Friday, February 12, 2016

How We Met

Six months ago today (August 12, 2015), I walked into 12 Kings Pub with the intent of effortlessly pulling off the premier of my open mic night. Little did I know that my life was about to change in a very significant way.

I chatted a bit with the owner, Armin, and he showed me the lay of the land -- where the sound board was, where I had to switch cables to connect the sound board and output with the system in the Pub, etc. I got to work, and started plugging things in, and flipping switches, etc. and I couldn’t get my guitar to work. I called Armin over and asked if he could help me get it working, and he couldn’t. So I told him not to worry, I had a few friends who might be able to help.

I called one friend - no answer. I called another friend - no answer. My panic was setting in and my hopes and dreams of pulling off an effortless premier were fading fast. I was so determined to make sure this night went off without a hitch that I called someone I hadn’t ever met in real life yet.

I went out to a quieter spot in the Pub, and I dialed. And it rang. And I waited. And then I heard a confident yet tentative “Hello?” He answered! My first hurtle had been overcome.

I may have stuttered and laughed (I laugh when I’m nervous) as I fumbled over my words to explain who I was (he knew very well who I was), and I asked him what he was up to, and he said he was just finishing work. So I explained a little further that I was having some trouble getting my sound board to work at the open mic I had mentioned to him earlier, and he asked me to talk him through what I was doing. So I ran back to the sound board and tried to explain what I saw, which made no sense to him. So he said “I’ll be there in 15 minutes. Is that ok?” Of course it was ok! I answered an emphatic yes and thanked him a few times over in a way that reminds me of DJ Tanner saying “Thank you thank you thank you!” every time she got her way. He said he couldn’t stay long, just enough time to help me out, but then he had to be on his way.

Fifteen minutes later, in walks this handsome man with a confident strut that had my attention from the moment I saw it. Of course I recognized him from the photos he had sent me. I composed myself; I threw a quick smile to my friends Maggie and Mia, who were there to support me on my premier night, and walked over to him. I probably stuttered and laughed some more, and showed him where the sound board was. Armin joined us after a minute or so, and within seconds, he had it working again. They left me to continue setting up and get on with the show.

Chaz (that is the name of the mystery man) went over to the bar, ordered a beer, and sat far enough from the stage so that he could slip out when he had to get going, but close enough that I could still see him.

I started off my first set, and if I recall correctly, I started with an original that was Maggie’s favourite. I kept singing, and Chaz was still there. I’m sure it had been way past the “enough time to help me out” mark, but there he still was. Once I settled the next singer on stage (Greg Pun, another very good friend of mine and the other half of The Princess + The P), I went over and chatted. Since it didn’t appear he was leaving any time soon, I invited him to sit with my friends over near the stage. So there we sat, Chaz chatting with Doug, me chatting with Nona, and then Greg and I taking turns at sets and duets on stage.

At the end of the night, when I wrapped everything up, Chaz was still there. So just the two of us sat and talked for another hour or so until we saw it was after midnight and that we both had to work the next day. We went outside where I hailed a cab, and we parted ways.

Six months ago today (August 12, 2015), I met Chaz Barker. He is the most patient, smart, caring, kind, loving and supportive person I have ever met and I count myself to be so very lucky to have found him. He makes me laugh every day, and I feel like I can be my true self around him. He has changed my life in so many ways, and I am very much in love with him.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review (or Elizabeth's Top 5 2014 Countdown!)

Ah, came, you saw, but you didn't conquer this girl! I am going to keep this post as brief as possible and simply list my 5 biggest lessons from 2014:

5.  I can be fearless, when I want to be.

I tried surfing for the first time. Surfing! Me!! And I did not achieve even one pop-up in the water. But am I going to do it again?! Hell yeah! I will see you in Tofino in the (late) Spring!

4. I am happiest when I exercise regularly. 

Exercise is my biggest form of stress relief, so it still baffles me as to why I cannot get motivated enough to get to the gym regularly. Not only exercise, but self-care as a whole. When I make sure I sleep properly (i.e. not posting blogs at universe-knows-what-time, or staying up late to watch one more episode of whatever I'm currently binge-watching), when I eat whole, nutritious, non-processed foods more than processed, when I take time out for myself, and when I partake in activities that I wholly enjoy, I am my happiest me.

3. I am a feminist.

This used to feel like the F-word to me. I avoided talking about it because it would evoke such reactions from people that really surprised me. There is a lot of stereotype that comes along with the word feminist, or feminism, but plain and simple (at least the way I see it), I am a feminist. According to Merriam-Webster online, feminism is defined as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. A feminist is a person who holds that belief. Well...that's me.

2. I'm not picky, I just refuse to settle.

I actually have to give my family and friends a whole lot of credit when it comes to the subject of love and relationships. I have seen and heard of friends getting pestered about giving their parents grandchildren, and being asked a zillion times about whether they are seeing anyone - my friends and family don't do that.

But on the subject of being single for those who are curious - I'm ok with it. It doesn't make me picky to want the things I want. I would rather be single than to be unhappy in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship.

1. Letting go creates a whole lot of space.

Think of it this way: when you go through your closet and get rid of all the clothes that don't fit or you don't wear, etc., there is so much space to put new things that fit you better for who you are now.

When you let go of all the people, places, things, attitudes, energies and emotions that no longer serve a purpose (and believe me, at one point or another, they all truly had a purpose in your life), you make a heck of a lot of room for the right things to enter your life. Letting go leads to opportunities, and helps you clear out a lot of physical, mental and emotional clutter. 

In the beautiful words of Alfred Tennyson: 

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering 'it will be happier'...” 

Happy New Year, all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Experiences and Challenges - Why?

I was scrolling through some of the old blog posts I have (and I have more than I remember writing), and I noticed a bit of a trend. I like challenging myself.

I've always been like that. I've always wanted to be a step farther than I actually had the skill level for. Kind of like a "fake it 'til you make it" attitude. Eventually my body, mind, spirit or whatever would catch up. 

I thought about it a bit deeper - I like challenging myself and putting myself in other people's shoes so that I can feel more empathy. Nothing bothers me more than feeling like I'm not being understood. So the more things I experience, the more I can understand others, and open myself up to them.

My most recent challenge was to fast for one day. A friend of mine was fasting for Ramadan, and I asked about it, and why he did it. Part of his reasoning was spiritual in a sense, but mostly it seemed like it was about self-discipline and control. He asked if I wanted to try it with him, and I agreed, as long as it was a weekend. I also warned him that I can get cranky and a bit snappy when I'm dehydrated, and he seemed fine with this.

The night before the day I had chosen to fast, I made myself a regular dinner (chicken on a salad with lots of veggies), and drank a ton of water. I had this plan in my head that I would wake up before the sun came up so I could eat a quick meal and drink some water and a coffee. Then I would meditate or do yoga, and start my day.

Yeah...that didn't happen. I slept right through that alarm that was supposed to wake me up before sunrise. When I finally did wake up, it was already 6 a.m., the sun had been up for half an hour, and I was S.O.L. So I just turned my alarm back on for a later time, and went back to sleep. I got up at about 9 a.m. (because my body is weird and doesn't let me sleep too late - its been that way for the last couple years...friggin' aging), brushed my teeth, and decided to pass the time just chilling. 

This went well. Very well. If you do nothing, you don't feel hungry at all. Laziness for the win!

Then I got an email that caused me to kick it into overdrive a bit. My rent cheque had been stolen out of my landlord's car, and I had to put a stop payment on it and alert the other tenant in my building of this issue. So I got up, showered and got going.

First I called the bank to ask them about putting a stop payment on the cheque. They said it was actually easy enough for me to do on the mobile app, and cost half the price. And they walked me through it. The person I spoke with was a tad paranoid though, and said something that made me have to go running to the nearest branch that was open. By this time it was quarter to 2, and the nearest branch closed at 3. So I threw my face on and made a beeline to my bank. 

As a quick aside - For not eating or drinking any fluids, I felt I was sweating an awful lot. I was quite surprised. How can the body come up with all the fluids when they aren't being supplied or replenished?!

So I show up at the bank, sweat stains and all, and the teller tells me I have absolutely nothing to worry about and that I don't need to do anything further, and that the stop payment is all I need to do, so I'm good to go. Phew. 

I get home and my friend who I am fasting with picks me up, and we go to Caribbean Days in North Vancouver. It was so awesome!! It was difficult when we first arrived because we walked through the gate right into the food section. Everything smelt AMAZING. Quickly, we made our way out of the food section and into the part with the live entertainment. We danced, we chilled, we relaxed, danced some more, and just had a great time taking in the great bands that played while we were there. 

Then the entertainment ended at 7. Two hours before sunset!! Boo-urns!! We still had two hours to distract ourselves from eating or drinking. So what did we do? We made a plan about what we were going to do to break fast. Seriously, what is a better distraction from food, but to talk about it? ;0)

So over the course of the two hours, we chilled, talked, grabbed dinner, drove to a park and, when it was time (actually 5 minutes AFTER it was time) had a nice, quiet and peaceful breaking of our fast. Then we went for a walk and called it a night.

I can see how this would be very challenging to do for a whole month, especially during the summer months when the days are a lot longer, and a lot hotter. I didn't find the not eating part very challenging (thankfully no migraines that day). In my line of work, we sometimes forget to eat because we need to churn out that next project and move directly on to the next one (aaah, deadlines). But even during days like that, I have coffee (just one or two, daily) and water to sustain me. I found it extremely difficult to go without water for the whole day. Even when we were discussing what we would eat to break fast, I said many times "I don't care. I just want to drink water. LOTS. OF. WATER."

I would challenge myself to do this again. Maybe even the whole month, one day. But I think I would start with a weekend first, and then 5 days, and then a week. Gradually. Everything in moderation. And I like the idea of doing this every season, not just during one month of the lunar calendar.

Now on to my next challenge...if only I knew what that was. It'll come to me. They always do...

Onwards and upwards!! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's my bloggy and I'll blog if I want to!!

This one has been brewing a bit. I've pressed pause on this post a few times because I wanted to make sure I was writing it for the right reasons.

I came under some fire recently about the last blog post that I published. And truth be told, mentioning this will probably get me in trouble again. But this is my blog. 

I will write about my experiences. If you are a friend or family member then you understand and know that sometimes you might be involved in my life experiences in someway. I recently read an article on Facebook about what it means to be a musician. One of the quirks they assigned to us was that you sometimes have to face the fact that you might end up in a song (SO TRUE!!). We don't do it to hurt other people. Quite the opposite actually, at least for me. 

I write (music, blog posts, poetry, etc.) because I am trying to use the tools I have in my tool box to help myself heal, even the smallest of wounds. Writing for me is a way of expressing my feelings and thoughts. I'm not here to offend anyone. And if I do offend you, too bad. This is my blog. These are my thoughts and feelings. These are my experiences. If you get offended by the fairly innocuous and vague things I write about, then those are your feelings to deal with, and I hope you do deal with them. Those aren't my feelings.

You should know that I will not change (unless I truly feel the need to), and I really hope that you don't expect me to. I am ME. As with any of my friends, I don't expect you to change either. All I expect is mutual respect. I wrote about an experience. That experience (in a very small way, because I wrote about many general annoyances that were not directed towards anyone) involved you. And I wrote about it to get over it. I didn't say anything untrue.

Short, sweet and to the point. I'm officially over it. 

And here is a quick update further to the ACTUAL POINT of my last published blog post - I'm down 20 lbs. How did I do this? Well, I'm regularly active and I eat well. I also feel as if that was emotional weight I was carrying around. I'm doing exactly what is right for me. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Current Struggle and My Next Challenge

I feel as though I have always been "larger". Standing at nearly 5'11", I am the shortest (yeah, the SHORTEST) person in my immediate family. But that isn't the kind of larger I'm talking about. And hell, I love my height. I'm a glamazon, yo!

At the beginning of 2012, I looked down at the scale I was standing on, and was absolutely shocked at the weight I had let myself get to. It was the heaviest weight (known to me) that I had ever been. A switch flipped in my head, and I told myself I would never be that weight again. So far I have succeeded with that goal, but I'm still not happy. 

Over the course of the first 6-7 months of 2012, I lost 30 lbs. Then I just stopped being as motivated. Maybe it was partly personal issues, laziness...I don't know. I felt like life got in the way and I was just less motivated to do anything about anything. Over time I slowly gained back 10 of the 30 lbs I lost. No, that isn't that bad, when you look at the big picture, but it wasn't making me happy to be regressing.

Over the last few months, I've started and stopped going to the gym "regularly" numerous times. There was that week I didn't go because I was sick. Fair enough. Then there was that week that I wasn't sleeping properly. Okay, I can see how one might have low energy. Then there was that week where my body was just not having it because of "girl" reasons. Excuse after excuse, rationale after rationale, it seemed like so many things were getting in my way.

So I looked at it honestly, trying to figure out just what was keeping me away from the gym, and I'm still a bit stuck. This is where having a blog and friends who read it can help.

Issue No. 1

I WANT TO BE A MORNING PERSON!!! I wish I was, really I do. The other issues I will list below would be NULL AND VOID if only I could be a morning person. Then I could wake up every day at 5:30 am, go to the gym, have an awesome workout, go home, shower, and have an awesome day. I've done it before, and it is awesome. I love it! But doing it regularly and continuously just ain't happening. All I want to do is stay in bed until I absolutely have to get up. I have tried twice already this week to get up in the morning to get in my workout before work, and have failed twice. It is actually my preference to workout in the morning because that is when the gym is practically empty, and the members that ARE there have complete respect for one another. Such a different story when I go to the gym in the evening. Is there some sort of gym code I'm missing with respect to what sort of people attend later in the day?

Issue No. 2

I love music. And I cannot let myself put up any boundaries with respect to creating, writing, inventing, singing, thinking, living and breathing music. I actually do "research" when I'm at the gym. I'm currently learning about electronic music, specifically trance, which is my go to music to crank when I'm working out. So I listen to my favourite tracks, new ones, etc. and listen for the transitions, ideas, structure, everything. But when I get home from the gym in the evening, I'm tired, and I don't feel like sitting in front of my computer. And when I do feel like it, I get home late enough that "just 15 minutes" of reviewing something will turn into a couple hours or longer, and then I'm in bed too late to function properly at my job the next day. So now you can see how being a morning person would make this issue null and void. If I got my workout done in the morning, I'd be free right after work to create. And if I scheduled it properly, I'd be in bed in time for my morning workout the next day. And as an aside, you should hear what I'm is kick ass!! I can't wait to get it on SoundCloud for your listening pleasure!

Issue No. 3

The people at my gym really irk me. And its not just the gym I go to, its what I have encountered no matter where I have gone. Not the people in the morning (are you seeing the trend yet?), but the people I encounter on a regular basis in the evening. The ones who stare when they see me climbing the stairs up to the workout level. The ones who sit RIGHT in front of where I am working out, invading my personal workout space, and gossip loudly with their friends (because there are usually 2-3 of these, and its not just women - guys do it too) while they pretend to stretch and give me dirty looks as if I'm in THEIR way. The ones who are taking up precious workout space with their half-assed version of a workout while they constantly check their Facebook and text in-between reps. No, not SETS, REPS. As in 1, 2, 3, text, check Facebook, 4, 5, text, 6...text...text...text...check Facebook...realize they are in the middle of a set and quickly squeeze out a few more. Frack!!! So if I were a morning person, I wouldn't encounter these people. Most of the time I can shut them out pretty well, but on those days where I'm a little more sensitive than usual, their stares/comments/annoyances can get right in my head and distract me from my workout.

Issue No. 4

I love working out by myself. Unless it is a yoga class (and even then I love pulling out my Yoga Studio app on my iPad and just doing yoga by myself at home), I don't like going to the gym with friends. I don't want to chat when I workout. I want to get my sweat on, and work harder than I did the day before, which means I won't have the ability to speak with you. And I don't want to go for dinner or drinks afterwards because I'm as red as a beet, and want to just go home and eat my salad, please and thank you. The gym and working out are not social things for me. Its business. This may not seem like such a big deal, but I have a few friends who suggest we go to the gym together to work out. Then when we get there, they don't seem as into working out as they did before, or they are embarrassed to be seen with me, or they don't think I'm working hard enough so they reach over and turn the machine I am currently on up 5 levels, or... who knows. I don't do buddy systems at the gym. And yes, I can say no. I've said no many times before. Except you say no enough times, people stop asking all together and disappear. I know, we all have our own stuff going on, but don't get insulted just because I don't want to go to the gym with you. If you get insulted, it makes me feel bad. If I feel bad, I will emotionally eat. If I emotionally eat, I will feel bad. And emotionally eat. I love my friends. And I want to hang out with you. Just not at the gym.

Issue No. 5

I don't do lunch time workouts (unless its yoga). I only get 1 hour for lunch, and that is not enough time for a workout (the way I workout, which is about 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes) and a shower. I don't want to be sitting at my desk red as a beet and sweaty in my work clothes. Nope. Not gonna happen. And my job isn't as predictable as you'd think it is. Its funny how I can start each day with a list of what I want to accomplish, and then things just happen, and half my list gets pushed to the next day. But that is litigation, and its partly why I love it. So no, I will not be working out at lunch unless it is yoga.

The bottom line is this - I know exactly what I need to do to make my workouts at the gym more successful, but I am finding it very difficult to get there. I need help. Anyone who is reading this who has any suggestions on how I can be better at being a morning person and getting morning workouts into my schedule, please suggest away. I'm only looking at 3 days a week right now, just to get some sort of a routine going. I'll worry about making it 6 days a week later, once I've got 3 days a week under my skin and into my heart.

My Next Challenge

My unhappiness with where my body is at isn't just because of how often I exercise. My diet needs to change as well. For the most part, I eat fairly well. It is my emotional eating that causes me to fail to the point of sending myself into a downward spiral. Often.

So here is my challenge for May:

1.  I am not going to let my binge foods into the house. There are already none of them in here at the moment, and we are 20 minutes away from May 1st, y'all!

2.  During those moments where I feel the need to run down to the shop around the corner to pick up SOMETHING, I will stop, breathe, and figure out what is really going on. Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Or am I feeling something and trying to bury it in fat and food instead of properly deal with it?

3.  I am going to write these feelings down. Writing is very cathartic, and can often serve in me helping myself. And if I can't help myself, I have it written down for the next time I reach out to a professional to help me.

4.  If I am out with friends, I will make the healthiest choice possible when it comes to the food I order (if at all, hopefully I'll eat at home beforehand), so that the "junk food seal" isn't broken.

I'm already feeling great about May. Lets see if I can start to get to the root of some of the issues that keep cropping up over and over again. 

Onwards and upwards!


Saturday, February 22, 2014


In December of last year, I watched the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" on Netflix. I loved it! The fact that Joe Cross decided to take his health completely into his own hands was ... well amazing, to say the least. And ballsy. He juiced for 60 days straight. At the time, it got me into one of those "I can totally do that!" moods. So I went out and bought a juicer. I got a Breville, and it was on sale, so why the heck not. And then it sat in the corner of my apartment for about 3 months before I decided to finally use it. I had other concerns and other projects on the go, so I was perfectly content waiting until I could really concentrate on juicing, and do it properly. 

So yesterday, February 21, 2014, I started a juice cleanse. The night before, I shopped for all the groceries I would need for the first couple days, knowing that my next chance to do some grocery shopping would be sometime today. On Friday morning, I got up early, showered, made myself a hot water (instead of a coffee), put on my make up, made myself another hot water, and got to juicing. I had to work that day, so I only made my breakfast juice, and made sure I brought my coconut water with me for my mid-morning snack. I had the "Sunrise", which consists of 4 carrots, 2 oranges and 1 beet. It was awesome! I loved it. And I didn't chug it, I drank it over probably 1-2 hours while working (and watching Canada beat the US in Olympic hockey). Then around 11 am, I had my coconut water for my mid-morning snack. By noon, I was starving. I kept trying to work through it, and get myself to 1 pm, but at 12:45 I said f*** this, I'm going home for lunch NOW.

When I got home, I got to juicing. I was starving. The juice couldn't come fast enough. For lunch I had "Green Lemonade", which is made of kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, green apple and lemon. It was delicious! While I sipped on my lunch, I made the juice for my afternoon snack, which was "Watermelon Crush". In it, I put watermelon, lime and basil. Did you know that it is difficult to peel a lemon, and extremely difficult to peel a lime? Especially when you're starving, and you just want to get the juice in your mouth NOW! 

Off I went back to work with my two bottles of juice in tow. I basically had them one after the other, because I didn't chug my lunch. I drank it over about an hour, and then it was time for my snack. I sipped that too. 

Then I had an appointment after work, and came home to make dinner. Dinner was "Joe's Mean Green" (pictured below), which is a lot like the Green Lemonade, except it contains less lemon and more ginger. The flavour of this one wasn't as great as the juices I had earlier in the day. After dinner, which I really had to choke down, I made my dessert juice, omitting the kale. I was kaled-out. I had had 3 drinks with kale it in already, I couldn't handle another. So instead of kale, I just doubled the watermelon. It was decent...not great. At the same time I had my dessert juice, I also drank an herbal tea, which is what was supposed to be saved for bed time. But I was nearly done for the day.

After I choked down what I could of the dessert juice, I couldn't help myself and had 1 small piece of dark chocolate. I know, not on the cleanse menu, but it was 1 square. Then I finished my herbal tea and headed to bed. It wasn't even 10:30 pm, but I was done. 

At about 6:30 am, I was awoken by what felt like someone throwing a pillow at me. Obviously, no one did, it just felt like it - you know, your body just wakes you up all at once. I was miserable. I had a migraine, so I got up and drank a glass of water, hoping it would curb it. No. Fifteen minutes later it was worse, so I got up, ate a breakfast bar, and took an Advil (because you can't take those on an empty stomach - its useless and definitely not good for you). Then I made myself my "homemade hangover cure" (its really just homemade electrolyte juice - a couple shakes of salt, 1/3 of the glass of your favourite juice (mine is cranberry) and fill the rest up with water), took a few sips and went back to bed to rid myself of the migraine. And it worked! Yeah, I was dehydrated. I wonder. I was drinking juice and water all day the day before, and visiting the little girls room frequently, so I was dehydrated. After a nice couple more hours in bed, I got up and decided no more juicing. At least no more meal-replacement juicing.

I love the fact that I can get a day's worth of vegetable and fruit servings in 1-2 juices (2 if you want to be really well rounded and get every colour of the rainbow), so I won't stop juicing all together.  But I'll just add it to an already fairly healthy meal plan. And I found a brand of coconut water that I can stomach. I love having coconut water after a workout, while I make breakfast or dinner.

I am a bit disappointed that I didn't at LEAST go three days, but I am not going to harm myself for something. And as we all know, things are best in moderation. However, I give kudos to those I know (and those I don't) who are able to stick with it for more than 1 day. As long as it works for you, do it.

Onwards and upwards!

Monday, February 10, 2014


Throughout my years of doing yoga on and off, I have asked myself countless times if I am either a) too fat to do yoga and/or b) too tall/long to do yoga. I'm not being self-deprecating at all; I'm completely serious. When I do a forward fold (seated or standing), my stomach feels like it is in the way, and I can't stretch as far as my body feels like it could go. And when I'm in runners lunge, it is hella awkward to keep my hands on the ground in front of me while moving my forward leg back to plank because my knee is already above my elbow and just below my chin. These are actual concerns!

I recently re-started doing yoga in the comfort of my own home (because this princess would rather stay warm at home than brave the "cold" for the 3 minute walk to the gym) with a great app that I got for free from Starbucks. It is called Yoga Studio, and it has 15 minute, 30 minute and 60 minute classes for download. There are 3 levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) and each level has 5 categories: Relaxation, Flexibility, Strength, Balance and Combination. 

I started by trying a 15 minute Beginner Relaxation class before bed one Sunday evening and I felt so relaxed afterwards. The next night, I tried a 30 minute Beginner Combination. This was a bit more the pace I was looking for to feel like I've had a lazy workout. The next morning I tried a 60 minute Beginner Combination class, and I had found something that was beginner enough so I wouldn't feel intimidated by most of the poses and challenging enough to let me really focus on areas that I wanted to improve on. 

So far, I've done this class 4 times. After the 3rd time I was feeling pretty confident, so I downloaded a 30 minute Intermediate Combination Class. I completed it, but just barely. So I did the 60 minute Beginner Combination Class again and saw a huge difference from the first time I tried it. I was making some progress!

And all because of a little discipline and repetition. Unfathomable... ;0) My stomach isn't going to disappear overnight, so my forward folds still feel chunky; however I've smoothly transitioned from runners lunge to plank without feeling like I'm going to knock myself over with a knee to the elbow or chin.

Here is me doing beginner King of Dancer (Natarajasana I).

As my boss likes to say, onwards and upwards!