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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Inner Latina Bunny Lead Me Astray

Be independent. Blaze your own path. Go forth and conquer. These phrases aren't for me anymore. Years of my life have been spent attempting to prove that the norm is bullshit. After some exhaustive pushing against the grain, I've realized that the norm is usually the simplest path to what you want. Cause let's face it, we all kinda want the same things. We want to be loved. We want to be considered attractive, smart, funny, and capable. We want people to understand us and to be able to return that understanding. If you know what's good for you, you end up wanting money. Most of us want someone to share it all with and then biology kicks in and you end up wanting some kids too. If you can escape the bio-tick, most people seem to end up wanting something to take care of, be it pet or career.

That all being said, sometimes my neurons still shoot off opposite my desire and I find myself off the beaten path. This time quite literally. It's snowy and cold here in Wyoming but not enough to be skiable. Filling my days has been a challenge. After a bunch of sitting around and a horrible amount of why have I even been placed on this Earth thought, I remembered that I'm a burgeoning badass and I can't let less than ideal conditions keep me from at least training. Plus, my dvd player broke. For a while I was filling my time watching Shakira video's on youtube, trying to train my hips. Still trying. My hips do lie. They say, I have the soul of a little white woman and not a Latina. Only time will rectify. As I waited for my hips to catch up with my soul, I figured I should at least walk up something.

Trudging my butt up Snowking I saw a bouncy, flouncy familiar figure. A mass of silver curls tumbling onto a body that could belong to a toned twenty-five year old but instead belongs to my mid-forties co-worker. She is one of the Jackson enigmas. Those who look and seem so very much younger than their number due to exuberant, active, healthy living. Before my new job, I worked at the Mangy Moose, which pretty much hires on looks. None of the lovely girls there where commented on at work as much as this woman I work with now. With no make-up and no scandalous outfit, this woman has more people exclaiming that she is beautiful. As I watched her practically skip down the mountain I was inspired. I don't just want to walk up something, I want adventure and fun. I want to challenge myself so that I keep my child-like enthusiasm. That's when I decided to go up the mountain on the less traveled path, Ferrin's.

It's not as if this trail is wild and reckless, just less traveled. Apparently, very much less traveled when snow has fallen because once I headed off on the trial, all human footprints vanished and soon I was following the cute little hop-prints of bunnies. Just me and the wild. That's right. I thought about my nick-name, Jessica Rabbit. I fit in here. I thought about my awesome friend Chase who fears no off-track hike and can identify all the animals tracks and poop. This must be how he got his outdoor intelligence. Just go out there and see what you find. Soon the bunny tracks were intersecting what must have been deer prints, there little spindle legs poking into the snow. As I fancied myself a real outdoor woman, I looked up to find that a moose about twenty feet away had already spotted me.

Moose are relatively harmless animals that only attack occasionally. At least that's what I've gathered over the years. You don't want to startle them and you don't want to get in between them and their babies. Don't know if I startled this one because I was imaging myself as a bunny. As I tried to figure out if I should go forward or back, my eyes grazed over his little one nestled down behind some bushes in the snow. Hmmmm... Not ideal. To me, huge antlers are the same as a person casually possessing a gun. Like a cop who always has one visible. I don't care if they aren't going to shoot me. I know they could and I proceed with caution. Pulling on the only etiquette I know, I said to the moose, "Hello. I'm just going this way." Gestured with my had the path and walked on by, keeping my eyes on the big moose. The moose started chewing again, which I took as a good sign.

Almost running into large animals is part of getting out in nature. Some people love it and strive for an encounter. I prefer trees. They are beautiful, wild, and far less threatening. Snow exposes so many prints that I have never seen before. The bunny and dear weren't the only animals using the ease of the cleared path to get around. Soon I was seeing what looked like dog prints but why would there be a dog without a human? Some tiny squirrel scratchings were visible. The trial was becoming over-run with the reminisce of my furry companions. I was hurrying along hoping to make it to the top of the mountain where I could cut over to the more traveled path down Snowking and avoid seeing the big moose again. As I neared the top, the prints got really big. Hoofs I can generally handle, but these were large paws. What has a big paw slightly larger than my own hand? Because I don't know all that much about wild animals, except that I like to avoid them, I'm not sure. All I can think is bear. Oh, God, bear. Trapped between a known moose and possible bear. This is where the less traveled path always seems to lead. Dang, dang, dang. After a few moments of trying to discern which way the big paws were traveling, I accept that I don't know anything and I better just go back from whence I came. Aka: Mooseville.

I scurry down the path, about the same speed and the joyous skip I hoped to emulate but powered by fear. When getting close to where I think the moose and babe were I start saying, "Hello? Umm, hello?" As this time the moose will say, "Oh, you again. Have a nice day." When I do get to the moose, he has done me a courtesy and laid down, making him seem a lot less threatening. As I pass by, once again gesturing with my hand my intended path, the baby moose rises to his feet, as if to follow me. WHY? I keep on walking with my hand up to say, "Oh, please don't get up for me." Quickly shuffling back down the path destroying all previous prints.

I guess it's hard to find an untraveled path. You just gotta hope that who or whatever traveled it before you is nice and doesn't want to trample or eat you. There is a snow storm dumping on Jackson today. Thank you Lord for an excuse to go out to lunch and do some shopping. Today I choose a well worn path of my past, but who knows what wild hair I'll get tomorrow. As much as believe in my mind that the easy path is the best, something in my fiery Latina soul just won't let me stay on that trail.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Money Follows the Sweets

I just realized some good Feng-shui in my life. My bank gives me bit-o-honey candies when I go in to make a deposit. This candy is so delicious and yet, my whole life has been so elusive. As a kid, I this was the candy that the cheap-o's and weirdos tended to hand out. I love it. Which might be bad feng cause I do tend to attract weirdos. Anywaysssss.... Usually can only be found at the dollar store and I hate going in there because I buy cat calenders and obscure candy. The only way I can get a small, pain free does of the bit-o-honey is to deposit money. All other banking is done at ATMs or as grocery store cash back. Hence, I want to make more money so I can bring it to the bank and get more candy. Thanks life for making things easy on me.

Going Soft

Walking with my mom yesterday I was trying to teach her how to use her core to help her get up hills. I had her tucking her butt, not slumping too far forward, all the while asking her if she could identify her core. She said yes. I still don't believer her. On one of our breathing breaks where I tried to keep focused on the fact that she is older than me and if I push her too hard I'll kill her, she wheezed out, "You know who has strong abs?"

"Who mom?"

"Your cousin, Zachary."

"Isn't he, like, nine months old?"

"Yeah! He can sit up all the way without using his arms. It's amazing."

Flashback in my mind to being in Guatemala on a stinky local bus making a stop and a bustling village with locals hanging out gossiping and selling food off of tables as everyone pretended flies don't exist. I was on the bus, near the back, crammed up against the window. There were about four more hours to my destination. I was snapped out of the state of zen that must be achieved on such a bus ride by the sight of a dangling baby. The typical method of baby transport in Guatemala is a cloth made into a sling with a baby tucked in around the mothers body. Seeing a woman with three slings on and four children grabbing at her skirt is typical. She may even be breast feeding one. The baby I was looking at was solo on the mom's body around her back. He/She must have been seven to eleven months old. Although, this is Guatemala where the tiny children look like snacks for an American playground. The baby might have been three. For the sake of the story, the baby was very much just a little fat cheeked, googly headed mass. Seriously. That's why I was shocked when I saw it dangling from the sling. Seventy-Five percent of the little one was outside of the sling, tilted toward the ground. I knew I was about to watch the death or severe damaging of an infant and there was nothing I could do about it. Even if I could shout from my confinement on the bus, I had learned earlier in the trip that I really don't know any Spanish. Some one asked me in Spanish if I spoke Spanish. I replied in Spanish, hot sauce. I was trying to say a little. Really, I know none. I could shout in English, the woman, if she even heard me, would turn, suddenly startled and whip the baby out for sure. As these thoughts skidded through my mind, wrinkling my forehead on there way, the baby used her/his obliques to right herself or himself in the sling. The mom never noticed. I'm still filled with a sense of wonder as I think about it. I think that was the moment I became obsessed with the core and its life-saving abilities.

Babies bodies are amazing: soft, strong, flexible, resilient. Pretty much everything I want to be. This summer while I was mountain biking a lot I started to get really strong and hard. My butt had no jiggle. My legs were tense even when I wasn't flexing. At first this sounds good, but then you have to think about femininity and music videos. Girls want some jiggle. Only a controlled bit and in the right spots but you don't want to be a rock. That ain't the end goal. I got softer as the biking season ended. Feels good.

I need to talk about not being too hard because I got a note from a friend where she lamented her body going soft after it had gotten really hard. This is a girl with a beautifully curved body who has never gotten near being fat. You know I am a proponent of being strong and using your body so that it doesn't break down later. I think the whole world need to play more because it is fun, with the power to make people healthy and happy. The industrial revolution forgot about the human body and I think it's time we bring it back and not just for a recommended fifteen to twenty minutes a day. All that said, I'm not a fan of being critical of something that is awesome. Just know, I bet you were a beautiful baby, cause baby, you're beautiful now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm Super Woman. Secret Power- Abs!

As I sat up in bed one morning, I was shocked by the fleeting glimpse of shadows in the mirror. Yes, my bed has a mirror right across from it. By the time I was fully upright the image was gone. I laid back down and slowly sat up again. There they were. Emerging from my childhood dreams, visible abs. Since that morning, I've been on a diligent search for my abs. As in epic tales where the hero goes on a quest, what I've found on my journey is far more than just a bikini ready torso...

See, once I knew the abs were in there I didn't just wait, I started to try using the puppies in times of weakness. On my bike, I realized how much stronger I was if I thought about using my abs as an extension of my legs to push and pull. When a hike was getting too tough and I was about to fall behind my super fit friends I'd engage my core and have an extra boost of energy. Even at work, when my body started to slag from too much standing, I'd turn to my new hidden strength reserve and all of a sudden I could make it through the night happily in my body. Turns out there was power and energy right in the middle of me that I've ignored my whole life.

That's right. I'm Super Woman. Well, at least closer to being my own personal Super Woman. This discovery came just when I was really starting to feel like a broken down loser. You know those times when all of a sudden you forget how to be happy? You look around and all of a sudden your life has gotten away from you. You hate your job. You don't remember what being surrounded by people who inspire you feels like. You can't remember how to be positive and bring love to the people you love. You vaguely remember being funny but now your only jokes are about how much you hate everything. It sounds horrible but I've come to these points of confusion and sadness enough times now to know that these feelings are not real. I'm just about to make a big change. I can take the grossness of what I'm feeling and realize it means I'm about to find a way to be stronger and happier than I've ever been. I start getting excited about the change that is coming. The excitement is often obscured by my jokes about hating everything but it's there. There isn't some obscure location inside of me anymore that I blindly grope for because of my faith. There is my core. You can't shake the core.

It was in the middle of all this sadness, where I felt evil forces trying to destroy me, that I found my core strength. The core is so important because it transfers energy from large to small body parts making the whole body stronger. What an amazing gift to find a whole new vat of strength at my disposal. Physically, I'm more capable than ever and my great love of metaphor has helped me apply this to my mental life. My core is there for me when I refuse to fall behind climbing the mountain. That is true whether it's an actual mountain, supporting the people I care about, having fun, or believing in my own choices. I've found even more strength and now I know how to exercise it to make it stronger. Plus, it mean I get hot abs. Thank you life. You are too good to me.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Just spent three weeks in Italy and I would have had to pry my hands off my gelato in order to blog. Sorry. My hands stayed firmly wrapped on the food. Plus, I was tipsy the whole time. Whoops.

Now I'm back and have much badassing to share. Here is just a glimpse. I passed up Halloween partying to get up at 5:30 in the morning and go hunting. That's right. The thought of helping skin a carcass was more enticing that dressing up and shaking my booty. Who am I?

Someone who wishes I could stay up all night dressed like a pumpkin and shaking squash, then hunt. Can't do it all. The addiction to the kill won out this time.