Where is My Mojo

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

A Sad Day with an Optimistic Ending

In Life, Triathlons on September 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

For the past year and a half I have been dealing with pain in my lower back. I have not paid much attention to it because it only bothers me when I try to get out of bed and sometimes when I sneeze or cough laying down. Other than that, it has never interfered with training, racing, working or any other daily chore. To get out of bed, I just roll over to the side and off I go. Mind you, in pain, but off I go. Then my body just warms up and I’m good for the rest of the day.

Since I’m on my self-imposed off season, I decided to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Today was that appointment. Short story long, the last disc on my spine is worn out. Like really worn out. He made a little drawing that looked something like this:

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And I was like: WTF?

I felt a hole in my stomach and my eyes started to tear up when he said that the type of sport I am doing is not helping at all. That he couldn’t tell me not to do it, but that he would recommend not doing it given that I was almost 50.

To tell you the truth, the reason why I wanted to check on this pain was precisely because I am no young chicken anymore, but the way things are going, it looks like I will be on this planet for at least another 20 years, unless I get run over by a truck or something like that. I am very healthy; I don’t have high blood pressure, or any other illnesses; I’m vegetarian; I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink much either… every blue moon I will have a glass of wine or two, but when I am training, I don’t ingest alcohol. If you take a look at what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half from my Tuesday post, you can can do the math on how many glasses I have had. The bottom line is, if I live to be 70, I want my body to be as pain-free as possible, and without the use of a cane.

He said yoga was excellent. He also said swimming couldn’t harm me. He even said the bike would be ok, just not now until I got through therapy because of the aero-bar position. He did say the run was the no-no. The pounding on the body is not good for my “traitor” disc. Fun! Of the three sports, that’s my strongest one. Hey, I’m not saying I’m fast and furious when it comes to running. I’m just saying that it’s my strongest discipline. You figure out the rest.

As the day progressed, I texted and emailed my friends, who all gave me solutions. From acupuncture (which I will definitely do) to learning how to speed walk to “don’t worry about it” to wearing the Hoka shoes, which is like tying yourself to two mattresses the size of your feet. One of my friends reminded me of Sister Madonna who has completed several Ironman races speed walking. But, when I went to check her out, she actually runs. Fast. Fast enough. Faster than me on a good disc. Ok, I may be exaggerating this time.

Anyway, the day ended on a higher note. My heart was not as heavy as in the morning, and there’s was light at the end of my tunneled head. For now, I will be going to physical therapy and checking in with the doctor in three weeks time. And as hard as it was to hear this news today, I still was able to feel blessed. Blessed that I was aware of this condition and blessed that if I have to change gears and take another route in life, then so be it. Change is good. Always good.

Good night, folks!

P.S.: I went to the supermarket today and just had to get me some Frosted Flakes to comfort me. I know. Absolutely not healthy. 130 calories with 12 grams of sugar. I could probably go out for a short run now. ūüôā

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Touring the Grove with Baby Blue

In Bike, Life, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM

It’s been a while since my last post… and this “It’s been a while” has become way too frequent as well.

It’s been hard for me to keep up with posts, although I have many things in my mind to share, when it comes to sitting down and putting them in writing, I fail BIG TIME. Laziness, I call it.

Just to recap my year of races, I did the ING Miami Half Marathon, the Chapman Partnership Run Wild 5k (getting a third place in my AG – yeay for me), the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Nautica South Beach Triathlon Classic Distance, and the Florida Ironman 70.3 in Haines City. This last race I completed two weeks ago. I have no words to describe this race other than: BRUTAL! Actually, the run was brutal. By the time we hit the ground with our two feet, it was hot, humid and no shade. I did my longest half marathon distance, ever. I think. It took me 7 hours and 40 minutes to complete this… hmmm… bitch! If you want to know what the experience was like, I suggest reading my friend and teammate’s, mymultipersonality¬†race report:¬†http://mymultipersonality.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/race-report-ironman-florida-70-3-haines-city-may-19th-2013/. She does an excellent job going through the deets of the course and what we were going through.

The only thing I can tell you is that Augusta Ironman 70.3 is the Disney World of half Ironman’s. Haines City, for me, was the real thing.

Now to what brings me back to writing…

Today I went out to cruise the Grove with Baby Blue, my beach cruiser. Ain’t it pretty?

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With a weekend totally for myself… the Dude (the boyfriend) is at a spiritual retreat, some friends out of town, no work to do, and not 100% ready to fully train after Haines City, I decided to go out for a ride.

I got Baby Blue over a month ago after wanting ¬†to be able to go out and about the neighborhood, especially to “downtown” Coconut Grove without having to deal with the stress of looking for a parking spot if going by car. So, on weekends whenever I want to go for Starbucks, Baby Blue takes me there. I normally go from point A to B and back, but today, given I had nothing better to do, after my coffee and a quick visit to the GAP, Baby Blue took me on a residential tour of the Grove.

I want to make something clear. I normally do not put names to objects, bikes, cars, computers, phones. Most of my tri-friends have names for their bikes and the majority are female names. My tri-bike has no name and if it were to have one, it would be a male name. In any case, I refer to it as “tri-bike”. Now, I’m not certain why I have given Baby Blue’s a name, but it’s a no-brainer one. And yes, it has no gender.

I rode for almost an hour. I rode those little streets I never get to ride with my tri-bike. I rode the road I ran this morning with my friend and teammate, Karla, for an 1 hour and 15 minutes. I saw more details on the houses I usually pass in front of. And saw another house with an owl sitting on the fence. You see, Karla and I have noticed two houses on our running path that have fake owls either on a balcony or on the roof top. Now we all know there’s a third one!

I rode around several friends’ houses, and took pictures along the way. I rode with one hand, yes, one hand (I know my friend the Big Q. would be proud of this, of course, he’d be more proud if I did this on the tri-bike… to which I say: in another life!). I even took turns with one hand off the handlebar. Yeay for me.

I came across so many people, and to all of them I said hi with a huge smile on my face, because that’s what I was carrying all throughout the ride. It was complete happiness. The feeling of being a small child, just riding my bike without a destination. For some reason, every time I’m on Baby Blue riding the Grove, I’m smiling, and giggling inside of myself… I love the feeling. I’m happy.

If thanks to Pocho I finally made the switch to being a vegetarian, and becoming a triathlete has changed my lifestyle, living in the Grove has given me a place where I truly feel I belong. It reflects what I am about. The people who have been living in this area for a while, are real people. People who are grounded. People who are unpretentious. Just your regular folks. I like that.

Baby Blue visits a friend.

Baby Blue visits a friend.

With my Florida Ironman 70.3 bag. At one point I had it on my bike. I wonder if I lost credibility! LOL... Not worried.

With my Florida Ironman 70.3 bag. At one point I had it on my back. I wonder if people thought it wasn’t mine.

Share the Road - Coconut Grove

Share the Road – Coconut Grove

With the sound of the wind and of the fat tires turning on the ground, Baby Blue and I arrived at this tree that always blows my mind in total awesomeness when I see it.

With the sound of the wind and of the fat tires turning on the asphalt, Baby Blue and I arrived at this tree that always blows my mind in total awesomeness when I see it.

Although not a good picture, I wanted you guys to see that peacocks are a regular thing on the streets of the Grove.

Although not a good picture, I wanted you guys to see that peacocks are a regular thing on the streets of the Grove.

There’s good energy in these streets, the streets of the Grove and I like to ride around them, and hopefully I will for many years to come.

I am a Grovite.

Baby Blue's home and will rest for no more than a week.

Baby Blue’s home and will rest for no more than a week.

Three hours alone with Cato

In Life on March 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

So, what am I supposed to write about today? It’s not easy to have a blog. Then again, people just write about anything that’s going on or have done in any given moment. Therefore, I will tell you about my Sunday, while one of my dogs’ paws is laying on top of my left hand just because he wants me to carres him.

This morning I slept in. Yeay for me. I’m mentally exhausted for several reasons, so being able to get some rest, mental rest that is, feels good. The usual after I get up… bathroom, brush teeth, get decently dressed, take the boys out for their walk around the block, come back home, feed them, and then… what? Should I have breakfast at home? Or go to Starbucks? Decisions. Decisions. Then, which of my dogs should I bring with me? Sweet Chema who pees on every tree? Or crazy Cato who really needs to be socialized because when all three of us go for walks, he goes bizerk when people or dogs make their way through our path. Decisions. Decisions. And this was not an easy one, cause Chema is so sweet and well-behaved he deserved the outing. But I needed to check on Cato’s social skills and being able to correct him at the moment something would happen. So, I took the little one with me.

We drove to downtown Coconut Grove, a 5 minute ride, parked and off we went. It’s amazing how well he was doing by not having his brother next to him. The fact that he didn’t have to either prove himself or protect us from possible threats. Going into Starbucks was a breeze with him. Two kids that were making the line behind us started talking to me about Cato. The one who talked the most told me they had two Schnauzers and two Westies. One of the Schnauzers was 5 months old. He was amazed by Cato’s color because he had never seen a liver colored Schnauzer. While he was amazed by Cato, I was amazed that this teenage kid had initiated a conversation with a much older person, and was really into it. I know few kids that age who like to talk to adults. Or even able to put a sentence together. Anyway, he told me all about the 5 month old and I told him about Cato. He asked if he could take a picture of him to show his mom. And by the time we said goodbye, he said “If my mom sees him she will take him away.” To what I replied “I’m sure she will return him.” LOL Cato is very energetic.

While I was having my Venti Wet Soy Cappuccino with three raw sugars and oatmeal with soy milk, Cato, who I had tied to my chair, was going crazy with all the little birds flying around. He was very attentive to their movements and tried to chase them several times, only to realize he was going nowhere.

Cato observing birds.

Cato observing birds.

We then walked around and he was cool. If a dog would approached us, he would bark but nothing crazy. And with people, and especially men, he was a sweet heart. We got back into the car and drove a minute over to my friend Princess Karla¬†just to say hi. We were there for maybe 30 minutes or more, and her dog Dexter and Cato got along well. But Cato was not interested in playing, especially after discovering a pile of sunflower seeds she had laying on a plant to feed birds. I have no idea how many seeds he munched on, but this guy was having a feast. I guess it was like having Skittles, you just can’t have one. I finally carried him so he wouldn’t eat them all, and of course so he wouldn’t have an upset tummy later.

From her house we drove one more block to Gifford Lane where a small art festival was taking place. The Gifford Lane Art Stroll was just what Cato needed to graduate summa cum laude from this outing. Not only there were a lot of people strolling from one booth to the other, there were as many dogs. Some of them he didn’t even pay attention to. Others he sniffed, growled a bit, but when corrected he got calmed. Many people stopped me to compliment me on his colors. A couple asked me where I had gotten him. They had a Schnauzer and were looking for a little brother for him, after their long time White Schnauzer passed away last year. Sound familiar? So we engaged in a conversation of our losses and how brilliant our little lost angels were. I, of course, showed them my phone case that has a picture of Pocho, and some photos I have as screen saver and wallpaper. I recommended them to look into Schnauzer Love Rescue, the rescue Cato came from and also Zacar√≠as, an older dog I had who passed away a couple of years ago. They were very interested in contacting them. I hope they do. I really love this rescue organization.

Pocho, the love of my life.

Pocho, the love of my life.

Zacarías, aka Zack or El Viejo, was my other Schnauzer Love Rescue rescue.

Zacarías, aka Zack or El Viejo, was my other Schnauzer Love Rescue rescue.

So after our lovely, calmed walk, Cato and I jumped back into the car for our 5 minute drive back home, to grab Chema and go for a short bio break, and to wake up to reality because while Cato excelled on “Walking alone with momma 101”, he terribly flunked “Walking with momma and Chema 101”.

Sweet Chema.

Sweet Chema.

A day of a lot and nothing at all.

In Life, Triathlons on February 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Today there’s not much to talk about, other than it’s been raining in Miami almost all day, and that means probably tomorrow’s training session will take place in the gym and no swimming. At least it’s not raining meteors around here.

A day packed with work that started very early for me because one of my dogs had a reaction to the flea/heart worm medication and the poor thing was scratching like crazy. So, very early in the morning… I think it was around 4, I took him out for a bio break and then treated him with some love and Reiki. He fell asleep on my chest for an hour until he was ready for action.

cato

Tonight is family time with The Dude’s (the boyfriend) and his kids, and then late happy hour with some of my tri-friends.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with many activities, including the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and perhaps rain too.

If I do anything extraordinarily interesting I will report back. For now, I have nothing else to say.

Have an awesome weekend and, if you are lucky as I am, happy LONG weekend!

A Smelly Day

In Life on February 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

This is triathlon unrelated, but since I have nothing related to talk about, I’ll tell you about my scent today…

I’ve been using for quite some time organic oils instead of perfumes. I actually own only one branded perfume I got as a birthday gift. Other than that, I have a collection of oils that I buy at Whole Foods. Some I like more than others. And I typically mix two of them… so basically I create my own aromas.

Today I used an oil I barely ever use. And I now remember why.

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It’s very intense. Very. But the worse thing was that as I was pouring it on the palm of my hand to later splatter it on my body, an incredible amount came out of the tiny bottle. I tried putting some back, but I couldn’t, so I just threw it on me.

By the time I went to Starbucks to get my morning coffee fix, I couldn’t stand myself. And when I came into the office, a lot of people were complaining on the smell of incense that was lingering around. LOL… It was ME!!!! ME!!!! I swear, I was leaving a trail of incense every where I went. People on the other side of the office from where I sit, were wondering where the smell came from… it was me! I had been on that side of the office for a brief moment just to pick up something from the printer.

During an agency presentation I felt bad for all of those around me. But at the same time I was cracking up. I could only imagine their thoughts.

The day is almost gone and I still smell like a giant incense stick burning wild. I now know better… hopefully.

This is what my bathroom cabinet looked like a couple of months ago… now there is more. But you can see the little lethal bottle of the Nag Champa Triloka oil. Stay away from that thing!!!

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It’s been a while…

In Bike, Life, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on February 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM

… since I last wrote. I don’t even want to look at the date of my last entry. Why bother? I know it’s been long.

So many things happened in between. The love of my life, my dog Socrates a.k.a. Pocho, passed away; I broke up with my boyfriend a gazillion times and got back with him; I had a lot of work; I trained like crazy; I completed my first Ironman 70.3 and did some other races; I started my way back into my spiritual journey, and many other things along the way.

All in all, it was a good long while, with it’s plusses and minuses; yet I still carry a heavy heart for the loss of my favorite little guy. I had to make the decision of putting him to sleep and that’s one that can haunt you forever. This, by far, has been the darkest hour of my life.

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And the brightest was finishing the¬†ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta on 9/29/12 in 6:53:48. If that’s a good time or not, it’s all relative, but I finished strong and happy, feeling like a champ. Satisfied for the entire journey towards Augusta… all the training… the trip with my coach and teammates… the unconditional attention from my boyfriend who made sure I enjoyed every minute of MY moment… the packet pick-up… race day… THE FINISH LINE.

 

pochoaugusta

 

Above, stopping before the finish line for a photo with a handkerchief printed with Pocho’s face. He made it with me through the race!

 

Photo Oct 04, 6 27 52 PM

That is me above feeling proud and happy with my medal.

This is me below bragging because I can.

Photo Oct 11, 10 45 58 AM

This year started off with the ING Half Marathon (results here) and the Chapman Wild Run 5k (got third place in my age group; first time ever). Next in line are: the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of the month; the Nautica South Beach Triatlon (the first tri of the season) and the Key Biscayne Half Marathon in April.¬†There are many other races I’m doing this year but have not signed up yet… and yes, one of them is Augusta, and another Ironman 70.3, probably Haines City.

Life is good!!! And while I am happy doing the things I like, my heart will always weep silent tears for my little man Pocho

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The Countdown to 47!

In Bike, Life, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Tomorrow is my birthday. Right now I’m saying goodbye to my 46th year on this planet. A year filled with amazing experiences, great challenges and incredible sacrifices. It brought the best out of me and the worse. It taught me a lot about myself. Of what I am made of… and I can still stand tall and proud. A year that brought me right to this place. Right now. The good. The bad. It was all a blessing, because of all of it I am who I am in this moment. And yet I feel eager to see what the road ahead of me has instock.

I can continue to write¬†nostalgically, romantically, spiritually, deeply, or real corny… But not today. Maybe tomorrow. Today I will tell you this as the most profound thought of the day: Tomorrow I will be 47 and as far as this blog is concerned, that only means I get to remain in the same age group (45 – 50) I’ve been in since last year… So the trauma of moving into a new age group will have to wait three more years!!!

Send me love tomorrow!

 

Augusta on my Mind

In Bike, Life, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Some of my Alien Endurance teammates and I, along with our fab coach, Andy Clark, have decided to train for the Half IronMan in Augusta, GA on September 3oth.

Now that said… I have no clue how the hell I will achieve this given the extra hours of training we will be submitted to on a weekly basis, and my past history of slacking. But my teammates and I have made a pact of blood to push each other… I actually asked if they could pull me out of bed each morning, especially now these days when 3:21am is my natural wakeup call to connect within. Yes. This is my wakeup call to meditate, contemplate or get inspired… or all of the above. I had been setting my alarm clock for 5am, but I guess that was too late for the Universe, so everything starts earlier for me. Perhaps the Universe is on European time, I don’t know. But I don’t complain cause I’m enjoying it. Especially enjoying the inspiration and the reconfirmation that I’m in the right path.

But back to training, it’s gonna be hard… yesterday we did a very short training session, which even got me guessing if it was worth wearing my AE uniform… but I did. However, today we did an hour and a half bike ride with bridge included… twice. Thirty minutes of those ninety consisted of going out all the way like if we were racing… I did well, or so I think, but my calves are already hurting. Which makes me wonder, how will they behave tomorrow?

Our coach is supposed to change our training programs soon… probably as soon as this week, if not by tomorrow (yikes!). I’m curious to know what’s in it. How I will combined my days with work, training, and growth. It will be exciting to see how all this pans out. I’m sure it will work out just great, because I do not want to sacrifice the training and my path to growth. And work? Well, I can’t sacrifice that either.

Please wish me luck in my trainings, and send happy thoughts so that I can make it to Augusta in September with my teammates wearing the orange and black Alien colors!!!

P.S.: If you click on the Alien Endurance link, you will see me… I’m the third from left to right in the first row. This was before our Tri Miami Pre-Race workout the day before the race. ūüėČ

Let’s see what comes out

In Life on May 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM

In the past two months, it has been very difficult for me to keep myself motivated to write. So many excuses! I can blame it on almost anything. Even the moon. But at the end, I’m the only one to blame. It’s me who has been procrastinating and not wanting to do the exercise of looking in to see what I can write about. What is there to say. Is there anything interesting that people would like to read. I do have a lot to write about. I do. But it has nothing to do with triathlons. So I don’t write.

Before I was ten I was already writing. I truly cannot remember what I wrote about, but it must’ve been very profound when my mom would always tell me I had to become a writer. At that age my cynism was fully developed, and I would always respond “I would die of hunger”, because I knew, even back then, that this writing thing of mine was purely based on how inspired I was, and I also knew, I wasn’t always inspired. So, making a life out writing was not going to put food on my table.

Aside from the inspiration, my ever so¬†changing nature, would’ve also hindered my writing¬†career. This changing nature I speak of does not allow me to stick to one thing. To one topic of conversation. To just one activity. To just one book…

The problem is I’m a Gemini and therefore, I am cursed!!!

The “Terrible Twins”, I sometimes feel like there are 30 pairs of twins inside of me.

Now, check this out from Wikipedia:

“The sign is seasonally associated with the transition from spring to summer. Because of its association with a change of season, astrologists describe it as a ‘mutable sign‘,[2]:88¬†describing an instinct and impulse towards change and versatility, and an easy ability to adapt to the demands of the environment.”

A mutable sign… ¬†What? Here are some definitions: 1)¬†Capable of or subject to change or alteration. 2)¬†Prone to frequent change; inconstant:¬†mutable weather patterns. 3)¬†Tending to undergo genetic mutation:¬†a mutable organism; a mutable gene. Ok, the third one is a little bit of a stretch for me at this point. BUT, the first and second give you an idea of who I am. Let’s continue¬†dissecting¬†the paragraph. I am in constant change. In total alteration. Not only that, it seems I have “an instinct and impulse towards change and versatility“, it’s there! I have an instinct. Something that probably I cannot control. I’m screwed! I do consider myself versatile. I think I am sorta good in many things, but not an expert in anything. Finally, I easily adapt to the demands of the environment. Ok, that ain’t all too bad. I can work with difficult people. I’ve been told many times I have “mano izquierda” (left hand)… that means I have a way to deal with difficult people in difficult situations.

To be honest, these traits make me tired. I think a lot. And even when I have no intention of writing on my blog, I end up writing in my head, because communication rules my life. I need to talk. Express. Share. All this while I am mutating every other heart beat.

And as you can see, my blog has mutated today into a mutable topic about a mutating woman who is talking absolutely non-sense. That’s why I alerted you with the title “Let’s see what comes out”. It was either this or nothing.

At this age I was already writing

No Excuses

In Bike, Life, Run, Swim, Triathlons on April 30, 2012 at 11:13 PM

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote. More than a month, probably? I’ve been trying to write the reasons why I haven’t done it, but I just don’t like how it comes out and just the thought of having to change the copy around to make it sound perfectly “sound”, means digging again into wounds that are still very sensitive to the touch. So, I will let that draft sit in its designated box until I have the nerve to rescue it and make some sense out of it.

What I wanted to share with you today was this picture of Hector Picard and myself.

Tonight I had the honor of meeting this inspirational Triathlete at¬†Miami Pace‘s monthly event. I had seen Hector in many of the races I’ve been in, but it was on the Egg Hunt Triathlon this month that I was able to see him up close, as opposed to the usual glimpse you typically get at a race while crossing paths at transition, on the course or at the finish line. That day I didn’t race. I was asked to help out with photographing the triathletes at the Finish Line and the Awards Ceremony. I was literally and figuratively watching the race from a different¬†lens.

Through my lens, I saw Hector get in the water. I saw Hector get out of the water. Then I saw Hector come through the finish line. Then I saw Hector on the podium receiving a medal. Believe me, I saw Hector.

I will not tell you the details of why Hector is an inspiration to everyone here in the Miami Triathlon community. I will not bore you with my reasonings. I will let you see for yourself.

This beautiful man, has the energy and will power to move mountains, with an incredible sense of humor and that great childish smile you see on his face.

I urge you to check out Hector (click here, and here & PLEASE click here too) and report back. That means, leave me a note.

There are no excuses to live life at the fullest.