Whenever people ask me to tell them what I’ve been up to– or whenever I ask them– I always refer to it as “the latest and greatest.” So Liz, tell me about your life. What’s the latest and greatest? I have quite a few odd sayings that I pull out from time to time; “I’ll be back in a shake of a lamb’s tail” is one that comes to mind. Who knows where that (or anything else I say) came from.
Anyways, onto the latest and greatest:
I finished The Sweet Life in Paris, by David Lebovitz. Did I tell you that already? Perhaps. It was a pretty good–and quick– read, especially if you’re sitting on the beach somewhere dreaming of eating French pastries.
I, of course, was sitting next to a construction site, fully clothed, with no body of water in sight, looking forward to the PB&J I had made for lunch. Très français, Louisa, really.
But don’t let that stop you. Like I said, the book is a good escape, though it made me wet my pants out of fear/anxiety/excitement for my upcoming trip to Paris. Lebovitz’s book sort of turns into a cautionary tale about the French, replete with tourism nightmares and bureaucratic frustrations. But having been to Paris before, and having talked to oodles of people who have spent a good amount of time there as well, I know that Lebovitz’s generalizations aren’t really that… general. It seems he had quite a few eye-opening experiences that didn’t always cast the French as the nicest of folks, and he’s sort of taken those moments and sardonically exaggerated them into a “full-length” book. With some random recipes thrown in. Like I said, it’s a good escape, but it won’t be staying in my bookshelf.
What will be staying in my bookshelf, though?
This little number.
Absolutely hilarious. This book too is a great escape, though for very different reasons.
- It’s set in Tuscany.
- It’s hilarious.
- The characters are hysterical, as is the narrative (it’s a novel, which I’m not usually keen on reading. I prefer first-hand experiences).
- It has a great cover (won’t lie, the title and the cover are what convinced me to buy it in the first place).
- Did I say it’s hilarious?
- It has recipes, though I’m not sure you’ll want to make them. Trust me on that one.
- It’s well-written and has a great plot.
- Yeah, I’m not sure you were listening before but I did say it was hilarious. Hear me that time?
So there you go. Eight reasons to go out and buy the book at your local bookstore.
Okay, so onto other news.
Uh… what other news? Yeah, my weeks are pretty same-old over here.
I’ve been going to yoga. At least once a week. And I’m loving it. I feel like I’ve finally found a studio that works for me– and I know that might sound pretentious, but I never realized that a yoga studio is just as much about “the right fit” as a college is. It might not be as big of a financial investment, but it’s still pretty important. And I would know, since the first yoga class I took in Burlington at a studio (not naming names, here) was just nahmahthang. Not a lot of instruction, the instructor went at her own pace, there was very little leadership… I wanted some soothing words, dammit, as I slaved away in my down-dog!
I finally wandered into a class at Burlington Yoga
. And I never want to leave. I’ve practiced with three different teachers, and they were all amazing in their own way. Though I’d take the same class each week with the same teacher, each practice was different, which was important for me. If a teacher always leads the same practice, every time (and some do), I start expecting the next poses and then start counting down. Ok, we’re on the 3rd sun salute right now. So we still have to do the warrior sequences, then core work, then the standing pose… what time is it? Only 15 minutes in?
I hate that internal voice sometimes. But it disappears during my yoga classes now, because I never know what to expect! And just when I think I’ve been shown every basic pose in the book (though mastered each, I have not), a teacher will pull out a new one. Right now, I’m trying to get better at arm balances– crow pose, anyone? It’s a huge body-trust pose, and I’m finally feeling the confidence to try it out. Before, I’d just sort of squat on the mat and stare in amazement at my classmates.
But last Sunday, I got my feet off the ground! (Okay, only for 5 seconds… but it still counts!) I love how yoga is all about practice. There’s never a destination point, and there’s no such thing as being “good” at yoga. It’s totally an exploration of personal limits and challenges, and no matter what your skill level, your practice changes on any given day. One day you might have a great practice, another day might not be as exhilarating. But practice is practice, and both experiences are important.
And I just word-vomited about how much I love yoga. Thanks for listening, I guess… if you’re even still with me!
But can I let you in on a little secret? I’m starting to look forward to yoga more than running. Shh, don’t tell the running gods. But it’s true. My runs lately have just been… blah. No intention. Just running because I think I’m supposed to. I get a great rush of endorphins every time, don’t get me wrong, but one only has so much motivation to keep up a running schedule without any outside help, like friends, family, or a running club. Whatever/whoever helps you get moving. Maybe I’m just in a running rut.
But I need to remember that my bad runs are just as important as my good ones. And just because I have a bad run, that doesn’t mean that I should give up entirely. Maybe it just means I need to take a day off, or go at a slower pace. And look– here I am applying a yoga principle to life off of the mat. This is why I love yoga… it starts pervading every aspect of your life.
Tonight, I headed off on a run with a mindset to do anywhere between 3-5 miles. I started off feeling really stiff: my hamstrings were sore, my ankles ached, my feet felt swollen, my skin felt weird (think I got a sunburn today). I kept at it, but I could tell that tonight just wasn’t going to be the night. My stomach was also doing really weird things. I’d finished an early dinner two hours beforehand, and ate a normal amount. But for some reason, my stomach still felt empty, even on my run.
I decided to make it a shorter, faster run. Yes, it turned out only to be a little over a mile, though it felt like much longer.
And I have no shame admitting that towards the end of that mile, I wasn’t sprinting to get my heart rate up. Oh no, I was sprinting for food.
So I called it quits, and did what any normal girl would do: I made brownies. Vegan brownies, mind you. Delicious brownies. Ooey, gooey, chocolatey goodness. And I’m totally including the walk to the grocery store and back as part of my work out.
Expect some pictures tomorrow, when there’s better light (and believe me, I had to put those brownies away tonight as fast as possible before there were no brownies).
Also… I may or may not have done an ab workout on the kitchen floor while the brownies were baking. You gotta counteract those brownie nibbles somehow!