Monday, April 30, 2012

Fiesta Finale

In true fiesta spirit, my birthday was a total whirlwind and one I will never forget. Of course there was Melvis (The Mexican Elvis) at the Market Square.
Missy and I worked the churros booth, in search of some chulos (cuties in Spanish). Note to self: It is a churros booth not a kissing booth.
Barbie’s boy band made an appearance to honor her birthday. You know those famous ex-boyfriends? Roger, Robert, Roy, and Ricky. I know?! This will be the subject of another blog at a later time.

Security was almost called to check on me because I did not answer my phone all Thursday morning. In case you haven’t figured it out, I had a hangover to sleep off.

Don’t think that all I did was indulge during Fiesta. I did manage to squeeze in a hundred mile bike ride week and a 2.6 mile run to lead off the Fiesta Fandango parade. Wendy and I were puttin' on the Ritz, running down Broadway.
Last but certainly not least, and the highlight to my birthday, is dinner with my family. It is tradition. We gather for BBQ and cake. That has to be the happiest time for me. Also, I unveiled the hat I will be wearing to Dad and Lydia's wedding.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Birthday Vow

It is hard to forget my birthday, ten years ago. I tried to wake him so we could go celebrate. He said to give him another hour of sleep. The next hour, he said the same thing. This went on three or four times. Then afternoon time came and he told me to go without him and he would meet me.

It was April 26th, ten years ago; I vowed to not spend another birthday by myself. I was tired of spending my life alone and told myself I did not want to spend another birthday wishing any longer.

First, I know what you are thinking. I look the same as I did ten years ago and I am still living it up at Fiesta. It is Fiesta AND my birthday! I am totally convinced that San Antonio gets together to celebrate my birthday.

As any husband in the dog house does, in grand gesture, he arrived with a peace offering. He walked up with a birthday cake and started singing, “Happy Birthday” in the middle of NIOSA. All of San Antonio, who gathered in La Villita, joined in.

He did make up for the all-day-hangover. Even though I was surrounded by a village full of friends, I knew in my heart that I was not going to do another birthday feeling alone.

Do not fret my dear readers, I blog this only to tell you that I feel good about my decision. It took this long to finally laugh about the crazyness of that relationship. Ten years later, I look back and realize, I have to make hard decision to make it easier for the future. The sooner I make the hard choices the sooner life will be better.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Fredericksburg Ride

This past weekend, a group of co-workers and I gathered in a bungalow located in Fredericksburg, Texas, for a 200 mile bike ride.

A ride, is a ride, is a ride. There is a bike and a road. So, I pedal.

I may be getting bored with the ideal of riding in a circle and riding to the same spot that I started. You would think that 200 miles over a weekend would mean something; but instead, I am a bit unsatisfied. I need to feel like I am making distance and going somewhere.

Emotionally, I am growing as I see the road from a new perspective. These days, I stop and smell the flowers on the side of the road.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


There are mixed feelings about what name to call Lydia; Dad’s wife, step-mom, Pinky, or Nina. She is Dad’s wife and she is my step-mother but neither of those fit. Her family calls her Pinky and Nina is what her grandchildren call her. It is natural to say I am going to my parent’s house. Sometimes I catch myself calling her Mom.

The past few weeks we have been spending more time together. All the girls went dress shopping and had a blast. Though it is an early unveiling, this is the dress I will be wearing to Dad and Lydia’s wedding. You can see Lydia standing to the left of the photo. She has a proud mama look on her face. She is more than I could have asked for to be my mother figure and to be my father’s wife.

If you ask me, I think Lydia loves her new family just as much as we love her. She now has two new daughters and three more grandchildren. Us girls crammed into a photo booth and captured all the fun we had that day.

We also spent Easter together. First thing is first, I love Lydia’s sister because she thought I was seventeen years old- love her!

I showed up in a frilly shirt with a bow, white linen shorts, and flip flops. It is tradition in their family to play flag foot ball. They only invited me to play to even out the teams. Little did they know that I played flag football in high school and two season of co-ed flag football.

Luckily, Lydia took the shoes off her feet so I could have tennis shoes to play in versus running bare foot. I was a totally ringer and even got a touch town. Yes, I may have over done it because I sprained my thumb and my legs were sore the next day, but it was so worth it.

Our families are blending smoothly and a natural name for Lydia seems to be Pinky. After all, that is what her family calls her.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why do I love thee?

Why do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the height of the hill when I am deep out of breadth
My soul is renewed, when I wonder out of sight
For the end of the road through infinity
I love thee through the commutes and tours
Most quiet by the morning sun
I love thee freely, as I strive to find the right in my life
I love thee purely, as the pedals turn your praise
I love thee with passion until no end
In my hurt, and like a child full of innocence
I love thee when I lose myself on a ride
With miles I have lost, ---I love thee with my soul,
Joy and sorry, of all my rides!--- and, if God choose,
I shall love thee up until death.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Magic Trick or True Spiritual Practice?

You may have noticed the increase in yoga pictures posted on my blog. I have this new mission, to take pictures doing yoga poses, where ever I go. But of course, I had to take it to another level and I have been working on crazy poses to capture my crazy personality. The dilemma has been finding a photographer to use my camera phone and me holding the pose long enough to snap the shot- at just the right moment.

Connie, my yoga instructor, suggested that I place my bike in the frame. I loved this idea because my bike defines me. Yoga and Barbie and her bike are quite perfect together.

Gently, Connie sends me an e-mail. The author is unknown. It is appropriate to post because it is a reminder to let go my grandiose contortions and look more inward. May you have a blessed Holy Week and a Happy Easter.

Magic trick or true spiritual practice?
Stuck on a transit train in Dallas airport during a tight connection I found myself staring anxiously at the time above the monitor. I boarded the train at Terminal D and was going to Terminal C. If I remembered my alphabet correctly C and D should be right next to each other so I expected a fast ride. But in Dallas they do things differently. Terminal C comes after E and is nearly ten full minutes away from D. Just as I was nervously staring at the progress from one stop to another I noticed a thin man with cowboy boots and a mustache trying to catch my attention. I braced myself for a pick up line but instead I got to see a magic trick.

A black handkerchief was floating in the air as the graying blonde cowboy said, “We are all sinners and our souls are black with sin.” That got my attention as I realized it was not going to be any old pick up line, he was vying for my soul. He stuffed the black fabric into his hand and said, “Until Jesus was born and died for us, to wash away our sins, our souls were black as night.” And then poof the black handkerchief was gone and his hands were waving the open air.

So you have to be born again and accept Jesus Christ as your savior or else your sins will come right back,” he said in a somewhat serious voice as the black handkerchief appeared again like magic out of his hand. Then he smiled and showed me the little device that made the magic act possible and said, “This is just a cheap trick but the miracle of God is no joke.”

I much preferred this magic show gospel to a pick-up line. It was entertaining and the last line stayed with me and left me thinking after I hopped off the transit train to arrive at my gate just in time to board. The magic tricks of the yoga practice also keep us entertained long enough to open our mind to a potentially deeper message. All the handstands, acrobatic jump throughs, deep backbends and exciting postures are all just cheap tricks, but the miracle of the practice is no joke. The gravity of what happens underneath the physical through the practice of yoga is something that is incredibly hard to explain in words. It borders on the ineffable because the magic of yoga happens exactly when you touch the divine within yourself.

When your mind shifts awareness to the highest nature of spirit, the physical body heals, transforms and changes. But if you get caught in trying to master only the superficial tricks of the practice, you run the risk of preventing the experience, the magic that is at the heart of yoga. When I first started Ashtanga Yoga I was obsessed with the tricks.

I desperately wanted to learn how to do a deeper backbend, lift up higher into handstand and jump back effortlessly. I searched the physical world for tips and tricks and I still do. But the journey into the strength that it takes to maintain the practice of
Ashtanga Yoga is not a merely a physical one. It requires a true willingness to go to the depth of the human spirit and let that experience transform you.

If you are not willing to let the experience of learning how to do a handstand literally turn your perspective on the world upside down, then a handstand is just a handstand. But if you are willing to let the process challenge your attachments, humble your ego and unlock compassionate strength then the process of yoga is happening. It is your choice what you focus on through the practice.

You determine whether yoga is just glorified magic trick or a true spiritual practice.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Me Again

A lady in the locker room told me, “You should be a movie star because you look gorgeous.” She stood in her underwear, and I with my fresh sprayed, big Texas hair sprayed hair, gave her a hug. When someone gives you a compliment like that, what else do you do?

It was an unexpected day. I was sleepy from the restless night before and dehydrated from being sick for two days. Yes, sick. Throwing up and fever kind of sick. I knew I was in bad shape when I noticed crusted throw-up on my shirt and did not change. Maybe I changed before I went to sleep. Most likely, I did not. Really, I do not remember. It was all a blur. All my abdominal muscles were sore from throwing-up.

Then I proceeded to go on a twenty-two mile bike ride, up a few steep climbs. Afterward, I drank a few beers. My legs did not mind the hills, the view at the top, or the ride down.

They told me it would happen. Wired from the Komodo dragon coffee, I realized I was joking with my co-workers, listening to music, and dancing. The day marked the day that I felt like me again. I feel stronger, rooted, and more capable of handling the emotional games.

There is still a part of me that is sad from what I lost, what I gave up, and how I drastically I changed my life around. Today, I am happy and laughing again. You know, laughing a real laugh, laughing from my gut. I am me again.