Monday, December 27, 2010

Pilates. Is that French for "I'll kick your ass"?

Having already posted a story about my Hot Yoga adventure it is only fair that I do the same for a recent Pilate's session.

I am at the Y on the spin bike minding my own business. I am just about 10 minutes in to my hour work out when Speedy Jan (Ragnar Half Nuts) suddenly appears in front of me out of nowhere. Hence the name Speedy Jan. I figured she was just going to say hi and give me encouraging words. Nope.

"Want to do Pilate's with me?" At that point I am thinking that she is surely talking about something in the future. Like maybe January. You know. Part of some new triathlon training program since I am attempting an Ironman in 2011. So of course I say sure. And I just keep on spinning. She says c'mon then. Well when does the class start? In two minutes. Fight or flight is on my mind. I have no mat. I will get you one. Damn. Just like that Speedy is gone. Damn. Damn. Damn. I knew I should have gone to the Y earlier. As I am getting off the bike a woman says, "so you're going to do Pilate's? Good luck." Damn.

I get in the room and tell SJ that I would like to be in the back of class so as not to be laughed at. At least that is where B.o.b. put me when I went to hot yoga and I didn't even ask her to. What are friends for. So there my mat lays right up front. Who are my friends? Again, just like hot yoga, low male participation. I see two other guys. One that does triathlons and the other guy was yapping with three young ladies. We all know why he was here.

I asked SJ how much downward dog we would be doing. Oh you will pray for downward dog. Enough of the damn's already.

We start standing and doing some light stretching. This was probably about the easiest it was going to be. I try not to look in the mirror so I would not see what everyone else could see. I then start to realize that I am not as flexible as I thought. Now to the fun stuff.

We lay on the mat and start the ab/core work. Again I realize that I have lost some of my flexibility. I can blame it on the Christmas season and not my desire for craft beer lately.

Now we are told to lay on our side and lift our leg that is on the floor towards the ceiling. Do what? And then make circles with that same leg. I raise my hand instead to ask if it matters how high I raise my leg. Just do the best you can I hear. Small circles. Big circles. Stretch forward and then reach back. All with this same leg that is on the ground. Again more circles. My ass is burning. No really. I smell smoke.

We are then told to turn over and do the same thing again with the other leg. Why did I know this was going to happen. I look back at SJ and she is just a smiling. Hopefully not at me. Yeah right. Thanks again SJ. What seemed like hours was only 10 minutes. Are you kidding me.

Below is what SJ's circles were and what my circles were during this mess.

Needless to say we can see by this example who is in better Pilate's shape. Well pretty much everyone in the room was on the left. I was told by SJ after class that this was a stand-in instructor and the class is usually harder. Great way to convince me to return.

All kidding aside, it was not as hard as I made out to be. Yeah right. You keep on saying that to yourself Walt. I do thank SJ for asking me to go to the class with her. I would not have done it on my own. I will do it without her in the future so I can put my mat in the back of the class. SJ now owes me a hot yoga class. I can't say one is easier than the other. The fact that I am willing to do the hot yoga again before the Pilate's may say something though.

A new year is on the horizon. May you find yourself in 2011. If you found yourself in 2010 then help someone find themselves in 2011.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ragnar 2010 Chapter 2....Nothing Like Starting Alone

I now have both my ipods. Oh and yes the two power converters. Gotta have those Christmas lights working.

Speedy Jan is driving and I am the co-pilot. I was doing my best at navigating and reassuring B.o.b. that we would make it to the start in plenty of time. I kept pointing at the arrival time on the GPS. We had a start time of 11 a.m. and the GPS showed our arrival time of 10:32.

Van 1 was well on their way. They were due to arrive at about 10. There was a mandatory safety briefing held an hour before the team's start time. Only Van 1 had to attend this meeting so I knew we were in no hurry. Sort of.

This gave us plenty of time to catch up with Jen who just got in the night before from Michigan. I was also going to try and get a nap in but fat chance once The Caribbean moved from the back seat to the seat behind me. The stories he decided to tell were something else. Let me share one of them with you. I think it was his amazement that there is Braille on a drive thru ATM. So blind people can't drive? He also wanted us to know that if he were a woman and married to Stevie Wonder, he would buy all Stevie's shirts from Wal-mart. They would all be white cotton.

Captain Nuts' Tip #9. When you are the one always pulling someones leg, don't assume that your leg is being pulled when something does not sound believable.

We are about 20 minutes from the start when I get a call from Van 1. I am told of some bad news. They were getting gas and turned the van off. The van did not start back up. The hood was opened and the battery was corroded. They were able to get a jump and were almost to the start. This was not good.

I told everyone else in Van 2 what I was just told and not a person in the van believed this really happened. They are just messing with you. There's no way a rental van would have a dead battery. And why were they already getting gas. The van came with a quarter tank is why.

Captain Nuts' Tip #10. When renting a vehicle, try to use a Nationally known company and not someone from Craigslist.

We are now about a mile from the start when I see Van 1 turn in front of us. I point at the van and tell my Van 2ers there goes Van 1. I guess they were not kidding. There is no way we are going to start at 11. I now feel vindicated for having to go back to my house all those times.

I have SJ drop me off at the check-in so I could explain our situation and try to get a new start time. I could see the other teams were finishing the safety meeting. We were allowed to start at 11:30 but would be the only team. We still had to get the safety briefing out of the way first.

We all gather around for our personalized safety meeting. We get our numbers, orange flags, shirts and goodies. Shorty Shorts is running in circles in anticipation. He said this is the first time he has started a race where he is the only person. I told him not to get lost. He said he does not get lost. I then reminded him of the time we did the Dances With Dirt race. "Well I won't get lost this time." He was off and running. He only had 3.4 miles for his first leg.

Oh and Van 1. I had to jump it off so they could get going. Shorty Shorts had assured me that the first place they go after runner 6 is done will be an Autozone.

Now time to decorate Van 2. we had to be mindful this year of our visuals. One of the rules was the decorations had to be explainable to a 4th grader. Hell these days that gave us plenty of wiggle room. And with a team name like Half Nuts, we had an out. B.o.b. made us some cloth signs this year. We learned from last year that cardboard does not like the wind. We also used a different tape and some window chalk. Big nut attached to van grill. Decorations done.

Captain Nuts' Tip #11. If something disappears and you don't try to find it, then you probably don't need it anyways.

Let's go eat. McDonald's anyone?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ragnar 2010...Here Come Deez

Those that follow my blog have surely read the Half Nuts Ragnar recaps by Redhead and B.o.b. by now. I seem to have a different take on what I observed and experienced. And as a bonus, I can't seem to wrap my recaps up in 2-3 blogs. Much less 2-3 months. So here is my December edition of the recap.

Captain Nuts' Tip #1. When preparing for a trip, make a list of what to pack. Since you are making a list, pack what's on the list. The old saying of, "If I forget something I will just buy it when I get there," does not always apply. Especially if what you forgot you need before you get to where you are getting to.

Captain Nuts' Tip #2. If you forget something, try to remember you forgot it within 5 minutes of leaving where the item is located that you forgot.

I was going to be picked up from my house at 7:15 in the a.m. I knew this for about a week. Plenty of time to pack and make some mix cd's for both vans. Just don't forget to make a list of what to pack. I mean I did this same trip last year. What could be so hard.

I decided to start making the mix cd's at about 11 in the p.m. the night before I was going to be picked up. I then started packing at 6 a.m. the morning of. And that list. Oh I made one. It was in my head with all the other stuff going on. So tip #1 would have been very handy had I come up with that tip before this blog. But I did get the mix cd's made.

Speedy Jan and The Caribbean picked me up in the Classic right on time. At the time, they were not aware that I was just about 57% packed. I opened the garage door and just started tossing things on to the driveway whether they were needed or not. I was not in panic mode. I really wasn't. SJ and TC loaded the bed of the Classic and I ran through that "list" in my head and everything was checked. I promise.

We then left and headed to Avis to get Van 2. WAIT. I need to go back to the house. I forgot something that I really need. I must have this bag. I could not say at the time what it was. But I did need what was inside this bag. Very important. I grabbed the bag and now we were off. Tip #2 was successful at this point. At this point.

Just about the time we get to Avis, which is well past the 5 minute from home mark, I realize that I forgot my mp3 players. I love music. Music is my soulmate so to speak. I knew we were well past the turnaround point but I decided to bring it up anyway. I thought for a moment that I could just buy an mp3 player while Van 1 was running. SJ then reminded me there would be no music on it. Tips #1 and #2 would have been nice to know before today.

Captain Nuts' Tip #3. If you forget something very important to you, come up with another forgotten item that is important to have for everyone else. This will allow you to get your item and not appear to be all about you.

We finally arrived at Shorty Shorts' house. Most of the team is there and the others are in route. All seems to be well until I see the Christmas lights that are going to be used for van decorations being given to someone in Van 1. In order for the Christmas lights to work, a power converter is used. Who is supposed to bring the two power converters. Would you believe it was me. This is where Tip #3 comes in to play. I get to get my ipods now. This was going to take some convincing. This is also why I am Captain Nuts.

I have a private meeting with Junior Captain Shorty Shorts. I tell him that Van 1 will head to the start. Van 2 goes back East and gets the two power converters and then meets Van 1 at the start with 30 minutes to spare before the race begins. Plenty of time. What could go wrong. No really. What could go wrong?

To be continued.....