Third Anniversary

Today marks the third anniversary of when I started training with ABADA Capoeira. I’ve discussed before how important to me capoeira and the people of ABADA are. With each year, this only grows more.

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That said, I need to commit myself more to training this year. I don’t push myself hard enough and it shows. 

So, I need to set some goals for myself. Here goes:

  • Improve bermibau playing by practicing at home (now possible as I finally bought my own!).
  • Learn to sing at least one new song a month.
  • Accomplish a floreira, maybe a macaco, but to do that move I will need to keep working on rehabbing my knee. That includes continuing my regular acupuncture appointments and strengthening the muscles around my knees with cycling.
  • Improve the most basic of moves, the ginga, because I am still swinging my knee too much. It would also minimize the stress on my knee.
  • Participate more in the roda. Playing more is good overall, but will also help minimize the anxiety I have about playing in general.

 

Like the differences in physical pain, such as a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle, emotional pain comes in a variety of forms. There’s the ache in the hollow of your insides when you lose a loved one, or the sting in the temple of your head when you are embarrassed.

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Then there is the dull weighted pain of unresolved injustices that people inflict within families and link everyone together like yoke on oxen.The weight of this pain moves everyone along in one direction, but without any real progress.

At some point, those who caused the pain may be gone, but the yoke is still there. No one thinks to lift it off. So the pain continues, a burden for the family to bear. The pain becomes familiar, so it feels normal, like if you’ve had a bad back for years. You learn to live with it.

When the weight of the pain is unbearable, some lift the yoke and walk away, leaving the rest to carry the weight. That may free them from the burden, but they will never be able to return without the possibility of picking up that weight again.

Alternatively, everyone could work together as a team to dismantle the yoke, freeing themselves from the pain. This takes effort and forethought, and may seem harder than just living with the familiar pain. Though, the payoff in the end would be that choosing to be together as a family would be based on mutual interest as opposed to a man-made construct.

When we spend time with our families today, or just interact with anyone in daily life, we should think twice about yoking them to the pain of an unnecessary construct. It’s easy to continue moving on as we are accustomed as opposed to making a positive change. But by being patient and treating others with kindness, we can help alleviate much of the pain, not just for others, but for ourselves.

A year later…

Been meaning to post about this for a bit, but didn’t want to be dramatic. Though, it was a pivotal point in my life. That is, the bike accident last year.

It sucked, and I’m still bitter, but I am:

  • alive
  • have a new bike
  • can finally play (and still suck at but love) benguela without significant pain

The physical stuff took me a year to get through, but the fact that I got to the point of life without constant pain or discomfort is what I am happy about.

This is what you get.

Old friends and ghosts

I saw an old friend of mine last weekend. We weren’t close in high school, but I always liked her. She was sweet as hell, could run the soccer ball well, and still go party at a concert afterwards. There’s a lot of good energy in this woman and I was happy and thankful to connect with her after about two decades, and she was kind enough to come meet me. I’ll see her again soon, which is great!

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But weeks before I ran into her, I met up with a ghost of my past. Technically it was a ghost of a friend I hadn’t talked to for over a decade. Without going into many details, this person crafted a story for her world that was false in mine. So false, the characters would have never been able to practice their scenes together. Yet, in her mind it was a reality.

The saddest part is that the details of the storyline never came directly from her. At the time this all happened, it was her birthday. I tried to call her many times to see what she’d like to do, but she never returned my calls. She wouldn’t speak to me, sticking strongly to her fabrication. I only learned of her magnificent lie from others.

The irony of the whole thing is that I kept my friendships with the others, all of whom are part of my life today. The only time that she tried to contact me later, she did the lovely explanation of, “I was going through a hard time and I didn’t mean to hurt you.” No, I did not respond.

And then a few weeks ago she appeared at one of my places of calm, Sunday mornings at the farmers’ market. I thought it may be a fluke, but then she was there the next week, and the week after that. Grrr.

I realize that I have choices, two of which include ignoring her, and the other acknowledging her. At my age, acknowledging her is the mature thing to do, though I really wish she never descended upon my little place of solitude.

Next time I see her, wish me strength.

Apreciação

Everyone posts how great their days are, and sometimes it’s puke-inducing, but I do appreciate my life, some days more than others…so prepare your bags. This morning I woke up after a deep sleep induced by yesterday’s capoeira class followed by a 26.2 mile bike ride (yup, still training), then today I shopped at the farmer’s market, received a sweet text from my traveling love, worked in my yard, trained capoeira, participated in the street roda, visited briefly with my brother, sister-in-law and a wonderful friend of mine, sang, enjoyed the smiles of my friends, warmed myself in the sun and came home to a peaceful neighborhood and the wagging tail of my dog. Some days I am so lucky, and I know it.

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But oh wait, I have to do my taxes now…

 

 

 

 

Port Loop

My second day of preparation for September’s California, Bike MS included a shorter ride (9.2 miles) and a yoga class, both included views of the Bay and San Francisco.The rest of the day has been devoted to house and yard work. I can’t count on the dog to take care of things while I am out.

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I won’t ride everyday, nor will I write about it every day, but I’d like to keep track of it to see if I’m making progress. I’ve come to realize lately that not all progress is notable, but it’s progress. I’ll take that over the alternatives of no change or regress.

Since the end goal of this training and ride is to raise money, I will periodically make a pitch for donations and/or others to join our team. If either is of interest to you, please visit our page.

And so it begins…

Today I started my training for the Waves to Wine ride. I calculated that it would take me at least one extra mile per week to build up to 40 miles. Today I passed my usual 20/21 and did 24.6.

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Starting out in West Oakland, and making my way towards the airport and looping back through Alameda, I passed Jack London Square, men unloading produce off of trucks, workers demolishing part of an 880 flyover, auto repair shops, dowitchers, plovers, pelicans, coots, mallards, Oracle Arena and Oakland Coliseum, tract homes, canals and Victorian houses.

Besides my back, I’m feeling good, not only physically, but about making my mileage goal. Just have to adjust my handlebars and see if that minimizes the discomfort. Stay tuned.

Consistent Cycles

Consistency is not what I have exhibited on my blog these past two months. I’d like to be more consistent, if not in my writing, at least in my physical activity, which includes cycling.

What keeps me on track is if I set goals. This time, my goal is riding at least 40 miles on one day in the Waves to Wine ride on September 21-22. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than I’ve done before.

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My boyfriend Michael has been bugging me about taking a proper ride for some time, but I still refuse to climb the hills like he does. Self abuse isn’t my thing. Though, it’s time to push myself. I’m inspired to do it because MS affects my friends and family and I want a cure to be found.

Michael and I have created a team called “Healing Myelins.” We’d love others to join our team. Of course, we’d love donations. But mostly, we’d like your support so we can reach our goals. It doesn’t have to be monetarily, just words of encouragement is enough.

I need a little push to ride further than I have before. Join, sponsor or send words of encouragement!

 

 

Second anniversary

Unlike most Saturday mornings when I’d be stretching my quads as I get ready to train at ACSF, instead I am sitting in bed drinking lots of hot liquid, blasting the humidifier, hoping this cold doesn’t get worse.

So I’m taking the time to look back on my second year of capoeira, Maybe I should go buy myself a new workout shirt now. The gift for second anniversaries is cotton.Image

Maybe my goals for the previous year were ambitious, but  I didn’t expect things to go the way they did. I started working full time again, and had a number of physical accidents of vary degrees, one  for which I am still going through physical therapy.

I have not learned to play the berimbau, though I have started to understand better the subtleties of playing one. I also realized I need to learn the pandeiro and the atabaque, with the other challenge for me of playing percussion and singing at the same time!

I am learning more songs, but am still too shy to lead one on my own, but that is still a goal.

My Portuguese has improved, though I am not speaking it as often as I was when I had time to take classes twice a week, but I was able to understand a lot of what was said during our training in December with Mestre Camisa. Plus, wow, I would have never expected training with him to be so fun, in addition to enlightening and educational.

I am playing more in the roda, but still could get in there more.

Floreiras like the basic parada are still an issue for me, but I am starting to understand better how to “stack” my muscles. Handstand classes and yoga help.

Unfortunately I can’t look back and say, wow, what a super awesome job you did meeting your goals, but I see now that as good as these goals are, I either have to accept why they didn’t happen, be it things like injuries, or better adapt to these challenges and figure out new ways to meet these goals so that I can accomplish some, if not all, this year.

What do I want to do this year? I still think the goals above are worth working for, even if I don’t do these all in the next year, especially now that I realize what is necessary to reach these goals. I’ll add another–going to Brazil in August for training. That would make me happy.

My next goal? Getting through this cold.

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I’m not sorry

One of the best things that I read in this article about Mestrand Cigarra  is this quote: “Women are too careful with each other. It’s like, I’m sorry? There’s no sorry! You get out of the way. That’s the challenge, for women not to think about it so much.”

In my quest to be kind, to make a better world, or at least make mine a little easier on myself, I’ve been apologetic about how I behave, but why? I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry that I haven’t written in months. I did write, but nothing I felt like posting here. Sometimes I don’t write when I am trying to sort out what is going on in my head. It’s a mish-mosh of things that make no sense to me, let alone anyone who reads it.

I’m not sorry that I don’t like large consumer corporations, like Disney or Walmart. Why should I support companies that sell cheap goods made by slave labor?

I’m not sorry that I am not skinny. Even when I was at my thinnest, I was never skinny. With muscular soccer built thighs, and Irish hips, there’s never been anything delicate about me. Not that I haven’t ever envied my thinner friends, I just knew that I was born with what I had, and there’s no changing that.

I’m not sorry that I am an introvert. I like reading a book on vacation and taking long walks in solitude. I live in a metropolitan area. I need a break from the noise. It refuels me for later.

I’m not sorry that I don’t want to hang out with a big group of people I don’t know, but instead want to spend it in a meaningful way with a small group or just one person that I cherish.

I’m not sorry that I won’t smile at the baloney that people talk. Are they just mad at me because I know that they are full of it? Why should I pretend?

I’m not sorry that I don’t take medication for my anxiety and depression. Instead I’ve chosen to be work it out physically and sometimes retreat from the noise, as mentioned above, so I can still feel like myself. Not that I think that medications are wrong (wait, that’s not an apology), but for me, I choose not to be medicated into a state that suits other people’s needs, but not necessarily my own.

I’m not sorry that when someone asks me how I feel, that I answer honestly, instead of just saying “fine.” Don’t ask me if you really don’t want to know. I’d prefer to have an honest exchange.

I’m not sorry that I wrote this. It’s how I feel.

What do you not feel sorry about?