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Ah yes…there actually ARE muscles in there, way down deep in my core.  And my hamstrings and my pecs…

And I’m still feeling the burn, 3 days after that workout!  Truly hilarious.  Oh wait – it’s not good for me to laugh too hard right now – my abs hurt when I do!

So what’s going on here?  Well, as mentioned last week I am committed to shifting my routine and getting back to basics with physical fitness.  Hockey is going to take a sabbatical and I’m going to use money normally budgeted for league fees and put it toward my kick ass personal trainer, B.

Who, really and truly, kicks my ass.  B first started training me back in 2009 at the gym I’ve belonged to for now nearly nine years.  I’d never worked with a personal trainer before, but I was inspired by my manager at my job at the time, who took the plunge and hired a personal trainer for himself.  And I got to thinking, hmmm…my gym had finished undergoing a major remodel, complete with brand new exercise equipment throughout.  It would be fun to learn how to use it with a professional!  I was in the process of doing Couch to 5K, a running program for beginners and felt on a wee bit of a fitness roll!

Everyone at the gym recommended B.  He’s been training there a long time and is a fixture.  But hardly with his style…no, he is all about variety and creativity with workouts, which is EXACTLY what I need.  I’d seen him working with other clients over the years so I had a general idea of his demeanor.

I enjoyed working out with him so much…we’d meet up Tuesday nights and Sunday late mornings.  Try as he might to get me to join his Sunday morning spinning class I always opted out – it was too early for me on a day of the week I cherish sleeping in.  Never once was his workout for me exactly the same – truly inspiring and impressive.

Then the economy tanked and I was out of a job.  Ah yes, summer 2009…so wonderful with personal accomplishments and yet so damn shitty with the job market.  So while I clung to my gym membership – I truly needed it to keep me sane during those unemployed months – I had to make personal, financial cutbacks and training with B was one of them.  Of course he totally understood – things like this happen all the time.

So last Thursday – after 3 years – we got back to business.  Ironically it was one of the hottest days of the year so far – highs in the mid 90s (36c).  It seemed a little odd to be heading indoors on such a beautiful evening but on the other hand, I was jazzed and motivated to get back to it.  “Let’s Rock & Roll,” as B always says before our workouts!

Planks.  UGH.  I’m wayyyy out of practice doing them, so he had me do some variations on ab crunches to get started.  I also did some step up exercises on a stool so he could gauge my balance on how well I can step without needing to push off with my lower foot.  Sad but true, after age 40 or so we as women can start to lose our sense of balance.  And I have a small handful of stories to totally prove that true – a few female friends/co-workers have taken tumbles on stairs or outside on office steps shortly after turning 40.  I too have had a few klutzy incidents – thankfully most with no witnesses (meaning, at home).

I also did some upper body work (man, that feels great to bust through the neck/shoulder tension after slaving away on a hot laptop all day) and some diagonal lunges with hand weights.  And side moves with kettlebells to target those obliques. Believe me, that hour went fast.  It was intense and I was dripping in sweat by the time we were finished.  What a great feeling!

…Until the next morning.  Oh man I was in agony, but not in a bad way.  Although changing positions while sleeping, getting out of bed and simple things like walking down stairs, sitting down on the – ahem – throne and getting out of my desk chair at work after a bit was excruciating.  I was probably walking around looking like I was severely constipated.  HA!

The plan is for us to train Thursday nights and I’ll get in the gym on my own on Sunday nights and Tuesday nights.  Starting this Tuesday, ha ha.

This weekend was all about FOOD.  Lots of great, glorious food.

One of my cousins is getting married later this fall on Catalina Island.  We had a bridal shower luncheon on Saturday in her honor, hosted by a family friend with a beautiful home in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle.  Such an elegant menu as well…the soup was a chilled puree of tomato, peach, a little chicken stock, cream and fresh tarragon.  It was so unexpected and heavenly and I’m in hot pursuit of the recipe so I can post it for all of you here – simply glorious!  We also had small sandwiches, spinach Quiche, an arugula salad and a trio of small scoops of sorbets for dessert with hot coffee.

And if I thought I’d never be hungry again the next day, I actually was.  I went to visit L (my guy BFF) today, as he had finished designing and printing new business cards for my Silpada jewelry business.  I’m thrilled how the cards turned out and can’t wait for the new batch of accompanying postcards too! 

Lunch was in order and L was in a burger/sports bar mood.  On our way in the car we passed Thai Siam, a longtime, casual and fabulous Thai restaurant in Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood, just north of Ballard.  And they were having their annual benefit buffet, so we thought, why not?  An all-you-can-eat buffet of incredible Thai food benefitting local causes (Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and Cancer Lifeline…that’s a no-brainer!)

My goodness Thai Siam brings back memories.  In the early 1990s when I’d finished college and was just starting out working full-time, eating out was a luxury I craved (I hardly knew how to cook save for mac & cheese and Boboli pizza).  Heck, anything beyond basic rent and utilities (and other basics like pantyhose but that was the era then) seemed a luxury.  But a mutual friend of my roommate’s raved about Thai Siam, and while it is not pricey in the general sense it was a splurge – and well worth it – on my entry-level salary.  And how wonderful to visit it again after 20+ years!  Along with live Thai music and dancing, a spontaneous barbershop quartet grabbed the microphones and sang a few songs, including Happy Birthday to a man celebrating his 21st with his family!  The waiter walked up to him with a smile and asked him, “hey, do you want a beer?”  Before he could answer his mother piped in with a flat-out “NO.”  Hilarious!

I love spontaneous weekends like this.  And I catch my breath that it’s mid August – we hold tight to summer here in Seattle for it’s often too fleeting and brief.  But when the sun shines here, there is nowhere on Earth more beautiful.

Now, where did I put my Motrin?