Posts Tagged ‘Daily Something

27
Jan
14

Sometimes only a chocolate cupcake with mocha icing will do …

Sometimes only a chocolate cupcake with mocha icing will do …

Chocolate Cupcake with Mocha Icing

Or sometimes two, along with a really good cup of coffee and the sense that whatever ails will pass.

I’m recuperating from the sneezing, running nose, sore throat, coughing and general malaise that goes with the territory of a winter cold.

The Tardis - Dr. WhoA box of tissues, a package of cherry-flavored sugar-free cough drops, countless draining with the netty pot and several episodes of Dr. Who later (finished series six and halfway through seven), I’m beginning to bounce back, albeit having missed two of my three gym days for the week, and what with the snow, no running.

I know, I know, cup cakes are the LAST thing I need having not worked out since last Monday, however, the calls to the soul of a perfectly formed chocolate cupcake (or two–GERD be damned) sometimes just overrules all possible objections.

And tomorrow is another day.

One thing good that came out of my Dr. Who binge (not to mention having watched The Expendables 2, Red Dawn (the remake), and Olympus Has Fallen — yep serious B-movie trashy, action-packed, shoot-em-ups), was the realization that I’d truly over done it, which prompted me to actually write last night. Well not exactly write, but edit and think through material I’d written a year ago (dare I say on the way towards a novel?) — along with an insight or two that gave me a new sense of the work as well as a few added paragraphs.

Olivetti Underwood TypewriterI guess it’s all a long way of saying that while not exactly a new project, I may well have tapped into a fresh perspective, that will see me “bend-it-like-Beckham” into something with a bit of wow for myself because it screams out into new territory layered on top of stuff I’ve written about off and on for years.

Not too sound mysterious, but in the scheme of things, writers tend to revisit the questions over and over (at least this writer does), and to find a new angle for those questions opens up all sorts of possibilities.

The coming weeks will tell as I begin to settle into some sort of writing schedule for the work — and also tease out how to better plan out the blog with days for pure reportage and other days for the general stream of freely written thoughts.

I’d also like to thank everyone for hanging in with me! It seems I’ve hit 400,246 all time views–an extraordinary feat in my estimation with all of you to thank for it, because let me tell you, when I started back in October 2010, I never thought I’d see a 1,000 visits!

It really has been an incredible honor to write about women’s boxing from every angle I can think of–and then to have folks stop by to read what I’ve been up to just adds to how joyous this all makes me feel.

So kudos to all of you for sharing in my daily something — even when I can’t make the daily part of it all!

26
Jan
12

Smelling the roses!

Smelling the roses!

“Where has the day gone?” seems to be a popular mantra lately.  Just replace the word “day” with “week” or “month” or “year” and one sees a snapshot of how most of us interact with our daily lives.  We perceive of ourselves as working too hard with too much to do and have a language that reflects our sense of how so much of our days are spent in unwanted toil.

The classic example is the expression “hump day.”  For the nine-to-five office workers that means Wednesday, an otherwise stalwart of elevator conversation as in “well at least it’s hump day.”  This presumes a sort of misery in the world of work that carries over into the too tired, too grumpy, not enough time mindset of after-five, when one’s world seems to revolve around commuting, grocery shopping, making dinner, engaging with children at varying levels — and oh yeah, interacting with one’s significant other who is often in the same place.

I guess I’m on this theme because I find myself fighting the trend. I’m literally trying to smell roses when I find them — and if they’re not there, the memory of when they are in bloom.  My favorite spot is about two blocks from my house.  In the summer and well into the autumn they form a lovely banister of color as I make my way to Gleason’s on Saturday mornings.  I’ll walk along past the Farmer’s Market and there they’ll be, dozens and dozens of pink roses with deep pink tinges in varying states of bloom, some tiny and forming, others full, and still more languidly open drawing in the last drops of sunshine till they fade and fall.

I bring all of this up because I feel that many of us forget that there is beauty in the little things.  Perhaps even in the things one sees everyday:  the way the light hits the array of plants in someone’s office window, a co-worker’s twinkle at regaling a story of her infant son’s smile, the triumph in someone’s eyes after completing 300 sit-ups.

All of these things are reminders that life is made up of moments: some are lovely and some are admittedly hard to grapple with or even sad, but still, they make up the textured interlacing of experiences that form our days.  Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that they are there even when we can’t see them. I for one am trying to live that way again.

23
Jan
12

Getting back in the swing!

Getting back in the swing!

Whether it’s perfecting your left hook or flexing your mind (as in keeping a “daily” blog) – getting back to a regular regimen is tough going when you’ve been away from it for a while!

Having stepped into the gym on Saturday for the first time in three weeks was a case in point.  I’m nursing sore abs, a creaky shoulder and a mindset that is less focused on perfecting the minute shifts of tuned-up training, than just getting to the gym at all.

So my job is to push my momentum, meaning, getting myself back on a weekly gym schedule that *builds* rather than maintains!  I’m also trying to talk myself out of the neat excuses for not going such as, “I’ll be out of town on Saturday” or “I’m tired” or “it’s raining out” … you know the drill!

I can say the same for writing!  When I don’t write every day I get out of the habit — so, starting today, I am bound and determined to get back on the writing stick!  And yes, I’ll even give myself some slack for having finished up my degree, et alia, but a daily blog is just that, a daily blog.  That means putting fingers to the keyboard with a mindset that can get past the range of reasons *not* to do something.

Meanwhile, it’s 2012 and I’m already over three weeks behind in getting my resolutions in order for the year!  So here goes!

1.  Write a daily entry for Girlboxing!

2.  Gain more strength, endurance and flexibility. Being in my late 50s means I need resistance training and a lot of it to keep my bones strong.  I also need to do more aerobic training, and yoga.  That means getting back to a training schedule that has me doing at least one thing a day and on some days all three!

3.  Eating better!  Yikes.  This one is tough.  Having been diagnosed with LPR (Laryngeal Pharyngeal Reflux) and GERD (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease) PLUS having Barrett’s Esophagus (the cells in the esophagus near the gastric junction actually CHANGE due to acid erosion), I’ve been living a low-acid/low-fat life!  What I have to get to, however, is better balance in selecting meals and foods and how they are combined.  This one is a tough to sort out – and I’ll actually do a column on it sometime soon, suffice to say that I’m getting there.  I’ve lost nearly 25 pounds since the change in my eating regimen in July 2011, now the trick is to go the rest of the way (another 10 pounds), while continuing to build muscle (which has suffered as late) so that when I eventually meet my goal, I’ll be a healthy and toned – rather than depleted and weak.

4.  The next project:  now this is the tough one!  I’m thinking book and just have to move into the space by DOING rather than angsting about it.  And therein lies the sticky problem: getting to the DOING part.  Again, it’s a matter of starting and once in the habit continuing the process until it is concluded.  Easier said than done?  No, probably not ‘cause we all have goals that we set and follow.  It’s that pesky issue of getting started!

What it all comes down to for the year:  Doing!

So, day one in my reforecast New Year means putting the fingers to the keyboard to say thanks so much to my Girlboxing friends for listening and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

And how nice that it happens to coincide with the Chinese celebration of the Year of the Dragon!

GONG XI FA CAI

11
Apr
11

Good morning from Brooklyn!

Good morning from Brooklyn!


It is way too early, and yet with books from my latest grad school paper strewn about me on the couch, the noise of buses beginning their early runs and the thought of a Starbuck’s morning bun to get me going, I’m feeling rather privileged to be able to write a blog piece.

Plus I’m feeling quite joyous at the realization that today marks my 200th post!

I’ll admit it, I’m wowed!

And having put one foot in front of the other since starting this blog on October 7th — (is that really just a little over six months ago) I’m doubly wowed at how much writing Girlboxing has meant to me not the least of which because it’s brought me into two intersecting communities of things I love: writing and boxing. 

Thank you all for being the audience for my musings!

And for the chance to wake up at ridiculous hours in the morning to do my daily something which has grown to include writing, morning yoga and the occasional shadow boxing foray around the living room.

It’s also gotten me back in the gym on a regular basis and most importantly, a renewed appreciation for the sweet science and overwhelming respect for the men and women who practice the art.

On the more personal side, writing Girlboxing has been my own private Kaddish.  A way to honor memory and loss as a daily act of positive intent by exalting the best in life.  Some days are better than others, but I always, always write with a sense of wanting to have each day be that much better than the last.

Thank you all again for your generosity in listening!

 

08
Apr
11

One breath at a time

One breath at a time.

If there is one thing I’ve been trying to gain out of a daily yoga practice aside from the physical benefits, it’s been the reminder to take things as they come.

With yoga, one performs poses to the rhythm of the breath (or at least tries) and in doing so can be “present,” with the experience.  Or put another way, the mind helps push the body to extend itself to its best place — and through regular practice the possibility of great flexibility and strength, not to mention a more focused mental attitude and the *chance* for some clear moments free of mind-movies!

The practice, however, doesn’t always guarantee the focus or the release of all that mental junk that clogs the thinking which can hamper one’s ability to perform at one’s best.  Focus being another whole facet of every discipline and whether it’s yoga or boxing it requires a lot of inner strength to maintain.

That’s where in my estimation the emphasis on the breath in yogic practice can help in priming the mind towards focus:  a great way of tricking your mind into paying attention.  Kind of like Lennox Blackmore’s pop to my head as he yell’s “wake-up, wake-up,” when I make a truly fundamental blunder during our workout. It’s also a reminder to slow down racing thoughts that are extraneous to the task at hand.

This morning was a case in point for me.  Doing yoga, my mind wandering, I lost an entire pose, meaning, I *did* the pose, but lost to a mind-movie I “woke-up” somewhere at the end of it, not really remembering how I got there and in a teeter-totter not to fall down.  So yes, I did yoga, but I really didn’t because I lost the stream of what I was doing and without that, can I truly say that I practiced?

Try that in boxing, and one ends up in a face-plant on the mat, and frankly in yoga too, because so many of the poses not only require balance, but mental “presence” to truly gain mastery of the practice.  And it is that presence, that “be here now” concept that see’s one through so much of the daily struggles of life.

So, full-circle to the breath … take a few moments out of your busy day and remember to breathe and in so doing, slow down enough to be where you are one step at a time.

17
Mar
11

Yoga mama shadow boxing around my living room

Yoga mama shadow boxing around my living room

Having fallen “off the wagon” so to speak, I’m on day two of my renewed daily yoga routine what with being a bit hit and miss over the last two weeks — with an every 3rd morning routine.

What can I say — my arms are straining from plank pose, my hamstrings from downward facing dog, and my whole body from the Warrior 1, 2 & 3 sequences, but hey, I’m sitting taller while breathing nice and deep and full.  Even the kitty is excited, finding in my unfurled yoga mat a fun toy she’d apparently, really missed.

Next up, three rounds of shadow boxing around the living room to James Brown’s “Funky Good Time” before prancing my way around the kitchen to make some breakfast for the family.

It’s good to be back.

 

 

 

16
Mar
11

Slipping and sliding

Slipping and sliding

My little black cloud has returned.  The one my mother used to say followed me everywhere as a constant reminder of all the doom and gloom in the world.  I felt it coming on as a bad fever dream over the past couple of weeks when I started eschewing morning yoga in favor of reading Google “Top News” headlines.  Next came my compulsive news-watching — and now I’m in full-blown “chicken-little” mode what with four disabled nuclear reactors in Japan spewing radiation and reactors five and six on the way.

I guess it was the earthquake-tsunami combo that really put me over the edge and saw me blow-off a perfectly good weekend of work in favor of the intricacies of nuclear power plants.  Did you know, for instance that after the diesel engines failed, the workers jerry-rigged fire hoses to pour water into the reactors?

Having been to Japan both as a traveler and for work, there has been an immediacy to the events that hit home — not to mention that I not only grew up in the era of “duck and cover,” but having had parents who were active in the Ban-the-Bomb pacifist movement of the late 50’s & 60’s knew rather more than I needed to know about nuclear bombs.

So meanwhile, I have work piling up for grad school, a body that is no longer a supple as a pretzel, and am struggling to find my way into the sunshine again when really — well, you get the point, I’m under my little black cloud!

Talk about a slip and slide.

Well, its time to take my own medicine and get out of my own way so to speak.

Yep.  It’s first-you-cry, wash-my-face time.   I could quote from Casablanca to myself … you know the one, “I’m not good at being noble, but it’s clear to me that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

And yeah, I’d be right.  Part of the all the stuff that happens in “this crazy world” is our own obligation to make it a better place.  So while I can’t do much to help in Japan other than sending on a few bucks, (nope, I didn’t major in nuclear engineering), what I can do is get out of my funk to live a better day and save the black cloud for where it belongs, in the sky to provide rain for all of those pretty May flowers.

So in the spirit of sunshine, born-again Pollyanna says, “have a great day!”




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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