Archive for ‘Get Fit’

12 February 2019

I’m not into Valentine’s, but…

by misslampa

20190209_152924Skies were overcast and it was snowing last Saturday here in the lovely hipster town of Higashikawa, but I geared up, headed out, and went cross-country skiing anyway.

It’s not that I’ve fallen in love with the sport, but classic クロカン (read as kurokan and short for “cross-country”) skiing is beginning to have the same effect that running had on me when I took it up about seven years ago. You step forward with your left foot and then with your right and then again with your left and soon enough, your head is clear and that immediate next step is all you think about. I’m not there yet, but I imagine cross-country skiing will have a similar meditative lightness to it.

I’ll also be joining my first cross-country skiing race in less than a month, and I have every intention to progress from waddling to sliding before then. Because given that I signed up for the shortest course (only 1km long!) and will be skiing with babies and toddlers and their parents mostly, my motivation to become better is fueled by this burning desire to not fall and squish little people come race day.

I guess I was too focused on that while I was out skiing because I was already back in the parking lot when I realized it was the weekend before Valentine’s Day, and all I have for company are my skis and all this vastness around me.


That thought stayed with me during the drive home, and I remembered what my best friend suggested I tell people when they pry into my (lack of a) love life: that skiing keeps me busy.

It can be your alibi, he told me in jest.

This, after he also just reminded me to be more open to romantic love instead of saying no to possibilities even before exploring them. Several chat lines after, being in love has suddenly turned into a crime but thanks to cross-country skiing, I can enter a plea of not guilty?

It amused me, his not-so-subtle use of reverse psychology. So I smiled while insisting I didn’t want an alibi because this time, I’d rather find and be found.

I wanted to listen to Jollibee and have faith in love, I said.

It was cheesy and all, but he was kind enough to laugh. And then we ran out of things to say, so we just left it at that.

27 January 2019

Waddling in Winter Wonderland

by misslampa

I tried cross-country skiing for the first time last Wednesday. And by that, what I mean is I managed to waddle back and forth on the school playground in my skis without falling…while kids up to thirty years my junior had a terrific time taking on the short and long groomed trails around me.

It was more my overly judicious use of ski poles than my good sense of balance that kept me upright, truth be told. But I was more on my butt than on my feet the one time I tried downhill skiing, so I’m still going to say this is a clear win for me.

Winter play

Prior to “ski-waddling,” this was my idea of winter fun.

We only had a little over two hours and I wanted to let the kids go first so as to stay out of their way, so all I’ve really done is go from walking with the help of ski poles to waddling without. Which isn’t really much, if you think about it. But whatever little progress I made sent me over the moon.

A slight spring in every small, slippery step – quite literally.

And when the bell rang to signal the end of PE class, the doors to the school entrance couldn’t look any less inviting.

I felt my sun-kissed spirit detach from the rest of me so it could do a double take. Am I warming up to winter, finally?

Maybe. Or maybe any day now, the world will go Bazinga! on me.

Until then, I’ll tell myself to just keep waddling.

10 August 2013

There are parts of me I didn’t know existed until I started running.

by misslampa
It's unheard of for the night owl that is me to be this perky so early in the morning.

Can I really be this perky so early in the morning? For running, baby, I can be. =p


Like this part of me that can be up and about – and happily so – before almost everyone else is.

And the part that can’t seem to get over the elegant burst of colors in the sky at sunrise.

Or this bit that feels like paying homage to whoever invented the treadmill. And the bit that rejoices whenever the display reads 10 kilometers or 1,000 calories.

Or this side of me that no longer minds getting sweaty so much. And in fact, now enjoys feeling the warmth of the sun on my back. Provided I’ve put on sunscreen, of course.

And the part that has gotten used to the early morning winter chill. The same bit that no longer uses it as an excuse to stay buried under the sheets and just go back to sleep.

Also, the bit that’s now okay with getting sore feet and water blisters and aching legs.

There’s also this part of me that loves reading up on lactate thresholds and minimalist running and Fartlek. And the side that equally loves carbo-loading and oversleeping after a long run. (I’m doing it wrong, I know. Go ahead, sue me.Ü)


I’ve also discovered this side of me that can get everything in the world to shut up – myself and my thoughts included – by repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other until my lungs give out. I seriously don’t remember being able to do that. Ever.

(Okay, in all honesty, my lungs have yet to give out. The only person in my life who’s seen how slow I am when I run refers to what I do as a nice, long stroll. How supportive, no? )

Running has also turned me into one who doesn’t keep track of time, and remains mighty proud of herself even if she’s always one of the last few to cross the finish line. But check back on me after a year or two. Perhaps when I’m no longer the newbie I am now, I’ll relish the thought of having some slowpokes eat my dust. Or not, let’s see.


Among the many new pieces of me which I now carry in my heart, though, what I am most surprised and happy with is this part that doesn’t want to go through the ordeals and triumphs of running alone, and is grateful beyond words that this didn’t have to be the case for me.

If you had an adorable minion cheering you on, I'm sure you won't mind running, too. Ü

If you had an adorable minion cheering you on, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind running, too. Ü


It’s mildly unnerving for someone who, for most of her life, has been all about tackling things on her own. But as all the old and new parts of me are slowly but steadily finding out, that is simply not how runners roll.

And well, I’m a runner now. So, umm…

Wait, what was it that was supposed to unnerve me again? :-)



This one’s for the patient and kind-hearted John Tsai, without whose coaching, cheering, and occasional cajoling I wouldn’t have taken up running in the first place. For everything you’ve done to help me get to this point, thank you.☺