JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 241 :: the last cruise

4 Sep

Day 241: Firsts and Lasts.

Doesn’t it always seem to go that the best weather happens on the last day of vacation? Why is that? Regardless, on the last day of Lake Powell we woke to a perfect morning.

Lake Powell Day 6:

The sunrise was masterfully orchestrated in delicate oranges and perfect pinks … and, of course, it came with a little swan to boot…

Those of us who didn’t wake up to the beauty and splendor of the sunrise, most certainly woke up to the music of the Rolling Stones blaring through the speakers across the houseboat…. Mike’s choice.

“If you start me up / If you start me up I’ll never stop / You can start me up / You can start me up I’ll never stop… ”

After untying the houseboat and navigating her way out of Wilson Creek Canyon (which, by the way, took almost 10 people to make happen!) we slowly glided down the canyon back the way we came through.

And the water was like glass. “Glass” was a new term for me to learn on this trip. It’s the utmost highest royalty of water. If water wanted to be king, it would be glass. If water wanted to be a goddess, it would be called the Glass Goddess. If water wanted to be…

Alright already, you get it, if you want to ski on water, you want your water to be glassy baby.


And on our last day of vacation,   it was perfect GLASS. So people skied their way out of the canyon.

And, isn’t it ironic, on the LAST day of vacation we had our FIRST day of incredibly hot sun, the kind of sun that makes you want to spend the entire day in the water?


 
Our final cruise culminated with a fly over by a large cargo plane. Right over the top of our heads. I thought for a second the plane might be aimed AT us… but then it veered up, up, up and away. Just a little showmanship over the canyons. Perfect for our final adieu.

Finally, we ended where it all began. At the poop station. And isn’t that when you know your vacation is really almost over?

Even still, Powell was a powerful trip full of many firsts. Many failed attempts. And some serious victory dances. Oh… and there will be more. The grand finale is tomorrow.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{sun}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 240 :: and she skis!

3 Sep

Day 240: Up.

There were so many highlights and firsts on this trip, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But this day, Day 5, had many highlights to share. The saddest part was knowing it was our last full day at Wilson Creek Canyon. Maybe that’s why we made the most of it? Isn’t it always…

Lake Powell Day 5:

The highlight of the trip could have been rescuing the FLAMINGO for the THIRD time, before it was pounded at the base of the slide and left waterlogged with only two wings left. No neck. All wings. But still floating.

Or, it could have been watching everyone else get up on skis and cut across the water with so much ease and grace. This is what waterskiing is supposed to look like: smiling, fun, up out of the water…

But Ali wasn’t just waterskiing, she was surfing… behind the boat… and, yes, she was as graceful as she looks in this photo.

The highlight could have also been the ancient Navajo petroglyphs we spotted on our hike through Cha Canyon.

Some seemed more ancient than others…

But then we finally found THE ROCK. The one that was pictured in Mike’s guidebook and is an honest-to-goodness ancient Navajo petroglyph.

So, I, of course, took the moment to do a yoga pose. Well…. at least I TRIED to do a yoga pose but my legs were so sore I couldn’t quite lift them…

So I did an easy one instead… because, when in the canyon…
you do what you can do…

Then we passed heart rocks and purple rocks and red rocks along the path….

All of that couldn’t compare to seeing the smile on this girl’s face when she stood up on water skis for the first time.

After three days of floating in the water and bobbing inside a life jacket, hearing helpful commands and tips from those who knew what they were doing…

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water

We finally moved Operation “Get Courtney and Jamie up on Skis” to the “Boom.”

The boom is a long beam that attaches to the boat. Like training wheels for waterskiing. After many attempts, I watched Courtney bob up and down in the water, fall to her left, to her right, behind and thought to myself, “There is no way I am going to do that again.”

Then, finally, on one last attempt, Justin leaned over the boat and said, “You’ve got this my little discount aisle banana!” He was referring to the bruises up and down Courtney’s legs. She laughed. We all did. And then on the next run, Courtney did it.

SHE WATERSKIIED!

And that was the best smile of the entire trip. Priceless. I know there is a photo of it somewhere, and I will post it as soon as I can get my hands on it. But this I do know for sure and saw with my own eyes…that little Chiquita Banana can ski. Yay, Courtney!!!

And then, it was my turn. Somewhere between watching Courtney get up on skis and my own failed attempts piling up on top of my bruised ego, I made a promise that I was not getting out of the water until I got up on those damn skis.

Again, the commands were being yelled.

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water

It was too much. Command Center Overload. My body had no idea what to do next. And I kept falling. I gripped the boom too tight and my skis flew out behind me leaving me in the dust. I didn’t hold on long enough and my butt fell in the water granting it another Powell Water Enema au gratis.

Then I heard my father’s words run through my head. From when I was a teenager and he was trying to teach me to golf. It was the same overload of commands. Head down. Elbows in. Knees bent. Swing through. Finally, in his own frustration, he said to me, “Oh, just hit the goddamn ball.” And I did.

So, as I bobbed in the water I repeated to myself over and over, “Just stand up. Just stand up. That’s all you have to do. Just stand up.”As the boat came back and I gripped the boom I said to myself, “Just. Stand. Up.” And then I did!

To which I immediately fell to the left and landed on my side (and I had no idea why.)  That had never happened before. I hit my hands on the water and screamed… “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!”

I was tired. I was spent. My elbow was bruised. I wanted back on dry land. I wanted to give up. But COURTNEY had done it. Courtney’s smile had lit up the entire canyon and I wanted some of THAT.

And, that, is what is so amazing about FIRSTS. Those that go first pave the way. Those that go first show us the way. And those that go first prove that it can be done.

So I held onto the boom one last time. And said to myself…

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water
  • Just. Stand. UP.

And then I did. Apparently, I was in so much shock I kept the growl on my face. But I was up. Maybe growling, but all six feet of this forty-two-year-old body was up, out of the water, skiing.

That night we celebrated. With dancing and deviled eggs.

It’s a good reminder to never give up.
And also to never underestimate how what we do helps others.
And, oh yeah…. Just. Stand. Up.
More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{growling?}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 239 :: life jackets

2 Sep

Day 239: Floating.

Vacation is all but dried up and the real world has taken over. But the lessons I learned while in the power of Powell have not subsided.

Lesson #1: I love my Life Jacket. I will explain more.

Lake Powell Day 4:

You could say there were a few firsts on this day.

  • I waterskied for the first time – well, I tried to ski on water for the first time of my life, which ultimately means I got my butt up out of the water for three milliseconds.
  • I experienced my first Powell Water Enema. This relates to the above said first and is the direct result of NOT getting my butt up on skis in the water. (Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.)

Our bodies are made up of 60% water, or some number close to that. So one would think that I would feel right at home while surrounded by that H20 stuff. I do. When I’m on dry land. Put me in the actual water and I panic.

We learn these fears. I’m convinced of that. I have two very strong memories that helped me develop a full-on-fear of the water.

1. My grandfather’s cousin drowned in a river. I didn’t know him but I distinctly remember standing on the banks of the Hagerman River and my father pointing to the place where he drowned. It was after his high school graduation. I think it was a party, I’m not really sure. All that was imprinted in my young mind was that Water = Death.

2. I thought I was going to drown while at a softball team party one summer of my youth. My very cool and stylish swimsuit had a zipper up the front of it. It was the thing to have. And apparently, my hair got caught in someone else’s zipper after I dove into the pool. I didn’t realize she was trying to untangle my hair as she repeatedly pushed me under the water. I thought someone was trying to drown me. I thought I was going to die. I saw stars and lights and then in a panic realized I could breathe as my hair loosened and I was set free to bob up and away.

Ah, water. I love it. I fear it. I am drawn to it. I prefer to stay dry near it. But that is a hard feat when learning to water ski. The sport requires you to be IN THE WATER.

So I jumped in.

And despite my other newfound fear that I might pop one of the two implants that sit atop my chest, the water felt pretty good. The boat started, the rope pulled, the water moved from under my feet, my legs tightened, the skis caught the flow of water and then…. SPLAT. I fell.

Sometimes face first (holding on too tight, bending at the waist).
Other times butt first (leaning too far back, and thus, the Powell Water Enema).

Over and over again.

All of this left me bobbing in the water, waiting for the boat to return. Dark, deep, water. Me, out there all, all alone. And it was in one of these moments that I had an epiphany.

I love my Life Jacket.  I mean, loooooooove my Life Jacket. Why did it take me so long to realize this? It held me up, it let me bob above the surface, it kept me safe. They are amazing. Incredible.  I think I want a life jacket for real life!

And so, on this day at the Lake of the Powell, I learned an important lesson. If you can’t stand up on water skis, at least enjoy your time in the water.

I also learned this:

Flamingos may fly away but will eventually return:

What is boring to others is pure terror to some (aka, look who’s holding on)

I may not be able to water ski but I can do Boob Tricks!

Strength is not a competition


Okay, maybe it is…

Even in the desert, without water, flowers will bloom.

All of this, and more, makes my spirit float.
The Life Jacket though, it makes ALL of me float.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{floating?}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 238 :: yoga on a paddle board

1 Sep

Day 238: Balance.

Vacation is over but yoga goes on. And while on vacation I found myself doing yoga on all sorts of water vessels. Boats, Houseboats and a Paddle board. And of course, in the water, after falling OFF a paddle board.

So here is Lake Powell Day 3:

Sometimes, in regular life, I find it hard to wake up and get out of bed. But, when on vacation, it’s easy to wake up. And on Lake Powell, it’s real easy to wake to this scene.

And after the sun rises there is nothing better to do but play ON the water. Sometimes that includes boats, water skis, wake boards… and sometimes it includes SWANS and FLAMINGOS.

I can honestly say I have never sat on a Swan before. Just one more of many “Firsts” on this trip. Including:

  • Yoga on a paddle board  (Body transitions are the hardest!)
  • Wake boarding for the first time- well TRYING to get up on a wakeboard for the first time, second time, third time… and never quite making it up.
  • Riding a Sea Doo to the big “Bay” pretending to be on an episode of  Bay Watch (not really… okay, maybe really…)

 
 

And then, of course, there is this funny FIRST:
Cards Against Humanity. So very, very bad you can’t help but laugh.

And, I think that’s what I learned most on this day inside the canyons and lake waters of Powell – sometimes you just need to laugh. At yourself. When falling off a wake board, falling off a paddle board or falling off your seat at a really bad joke.

Because standing up takes balance.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{balance}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 237 :: cruising

1 Sep

Day 237: Speed.

I am still home. On dry land. And vacation still seems as if it were a mirage in the desert. As I recap, I think about what it means to be on a boat and in a house – and how so much of that meaning changes when you add the two together:

House + Boat = Cruising

So here is Lake Powell Day 2:

Today we cruised. In a house. That is also a boat. On a very, very large lake. It sounds like it’s right out of Make-Believe-Land. And it kind of is…Because it’s pure magic to be living in a house that’s also a boat with a slide off the back deck.

But who needs a slide when you can just jump off the side of your house and land in a lake? Certainly not this group of travelers.

I can’t say I am as brave as these plunging backflipping people, but I did pretend to be “the king of the world” at the front of the boat.

Then I plugged my nose and jumped anyway. Feet First.

Speaking of firsts… there were many firsts on Day 2:

  • Our first 5-hour cruise on a houseboat
  • Our first experience pumping out “poop” (yes… emptying real poop containers) at the poop station. It was closed when we first pulled up so we had to leave, which isn’t an easy feet in a huge HOUSE that is a BOAT. Then, just as we were pulling away from the dock the Park Ranger came out and removed the closed sign. Poop Station Open for Business!
  • It was also our first time cooking on a houseboat (That would include bang bang cauliflower, peanut sauce chicken, fish tacos and Asian rice thank you very much!)

We also had our first rare bird sighting. A pink flamingo and white swan.

But the best sights of the day were finding shapes in the massive canyon walls. Angels, faces, animals and art.

Can you see the whale in this photo?

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{what do you see?}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 237 :: you always remember your first

30 Aug

Day 237: So many firsts.

I am home. On dry land. Tired, sleepy-eyed and remembering vacation as if it were a mirage in the desert. So, now, I recap and recall each day of our trip, one by one. Starting right now.
Lake Powell Day 1:

It was a trip with many first. So many we counted the “firsts” each day of the trip.
On the first day of the trip, we discovered it was the….

  • First time in Colorado (Courtney)
  • First time in Utah (Courtney)
  • First Road Soda (don’t ask)
  • First time on a Sea Doo (Jamie + Courtney)
  • First time to Lake Powell (Most of us!)
  • First time on a House Boat (Most of us!)
  • First time using a Garlic Roller (Jamie and Courtney)
  • First Putting up Bimini Top on a Malibu Boat (Courtney)
  • First time lifting a Sea Doo onto the top of a Houseboat (All)
  • First time doing yoga on a Houseboat (Jamie)
  • First time doing night time sand yoga (Jamie)

And for Courtney….it was the first day of the trip to get pushed into the water. But believe me… not the last.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{so many firsts}
#lovemoredomore

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29 Aug

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 236
back to life

Day 236: One more.

There is one more leg of our journey and then we are home.
Vacation is over.  We are back to reality.

And I want one more.
One more day of vacation.
One more chance to water ski.
One more dip in Lake Powell.
One more large dinner with family.
One more sunny day.

There are so many “one mores” to want and wish for that I’m thinking that might be the sign of a once in a lifetime vacation.

Wanting one more.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{one more}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 242 :: lizzy’s tip

28 Aug

Day 242: Tiny Weights, Big Pain.

It’s the last day of vacation. And while I am in the middle of a lake, most likely crying my eyes out because I have to go home tomorrow… the blog goes on!

Today’s tip is from Lizette. The irony of this post is that I reported on my accidental core sculpt class a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Lizette for this yoga tip and a big thank you for taking us on vacation in the first place. We love you, Lizette!!!


Lizette’s Tip:
Two things I learned from yoga sculpt:

  1. Choose of the weight of your weights wisely
  2. Beware of the add-on.

It all begins in warrior one. Then, beware, if the instructor says, “would you like more of a challenge?” Realize you won’t be able to walk the next day.

It’s ironic because the challenge of the add-on is called a “micro” bend. There’s nothing micro about it. While doing the movement it feels tiny, and you don’t think you are doing any damage, but believe me, you will not be able to walk down the steps the next day.

Your initial reps with three pounds may not feel like much but believe me…
Tiny weights. Big pain.

So…..vacation is almost over. I will be back live tomorrow with photos and I’m sure a few antics to report from Lake Powell. See you then!

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{vacation – almost over}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 241 :: courtney’s tip

27 Aug

Day 241: Patience.

I am officially on vacation. In the middle of a lake. On a houseboat. (Maybe even a bit inebriated…maybe? That’s so not yoga of me.) But the blog goes on!

Today’s tip is from Courtney. An artist and blogger who recently moved to Portland Maine. (For what it is worth, we all believe that New Girl is actually based on Courtney’s real life.)

Courtney’s Tip:
Be patient and remember that you are showing up. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

Well said, Court. Well said.

You can follow Courtney’s adventures on instagram at:
https://www.instagram.com/outoftheurbanary/

And check out her artwork on her artist website.
Through use of subtle and elegant embroidery Courtney’s work explores the conceptual connections between the structure of a woman’s body and the homes they create.

Vacation. All I ever wanted… Vacation… happy to get away.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie
{vacation}
#lovemoredomore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 240 :: friday tip

26 Aug

Day 240: Friday Feeling.

I am officially on vacation. In the middle of a lake. On a houseboat. (Maybe even a bit inebriated…maybe? That’s so not yoga of me.) But the blog goes on!

Today’s tip is from Amy again. Since it’s Friday… I thought it would be fun to be short, sweet and quotable.

Vacation. All I ever wanted… Vacation… happy to get away.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{vacation}
#lovemoredomore

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