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About Gemma

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  • Birthday 11/18/1966


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    Coastal Swamplands, NC USA


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  1. Gemma

    Mike Wazowski’s Habbit Laboratory

    Of course you should wear what feels comfortable and appropriate and right to you. I am just highly committed to posting something from Strictly Ballroom into your challenge thread any time I see even the tiniest of possible openings. I amuse myself ...
  2. Gemma

    Gemma pares it down. Waaaaayyyyy down.

    Today's gym: - Sun Salutation x3 - Circuit x3 --- 25# kb swings x15 --- inverted row x10 --- 25# kb goblet squat x8 --- 20# kb strict press x8 - 10 minutes hand/wrist mobility + quadruped rocking from NF Handstands Current "freedom from useless stuff" win: I had ordered a garment sometime during the black Friday/cyber Monday madness week (seriously, that stuff lasted a long time this year, right?) I received it last week, and it almost fit. Like really, it was only just a little bit sort of uncomfortable. But I totally could have justified it being 'close enough' to not go through all the hassle of returning it. I mean, it would probably stretch a bit, eventually. And it worked, it met the need. And it looked okay. This ... this is the voice that lives in my head. (She is really annoying sometimes.) Reality check - it would never have stretched, because I would never have worn it. But since I actually spent money on it, I would have kept it for years - hoping that the dresser-drawer fairies might stretch it out a bit, maybe, or telling myself that I might lose just enough weight/bodyfat to make it actually perfect, or whatever. I returned it to exchange for the actual right size. It went out in yesterday's mail. I am too old for this nonsense.
  3. Gemma

    Mike Wazowski’s Habbit Laboratory

    There's always this ...
  4. Gemma

    Mike Wazowski’s Habbit Laboratory

    I dunno about all that, I thought Kevin Spacey was pretty darn awesome in American Beauty ... Love the rumba video - also on the list of those looking forward to seeing something more recent with your new partner!!!
  5. Gemma

    Gemma pares it down. Waaaaayyyyy down.

    They are about the only warm-up I have patience for (other than the old standby of empty bar lifts). And I probably ought to do more than 2 rounds, but - attention span of a fruit fly. Once I'm in the gym I want to just get ON with it and not mess about. (I'm not really an idiot*, I will warm up more if it is cold outside or if I have been very sedentary, but that isn't usually my case). Today my gym was closed because of the National Day of Mourning, also I was unexpectedly off work. So I am puttering around the house ... but I did get a little inspired by Steve's recent article on HIIT, so I managed to force myself to do 100 kb swings (25#) in an interval-ish format ... 20 swings, light housecleaning for 2 minutes or until heartrate observably decreases, then 20 more swings. It's not much, but it's something. I have a full box of household stuff packed up to take to the thrift shop tomorrow, including a kitschy ceramic snowman candleholder thing with a pumpkin-spice scented candle that I got at a women's ministry gift exchange a few days ago. Normally I would keep it ... in storage somewhere, or in a closet, collecting dust ... for a few years. I would feel guilt about getting rid of it. Not even sure why. But it would eventually end at the thrift shop, because it is so kitschy I don't even have anyone on my list that I could re-gift it to. So I behaved very graciously at the ministry event, expressed appropriate gratitude, and now I am just letting it go without feeling any guilt about it or letting it occupy space in my life for years. This is kind of a big deal for me, anti-clutter breakthrough-wise speaking. * I think. Other persons' opinions may vary.
  6. Gemma

    Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

    Almost certainly for the best. I have known people (not sane people, Marines, but still sort of people) who have raised raccoons from kits and it's been okay, but in general they are pretty mean and can hurt you bad if you try to play with them. They are definitely in the "don't mess with me and I won't rip your face off" category of cute. Yes! I'm not going to quote all the relevant bits of the shoe convo, but here is my personal experience. YMMV especially since you have flatish feet; I have a ludicrously high arch. - when I first started lifting I did it in super squishy running shoes, which I had purchased during one of my mad "no, I really want to convince myself that I like to run" fits. That was fine for a while, but as soon as things started to feel at all heavy I might as well have been trying to move furniture while standing on a trampoline. Very unstable. - I switched to Vibrams (yes, the funny toe shoes - I like 'em.) Massive, massive improvement. Suddenly I felt so very non-wobbly. I have a non-library, non-purple gym that will not allow barefoot or sockfooted lifting ... but that may jut be because it is a military base gym. I don't know if my Starting Strength gym would have allowed barefooting, I never saw anyone do it and I never asked. I also, like @farflight explained, prefer minimalist shoes for running - when I do run. Something about squishy padded running shoes makes me come down too hard with every stride, so after even a half mile or so my knees hate me. In minimalist shoes I have to run "softer" - which means my limiting factors are my lungs and my "IhatethisIhatethisIhatethis" imp in my brain, my knees and hips are fine. Again, though, I think that is a function of my personal anthropometry, because a lot of people, e.g. Grumble, do much better in the super padded shoes. - When I could not for the life of me get my squats to depth without my heels coming up off the ground, I bought lifting shoes and the difference (for me!) was astounding. So I probably did have an ankle mobility limitation. I went with the Inov-8 Fastlift 325, and I love love love them. They also made my OHP feel even more stable, not sure why. When I was working with a Starting Strength coach, she very much wanted me to keep my heels on the ground for bench, so they helped with that too.
  7. Gemma

    Grumble gains inVOWELuable knowledge

    I'm a chronic long-term meditator and I've never noticed that side effect, however I do have super-intense dreams when I've been sleeping poorly for a while (especially if having stressy-times) for a bit when I start to sleep well again I've got Quentin Tarantino meets Baz Luhrmann all up in my brainpan. So I'm thinking maybe @Katerina is on to something there. But good weird tho - right? I have f.lux on my laptop for that very reason. I did not know that this was a thing on my phone. It is. It is also an option for my tablet. You, sir, have just unintentionally improved my quality of life.
  8. Gemma

    Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

    I don't have anything helpful to say about squats, mine are in a permanent state of repair as well. I do have a baby raccoon on a scooter, though. So here's that.
  9. Gemma

    Gemma pares it down. Waaaaayyyyy down.

    So I went to the gym yesterday. I have absolutely no rational explanation for why it has been so hard to get my gym habit back since Florence. I know that I feel like cowpies when I don't work out. I know that I have successfully established a regular workout routine in the past, sustained it for years, and quickly recovered from short-term interruptions. I know that I can't rely on motivation, I need an easy repetitive battle rhythm, as reliable and non-negotiable as 'on Tuesdays we wear pink.' I also know that despite having some decent tools at my house, I really don't like to work out at home and will almost always find a way to procrastinate out of it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Knowing is really only half of the battle. *** Theatrical aside *** many years ago, at the dinner table, number one son was talking about something he learned in school, and ended the story with "so now we all know." My husband, of course, responded with "and knowing is half the battle." Eldest (probably fourteen-ish at the time) shot back, "yeah, but what's the other half?" Number three son, at or around 10 and always quick on the draw, immediately responded "showing up" in a tone that implied a sense of "duh!" He was, I think, not wrong. So, I'm not under any illusions that I 'have the problem licked' or anything. It was just one day. But ... I am apparently still capable of just telling myself "do the thing" and then doing it without *too much* additional thought about whether or not I feel like it, or if I have all the right stuff packed in my bag, or if today is really the best day for that because after all I have x and y on my schedule already so ... blah blah blah. I took it super easy, because it has been a looong time and I didn't want to not be able to get out of bed today, so: - warm-up, 2 rounds of Sun Salutation, then - circuit x3 --- 10 kb swings 20# --- 10 inverted rows --- 7 kb strict presses 20# (I was going for 10 here but on the first circuit rep 8 was super extra strugglebus and again with the not overdoing it right out of the gate) - 10 minutes of hand and wrist mobility exercises from the NF handstands program That was all, but I really felt like that was enough and much more would have been too much.
  10. Time: 2 months A.F. (after Florence). Scene: Utter chaos. Boxes of flooring planks scattered randomly about, thick layer of drywall dust covering everything. Exhausted husband draped loosely over sofa, barely visible under pile of exhausted pit bull dogs. Gemma (pulling herself up from a collapsed position in an armchair): "Wow, I sort of thought we would be more back to normal by now. (Blinks, looks around at mess as if just noticing it.) I ... guess I ought to try and do something about this, huh?" Aaaaaannnd - scene! *** What I've learned from Hurricane Florence: I have a lot of stuff. I am blessed and lucky that most of my stuff survived the hurricane, unlike much of my part of the country. One of the most heartbreaking sights is the piles of things that people took out of their homes to discard because they were soaked and unsalvageable, piles sometimes six foot high and running the entire length of the curb. Some of those piles have not yet been cleared away. I very definitely do not need as much stuff as I have. I've done without most of it for two months and don't miss it. I can't not work out. I have not worked out since B.F., and I feel awful. I have to do something. For the first few weeks, there was enough chainsaw and debris hauling and fence building work that I really didn't miss lifting. But now I feel more like a three-toed sloth with each passing day. De-clutter and minimalize my life, one room at a time. Obvious starting point, master bedroom. When we moved into the guest room (much smaller closet) I took only my very favorite clothes. The rest (LOTS!) got dumped into a pile in the Hobbit Hole. I have not missed them at all, and it turns out that what I accidentally created was a pretty functional capsule wardrobe. So I will be taking lots of clothing to the charity shop as I move back in to my much larger closet. I should be able to get all of my clothing into my half of the closet and one or two dresser drawers, eliminating the need for a large ugly shelving unit that I never liked but thought I 'needed' to hold all my workout clothes and t-shirts. *** Move NOTHING back into the bedroom unless/until I can clearly articulate why I want it, how often I will use it, and exactly where it lives when not in use*. Create legit color coordinated capsule wardrobe for work, reduce grubs clothes and workout clothes to be proportional to how I actually spend my time.*** *these rules will carry over when I get to other rooms Find a place to fit 15 minutes of movement/day into my life. At this point I'm not even going to stress about increasing strength or reducing body fat or anything - I just want to prove to myself that I can re-establish the habit now that I've pretty well broken it. I'm not even picky about what. Options include but are not limited to: Nerd Fitness Handstands program work (which I started B.F. but haven't looked at since.) Kettlebells - either the quickie KB workout that Steve Kamm blogged last month, or the Simple and Sinister combination (swings + Turkish Get Ups) Sledgehammer circuit Suspension trainer circuit Body weight circuit Walking during lunch break at work Seriously, if I do any of that I will almost immediately feel better, but I am fighting through this humongous pile of inertia tribbles and don't really want to do any of that. I'm putting it in a challenge so that I feel accountable to you nerds. Because that helps. It really really does. And that. Is. All.