Thursday, October 25, 2012

When relaxation meets assassin in Number 12 Grimmauld place

When I was in college, I participated in some "extra-curriculars" that I thought had no practical application. In real "grown-up" I am surprised at how often I use these...skills..? Today, these two of the strangest talents combined at a unique place.

Skill 1: Relaxation/Mediation

When I was at BYU, I went to the biofeedback lab, once. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a lab where they have you listen to a relaxing tape while hooked up to all sorts of wires/monitors to see how you relax. Note, this is different from when I got paid to have my brain studied by the psychology dept.

Since I learned so much in my 20 minute session, I wanted to share what I learned with EVERYONE. So, like the rational person I am, I would frequently offer "mediation" sessions to friends in my apartment complex when tests/relationships/life got stressful. My sessions were intense, as my friends closed their eyes, breathed deep, and listened as I talked about sticks floating down rivers and hot air balloons rising high. I didn't even flinch when a women's group at church invited me to teach these relaxation techniques. Of course, 20 minutes in the biofeedback lab equipped me to help stressed out students!

As a "grown-up," I teach weight loss classes that take a mind, body, spirit approach. In each class, we have a 5-15 minute stress management section. I teach about half of these. I have used google to add to tool belt,but balloons and and sticks have floated their way into more than one class.

Skill 2: Assassin

During my last year at BYU, I participated in a massive game of assassin. In assassin, you are given the name of one individual that you are assigned to "kill" by stabbing lightly with a fork. However, there is one person who has been assigned to "kill" you. If you "kill" your target, you are now trying to "kill" the target of the person you assassinated. If you do not kill the person you are assigned to kill within one week, you are out of the game and your target is given to somebody else. The game continues until there is only one person left. Confused?

Turns out, I may have taken this game a little too seriously. I may or may not have sat in the bushes for over an hour hoping that my target would walk by. I also may have drastically altered my schedule of when I went on and left campus. I continually watched my backed and did not trust my friends playing the game until they "died." I even kept my fork strapped to my wrist, just in case I ran across my target randomly.

The end was result was that I was one of the last 3 participants. This really meant that I spent almost 2 months  suspicious of everyone and may have developed some trust issues. Even walking around campus was stressful Eventually, my roommate got my name, and let my soul "rest." We even held a funeral.

Believe it or not, I have actually used many of the skills gained in this game at work and home. For example, when the neighbor kids played "spy school" and had complicated obstacles, well yarn placed all over,  I had no problems moving around. Also, I have caught two "kidnappers" in drills at work, because I have learned to be suspicious of everybody.

The Meeting at Number 12

Today, we had an emergency drill at work. We practiced, what would happen if someone came into the ER with a weapon. This drill was planned months in advance and the police, fire dept, etc. were all involved. Of course, this drill started just before my weight loss class started, on the day we were doing yoga. What are the odds?

Since we were still holding class, our room was declared, "not in play." However, everyone would still need to walk through the hospital to get to my class. As I was putting away chairs/tables, I realized that I felt like Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Part of me wanted to be involved in the drill and I was very curious as to what was happening outside. However, it was necessary that I stay in the "safe house" ie. Number 12 Grimmuld Place and prepare it for my class, just like Sirius spent his days cleaning Number 12. Don't worry, everyone made it in safely, and we all relaxed despite the assassin like experience.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

After the Cruise-the Recap

As some as may know, I went on a cruise about a month ago. If you read my last post, you will know that I made a few, "plans." Of course, life does not always go as planned, but sometimes it is even better.

To recap, my plans were:
1. Avoid crazy strangers and make friends with mimes.
The Reality: 
The cruise ship did not have mimes! However, we did meet many great people (and dancers, who didn't talk during the show-so they might count). Also, there was a great staff that took wonderful care of us. In fact, it was difficult adjusting to real life after because I had to put my dishes away, cook, make my bed, and a number of other chores were normal before our excursion. 

Some of my favorite people that we met are shown below. We were all assigned to table 386, and were  the loudest/craziest table in the dinning room. I am pretty positive that we ordered more food than other table, maybe in the history of cruising. Once we realized that you can order multiple appetizers, entrees, and desserts per person, the kitchen did not have a staff. We did try to tone down our ordering by sharing our orders.

Table 386
Below are some of the foods I tried:

Cured Salmon
Non-fried Calamary
Strawberry Bisque
Baked Alaska
Sou flee 
Hot Lava Cake

2. Hang out on deck by cute boys that look like they can swim, but are strong enough to stop me from going over.
The Reality:
No one in our party fell over board. However, we did spend a lot of time on the deck. It was one of my favorite parts of the cruise. In fact, I saw a WHALE!!!!! This was a goal of mine, that I had no control over. So, on the last "day at see," I prayed to see one. 

Truthfully, after I realized how tall the boat was, I had no desire to fall over. This was brought into greater perspective when I went para-sailing. Believe it or not, para-sailing is one of the most peaceful experience I have had, except when you feel the jarring...
This is what it looked like!

3. Plan for a disaster; learn to be the first off the boat.
The Reality:

Before you leave port, everyone is required to participate in a practice evacuation. Obviously, this is really low key to most of us sailors. You don't even have to get in the life boat. I was probably the only person on the boat excited about it, and that is because I had made a goal. Unfortunately, I did not succeed in the "typical" sense. I got there a little early, which somehow meant that I was one of the last to line up for the boat. Basically, if it was real, I would be one of the last on. Probably, squeezing myself in between strangers. 

Since I don't like the word failure, I am judging this in other terms. I was one of the first people off the boat at every stop. The word that describes this is...SUCCESS!

4. Make friends with a rich elderly couple.
The Reality:

I do not hang out where rich people hang out. They all spend extra money to go to the spa, buy art, etc. I spent my time going to awesome/free activities such as:

Towel Folding Class
Disco Dance Class
Scavenger hunts with my table (for which I got a trophy!)
Minute to Win it shows
Miniature Golf

Overall, the cruise was great! I highly recommend it as the BEST VACATION EVER!!!