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Sam Dobson Writes: January 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Survive A Heated Workout Class

You all know that I am always looking for cheap ways to stay healthy. When it comes to working out, unless you are doing so alone at home, it can be expensive. Yoga classes run $20 bucks a pop, most boot camps are a couple hundred a month, and the fancy gyms that offer classes aren't cheap either. So, my friend, Jessie, and I have been doing what we call "Groupon Whoring". You can find loads of introductory deals for different fitness classes on Groupon or Living Social. The problem is that once your deal is done, the class you became addicted to becomes ridiculously unaffordable.

Our first experience was a month of unlimited boot camp with which we fell in love. Once the month was over, the normal price of this particular boot camp would have costed us around $250 per month. As if that weren't too expensive, the facility did not take monthly payments. You had to sign up for a year's worth of boot camp with a hefty price tag. Our next trial was a month of yoga and we came across the same issue once the deal was done. Pretty clever, huh? Until all the deals run out, but we will worry about that when the time comes.

Now we are on the next fitness trial. On Monday we took our first barre class. I have heard that barre can be quite the workout, with a strong emphasis on legs and butt. I wasn't dreading the new fitness routine because that's exactly what I was looking for. So, I went about my day as usual, not worrying about my evening exercise. Boy was I surprised when I walked into a pretty little studio that was hot as frick! What the eff?! I was not prepared and sure enough, I ended up in the bathroom splashing cold water on my face halfway through the class.

It's not that I've never done a heated class before, I have done plenty of hot yoga. It's just that I've always been prepared for a heated class, not to mention that yoga is relatively low intensity compared to a barre class. So there I was, dehydrated, dizzy, and nauseous in a heated barre class that required a lot of energy and fast movement. Had this been my first heated fitness class I would have most likely been scared off for life, but luckily I know better. Just need to be better prepared next time. This got me thinking about how many other people have made the mistake of not researching before participating in their first heated class. So, for those of you haven't tried a heated class or have only had a bad experience, check out these tips for surviving a heated fitness class:

       Hydrate All Day        

If you don't want to pass out, this is crucial. Make sure to drink 
water throughout the day, not just during your class. 
Bring an insulated water bottle with ice and take slow 
slips throughout your class.

Don't Skip A Meal

Evening if you are in the middle of a dieting phase, 
don't skimp on calories. Make sure you eat healthy 
meals throughout the day. As for a snack before class, 
think cool produce that won't weigh you down.

Avoid Cotton Clothing

Avoid heavy cotton fabrics. You'll want to invest in some yoga garb, 
which is lightweight and designed to handle moisture. 
Avoid baggy pants as they tend to trap heat, opt for leggings instead.

Go At Your Own Pace

Be careful not to over do it. The heat can easily suck the energy 
right out of you. Modify the postures or slow down your repetition 
speed as needed. If you need to, take a breather in a seated position 
on your yoga mat. If you start to feel dizzy or nauseous, don't wait to pass out, 
excuse yourself to the restroom and splash some cold water on your face and neck. 
Let your body cool down before resuming your heated workout.

So, to all of you yogi pro friends of mine, please let me know if I am missing something. We all want to know the secrets of your practice. For now, I hope these tips will help all the other newbie fitness enthusiasts like me. Might be harder to force yourself back to class if you end up passed out on the floor, or worse, with a pile of vomit at your feet!

With a new found respect for ballerinas,



Friday, January 17, 2014

Thank You Readers!

Happy Champagne Friday everyone! What will you be toasting to tonight? Come on, there's got to be something worth popping some bubbly for. Remember, it doesn't have to be some huge accomplishment. Did your favorite actress take home a Golden Globe (hello Jennifer Lawrence!)? Did you get a fabulous new hair cut? Praise for your hard work at the office? See, it can be anything.

I have plenty to celebrate this Friday. Among some other awesome things that happened this week, this blog reached over 10,000 views. Nothing astronomical but still pretty cool. To think, my sometimes pointless ramblings have captivated enough attention to reach five digits! I guess I owe a very sincere "thank you" to my loyal readers. After all, because of your curiosity of what I am going to say next I have a reason to get decently buzzed this evening.

In all seriousness, I am very thankful that I have an army of supportive family and friends. My career goal of becoming a self-sustaining writer is not an easy feat and I definitely feel the doubt weighing down on me from time to time. My team of unconditional fans are always there to encourage me to, in the words of my husband, "keep pushing forward". I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have these fabulous supporters in my life.

There is something to be said about anyone following a specific dream. We use the words "dream" and "goal" for a reason. These are things that require a great deal of work and/or luck to achieve. These words are not to be taken lightly. That is why if you ever utter something stupid like "I got my dream job! I'm a telemarketer, isn't that awesome?!", I will have to fight the urge to punch you in the face. Dreams and goals aren't handed out like candy on Halloween. They take patience, discipline, hard work, and maybe a lucky rabbit's foot. I take serious offense to idiots who throw these words around.

This is why I will be celebrating Champagne Friday tonight with a little more enthusiasm. Let me clarify. I stand by my words. Champagne Friday should be used to celebrate anything good that happened during the week. Its a way to unwind and say "I survived another work week". What you toast to can vary from finding the boots you love on sale to getting a promotion. In a nutshell, the degree of celebration can vary when it comes to Champagne Friday, but there should always be something worth a cold flute of bubbles.

Sam & Blake's Engagement Party
Photo Cred: Jessie Osirio
Back to what I was saying about a more enthusiastic Champagne Friday this week. I will be toasting with more vigor tonight as blog's tiny achievement of over 10,000 views is a small victory in my life battle to become a decent writer. It may not be much in the overall spectrum of successful blogging and writing, but it is a step in the right direction. Its a healthy reminder that I am on my way. Slow and steady wins the race, right? God, I hope so. Anyways, cheers to all my loyal readers! If you have no other reason to pop open a bottle of champagne tonight, do so because you helped a budding writer get closer to achieving her dreams. I'll be thinking of all of you tonight when I take that first sip, then I'll get a little buzzed and forget why I was celebrating....just kidding.

Happy Champagne Friday,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

May The Odds (Of Marriage) Be Ever In Your Favor

As you may have noticed, I have been absent for a little over a month but I can assure you that I have a very good reason. Two weeks ago I got married! Yup, that's right. I walked the plank, tied the knot. I spent the whole of December finalizing all the little details of my wedding, married the man I love on New Year's Eve, and dove right into my honeymoon. As you can see I've been busy, but I'm not anymore and it is heavenly.

After the midnight countdown, as the photographers followed us catching the last moments of our wedding day, my new husband and I made our way to the honeymoon suite where we snacked on chocolate covered strawberries and made our first champagne toast as husband and wife. Still elated from the celebration, we toasted to no more wedding planning. Upon waking on January 1st, we simply felt relief that the stress of wedding planning was over and ecstatic to be married and off on our honeymoon. Those feelings stayed with us through the honeymoon.

Since Blake and I have been back, I've been asked more times than I can count "how's married life?" and "do you feel different?". When I respond with "it's pretty much the same", the disappointment is apparent on the faces of my eager friends and family. I have had no epiphanies nor have I experienced any major lifestyle changes. Despite the dismay my peers may have about my lack of enthusiasm about the little difference marriage has made on my life, I believe this is promise for a long and happy marriage.

I'm not crazy nor am I in denial about my relationship. I have never been more confident about my partner and our life together. The truth is, aside from the strangeness of my new last name and the foreign concept of being a wife, my relationship with Blake feels exactly the same. There is not one fundamental aspect of our relationship that has changed. We communicate the same, compromise the same, and love the same. I've come to realize that Blake has pretty much been a husband to me (without the title) for the past two years or so.

Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

This makes complete sense to me now. Why would I ever want to marry a man who wasn't already husband material? People don't magically change into the perfect spouse after reciting "I do". Now that I've crossed over the line that separates single life and married life, it's as clear as day. You should never marry someone if you feel that they wouldn't be a good partner right at this moment, just as they are without "fixing".

I know that I am by no means some marriage guru, I've been married for what seems like a minute. But I do have sense enough to know a good springing start versus a wobbly start when it comes to binding your life with another. Of course marrying someone who seems the perfect spouse now doesn't guarantee a happy marriage til death do you part, but it does give you better odds. People can change, but your marriage will most likely crash and burn if you marry someone that you are hoping will turn into a perfect spouse after saying the magical words and slipping the ring on your finger. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. If only...wait. What am I talking about? I married a man who has been a husband to me all along. It doesn't mean I am guaranteed wedded bliss for all time, but it does give me pretty good odds. 

Happily married, 
Mrs. Dobson