Monday, February 28, 2011

Life after the Ranch and back to reality

Arrived home after spending an amazing week of teaching at Rancho La Puerta. I met so many wonderful people of all ages and walks of life. It was like an adult summer camp filled with health, peace, emotional well being, exercise, nature, and pampering.

Although the weather in Tecate last week was not as warm as I was hoping for. The experience at the Ranch fulfilled all my hopes and desires. Most days started with an early morning hike through the mountains. Chatting with new friends and convening with nature. A healthy breakfast would follow with lots of fresh fruit, oatmeal, quinoa, eggs and even pancakes one morning. A nice warm cup of tea with a spoonful of agave warmed me up to teach.

Every day I taught a 9am Pilates Level 1 and a 10am Pilates Level 2. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I also taught a level 2 Reformer class.It was a progressive series adding fundamentals and exercises every day. The clients were so fabulous. Open to learning something new or in a new way and making deep, internal changes in their bodies daily. I was so appreciative of their willingness and trust to explore with me every day. Each one of them was truly a gift to me.

Once my morning classes where finished, I had plenty of time to explore the ranch and take some classes on my own. Some of my favorites were Nia with Maya, Hulu Hoop with Hazel, Cardio Drumming with Miguel, and Release and Mobilize with Diane. I also tried a water class (which I have never done before). I felt a bit uncoordinated and retarded but was open to newness and got a great workout from Craig. I also explored some sound classes and some pampering treatments.

The Ranch's healthy spa cuisine left me feeling full and inspired to try adding some different things to my diet. So many wonderful meals and I ate all of them and actually lost 4lbs. Mostly what I will take away from the diet is to eat some complex carbs for breakfast like quinoa or rice with some fruit. Normally at home I eat carbs like bread for breakfast. Not anymore. As a whole there really was not a lot of bread in the menus. Lots of fresh vegetable soups and salads with toasted nuts and fruit slices and then a dinner of items like fresh fish, vegetarian lasagna, stir fry, enchiladas. Are you getting the picture that I ate and ate well?

Some evenings were filled with fun events like Bingo with Barry. This is definitely not to be missed. Hilarious. Fun. A bit raunchy. A good time had by all. Friday evening had a live band and dancing. A blast and a perfect way to end the week with all my new friends and students.

I truly enjoyed every minute at the Ranch. I feel rejuvenated, refreshed, invigorated, inspired, and at peace. I hope to be asked back in the future to Present again, as I would truly like to make Rancho La Puerta at least a yearly event.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The workout made by Mother Nature

My car Tuesday evening.
This week Chicago got hit with the Blizzard of 2011 or Snowmaggedon, as I like to call it. We started getting pounded by Mother Nature's white, wintery goodness on Tuesday evening leaving us with over 20 inches by Wednesday afternoon. Lakeshore Drive a major trafficway was closed down with cars and drivers being stranded there for hours. Schools got two Snow Days out of it and businesses were forced to close as it was both unsafe to travel as well as impossible. Although travelling and work was impossible getting a great workout wasn't.

Wednesday Dig out.
I took early to starting to dig my car out on Wednesday morning. I shoveled for about an hour, burned over 300 calories (according to my heart rate monitor), and worked my core and shoulders galore. Although I realized I really needed to alternate sides while shoveling as my right obliques and shoulder (more dominant side) was extremely sore later that day. No worries though, I knew another day of shoveling was in store and I was sure to work my left side to balance my body out.  Unlike many of my neighbors, whose cars are still buried underneath the snow and now plowed in, I have been able to get in and out of my space since Thursday. I did need to mark my space, in order to assure that I would be able to return. This is a common and annoying tradition here in Chicago, that unfortunately many of us are forced to adhere to.
My karma inspired sign.

As well as my own workout from digging, my boy Logan, a vivacious 4 1/2 year old Golden got his own workout. He played fetch in the middle of the street. Diving into the snow as if it were the lake and coming up with his toy, while the rest of his body remained buried in the feet of snow. He would then try to gallop and swim his way out to bring his toy back. He played like this for over an hour and slept like a baby that night, with the occasional twitching of his sore legs.

Mother Nature may have intended to leave us couch bound for two days, but Logan and I both got a great workout and had a ton of fun in the wintery mountains of snow that were dropped on us. Take that Mother Nature.