Tag Archives: #exercise

I don’t wear women’s sportswear

No, not true- I DO wear bikinis when swimming. Other than that? Let me relay my shopping experience during my lunch break just now.

So I had some free time and went over to one of the major sports goods and apparel stores in central Hamburg. Some of my tennis shirts are getting threadbare (as in nipplegate threadbare), and my sweatpants are all stitched together so many times they look worse than a Raggedy Ann doll. New sportswear had to be found.

Being the goal-orientated little shopper that I am, I quickly located women’s wear on the second floor and went up there. Looking around, I was searching for the sports clothes.

Some notes about me:  I refuse to run around in public showing my underwear to all and sundry. I didn’t like leggings when they were ruling recess at school, and I don’t like them now, especially not if they’re half a foot too short to cover all of my legs. I need some give in the shoulders of my tees so I can serve with all the power of my body, or move around enough to kick heads in TKD.I need pockets to store tennis balls, pocket knives and extra stuff like bandages in. I don’t like pink, aqua or other bright pastel colors when exercising as they tend to NOT look so bright anymore after sweating through them and washing them a couple dozen times.

Women’s sportswear is skintight, has no pockets, is too short, too uncomfortable and way too revealing to ever be shown anywhere but on one of those stupid fashion shows where people expect to see this kind of thing on human clotheshangers. It is not designed to be moving around vigorously in (no matter HOW thin, leggings creep up and down when you really run. Don’t tell me they don’t!). It is not practical. It has zero appeal to anyone who really wants to actually DO sports instead of appearing like they’re doing so. EVERYTHING has some pink in it. Plus, those so-called tennis “dresses”? Like I said, I don’t want to flash the world every time I move.

I went over to the men’s section. Practical, loose sweatpants WITH POCKETS. Nice, breathy and roomy tees.  OK, so there were the full-body spandex condom suits for cyclists but they’re forgivable given the rest of the selection. Women’s running shorts are the lower-body version of these full-body condoms. Men’s running shorts are loose around the legs. Huh? Men’s sweatpants legs are long enough to cover my ankles while a women’s XL which I have to cinch to tight around my waist I look like the parody of a clown barely reaches the top of them. Huh? SOME brights in the golfing section but a merciful absence of pink everywhere else. YAY!

In the end? I bought men’s clothes, ignoring the strange looks the cashier girl gave me. It fits better into my model of being an active person. It’s a lot more comfortable. You can move around better in it. AND it’s NOT PINK.

Now when will they make sportswear for women that you can actually comfortably do sports in?

Sad truths

In sports, there are a few simple rules. With two equally skilled opponents, evenly matched in every other field, the big guy will always beat the littler guy.

Speed can only carry you so far- once you’re into a battle of reach, there’s just no chance you’re going to win because unlike speed reach doesn’t deteriorate as you tire.

A quick tall person will always beat a quick and nimble shorter person.

And these, ladies and gentlemen, are the reasons why I lost yet again in another tournament. I don’t feel like going on one of the extreme diets I was on as a teenage amateur athlete, though. I don’t have the time or the energy to keep up that extreme a regime. Doesn’t mean I’m any less frustrated.

Plus, the person I lost against today in the intramural was male- and took his time gloating. I keep wishing I could just grow six inches and be of equal height- let’s see who’ll win then!

Argh!

Not a sore loser- just hypercritical. Maybe if I’d conserved my strength a little better…?

I’m a lady!

Had a guest instructor come in for TKD yesterday. Hope he’s not going to be supervising and leading my class today since he seems to think that shouting is a valid method of instruction.

I’m not going to be shouted at- I’m a girl, no, I’m a lady. Instructors shouting at me has a reverse effect in that I flat-out refuse to do whatever they want me to (even if it’s a good thing) until they ask me politely. I don’t shout, so please extend me the same courtesy.

This guy thought we were some kind of military training facility I believe since he shouted into my ear to be doing push-ups.

I left class early.

Like I said, I don’t do being shouted at. I also don’t stand for rude people who take the ART out of a martial art and turn it into a combat tool. I trained some more at home, and went for a run that night.

But seriously, do people think that shouting makes other people obey their commands easier or do what they want faster? A whispered word can be more efficient than a shout; maybe it’s time for that lesson to sink in.

Season’s starting!

Found an e-mail in my inbox just now saying that they’ve finally managed to put up the tennis hall covers at my club. Phoned the playing partners just now aaaaannnd…

For the first time in three weeks, I get to play this afternoon! YAY!

Gym-o-phobe?

I hate gyms.

No, seriously. I hate the smell, the noise of these stupid machines, the grunts of exertion resounding around the room. I hate weight training. I hate treadmills, steppers, stairmasters.

I love running outside. I love swimming. I love my martial arts (I’m doing more of a mixed martial arts style by now because I’m mixing TKD with ancient Korean martial arts, do Tai Chi in the classic Yang style, do iaido and just got started on fighting fans). I even like doing my forms with weights on my wrists, ankles, biceps and around my waist just because it’s not classic weight training (and let me tell you, some of them are harder than weight training can be. Ever tried doing a slow kick on waist height with a five-pound weight on your ankle? Ouch!).

I guess I’m a gym-o-phobe. My sports club here in Germany has a multitude of courses to chose from, not one of which is a classic gym workout. They keep me occupied during these cold winter months.

They also put up the tennis court cover halls this week, so I’m going to start on that next week or in two weeks depending on my partners. Can’t wait to go chasing that yellow ball again! My fencing trainer’s license should be coming through some time this month as well so I’m going to be coaching once more.

Hell, I still need to work. Dammit!

The funny thing is that though most of my sports put me in direct competition with everyone else in the class, none of them involve the kind of body-judging grunt-adjusting thing that goes on in the gym. You’re not competing about your bodies, you’re competing with your bodies.

I’ll never have a model’s figure (full thighs, butt, muscled arms, wide ribcage and shoulders), but dammit can I do a drop-kick on a model’s 6′-high head. Coming back from a workout, I always feel energized. I don’t feel down, or bad about myself because I didn’t compare. Even if I couldn’t do something (and yes, I’m looking at that fucking triple jump-kick combo thing I should be doing that has me landing on my butt all the time), I’m more fired up than anything else. Even if I lose a bout, I don’t feel like being a sore loser. I feel like I’ve learned something.

I guess that’s what irks me a lot about traditional gym workouts- the lack of learning progress. There’s only so many exercises you can do on those machines or with those weights after all, and your body offers limitless opportunities to play with it.

That said, I should be sleeping right now. Have to go to the office in five hours. Oh shit!

Running off

My mouth has a tendency to run away with me. Case in point? Person from the French-speaking part of the African continent, representative of a big client, visited the firm today. Why the hell they put me in charge of greeting and dealing with him after the whole Sheikh debacle (a story for another post) I’ll never know. Anyway, this guy was strutting around all “mine are the biggest”-like, and I was gritting my teeth and dealing with lingering hands with the utmost politeness (IMO) and my best French (like every language I learned on my own, I learned the gutter-variety).

Then we came to the deal part of the day. I was chomping at the bit to finally present my contract draft and be done with the guy, so I pulled out my nicely done black folder.

“I want a man to do business with.” The client.

“And I want a client that isn’t a chauvinist macho asshole.” Me.

Guess who got escorted out of the room?

Still feel good for speaking my mind, though. I put up with that… person for three hours. Called it an early night thereafter, went for a quick 5k and called my TKD master asking to join a Tai Chi workout (as a point, we never do any kicking when any of us aren’t in a centered mood. As one of his most advanced students, I also earned the right to call him if I wanted to train) to center myself, which sorta worked. I went home, sat on my sofa and started  reading blogs.

Hot chocolate time! Roomie’s still in South Africa. LONE hot chocolate time!

… I wish someone would teach those guys what Western women think like. Or just not ask me to deal with them time after time after time. I know not all males from that particular sociocultural environment are the same, but most in a higher position in a traditionally oriented workplace are. I’m also a “permanent rebel” who will not defer to social customs I see as demeaning. I’m the worst possible choice to deal with a traditionally-minded male from that culture. Let me be, boss?

I’m… *hic*… OK

Alcohol. The main staple food of a herd of lawyers gathered together in a small space (or not-so-small).

Tonight, we had a celebration for a job well done- it was finicky and difficult, so I came fully prepared to savor the fruits of my labor.

If only there had been fruits. The fruit platter (a single, sad affair on a forgotten table by the door) was empty twenty seconds after the ravenous hordes arrived. From then on out, it was alcohol only.

There is nothing nastier than a bunch of overworked, underfed, dead-drunk people in close proximity. I don’t like being touched by most people. I don’t like off-key singing. I have sensitive hearing. I have a sensitive sense of smell and am easily offended if the person I’m talking to smells of beer and vomit.

Sooo… I refused any and all drinks. I don’t drink in public, period. One exception: a single cocktail when out for a night with the girls, at a bar we choose, with reason and thought. I was promptly labeled the party-pooper and avoided by the increasingly infantile congregation of drunkenness.

Here we are asking our teenagers to please not be stupid and drink, and as adults we can’t “have fun” unless we are drunk? Name one celebration among adults (who are not AA) that doesn’t include alcohol? I’m so sick of it all. Get a grip! If I didn’t know better, I’d say nearly all my colleagues are borderline alcoholics.

The hours are brutal in our job. It’s a rare day that I’m home before 10pm. You do need some form of escapism.

I chose my own kind of entertainment- ditching the drunk party and going for a nice midnight run along the canal. It’s started getting cold again, but I’m building up some nice speed right now so I don’t feel it all that much after the first 2k.

There’s been a change in runners, too- we now have a lot more students running where I do. Plus I’ve extended my route so I’m now up to a 10k three times a week, which is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I’m not a very good endurance runner… *sigh*

Anyway, back to the workplace tomorrow. Gonna be fun seeing all the bigshots nursing their hangovers 😛

TKD’s picking up once more, too. Going to be on the tournament circle this winter after all. At first I didn’t want to due to my weight, but I was convinced otherwise. Chubby person in the ring? That’s me!

Goodnight all!