If you've read my journal in the past week you might have noticed that I put up three entries for February. They weren't actually written in February, but there were a few things that happened last month that I never got around to writing about, and to put them all into one entry would have made it far too long, not to mention unfocused. So, I cheated. Bad, bad me.
After yet another long absence from here, I decided to establish a notify list. It's a pain in the ass to visit a site repeatedly only to find that the author hasn't bothered to update (I know I'd stop reading). So, for the few of you who are kind enough to stop by here, you can subscribe and get an e-mail every time there's a new entry - an occurrence which, as you've no doubt noticed by now, isn't very frequent. So, go on! No more unnecessary visits! Free up some valuble surfing time!
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So, I've been away for awhile. Nothing's been wrong; in fact, things have been pretty good.
About a month ago I started working out. Not anything heavy-duty, and only once or twice a week, but it's a start. There's a rather pathetic excuse for an exercise room in the building I live in, and that's where I've been going. It doesn't have much in the way of equipment - two stationary bicycles, two step machines, and a rowing machine. No weights, no universal gym. But I'm using it for the time being because it's easier than going out to a proper gym (even though there are two within a kilometre of where I live - how lazy can one person get?), and because I'm so horribly out of shape that I want to build up my stamina first before I attempt to embarrass myself in public. Pretty funny when you think about it - getting in shape so I can get in shape.
Because I really don't know my way around a gym very well, I also signed up for a basic weight training course at a local community centre. That doesn't start until April, so I have an excuse for not hitting the gym, at least until then.
Another course I signed up for, also at the community centre, is for women's self-defence. It's something that's long overdue. Although I sometimes walk around at night and alone, and I usually travel by myself, I've never felt afraid for my safety. I'm probably a little too unafraid, considering the way Suzanna was killed. I don't want to be a victim. I want to be able defend myself if I ever found myself in a hostile situation, and to have the confidence that I could do something other than panic.
We've had two classes so far, on Tuesday evenings, with ten more to go. We have three(!) instructors and about eight or nine women in the class - how's that for teacher-to-student ratio? Some of the basic moves are familiar, since David gave me a few martial arts lessons several years ago. What I'd almost forgotten from those days were the bruises I always had on my arms from striking and blocking. I have some real beauts now. I'm kind of proud of them, though - I think of them as battle wounds. Despite the aches and pains, and even though the only ass that seems to be getting kicked so far is mine, I'm really enjoying the class, more than I thought I would.
I'm starting to feel a little better physically - a little more energy, a little less tired all the time. Part of it's psychological, I'm sure. The hardest thing for me to do is to stop procrastinating when it comes to things that are for my own good, and knowing that I've actually started doing something to help myself is a minor victory.
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I've been planning on going to the Grand Canyon for almost two years now, and I finally decided to make some arrangements. Several months ago I found out about a tour company that offers soft adventure tours to the Canyon and other sights in Arizona. Although the company caters specifically to women, that isn't the main reason it appealed to me (I'd be just as happy if it were co-ed, if not more so). The tour offered more variety in its week-long duration than anything else I'd been able to find - hiking, swimming, sightseeing, camping, even a helicopter ride. So, although it's going to cost me an arm and a leg, I signed up for the May expedition. My only concern is that I found out about the company through the internet, so I basically have to take their word for it that they're legit. If all goes well, though, I should marvleing at the grandeur of the Canyon in a couple of months. I'm already frettting about which camera I should bring.
UPDATE: Less than an hour after I wrote this, I got a phone call from the founder of the tour company, Cheryl, saying that the May tour has been cancelled. We were supposed to spend one night as guests at a Hopi village, and she was told that due to a dispute involving the Native residents, we are not being permitted to stay there. I know this sounds suspicious, especially since they just received my deposit in the mail. But Cheryl gave me a choice between another tour they offer (to the Utah Canyonlands), and the September tour to Arizona. Since I had my heart set on going to the Grand Canyon, I opted for the latter. Fortunately, I hadn't made my flight reservation yet, since I'd been waiting to get final confirmation from them before I did so. Now I have to decide if I'm still going to take the time off in May as I'd planned.
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I haven't really had anything resembling a life for a long, long time. I feel as if both my mind and body have atrophied in the past couple of years, and if I don't do something about it, I might as well be dying a long, slow death. There's a lot more I could and should be doing, but I think I've made a few steps in the right direction. Even if they're only baby steps.
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