Bees?!

Thursday I did the stairs at work thing and that was swell.

I get to the gym and I get on the treadmill and do my warm up. Then Tyler comes over and gets me and we do the shoulder warm ups. This is all going very well and I can agree that stretching helps. He was right. And I told him so.

As I’m laying down on the bench to do the laying down the the stick shoulder warm ups I’m all “my abs!” and he’s all “That’s what I like to hear because I’m super mean!” except not really. He just likes knowing that I worked hard. But then as I’m doing the over the head stretch straight out with the stick stretch move I’m all “OWMAHABS!” and he’s all “That hurts your abs?” like that makes so sense and I’m all “YESDAMMITYESOW!” and then another trainer that is standing near by and I have our very own GOB like Beads! Bees?! exchange. Trainer was trying to explain that his girl that he trains is all “My calves hurt!” but I didn’t hear the first part and I thought he was talking about me and I was all “Abs!” and he was all “Calves!” and that went on a good rotation for about 5 times and then we both realized what was going on and there was a good laugh. And then I felt less weird and his trainee girl felt less weird and that was good.

Then off we went to do work.

My legs and knees felt good, or so I thought, so let’s to squats and lunges, yeah? Yeah!

I got through 2 sets of 12 low hack squats.

Then I got through 2 sets of 10 stationary lunges before my right knee did something that made it feel like it should pop but then it never popped and holy fuck that hurt. I couldn’t walk properly for a few after that.

So off to work the calves instead!

3 sets of 10 hamstring curls with 50lbs. I really hate this. I don’t like the way I feel with my legs under the curl bar and I don’t like how the curl bar thing rolls on my my calf and I just don’t like it. But it was easier than before so there’s that.

Then I did 3 sets of 20 standing calf raises with 25 pounds. Between this and my visits to ballet gym I should eventually have some smoking calves.

Next up was the bench press. And, again, I was able to do it. With control and form and ease and a smile on my face. I really, truly, cannot explain how I feel when I’m successfully bench pressing. I can honestly say that I never once sat down and thought “man, if only I could bench press some weight.” Never. But here I am. Doing it. And feeling damn proud that I can. I don’t understand it but that’s ok. So I did 2 sets of 10 with a 40lb weight and then 1 set of 10 with a 50lb! It wasn’t as easy and my form was a wee bit sloppy on that one but I did it. And felt awesome.

Then I did some seated dumbbell bent over back flies. These are hard. My shoulders are still weak in this regard, I guess. I did 3 sets of 12 with 7.5lb weights.

Then he made me face the mirror and to dumbbell curl and presses. In the past I’ve been all “why must I look in the mirror, I hate it.” But for some reason on Thursday I just did it. And I looked at myself. I didn’t try to look away or whatever. I watched myself do these curls and presses with 7.5lb weights and it was good. Three sets of 12 of these.

Then I had to do bicep curls. Three sets. First set was 10 with a 20lb weight. Then 15 with a 20lb weight. Then 10 with a 30lb weight.

Then reverse grip bent over rows. These bent over row things are really easy for me and always have been. I did three sets. 10 with a 20lb weight. 20 with the 20lb weight. Then 20 with the 30lb weight.

Then I had to do standing overhead tricep extensions. That was hard. He had to help me keep my elbows where they should be. They want to spread instead of staying close to my head. My elbows are whorish. But I did 3 sets of 10 with 20lbs.

I didn’t do anything in the way of exercise yesterday and I ate like a person that eats ridiculous things all of the day. And went out and had fun like people do on a Friday night and I had too many beers. So far today I’ve recovered from a hangover and watched the rest of Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. I should go water aerobics or something. I will, at least, stretch, since I didn’t get to last night.

I’m also contemplating cake. Like a person that likes cake. We’ll see. I mean, I did benchpress really well. That deserves a celebration, right? Yeah.

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Incessant

I haven’t been able to go back to ballet gym as their schedule is not a set one, it’s fluid. So, that kinda stinks. But, you know, life is like that sometimes.

I did my water aerobics on Monday. I noticed on Sunday they were getting easier and I wasn’t as winded after each set so I increased how many reps I do, which decreases the sets, but totally increases my heart rate and how winded I am. And I noticed I’m able to do the running sprint across the pool quicker. It’s all good stuff.

And? I did some light stretching.

Here’s the thing…I’m trying to catch up with this season of “Orange is the New Black” while also doing my water aerobics, stretching, AND getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

It seems I cannot do it all. I get up at 4:45am every work day. So that means I’d have to go to bed at 8:45 each night. On the nights I don’t gym I get home before 5. On the gym nights I’m home between 6:30 and 7. And I have a dog. And a cat. And a house. And laundry. And life, you know? I cannot do it all. But, dammit, I’m trying. And? Not getting the 8 hours of sleep that I feel makes me at my best. Somethings gotta give, right?

Anyway. I’ve taken the stairs at work all week. My right knee clicks going down but there is absolutely no pain involved so that’s a good things. And I noticed that I was able to walk up the stairs much faster today. I”m still winded, yes, but speed has increased and recovery has gotten quicker. Woo.

I’ve been eating the chicken and the fruit and not drinking coffee at the office and snacking on nuts and fruit and I have had a headache and felt like ass.

Yesterday I was at my peak sad. And it was noticed even though I was trying to not let it be. A co-worker asked. A friend that couldn’t even see me asked. So, when I left work to head to the gym I first just sat in my car and cried really hard for 20 minutes. And that helped. No more headache. No more feeling like ass.

I drove to the gym and cried for another 20 minutes. Then I pulled myself together and went into the gym determined to just get through it.

I did more than just get through it. I enjoyed it. And I felt so much better when I left. I didn’t talk and laugh as much because of the sad, but I did talk and laugh. I am still me. I just got through more exercise and less goofy.

I warmed up on the treadmill and Tyler reminded me to go over and stretch my shoulders so that is how I started things out.

Tyler wanted to start off with abs so we’d get through them because he wanted to do serious stuff. And serious stuff we did. And I noticed that the move that I used to call the panda bear is much more sturdy and fluid and less rolly poly on the bosu ball. Much improvement. So strength. Wow fitness.

So, here’s the breakdown of the ab stuff:
3 sets of 20 alternating knee to elbow crunches on the bosu ball.
3 sets of 20 alternating hand to foot (panda bear) crunches on the bosu ball.
3 bosu ball V holds.

At first he wanted me to do the V hold while twisting to each side with a weight. HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHA! This is where the giggles entered. I could barely do the damn hold, y’all. How was I supposed to twist?! So he then decided I needed to do 60 second V holds. The first one was a series of, like, 15 seconds then 8, then 20, and then however many more until I got to 60 finally. The second attempt was better. The third one he laid down the law – two 30 second ones. And I did it. And boy howdy was it hard and boy howdy do my abs hurt and boy howdy when did I start saying boy howdy?

I got a high five for digging down deep to get those two 30 second V holds done. Woo!

In between each of these ab rotations I did 25 jumping jacks. So that was three sets of 25 jumping jacks. And while I was doing one set I saw a girl with a tank on that said “I’m training for a marathon! (on Netflix)” and I smiled at her and tried to acknowledge why I was smiling but I think I just made it weird. It was my very own awesome ‘possum moment. Sweet.

Then we went on over to the machines and I did the vertical chest press. And? It was easier than it has ever been. I know how to get the strength. I know how to hold my arms. I know how to engage my muscles to push. It’s all coming together. So I did three sets of 15 of these. First set was with 50lbs and then the last two was with 60lbs.

You know what I can’t do yet? A pull up. You know what else I can’t do? More than two unassisted assisted pull ups. He had me do three sets of 6. And I’d get two done and then he’d jump in with the assist. I got assistance on the assisted pull ups. That’s where I am with that.

Then I had to do cable bicep curls. Bicep curls are usually no problem. On the cable machine? Fucking hell. So hard. Three sets of ten with 30lbs.

The tricep push downs that I usually have issue with? Not on the cable tricep push down machine thinger. Nope. I did one set of 20 because the 40lbs was very easy. The next set was 15 with 50lbs. And the last set was 10 with 60lbs.

Apparently different machines do the same motions in different manners. He tries to explain. I keep not really understanding it.

But that was the Tuesday work out. And it was really good. And I left feeling much better. And I haven’t cried, felt sad, or had a  headache since I let it all out and then broke my abs in the gym.

Today I, as previously mentioned, took the stairs and was all speedy on them. Or, well, speedy for me. And then I did my water aerobics. And I have not yet stretched but I will go do that. And? I’ll try to watch another episode of OITNB. Because it’s a fantastic show!

One day I shall figure out how to fit all of this in AND get the 8 hours of sleep in which I crave. Someday.

the fatz

Take everything I said Tuesday about my loose yoga pants and throw it all right out the window, OK? Because on Thursday I had another wee temper tantrum. I’m getting good at that.

I didn’t do any stretching or water aerobics on Tuesday or Wednesday. I ran errands and had friends over for dinner. I just, simply, didn’t have time. But I did use the stairs at work because I’ve already noticed that my knees are getting less ouch. I suspect that has something to do with the stretching ballet class. And the water aerobics. Which is all good stuff.

But I went to the gym on Thursday as expected and warmed up on the treadmill for a few minutes. And then we did the shoulder warm ups. Then? I did all new stuff. Or, you know, variations of what I’ve done but with new stuff mixed in to make it more difficult. Moving forward and all of that.

I had to do a low squat then hop up on the step move. So, he lowered the step so the hop was lower, but a medicine ball on the step for me to touch my butt to as I squat and then in one motion I come out of the squat and hop onto the step with my new found light landing. Sometimes that work, sometimes it didn’t. But I’m getting a feel for the concept and that’s progress. As usual, three sets of 10.

Then I had to a low squat to a high step holding a medicine ball. The first set was with a 15lb ball. He felt I was struggling with this so he changed that to a 10lb ball because he wanted me to do a low squat with good form and a shoulder press. That wasn’t happening with the 15lb ball. But the 10lb ball made that possible so he obviously knew what he was doing.

Then I did a stiff legged dumbbell dead lift. Basically what that means is I stood on a step and bent over holding a 15lb weight while keeping my legs stiff. I reach past my toes as much as I can while keeping my legs straight. Three sets of 10.

Then I had to toss a 14lb medicine ball and bounce it off of a high bar and catch it. Three sets of 10.

I did TRX inverted rows. I start out low and then as that gets to be way too hard I step back and finish where I can. 3 sets of 10. 4, 3, and 4 of the low each time.

I did three sets of 15 sits up on the swiss ball. I did this facing a reflective surface. My torso is not slim.

Then he had me do the sit ups on the decline bench and my lower back started doing that pinchy thing and I determined that the fat from my butt and the fat from my back are converging and pinching on top of each other when I do that and then I just got super pissed and kept saying that I’m a fat girl and it was just really kinda ugly. I have bad behavior.

Tyler was very much involved in telling me how much progress I’ve made and to keep up the good work with the stretching and the documenting and the aerobics and did the high five thing and I put on the “yay!” face until I was in the car and then I cried the cry of the fat girl and I hate it.

He updated the shoulder stretching guide with all of the stretches he wants me to do and he used the real names and then put my names in parenthesis so I know what the hell I should be doing. Which is fantastic. Very helpful.

Saturday I went to the store and made very good choices:

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I also bought a rotisserie chicken and stripped it off of the bones and I’ll be eating chicken and fruit all week long.

But, then, I made a second run to the store and this happened:

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And guess what? I’m not even sorry. Those are my two favorite horrible things. And they have merged into one horrible thing. I cannot be expected to just let that pass me by. So I did what I did and I have no regrets. Especially since I know that I can eat two or three a day while skipping a day and that the package will last me a good bit. Because that cantaloupe I have is delicious and I may just wind up eating one a day. Which isn’t likely very good for me either but I can’t help it. It’s summer. The season of cantaloupe! I must eat it. I must.

I did my water aerobics and various stretches all weekend. I’ve been a mostly well behaved person that works out and takes care of her body.

One day I may stop caring about my weight and the soft and wiggley. Or maybe I won’t. It doesn’t matter. I’m getting stronger and all of that.

Meanwhile my budget is not. And I have to go to a dermatologist to check out two spots and an eye doctor which will likely mean glasses and I’m not sure how I’m going to afford all of this and leaning towards not having Tyler in July and that is just not really a good move. So, yeah.

Also? Exercise and vitamins are NOT all that is needed to make one happy. I’m exercising almost daily and I still have a pretty good case of the sad right now. So, suck it people that think depression can be helped with all of the endorphins. Please and thank  you.

early birds and worms or something

For the Level 1 ballet class you don’t have to wear any sort of traditional ballet attire. They only require that you wear socks or ballet slippers. No bare feet or shoes. I didn’t have ballet shoes so I wore these awesome socks:

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I know. I’m very fashionable. Until I saw myself in the mirror. It was all ok, really, except the capri yoga pants I wore are flare legged. That looks dorky as all hell while doing ballet so I’ll have to get at least one or two pairs of dance leggings. Like those awesome skull ones that I so totally want to splurge and buy.

So, today I decided that I should buy actual ballet slippers since I’m going to be doing this. A co-worker friend of mine told me about a dance store on my way to the gym. I Googled it and got the directions and the name and came up with a plan.

I found myself doing pointy toes and leg circles while I waiting for my food to heat in the microwave. My kitchen ballet is getting official, man! Woo!

I went to the dance store on my way to the gym and I told one of the ladies working there what I was looking for and she helped me find the right size and then for less than $20 later (wooooo!) I walked out with these fancy things:

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I feel so legit.

Then I went to the gym and I arrived thirty minutes early so guess what? I went on in and I walked a mile on the treadmill to warm up. I did a variety of inclines and speeds and then I did some of the shoulder stretching exercises and then I saw the time and went to find Tyler and told him what I did and he was all “woo” and then I told him that I’d updated his spreadsheet with my own tracking info and he was all ‘woo” again. We’re both very “woo!’ today.

It seems that even though I feel better and have been doing the stretching it’s not an overnight thing and so my left shoulder still hurt a bit when I did certain things and my knees hurt if I do a really low squat.

So, I did three sets of 15 dumbbell chest presses on the swiss ball with 12lb weights. I do these with good form, with decent speed, and showing good progress and improvement there.

Two sets of 10 dumbbell bicep curls with 8lb weights and one set of 15 because I could. We tried to add in a shoulder move but my left shoulder said “no, thank you, please.”

Three sets of 20 shoulder press and overs with a 12lb weight stick. I had no idea it weighed that much until just now. He’s very sneaky.

I then had to push the sled the length of the field 4 times with 45lbs on it. That does not include the weight of the sled which is estimated at 50lbs. I started strong. The last rep damn near killed me.

After I pushed the sled I’d have to do 25 jumping jacks. Then 15 sit ups with my toes tucked under the sled. For some reason I’m thinking I forgot that I was supposed to do 15 and I only did that the first and second time and then the last two times were 10. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’m thinking went down.

He then showed me more shoulder stretches he wants me to do and sent me on my way.

I am not seeing any weight loss on the scale. At all. Which I already said is not a big deal but I think we all know I’m lying. But what I did notice is that the yoga pants I’m wearing today are quite a bit looser than usual. So, I’m obviously changing my body in some way that’s not measured simply by the scale. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy seeing that but at least I can tell with this. It’s a good feeling. My baggy yoga pants. Woo!

Releve In First

Saturday I started doing my water aerobics. And it was, actually, pretty darn fun. Because it’s silly and so am I. I did this video, with the exception of the crunches at the end. I also did my stretches! Well, one set. But that’s more sets that I did the day before!

Sunday I went to the Stretch and Tone Ballet class and that was a good time, I really liked the instructor for this session. I decided on a whim that I needed to get some leggings to wear because the flaired out capri work out pants I’m wearing at the gym look super dorky during ballet. Things need to be tight and  close to the body so I went to Walgreens and bought these super stylish leggings:

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My sister and my niece do NOT approve of the pattern. They just don’t know how to have fun is what I think. They are super soft, super close to the body, and were $10. You cannot beat that with a stick. except they are labeled as One Size Fits All. Ummm…no.

After ballet I went home and did the water aerobics and all of the shoulder stretching exercises. I did three sets of all of it. And I documented it for Tyler to see.

Today I went to work and I noticed that my knees felt pretty good. So, I used the stairs for the first time in a while and my knees continued to feel fine and good all day.

Then this evening, I went to my very first ballet class ever. Not exercise, even though it totally is, just straight up ballet. And I really, really enjoyed it. I wound up being in a Level 1 class instead of the Intro class and the instructor told me that was totally fine and that there is no reason for me to go to the Intro. Which made me pleased. I was able to mostly keep up with everything. I’m still not super flexible but that will come with time and stretching. And my arms are messy. I don’t have dancer arms but for right now she’s focusing on making sure we’re in the right position, there’s not any focus on how to gracefully hold your hands. But I did ballet! Yay!!

But now I’m wanting to have cuter more functional work out attire and I am dead set on having these be on my body soon:

These are the dancey pants in which I was born to wear.

I’ll have to space all of this out, though. My budget has taken a real beating and blah blah blah life is expensive. And? I am finding that I have very little down time. Not sure how I feel about that just yet so I’ll keep on keeping on. But that’s not going to get me through season two of “Orange Is The New Black,” is it? No, I think not.

Tonight, when I arrived home from ballet class? I did water aerobics. I totally did. And I added a knee jump kick move that Tyler pointed out in a different video that is really good for knee pain and strengthening the knee when you are having the issues that I’m having! Go Tyler! Go me! Woo!

Right now I can tell my hips will be sore tomorrow from ballet. And my shoulders muscles are sore from ballet push ups on Sunday. Ballet is working me out in all new ways. It’s all pretty good.

Now, to add in focus on losing weight. Even though that’s totally secondary to all the rest. Despite me bringing it up all of the time. It is. Secondary. Not at all important at all…

Ketchup

I have a lot of catching up to do. Let’s get to it!

Sunday, June 1st I woke up and decided that would be the day I’d go sign up for real at the ballet gym. So I put on my best “I belong in the ballet gym” ensemble:

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and off to ballet gym I went! I’d signed up for the stretch and tone. They claim that class is:

Stretch and Tone is a 45 minute class is designed to strengthen, tone and stretch your body the way a dancer does. Half of the class will take place at the ballet barre and the other half will take place on the floor. This slow paced, no-impact class will get your body limber and your legs chiseled. This class is also excellent for foot and leg strength. Please bring a mat and a towel for stretching.

I say it’s 45 minutes to an hour of nothing but pain. Good lord. I’m pretty sure my right calf still hurts. Today. As I sit here typing this. Two weeks later. Seriously. Ballet hurts. But I did it and I have 19 more classes to take and that’s great. I should do one this weekend.

I did my training sessions with Tyler on Monday and Wednesday since my friends were coming to town and that kinda threw me off but not too much. But since it has been so long since that occurred I may not be able to fully recap. But here we go!

Monday the 2nd:
I warmed up on the treadmill. This did not fully prepare me for what he was going to have me do. Which was way more cardio than I’ve done thus far. And it’s all hot and they don’t really run the AC much in the gym and good lord the heat can suck my will to live. It’s like I’m the Dread Pirate Roberts in the Pit of Despair.

He started me out doing these TRX step jump squat rows. Basically I squat holding on to the TRX ropes and then I pull/jump up onto a step. Three sets of 10. Not too bad, really.

Then three sets of 10 medicine ball slams with a 15lb ball. SLAM!

This is where I wanted to die…the box jump with burpees while holding a weight stick. And? I had to land on one foot. Alternating. And, really? Come on, man. Burpees suck and my coordination sucks and holy shit I’m now mostly dead. But I managed to get three sets of 10 in. Because there is a big difference in mostly dead and all dead.

Tyler tried his best to get me to do single leg lunges with one leg in the TRX thing. Umm…yeah. Coordination? Not yet living in my body. At one point I started spinning around but never fell and he praised me on my recovery. He’s very silver lining-y. He’s nice like that. So I did a few just to get the feel for it and then said “put a pin in this, we’ll try it again, yes?” And he said “yes!”

Now I’m balancing on the bosu ball and doing squats. Easier every time! Woo!

And then I’m doing bosu ball crunches where I have to alternate the hand to foot. I think this is the move I refer to as “the panda bear.”

I finished off Monday with back extensions. I am going all the way down to the ground and then lifting myself all the way back and there you go. Much improvement.

Wednesday, June 4th:
I warmed up on the treadmill. So much surprise.

Then? I BENCH PRESSED!!! Yep. I did. With good form. And the full three sets of 10. With 40lbs. I was super pumped up that I did that and I bragged to everyone that would listen.

The straight bar bent over rows were easy. First set with a 30lb weight then he upped it to 40lbs for the last two sets of 10.

He made me jog. On the treadmill. First time for 2.5 minutes at 5mph and then for 3.5 minutes at 5mph. It wasn’t as bad as I thought jogging would be.

I continue to hate the ropes. He made me do rope waves. I hate them. I had to wave three times for 20seconds each time. So dumb. So tiring.

Then I did a variety of swiss ball ab stuff. Three sets of 15. Then we worked on making me balance better on the ball by making me lift one leg off the ground. Holy shit. Yeah.

Then my friends arrived and off we went to the ‘con for fun and I ate all of the food and put on some pounds but you know what? Fun and friends is important and I don’t much care.

We did take one walk one evening. And we did an evening of synchronized standing in the pool. That should be an Olympic sport. Because it’s synchronized.

On Monday Jeff, Dave, and I got up before the Sun and went off to hike the Peak. And we went to the top and back down and now they know how lame it will be to hike with me in the Grand Canyon but too bad they’re going. *evil laugh*

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10379592_10152430922631578_9029660862165990716_o I almost passed out once we were at the bottom in the parking lot. I suspect it was a mixture of the pain in my knees and the heat. We didn’t get on the mountain early enough and the Sun was in full on heat mode and blasting on my body and I don’t do well with heat. So it totally makes sense that I live in Arizona. Except, really, it does.

I recovered and felt pleased and they enjoyed the hike and are still going to hike with me I think so I call that a success.

Then Tuesday they all left and I was up from 4am and went to work and was exhausted from all of the funs and the almost passing out heat stroke dementia I had at the Peak and went to the gym anyway. Because I am motivated, dedicated, and a bit of a bad ass.

Until I was actually at the gym and then I whined and moaned and got really really pissed when Tyler was trying to make me do these pull ups from the limbo position and I could barely lift myself off the ground and people could see me and I suddenly, for the first time ever, felt super self conscious at the gym and just lay on the ground for a minute trying to not cry and have a ridiculous temper tantrum over it.

I chose to warm up on the elliptical. That’s different.

For some reason the record of Tuesday is missing from my gym log and neither of us know why or can really remember what we did so here is as good as a synopsis as I can put together. After the bullshit pull ups that also included other stuff that I was able to do but it was erased from my memory thanks to my anger over the limbo pull ups we moved over to the pulley machines. I did some tricep stuff and bicep stuff and I think this was all with 40lb weights. And I did crunches with leg extensions while sitting on a weight bench and I did some dips. One quick note about the dips…so much easier now. When he first had me do them I hated them and they hurt my wrists and arms and I was shaky. Now? I can do it. And I can already see how being able to do dips is useful in some real life situations while hiking. Like when I need to sit on my ass and pull myself up some rock due to fear. Yay!

He then indicated he was going to put together some water aerobics and stretching things for me to do every day at home because I have to stop hindering my progress by having sore, stiff, tired muscles.

On Thursday he had that all put together and he gave me the nicest stern talking to I’ve ever received. I have to do these things every day and I have to document them and I have to be serious so we can continue to see more progress at the gym during our sessions together because that’s what his job is and I enjoy seeing the progress. We don’t want to waste our time. So, I will start doing all of this. Because I have to.

So, we used Thursday to show me how to do all of these shoulder stretching exercises that hurt. I could feel my shoulders actually getting warm! And that is the point, I guess. And I also did three sets of 10 TRX rows for good measure. But the shoulder stretching exercises were the theme. As was ouch.

And now we are all caught up. Aren’t we just so pleased.