Thursday, July 26, 2012

Live Well & Rock On

There have been a couple things preventing me from "living well" lately. And by "living well" I mean, being able to really push it-push it real good- in yoga. and in spin class. and while running.

Let's start at the very beginning- a very good place to start... It all began when one day during yoga, I realized that my right knee really did not enjoy tree pose. See picture below.
The thing about Tree pose is that it is supposed to be a hip opener- not a knee hurter. As you can see in the picture above, the intent of the pose is to gradually push your knee back so that both knees are in one line from the side. You use your hip muscles to do this- the more your knee moves back, the more open your hip is. In general I had made some good progress in this posture, but this knee issue took be back to square one. The REALLY bad thing about my knee isssue though, was that it did not get better. I can't tell you the number of weird knee tweaks I have healed with the yoga, but this one just wouldn't go away. The really STRANGE part of this knee issue, was that I only felt pain if my knee twisted inward- like above. I could bend and stretch and whatever without any problems at all. Running didn't hurt either.

Problem number 2. When I was moving from CT to TN, I did something to my neck one night. Like my knee issue, I thought it would go away with some good old fashioned yoga shit, and, though the yoga made it better, my neck (all the way to my shoulder blade) was always tight ad painful. Add these two problems together, and most exercise generated some kind of pain.

Enter stage left: The Rock Doc.

My handsome man has been going to see the Rock Doc for a while now. He is a fully certified and licensed chiropractor who got tired of the humdrum life in an official office setting. So he decided to work from home, particularly for "athletes, musicians, and friends." My handsome man counts in the "musician" category, and I count in the "friends" category (girlfriend? friends with benefits? no idea). My neck issue finally irritated me enough (and I knew it wasn't a "go to the doctor and get surgery" kind of injury) to go with my boo to see the Rock Doc.

3. It was SO WORTH IT
4. I love the song "What Makes you Beautiful" by One Direction. I was BORN to love boy bands. FOR REAL. This song just gets me GOING. I wanna dance and jump and sing and get funky! YOU DON'T KNOW YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!

At first, I was just on the fancy table face down. He gently pushed on my back to get a read on what was going on. I was half expecting him to be like "You do yoga! your back is perfect!"- But I already knee something was wrong, otherwise I wouldn't have gone. So sure enough, he quickly found one vertebra that was out of whack. CRACK. He pushed it back into place pretty quickly. Then he felt around a little while longer and found one more than needed some fairly technical adjusting. It was a two-parter. I don't really understand more than that, except this one was in line with my diaphragm, so when he did part one, it totally knocked the breath out of me.

Round two of adjustments was with me on my side. On the right side, you cross your left knee over your body and stick your right leg off the table. Then dude kinda sits on you. Rude, I know. But so worth it. At this point, he had told me that there was something crazy town going on with the left size of my pelvis/lower back- right where they connect. Apaprently, the muscle that connects them was just straight up contracted- all the way up my back. So, he needed to adjust my pelvis and lower back a little bit. Well, the side crack TOTALLy got my lower back, but Doc soon discovered that my pelvis just WOULD NOT move.

He said at some point I must have fallen pretty hard on that side (I'm thinking it was when I slipped on ice in CT) and then scar tissue had just turned the joint into solid rock. He said it would take a few more sessions to work that out because he was gonna have to slowly push through that scar tissue. But for real y'all, he tried a couple times and just could not get my pelvis to adjust. You know me- ultra all the way.

Next was the neck. Which was terrifying. There is a part of me that really doesn't ever want to get my neck done (it's the most important thing!!!!) but that is where I have been hurting, so I knew it was necessary. For about 10 seconds he was just kinda massaging my neck, then CRACK. It didn't hurt, but it scared me. I almost got off the table. But he promised to be gentler on the other side. And he was.  

The next part- I sat up on the table and he kind of lowered me back onto the table before smushing me- I think this gets my mid back. This was doing part two of the two-parter I mentioned earlier.

Last- he checked on my limbs. He could tell right away that my left knee was rotating in on itself. To fix this, I have to do some stretches. But I am pretty sure it is also related to this pelvis stuff. He cracked my right elbow. And oogled at my toe-thumb. It seemed like he wanted the challenge of trying to make it grow and look normal. I don't think he has a shot in hell of making that sucker grow. We shall see.

I will write another blog about my first yoga class post Rock Doc, but I will leave you with my new "rules."

1. No running until we fix this pelvis thing. It has made my left leg 6mm shorter than my right leg. NO GOOD, KIDS.
2. No more sleeping on my stomach. Bad for my neck.
3. I have to do knee and neck stretches each day.

Sorry for the long post. SO MUCH TO TELL YOU.

Ultra love,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


There is a new yoga man in town, and he is the $hit.

Tu came to my yoga studio a couple weeks ago. I have had his class 4 times since then. In the past four classes I have made more progress that in the whole past year. Something about this dude, he just pushes me in the best way possible. I freakin love it.

The first class, I was kinda feelin out what kind of a teacher he was. You know, everyone always does this. Oh a new instructor, I don't have to work hard. I can just go easy on myself because he doesn't really know what I can do. WRONG, LADY. Second set of half moon, Tu says to me

"Elise, don't let procrastination become a part of your practice."

Well, $hit.


At that point I knew that this class was going to be no joke. And they are as serious as a serious person would be serious. What I like most about Tu is the way that he does the dialogue. Instead of just saying everything, word for word, he picks a different person for each pose and uses them to talk through the posture. For example, with me in standing head to knee:

"Okay Miss Addington, lock your knee more. Kick out with your standing leg. Don't lose focus. *** I fall out of the posture** Miss Addington you want to end the posture pushing your hardest, not going easy on yourself."

He really knows how to give you the corrections that you can actually fix. He pushes you to a level that you can handle, and he demands that you don't wimp out. I am just wiped at the end of his class. I LOVE IT. LOVE IT. like really.

To close, I want to share the way that he does the dialogue for the breathing exercise at the beginning. He snaps when you are supposed to change from inhale to exhale, but stretches one hand up to the sky. Its amazing.

Someone come to visit me and take his class. FO REAL.

Ultra love,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And I'm BACK in the game!

please pardon my long absence, I was busy writing final papers, graduating from Yale Divinity School,

 moving to Nashville, securing a job, and then taking some time out on the beach.

The beach was fabulous, obviously. But what was even more fabulous about this time was that my handsome man and I took the time to go on beach runs pretty much everyday. I should qualify this statement with the public service announcement that I HATE SAND. I especially HATE SAND IN MY SHOES. (Or in bodily orifices slash skin folds) Therefore, we ran barefoot, which was what the cool kids would have us do anyway. My feet got tired at points (come to think of it, my legs did too), but it still was exhilarating.

The best part was on one of our last runs, I got very angry at something my handsome man said (cant remember now, but that's the way it goes, eh?) and, demonstrating my abounding maturity, I just took off, running faster than he could. Y'all, I kicked into some gear I never knew existed. It felt like I was running in a magic land of sparkle puppies and rainbows raining peanut butter M&Ms. I have never felt that way on a run before- I guess you could call it the runner's high gear. I wish that I could find it again- maybe I will someday. I probably just need to make my dude come on runs with me and push his buttons til I get mad again. I see this as being a very logical and intelligent idea.

After getting back from the beach, I started my new job. My new job has superb benefits, one of them being a membership to ALL THE NASHVILLE YMCA's. If you don't drop your jaw at this, then the Y's in your city are not nearly as FABULOUS as Nashville's. Since being here, I have jumped back into the spinning saddle. Though my butt bones are still not 100% used to the abuse, I am SO HAPPY. I get to spin on my lunch break, and I am starting to think that I will need to go to class Monday through Friday, not just M/W/F...

As a part of my job, I went to a conference in Black Mountain, NC. Besides running every day (and not seeing any bears- thank you sweet baby Jesus), we went on a hike one morning. I hiked SLASH FREAKING ROCK CLIMBED from that red roof in the background.
 (On a side note- rock climbing is NOT my thing. I have midge hands and toe-thumbs that aren't very reliable. Thus, using my hands as a main source of power is not on my list of intelligent things to do (unlike my idea of how to get back to my runners high)-- however, since I wasn't warned of the rock scaling that was at the top of this hike, I went on it anyway. Somehow I managed to get to the top. thank you sweet baby Jesus)

Besides all that exercising I've been doing, I am still practicing yoga. On Saturday I had the BEST CLASS EVER. there is a new teacher here in Nashville, and he is FOR REAL. I will do a post on his classes soon after I have taken a few more.

Get excited- now that I am no longer in school, I will be able to post some more. YEAH!

Also, Luna is doing just fine. We play fetch everyday and she has gotten to go on some great trail runs. Happy Luna= Happy me.

Ultra love,