Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

on exercising your body and your mind: a twofer!

As a result of that "Detour" writing prompt I borrowed from StorySLAM, I've been pondering various events and crises that I've collected along my merry way of life. Keeping to my true nerdy psych major status, I have even been doing some research on the cognitive processes at play during said events. You know, so I can analyze and piece together the many colored psychopathologies that make up beautiful, kaleidoscopic me. Oh, hyperbole!

But really, y'all, I came up with some rad findings having to do with exercise. What I already knew was that life experience gradually improves cognitive function such that the adult is better able to respond to crises. Hence why we don't elect child prodigies as President. What I wanted to find out was whether and why my involvement in crew might have assisted me mentally in some way. Like, does participating in all exercise help, or is there something special about the sport of rowing? It should be said that what is assumed in my hypothesis is that I am awesome; I'm not trying to figure out whether I'm great, just whether crew contributed to my greatness. Ha. But I'm ignoring that major conflict of interest so I can tell you about what I found.

Scientists have found that rigorous exercise improves neuroplasticity; in a nutshell, my hypothesis was onto something. Exercising can positively affect complicated cognitive responses and even improve avoidance of unpleasant stimuli. The study I just linked to was on mice, who were made to swim in a tiny water maze, then were presented with unpleasant stimuli. Scientists recorded how long it took them to move away from the stimuli (I picture a guy in a lab coat putting his finger in a mouse's face and saying in an annoying tone, "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"). Later, half the mice were allowed to play with their toys and the other half were forced onto minitreadmills and handed tiny barbells to lift (kidding about the barbells, but the minitreadmills are real! Adorbs). Afterward, the mice who ran and lifted weights were better at the water maze (no surprise), and they were also better at avoiding unpleasant stimuli (surprise!).

Like with the study I mentioned, most research on exercising improving cognition seems so far to have been done on lab rats. After all, they are so much easier to get past the IRB. And speaking of the IRB, there's no way I could get a paper on this topic past them, considering the giant red flag of my confirmation bias. I went looking for a connection between exercise and cognition, and lo and behold, thirty seconds later I found one. But for those of you looking for motivation to go to the gym, look no further. It makes you smarter!

For me, it adds motivation to keep our kids involved in some kind of exercise at all times. Our philosophy, which we are both incredibly gung-ho about, is that they can pick what they do, but they must do some kind of exercise. And what about you? Has exercise positively influenced your life? Do you have an exercise policy with your kids? With yourself?

Vivi, circa 2008. I call it "Still life at Nats game."

p.s. This picture really has nothing to do with the post, but I just rediscovered it a few days ago, and it cracks me up. I love the far-off stare, the seriousness, the drool, and the fact that it all randomly takes place in front of a baseball game. It's stock photography gone mad. I had nowhere it could go that made any sense, so I figured it may as well go with a post that had no picture. So there we are. Laugh away!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

spinning workout {8}: electro synthpop

The sport of biking took a bit hit last week with Lance Armstrong's pseudo-confession. My favorite analysis of said confession took place over the weekend on NPR. Well said. I figured this week was a good time to put some positive biking vibes out there, so I'm adding another installment of my spinning workouts. I'll also give my friend Elizabeth a shout-out via a link to a cool article about her biking advocacy. She does great work for the League of American Bicyclists, and you just can't help but love the thought of biking to work after reading that article.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

spinning workout {7}: ode to WFNX

A part of our move to Boston that I loved was discovering a New Wave alt/indie rock radio station. Upon hearing that it had been around almost as long as I've been alive, I was even more ecstatic, figuring it to be a landmark part of the town that the people here wouldn't be willing to let go. Unfortunately, that assumption turned out to be false, and no sooner had it become a fixture in my daily life than I heard that it was going to be replaced by more banal drivel. Sigh. Is it impossible to have anything other than Seacrest on the radio?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"kidyasa" yoga: an any-time mommy exercise



No matter what I am doing for work, no matter where I live or how many offspring I am raising, there is one universal constant in my life, and here it is: Just about the most difficult thing I ever do is force myself to exercise on days I don't feel like it. Maybe I want an afternoon cocktail on a day I was planning an evening run. Maybe one of my kids is cranky and doesn't want to go to the gym. Maybe my knee is acting up again. Maybe I am hungry and tired and have too many loads of laundry waiting for me to fold.

I may lack energy, but one thing I never tire of is excuses.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic fever {and a self-imposed new ritual}

Don't you wish you were in London today? I'm so excited about the start of the Olympics. Our household tunes in every night to catch the action, and since I'm staying at home now I might well have it on all day. We've been preparing Vivi for what the Olympics are all about, and yesterday during bath time she announced she plans to be an Olympic diver some day ("just like Barbie." Em, ok). This coming from a girl who doesn't even like to jump into the pool currently, but who am I to squash her Olympic dreams?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

spinning workout {6}: Arcade Fire


Good morning! I'm headed out to the gym to catch my Pioneer Woman cooking show, but before I go, here's another one-hour spinning workout (check out the rest of the series here). Remember that even if you're not into spinning, the music is great for any exercise or as background motivation for cleaning the house. I'm calling it "Arcade Fire" because I used a few of their songs. This workout follows the rhythm of workout {4}:upbeat closely; I enjoy the upbeat pattern and sought to repeat it. As always, you can check out the playlist on Spotify. Get moving!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

spinning workout #5: club hits

When I was in high school, I loved making mixed tapes. My dad turned me onto the practice, which became something of an obsession during the High Fidelity era--as did all other things associated with John Cusack. {Swoon.}

Back in my mixed tape days. I'm on the left.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

spinning workout #4: upbeat

Update (2/28/12): You can find this playlist on Spotify now. How cool is technology?!

This is the latest of a series of spinning workouts I've shared (see the first three: #1, #2, and #3). There are a few slow songs in this one, but for the most part this set is full of happy beats. Would that be a major key, Nate? Never did understand the major/minor key difference. Hopefully my kids will have a better musical education. I spent my entire guitar training when I was in high school talking about God to my teacher (a masters in theology along with music).

1) "Ondiek" by Ayub Ogada (I Dreamed of Africa soundtrack). 4:04. Serene warm-up and stretch.

2) "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas. 7:33. Running.

Stand in the seat in hand position 2, like hovering but without as much bend in the knee. High cadence, low resistance, like a standing half-sprint.

3) "Nantes" by Beirut. 3:54. Standing climb.

Continue standing and move to hand position 3, start climbing out of the gate. Gradually add resistance and lower cadence.

4) "Transformer" by Gnarls Barkley. 2:18. Sprints.

Sit down in the saddle, release some resistance and pick up the cadence. Begin sprinting at 0:30 in when high-pitched singer begins talking. Slow it down at tempo break at 0:52. Begin sprinting again at 1:20 and continue until song abruptly stops.

5) "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. 4:01. Spin.

Stay hydrated. Focus on using every part of your legs to propel yourself. Don't lean on your palms.

6) "We Will Rock You" by Queen. 2:02. Seated climb.

This tempo is slow enough that you can crank up the resistance for some strength training.

7) "Help I'm Alive" by Metric. 4:46. Intervals.

Release resistance and start with jumps (switch every 8 sec). At 1:32, switch to sprint until 2:04, then back to jumps. Back to sprint again at 2:54 until 3:26, then finish with seated climb (add resistance).

8) "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root. 4:55. Spin.

A bit of chipper spinning.

9) "Move Your Body" by Eiffel 65. 4:31. Hover.

Increase resistance, hop out of saddle, and feel the burn.

10) "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue. 3:51. Recover & spin.

Back in the saddle, resistance released and gradually added.

11) "Save Me" by Jem. 3:34. Standing climb.

Hand position 3. Add resistance every 30 sec.

12) "Sorry" by Madonna. 4:42. Spin.

13) "Hello" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette. 4:41. Continue spinning.

14) "Gotta Get Through This" by Daniel Beddingfield. 3:11. Hover.

Get through this song. You're almost done.

15) "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths. 1:52. Cool down.

Release resistance and sit up in saddle. Stretch arms while you gradually lower your heart rate.

Monday, July 18, 2011

spinning workout #3: steady state

Update (2/28/12): I am adding a link to my Spotify playlist. Yay technology!

I got some positive feedback after sharing the spinning workouts (see #1 and #2), so I thought I'd share a few more I've been doing. This one is a slow burn, for a day when you want an hour of exercise but aren't up for a butt-kicking workout.

1) "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash. 2:46. A little positive energy to get you in the mood. Warm up and stretch. Flat spinning.

2) "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas. 5:27. Standing climb.

Standing in hand position 3, start climbing out of the gate. Gradually add resistance and lower cadence. When music abruptly changes to jazzy piano, release resistance, get back in the saddle and get some water.

3) "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears. 3:37. Sprints.

Spin during verses, sitting sprint during choruses. At 1:30 left, recover until 1:00, then out of the saddle hovering sprint for the remainder.

4) "Promentory" by Trevor Jones. 6:13. Spin.

5) "They" by Jem. 3:16. Jumps.

Start with longer counts between switching from standing to sitting (8 counts), then progress to faster jumps until you are moving quickly (2 counts).

6) "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. 3:37. Hover.

Add resistance every 30 seconds. Feel the burn. When guitar picks up at 0:24 left, recover and hydrate.

7) "One Thing" by Finger Eleven. 4:40. Seated climb.

Recover until 0:50 into song, when guitar picks up. Add resistance every minute after that. When volume dips at 4:00, begin recovery.

8) "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa. 4:15. Steady state spinning.

Let the steady state begin. Get water periodically between songs or in slow segments. Sit up when needed.

9) "4 Minutes" by Madonna (feat. Justin Timberlake). 4:05. Steady state spinning.

10) "Uprising" by Muse. 5:05. Steady state spinning.

11) "Don't Go" by Yaz. 3:11. Steady state spinning.

12) "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado. 4:19. Hover.

At 3:26, get back in the saddle and recover.

13) "Gold Guns Girls" by Metric. 4:05. Sprints.

Sprint during her "Is it ever gonna be enough?" choruses. Maintain high cadence during other periods.

14) "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz. 3:43. Spin.

Maintain good resistance.

15) "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall. 3:22. Spin.

Begin to relax, but keep resistance at a good pace.

16) "Porcelain" by Moby. 4:01. Cool down.

Release resistance and sit up in saddle. Stretch arms while you gradually lower your heart rate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

spinning workout #2: here and now

Update (2/28/12): I'm updating this post with a link to my Spotify playlist. Yay technology!

So you know I'm not stuck in the '80s, I thought I should follow up my first workout with a modern spin with less comic relief. When done with good resistance, this one will kick your butt (or my butt, on the chance I'm the only one using it).

1) "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab for Cutie. 3:51. Warm-up and stretch. Flat spinning.

2) "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas. 4:11. Intervals.

Start song with a seated climb; increase resistance and lower cadence. At 1:58, reduce resistance and switch to a sprint until 2:49, then back to seated climb for remainder of song.

3) "Go-Go Gadget Gospel" by Gnarls Barkley. 2:19. Sprint.

Sprint. Increase resistance at 1min. Begin recovery when music abruptly slows at end. Get water.

4) "Price of Gas" by Bloc Party. 4:19. Jumps.

Start with longer counts between switching from standing to sitting (like 10-12 counts), then progress to faster jumps until you are moving quickly (1-2 counts).

5) "Take Me Away (Into The Night)" by 4 Strings. 3:10. Spin.

6) "Paparazzi" by Lady GaGa. 3:28. Climb.

Standing in hand position 3, start climbing out of the gate. Gradually add resistance and lower cadence. With 0:08 left, release resistance and grab water.

7) "Rolling in the Deep" by ADELE. 3:48. Jumps & squats.

Begin in a squat. Change from squat to jumps during tempo changes (e.g. at 0:59).

8) "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service. 4:26. Hover.

Going from squat to hover, you're going to feel a serious burn. At the claps at 0:40 left, release resistance and begin recovery and hydration.

9) "Let Go" by Frou Frou. 4:13. Recover & spin.

At 0:46, end recovery and add resistance. Spin.

10) "B.O.B." by Outkast. 5:06. Intervals.

Keep resistance low and start with jumps. At 0:56, switch to sprint until 1:22, then back to jumps. Back to sprint again at 2:11 until 3:26, then finish with seated climb (add resistance).

11) "Unusual You" by Britney Spears. 4:21. Climb.

Hop out of saddle, maintain high resistance and keep adding every 45 seconds.

12) "You'll Find A Way" by Santogold. 3:03. Intervals.

Begin the song in a squat position. At 0:43, sprint until 1:09, then back to squat until 1:48. Sprint through the last minute.

13) "Icarus" by White Hinterland. 3:48. Spin.

Add resistance but maintain high cadence.

14) "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous. 4:07. Climb.

Hop out of the saddle and stay up in hand position 3 for entire song. Add resistance and lower cadence every 20-30 sec.

15) "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons. 3:36. Hover & sprint.

Hover throughout song, sprinting during chorus banjo riffs (e.g. at 1:04). Last chance to burn; ride it home.

16) "Xxxo" by M.I.A. 2:54. Spin & seated climb.

Start with a good spin and gradually add resistance in the saddle to move toward seated climb.

17) "Sunrise" by Yeasayer. 4:09. Cool down.

Release resistance and sit up in saddle. Stretch arms while you gradually lower your heart rate.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

spinning workout #1: '80's love

Update (2/28/12): I am updating this post with a link to my Spotify playlist. Yay technology!

If you've never taken a spinning class, the following workout probably won't make much sense to you. But I highly recommend trying out a class. Next to erging and swimming, it's the best way to kick my butt in an hour of exercise. The terminology has been similar at most places I've taken classes, but just to be sure we're on the same page, here's a quick definition list. As for the music I share below, take it or leave it at will. I like to have a theme to my workouts, and you can probably tell this one is full of '80's nostalgia. I suggest you listen to a bit of each song on iTunes to see if you like it, and if you don't you'll at least get an idea of the tempo I was going for. If you don't love it, don't use it! I promise that any song even mildly annoying to you will become 10 times worse while you're struggling through a tough spin.

1) "Glass Concrete and Stone" by David Byrne. 4:14. Warm-up and stretch. Flat spinning.

2) "Hey Mama" by Black Eyed Peas. 3:35. Seated climb.

Seated position. Increase resistance and lower cadence during the song.

3) "Cosmic Thing" by The B-52's. 3:53. Jumps.

Start with longer counts between switching from standing to sitting (like 10-12 counts), then progress to faster jumps until you are moving quickly (1-2 counts).

4) "Livin' On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. 4:11. Climb.

Take it to seated flat again, no resistance, and get water. At about 0:45 into the song (when the singing begins), begin climbing. Add resistance (1/2-1 turn) every min.

5) "Positive Tension" by Bloc Party. 3:55. Sprint.

Release resistance for some recovery spinning. Stay hydrated. Add resistance but maintain high cadence, then at about 1:20 ("Run run run" sequence) begin sprinting. Take it back down a bit when music changes. At 2nd "Run run run" (about 2:10) sprint for remainder of song. Recover at "Play it cool boy" (~15 sec left).

6) "The Lovecats" by The Cure. 3:40. Spin.

7) "Sin Wagon" by Dixie Chicks. 3:41. Intervals.

Begin song with a sprint until 1:15, then switch to jumps. At about 2:30, when it sounds like the song is going to end (but doesn't), sprint out the remainder of the song.

8) "Let It Whip" by Dazz Band. 4:25. Climb.

Release resistance and grab water. At 0:38 when singing begins, start climbing. Gradually add resistance and lower cadence, every 45 sec.

9) "Nyana" by Tiesto. 6:42. Spin & hover.

This is a long song. Any song by Tiesto is awesome for spinning. Spin out the first 4:10, then hover for remainder of song. Burn baby burn.

10) "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet. 3:37. Jumps & squats.

Change it up however you like to make yourself work hard. Maintain good body posture.

11) "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. 2:58. Climb.

Add resistance more frequently than previous climb, every 20-30 sec. I love this song for climbing.

12) "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. 3:37. Recovery & sprint.

I find that I need some encouragement at this point in the workout, and a good laugh keeps me going. Enter Kenny Loggins...always good for a smile. When guitar riff comes on at 1:26, switch from recovery to hard sprint in saddle. Keep high tempo through rest of song.

13) "Bathwater" by No Doubt. 4:00. Intervals.

Begin song with seated climb until tempo change at 0:51, switch to standing squat. Go back and forth with tempo changes throughout song.

14) "Time Is Running Out" by Muse. 3:56. Hover.

Last chance for glory. Push it out. Feel the burn.

15) "A Little Respect" by Erasure. 3:34. Spin.

Get water as needed. Cool-down is coming up, so gradually lower resistance through song.

16) "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. 3:27. Cool down.

A little levity goes a long way when you've been pushing yourself for an hour. Relax, smile, breathe. You're done!

Monday, April 04, 2011

spinning in place

As a supremely conceptual person, I have no shortage of career/business ideas/money-making schemes for myself. Landing on one idea and making it happen, however, is not my strong suit. Wedding photographer, chef/restauranteur, day-care operator, and professional organizer are some of the more realistic notions I've had in the past. Don't get me started on the giant piece of land I've wanted to buy that would double as a camp and a B&B. I'm really good at daydreaming. Hey, maybe that can somehow be my job! Kidding...mostly. Luckily it seems the nursing career idea is going to stick, and until I meet another giant roadblock I am still filling out applications and preparing to go to colleges' information sessions. I was too late to apply to most schools for the Fall 2011 semester, so I've still got some time before I go to school even if everything falls into place.

Lately I'm thinking about digging up another brainchild. Ever since I graduated from college (was that 10 years ago? Egads!), I have missed being involved in a group sport. Coaching satisfied that urge for a while, but being a mom has cut out that possibility at least for now. I am already at the gym nearly every day, so I am considering becoming a yoga and/or spinning instructor. It would be fun to do both actually...sort of the yin and yang to my exercise life. I wish there was a way to try it out just for a few days and see how it goes without having to get whatever training is required and find a place (my current gym in the fantasy scenario) that would hire me. For now, I am going to practice creating some spinning workouts, which seems like half the battle in learning the trade. Plus, it's fun to pick out the music. I've got four workouts that I alternate currently, and since I was going to type them up anyway, I think I'll post them here for whoever might be interested. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 18, 2011

remember: this is your ride

A few days ago I arrived early to my yoga class to find an unfortunate group of doughy, sweaty, uncoordinated ladies doing what they called zumba but I call horribly embarrassing. If you've never seen it, allow me to paint a picture. From what I could tell, to do zumba you must have: a) a belly-dancing type sash with little bells and mirrors on it, b) a giddy instructor with a fake, too-wide smile, and c) guts. Oh, and did I forget to mention they all hug and give each other high-fives at the end of class? Yak. I hope I didn't offend any zumba lovers with my snap judgment. Perhaps I am too quick to judge, but I am afraid I'd need some sort of grain alcohol or a xanax to give it a try, so I'll never know for sure if it's good or not.

Anywho, as I was saying, I got there early and was confused when the class seemed to be going late into the yoga time slot. So I turned to the people stretching next to me and asked "It is Wednesday, right?" They both stared at me for a moment too long and then one said "Uhhh, yeah" (read: duh, idiot). Cue Justine sheepishly slinking away to the opposite corner. Yup, I have officially crossed the line over into pajama-wearing, makeupless, could care less what day of the week it is, stay-at-home motherhood. Yikes. One of the dizzying side effects of homemaking is that you begin to lose sight not only of what day it is, but of why it matters to know what day it is. Let's call this sign #1 that I might be ready to consider finding a job again. But as we public healthers love to say, we'll just put that one in the parking lot for now and come back to it.

One of the many encouragements my high-tech spinning cycle at the gym gives me is the title above, which I suppose could metaphorically apply as a pep-talk for my life in general. You get one ride in life, so to speak, so take the time to enjoy it, right? Stop and smell the roses. Live life to its fullest. "This IS my ride!," I happily think to myself. I'm not quite sure my bike was actually telling me all these things, but I'll take it anyway. I am in need of such occasional prompts during this temporary jaunt into someone else's life. And hey, maybe I'll suggest to the Star Trac equipment company that they add "Remember: it's Wednesday" to their list of friendly reminders.

Monday, February 28, 2011

baby steps

Thought I had an amazing baby who was walking at 6 months? No. Rather, these are my own baby steps taken en route to the gym on Saturday.

Step 1: Motivation. You would think it would be motivating enough to know that I have to get in a bathing suit in front of friends in the Dominican Republic in June, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be the case. Personally, I have a lazy voice in my head that tells me, "Look, everyone thinks you're busy. Who cares if you're not actually very busy? Just coast for a while!" To motivate myself and combat the voice, I contemplate those who might not be able to go the gym at all, whether because of health or physical limitations. Take the 127 hours guy, for instance (not now, but when he was stuck under a rock). Or people who live in the middle of nowhere in Montana. Or somebody who just broke their leg. No kidding, this works nearly every time.

Step 2: Logistics. Call the gym to figure out whether the day care has room for the girls. Get everyone dressed and bundled to go outside in the cold and snow. Find lost snow boot, pack diaper bag, run back to house because I forgot my little gym swipy thing. Run back to house a second time because I forgot to lock the door after the first run back.

Step 3: War. Wage a stage 3 battle with spouse (stage 3=argument in front of strangers) on the walk through the gym parking lot about whether it is worth keeping our gym memberships after the difficulties encountered in Step 2.

Step 4: Obstacle. Remember upon arrival that my hungry toddler with a lumberjack appetite will not survive 2 hours without food at this time of day. Feed her gross-looking chicken fingers from vendor cart in gym building, and feed myself some maternal guilt while I'm at it.

Step 5: Work out. Reward myself after all that hard work with an hour of sweaty exercise on the spinning cycle I found in a remote corner, my own tiny home away from home. Feel triumphant. Success doesn't come cheap, but it is so worth it.

"My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny." -Elaine Maxwell

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the hunt is on

Now that I have finished my nursing prerequisites and made the decision not to go back to work, it seems like it's either now or never to go to nursing school. As always, there are a few bumps in this road, so the decision as I see it will be basically made up of three parts hurtles and one part guts.

Hurtle 1: find a school that will let me in. "Finished the prerequisites," as I've discovered, is a relative term because the requirements vary from state to state and even school to school. I may or may not need Microbiology (blort) and/or Human Growth and Development (major eye-rolling). Plus, there is a surplus of students willing and able to fill the nursing shortage and a dearth of spots to train them. Finally, not all schools or locations are created equal, so I have to do some digging into the list. Quick example: I had found a program at Bunker Hill Community College and thought it looked promising. Then I happened to watch the movie "The Town" a few days ago and learned Bunker Hill is actually the center of Charlestown, which apparently produces more bank robbers than any other location in the country. In fact, a BHCC building appears in one scene in which the protagonist has a fist fight with his friend. Yikes!

Hurtle 2: cost. After sitting down and crunching the numbers on our current school debt, we sadly came to the realization that we need to see a financial adviser who can help us pave the way to the black as quickly as possible. Incurring a lot of new debt is not an option for us because, to be frank, we don't want it to be. That takes Harvard out of the equation (Darn! That was the only reason I wasn't going to Harvard. Sigh. Oh, that and the fact that they don't have a nursing school. Otherwise, I was a shoo in!).

Hurtle 3: the kids. You could lump this hurtle in with #2 because it all boils down to whether or not I can find a place for the kids to go while I'm in class that isn't exorbitantly expensive. In a city where the average cost of day care seems to be $1,800/month per kid, that ain't exactly an easy proposition. I'm hoping we can find an affordable place to put Vivi part-time, and perhaps I can find another mom in school who wants to trade off watching the babies.

And lastly, of course, is courage. Assuming I overcome the obstacles above, I still have to find the pluck to do it. I'm trying to quiet the superego (What if I'm no good at it? What if I try it and find out I don't like it? What if I can't find a job?) and just go for it.

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