Saturday, June 29, 2013

ROCKIN: From 7000 feet to 115 degrees

Another amazing, incredible day.

I woke up in Flagstaff in the biggest Motel 6 I’ve ever seen. This one had two four story buildings. I had to wake up a little bit earlier than usual to make it to Flagstaff Athletic Club to teach Rockin. It was a rare day of using my alarm to wake me up.

There was a dozen Flagstaffians in class and we had a blast. As I mentioned to them, I’ve changed my playlist every time I taught this routine. I’ve got over 90 minutes of routine, so I keep changing out songs because I love them all, and I’m always playing around with what order they should go in.

Flagstaff is at about 7000 feet elevation, but by now it isn't effecting me at all. I was more disturbed by the extreme air conditioning. It was actually COLD in the middle of class. I know a lot of people like it, but I don't like exercising in the cold.

One of the students remarked to Stephanie Galloway, who is the local Nia teacher and my producer, that I was doing a lot of the same things that she did. I’m glad that the student was able to recognize the consistency of Nia from teacher to teacher.

After class we chatted for a bit, but not for too long because I had a long drive ahead. I was slated to teach in Las Vegas that afternoon.

We drove almost straight through, the whole four hours without many stops. We did stop twice but didn’t stay long because ... well... how can I say this without using profanity...um... it was fucking hot. (oops, well some things require profanity). The thermometer in my car fluctuated between 111 and 119 today. When I rolled down the window, the hot air burned my face as if taking a hair dryer and blasting that on my skin.

River wanted nothing to do with walking around. I stopped once at a place marked ‘historic marker’. I had no idea what that referred to, but it was about time for a break and the sign was brown, so I figured it was probably interesting. I don’t know if I found it, but it wasn’t anything remarkable. We stopped and stretched and I took a bit of video and we ate a little and then got back in the car.

After a while of driving, I stopped again at a place called View Point. The view was incredible and I took more video, but River was burning his feet and panting like crazy, so again, we didn’t stay. Even if River wasn’t with me, it just simply wasn’t comfortable being outside, so I probably wouldn’t have stayed much longer. 

video
I saw my first cactus today in Kingman, Arizona. Well, I’ve seen cactus before, but not yet on this trip.  And considering all the desert I was driving through, I was surprised I wasn’t seeing any. Maybe they don’t grow in the high desert. But I did see some in Kingman and then I saw some more in Las Vegas.

I pulled into Las Vegas and was astounded. It is incredible. Such decadence and flashiness. If someone was interested in this kind of thing, this would be the place to come. But its not my thing at all. I’m more into mountains, lakes, forests, rock formations, animals and cacti. I took some video as we drove along The Strip to the motel.
video

The Motel 6 is right in the middle of the action; next to the Tropicana if you know Las Vegas at all. I’m sure it would be interesting people watching, but I have no interest for myself and no intention of subjecting River to the drunken crowds, flashing lights and loud noises.

I had time to shower and eat a little bit before heading to the studio to teach MEGA Rockin, my extended 90 minute routine. The attendance was small in this class. I totally get it; I probably wouldn’t come to class in 115 degree weather either. But the room was cool and there were four of us, so we rocked out. I truncated the routine slightly when I noticed the students beginning to fade and all of my most intense songs were coming up. I just skipped them and went right to the cool down. We ended up doing about 75 minutes. 

Both places I taught today are interested in when I’m able to come back, so that’s a good sign. And one of the students was brand new to Nia, but is now very interested in doing it more.

Everyone in class today was a dog-lover. And River was stretched out on the dance floor when we were about to start class. I was about to put him in the crate, but it was unanimously suggested that I leave him out. I had already explained how he usually sleeps on his bed in the corner of the room when I practice at home and sleeps in the crate all through class when I'm on the road. So for about twenty minutes he remained motionless lying in the middle of room as we danced around him.  I wish we had gotten a picture of that. Then he got up and was sniffing around the door, so we thought maybe he had to pee. I was going to finish out teaching Light My Fire and then, in between songs, put him in his crate so he wouldn't pee in the studio. But before the song ended, he had gone into his crate on his own and spent the rest of the class sleeping in there.

After class, Stacey Hall bought dinner at the Indian restaurant downstairs from the studio for me and the studio owner, Wendy Jar.... River laid on the ground as we ate. The waitstaff kept us well supplied with ice water and the ground had been in the shade most of the day, so it wasn’t hot.

It was almost 10pm by the time I was driving back to the motel, but still it was 105 degrees and uncomfortable driving with the windows down.

I left my iPhone in the studio, so tomorrow before hitting the road for Utah, I’ll have to swing by and get that. So I won’t be uploading the video of the beautiful Arizona desert and the crazy Las Vegas Strip today as it’s in my phone. I’ll add it tomorrow night, along with whatever I take of Utah.

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