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Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fun and a Fitness Rant

P1: I contacted Dr. M at Mount Sinai today to find out what's happening with our research proposal. She got her assistant to contact the research ethics board and they said we may have our proposal processed in another week. I wasn't expecting anything until the end of the summer, so this is good news. Fingers crossed we get approval!!! I am really eager to start the project. One logistical issue we had to deal with is how I will be contacted when there is a woman who has miscarried. Originally, we had thought I would be at the hospital 2-3 days a week, but there are no guarantees that any losses would occur on these days meaning I would sit around doing nothing. And what about women who have a loss on other days? So we decided that I will simply be "on call" all week and whenever possible show up ASAP. I am hoping I can follow up with those women I am not able to get to immediately. This, of course, will have to become a variable in the research so we can see if there are any differences between women I see right away and those I can only follow up with after the fact. Not ideal, but the realities of doing research.

P2: Big A's refusal to take naps is really causing problems. She still needs it. Last night after I gave her a bubble bath while Adam and Little A were at the market, Big A wanted to play Caillou games on my computer. I agreed because I am eager to have her learn to use the mouse on her own so I don't have to play the games for her anymore. She was having problems and kept calling me upstairs while I was busy in the kitchen to help. Finally I got Adam to go up to help, but being unfamiliar with the game, he cleared what she had done to that point. There was utter hysteria and she refused to calm down so Adam was forced to put her in her room for a time out. But she wouldn't stay in her room. She came down to find me and was completely out of control. I had to force her to eat something (it was 7:30pm at this point and she hadn't had dinner yet) and we put her to bed early. She was out instantly. Adam and I decided that she can make a choice each day: she can either take a nap or go to bed early. Today she opted for a nap (hurray!).

Little A is such a character. Most days she refuses to eat the lunch Sherma and I pack for her before they go on their outings and prefers to eat Sherma's lunch. Today it was fried rice and veggies. Other days its been macaroni and cheese, lentil soup and stir fried tofu and bok choy. What's annoying is she won't touch stuff like this if I make it! Last night I made the girls cheese sandwiches because I didn't feel like fighting with either of them and Big A immediately said she was not going to eat any broccoli (or other veggies). Little A ate half of one and then threw the other 2 on the floor and then threw the bowl. I ordered her to pick them up, put them in the bowl and back on the table. After dancing on them in her sandals, she did. Then she tried to throw the bowl and sandwiches again. Sigh!

Little A is apparently fixated on one of the boys in her playgroup. Sherma says the poor guy, who is 2.5 years old, was not too impressed with all the attention at the beginning, but Little A eventually hugged him into submission. That's what I love about her. She is qwerky and sensitive and strong-willed, but she is also incredibly loving and affectionate. I absolutely love her hugs!

F1: Of course we all know that eating locally, the big trend, means eating in season. But you know what? Sometimes eating in season doesn't seem to make a huge difference. Let's be honest, some imported produce is really good. I'm sorry to say that I've had cherries from Chile or the U.S. which are way better than the ones grown here in the Niagara region. But the same cannot be said for other things. The peaches, nectarines and apricots that are in season right now are fabulous. I've occasionally bought some at other times of year and dearly regretted it. I urge you to go out and get some now!

I'm making vegetarian roti tonight, I'll post recipe later.

F2: Fitness Cliques

One thing I've learned about the fitness industry is that different clubs form cliques as do particular activities. One of the snootiest activities tends to be spinning. There are a number of different approaches to this activity which seems to have created two almost adversarial camps. You have the instructors who believe that spinning classes should strictly emulate outdoor road cycling. These instructors naturally attract the outdoor cyclings (who, by the way, are a very small minority of all spinners). Their classes tend to be rather monotonous because they will only pedal between 90-110 rotations per minute (RPMs) and they usually use what I call "thump thump" music (generic techno dance). Then you have the instructors like Adam and I who believe that a spinning class should be a spinning class, meaning it should be fun and inspiring and does not have to emulate outdoor cycling because the bikes are inherently different and the vast majority of spinners are not outdoor cyclings and are not training for outdoor racing. We incorporate a wider variety of cadences and drills to keep participants interested and we tend to use music with words (alternative, rock, dance, 80s, 90s, hip hop, Top 40 etc.). Now I am obviously not a big fan of the other model of class, but what really bugs me is how condescending the followers can be. While my followers may prefer my approach, they are unlikely to tell an instructor using the outdoor method that they are teaching "wrong" or should change their approach. In contrast, outdoor cyclists who come to our classes are generally arrogant and rude and I have occasionally gotten into debates with a few of them about the pros and cons and the rationale of each style. Consequently, there are a lot of gyms where I would not dare teach spinning because they attract the snooty outdoor cyclist folks. What I don't understand, is why these individuals don't just put their bicycle on a stand and train on their own (like some competitive cyclists I know) so that they can tailor their workout precisely to suit their training needs, if that is their goal. Then they never have to be at the mercy of an instructor's whims.

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