Tag Archives: brooklyn

People Helping People

There was a summer morning last year that I woke up in a bad mood. A mood that meant it would be “one of those days”. Do I normally remember a bad mood morning a year after I have one? Definitely not. But this one morning ended up kind of cool.

I decided to go for a run, and headed out of my Brooklyn apartment determined to get in at least four miles. I convinced myself that four miles was what I NEEDED to achieve if I was going to turn my day around. It’s funny that I gave myself that ultimatum. It was a really hot morning that day.  Four miles or bust? Why? It was that tendency that people have–when something is going wrong, you look for other things that are going wrong, so you can beat yourself up and complain all day that nothing is going right. Horrible idea, mel.

tragic

So, creating my own unnecessary downward spiral for the day, I set out on the four mile run. I remember the heat was getting to me, and around mile 2 I was huffing, with my head leaning to right in exhaustion. That’s a weird thing I do when I’m running to the point of “oh man, I can’t go any further” (my high school track coach used to yell “left! left! left!” when I ran past her in races to try to correct my head lean; didn’t work.). At this point, I was on Marcy Avenue, running parallel to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The two mile mark meant I was at the midway point to turn around and rack up the 2 miles back for my grand finale of 4. But I was hurting. I was ready to call it quits and walk home. Run fail. Day fail. And my day hadn’t even really started.

With my head cocked to the side, I struggled to continue running down the street, passing by people who were walking to the train, walking to work, walking their dog. I thought to myself, I must look like an idiot. I kept pushing though. Looking ahead of me, there was another person coming up; a kid with a backpack on his way to school. As I approached him to pass, eyes straight (no eye contact when you’re running and hurting!), he stuck his hand out for a high five. And I stuck out mine.

CLAP!

HIGH FIVE!

A huge grin came over my face. Right on, dude! Thank you! I stopped at the corner and looked back, but he didn’t turn around. I’m not sure why I thought he would, this wasn’t a love story scene. But I’ll tell you, that small gesture, that high five, changed the rest of my day. I chilled out. I walked for a little, then finished a slow run home feeling happy. That kid pulled me out of my little run or die microcosm. My day was going to be great.

I love when the smallest things mean something big.

Advertisements

Brooklyn Distance Running is a Cultural Experience

This morning I knocked out 4.6 Miles here. That is the longest distance I’ve ever squeezed in before work. Victorious! I ran through three distinct Brooklyn neighborhoods and saw the morning routines and nuances of three different cultures (Hipster–is this a culture? Hasidic, and Hispanic).

Looking at this small loop it seems impossible that there can be such abrupt changes in the people who live here. If I went even farther out I would’ve hit a fourth, without a doubt. Welcome to Brooklyn friends. I personally think it’s one of the borough’s best attributes.

Random Directions of Life

So my running cycle continues. I would love to say that my graceful glide back into the morning runs has stuck, but this weekend was chaos and with chaos comes no time, and with no time… comes not putting myself first… aka.. no running.

That’s not how it’s supposed to go, I know.

But, so it went. I did a lot of writing this weekend, not for this blog clearly, and my mom came into Brooklyn to get dinner with me Sunday (rare form) which was really nice.

I DID have a jazzercise adventure this weekend. What did she say? I said Jazzercise. Why? For this article. It was an interesting experience. Definitely something you could only find in Brooklyn. These two women rent out a room in a makeshift multi-tenant building, and teach aerobics like it’s the 80’s. Fully donned in spandex and side ponies. The kitschiness is definitely with a purpose, and it was funny–including the alcoholic beverages served prior to working out. BUT it wasn’t really a kick-ass workout. It was more like dance class. But my arms did get fatigued and I was grunting like an old man at the gym occasionally.

In other news, I’m leaving for IRELAND on Thursday. This trip has me in a slight panic since I’ve planned nothing. I just called my friend today to find out which airport we fly out of (JFK) and what time the flight is (8:45). We are flying into Dublin, and then have a car rented to drive around for a week. Where are we driving to? I don’t know. Can I drive on the opposite side of the street? I hope ;).

Don’t quest and answer formatted posts get annoying? I agree.

I’d also like to share with you a weird thing I noticed on the back of a can of chick peas: an ingredient (chemical) was “added to promote color retention.” Why don’t they just say “added o retain color”? Who can I write to about this?

The Return of Yoga

After all my threatening to halt a bit on running and get into yoga, I finally jumped in. The yogasphere welcomed me with open oms*, and now I’m very, very sore :).

Here’s the story.

As a new weekly contributer to the WGNews, I am contanstly seeking out local health and fitness issues to write about. This might sound easy. Theoretically it is. It just turns out I’m very good at waiting until the last minute to decide my topic and do some research.

This week’s furiously chosen topic (I think I ruined the suprise by now, yes?): yoga. Specifically, I took a class for beginners in the heart of Williamsburg. It was a very, very educational class, and it was good for me since my only previous experience was at Yoga To The People which is all open classes and assumes a level of familiarity I just never had. Unfortunately I can’t divulge details until the article is up in the news, but I’ll hook you up with a link soon. After class I felt shaky and yummy, and hit up El Beit on Bedford for watermelon and iced green ginger tea (the tea was awesome) to write my article.
watermelon and green tea

The story continues:

My ability to wake up at 6am in the dark/cold is very limited so far. I’m weak, I know. So no run again this morning. While at the office, I started to feel the affects of yesterday’s venture into yogaland. My legs felt really tight and my arms sore. I wanted to stretch it out but couldn’t get deep enough. Then it occurred to me: the cure… just might be… more yoga!

Further into yogatown I went, with a return to Yoga To The People tonight. I took a 7:30pm class, and it was as packed as I remember. The difference this time was that I knew my form a little better, and the teacher, a dude named Xander, ROCKED. He articulated exactly what I was feeling when it hurt, so I felt comforted in my pain, and he KICKED OUR ASSES. and made us laugh.

I laughed during yoga class. Is that illegal?

We did some intense core work and I thought my stomach muscles were going to explode. Luckily, they did not explode and I kept my insides to myself. Cheers.

YTTP

this pic from their site is pretty accurate

I’m looking forward to another deceivingly calm butt-kicking this week. Any NYCers want to join me on a visit to yogaville?

* open oms? instead of open arms? damn i feel clever.

Nighttime in McCarren Park

baseball in mccarren park

baseball game
tree in mccarren park
autumn tree
my ghostmy ghost

Flushing Farm Brunch + Yoga Considerations

Sorry guys, my computer broke (aaahh!) when I got back from Canada and I’ve been unable to blog/email/read other blogs sans the limited use of Mike 1 and Mike 2’s computers.

Worthy weekend recap:

I met up with Sofia of Crunchy Granola Gal for brunch and had an awesome time. Such a cool chick! We blog bonded over a bloody mary and mimosa, and devoured our eats. The location was Flatbush Farm in Brooklyn, a cute home-feel joint on St Mark’s Street. I got the tofu scramble which came with kale and whole wheat toast:tofu scramble

Sofia enjoying her morning buzz:cheers sofia

Excellent first date. Date two will involve cocktails and me trying to take Sofa back to my place. Kidding. But seriously. (not seriously, still kidding).

Running update: There isn’t one, as in I haven’t been. What’s to blame? I’ll go with a) freezing weather that makes me mad and b) recent onset of a freakin’ cold. Sofia has the balls to run in the cold rain, hell I’ve even run in the rain before, what gives Mel? Man up!

Okay. Yelling at myself might not be productive. The truth is I’ve been heavily considering pursuing yoga again. After reading about Heather’s experience on her blog, I’m just being drawn to it at the moment. I’d like to hit up one or two places this week and see if it’s something I can maintain through the winter. Maybe my arms will even tone up. Thatsa crazy talk.

I keep a sports bra, running tights, and a tank in the drawer at work for when the yoga mood strikes. I think they’re dusty at this point. Delicious. Can’t wait to put them on.

News update: Check out my latest article in the WG News givin’ the scoop on the Metropolitan Pool Center

This Just In

I’m now writing for the Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Arts! I’ll be posting with them weekly moving forward and also contributing their upcoming print issue. Be on the lookout for it if you’re local to find out what’s up and out in North Brooklyn. Yes, this is exciting :).

wgnews

Check out my first quick piece on Early Workouts in McCaren Park.

Now.. off to Canada with me.