Palm Springs Weekend

October 11, 2011

On Saturday morning, I got in a car with my friends Robyn and Jake, and their two little poodles Frances and Otis, and we went for a little drive…

…to Palm Springs!

It’s about two hours from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.  We passed a mountain that had snow at the top – a sight that is so cool and strange to see in the middle of a desert region like southern California:

We also passed a bunch of wind farms, which I could stare at for hours:

Our destination was Robyn’s father’s house.  Robyn and Jake invited me to join them for a weekend with her dad, Tim.  I hadn’t met Tim before, but he has happy to have me come along.  He’s a reader of this blog, and one of the first things he said to me when we first met was “I feel like I already know you!”

I would live in Tim’s house in a heartbeat.  It’s a great house with lots of light and spacious rooms, and it’s on a quiet street in Palm Springs.  Here’s the mountain view from the front porch:

And check out Tim’s kick-ass backyard!

We spend all day on Saturday hanging out in the backyard:  lounging, swimming, talking, and hot tubbing.  I don’t mind a hot tub!

Tim has a statue of a deer, left behind by the home’s previous owner, and there were literally 4 or 5 instances when I glanced over quickly or saw it in my periphery and thought it was an actual animal:

I felt tricked by that deer every single time – although I will say in my defense that it very well could have been: in addition to Robyn and Jake’s two dogs, Tim also has a dog, a beautiful standard poodle named Koko, so there were dogs walking around all over the place.  That no pooping sign, by the way, is something of an inside joke and a family heirloom between Robyn and her dad, and all three dogs ignored it.

Speaking of dogs, here’s Koko:

Yep, that’s a Jagermeister tank top she’s wearing.  In addition to loving the smooth, unique blend of Jagermeister’s 56 herbs and spices, Koko recently had to have a couple stitches, and the tank helped deter her from biting her wound.  You can see pictures of Francis and Otis here.

That night, Robyn, Jake and I made a delicious all-vegan meal (which will be the focus of tomorrow’s post), and later on, the guy Tim’s been dating came over and we all went out to a few bars, where I broke my no-soda practice by having a couple Diet Cokes (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone).

On Sunday, we hung out on the back patio more and had a late breakfast.  Robyn’s brother and his girlfriend, who happened to be in the area, came over, and it was a pleasure meeting and talking with them.  I’ve always really liked Robyn since the day I met her (we used to work together, for 5 years), so I’m not surprised at all that every member of her family that I’ve met is also so kind, funny, generous, and smart.

After a leisurely morning of lounging, it was time to sweat.  Tim, inspired by all my posts about going to classes at Slimmons (like this one), had recently bought the DVD box set of Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”!  When he told me that, my heart skipped a beat.  The feeling that I get when I hear that I’ve inspired someone to actually take a step towards getting healthier is one that I’ll probably never get used to, and that’s fine by me, because it’s such an amazing feeling.  Here’s what the box set looks like (you can order it here):

Despite knowing Richard as well as I do, the only “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” video that I’ve ever done is the fifth one, which isn’t included in the box set (read about it here).  So when I saw that Tim had the first four in the series, I practically jumped from my chair.  I got even more excited when I realized that some of the people on the cover of the box set were friends of mine from Slimmons!

That’s Sherri, front row center, Felise to her right, and Kathy behind them.

We popped in the original “Sweatin’ to the Oldies,” which was released in 1988, and Robyn, Jake, Tim and I started dancing.  The DVD was a lot of fun, and it was great to watch Richard, 23 years younger but with the same enthusiasm, energy, and smile.  There were a bunch of moves that I wasn’t familiar with, and a bunch that I’ve been doing every week at Slimmons – it’s pretty impressive that Richard’s aerobics methods are so successful that they’ve haven’t really required much change over the decades.  He really created a winning formula:  great music, along with easy yet effective movements, delivered with an emphasis on having fun in addition to having a good workout.  Sherri, Felise, and Kathy weren’t in the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” that we did, but another Slimmons friend, Anne (a personal trainer who also teaches at Slimmons), was in the video, with a fantastic ’80s perm and bright orange outfit!

All in all, “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” wasn’t as intense of a workout as I’m used to, but I’m familiar enough with Richard’s moves that I found ways to push myself above and beyond what Richard was doing onscreen.  Apparently, each “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” gets progressively more difficult, so I look forward, some day, to doing numbers 2, 3, and 4.

By Sunday night, Robyn, Jake, the dogs and I were back in the car, headed back to Los Angeles.  I had a lovely time in Palm Springs, and am so thankful and appreciative to Tim for having me for the weekend.  THANKS, TIM!

In addition to the Sunday DVD workout, I also ate really well over the weekend, but you’ll hear about all that tomorrow.

Keep it up, David!

Hot Tub Chat

December 21, 2010

I made it to the gym at 10:25am this morning, and was bummed to see the water aerobics class using the pool.  I didn’t bring any clothes to work out in, only my swimsuit.  Luckily, the water aerobics class was over at 10:30, and the pool emptied out.  I got in a great swimming workout:

  • 1000 yards warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM)
  • 2 x 100 yards free at 80%, followed by 1 x 50 yard all-out sprint (250 yards total, and I did this 5x total, for a total of 1250 yards)
  • 250 yard cool-down (50 free, 200 IM)
  • TOTAL YARDS: 2500 yardsmy longest workout in this pool yet!


I forgot to notice what time I started or finished, so I don’t know how long I was in the pool, but my guess was close to an hour.

Then I got out of the pool, walked 4 feet, and got into the hot tub, as I’ve done as the end of most of my swimming workouts.  As I was getting into the hot tub, this guy – let’s call him Bert, because I didn’t learn his name and he looked like a Bert – says to me: “You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight.”

Well, isn’t Bert observant!  Me:  “Yep!”

Bert:  “How much have you lost?”

Me:  “I’m up to 155 pounds.  And counting.”

Bert:  “Did you have surgery?”

Me:  “Nope!”

Bert:  “I thought so.  I was looking for a scar when you getting in, and I didn’t see one.”

Bert went on to talk about how he’s scheduled for beriatric surgery in April.  “I can’t lose the weight any other way,” he says, “I just can’t do it.  I like watching TV.  I like eating.”   Bert asked me a few more questions about what I was doing, and I answered him, and in the course of talking with him, he revealed that his doctor had started him on a pre-surgery diet.  In 2 months, he had lost over 30 pounds, and then he said he fallen off the wagon a little bit.

I’m not going to judge anyone else’s decisions, but I will say that beriatric surgery scares me.  Ultimately, it’s good that Bert is taking the measures he needs to improve his health – he said he’s fighting diabetes and high blood pressure, among other things.  But losing 30 pounds in 2 months is nothing to sneeze at – it’s over 3 pounds a week!  I said it to Bert at the time, but I really want to put it out there again:  Keep on doing whatever it is you’re doing!  Keep it up, Bert!

I swung by the store after the gym and right in the middle of the produce section was a candy display.  You know, because when you’re shopping for pears and celery and bell peppers, you’d probably want gummi sharks and chocolate-covered pretzels nearby.  Memo to Kroger:  Keep your candy in the candy aisle!  I would have just walked by, except something caught my eye:

Candy corn and peanuts? I’ve never seen these two things mixed before.  Have you?  I can’t imagine it’d be terrible (I like both ingredients independently), but isn’t the texture strange?  Crunchy nuts and soft candy corn?  I just don’t get it.  Someone please explain it to me.  In the comments section.

Keep it up, David!