Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend in Tzur Hadassah (not this past weekend)

As I said in the previous blog, Yotam fell asleep on the drive to Tzur Hadassah. But the rest of us were awake, and I enjoyed looking out the window at the view. The first stop was Yotam's, and then Hadar's, and then Itai's. I had planned to sleep at Inbal's (camp counselor this summer) house, but turned out she had to leave at 6am for work, so I decided better to sleep at Itai's. We went over to her house, though, because Itai is also friends with her brother Dror. Yotam and Maayan (their other friend) came too; while they hung out, Inbal and I talked. By around 11:30 we were starting to get tired, so came back and went to sleep (after I spent a long time copying my pictures from my memory card to my external harddrive).

Woke up around noon, ate something, and then Itai took me to Yotam's, where I hung out for the day. We looked at his baby pictures (he was a very cute baby!) and I got to see how the Imri/Yotam farm looked at the beginning, which is very different than how it looks now. Then I showed him some of the ones that I scanned and loaded onto Facebook. He kept feeding me—everywhere I go, they feed me! Also, his mom kind of reminds me of my mom. Yotam is the third of four kids—two redheads, a dirty-blond, and a black hair—which seems to be a relatively common number of kids in Israel, even in non-religious families. After going to Kabbat Shabbat with Itai (the shul is literally in a trailer), I went back to Yotam's for a family dinner—not Shabbat dinner, but a family dinner. Then we hung out some more, and I pointed out two books on his bookshelves that he has to read: he started The Last Lecture (which, unfortunately, I still haven't read) and I picked up Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ELIC, one of my favorites, and reading it in Hebrew is really interesting because Foer's writing style is very distinct. Most of it translates well, but some of the magic is definitely lost.)

I also got to talk to Yotam a lot, which I've sort of only done on a superficial level until now. One of my favorite things about going to friends from the Mechina for the weekends is that it gives 48+ hours where there's really no choice but to talk to them, an opportunity to get past the "yeah, I really liked that speaker," or "what are we having for lunch?" or "I don't feel like running" and to get to the "I love this book because…," "why do you agree with that policy," or "It was really hard for me at the Mechina in the beginning because…" Yotam brought me to Adiel's for a while, which was nice. Later we came to Itai's, along with Dror (one of the silliest people I've ever met. The similarity in personality between him and Inbal is incredible) and Maayan, and later Yael from the Mechina came as well.

Saturday involved a lot of just hanging out, reading (Itai also has ELIC) and snoozing. Galya came, and we went out for a tour of Tzur Hadassah in the car after picked up Angels and Demons at the movie rental place (which is actually a movie vending machine). When we came back, Yotam called and asked if Itai wanted to go running with him; Itai didn't, but I said yes.

We went for a 15 minute run around the neighborhood, by the end of which my Achilles Tendons and ears were burning (Achilles I don't know why, ears from the cold). Most of the time I kept up with Yotam, although I had to walk for a bit. Then we did calisthenics (thanks, DD!). We started with arm strength: two sets of 10 pushups with hands shoulder-distance, 10 with hands wide, 10 with switching off between right hand farther forward and left hand farther forward, and 10 with legs propped up on a block. Then moved on to abdomen: two sets of 25 sit-ups, 25 touching each elbow to opposite knee (right ankle is propped on left knee, left elbow touches right knee), 50 "penguins" (lying down, knees in "wedge position", touching each hand to ankle bone), and then propping yourself up for as long as you can with hands clasped—essentially push-up position. After that we moved to back: two sets each of 20 "superman" (lie on stomach, clap hands in front of head and then behind back), 20 "breaststroke" (lie on stomach, raise hands in front of head, bring perpendicular to body and raise again), and 20 "upper body lifts" (hands "at attention" behind your back, raise your upper body from your waste)—all three of these are done with your legs lifted above the ground. It was probably the best workout I've ever done, because I didn't let myself give up at all, and Yotam kept me at pace.

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