Posts Tagged ‘workout’


Does it say anything about the size of your butt when your dog seeks shade underneath it?

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Downward Dog

The latest in the Roxy Hawthorne Fitness Series: afternoon yoga.

This is the mat I use at boot camp, which is why it's so disgusting (though also, the cleanest it has been in months after an (intentional) overnight soak in the pool).

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Rest and Repugery

Everywhere we go, people comment on how petite and fit Roxy is, and they ask how we do it. Well, this is how it’s done! She goes for a walk or a run or a hike almost every day, to the point that she comes home and flops down like a boneless chicken breast on the cool tiles for the next hour.

Remember - she's not sad, that's just her face. She LOVES to run!

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Foot Fetish

Warning: this isn’t the sexiest subject matter ever, so carry on to the next post if you hate feet and/or cool stuff.

JG has been having mysterious foot pain for a few months, and was finally diagnosed by an orthopedist has having a condition called sinus tarsi syndrome — an overuse injury that makes it feel like your foot is broken. So he was referred to a prosthestist to have a set of orthotics (custom insoles) made. (See? Sexy!)

I was intrigued by how the process works, so tagged along to the appointment. And not to sound like a huge nerd, but WOW it was cool! The whole process happened without the guy ever touching or even examining John’s actual foot.

The exam room is long and narrow, and has a runway marked out for walking demonstration. The middle part of the runway has a 10-foot-long sensor pad that digitally captures the walker’s stride and analyzes pressure points and contact patterns. So you can see on-screen exactly what your footfall looks like.

The tech was able to diagnose that John horribly over-pronates on his right foot (the problem one), which means that the foot rolls too far outward as he steps. The injury is compounded by the fact that he then rolls his foot forward and pushes really hard off of his right big toe. Opposite problem on left foot: he rolls too heavily across his instep. We’ve translated the diagnosis as Gangster Lean.

Workin' it on the runway; scans of John's footsteps (SERIOUSLY? 2 years and 500+ posts later, and I have JUST realized that WordPress has a photo captioning feature. D'oh!)

I’ll keep going, because if you’ve read this far then you’re probably interested — the rest of you have moved on to look at Roxy pictures.

The technology is amazing, especially compared to where it was 15 years ago when John was last measured for orthotics. Back then, they actually took a cast of your foot and worked from there — so with a perfect grasp of your foot shape but without a full analysis of how your body moved it.

It’s incredible to think how many injuries he could have avoided during the years when he was racking up 100+ running miles each week if the technology had been available — everything from his awful shin splints to his I.T. band (knee) issues can all be traced right down to foot alignment problems.

I mentioned to the tech that I might make an appointment to come in just because I’m curious about my own feet. Without missing a beat (or glancing away from his computer monitor) he said “Yeah, I already noticed that you have Morton’s Foot“. Research tells me that it’s a classical foot shape historically revered by the Greeks (and even the Statue of Liberty has a Morton’s toe!), but that I’m likely to be hobbled by it later on. Yay?

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One of us ran a 5K this past weekend, and it wasn’t me. While I am working on expanding my beer belly, Lizzy continues to get in kick-ass shape. She is now going to boot camp 5 days a week, and this past weekend she completed her second ever 5K road race (the first was years ago with her sister and brother-in-law, and it involved much walking).

When we first moved here and Lizzy started going to boot camp, she couldn’t finish a mile run without walking. Now she has taken her mile time from over 10 minutes to under 7 and a half. And she didn’t walk one step of the race on Sunday.

It was a huge race – over 15,000 runners, all women, in a 5 and 10K.  She finished 141 out of 4,593 runners in the 5K event (top 3%) and was 14th out of the 780 35-39 year olds (top 1.5%). Rox and I were so proud of her, and it was great to be on the sidelines of a race as the cheering section.

Great Job Lizzy! Next stop: Comrades! (editor’s note: um, no.)

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Boot Campin’

Of all the many goodbyes that I said over the last couple of months, one of the hardest was my final day at boot camp. I had been attending religiously 3 days a week since our first month in SA, with the same trainer (the awesome Shelley), and a group of diverse and amazing women.

We ranged in age from low 20’s to mid-50’s. We had models and cab drivers, grandmothers and new mothers, college exchange students, expats, lifelong Capetonians, knee replacements, cancer survivors, women who could knock out a mile in 5 minutes flat, and women who proudly crossed the finish line at 12 minutes plus.

These ladies were a constant source of positivity and encouragement, always quick with a high-five and a compliment, always ready for an after-workout coffee. The whole group cheered the day that I finally broke the 8-minute mile (I’m closing in on 7 these days), and they all rallied around with recommendations and friends’ phone numbers when I announced I was moving to Durban.

And on my last day with them, they made me ugly-cry by presenting me with the most stunning, hand-made scrapbook commemorating 18 months of sweat, fun, and hard work. They were all such a huge part of my transition to Africa – and my transition from inactive slob to budding athlete – and I will forever hear Shelley in my head shouting FEEL THE BURN whenever I feel like giving up on a workout.

I’m now attending the boot camp franchise in Durban, getting to know my new trainer, and finding all sorts of new muscle groups that I didn’t know I had — but I will always remember the ladies of Camps Bay Beach, the most stunning “gym” in the world, and the awesome group of South Africans who made me one of their own for an hour each morning. Cheers, girls!

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