Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ten that have stuck with me.

 My friend Tracy Kudrna challenged me (and others) to come up with the ten books that have stuck all our lives.  I read a lot, so I modified the assignment slightly to cover, in some cases, groups of books.  

Here's what I posted.

"I can't do it in single books, but here's my best attempt: 1) The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery books; 2) the complete works of Mahatma Gandhi; 3) the Pathfinder series of books, featuring heroines and heroes like Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhardt, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and Wild Bill Cody; 4) the letters, sermons and speeches of the great leader/orator Dr. Martin Luther King; 5) biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt; 6) mystery novels with a single detective in a series, like Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout), Adam Dagliesh (P.D. James) or Inspector Alleyn (Ngaio Marsh) 7) all Inspector Thomas Lynley novels by Elizabeth George; 8) the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson; 9) the complete works of William Blake; and 10) the poems of William Butler Yeats. I love to read."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Growing up.

I started using a personal trainer when I still worked downtown, in 2007.  Amy got me in shape for two 3 Day Walks for breast cancer through a combination of training sessions and holding me accountable on daily walks that got longer and longer.  In 2009, when I left JPMorgan Chase, my son James suggested I look at the University Family Y, which is right here in the neighborhood, for personal training.  And he was right!  The diversity of staff and members is unmatched in any private gym you'd find. 

For the last couple of years, Ruth Collard has been my personal trainer.  Most Mondays and Fridays you can find us downstairs with the weights and machines early in the morning.  We've had a great run.  She sets up programs for me that mix up work on machines, with balance and core  work.   And I have really enjoyed getting to know her better. She's a CPA, an avid gardener, and a force behind the Freeway Estates Community Orchard Project.

Down 40 pounds from those days in 2007!

I started trying to add a group class at the University Y a month or so before Ruth announced she was retiring at the end of this month.  Since then, I've been more assiduous in trying out various group classes, which are part of my Y membership.  I've tried yoga, zumba and mat pilates.  I've integrated the Pilates into my work calendar, and am looking for 2 other sessions each week.  Ruth is leaving me with explicit instructions on everything we now do together, and I should be able to get to the weight room once a week at the usual early morning time.

There's no doubt that it's easier to get fit when someone is telling you what to do and saying "good job!"  I certainly walked in the early morning more often when I was in training for actual events.   If I can't stay fit on my own, then I'll find another trainer.  But a small part of me sees this as a graduation of sorts, a commitment outside the contract.  Only time will tell.