Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm a Winner!

OK, so I didn't win any adventure races. I'm still in recovery mode from injuries, but completely out of the blue I won this really cool boot bag for my snowboard boots....the Transpack XT1 bag!

It's too bad it's the wrong season to really put it to the test, but my boots and helmet fit in there really nicely and are being kept nice and safe for next season's use.

How did I win this you might ask?

Well, last year I joined the Mountain Sports Club to get discount ski lift tickets and it turns out they have these random drawings for cool stuff and I won! I didn't realize it, but the club also gets you discounts on things like rafting, hotels and more. So I highly recommend joining them.

On another note, my recovery seems to have taken a turn for the better. I'm seeing a sports doctor who does ART (Active Release Techniques) and it seems to be helping.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'm eager to put this body in motion again!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Double Dose

I'm still recovering from last weekend's double dose of snowboarding.

As I'm frantically trying to get as much time in before the season is over, I'm going as much as possible. Don't tell any of my clients, but I'm actually playing hooky on Tuesday to go all day too! ;-)

Last weekend I went both Friday night (Mountain High) and all day Sunday (Big Bear).

Friday night I decided to step it up a notch and got more aggressive with my snowboarding. Well there is a price for this.....a lot more falling. Unfortunately because it's so late in the season the snow is pretty hard packed and a bit icy. Translation: falling hurts. It's like landing on cement. And damn, I didn't have knee or elbow pads. So guess where I landed? Of course, on the knees and elbows. Ouch. You should see these big beautiful purple patches.

Did I mention the hip and butt pads were MIA too? I actually went to get some before the trip but they wouldn't fit in my new snug-fitting snowboarding pants. Hmmm. Fashion over practicality. Not smart.

So yeah, there are bruises on both knees, bruises on my left elbow, bruises on my hip and butt. By the way, don't ever use one of those steamer things on your clothes while you are wearing them. I was stupid enough to try it and now have a trail of burns on my butt to go along with the nice big bruise. But oh, I digress....

In spite of my wounds I had a really good time on Sunday. What we nice was that I fell enough on Friday that it wasn't really necessary on Sunday. Whew.... And I even came fully equipped with knee and elbow pads.

Snow Summit at Big Bear has these nice long trails where you can really get your practicing in. And so I did. By late afternoon it was so natural and I noticed that I was just flying by a lot of other snowboarders. That was cool.

I'm still a little nervous about the jumps in the park but I did try them and will be working on that next.

What was really awesome though was that by the end of the day I went down the black diamond run. And not just side-slipping down, but "S" carving. It was some serious carving too. You've got to get your balance just right or you just slide down the mountain (although I have to admit that was kind of fun too).

Next month is my birthday and I'm planning a trip up to Mammoth since they will still be open. I've already got one person committed to going with me and I'll be looking for more. And no, don't ask me how old I'll be.

I say f&$#% the economy and do something fun. Who's with me?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lisa's Secret Strategy to Meeting Men and Getting a LOT of Attention

No. This does NOT require any clothes coming off. Or even sexy clothing. As a matter of fact, the only skin that will be showing is your face and your knees and you could even do it without your knees showing.

"Huh?" you are probably wondering....

Read on.

OK, I admit that I didn't come up with this one, but the original intention was was for an entirely different purpose....actually it's a sales gimmick. But damn. This is so good for meeting men and really fun too. Well, for people like me anyway. I mean you've got to be kind of a flirt to make it work. Stick-in-the-mud's are just not going to make this happen. Sorry.

Before my final days of my last job I knew I had to start looking for work and a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do this really random job working a booth at a trade show in Sacramento for a few days. I thought "what the hell, I don't have anything else going on." All it required was for me to learn about the company's product, wear a "uniform" and talk to people. OK. No big deal. I can do that. Besides, I knew the owner of the company and he was cool. He owns a couple of Harleys. To me, that equals "cool."

So on the plane ride from FL to CA I read up on the company info. I studied the FAQ's and skipped all the really technical stuff. Then I didn't think about it anymore. Two weeks later the time comes to make the trip. Shannon drills me on the FAQ's for a half hour. I've got it down. OK, good.

(Yes I'm dragging this out, hahahahaha!)

We drive up to Sacramento which takes foooooooooever because we have to follow the owner in his truck. Something happened to it along the way and as long as he drove slow it would keep going. At one point we were doing 35 miles per hour on the 5. Holy mother of #@#&$&# was all I was thinking.

Anyway, we make it up by morning and start setting up our booth. Well, really the guys did. Shannon and I went walking (kind of sleep walking since we hadn't slept) around Sacramento and checked out the trees. Yes, Sacramento is the "city of trees" and you can go on a "tree" tour which we partially did. We walked everywhere just to fill time and keep awake. We even went into a church where an organist was practicing.

Finally the guys were done and we could go to the hotel and sleep. Ahhhhhh. Zzzzzzzzz. So nice.

The next day we put on our uniforms and headed over to the convention center for the California Green Summit. The gimmick was that we were Eco cops wearing very realistic cop uniforms and handing out Eco tickets to anyone who didn't have a hydrogen hybrid system in their car.

Whoooooooaaaaaaaaaaa. I had no idea the fantasy men have about women in cop uniforms until then.

Not only did it help drive people to our booth but we got a considerable amount of attention. Here we are covered completely in clothes with only our face and knees exposed and yet men wanted our phone numbers (personal phone number) left and right.

Quite a few men approached with "Please handcuff me," "Tie me up officer," "I'm guilty, take me away," "Beat me, I've been bad," etc. The only thing we could do was roll with it. It was all in fun anyway (well except for maybe 2 or 3 or 4 that were quite persistent and a couple that seriously thought I had danced at a bachelor party).

What was cool was that the women just thought it was a cute gimmick and so it worked to get them to look at our product too.

The only thing that wasn't cool was that Arnold Schwarzenegger himself came to visit our booth on the second day, but because our cop gimmick was a little too realistic looking Shannon and I had to leave the area. Bummer. Damn PR crap.

Overall though it was a fun experience and great insight into what gets a guys attention. It's kind of like our fascination with men in uniforms....police, firemen, pilots, military, etc.

How can you apply this? Easy.

1. Become a cop
2. Work as a meter maid
3. Duplicate the above or similar at your company's trade show booth
4. Get and wear a realistic uniform while doing your normal errands (just don't get one that is too close to a real cop because impersonating a cop is illegal)
5. Be creative and come up with your own ideas that might use this concept. Share your ideas by publishing them to the comments below (because I might want to try them myself)


Monday, March 23, 2009

Must Love Snowboarding

It's been 2 months now that I haven't been able to work out or do any kind of real physical activity--including running. That's a real bummer. Apparently I have a locked-up hip that doesn't want to get better. And to top it off I have some kind of ankle problem too. Joy. Have I tried to do something about it? Of course. But for now I'm done spending money on doctors that can't fix it. It's been too frustrating and besides I'm almost broke. Am I in pain? Yes, but I'm managing to deal with it. For now anyway. I may try swimming or yoga in the meantime. We'll see how things go and hopefully I'll be able to get this body back to normal soon.

Right after I lost my job a few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me on a ski trip to Utah. Hmm, a chance to go snowboarding! There was no hesitation in my response. No "thinking" about it. No "let me look at my finances." No "let me check my calendar." Nothing. Just, "hell, yeah!" I love snowboarding and will do anything to do it.

Yes, probably anything.

Not even pain will stop me. I seem to have an addiction. Or maybe an obsession. Actually I wonder if there's a snowboarders anonymous club......

Anyway, it turned out to be the most amazing 2 1/2 days.

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, checked into the hotel and went straight to the slopes at Brighton for night skiing/snowboarding. I had never done the night skiing. It was amazing. The clearest sky, a slight breeze, minimal skiers and powder-packed slopes. My new body glove jacket was wonderful. It kept me warm even though it was only 9 degrees outside.

At first I was nervous because I hadn't been on real snow for 2 months. But my virtual lessons in Florida paid off. I felt really comfortable on the board and started zipping down the hill in no time.

Both my friends are advanced level skiers and so the next day they got me to go up to the top of the mountain (10,000 ft elevation). Talk about some scary runs! The good thing about snowboarding is no matter how steep the slope you can always side-slip down if necessary. At that time I was much better on my toe side so I did what is called the falling leaf backwards down the steep slopes. On not-so-steep runs I just kept practicing my turns. Turn. Fall. Turn. Fall. Turn. Turn. Turn. Fall. You get the idea.....

The last day was pure heaven because it snowed the entire day. There was so much powder that when a person fell, they actually disappeared into the snow! I had a couple of face plants where my face was just buried in the snow. It was actually fun to fall! You didn't feel any pain! The good news was I hardly fell on the last day. Progress!

And I fully "got" the turns and could do the "S" turn--the proper snowboarding technique. There is a certain excitement when you finally "get" it. No one was around, so I just did my own little jumping for joy dance. You couldn't wipe the grin off of my face either. Pleasure moment. So now when things aren't going so well, I just think about snowboarding. It will instantly bring a smile to my face.

That's why I've decided that any man that wants to be in my life must love snowboarding. It isn't even a negotiable point.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taken by Surprise

I am definitely not a morning person. Today I went for a bike ride and forgot my helmet, my watch, and my gloves. But check it out....I brought the camera for a change so I could take some pictures.

My roomie here in Florida has an extra bike, so until my ankle is feeling up to running again I'll be biking instead. It's much easier on the joints but yet still yields a good workout. I pretty much keep it in the lowest gear and ride at max speed unless I'm going over a bridge. Definitely not the same as mountain biking but still fun.

Biking here in Florida is lovely. Especially today. It was the perfect weather. Temps were probably in the high 70s, it was sunny and just a little bit breezy. I had only planned on going out for about an hour, but it was so nice I kept going and going and going and going......

.....all the way to the Hillsboro inlet. There were so many people out today taking advantage of the perfect weather: walkers, runners, cyclists, boaters, beach-goers, etc. You can explore so much more on a bike. I've been going different places everytime I go out and am amazed at all the places I've never seen......even though I grew up here in Florida!

Once I realized how far I had gone, I had to race back to where I was staying because I had a lunch date with my dad. I knew he would understand, but I didn't want him to go hungry!

As soon as I met up with him I noticed this hospital sticker he had. Within five minutes of seeing my dad I was in tears. His friend just died and he was with him the last few hours in the hospital. Liver failure. What a way to go. I try so hard to keep everything in my life positive and upbeat, but boy you never see these things coming.

To top it off we went to go see a funny movie at the theater but it was sold out. Next option was Marley and Me. I don't want to tell the story if you haven't seen it, but DAMN. It is not what you think. I thought it was just going to be a cute movie about a dog. WRONG. It is so sad. Sniffles could be heard all around the movie theater. Twice in one day I'm crying. That's NOT my kind of day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dating Adventures and Advice for Men

We are going to take a little detour today on the blog. Yeah, I went running yesterday, bike riding today and my tail bone still hurts from last week's snowboarding, but that stuff is boring. Today it's all about dating and men.

Friday night I went out with my friends and saw this poster in the girl's bathroom. I thought it was hilarious. It pretty much describes our basic needs. Well, maybe everything except the cooking, because we are usually on a diet anyway.

But in reading this I realized I have been missing the mark on almost every point. And I never even got to experience point number six. Bummer.

Well that's all about to change. My standards are getting higher. So for practice, I am doing a lot of "turning down." I try not be mean, because I realize it takes some guts for a guy to ask a girl out in the first place, but I'm finding it easier to be upfront from the beginning rather than go through the slow painful process of trying to make someone go away.

My roommate turned me on to this great blog called ManSlations. Not only is it quite humorous, it's really giving me the insight into how men think....or should I say.....don't think. They seem to have similar patterns when it comes to women and having a clue about their reactions is quite enlightening. Because of this I'm toughening up. And to help guys out, I've set down some guidelines to follow when pursuing women in general. Hopefully this will help save some future embarrassment. So here they are....

1. Don't tell her she looks like X, Y or Z movie star. It doesn't matter how beautiful the actress is, we women want to think we are unique and we ARE unique. Besides we may not even know who you are talking about and then have our attention stuck on who this mystery person is that we apparently look like. This happened to me Friday and I really didn't like it. I was related to Tracy Pollan and Stephanie Graf. When I finally looked at their pics on the web, I was like, "NO WAY." So just don't do it. It is NOT FLATTERING even though you might think so. Do yourself a favor, and just ZIP IT.

2. Don't play the "shy" card. This guy Friday night told my friend that he liked me but was too shy to tell me so she told me. Huh? What does that tell me? L...O...S...E....R! We want a guy who is assertive and confident, not a wiener. We'd rather you make a fool out of yourself and be brave than be afraid. I lost all respect for the guy before I even knew who he was. Don't let that happen to you.

3. Alright, so maybe it is a bit scary for a guy to go over and talk to a girl in a bar. But if you made the effort, stick with it. Friday night, this really nice guy from Jamaica came over to tell me how beautiful I was (we love that by the way) and invited me to go on a date with him in Jamaica. I wasn't super interested, but I think I would have at least chatted for him a bit to get to know him better. However, he said, "OK I'll leave you alone now" and left. ???? What was that all about? He didn't even give it a chance. It was probably nerves because I don't really think I had bad breath. I don't know. Translation to me: Q...U...I...T...T...E...R. Not good. So if you start something, finish it.

4. This one may not happen much but it happened to me so I thought I'd mention it. After I had turned a guy down, he started doing this thing where he said, "I saw you checking out X. You want me to go get him for you?" First of all he was wrong. He didn't know where I was looking and secondly, it was kind of creepy that this guy was observing me THAT MUCH. P...S...Y...C...H...O is what that one spells. Stay far far away. If she turns you down, just move on. Don't make a big deal out of it. We'll only think you are crazy.

5. If she tells you she is not interested or not attracted to you, leave it alone. There is no reason to elaborate our reasons. It's like saying, "Why don't you like mushrooms?" Or, "Why don't you like spinach?" Through our own individual experience we've learned what we like and what we don't like and telling you any of this is only going to invalidate you. I mean if you like to be abused, then go for it. But realize we don't want to go there, just as you probably wouldn't want to do that to a woman. Besides it's a sure sign of I...N...S...E...C...U...R...I...T...Y.

6. This should be a no-brainer but I'm going to mention it because it happened. No matter how charming you are, never ask about having a threesome.

7. Probably the most important of all....If you say you are going to do something, do it. Manslations educated women are going to be watching this one very closely. We will judge you not by what you say, but by what you do. So if you say you are going to call her, you damn well better call her.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Pain in the Ass

Snowboarding is not friendly to one's behind. You usually fall forward on your knees and/or wrists or backwards onto you behind. Occasionally you will do a helicopter flip where you and the snowboard spin until you land on your side and one or both ankles gets twisted in the process.

Well, yesterday I managed to do all of the above multiple times.

It turned out that Mt. Baldy isn't really a place for beginners to go. It's got some pretty advanced runs and some serious slopes. We should have got a clue when we were driving in. The road up to the resort is super steep. The one good thing we did have going for us was the weather. It was a beautiful sunny day. Cold at the beginning of the day and freezing at the end of the day, but perfect weather while we were snowboarding.

However, the conditions were not perfect. The snow was not nice and powdery, but hard and somewhat icy. There hadn't been new snowfall since Christmas and they had only just turned on their snow machine the day before. How does that translate? Bad for beginners. After our very first run, we were all ready to exchange our snowboards for skis. It was pretty defeating. But we ended up sticking with it. I guess we all like to abuse ourselves!

Falling was the worse thing, especially in our case when you do a lot of it. It was like falling on concrete. So yes, I have sore wrists, sore ankles, bruised knees, and a very tender tail bone.

But that's not all...Apparently the full development of soreness from my previous crossfit workout hadn't come into play until then too. It appears I tweaked my neck and shoulder area somehow from those wall climbs and I was still feeling quite a bit of the stomach muscle soreness as well from the L pull-ups. So every time I fell backwards my neck whipped back irritating the already irritated area. And then when I got up I had to use the already sore stomach muscles. Ouch.

Needless to say I am in quite a bit of pain today. Driving was almost impossible. I couldn't even turn my head and walking up and down stairs was torture because of the burning calf muscles.

I started to wonder how nuts I am for putting myself through all this. The pain was so bad today that I wanted to cry. So I did nothing today...drank some wine, ate some chocolate, watched a movie and went back to sleep. Hopefully this won't last long because it really sucks.

The crazy part is that my friends and I still can't wait to go snowboarding again. At least I'm not the only one who is nuts. However, next time I'll be wearing knee pads, a tail bone pad, wrist guards and possibly a helmet. Football gear has been recommended.

That's at least 2 months away. Tomorrow I fly to Boca Raton where the closest I'll get to snowboarding is virtually. My tail bone should be healed by then!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Snowboarding in Florida? You've Got to be Kidding!

Shannon, Dan and I went for our first virtual snowboarding lesson today. OH MY GOD! This is the coolest thing. We were able to refine our edging technique without falling! It is so realistic it's crazy! And we only did the intro lesson.

Since we are hitting the slopes tomorrow we wanted to be a little bit more prepared and this was perfect. Who would have guessed that such a thing even existed. But even experts use virtual training to hone their skills. So imagine how it helps beginners or anyone just needing to get the basics down pat. My hat's off to Dan for finding this.

The founder of virtual lessons is two-time world champion and legend in freestyle skiing Bob Salerno. The whole idea is that by training in a controlled environment, you learn the skills and muscle memory without all the time, trouble, travel and costs associated with a trip to the mountain. After the training you understand the commands and are in shape to ski or snowboard. Below is a video about who Bob is.

What's got me really excited is that there is a virtual training place in Florida--a mere 1/2 hour drive from where I'll be hanging out the next couple of months. Is that bad-ass or what? Ten lessons or so should do some major damage in improving my technique. Perhaps I'll even learn a few tricks.

Tomorrow I'll get to test how this virtual experience translates to the real deal. I'm just hoping my muscles will hold up because the last couple days of crossfit were brutal. They are so sore from the combination of crossfit, my 10-mile trail run yesterday and today's virtual lesson. Walking up and down stairs is quite painful. And to top it off I've got major skin burns from trying--unsuccessfully-- to scale a cement wall. (No, I wasn't running from the police!)

Boy, is my body a wreck.