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.

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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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8 weeks, 3 days and 16 hours

That’s the amount of time in between the last time I went into the roda and today’s class. I’ve been training for the past two weeks since I’ve felt well enough, but I haven’t been able to make it all the way through class and not have to sit out at least part of it due to pain and discomfort.

But today I could and that meant it was time to go back into the roda. I could hardly wait to go back in, but I waited until it felt right. I wasn’t good, but I made it through.

As I stepped out of the roda, I started crying, almost sobbing. After eight weeks of trying to get back into a physical place where I could go back in, I made it. As much as I felt relieved and not embarrassed to cry about my accomplishment, in theory, I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to see it without being able to explain it to them.

But as I was taking in that moment, I heard Mestranda start to sing “Parabens” to a fellow capoerista who turned 50 today. My focus shifted to joy for someone who was celebrating his own achievements.

I hope to continue with my own accomplishments as I move towards my next birthday. I’m sure you’ll see me cry, but I hope it’s with joy.

Helmet or no?

I haven’t posted in a month, which is lame of me as I have been home for much of that time, except when I am at work. It’s been that long since I pulled myself off the street after my bicycle/car accident. I’m still picking tiny pieces of glass out of my face, by the way. Thankfully, the rest of me is relatively OK. My knees are tender as heck, but that’s minimal in comparison to one of my regular ferry riders, who has a shattered knee, courtesy of a cab that pulled out right in front of him.

But an important question the fellow ferry rider asked me was if I had my helmet on. As you may know, I did. I think it’s dumb not to–I don’t see any real benefit to not wearing it.

Out of curiosity, I watched riders for a few days, and noticed that approximately 55% of adults chose to not wear a helmet. I don’t think helmet wearing should be mandatory for adults (if you want to risk your life that way, it’s up to you–I’m not for mandating these things), but I wonder why people don’t do it. Vanity vs. safety seems like a silly argument. I understand the hat hair thing, but when observing those riders, many were wearing some kind of chapeau, so the hat/hair thing is irrelevant.

So, here’s my question–do you wear a helmet? If so, why or why not?

Reading isn’t always a good thing

Want to piss me off?  Make me read the comments section on Business Insider or SFGate.com.  Like today, I read the post on how Sarah Silverman is considering adoption as opposed to being a biological parent because she doesn’t want to pass on her depression to her child. I thought what she said made a lot of sense, but people made a lot of stupid comments about her being selfish because she wants to adopt, or depression being a choice.

But you know what? I totally get how she feels (well, I think I do).  Put aside the fact that my chances to reproduce now are narrowing by the nanosecond, but anytime people ask me why I don’t have kids, I have expressed that I have no desire to pass on my anxiety and depression to a kid of my own making.

Despite the stupid comments made below the article, depression is not a choice.  It’s how you deal with it that makes the difference, be it medicine, therapy or whatever else works. For me, it’s exercise, which I have been getting little due to my rolled ankle.  This may be but an anecdote, but I can tell you that this weekend I had the worst panic attack that I’ve had in some time. I would say a good chance of it is due to the fact that I have had little exercise except for riding my bike to and from work. Whatever it is, exercise seems to help ease my depression and anxiety, but it’s an ongoing struggle that I am prepared to deal with the rest of my life.

Maybe these people get immediate gratification by writing thoughtless comments, but I wonder where that gets them in the end.

There’s more where that came from

Originally I planned on writing more about patronizing local stores, or even the Occupy Oakland movement, but I think we’re all tired of it.  I will keep going on my merry way spending money at local shops in silence.  Let my actions speak for me.

As tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I will say that I am thankful for my relative health, my family, my boyfriend, my dog, a place to rest my head, clothes to keep me warm, food to nourish me and more. What are you thankful for?

Money can’t buy me love, or health…sort of…

A number of maladies hit my family recently, ranging from the more serious, like a bicycle accident to the more minor, such as an ingrown toenail.  Because of this, I’ve spent time on three separate days this week sitting in hospital rooms waiting for family members. This of course makes me think a lot about my own health.

For the most part, I’m lucky because I don’t have any major health issues that impede the regular activities of my daily life. And even if I’m not employed full-time, I’m currently able to pay for a health plan, albeit a cheap one. If I become sick, I should at least be able to take care of my bills.

But no matter how much money I have, there are some illnesses and injuries that are not treatable.  A good health plan, plus walking the dog, training capoeira, riding a bike, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables all help keep me healthy, but they don’t ensure that I won’t get sick or physically hurt. So, while the next stage of my life gels, I’m taking advantage of the time and health that I have to move, kick, punch, and ride as much as I can.

If you could do some physical activity right now, what would it be?  Golf? Dance? Cat juggle?