Friday, August 31, 2007

Return to the Stepford Spa

Last year, my dad really generously took me to this great spa out in Tucson.  (I journalled about it starting here and dubbed the place The Stepford Spa in the following entry.)  And, when all was said and done, it's about a year later, I've lost 25 pounds and kept it off -- and that's all due to spending 2 hours with a Nutritionist at the spa.  So, Dad offered to take me again this year for a refresher -- seeing as we both wanted to see the Nutritionist again to update our eating plans -- and I was all for it.

So, I flew in to Phoenix last night, had dinner with my folks, and stayed overnight at their place.  We were off at 9:00 this morning, and arrived here three years later, without even a rest stop.  (At first, Dad turned on the radio to get traffic reports, but it was a talk radio station that catered to his political leanings -- which are rather different from mine -- and we ultimately turned off the radio, avoided politics by unspoken agreement, and settled in for conversation focusing more on areas of common ground.)

After lunch, we met with our program advisors and nurse educators.  I didn't get much from the program advisor as, since I'd already been here, I pretty much knew what I was up for.  After discussion my ankle history with the nurse educator (and telling her I'd brought a couple small ankle braces with me for athletic activity), she prohibited me from hiking, which I was really choked up about ...

... that was sarcasm, in case it didn't translate.  I haven't exercised at all in the past year -- with the exception of the stuff I did on vacation in Alaska -- and one of their four mile hikes would kill me.  And that's just from a cardio/endurance standpoint.  I haven't been to the gym or even walked around the block, and I'm still going through the trial and error process of determining which of my shoes set my ankle off (apparently, the sandals I wore down here are now in the "bad shoe" column) so putting my ankle through the stress of a hike is simply out of the question.

We checked in our rooms -- we're next door to each other this time -- and Dad rested a bit while I went for a (short) walk around the grounds to reorient myself.  Also, I wanted to try out my heart rate monitor which I'd just bought offa Amazon.  (One of the things the fitness physiologist taught me last year is that the heart rate monitors on exercise machines blow.)  I attached the monitor to myself and was immediately fascinated by it.  The nurse had taken my pulse after I'd been sitting there talking to her for 20 minutes, and it was around 80.  Strapped this thing on myself while unpacking and it was hovering around 110.  Walking pushed it to 120, walking with a spring in my step and I was at 135.  And stayed there for awhile, even after I'd stopped walking.  This is fun.  I'm gonna strap this thing on myself and try the elliptical machine tomorrow -- see if I can't figure out my target heart rate the way the fitness physiologist did it last time. 

At dinner, I had this tasty lemongrass chicken -- which was really funny because when I looked up last year's entry to link to it, I discovered I'd had the same chicken.  Dessert was notable, though -- a "Banana Changa" -- a banana wrapped in dough with cinnamon and heated; drizzled with chocolate sauce.  Mmmm.  And only 175 calories.

Current bug bite count:  four.  Three are in a very itchy grouping around my wrist.  Just thought I'd share.

ANYWAY, after dinner, there really weren't any lectures we were interested in, so Dad went back to his room to read, and I thought I'd go try out one of the pools.  (Even though it's dark, it's still over 90 degrees out here.)  Went to a pool and I was the only person there.  This was the pool with underwater treadmills in it, so I gave one a try for a half mile.  I figured it was as "no-impact" on my ankle as I was going to get, but at least it had me working my cardio for 12 minutes, and that was a start.  Then I took advantage of the fairly awesome fact that I was alone in this great big pool all by myself, so I floated around on my back, watching the stars, randomly pondering my place in the universe, and generally marvelling at the fact that, although this place is full to capacity this weekend, I could actually spend a quiet, calming evening in a pool and feel like there was nobody around for miles.

1 comment:

dklars said...

You were lucky, because later in the day the traffic getting out of Phoenix was horrendous, though mainly the back-ups were for people heading north.  I've been reading you for awhile (Sorry, mostly a lurker!) and never realized your parents were from here (Pnoenix)!  I hope your "Stepford Spa" weekend is enjoyable.  Underwater treadmills?  I wish I had one in my pool, that sounds awesome!