him before class. He is a very articulate, funny, and seems very kind & gentle. Somebody also mentioned that he is a medical biologist doing research in cures for cancer. Can this man get anymore enticing?

So, if you have not guessed by now, this god of a man is my favorite student. If I weren't already in love with and attached to a wonderful man, I would be all over this one. And to think that I am not really a Sticky Rice Queen. Later.
Sunday, August 17, 2003
After a fantastic weekend away from New York City, I feel refreshed and renewed. I got some sun, some swim, and some relaxation. What more could one ask for. I did not even notice the fact that I have not worked out for an entire week.

Am I beginning to reach the tail-end of my enthusiasm for working out? Is that what happens when you age? Does one become apathetic to exercise because they no longer need to attract a mate with a fabulous pair of legs? You bet it does.

This weekend made me realize a few things:

I am definitely part of a couple = my single days are done

I cannot stand conspicuous consumption and affectation

People do not necessarily get wiser with age

I love my cat so much that I miss her when I go away

I love being "We"

Funny how things turn out. Later.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
When does a something become an obsession? More specifically, when does working out become an obsession? I wondered about this today because I have been pushing myself quite hard lately when it comes to my personal time at the gym.

Here is an example of my typical week:

Monday: Teach 2 Step classes, 1 Body Sculpt class, and an Upper Body Conditioning class (30 minutes).

Tuesday: Weight training in the morning followed by a 6-to-8-hour workday at the wine store.

Wednesday: Six-hour workday at the wine store. After, teach a Step class, a 30-minute Abdominals class, and a Body Sculpt class.

Thursday: Weight training in the morning followed by an 8-hour workday at the wine store.

Friday: Eight-hour workday at the wine store.

Saturday: Teach morning Step class and Body Sculpt class. Eight-hour workday at the wine store.

Sunday: Weight training in the morning followed by an 8-hour
workday at the wine store. (Wine store hours only if I
was off on Saturday)

Is this insane or is it just me being an over-achiever? What the hell am I avoiding in my life that I need to be so busy? Of course, I squeeze in an hour of tennis somewhere in that week. Sometimes I sub out my classes and wine store hours only so that I can work a ten-hour shift in a kitchen as a substitute cook. Did I mention that lately I have been adding a weight training session on Friday?

Okay, back to being obsessed: despite feeling a bit tired, I have been pushing myself to continue working out and picking up a couple of extra classes. Although the extra money I make is good, I know that deep down inside, I do this so that I can "burn calories and keep in shape." Is that obsession?

Am I obsessed with keeping my healthy appearance? Am I just extremely vain? Am I obsessed with making sure that I never become the 220-lb person I used to be? Should I begin to pay attention to the aches and pains that I feel in the morning? Should I be feeling aches and pains in the morning?

I'll tell you this: once summer ends, I am going to re-evaluate my working out. Maybe I'll drop a few classes and get a full-time permanent job in a kitchen. I would like something that pays me a salary and gives me health benefits and paid time off. Maybe that way, I can go back to working out like a human being instead of an obsessed lunatic. Later.
Monday, August 04, 2003
After teaching class today, I immediately headed for the showers only to hit the end of a line of men waiting for a free shower stall. Of all nights to have to wait for a shower, this was one that I wish I did not have to. I was meeting my significant other for his birthday dinner on the Upper West Side and I needed to get out of the gym quickly.

As I waited, shower stalls began to empty and the line became shorter. When my turn arrived, the handicapped shower stall emptied out. I offered it to the gentleman waiting on the other side of the shower bank but he refused. With some trepidation, I entered the stall because I needed to get showered, dressed, and out of there.

Why was I so scared of entering the handicapped shower stall? It has soap, shampoo, and a perfectly functioning shower head. The shower head is even detachable which allows one to get to the hard-to-reach areas of one's body. Because the shower head is so low, you don't have this constant stream of water flowing over you. This allowed me to lather up properly which resulted in one of the best showers I ever took at the gym. Did I mention the detachable shower head that allows you to get those hard-to-reach areas?

Why was I ever concerned about showering in the handicapped stall? There is even a chair in there just in case you need to sit down for a moment. Why do I think I would be looked at differently if I used the handicapped shower stall? Why would I be concerned about what other people think of me for using said shower stall? Is there a stigma about the handicapped shower stall? And should I really care about a person who thinks there is a stigma for using the handicapped shower stall?

Anyway, the next time you shower at the gym, use the handicapped shower stall. I can guarantee you it is the least used stall in the gym. It always has soap and shampoo. And has some great extras the other stalls don't. Later.
I'm just writing down some of the things that run through my head.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Eating up the City before it eats me up. I'm a freelance cook who spends his free time working out, cooking for "my man", and wondering why the Right is so concerned about my bedroom.

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