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carrie

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astronauts and cottonballs

Last night, I sat with family and friends and listened to Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space. She’s awesome (MD, dancer, engineer, Lego figurine, the list goes on), and so was her presentation. She had so much of value and substance to say about many things. One thing was exactly what I needed to hear, though. She was asked how she dealt with people who were negative or…

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Martial Arts

The view from the front

There are two kinds of people who look back at Mr. Ninja in class after 620 jumping jacks. Yep, that’s right, one night a lot of lower belts weren’t in class leaving me with upper belts and two black belts in class. So…yeah. 620 jumping jacks. Mr. Ninja joked after 300 jumping jacks that we weren’t sweating. Apparently he had missed my face. Because I start sweating before 100. We…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

Hints of autumn, and my one-year taekwondo anniversary

My health journey has been a marathon. I’d call it an ultra-marathon.  And often add a colorful, quite possibly four-letter word before “ultra”. No fast, miraculous shifts, just lots of hard work. A year ago, if you’d told me I would work out as hard as I have for a whole year and only lose a size and a half, I’m not sure that would have helped my enthusiasm.  …

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

is this sparring gear sauna appropriate?

Browsing an herbal book I’ve consulted through the years. My eyes stopped on an herb used by Native Americans after sweat lodge rituals. Nordic countries that love saunas also have herbs, like birch, that they use after sweating in a sauna. Herbs to help the body, mind and spirit recover from the work and taxation of sweating and heat of the sauna or sweat lodge.   In class this week,…

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Martial Arts

the yin and yang of competition

Competition is tricky. A balancing act. Being 100% non-competing or always competing can be difficult. For me, competition lures me in. In the realm of Ayurveda, I’m a pitta (with some kapha) and once I get into competition mode it can get…fiery. As I face my third taekwondo tournament, the first two not having gone so well, with last place my average finish (sigh) I’m not sure how I want…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

A historical component of martial arts: herbal medicine

After trying for a third time to be a runner (do your joints talk to you? ‘Cause my knees just piped up a disgruntled don’t you ever do that again!), I had to deal with the runner’s knee pain and inflammation. The pain varied and moved all around my patella, hurting when I moved, hurting when I didn’t move. Going down stairs or hills was especially precarious. To go to…

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Martial Arts

When the Army asks you to army crawl, they let you wear shoes

It’s been a while since I regaled you with tales of my flops and foibles and mess-ups in class. I’ve been in a pretty good groove for a few weeks.   Then I decided to go with another parent to Taekwondo Day Camp while our kids were there. (Are you already laughing? You should be. I didn’t even do a camp like this as a kid.) They do taekwondo but…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

Lifting the Earth element: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Talking to parents outside my son’s taekwondo class, I hear women say, “I can’t join class because I can’t do the jumping jacks.” You could substitute in run, trampoline. laugh or sneeze hard, or any high impact cardio activity. For so many women it isn’t possible to do these activities without leaking urine. And it seems this is just a problem many women endure. WHY?? You don’t have to!  …

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Martial Arts

The gift of groundedness, or, my third attempt at being a runner

Every so many years, I try running. Since my mid-20s, I’ve tried to be a runner THREE times. I love the idea of being a runner. People talk of having dreams of flying. I dream of running. Fast. Of gliding, foot fall after foot fall, wind in my hair due to my speed. The latest attempt at becoming a runner was this summer, when I signed up for a local…

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Martial Arts

the view from the mesa

I live next to a beautiful mesa in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. To review that fourth grade geography, a mesa is flat on top, like a mountain with the top peak chopped off. Like a plateau. I blog about doing taekwondo, my extra workouts, more recently adding Figure 8 workouts for a core focus. I’ve talked about WFPB and how I’m eating healthy. Nothing has really shifted. The…

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