Sunday, March 31, 2013

벚꽃 (Cherry Blossoms)

More soon, but just got back from Busan and am exhausted. It was a packed weekend with good girlfriends and a metric ton of food!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Death by DOMS

Did you know that there's an actual name for muscle pain and aches brought on by exercise or over-exertion? It's called DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. I don't know why it's called delayed, because my DOMS isn't delayed at all- it's always right on schedule, usually starting just as I begin working out.

My (sadistic) trainer tells me that this is normal, because he hasn't really let me ease into exercising- he's pretty much always testing my limits and making sure I'm dying by the end of every session. I suppose that's what I pay him for, but I haven't had a pain-free day since I started working out. Granted, the pain hasn't been in an isolated area, but it's still pain!

Last week, the DOMS didn't get to me until Tuesday, the day after my first session. I was exhausted by about 11 p.m. on Monday, but my body didn't tell me it was hurting until I tried to get up on Tuesday and I couldn't. My legs were like overcooked spaghetti.

Wednesday's session was spent focusing on my core, and my abs started to hurt about ten minutes into all the core-strengthening nonsense. Thursday was a disaster (though I didn't have a session), because my legs still hurt, but added to that was my entire core area. I couldn't walk, laugh, yawn, stretch, or sit without pain. I hobbled around the office, with people repeatedly asking me if I'd been injured.

Friday was torture, focusing on chest, back, and arms. I'm still in pain and can't hyper extend my arms. Then, to make matters worse, I went bowling on Friday night. By the time we went bowling, we'd been drinking steadily for a few hours, so I was all giddy and unable to feel pain. I definitely felt the pain from the workout and from bowling when I woke up on Saturday and couldn't roll out of bed.

It's Friday here in Korea, so I've survived two weeks. I don't know how I'm going to get through this ... insanity that I've paid for through the end of June, but ... I'm stubborn.

Burpees, by the way, are easier in Korea than in the U.S. I've only ever seen the super hard burpees in the U.S, which I found out today are not the "normal" kind. Thank goodness for the small things, like less-hellish burpees.

I know my trainer's doing his job, but as I'm not a morning person, I'm already tired and cranky by the time I get to my sessions between 7:00 and 7:30. Poor kid's at the gym by 6:00 to open, so I guess I shouldn't complain. He tried to convince me to start my sessions at 6:00 and I laughed at him. As if that's ever going to happen.

This week, at least, the DOMS is not quite as bad as last week. I can walk this week without anyone asking if I'm injured, so hooray! Though, cussedly, I feel like perhaps the personal training isn't working anymore because I'm not in as much pain. What is up with that?


Going to Busan (부산) tomorrow for the weekend with the girls.

Phone is dying. Both my phones! My American one and my Korean one. What a pain in the butt.

Been watching "Absolutely Fabulous" this week and it's hilarious. Jennifer Saunders is an awesome writer. Joanna Lumley's Patsy Stone is like Karen Walker, only BETTER.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

National Geographic Tumblr

First of all, I completely forgot about St. Patrick's Day this year! What the heck ... I used to remember it without even trying up until this year.

This year, no green. No Guinness. No Irish car bombs. No shamrocks.

When I realized today (the 19th) that I completely forgot about (a marketing ploy of a holiday that is) St. Patty's, I was a little sad, just because it made me realize that I'm losing my American-ness a little bit at a time.

Second of all, I stumbled upon this awesome Tumblr:

There are some amazing photographs!

This is absolutely my favorite. The expression on the trainer's face, the expression on the lion's face, the fact that a man is carrying that lion like he's a spoiled pet, the tigers in the back ... I just love it. I've never been to a real circus (Cirque du Soleil doesn't count, after all), and never really had the desire to, but this photo makes me want to jump in a DeLorean and go to one of these old time-y circuses.
I know that "ye olden days" are not as amazing that I think they are; the past is always tinged with romance simply because it's gone. Still, look at those parasols! I don't want a time machine to go back and win the lottery, I want a time machine so I can go lounge, sunblock-less, in scenes like this. (Which, honestly, I wouldn't be able to do, as it was a (more) racist time back then and I wouldn't be welcomed into a place like this.)
Aww. Alexander Graham Bell with his wife Mabel. They are so cute, even if Mabel seems to be trapped inside someone's geometry homework. It's just a sweet picture, and I love how affectionate they obviously are towards one another.
This is just cute, and I love kitties. That one on the left with his scared ears has the best stripes! Poor grouper has no idea what's going on, and I doubt the cats know that this grouper turns into a delicious dinner. Plain ol' cute, this one.

There are tons more on the website, these were just a few that grabbed me.

On a completely unrelated topic, I'm so sore that I can barely walk today. I have another session tomorrow morning, which I'm already dreading, because if I can't walk, how can I do lunges and squats and suspension training?

Oy vey....


Monday, March 18, 2013


Wow, I'm a terrible blogger lately.

Actually, I'm a terrible everything lately. My apartment is a wreck, my complexion hates me, my sleep cycle's all wiggly... is it because the weather's changing? (And it definitely is, here in Korea, where the seasons are very definite.) Or is it just me, going through a strange phase?

So. I decided to blog today because I need to be held accountable, and forcing myself to put it all out there in public (to all three people that read my blog) should, hopefully, keep me somewhat responsible. Motivated, even (ha).

I signed up for personal training sessions, and today was my first hellish experience.

Okay, it's not totally hellish. I mean, it's not that bad. It's ... hard. I got super nauseous after about ten minutes and went to throw up, but I had to nothing to throw up. One of the bad things about not eating breakfast, I suppose.

My trainer's really young and really, really tall, which is a bit disconcerting, but he's nice enough and tough enough when he needs to be. He put me through my paces for an hour and a half this morning and really wanted to keep me there for another who-knows-how-long to force me on a treadmill, but I fled, pleading meetings at work (I lied).

I was punished for lying to my trainer, though, because at lunchtime, a couple friends wanted to go ride bikes at Lake Park, so I dragged my sore, achy self off for a 5 km bike ride.

I may collapse tonight and not be able to move tomorrow.

My next session's on Wednesday. As long as I can move by Wednesday morning ... I'll be ... okay. So that my trainer can, again, make me insanely achy and sore. At which point, I'm sure someone will want to ride bikes or go do yoga or something else to make me even more achy and sore.

It's never really been a New Year's resolution of mine to get fit or lose weight, and I think part of that (a large part) is due to my complete lack of motivation. I don't know what motivated me to sign up for this in Korea, where personal trainers are quite expensive, but I'm glad. No amount of money is too much for good health.

I know that I'm not healthy, and I'm turning 31 (ugh!) this year. It's really now or never. I don't want to have a heart attack at 40, or be put on blood pressure medication at 35. I want to be able to play with my future children without throwing out my back or having to catch my breath after five minutes. Hell, I want to be able to play with my grandchildren.

There are so many things about Korea's prevailing culture of superficiality that I don't like at all-- judging everyone by their looks, everybody getting plastic surgery, putting beauty before health, etc., etc.-- but if that superficiality is why I've decided to start taking care of myself, then it's not all bad. It would be a different thing if I weighed 110 pounds and decided I was "fat" by Korean standards so started dieting to lose more weight. But I weight substantially more than 110 pounds (which my trainer told me is my goal weight, which is ... crazy), and I'm stressing my joints, my heart, my lungs, my entire body with the extra weight I'm carrying around.

I really thought hitting thirty would be a turning point; that's when everyone suddenly realizes they're not young anymore, right? I don't know why it took me almost a year after my thirtieth birthday, but no matter how it had to come about, I'm glad I've taken this first step.

Now for the next bajillion steps that my sadistic trainer's going to put me through....


Sunday, March 03, 2013


Got back from Malaysia and Singapore early on Thursday morning.

Malaysia was hot, humid, and nature-y. We stayed in Kuala Lumpur a couple nights, then Melaka a couple nights.

Then off we went to Singapore. Where it was hot, humid, and clean. Wow, is Singapore clean! I really appreciated the cleanliness- no debris on the streets, no gum stuck to sidewalks.

More later, as I have photos on my little point-and-shoot, but since I have a horrid cold (I get them about every month or so during the winter in Korea), I'm out of commission for a little while.

Time for more citrus tea and cold medicine...

(The photo above is using the panaroma feature on iPhones, and one of the few pictures I have on my phone from this trip, as my stupid phone is only 16 stupid gigabytes so I'm out of stupid memory. Stupid.)