We had a beautiful afternoon yesterday, with mild temps and puffy clouds, so the rowing machines were moved outside. The workout was four rounds: row 500 meters, then run around the building. I enjoyed rowing outside. I always resist looking at the panel on the rower as long as possible, hoping I’ll be almost to 500 meters when I finally look. So this time I looked at the sky all around and appreciated how the weather seemed to warm as I rowed. I did my first 500 meters as fast as I could without gasping for air and came in at 1:56. For my other three rows I didn’t pay attention to time but tried to maintain a pace around 34 strokes per minute.
I used the runs to recover. The intense pulls with the legs on the rower make it hard to jump up and run fast, so I jogged as quickly as was comfortable for the first half of each run. Then I’d start feeling just a little bit rested, so I finished each run faster than I started it. Someone called out my total time when I finished my last run, and I promptly forgot it—19 minutes and something, I think. Tom’s was 17 something. He’s a good runner and keeps all his 500-meter rows well under two minutes.
As always, we had a fabulous time in the gymnastics section. I enjoy that so much that I can’t imagine not doing it, or that I wasn’t doing it until last October. We practiced our kips for quite a while on one of the parallel bars. Everybody loves that because we are all pretty close to getting all the way up—yet most of us don’t quite get there. It always feels like, “I just need one more try!” Someday I’m going to pop up there all the way and surprise myself. Kip description, slide show, and pep talk: “At Gymnastics Revolution, we have found three pieces to the puzzle of coaching a gymnast to perform a kip. Those three pieces are: repeated motions with a spot, repeated motion without a spot, and consistent encouragement. In all but the rarest of cases, a Kip takes weeks or even months to learn.”
The gym has a really cool old leather pommel horse with wood handles, and we did some straddle-swing drills on that last night. Nancy asked me and Tom if we’d ever “seen the bucket.” We hadn’t. Lots of enthusiasm bubbled up—let’s try the bucket! Dave disconnected one set of rings from their wires and replaced one of them with a harness wrapped around the rim of a 5-gallon bucket. He put the pommel horse under the bucket. So you get up onto the horse and stick your feet in the hanging bucket, which holds up your feet. Trying to keep the hips high and the body more or less in a plank position, you swing around the horse, lifting each hand one at a time for your hips to pass under as you revolve. The bucket swings around too, in the complete circle, holding up your feet. Everybody else has to stay out of the way of the flying bucket.

On my second attempt, I did pretty well at rotating and lifting my hands while looking ahead instead of down at my hands. I grew confident and picked up a bit of speed, having a great time. Suddenly I was tired and my arms had had enough. My body sagged, my feet snapped out of the bucket, and I fell off the horse. Happy I landed more or less on my feet, I stood up. Wham! The bucket, rebounding from the snap of my feet, whacked me on the cheekbone. Ouch!
I put some ice on it and today it’s just a scratch with no black-and-blue. Thank goodness for that because I had a job interview this morning. It feels bruised, though, so I hope I don’t end up with that lovely green and yellow patchwork you can get from a bruise. I have at least one more interview coming up.