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Change in My Pocket

I was pulled over a few weeks ago for allegedly not observing a traffic signal. I received a ticket in exchange for my driver’s license. I earned a second ticket because my insurance card had expired the previous day and I wasn’t able to recall my password for my auto insurance website.

For the past two weeks, I have actively tried to dodge being carded. So far, I have had to show my yellow slip of shame at the bakery to buy donuts. Today I was asked for ID at Portillo’s because I haven’t signed the back of my credit card. I pulled out the traffic ticket and the cashier lowered his mouth to the microphone, “MANAGER,” he boomed.

I told him I had cash as the manager came to the register.

Handing over a crisp ten dollar bill, the machine spat out change for my dipped Italian beef and the cashier gave me three singles.

I deposited the change in my pocket and added the singles to my wallet. I rarely have cash on me, let alone change.
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As I walked around the office this afternoon, I heard the change jingling in my pockets. It’s a distinct sound, one that reminded me of my grandpa. He always had change in his pocket and you would hear the rhythm of the change as he walked or got up from a chair.

So, were it not for the alleged incident, I wouldn’t have lost my license and I wouldn’t have had that memory of my grandpa today.

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Putting a Price on your Health

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Like my dream of being in a bell ensemble, my goal of going to the gym five straight days during my trial at Equinox remains unrealized. I managed to get there Monday through Wednesday, attending classes each day.

The classes at Equinox are on another level to anything I’d ever taken. The instructors were all very good. (I should also note that I rarely take classes that don’t involve food). I have a “get in/get out” mentality toward the gym. Equinox made me linger. That was mostly connected to trying to get the most out of my trial week.

This approach backfired since my body was prepared more for Thanksgiving than a fitness assault from encouraging instructors. My legs are almost back to 100% from the plyometrics class Tuesday and Wednesday’s Pilates session. I hobbled around the past few days and my quads still feel like they have rocks in them. Continue reading

chicago

Photos are easy when you walk like Lurch

Today in photos.

Training like a Masochist: Day 4

Despite seeing three classes I wanted to take on tonight’s schedule, I opted to pause my training and take the train home. I do not think my legs have ever been this sore. Walking has proven laborious. I know the tin man’s pain.

I tried to improve my posture at work today. Shoulders back. Core in. I still am not sure what my sit bones are, but I tried to tilt them back. Or forward? I walked around like a stick man trying to hula hoop.

Instead of lifting weights and sweating, I joined my coworkers for happy hour and fried foods. Only one way to achieve those fitness goals! Onion rings are protein, right?

Last night, I attempted to foam roll my noodles of legs and the pain was equivalent to when I went to physical therapy to have my shin splints treated. The foam felt more like steel cutting into my leg bones.

Continue reading

No Shame. No Gain.

I have no qualms admitting that Todd is a well-made man.

Todd was the instructor in today’s episode of masochism. You know you have a problem when you struggle getting out of your office chair to walk.

My goal during my trial at Equinox is to sample the gym. So far that has meant taking classes and an occasional shower. I apologize to my coworkers for Monday. I didn’t have time to scrub off my grime and shame before returning to the office.

I have gone to three classes in three days: vinyasa flow on Monday, Stacked! yesterday, and today I dropped in on a Pilates class.

The only other time I attempted Pilates was at my former gym. That class was more of a variation on yoga than Pilates movements. Today’s class included a block, weights and a magic circle. Continue reading

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Cheap, fast & marginally healthy dinner

I made pasta sauce Sunday afternoon. It was by no means remarkable. It took about 45 minutes to cook. I started with diced onion, garlic, baby Bella mushrooms and a two cans of crushed tomatoes. Despite all that work, it essentially tasted like a pop-top jar of sauce.

Commuting into the city necessitates making meals ahead on the weekend. Whether that means a soup, sauce, or a bunch of grilled or cooked chicken, any advance cooking sets you up for having healthy meals during the week.

Tonight, I stopped at the grocery after getting off the train. While sprinting down the aisles in my post-work famine/rage, I grabbed one hot Italian sausage link from the butcher, fresh spinach and fruit.

I sliced the sausage link into half-inch pieces to expedite the cooking process. I heated a small skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Then add the sliced sausage into the hot pot. That took about six minutes to cook. I then washed and ripped up a handful of spinach. After removing the sausage from the pan, add the spinach to sauté quickly with salt and fresh cracked pepper. I added the leftover pasta with sauce to the pan. Once that was warm, I added in the crispy and spicy sausage.

You could also add grilled or seared chicken breast. Or if you are really fancy, steak. If you are vegetarian and somehow are lost on this blog, you could add in a mix of frozen or fresh veggies like peppers and sliced onion to bulk up and freshen the dish.

The meal with sausage, spinach and pasta cost about $4.

It won’t win any awards, but it will satisfy your hunger on a Wednesday night.
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5…4…3…2…1

I love a countdown.

I don’t love sweating.

Tonight’s class at Equinox was called “Stacked!” I’m usually critical of anything that utilizes an exclamation mark. The description outlined a “high density” class that uses sandbells, plyometrics and building sequences.

I don’t recall much from biology, but I’m nearly certain “density” is not an accurate adjective to describe a fitness class. The bigger issue was figuring out what a sandbell was. Is this a music class? Will my lifelong dream of playing in a bells-only ensemble finally come to fruition?

Any class that uses a weight I’ve never heard of promises to be worthwhile. And the class did not disappoint, aside from not including bells of sand and subsequently leaving my dream unrealized.

I followed the throng of people into the studio and grabbed a sandbell. If you were curious, sandbells are neoprene sacks filled with sand. Like kettlebells, they come in several different weights. I hid in the back row so I could watch the instructor and others get their stack on.

Continue reading

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