Monthly Archives: May 2011

Pink and Purple

Saturday, I painted my nails.  I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish in Champagne Toast on my fingers, which is a nice, pale, peachy-pinky-shimmer, and Sally Xtreme Wear in Hot Magenta on my toes.  Then, today, I went for my first walk in my Invisible Shoes huaraches and the magenta toes really looked fantastic with my purple-laced huaraches.

Purple huaraches, pink toes

With the weather warming, and my fitness rather shot from the week in Rome and a week recovering from Rome, it’s time for me to start trying to get back into barefoot running.  I had tried last summer, and even ran a 5k race in my huaraches, but I ended up with bottom-of-the-foot bruising and had to rest and go back to shoes for a while.  In the fall, I bought a pair of New Balance WT101’s to get used to a more natural gait over the winter, and my hope is to return to huaraches in the summer and purchase a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for the cooler weather.

Anyway, what could be more awesome than showing off your pedicure while running?

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Roman Baths and a Workout

View of a side room and stairs to the tanning deck at the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla

Having just returned from a trip to Rome, I am feeling inspired by the things I learned about Roman life lately.  I’ve been having a cup of coffee with milk with my breakfast, and beautiful salads with oil and vinegar for lunch.  And, because I spent some of the time visiting the ruins of Roman baths, I’ve explored Roman bathing and fitness.

As I learned at the ruins of the baths built by the Emperor Caracalla, bathing was an import from Greece.  Romans originally turned their noses up at it, considering it something that the “soft” Greeks did, but eventually adopted it with gusto.  Ironically, it was this love of luxury and comfort that ended up lulling the Romans into a complacency that led to their undoing.  But softness aside, the baths were not just a place to clean up.  Bathing in ancient Rome was a complicated ritual.  A public bathhouse would also have a gymnasium, where patrons could lift weights or perform other exercises before bathing.  There would be a swimming pool for use in warmer months.  There would be masseurs and other service personnel selling beautification services.

The actual bathing ritual was carried out by moving among three main areas:  a cold pool, a warm room and/or pool, and a hot room.  One would plunge or swim in the cold pool, move into the warm area to prepare for the hot room, and then spend time in the hot room, where there would be a hot pool.  One would rub the body with oil and sweat in the hot room before returning to the cold pool for a quick plunge to rinse off.

In honor of my Roman holiday, I’ve come up with a Roman-inspired workout and beauty routine using the facilities at my gym.  First, I go upstairs to the mat room, where I can do calisthenics, stretching, and some acrobatics.  Today, I did 5 rounds of sun salutations, lunges, cartwheels, and crawls, then practiced cartwheels leading into a back bridge.  Then I did some handstands, and then did three rounds each of squats, push-ups, and planks.  I finished off with some light stretching.

Then I moved to the natatorium for my hydrotherapy, which consisted of a half an hour of light swimming in the 50-meter pool, and a 5-minute sauna.  Normally, I would spend time in the steam room instead.  This was followed with a self-massage with oil, a hot shower, and a cold rinse after.  I emerge invigorated from the exercise, and glowing from the combination of hot and cold water, and ready to start my day, strong and beautiful.


Fresh Start

Every evening, I remove my eye makeup with oil and wash my face, so that when I wake, I have a clean, fresh canvas to inspire my day.  This blog post is like that evening cleansing ritual, which will lead into a new day, where I can share my own inspiration for leading a healthy beautiful life.  Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope you will return to see where I take it.