The Sun Sets On Another Year…A Birthday Love Story Of Sorts From Kauai

Since I started this website, I have gotten into the habit of writing a little something every year right before my birthday. Two years ago, I lay on my bed writing a reflection before I went to dinner with two of my best friends and boyfriend at the time. Last year, I was also on my bed, planning a last minute shindig with a few friends after the travel plans I made fell through. That party ended up being a lot of fun. It is interesting to see who will be there for you last minute. In a city like Los Angeles, not too many people can come to a party in a week’s notice. That party did end up being one of the most fun I have had yet, not to mention the delicious red velvet cake.

A friend of mine once said to me one of her favorite things about me as a friend was that she loved my ability to be honest and admit fault. I know that sounds odd, and she didn’t say it in those exact words, but what she meant was, I am the type of person, when I do something that isn’t right, I admit it. I will admit being negative, or saying something shitty, or doing something I knew was wrong. Some people dodge those things, but I don’t. In the end she didn’t stick around as a friend. I will admit openly that I think it was my fault, but she never let me actually tell her that.

My point of sharing this little story is that by now, entering the ripe kinda old-but-not age of 38, I have done my share of the wrong thing. I have been a bad friend. I have been mean to my family. I have turned my head away from someone who might have needed help. I have been lazy when I should have worked harder. I have stayed in the wrong relationships just to have someone around. I have been negative when I should have just kept my mouth shut.

I thought perhaps my accumulations of wrongdoings were going to keep me from ever having things I wanted in the future. I had started my career, I was starting to do things I enjoyed, but even that has had its ebbs and flows. I remember crying at my birthday party last year, because even though all these wonderful friends came out last minute for me, there was something missing. There was a void that no career move, no amount of money, no friend, could fill.

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One year later, I am writing this birthday reflection from a balcony oceanside in Poipu Beach in Kauai. It is dark, but I can hear still hear the ocean and smell the salt water and see the fire from the tiki torches lit around the premises. Even though I have been wrong and done the wrong thing many times, I was still able to get something I have always desired.

Sitting next to me is my partner and first real love. I’ve been waiting for him for 37 years. And I know he would drop everything in a minute’s notice for me. I apologize in advance if this sounds cheesy or makes you want to vomit, but I have wished for him just like many other women wish for their life partner. People say to just do you and someone will come into your life when you least expect, but that didn’t work for me. I looked for him, I didn’t wait for him to find me. Then I met him about 6 months ago and like people say, it just happened. It really did. He called me and asked me out. I didn’t have to play games. He told me he didn’t want me to date anyone else. He told me he missed me. He told me he was crazy about me. Three months in, in the middle of the night, he told me he loved me. A little before the fourth month he moved in. I went on a trip during the fifth month and when I came home he had printed all the pictures he had of us and framed them. The sixth month, he surprised me with the birthday trip of a lifetime, 9 days in Kauai.

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So here we are. “We” not “I”. “Ours” not “Mine”. It took some time to get used to. I got scared so many times, thinking about the past, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of course there are no promises, but I am so in love with this amazing, generous, loving, fun, funny and sweet human being. He lifts me up every day, and although you do have to love yourself first there is no greater feeling in the world for me than to feel this kind of love from another. He fills my heart with joy every time I look into his eyes and spending this birthday with him, calling each other by our silly nicknames, driving around the island of Kauai, listening to music and singing at the top of our lungs, kissing and holding hands. This is what was missing in my life.

So here’s to another year. I’ve learned this year that it is okay to do the wrong thing, because it might just lead you in the right direction. It is okay to look for whatever you think is missing in your life. Chances are it is not going to fall into your lap. It is okay to do the wrong thing, because you’re human, and as cliche as it sounds, you learn from your mistakes and eventually you get better at things like career paths, friendships and intimate relationships.

 

 

 

CLASS PASS SERIES-When All Those Classes Wear You Down…

They tried to make me go to rehab…and I said, yes, yes, YES!  (I hope you all get that little side joke)

An hour a day or exercise may seem like just a regular daily occurrence for yours truly, but as I have gotten older, I do notice that doing something active every day, especially if it is intense, takes a toll on my body. I might get tightness in my back, shoulders, hips and/or knees, or I might just feel worn-down and irritable. Either way, I need to spend some time recovering.

My favorite way to recover is usually with a sports or Thai massage, both of which are deeper tissue styles of massage/bodywork. However, today after a class, I remembered seeing a picture of a fellow Class Pass goer that involved a sports recovery center called Great Earth Sports Performance. Located in Brentwood, California off of San Vicente, the GESP, as it is called, is a specialized facility with high end technology.

The Class Pass deal for this location is 20 minutes using NormaTec Compression. NormaTec Compression is a dynamic compression device specifically designed for recovery and rehab. This technology is supposed to help athletes recovery more quickly after performance and between training sessions.

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There are different attachments that go on the legs, hips and arms, but at this location for the 20 minute session, the session just includes the leg attachments. It uses compressed air to massage your limbs and increase circulation with a patented massage pattern. I won’t go into details about the massage pattern, but if you want to know more about it, click here.

When I arrived, the man who runs the GESP store was there and he had me check in. As soon as he saw I was from Class Pass, he guided me to a chair and asked me how tall I am. Based off of that, he brought me the correct size compression leggings to wear. I removed my shoes and put them on. Then he turned on the machine and slowly I felt my feet, then my calves, then my quads being compressed in a pulsing manner, then released. At first lightly, then pressure got more intense. It is supposed to really help with muscle repair and recovery. After my session, I feel relaxed, but I am pretty sure you need to do this more than once to really get results. Also, the prices are not listed online or in the brochure. I didn’t ask, but my guess is that it is not cheap.

During my NormaTec session, I noticed two spaceship looking capsules on the other side of the room. These are used for a process called CVAC (Cyclic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning). Apparently going into one of these capsules for between 5-20 minutes (you adjust the time the more you go as you get used to it) can improve a person’s endurance and performance naturally by improving recovery. The process creates an atmospheric workload that challenges the body using changes in air pressure. I was able to go inside a capsule for 5 minutes and you can definitely feel the pressure change. These session are meant to allow a person to continue to gain improvement in energy production even on rest days. This process helps prevent wear and tear on the body as well. After my session I felt slightly more tired than normal, but otherwise not much different. You can read more about the CVAC process here.

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Again, if you are on ClassPass, you can get the NormaTec compression procedure done up to three times in a month, so it is worth trying out if you are really sore from all your workouts and have the time. If you really enjoy the procedure, inquire about packages at the store.

Great Earth Sports Performance

11640 San Vicente Boulevard.

Los Angeles, CA 90049

CLASS PASS SERIES-Run, Reform, Repeat!!

As you may already know I am a huge fan of these combination classes certain studios have on ClassPass. There are a few with spin (cycle) and pilates, one with spin and TRX and one with TRX and boxing I have been to, and they were all pretty cool. So someone mentioned Fitmix on La Brea and said I would love it, so I made a point to try it out.

This studio is located on the corner of La Brea and Clinton in the West Hollywood area. Be careful looking for it because I passed it a few times. There are 3 first come, first serve parking spaces. If you can’t snag one of those, you can park at a meter or on a residential street, but make sure you READ THE SIGNS.

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As soon as you enter the studio you will be greeted by a row of treadmills. Then, off to your right, you will see 10 customized pilates reformers. On your left, past the treadmills, are bathrooms. If you look upstairs past the treadmills, the Fitmix studio has a little lounge area. I didn’t go up and check it out, but I like the idea. It makes the studio as a whole more welcoming.

I actually recognized the instructor of this class as the instructor of a spin class I recently took. A very friendly female, so I was immediately excited to take the class. Not to mention, other class goers were chatty and friendly, and that always makes a workout a little more pleasant, in my opinion.

Fit Mix has two class options. One is endurance pilates, which is an entire class strength training and core stabilization moves on the pilates reformers. The other class is called the Mashup, which is 25 minutes of cardio intervals on the treadmills and then 30 minutes of endurance pilates. I signed up for the mashup class, since I wanted to see what a workout with running and pilates combined would feel like.

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In this class, we started with 15 minutes on the treadmill, pushing up the incline and speed minute by minute. It was tough and I definitely worked up a sweat. Then we went over to the reformers and did about 10 minutes of pilates based moves. Then, we went back to the treadmills for about 10 more minutes and then spent the last 15 minutes of class doing more pilates moves.

I really enjoyed the variety. I get more of a sweat from the intensity of the interval running. The reformers don’t really do it for me as far as intensity goes, but I know they are good for balance and core strength.

This is definitely an enjoyable class, and you can chose to kick back your speed on the treadmill if sprints aren’t really for you. I liked the variety, music and ambiance. I will definitely be back!

FIT MIX

601 N. La Brea Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036

CLASS PASS SERIES-Supraformer, Megaformer’s Daddy, Arrives!!

I was just looking at my last blog post and it was at the end of November….whoops! Sorry everyone! Besides the holidays getting in the way, I also fell in love and traveled to Europe…so, now I am back! I will try to blog more frequently.

When I got back from my European travels last week (Spain, Morocco and Portugal…I suppose I should do a blog on the food…that will be next!) I restarted my Class Pass membership to find that there were quite a few new classes added. There are so many that I want to try, so this will make for a few good blogs over the next few weeks.

First up, I saw a blog writer friend of mine post a picture of her visit to Lagree Fitness. This studio is new and is the first in Los Angeles to offer classes with the Supraformer.

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SO WHAT IS THE SUPRAFORMER, you might ask? You might not even know what a megaformer is, so let me give you a little background. The megaformer, used in pilates classes such as The Studio MDR (personal favorite) Carrie’s Pilates Plus and Pilates Plus in Encino, is designed to develop core strength and muscular resistance even more so than the traditional reformer, with a more amped up pace and high energy atmosphere. Classes focus on time, not reps, and each move in a class typically lasts for 60 seconds and is said to recruit over 600 muscles at once. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it can be. I have done it many times and have become addicted to the results.

Of course, being addicted to the megaformer classes, I wanted to try out the Supraformer. This is essentially the daddy to the Megaformer, the third generation of exercise equipment developed for Lagree Fitness. This machine does everything the Megaformer does, plus it has a computerized system the trainer for the class monitors that can make the machine move up and down or tilt side to side. That is the best way to describe it. If you want to see a video of how it works, click here.

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This class is meant to be so effective that a session is only 25 minutes. I had some time yesterday and decided to try the class. It is in West Los Angeles near the Beverly Center in a new apartment complex, which has parking, so that is a nice perk. When you walk into Lagree Fitness, you are immediately in the workout area, and if you head to the back of the room, there is a door where there are bathrooms and a check in room with lockers. I was checked in and told I could store my things in a locker or out in the main room. I then hung out in the main room. When class was about to start I picked out a supra former at the end of the room in front of a mirror so I could make sure I was doing the work out correctly. The teacher was a cute perky Asian female who dutifully went around and turned on all our machines.

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So here is the deal, while this may be a great workout, the fact that all of the supraformer’s movement is controlled by the teacher is weird to me. Because, say this is your first time (EVER!!) on a reformer at all and you don’t know what you are doing and all of a sudden the machine starts tilting off to the side? Good thing for me I have taken megaformer classes so I knew the general movements, but still, since the program is new, I felt like ” going thru the motions” was less appropriate for the class and she could have been a little more hands on.

I also was not a fan of the pretentious, know it all, Hollywood vibe of the class, but I guess that’s the way it is in a cutting edge workout class sometimes? After this class, I went and did something else active…because, 25 minutes, while it’s not an easy workout, if you don’t really know what you are doing, it isn’t as fatiguing as I expected it to be. Getting into a position and suddenly having the machine start tilting to the side just feels odd, and I prefer the regular Megaformer any day. That being said, someone else may love this, and I recommend trying it if you have not and are on ClassPass.

LAGREE FITNESS

375 N. La Cienaga Blvd. Suite 1

Los Angeles, Ca 90048