I had to build myself a solid base, because I knew deep down that I would crumble due to a sense of missing out on life, in general, if I’d pursued those early athletic careers. Some of it was due to timidity, but a large part of it was choice. I chose to move. I chose not to train with an Olympic team. I chose to get to know myself, to learn what was out in the world and what people were like. I have a huge appetite for knowledge, and that was what I wanted to feed, not a desire to merely be very very good at something. My mind is attached to my heart, and I observe everything with severe intensity. I can’t let myself become heavier with one thing, because I detect the imbalance. I want love, and truth and authenticity- and I have the patience and diligence required to obtain it.
If I’d gone with those early offerings, I’d essentially have taken an instant-gratification route on life, seeking validation from others. I know myself, and that’s a slippery slope. I’ve always been concerned with what other people think of me, and learned when playing tennis that losing a competition put me in a very angry place. I know that being competitive and wanting to be seen and congratulated by others is still an inherent part of my nature, but now I know how to handle failure in the times that I don’t succeed. In a way that is positive and doesn’t result in self-destruction. I would hit myself. When I’m at my most manic, I punch my thighs and hit my face and my arms to try and get my frustration out. I would think and sometimes say how I hated myself and I was terrible. I was shit. Fuck me. This is the place I wanted to avoid. This is what I intrinsically knew would await me had I accepted the Olympic training offer. Had I dropped out of school to pursue snowboarding and a life that would hinge on others’ opinions of my performance ability. I was strong, but I didn’t know how to manage my weakness. Now I am stronger, I know myself and know how to construct a lifestyle that protects my weaknesses. I see it, and I know what it is.
I don’t follow the skate scene nearly as much as I follow the snow (surprise). However, once in a while something pops up on my radar that I can’t ignore. The Berrics launched a 10-person online edit competition,
“10 skaters, 10 locations. In Transition: a tranny contest like you’ve never seen. We picked 10 of the most progressive skaters on the planet to choose one location each—any location in the world—and film a full part.”
I may not know as much about these guys, but after watching these parts- damn, they’ve got my respect.
If you want to have an amazing Sunday that makes you feel fantastic inside and out, then go take an hour to jump back into yoga. Then follow it up with a big bowl of greens, guac and tofu at whole foods (I splurged today, ok?). It will leave you buzzing your whole body over- I keep catching myself smiling for no reason.
I went to Yoyo Yogi in northwest portland- they have an intro deal that let’s you get 12 classes/month for $38. I’ve done my research and that’s one of the best deals for yoga classes in portland. Plus, I found this quote on their website:
“The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.” Chinese proverb
I met John Jackson about four years ago as an intern at Bonfire. I was up in Government Camp, helping out with the Bonfire Pipe to Pipe and John wanders in to say hello to Java or someone else I’m with. He walks over to us and extends his hand to me- on it is the tiniest kitten I’ve ever seen. He asks me if I want to pet his kitty. After a second I realize, no- that’s just a fake kitten made of rabbit fur. But the earnest look in his eyes when he first asked me had made me second guess whether that was a toy or not. Later on I saw him walking around with it tucked into a headband in his dreads.
I just watched episode 3, part 2 of Air Time and it made me think of the first time I ran into this guy. I was put off at first, but then realized I was intrigued and didn’t want to stop watching the video. Also, it ends with them picking up an impossibly tiny puppy in Mexico (that I didn’t believe was real- first kittens, now puppies).
[You can find all of John Jackson’s episodes of Air Time on Transworld]
The whole reason why I started this blog was to help remind myself why I’m living the life that I do. Once or twice a year, I start to falter in my conviction and second-guess my lifestyle choices. In fact, one of those times is occurring right now. I panic, I can’t sleep well at night, I feel anxious for no apparent reason. It’s usually coupled with a significant lack of money, which either spurs on my anxiety even further or is the main trigger to it. I usually accompany it with an intense desire to go shopping and purchase a whole new wardrobe- that feeling of needing to reinvent myself kicking in hard.
What saves me are my friends. I’m pretty sure I’d be on 1,000’s of different medications if I didn’t have friends. I think a lot, probably too much (hence the reason I can’t smoke weed- more thoughts and reduced ability to talk? No thanks). It begins with a choice, something I have to decide. My mind will start racing in a circle, going over the options and every possible outcome over, and over, and over until I’ve literally paced in a circle, picking the same three things up and setting them down again and again. The thing I’ve learned that saves me is an interaction with another person. As soon as I engage with someone, I’m free. My mind sits back, relaxes, and no longer cares about the 20 various hypothetical consequences of wearing shoes versus sandals to walk to the corner store.
My brain helps me out a lot, and all of the thinking it goes through has pushed me to do more in my life than I ever thought possible. But what’s really made my life possible are my friends. From inviting me out on trips, to finding a new drink at a bar to merely hanging out and pulling me out of my head- friends are the most important thing I’ve gained throughout my life. So, thanks friends. You’re awesome.
In my last semester at PSU during Fall, 2013 I took a documentary film class. This short film shows the process of preparing AeroPress coffee at Heart, brewed by my friend Ashley Rehfeld. I first posted this on jennjennago.wordpress.com, but felt it might fit a little better here on Gofer. Enjoy!