Monday, March 19, 2012

Swimming, Yes; Capoeira, No: A Healthy Jaded Update

Hello my lovelies, and welcome to another Monday full of possibilities! I don't know why I'm so chipper but just go with it; The Spiral will be back soon enough.

I just wanted to offer an update on my fitness journey... it's pretty much as stagnant as my writing career. I mean, it's not as drastic as "I've gained back all the weight I lost" because I'm still holding steady at 177lbs (that's a guesstimate, seeing as my clothes all fit the same), but I'm not as pressed and devoted to it as I once was. No worries, though, I'm working on re-motivating myself.

To that end I started swimming on Saturdays through the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreations' Learn To Swim program. Mind you, I already know how to swim, well, the basics, anyway, but I didn't have any proper form to my strokes. I'm glad to say that my freestyle and backstroke have improved a lot, and I've even begun to take breaths on every third stroke without swallowing or breathing in water, or drowning. That breathing shit has been a monkey on my back for ages; I'm truly happy that I've begun to conquer it.

However... This past Saturday my instructor attempted to get us started with the breast stroke. CHILD!! ::moment of silence for my dignity and patience:: He's only taught us the kicking part so far and already I'm OVER IT. It just doesn't feel like a natural movement my legs should be making! And to go from pointing my toes to flexing my feet and then pushing out and snapping back LAWDAMERCY my ADHD can't remember all that mess. What's going to happen when he adds in the arms? I might just up-and-exit the pool.

Of course, this heffa right here makes it look super easy:

but it's not. And look at the explanation:
  • When the leg motion starts, the knees bend, and the feet are brought towards to the buttocks.
  • While the feet are brought towards the buttocks, they also flex towards the tibia (dorsiflexion).
  • During this motion, the knees should stay close together and not be brought forward too much. It's rather a motion where the lower leg folds onto the upper leg. The upper leg only flexes slightly at the hip.
  • Once the feet are at the buttocks the knees separate and the feet turn outwards.
  • When the knees are about two feet apart, the propulsive phase of the kick starts. The legs extend and the feet, while still turned outwards, flex forward again (plantar flexion).
  • Finally, once the legs have completely extended, they are pressed together. The feet turn back inward until they are parallel.
  • A short glide phase ensues before the cycle starts anew.
Man, listen. Fuck the breaststroke and everything it stands for. I am not looking forward to next week's class at all. (I'm lying. I love swimming. I just don't like not being good at something in the water.)

NOW let me tell you about a special kind of humiliation in my life I like to call Jaded Tries Capoeira. First of all, this is what it's supposed to look like:

Here's what I looked like in class:


I. Was lost. The ENTIRE time. As soon as I was taught a move I forgot it. My brain and body refused to retain any information whatsoever, and the instructor just kept moving forward with the lesson, yelling out things like "Don't give up" and "Keep moving." NEGRO. If you don't shut the hell up... is what I wanted to say, but I held back and just let him do his thing. This class, though, it was just too much for me. The workout itself was good; I enjoy feeling the sore muscles the next day because it means I did something awesome with my body. But in general, capoeira will just be one of those things I can say I tried and just keep it moving from there. God bless all y'all who do this shit because I'm NOT the one!

*smooches...still recovering from Saturday*
did I mention that swimming has been fucking with my vertigo? yeah, man, all that water in my ear canal = no bueno. now I have to be the dork in class who wears ear plugs. BLERG!