1/14/2007

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! :-)

28 comments:

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Good deal! I'm so proud of you for taking control of your life. Keep us posted on some of your strengthening pics.

BlaqKofi said...

You go Ms. Yellow belt. It doesn't matter how you get it done, as long as you do something. Now all I have to do is take my own advice :-) I haven't worked out in about 3-4 months and it's beginning to show! Thanks for the inspiration - gym here I come with my Sisterlocks! I'm with you on the swimming thing. I'll take a class this summer now that my hair is no longer an issue. Then we'll be "not so good" swimmers together...hehehe...

Mel said...

Congratulations on gaining your yellow belt! I used to do Karate and stopped when I had a bad knee injury. I really should think about going back...
Only last night my SO asked me what going to the gym was like now that I have SL's. It's an absolute dream! I have yet to go swimming or do an aqua class, but they're on the horizon.

Great pics - I see what you mean about knotting the ends :-)

Leighann said...

Thanks LaChanda! Strengthening pics? Does that mean I need to post a photo of my abs & biceps? :-)


Blaqkofi: Please! You inspired me! When we met I couldn't help but notice what fantastic shape you were in! I envied your tone.

Mel, where you injured in Karate? That actually happens a lot. The hard thing is giving your body enough time to mend and then getting up the gumption to go back.

Cluizel said...

I am trying...really I am..lol

I had that whole "pulled a muscle so deep in my chest I thought I was having a heart attack" last week. I know I'm not the healthiest person in the world but a heart attack at 24?!? Luckily it wasn't. :)

Wanda said...

I'm glad that you started working back out. And it's good to point out that the gym isn't the only way that folks can get a workout. I'm not into running and am definitely the least athletic person I know, but I do get a rush from working out and the gym is where it's at for me now, but always subject to change in the future. I like the look you're sporting for karate too with the hair. After I had my locks a year, I took a swimming class and have since taken a second one and am still not a great swimmer, but at least I can get in the water and I'll probably take another this summer. Swimming is hard, but I'm happy that my hair is a non-issue.

QueenLi said...

Best Wishes on your Martial Arts journey. I got my Green Belt, and I believe that is as far as I'm gonna go!

Take care~

Brenda said...

Congratulations on earning your yellow belt! My kids have been taking Tae Kwon Do for 2 years now, and one of the other parents enrolled. She keeps trying to talk me into it. I keep saying no although I believe I could do it, having a good background in dance and gymnastics and having been sitting in class for 2 years. But truth be told, it would change the parent/instructor relationship to student/instructor. Oh, that and I'm just lazy! Maybe next summer when my daughter is forced to join the adult class since she's taller than all the rest of the students.

Mel said...

Believe it or not I was running from the cashpoint machine to the car - and I wasn't being chased!I just felt a pop in my leg; I tore the ligaments in/around my knee and had to use crutches for a while. Your post has seriously tempted me to go back to Karate but I think I may have to re-grade for some belts as I've been out of it for quite a while...

Leighann said...

Wanda: I probably should take another swimming class or two. All the first one did was really get me over my fear of (aversion to) water.

Os Queenli! Green belt? Very cool!!! Do you still train? I "might" stop when I get to red since it's my favorite color. :-)

Brenda: At my school there are many parents enrolled and taking classes. On Saturdays there's a mom and her daughter in the same class. Daughter's a black belt. Mom's blue. They're so cool. You should do it. And yes, having an athletic background helps, but it's not mandatory.


Mel: Ouch! I believe it. I had a partially torn meniscus and a sprained ligament about two years ago and I STILL don't know what I did to bring it on. Thankfully, no surgery, just time and physical therapy. I even did my home exercises. I couldn't wait to get healthy again. That injury made me feel old before my time, but it made me want to work out again.

I don't know how long you've been out, but if you feel healthy and up to it, go on back. I've got folks in my class who stop and restart for various reasons. Life happens, but the training will always be there.

I'm biased though. I think martial arts is a great skill for women to have. If I had a daughter, she'd be taking some kind of martial arts; and then hope she never had to use it. :-)

locizm said...

oh, your excerise regimen sounds like fun!

Sisterlocks and working out goes hand in hand like the vanilla ice cream and liquid chocolate I could'nt get enough of this holiday!

Being able to excerise without worry about "the do" is one of the pluses I've been using to maket sls. peace

CloudNine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CloudNine said...

I need you around just in case to kick some tail! Hi-Ya. You better go! (Girl once you dust off those rollerblades...it is over!) A locked ninja on rollerblades is no joke;)

Leighann said...

LOL!!!!!!!! Locked Ninja on Roller Blades?!? That's hilarious! That's a "B" movie waiting to happen. :-) Pam Grier won't have nothing on me!

Sony said...

Martial Arts eh? I do belly dancing..lol. That's awesome to see a sista doing her thing in that sport...it takes dedication. Just want to drop by and give you some love for your blog. I've been reading it for awhile and it's one of the main ones that convinced that Sisterlocks was right for me. Your hair is gorgeous! Keep doing your thang!

LBellatrix said...

Congratulations on the martial arts class! Finding something you like to do will improve your chances of sticking to it.

Thankfully natural hair IN GENERAL makes working out easier IMO. Although I will say that I worked out when I was relaxed -- I actually swam laps a couple of times a week -- and didn't have a problem then either. *shrug*

I hate that so many sisters let their hair hold them back from exercise. Injuries aside, exercise has far more pros than cons!

Chosen Vessel said...

One of the top 5 reasons I got Sisterlocks is so that I would never have to worry about my hair sweating out when I worked out. Since having Sisterlocks they haven't failed me, I can work-out and sweat up a bucket and my locks still look Great!!!! So let me go get my sweat on(((Laughs)))). Oh by the way, have you ever tried Pilates?

Leighann said...

Thanks LBell. Hair and working out can be a thorny issue. I think the bigger hurdle for many is making the decision and the committment to work out consistently. Most folks find it very hard to get there. Natural or not, hair is is just one of the reasons (excuses) folks use.

Swimming with natural or permed hair is a serious concern especially if you don't know how to care for you hair. Sadly, many don't.

Bottom line, when my hair was no longer an excuse I had no choice but to get real with myself and Just Do It! Also, I'd rather take the bull by the horns and exercise because I WANT to, instead of waiting for a doctor to tell me I HAVE to. :-O Can't have the locks looking fly and the rest of me has gone to pot.

Leighann said...

Hey Chosen,

I'm all about getting my sweat on now - as long as I can shower very soon after!

Yes, I have tried pilates. Let's just say it didn't work out. I might enjoy it more now that I'm in better shape, but back then? Yikes!

QueenLi said...

Hey Leigh, one more question:
Your Sisterlocks, are they "Micros?" or standard sized sisterlocks?

Take care~

Mel said...

Hey Leighann

Just to let you know I've tagged you! Looking forward to reading your 5 new facts...

:-)

Alise M. said...

Hi LeighAnn,

I know this is off topic but I was at our local casino playing a slot machine and happened to look up at one of the several TVs in the area and saw you, or someone who looks like you, on an ESPN commercial. You (or your evil twin) were sitting on a couch with a goodlooking brother but I couldn't hear what the commercial was about. Was that you?

lst1477 said...

Hey Lady. I was getting ready to ask the same question. I caught the end of a commercial today and could have sworn I saw your face. How neat!

Brenda said...

OK - I see you've changed your colors. That means you've been on blogger. Where are you!!!

AllyH2O said...

Leighann, I'm so glad you found a workout that you love. It can be really hard to get motivated unless it's something you enjoy. Your hair looks fabulous as always.

Mommymlyestones said...

Hi Leighann,

I am not a big fan of the gym either. Every time I join it's like giving them a donation because I go about two times and then never go back. Right now it seems like my hair is dictating any working out I do right now. So, I am considering getting Sister Locks. Your hair is fabulous and your blog is terrific!! Right now I am in between a relaxer and my natural hair. I went to get my hair done yesterday and my stylist told me I can't workout for 48 to 72 hours of getting my hair done, keep my hair wrapped at all times and visit her every week. First of all way too many rules for me and I am tired of letting my hair dictate my life. I enjoy going to hot yoga and hot pilates and running. When I do those things I sweat alot and my hair just puffs out and becomes a hot mess. I came across your blog and several others and realized there is a something I can do to my hair that will suit my lifestyle. I just want more information and a little advice before I head down the path of Sister Locks. So any encouraging words would be very helpful!

Thanks,

Tracy
aka Mommymylestones

Leighann Lord said...

Hey Tracy,

First of all thanks for visiting and enjoying my blog. It sounds like you've pretty much made your decision. If you're looking for something to do with your hair that will let you work out, live your life etc, then Sisterlocks are for you. I love them and say all the time, it is the BEST thing I've ever done. I've tried my best to document the early stages of my journey. You'll find a lot of basic questions answered in the archives. They are also a ton of great blogs out there now and of course the best resource is the Sisterlocks website. www.Sisterlocks.com. Do you research, ask questions and take the plunge.

fizz said...

lovely blog!and beautiful locks!

fizz :) follow me