Wednesday, February 28, 2018

earning those splat points

the old lady and i have found a new fitness obsession!

a lot of my friends have been raving about orangetheory fitness for a long time.  there are OTF studios all over the country, but for a long time the closest ones to us were either in rancho cucamonga or pasadena.  i don't love working out enough to drive my happy ass all the way out to either of those locations on the regular and i was plenty happy with my barre classes anyway, so there you go.

and then last summer the news came that an OTF studio was going to open in glendora, in a newly revamped shopping center that was under construction.  word was that they were hoping to open in october, and so i was super excited and added myself to the wait list for updated information

october came and went, and then it was supposed to open in december.  well, december came and went and while they were still posting teasers on social media no one was getting any updates on when it might actually open.  the old lady and i happened to be in the area one day in early february, so we strolled by and saw some progress:


it still looked a long way away from actually opening though, so we were pretty surprised when we got an email just after valentine's day that said "we're finally opening soon!  VIP week is coming february 22nd!"  that's the "free" week for those who signed up for memberships pre-opening, securing the lowest rates and giving those of us who are newbies a chance to try the workout for a week before we're committed to the membership.

mind you, neither the old lady nor i really knew what to expect from this workout.  but i really don't know a single person who has done it and doesn't love it.  even my friends who don't love to work out at all rave about it.  good enough for me.  we went in on the first day the studio was open for tours to pick up our heart rate monitors and check it out:


and then the next morning, we went in for our first class.  this one happened to be one of their "endurance" sessions, and i'm not gonna lie - i was miserable.  that shit was HARD.  and for some reason, one of the instructor's assistants kept coming over to me to pick on my form on the rowing machine.  and i'm not making it up - even the old lady was like "damn, he's not leaving you alone!"  i'm pretty sure he came over to make a comment like four separate times.  it was kind of annoying.

we came out of there drenched in sweat but happy to have gotten our first session done (she's going to kill me for posting this again, since i posted it on instagram that morning):


and because i was still participating in a 30-classes-in-45-days challenge at xtend, i went straight from there to a barre class.


luckily, it was one of their roll & release classes which actually helped get me all stretched out and loosened up after the intense workout at OTF that morning.

we went back for our second class on monday, and found that we had the same instructor but no extra assistants during class.  still, i was pretty apprehensive since he'd killed us during the last class.


but this time, the class was a mixture of endurance, speed and power - so while it was no piece o'cake, it was just the right amount of challenging for us.  this time, we left pretty encouraged and excited to continue on with our OTF journey.


this morning, the heart rate monitor software in the studio was finally set up and we were able to glance up at the screens periodically to see how we were doing.  there are color codes to tell you how much effort you're putting in, with blue and green being kind of a warm-up zone and orange and red for the higher levels.  and as soon as the workout was over, i had this in my email to tell me how i'd done:


when i asked on twitter WTF those "splat points" were for, one of my friends said it was how many minutes i'd spent in the orange and red zones.  interesting.  i'd been hoping it was some sort of rewards program and i could do some shopping, since i'd seen that there was some fun OTF-branded gear for sale on a table in the lobby.  heh.  no such luck.

in any case, the old lady and i are pretty excited to continue with our classes and build up our strength and endurance.  when we're on the treadmills i'm still "power walker" mode because i haven't done any running in months.  we're both signed up for a membership plan that gets us 8 classes per month, which will work out perfectly with my barre schedule.

maybe it'll even get my running mojo back.  who knows?  i guess we'll see.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

closing out season 1

the bean's first season with one dream cheer is winding down to a close.  the last two practices are this week, with their final competition on sunday and the semi-formal banquet at the local country club happening next week.  and while she'd said she wanted to take a break, she started to waffle once she got a taste of victory at nationals in vegas in january.

while i generally feel like cheer kind of sucked the life out of us - mandatory practices, few breaks during holidays, driving down to the gym twice a week and finding ways to kill time because it doesn't make sense to go all the way home only to turn around and come back to pick her up - the hub and i both agreed that this experience is really good for her.  it keeps her active, builds her strength, teaches her the value of being part of and working with a team.  she's learned how to deal with criticism and tough coaches (something she had no experience in because all of her other extracurriculars were usually led by super nurturing, extra sweet and gentle instructors), and finally understands that while there is yelling going on, it's not necessarily done out of anger and not always directed at her.  heh.

the coaches held a showcase and an introductory meeting for families looking to join the team for season 2 this weekend.  the girls were asked to come fully dressed in their uniforms with hair and makeup, and they were to perform their competition routine for the audience before the coaches dove into the details of registration.

my friend, one of the team moms, asked me to do cookies - and while it was kind of last-minute, i obliged.



the girls' hair was to be half up with loose curls, so while the bean sat there watching youtube videos i got to work using her sister's fancy curling iron.  so pretty!


and of course, i had to get at least one selfie when we got there.


sitting off to the side instead of right in the front, i got to watch their routine from a different angle.  it was kind of cool because i actually got to watch what my kid does throughout the whole 2:30.


for season 2, there are a few changes - different competitions, new uniforms, letterman jackets.  it's all going to be bigger and better than season 1, and i'm really looking forward to watching the bean learn more and improve her skills.  i so love watching her perform, and she seems to really enjoy it.

cheer mom life continues!

Monday, February 26, 2018

max(pass)in' and relaxin'

the bean and i decided to get up bright and early on presidents' day for a day at disneyland.  this shocks you, i'm sure.  we were out of the house right at 7, with rope drop scheduled for 8.  traffic was blessedly light, parking was fairly easy and we got through security and onto a tram in almost record time.  still, we missed the actual rope drop by about five minutes.  bah!

i'd decided that this might be a good day to test out the new maxpass system.  this is disneyland's version of an electronic fastpass, ever-so-slightly similar to disney world's magic band but without the part where you can start booking fastpasses 60 days before your visit to the parks.  instead, for $10 per person per day, you can get your ride fastpasses via the official disneyland app as soon as your entry ticket is scanned at the gate.  no more hustling to the fastpass stations to scan your pass, and as soon as your window opens to get another one you can hop right onto the app to see what's available.  it's been available for awhile now, but i hadn't really cared enough to pay for it.  the top tier annual pass includes the maxpass, and all other levels of passes can add it on for $75 per year.

as soon as we went through the turnstiles i hopped on and bought them, snapped up passes for space mountain and then we spied mickey and minnie off to one side of main street posing for pictures with parkgoers.  usually at this time we're zooming right down the street on a quest for that first fastpass, but today we could take our time, look in the shops and make our way leisurely down the street.  it was so nice.  and we decided to get in the relatively short lines to say hello to our friends.


the tracks in the street were still being worked on, so there were still walls up all down the street.



and because we still had some time before our turn on space mountain, we decided to head over to big thunder wait in line for our first ride of the day.  on our way there i marveled at how nice it was to see this area so open and empty.



when we were done we still had plenty of time, and when the bean saw that there was practically no line for the finding nemo submarine ride - an attraction her sister despises - she talked me into it.




yay for space mountain!  the bean was so mad to see that she'd gotten blocked in the photo...again.


at galactic grill, she was bummed again to find that the blue french toast is no longer being served.  but she was happy to settle for sharing a breakfast burrito and an order of french toast sticks.


this is what the app looks like when you have the maxpass.  if you time things just right you can actually have passes for two things at the same time.


on the matterhorn.  it was a really cold day, especially for southern california, and i'd swapped jackets with her because mine was thicker and warmer than the sweatshirt she'd put on that morning.


as we headed over to take the obligatory castle selfie, we stopped at snow white's wishing well so she could make a wish.




with a block of time available before our indiana jones fastpass window opened, we headed over to the haunted mansion .  i hadn't ridden it in its original form in a long time - the last few times i was here it was still dressed up for the holidays.


indy!


star tours was our last ride on the disneyland side, and we encountered a couple of stormtroopers as we exited tomorrowland.


i'd snagged us a fastpass for the guardians of the galaxy ride after using the indiana jones one, so we didn't have to wait for too long. confession:  i still get nervous before this ride.  it's never the same ride twice, so you never know when to expect the drops.  we both love it, though.


how cute is this groot backpack??


the bean adores the animation academy, so we headed in there next and got to draw baymax.


our next fastpass was for goofy's sky school.


and then she wanted to go back inside the animation academy building to see the "turtle talk with crush" show, so we got to sit on one of the comfy couches and relax for a bit as we waited for it to start.


one more trip into the animation academy yielded this sketch of eeyore:


our final ride of the day was soarin' around the world, and by then the sun had gone down and the wind had kicked up.  i think it was in the mid-50s that afternoon, and we were done for the day by 4:00.


we grabbed a couple of snacks for the road (and a caramel apple for the old lady) and headed on outta there.  for a holiday it had been a pretty awesome day at the 'land, and my little maxpass experiment convinced me to go ahead and add it onto our passes.  it really made our day so much nicer, which is totally worth the extra cash.

the food & wine festival starts this friday.  i sure hope we can get out there soon to sample all the delicious treats!

Friday, February 23, 2018

love is the answer

so...valentine's day.  although the afternoon brought the terrible news of the mass shooting in florida, it started off like any normal valentine's day around here.  as is typical on most holidays, the bean was allowed to break out of the school uniform and wear something festive and fun:


and i finally got to wear a top i'd made a couple of weeks prior.


plus, i got to upgrade my watch (which was super exciting because i'd been bitching and moaning about how the battery on my old one would be down to 10% by around 5pm).  


while we don't typically go out for valentine's day because most places are crowded/have terrible service/inflate prices, the hub and i did manage to enjoy a nice breakfast together at peach cafe in monrovia.  


once i heard the words "mimosa flight," it was game on.  the menu listed all of the flavors available, and i got to choose four of them:



i'm not gonna lie, they all kind of tasted alike except for the OJ one.  and it doesn't look like much, but i definitely walked out of there with a very pleasant buzz.  not even the super delicious french toast soaked up the alcohol:


all gone.


i looked pretty happy though, right?  


i'd picked up a bunch of little squishies for the bean, along with some slime and a fun card.  and for the old lady, i picked this up:


yes, that does indeed say "rosé hard cider."  she seemed pretty pleased with it when she pulled it out of the pink gift bag i'd put it in, although she has yet to try it.  i guess we'll just have to see how she actually likes it when she finally cracks one open.

the day was capped off with a visit from brother wan, who'd arrived earlier in the day.  we didn't think we'd get to see him until a few days later, but as luck would have it he'd forgotten something and got back to pick it up just in time to see the bean before she went to bed.  she was so excited to see him, and it was sweet to watch her jump into his arms when he walked in.


that picture has turned into somewhat of a tradition by now, although i've gotta wonder how many more of them i'll get.  it's always so sweet, though, so hopefully they'll continue to do this every time they see each other.

pretty nice way to end a day of love, i'd say.
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