Like Galloping Horses

I’m trying to be optimistic and hopeful about the LJSO concert weekend ahead, like really trying. But when your entire section (except one – thanks Aram) rushes ahead like an unstoppable rebel force, it’s hard to NOT carry a bit of trepidation into the performance. Seriously, like galloping horses – CHARGE! There is nothing I can do, except cue my little heart out, curse under my breath, and try to slow this pony down. All I know is that Brahms will be fast, Verdi will be faster, and at some point I’ll probably have a hot flash. Along with half the viola section. So… if you’re wondering what a reallyfast! “La forza del Destino” sounds like, head out to UCSD’s Mandeville Auditorium. You won’t be disappointed.

May the Forza be with us. Sorry.

Okay, wrong rebel - but you get my drift.

Speaking of bad guys…. last night after rehearsal I stopped at our local VONS grocery store to pick up coffee creamer. Gotta have my Fat Free French Vanilla – seriously, it’s one of my staples. Yes, it was late (as in – 10:45 pm late), but the parking lot was E-M-P-T-Y, save the five cop cars, and 8 uniformed policemen standing outside. Which probably meant that there was T-R-O-U-B-L-E. As I wasn’t in the mood to drive anywhere else, I figured that with that many cops in one tiny area, I was plenty safe. And, as the only customer in the store, there was absolutely no check-out line – sweet!

And last, but certainly not least – I have discovered one of the awesomest pieces of fitness equipment ever : The endless stair machine (NOT stair master), and I think I’m in love. The Yank and I – along with our friends J&H – are planning an epic trip this summer before N deploys, along the High Sierra Trail. The plan is to start in Sequoia National Park, work our way atop Mt Whitney, and finish above Lone Pine, CA at the Whitney Portal. Yes, it will be amazing, involve 70+ miles and 6 days of backpacking through some of the MOST BEAUTIFUL areas ever, and we are getting very excited! But…. as someone with lupus, arthritis, and a history of knee surgery, it’s uber important that my knees and legs are strong enough to support the training, heavy pack, and all that good stuff.

up up up up up up up. Thank you Mr Penrose and son.

So….back to the gym I go. I went with H yesterday (hello functional strength + balance). I figure that if I behave myself with quad-hamstring-calf-leg (read: painful) leg strengthening stuff, my reward can be climbing my very own personal staircase for ________ minutes. Eventually I’m hoping to add a backpack and time – but I don’t want to be that crazy person at the gym. Yet. We’ll see. I guess in order to really do something like our Whitney trip, it’s going to take a lot of conditioning – different from what I’ve done in the past (long hikes + altitude). Not exactly Ironman-stuff (but similar, endurance-wise). I guess my training should reflect that. Joy!

But really, I’m excited (can you tell?) and hiking with N these past few weeks has been mostly fantastic. Training for an expedition to Mt Whitney – the highest point in the lower 48 states – with great friends… well – I can’t help but feel excited. Swimming will have to take a short-term sabbatical, while I figure out my running/strength/hiking/class/photography/LJSO schedule. But as I’m no longer racing, it’s no biggie. (I miss my swimming friends, though!)

Bonus -with all the stair stepping and climbing, I’m bound to have glutes like this:

Hamhocks! And NOT galloping! And the first photo in this post that I actually took.

So it’s back to the drawing board…. busy week ahead, but I’m excited about a lot of things. And for now, that’s about as good as it gets – galloping horses and all. PS – thanks to Aram and Angelo – two of the best violinists in the LJSO.

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