Friday, April 29, 2011

and finally.....

primalcon 2011 day 3........

so.sore. but, also already a little sad to know this is the last day..... we did spend a little time packing up this morning.

another breakfast at the hotel. this morning.... just bacon. and a glass of milk.

we started with a little vitamove with angelo. i needed it. start moving with a little intention, nice and slow. ah.....

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011

there was an obstacle course set up. you could tell most of us were sore and tired. we were all moving pretty slow. we mostly sat around and visited. people slowly migrated over to the obstacle course. again, mind and body challenges. it'd be super fun to set something like this up at home. :)
photo courtesy of primalcon 2011

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011

it was our last chance to visit with each other and with our camp counselors. we had an impromptu educational session with mark. he was very patient and answered questions and had kinda that round table discussion. kinda fun.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011

one last snack lunch and a few closing words by mark.

just like summer camp...... super anxious about camp starting, and super sad to say goodbye. it was only 3 days, but it was an ah.mazing time. if you've read through some of the comments on mark's daily apple, a lot of people said that hanging out with each other was the best part of primalcon. it was just awesome to be surrounded by other like minded people. to not have to worry about food. to eat good food. to share stories of how we came to be primal and the effect it's had on us. truly inspiring!

i already can't wait for next year! how fun would it be to make friends and to meet up at primal camp once a year!?

and, since you know, i've been home almost 2 weeks (where does the time go?!)...... vibram boy and i have kept our momentum...... eating primal 100%. no cheats. and moving more....... we're getting there!!

this week we have already slacklined (bought a ratchet line at home depot.... i know. i know. it doesn't have the safety features that we need, but we're slow and cautious beginners....... let's see what we think for a while, then we'll order the "real" one.). we played frisbee. we did the primal blueprint fitness assessment and started on our workout plan based on how we did.... i will post more on this over time. we went for some walks. overall, it's been a really good 2 weeks. we feel good and we are still feeling the momentum from primalcon.

i have to say it again, thank you to mark and brad and all the camp counselors and special guests and all the behind the scene helpers. it was a life changing event! see you next year!!

happy primalcon sunday ;)
vibram girl

p.s. we took melodius (back to houston) and mads (back to norway!) to the l.a.x. airport with us. worked out great and was a fun way to end our trip.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

moving on to primalcon. day 2.

and the fun continues................. really, day 2 rocked.

we woke up so. sore. oh. man. it was hard to move. i know, i know..... as soon as we start moving, we'll feel better........ so on to day 2. and, it was worth it..........

first, breakfast at the hotel. omelet bar. bacon. sausage. more bacon.

first activity of the morning was the primalcon 2011 camp survivor challenge........ 3 teams were posted against each other for time. there was mind games, physical tests, sand, sun, sweat, tears and laughter. let me think................... we elected a team captain to keep us on track. we had to find a weight vest and witstick to start. they had to be on/held the entire challenge (found out later we ended up with the heaviest weight vest and heaviest witstick. hm.).

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
a kettlebell was hidden, like an easter egg, and had to be carried to home base. had to find a 55 gallon barrel at the top of a sand dune......... take it to the ocean. fill it up with water ..... about 1/2 way, carry it back to the top of the dune and use 5 gallon buckets to carry water to fill the rest of the 55 gallon drum. use a pvc pipe, with holes along the length of the pipe, to fill a 5 gallon bucket with ocean water. stack 10 beach rocks. we had to dig a hole until a camp counselor said "when."

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
a list of scavenger hunt items. hunt 2 "carcasses" (a.k.a. camp counselors) ..... capture and carry to the top of the sand dune for bonus points............... totally worth 200 bonus points.

side note here ....... i was with 4 of the guys on my team and watched as we figured out what or who the carcass was..... it was about the same time that the carcasses realized they were being hunted. it honestly looked like lions hunting antelope. our guys looking at each other using eye contact to communicate their plan of attack, the look on the carcasses faces, just like antelope, when they realized they were now food. and then, in a flash, it was a full out chase and hunt until the carcasses were corner and tackled........ i'm telling you..... it was like lions hunting antelope.

on with the survivor challenge.......... throw five tennis balls into the 55 gallon bucket from 20 yards (they bounce. it wasn't easy.)

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
dig in designated team sand box looking for large trash bag treasure with puzzle pieces in it

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
....... when all other tasks were complete, as a team, we could work on putting the puzzle together. there was one piece intentionally left missing that had to be hunted by clues.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
when the puzzle was complete, the entire team had to cross the "hot lava" walking on wood planks..... as a team.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
i was pretty oblivious to the competition. it was we finished 2nd in our group of 3 teams. i don't even know how we finished compared to the overall 6 teams. we finished. it was fun.

my fingers were literally raw from digging in the sand.

next, we did gorilla ninja training and vitamove training with angelo. we bear crawled. we crab crawled. we gorilla hopped. using hands and feet on the ground to move forwards, backwards, sideways....... more core. sounds ridiculous. it was superfun. and, i will definitely remember to incorporate some of these moves at home!

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
vitamove was a tai chi, yoga, warrior wellness type stretching session. and, by now, we needed to stretch. aaaahhhhh........sttrrrreeeeeeeetttttccchhhh..........

snack lunch. same as friday. same deliciosity.

first up after lunch, was an amazing session with barefoot ted. barefoot ted is pretty much the guy that started the barefoot running movement. and he's awesome. he gave us the run down on how to do it. how to run barefoot. a few key elements. you run kind of on the pads of your feet.... not your toes exactly, but the pads....... and you bring a new awareness to your feet and the earth. it challenges your core (again, with core). it connects you to the earth. the earth that is a moving, living existence. i have always been a barefoot girl. i love the idea of running barefoot. i have worked out barefoot most my life and have been yelled at by every employee at every gym i've been in. so, this was easy for me to get into. if you've read my blog, you know i bought my vibrams about a year ago. i do go barefoot as much as i can (i do have vibrams, and my new balance minimus........ but even those are only when i need them......). getting to hear barefoot ted in person. getting to ask him questions. getting to run with him. another primalcon life changing moment.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
next, we moved on to primal blueprint fitness challenge with camp director brad kearns. fitness challenge was push ups. bunny hops. lunges. spidermans. sprint. grok crawl. push ups. squats. overhead press (jack knife push ups). sprint. i think my time was 4:22 min. if you want details of the workout, mark's daily apple posted it as workout of the week last week.

by now, to say that we were exhausted is an understatement. don't get me wrong, it was a good, superfun, complete exhaustion. we took a few minutes to lay in the grass. to roll on the foam roller. to do some yoga. our next activity was ultimate frisbee. eh. i have never played ultimate frisbee. i don't like or generally participate in team sports. i haven't thrown a frisbee in at least 3 years. i was tired and sore. i was the one to talk vibram boy into playing ultimate frisbee. we were all beginners. this was not a world championship game. it reminded me of watching 5 year olds play soccer. and, despite all of that, it was ah.some. i haven't run up and down a field like that (um... sprints...... so sneaky....) since 5th grade. i am ready to find an ultimate frisbee team. we played until the first scored 10. we won. v.b. and i made an awesome play for our 9th score and v.b. scored the winning point!!! confession......... i didn't figure out actual defense strategy until point 7. then, it clicked.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
also note, this was not my team in the pic. :)
and, to end the afternooon, we had a cooking session with chef rachel. that was a great way to end the day. v.b. is the house chef and really does love to cook. chef rachel taught us how to parboil vegetables (blanche). she says they taste better (and are even better nutritionally). then, she showed us a few primal dips to go with our new tasty veggies. one was a macadamia nut based dill dip, the other was an cashew based chipotle dip. they can be used as salad dressings and marinades. then, she showed us amazing little chocolate dessert from date and coconut squares, covered in baking chocolate. yeah, it's still primal ...... well, so long as you stick with baking chocolate (or high quality dark chocolate......... watch the sugar). the dates are so sweet that the baking chocolate works. no added sugar. she made them into little truffles. more ah.some.

photo courtesy of primalcon 2011
dinner to close day 2 was so de.lish. i mean..... so.delish. it was a mediterranean inspired meal. i could have eaten my weight in the lamb kafta. mmmmm....... the carrots were a little spicy. the grilled chicken was delish. fennel/lime/avocado salad. oh, it was all so good......

v.b. and i, and our new friends went to the hot tub. no ocean plunge. once was enough. and there was samba lessons with esther (the posture guru)......... but, even i couldn't last through samba ..... and i love a good dance. the hot tub was calling my name. so was my bed.

happy primalcon saturday.
vibram girl

primalcon 2011. recap. day 1.

primalcon 2011 was already a week ago. let me tell you ........ last week 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

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 ...... 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

Monday, April 11, 2011

stay tuned..............

it's primalcon time!!!!

until then, vibram boy and i are in the san bernadino area visiting family. nice. then, on to oxnard beach on friday!! primalcon weekend!

stay tuned for a full report. :)

happy monday,
vibram girl