This blog blossomed in 2010 to chronicle my adventures in pole dance. I talked too much about weight loss and bad diet "science." Join me on my journey toward enlightenment. The size of my body doesn't dictate my worth. I believe showing gratitude helps lead to a true mind, body and spirit connection, and a more joyful life. Yoga and pole dance are still my favorite methods of movement. Choose to be the type of person who lifts others up rather than tearing them down.
Over the years, my bag of yoga tricks has really grown. I used to just use whatever props were at the gym or studio. Recently, I started buying and using my own props. A) I know I have what I need. B) I know they are clean. So, I thought I'd share some Amazon links on products that I actually use.
First is my mat. I was extremely excited to find an extra-long (and decently thick) mat. At almost six feet tall, my feet were always hanging off. Now I fit! I also ordered two to cushion my knees.
Next up, I needed an extra wide bag to hold my two thick mats. I looked everywhere for a good bag and couldn't find one I really liked. I saw a fellow yogi with a similar bag to this one and so I took to Amazon to find one. I love it!
I always carry a wedge with me. I sit on it or put it under my heels when I squat. It is extremely helpful when your heels refuse to touch the ground.
Although these aren't the blocks I have, I prefer the cork yoga blocks. They are more sturdy than traditional blocks. Blocks help raise the floor a bit if you're not extremely flexible in certain positions.
A yoga strap is also essential to my practice.
Anyway, these are just a few of my favorite things, which I use to help my inflexible ass during yoga! Namaste...bitches!
Here we go. Another month gone. I can't believe I have finished five months of trying to go upside down already. This month was way less exciting than last month. I'm not suddenly busting out Iron X just because I went upside down once by myself. You can read the Month 4 update HERE.
I don't feel like I gained or lost much this month. I couldn't take lyra as much because I had an appointment on Monday nights. And Thanksgiving was last week, so class was canceled. I am writing this on the final Thursday of the month but I feel a cold coming on and my head hurts so going upside down doesn't sound fun.
It looks like I will be adding two more lunch time yoga classes at work next year, so that should help with strength and flexibility. However, I may also be facing more surgery to fix the last surgery (which was fixing the last surgery before that). If I go forward with that, its another three plus months off the pole. I still haven't decided what I am going to do.
So here's how the rest of my month went.
Early in the month, trying the bad side:
And some more trying..
Scary but super cool:
False start, but then we go upside down:
Scary for me:
I'm not touching the ground!
Getting back to lyra after almost a month off was difficult...my hands hurt!
It all hurts, actually...
I'm still progressing, although I know I'm not working as hard as I could to get to where I'd like to be. Still, I do often like to take the long, meandering path, and I am still enjoying the journey, so I won't beat myself up too much. See you next month!
Yesterday I wrote about my favorite false lashes. The problem with applying lashes is that the glue generally rips some of my own personal stash of lashes out when I pull the falsies off. A couple of years ago, I started looking into those products that promise to give you longer, fuller lashes. The biggie was a prescription that was expensive and had a potential side effect of turning blue eyes brown. (In the interest of full disclosure, my true eye color is brown, those blue contacts are pretty fun, though. I wasn't sure I wanted to touch my eyes with a product that had that power, however.)
Anyway, a friend told me about Mavala. She said she had been using it and liked it. It was a lot less expensive than the prescription and I could get it on Amazon. So I ordered some. I applied it like mascara randomly here and there. It never really did anything, but I also wasn't following instructions or applying it on a regular basis.
I've been seeing more and more lash thickening products on Facebook. My first issue with most of them is that their "before" photo is someone's regular ol' sad lashes with no mascara. And their "after" photo always has them wearing mascara! It makes me crazy!!! Of course they look longer and fuller!
Regular ol' lashes
So a few months ago, I applied my big ol' fake lashes, using the "good expensive" glue and that evening I essentially ripped half of my real lashes out (for the record, I like to use cheap drug store glue because it keeps my false lashes on but rips out fewer real lashes upon removal). Anyway, my eyes felt naked and I decided to pull that Mavala out again and see if it would help. This time, instead of just applying it like mascara, under the lashes, every night I applied it over the lashes, at the lash line, and on my eyelids. Within six weeks, my lashes were completely back, and WAY fuller than they were before. I didn't notice a difference in the length (and doubt most of those other ones are making them longer either) but they were noticeably fuller. I wish I had bothered to take a before photo for you to compare! All I can do is say I swear this product worked for me...pinkie promise (Seneti's new favorite phrase). And, had I bothered to apply it twice a day like the instructions called for, perhaps they would have grown in even faster. Today, I still apply it right before bedtime.
So if you are looking for a lash thickener, check out Mavala! You can get in on the Amazon link below.
In June 2008, I hiked Half Dome with my friend, John. I was in fairly decent shape, and didn't necessarily train for it. I was 215 pounds, which is a good weight for me (about ten pounds less than I am now). I read several sites about Half Dome and most seemed to think that as long as you were in semi-decent shape, this was a completely do-able (although not necessarily easy) hike. John had hiked it many times and I think his best time was six hours up and back. Apparently he thought my long legs liked to move fast and we decided to drive up, hike and drive back in one day. I may have long legs but I don't walk very quickly, and I also seem to enjoy making things more difficult than they need to be.
We got in the car around 4:30 AM to make the three-plus hour drive to Yosemite. After a couple of stops and getting ourselves set up, we were on the trail by 9:00 AM. No big deal, right? It is a 14 mile (round trip) hike if you take the waterfall trail up. If he could do it in six hours and our friend AJ said she could do it in eight, I wouldn't take more than ten hours. It was summer. We'd be off the trail and back in the car by the time the sun was down.
John walks fast. Lori does not. We hiked most of the trail together, but then he would get ahead of me and I'd lose him for awhile. He would find a log or a rock, he would sit and take conference calls, and I'd round the corner to see him resting. And all I wanted to do was rest, but he wanted to keep us on schedule. By the time we got to the cables that lead you to the top of Half Dome, I was pretty much done with that fucking backpack I was carrying. Who the hell suggested all this frozen Gatorade that weighs 87 pounds?! I was ready to throw it off the side of the mountain, but John took it from me and carried both packs. The switchbacks to get to the cables almost killed me. John just kept saying: put one foot in front of the other. And the cables can be pretty scary, especially when you have people coming down as you're trying to go up. But, we made it. There was no other option. Making it to the top was like nothing I had experienced before. I've never had to physically exert myself like that. The view was amazing. The feeling of accomplishment was indescribable. (And the marmot trying to steal our food was pretty cute.) We didn't get to spend much time at the top because it was going to get dark and we needed to get back on the trail. Coming down the cables was terrifying. I had to turn around and back down so I wasn't staring down certain death (over and over I imagined myself falling over the side...don't Google those stories, because they exist). I believe it was around 5:00 PM when we started down the cables. Eight hours in and we were barely heading back, but walking down a mountain should be WAY faster than going up, right?!
John learned something about me on the trail down. I don't like to be followed. And I walk very quickly when someone is behind me. He probably wished he had known that on the way up. We may have made it up a lot faster! Anyway, as we were walking down the trail (we decided to forego the shorter trail down as it was slick with water from the waterfall, thereby adding two miles to our hike), we were using flashlights, trying to avoid the uneven trails, listening for the bears and mountain lions that were certainly waiting in the dark to eat us. I would wander all over the trail trying to avoid rocks or other dips. John kept yelling: LORI, TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE!
I had no clue what he was talking about. In my mind, I WAS taking the path of least resistance. I was avoiding those stupid rocks and potholes that were clearly trying to trip me and roll my ankle. I just kept doing what I was doing. I didn't realize he wanted me to just walk a straight line and step over the shit in my way so that we could get down the trail faster.
There had to be a point where John wanted to just throw me off that fucking mountain and be done with me -- just like my backpack! John doesn't want to go to jail. John is a good friend.
Almost ten years later, I finally get what John was saying to me. I find I like to make life difficult sometimes. More difficult than it needs to be. It is easy to blame other people for making me feel a certain way, when I had control of how I felt (and where I stepped) the entire time. Sorry it took me a decade to understand, John, but I finally get it. And I don't need to return to Half Dome to learn. (I did try to hike Half Dome again in 2009, but didn't make it to the top...my quad seized up and I decided I better head back down before I had a repeat late return.) I think I am finally finding that peace I have been searching for and am ready to let my life just go with the flow so I can enjoy my time here.
I know. I know. At this point, you're probably thinking, who gives a shit about your spiritual awakening!? What time did you get back to the car?? 11:00 PM. It took another six hours to get down the trail. The entire hike was 16 miles and took 14 hours (I was wearing a watch that tracked the calories you burn and I burned over 10,000 that day). We still had a long drive home. John found a park ranger who let us into the closed showers so we could at least clean up. Then we got into the car to drive back. John drove first but he started talking to people who weren't in the car with us, so I took over for awhile. About an hour and a half into the drive, I realized we were going to die if we kept going in that state. I pulled over and got a hotel room. At that point, we had been up for almost 24 hours, and I had been through the most physically grueling thing I had ever experienced. I don't think I've ever slept so hard in my life. I was sore for an entire week. It is on my list of top five life experiences, though. I'm glad I did it but I don't know that I ever need to do it again.
I've been thinking about this trip a lot lately and the lesson it took me so long to learn. I really appreciate John's patience with me and am pretty proud of myself for finally learning the lesson. Better late than never!
If you know me, you know I love a reason to dress up and put on fancy lashes. I wanted to share the lashes I've been wearing for the last year or so.
These are Arimika mink lashes from Amazon. I've worn them at least ten times and they are still going strong. They don't need any mascara since they are so thick so I just peel the glue off and they are ready for the next time!
Everyone asks if they feel heavy. I guess they do when you first put them on but you get used to them pretty quickly. People also ask how I apply them. Applying false lashes just takes some practice. Take a Saturday when you don't have anything going on and try applying them then lay around the house. I also put black liner on before I try to glue them so minor mistakes aren't as obvious.
Check out the Amazon link below if you want to try some crazy lashes!
A year or so ago, I tried Baby Foot after reading some threads on Facebook. I read the instructions and it does tell you that your feet will peel about a week after you use the product. I put the bags on my feet for an hour, washed them off, noted absolutely nothing was different, and then completely forgot about it. About five days later, I thought my feet were falling off. I was shedding skin like a snake. It is impressive and disgusting all at the same time. Peeling the skin off is insanely gratifying, even if its super gross (I'm pretty sure the instructions tell you not to do it). And it gave me the softest feet I've probably had since I was a baby. I warn about the peeling because, if you're a pole dancer (or someone who is barefoot often), you're going to want to time it right (the peeling lasted several days). Otherwise, you will look like you have some crazy foot disease in class. But it is completely worth it! And it lasted for a good six months.