Thursday, March 21, 2013

Duck Eggs!

A surprise awaited me when I picked up my monthly meat shipment from Marin Sun Farms.  A free sample of two duck eggs!  They're trying to lure us into adding on to our usual boxes.  I honestly don't know what to do with a duck egg besides eat it like a normal egg, so I'll keep you posted as to how that goes.

My shipment was a little odd this month, which has me slightly vexed.  Instead of five separate 1 pound packages of ground meat, I was given two large packages of ground beef.  Very curious, and difficult to portion down.  I may have to invite all my friends over for tacos, or make a huge batch of goulash for freezing.  Also received was a large pork loin (excellent--just the thing to roast medieval-style) and a small chunk of lamb leg.

As it was simply a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, I started planting a garden when I arrived home from work.  One small section of cilantro is in the dirt, and a dozen cress seeds have been started inside.  The seed peas are soaking to plant tomorrow.  I'm going to plant in batches, so not everything flourishes at the same time.  There are also some pumpkin seeds in the ground, which I saved from a kabocha.  I have never before planted using saved seeds, and neither have I attempted to grow pumpkin, so it will be interesting to see if anything actually appears.

Green Lantern runs on Saturday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gender Stereotyping

Earlier this week, I read a nice blog post over at Fit, Feminist and (almost) Fifty.  Gender Stereotype Reversal in the Gym.  Disclaimer: I have not watched the video referenced in the posting.  I have not had any particular gender-related issues at my gym, probably because it is at my workplace, and the various gym goers see each other as coworkers and (potentially) teammates, rather than along strict gender divides.  I've never had a guy offer any unsolicited comments about my presence in the weight room (and, believe me, there are a few muscle-bound grunting guys in there), but I have encouraged the other women who show up to lift heavy things.  (Note: I've also encouraged the men who show up to lift heavy things, but only the men that I know.)

This morning, the issue of gender stereotyping in the gym was at the forefront of my mind.  Our gym is much longer than it is wide.  At the front is the cardio equipment, then the weight machines, and at the back is the free weight room.  As I strolled in at 7 am, I walked past all the guys working out on the ellipticals, treadmills, and machines, then I stepped into the weight room, where I was the only person.  So this girl got a nice quiet session with the free weights.  My favorite part was grabbing a 45 pound plate off the rack to hold while doing lunges.

Who has two thumbs, likes wine and weight lifting?  This girl.

Giant Trees

[Here's a post that was intended for publication on Tuesday:]

Had an experience yesterday morning that made me think. I was stretching after my regularly-scheduled exercise routine (deadlifts, split squats, lat pull-downs, bicycling intervals, etc.) My position against the wall outside the group exercise class room meant that anyone leaving the room would walk right past me. There had been a new class in there that morning--some kind of high-intensity interval training sort of class--and one lady, an older woman, had stayed afterwards to speak with the instructor about her physical limitations. As she walked past me, she piped up.

"You're welcome to join us," she said, brightly.

"No thanks," I replied, smiling, "I'm good with my weight lifting."

I found it interesting to note that the class had been full of women, and here I was, another woman, being invited into the class. I'm going to make a generalization here: most women like doing things in groups. They get a sense of camaraderie and support. For a woman who's not very partial to exercising, who hasn't yet solidified within herself all the fabulous reasons to exercise, it can be a boon to have group exercise classes.

However, I prefer to exercise alone. Sure, I have been know to do things in teams, but even then I was working on my own while there were teammates around me. We'd call out encouragement at each other and such, and I'd be quietly bemused by the weird exercise routines the guys would come up with. Weight lifting: pumping iron by myself. Running: cruising the trails by myself. Perhaps it's an introvert thing--I like having the quiet time to stay in my own head. (Plus, I don't love it when other people slow me down.)

Which way is best? You and I both know that the best way to exercise for a particular person is under the conditions which encourage them to exercise. You may like best to run with a group, while I prefer to stay quiet and solo. We're both running, though, and that's what really matters.