Cranky Cat via Reb
By Crabby McSlacker
I thought it was time to bring a little Cranky back to Cranky Fitness.
Recently our pal Shelley at My Journey to Fit posted a great grievance list, and I suspect you all may have some annoyances to report as well.
Studies have shown that griping is an exceptionally healthy behavior, boosting endorphins, lowering blood pressure, providing neuroprotective effects and clearing clogged nasal passages.
OK, so that last paragraph was a lie. But I still maintain that occasional bitching is therapeutic.
Note: some attempt has been made to keep these at least remotely related to health and fitness.
1. The Tragic, or at least Inconvenient, War on Decaf Coffee.
We all know by now that coffee has health benefits. Some of the benefits come only in the caffeinated variety, but decaf coffee has health benefits too, like, for example, helping the liver. I'm not suggesting we should cut down on caffeine if it's not causing any problems, but it's not like drinking a little decaf is some sort of bizarre lifestyle decision, right?
As it happens, I like to drink coffee all day long, by the pail if possible. This means I do best with a customized mix of regular and decaf--easy to do when I'm at home. But on the road?
Is it just me or is getting harder and harder to find decaf coffee? The selection is starting to suck at grocery stores and specialty retailers. Convenience stores sometimes let the decaf run out and don't bother to brew more if they're feeling too lazy.
Most inexcusable: You can't even order it at most Starbucks anymore! At least not without enduring a song and dance about how they have to brew it up specially for you and do you mind waiting an extra five minutes or so, or do you wanna just make it a decaf Americano? (No I don't, but I don't want to stand there forever either).
Seriously, Starbucks? You Suck.
To be told by the coffee company that conquered the world that my request for decaf is too freakish to accommodate, because they need the space for 973 other over-priced, sugar-filled dessert beverages that are NOT coffee, really pisses me off.
(Plus they make their coffee way too damn strong like it's some sort of badge of sophistication or fearlessness to drink bitter mud, so I end up pouring hundreds of useless calories of half-and-half in to make it drinkable).
And there's always a long freakin' line. I avoid Starbucks unless there is NO other choice.
2. Texas Hates Pedestrians.
OK, maybe not all of Texas. Austin, for example, is a country unto itself.
But let's say you're talking about the Frisco/Plano area. If you are a spoiled coastal gal used to walkable neighborhoods, to spend a few days in Texas is like visiting an alien planet. On this planet, the inhabitants are all massive steel and glass creatures that roll around vast landscapes on wheels, occasionally rolling into parking lots to disgorge the contents of their bellies into large buildings. They rest up for a while until their meals leave the buildings and obediently return to them again, and the creatures eat them up again and roll away, happily sated.
The meals rarely try to escape the creatures that consume them, so there is no need for spaces for them to walk around in. Like sidewalks.
I mean, WTF? There is no shortage of space or money for landscaping in Frisco; everything is laid out on a grand scale, yet few of the busy roadways or even entrances to large shopping malls have sidewalks.
Pedestrian-Friendly Entrance to Stonebriar Mall.
Also, you take your life in your hands crossing a street, even in a designated crosswalk with the light in your favor, because drivers turning do not even LOOK to see if there are pedestrians crossing. Because there never are any! Because no one in Texas walks when they could drive. (Note Kim at Day With KT also wrote about the weirdness of being the only walker in a non-walking town and I suspect there are a lot of places in this country where walking is a dangerous and deviant behavior).
Note the Carefully-Considered Placement of the Walk Signal Button
3. Women's Athletic Clothing Is Still Stupid and Impractical
So when did all the major retailers decide that tank tops will no longer even pretend to cover up anything underneath them?
All of a sudden the backs are have turned into tiny strips of fabric, and the armholes extend nearly to the waist. Which is great, I suppose, if you are cool with wearing your sports bra in public.
This is easier if you are petite and fashion-conscious and are wearing a bra that looks like a top you'd wear on purpose.
However, my foundational garments scream: "Hey there, I'M A FUCKING BRA!!!"
And don't get me started again on how hard it is to find women's workout shorts that have functional pockets in them. I finally found one pair I liked from Kuhl, but I wanted more variety in color choice and fabric and I figured there had to be a least one more option in the entire universe of workout wear.
So having exhausted the running racks, I got the brilliant idea to see if I could find tennis shorts, like the kind I wore as a teenager, back in the 70's. Tennis shorts have to have pockets for you to put the second ball in when you serve, right?
Obviously I haven't played tennis in several decades. It appears they don't even make women's tennis shorts anymore, or not that I could find in any sporting good stores. You're supposed to be a ladylike and wear a skirt. Sigh.
However, guess what? I finally re-discovered the secret to women's workout shorts with pockets:
Actually, the go-to pair of shorts I've been wearing for at least a decade were board shorts too, but they stopped making them. But I shouldn't have been surprised that I needed to visit the swimwear section.
So the new ones are from Athleta. I imagine you're really supposed to be a cool surfer to wear them, but screw that, boring middle-aged elliptical riders who need a place to put their iPods and Kleenex and gym locker key can wear them too. They're made from a light comfortable fabric, and have two front pockets plus zippered back pockets. Yay!!! So at least one happy ending here. (Note: I paid for 'em myself and they weren't all that cheap so no need for disclaimer this time. They're "Costa's" and run $44).
How about you guys? Anything annoying you lately?