I can’t decide whether I like yoga or not. We have free yoga in my office Tuesdays and Thursdays. When it’s a yoga day, I’m kind of dreading going to yoga, and I psych myself up for it, knowing that I’ll be glad I did it later. But then, I often feel as though I don’t have time for it, like I’m too stressed out, and I have too many other tasks to do. But here’s the irony. In the back of my mind, I know that if I do go to yoga, I’ll feel more at peace with what’s going on in my life, and I won’t be so worried. Usually, the stuff I have to do is totally surmountable, and I’m just building it up in my mind, so it’s better to go to yoga.

I also worry about being bored during yoga. I went to yoga on Thursday, and I performed a little experiment on myself. In every pose, I asked myself, do I dislike this, or do I enjoy it? Do I feel good or bad? You know what? I felt good in every single pose, even the hard ones. When I queried my mind to ask whether I felt good or bad, I felt good in every case.

Now, I realize that it’s not a very yoga thing to do, to continually ask oneself whether one is enjoying the experience, but my mind is flitting around from thing to thing anyway. So it seems to me that it’s actually an improvement over whatever my mind might be doing otherwise. Not that I’m going to do this all the time, but I think I might as well give my mind free rein, and just try to look the part of the yogi at peace.

Couldn’t it just be a matter of faking it till I make it?

I dunno. I really wonder about people who do weeklong meditation retreats. They come back saying they didn’t hate it, which seems truly remarkable to me. Is it just that they can’t say they hated it, because if they did, it would be too difficult to face that truth? I feel as though there’s a little of that in me when I meditate. And yet, I don’t just run screaming from the room when faced with the prospect of meditating for 10 minutes. Somehow, it feels both good and bad. I’m a nervous wreck, and I’m at peace, at the same time.

Maybe that’s what it’s like to attend a weeklong (or longer) meditation retreat. You hate it and love it. Or maybe you somehow get beyond that feeling. It sounds painful, that going beyond.

Today, when I was running, I was imagining a meditation retreat where you would have an hour a day to binge on the Internet, being social, whatever. Would it be at the beginning of the day or the end? I would think it should be at the beginning of the day, so you end the day with the feeling you got from meditating all day. Or maybe that binging is a terrible idea.


We’re finally getting some rain in the Bay Area. Whenever it rains, I like to pull up the National Weather Service’s information about rainfall totals. Unfortunately, we’re still way behind for the year. I wonder if we’ll get some rain in April to make up for some of the deficit.

Effortless running

Yesterday I went for a run, initially thinking I’d go for a quick three mile down the Embarcadero. As often happens when I run, I hit a good stride, and I decided I wanted to go a little farther — 5 miles. For the first three miles, I was making a pretty good pace for me, about a 7’30” mile. What’s interesting is what happened at mile 3. I finished listening to Marketplace and put on some music — that may have been key to what happened next.

Anyway, around mile 3, I started feeling really good. I mean, incredibly good. I felt almost like I was flying, like the feeling you get when you’re dreaming of flying. I felt a state of calm, mastery, and effortlessness. I was running faster, but it didn’t feel like I was pushing harder. It barely felt as though I was pushing at all. I felt like time had slowed down, like I could hear the music really well, and like I had time to think about things like my posture. I relaxed my shoulders as my yoga teacher is always telling me to do. I paid attention to the placement of my foot, trying not to strike too hard and trying to make sure I wasn’t putting my body into an awkward position. I was smiling, consciously but authentically. My pace picked up to around 6’50″/mile.

Around 4.5 miles, it started to feel like running was slightly more effort again, but I found that I could maintain that feeling of effortlessness with only a few cracks. I finished the 5 mile at 36’13”, which is not my best time, but it’s pretty good for me. Miles 4 and 5 were 6’53” and 6’45”, respectively.

So I’m really curious about how to reproduce this flow state I got into while running yesterday. It was certainly a nice feeling, and it may improve my running as well.

Don’t really feel like writing today

But I’m going to write something anyway. Why? Because it’s been seven days since the last time I posted, and I’ve promised myself I would post once a week. What to write about? Well, Sara and I saw Veronica Mars, the Motion Picture, with a couple of friends today. Loved it! I would say, nevertheless, if you weren’t a fan of the show, it probably wouldn’t mean all that much to you. It seemed to me that Logan Echolls’s uniform didn’t fit all that well, by the way. Really — couldn’t they get that one little detail taken care of?

It’s Sunday night, and I’m trying to tie up a bunch of Sunday night things. I’m taking the week of 3/31 – 4/4 off — it’s spring break for my kids — and I want to get a lot of work done this week.

Second annual Dodge Ridge trip

So we went up to the foothills again this year, but we decided not to go skiing. Due to the drought, the snow was just so bad this year that we decided not to bother. Instead, we did a bunch of other stuff. We went skating twice. The kids skated yesterday, and I joined them today. I seem to be getting a little better at skating backwards. If I practiced all the time, I think I’d get a lot better, but I’ll probably skate, like, once or twice a year.

Oh hai

Hmm . . . just noticed it’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. We have something in the works, but I just can’t talk about it yet. It’s been occupying my brain a lot, though, so much so that I went into the office today, on a Sunday, just to get my mind off it.

My back pain, apparently around my SI joint, is feeling a lot better. I ran over 9 miles (~6 on Saturday and ~3 on Sunday) this weekend, and I’m feeling fine. I still want to get physical therapy, nevertheless.

With so much going on in my life, I haven’t had a lot of time to do the things that I love, like practicing guitar. When I do have a little spare time, it’s late and I’m tired, and I just want to go to bed.

Weird weekend

I did not have a great weekend, although there were some highlights. I did spend some good quality time with my son, which was cool, but other things were bugging me.

For one thing, I spent $500 on this dumb night guard thing for my teeth, and I really don’t like it. I can return it, but I’ll be out $50 for the fitting of the device.

I’ve decided to get a new dentist, because I feel as though every time I go to the dentist, they’re making me make financial decisions when I’m in a vulnerable position, in the dentist’s chair. Sara likes her dentist, although it might be inconvenient for me to get to them. If I can’t do South San Francisco, I’ll find someone well-reviewed on Yelp. My current dentist does not look so good on Yelp.

Anyway, all this makes me pretty anxious. I don’t like confrontation, and generally I like doing what I’m told. But seriously, the night guard just feels like it’s warping my bite. I cannot wear that thing. I want my $500, or at least my $450 back.

Star Wars weekend

This weekend we watched both Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) and The Empire Strikes Back with the kids. One thing that really struck me is how excellent the second movie (“episode V”) is. It’s really well made, and the cliffhanger ending is just awesome.

We watched Star Wars on Friday night at our house. Sunny was a little scared watching the first movie, so we allowed her to bring her phone with us to a friends’ house to watch The Empire Strikes Back, so she could watch My Little Pony or something. To our surprise, she was glued to the screen the whole time, and didn’t seem scared by the second movie.

JH was into both of them — at 8 and a half, I think he’s just about the perfect age for Star Wars.