Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make New Friends

175 lbs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

First of all: People of Los Angeles:  (from Wikipedia) Compact car: “A compact car (North America), or small family car (Europe), is a classification of cars which are larger than a supermini but smaller than or equal to a mid-size car. “

What this means is that your friggin’ Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford F150 pickup truck, Land Rover, Hummer, Escalade or other Suburban Assault Vehicles DO NOT BELONG IN THE COMPACT PARKING SPACES. Do it again and I’ll make you eligible for the handicapped spots, I swear to God.  That and all the unnecessary backing into spaces (and you guys SUCK at it) directly under signs that say “HEAD IN PARKING ONLY.” You know, Guys, if you’re going to ignore all the rules you just don’t feel like obeying, change your last name to Gingrich and get a handout from Sheldon Adelson.

My one and only New Year’s Resolution (that I will cop to. Any others are none of your damn business) is to master the push-up. Since April 2011, I have been in the gym 5-6 per week doing resistance training 3 times a week, yoga twice a week and Pilates once a week; cardio at least 4 times a week (if I get my work done before I head to yoga, I can get in additional cardio after yoga, but that’s rare). While there has been improvement in upper body strength, the only push-up I can rock is a bra. It’s frustrating to me: I’m working very hard at this and not making discernible progress.

This is the year I master push-ups.  Dammit. I am doing this.

Searching for something else on the Internet (No, not porn. Company computer and I can write better crap than you’ll see out there), I came across a great website called Nerd Fitness ( and there is an article on there explaining how to do a push-up:

As I have learned with the Plank in yoga, it’s a full-body clench. This isn’t just about the arms and the chest, my friend, oh no. Your gut and your tush are part of the action. And the elbows don’t go flying out to the sides, you keep them tight to the body and you don’t screw up the rotator cuffs ( which would shorten your major league pitching career, unless you get traded to the Red Sox, in which case you’ll be Number 1 or Number 2 in the rotation. Josh Beckett has a bucket of chicken with your name on it. I’m still a bit disgruntled with my boys and their 2011 behavior).  Even tightening every muscle in the body, though, still not successful, even down on knee or butt in the air. But I am going to get this done.

The Nerd Fitness website tells me that if I can’t do a push-up on the ground, then I can start with the wall. Start arm’s length from the wall (as if you were in the top of a push-up on the ground), clench everything and lower yourself (well, whatever verb you’d use to describe move your body to the wall). Sounds easy, but you feel it after 3 sets of 15 repetitions. The site also recommends doing pushups every other day.

Given the way I felt afterwards, I’ll be obeying that advice.

I’m also trying to find ways to make friends with kale. It is supposed to lower cholesterol, antii-oxidant,, reduce cancer risk, body detox, anti-inflammatory; in short, it’s a good friend to have.

 It’s a leafy green vegetable and since leafy green vegetables really don’t have many real friends (unless there’s bacon in some form making the introduction), you’d think kale would welcome my advances.

It doesn’t.

I’ve tried it raw and ended up chewing for hours (this is why I don’t eat collard greens. Way too chewy). I tried sautéing it; the stubborn stuff refused to soften. Yesterday, I got kale chips (you heard me) in Tarragon Dijon flavor.  They also had chocolate flavor. No, I’m not kidding. And Cheesy Chipotle. Such versatility made me suspicious, sort of like my mother telling me that although her salmon loaf was made of fish, it tasted just like meatloaf. It didn’t and I threw it up about 90 minutes later.

Anyway, the Tarragon Dijon kale chips confirmed: 1) Nope. Tarragon really isn’t one of my favorites  and 2) Dijon ain’t one of my big favorites, either.

I still haven’t given up on kale. On a “No Reservations” I saw the other day, Anthony Bourdain was happily chowing down on Portuguese (Azores, technically) kale soup with the elements looked okay (kale, sausage, potatoes,  garlic). I will be giving that a shot very soon.  And you can’t get a better source for a classic of Fall River then Emeril Lagasse: . I’ve seen chicken chorizo, so this will work.

I’ll make friends with that green menace yet, so help me.

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