Challenges and Blathering, aka Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

Hey there! Two days in and I’m still sticking with it!

Along with having these writing prompts for a year, Daily Post is also doing something they’re calling Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog. I’m going to attempt to do this for January whilst still adding in the writing prompts and anything else that I might want to recall in the future. Nothing like piling it on, huh?

As you may have gathered from the title of the post, the challenge part of today is to do an introduction of yourself. I know that the three of you that actually read this already know me, but I should introduce myself to the masses of readers that I’m hoping to cultivate. The DP (ha!) provided some questions to answer, so I will answer those, but you should just know that I’m an off-the-cuff kinda chick with a super dry and sarcastic sense of humor. A lot of folks think I’m, well, not very nice, but those are the folks for whom my sense of humor goes right over their heads. I’m ok with that. I need smart humor in my life. Now on to those questions…

· Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal? – Well, it’s 2014. This *IS* my personal journal. It’s just that I’m sharing it with you all. I try to stay true to myself and therefore true to you. If I put it out there, I know it can come back at me, so like Popeye says, “I yams what I yams”, or something like that.

· What topics do you think you’ll write about? – What topics *won’t* I write about?!?! I’m really a stream of consciousness kind of writer, so I write about whatever I’m thinking about mainly. However, you’re likely to find me chatting about circus stuff, pole dancing, working out in general, music, books, and trying to make my work life a little better. Throw in some occasional jokes and silliness and you’ve gotten in my head.

· Who would you love to connect with via your blog? – Easy peasy. Any and everyone that finds what I write helpful or amusing. Someone who wants me to write for them professionally in my non-professional manner. Authors with tips on how to start/finish a book and then get it published. Aerialists with new moves. Readers with good books. You get the picture.

· If you blog successfully throughout 2014, what would you hope to have accomplished? – I’m a simple girl. I just want to get back into the habit of writing on a frequent basis. Perhaps daily writing will push out a daily short story that I could put in an anthology. Who knows? Aim high, right?

So there you go. That’s my “intro”. If you are truly new to the blog, please feel free to browse through and see what I’m about. It’s a lot of silliness.  If you’re not new, hi there. Thanks for stopping by again.

Before I go running off to do whatever it I do all day, let me touch on today’s writing prompt, as if I haven’t written enough for one day. Today’s topic is:  Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept? Without searching through my blog archives, I would really have to say no on this. I know that I’ve wanted to do things like get a massage once a month (that lasted for 2 months), get better with my Spanish (that’s just sheer laziness not doing that one), and work out more. While I am fairly consistent with my working out, I probably am not consistent enough to consider it accomplishing a NYR. All in all, when I look back at this post in a year, I want to be able to say, “hey, I did pretty good this year!” Wish me luck as I wish you the same in your blogging/writing/achieving endeavors!

Yoga Awakening?

I know, I know. It’s been forever since I last posted. Now that the shaming is out of the way, let’s continue.

This morning, like many mornings, I received an email that told me that I should write 750 words today. But this morning, unlike many mornings, I said to that email, “I WILL write 750 words today…I just need a topic.”  When you ask, the universe provides.

Off I went to the gym for yoga. I stopped to take a picture of yet another of Colorado’s absolutely gorgeous sunrises and made my way.  I’ve been going to yoga on Monday and Friday mornings for about a month now and last week I started throwing in Wednesday mornings as well. While the class is titled ‘Sunrise Yoga’, my inexperienced mind (and Google) say that this falls under Iynegar yoga. I’ve been seeing the same couple of people in the class with a mixture of new folks now and again, and the same instructor.

Sidebar: The first time I went to this class, I really thought I was not going to enjoy it as there were some real sourpusses. I’m glad I hung in there.

This particular morning, I chose to really try to focus on my breathing to ignore any discomfort that was coming from holding poses for quite some time. And this morning, for the first time, I felt extremely light-headed (and I wasn’t returning from an inversion), and immediately after the light-headedness passed, I felt as though I was going to break down into tears. Not one drop hits the mat and I continue, but I’m about to go into full wailing and shaking, breakdown crying.  This.  This was very new to me. After a few minutes, the feeling passed and I continued on with my practice.

At the end of class, after Shavasana, I was taking my time in returning to present and the instructor came over to complement me on my work for the morning. I thanked her and saw this as my opening to have a brief discussion about what had happened in class.  I was (literally) able to corner her in the room where all the mats are to pose my question of what in the world happened to me today?!?!

I started out with, “I have a question for you” to which she immediately responded, “Are you getting light-headed?”  At first, I was shocked that this would’ve been first out of her mouth, but upon further reflection, she *is* an instructor and probably hears things like this often. She talked to me about how sometimes this happens when we’re really using our breath and she said that I am probably like her in that I have the tendency to keep my abdomen tight and engaged which causes ‘reverse breathing‘ and therefore the light-headedness. In regards to the overwhelming emotion out of nowhere, she had a little less to say. She suggested that I meditate and see where I am right now and just to try to work through it. I think that I wanted a little more, but I also can see that portions of this are a personal journey.  At some point today, I hope to find the time to take her advice.

Today’s weather is certainly not a reflection of my day so far.  If anything, it is probably the exact opposite. On my way to yoga, the sun was rising and it was clear. After yoga, a heavy fog had settled in to the point that it was difficult to see more than 10 feet in front of me while driving. However, the thought occurred to me as I type, that maybe this weather is correct. Perhaps this fog that prohibits me from looking around is the exact metaphor for what I need to do, being focus on what is in front of me and give it my full attention as not to miss what is under my nose. These are things upon which to ponder.

Tonight, I close a chapter in my life.  I started pole dancing nearly five years ago and tonight, I walk away from my last class in my home studio. It was a difficult but necessary decision for me. The time has come for me to branch out in different directions in arts that are a little closer to my circus love. As I try to do nothing halfway, I trade my pole for cash, and my cash for an apparatus that will assist me in my next journeys. I am sure my path will be filled with obstacles, I only hope that they are not insurmountable. Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. Life begins today.

On Teaching

The other night, one of my students, Vivienne, (who is also a fellow instructor) complimented me on my teaching ability. You see, we were in our spin class and I try to encourage all students to search the internet and if they see something that they like or want to learn, bring it to class (or show me ahead of time) and if I can figure it out and I feel that it’s safe for the class, then we’ll try it. This was the case this past week. Fortunately, due to the move being accessible to those of us who aren’t pros, I was able to decipher the movement after a couple times of trying it myself. Afterwards, I gave an explanation and the majority of the class was able to get the move or at the very least, understand the concept. I’m not one to stand still…or right-side up, and so I do a lot of explaining whilst in motion..or upside-down. I guess this isn’t the norm. But then again, what do I do that IS in the norm? 🙂

Until Vivienne mentioned it, I really never thought about teaching and being good at it. I just do what I do. When I actually did start thinking about it, though, I’ve been “teaching” for quite some time. Let’s get in the way back machine, shall we? 

A couple of full-time jobs back, I trained my replacement. Office stuff.  Snooze.

Summertimes for the last couple of years – let’s teach people the flying trapeze!

Zumba, yo! (Ok, I’m certified to teach it, but I don’t currently.)

Oh, the Club Med years….taught some folks how to bartend, how to rollerblade, do all kinds of circus stuff. Even trained a fellow GO to be a circus GO. (I’m pretty proud of that one and you’ll really only get it if I either tell you the whole story or you understand the inner workings of Club Med.) Pretty sure I taught some chicks how to get loose too, lol. (PLUS PLUS, a Francais)

Restaurant work – I was a corporate trainer for a restaurant once. Taught my girls how to sling those drinks and make that money.

In my free time, back then, I tried to teach a person or two how to go out safely with $5 in your pocket, have the drinks that you want, and still come home with that $5 in your pocket.

Without even realizing it, I’ve been “teaching” in one way or another for quite some time now. I would have to say that teaching pole is up there in intensity with teaching circus stuff. I would also say that teaching circus really helps me in my pole teaching. They share that body awareness factor that allows me to say, “Move your <insert body part> in this way,” and most of the time, it works.

I think what I’m noticing is that teaching could very well be my life force. I feel empty when I don’t get to boss people around do a little teaching. Every life-sucking moment that I am sitting in an office, I am thinking about how I should be teaching. Gotta make that happen.

Also realizing that I don’t have an ending for this post……

Life….as a Gantt chart

Yes, I was totally planning to create and embed a Gantt chart here, but I also thought I had MS Project. Oh well. You’ll just have to imagine it in your head. Start drawing:

  • Once a week (and I’m only looking out to July 2 at the moment), I choreograph about two minutes of a song. This song changes every two weeks, sometimes three if the girls are really feeling it.
  • We have a pole showcase coming up for which there was a song requested. If I can get a commitment from enough girls, there will be that to work on. I have 7 weeks.
  • Remember back when I said a goal for 2012 was to compete? Well, I have to decide if I want to make that happen sooner as opposed to later. I have to decide in 5 days if I want to make that happen sooner as opposed to later. If I wuss out, my calendar isn’t so bad. If I go balls to the wall (because I know no other way), I would have to come up with two pieces (which are oh so likely to be pieces I’ve already performed just prettied up) and make them competition ready. In 8 weeks. EIGHT. WEEKS. There is a possibility that I would be in over my head on that one but the jury is still out.

Now that I write it out, it doesn’t seem so bad. I feel as though I could actually do this. There would be a lot of stretching, training, and (ugh) clean eating on the horizon, but I really think I could do it. I don’t have to win, right? It’s about the experience, right? We’ll see. I still have five days.

****** Don’t you hate when someone says something cryptic that you think could mean a variety of things and you know you should just ignore it because the person that said it will never come clean about the true meaning of the statement but you. Just. CAN’T?!?!?******************* (enter your own hashtag here)

Deep breath.

The weather has been just to the side of gorgeous lately and it’s not a moment too soon. I am certainly getting a circus itch that needs to be scratched. It’s time to once again visualize and then actualize that damned layout and just take it out of lines. I have to find my balls in one of these things that I do and hopefully it’ll transfer to everything else.

Hopefully. Not a word that I’m putting a lot of umph behind. I know that it’s me and me alone who puts hand to pole or fork to mouth. Sometimes, I just find it difficult to find my inspiration. When I watch folks doing the things that I know my body is capable of doing, I think to myself that, yes, I could do that, but I find the actual prepping to do it so difficult. Probably, I don’t want it badly enough, but, unfortunately, I also don’t know how to make myself want it. I need to be surrounded by pole and circus people 24/7. Ha! I need a Club Med vacation!

I’d love to stay and chat a bit, but I just remembered that I have some hula hooping to do. Be good!

Where DOES the time go?!?!

This poor, neglected blog.  I’m surprised it even lets me sign in any more.  It probably wouldn’t were it not for Google Chrome being smart.  At times, I don’t post because I just don’t have anything to say or I’m being lazy.  This time, that is not  the case.  I’ve actually been too busy to breathe.  Even as I type this, I’m counting the minutes until I need to leave the house again.  I think the best way to catch up on what’s happened in August is……..bulletpoints!

  • As a member of Imperial Flyers, we put on an awesome amateur circus show.  No one got (seriously) injured and that always makes for a good time.  Threw two tricks, caught two tricks.  That’s a win in my book.  Videos can be seen here.
  • We passed our one year in Colorado/one year in our house milestone.  It isn’t “our house” since it’s a rental, but it’s definitely our house. 🙂
  • I went on a work retreat to Estes Park.  It was really great to get to meet our near-shore development team from Mexico and our developers who are right here in the Denver area.  We had a blast hanging around and talking and playing games.  And drinking.  And talking about the most ridiculous stuff ever.  Have you de-wormed yourself lately?
  • We made an appearance at my company’s picnic, for which I made some awesome pound cake cupcakes.  The cupcakes started the weekend baking binge.  The following weekend I made zucchini bread since one of Lovey’s co-workers had way too much zucchini and squash. It was so, so  yummy.  Lovey took a loaf to work and I got a few requests for my recipe.  Yay me!
  • WORK!  If you’ve followed this blog at all in the previous years or if you have the time/energy to go back through the archives, you’ll know that my work situation in Miami was just to the left of awful.  It was a toxic situation wherein, at one point, I was so stressed out that I was having what I called hobo dinner – a scoop of peanut butter and a beer.  Well.  All that has changed.  My current job is the COMPLETE opposite of where I was.  I enjoy my job.  I get up in the mornings and I’m excited to go to work.  I have piles and piles of things to do.  My intelligence and willingness to help are acknowledged and appreciated.  Oh yeah, and then there’s that fast track I’m on to be the manager of my little group and possibly a couple others.  I’m doing some online classes through work to brush up on my management skills.  I’m learning another of our lines of business.  And just the other day, I found out that I’ll be shooting over from App Support to QA full time for the remainder of the year.  We’re looking at quite possibly the beginning of the year for wheels to start not just turning, but peeling out with posi-traction.  Funny also that my boss lives within a 5 minute walk from my house and her boys go to the school down the street from my house.  It is really great to enjoy my job again.  It’s no Don Pablo’s and it’s no Club Med, but it’s probably as close as I’ll get in “corporate America”.  Also, I get to work from home two days a week.  WIN!
  • POLE!  If you came here through Facebook, you’ve seen my profile picture and you know that I do a little pole dancing.  It’s the closest thing to circus without having a trapeze in the house.  I started in Miami with the lovely Michelle Meier, currently of Iron Flower Fitness.  I have infinite thanks for Michelle, because, had it been any other instructor, other than the equally wonderful Marissa Alma Nick, I doubt that my pole journey would have come this far.  Where Michelle gave me my base, Marissa inspired me to move more gracefully.  Both ladies were just so instrumental, if you’re in Miami, living or just visiting, do yourself a favor and go visit them.  Fast forward a few years past Miami and I’ve found a new place to hone my craft – Boulder Spirals.  Sasha and Melanie just couldn’t be any more supportive, warm, and welcoming.  And let’s not forget wildly intelligent, because they did, after all, select me to work through their Apprentice training.  That’s right, I’m currently making my way towards being able (I think I’ve always been able, I’m just receiving the opportunity) to spread my love for pole dancing, fitness, and giving women an opportunity to step out of their usual box and feel strong, sexy, and empowered.
So, you see, I’ve been quite busy.  You should see my iPhone calendar.  August was crazy.  A dot on more than half of the days.  September is currently only holding 11 dots, but hey, it’s only the first!  If you can believe it, I’m still trying to find time to prepare for a student showcase around mid-month which will be my first public pole performance, get to the boxing gym a little more regularly, and write.  I still have a couple of ideas for books that I need to get on paper…or computer.
This is my stolen time.  The time before I absolutely MUST get up and get ready for work (where I can throw on jeans and a t-shirt and flip-flops and be appropriately dressed) but after the alarm has gone off.  The quiet time.  The only time I have for writing.  But again, I say that I will try to find this time more often.  And perhaps I will since fun stuff is actually going on.  Even now, there is more stuff happening, but, dear reader, there’s only so much I’ll bombard you with in one sitting.  We’re already at a thousand words for this post.  So with that, I will leave you, wishing you a happy September, a happy, long, Labor Day weekend, a working air conditioner if you’re here in CO with me (we’ll be breaking a temperature record today…97 in September), and just lots of fun, love, and happiness.  Go forth and caterpillar climb!
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