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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sorry I didn’t call you back earlier, I was too busy laughing...
The title of my blog is in honor of one of my very best, very favorite friends in the world Stefanie. She left me this voicemail after I left her one asking if she and her husband would like to try and learn snowboarding with me and my husband.
Now, in all fairness to Stefanie, she may have been laughing just as much about the idea of her trying to snowboard as the idea of me trying to, but I digress....

See, Stefanie has known me almost my whole life. Known me on every diet I have been on, every surgery I have had. Known me when I was at my skinniest in college and at my fattest in my early to mid 20s. She knows the great history of Lisa. So, unlike most of my new friends, and my work friends who were like "oh that's so cool you are going to try snowboarding!" she is remembering me and her panting as we were the last two lazy, slow butts on hikes on our teen tours. Known that for many years my favorite exercise was lifting the remote to change channels. (By the way, darling Stefanie weighed barely 100 pounds throughout our teens - imagine being a chunky girl and having a best friend who is a size 2! At least she was a lazy and out of shape size 2!)

Of course, although I still loooooovvvve my remote control, that Lisa is no longer. I work out 4 times a week. I only take the subway, no cabs, and never get tired when I walk. I seek out new fitness challenges. But even for me, the last few weeks have been blowing my mind as I pursue new activity goals.

Because seriously, in the last 4 weeks, I have tried skiing, intense yoga, and snowboarding! ME! And in all 3 instances, my ass was kicked. KICKED. But I ended up loving all 3. First there was skiing, done on a romantic ski weekend in Vermont with my hubby. Skiing is one of his greatest passions and I've always said I would try it for him. So we went to Vermont, where the skiing is truly kick ass, and I took a class and went done some bunny slopes. Damn is skiing tough on the body. Even just those damn ski boots are painful - they make you walk like a centaur or a robot. My legs ached before I even got strapped in my skis. And there were like 10 seperate times when I wanted to give up. But LISA. DOES. NOT. GIVE. UP. ANYMORE. I got fat and depressed because I used to give up on anything that was hard. So every time I felt the pain, every time I got tired, every time I thought it was the dumbest thing ever and that I would never like this sport, I got back up, plastered an (almost real) smile on my face, and tried again. And I actually kind of liked it once I sort of got the hang of it - but damn I need better leg muscles for that sport, so I have started conditioning for it....

Then there as the yoga. Out of NOWHERE my husband announces that he'd love for us to try yoga. What? Brian's interests are the following: skiing, playing video games, cooking elaborate meals (yay!), spending time with me, having sex (with me, duh), fixing things, watching tv and movies, spending time with his family, working out at the gym and....., well, actually I think that's about it. Yoga? So I jumped at the chance. Especially considering one of the best yoga studios in Brooklyn is around the corner from our house (Park Slope Yoga Center). I figured we'd try a beginner hatha class, which is supposed to be an easier, more relaxed type of yoga. And then we showed up for class and there was Nikki, an Uma Thurman look a like with blond hair in two pigtail braids, pushing us through military style yoga of an insane level. She had asked who were first timers, and me and Brian had raised our hands. Two seperate people came up to us after class and said "This was not beginner's yoga, even though it is billed as such. Please don't be afraid! You should come back and try Beth's class!". Because seriously, we did an hour and half of hardcore yoga. Brian and I both had wet hair from sweating so much during class. Ouch. But turns out, we both loved it, even though it was tough, and signed up for a pack of classes. Thankfully they can be used with any teacher, so next weekend we're going to try out Beth's actual beginner's class and see if that one is less killer. Lesson learned: I need to actually be able to do a push up to do yoga, since the "plank" position is like push up torture, especially if sprinting between that and the "downward dog" position like 50 times.

And finally, there is snowboarding. I decided I want to try it before committing to skiing so I could choose which one I'd like to learn. It seemed a little hipper, and possibly better suited for my knees. Ok, so as it turns out, it is easier on the knees, but painful on, oh, THE BODY as you will fall down A LOT when your first try it. Unless you are my husband who has never done it before but became the class savant and had our teacher praising him as some kind of snowboarding phenomenon. Damn him. I meanwhile, had a very real near panic attack when I realized that every one else was able to maneuver some magical practice move that involves walking up a hill with one of your legs in a snowboard and one of them out. The entire class was standing up there for 10 minutes while I whimpered at the bottom, trying to coax my poor little leg muscles into action. Finally the teacher came down and saved me. Turns out it was more of a coordination issue than a weakness issue, but there will be A LOT of gym conditioning to work on for snowboarding to. Like the fact that I can't lift myself up from a seated position while strapped to the snowboard, which would be handy since you fall at first EVERY FIVE SECONDS. But the boots are much more comfortable. Unfortunately, my ski pants were too loose and my cute new white northface jacket was riding up, so I kept getting my booty packed with snow sandwiches. Oh, and I also learned that apparently having a giant butt is a disadvantage to a snowboarder. Damn! My teacher Penny came up to me at one point and was like "Listen, I can't lie, you've got a wide load back there and it's throwing off your center of gravity". I laughed my ass off. Ok, actually it was still there and giant when I finished, but it appears that booty-ous gigantus is going to make my snowboarding learning curve a bit harder.

Too bad, I am not giving up. On any of those things. Pain, soreness, feeling stupid or out of shape or tired. None of these are reasons to give up. Especially when the reward is feeling kick ass about your ability to actually go through with something hard. From a girl who once couldn't climb the steps in the subway, I think I've come a long way, baby.

Take on some fitness challenges today, my girlies! Even if it's just parking your car a little further away from the mall. Every little step counts. As evidence, please see before and after picture below:

Lisa pre weight lossPost weight loss


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