Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

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It’s not as early as yesterday. The sky is already starting to lighten up, though it is not readily apparent whether today will be blue or gray. I am listening to the start of the day.

I’ve mentioned before that I like to write in the morning, but often times I’ve already been awake for at least an hour before I get started. There’s no specific reason for me to get up well before I need to do anything at all, except that once upon a time it started with a 5:30AM bootcamp and then it evolved into just liking the quiet.

Listening to the early time is like sharing a great secret with everything around you. I do not think anything is capable of denying it’s true nature in the first moments of waking up.

There are the normal routines of waking and tending dogs which occur. Every single morning I spare a second for tadasana about as soon as my feet hit the floor after the last snooze. I open my palms wide and sweep my hands up with a giant breath that looks like a yawn and stretch – but I feel it more deeply than that. It calibrates me somehow.

Eventually, though, on as many days as possible (there are still some days I run off to the gym at crazy-ass-early), all paths lead to a cup of coffee and staring out into space.

It’s my morning meditation.

Once upon a time, I used to watch the news before work. Catch glimpses of stories and traffic between putting on pants and putting on eyeliner. I felt very well informed when I picked up my carpool buddy. At some point the news no longer served me well and so I stopped watching it some time after 9/11. I’m not sure when or how related that is, but my brain keeps making that connection.

Now, I tuck my feet up under me, not in any formal meditation posture, but just a way I am comfortable, I cup my hands around my coffee mug, and I let my mind wander. It feels like a rebellion against the noise. Sometimes my thoughts go through the upcoming day. Sometimes a specific thing comes up, sometimes nothing at all. Today I observed that Fred already smells like feet again even though she just had a bath – courtesy of the deluge of rain in the past week. I don’t make pretense that my meditations are profound. Then I switched into thinking about some upcoming yoga studies and picked up a book. Which led me to thinking about meditation and the meditation which I chose for an online yoga group this week – “An Introduction to Sitting”.

As I sit and begin writing.*

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*Afterword: When I picked up writing the blog again, it was after a period of realizing that I wasn’t writing the way I like. I had tried to be formulaic and clearly define a more narrow focus on running & race recaps. I really don’t know what end purpose that was trying to serve – but it was an experimental failure in that it made me not want to write what I needed to write for the structure (as an example, I never wrote about Mohican 25k, which was one of my best running lessons in all of 2015), and it constrained me away from writing what I wanted to write about – which is essentially, whatever the hell I want. So, in picking this back up, expect more randomness and just as much running stuff, probably more yoga stuff, and my waxing philosophic about my coffee here and there.

 

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Well Friends, Run the Bluegrass is over til next year and after a little break, it’s time to adjust my focus for the Summer on to other endeavors.

In addition to my regular yoga teaching gig, I’ve sent out a few feelers with an idea I have for some other yoga ideas. I have a few more to research and send out. So there’s that. I had a friend reach out to me today about setting up a class at another studio. So there’s that too. And I’m feeling a renewed sense of focus on promoting the yoga business. Figuring out how to make it work.

But to be honest peeps – 2014 has been a MAJOR suckfest so far.

  • My car was totalled and had to be replaced unexpectedly
  • The puppy broke her leg
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  • Then she had to have her “girl” surgery – which while not unexpected, is unpleasant
  • The knee thing – which could just be an irritated “plica” or it could be a torn meniscus (will xray or MRI if the cortisone shot doesn’t work)
  • And also, as part of the knee thing, my kneecap is now tracking completely wrong
  • Woke up 3 weeks ago with an entrapped nerve in my shoulder that has had me in intense pain. It’s better, but I still can’t feel 3 of my fingers very well.

That’s just the highlights. IT HAS BEEN A VERY. SHITTY. SPRING. with a few good things interspersed – like RTB was a good weekend.

And every good thing has had a backhanded dark side. Like when we picked up the dogs from boarding for RTB (a good thing), both dogs had some funky eye gunk and the puppy had a gash in her leg. Or a friend who doesn’t have a car needed me to drop off some spare yoga mats to her for a class she was hosting. I dropped them off, and my car battery died right in front of her house. Since she doesn’t have a car to jump me, I had to call in help from a sick husband. No good deed goes unpunished. Or at least that’s the way its felt lately. It’s like being pecked to death by ducks.

I’m sick of it. Soul sick of it. Heart sick of it. Mind sick of it. SICK. I’m sick of being injured and not being able to do the things I like to do. I’m sick of feeling like I’ve got a dark cloud over my head. Today I woke up feeling sick of feeling sick of it. The Universe has been using me as a punching bag lately, and I was trying to roll with it, but not so much anymore. Sometimes when you keep getting punched – you need to hit back.

YOU PUNCH THE FUCKING UNIVERSE IN THE THROAT. 

You get your head back in the game and you say out loud ‘ENOUGH’.  I AM GOING TO GET HEALTHY. I am going to figure out this knee thing and get my ass to putting in the miles again. I am going to heal this shoulder. I am going to make progress on the yoga business in the direction I want it to go. I am going to start getting some photos together and try to work up a show. The setbacks are going to stop and the ducks are going to find another target.

A few days ago, I started repeating to myself “I am not a fragile creature.” In any given day, I am a force of nature, but I feel like I forgot that for a moment. No more. I am NOT a fragile creature. Where the mind leads, action follows.

Then I started with sending out into the world requests for more yoga work – the kind of work I want, on my terms. I have a plan.

A few little things to mail I’ve been procrastinating on – I knocked that shit out and got it in the mail. Procrastination is bad mojo. It’s like sending the universe a postcard that you don’t really want what you say you want.  No more of that.

Then I went to the kickboxing gym again. I haven’t been there in months and having a bum knee & shoulder makes that a questionable idea at best. But as I said to my favorite trainer there, “when you feel broken, you go back to the last place you felt really strong and you start over“.  I haven’t felt really strong since I haven’t been kickboxing or lifting at that gym the way I need to. At the boxing studio, I feel strong.  And ya know what? It went better than I expected. I finished with 300 straight punches that I didn’t even know I had in me when I walked in the door.  Ya know what else, my knee didn’t bother me ( & with all the pivoting in kickboxing, it should) and my shoulder feels a little better already.

Attitude is important.  My attitude has been gradually falling away from positive and I could feel it. But today, I dialed it right on up to 100% BADASS and the Universe WILL pay attention. I AM NOT A FRAGILE CREATURE.

 

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Another pic from the Run the Bluegrass course. If I remember correctly this sign is harbinger of a nice downhill slope that continues for just a bit. The sign is just before or at the crest, and far enough after the rolling part of the run has started that you realize you’ve started really working. Though not nearly the first downhill on the course, it’s the first one for which you feel truly grateful. The sense of charging the course like a bull starts to temper back and listen to that little voice that says maybe you oughtta pay a little more attention to your pace, you aren’t even at the hardest parts yet, you need to slow down a little and breathe more. Always breathe more.

I have a *thing* about birds and so I like this sign, and I like the birds on the mailbox, and I like that the birds are yellow. I have a *thing* about yellow too.

It feels balmy outside this morning at 60-degrees. And it is raining. Dark.  It smells like Spring rain outside and the picture above comes to mind. It was taken in October, but sometimes rain does a funny thing where it can make an October day smell like March. Being a human barometer, storm systems coming in often give me a headache and I went to bed last night with a doozy of one. Once the rain starts, the headache usually fades, so I am glad that it started raining overnight, and I am glad that my headache is gone though I am still very drowsy and fighting a case of the crankypants. No reason for it. Just woke up that way.

Eric tells me that it will be 30-degrees & snowing before I leave work today.

This has been the most confusing set of seasons I can ever recall.

Last night, I tried doing laps at the track with no jacket or sleeves – some bare skin showing to the sunshine. Today, I put on wool socks and was wishing I hadn’t left my gloves in my car – no time to get them before carpool shows up. The clothing feels too warm right now and I am trying not to sweat before I spend the day in my cube. A girl can’t stink up the joint like that.

The internet connection at the house is moving PAINFULLY slow. A relatively recent development, and I am lucky that Eric already knows what the problem is and it doesn’t seem difficult to fix – or he doesn’t make it sound difficult. I was hoping to get this post up & another thing or two done before my ride shows up, but nothing on my computer is cooperating.

The dogs are still tussling too – when I need them to settle down before Fred goes into her crate for the day. I hate to crate her when she’s in a high-energy phase. It just seems mean. I don’t think I would like that very much if I were in her place.  Between the computer and the dogs and the need for gloves and wool socks, I can feel myself getting irked. Also, I need a haircut.

Wednesday is not. being. cooperative.

It would be a good time to stop and remember to breathe, but there’s no time for that.  Nor will there be any and within another 30 minutes I find myself telling myself to stop looking at an email that has simultaneously irritated me and creeped me the hell out. Impressive. Crankypants doesn’t get creeped out easily. I have a list of tasks – and I tell myself to dive right on in – get the first thing done and I’ll feel better.

Except that those yellow little songbirds are still tugging at me – they have no tolerance for Crankypants. And they were the first thing on my list of things that aren’t on my list which I still want to get done. I want to look at the unwritten list first. The written one will make far more sense after I take care of the unwritten one.

It’s a good time to remember to breathe.

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Put this one up on Twitter last night and just wanted to move it over here too. Ya know, for posterity. Or some such thing.

Bits of tedium today – gotta pick up my taxes from my tax guy. Happy to have those done. Less happy to write the checks that go along with them – though in the balance of 3 returns, I usually end up on the green side.  It’s the first time I’ve hired someone else to do them. We’ll see. Work beckons. Vacuuming needs done. That kinda jazz.

Not what I’d like to be doing. But necessary. Life things. Aren’t they all life things, though?

On the calendar for this week – an invite to the 2014-2015 season announcement party from Cincinnati Ballet – pretty excited to know what’s coming up for that! – and the Heart Mini 15k on Sunday. Scored a free entry to that – not one of my favorites by any means, but a free entry is a free entry and it’ll be a good check-in on where things are at going into Run the Bluegrass. My knee = not happy. More about that later too.

Also on the calendar – taking a few moments to write more about the mediation questions I posed last week. Been filtering and processing the responses I’ve received on that, along with my own thoughts on the matter. Sometimes what’s most interesting about a thing isn’t the actual question or the answers – and that’s caught me a bit by surprise on this one.  In fact, I woke up thinking about it some more – along with a dream I had about Devin Mesoraco staring in ‘Mesoraco on Ice’  which was more roller derby and less Disney than what probably comes to mind.  He was pretty good – in that way that people are good at sports that you’ve dreamt up and have no idea what the actual rules are. Go Devin!

Is it baseball time yet? *sigh*

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In case you didn’t know, I have an extraordinary ability to take pictures of my thumb. Okay, so maybe there’s a weird toy and a dog in there too, but still. Thumb.

We’re having one of those weeks in our house where Fred has been simultaneously amped up and bored out of her mind. Mischief ensues. The kind of mischief where I chase her through the house 3-4 times in the same morning following the sound of my shoe being chomped on while she runs. *sigh* She is having a Shakespearean love affair with my favorite fleece-lined Merrells.  So I stop and ask her ‘where are all your toys?’, then I realize they’re in shreds all about the place. My living room floor looks like a squeak toy massacre.  Fred *NEEDS* toys to keep her focused on not-destructing things.

Apparently, to a puppy, all it takes to make Xmas happen is to tie a knot in an old toy. Or in this case – tie knots in the shreds of 3 old toys. That there masterpiece is part ‘squeak skunk’, ‘braided bear’ and fleece tug toy. Isn’t it lovely? At least it’ll buy me 5-10 minutes to hide my Merrells. Better. Hide them better. Or maybe pee without a creature biting my toes.

Sooooo, I’ve gotten some interesting responses to my first 2 questions about mediation and they gave rise to a 3rd quandry. Which, since I posted it on FB, I’m going to bring it over here –

At what point does an activity that is simply relaxing become meditative? Are there specific factors that make it cross the line from being one to the other? 

Again, meditation is unique, so there are no wrong answers here and I’m not grading these. Even if you don’t meditate, I’m interested in gathering perceptions of meditation, so please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

While I’m still gathering feedback on the mediation questions I posed yesterday, I thought I’d add a little humor to the day.

Here’s a shot of Rosie Red fundraising for the Reds Community Fund –

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Rosie – you’re so funny! Yogis have no money.

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(Okay – really she’s helping with a headstand. But seriously, doesn’t it look like she’s trying to shake the money out of her pockets?)

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Another shot from the Run the Bluegrass route. On my drive around the course last Fall, somewhere between Blackstone Farm and the turn onto Redd, it started raining *HARD* and as my wipers struggled to keep up, there was this tobacco barn that caught my attention. The water sheeting over my windshield with that in the view reminded me of an impressionist painting, though I don’t think Monet spent much time painting tobacco barns.

Once again, I’m waking up to the world covered in ice – which is what brought this photo to mind – even though it is rain in the picture, the ice sheets outside look just the same over everything. They are cold and vicious, but somehow still so beautiful.

I have a white-knuckle grip on the idea that at some time today, I WILL get 6 miles done. I NEED to get 6 miles in however they happen, walking, hiking, running – however. This is my mantra. But it’s a side point –

I was in yoga teacher training over the weekend (for the 500-hour program). These weekends we spend 20+ hours in the studio from Friday-Sunday, usually with some new, some review and one specialized topic. LOTS of movement practice and LOTS of meditation. As part of our weekend, our Saturdays start at 8:00am – IN SILENCE. It’s an unspoken agreement that even if you see each other in the parking lot coming in, you don’t speak – we do 25 minutes of Yin practice which is self-guided – and then for the next 50 minutes we “sit Zazen”. The interpretation of this is that we sit as still as we can, in a seated position – facing a wall – for 50 minutes with the idea of achieving a stillness, as much mentally as physically. It’s a discipline. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.  On Sundays, we explore different other methods of meditation & breathing, but our Saturdays are dedicated to Zazen. My yogi brain understands the discipline of Zazen and does find a benefit from it most days – but to my runner’s brain –

THIS IS INSANE.

And is as wont to happen in a weekend where you spend 20 hours with the same group of people, a lively discussion about meditation broke out between myself, my Buddhist friend & colleague (who leads the meditation) and another trainee/teacher who struggles with the meditation but is giving it her best shot (as am I, though I don’t really struggle with it beyond the discomfort in my legs that I have to ignore).

First off, I’m going to tell you – and I say this with full love in my heart for their beliefs – if you’ve ever debated a well-versed Buddhist on anything, I feel like I should just give you a hug right now and we should call this post done. Seriously –

THERE NEEDS TO BE A SUPPORT GROUP FOR THAT.

It’s very frustrating to debate with someone who ends with “all these things we do aren’t really meaningful anyway because we’re all dying and that’s okay because we never really existed anyway”. I paraphrase. But you see my point? HOW CAN YOU ARGUE WITH THAT?  So anyway –

There was this discussion which left me with two big ponderances which I’d like to pose to you. I’m posting them on FB & Twitter also in the spirit of gathering a variety of thoughts on the topic –

First – WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MEDITATION? One of the things that has become apparent to me is that there is a gap in understanding about what practitioners of meditation experience or expect to experience from their discipline (a function of expectation) and what others perceive as the purpose of meditation (a function of perception).

Second – DO YOU HAVE TO SIT STILL TO MEDITATE? I’m sure you can guess that this is the bigger hotbed topic.

So, I’m interested in your thoughts. There is no right or wrong answer since meditation is unique to the individual. And I’m still interested in your thoughts even if you don’t meditate – what do you think it’s about? what do you think people who meditate are trying to achieve? I’d love to hear you comments.

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Friends, am I the only one starting to think Mother Nature has it in for my Saturday long runs?

Geez Louise! Another big snow kiss got dumped on all our sidewalks for Valentine’s Day. Makes the motivation a bit hard to come by in the early morning hours. Except for one thing –

Run the Bluegrass is 6 WEEKS OUT!

Six weeks, my friends.  According to the Florea training plans – long runs should be hitting @7-8 miles in the beginner program or 11-12 miles in the intermediate training plan. In either plan – you’re more than halfway to the finish line. I’ll be honest in saying that all this snow (& still the knee thing) has me a little bit behind. I’m in the 6-mile category, but that’s okay. It’s not my first rodeo on the half-mar and I know my body can do this if I train smart moving forward. For a run this hilly, training smart to me means cutting back on the speedwork in favor of steady-paced hill runs which alternate in intensity between treadmill hill programs (easy) and making a very hilly local cemetary my go-to running route outdoors (hard). Long runs are for getting it done wherever at whatever pace, just getting the bones and muscles used to the wear & tear of the distance.

Then recovering smart in between.

Ahhh, recovery. I love me some recovery movement. It’s part of what makes us yogis tick. I haven’t written about progress on the yoga front lately, but trust me – there’s lots going on in my teaching and training spectrum. Including – in case you missed it – one pretty BIG announcement for me.  Y’all –

I’M GOING TO BE TEACHING YOGA FOR RUN THE BLUEGRASS!!!!

I’d say the cat’s outta the bag – but we’re talking about Kentucky here. The cork’s finally out the bottle!

It’s something that has been in the works since last Summer when Eric Marr, the RD, reached out via Twitter for new ideas to make the race weekend *more* special. Having already made a connection via last year’s race recap, I said ‘what about yoga the morning after the race?’. It’s something my friends & I do the day after anyway. Eric, being the brilliant man he is, ran it past Rachel, (because second opinions are good) and the answer came back ‘HECK YEAH! LET’S DO IT!’.  They busted tail talking to Griffin Gate Marriott – getting me a great space in the race hotel to offer class – and part of my trip to Lexington last October was checking it out, so I could consider details. Done deal!

Since a huge part of my passion for yoga comes from its benefits for recovery from the rigors of other activities, offering a class as part of the race weekend experience made perfect sense to me. A way of saying one more time and in one more way – this race cares about runners. Not just about the race or the money – but about all these humans that come to the starting line for the 1000’s of reasons they bring with them.

Does RTB want you to come run hard? Yes. But they want you to play hard too (just check out all the other offerings for the ‘Experience’ weekend) – and when you’re done soaking up as much of Lexington’s awesomeness as you can, they want you to leave feeling great about all you’ve done.

Friends, it will be my privilege to host the closing event for the weekend – a yoga class which speaks to us distance runners through the language we understand best – our bodies. We’ll be stretching out the rigors of mile 9, leaving behind the after-party hangover, and acknowledging our race accomplishments before heading back to those things we do when we aren’t running our assanas off.

I want you to leave feeling great before we close the barn doors on Run the Bluegrass 2014. So – as I say in my regular yoga class offerings –

COME GET YOUR STRETCH ON!

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*Photo taken on the Buffalo Trace Distillery tour.

Peeps, I am telling you – home improvement…just those two words – while generally exciting – this week, they make me need a nap. And if I’m being perfectly honest with you – I’m barely doing any of the work. The husband – he’s exhausting me just watching him get shiz done. When I ran out of staycation week, there was still a lot to be done and then I got BUSY! He pulled the short straw on this one and I owe him BIG! BIG! BIG!  The house is almost all yellow-ed up!

When you hear a really loud HALLELUJAH!! next weekend – it’ll be because the housepainting is finished.

I am not religious at all – agnostic heart, I have. But some things, they warrant really loud Hallelujahs even if it’s just the wind listening. Then duck, cause lightening.

Friends, some day I will tell you my story of this house. That is not this day.

This day is about –

Crap. What is it about? I got some stuff to catch you up on. And some stuff to tell you all about. So it’s kind of a catching up while catching what’s coming maneuver. Somewhere, Ryan Hanigan just cocked his head to the right and went, ‘WHAT?’ and he had no idea why. Sorry, Ryan. I’m abusing my baseball catching words again.

Playing Catch-Up

There’s been scraping, painting, crafting yoga classes, teaching yoga classes, homework for teacher training, etc.  – things to be done. Which means I’ve missed a lot of other stuff, namely running group meets, and time to write. When push comes to shove, I can run on my own odd times, so running group obligations have to shift for a bit.  I miss my running group. BADLY. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join up with them again starting next week.  BUT – while I’ve missed out on some runs – some other things have happened. First off, I made a new running friend – who can meet on one of my flex days and also likes to work out in the pre-dawn hours. We’ve got a little pace differential to work on, but I enjoy her company. Pace differentials don’t matter so much when you enjoy someone’s company – and also when they know about coyotes. Apparently, we were accompanied by coyotes at 5:30 the other morning. Me = clueless. She made sure we weren’t dinner. I got educated. A friend that will run with you at 5:30 in the morning AND not feed you to coyotes – gold I tell ya. They are gold!

Also, changed up my training plan (again). Ramming my shoulder into the ground a few weeks ago really threw any weight training (& quite a few yoga moves) right out the window. I had to figure out something though. The husband and I – we started meeting with a trainer once a week. A dude who is really enthusiastic, trained in gymnastics & martial arts, and perfectly willing to kick both our asses every Sunday morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with a trainer building a program around just me ( & Eric) – and I have to say, it’s very, very nice. Also, last week we met him up at Burnet Woods to work out outside. It was GLORIOUS! The next best thing to a run outside is a full body workout outside. Y’all, Mother Nature provides plenty of obstacles.

Also, 5-6 weeks later, I can finally get a sports bra shirt on and off, and put the car in reverse again without wincing or needing help.  Do not, if you can help it, ram your shoulder into the ground at full speed. It is not a good idea.

I nailed down teaching two more regular yoga classes – Tuesday evenings and every other Sunday at Move Your Body Fitness in Erlanger. It’s a brand spanking new studio and so I got to pick times that work well for me. The place officially opens 9/28, but I taught my first class there for the “soft opening” just today. No one showed up – which is typical of a new studio – so no worries there. Rather than bail entirely, I pulled my mat over to the big windows and worked through my class there so people could see something going on in the business. Yoga-fy and they will come! I know it!  Really, please come!

Playing Catch Me if You Can

Tomorrow night (Weds), I’ll be heading over to Cincy Ballet’s Kaplan New Works. As I mentioned before, it’s that time of year again. Ballet season if firing up – and there is no better way to fire up than Kaplan. Friends, I know there are those of you that are going to roll your eyes at the mention of ballet – but this ain’t your grandmother’s ballet. Kaplan programs are sensual eye feasts. Unexpected musical twists. Risqué choreography. They are powerful, sexual, visceral pieces.  Especially with Cincy Ballet kicking off their 50th anniversary season – WHOA! THIS SHOW IS GOING TO BE GOOD!

I had the privilege of attending a preview night last week – and to be honest, I was hoping they’d choose the Johnny Cash Man in Black piece to showcase since I’m a JC fan – but they didn’t. They showcased a world premiere by Val Caniparoli called Caprice. Sometimes it’s a good thing when you don’t get what you want. First off, there’s another thing akin to the “chin thing” I wrote about last year – the girls, they just can’t stop kissing Patrick. And then there was this flippy thing – that in all my years of ballet, I would have to go slow-mo on it to even begin to figure out what was happening. Do not blink. You do not want to miss the flippy thing. It will catch your breath in your chest and hold it. That doesn’t even touch the music – 9 Paganini violin “caprices” performed live via 2 CCM graduate students onstage. If you are not familiar with Paganini caprices, they are technical violin on steroids. Extremely difficult to play and listening to them makes my heart ache. (Did I mention I took violin once upon a time too?)  I CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THIS SHOW! Dear boys (or girls, I don’t judge), if you’re looking for some brownie points on date night with the girl – Kaplan new works runs through 9/22 – there are several after party events – and you can get tickets here.

Since we couldn’t take pictures at the preview – there were already 5 separate camera tripods set up for promo shots – I’ll flip you some of the shots from ballet day at GABP. In case you were wondering, I saw principal dancer Amador (he threw out the first pitch) after the preview – he wears his Reds ballcap around the dance studio.

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A 720-degree windup, done a couple feet in the air.

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Amador getting serious.

Reds tickets fell into my lap for 9/23 – and I’m thinking about going again on 9/27 for the last Reds social media night of the season. Actually, I’m trying to talk the husband into going to that whole series to get my fill of baseball (between that and playoffs, of course) before the season closes. Thinking about volunteering at Redsfest this year.

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Chapman caught for Amador.

This weekend is the Hudy 7k/14k – which is sold out. I’m registered for the 14k. I’ve been so busy this Summer that I’ve barely been doing any racing, so it’ll be interesting to dive into the masses with this one and see how I’m doing. Knowing that I’ll get to see most of my running pack at this run makes me really happy to go do it – ready or not with the legs.

Finally – I’ve got a trip to Lexington coming up first weekend in October where I’m sure I’ll be taking LOTS of photos. I’ll have loads to share with you after that and I’m SO. DANG. EXCITED. about it that every time I get on 75-S and see the sign to Lexington, I swear my car wants to go that way! There will be bourbon and horses and donuts and running and LOTS AND LOTS of good things.  I need to keep part of it under wraps until I get back, but trust me peeps – this is some good stuff coming.

So that’s what I got. Good things, peeps. Good things. Also, I’ll share with you – from the Reds website – if you haven’t seen the video of Amador styling the Reds starting rotation, it’s pretty funny.  Also, video of his pitch, complete with 720-degree windup.

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Trust of good friends and risk-taking and skill-testing and

hoping no one falls on your head.