Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heck Yeah!

A few weeks ago I drove to Vegas in order to loan some money to some of their struggling casinos.  On the drive out, an epiphany struck that among the stash of old cd's that still reside in the center console of my motorcar was Roxette's Greatest Hits!!  Alas, despite a frantic search by girlfriend and I, the desired cd was nowhere to be found.  Inferior music provided the soundtrack to the rest of our drive there and back.  Fast forward to last night.  Roxette was being discussed over happy hour conversation, and Dr E piped up that he had been rocking out to my cd for some time and that it was probably high time that he returned it.  Booyah!!  Fading Like a Flower is one hell of a song.  That is all. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Social Yogging

Tonight is group ninja yog night.  Maybe people will show up, and maybe not.  I do hope some people show.  It was a month or two ago that I was looking forward to a Thursday night ninja yog, and after most people had already cancelled, I began to wonder if I should even yog if no one else was coming.  At that moment it hit me.  Whoa.  Who am I and how did I get here? 

For a stretch of about 7 years starting in college, yogging was an on again, off again, holy-shit-my-pants-don't-fit-I-gotta-do-something-about-that activity that would stay for a few months then go for who knows how long.  But finally, about 6 years ago, mostly because San Diego weather is so accomodating, it latched on as a continuous, sustainable hobby.   For the first couple years, almost all of my yogging was solo, and through all that solo yogging I began to understand and embrace what a genuine introvert I am.  People aware of my yogging would often ask how I dealt with the boredom, if I had headphones or such.  Boredom?  Monotony?  What?  Moving along the coast alone with my thoughts was the most stimulating part of my day.  Internal discussions about politics, social philosophy, poker strategy, my disorted personal values and failed relationships and any number of other things would flood my mind, never leaving a second to agonize over the repetitive nature of the activity.  Track workouts were the only occasion for social yogging, and I enjoyed that.  But, when people would invite me on a group yog, I'd pretend that was a good idea, because I didn't want to seem like some kind of anti-social freak, but would intentionally never follow up on it and hope they wouldn't either.  Forced social interaction during an activity that I cherished for myself?  Fuck that!

So how did I get to the point where I'll consider not yogging unless I have company?  I dunno.  These fuckers I yog with crept up on me.  At some point, when yogging 6 days a week, I didn't mind adding 1 additional group yog per week.  As my overt resistance to social yogging was wearing off, along came the ninja yog.  It started by inviting the quickly improving Dr E along for Thursday evening runs, thinking he could benefit by being pushed just a little bit beyond his comfort zone.  That went well.  CBB started joining sometimes on her always trashed bike legs and that was awesome.  But really the additions of the Suffer Seeker and Shoulder Toucher as regulars took it to a new level.  The Suffer Seeker brought his physical invincibility, his incredibly pure passion for the yog, the ability to breathe 200x a minute while yogging in total comfort, and the tendency to drop the hammer and establish dominance just at the moment you most wanted to take it easy.  The Shoulder Toucher brought his utterly inimitable personality, the penchant to drop off near the end and limp it in with an excuse always ready in hand, a passion for surveying the female talent, and of course, touching shoulders.  Both of them invariably refused to look at the route for the run that I'd e-mail out the morning before, and as the days turned to night earlier, this would often lead to us bumping into and stumbling over eachother when it came time to make a turn or road crossing.  The yogs were challenging, unpredictable, and just kind of goofy.  It was a great dynamic. 

From there on, group yogs became more and more of the norm, not because I expected that dynamic with every person or every group I yogged with, but because I associated that positive experience with social yogging as opposed to seeing it as an unwanted intrusion on my precious internal monologues.  The outlets for my introverted needs got slowly pushed into other arenas.  I remember thinking, after a weekend full of idiocy in the canyons and bars in 2010 with the Suffer Seeker and the American Hero, at a time where I thought my yogging improvements had flatlined forever, that that experience is exactly why I wanted to continue my yogging.  Challenging.  Unpredictable.  Goofy.  If something like that was happening, I needed to be in shape enough to show up.  It didn't occur to me at the time what a departure that was from the basis of my yogging hobby a few years earlier. 

It was really an unremarkable transition, but fun to retrace the steps. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I have a great idea!!

Let's take another god damned, motherfucking, cocksucking group photo!

How about let's not. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

This actually happened

It's been a mostly yogless stretch since the OTCY.  My body didn't like what Chicago did to it.  It turns out that compensating for cramping calves by using my quads, hip flexors, hamstrings and groin muscles more than I'm used to can lead to deep, lingering soreness, even when the OTCY itself didn't feel that bad.  Bummer.  Anyways, the yoglessness has given me the chance to think about my last 7 years of yogging, how my hobby has developed, what i enjoy about it, how that's changed over time, and why I'm still excited about continuing with the process despite feeling no sense of accomplishment.  In fact, if anything, my feelings about my performances have been inversely proportional to my improvement in times over the years.  It's a weird condition, but I spent some time trying to disentangle the web of thoughts in my head, and think I've got it pretty much cleared up.  Sweet. 

In other news, yoglessness and a few other added conveniences have afforded me the chance to hit tennis balls more frequently than I have in quite some time.  I played junior tennis growing up, seriously at times, and did ok. I have a few semi-regular practice partners, and it's fun to hit balls on occasion, but the dot com boom was raging when I was last competitive.  A crappy thing about tennis is that for non-tournament players, there's typically a vast divide between the level practiced at and the level competed at.  There's a competitive pressure that takes some getting used to, and strokes that feel like they are deeply ingrained in muscle memory during practice can suddenly disintegrate once the games begin.  There's a necessary period of intense frustration required to bridge the gap between practice and competitive performance level, and after practicing an amazing 3 separate times in a 6 day stretch, I decided to attempt a real comeback.  I googled around and signed up for an informal local league that's organized online.  I scheduled a match for yesterday, and a fantastical series of events unfolded. 

I arrived at the courts at 5:00pm as agreed upon.  There was a man practicing his serve on one of the courts, and he looked pointedly in my direction as I approached.

"Yogger?" he inquired in wonderment.

"Yes, my child, I am the Yogger," I assured him.  And thus we were introduced.  We traded a few rallies in warm up, hit a few serves and began the match.  He was terrible.  I played down to his level.  Every frustration I expected to experience I did.  The 10 year old version of me would have beaten yesterday's version handily.  But my opponent was worse.  He started throwing mini tantrums.  This was normal behavior among petulant juniors, but I expected those tendencies to be less common in thirtysomething hackers.  No.  I gained triumph fairly quickly and just felt disgusting and slimy about the experience.  Ew.  Well, this is the process.  I knew it would be this way so I might as well deal with it. 

After the match, as we were packing up our bags and preparing to leave the court, my opponent said some things that seemed off.  As in, I don't think I was who he thought I was, and he wasn't who I thought he was.  But, how could this be?  He had called out my name upon my approach.  We spoke briefly about the online league we were apart of.  Strange stuff, but I didn't broach the subject in more detail, because I really wanted to depart this person's company and hopefully never see him again.  I returned home, pulled out my phone from my tennis bag and saw several missed calls and a voicemail from an unfamiliar number.  I listened to the voicemail, and it was the actual person I had arranged to play, who was very much NOT the person I had just played.  In the voicemail, he apologized, saying he thought we had set up a match at 5:30, and now, at 5:25, he just realized he was late, and was wondering if I was still at the courts.  So what happened to the guy my opponent had arranged to play?  Could this really happen?  Two Yoggers separately arrange to play different people on the same courts at the same time?  One Yogger doesn't show up and the other Yogger has his opponent not show up, so this Yogger ends up playing the wrong guy?  This may be the most incredible thing to happen in the history of the universe. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

pog


On yesterday's yog, I was told of a drink called pog.  I look forward to trying this in Hawaii.  The main question is, yog before pog, pog before yog, or pog during a yog?  Either way, it will be worth a blog.  Heh.  Heh.  Heheheheeh. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago OTCY report!!!

I went to Chicago.  My daughter did fairly well on the plane.  A few outbursts, but overall handled her first flights admirably.  We were staying with my good friend the Leak Fixer, who spends so much of his time studying and practicing the art of leak fixing that he did not have any time to train for the OTCY.  Thus,  despite having signed up, he had previously made the decision not to yog on Sunday.  Very sad.  But.  BUT.  Upon our arrival on Friday, he was having second thoughts.  He was getting pumped.  The thought of yogging can do this to a person.  He was ready to toe the line, and yog and kerplopple his way to the finish come hell or high water!  I was excited to see his excitement, and this excitement maintained itself all the way through to Saturday evening, at which point he decided again that he would in fact not yog.  Lame.  Anyway.

My friends Suffer Seeker and Shoulder Toucher made the trip from San Diego.  Shoulder Toucher's sister, Wonder Woman, and her friend Angel Face both arrived from DC eager to yog.  Both ladies carried impressive yogging resumes, and they in fact enjoy their yogging so much that they were hoping to use the Chicago OTCY to qualify for an organized, timed ,VERY competitive yog (OTVCY) in Houston in a few months.  The plan was for Suffer Seeker to pace Wonder Woman and Angel Face to their goal time, while Shoulder Toucher and I would just figure out our plan or non-plan as we went.  Both of us were certainly intent upon achieving BYs. 

There was an expo on Saturday where many things were being peddled that would help you improve your yogging, look better while yogging, or celebrate your participation in the Chicago OTCY.  It took a long time to get to the expo.  Traffic was bad.  Parking was $10.  There was still quite a walk from the parking lot to the expo, especially with my daughter in tow.  Dean Karnazes was at the expo.  He yogs.  He wants you to be impressed with his yogging.  Many people are apparently, as there was a long line of yogging enthusiasts waiting for his autograph.  I got my race packet and left. 

On race morning, the Yogger, Suffer Seeker, Shoulder Toucher, Wonder Woman and Angel Face together made the short trip from the hotel to the start area.  My girlfriend and daughter stayed at the Leak Fixer's home in Evanston, opting for a comfortable Sunday morning instead of taking great pains to see me yog for a few seconds.  That made sense.  At the start area, the ladies went off to their superstar corral, while the rest of us headed to our I-yog-a-little-and-would-like-to-be-as-close-to-the-start-as-you-will-let-me corral.  The Shoulder Toucher and I lost the Suffer Seeker somewhere in that journey.  The good people of the Chicago OTCY were kind enough to aid our warm up by setting up fences that needed to be climbed in order to get to your corral in less than 20 minutes.  Fence climbing is one of the best full body warm ups out there.  However, the Shoulder Toucher and I were tired and indifferent and opted not to participate in the warmup they had set up for us, so we waited and waited and finally made it to our corral a few minutes before the start.  The OTCY began shortly thereafter.

Yog.  Yog.  Yog.  The Shoulder Toucher and I yogged along for a while.  Definitely a comfortable yog.  There was some hope that we would see the other 3 within the first few miles, but that didn't happen and there were no discussions of changing the pace of our yog to try to catch the rest.  The effort was right.  Finally at mile 10 we saw the other 3 up about 100m ahead.  Confident that we were slowly catching them, I suggested we continue yogging at the current effort until mile 14, wratchet it up slightly until mile 20, then yog with all our might to the finish thereafter.  Shoulder Toucher agreed with the plan.  He looked forward to inspiring his sister by blowing past her a few miles down the road. 

A little after mile 13 my right calf cramped.  I was not blessed with great calves.  They are small and unsightly and cramp often.  In high school I used to wear sweat pants during rec league basketball games so no one could see my calves.  But I digress.  Last year I felt similarly comfortable and then cramped at almost the same point.  Last year I decided to stop and stretch but things quickly got worse.  The remainder of the yog was bad.  Nearly a kerplopple.  This year I decided there would be no stopping, no stretching, no kerplopping.  Just yog myself through the cramps until I fell over. 

The cramp subsided, and I continued on with my plan.  The Shoulder Toucher fell off around this time, and I did not see him again.  Soon after that my left calf cramped, but I limped through that one as well and it went away.  I continued to slowly move up on the other 3, but at some point Angel Face fell out of the group.  As I went to pass her, there was another girl wearing similar black clothing running alongside, and at a glance, neither were clearly identifiable as Angel Face.  I opted for a non-social pass.  It seemed like a relatively non-social moment.  I continued to close in on Suffer Seeker and Wonder Woman, and was excited to join them.  Wonder Woman looked strong, they were right on their goal pace, and I had no doubt that Suffer Seeker would keep them right there.  I imagined locking into a good yog with them, sharing a few jokes and excitement over Wonder Woman achieving her goal, then making a big push on my own for the last couple miles.  When almost within earshot, my left hamstring began to cramp, accompanied by a deep burning fatigue.  Suffer Seeker and Wonder Woman quickly gapped me still looking very strong, and my visions of a strong finish to my yog went up in smoke. 

No stopping.  No kerploppling.  Yog.  Yog.  Yog as well as you can.  My previous BY was quite unimpressive and I was still well ahead of that pace.  As long as I could hold on a little I could still salvage a new BY.  Some people were struggling worse than me and I yogged by.  Others were strong and flew right by.  A not insignificant number had been reduced to kerploppling.  Cramps popped up in new places every few minutes, but I continued to yog and never fell over.  I managed the new BY.  I am not impressed by it. 

I finished nearly certain that Suffer Seeker had paced Wonder Woman to a spot in the Houston OTVCY, and was right.  The Chicago OTCY awarded her money for her effort, some of which she used to buy us beer and food after the race.  Angel Face held on to a decent yog and came in a few minutes behind me.  Shoulder Toucher went through agony, did not BY, and experienced a special kind of chafing that had him describing his trips to the bathroom later that afternoon as a 'horror show'.  All in a day's yog.  I look forward to the next one. 


 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Foot pain from yogging

Yesterday's lunch yog resulted in some pain on the inside of my left foot near the big toe joint.  This did not please me.  However, small aches and pains are common in the week before a highly anticipated yog, and I do in fact have an important yog this weekend.  I will be travelling with daughter and girlfriend to Chicago for an organized, timed, competitive yog (OTCY)! 

Yogging is available for free in most places.  Timing equipment and the means to measure the distance of a yog is also attainable at very reasonable costs.  But, it is futile to resist the urge to suck up vacation time and pay for airplane tickets, hotels, meals, rental cars and triple digit entry fees in order to take part in an OTCY.  You see, at an OTCY, you receive a t-shirt, people come out and cheer, photographers take pictures to sell to you in order to commemorate your yog, you are awarded a medal, and afterwards, your time is placed on the internet to make your yog official.  Only an official time will do if you are going to claim a performance as a best yog (BY). 

I will be attempting a BY this weekend.  Last year I also attempted a BY at this same event but it did not go well.  My calves cramped relatively early on, and while I was able to continue with the yog, I slowed almost to a kerplopple!  Many people yogged past me.  This did not make me feel good.  I have achieved several BY's at other distances this year, so I am very hopeful to BY at the OTCY this weekend.  If I do, I will probably decide that I was capable of a faster yog, claim the effort was mediocre, and feel somewhat embarrassed as to how poor my BY still is.  The trip will have been worth it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

sneezing

Sometimes immediately after I sneeze I feel a powerful shooting pain in my taint.  Lasts about 5-10 seconds.  I don't enjoy this.  And suspect it's not normal.  Oh well.  Time for a yog.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Went for a yog

Went for a yog yesterday.  Along the coast.  Nice yog.  It's important to yog.  I enjoyed my yog.  Pushed my daughter in a stroller the whole way.  She seemed to enjoy the yog as well.  Took a giant dump in her pants that exploded up her back, but it was such a nice yog that she didn't seem to mind.