Tri Training Part II

Today I discovered a few things as I continued my triathlon and began my ski training. This morning’s workout consisted of my usual stretching and exercise routine, with a few extras added in, and concluded with some one-legged squats to improve my balance and strength for ski season. Towards the middle of my workout I began taking small tastes of the tangerine flavored PowerBar energy gel I bought yesterday at the shop. How to describe the sensation… Continue reading

Amendment: Travel must be part of the picture

As I was deeply contemplating my career opportunities during my time in San Diego I reached the conclusion that I wanted to enter the field of science communications. My life, as I know it, does not have set chapters, a beginning or end to any phase. It is not a story book, but merely continues and my adventures, education, and employment bend and weave through time and space. I am not the typical cookie-cutter young adult American, graduated from University and thrust out into the adult working world. That’s just the way it is, and that’s the way it is becoming for more of our generation. The necessity of marriage, property ownership and financial security are concepts fed by industries and long-established cultural practice. They are not requirements for my nomadic and adventurous lifestyle. I am proud of what I am, what I have achieved and what I have become as a person. Even my alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute promotes the concepts of diversity and entrepreneurial spirit. Yes I’m going to change the world, but I’m not going to do it your way. I’m going to do it my way.

I am making an important amendment to my career goals. Continue reading

Bet you didn’t know that I’m a Pole Dancer

Great abs, self-confidence, new friends, and toned arms are only a few of the reasons why I began pole dancing in Queenstown last year. I discovered the Queenstown Pole Studio last August when a group of my friends who work at Coronet Peak got together to have a ladies’ night at the studio.

Anna Ashton does a phenomenal job of making beginners feel welcome at her studio and offers a progressive six-week beginner course every few months. She varies her classes so everyone can work on something at their own level, and gives positive feedback and treats every one of her students like the star that they are! Anna teaches yoga, dance choreography, more advanced dance and aerial classes, and provides open practice time on Saturday mornings.

Pole dance studios foster a great sense of community amongst their students, and the best part of training is that every time you come to class you find you can do something you couldn’t the day or week before. It’s addictive!

Studio Soiree, in the Sugarhouse suburb of Salt Lake City, is where I train back in Utah. The studio is larger than the one in Queenstown in that it has two pole rooms, and a wider range of courses and instructors. On Monday nights I love to shake it in Rebecca’s Belly Dance class, and get new bruises holding crazy aerial poses in Alexa’s Tuesday night Intermediate Fundamentals class.

When I first introduced myself at Studio Soiree they asked me how my training in New Zealand was different from the American style. The names for the spins and holds vary between countries and studios, as well as the thickness of the poles, and the studios’ focus in their classes. Anna’s studio in Queenstown features poles that switch between stationary and spinning with the simple turn of an allen key, and her choreography is about half and half for each technique. Studio Soiree offers a variety of classes centered on cardio fitness and conditioning, and invites men to join the Pole Core classes. The pole is used for exercises that strengthen the core muscles, like a vertical pilates class!

Women of varies sizes, shapes, backgrounds and points in their lives come to try out pole dancing, and most women love it! What’s almost as enjoyable as my own training is seeing the other girls who work so hard on their dance routines and moves, and welcoming new women into the studio. I see women who are nervous and confused transformed into dancers with self-confidence and grace in their movements.

Since joining the Dance Club in University at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute I have made dance an important part of my life. At RPI I would attend an hour and a half jazz class, an hour hip hop class, and then run back to the lab to complete my experiments for the night!

Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in the world – both of my parents have been pressuring me to become a science teacher for years! – and I am considering completing a level 1 Instructor Certification course and sharing this fun and flirty form of fitness with the gorgeous women of the world!

Voice Calls via Skype

Aside

My New Zealand phone number is a Vodofone pre-pay and costs quite a bit to make voice calls. Incoming calls and texts are free however, and the number is 021 135 4511 if you are inside NZ, and +64 21 135 4511 from outside of NZ.

I am going to use Skype when possible to make voice calls – it only costs 6c/min for me to use Skype to call a mobile phone in the US. Calls to New Zealand numbers incur a connection fee, which I just found out by dialing my own NZ number, is 40c. The Skype website says that it is 29.9c/min to call a mobile phone and 2.2c/min to call a land line in NZ. I will experiment more with this later, after 6am local time, that is.

Day 21: Return to San Diego

This morning I spoke with Tom Tomp of the graduate department of Biological Sciences at UCSD. I explained my situation and discussed my proposal with him. I actually surprised myself even, as I spoke animatedly about the field of Tissue Engineering. I proposed that I could build from the research I conducted at RPI and write up a review of current work in the field and liaise these studies with work being done at UCSD. Continue reading

Day 15: More of… the same?

Today I rode my bike down to the Buena Creek station and took the Sprinter, the train that runs between Escondido and Oceanside. It took just over 10 minutes to bike down from the house, and just over 30 minutes to reach the coast. A one way trip on the Sprinter is $2, and is included in the $5 all-day pass. The Sprinter is much smaller than the Coaster, with only a single level and fewer cars, but also has places to put bikes. Continue reading

Day 13: Massage

This morning I woke up with an ache in my lower back which felt only slightly better after stretching out. I continued my job search this morning, and got the wild and crazy idea of actually continuing the research I had started as an undergrad, or at least using that field, which I am quite obviously interested in, to write up whatever would be required of me to obtain my MS from UCSD. Last night I edited my LinkedIn page and added my publications. Curious about how the work was proceeding, I took note of two papers published since my graduation.

The next exciting installment of the osteogenically-induced hMSC bead saga!
Continue reading