Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival/Communism

I love the fall. Changing leaves, cooler weather, football games, the smell of winter coming...okay, so I'm not experiencing any of those things here. At least not yet. I'm assuming the leaves will eventually change and the weather will eventually get cooler but let's face it, the only football the Chinese know is the round ball kind and the only smells we get are rotting trash. But, one thing I get here that I'd never get in the US...Mid-Autumn Festival break slash 60th year celebration of the Chinese communist government. What does that mean to me? 6 days out of school. Yippee!! Never thought I'd be celebrating communism and yet here I am...?

Update of life in China since the last time I blogged...
  • I've had my picture taken with a camera phone at least 6 times and probably many more without my knowledge.
  • I've traveled to Laoshan (the mountains) for a retreat with all the highschool girls and survived.
  • I just got back from a staff retreat in a city called Wei Hai. We stayed at a beautiful hotel right on the beach. Played a lot of beach volleyball, went swimming, slept, read books, ate good food and laughed a lot.
  • I'm still coaching volleyball. We've had only one game this season with one left. Eh, at least it's been a lot of fun.
  • My 30th birthday is Monday. Crazy. Going to do KTV (karaoke) to celebrate.
  • I've started playing the guitar. I'm really excited about it.
  • Also, I started singing worship at my fellowship. Still getting my feet wet.
  • I'm pretty sure I'm going to Bali for Chinese New Year. Apparently, everyone travels for that holiday and I don't want to be left behind. It's pretty cheap to travel from China to other parts of the world. As long as they're on this side of the world.
  • The first quarter of school is almost over. I think we have two weeks left. It's going by so quickly!
  • I'm working on my Chinese. I've got about 30 or so words in my vocabulary thus far. Maybe a few more. But I've almost learned all the pronunciations so I'll be working on the actual words and sentence structure next. I'm very excited about it. It's hard to do what I came to do until I can communicate, at least on a basic level.
  • I'm am frightenly allergic to mosquitoes. I haven't really been able to pin it down exactly nor has the Dr. but certain types of bites cause serious swelling and rashes. I got a huge bit on my arm a couple of weeks ago and my eye was swollen shut for two days.
  • With in the next two months, I will be going on a tour of a couple of cities (can't remember the name) for a weekend trip, to a volleyball tournament in Shenyang, on an MUN trip in Korea, and on an 8 day trip to Singapore for MUN. So much traveling, so little time. That means out of about the first 12 weeks of school, I will be gone for 7 of the weekends. At least it's not coming out of my pocket. :)
  • I have not cooked one meal since I've been here outside of noodles, sandwhiches, and reheating. I'm just never home in the evenings. And if I am, ayi has cooked and I eat that. Someday maybe when I've finally learned where to find all the things I need.

I think my next post will be a few pictures to show you some of the things I've been talking about.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

This is Why I'm Hot, This is Why I'm Hot, This is Why, This is Why...

If your lucky enough to be friends with me on facebook (ha!), then you've seen my updates in reference to "hot yoga". I thought I would share with you my experiences and even a couple of pictures.

Now, if you've never heard of hot yoga, let me help you better understand by giving you a visual...

It's like doing this....

In this...

The idea, I'm guessing because I really don't know for sure, is that you sweat out all your toxins while building up your muscle control. I personally think, and this is just my opinion, the idea is to make a person as miserable as possible in a 75 minute time span. It's like 120 degrees in the room. They have a humidifier on, a heating fan full blast plus the heat turned up AND heated floors. In fact, the floors are so hot, I hate to even touch it. The first time I was doing HY, I was literally dying, sweating my brains out, on the verge of passing out or thowing up, or quite possibly both and I couldn't WAIT to lie down. And of course, I scalded my skin on the frying pan floor.

So, you walk in the room and immediately the sweat is pouring off you. My arms are sweating. The tops of my feet are sweating, my ears...every nook and cranny (never spelled that word before). I'm trying to do these poses but I can't grab on to anything because I'm all slicked up. One second I have ahold of my leg behind me and the next second it's flying through the air towards the poor Chinese woman (a sixth of my size) next to me. If it were to ever make contact with her, it would literally chop her in half with the force. Ha, I'm just cracking up thinking about it.

I can't do hardly any of the moves (I have a lot more of me to work around than most of the people in there). It's funny because if the instructor sees one of the ladies who are taking the class in the wrong position, she'll come over and help them adjust into the right position. Yah, not me. They won't even walk near me. And they refuse to make eye contact. Apparently in the world of hot yoga, I'm a lost cause. Or maybe it's because they're afraid of the wild limbs flailing through the air at any given moment.

Except for one time. During the first class, we were doing this position, and I'm sure it has a name, where you lay on your stomach, bend your knees, grab your ankles behind you and look up. You kind of become like the bottom of a rocking chair. Well, that is just something this body is not meant to do. Not now. Not ever. But that didn't stop the instruction lady. No, no, no. She actually came over, sat on top of me, and jerked my shoulders back just enough to not quite but almost, rip my vertebrae into two pieces. My back may never be the same again.

By the time the class is over, my clothes are sopping wet from head to toe. My body is shaking from the contortionism (word?), and my eyes are buring from all the sweat dripping into them. But, I LOVE IT. I do. I don't know why. Masochistic, perhaps. There's just something about it. I've done it three times now and by the next day, even though I'm incredibly sore, I can't wait to go back the next week.

You know, of course, when I told my mother that I was doing hot yoga, she immediately asked me if we did any spiritual rituals in the class. Rest assured my friends. We find no "chi", we do not "center" our selves, we don't work out "the bad spirits'. No, instead, we listen to elevator music, stretch ourselves silly and sweat out every drop of hydration in our bodies. We do end the session with "Namaste". But I promise, it won't get any more Buddist than that.

Your prize for reading this incredibly long entry is some pictures of the place and well, ME! An "after" shot.

Blasted heat fan!

The room after hot yoga is done.

The surprisingly delicious soup given to us after
the workout. It's supposed to be nutrient-filled
or something.

A hot mess.