Monday, January 31, 2011

I Had A Dream

the track, the snowbank, and the lake

so i had this crazy dream that the fury and the double crossers were scrimmaging on ice. there was an outer track, then there was a snowbank on the inside that went steeply down to a cold lake in the middle.

karma in a plastic easter egg

so like there's no whistle to start the jam, there's this soft buzzer that you have to listen for and there's a bunch of fans in the front of the pack that start off before everybody else. the double crossers are all behind us, and i look back and karma's coming up the track in a plastic easter egg.



go-go says YEAH HIT THEM

between jams i ask go-go, are we supposed to hit the fans? and go-go's like, YEAH, HIT THEM!

everybody says KNOCK HER DOWN

so next time out, i hit this woman off the track onto the snowbank. and everybody's yelling, KNOCK HER DOWN! so i knock her down, she falls and rolls down the snowbank into the lake. and everybody looks at me like BAD POPPY, and i start to argue that everybody told me to knock her down!

i feel bad

and then somebody goes, somebody better go get that woman. she is sinking like a stone in the lake. i really feel bad about that, i didn't know she couldn't swim.

papa dives in

papa dives in and drags her back up by the chin, and swims with one arm back to the bank. YAY PAPA.

the end.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quinoa with Roasted Parsnips, Mushrooms, and Pecans

quinoa with roasted parsnips, mushrooms and pecans

This turned out SO GOOD. The sweetie man brought home bagged parsnips and I used the whole bag, which was one giant and two medium parsnips.

about 3 large parsnips
1/2 lb mushrooms
olive oil
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Scrub and cut the parsnips into pieces. Wash and quarter the mushrooms. Toss the parsnip and mushroom pieces in a baking pan with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of thyme. Roast until nicely browned, about twenty minutes or maybe longer because of the mushrooms giving off liquid; so stir in the pecans just when the mushrooms start to look more roasted than steamed.

Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand. When the vegetables are roasted, add the quinoa right to the baking pan and stir it all together.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Line Drills
 off skates

Lately I have been doing line drills as a pop-out module of the plyos workout, mostly because in summer we did them in the parking lot and now that we're stuck inside for winter we don't have enough room for them. I got the practice space a few times over break, and actually it was way better doing these around the track than up and down the parking lot. I also taught these to Derby Lite, and they did great.

Throughout, navel to spine and tailbone down!

Fast feet forward, jump sideways

1. Line up behind turn four. One at a time, run forward and jump sideways and diagonally forward at every ten foot line. Run and jump like this halfway around the track. At the apex, sprint hard home and stop abruptly at turn three.

For these, you are doing split right and split left jumps just like for sigmas. One leg is your spring leg, and the other leg is your fly leg. Your spring leg is where you're jumping from, and your fly leg is where you're jumping to.

So if you're running forward and jumping sideways to the outside, you stop on and spring from your inside leg to your outside leg and then spring back from your outside leg to your inside leg. If you're jumping sideways to the inside, you stop on and spring from your outside leg to your inside leg and then spring back from your inside leg to your outside leg.

2. Okay now, practice this with bodies. Line up with a body on every ten foot line. From the back, run up behind each body and jump sideways and then in front of her.

3. Now practice faking or changing your mind. Run up behind each blocker and jump sideways and then to the other side behind her, and then in front of her.

4. And now, with blocking. Each blocker can block once to the inside or outside. If a blocker opens up a space in front of you, jump forward for the love of god. If a blocker closes a space in front of you, jump to the other side behind her and then in front of her.

Fast feet sideways, jump forward

1. Line up behind turn four. One at a time, run sideways along a ten foot line and take two jumps forward. Run and jump like this halfway around the track and at the apex, sprint hard home and stop abruptly at turn three.

If you're running sideways and jumping forward as if to get by a blocker, ideally you want your fly leg to be the leg that's next to the blocker. So if you're passing on the outside, you fly with the inside leg and spring off the outside leg. If you're passing on the inside, you fly with the outside leg and spring off the inside leg.

I assure you, you will not be thinking all this in play. You want to practice enough for this to be instinct, and do whatever works in play.

2. Practice this with bodies. Line up in pairs with two bodies on every ten foot line, about six inches apart. From the back, run up and jump forward between the bodies.

3. Now practice with visual obstacles. Pairs lightly cross arms and put hands on each other's knees, visually closing the space between them. No multiplayer blocks! From the back, run up and jump forward between the bodies and bust through those arms.

4. And now the pair will try to keep you out. For this you don't jump so much, but you transfer your weight in the same fashion. You wedge that fly leg in there, and transfer your weight from your spring leg to open the space up.

Fast feet forward, jump forward

1. Line up behind turn four. One at a time, run forward along the inside line and take two jumps forward at every ten foot line. Run and jump like this all the way around the track, as close as you can to the inside line without stepping out of bounds.

When you're jumping the inside line, you are actually jumping between the line and a blocker just off the line. So you want your fly leg to be your outside leg and spring off your inside leg.

2. Now practice this with bodies. Line up single file again with a body on every ten foot line, about six inches away from the inside line. From the back, run up and jump forward along the inside line and don't step out of bounds.

3. And now that blocker will try to keep you out, same as above. Wedge that fly leg in there, and transfer your weight from your spring leg to open the space up.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Work Wear

Welp, back to work.

This means clothes.

No! No, master! Not clothes, not clothes!

Yes, Poppy. You didn't think you'd get to hang around the house in a tea towel for the rest of your life. You remember clothes? Cute outfits? And don't think you're going to slouch out in those khakis. Unless you're planning to get decent shoes, which I know you're not. Oh my god, did you know these need to be shortened? The cuffs are just folded up.


So I went out and got some new skirts. Every time I leave the house swearing to get knee length pencil skirts, and always come home with miniskirts.

black miniskirtgray miniskirtdark denim miniskirtlight denim miniskirt

There are four skirts!

One of two cotton sateen miniskirts for Tuesdays, and one of two denim miniskirts for Thursdays. My winter work look is going to be sweater + miniskirt + leggings over tights + snowboots. Do you know the winter coat that I never wear is actually warm and I don't have to layer my clothes so much, who would have thought. Packing as much muscle for my height as I am, I don't want to add any more bulk. Leggings over tights is actually pretty warm, and still looks slim.

You're worried about the snowboots, aren't you. Well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coco Oat Macaroons

coco oat macaroons

These last four cookies that I managed not to stuff into my mouth straight from the oven sit proudly on the Fury platter that my nephew made for me for my birthday. I totally cried.

I adapted this from 101 Cookbook's Carrot Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick cook oats
1 cup shredded coconut
a thumb-sized piece of ginger
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Peel and finely mince the ginger and add to the dry ingredients. Gently heat the maple syrup and coconut oil in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until the coconut oil is melted, about thirty seconds. Stir the syrup and oil into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Lightly roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about ten to twelve minutes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Work/Play: Writing

things to do on cards

I have redone my index card system once again. Sunday is purple for putting myself back together. Monday and Wednesday are green for writing Livestrong or Pioneer Press articles (yellow and green) or league schedules or press releases (blue, do you see what I did there? Yellow + blue = green! I don't have any yellow this week. I have three Pioneer Press articles, and they pay more.) Friday and Saturday are red for writing blog entries and for skating. And all of this is a clue.

You see, something like "writing" isn't just one thing. The clue is that blogging and skating are the same color, and that blogging is a different color from other writing that I do. Writing for Livestrong or Pioneer Press or even the league is a means to an end that's an end in itself, that's HOBBY. And you know what skating is. So I'm saying that blogging is more like skating than like other writing. Blogging is PLAY, it's an end in itself that may turn out to be a means to an end. I mean, geez. If I even end up making half a living blogging and half a living plus health insurance working on spreadsheets, I win at life forever. I'm not expecting that, I already win at getting a whole day to blog every week.

Here's another clue. If you have designs on writing a novel or being a screenwriter, you already have a means to an end on your hands. And the more it's about the end, the more it's a means to an end. Which is to say, it's work. It's writing that is work, you'll know you have this if it feels hard. If you have big dreams, I'm not going to tell you not to work for them. Just know what you're dealing with, writing isn't this rarified thing that you're can't take apart and see what makes it tick.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quinoa with Roasted Carrots, Shallots, and Peas

quinoa with roasted carrots, shallots, and peas

This was with half a cup of quinoa, a whole cup is better.

about five carrots
about six shallots
olive oil
1/2 lb frozen peas, almost two cups
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Scrub and cut the carrots into pieces. Peel and cut the shallots into pieces. Toss the carrot and shallot pieces in a baking pan with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of thyme. Roast until nicely browned, about twenty minutes, stirring in peas halfway through.

Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand. When the vegetables are roasted, add the quinoa right to the baking pan and stir it all together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


sigma points

These are sigma points taped to my living room floor, four points spaced three feet apart and a fifth point in the middle. You know how to make a sigma, don't you? You start at the bottom right point, jump left to the bottom left point, jump diagonally right to the middle point, jump diagonally left to the top left point, jump right to the top right point, and then do all those jumps in reverse to return to the starting point.

There are five jump variations: two foot, left foot, right foot, split left, and split right. For split left you jump from your right foot to your left foot, going left, and for split right you jump from your left foot to your right foot, going right.

So when you're jumping right foot or split right, you'll make a backwards sigma instead: start at the bottom left point, jump right to the bottom right point, jump diagonally left to the middle point, jump diagonally right to the top right point, jump left to the top left point, and then do all those jumps in reverse to return to the starting point.

This is one of many Frappier footwork drills, I've also done foursquare and sunburst variations. I like sigmas because they mimic pretty well how you would jump in a derby situation. The point of Frappier drills is not lose your balance as your feet go out from under you in every direction, and also to push your anaerobic endurance; these should be short bursts of high-intensity activity. Do ten repetitions per variation, taking up to four minute breathers in between. Trust me, it is not weird to need four minutes to recover from a minute of this. You should prioritize, well first, a) navel to spine, b) tailbone down, and c) knees and ankles folded, and then 1) precision, 2) height, and 3) speed.

If this feels impossible, you can put the points closer together. I have a separate set of points in my kitchen spaced two feet apart for the right and left foot jumps. And actually, four feet for the split jumps is totally doable.

If that still feels impossible, cut the repetitions in half and work your way up to ten. Only if ten is impossible, though. If ten is miserable but doable, you have to do ten.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Buyer's Guide to Cushions:
  PowerDyne Magic Yellows

yellow cushions on vandals

I am now trying the new PowerDyne Magic Cushions. When I got my Vandals, they came standard with the old 88A white/black PowerDyne cushions. When I replaced the old old cushions with new old cushions, it didn't feel that much different except all of a sudden I could do one foot slaloms a lot better. These yellow magic cushions are 85A, which I think is the hardest that magic cushions come in and also magic cushions are supposed to be springier than old cushions of the same hardness. Not sure how that works, but anyway. I've actually been slightly thrown by how different these cushions feel. The first laps that I skated on the yellows, I was struggling to stay steady around the turns. I'm still struggling a bit with blocking and agility at speed. I almost went back to the new old cushions, but I'm not sure that they're not being discontinued. So I'm trying to stick it out and get the switch over with.

You pick cushions roughly for your body weight: yellows for heavyweights, oranges for middleweights, and reds for featherweights. Like all things skating though, your mileage may vary and your skating skill or style will have something to do with this. I'm 140 lbs, the guy at the Riedell booth suggested orange cushions for me. When the yellow cushions stop kicking my butt, I will try the oranges and probably get my butt kicked all over again.

Most of the PowerDyne plates take barrel bottom and barrel top cushions, Reactor plates take barrel bottom and step top cushions, and Revenge plates take barrel bottom and conical top cushions. Tell your vendor what plate you need the cushions for.

ETA: See my next post about the orange cushions, which are working much better for me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato

baked sweet potato

The easiest most delicious snack, and you get to have the oven on. Though there is no oven at work, I have to think of work snacks now. Ha ha and, they have to be soft...

a sweet potato

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potato and put it in the oven in a small baking dish. Bake for an hour or until tender when poked with a fork or knife.

I know, look at the time. What, I'm done sleeping. Now what do I do.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Work/Play: Making A Living

The whole point of this exercise, sixteen months after I started, which is to say twenty-three years after I started working for a living, is to find a way to make a living that's not intolerable. Which is my way of saying "enjoyable" without attracting too much attention.

Do a little bit of work, but as little as possible.

By work, I mean things that you do as a means to an end that are a means to an end.

And I don't necessarily mean work as in what you do for a living. I mean, most people have to do something to make a living; so yeah, it's a means to an end. Okay but, first of all, that's just the first half of the equation. It's something that you do as a means to an end, but is it something that you do as a means to an end that's a means to an end or is it something that you do as a means to an end that's an end in itself. Because they're different, you know. But besides that, I'd rather take making a living out of the equation. For the purposes of figuring this all out, think of making a living as a little extra bonus end and think about the most direct end of whatever you're doing. After all, there's things you do that you that are work that you don't make a living at. And you should do those as little as possible, too.

I'm not saying this out of laziness or trying to be popular. In fact I'll tell you, don't try to escape work entirely. You won't be able to, and it'll make you unhappy. It's easier to swallow if you know that it's the least you can do. And if it's just a little bit, it might even be enjoyable.

Make a living at hobby or play.

But making a living can't be work, you can't work forty hours a week. That's much too much time to spend for something that you do as a means to an end that's just a means to an end. Anything that you spend that much time on has to be an end in itself, one way or the other. So you have to figure out the thing that you do as a means to an end that's an end in itself, or that you do as an end in itself that's a means to an end, that you can make money for. I don't say make a living yet, because maybe you have to start small. Maybe you have to start at, oh, $100 a month. Or $40 a month, that's the other thing I do. Sometimes the problem is figuring out what that thing is, sometimes the problem is figuring out how to make money from doing that thing.

Or maybe nobody's having a problem with this. Maybe it's just me. The more I talk about it, the more it seems obvious that you would figure out something that you like to do and get a job doing that. Why didn't I do that? Why has it taken me so long to figure just this part out?

The less work you do, the less pastime you need.

It makes sense, right? The more you do things that are just means to an end, the more you need to do things that are just ends.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Quinoa with Roasted Beets, Onion, and Walnuts

quinoa with roasted beets, onions, and walnuts

This is the first in a series of quinoa with roasted root vegetable recipes. If you don't know, quinoa is a whole grain that is sort of, to me, a cross between rice and couscous. It's very good, and it's one of the only plant foods that's itself a complete protein.

I wrote this Livestrong article about vitamins in root vegetables, which are the vegetables that I will be using for this series. And also when I adapt this roasted carrot and avocado salad recipe from smitten kitchen.

a bunch of 3-5 beets
an onion
olive oil
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Trim the beet greens and save them for later, or saute them to serve on the side. I am not peeling my root vegetables anymore, just scrubbing them. I mean, obviously, peel the onion. Dice the beets and onion and toss in a baking pan with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of thyme. Roast until nicely browned, about twenty minutes, stirring in walnuts halfway through.

Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand. When the vegetables and nuts are roasted, add the quinoa right to the baking pan and stir it all together.

I kind of think this would be good with a side of sauteed spinach, which is why I said about the beet greens.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Can't Handle The Tooth

I've been feeling not bad exactly for the past week or so, but kind of blah. Like last season I felt bad, I felt like I was always getting knocked down or trapped and that doesn't seem to be happening hardly at all. But then again, nothing seems to be happening. Almost like nobody bothers about me, almost like I'm not there. And actually it wasn't bothering me that much, just like a little bit of smoke that you vaguely wave your hand at.

That's how I was feeling, and then I got mixed up and went fast instead of slow in a runaway, and I hate a runaway more than anything. Then there's no almost, I'm not there, not doing anything, it's hard for me to land or even launch blocks after a certain speed, and also I'm getting tired. Tired, mad, tripped, and that's when I fell on my tooth. I seriously did fall on my tooth, I hit the floor with my tooth. I skated off the track so pissed, I knew my tooth wasn't right, I thought Roe wasn't going to let me scrimmage more, and dammit I just need to play to get myself sorted out.

Roe undid my wristguards, and I gingerly picked my mouthguard off my teeth with one finger. So now I can add "emptied mouthguard filled with blood" and "spat blood into the practice space sink" to the list of badass things I have done. It was my left front tooth, it got knocked straight back. Like still in the gum, not knocked out. It was like a magic trick where something suddenly shows up someplace that you wouldn't expect, like all of a sudden there's an elephant on top of the Empire State building. Except you know, just my tooth and just a few millimeters back. So basically like there's an elephant in my mouth.

"Can I play?"

Roe said gruffly, "Put your mouthguard in."

Ha well, it used to be a custom mouthguard. I jammed that sucker back in, I wasn't sure it would come back out without taking out my tooth.

So Red had been giving me feedback all night, she called me over and we sat down and watched a bunch of jams together and talked through what was happening. Who was being active, what they were doing, and why they were doing that. That helped me get the plot back a bit, I hadn't even known it was lost.

The two jams I played after that felt different. I mean if I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times, where is the jammer? But those two times it was like, NO REALLY, WHERE IS THE JAMMER and I was actually looking for and finding the jammer. But also I just felt different, less smoky and more electric. I kind of didn't want to go to sleep that night because I wanted to remember how that felt. So I was lying awake sort of munching my teeth together and thuk! the tooth shifted back into place.

"Dude," I said to the sweetie man, "my tooth just went back."

"Yay, thanks for the update," he said, entirely asleep. I mean, it was three or four in the morning.

Dr. Harada mournfully checks the back of my front teeth with his little mirror and reports that I also cracked the tooth next to the tooth that moved. Nothing to be done but wait and see, and only eat soft foods for a month.

Luckily, I pretty much only eat soft foods! I mean, right? Oatmeal, beans and rice, sweet potatoes, pasta, smoothies, who knew I was such a grandma. Also who knew that al dente does, actually, mean to the tooth. I know from trying to eat spaghetti Tuesday night. I guess I will have to eat short pasta instead. Good thing I stopped eating apples. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will have to be cut up into little squares.

No hotdog at the bout this weekend. Not that I would, this weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Owner's Guide to Replacing Your Pivot Cups
 for real this time

Tamikaze asked me to take a look at her pivot cups, and what I immediately learned is that if you're squinting and calling the sweetie man over to ask if this pivot pin doesn't look like it's wobbling just a little bit, it's fine and maybe you should drink a little less green tea. Tami's pivot pins were so loose they were rattling around. When the pin is loose like that, your truck could go anywhere. Tami said that she'd go to put down her toestops and, whoop, they weren't where she thought she left them.

So I yanked her pivot cups, and here's what we found:

worn out pivot cups

They're dead, they're all messed up.

Here I am modelling how it was done: you just stick a needle nose pliers into the cup, slant it slightly to catch the sides a bit, and yank it out. If it doesn't come all the way out, enough of the lip should come out so you can grab it with the pliers.

changing a pivot cup

Just push the new cups in with your thumb.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oatmeal with Cranberries and Walnuts

oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts

What I would really like for this would be readily available dried cherries, but cranberries are good. Also when the milk stands out, I decided that prefer hemp to almond milk. Hemp is higher in fat and richer-tasting, almond is more like skim. So I've been using hemp in tea and oatmeal, and almond in chocolate banana smoothies.

1/2 cup quick-cook oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
about 1/2 cup dried cranberries
about 1/4 cup walnut pieces
about 1/2 cup hemp milk

Put the oatmeal, cinnamon, and dried cranberries into a small bowl. Pour over boiling water just to cover, and cover the bowl with a small pot lid. Pop the walnuts in the toaster oven. I set mine to medium and when the toaster pings, the walnuts are toasted and the oatmeal is done just right. Take the lid off the oatmeal, stir it up, and top with the toasted walnuts and a splash of hemp milk.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Work/Play: Personal Update

So I'm going back to work on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and Tuesdays and Thursdays thereafter. Which goes along with my strategy of making WORK seem less like work by doing less of what seems like work, I'm excited about two days of work in a way that I wouldn't be about five. I get to keep my health insurance, which is obviously hugely important. I still have time to write, though less. Though I also don't have to look down the barrel of covering $2,000 in monthly expenses with freelance income, which is currently hovering at about $150/month.

You don't add two days of work without losing two days of something else. A person's ability to see that something's got to go is a pretty decent predictor of happiness in my book. I mean, a lot of people choose to lose sleep. But if you ask me, that's just losing a thin slice from everything else. And I don't want to lose my Sundays, again. Particularly now that Saturdays are such buttkickers, I love Sundays for putting myself back together. I mean, I love that sorting the laundry on the kitchen floor is what Sunday morning is for.

Looking at my index cards, I have two days for writing Livestrong articles, which is where $100 comes from, two days for the work I do for the league, which I like a lot, but is a lot, and one day for writing for this blog, which I like the best.

Not shown on my index cards is how much television I watch. That could stand to be trimmed.

CUE Edward Scissorhands:

alla Poppy
alla Poppy

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Diet Quality Card

january daily diet card

I'm still weirdly not hungry, I also weighed in at 144 pounds on New Years Day! I know I said that I don't mind getting bigger, but I suspect that, well first, there was Winterval food, and then there was three days of being sick on the couch and downing, I kid you not, a liter of Coke each day, and about an equal amount of water, and also tea with honey and hemp milk. When I'm sick, I'm serious about fluids. If I wasn't 100% hydrated before, I sure as hell am now. But also things have been pretty carby, I hate to say that I'm actually craving meat. Well, we'll see about that. Also hemp milk is lower in protein and higher in fat than silk, I think it'll have to be almond milk for tea and oatmeal.

Per 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces:


I made sweet potato pie for NY Day and that reminded me I used to make little pumpkin treats for snacks, basically pumpkin pie filling baked in lined muffin tins with a Nilla wafer at the bottom, and that I could do that with pumpkin or sweet potato. Not vegan, obviously. And I don't know how bad it is to eat a Nilla wafer every day, maybe it's not bad. But it means having a box of Nilla wafers in the house. And this is how I think, you know, you can just eat the baked sweet potato. I'm going to try that, that's even easier than kale chips.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This is the new and improved jumping drill formerly known as substitutes, because they substituted in winter for suicides. Which are also known as wind sprints, you know, run a quarter track, turn around, run back, run a half track, turn around, run back, etc. I worry that they still call them suicides, like, in high schools. But in fact I still call them suicides, because they're supposed to make you feel like dying and because I do it to myself. But in winter I couldn't do sprints in the schoolyard, I switched to doing jumps in the kitchen and they're just as bad; they're both about short, high intensity bursts to build anaerobic capacity, which is what derby calls for.

Oh and, I decided to call these samsaras, because suffering is always done in the name of desire.

5 toe touches
5 star touches

5 toe touches
5 star touches

5 toe touches
5 star touches

5 toe touches
5 star touches

5 toe touches
5 star touches

For ANKLE JUMPS, fold and spring open your ankles.

For HEEL JUMPS, pull your heels up to your butt.

For KNEE JUMPS, pull your knees up to your chest.

For TRUNK JUMPS, fold and spring open your upper body.

For SQUAT JUMPS, fold and spring open your lower body.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Buyer's Guide to Toe Stops: Snyder Rounds

snyder round toe stopssnyder round toe stops after one month

As you can see, my Snyder rounds are showing some wear after just a month of use. Doesn't seem to be affecting their function, just saying. My web stops didn't seem to wear at all, well, until I lost a little piece of them on Thanksgiving playing roller hockey in the driveway with my nephew.

I had imagined that the round toe stop would give me some bounce, and maybe it does. Just not what I was picturing, which was more out of The Matrix. But I have been doing noticably better at turn stops, I think partly because my turns improved after I taught them at Derby Lite and partly I think it is the toe stops. If I recall correctly, I always had a little more trouble with turn stops than turns. Always at that point when I had to set down my toe stops, I'd have to catch my balance. Now I touch down and slide backwards as nice as you please, which actually you can see from the wear. I think the web stops were too flat to catch me when I needed.

So thumbs up for the rounds, for now. Back in a month.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


two water bottles

In the morning, I wake up with the day piled up in front of me. Little things like emails to be answered, volunteer hours to be submitted, that check to be deposited. Also I need more white socks. Big things like Am I going back to work or Am I going to try to be a freelance writer and fitness instructor for real this time.

Then always, first things first:

* drink water

You actually breathe out a little bit of moisture with every exhalation, so you're always a little bit dehydrated when you wake up. So it's a very good habit to drink a little bit of water as soon as you get up. I mean, I only partly do it to get my body going and mostly do it to get my mind back on track. Sometimes just a swallow of water in a tin cup.

But lately, I've discovered that I like drinking water out of these bottles. I don't know why particularly these bottles, but I do. If I set myself up with two bottles in the morning and finish them before I go to bed, I know I've drunk six cups or 48 fluid ounces. Your body can only absorb about a cup of fluid at a time, so it's better to sip water throughout the day than gulp it down, say, all before practice. I mean, guilty as charged. Also if you start off well hydrated, you just need small sips throughout practice to replace what you sweat out.

If you've never thought about why you need to keep hydrated, consider that your blood is circulating fuel to and waste away from your muscles. When your blood is well hydrated, it moves more fluidly and does a better job more easily. Your muscles don't tire because they're well fueled and waste like carbon dioxide and lactate is removed, and also your heart doesn't tire because it's easier to pump your blood. Your muscles also move more fluidly and easily when they're well hydrated. And finally, hydration promotes cell regeneration—i.e., muscle building— whereas dehydration causes muscles to break down.

It's also important that I keep myself well hydrated, because I've started taking, um, creatine. Don't holler! It actually got the okay from the American Dietetic Association in this really great article about sports nutrition:

Creatine has been shown to be effective in repeated short bursts of high intensity activity in sports that derive energy primarily from the ATP-creatine phosphate energy system such as sprinting or weightlifting, but not for endurance sports such as distance running.
What sport do you know where you sprint and hit for two minutes at a time? I found some sensible advice about dosing and didn't do a crazy load period, just a teaspoon in my orange juice every morning and a teaspoon in my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie after workouts. And you do have to stay hydrated to prevent muscle tears, but you should be staying hydrated to prevent that anyway.

I know, the sweetie man has not stopped making fun of me. Enough about that, I will let you know how it works.

I'm trying to get myself to go straight from drink water to, do not pass INTERNET:

* do stretches
* wash up
* wash dishes

I actually did sunrises this morning with half tricep pushups. Holla.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Life Again

things to do on index cards

Boy, I got my peanut butter in my chocolate this break. Best crazy mashup of rest and work ever. In the work column, it was posting the league practice schedule and purging, cleaning, and reorganizing every room in the apartment. Also washing my wheels, changing my cushions, and waterproofing my snow boots. In the rest column, it was painting Mel's screen and rereading the entire Little House on the Prairie series. And plyos on skates! Then I got sick and spent three days lying on the couch watching MI-5. And then thirteen hours watching The Lord of the Rings with the upholdskis.

I got your hunnert card pileup right here...