Archive for the ‘Wellness/Physical/ Exercise/Sports’ Category
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
The opening ceremonies were full of tradition and surprises… Countryside scenes, traditional, historical music, British humor, British legends, and Royals. I thought the filmed scenes of the queen with the James Bond character was sensational. What fun and whimsy! Good for her to allow that and be part of a fun joke at her royal highness’ expense! Good show! Thank you Danny Boyle and England!
London is a fabulous city. It looks as though it was well planned. Good job! What was Mitt Romney so concerned about anyway? A city that moves people and a central location for all events. I have heard that they didn’t have the crowds of people they were hoping for. Evidently that is a recurring problem with the recent, past 10, 15 years of Olympiads. They plan for hoards of people to attend, even building new hotels and restaurants hoping for boosts in business and hiring more staff in anticipation and in the end the people stay away and the locals leave town fearing the discomfort and inconvenience. I guess now is the time to go. After the Olympics are done and everyone is leaving and the rush of the excitement is still present. Rooms are discounted and air fares are also low to encourage the end of summer travelers.
I miss the Olympics. It was great to have so many choices for entertainment in the evening. I love my Tivo and recorded the daily events and could go back to anything. The swimming and the gymnastics were exciting. The track held me amazed at the incredible feets in just second… A flash of time and records are broken. The human being at a physical peak takes their body to the edge… and then does it again…
The Beach Volley Ball….
To think that Beach Volley ball is an Olympic sport! This speaks to present times not the past. It was introduced at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, a demonstration event, and has been an official Olympic sport since 1996. We, the USA teams, have won gold in either men’s or women’s since 1996. Right on team.
I personally find the uniforms rather revealing, almost sexually exploitive for media purposes. I am sure there are those at home watching for reasons other than athletic interest now. They do look very containing, and supportive. I would say that of all the sports now. The athletic attire has become rather like extreme costuming. They were joking on TV about a man’s penis and whether he was aroused for the medal ceremony… Well so what if he was, or perhaps he just has a larger one… just like women’s breasts, they come in different sizes and shapes and these things are hard to hide in the skin tight minimal clothing specially designed for the teams… It was an exciting moment for him and with all the men and women in such evocative attire how could he help it in that moment, and with the snug fitting, form revealing uniforms how was he to hide it. Where? Really!
But then the Olympics of ancient Greece and Rome were done naked! The human body being celebrated and the athletic prowess rewarded.
Of course, I love to watch the sports that I have enjoyed doing myself. As a young girl in gymnastic class, didn’t we all imagine ourselves at the Olympics… Remembering Nadia, Kathy Rigby…
Cathy Rigby went on to acting and you could find her guest staring in a role on a TV series for a while. Then she really blew up on stage with her teaching Peter and Wendy to FLY on Broadway in Peter Pan.
On the diving board when a child is asking her mom or brother and sister to rate their dive, we play at our own little competition with ourselves, wanting to do our best. The crazy fun I had with my sister when we would attempt the synchronized swimmers upside down movements or the apparent lack of above the water as they hold a pose gracefully never showing the manic paddling that it takes to keep a leg poised upward and then jut it up suddenly in synchronicity with others on the team. Wow! Remembering the old movies with the swimmer movie star, Esther Williams! I haven’t been to any of the Sea or Ocean amusement parks since I was young.. Oh no I forget the bay area Marine World Africa USA in Vallejo, California. I think they call it something else now. Surely there is an ocean theme park that employs these amazing anonymous athletes that spend much of there performance time holding their breath. I am thinking in Florida.
While we play at our sports, some are taking the play seriously and making it a life passion, direction, and later profession. I do miss the days when the Olympic athletes could not be professionals. that when they would only become endorsed or advertised after they decided to leave the amateur status and that had to be a big decision whether to pursue another 4 years of intense Olympic aspiration driven training with out the financial backing of any large business. In history many Olympic athletes were working a day or night job while striving to find time to train. I am sure there are still many who do, but so many of the athletes today are supported by the sporting companies. The rock stars of the Olympic games are able to support their training and have major contracts with their sponsors well ahead. I wonder what the past athletes would have accomplished if they were able to have an extra 3 to 4 hours in the pool, while their mother looked on, free to drive them and spectate because she didn’t have to take a job to support her gifted child’s pursuit of the coveted Gold, Silver, and Bronze. I am sure families still have a challenge to deal with the intensity and demands of supporting and encouraging the gifted athlete, but the ability to now have the financial support of commercial sponsors is powerful.
I do miss the simpler times of the amateur athlete at the Olympics. It seemed to be a more pure sense of competition. Just the athletes without the business and money behind the advertising. Many would retire from Olympic pursuits just so they could cash in while the offers were still there for them. Now we have Olympians who return for 3 even more games. Amazing that you can, but also wonderful to stand back and feel your success and open the door for others to experience the opportunity after you, the same glory.
I would list the names of all the US Olympians, but that would take more time and we know so many and we just watched them. I was amazed daily with the athletes from all over the world…. The swimmers, runners, vaulters, jumpers, racquet swinging, shot put hurling….You know who you are inspired by.
I imagine the work and skills that are developed by these athletes and in some way covet their incredible abilities… Their natural ability was a gift of birth and their dedication and perseverance to perfect their moves and pursue an excellence such that few will ever achieve at anything in life. Bravo… I admire and applaud you.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Well, you can get a tattoo whenever you want to when you are over 18. Do you have to ask your mom? No… Do you need to tell your mom? Well… YES! It may not be comfortable if you know that she would rather not see your whole body inked, but if you are showing it off on Facebook, then really send her the text or photo on your iPhone before you put it up. It isn’t the most comfortable phone call if you know she really isn’t going to shout for joy and be happy for you, so I really wouldn’t mind just the text or the photo, but do let me in on it before a friend tells me ” hey I saw your son’s new tattoos on Facebook”.
You may love it but she doesn’t have to. She may mourn that she will never see her son’s body as the physique of her memory ever again. I was just flipping channels on TV last night and there were these young men in a pool on the Batchelorette. They all were clean chested, no tatoos, maybe arms but I didn’t see any. I thought for a moment of the human body and how elegant it is and realized I was not going to see my son’s sleek muscles unadorned with ink ever again.
The cap sleeve and then the full sleeve… He couldn’t hide it from the critical eye of his grandparents anymore. Wearing long sleeved shirts in the summer for family gatherings finally got old and he came out. They still don’t like to see it. I got used to it.
The art of Tatoo is really interesting. What people choose to adorn their body for life is a strong decision and I know they don’t take it lightly. I have admired the art. Mostly the floral art. Lotus’ are a subject from ancient asian art and the meaning in history and is of awakening and rising from the muddle, and mud from the depths of the pond, a metaphor for the muck and mire of the mind, of the earthly life, into glorious beauty and power. Yes I would get a lotus. There are so many choices and an artist will design her own and take it to the tattoo artist and collaborate. Where to place it: lower back and feet are the first places for women, but the sleeve is very good for a larger tattoo and one that can morph and develop as you come up with further designs. Tattoos then be elaborated on. Staring with a design… Does one plan to add to it later? Some such as the florals can always be organically tied into more vining twining flowers.
I really do see the beauty in the art, even the rough viseral grisly ones my son has with the skin tearing open to the muscle and bones structure below. The art is incredible and creative. My favorite that he has is the Scorpion on his back. It has mechanical joints as though it were robotic, and the fact that he was a fan of Transformers as a boy and the scary Alien movies and loved that art comes through on his body art.Human muscle transformed to machine. It is strong good art… but couldn’t you just hang the poster?
I can admire the art and placement on other people. I feel that with all the friends and strangers I see with ink that I don’t judge them, yet I know that it does happen. The critic in others, the judgement, the rudeness, the condescension that some treat those different to us. IT is hard not to look at someones tattoos piercings when in conversation. Just what is that in their ear, you want to see but try not to stare. What stone is in her nose ring? On his eyebrow, on their tongues?
But back to INK.
Somehow I don’t wish for his beautiful skin to be covered, totally covered in ink. It is his to do with what he wants. My gift to him. It is not mine to be in charge of. It is not for me to boss him and make him feel shame or regret, yet I wish some where in there was a little bit of” I won’t get my whole body tattooed because it might make others uncomfortable around me , it might bring the wrong attention to me and cause conflicts that wouldn’t otherwise have to happen. I don’t want him scrutinized for his body art. I am sure his grandfather, my dad, will be giving the young men he sees all tattooed up dirty looks. Unless it is their favorite waiter at their favorite restaurant… Then he will make some wise crack about when was he a sailor and in what port did he get his tattoos, was he drunk when he got it… That was the past story, Sailors, in port in foreign lands would go out on a drunk and wake up tattoed… And even, sometimes married. There was the girlfriend, the boat, the anchor and your mother were the tattoos.
The temporary tattoo could be fun for the summer at the beach… the lovely henna browns and reds.
Tattoos are to be treated with caution and I know that he uses his topical antiseptic to prevent infection. The skin ointments that promote healing. He left a tube in my car and I am sure that is because he had a carry on bag and it was too large to walk through the security with and he didn’t want to chance it and I know he has some to use when he gets home.
So I love you. I may not love your choice for to wear body art but I guess I am glad that you feel comfortable with yourself to express yourself.
We are all unique.
Love is unconditional.
Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Last weekend, Marianne and I went to Wanderlust Vermont 2012 and had an incredible few days of yoga, music and going out of our comfort zone. You can purchase a 4, 3, 2 or 1 day pass which includes 3 activities and the evening concerts. The tickets aren’t inexpensive but well worth a weekend retreat away.
Photo by Ali Kaukas-Quixotic Performance
Yoga goes from beginner (of which there are many classes) to teaching level advanced. Besides the yoga there were classes in hula hooping, slack line yoga or like we did, burlesque dance. Talk about comfort zone! The Gypsy Layne Burlesque dancers put us through series of steps that left us sweating and laughing.
Slack line yoga
So much fun! Each teacher had a story about their passion which gave us a personal connection along with the unbelievable workout. We took two yoga classes with Rolf Gates who helped us through the poses with his soft but inspiring talk.
Photo by Ali Kaukas
Ziggy Marley, Farm to Table dinners, street performances and food truck vendors including my favorite Ben and Jerry’s giving away free frozen yogurt makes this a bucket list item! Wanderlust has festivals throughout the summer in Colorado, California and Whistler this year. Treat yourself and get out of that comfort zone! Thanks to Ali for being our model yogi!
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
It’s the Frendly Gathering 2012 countdown, 11 days to D-Day or should I say, fun day! This could be your beginning to the festival season. So let’s get hooping!
Photo by Ali Kaukas
Hula hooping was brought to the general public in the 1950′s by Wham-o, the company that also brought us the Frisbee disk. However, hooping can be traced back as far as 5th century Greece and during 13th century Scotland, doctors were prescribing hooping for back dislocations and heart attack patiences. Today many festival goers are also making their own in different sizes.
Photo by Ali Kaukas
Hooping is for all ages and ability types. Some people can do tricks while others just keeping the hoop on your hips is trick enough. Local gyms are now offering hooping classes to get you ready for this festival season. The classes also burn mega calories and coupled with dancing makes for a fun way to get into shape. So whatever your goal, get your groove on and hoop! Photo credits by Ali Kaukas
Sunday, April 29th, 2012
Stand Up Paddle, or SUP surfing was first introduced by Hawaiian surf instructors in the 1960′s. Standing up and paddling to their students enabled them to see everyone and get to them quickly by paddling.
Maddie’s first day paddling
Over the past decade, SUP has made a big comeback as sports enthusiast have found the work out benefits of paddling as well as being able to still ride the wave. Believe it or not, anyone can do this.
Even the “old” guys can do it!
The boards are 9-12 feet long to begin and if you start in calm water, it’s like standing up on a ship. The paddling works your whole core and when you get hot, jump in the water and swim around.
Paddling for the sunset
Stand up paddle isn’t just for the ocean either, so hop on one at the lake or river. If you’re really up for a challenge, ride the rapids! So just when you think you can’t cut the surf scene-think again and give SUP a try and enjoy the Hawaiian ride called Hoe he’e nalu.
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Lyme disease is something that is becoming more prevalent and this spring and summer there are experts predicting a particularly treacherous season! Please take precaution when you are walking or hiking in tall grass, in the woods, and any kind of woodsy setting. Don’t forget to inspect pets!
Here’s a list of prevention tips from the Mayo Clinic that everyone needs to heed!
Wear long pants and sleeves. When walking in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and gloves. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. Keep your dog on a leash.
Use insect repellents. Apply an insect repellent with a 10 to 30 percent concentration of DEET to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — the higher the concentration of DEET, the longer you are protected. A 10 percent concentration protects you for about two hours. Keep in mind that chemical repellents can be toxic, and use only the amount needed for the time you’ll be outdoors. Don’t use DEET on the hands of young children or on infants younger than age 2 months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, oil of lemon eucalyptus, a more natural product, offers the same protection as DEET when used in similar concentrations. Don’t use this product on children younger than 3 years.
Do your best to tick-proof your yard. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas.
Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Be especially vigilant after spending time in wooded or grassy areas. Deer ticks are often no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you search carefully. It’s helpful to shower as soon as you come indoors. Ticks often remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth may be enough to remove any unattached ticks.
Don’t assume you’re immune. Even if you’ve had Lyme disease before, you can get it again.
Remove a tick with tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, dispose of it and apply antiseptic to the bite area.
Amazon sells this cool Tick Key to help remove any ticks from your pet.
Have fun and be safe this spring and summer!
Thursday, March 8th, 2012
While we are being wowed by the extreme heights and the seemingly impossible tricks that will be the highlight of this weeks US OPEN, let’s take a look at some grassroots organizations that are helping athletes achieve their dreams.
Members of The Chill
The Chill organization started by Burton snowboard founders, Jake and Donna Carpenter in 1995 helps kids get to mountains. The Chill builds at risk teenagers confidence through mentoring and board sports.” This local Burlington, Vermont organization has assisted over 17,000 kids over 16 years. A donation of $10 gives a child a one day lift ticket or $400 provides them with a 6 week snowboarding experience, making the mountain experience a reality for these youths. It is currently in 11 US cities and three countries, America, Australia and Austria. Want to help? The Chill has volunteer and well as fund raising opportunities.Ross, Marisa and the dynamic duo
After attending The Chill, these future snowboarders might look to the LFF to pursue their dreams. Two time-Olympian medalist, Ross Powers has teamed up with Olympian swimming sensation, Michael Phelps to form The Level Playing Field Fund. The non-profit organization provides grants for cost related coaching and training as well as equipment and event entry fees.
Michael Phelps with a future star
“Many athletes with the potential to compete at world-class levels have had to face the challenges of securing funding to pay for support essential to their continued development. Far too often, resource gaps have proven to be an impassible barrier for promising, yet financially challenged athletes.” In the past year alone, LFF has awarded over $120,000 in 53 grants to athletes in skiing, snowboarding, swimming and judo. Super athletes, Pat Holland, Faye Gulini, Danny Davis and Emily Brunneman have all benefited from the LFF. “Funding talent, Fueling Dreams”
Get out to cheer for these double corked athletes this weekend and check out the website for these wonderful organizations that helps bring them to new heights!
Friday, February 24th, 2012
You may know my son Luke Mitrani as a pro snowboarder whose nick name is Squid. Last night I was on the phone with him and we were skimming through ebay together trying to find the perfect RV for his next journey. The conversation made a turn from the physical journey of life to the spiritual journey. ”Mom, have you been meditating?” The answer was yes. We both shared our stories about discovering how meditation is a worthwhile discipline to weave into one’s life. The truth is if Luke was a Beatle, he would be George. This morning when I checked my Facebook page Luke had posted on my wall a fairly unknown George Harrison on utube which reflects George’s deep connection to meditation and his pursuit of openly celebrating the spiritual world through music. It is interesting to know that this is the kind of thing you will find on Luke’s playlist for doing double corks in the half pipe.
So the question is what is meditation? why do it? How do you do it? The bigger questions are why are we here? What is the meaning of life? For me meditation is clearing one’s mind and trying to connect to a quiet place closer to the core of an inner space of light and purity of spirit. There is much written on this ancient and fascinating discipline and everyone has different methods and philosophies.
The point is to calm your mind and allow yourself to connect to an energy that will add clarity and peace in your life. I like meditation because you can do it anywhere (even in a half pipe?) Life can be stressful and meditation is useful for relaxation and going forward.
I wish Luke and all of us luck as we journey through the physical and spiritual paths in our lives. Honor your inner self and you may discover like Luke that you can go higher than you ever thought possible. Thankfully there is more to life than just connecting on facebook. Om.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
When you live in a temperate climate, there is always something needing to get done in the garden. It gets chilly but the plants are still growing. Some dormant but the roots are getting strong and growing deep as the upper plant is resting. If you can still find bulbs at your nursery, pick them up and plant them in the ground or even in a pot. The daffodils and tulips were gone, but I just picked up some freesias and crocus. You can still order on line for spring planting too: freesia, ranunculus, anemone and lilies.
Time for the bare root trees and shrubs at the nursery. First check the sale plants. There could be just the peach you were looking for, potted in the sale area at a discounted price.
Special items such as tree peonies are bare root at the nursery now.
Something quite incredible… They take for ever to grow but the surprise of the stunning flower… Careful! Be watchful and aware or you might miss the bloom. I have some tree peonies that have only had one flower for 5 years… Can’t wait until it has several more. But patience….
In the milder climates it is time to plant roses and fruit trees. Right now without the rain from the gods, as we are having another very dry month in California and throughout much of the country, you will have to be sure to water. When you plant trees in the fall and winter, they get a strong start in the earth as the roots grow underground while the plant above is resting. Different for the winter blooming plants of course. I once planted a whole huge forest of Camelias when it was February into March and they were laden with blooms.
This isn’t really the right timing. The flowers fell and the plants were a bit stressed. The energy put into bloom takes much of the plants energy and planting them in bud challenges the plant and you should be careful to be sure it is deeply watered and even give it some fertilizer, like fish emulsion or manure tea. My Camelias are doing well now three years later, so it was fine in the end, but I am sure they were a bit miffed at being planted while they were so busy putting there energy into blossom… Excuse me…
Fish emulsion is a nice way to water in some nutrients. You can add it to a watering can if you have a small garden or potted patio or deck garden.
Manure tea? You can take your bag of chicken or steer manure and put a couple of handfuls into the watering can and steep for a half hour or so and just water it into the pot.
Cutting back roses, vines, pruning the orchard.
Adding manure and compost to the garden so the rain will wash it in during the winter months.
A bit of a workout in the Garden? Raking is a meditation and, if done briskly, a nice bit of a work out. Shoveling, digging, and planting a nice sized bare root tree is also good for the muscles and a bit of cardio and weight training, but be careful when lifting as the posture or lack of it that you exhibit can cause some muscle tension later. Use your core, don’t slouch and lift things from below. Bend and turn from the hips not the lower back. Remember that a slightly bent knee rather than straight knee is good support and protects the knees and the lower back.
I love to rake leaves. It is something you can do with a rhythm of motion and try to, instead of thinking of the things you need to do at work, at home, or even let go of that cloud of the confusing relationship your in, and listen…. The leaves blowing, the birds are all around always you just sometimes don’t hear their scuffling under the brush and low shrubs… soft little steps waiting to come in when you leave and pick at the bugs you have uncovered with the rake.
I just heard one of my Hawks out early this morning. So happy that they have settled in on my property again. Not good if you have the very small dogs or little chicks running around on the lawn, but I am hoping they take away some of my rabbits this winter. Sorry bunny’s, but the kids are gone and there is no more Easter egg hunting around here… At least at the moment. Leave the vegetables alone and go where the children are living down the road.
The rabbits ate all my greens that I planted this fall, chard, kale, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower. I hope to replant soon as these are the good winter crops. The weather is so warm right now that I was daring enough to buy some seeds. Peas, sweet peas, get ready to plant these in March, but with this fair weather in February I might set some in the soil now.