To kick off yet another chilly spell in MinneSO-Friggin-Cold-duh, I spent Friday night getting uber sweaty with some of my favorite gals at Modo Yoga in Uptown. Having only been going to hot yoga classes for a month or so, I discovered a fast addiction to sweating and stretching in the 105 degree room. And, completely contrary to expectations with dozens of sweaty bodies in the same room, it's such a peaceful, odor-free, and relaxing environment with dim lights, gentle sounds, and instructors that lead you in your practice in a challenging and forgiving way.
This night, Teresa and Morgan joined me for the Friday night Karma class to support a friend's foundation that puts together for Twin City's homeless residents. The class was HOT and the sounds of sweat hitting my mat as we did our first forward fold were loud and welcome as I watch the rivers run down my arms. Shannon led us through a great practice and we left the class limber, lighter, and with relaxed. To 'rehydrate' after class, we met Hwood & Matt at Burger Jones for some bevvies and grub to close out the night. As well as the burger smell overpowered our detoxed state, the sounds of laughter and friendships binding tighter drowned out the existence of all other patrons.
As the night drew to an end, we parted ways to celebrate the next day's chills in our favorite ways... Me & Hwood - we took on the Lake Mtka Ice Race! Morgan and Matt excited us in their attendance and constant cheers once the race was underway. Heck, high of 5 degrees? Ignore the windchill... just wear another layer. Sadly, the uber cold temps kept the attendance lower than normal but the event was top-notch as always. Once the Elite Men's / Women's Open race toed the line, I was a little bummed out to find myself as the only chica with the cold-weather-cahones this year. Oh well, there were still more than a dozen boys to try to beat, right?!
Once it began, I tried to secure a good position in the pack as we charged down the first straightaway in the pinky of the "Metal" hand course. I got into the middle of the pack and pretended that the guys chasing me were my toughest female competitors on the ice... Kristi, Patti, and Danielle. Run, baby, run!
The 45 min. race was gonna be tough as the cold wind drifted the snow across the shoveled, icy course. Thankfully, Podiumwear makes AMAZING winter apparel, so I had every inch of skin covered in awesome Girl Fiend gear and stayed warm considering the conditions. With every turn, I pedaled on, trying to push the limits of my home-made studded tires. I wasn't just gonna take the win without digging deep into my reserves and forcing myself to go faster.
With a few laps to go, my internal thermometer was inching up and I removed my neck cozy from my face to cool my core and increase my oxygen intake. Not one lap later, the headwind bit hard at my cheeks and I was stunned to find my neck cozy had frozen into a solid, fabric mask when I recovered my face. Attacking my imaginary opponents til the final turn, I was exhausted and elated as I crossed the line for the win that I joyfully shared with my hubby who went out hard and never let up, sealing our second husband & wife victory at the Lake Mtka Ice Race. :)
We were warmly welcomed in the park building with tasty burgers, dogs, and beers and friends. It was so hard to leave after all the fun and laughs that filled the building began to fade, but the couch and some cozy blankets were calling our names.
Come Sunday morning, we refueled with family over a tasty brunch, inside from the increasing winds as the latest frigid blast moved into MN. The food was warm, tasty, and it was great to celebrate my Dad's, step-mom's and step-sis's birthday over mimosas and bloody's.
To keep things interesting, I got to attend my first (and probably only) event at the Minikahda Country Club via our lululemon holiday party in the Paddle House. We had awesome food from Brassa and cold beers and Sangria to top it off. It was so much fun to finally get to know my knew coworkers better, enjoying stories away from the store and laughing as we played Cards Against Humanity and were challenged to play outside in spite of the negative 21 degree windchills.
Although part of me wanted to bail due to the temps, my love for trying new things layered up on the clothing and headed outside with my friends to try out Paddle Tennis outside on their heated courts. It was so much fun! I laughed my ass off as I biffed on a huge swat of the paddle, or as Kyle sent the ball souring out of the fences and into a snowbank. As the minutes ticked by, I was baffled by my dwindling motor skills and screaming backside... I think I was literally freezing my ass off out there! I only made it some five minutes before I had to call it a night, just as Jay & Rosco drove up to take me home in a warm car. We hugged our goodbyes and I headed home with my boys to close out yet an another amazing weekend with my loved ones, taking on new challenges and exploring new avenues of joy.
Meditation. Sweat. Laughter. Pain. FroZen. Joy. Love.
Finding Zen in any way I can,