Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nine weeks down...

... and I have no idea where to go from here.

The dance school that I've been going to lately offers a multitude of adult dance classes. They have ballet of all levels, modern dance, jazz, pointe, and, of course, tap. They are one of the only schools in town that offers adult tap classes. It's kind of perfect, actually, because they hold a series of Basics Beginner Workshops which each last 8 weeks (we convinced them to extend ours one week, though, giving us 9 classes). As someone who never tap danced before in her life, this setup was ideal because I definitely needed the basics.

We started each class with warm ups on the barre, where the instructor would teach us some new step or technique to practice. Next, we would learn a routine (that was choreographed on the spot by our instructor, which I think is pretty darn impressive) that would reinforce what we had been working on. While the workshop started with about 10-12 people, by the end it was down to 4-5, giving us each more individual attention and instruction. The classes progressed pretty quickly, but not overwhelmingly so, and I learned much more than I thought I would in 8 (or 9) weeks. By the 6th week, our instructor was saying that we were hardly beginners anymore. She taught us pull backs and draw backs, 5 beat riffs and syncopated shuffles; moves she claims are unheard of in beginners classes (granted, I still almost fall over every time I draw a pull back... but at least it sounds alright). All in all, it was a successful workshop that progressed us past beginner status.

There's only one issue: now what? Sure, they have another Basics Beginners workshop starting up in a couple weeks, but the instructors have all agreed that we're way past learning the definition of a shuffle for another two months (a move involving two beats, a brush forward and a brush backwards, where your foot ends in the air). And even though we learned a lot more than we bargained for, we're by no means ready for the Intermediate/Advanced class that uses the studio after us (my classmate Song and I were watching them warm up when we were changing our shoes after class last night and it was terrifying). So what do we do?

Currently, we're lobbying for them to add a Beginner/Intermediate course to the schedule that would act as a stepping stone between the Basics workshop and the Intermediate/Advanced class. Apparently, they have a studio open on Wednesday nights, so that's promising (although, it would mean that I would have to quit my kickball team). In the meantime, Song and I plan on trying out the Intermediate/Advanced course for the next couple weeks so that we can make complete fools of ourselves while we try to pick some things up. Wish us luck!

What would be the potential downsides of trying out a class that is way out of my range? Is it weird that I think draw backs are hilariously similar to a moon walk? Why would Brian even suggest that I attempt to learn a routine from Holiday Inn that is entirely Fred Astaire showing off his tap dancing? He doesn't even have any accompaniment; it's just his fantastic tap dancing with some fireworks peppered in!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winter Running and the Dorkiest Thing I've Done All Year

Wow. It has gotten cold! Like, chug-multiple-cups-of-boiling-hot-chocolate-just-so-that-you-can-stop-shivering-even-though-you're-indoors cold (I can't say that the mouth burns and stomach ache were worth it, but it did warm me up). So, perfect time to start running again, right? Right. And no, I refuse to run on a treadmill due to previous unpleasant experiences (it tricked me into thinking I was getting good at running!), so all of my running will be done outside.

I must admit that while I was dreading it, running in the cold isn't all that bad. My face may have gone numb, but at least I don't sweat as much. My lungs may have burned from the cold air, but at least I didn't feel nauseous like I do when I run in the heat. I may have had to use a hair dryer to thaw my legs when I got back, but at least I now have a good excuse to buy pants (my summer running capris just aren't cutting it in the winter... and no amount of knee socks have been able to change that). I think my favorite part about running in the cold (other than the fact that no one else is out running, so less people are there to witness how inept I am) is that I run so much faster! I think this is due to a combination of wanting to finish up and get back inside as fast as possible (which is funny because I base my runs on time rather than distance... so it literally makes no difference how fast I go) and wanting to get moving in general because the increased blood flow warms you up (which is probably the dominant factor).

Another upside to running in the cold? I get to wear a hoodie, and hoodies have pockets. My summer running attire has only one tiny pocket built into the tramp-stamp region of the waist of my capris. This pocket is only large enough to fit a key and possibly, with a lot of jimmying and finessing,  the access card I need to get into my apartment. Also, since it's located on the small of my back, whatever is stored in said pocket inevitably gets as drenched in sweat as I do. My hoodie, on the other hand, has four pockets: two on the outside and two on the inside. When I go running in my hoodie, I could take all of my keys, my phone, my iPod (which I don't actually take because I am a static electricity machine, so running in the cold with ear buds usually results in my ears getting shocked with every stride), and up to 3 novels (for what we like to call "X-treme Night Reading").

Now before you start thinking that I'm lobbying to become the spokesperson for the National Hoodie Council, I should confess that running with a hoodie does have its downside. The long sleeves of the hoodie cover up my watch, and as I base all of my running intervals on lengths of time, watch visibility tends to be a big issue. As a result, I've started wearing my watch on the outside of my sleeve when doing any sort of outdoor training, which, as you can all imagine, is pretty attractive and not super lame at all (it's almost as bad as that one time I wore the anklet my high school boyfriend gave me on the outside of my uniform knee socks because I wanted to show it off to my classmates).

But pockets and speed aside, I think running in the cold will be good practice for the 5k that my kickball team has signed up for in February... at about the time of year that we usually have our annual ice storm. In the meantime, I'll enjoy running by all the houses decorated for the holidays.

Do you prefer running in the summer, winter, or never? Is there anything I can do to mitigate the static shocks while running so that I can finally listen to some music? Want to join my X-treme Night Reading league?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A horse is a horse, of course, of course

The biggest problem I have with Groupon (other than the fact that it mostly peddles laser hair removal and sushi) is that I always seem to wait until the last moment to redeem my deals (which isn't actually Groupon's fault at all). In fact, as a byproduct of trying my darnedest to stay out of the heat this summer, I completely forgot about a horseback riding groupon my friends and I had purchased until it had nearly expired. After calling the stable to try to make a last minute appointment a couple weeks ago, only to be met with an answering machine and no calls back from the owner, we had given up and accepted that this would be yet another groupon that we would never get to take full advantage of (along with my tandem kayaking deal that could only be redeemed Tuesdays through Thursdays and my bowling groupon that I would have been able to use had I not potentially broken my thumb shortly before it expired). But lo and behold, the owner finally called me back last Wednesday to tell me that they were extending the deadline for a week and that they had one opening left at 10am Saturday morning!

Kirsten, Gigi, Blazer, and me

Apparently, everyone else forgot about this Groupon in their attempts to stay out of the heat as well, so when I called back to confirm my reservation, they swindled me into moving it up to 9am to accommodate the sheer volume of riders they had for the day. While I don't usually relish the idea of rising from bed before 8am on a Saturday, this actually worked out perfectly. Kirsten met me at my place promptly at 8 (which is not only out of character for her, but also meant that she had to wait in her car for a bit while I walked back from the donut shop with our breakfast), and we headed out towards the ranch lands. Again, I'll say that though it necessitated waking up way too early for a lazy bum like myself, having a 9am reservation was perfect. It meant that we were the only people there at the time (with the exception of the staff, of course). We got a lot of one on one attention from the owner as he taught us how to start, stop, and turn our horses. After walking around the arena once with us, the staff turned us loose to continue walking around the arena (on horses). Then, the two of us were led on a trail (which is where my horse, Blazer, would start trotting, terrifyingly, whenever we lagged behind).

By the end of our hour, we saw that multiple groups were showing up for their reservations, reminding us that not everyone is lucky enough to get such one on one treatment. Also, during the 2 minute walk to my car, it had started drizzling, then sprinkling, then raining. I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am that our reservation was at 9am.

The horses were beautiful and as sweet as can be, the owner and stable hands were extremely friendly and accomodating, and I was able to work towards conquering another of my fears (large animals... especially ones that I could potentially fall off of). All in all, it was a wonderful outing. Kirsten and I had so much fun riding on Saturday that we're thinking of postponing my plans to buy a piano and get a horse instead (assuming, of course, that getting a piano to begin with is even a feasible idea, which, unfortunately, is not the case).

Remember how in almost every grade school class there was at least that one girl that did horseback riding regularly and could usually be spotted by her horse-themed books? Have you let any groupons and/or other pre-paid activities expire? Do you think Kirsten and I should have tempted fate as we did later that day by walking to lunch after narrowly escaping the morning rain? Because we definitely got drenched on the way back from the Corner Bakery.

What are we even doing with our hands?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Because sometimes we tend to block things out...

"Maddy, since I'm going to have some down time before we go rock climbing tonight, do you think I should go for a run, start training for our upcoming stair climb, or do the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD?"

"Well, Jenny, you've said before that your Jillian Michael's workout involved a lot of arm workouts, so I would stick to that for today. You wouldn't want to kill your legs before climbing!"

Maddy was right on both accounts.

For her latter point, you really don't want to kill your legs before climbing. A common misconception about climbing is that it involves mostly your arms. People think that if you have strong arms, you should be able to pull yourself up a wall with ease. While it is true that the stronger you are, the more success you'll have on a route, people tend to forget what a crucial role legs play in the climbing process. Our friend Teddy Westside would take this to an extreme sometimes, when he'd ascend the wall using nothing but his arms... both legs flailing in the wind. While he may have made it to the end of a route on occassion, he would also have tired out his arms enough that he would have to spend the rest of the evening watching others. And complaining. Incessantly.

But ask any experienced climber, and they'll tell you just how important it is to use your legs. Your legs are significantly more powerful than your arms, and as a result are much more capable of propelling you up a wall (there is a reason that we walk on our legs rather than constantly doing hand stands... and only part of it has to do with head rushes). Everyone that has ever coached me up a route has always yelled something about trusting my legs and getting my feet up to the next hold. I never hear "ok, now kick off the wall and use just your arms to get to the next hold." In fact, I've had the most success when I rely entirely on my legs for vertical movement, and use my arms to mostly stabilize myself against the wall (which, granted, is still really tiring).

I'm not trying to downplay the role that arms play in climbing, but if you ever try a route with sore/achy/tired legs, you'll likely be in for a much more unsuccessful night.

For Maddy's first point, she is correct in that I have said that the 30 Day Shred involved a lot of arm workouts. Jillian Michaels has you do regular push ups, walking push ups, and traveling push ups. She makes you do punches while holding weights and you spend a third of the time holding plank position (not to be confused with planking). Then there are the bicep curls, arm raises, etc. But it seems that I had focused so much on the arm workouts, that I had completely blocked out how many leg exercises she makes you do. So while Maddy was right that I had said that Jillian Michael's workout was mostly geared towards arms, I had been incorrect when originally mentioning it. I was reminded of this fact yesterday when I was following along with the DVD and was told for the billionth time that we were going to do more lunges (not an exaggeration... we did literally one billion sets).

The point of the story is that in trying to find a workout that wouldn't tire my legs out before rock climbing, I ended up doing one that made simply walking or standing difficult as well as made me wish I had had a straw for the applesauce I ate with dinner (because lifting the spoon to my mouth was proving to require far too much effort).

On the bright side, I'm really sore today (but not detrimentally so), and it's pretty awesome.

When you rock climb, do you focus on legs or arms? Have you ever blocked something like my leg workouts out only to have it bite you later? Should I try working on not visibly wincing every time I stand up or sit down due to my achy legs?

P.S. Even though I was already really tired out before climbing last night, I did manage to make it up a couple new routes clean. It was pretty exciting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I don't know what I was worried about...

While I may have dreaded the seemingly inevitable dangers and terrors that lurked behind every wall and up every route last month, now that I have finally made it back to the rock wall, I am happy to say that my concerns were completely unfounded. Actually, I disagree (with myself, apparently); my concerns, though exaggerated, were legitimate (but I am still happy to say it). Every injury, even one so minuscule as my thumb, should be taken seriously (I mean, not serious enough to go to a real doctor, but serious enough to whine a lot), and unlike Corbin Bleu, I had no intention to "push it, push it to the limit, limit."

Last month, when Maddy and Hannah invited me rock climbing with them after a 2 month or so hiatus, I was absolutely terrified. I was pretty much recovered from my thumb injury, but since I had never been given a go ahead from a doctor (mostly due to the fact that I never saw a real doctor), I was worried about how climbing again would affect my thumb. Rather than just Jump In (more Corbin Bleu references, anyone?), I decided to wait just a little bit longer (but also unlike Corbin Bleu, I didn't decide to spend that time practicing my double dutch skills). About a fortnight later, a couple people from my kickball team invited me to go climbing with them, and I figured that then was as good of a time as ever to try my hand at rock climbing again (yay for hand-themed idioms!).

The first night back was a little rough. Not only was I climbing in front of people I have never climbed in front of before (causing the self-conscious part of my brain to kick into overdrive), but I kept worrying that with every hold, I was breaking my thumb more and more (note: I never actually had it confirmed that my thumb had a fracture to begin with... it was only conjectured after looking a fuzzy x-ray). Also, it had been so long since I had been on a wall (or fallen off a wall) that it took me a while before I was comfortable with heights again (well, as comfortable as I used to be, which isn't saying much). Bouldering was especially embarrassing, as I would get scared and step down from basically every route I tried (and yes, I say "step" rather than "jump" or "fall" because I was usually still close enough to the ground to calmly step down (ha! calmly... that's a good one)).

Since then, though, I've gotten my climbing confidence back and I'm actually somehow less afraid of bouldering routes than I used to be (I even jumped down from the top of each route I finished last night rather than slowly climbing down as I'd been apt to do before). Even better, my thumb is feeling way better than I imagined it would! Since climbing again, it's been popping and aching much less than it had in the previous couple months. Jeff says that it's because I'm starting to work it out again. I say that it's because it has been a few months and time heals all. Regardless of the reason, I'm just pleased that I don't have to worry so much now (hopefully).

If I have had little to no issue with my thumb thus far since restarting climbing, should I call myself healed or should I still keep an eye out for trouble? Is Double Dutch really that difficult or impressive as Corbin Bleu makes it appear in his movie Jump In? Are my completely nonsensical and mostly Disney Channel Original Movie themed asides starting to get obnoxious?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Win or Lose, We Booze

A little over a month ago, one of my long-time friends called me up from out the blue (or more accurately, texted me up) with a new and exciting opportunity. He was forming an adult, recreational kickball team (with the team name Win or Lose, We Booze*)! It took me a good 3 seconds of deliberation before my mind was made up: I had to get in on that action. Not only would it afford me the opportunity to finally have something in common with one of my coworkers (who kept regaling us with tales of his kickball league last spring and the hilarity that would inevitably ensue during the course of each game), but it would also give me a chance to reclaim yet another favorite elementary-age past time of mine that had, until now, been long forgotten.

Was I nervous? Sure. The only kicking I had done since those recesses of yesteryear had been either on football fields at half time (when I was in drill team) or as an accompaniment to screaming whenever Hannah wanted to go to Jin's Asian Cafe in College Station for dinner. In addition, I knew from past experience that my catching and throwing skills left much to be desired (I wasn't benched for multiple seasons of softball for nothing). Regardless, once Jeff assured me that no one actually expected me to have any talent whatsoever, and that this was going to be a purely social league, I was very excited.

Doesn't our team look so fun?
We've now played four games, and while we've lost every single one of them (we were so close to winning one when the other team had forfeited in order to watch the World Series, but when game 6 was postponed, so was their forfeit reneged), it has definitely been worth it. I've made some new friends, tried something new, and gotten slightly better at running short distances (although catching and throwing are still definitely not my strong points). I've also been pretty good at strategically placing myself in center field, flanked by athletic gentleman, in order to ensure that I can do as little damage as possible (much like the strategy I employ when playing Super Smash Bros., as Princess Peach is pretty good at floating in the corner of the screen unnoticed).

With only three games and a tournament left in the season, there has been talk of enrolling in some other team sports, but I fear that more mainstream sports may have a bit more a serious strain about them. The novelty and lighthearted nature of kickball are what make the games fun (we actually played one really serious team last week, and it just looked like they were all having a horrible time because they were way too into it and constantly frowning - I mean really, when you're 10 runs ahead, you might want to loosen up some). I'd definitely be on board for another round of kickball and potentially a team for dodgeball, but I don't think anything more serious would interest me (although I will say that volleyball was the one sport that I didn't totally suck at as a child)... so we'll see how that goes.

Here's hoping that this week's game will go well!

Have you ever participated in any of those adult recreational sport's leagues? Were you forced to play kickball in elementary school P.E. classes? Next time around, should I put "Fish Guts" on my jersey, instead of my last name, in honor of Mark from Blink 182? 

*Disclaimer: Boozing not dependent on winning or losing; ties and/or forfeit included. We come for the game and stay to party.*
(That's what we have written on our jerseys!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Teacher, my shoes are making noise!"

Sometimes, at the beginning of every tap class (also during most lulls or breaks), I feel a little like Ralph Wiggum as he exclaims "Teacher, my shoes are making noise!" I realize that I've only been doing this for less than two weeks, but so far, I have not been able to get over the fact that I have noisy shoes... because let's face it, they're pretty awesome. Don't get me wrong, I still can't make them make any pretty noises yet (in fact, I tried showing off some of my newly acquired skillz to Hannah the other day, and it probably took me 10 minutes to finally get out a decent sounding shuffle ball-change), but the novelty of it is pretty fun! As you may have guessed, I love novelty.

Sometimes I fear that I'm going to have to get Professor Frink
to make me some self-tapping shoes, but at least I haven't fallen over yet.

My love of novelty is actually what made this week's tap class particularly fun. Last week (week 1), we pretty much focused on the basics. We learned basic shuffles, shuffles with toes, shuffles with heels, shuffles with hops, flaps, flaps with toes, flaps with single heels, and flaps with double heels. We learned the technique of it all and did exercises to improve our muscle memory. We only finally left the barre (which I had previously thought was exclusively for ballet) in order to learn traveling flaps (which as the name suggests, meant that we were traveling across the room, making it a bit difficult to stay on the barre). It was very technical, informative, and helpful. For a first class, it was exactly what I hoped for and expected. By the second class, though, we were finally able to mix it up some (granted, not much, as we're all still extremely green). While we still started on the barre for warm ups, our instructor shortly moved us into the middle of the room and started teaching us a routine (and kept joking (hopefully) about us performing it in the recital). This class involved a lot more movement and was much faster paced, which was awesome. We even got into groups to perform the routine for each other. What made it even better was that halfway through the class, our instructor handed us all chorus line canes to use while we danced (she usually teaches the children's class, and children, much like myself, love gimmicks).

I'm really enjoying these classes thus far, and don't foresee that changing any. The instructors have been really nice and all of the other students have been extremely friendly and supportive of one another. Since the studio is across town from me, it's a bit of a hike for a one-hour class, but I think it is definitely worth it.

Are there any classes you've always wanted to sign up for but made up a bunch of excuses not to, then when you finally did realized how fantastic it was? Do you remember how surprisingly awesome Ralph Wiggum was at tap dancing? In the event that we get to use the canes again, should I just stow my pop-up top hat in my dance bag?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Phew! That was a close one...

Yesterday, I narrowly escaped what was sure to be a disappointing, painful, and all around unpleasant experience. That's right, Maddy, Hannah, and I had plans to go rock climbing. usually, I would jump at the chance to go rock climbing... especially a few months ago, when we were climbing at least 3 times a week. Last night, however, I was wary. To be honest, I was terrified. Last time I went climbing was about a month and a half ago during labor day weekend. Looking back, attempting to climb that day was foolish enough.

You see, earlier that week, when climbing, I had made an egregious error, misjudged some distances, completely ignored the existence of some aspects of the wall, and as a result, bashed up my hand pretty bad (more specifically: my thumb). At first, it wasn't an issue. My thumb was bruised, sure, but it didn't hurt very much... hence why I saw no reason to forego climbing that weekend. After that, however, things took a turn for the worse (note: I tend to be a little over dramatic... in reality, it wasn't actually that big of a deal). About a week after the incident, my thumb (and by extension, the rest of my hand/wrist) started really bothering me. It was time to take matters into my own hands (take on my own hand matters? take my hand matters into my own hands?). I tried self treating the problem (at the suggestion of my pretty knowledgeable brother-in-law) by getting one of those wrist support/carpal tunnel friendly bracelets (which probably made things worse for my thumb, as it had the opposite of support for it; my wrist, on the other hand (not literally the other hand... it's just an idiom), felt better than it has in years). After 2 weeks of that brace having little effect other than making my usually impeccable penmanship look wonky, I decided to finally go to a doctor (or hand off the responsibility?). The lady at the Minute Clinic took an x-ray, told me my thumb was jammed, and put me in a splint to wear for a few days. Then she said, in no uncertain terms, that I was not to rock climb until I was fully healed (she also said not to partake in any other activities that would aggravate my thumb, which, to my dismay, included piano playing, X-treme thumb wrestling, and marbles).

About a week later, she called back to tell me that they took another look at the x-ray and discovered that I might have a chip fracture (they weren't sure as the x-ray was kind of fuzzy) and instructed me to go to an orthopedic doctor to have it looked at again. Needless to say, because my thumb was feeling better already, and I didn't cringe or angrily hulk out when typing anymore, I decided to ignore her suggestion and not follow up with anyone (I'm pretty good at both following directions and making smart choices in regards to my health). I haven't really had any issues, and the only times my thumb has really hurt were times when I was doing something weird that equally hurt my other, uninjured thumb.

Anyway, over the past couple weeks, my hand has been doing much better, so when Maddy invited me climbing last night, I figured that now was as good of a time as any to pick it back up. Then I got nervous. What if climbing would aggravate my hand? What if I'm not fully healed yet? What if I should have gone to the doctor, as I was instructed? Even best case scenario, I haven't climbed in so long that I don't have my callouses or my super toned arm muscles anymore (... yeah... no one is believing that I ever had super toned arm muscles... and with good cause). As excited as I was to finally get back into the swing of things, I was kind of flipping out (as I am extremely apt to do), so when Maddy contacted me to let me know that her flight back to town was cancelled due to debris on the runway, I was all too happy to put away my climbing shoes and head over to Hannah's to work on her Halloween costume (or more accurately, eat ice cream and watch Better Off Ted).

I think I'll give my thumb just a little bit longer to heal... then I'll be good to go. In the meantime, I'll stick to hands-free activities like tap dance!

When avoiding an activity due to injury, at what point does it shift from healing to stalling? If my hand has been feeling better, should I jump back in the metaphorical saddle and get back on the wall, or should I actually follow the doctor's advice and follow up with another doctor? Did you ever realize how many hand-themed idioms there are?

P.S. While I'm actually relieved that we didn't go climbing last night, I feel bad celebrating considering that it meant that Maddy was stuck at an airport for what must have seemed like eons. Sorry Maddy! Welcome back!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Everyone is happier when we do the tap-tapioca!

I've been watching a lot of movies as of late. And yes, since the beginning of October, they have been almost exclusively Halloween-esque movies (with the one exception of a late night viewing of Sky High because Kirsten was too scared to go to sleep after watching Scream). What I've noticed is that even Halloween movies, with all of their blood, guts, and all around terror, can hardly resist the lure of dance sequences! Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice Beetlejuice) features Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis using their newly acquired other worldly powers to make an entire family sing and dance to the Banana Boat Song. Leslie Neilson got to show off his (or probably a body double's) dancing ability in both waltzes and tangos in Dracula: Dead and Loving It. We get to see "Madonna" shakin' it with "Dadcula" in Hocus Pocus, Frankenstein and Frankenstein's monster acting as a chorus line in Young Frankenstein, and a romantic floating slow dance in Casper the Friendly GhostSuspiria (fantastic suspense-thriller from the 80s directed by none other than Dario Argento) is about a ballet academy run by a witch/ghost. From Dusk Till Dawn is rife with vampire strippers, so some slight dancing is involved (or at least some jiggling... or whatever vampire strippers do). Gomez and Morticia Addams almost never stop dancing with each other (especially after Morticia speaks in French; Gomez loves when she speaks in French). And let's be honest, I can't be the only person who mentally superimposes the video from "Thriller" at least once during every zombie movie. Even the makers of Mad Monster Party (also the makers of classics such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town) decided to ignore the naysayers and look past the fact that swing dance translates horribly in stop motion animation movies when they made Dracula and Francesca (Dr. Frankenstein's lady robot assistant) lindy hop (Dracula's stop motion tap-dance translated even worse).

In Mad Monster Party, both Dracula and a zombie came on to Francesca
 way too strongly for a children's movie, in my opinion

In spite of how bad Dracula's tap dancing was in Mad Monster Party (Frankenstein's monster wasn't that much better), this was one of many dance numbers I've watched recently that has gotten me all the more excited for next Tuesday. "What's happening next Tuesday?" you're probably asking yourself. Well, I'll tell you! Starting next Tuesday, I will spend 8 weeks learning to shuffle, scuffle, chugg, and slap in an adult beginners tap dance workshop! (Note: it's only one 60-minute class each Tuesday, I won't be doing this for 8 weeks continuously.)

I have always wanted to tap dance. When I was young, I would frequently try to trick my mom into getting me tap shoes whenever we'd be buying dress shoes, but something about them being super loud usually tipped her off (she claimed that tap shoes were inappropriate attire for Easter Sunday mass, but I have my suspicions). I even signed up for a tap class one semester in college, but the mixture of tap shoes not being free and the school's request that all dance students wear nothing but leotards and tights (in a class where you're surrounded by stick-thin girls) was enough to make me drop it. But now, after watching Singing in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and that one episode of Psych where Gus is an awesome tap dancer, I finally decided to get on the Google and find me a tap class in town. How fortuitous for me that there was an adult beginners workshop starting up so soon!

Even if it does mean that the next 8 weeks are going to be extremely exhausting and hectic (I also joined a recreational kickball league on Wednesdays that lasts 8 weeks... not to mention the fact that holiday season is upon us), I'm really excited about what's in store!

Have you ever tried tap-dancing? Do you think it's odd that the title of this post references one of the only dance numbers in Thoroughly Modern Millie that didn't involve tap-dancing? What's your favorite Halloween movie?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One step closer to a roller derby!

When was the last time you roller skated? Like, actually put on a set of roller skates and cruised around an oval rink while lame DJs jammed out and disco lights were the decor of choice?

Moments after this was taken, it became
obvious that looking over my shoulder
while simply gliding forward was too
dangerous, as I almost face-planted.

I haven't been roller skating since my friend Laura's birthday/Hallowen party when I was in the 6th grade (I went as Medusa). That's over 11 years ago. That is, of course, until a group of us decided to venture out to a skating rink about a fortnight back. Surprisingly, I found it very difficult! I would have thought that it would be easy, considering how little falling I did as a barbie-skate-clad little girl, but that was not the case. Part of the issue was that I've spent much more time ice skating over the past few years (I use the phrase "much more time" very loosely... as I've probably averaged one trip ice skating per year). The blade configuration of ice skates (as well as roller blades), makes turning and balancing much easier. With roller skates, complete with the square wheel configuration and stopper in front, you have to figure out all over again how to turn effectively. Kirsten, who has always been the best ice skater of the bunch (again, I use "best" loosely, but she is the only one who doesn't look stupid trying to skate backwards), even fell over trying to employ the same cross-over turning tactics that she uses on the ice.

Regardless, it was a really fun outing, even if we did spend the entire evening getting shown up by 10 year olds and were all kind of sweaty and gross by the end of it. The next morning, my legs were even kind of sore from trying to turn and stabilize themselves all night. It's always really fun when we're able to get the whole gang together to do something active! I mean, they even had all the old school games, which, as you can see on the left, Kirsten and Kim were really excited about (although we never did the skating limbo that seemed to be at every rink back n the day).

Best of all, if we can get good at regular roller skating, a whole new arena of sports is open to us: trick skating, roller disco, roller derby, etc. The list goes on and on (or maybe that was the extent of it)!

Peter and Kirsten were so cute skating together!
A few of us tried similar methods of joint skating in an attempt
stumble less, but apparently, if both parties are unsteady on
skates, this really isn't helpful...

Seriously, when was the last time you roller skated? Do you prefer roller skates or roller blades? Do you remember that episode of That 70s Show where Eric was a trick skater?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stand Up Paddle Boarding!

Looking for some summer fun? Trying to find the perfect way to beat the heat? Well why not try stand-up paddle boarding! The perfect water sport that combines the looking-awesome of surfing with the ease of standing!

But I know what you're thinking, "Jenny, the only body of water in my area is absolutely disgusting! Only someone hoping to develop super-human powers would dare submerge themselves in that waste filled sludge-pit we call a lake." I used to feel that way too. Still do, in fact, because the nearest lake to me is pretty unsavory. Fortunately, stand-up paddle boarding is so easy that there is minimal threat of coming in contact with the water (assuming, of course, that you are both careful in your movement and have the foresight to not venture out with an obnoxious acquaintance). The board is so large and buoyant that as long as your feet are firmly planted and you avoid any sudden movements, it's fairly easy to stay balanced (the only issues I had were at the very onset as I was acclimating to my sea-legs and whenever I would get startled by a fish, wasp, or beer can). Furthermore, it looks pretty difficult, so all of the kayaking passersby are duly impressed with your wave riding prowess!

When Jason and I went paddle boarding this past weekend, we spent about an hour on fairly calm water, which was a good way to get used to the movements of the board and work on our technique (involving basic standing and paddling). We never actually ventured out into the lake, but kept to a nearby connected passageway (which probably only compounded the whole this-water-is-disgusting issue). While I may have been too afraid of waves/fish/boats to brave the slightly rougher water of the actual lake on my first outing (with full intention of conquering it at a later date), I know that there are quite a few paddlers that are brave enough to surf the ocean. In fact, I think Hawaii (and probably other places as well, maybe) has annual events where people traverse fairly large distances on paddle boards (yeah, I'm pretty thorough and detailed with my research...). Recently, Justin DeBree of Florida set the world record for longest stand up paddle board journey with his trip from Key Biscayne to St. Mary's Georgia (a total of 420 miles), as well as the world record for most miles paddled in one day (49 miles)!
As I do not have a waterproof camera, and anticipated much more falling-into-the-water,
I had to steal these pictures from the internet.

I was actually thinking of how pleasant of an afternoon stand up paddle boarding could make, given the right circumstances. Just imagine it: grab a group of friends and pack a picnic. You could easily enclose your foods in a water proof bag or backpack (for safe keeping in the event that you and your belongings topple into the water). You could all paddle for a bit until you find a good stopping place, then either park your boards or just sit on them and float on the water. You could have your nice picnic, chill out for a bit, then paddle back. If you get too hot (because seriously, I may have not fallen in the water this past weekend, but I was still soaking wet from sweat), you can always jump off the board, take a dip, then remount and keep going. Of course, this scenario is only desirable if you've found a body of water that you can see more than an inch into... but I think it would definitely be worth the search. Or hey, you can always still risk it and hope for radioactive powers.

Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding? Are you terrified of what unnatural things might be in your local lake? What about the natural mysteries of lakes, such as that of Loch Ness?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Aerial Silks

Let's face it, exercising can be really boring if we let it. I remember a four month stretch where I was doing the same 30 minute Jillian Michaels workout DVD (her 30 Day Shred) roughly 5 times a week. After a couple weeks, once I figured out how to do all of the moves, it tended to get a bit tedious (albeit still extremely difficult). It got even worse once I was able to talk along with her word for word throughout the video (granted, a bit more breathlessly than she does), much like I do with my friend Kim's answering machine. On top of that, after I would finish the DVD, I would go for a run on a treadmill in my apartment's fitness center while watching a Free-on-Demand episode of Psych. I was almost always the only person in there, on the same treadmill, and it was usually at night. Even worse, when there was someone in there, it was never someone interesting or distractingly handsome, but rather someone that wanted to watch news or some other program that was equally boring.

Needless to say, I had some difficulty maintaining my enthusiasm working out due to how uninteresting and monotonous my routine had become. Then I started branching out.

I decided that rather than work out one day, I would take a bike ride over to the mall for dinner. Now, considering where I lived at the time (at an intersection of 2 major highways and nestled in some valleys and hills), it ended up not being the most successful outing, but it sure was interesting! Shortly after that, a few friends and I make the trek out to Fredericksburg to hike up Enchanted Rock. I genuinely enjoyed  that. I got to climb up big rocks and jump over small creeks. The view was spectacular and the company even better.

This is when I realized just how much fun fitness could be! It doesn't have to be personal trainers and DVDs! It doesn't even have to be regimented! It just has to be active! Shortly after our hike up Enchanted Rock, I moved back to my hometown, and my friends and I have been trying new activities to keep us moving ever since.

First, I started rock-climbing, thanks to Hannah and Kirsten. After that, Maddy taught us all how to slack-line. We've gone ice skating, swimming, biking, and swing dancing. Most recently, though, Hannah and I have started taking some particularly interesting classes that we heard about on Groupon: aerial silks.

Aerial silks is a type of performance art where you perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a suspended fabric. Basically, it is what all of those circus performers are doing when they're hanging in the air on a giant ribbon. Think, Cirque du Soleil.

Here I am doing a variation of the "tear drop."

Of course, I've only had two classes and have very little upper body strength, so I can't do anything near as cool as Cirque du Soleil. In fact, I can barely get off the ground. Hannah, on the other hand, is showing everyone up with her awesome upper body strength and natural flexibility (granted, she has about 8 classes on me... but I'm pretty sure she showed everyone up her first class as well).

Isn't she such a natural?

Each week, they teach us the basics of climbing the silk and have us do some exercises to strengthen our core. Then, the fun parts start when they teach us some poses.

Soon, they'll be adding more aerial classes, such as something involving a hoop and an aerial yoga class! 

What activities do you participate in to stay fit? Have you ever tried aerial silks? Ever had a particular desire to join up with circus folk?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry-Orange Muffins

I think we can all agree that breakfast is the greatest meal, bar none! I mean, it is the most important meal of the day. Making breakfast is actually one of my favorite parts of the weekend (this extra-long weekend, I plan on making these crazy egg cup things I saw in Shape Magazine). Unfortunately, I can never make breakfast during the work week, because I do not have any motivation to get up any earlier than absolutely necessary (which probably has nothing to do with the fact that I regularly stay up past 2am).

Up until a few days ago (when I realized how awful it would be if I lost my fitness competition - I mean really, who writes a seven-book autobiography in stream-of-consciousness?) I had been resorting to McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg for my morning sustenance. Occasionally, if I were feeling particularly healthy (or running particularly late), I would just grab a yogurt cup and eat it at my desk. Neither of these options have been entirely satisfying.

In an attempt to arm myself with some grab-and-go breakfast options that are delicious, nutritious, and convenient, I decided to make some muffins last night (starting at 11pm, thus ensuring another late night) from a recipe I found on

Strawberry-Orange Muffins

  • 3 tablespoons - almonds (I actually used chopped pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons & 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided (I used a splenda blend)
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided equally
  • 2 tablespoons & 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Process almonds, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely ground (I actually just stirred them, because I don't have a food processor). Transfer to a small bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons orange zest, and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl with buttermilk, orange juice, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add strawberries; stir just to combine.
  6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the almond (or pecan) topping, gently pressing into the batter.
  7. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes more before serving.

I realize that my track-record with baking does not look so great, but you can see for yourself how delicious these muffins look!

But what is better than muffins? MUFFIN TOPS! Seinfeld's Elaine was right when she opened up "Just Tops," everyone loves muffin tops! Unfortunately, she didn't have a muffin top pan, designed specifically to make the perfect muffin tops. I, on the other hand, do (thanks Grandma!), and tend to use it whenever possible (so, three times over the past year).

Yes, this is the same serving dish...

What is your favorite breakfast of choice? Do you like muffin tops, or the entire muffin? Does anyone else plan on spending the entire 4th of July weekend making various breakfast dishes?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

... anything but that!

So do you know what's really easy to do? Heat up a frozen pizza, turn on the N64, and lounge about as you tear up the track on Mario Kart.

Do you know what is slightly more difficult? Going running then preparing a healthy dinner.
Can anyone guess which option I've been partaking in more recently? One hint: it involves Princess Peach kicking some butt.

Normally, this wouldn't be that big of an issue, because I don't eat pizza every night, and I tend to incorporate some physical activity into my life (rock-climbing, etc.). Right now, however, I need to step up my game.

Last Wednesday marked the start of a fitness competition among a few of my friends. The contest will last 90 days, and the winner will be chosen by determining who among us loses the highest percentage of weight over the next roughly three months. Since its onset, I've attended an out-of-town wedding followed by an out-of-town baptism, my car has broken down, devastating me to the point of pity eating, and well, I've been extremely lazy. As a result, I can almost guarantee that I am in rock-bottom, belly-dragging, dead last place right now.

Were it just my pride that were at stake, that might be okay. I may be extremely competitive and hate losing, but I know that it wouldn't be the end of the world (although it would probably be close). Even if there were a big prize for the winner that I really wanted, being in last place wouldn't be so bad. I mean, I'd be no worse off than before.

But no. We decided to structure our competition to punish the losers rather than reward the winner. If I lose, I don't just miss out on bragging rights or some awesome trophy/prize; instead, we've decided to punish the losers through torture and embarrassment. One girl will be forced to read the entire Twilight Saga and discuss its merits on facebook (and only the merits... nothing negative) if she loses. Another will be have to do the same but with a handful of Nicholas Spark's novels of our choosing.

My punishment is a little different. It's still a book, but I don't mind reading silly love stories, and I'm not all that embarrassed by them either. While I may not particularly be a fan, reading Nicholas Sparks wouldn't be torture for me, and I've already voluntarily read the Twilight books. Instead, as we determined last night, if I lose, I will have to endure reading this:

Also known as "Remembrance of Things Past," In Search of Lost Time is the 7-part semi-autobiographical "fiction" of Marcel Proust which is written in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Never before have I dreaded reading a book (or apparently 7) so much.

Needless to say, in an attempt to avoid this horrible fate, I have been eating pretty healthy today, and I've already made plans to both rock climb and run this evening.
This may be just the motivation I needed.

Do most fitness competitions involve reading? Would the threat of having to tell people on facebook that you like the Twilight Saga be enough to motivate you into action? Does seeing all those ripped werewolves in the Twilight movies get you motivated to stay fit? Because they're pretty cut.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Beauty of Fitness Magazines

This was the issue I purchased that fateful
day in September, on my way to Paris.

I may or may not have mentioned before my love affair with fitness magazines. After reluctantly picking up an issue of Shape during an inordinately lengthy layover at the Chicago airport, I got so motivated and optimistic about living healthy that I signed up for a subscription as soon as I got home.

Impatient for the next issue, and afraid that there would be an unfortunate lag between when I placed my order and when they would actually start shipping magazines to me, I bought the next month's issue off the rack at HEB (now I have two copies of the October issue featuring LeAnn Rimes). Hoping to fill the near-month-long void between issues, I also signed up for Self magazine. Some months, if I had gleaned everything I could from Shape and Self too quickly, I would head to Half Priced Books to see what second-hand fitness magazines they had available (the answer: very few - but if you're looking for bridal or cooking magazines, you're set).

During this time, my obsession was probably becoming unhealthy. I would spend hours staring at those glossy pages, devouring every issue, making sure I didn't miss a single article, caption, or advertisement. I always had one magazine in my workout bag, one in my purse, and a pile next to the couch. Don't get me wrong, I never actually retained anything from them (I have tried maybe 2 of the workouts over the past year and only attempted one of the recipes, which as you may recall here, did not go well), but I loved them all the same. I especially liked the success stories. Even better than the success stories? The monthly updates from regular people who were in the process of getting healthy. They didn't have glamorous tales of how they lost 200 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches or anything. They were people just like me who were getting fit little by little. They were people I could empathize with and learn from (in fact, they probably still are). Sometimes, their updates would really move me.

Lately, I've calmed down a bit, and stopped reading these magazines so intensely (to be honest, I haven't even opened my new Shape, yet). Most of that has to do with the fact that I moved back to my hometown and have kept pretty busy ever since. Regardless, I still get very excited when an issue arrives in the mail.

Which brings me to my actual point (What? You thought my endless rambling up there was actually the point of the story? Rookie mistake...). I am so happy with this month's Self magazine. Why? So many reasons...

First, it features Zooey Deschanel, whom I absolutely love. She's so cute and quirky, and always wearing adorable sundresses! Also, I found out that she's going to star in a new tv show, the New Girl, and has a blog, Zooey's Miscellany.

Second, it features Zooey Deschanel hula hooping (or, mentioning hula hooping, really... rather briefly). I just bought a hula hoop (it lights up and makes noise), so it's perfect! She mentions in one of the captions that sometimes she spends hours hula hooping, much like myself (I may have spent the better part of a Lingo marathon on the Game Show Network hula hooping while I shouted answers at the screen).

The best part about hula hooping is that it is most successful
when wearing an adorable sundress like Zooey Deschanel's 
(as long as there are no large bows in back or anything).

So what I can gather is that you
stand on a board in water and paddle.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Third, only a few pages after the Zooey Deschanel feature (starting to wonder how many times I'm going to work her name into one post? spoiler alert: it's 4), there was an article on Stand Up Paddle Boarding. I know what you're thinking, "Jenny, you're terrified of water, and boards, and paddles, and standing up in general," but to that I say "accurate observation, ma'am/sir." Regardless, I just purchased a Groupon a few weeks ago for Stand Up Paddle Boarding at a nearby lake! They say it's a mixture of canoeing and surfing, but is way easier than surfing (phew! I was awful at surfing). Until this article, though, all I had ever heard about stand up paddle boarding was what the Groupon description said (which was nothing... but the accompanying picture made it look fun).

Finally, included in the issue are a lot of workouts geared towards getting slimmer/more toned/stronger arms. Of course, all magazines are featuring arm workouts right now so that people can get cute, sun-dress-appropriate arms for the summer. I, however, am excited because it might help me finally beat Teddy Westside at arm wrestling (that's right, it's going to happen).

Basically, fitness magazines are awesome; end of story.

Do you subscribe to any fitness magazines? Do you know how I could turn off the sound on my hula hoop but still have it light up (I already tried putting duct tape over the speaker)? Do you prefer old school Lingo with Chuck Woolery as host or the new revamped Lingo with Bill Engvall?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Breaking in my brand spankin' new kitchen.

Moving always seems to throw a hitch in my healthy eating.

Moving from San Antonio caused problems, simply because it threw off my healthy eating momentum. Moving into my new apartment caused bigger problems, as I could no longer rely on my parents making dinner. Because I was in the middle of a million things (such as unpacking, party planning, and making up excuses for why I'm not eating healthy), I took to take out rather than grocery shopping. In fact, my apartment has seen more McDonald's in the past two-and-a-half weeks than my house did in the four months I was there (say what you will, but I always have and always will love those chicken mcnuggets).

Yesterday, I finally made the trip to the store to stock up on some healthy staples. Afterwards, I prepared the first meal in my new apartment [assuming you don't count the roughly 10 frozen pizzas my oven has prepared (which weren't just for me, I promise), the 4 scrambled eggs I made over the weekend, and the meat pasta that someone else cooked last Thursday]. Take a look!

This may be the simplest meal ever, but it's always a crowd pleaser (which isn't that big of an accomplishment, considering that I live by myself and am therefore the entirety of the crowd).

Oh, it looks so delicious that you want to make it yourself? Well here's how!

Baked Chicken:

Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast
Lawry's Season Salt

What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit.
2) Cut chicken into manageable chunks.
3) Place on cookie sheet or some other cooking pan lined with foil.
4) Sprinkle with Lawry's Season Salt
5) Bake chicken until it is cooked through (roughly 12-15 minutes)

Apple Salad:

Yogurt of choice (I use Yoplait Fat Free Strawberry Banana, but my mom uses just plain yogurt)
Strawberries (optional)

What to do:
1) Combine a dollop of yogurt with some honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix to taste, then set aside.
2) Chop apple into manageable chunks and place in bowl.
3) Add handful of grapes to apple chunks.
4) Cut up a couple large strawberries and add to apple/grape mixture (optional).
5) Add a spoonful or two of yogurt mixture to fruit bowl. Stir.

(Sorry I don't have more exact measurements or anything; I've just always tended to mix it all together and see what happens.)

Caesar Salad:

Fresh Express Caesar Mix Salad

What to do:
1) Empty contents into bowl.
2) Toss.

This meal was kind of my go-to in college, and may have actually been the only dinner-esque meal I prepared while in school (I made plenty of breakfasts and baked goods, but not so many dinners). Even so, it remains one of my favorite meals. I actually prefer this extremely simple chicken and bag salad to most comparable meals that I would get at restaurants. Also, because cooking for one seems wasteful in the amount of effort exerted versus the payoff, I tend to just cook the entire pack of chicken and save the rest for leftovers. Surprisingly, these left over chicken chunks are even good cold! Basically, what I'm trying to say is that my dinner last night was awesome, and simple as it may be, you should try it.

Do you have any super simple go-to recipes that are surprisingly amazing? Is it possible to find big frozen bags of raw shrimp with the tail off? Do you like that rather than grown up glasses, I'm drinking out of my novelty Halloween cup?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 2011 Firefly Run

Costumes, free food, Jamba Juice, glow sticks, and running. This was my Saturday evening spent at the Firefly Run, benefiting the Children's Medical Center. What could be better? Probably costumes, free food, Jamba Juice, glow sticks, and N64 Mario Kart (which incidentally, is pretty much how I spent my Sunday).

The race took place in the evening (when the fireflies come out) and every participant received two flashing arm bands at the onset, as well as a glow-in-the-dark bracelet at the finish line. Given my penchant for dressing up, which is fortunately something I have in common with my friends, we decided to kick it up a notch (bam!). With just some tulle, elastic, and battery powered Christmas lights (or more accurately, wedding decoration lights (note: when you shop in that aisle, people ask you awkward questions... but it's not as bad as when shopping for a nephew in the baby aisles)), we were able to make these beauties!

Kim ended up using LED rope lights, so her skirt was awesomely blinding.

I must say that for our first 5k, which was run/walked after an embarrassingly moderate amount of training, I think it actually went pretty well (especially when you factor in just how much we dislike running)! We were pretty awesome though, and totally finished in the top 90% (I don't mean to brag, but I may or may not have come in 2097 out of 2376... like a boss).

Here we are after the race! Left to right: Maddy, Kim, Hannah, and me.
In case you were wondering, it is actually kind of difficult to run with a Christmas light battery pack duct taped to flimsy elastic around your waist. Also, even though there was a costume contest, we were some of the few that were dressed up (quite a few people actually asked to take a picture with us).

After the race was the after party, and after the party was the hotel lobby. After that, you know..... wait... I was channeling Santigold, sorry. But, after the race was the after party. They had a DJ and we got to watch some dance performances by the super bowl 2011 dancers in their LED suits. It was awesome. They also had food and drink tents set up, which is where Maddy and I got some delicious tacos and tried out some chocolate Muscle Milk.

We may or may have seen someone else take Muscle
Milk fake advertising pictures and thought "oo fun!"

By the end of the night, we were all quite parched and extremely hungry, so we went back to my brand spankin' new apartment for a Post-5k Victory Shindig. We even enjoyed ourselves so much that we're thinking of making this a semi-regular happening. Perhaps another 5k every month or so?

Have you ever run/walked a 5k? Do you think the wind-resistance on our tutus might have slowed us down? Are you totally jealous that I got a free smoothie sample and coupon from the Jamba Juice tent? Because you should be.