Sunday, July 29, 2012

Trying It On

See that wall?  I climbed it.  Yes I did.  To some that might not seem like a big ideal but it was.  I attended the Try It On Events yesterday.  It was an event benefitting the ALS Association.  It was held at the beautiful Westin.  I was so digging that place.  I texted the husband telling him I had found our next date night location.  I was the first to arrive and got a free facial gift card.  The ladies at the registration desk were very nice and chatty and very open about it being their first time putting on this event.  I roamed around and checked out the vendors until more people began to arrive.

We started out slow because they were hoping several more people showed.  I had invited a few ladies but none of them showed.  Suckers!  They would have totally loved it.  Although I went just to try out all the events, I learned a lot about the association and the disease. The speaker/creator of the event was very informative and a great person. Well, everyone there was great but her presentation was passion-filled and witty. I liked her a lot.  The presentation was followed up by a fabulous lunch.  It was then I was invited to the table of a couple of great ladies.  We discussed work, New York, Austin (none of us were Austin natives), diet, exercise and men.  It's amazing how free a conversation can flow between strangers!  After lunch, the events began. 

Because the group was smaller than anticipated, they decided to have one event per hour allowing everyone to experience a little individualized attention.  We started with the Nia technique.  I had heard of it a few years ago but never explored or researched it beyond that.  Per the instructor Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts.  The class was so much fun.  I moved and danced and felt the music like never before.  I'm sure there was something deep to be experienced there but for me I just enjoyed freedom of movement and the fact there there were no 'wrong' moves.  I came away from it with a smile.

Next up was the climbing wall.  I had not anticipated doing this event because I'm afraid of heights.  But because of how the events were re-organized, it gave me the chance to re-evaluate that thought.  I figured this was a good time to face a real fear.  Besides that, the ladies in attendance were so very supportive that I felt like it was OK to show my fear.  We all trekked outside into the already hot parking lot.  I purposely did not look up at the wall.  I went straight to the table and signed the release before I could chicken out.  I was the 2nd person on the wall.  When I started climbing, one of the spotters was encouraging me to use my legs.  For a while his was the only voice I heard.  Once I got further away from him, I began to hear the ladies below encouraging me.  I don't know how far I got before I missed my handhold but it felt like 500 feet.  I clumsily sailed back down and the National Guard guy asked me if I wanted to do it again.  I bowed out from another try because my legs, arms, and face were still shaking from the fear of it.  But let me tell you, my mind was saying something else.  I was so amazed that I did it at all.  Fifteen feet or 500....I was very proud of myself.   I got congrats and applause from the ladies.  One said she was not going to try it but the fact that I did it while being afraid of heights convinced her.  Everyone ended up trying it at least once.  It was great!
Following that was Pilates.  I had never tried it and thought it would be interesting.  Let me confess to something before I continue.  I do crossfit at least 4 times a week and because of that figured I could do most any core class offered.  Well, Pilates knocked me back a little bit.  Oooo-wee!  That little lady wasn't playing with her planks and stuff.  I stuck with it (because I don't like to quit) and was sweating by the time we were done.  It was challenging and I think I'm going ot have to explore it further.
Next up...Bellydance.  That was something I was never interested in trying.  Maybe it was because I knew much of nothing about it.  The instructor did a preview for us during lunch.  She waltz in wearing a black flowing thing but once the music began, she disrobed to show off a gold and multi-jeweled wonder. Then when she started moving, it all worked it's way into something you couldn't tear you eyes from.  I don't exactly know how to explain it other than it was sensual without being dirty or sexual.  She had curves and a belly but it all seemed to belong together.  In a word it was spellbounding.  The class didn't quite make it to that level.  We learned to shimmy and move a little.  I felt confortable with my movements until she had those of us in the back move to the front.  That was a bit intimidating but after a little while I was having so much fun it didn't matter that I couldn't get my middle to roll like hers.  Not sure I will be trying it more but it was fun while it lasted.

After a short break we were invited to the Yoga room.  I had tried a class before for didn't have the best experience so I limited my learning to the DVD.  This instructor changed my mind about it all.  She was very detailed and made everything so easy to understand for us beginners.  She even used the yogi language and translated it for us.  She really knew her stuff.  By the end of the class I was so relaxed and calm.  It was amazing.  Who'd have thought I could get there?  Not me!

The final class was Zumba.  Now you all know I'm no stranger to this but each instructor is different.  This instructor was full of energy and rhythm.  The moves were complex and the music was great.  We sweat our way through a high energy workout and had fun to boot.  I will admit that my energy level began to fade midway through but come on....I had done so many other workouts before that one! 

My plate was refilled twice with veggies and bread
and cheese.  The sangria...uhm....maybe twice.

The day ended with the cocktail hour.  Teri (the presenter) is a dietician and gave us some pointers on throwing a healthier cocktail party.  We were so hungry after such a full day so this was the perfect ending.   There was a nice spread of fresh veggies, cheeses, fruit, bacon-wrapped shrimp, lamb lollipops, bruschetta, gazpacho shots,and the best sangria ever.  I ended up sitting with four of the most hilarious and intelligent women.  We were fast friends and ended up trading contact information.  They were not shy about eating and even less shy about the drinking.  Lol. 

While we ate and drank they gave away prizes.  I didn't expect to win anything but it turned out I got the last prize of the day which was a $100 gift certificate for the hotel's restaurant.  Date night here we come!

It was such a great event for an even greater cause.  My only regret is that more people didn't get to experience it.  I'm sure the next time will be packed because word of mouth is as good as gold and the ladies in attendance there will definately get the word out.

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