Don’t End Up in the ER Like Me

Part I: Don’t End Up in the ER Like Me

-Tessa Mckenzie

After a busy week in the office recently, I couldn’t wait to sweat out my stress in a hot power yoga class. It felt great to practice, but shortly after I left the studio, I nearly passed out in the parking lot. 

Initially I felt nauseous and light-headed, but thought the sensations would pass. As I started to drive home, the scary feelings intensified. When my hands went numb, I pulled over. I had severe vertigo and felt very confused. I called my roommate & BOHO bestie Matthew to rescue me, but he was 10 minutes away. I began to hyperventilate, and my heart raced. Every second was worse than the last, so I called 911. I fainted and came to in the ambulance and was rushed to the emergency room. I felt my body shutting down, 100% sure I was dying. After a series of blood tests and 16 hours on IV, I was magically stabilized and grateful to be alive. 

The doctor diagnosed me with severe heat exhaustion and dehydration due to electrolyte imbalance. He said my body was already dehydrated prior to yoga, but the heat and buckets of sweat finished me off. He reminded me that water alone isn’t the best means to hydration, since water doesn’t have electrolytes. Both are needed—prior to and after an intense workout, especially in the heat. 

My hectic life is fueled by coffee, wine, and sometimes, water. And because my plate is always full, paying attention to how much I drink will have to be a determined choice and priority. To forget is too risky—and it earned me an unaffordable ambulance ride and sleepover in the ER. 

I share this story, not because it’s alarming but to help you avoid a simple mistake whose consequences were enormously dangerous. Drink as I say, not as I do. Bottoms up, BOHO!

--

Part II: Balance Your Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential to hydration, as you learned in Tessa’s latest post. Here Michelle Baer, an instructor and nutrition counselor at BOHO, explains what they’re all about.  

What are electrolytes?  

Electrolytes are minerals that help your body function by, among other things, modulating the amount of water in different compartments of your body and muscle function. Some examples of electrolytes include potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. 

How can I get them? 

You can find electrolytes in sport drinks like Powerade and Gatorade, but they’re typically high in calories and sugar. Healthier alternatives include coconut water (without added sugar), electrolyte tablets (Nuun), or even fruit like bananas and dates, especially when eaten with water.

Why should I care about electrolytes? 

When we sweat, we loose water and electrolytes. While normal exercise does not necessarily require electrolyte replenishment, it’s a good idea to replenish your electrolytes when you’re doing intense periods of exertion such as a marathon or exercise that causes excessive sweat due to a high temp or exertion (think: intense summer runs or vigorous hot yoga classes). 

What happens if my electrolytes become depleted? 

Your muscles tire more easily when they don’t have enough water, electrolytes, and essential nutrients. Staying hydrated helps you to maintain your strength, power, and aerobic performance. It also helps you function in everyday life without medical side effects. 

How do I know if I’m depleted? 

You’ll generally feel lightheaded, weak, or dizzy, especially when you’re moving from sitting to standing, due to a reduction in overall blood volume. This is a sign that you need more water and potentially electrolytes in your blood. Also, look at your urine. You want it to be the color of lemonade, rather than apple juice. Other signs of depletion include confusion, fatigue, muscle spasms, numbness, seizures, twitching, blood pressure changes, and an irregular heartbeat. 

It's All Smoke and Mirrors

If it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right? We click through pics of people with flat bellies, trim waists, six-pack abs, and flawless skin—and believe it’s really their bellies, waists, thighs and skin…or at least pretty close. And, you may be convinced that six-pack abs only taking 17 days is a reality, or if you eat this and not that, you’ll have mind-blowing sex forever.   

Then we hope, pray, sweat, and starve ourselves to the point of crazy to fulfill these promises that never fully arrive. You know why? Because it’s fake. All of it. Fake, fake, fake. 

Turns out, celebs and models are (kind of) like us! They have leftover baby bumps, stringy hair, patchy skin, man boobs, four-packs, and armpit fat that tell their bodies’ real stories.  

Yup, armpit fat.

Check out this tell-all. It’s a mind-blowing reminder about how retouched media images are:

http://idealbite.com/100-percent-of-what-you-see-in-fashion-magazines-is-retouched/

This is not to be confused with the forgivable fake-out. Instagram is all about showing off your retouched and staged life, but everyone is in on the joke. That’s why we love author, TV personality, and designer Lauren Conrad’s advice on how to crop, compose, align, light, add a background, caption, and minimalize your posts: 

https://laurenconrad.com/blog/2014/04/tips-tricks-how-to-take-the-perfect-instagram/

It’s like that old saying: “When in Rome…add a filter.” 

So now it’s our turn—here is BOHO’s take on all things before and after. These are shots of our staff, both au natural and tweaked. What do you think? Should we keep our day jobs?   

Does Life need a Banana Slicer?

Does life need a banana slicer? 

-Kristen Secor

There are tons of kitchen tools out there (see banana slicer), and if we are being honest a lot of them are useless. This list from Babble.com gives us 30 Crazy, Wacky, and Useless Kitchen Gadgets. Oh, wow, #6. Wow.

Since it’s National Nutrition Month we want you to get cooking and build your kitchen. 

Check out my 5 favorite kitchen tools.

#1. Immersion Blender

This little guy can whip up a smoothie, puree a soup, make aoli, and create smooth sauces and dressings. The possibilities are endless! The blade is powerful enough to turn cooked vegetables into liquid and crush ice into tiny bits. So no matter what you are making you get a smooth texture with all of the ingredients well incorporated. Sounds a lot like a blender, right? You got it – but it’s smaller and oh so much easier to clean up! 

#2. Salad Spinner

I buy my leafy greens NOT prewashed and do the washing myself. This saves some money and I ensure that all of the leaves are relatively dry before I store them so they last longer in my fridge. 

Saving money buying unwashed veggies, check. 

Saving money by not letting produce rot in your fridge, check. 

#3. Kitchen Scale

If you know anything about BOHO Core, you know we’re in the business of making eating habits just a little bit better. A kitchen scale allows you to do exactly that – you can measure out exactly how much food you are adding to a dish or how much food you are allotting in one serving. This is perfect for portion control and for baking when exact proportions are needed. 

#4. Food Processor

Have you ever shredded carrots by hand? I don’t recommend it. I recommend a food processor. The shredding and slicing attachments make recipes such as coleslaw and veggie chips a breeze. Not to mention you can whip up delicious dips, spreads, sauces, and more. A food processor has more power than a blender so you can turn almonds into almond butter and make dates magically turn into brownie bites. (well maybe not magically). 

*The Brownie Bite recipe from Little Green Dot

#5. Spiralizer

Hear me out on this one. I’m aware it seems like a useless kitchen tool. But who doesn’t want to eat something called, zoodles? This is all about presentation – it makes your veggies look like pasta noodles. It’s a great way to trick your friends into eating more veggies at your next dinner party. 

Thug Kitchen

Thug It Up with BOHO Core

 

There are certain things in life that you can take a pass on knowing—how to fix your car’s transmission, how to code software, how to tailor a suit. Leave this stuff to the experts.

But then there are things you should know how to do on your own. And this is when you learn from the experts. 

One Life Essential is understanding how your body works, what food helps it function best, and how to cook that food in an easy way that makes you feel happy and full. 

We started BOHO Core to help you do just this. Our nutrition counselors teach you where to make changes in your diet and how to choose foods for your specific body’s needs. They were born ready to light a fire under your bum and help you exceed your wildest goals.  

And for as much as we inspire you, we like to get inspired too. Lately, we can’t get enough of Thug Kitchen’s hilarious first cookbook—an oldie but a goodie—called Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (http://www.thugkitchen.com/). The authors’ philosophy on nutritious cooking? “We don’t understand why eating real, healthy food has to be such a big, f*cking deal.” 

They’re not wrong.  

We need to know what’s in our food and control what goes in our bodies. In their first cookbook, the Thug chefs get real and encourage you to make smart choices. See: 204 easy, vegetarian recipes for every meal, snack, and sweet you can think of. Their advice includes gems like “read the goddamn recipe” and when it comes to ingredient substitution, “use some goddamn sense. Out of tomato sauce? Not a problem, just put the f*cking ketchup back. No. Not the same.” 

Again, so true. 

If you’re new to nutrition, new to cooking, new to BOHO, or tackling a new set of health goals, let BOHO Core be your expert. We’ll teach you how to fuel your body the right way. 

Or as the Thug authors say, “You eat food every day. Your should know what the f*ck is going on.”  

Failed It!

Failed It!: How to turn mistakes into ideas and other advice for successfully screwing up.” By Erik Kessels

We introduced you to this little book as part of our BOHO Gift Guide in 2016. But if you didn’t grab it last year, don’t fret—you can purchase it right around the corner at Mongrel. 

First of all the book cover is on backwards—purposefully—which challenges you to think differently about failure from the get-go. I tried to correct it with no luck. This re-thinking failure thing is really challenging for me.

“Let’s face it, we’ve all failed,” writes Kellels. “Maybe not on a grand scale, but in some way, shape or form, we’ve screwed up.” Yep. Yep we have. This powerful little book is one of those “chicken soup for the life/business/logical soul.” It reminds us that failure happens; that life isn’t over because of it; and that often times failure is a really, really good thing.

Kessels breaks down this short, quick read into five sections:

  1. The Epic Fail
  2. The Happy Failure
  3. Fail to Follow the Rules
  4. Fail to Find Inspiration
  5. All Hail the Fail.

He uses 150 visual examples from his personal collection of artwork and found photographs to show you how fails can become a new life vision. 

Check out a few of my favorites: Make Mistakes Everyday (page 76) and Dare to Be Disliked (page 114).

Trust us, this book is good. You’ll get though it quickly, but save it. Three months down the road, when you hit a roadblock and lose perspective, read it again!

“There was never a plan. There was just a serious of mistakes.” –Robert Caro, journalist

BOHO Roomies

Where you meet your friends comes from where and how you personally live your life.

Tessa Mckenzie – lives some of her life on the bike at BOHO. And wouldn’t you know it, so does Matthew Stanley! 

 

BOHO Riders, 

meet our BOHO Roomies. 

 

We wanted to know how well these roomies know each other so we asked them to play our version of the “Newlywed Game.”

 

We asked Tessa these questions about herself – how well did Matthew answer? 

1. Tessa you are an avid RVA biker - but IF you could pick any car to drive what would it be? 

TM: I call  Lyft – I’m currently looking for a driver. 

MS: Tessa needs wind in her face - definitely a convertible - a VW Bug Convertible?!

Whomp! 

2. What is one item Matthew moved into the apartment that you could live without seeing? 

TM: LOL. Um, his mechanical nasal rinse neti pot. It's next level nasal hygiene and hangs out in our bathroom. 

MS: I would say it’s my radio alarm clock. I think she is ready to crush it with a hammer. 

Whomp! 

3. Tessa, you get to plan a DREAM vacation - where would you go? 

TM: I'd likely go to an UNESCO historic city-- I need heritage and urbanity to let go and live the dream. 

MS: She is such a traveler, so a tough question! I am going to say, a trip down the Mediterranean coast, visiting all the beaches and taking in all the cultures of those amazing countries.

OOOOOHHHH!

4. Tessa, describe yourself in one word. 

TM: Thriving! 

MS: I am going to say, “assertive.” That girl sticks up for herself and what she believes in. 

WHOMP!

(Yet we truly 💙💙 both answers)

 


Now it’s Matthew’s Turn!

We asked Matthew these questions about himself – how well did Tessa answer?

 

1. Matthew, if you played any professional sport what would it be? 

MS: Diving 🐬

TM: He likes the pool. And a skimpy speedo. I’d say he’d be a great competitive swimmer.  

OOOOOOHHHH!

2. Do you have a secret love affair with a musician you don’t share with everyone?

MS: It's no secret - I'll readily admit my guilty pleasure, Ellie Goulding is my crush. And sometimes I jam out to broadway showtunes when no one is around! 

TM: Ellie Goulding. Obsessed is an understatement. 

OOOOOHHHH!

3. What is your life super power? 

MS: Creating organization out of chaos - from getting a large group of people focused on an activity to organizing an attic. I take charge and can get bossy, but I get it done.

TM: To have never-ending access to sleep all day. He's a much better contribution to society when he doesn't use an alarm clock and gets to sleep in. 😴💤😴

WHOMP!

4. What is one item Tessa moved into the apartment that you could live without seeing? 

MS: Nothing! Tessa is a minimalist and has good taste, so everything is amazing.👌

TM: NOPE. I am perfectly clutter-free which helps my sanity. 

OOOOOHHHH!

 

And for more of the Matthew & Tessa fun, grab a bike in the tag team ride on February 15th at 6:35pm. Sign up here. 

Bikes and Babies

BOHO Mamas – now and soon to be this one is for you! Team BOHO has 6 kiddos among us and 2 newbies on the way. (hint hint Katie & Rachel).

These ladies are here to help all of our BOHO Besties with babes on the way keep their legs moving during pregnancy. 

1) Hydrate

The general rule is about 64 oz of water per day plus an additional 8oz per every hour of light exercise. (And as we all know, a sweat session at BOHO is more than a little light exercise.) An easy way to tell if you’re properly hydrated is to be sure your urine is pale or colorless. (I'm always on the quest for clear pee. #lifegoals) Proper hydration during pregnancy can help prevent a number of bummers, includingheadaches, circulation, swelling, constipation. And while water is certainly one of the best ways to hydrate, it's not the only way: milk, fruit and vegetable juices (watch out for hidden sugars), and even decaffeinated teas are all great options.

2) Stay Cool

Just because it’s cool outside, doesn’t mean you core temperature is cool, too. Pregnancy is not the time to lounge in the sauna or hit up a hot yoga class unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead. Your increased blood volume and metabolic rate (in the third trimester) can make you feel like a literal oven with a bun in it. So, use these strategies to keep your cool in the studio:

-Wear light layers during class.

-Find a spot by the fan, air conditioning, or both!

-Decrease your intensity as needed during class

-Hydate (see #1)

3) Modify

Once your belly gets too big for tap backs, stop doing them! S ame goes for jumps, sprints, climbs or anything else that causes discomfort. We already think you're a total badass for just pregnancy swagging (aka waddling) your way into class. If a certain move doesn’t feel right, modify. At the very least, you can:

-Move your legs!

-Finally listen to the lyrics.

-Cheer with the crowd. Can I get a Woot Woot!

-Live to ride another day.

4) Adjust Your Bike

 You know how your body changes during pregnancy? So should your bike settings. If your usual seat or handle bar height feels off, it probably is. Here are some common adjustments for pregnant spinners:

-Moving the seat down, which offers more comfort as your bump gets bigger.

-Raising the handle bars. As pregnancy progresses, it’s harder to reach everything—the steering wheel, your shoelaces and the bike handle bars. So bring them up to you!

-Snag one of our Front Desk ninjas or instructors to help you find your new settings

-Listen to your body and make as many changes along the way as you need to.

5) Pace Yourself

 It’s better to live to ride another day than to go too hard and then have to stay home. Now is not the time for PRs or pushing beyond your limits. Pregnancy (like labor and parenting) is a marathon, not a sprint. So if you want to stick with it for the long haul, know when to pull back and take it easy.      

6) Food

Always the Food. Because of morning—or, in Rachel’s case, all-day—sickness, it can be hard to stomach foods like lentils, broccoli, beans, avocado and asparagus, which are all high in folic acid, an essential nutrient for growing healthy humans. Rachel’s solution for fueling her workout and her baby? She hid these foods in a smoothie that she could tolerate. It even helped with her nausea. Here’s the recipe:

Rachel’s Cycle Smoothie

1tsp of fresh grated ginger (great for nausea)

1 banana

spinach (1 cup packs 250 mcg of folic acid)

1/4 cup frozen mango, diced

1/4 cup frozen pineapple, diced

1/2 cup almond milk (225 mg of calcium)

(because you’re using frozen fruit, you don’t need to add ice!)


Blend and enjoy! 

 

Remember, exercise during pregnancy helps you feel good by combating swelling, excessive weight gain, etc., and prepares your body for labor and delivery. Being fit will also help you recover more quickly and easily after birth.     

Every body is different.  Listen to yours and it'll lead the way.  

 

This Year I Will..

A New Year is upon us! Find out how Team BOHO finished the sentence, “This Year I Will..”

This year I will... “Say yes to stepping out of my comfort zone, dine and explore in more cities and push onward with no regrets.” — John Le

This year I will... “TAKE A VACATION! (Maybe.... hahaha)” –Kristy Santelli

This year I will... “Attend more live performances.” –Anise Robinson

This year I will... “Become a BOHO Mommy!!” – Rachel Wang

This year I will... “Not sweat the small stuff.” – Kristen Secor

This year I will... “Train for (and hopefully compete in) my first triathlon!” — Matthew Stanley

This Year I will... “Start new traditions.” — Caroline Simmons

This year I will... “Make more time for relaxation. Preferably yoga. *gulp*s.” — Tosh Wilkerson

This year I will... “Be more brave.” — Lucy Sexton

This year I will... “Do more squats. While also complaining less about how much I dislike squats. #dothework.. And also laugh more." — AnnMarie Grohs

This Year I will... “Cut down on clutter in my apartment and my life to focus on the people and things that matter most. Less is more!” — Michelle Baer

This Year I will... “Run the Richmond half marathon in November.” — Yukari Nakamaura 

This year I will... "Be intentional about connecting with people who make me see the world differently 🤗   - Tessa Mckenzie

This year I will... “Graduate nursing school and travel to Europe before joining the real world! Cheers to being done with school (for now) after 20+ years!” — Haley Mossman 

This year I will... “Pause more often. Attempt to keep two children alive. Take it slow and easy (just not on the bike).” — Katie Painter

This year I will... “Be fiscally fit. See what I did there?” — Linnea Gerwig

This year I will... "Try to become a better morning person! I try it every year, maybe something will stick in 2017!" - Lauren Millard

This year I will... "I will stop wasting my time on really bad TV." - Kris McDonough

This year I will... "Spend less time on social media, hike more, learn to relax, reach out to old friends, and run another half marathon!"  -Gabby Herman

This year I will... "Read more, worry less." -Courtney Tibbittes

What have you done today that made you happy?

The Happiness Project

-Anise Robinson

What have you done today that made you happy?

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, is a 12-month experiment the author designed to make herself happier. Throughout the year she focuses on the things and people in life that matter the most to her.

To be clear, Rubin wasn’t unhappy. She just wanted to do a better job appreciating her life. Couldn’t we all stand to show more gratitude for the people and blessings (both big and small) that we enjoy? I know I could. The Happiness Project helped me see some areas where I could do more to make my experiences “brighter.”

Rubin is a woman after my own heart. Her book is organized by monthly topics with subtitles. Her organization alone makes me happy! Each month Rubin pursues an area in her life she feels could use work. Not all of the chapters were compelling to me. This is, after all, the story of her personal journey, but there were still a lot of universal lessons. So I chose to focus on three chapters:

January // Boost Energy

June // Make Time for Friends

November // Keep a Contented Heart

 

Boost Energy:

To boost energy Rubin suggests completing five tasks within the month, going to bed earlier; exercising more frequently; decluttering, completing a nagging task and acting more energetic.

I absolutely love to get rid of things—done! I excel at sleeping and I exercise fairly regularly. Check and check.

But I tend to procrastinate when a task annoys or daunts me. Don’t we all? When I put something off over and over again, it weighs on me and distracts me from more enjoyable activities. At work, we refer to this awful nagging task as a frog. The mantra “Eat the frog first” means you should do the most difficult task first. For me, making appointments are a frog. I just really hate calling the doctor’s office—even though I need to do it. One morning I set aside time to make several appointments at once. I felt like a new woman! No more anxiety over avoiding my least-favorite chore. 

Make Time For Friends

This chapter urges us to focus on remembering birthdays, being generous, showing up, not gossiping, and making three new friends. After a long week at work, I have been known to bail out on plans with friends. Yes, an under-the-covers Netflix binge is wonderful, but so is truly connecting with real live people. When I rally and make the effort to go out with friends, I end up feeling much more energized and—wouldn’t you know it?—happier. Boy, this author really knows her stuff.

Keep A Contented Heart

Sometimes we get so bogged down in all that is going wrong in our lives that we fail to observe everything that is going well. Rubin encourages us to use good manners, give positive reviews, and laugh. Simply saying “Please” or “Thank you,” or sharing a kind and thoughtful word can change someone’s day. And that kind of power makes you happier in return. It's a win-win.

The Happiness Project opens with a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty to be happy.” That is, in a nutshell, the lesson of this book. By describing her journey to a more fulfilled and contented life, she encourages us to join her. So ask yourself, what have you done today that made you happy?

 

A count down to a new year is upon us. Make 2017 your Happiness Project. 

School without pop quizzes!.

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School without the pop quizzes!.

-Linnea Gerwig

Music has always been a constant in my life. Whether it was music playing during family dinners, the soundtrack to road trips, or the art form of making mixed tapes (yes, tapes) and eventually CDs, my memories are set to music. And now I’ve got to keep up with the hits (and a few classics) for BOHO.

So music is an old friend. But podcasts? Podcasts are new to me. My husband recently introduced me to podcasts and they’re my new love—a part of my daily life.

These podcasts keep me entertained—and engaged—while I’m walking my dog, cleaning bikes, cooking, or enjoying the view from Libby Hill. I love being exposed to something new, which often leads to further research and ends with a newfound passion. #alwaysbelearning

If you think about it, listening to podcasts is like attending the world’s coolest school, where every class is your favorite and there are no pop quizzes. Podcasts FTW! Below are a few of my favs:

Girls Gone WOD

I listened to this well before I became a CrossFit enthusiast. It was the first female-hosted show about the sport and I was interested in the woman’s perspective. Every week, I feel like I’m hanging out with my best girlfriends as Joy and Claire talk about what’s going on in their lives. They discuss everything from A to Z, both in and outside of the gym and have great guests. I really admire the honest talk about body image and their challenging dialogue about difficult fitness-related subjects, such as eating disorders and overtraining.

Pursuing Health

As a former CrossFit Games athlete and medical student, Julie Foucher is on a mission to combine these passions to help others live a healthier life (BOHO!). She focuses on prevention through exercise and learning to fuel your body with proper nutrition. Foucher has both well-known guests and everyday people sharing inspiring stories of how they have overcome a health issue.

NPR

NPR is home to lots of great podcasts:

   Terri Gross, host of Fresh Air, has won a Peabody award for her coverage of contemporary arts and current events.

   Based on TED talks that focus on a single theme—everything from how we love to the big data revolution—the TED Radio Hour bills itself as a “journey through fascinating ideas.”

   From the humorous to the tragic, This American Life is riveting. If you’re not familiar with Ira Glass’s iconic show, you’re missing out. Storytelling has never been this good.

Not sure where to get started? Try Otto, an amazing app that uses machine learning to help you discover podcasts and news you’ll love. Think of it as Spotify for podcasts. You’ll never be bored again.

I’m always on the hunt for new podcasts. Please comment below and share your favs! 

Green Things

The leaves have fallen and the green grass is gone –

fear not, Michelle’s Fav Green Things!


 

Kale Chips

A quick, easy, flavorful snack! They can be seasoned numerous ways - I normally keep it simple with salt & pepper. But try with smoked paprika to blow your mind. Try this recipe at home.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 Ellwood Thompson’s Green Supreme

The juice options at Ellwood Thompson’s are all great, you cannot go wrong. My go to is the Green Supreme.  I L.O.V.E. the strong ginger flavor, with the slightly sweet and refreshing flavor of greens.  It is my go to drink to feel refreshed, feeling under the weather, or need a little pep in my step!

 


Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

This dressing is amazing. I make a batch and put it on everything, a few examples;

 Add it to a quinoa bowl.

Drizzle over a salad.

Add it as a sauce to baked chicken

Marinate veggies in this then roast (the flavor after roasted is through the roof!).

Holiday veggie dip - I will forever sub out ranch dressing for this homemade goodness.

Skip the sour cream and top your tacos with it.

Recipe

(1) Avocado

(1) clove of garlic, peeled & crushed

¼ - ½  cup roughly chopped cilantro

¼  cup low fat greek yogurt

juice of ½  lime

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp Salt

¼ tsp pepper

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth! If it gets too thick – thin it out with water until it reaches your desired consistency.  Make it your own, play with the ingredients and change up the ratios of avocado/cilantro/lime juice and garlic to make it more tailored to your own taste.

Then put it on everything and enjoy!


 

 

The Smell of Evergreen Trees

I LOVE the smell of evergreen trees.  If I could keep an evergreen in my house year round I would do it! The smell reminds me of the holiday season, and being wrapped up in a warm blanket by a fireplace with a large cup of tea and snow falling quietly outside my window. All the feels.

 

 

 


 

 

Thymes Fraiser and Fur Candle

Ok, I know this isn’t exactly green, but I have a small obsession with candles.   And it smells like evergreen and brings me joy – see the above for a more in-depth rambling.

THE PREPARATOR!

At BOHO we love the people who make this city amazing. There are honestly too many to count, but we’ve got to start somewhere. We’re excited to kick off our “People We Love” series today. 

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THE PREPARATOR

I firmly believe we all have a personal super power. It’s not always something obvious, like the ability to fly or teleport. It might be the ability to arrange furniture in a huge room flawlessly, or to bake quiches in a time of crisis, or host garden brews at the drop of a hat. We all have one. If you’re not sure what yours is, ask your friends. 

The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has a super hero—The Preparator!. BOHO, meet Jamie Davis, Visual Resource Manager and Exhibit Preparatory. I’ve known Jamie for a few years and realized I wasn’t exactly sure what he did, so I inquired and he told me his job title. I said, “Huh?” Then he started to explain the ins and outs of his day. Of course! There has to be someone to install the art displays and make sure they look nice, someone to eliminate the glare of overhead lighting and create easy-to-read labels. As a patron, I hadn’t given exhibit preparation a second thought. I walk in, I ooh and ahhh and point, then I leave. Little did I know how much work the Preparator had been doing to elicit those oohs and ahhhs.

But the more Jamie and I chatted, the better I understood that his day is not just about preparing displays. He’s really a jack of all trades. Suffice it to say, Jamie appears to have more than one super power. In the eight years Jamie as been at VHS, he has curated the History on Tap shows, digitized approximately one-tenth of their eight and a half million artifacts, installed more than 35 shows, manufactured endless display mounts, handled thousands of artifacts, and read George Washington’s dairy.

“No day is the same,” says Jamie. “This is what I love. And the museum is huge, I’m all over that place. And the number of stairs—the day is a workout.” Getting in your fitness at work is such a double whammy. Bravo, Jamie. Bravo! 

Let’s focus on a couple of the above. Eight and a half million artifacts! I cannot wrap my head around this number or the amount of storage required. These include everything from Confederate war uniforms, dishes, cookbooks and paintings, to letters written by soldiers to loved ones on the home front, and even antique toys. And, as we are well into 2016, we need to digitize every single one of these artifacts for future generations. That’s right: each artifact needs to be photographed, one by one.

History on Tap is one of the VHS’s most creative shows. This ongoing program series collaborates with local breweries to recreate historic recipes found in our collection. They pull a cookbook from the archives and challenge a local brewery to recreate a historic brew. Voila! Ardent’s version of Jane’s Persimmon Beer.

The Story of Virginia exhibit boasts a section on Virginia’s history with beer, mead, and liquor. Jamie wondered how do you tell this story; “well, you start by collecting beer taps from the 150 breweries in Virginia, then you save a can of Hardywood Singel for display.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jamie’s day. There are endless happenings behind the scenes so that we, the visitors, can learn the amazing and entertaining stories of our commonwealth.

And one day, if you see Jamie at a local bar, remember this: “I’m a baller at trivia nights. I’ve installed hundreds of artifacts and their labels. So you read them and think, ‘Oh, so that is what this axe is for.’ ”

cel-e-brate

Celebrate good times. Come on!

AnnMarie – Owner/Instructor

At BOHO we love our sweaty riders and this city we call RVA. So when those same sweaty riders are doing great things for our beloved city, our hearts burst with pride. One great example of that powerful synergy is Julia Warren, the founder of one of the most amazing non-profits to come out of this city: Celebrate! RVA.  

As a high school senior in 1996, I sat in the cafeteria, munching on an ice-cream sandwich and fries (remember, BOHO is a no judgment zone). I was discussing the latest episode of Friends and wondering about the first thing I’d do when I moved out of my parents house after graduation. When Julia Warren sat in her high school cafeteria, eating fries and discussing the Walking Dead, she wondered what it was like to be a kid who didn’t get to have a birthday party. She couldn’t imagine missing out on this childhood tradition. She set out to find a way to throw birthday parties for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have them.

 Little did she know by the time she as a junior in college, Celebrate! RVA—the nonprofit she founded—would be hosting birthday parties for thousands of kids each year. She works with a team of 200 volunteers, participates in programs with the Richmond City Jail, Sheltering Arms and the Salvation Army, and even recently expanded the program to the Washington DC area.

All of these parties take work, time, and laughs. Julia is taking a breath to focus this next year on Celebrate! RVA. She will be jumping head first next fall transferring to VCU with a double major in business & non-profit management with a minor in child psychology. *Breathe*

According to the Celebrate! RVA mission, all children deserve to experience joy and be given the opportunity to celebrate their special day, no matter their circumstances. And BOHO, couldn’t agree more.  We love birthdays. They’re a BOHO Bonus! I have loved a birthday party for as long as I can remember. The joy of the cake and candles, the egg toss and the three-legged race resonates with Julia, too. “Every child needs to be told, Happy Birthday,” she explains, “and to be the center of attention for an hour and to feel that they matter.”

“Some kids have never made a birthday wish before our parties,” says Julia. “Each and every child blows out a candle at our parties. Some ask for it to be lit again and again so they can make another wish. I will light the candle as many times as they want.”

 #BOHOBesties, has your heart exploded with birthday confetti yet?

 

Julia, who is only 20, says the hardest part of her job is gaining the respect and trust of the families she serves. “They don’t know me from the next Jane on the street. And here I am walking into their world, offering to throw a birthday party—something most of them have never had before. It can be tough but it’s worth the pure joy on that child’s face.

BOHO’s third birthday is on the horizon (October 19) and this year our birthday wish is to help Julia spread more of that joy. BOHO is sponsoring Celebrate! RVA’s October birthday party and need volunteers to bring cheer & their woot woot!, play games, and make wishes. To join some of the BOHO Family, Oct. 28th, please email us at info@bohocyclestudio.com for more information.

We’ve got more! On Saturday, October 15th, our 10:15am class with Tosh will be a charity ride benefitting Celebrate! RVA. The class is a donation based class (suggested donation $15) all of which will be donated to Celebrate! RVA. There will be birthday cake, candles, party hats and some good old-fashioned tap backs! Check the schedule and grab a bike!

 

 

Wait! There’s more! The entire month of October we will charge $1.00 for water bottles with all proceeds from the sale benefitting Celebrate! RVA.

If you want to learn more about how you can support Celebrate! RVA as an individual, click here.

"There is no measurement of joy. But I know we ate a lot of cake.” 

-Julia Warren

THRIVE.

THRIVE

-AnnMarie Grohs

I realized my body was mad at me. There was something I was doing wrong and I needed to figure it out. I’m allergic/sensitive to grains—all the grains. So 99 percent of the time I eat (or drink), I have to skip them. But even this change hadn’t made my body happy. I began working with a health coach in hopes of finding the culprit. Together, we discovered that my body was mad at dairy. And I eat a lot of dairy. I quit dairy cold turkey and within two weeks all of my complaints and symptoms (including some I didn’t even think were related to my diet) disappeared. But now I had a new problem: how was I going to train for races and stay fit without eating cheese, yogurt and protein shakes?

A book helped me answer that question. THRIVE, The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports & Life dives into the world of vegan living and ultra-athlete training and it’s a great beginner’s guide, even if you eat meat like I do. The author, Brendan Braizer, offers great research on stress, exercise and nutrition. I had to read some of these sections twice in order to understand the science of how it all works. Our bodies are truly amazing. We ask them to do a lot for us, so I think the least we can do is try to better understand how they do it.

You don’t have to be a vegan ultra-athlete to get a lot from this book. You do have to know when the author is selling or pushing the THRIVE diet down your throat and look past it. The ability to recognize what lifestyle changes you can and can’t fit into your daily routine is key to any dietary modification you hope to make permanent.

It takes Brazier 23 pages to even even mention the THRIVE Diet. In the first chapter—Reduce Stress to Increase Vitality—he focuses on outside stressors. “Stress is something that we are all familiar with — our modern world is a breeding ground for it,” he explains. “Yet, many of us aren’t aware of how expansive its reach can be and just how deeply it can affect every aspect of our life.” 

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? Here’s the 10,000-foot view of the rest of the book:

Upsides

   This book offers awesome information about how nutrition and digestion affect your body.

   The relationship between nutrition and exercise is important. Brazier details pre- and post-exercise nutrition. 

   Recipes! Wow, oh wow. There are such great, practical ideas for meals and snacks. This book includes a full 70+-page cookbook!

   A 12-week meal plan. But it’s strict, so use it as a guide and modify as necessary. The good news is the hard part—the planning and research—is done.

Downsides

   This book is written for the extreme endurance athlete and that can be intimidating at times. There were a few occasions when I wanted to quit reading because it was so hardcore.

   A lot of planning goes into living this extreme lifestyle, but I found easy options to fit the parts that were important to me into my daily life. 

   Some of the scientific information is hard to grasp without a science or nutrition background. I often re-read sections to understand the bigger picture. 

Final Takeaway

   Try it. See how you do and how your body reacts. If it doesn’t work, no harm, no foul, right? At the very least you'll learn something new about exercise & nutrition. 

Because Gratitude.

Because Gratitude

AnnMarie Grohs Owner/Instructor

BOHO has written thank-you notes from day one (October 19, 2013). Thank you for riding with us. Thank you for riding with us 100 times. Thank you for being cool. Thank you for the re-tweet. You name it, we’ve thanked you for it. It doesn’t take much time and costs us very little, but the return is huge: our riders are awesome and they reward us with loyalty.

But there are thank-you notes and there are thank-you notes. While sweet and succinct, the automatically generated e-thanks can’t hold a candle to its handwrittten cousin. When you read our emails or texts, do you feel the love we’re sending or hear our voices reading it to you? Not likely. (That is, of course, unless you’re mocking us and doing your best BOHO imitation. And then, by all means keep it up. Seriously, knock yourself out.) But we know that you know that an email and an actual note—one that requires a stamp and a signature—are not the same thing.

In a recent New York Times piece, “The Found Art of Thank-You Notes,” Cristiano Magni, a fashion publicist, explained why he still routinely sends the kind of notes you were forced to send your grandmother if you wanted those crisp $2 bills to keep appearing. “It not only strengthens the bonds between people in your personal life and in business,” he explains, “it also rings an emotional chord.” Expressing gratitude, it turns out, is all about making a personal connection. Saying thank you to someone tells them that you noticed them—that you noticed their effort, their gift, their loyalty. And, as a token of your gratitude, you give them a little bit of yourself.

A 2014 Mardi Gras queen, who had to write hundreds of thank-you notes to her “court,” put it this way: “In the process of opening a note, feeling the paper, seeing the imperfection of the writing, reading the message in another person’s voice, you actually feel like you have a piece of that person in your hand.” OK, ignore the creep factor of that last part and focus on the cool stuff she said. When someone does something for you, it feels good to give of yourself in return, right? By writing a thank-you note, you are essentially telling someone, “You are so important to me and I am so grateful for you that I sat down and gave back.”

BOHO will forever send thank-you notes. And now we vow to do it more often, on different paper, with new pens, and for crazy-fun reasons. So be on the look out for a little handwritten BOHO love.

540 Peanuts.

Will Ride for Peanut Butter

-AnnMarie Grohs

It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12oz jar of peanut butter. So. Many. Peanuts. 

My love for peanut butter is real. I often eat it by the spoonful. (Do I need to remind you that BOHOlife is in the no judgment zone?) I’m not alone. The average American eats about three pounds of peanut butter a year. And we eat it in every form and fashion—creamy, crunchy, on apples, bananas and crackers, in sauces and candy bars and on top of ice cream. This makes me proud to be an American. When I started my PB research, I was overwhelmed by the resources out there. But when you love something this much you should share it, right?

Let’s dive right in! 

The Huffington Post offers, “The History of Peanut Butter,” is a nice quick read. You don’t know what you don’t know. 

I then came across peanutbutterlovers.com. Could this site’s name be any more perfect? It offers recipes, nutrition, factoids and—my favorite—a quiz entitled “What Peanut Butter Combo Are You?” Yes! Take this quiz and know thyself better. Comment below with your combo and be entered to win a PB prize pack.

The fact that the average European eats less than one tablespoon of American peanut butter in a year was the most shocking revelation of my research. You mean to tell me that not everyone loves peanut butter? “In many parts of the world, peanut butter is regarded as an unpalatable American curiosity,” explains Brian Sternthal, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, on HuffPo. This is a fascinating piece of information. Can you even wrap your head around it?

I grew up in a Jif household—creamy not crunchy. Now I live in a world of specialty organic peanut butters. Peruse the nut butter aisle of Richmond’s specialty markets and visit our fabulous restaurants and you’ll see the possibilities are endless. Here are my top favorite peanut butters and peanut butter-flavored treats:

#1 Elwood Thompsons – Fresh, peanut butter grinder

#2 Santa Cruz Dark Roasted

#3 RVA’s own Reginalds

#4 Peanut butter Rice Krispi bar’s - I think we all know the recipe to this one, but hey, I’m here to help.

#5 Peanut Butter Mousse Pie from Shyndigz  

#6 Peanut Butter Pie from The Mill on MacArthur – which is rumored to be available at random on special

 

*Disclaimer: I love peanut butter. My body, however, doesn’t. So I only eat it a couple of times a week. Everything in moderation. 

The Space in My Head.

The space in my head.”  Meditation

 Kristen, Instructor and Director of Instructors + Training

Mediate. Me, meditate? You want me to stop moving for 10 minutes every day for two weeks? I’ll give anything a try once, let’s go!

Luckily, while preparing for this challenge I came across Headspace.com, which offers the Headspace App and a free 10-day trial. How could I go wrong with free? The sessions are 10 minutes each and can be accessed on the web or through the app.

The Headspace folks suggest 10 minutes of meditation a day. I took a minute and negotiated with my inner multi-tasker, who really needs to slow down. Myself and I agreed we could sit still for ten minutes four times a week.

Ready. Set. Meditate.

My Expectations:

I thought I knew a bit about meditation, having been in fitness classes that incorporate meditation techniques, including yoga. I didn’t expect it to be exactly like a savasana, but I thought it might be similar. It was. I also thought 10 minutes of meditation would be easy to fit into my daily routine. It wasn’t.

Did I levitate off the floor?

I wish! Unfortunately, no levitating took place. The process was fairly simple and did end up being similar to a long savasana at the end of a yoga practice. Sometimes I sat in a chair, sometimes I laid on the ground. The leader of the session (more on him later) instructed me close my eyes as he guided me to think about how every inch of my body, from head to toe. We moved into simple breathing exercises. The idea was to focus solely only on your body and breath, leaving all your worries and cares behind for a few minutes.

No joke, it is so difficult to get my mind to stop. And my worries and cares like to follow me around like a needy puppy (more on her later, too).

What did you love?

In all honesty my favorite part of each sessions was the guide’s British accent. Sorry not sorry. It was so soothing! I could listen to him talk all day long.

Other than the British accent, I enjoyed how the guide gave me different ideas to focus on throughout the session. These were usually accompanied by a one- to two-minute minute video before the start of the session. The videos offered new perspectives on stress and worries (e.g. your thoughts are cars passing on a road in front of you – just let them pass).

What was difficult?

Confession: I’m terrible at meditation. I’m impatient and I often try to do too many things at one time. On a few occasions, I had exactly 10 minutes to dedicate to meditation. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong. The session aren’t exactly 10 minutes: they are 10 minutes and 50 seconds or 11 minutes and 10 seconds and sometimes included an additional video. I should have carved out 15 minutes of time for the Headspace app so I didn’t feel rushed or frustrated but instead relaxed and rested.

Those days when I only had 10 minutes, I ended up running late. On those days, all the calm I had cultivated during the session flew out the window as I sped down 64W!

Did you have any meditative breakthroughs?

Nope. But I did fall asleep during one of the sessions! I was lying down with one hand on my stomach. When I fell asleep, my arm twitched and I startled myself awake. Pretty sure I screamed.

Can you fit it into your daily life?

I wish. I found it difficult to carve out 10 to 15 minutes a day to sit in total silence with my eyes closed. My dog (#Pibberthepup) always found me and licked my face—her invitation to come play.

I’m open to giving it another shot. Next time around, I’ll try meditating first thing in the morning. For now, though, I’ll stick to meditating during savasana in my yoga classes!

Do you want to give it a shot? The Headspace App is good for at-home practice. You can also mosey on over to our friends at Om On Yoga to get in some great savasana and yoga class. Or connect with RVA’s own Ellie Burke for guided meditation practice.

We went up, down, up, down, up, down.

IMG_4046.jpg

Hundred Pushup Challenge

 

Lauren - Instructor

AnnMarie - Owner/Instructor

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with pushups. We’ve all seen the videos of people doing sexier versions of the pushups: there’s the single handed pushups, pushups with a clap in between, pushups done with someone sitting on your back. But let’s not lose site of the fact that plain old pushups are a thing of beauty, too. Whether you’re on your knees or your toes, they are hard. And, like a lot of things that are hard, they are insanely effective. Which is why I love the 100 Pushup Challenge. Because the only way to get better at pushups is to do them, lots of them.

So I asked Lauren if she’d be game to do this challenge with me. Sweet, unsuspecting Lauren’s response was “Yes! I will push up a million times for you.” I’ve done this challenge before (and try to work it in a couple of times a year), so I knew what to expect. Lauren, however, did not. Heh, heh, heh.

Here we go BOHObesties: the One Hundred Pushup Challenge.

LAUREN:

What were your expectations?

I've never been great at pushups. I always feel like my shoulder bones are going to spontaneously combust, so I've always been more of a free-weight gal. Let's say I wasn't super pumped (pun intended) about the idea of this challenge.

What did you like about this program?

There was an app for my phone that told me exactly how many pushups to do each day. Yay for technology! It was a relief when I found out I wasn't doing 100 pushups a day because I thought that was the setup at first. You start the challenge based on the number of pushups you can comfortably complete with good form at the start of the challenge. I'm usually a knees-on-the-ground pusher upper, so I did 10 good-form pushups to start with.

What you didn't like about the program.

Even though the phone app was really great to use, I wish it had a push notification that allowed me to schedule the pushups. That was the hardest part: fitting the pushups into my current workout routine. It sounds silly, but when you get home from a long run, pushups aren't exactly at the top of your list of fun things to do. 

Physically how did/do you feel?

Let's be honest, my arms were sore pretty much the entire five weeks of pushups. Uh, did you catch that? I only made it through five of the six weeks. Between all my BOHO arm tracks, my new love for yoga at Om On Yoga, and pushups, I was struggling to lift my arms and brush my hair. I decided to cut it short. But then once I got over the sore arms, I noticed a big difference in how strong I felt during yoga. My downward dogs were so on point!

Can you fit this into your daily life?

Absolutely! Actually doing the pushups really takes no time at all. The trick is adding it into your schedule so you make it happen. I started carving out an extra five minutes before I left my house to teach class to get them done. I've heard a lot of people do them before they get in the shower in the morning, but for me just walking from my bed to the shower in the morning is an accomplishment, so I wanted to be realistic.

ANNMARIE:

What were your expectations?

As I mentioned, I’ve already done this challenge a few times and I’ve found it’s a good change to my daily workout routine. I love short term goals—love them! This one is right up my alley because it’s only six weeks long (down from an older version that lasted seven weeks)!

What I like about the program:

I can do these at home if I need to—no gym membership required. I found the best time of day to knock them out was the end of my day when I was done thinking and ready to watch some pointless TV, which I’ve been told describes all shows on HGTV. I disagree with this statement, but we will discuss TV shows in a later BOHOlife post.

The absolute best part of this program is how easy it is to modify pushups. If I’m not feeling it one day, I might throw in some knee pushups or take a longer recovery between sets, or—honestly—just skip a day and throw in a little more rest. Some days you’re supposed to do five sets, but you may find it easier to spread out the work among six or seven sets. Just do what works for you.

What did you dislike about the program?

My limit for consecutive pushups with good form is 15. Anything more I just cannot. As I got further into the challenge, those longer sets killed me. I’m never going to be the person who puts another person on her back to do pushups—well, maybe Lauren, but she’s petite. Boredom set in at around week four for me. I’m over pushups by then. I completed five weeks, then bailed.

How did you feel physically?

The first time I did this challenge I was very surprised by how many different muscle groups are involved in doing a pushup. This isn’t just about your chest. I didn’t expect the change I saw in my core and hips. All in all, I feel stronger and I love it.

Can you fit this into your daily life?

It’s only 20 minutes a day, three days a week. It was so easy to fit it in my daily life.            Do it, BOHO. Do it!


Are you up for the challenge? Let us know by commenting below and Lauren and I will do the pushups with you before class!

Tips for good form pushpus:

1. Place your hands slightly further than shoulder width.                           

2. To maintain correct body alignment, imagine a straight line running from your head down to your ankles.

3. No sagging! This is the time to keep your core tight.

4. Don’t lead with your head. If your nose is lower than your hips you’re doing them wrong.

5. Hold you head up and breathe!

6. Some feel “good form” means your chest touches the ground (BOHO does not) and then you push back up. The goal is for elbows to bend to 90 degrees and then push back up.

Check out a few more tips here.

Listen to that beat-drop, mama!

 “Listen to that beat-drop, mama!” This is my life.

 

Tosh Wilkerson – Instructor

Music is a constant in the Wilkerson household. Every morning during breakfast I play music to help my children start their day. I keep it fresh and mix it up: it could be jazz, classical, R&B, 70s disco, 80s pop or funk. I believe that music appreciation starts at at a young age. My kids, Kendall (9) and Keira (7), we exposed to music before birth. I wanted to get the heads boopin’ and legs moving! They love music and have developed their own tastes as they have gotten older. The benefits of music—for children and adults—are endless and amazing. A recent article explains how music does everything from helping you eat less to helping you run faster.

Keira although a tad bit rhythmically challenged, will dance to anything. She’s got the moves and wants to use them. I have found the music she listens to also dictates her mood—like mother, like daughter.

Kendall has developed an obsession with 80s music, “Mama, today is a good day for the Stones!” he’ll declare. His alarm goes off to an 80’s station and he always asks me for the name of the artist and song, trying to stump me. Needless to say: That. Ain’t Happening.

Kendall and Keira love helping me choose my playlists for class. And they’ve both created their own playlists, which we listen to on the way to school to hype them up for the day ahead. It works.

As you might have already guessed, I am a fan of good music regardless of genre. And I love the feeling that you get when music moves you and challenges you emotionally. I put a lot of work into my BOHO playlists, but I have a hard time preparing in advance. My music will always reflect my current mood and that mood varies from week to week. This does create a great deal of pressure—but it also keeps the ride true to Tosh. On the bike, if it doesn’t move me, I don’t play it. It’s that simple. So when I’m rocking out a sprint to Marilyn Manson, twerking and tapping it back to Beyoncé, keeping it mellow with Fleetwood Mac or climbing my heart out to Swedish House Mafia, you best believe I feel it. 

 

For a little mid-week fun check these out! 

Kendall’s Playlist - Awesome Alo

Keira’s Playlist - Nippy Tupac/Chi Chi Devange

*I cannot make this stuff up!

Tosh’s Playlist - Burn Breezy - BOHO

Write a Poem about a tomato.

AnnMarie Grohs - Instructor & Owner

Whoa. With prompts such as, “Write a poem about a tomato,” the book, 642 Things to Write About, makes you dream, curate your most meaningful memories, and nurture the crazy creative inside you.

I bought this book hoping it would help me practice my writing. I am a terrible writer. Terrible. I’m also bad at texting, social media posts, post-it notes, and grocery lists—all the things that involve writing or typing words, sentence fragments and—most particularly—full sentences. As Kelli Carpenter can attest, I didn’t pay any attention in eighth grade English class. I mean does anyone really care what the predicate nominative is?  (The person who edited this post does.) 

I was expecting this book to make me practice my writing, and it did. But I didn’t expect the topics to be so entertaining or thought provoking. I didn’t expect it to help me practice my thinking.

“Your worst experience in gym class.” 

 

OK. True story: in eleventh grade, I got hit in the face during dodge ball. The ball knocked my glasses off my face and my heavily applied lipstick left a kiss mark on the ball. 

“You are a pirate. Describe your perfect day.”

“Each member of the San Francisco Giants can request the song that will be playing when he goes up to bat. Write the lyrics to the song that would be playing when you are up to bat.” 

“You know the person with whom you’re talking is lying. Do you confront him or let him continue?” 

 

I found the shorter questions easier to answer. That’s probably because I like to get things done and out of the way. The writing prompts that required longer answers were harder for me. 

“Write ten sayings for fortune cookies.”

“The next sound you hear and what caused it."

 

The takeaway: this book made me pause and think in a way that is challenging—and a bit uncomfortable—for me. I let the world around me continue doing its thing, but I stopped and focused. I let my mind wander to the weird side at times. I let it go way back and dig out memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I even let it fast-forward to a future of, “what ifs,” an exercise I rarely take part in. All that mental exercise and I’ve only completed 30 of the 642 things. It’s going to be an eye-opening summer.