February 2023 Highlights

(Five months without blogging has got to be a record for me. It’s now the start of July and I’m going to do a highlights post for each of those months to bring everyone up to speed and then get to work finishing those last 20-something posts. I’ll backdate each of these posts to the last day of their respective months.)

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In February, I found my “spots,” Tropico 56 and the rooftop bar, both at the Remate (at the bottom of the Paseo, near Santa Ana). I discovered these gems with my Pilates partner and we’ve since been several times, eating at Tropico and then heading to the rooftop for a nightcap.

Ceviche and mezcal cocktails at Tropico 56.

Tacos and more mezcal cocktails.

Yet more mezcal cocktails at the Remate rooftop.

Remate bar seen from in front of Café Impala.

I took a whole Tuesday off to go to Progreso with my friend. We got a table at Eladio’s and drank all day. The free botanas kept coming, starting off with boring chips and salsa and escalating to some of the best tacos I’ve had here. It was Carnaval, so nearly impossible to get to and from Progreso by bus, so we split an Uber there and a regular taxi back, which was very affordable for us. I believe the Uber was $300 with tip, so $150 each, and the taxi was $650, so $325 each (all prices in pesos, of course, because I live in Mexico!).

Everyone was dressed up as it was Carnaval. I recognised this popular TV character even if I don’t remember his name!

We couldn’t believe this bill considering we had been there for eight hours. All the food was included!

Something truly magical happened at the end of February. The author of one of my favourite books, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt, was staying Mérida and Juanita, owner of the English bookstore Between the Lines arranged an exclusive reading and book signing on a first come, first served basis. It was such a delight to meet Mr. Berendt, hear him read some of his books, and, of course, get answers to questions. MITGOGAE served as my tour guide of Savannah and to that he said “That’s what every author wants to hear.” A class act. 🙂

A Year of Pilates

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I am at a full year of going to Pilates three times a week, very nearly without fail (I missed a few classes during the kitchen nightmare, but made up for them in other ways). That this routine has changed my life cannot be understated. It’s not just about getting into shape, which I’ll get into in a bit, but also about how it is grounding me into a routine and my neighbourhood. It’s forced me to carve out six hours a week for myself, no matter how busy work is. I’ve made friends, I shop in person more, and I’m a regular at some businesses.

That said, I’ll have to admit that the last several months haven’t be great, where I attended class but just went through the motions, resenting every effort. I struggled with the change in my schedule to three mornings a week instead of two evenings and one morning. It wasn’t the time per se, as a 9:15 class isn’t difficult. But I’ve had to discipline myself to get up at a set time three days a week no matter how poorly I slept. I’ve also had to completely overhaul my eating schedule. There’s also been the stress of the kitchen (a still ongoing nightmare) and an exceptionally erratic work schedule.

So it’s no wonder it took me as long as it did to realise there was something actually wrong with me that no amount of extra time in bed or green smoothies or saying no to dessert or pushing through a workout when I just wanted to curl up in a ball was going to cure. As it turned out, I needed an increase in my thyroid meds! I was chastised a tad for taking so long to come to that conclusion, but I think that’s just a residual behaviour from a lifetime of nearly non-existent healthcare access in Canada — I work on myself first, making sure I’m doing everything absolutely right, and then I seek medical help. Maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At any rate, I’m a week into taking my increased dose and today was told that the change in me is “dramatic.”

Today’s class was the first in ages where I was on fire, tackling exercises I didn’t even dare attempt a few months ago. A huge part of advanced Pilates comes from your core strength, something I never really actively focussed on before. All that walking in Campeche while minding my posture meant that I came back with my core much stronger than when I left the week before. It was a dramatic change for such a short period of time. Since then, my ability to perform exercises that require a strong core, which also helps in balance, has grown exponentially.

The first part of last year was about fixing my bad leg, and then helping me build increased strength and flexibility. This year is all about my core and my posture, and this is real work. I’ve started doing extra core work on my days “off,” and I’m constantly thinking about my posture and trying to remember to suck in the ab muscles and shift my spine. It’s a lot, but I want to be one of those ladies who ages gracefully, and so, I’m taking full advantage of having a mentor who can help me work on such things.

I’m slowly doing more and more things that I’ve never been able to do, but today felt like I had pushed through something really hard and come out the other side triumphant. I did this. And once I got into this position, I balanced on one leg, the other one straight back. I couldn’t even get onto the shoulder plates with my feet flat the last time I tried and here I was today balancing very nearly en pointe on one leg!

Image from https://www.sportskeeda.com/health-and-fitness/pilates-reformer-how-get-started