Saturday, August 5, 2006

Vacation With Dad -- Day Two

I am at the Stepford Spa.

Every time I pass someone walking along, they ask, "How are you?"  I return the question and get back, "Great!" in response.  And these aren't employees; these are the guests.  I get the feeling that if I don't end up answering "Great!" by the time I leave, my "program advisor" is going to be thrown into a deep dark cell somewhere.

Today began with breakfast at 8:15.  We went to the "Spa Savvy" breakfast where they seat you with people who work at the place in order to get filled in on secrets.  My dad and I were the only guests there -- so it was the two employees and the two of us at an 8 person table.  Didn't learn much.  (Well, I learned you can request salt at dinner, and they'd be happy to bring it to you, but this does not work with french fries.)

At 10:00, I met with a fitness physiologist who talked with me about my exercise goals (lose weight, build up endurance), my limitations (ankle injury, whatever is up with my knees), and my current workout (uh... does petting the cat count?) -- and then she tried to put together a plan for me that may actually work.  (She also checked my heart rate so found out the number I should be aiming for -- rather than just going by the flashing lights on the elliptical machine.)  She even gave me some ideas for strengthening my ankle so I can skate again without freaking out about the ligament, which is good.  She does think that, for cardio, I should consider purchasing an elliptical machine.  (Sure, I can't like a stationary bike or a treadmill -- I have to like the most expensive cardio machine.)  She recommended looking for a used one as "lots of people buy these things and don't use them."  I checked on eBay.  She's right.  In the last couple minutes, she said I should look into "tubing" if I want to do some strength training.  It's resistance training you can do at home using long stretchy tubes--kinda like big rubber bands (except they're hollow).

Was going to go to an "Aqua Shape" class after that, but I was too late getting over there, so I went to a nearby pool and walked a half mile on the underwater treadmill.  (Yes, electricity and water together -- who knew?)  Then I sat around, getting some sun, reading a book.

After meeting dad for lunch -- at which time we compared schedules and realized we were going to take two classes together later -- I went off to a class on tubing.  Forty-five minutes later, I was drenched in sweat and staggering down the stairs.  (And a little cautious about investing in a set of tubes.  Two reasons for this.  First, a fellow class member said she bought some a couple years ago and they're collecting dust under her bed.  Second, I asked the guy leading the class, "Hey, do these things ever break and hit someone in the face?" and he said, "Yes.  I'm not gonna lie to you.")

After the tubing class, I met Dad for a class called "Breathing."  Props to Dad for going to this.  He isn't much of a touchy-feely guy to begin with, but I dared him to take one class in meditation or something like that, so he signed up for "Breathing," (which is offered by the "Mind and Body Department").  We pretty much sat around and learned to slow our breathing.  Teacher said this was good for all sorts of yogic things.  I'm pretty sure she lost my dad when she started talking about "alternate nostril breathing," but the whole idea of taking nice, deep, relaxing breaths is nice.

We then went to "Stretch & Relaxation," which was taught by the same guy who'd tortured me with the tubes a couple hours before.  Much stretching (which was good after what was, for me, a hard workout) and some lying there visualizing your "Happy Place."

Had no idea what my "Happy Place" was, so I improvised being curled up on my featherbed with my cat.  But then a picture of snorkelling at Lizard Island immediately came into view.  Unable to choose between the two, I mentally relocated my bed (with cat) to Lizard Island.  Hey, my happy place, I can do whatever I damn well please.  (I also spent some time being proud of the creation -- relaxing with the comforts of home while being on the verge of doing something adventurous.  Sounds like a happy place to me.)

Had a little time before dinner, so went to the spa itself and spent some quality time in the whirlpool and some more in the sauna.  I feel totally beat and intend to sleep well tonight.

Lord I hope so -- I'm getting up at 5:00 for that hike tomorrow.


helmswondermom said...

Alternate nostril breathing?

memes121 said...

The place works. I am exhausted reading about it!