Thursday, September 20, 2007

Training Log: Sept 18

THERE IS SNOW IN THEM THAR HILLS! Oh, tickle me, I am so excited. (Get a grip, Kate). Okay. Yesterday was a day of gentle work, because I have somehow tweaked my hamstring. Dr. Gary Litel to the rescue. But meanwhile, its Hot Springs and yoga for me! (bummer, dude).

So, this amazing teacher is working at the Ridge, now Nancy from YogaMotion, its REAL yoga by someone who knows what they are doing! YES!

Yesterday's training: Yoga, 20 minutes on the Balance360 board, study Secret Tactics, watch JGS2 (Thanks, Megan!!), therapy with Dr. Backer. I am learning to say "no!" to people so I have time for me. Go Kate!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Updates in the Sidebar

I have updated a bunch of things in the sidebar! If you get this blog delivered to your email make sure you go to the blog and check it out.

Things that are new in the sidebar:

Twitter Updates:
I use a service called Twitter which allows me to update my location and activities from anywhere! Right now, it usually says things like "painting my house" or "making lunch" or "going to the gym", but soon it will say "standing at the top of Copper Mtn." and so on!

Training Calendar:
Want to carpool to a ski event? Wanna go for a hike? Just curious what insane people like us do while training in season? Check out my Training Calender.

Quotes that help:
Updated with my NEW favorite quote, which I am considering getting as a tattoo.

Then, scroll down scroll down to Nutrition Tips:
Lots of Books have been added!

Skinny Bitch
...Which I thought was going to be a hollywood diet and turns out to be a fascinating tome written by some amazing women... worth reading just for the FDA facts on Aspartame and how it got approved!

Veg: The Greengrocers Cookbook
...How do I use Chard? What else can I do with Broccoli? This amazing cookbook teaches you how to eat your veggies in an easy way!!

My Year of Meats
...A fictionalized account of a true story of a journalist who uncovered realities in American beef farming... terrifying and fascinating.

Your Body's Many Cries for Water
...Water cures everything. Most of Americans are horribly dehydrated, leading to headaches, depression, back and joint pain, acne, liver and kidney issues, high blood pressure... read this book and DRINK YOUR WATER! (If your pee isn't "clear and copious" you are dehydrated! It shouldn't smell, either!!

And of course, there is still...
The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Mindless Eating

The Nutrition Tips have been updated as well....

Then, check out the Other Great Books section for

Secret Tactics: Great Lessons from the Masters of Martial Arts
...excerpts from war strategy during the shogunite period of feudal Japan. Amazing, enlightening, challenging, and totally applicable to any sport you do.

Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind
...the journal of Maura O'Halloan, a 19 year old Irish New Yorker who traveled to Japan on holiday and ended up studying in a Zen Monastary, and later became a Budhist saint. And incredible book, easy to read, great instruction, and very inspirational.

Insight Meditation
...instruction on how to practice Vipassana Meditation

then, scroll down and visit the Links section for links to:
Boot Tech and Jim Lindsay
PSIA group on Facebook
and more.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Training Log: Sept. 17

Today was back day at the gym! The Ridge has totally expanded, new parking, bigger locker rooms, more machines, YES! I did pull ups, rear delt flies, hyper extensions, row, iso lateral row, total back, hanging abs, tricep pull downs, dips, and balance work on the bosu ball. Then I sat in the steam room and did a sitting for about 20 minutes. What a great place to practice your meditation! Its loud, and quiet, peaceful, but distracting.

Had an AMAZING appointment with Dr. Gary Litel, a chiropractor here in Bozeman. I have been looking for the perfect Chiro since we moved here. Thanks, MH for the referral!

I decided that in my training log, I will include other things that I consider training which aren't physical. So today I studied more of this incredible book that Michael has asked me to read, called Secret Tactics of martial Arts Experts Seriously. And it is incredibly applicable! I have a lot to write on after beginning to study this book.

15 minutes on the Balance 360 board tonight. Only one Red Bull today.

Back in the Saddle Again

I have to be honest, here, I was worried! I knew that I was going to face certain challenges trying to build a great training regimen that would allow me to be strong and fit enough to perform my best, and learn the techniques I need to in skiing quickly.

I was thinking that my biggest challenge, (and my biggest excuse in the past), was that I have kids, they take a lot of time, babysitting is expensive, I wanted to be a good mom and not farm them out to daycare so I could go work out. Yet I wanted to honor my desire to do something special, difficult, and important. I wanted ot be my own person and still care for them in an extraordinary way.

Over time, especially since I went to Academy, Tom and I seem to have solved that problem. He realized he could handle the kids on his own, and I realized that it is important for me to be a person on my own and separate from my family, yet still a part of it. (Jill and I were just talking about how hard this can be for a person who grew up being the care giver, mediator, healer, whatever... to know that you have worth just for yourself, and to act on it in what feels a selfish way, but what is really just you taking care of yourself, rather than putting everyone else's needs first to the detriment of your own wants and desires.

Sometimes, it is still an issue. The kids get sick, or Tom is in a stressful time at work, and when it is an issue, I feel that it is temporary, and therefore okay. I can be the giver and the helper and the healer when I am needed. But I can step away, now, as well, and be myself. It also helps that in the last six months, they have both grown up so much! Ethan is in school full time and he LOVES it.

Bodhi is having trouble adjusting, and I am taking him out of his evil pre-school, and he'll just be with me until an opening comes up at a new one. I was worried this would spark another hole in my training, but I managed to train before he was in school, so I am sure I will figure it out this time, as well.

The thing that threw me off my training this time around was not the kids, or my mom-ness.It was just Life. Just stuff. You know. My sister needed some help and love, and I was happy to give it to her. I knew it would impact my training, but she is someone I was willing to make that sacrifice for. And all the while, I was watching film, and reading, and trying to keep a part of me focused on returning to training, like a book mark.

I had no idea at the time that it would lead to a two and a half month dearth of training. But more life happened after Liat's situation, we had house guests, with their own troubles, and so I gave myself to them, and then my Auntie died... and now we are backed up on life maintenance issues, bills, healthcare issues, house stuff, our clean, ordered, well balanced life that we had so recently arrived at is in flux and chaos.

What to do? Enter Dr. Backer. Because I recognized a pattern of things snowballing out of control, I asked him about it. And now we are working on appropriate boundaries. If I am truly in training, I can't treat house guests like I used to. I can't be a full service bed and breakfast any more. I loved doing it, but (remember this one?)"Does this help me reach my goal?" No. So we have new rules. People can visit, sure, but I can't set aside completely that which is my life focus right now to entertain.

But HERE is the really exciting difference between times in the past when I have stoped training and tried to start again, and this time.. Its okay! I am doing the best I can with the tools and resources that I have. I am aware that life will happen, and that no schedule can be maintained to its fullest. And that it is a BAD thing to live a totally ordered, scheduled life. My goal here is to be mindful of my training. To fit it in, train hard, try hard, but have space, and patience, in my life for... you know, LIFE to happen. And conversely, to watch my life and all the minutiae that happens, and make sure that it isn't crowding out that which is truly important to me, my training.

So getting started again doesn't feel like starting over this time. It feels like I had to be away from training for a little bit, and now I can be back.

This, for me, is huge. Thanks to my amazing support team, most specifically Michael Hickey and Dr. Marvin Backer, I am learning to build a healthier version of Kate.

Thanks, guys!

PS, I have got to figure out how to embed sound clips. I'd put "I get knowcked down, but I get up again, you ain't ever gonna keep me down..." here, and Gene Autry singing "Back in the Saddle Again" at the beginning!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Training Log: September 16: Deer Creek and Flat Tire

Yay! Hiked Deer Creek with Jill today! Went out to cut firewood and got stuck in the forest with a flat tire! Good God! It took 5 hours to change. Needless to say, Tom is my hero, and I'm going to bed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Where in the World Is Kate Howe?

Well, I know that is what you are all secretly wondering. Here is my online calender of events, most of which are skiing related, some of which are just for fun. Like for instance, we are building a hay fort at out house on the first Saturday in October. Bring beer, gloves, and hay hooks if you have 'em.

Events on the calender:

Oct. 6: 1:00 pm to finish: build a hay maze at kate's house. RSVP, please!

Oct. 11 - 14: Bridger Raptor Festival

Oct. 13: 1:oo pm to 5ish: Bodhi's 4th bday! Come play on the hay maze! RSVP, please!

Oct. 25-28: Colorado for Boot Fitting with Jim Lindsay (and ski at Copper!)

Dec. 2: 3- 10pm (tentative date) Good bye Josh! Party at Norris Hot Springs RSVP, Please!

Dec. 7-9: Fall Fest at Big Sky and intro to Freestyle

January 31: Ridge tactics at Bridger

Feb 4-6: Level 2 Prep Clinic @ Red Lodge

Feb 8-10: Level 3 Prep Clinic @ Moonlight

Feb 11-13: Freestyle prep and Exam @ Big Sky

March 29-30: Level 2 exam @ Lost Trail

April 8 - 12: Trans-Sierra Back country trip with Sue (tentative dates)

April 18-23: National Academy @ Snowbird

April 27 - May 2: DTeam Tryouts @ Mammoth

Still to come: Level 3 prep and exam in Aspen, Aspen training trip, Big White training trip and more!

More events and trips to come! Check out the PSIA group on Facebook to make carpools to events. Think SNOW!!

Good By Mary

My Aunt Mary has finally passed away from colon cancer. My mother nursed her for the last four months or so of her life, while Mary fought valiantly to have just one more day.

I have something I'd like to ask of anyone who wishes they were good enough or special enough to do something they love with their life. Or who has a goal that feels unattainable.

Go for it.

I say this because Mary was like a beacon to me. She made mistakes in her life, she was human. But she tried hard to continually shake off the mantle of Societal Norms and do what felt real to her.

She was a phenomenal painter, a loving teacher, patient, gentle, giving, never threatened by another's talent. This woman never gave up her art. She was too sick to pursue it as far as she could have if she had been well, and still she always came back to it. No matter how impractical or inconvenient.

And in spite of the fact that she had to work sporadically at the thing she wished she could dedicate her life to, she never stopped learning, teaching, or living as though it was her main focus.

In Mary, I found a fearless kindred spirit, an ally, a friend an inspiration. We didn't get to take our painting trip to France together, nor did we get to tour the sculpture and architecture of Italy together, nor did I get to go with her on what turned out to be her last real lucid days, an art trip to New York. I couldn't fly down to join her as she faded.

If I could have sat in her room and let her feel all the love I have in my heart, and the amount of gratitude that I have for her spirit and the way she lived her life and encouraged me to live mine, if I could have given her a conduit to the way I felt about her...

But I couldn't, so instead, I will say thank you, Mary, for being fearless, and scared, and brave, and real and true. For challenging me to do better in my life. For letting me put clippies in your hair. For loving me. For being an artist even when it wasn't practical, a good idea, or responsible. Thank you.

Training Log: September 15

YES! I WENT BACK TO THE GYM! And here is why this is exciting. It has been over 2 months since I lifted. But this time when stuff happened, and life interrupted, I had patience for my life, I allowed it to be okay that my training was interrupted, and I was able to stay positive, and to do what I could (drink water, take vitamins, not give up mentally) up until about a month and a half went by.

The last two weeks were cranky, and concerned (have I blown it, will I ever start again, am I cut out to go the distance...) But the great thing is... I went back. I started again.

And now, I am sore.

Chest day: bench press, chest press, flies, shoulders on the bosu ball, abs on the ball.

Dopamine RULES!

This is a great comment on the Failure as a Diagnostic Tool post, from Lisa, and it was so interesting, I thought it warranted its own post:

From Lisa:
You could relate this to the neurobiology underlying motivation. Reward feelings relate to pulses of dopamine in the brain. Anything can elicit a pulse- a success in sports, a positive social interaction, viewing art, etc. We then feel motivated to further pursue these sources of dopamine. There are two kickers though (aside from issues of addiction which I won't go into). The first is that, as Peter Sterling writes, "satisfaction cannot be stored". Dopamine pulses are transitory events. We need constant stimulation to stay satisfied. Not only that, but (and this is kicker #2) dopamine is secreted only when an experience slightly exceeds expectation. This is why our past accolades don't feel so rewarding anymore. This also explains the curse of the child with super acheiver parents or the has-been celebrity.
The good news is that we can pretty easily turn our "failures" into sources of satisfaction. As in "Wow, I don't really suck quite as much as I thought at this." dopamine pulse. or "Wow I am getting better." dopamine pulse again. Pretty much exactly as you describe learning to ski on ice.

This is how I learned statistics.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boot Fittings!!

Jim Lindsay of Boot Tech got his boots in! I'm heading down to Colorado in October to get REAL ALPINE BOOTS! Can you IMAGINE?? Well, I am heading down so he can tell me what I need and I can start SAVING for real alpine boots. But its a step in the right direction! And it looks like we'll be skiing at Copper Mtn that weekend! YES! I miss the SNOW!! It was 48 degrees this morning... we are getting there!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

PSIA 2007 Academy Video Bonanza!

YES! The outstanding Charlie McArthur has sent me the video from this year's Academy at Snowbird! Something happened to the last three minutes or so, but its a great piece of video! See if you can spot me! I'm in it twice, I wear all black and a grey helmet, and I ski like a girl... The first time is just after the cool tunnel at snowbird, a guy comes at you out of the tunnel with a video camera and then I have about 3 turns, and I'm in it again later when its snowing. But its hard to identify people, as it was snowing a bunch... What a great time this was, I can't WAIT for next year. And NOT just because Cindy's party was such a blast. Which it was.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Skiers of the Female Pursasion

There is a FASCINATING discussion going on at Epic Ski, Jill I. just brought it to my attention. Check it out, and I am curious to hear what you think.

The jist of the conversation is: should women be judged by different criteria to make the Demo Team? (Should there be x number of spots for women on the team?)

Why are there so few women on the team? is it because women are not motivated to try out? Don't ski as well? Aren't chosen because the men are better?

Here's my take, and personal feeling. Most of the women that ski hard enough to make the team are sponsored free-riders who are about 18-23 years old and are not instructors. The cross section of female ski instructors at the Academy and other events seemed to be generally happy with their skiing level, wanting to improve somewhat, but not ever dreaming that they could ski hard enough to make the team.

I think that to change this, PSIA and individual ski schools need to recruit, encourage, and challenge young women! The Demo team needs a bigger presence in ski schools, the general public should know more about it, and they should market specifically to the future of the demo team, girls 14 and 15 who might try out in four cycles or so.

Here is my personal feeling about a "women's quota" at the try outs:
NO THANK YOU! I want to make it to the team on my own merit. I would be SO disappointed if I Made it to "one of the spots for the girls" Right now, its a Team. Not 5 spots taken from good skiers and saved for the PC girls quota. No thanks.

As long as i am welcome, encouraged, and proud to be at try outs, thats all I want. A fair chance to win my own spot.

What do YOU think?