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Posted in February 2012

The Perfect Fit… What Was I Waiting For?

My body has changed an awful lot over the past 49 years. I have had a couple of kids. I have gained some weight and I have lost some weight. Recently, gravity has gotten involved and “things” continue to shift. Yet, with all these changes, I still have one thing that remains the same in my mind – my bra size.

Truth is that I am not the only one who still goes into the store and buys a bra that was my size at some point. I decided that it is time for me to be properly fit so that I can showcase myself in the best possible light. “Intimacy” is a lovely store that specializes in helping women to find bras that fit them properly. I went to their store in South Coast Plaza and learned so much.

I found out that I make the same common mistakes that other women tend to make. I buy my bra too big in the band and too small in the cup. Once it is on, I don’t even wear it properly so I created that awful, dreaded back fat. I let the smart women of Intimacy teach me how to make a better choice and allowed them to select a few bras that they felt would be good for me.

The associates at Intimacy don’t go by standard sizes. They actually take the time to fit each individual bra to make sure it is right for each individual customer. You definitely get to know the associate quite well as she assists you into the bra and assesses the way it looks. I am very happy with the selection that was made for me and actually felt good about myself. Finally, I had cleavage! I mean I am almost 50 – what am I waiting for?

The Adventures Continue… a Recap!

I tend to leap before I look. I am impulsive, spontaneous, emotional and a bit unpredictable. It is with that spirit, I jumped into 49 before 50. There isn’t a specific list of things that I want to do, just opportunities that seem to come up that excite me.

So far I am having such a great time. I am learning a lot about myself and a lot about other people. In the past month, these are a few observations I have made:

People are really interesting when they are passionate about something. When folks are excited by something whether it be a skill or hobby, they light up when they share it with others.

I talk too much. If I can just shut up and listen, everyone can teach me something.

It isn’t how you look, it truly is how you feel. I am appreciating my body in a way I didn’t before. Instead of focusing on wanting to be ten pounds lighter, I am grateful that I am able to fly on a trapeze and glide on a snowboard.

Enjoy this recap of what I have done over the past 30 days. I would love to know which experiences you most enjoyed watching and why.

Bobsledding at Olympic Park!

I am fascinated by the extreme sports in the Winter Olympics. Every time I watch, I wonder how those people get the courage to actually go for it the first time. While I am super impressed with all of these events there is one that has actually called to me and I have often dreamed of giving it a shot. So I did….

The bobsled has always appealed to me. I was fascinated by this sport long before “Cool Runnings” was released. It just looks so fun and exciting. Lucky for me Utah Olympic Park offers bobsled rides on the actual competition track from the 2002 Winter Olympics.

This is an intense experience. From the minute you sign up to participate this is repeated many times. The Comet actually picks up so much speed and has so many sharp turns that riders encounter significant G Forces. Once you sign all of the waivers and participate in a mandatory orientation, a shuttle bus takes the riders up to the top of the run where helmets are issued and safety is reviewed one final time.

I was assigned the second position directly behind the pilot (driver) and instructed many times to do my best to not bang my head against the head of the pilot since this would be a distraction and he was driving. OK, sure. The descent started at a reasonable pace and quickly picked up speed. The earlier description of intense was truly an understatement. This was 60 seconds of fast, downhill, jerking side to side, head banging fun that I absolutely loved. My fellow riders and I had never seen each other before and probably never will see each other again but we embraced with adrenaline after the ride with high fives and big hugs. I was definitely banged up for a couple of days after the ride, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Snowboarding in Park City!

It has been a LONG time since I skied. In fact, I am pretty sure the last time I was on the slopes my soon to be college graduate son, Charlie, was about to start high school. I was an “ok” skier (comfortable with blue runs at my own pace) but my son has always been a snowboarder. There is nothing too fast, too steep or too intense for Charlie. I liked two skies on the snow but watched my son enjoy his board. Despite numerous lectures from my baby not to attempt it, I ignored his warnings and decided to give snowboarding a shot. He also informed me that snowboarding in the bib overalls I have owned since my last ski trip would be the equivalent to me wearing “Mom jeans”. Needless to say I made a visit to my local Burlington Coat Factory because God forbid I wear the dreaded “Mom jeans”.

Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah arranged for a private lesson so I could “go for it”. My instructor Tiana took me through each step very slowly as I was truly starting at square one. She even taught me how to properly tie the laces of my boots and carry the board (there are several techniques including the briefcase and behind the back, however I preferred the tuck under the arm). Tiana attempted to boost my confidence by pointing out that the terrain was somewhat flat and arced up so I wouldn’t pick up much speed.

I mastered the magic carpet ride up the bunny slope and sorta/kinda got the concept of turning by shifting my weight. The turn in snowboarding is very gradual and I am not patient to begin with so this was a tough thing for me to learn. However, Tiana celebrated every small victory with high fives and “oh ya” making me feel like Sean White. My instructor felt I was ready to tackle a real run which required I figure out how to get on and off a chair lift that I actually handled quite well.

I used muscles I either forgot I had or never actually used before. The board is propelled with a sliding motion and every now and then it would get slightly ahead of me stretching me into the splits. I couldn’t do the splits in high school or at the peak of my cheer-leading career as a JV Cheerleader at the University of Arizona, so needless to say, walking the next few days was tough. I don’t care though, because I did it, and guess what? Charlie was wrong. It wasn’t that bad.

Pole Dancing!

100% Honest Statement – I am not sexy. That is a word that will never be used in the way that I describe myself. Fun? Sure! Adventurous? Definitely! Sexy? Ummmmm… not so much. In an effort to become more comfortable in my own skin, I needed to venture far from my comfort zone; and this is about as far as I could get. I took a pole dancing lesson.

Emma Ridley created Goddess Fitness and Dance. She lost over 100 lbs by connecting with her body, having fun and enjoying herself. Emma encourages women to simply let go and not worry about what they look like. She has no mirrors in her studio, soft lighting and an ambiance that makes you feel like you are dancing in someone’s home vs an exercise room.

I was terribly intimidated by the thought of pole dancing. TERRIBLY INTIMIDATED! I can jump from buildings and fly on a trapeze but the idea of me letting loose and pole dancing was really terrifying to me. Emma started slow with a warm up and stressed the idea of “feeling” the movement. We worked together on the ground stretching and doing some basic yoga moves. Gradually we progressed to some simply belly dancing and eventually we approached the dreaded pole.

The key to making this work was to let go of my inhibition. Emma seriously is so without judgement and so positive that she made it easy for me to give it a go. My body is not used to moving in this way and either is my mind. I listened to her instruction and encouragement and was able to surrender. This was definitely a challenging workout – physically, mentally and emotionally. Another amazing experience :)

Taking a Shot

Ready, Aim, Fire!

I have never been what I would call a gun enthusiast. I really didn’t have a burning desire to shoot a gun but there has always been some curiosity about what it would be like. Since I am embracing the unknown, I called the Firing Line, Indoor Shooting Range in Northridge, California and they were kind enough to invite me to come in to participate in an introductory firearms class.

My instructor Scott, was knowledgable, well spoken and engaging. In a classroom setting, he reviewed gun safety, loading the firearm, how to properly hold the weapon, the proper stance as well as sight and alignment. Scott did his best to prepare me for the actual experience of firing the gun. He warned that it would be loud, it would be powerful and it would be intense. Scott stressed safety above everything and insisted on us wearing protective eye and ear gear inside the range. Many of the things I learned from Scott were dispelling the myths about guns that I was accustomed to seeing on television and in the movies. I liked his message that “people are afraid of things they don’t understand” and that “guns get the bad reputation but it is people, not guns that actually do the bad things”.

The first thing I noticed upon arriving at the Firing Line was the constant “pop” coming from the range. As much as I was aware of the noise when I was outside, I still was not prepared for the actual combination of flash, bang and recoil when I pulled the trigger on my own revolver. After spending my day at the range, I am so blown away at what it must take to actually be able to use a gun in a pressure situation. They are powerful machines that require a strong attention to detail and it was a very intense experience!

A How-to lesson: The Dirty Martini

I sure do love a dirty martini. I have become a late bloomer with my drinking taste and have recently acquired a true fondness for this cocktail. I would like to credit my friend Julia for introducing me to my current favorite alcoholic beverage of choice and thank my ladies for going out with me regularly to allow me to indulge in one from time to time. While I am very good at ordering my dirty martini (not too dirty, preferably with blue cheese stuffed olives), I never learned how to actually make one – until now…

Linsday the adorable bartender at T-Bones Steakhouse in the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas gave me a lesson in preparing the perfect dirty martini and I was surprised by how simple it is. Primary ingredient is vodka with the supporting cast being olive juice and ice – that’s it. Vodka, olive juice, ice, a good shaking to “bruise” the drink and a fabulous martini glass. Check out the video.

Oh and note to self – a second but equally important lesson to me in this whole martini making workshop – “Never judge a book by it’s cover”. The sexy, glamorous, hot bartender with me is in her final semester of graduate school at UNLV getting her Master’s Degree in Bio-Chem. Sassy and smart – my kind of girl!