I keep thinking that Iíll have a chance to sit down and write an entry, but it just hasnít been working out that way, lately.

Last weekend, we went to Vermont for snowboarding. The weekend turned out pretty well. Friday night, we arrived at the cabin late, and it took awhile to get settled. It was 2:30 in the morning before we went to sleep (I couldnĎt sleep), and then we were up again at 6 to get ready to go to the mountain. This was another group effort. I think there was thirteen of us? It was a fun trip.

Saturday, I only managed to snowboard for a few hours. I was too tired. I took a few awkward falls, and I started feeling panicky. At one point, I felt like if I had to get on another lift, Iíd freak out. So, we went back to the cabin, I iced my injuries and we napped.

Sunday went much better. We were on the slopes for a full day and I hardly fell at all. Switching to goofy on the last day of snowboarding last season has been serving me well.

Oh, and the new snowboard. Iím no longer a renter, and thatís made a big difference. The rental boards are usually harder and longer, which makes them sturdy, but difficult to control. My new board is soft, pliable and not too big for me. It also came freshly waxed from the factory.

Itís so slick and pliable, that it even scared me, at first. It felt like it didnít have any substance to it. It was so slippery. How was I going to balance on that thing?

I grew accustomed to it pretty quickly. It is easier to control, but it does go scary fast sometimes.

We came home on Sunday evening. I had Monday off, but I ended up working from home in the afternoon. Wednesday, the storm was starting, and I had a feeling that it was only going to get worse, so I opted to work from home. Today, I woke up to too much snow, and an email from my boss advising people to stay off the roads and work from home. Iím beginning to feel like Iíve been stuck in the house too much this week.

Around noon, we went out to shovel. My neighborhood was not designed for this much snow. Thereís a lot of work involved just getting the cars out. Iím still not even sure Iíll be able to get mine out. I couldnít shovel anymore, though. The snow was wet, heavy and deep. It was exhausting work.

The usual people who come around the neighborhood offering to shovel for money didnít come by today. I guess they had their hands full. Iím glad to know that they were busy all day. Itís back-breaking labor, for sure, but itís cash. If they were looking to make it, they got it.

This weather has also meant no dance and no Zumba. Monday, I was ridiculously sore. I could barely get up and down the stairs. I was sore in muscles that I didnít even realize could be used for snowboarding. Monday night is when I usually teach yoga, but luckily, I had a board meeting for the Buddhist group, that night, and the class was pre-canceled. Tuesday night, I was still a bit sore, but that isnít one of my regular dance nights, anyway. Wednesday, I usually dance, but that was canceled. I did yoga, instead. My muscles were still a bit stiff and achy, but the yoga ended up working out a lot of the kinks that were bothering me in my joints and back, after my awkward Saturday falls.

Today, I shoveled. By the time I finished, I knew I was done for the day, exercise-wise.

Iíve been trying to keep my exercise routine as regular as possible. Lately, itís been Zumba twice a week and weights twice a week. Iím not sure if I should increase or not, but thatís about all I can handle time-wise, right now. Thereís also dance and yoga, but I think of that as more incidental exercise; even though, power yoga has been kicking my butt, lately.

Results are so-so. How is it that I could be getting this much exercise (and donít forget the odd weekend of hiking or snowboarding), and not be getting the most amazing results ever?

Well, they say diet plays a roll, but my eating is pretty healthy. There really arenít many places where I could cut extra calories. Ok, thatís a general statement. There are plenty of times when I have cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, whatever, without a second thought. On top of that, I almost never go hungry. When I want to eat, I eat.

The other thing, which Adam often points out to me, Iím already in really good shape. Itís easier to take an out-of-shape person and get them into better shape, than to take someone in good shape and try to get them into amazing shape.

By being in ďgood shapeĒ I donít mean that I have some awesome-looking beach body. I mean, my resting heart rate is in the mid-50s. My blood pressure is picture perfect. My recovery rate is quick. Iíve been regularly physically active for decades.

That means, when Iím working out, my body just doesnít have to work as hard to get things done. A workout that might be great for someone else might not be enough of a challenge for me.

If my outsides actually looked as good as my insides indicators, I wouldnít care about results in the least.

The fact that Iím building muscle does help with the calorie burning, but a higher metabolism isnĎt necessarily a godsend. Yes, that means I do need to eat more, but that also means that Iím hungrier, and more likely to eat too much more. Like now. Itís 11:30 at night, and my stomach is growling, and no one is going to measure out for me the exact perfect dosage of food for me.

With the food stuff, it also doesnít help that I went through a long period where I could eat myself sick with chocolate cake, and not gain weight. Looking at a calorie-rich food and thinking that I shouldnít have it, seems weird and foreign to me.

My exercise routine isnít all vanity, I really do enjoy it. I also really do value my health above my looks.

Iím not sure what my problem is. I guess itís partly that I have so many beautiful friends. Itís hard to not feel like a toad, when youíre around people with rock hard abs and sculpted arms. Not only that, they are often happy, and carefree, and vibrating with energy and life.

I think my life might be getting better. If Iím wasting my time worrying about whether or not I look good enough, then I obviously donít have anything more pressing going on. If the most pressing thing in my life is whether or not my exercise results are good enough, then, maybe that means Iím doing pretty well.

My stress and anxiety level is still an issue. It never used to be an issue, and suddenly, the past few years, there it is. I think because in the past, I always expected the worst. I knew that nothing was ever going to work out, that the default answer was that I would get the short end of the stick, the unfair treatment, the one getting poor results. Over time, that changed. I was proven wrong. Things did work out, hard work did pay off, people were kind to me. The result is that Iím stuck in an unfamiliar place now. A place where I often donít know whatís going to happen.

Of course, Iím glad to feel more optimistic about life, but that involves so much more anxiety. Thereís so much more not knowing when it could go either way.

Well, itís nearly midnight. Time for me to sleep.

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Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 at 11:50 PM