Friday, October 15, 2010

9 weeks of P90X + 3 weeks of inactivity = square one

For those who've never tried it, the P90X commitment is not to be taken lightly. The workouts take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half (if you're doing the "Ab Ripper" workout after weights). The routine varies between weights and aerobics, yoga, stretching and kenpo (my favorite). There is daily variation and weekly variation and the whole program is nothing short of intense.

My last post was 6 days in to the 90 day commitment. I started right after the 4th of July weekend.

A month after I started my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a beautiful ceremony/reception. Preparation for that consumed plenty of time and energy. Around that time my beloved husband gave me a new used piano, which introduced a new discipline of 30-minutes-a-day of piano practice into my already busy routine.

In mid-August I spent a week in Taiwan on a business trip. In mid-September my husband and I spent a week in Hawaii on our "honeymoon" vacation. On the last afternoon of our vacation I slipped on a lava rock and sliced open my toe, requiring 6 stitches and a hiatus from my workout routine. I couldn't risk pulling the wound open. Although I'd diligently maintained my workout discipline throughout all of the demands of life, work and travel I suddenly found myself "grounded."

That was September 23rd, the end of my first week of inactivity (vacation). The slice on the bottom of my foot restricted my walking to a slow limping pace, which further slowed me down. Yes, maybe there were some things I could still do but I'd lost my momentum. It's amazing how quickly things unwind. This week I started with some baby steps - push-ups on my knees (so I don't flex my torn toe), crunches, a few wall squats. It's depressing to realize how quickly the flab returned. And I look back and realize how much time flew by while I was busybusybusy with exercise, piano, reading, etc. But not writing.

So, no "after" photos yet of the great beachbody the P90X routine is supposed to yield. I'm not sure how I'll tally the time devoted given the on-again off-again nature of this effort. I'm not sure I want to go back to the 7-day-a-week regimen. I definitely do NOT want to give up completely on the exercise. Maybe there's a happy medium because one thing I DO want is to find time to write again.

When I get back on my feet (or rather the balls of my toes) I will be seeking balance, and not just through yoga training.

Ni Hao, Taipei

I’ve been in Taipei since Tuesday. I’m finally feeling caught up on my sleep and relatively past the jetlag of the westbound journey. I left Austin Sunday evening and arrived in Taipei at about 6:30 am Tuesday. There’s a 13 hour time difference so it was Monday evening back in Austin. Yes, the commute generally takes 20-24 hours including the layover at LAX and the 14hr leg between LA and Taipei. I was desperately looking forward to a shower/change at the hotel. What I wasn’t looking forward to was the unexpected 2 hour wait for the hotel to get my room ready. I spent most of that time napping on a sofa in the lobby while the businessmen came and went, arriving in dribbles and leaving in waves as they boarded their respective shuttles on the half-hour. I’d snap awake from a dose realizing I was in the thick of a throng of mandarin-speaking suits.

The hotel gave me a breakfast pass and after much encouragement I finally went to the buffet but alas, my tummy was not of a mind to dine. I settled for some cream of mushroom soup, which was actually quite good. What I really needed was a nap. And a blessed shower and change of clothes.

Fast-forward a few hours and I’m in the office feeling fresh as a daisy. Wait…no. I did make it to the office but my stomach was gnarly and rebellious so I after about 30 minutes I went back to the hotel and slept almost solid (woke for a quick "phone home" on Oovoo) through til the next morning.

I’ve not found any magic formulas for survival but I do know that daily yogurt, plenty of sleep and exercise are keys to success. Unfortunately I’m not getting much exercise (see my last post) but I’m doing okay on the other fronts. The last two nights I’ve gotten about 6 hours of sleep versus the tossing and turning that had been going on. What a difference!

I’ve been a slacker on the photo-taking but I did snap one shot of the soup I had for dinner via room service Wednesday night. Beef noodle soup is a staple for me here. I wish I’d gotten a pic of the soup I had for dinner at the food court near my Taipei office on Thursday. It was black. The locals refer to it as “herbal” or “good health” soup. No one can tell me what’s in it. Well, other than the black chicken that is. Why is it black? What’s behind that dark, almost burnt taste? Are those two attributes related? This remains a mystery.

Last night I enjoyed a happy hour buffet celebration with the Program Management team. The food was awesome. Although there was no English to identify the food, there were enough choices that I was able to stick with things I recognized and they were all over-the-top delicious. And there was plenty of Taiwan beer for everyone. I also had my share of watermelon juice.

Which brings me to this morning. I had the opportunity to spend the day at the National Palace Museum but opted instead for a day of R&R, which includes some long overdue blog posts and a walk to the park where I’ll enjoy reading Camille DeAngelisPetty Magic. As soon as I finish here, I'm off to be there.

Zai Jian!