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Showing posts from May, 2010

Amy's Top Ten Phrases from Online Hotel Reviews

1. My wife and I paid for a suite, but there was nothing sweet about it. 2. If you like the smell of damp shoes, then this is the place for you. 3. I got bitten from something out of the bed and got rashes all over. 4. I couldn't stand this smelly, dank place. 5. There was a huge burn mark on the wall. 6. The water tasted like dirt. 7. The water smelled like fish. 8. After swimming in the pool, all three of my children have scaling skin on their legs, faces, and bodies. Their hair feels like straw. My daughter's new swimsuit is faded so bad we had to throw it away. 9. I cannot put all that was wrong into words. 10. Stay away or be sorry.

Bring It

In an interview for tmuscle.com, Dan John compares your average fitness fanatic to lawn grass. "Grass is wonderful," he says. "It bends and sways and never breaks. It can survive a tornado very well." Athletes, on the other hand, are like oak trees, John claims. They see a tornado and say, "Bring it." This oak tree spent the past two hours alternating five ice packs around her trunk and limbs in twenty minute intervals. Followed by two ibuprofen. And an internet search to determine if four is legal dosage. From the bench press to boxing. From Arnold to Ali. From the family-friendly YMCA to a little downtown gym situated between an adult movie theater and something called "Classic Lingerie and Videos." Greg thinks I'll be bullfighting before the year is up; I like difficult and slightly dangerous stuff. There's a name for this that I can't recall right now, probably more like a diagnosis. For now we'll go with the oak tree an

Kick It

When I'm not training for a bench press competition, which I'm not, and won't be again, in case you were wondering, I sign up for BodyCombat, a kickboxing class held at a local snooty-tooty gym. Women there are fit and tan, and pull their streaked blond locks back into sporty caps. The instructors are cool, however, and sufficiently badass to teach moves like these . Previously at BodyCombat, I've come close to something resembling cardiac arrest. The first year, this would happen in the first ten minutes or so of class. This time around, I'm not looking at the clock and calculating my imminent death until about twenty minutes in. A mystery: The much older and the less fit around me fared better. I asked my doctor about this, and she said that as I gain muscle, something about oxygen flowing and whatnot will help me in this regard. She was wrong. And my heart is fine. What gives? Finally, I figured it out: I can't breathe. The day I started prescription nosed

One Boxing Class, and the Fury is Unleashed

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Next Blog

See that "Next Blog" option in the header? Following my blog is a series of writings on deadlifts, squats and various sporting events. This makes sense. The little spider thingys traveling the web connected my bench pressing with what these people do. Of course. Next comes a fair amount of yoga. Once I may have mentioned that I wear yoga pants; maybe that's why. But then come the blogs on, uh, stamping. Crafts. And crocheted hats. Don't these people know I'm the AntiCrafter? The woman who led a sixth grade class in the making of rotting-apple* puppet heads? (*they weren't supposed to rot or be rotting, it's just that by the time I peeled twenty-five of them, the first seventeen were...oh, never mind...)

Book Report

In her introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin , Ann Douglas writes that in 1850, Harriet Beecher Stowe was an "overworked housewife" and "minor writer" who "cared surprisingly little for established opinion." Then her sister-in-law made a suggestion: "If I could use a pen as you can, I would write something that will make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is." Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, her first novel. It was published in 1852, became the best-seller of the 19th century, and has never gone out of print. "No woman before or since has so successfully written a novel designed to motivate America to act on a major issue of the day." When President Lincoln met Stowe in 1863, midway through the Civil War, he reportedly called her "the little lady who made this big war." Did you know that art can change the world?

"Whoa,"

...said the two massage therapists, while approaching my crooked lower back. And one chiropractor, who added, "Don't go anywhere near those exercise machines at the Y." I ran from his office, turning back only to yell, " I am not an animal. I am a human being !" Timeline: First massage therapist--3 years ago. She suggested I see the chiropractor. Second massage therapist--today. I'm happy to report that (a) I ignored the chiro and kept at the exercise, eventually losing 50 pounds over two years, and (b) although my back remains crooked and whoa-inducing, the strength training has cured much of the back and neck pain that plagued me off and on since my teens. Not just happy -- grateful. Whoa. Like, totally.

INTERVIEW: Lou Schuler

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Lou Schuler is an award-winning journalist and author of books I like, such as The New Rules of Lifting for Women . He calls the stories on my blog "small, well-crafted gems," so I'm trying to keep him around. Lou agreed to be interviewed here on WAIT FOR IT. Lou, I recently went shopping for wristwraps, and among the choices wer e "Convict Pro" and "The Strangulator." What's with all the violent imagery in strength training? Did it start with the insulting of Mac and devolve fro m there? Amy, I remember, going back five or six years, we were on vacation, and I had taken my kids out to a playground at a park. These other kids at the playground, a little older than my kids, started up a Star Wars game. And these older kids all wanted to be Sith, like Darth Vader and Darth Maul, because the Sith had the coolest superpowers. They didn't see them as the bad guys. How does that relate to training? Maybe the original selling point of strengt

The Transformation Challenge

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The prize was a photo shoot and a trip to California. I began the application: "I was always the smart girl, not the pretty one..." Oh, forget it. How's a size 6 going to win a weight loss contest? The word "transformation" in the contest's title is what had caught me. The day before, I had used the word frequently while working on an essay about therapeutic techniques in the arts. "Theatre as a means of personal and societal transformation," I had written. And then some chick in a bikini advertises the same product and promises me a free plane ticket, to boot. The contest is now officially off my radar. (In case you haven't yet picked up on this: I have a fetish for reaching for brass rings on other people's carousels.) But it got me thinking: now might be the right time for a new goal or two in both areas of transformation. I quit my job this past week. A few weeks prior to that, I decided to no longer work toward getting better at