Tuesday, April 26, 2011

primalcon 2011. recap. day 1.

primalcon 2011 was already a week ago. let me tell you ........ last week flew.by. i meant to blog about this sooner. but here we are.........

vibram boy (v.b.) and i headed out to so. cal. on sunday, april 10. we had a few days visiting family before heading to oxnard for primalcon.

we arrived in oxnard, mandalay bay, thursday, april 16 late afternoon. we checked into embassy suites right on the water. it was huge and very "resort" like.

it was also a bit dated. ah, well....... we had a suite. seriously, i've lived in smaller apartments. there was the dining/living area. 2 bathrooms. 2 friggin' bathrooms. and the master bedroom. a patio. an ocean view. and parking lot view. the walls were a rather bright sea foam green. i know you don't usually picture sea foam as a bright color, but i'm not sure how else to describe it. regardless, vibram boy and i moved right in. we unpacked and enjoyed our view from the patio.

thursday night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, capistrano. we shared a field green salad. v.b. ordered macadamia crusted halibut with parsnip mash and i got the filet. everything was really good. there was a complimentary happy hour.

a little vibram girl insight...... i am terribly introverted. v.b. only to a slightly lesser extent.

i am 99% certain that everyone at the restaurant that night was with primalcon. and probably at happy hour too. i had never seen so many vibram wearers in one place. we did not make any introductions or small talk or whatever. we just sat there quietly together (like we do most nights). why rush? we'll meet these people in the morning, right?

and, we did.

i have to admit. i was pretty nervous. mostly because i am terribly introverted (remember?). but, i was also nervous because i didn't know what to expect. would these people be crazy, meat-eating, cross-fit trained super-athletes? all living primally for years? awesome, rock hard, beach-ready-bodies? i mean, how could i know? what if they were? what was i doing here? (nothing like a little self-loathing just before putting on a swimsuit.)

friday (april 17) morning we all gathered at primalcon headquarters camp for check in.

we were assigned into groups. v.b. couldn't remember what group we were in...... he was hoping he'd been realistic on our registration about fitness / primal living and not too optimistic about being in great shape and 20lbs lighter by now. we were sorted "appropriately", although, i know, it honestly did not matter. now, in smaller groups of 8-10 people introductions were being made. and i mustered up the courage to introduce myself and chit chat. you'd be amazed at the diversity. :) it was fantastic! ages, sizes, experience, athletics. there was a couple from the next city over, less than 15 miles. there was a kid from norway (hey mads.) 2 chicks from australia (suz! caroline!). and a few others from canada. and all over the u.s.... new york. arizona. michigan. texas rep.re.sent.

mark sisson, our camp director, gave a welcome speech. it was fun to hear him talk. it kinda felt like we were long time friends. i'm sure most of us felt that way. but, to hear him talk about primal living and why we eat meat and veggies, and play and move and lift,  and his story of how he got here, living like grok...... was fresh and inspiring and pretty cool. 10 minutes in to day 1 and i already knew coming to primalcon was worth the trip.

our first activity was slack line. wait 'til you meet our slack line camp counselors....... bart. and the grok curley brothers. slacklining is kinda like walking on a tight rope. it is a 2 inch wide, flat, polyester webbed line. there is more slack to it than a tightrope. it's all about core........... which was a major recurring theme over the weekend............. and balance. the first time i stood on the slackline ..... with assistance ..... i announced my goal was to take 4 steps by the end of primalcon. i made 5 steps by the end of our session. superfun. pretty sure we'll buy a slackline when we get home........ perfect play. working without even realizing it. all we need are 2 trees and a slackline. (if you're interested to see what can be done on a slackline check out gibbons and this youtube video).

next, we had strength training with camp counselor billy vives. he ran through the core elements of primal fitness (push ups, plank pose, squats, pull ups, shoulder press). he gave some great tips on working out at home. how to grade your workout. how to use kettlebells. v.b. and i have been using kettlebells for years, but billy had some great ideas to incorporate a kettlebells with other moves........ snatch, press, down, push up, repeat other side.............

after strength training, camp counselor michael stember, did sprint training with us. it was awesome. i am.not.a.runner. i've never been a runner. i've never been taught how to run or sprint. this was one of those life changing lessons. ok, at least sprint changing lessons. and, michael is awesome. awesome runner, awesome athlete, awesome nice, awesome trainer, awesome dude. he talked to us about how to run/sprint, then ran us through the drills to change our techniques. core. core. core. we practiced breathing and using our core. he explained that by just using your core is how you change your pace. more core engaged ......... faster run. he also taught us to keep our upper bodies loose (floppy arm drill. nice). and taught knee/ankle/foot position ... think of riding a bike..... kinda the 90* angles at the knee and ankle ...... extending through when your foot is just under your hip like when you are pedaling ..... that is the propelling force. i haven't done michael's teaching justice. trust me.

photo courtesy of primalcon2011

phew! primal snack lunch at 1pm. that was just the first morning! ah.mazing!

lunch was strawberries. blueberries. tangerines. apples. carrots. sweet peppers. macadamia butter. almond butter. macadamia nuts. almonds. sardines. and turkey. oh, and ultimate fuel milk shakes.

perfect snack lunch.

moving into the afternoon ..... we had a little free time to play. v.b. and i did slackline!! we also had an impromptu women's meet up. carrie sisson and her friend and colleage, gave a little shpiel on emotional connections of living primally. then, the questions started about female health ...... hormones, aging, birth control....... i would love to have talked and shared about other's ideas about bath and beauty care. are avoiding parabens, phtalates, petrolatum and sodium lauryl sulfate primal too? anybody at primalcon shampoo free? and a little time to stretch ...... oh, i knew i'd be sore on saturday (even without pushing myself too hard).......

we attended the workshop by esther gokhale ("go-clay") on posture. another life changing moment. v.b. has back pain every now and then, i really think if we worked on posture it would probably get better. her book is amazing........... the pictures and good posture and bad posture and looking at tribesmen and our daily desk life....... i haven't changed my posture overnight, but i am much more aware of my posture. especially at work. not so good. one of my favorites, is while walking, use your gluteus minimus...... squeeze the top of your bum with each step. and, not surprising, more core. actually, michael and esther, both talked about tucking the ribs in to help engage the core. not standing up straight with chest out. chest in. core engaged. lightbulb moment. she even talks about posture in your sleep.

day 1 dinner.................. amazing salads......... one was shredded brussel sprouts with parmesan and a citrus vinaigrette. the other was kale, pinenuts and cranberries. veggies. steak ...... with a ...... oh.man. de.lish. v.b. had tuna. a little dark chocolate for dessert.

after dinner we did an ocean plunge. this was ridiculous. the weather during the day was perfect. a warm cool 75* ......... high of 75. a little ocean breeze or in the shade ..... pretty chilly. the water had to have been around 55*. it's the kind of cold that literally takes your breath away. funny......... i was so cold before, i wasn't really any colder after. then, we ran to the hot tub. it had to have been 140* (how hot can hot tubs get??). it was too hot. i couldn't get it. i dove into the ocean. it took me about 30 min to eek my way into the hot tub. but, at last, aaaaahhhhhh........ so good for the muscles.

hanging out in the hot tub was also one of the best places for new friends. we just sat around and talked. even me. the introvert.

happy primalcon friday (today's really tuesday)
vibram girl

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