planche pushup, pushups, planche pushups, exercise, hard exercises, shoulder workout, chest workout,

Progression to the Planche

My brother challenged me to work towards a planche pushup with him.

If you’re unfamiliar with the planche, it’s this beastly exercise.

I’m always up for a fitness challenge, so I said yes. (I’m also always up for a sibling challenge—e.g. Mario Kart Wii turns into a figurative bloodbath every. single. time. And this competition is only on my end because the win ratio is 10:2 my brother. Grrrr.)

The planche pushup involves heavy use of your shoulders, chest, and wrists. Basically everything I need to work on.

Just for kicks I tried a tuck planche the other day, which involves planting both palms to the ground, fully locking out your arms, and lifting both knees to the chest. Yeah. About that. The difference between the guy in the video and me is that he got both knees off the ground. I just, kind of, pushed at the ground really hard. It’s really hard, guys.

If you’re interested in doing this too, the first link has great steps towards a successful progression towards completing a planche pushup.

So, I *may* be posting my progress with the planche up on WP. Depending on how embarrassing they are for public release. No promises.

P.S. I am sick. What a crappy result for an amazing Saturday in the NYC.

-Shirley

How To Fall Like a Goober

Allow me to illustrate my ineptitude with falling, which I think comes from my general ungainliness as a human being.

Cue six-inch-thick mats, cue friend for supervision, cue every-dang-thing that would make a normal person feel safe about falling. And enter me, being instructed to fall.

SHIRLEY (With a look of constipated concentration plastered on her sweating face, she mentally prepares her body and self to fall backwards. She folds carefully into as much a right angle as humanly possible. Deliberately, slowly, she wills her body to rock backwards to minimize any chance of injury. What she doesn’t expect, though, is for the momentum to rock her contorted body back-and-forth. She teeters like an up-ended turtle on the mat.)

The other scenario is me entirely locking out my legs and literally landing full on my ass.

Either way, I look like a moron cause I don’t trust myself to fall properly. I always imagine me snapping some bone in my body because of some unforeseen reason.

I haven’t learned how to fall properly in my life.

Well that’s kind of a lie, because I’ve willingly jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 ft. and would do it again, no questions asked.

But I don’t like bouldering more than four feet off the ground because any higher and I’m literally paralyzed with anxiety. I don’t trust ladders because I don’t believe that rickety rungs will hold my weight. And I most definitely do not trust people during trust exercises. (There is, like, literally no real-life application to that exercise. C’mon now.)

I don’t think I’ve been taught how to properly fall. Is that even something you actively teach to a child?

I believe, though, that the first step in trusting other people or shady ladders is learning to trust yourself. Trusting in yourself to be strong enough to handle pain and being able to rebuild from whatever happens.

This is why I was able to invert myself for a headstand. Even though I was deathly afraid of snapping my spine. I do not know where my fear of breaking bones comes from. I’ve never broken anything in my life. (Except hearts. Ba dum tsss.)

We made it through Monday guys. Only the rest of the week to go. [Insert forced enthusiasm here.]

-Shirley

sunrise, beautiful, beauty, beautiful sunrise, good mornings, good morning, have a good morning, let it be beautiful,

Am I Closet Morning Person?

I woke up to my alarm at 5:50 AM this morning. And stayed up.

Such acts of ambitiousness would have been unheard of for the four-years-ago me, or the couple-months-ago me for that matter.

But wait, I hate mornings. Don’t I? I’ve never been happy waking up for school or work, the hours I slept was never enough, I always dragged myself out of bed, and let’s have a moment of silence for the no-bra incident a couple weeks ago, shall we?

Let’s face it, mornings have never been easy, but working 45 hours a week really makes you appreciate the weekends. And we technically only have Saturdays. Friday evenings are just spent mourning the coming of Mondays. Ugh.

Realizing this, I’d kick myself in the face (that’s not possible) if I spent my weekends waking up past 8 and not being conscious for those precious 48+ hours. You’re gonna be awake and you’re gonna be productive, damn it.

And so maybe I am a closet morning person—but only on the weekends. I haven’t gotten to that level for the weekdays. Let’s not get crazy now.

I probably won’t ever to the level where I’m belting “The Sound of Music” at 7 AM—that’d indicate me reaching some acute level of hysteria rather than being happy about weekday mornings. But—

Have a Gloriously Bright (and Cold) Sunday! :)

P.S. I’m thinking it’s a good day to go for a run, yeah? Don’t hold me to it, might be the coffee talking.

P.P.S. This was my breakfast. It could also explain why I now look forward to weekend mornings.belgium waffles, chocolate belgium waffles, waffles, deliciousness, delicious breakfast,

-Shirley

To The Girl Who Called Me Weird:

Dear You-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named,

I still remember your name. It still sucks, like a squelchy mud-sac filled with un-niceness.

We were in high school, in an art class, I was sitting and working on some bizarre still life, you were sitting with your friend to my right, I was minding my own business still working on that awful still life, and I hear …She’s so weird, and I knew you were talking about me from the way your voice pointed daggers in my direction like you were aiming an unguided missile at my body, too big a target for it to miss.

Of course, we were in high school and everyone said shitty things in high school because, after all, we were just kids discovering who we could become (before we discovered ourselves all over again in college).

But, damn, it still stung. Did I even know you? I didn’t. Had I even interacted with you before? No. And if you were going to say anything bad about someone, couldn’t you at least say it where they couldn’t hear you, like a halfway-decent person? Obviously not.

I didn’t do or say anything. I could never think of snappy comebacks on time—one of more useful skills in life, I think. So I let your comment sink in, let the moment pass, and let you continue thinking I was a weirdo.

Fast-forward to freshman year in college, late one evening, it was during some award show when Adele was being featured, when someone we both were Facebook friends with made an incredibly stupid comment about Adele’s weight, and you couldn’t take that lying down. To your credit, you stood up against her. Let her know what was on your mind, something I couldn’t (and still can’t) do. But it showed me something.

Everyone has a sore point. To you, it was hearing someone call someone else fat. It hurt you inside. And to me, hearing you call me weird hurt me inside. It was something I already knew about myself, but never knew was a quality someone would point out negatively. It made me insecure, and having someone say it behind my back made it even worse. (Newsflash: I hear everything.) It made me try to fit in, not stand out, be normal, doubt my self. And that doubt stays with me to this day. (So thanks for helping my self-confidence, by the way.)

Now, graduating college, with eight-ish years buffering me and this incident, I can say that being weird is a great, fabulous thing. Weirdness makes you sparkle. Anyone who tries to dull that spark doesn’t have it in his or herself, and it is him or her you should feel bad for.

So you, girl, she-who-shall-not-be-named, you still suck. But since I’m sure you are not the person you were in high school, this letter is a farewell to the suck-ish girl you were, not who you hopefully turned out to be. I hope you turned out weird too.

-Shirley

happy kitten, happy cat,

A Good Breakfast Is Everything

I’m sitting by my favorite place near the window at my favorite little cafe doing my most favorite activity: filling my stomach with good food. This short little blurb comes out of the contented part of me—most definitely my stomach at this particular moment.

I needed this breakfast. It seems silly, but the strawberry french toast brought a smile to my face (as good food usually does), and that brought this honestly soul-sucking week to a better end.

Food heals all.

Happy Saturday! :)

-Shirley

enlightenment

“Oh Damn! It’s Such A Good Video.”

– Shirley

I’m posting this video where Reza Aslan systematically and thoroughly counters popular accusations made against Muslims—something that the media loves doing.

First of all, I just love this video because he shuts them down immediately and eloquently, and that to me is the most delicious way to watch people get shut down. Second, when I was watching it, it got me to think about how the media and the internet are each other’s worst enemies. Think about it.

dumbfounded keanu, keanu reeves meme, meme

Rofl. So much amusement from this face. Much derp. Such wow.

The media can effectively brainwash its viewers because, unless you’re experiencing the event firsthand, how would you know what’s truth and what isn’t? But here comes the internet, with all its sneaky and brilliant content sharers, providing things that the media can’t filter—which isn’t to say that you don’t see ludicrously false things on the Internet either—and it lets us broaden our perspectives.

Anyway, short post because I have a little thing called work and I need this important thing called sleep. It calls me.

Happy Hump Day! :)

-Shirley