Sunday, January 19, 2014

St. John Behind the Walls tour

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine occasionally offers a Behind the Walls tour, where you can go down into the crypts and up into the wall spaces where visitors aren't usually allowed. The tour is fascinating, and I learned a great deal about the construction of the cathedral and its history. Unfortunately, my camera isn't good enough to take good images under low light conditions without a flash, so I don't have many great photos. This picture was shot in the nave before the tour.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rye-Marmaroneck hike

Edge by TheTurducken
Edge, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
This was the perfect hike for my current fitness level - 13.1 miles but mostly flat. We hiked from the Rye Metro North station in Westchester to the Marmaroneck station, connecting several nature preserves and a few parks with roads. Much of the hike was through marshes, with occasional forays into expensive suburbia.

I have a lot of photos like this one, with wide open horizons, marsh grass, and a few leafless trees.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rules for internet sanity

  1. Do not click on anything from Buzzfeed or ViralNova.
  2. Remember that HuffPo doesn't pay the vast majority of its contributors. Value its articles according.
  3. Pretend that shopping sites that require you to share your email before you can see their goods don't exist.
  4. Do not read the comments, except at a very few well-moderated sites.
  5. It's totally okay to hide Facebook friends who post stupid political crap all the time. (Corollary: Each of us is entitled to decide what is stupid political crap.)
  6. Anyone who thinks Twitter follows must be reciprocal is probably a douchebag.
  7. Do not click on anything from Upworthy. If something is truly interesting, a media source will be able to get my attention with a straightforward headline rather than mysterious linkbait.
  8. Do not feel bad because you are not on Facebook AND Tumblr AND Pinterest AND Snapchat AND Twitter AND Google+. Just how many hours do you think I have in my day anyway?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Some stats

In 2013, I:
  • Read 87 books
  • Went on 25 hikes, for a total of about 140 miles
  • Camped out zero nights
  • Went to capoeira 113 times
  • Taught 9 undergraduate and three graduate classes
  • Had 1 surgery and 1 cavity filled
  • Knocked 1 item off my half-bucket list

But I did not:
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Dance like no one was watching
  • Twirl on the beach in a white dress with a scarf
  • Run for mayor
  • Buy a house
  • Have a baby
  • Adopt a dog
  • Sing karaoke
  • Master stringing the berimbau
  • Try to take over the world

Friday, January 3, 2014

Shoulder update

Since my surgery, I've been struggling to stay active. A friend pointed this article by Scott Adams out, and it says a lot of things I believe - namely, that exercise shouldn't be a struggle based on willpower. You might use willpower to get you through mile 22 of a marathon, but your entire program shouldn't be based on it. That's why I do capoeira and yoga and hike, because 9 days out of 10 I'm excited to go to class.

But suddenly capoeira and yoga were off limits for me, and my hiking was limited to hikes that didn't involve scrambling or require a backpack. I tortured myself with a few spin classes, frustrated myself with a few samba classes, and did a moderate amount of walking. (But walking in the same place every day - boring!) The end of the semester didn't help, as it never does. While visiting family in Oregon, I was forced to confront how out of shape I'd become. I determined to get back in shape when I returned to New York, so that when my shoulder was finally ready for the activities I liked, the rest of my body wouldn't collapse.

(Yes, I know it's New Year's. I haven't made a resolution in years. If it makes you feel better to call this one, go ahead.)

Then I found out insurance was done paying for my PT, which means fewer visits since my pockets aren't so large. Yesterday at my appointment, I asked my therapist about when I could return to capoeira. She wouldn't give me a time estimate, but she said we would need to really push to make that happen. I had hoped January, then February, and now I am afraid it may be even longer.

I probably shouldn't be surprised. While my body fights off infections like a champ, I heal from injury slowly. Whether it's a simple cut or bruise or something more complex, I'm not on the bleeding edge. I also build strength slowly. While my sister can walk by a gym and burst out into a six-pack, my muscles grow slowly. My body was designed for endurance, not strength.

There are spots of bright news in there. One, my PT is very happy with how my flexibility has returned. It's not 100% of what it was before, but then I was very, very flexible before. Two, she said I could try wearing a backpack - no backpacking through Europe, mind you. Three, my schedule this semester is much more flexible than in the fall. The two activities I have available to me now - pilates and hiking - can be fit in with much more ease. I don't love pilates, but I don't mind it. If I'm going to be out for a long time, then I'll start looking at things like ballet, but I hope it doesn't come to that.

It's a struggle to remain upbeat about my shoulder some days. I'm not naturally a patient person. But, this week I've gone to pilates twice and done two hikes. Today, I'm going to do nothing at all, because my body needs a rest. Nothing, that is, except my PT exercises. Gotta uphold my part of the bargain.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fat-Ass Ramble

Hudson shore by TheTurducken
Hudson shore, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
Even though I didn't eat and drink my way through New Year's Eve, a long hike sounded like a great way to start 2014 off, so I joined the Ramblers "NYC Fat-Ass Ramble" from Inwood to Chinatown. Or in my case, to Columbus Circle.

By a direct route, that's about eight miles, but we dipped in and out of parks and tried to make it scenic, so we were up to about 14 miles when I bowed out. Much of the hike, even in the parks, was on pavement, and my feet were sore. Also, I'm out of shape and trying to get back into it, and 14 miles - although much of it was flat - was enough.

This photo was taken on the edge of the Hudson River near the George Washington bridge.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in photos

The Highline, New York

Riverside Park, New York

Virgin Falls
Virgin Falls, Tennessee

Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, California

Lagoinha do Leste
Lagoinha do Leste, Santa Catarina, Brazil

At the waterfall
Santa Catarina, Brazil

Medford, Oregon

It's log
Pacific City, Oregon

Storm King
Storm King, New York

Riverside Park, New York

Van Cortlandt Lake
Van Cortlandt Park, New York

New York