Sunday, December 28, 2008

More info on Tracy's Saturday Swing Classes @ Girya Palo Alto

Here are 3 videos of the class I taught at our "Team Rif" workshop in Healdsburg, CA in Sept. the first one is the start of class, I'm using the 12kg & the 16kg. The secind video demonstrates a progressive number of reps as we are buliding up to midway through. The last video shows a swing and snatch ladder in the last 10 minutes of a workout that lasted over 45 minutes...notice a few of the sudents missing....they had enough after the first half hour, lol!

The difference between the Master and Beginning classes, besides a 15 minute longer workout is that the Master class will be "longer work to rest ratio" of swinging, and may include snatches. The Master class is scalable, but it is my actual workout, so you'll be my "training partner"! The Beginning swing class will almost always be an "equal work to equal rest ratio", it is also scalable to your abilities.

Learn to Swing class is for new students that have never swung a Russian kettlebell, or if you feel you need more practice and/or instruction before attending the beginner class. I recommend 4 weeks of learning the swing and it will be instructed as follows,

week 1, 2 hand swing and variations of the 2 hand swing
week 2, 1 hand swings
week 3, transfers
week 4, roundabouts, and practice, practice, practice!

I am offering 4 classes for the price of three, but they all have to be in the same month period of time, for the simple reason that I believe in consistency. I'm most interested in people getting results, and to do that you have to train regulary.....I haven't missed a workout in almost 3 years, and I expect the same from anyone interested in training with me! Come 5-10 minutes early to stretch and warm up on your own, or park a few blocks away and use walking as a warm up, but be ready to start swinging, on time!

Girya is a small studio and can only accomodate 5-8 students, so I encourage you to reserve your space via email or phone,, (408)421-8293.

I hope these classes can work into your schedule because, I promise, you'll truly be inspired to take your training to a whole new level!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kettlebell Swing Classes at Girya in Palo Alto

More information coming soon at our website :

Saturdays starting January 3, 2009
11:15 -12 noon Master Swing Class
12- 12:30 pm Learn to Swing Class
12:30- 1 pm Beginning Swing Class

All classes are $25 drop in fee or get
4 classes for $75 ( used within one month)
All classes taught by Tracy Reifkind, RKC
Private lessons also available.

See ya there!

Christmas....just another day, or is it Christmas everyday?

The actual day of December 25th, Christmas day, hasn't been anything but just another day around my house for years. We are not a religious family, and with our boys grown, neither one of them asked for anything special, and if Christmas falls an a training day, then it's no different than any other day, really. Is that bad....or sad....or what? I've never felt bad or sad about it, because I have everything I want. I mean if I really thought about it, my life is like Christmas everyday!

If it's true that Christmas is about giving, what does that mean? Don't we all "give" everyday? What is a gift? We all give our friends and family, even strangers, gifts everyday, even if it's just a smile or kind word. I know when even the smallest of things go wrong we are quickly reminded the greatest of gifts are the simple things we take for granted. Life is a gift, our bodies are gifts, and we chose how to use them, and choice is the biggest gift. We chose how we treat others, and how we treat ourselves. I'm not going to deny that we may feel something special about someone taking the time to wrap up a pretty package, hiding a surprise meant just for you (or visa versa, you taking the time and effort), and isn't that what's really special, someone taking their precious time to do something for someone else?

So, December 25th is gone, how will that change what you give, or take for granted the next 364 days? Is everyday just "another day"? Or will you, can you, give and feel that Christmas spirit everyday?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Best, Easiest, Fastest, Smokey, Spicy Multi-Bean Soup with Ham...and other recipe ideas.....oh, and more reasons to buy and use a pressure cooker!

Whoops, you don't have a pressure cooker, or know how to use the one you have? Well, you better learn quick.....or take the word "fastest" out of the recipe title, lol! I am forever indebted to Fawn Friday for introducing me to the pressure cooker, but also reminding me of the convenience and versitility of the flavor punch you can get from canned chipotle chilis!

The Best, Fastest, Smokey, Spicy Multi-Bean Soup with Ham

onion & celery, diced (jalapeno is always optional in my house, lol)
garlic (of course)
1-2 canned chipotle chilis
1 can diced tomatoes (sm or lg, depending on how many beans and grains you use)
1/4 c. tomato paste (or more)

multi bean soup mixture, soaked overnight, or quick soak method (or your own mix of at least 4-8 different beans, lentils, split pea and barley (never use more than 1/4-1/2 c. barley!)
1 lg smoked ham shank, or 3-4 sm smoked ham hocks

In your pressure cooker, saute onion and celery in oil, about 5 min., adding garlic during the last minute. Stir in chipotle chili, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste (deglaze the bottom of the pot with the liquid in the canned tomatoes), add bean mixture and smoked ham shank with enough water to cover. Lock lid in place, bring to high pressure, cook 20 minutes, let pressure come down naturally. Fish out the ham shank and shred meat before returning to pot. (whoops....also, fish out the chipotles...their job is done, and you don't want to bite into one of those bad boys!)

You can make this same exact soup in a large soup pot, bring all ingredients to a boil, turn heat down to simmer, cover slightly and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

The difference between a ham shank and a ham hock......a shank is the portion cut from higher on the leg and has more meat, the hock is mostly bone and cartilage (gristle) with very little meat.

Personally, I made a smokey stock with the shank on it's own, removed and shredded the meat, and then strained it before making the stock into soup with the addition of a turkey thigh while it was cooking, adding the ham meat back in at the end. The first time I threw this together I was "pantry diving" and found this "17 Bean and Barley" mixture from Trader Joe's....I usually don't buy these types of mixtures because they cost about $1.69-$1.99 per lb, and single beans are $.99 a pound, so I mix my own from leftover dry bulk beans I buy. the other thing I don't like about these premixed packages is that you cannot seperate the grains and legumes from the beans for a proper soak (lentils and peas don't need to soak, although I do like my barley both ways, pre-soaked or not), but what the hell, use what you have or what's convenient for you.

Wild Rice

Last week I purposely roasted a turkey to make soup! And one of the flavors that goes well with turkey is wild rice. I like a mixture of wild rice, red rice and brown rice, not only for a milder flavor, but I like the way it looks too! I make the mixture in the PC and use it in salads as well, sometimes adding dried cranberries.

Leftover Salad

Here's a salad I made for lunch with some of the leftover roasted turkey breast.

dried cranberries
mayo/yogurt dressing

I could of added a splash of cider vinegar and a pinch of sugar, but I wasn't in the mood.

Here's a book I highly reccommend, not only for the recipes, although there are many good ones, but for the information on how to use a pressure cooker. The author, Lorna Sass, is this country leading authority on pressure cooking. It may be too lae for Xmas, but make it Christmas in your kitchen everyday of the year by getting in the habit of making homemade meals fast and easy...treat yourself, it's less than the cost of a large pizza, lol! (And, Leslie....she has a vegetarian pressure cooker cookbook too!)
And buy your pressure cooker (s) from the Veggie Queen, Jill Nussinow's website!

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Don't think for one minute that I'm not cooking much these days! OK, it's not a much as I used to, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't use my pressure cooker (at least once!). Knowing how to use a pressure cooker has opened up a whole new world of food because there is hardly anything I can't make in it in a short period of time. Knowing how to use a pressure cooker, fast and effeciently takes practice, but it's the perfect kitchen tool if you want to make good, homemade foods quickly and many times with limited amount of ingredients in your fridge or pantry, and the best recipes are the ones with simple and few ingredients!

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Dice onion, celery (optional), jalapenos, or any green chili pepper mix
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1-2 tbl. cumin
1-2 tbl. oregano
1-2 small cans green salsa (secret ingredient)
1-2 cups white beans soaked overnight, or quick soaked (see note*)
water or veg stock (water, if you are adding meat with a bone)
bone-in chicken thighs or turkey, skin removed, for a non-vegetarian version

Saute onion, celery peppers in oil, add garlic at the last minute along with spices. Add salsa, beans and water (or stock) to cover. (Add chicken or turkey if using at this point also). Cover, lock lid, bring to high pressure, cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, taste for S&P.

I wanted to keep this chili white, so no red ingredients could added, and that meant no chili powder for heat (although you could probably use 1/2 t. cayenne), so searching through my pantry I found this can of salsa verde I bought at the Mexican Market near my home, but you can also find it in the ethnic food section of most markets, the ingredient list is, tomatillos, serrano chilis (hot!),salt and cilantro, all appropriate for this application, so I just dumped it in.....perfect! Now I stock these little cans of green salsa for just this reason!

And as I mentioned in earlier blog posts if you are using bone-in meats, then you don't need to use stock, or broth, it will automatically be made as it's pressure cooking. But if you are cooking vegetarian, all recipes would benefit from using veg stock....which is a snap to make in the PC!

*Quick soaking beans

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add dry beans, turn off the heat and cover tightly for at least 1 hour, strain from soaking liquid and continue. This method can be used in lieu of an overnight soak.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why can't I simply go to the grocery store?

I recently have been going through a period of not being able to go to the grocery store without being "triggered" by the overabundance of, what I would consider, junky foods. I mean, I like junky foods as much as anybody else, or should I say, I like the idea of junky foods.....candy, chips, crackers/cookies, etc....I don't really like them more than I like my own homemade foods, or I would chose them more often than I do, I guess what I think I like about junk foods is the "instant gratification". I love instant gratification, but as I mature, I know that the instant "feel good high" that I get from these foods does not last for long, most times it's over within minutes, and the long lasting effects can leave me, at the very least, regretful (but more aware), and at the most, demotivated, disgusted and devastated. Wow, three D's.....demotivated, disgusted, and devastated....that's big.

But let me touch on the point of "maturing" real quick.... We all know how our adult behaviors are rooted in our childhood experiences, and it's becoming clear to me, or more clear to me that I am, in fact, a big girl, and I have to see things in the logical, rather than emotional. OK, back to the grocery store thing.....

The good thing about not feeling as if I can handle the deluge of junk foods at the the grocery store is that I have become much more aware of what I really need, in terms of which foods I need to stock in my pantry and fridge, and it's not much. I can probably live the next few weeks if not a month without going to the grocery store, and my pantry only consists of, about, three shelves! (fresh veggies would be the acception, of course, but I could live, and eat them minimally if I had to) I have too much food, and I've been saying that for quite a while now. We have too much food. Our bodies don't need that much food. We have too much choice. Our bodies don't need all of this choice. We have too much food and we have too much choice being thrown at us....thrown at us! And instead of falling victim, I'm getting mad!

If you are a person that thinks you are even a few pounds overweight, you are no different than anyone with 100 pounds (or more) of extra bodyweight. How do you think you got that way? You got that way by eating more calories than your body pound or 100 pounds is simply a matter of calories in, calories out. If you are one of the very few people that has been able to keep a healthy, consistent, bodyweight, then you are lucky, or you work like hell to keep it that way! (The "luck" part is mostly genetic, and/or your "issues" are something other than eating, and you don't use food to deal with them)

Working like hell is what we have to do to stay away from and navigate through this sabotage of the food industry in this country. As I often say...if you don't think, for one minute, that the food industry in this country is mostly concerned with making a profit, over making you a healthier person, then you are wrong! The food industry is in the business of making money, and to do that, it has to sell more, and more, and more food to you.....more food than our bodies need. And the more addictive ingredients they put in their foods.....sugars, corn syrup, fake fats, salt, etc.....and the cheaper and more convenient they make these foods, the more you want, and the more you buy....even if you don't need it (and you don't need it!).

But my some of my resentment comes from feeling as if life is unfair....and that is what is rooted in my emotional childhood experience. Why can't I have what other people have? What I really mean is......why couldn't I have everything my sisters had, why did they get more? (In their defense, they didn't really.....but that's what I thought as a child) It's not fair that eveyone else gets all this "stuff" and I don't.....why can't I eat all the crap that other people eat? Why can't I just buy and eat all this crap, unconscious, or in denial of what it does to my body and my health? Oh yes, I did that, lol, and what did it get me? A bodyweight of 250lbs.... And 200+ lbs is not that uncommon these days.

When I start throwing the pity party of, "It's so unfair, I should be able to eat whatever I want, like other people", Mark is quick to remind me to look around at "other people". This country is getting fatter and fatter kidding, no joke, everyday. And even grocery stores like Whole Foods have isles and isles of quick, high calorie foods tempting us to forget what our bodies really need, and counting on us to feed our emotional hungers instead.

So when am I going to be able to simply go to the grocery store without being "triggered" to want to buy, and eat everything in sight? I don't know, and I can't worry about that, but until that time comes, I'll shop when I'm not hungry, and shop only when I truly need to.....we all do the best we can....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Granola Recipe

Now, I'm not going to pretend that I am not tempted to eat entire packages of my favorite types of cookies, but if I could never eat another cookie, the next best thing would be granola. Granola....sounds so healthy doesn't it? Well don't be fooled, it can be higher in calories than you think with the addition of high calorie dense ingredients like nuts, seeds and dried fruits, so I am careful to try my best to practice portion control.

You can find my favorite granola recipe on my current favorite food blog This is why I love, love, love this recipe..... Most granola, and especially granola bar recipes have a tons of sugar, usually brown sugar, and never introduce a "savory" flavor element, and if you haven't heard lately, the trend in sweet treats is "savory" (for instance, salt on chocolate.....I always add a pinch of salt to things like yogurt and even ice cream, because I love the sweet/salty stuff!) This recipe for "Seeded Granola" has coriander and fennel, both savory spices, and it also uses barley malt as part of the sweetening mixture which also imparts a more savory flavor, (barley malt is about 1/2 as sweet as sugar).

I decided to make a few adjustments in the recipe and scoop it out as "granola cookies". This makes it a little easier to control my portions as well as making it more portable for a quick snack on the road or inbetween yoga classes, when I don't have the option of a hot bowl of oatmeal. First, I doubled the spices because I love the spiciness, and then for the cookies I added a handful of raisins (chopped), an extra egg and doubled the barley malt.....that's just what I did, you can do whatever you with it! I used a small scoop to form "cookies" and after the final toast in the oven I let them cool, and then dipped the bottoms in melted bittersweet chocolate.

PS Like I mentioned, be careful with your portions, granola can be high in calories. For instance, I roughly calculated the calories in this granola recipe to over 3200 calories, per batch!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Restriction and Self Worth

A quick thought on Christine comments on my last blog post, "Calorie Police"....

It occured to me that there was a time that weighing all of my food and counting all of my calories was fun, informative and quite frankly, as I described it in a former blogpost, being "joyful". It was joyful because it was empowering, I felt in control...finally. Same with daily weigh-ins. But then it turned into self torture, why? So many people see calorie restriction..."dieting" exactly that "restriction", and how can that be fun? Restriction is restriction, isn't it?

I think it depends on whether or not we are getting what we want. Restricting how much money we spend to save for something we want can be challenging and fun, and make us proud to have made the sacrifice when we get what we want at the end. It was the same for me when I kept track of my food in a way that rewarded me in the end....when I was no longer rewarded, fast enough, it became policing.....maybe it comes down to expectations....instant gratification.

I don't think knowing what and how much you're eating is a bad thing, and I'll tell you what....I'd rather be conscious of what I'm doing than not. But when you let it control you, instead of you controling it then it's time to re-evaluate why you're doing it. My daily calorie consumption and my daily weigh-ins used to simply be data before it became a measure of my worth.

We are emotional creatures and how we become so caught up in our own judgements and fears of not being good enough or not "looking" good enough can seem, at times, to be a trap impossible to escape. The trap is when you use restriction as a form of punishment, and become tied to that number on the scale to determine your self worth. I don't have the answer.....just some thoughts.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Calorie Police

I never want to be "a downer", and I promise, soon, some food pictures, recipes and fun! But until then let me finish a few thoughts.....

I started my own personal blog to record, in great detail, my food journal, not just my calories, but my true feelings about what and how I was eating, the time of day I was eating, and what was going on in my life between meals. I had to accept the fact that I was going to have to get "real" about the amount of food I was eating if I ever really wanted to lose this 10 lbs. I had been saying I wanted to lose.

My original intention was to, just plain, get scientific about my exact daily calorie count, but what ended up happening was I became "the calorie police". During one particular blogpost in which I was beating myself up about weighing .2 lbs more than the day before (yep, .2 lbs, not 2.0 lbs!), I became mortified with what I had turned into. This is what I wrote....

"good lord, if i was a stranger reading this blog i would think this chick is way too consumed with self torture. for gods sake, how lucky am i to go to yoga? how lucky am i to have found kettlebells, only having to swing the damn things a few times a week for 1 hour?

stay positive....ok."

2 days later I wrote....

"what was learned this past 2 days? enough with the torture of micro-managing every stinkin' morsel i eat. i have to eat, i can't starve. starving was fun when it was easy, but it's not easy anymore, it sucks. so starving is over, and now i have to find the true food needs of my body. "

I haven't keep an exact calorie count since. I also stopped weighing myself daily. I will weigh myself again, but I know pretty much what I weigh based how my clothes fit.

I know that not all calories are created equal! But when it comes to bodyweight, not nutrition, then it's hard to argue with the bottom line of calories in, calories out, and for that reason I will always be a believer in calorie counting, and I will continue to promote it until something proves to me that there's a better way. But like daily weigh-ins, exact daily calorie counts can start to bring you down. Recognize when it becomes "a negative" and find a better or different way.

I know when I'm eating too much, I don't need an exact calorie count to prove it, lol!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breaking it down...but not too far down, lol!

Well, I said I had "stuff" bursting..... All of these subjects deserve a seperate blog post, but anyone that knows me know that I'm a "long story teller"....too many details, lol! So here I can break down the first 3rd, only writing about one paragraph to each title and lead you down my thought processes a little farther...until I get the time and energy to elaborate more.....

How much food do we really need? Not much! If you weigh more than you want to, or should I say, if you are of an unhealthy bodyweight.....because many of us are of a healthy bodyweight, but say we want to weigh less (for whatever psychological reasons)....then mostly, plain and simple, too many calories in, not enough calories out. Eat less, exercise more or do both.

Come to terms with what it takes to maintain the bodyweight you say you want to be. It may or may not be your body's natural setpoint......

The biology of food obsession. I used to feel bad about my constant thoughts about food, until it hit me...... I believe it is in our genetics, to a certain degree, to have constant thoughts about what we are going to eat and what our next meal is going to be. Why?

Well, if you think about what life was like before these modern times of abundance and convenience, we had to grow, kill and prepare all of our own foods, and the foods of our families. That's pretty time consuming, lol. From the time we wake up, to the time we went to bed our only jobs were to survive, and a large part of surviving meant making sure we had food.

What? You mean we didn't always have grocery stores? lol

Living like an athlete. I am an athlete. I think of myself that way, and so should anyone and everyone that knows the importance of scheduling, and following through, with a physical activity (s) that is progressively challenging in a way that makes the body, mind and spirit healthier and stronger. Humans are have to move it or lose it.

Never stepping on the scale, ever again, for the rest of my extreme. Do I always have to see things so black and white? I'm just To weigh, or not to weigh? I guess it all comes down to this.... how does seeing a particular number, or not seeing a particular number make you feel? Personally, when I expect a "bad" number, I'm not surprised and I take it like a grown up and use the number simply as "data". But if I'm expecting a "good" number, and I don't see one, then I give up, eat like crazy, and then expect a bad number....which I get, it's no surprise, lol....then I start again. It's very demotivating to me to work so hard training and dieting and not get rewarded. I've been very short sided in my thinking that way.

Bottom line, do I feel good? (about my body) Do my clothes fit? Am I able to preform, athletically, the way I need to? Am I eating in a healthy way? Not just healthy foods, but healthy eating habits......

Too much food. Again....more about too much food? Well, when I wrote this I was thinking about my fridge and freezer. I simply can't eat the amount of food I can cook and prepare and maintian the bodyweight I say I want to be. I don't like buying food to let it go bad and throw it out, I'd rather not buy and prepare so much. But it's so easy for me, and I love to do it, I had to come to terms with the fact that I have to stop, or at least slow the heck down!

That's one reason why you haven't seen many food posts, because I am not cooking as much as I was....I still have 2 qts. of applesauce in my freezer, along with squash and tomato soup from summer. I have yet to roast a winter squash, and it freakin' December! Please, can I finish summer and catch the bounty of winter before spring? Good Lord!

Cute underwear. I never throw out my old underwear when I buy new ones....why not? Well, I guess they still have a few more "miles" left in them, lol! But the problem is that I always grab the old pairs when I workout....which is everyday, sometimes twice a day, because I don't want to wear my "good" ones to get sweaty in.

Well, guess what? I own a washing machine, that's what doing laundry is all about lol! I can wear my cute ones to workout in, in fact I deserve to wear cute underwear not matter what I'm doing, Why buy, and own, cute underwear and then chose to wear the old crappy ones? I'm throwing out all of my old underwear.

Overtraining out of fear. I don't think it's good to do anything out of fear. Easier said than done. This thought is in relation to trying to out-exercise fat. If you have healthy eating habits, and again, what you eat is as important as how you eat, then, in a perfect world, you would never have to try and "out-snatch" a donut.

The straight and narrow. 4:30pm yoga sucks. It sucks especially since I wake up around 4am, so by the time 4:30pm rolls around I've been up over 12 hours. But, because of Mark's work schedule it's the only time that works for him, so I have to manage my food to accomodate this late 90 minute workout.

I can't starve myself and be strong for class, but I can't overeat and survive 90 minutes of intense endurance training in a room heated to a humid 104's keeping me on the staright and narrow.....big time!

No sympathy / having compassion. Good freakin' Lord, this one is tough! It's tough because I'm such a hard-ass. I am so sick of hearing fat people say this...."I've tried every diet known to man, and it's never worked"....bull shit. You know what? If you have an eating disorder, then call it what it is. Say instead...."I'm a compulsive overeater and I haven't made up my mind to stop, because, for now, I like overeating more than not overeating.", Or this...."I'm addicted to food and eating, and although I may be able to find the discipline and willpower to control this addiction long enough to lose a few pounds here and there, I haven't found a way to deal with my addiction."

Every diet works, but can you live on it? Can you find a satisfying way of eating that supports health for the rest of your life? I think you can....I did. So I'll have compassion for "the struggle", "the fight", "the doubt", but none of us are victims, overweightness is not something that has been "done to us", we do it to ourselves....take responsibility.....and for that reason I have little sympathy.

Prioritizing. I can only speak for my lifes' schedule....I know people are busy, but if you are too busy to find the time to do what you need to do to move toward health, then you should be too busy to find so much food to eat!

Life's too short to not eat oatmeal. I love oatmeal, I could eat it for every meal. I love it with milk, 1/2 & 1/2, cream, yogurt and even vanilla ice cream. I love it with sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and/or raisins and dried fruits. I try and eat it as my "carb only " meal, usually a few hours before yoga class, because I try and eat alot of veggies, and veggies are about the only thing I don't like with my oatmeal.....maybe a sweet potato (aka garnet yam), but that doesn't really count as a veg in my book. But Mark said to me the other day, "You know, you can eat oatmeal more than once a day!".......Oh yea, I can! LOL

Look next for my recipe for chocolate oatmeal.........

I'll be back with more "blog post thoughts" the mean time feel free to comment! In fact, I encourage your comments.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


As I mentioned in an earlier blogpost....I have stuff I want to say, stuff I want to write about bursting out much that I can't even start to organize it in any kind of way. Some of it is, what I think, valuable insight, some of it is simple rants, maybe of no value to anyone, only it may make me feel better, lol. Hmmnn....feel better.....I didn't realize I needed to feel better.....hmmnn.

How much food do we really need?
The biology of food obsession
Living like an athlete
Never stepping on the scale ever again...for the rest of my extreme
Too much food
Cute underwear
Overtraining out of fear
The straight and narrow
No symapthy / having compassion
Life's too short to not eat oatmeal
Calorie police
Why can't I simply go to the grocery store?
Liking what I see
Is one good, strong yoga class better than 2 weak yoga classes?
Beating myself up, self infilcted judgements
Body dysmorphia
Too opinionated
The "fat bandwagon" , "Ruby", and other TV shows
Complicated many ingredients, and bullshit food snobbery
My life is a blog
The great giveaway....clearing the physical and mental messes in our lives
What we think we deserve, or don't deserve
Excuses, laziness, ingnorance, if we can, we must
Focusing on what we don't want
Sweating the small stuff....what is the small stuff?
Who really cares about what the hell I have to say?
Am I special?
Did I do something special?
Why does it matter?

blah, blah,blah