Working Out With Sisterlocks

It's that time of the year. After the holidays a lot of folks feel the need to start exercising. I understand that. This past Christmas there might have been a slice or two or three of sweet potato pie with my name on it. :-)
But working out is way easier said than done.

Early last year I began to notice that I wasn't as toned and flexible as I used to be. I looked "ok" but I wasn't feeling good in my clothes or my skin. I was beginning to learn that being slim does not mean being in shape.

I complained for several months and when that didn't fix the problem I realized I might actually have to start working out again. Tricky thing that, since the gym is NOT my thing. I've never been very athletic, and going to the gym is torture for me. I'd rather stand on line at the DMV, do Jury Duty and then go to the dentist for a root canal. Yes, I hate it that much.

So what's a girl to do? Yoga? No. Running? No. Belly Dancing? Hell, no. Although my ego assures me I'd be great at it. What's left? For me: Martial Arts, of course. I've practiced various forms on and off for a few years and I get mad at myself whenever I get away from it. I love it because I get a work out and I learn something: the skill of self defense.

I'm proud to say that since April 2005 I've been practicing a mixed martial art that includes Karate, kick boxing and grappling. What's grappling? Think wrestling. Unlike the movies, most fights end up on the ground. What do you do then? Grapple, get the advantage and proceed to apply a world of hurt on the unsuspecting fool who didn't know you had skills. Well, that's theory after long years of consistent training. :-)

The first few weeks were hard and I'm embarrassed to say that just the warm up before class wore me out. First class, in the middle of a sit up, I pulled a muscle so deep in my chest I thought I was having a heart attack! But I've stuck with it and now I train four to six hours a week. (Which you can see has seriously cut into my blogging time!) Last month I earned my yellow belt (my school goes from white, to blue, to yellow, green, red brown, black) and I'm seriously considering going all the way to black. I'm not sure though; that could be the fumes from the Ben Gay talking.

What Does This Have to Do With hair?

Not much actually, except that I don't have to worry about my hair when I work out. Having Sisterlocks actually makes it easier. If I want to have a little curl/crinkle after class, I lightly mist my locks then braid or two strand twist them (knotting the ends for a finished look); pull them back or up from my face and go. If not, a plain old pony tail will do. Don't have enough for a pony tail? Pin it back or just slap on a scarf. When I undid that these twists I got style in the top photo.

Even washing my hair after class is not the chore it would have been without Sisterlocks.

I remember one of the first things I did when I first got my locks was to take a swimming class. I made up my mind that my hair was no longer gonna stop me from jumping in the pool instead of sitting on the sidelines trying not to mess up my do. I'm not a great swimmer. I'm not even a good swimmer, but at least now I have options, thanks to my Sisterlocks.

So come on ladies: It's a new year; a new you. Get out there and exercise your options! :-)


Sisters in Sisterlocks

One of the things I love about Sisterlocks is the wonderful community of women (Locked Hair Blog Exchange & LockItUp Yahoo Group) whom I have met because of them. And in 2006 I met quite a few:

Locks in the City
In June 2006 I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with the sisters from Dallas/Fort Worth and several other cities who visited the Big Apple. (You can see posts and photos of that visit here: Welcome To New York, Khamit Kinks and The Laugh Factory.)

OB (The Original Blogger) Meets UB (The Ultimate Blogger)
It was an honor and a privilege to finally meet Brunsli. Not only is she the consumate blogger, but she is a very smart, sweet, and savvy lady. We hung out for hours in NYC eating, talking, shopping, strolling, getting manicures. I feel a little guilty about introducing her to Ricky's, but it is the Hair & Body Product Mecca! I couldn't in all good conscience NOT take her. I soooo enjoyed our time together and look forward to the next!

Divas and Dumplings in Dallas
In August 2006 a last minute visit to Dallas to do a private corporate show gave me a chance to hook up with my girl, Creyole! We went to eat at my unabashed favorite: The Cracker Barrel, and yes, I had the dumplings!

Honestly, since the trip was so last minute I didn't expect to see anybody, but Creyole surprised me by having BlaqKofi join us! A double treat! This was my first time to meet BlaqKofi since she had not made the trip to New York with the DFW crew in June.

I really can't say enough about how wonderful it was to sit and talk with these amazing women. I love their blogs, but they themselves are even more beautiful and charming fun in person. They made my trip!

Fancy Meeting You Here!
In September 2006 while passing through the airport in Turks & Caicos I saw an airline gate agent with a lovely set of small locks. When I complimented her she said, "They're Sisterlocks! You too, right?" Yea! And that's how I met, Ms. R.

Her thick and bountiful head of two year old Sisterlocks were done in Jamaica. She commutes to have them done and complained that she was in dire need of a retightening, but I sure couldn't tell. Her Hubby, who also works for the airline, was kind enough to take our photo.

My Sisters in Sigma
In November 2006 I had a long overdue lunch with some of my Sorors (Sigma Gamma Rho) at The Harlem Tea Room. It's hard with careers, families, and geography but we try to see each other a few times a year. It's important to keep up with the people who "knew you when." Sometimes I can't believe how long I've known them. I tease them and say I've got start getting some younger friends. Funny thing is, they are all a "little" younger than me. I served as their (very young) Grad Adivsor when they pledged. Grown women that they are, they'll always be "my girls." Now while the picture doesn't show it, I'm ticked to report that we're all sporting natural hair!

Back in the Apple Again
In December 2006, thanks to Michelle, we had a small get together in NYC at Negril Village. The food and conversation were wonderful! Pictured are: Juanita, Yours Truly, Michelle, Karen, Diane and Lynda. Very generously, Lynda brought a goody bag of hair accessories to share with us!

I so enjoy meeting fellow Sisterlocks wearers, and especially those considering SLs. (Veronica, have you decided yet? I know it's the best thing I've ever done for my hair.:-) But because of the active on line community it seems like actually meeting people in person is just a formality. We already "know" each other. And the camaraderie is instant and sincere. Dr. Cornwell says Sisterlocks in not just a hairstyle, it's a lifetstyle; one that includes the warm, supportive and beautiful people I have happily come to know. I'm looking forward to meeting even more of you in 2007!

Happy New Year!


Of Lake & Locks

My husband and I drove upstate and a New Year's Eve show in Lake Placid, home of the 1936 and 1980 Winter Olympics. It turns out, that's where Winter's been hiding. As you can see I was prepared. Couldn't let the locks get to chilly.