Being present

It’s something I do tend to struggle with in general. My mind is busy …. Thinking about what I’m going to say or do next, or what just happened, or, you know, whatever. As much as I know that every day and every moment with every person that I enjoy spending time with is a gift, I still take it for granted after a while. I think that’s normal.
That has been one amazing thing about this trip: I’ve been living in the moment for most of it. It’s hard not to when you want to soak up every second with the people that you’re with. Maybe it will help get me into the habit of staying in the moment.
This is one reason I find the qigong almost like mental candy: it forces me to be in the moment and concentrate my thoughts and my posture. The kundalini yoga did that, but I keep being too injured for it, and it also almost gives you the easy way out because if you’re under physical strain it’s hard to think ANYWAY. When you’re sitting holding a posture and trying to relax, it’s harder to keep the mind quiet.
Just for a fun test, my mother and I tested my blood pressure (she has a home testing machine) before and after my qigong (which I train in the morning when your blood pressure is apparently the highest). The result was a dramatic drop in blood pressure … I think I went from 125/74 to 117/65. Or something along those lines. It was lower the night before. But still! Pretty cool stuff.
I didn’t specifically do all that much my final days in Vermont. Enjoying summer; the heat, the vibrant green, the daylilies, and the long days. Some shopping, some cat coordination, uploaded some photos from the road trip, dinner in Burlington with Cyrus; but mainly just spending time with my mother. Which was ….. wonderful.
I love my family so SO much, from the witty commentary to the uncouth discussion while in a fancy French restaurant to the little touches and personality quirks that make them my family (like my dad calling the skunk ‘Sweetie’). Yeah, it’s hard to live so far away. But on the plus side, every moment is precious when we are together. At least for me. Trying to live life not just in living colour but in the moment.  
Speaking of, my injury is being very in the moment … yesterday it seemed to me that it was kind of stalled or even getting worse from excessive rest, now today it literally doesn’t hurt at all. We’ll see what tomorrow (Wednesday), brings, other than mass destruction in the form of three workouts. Laa-Laa might just be trying to kill me.
I am now on a plane on the way to California. Hey if I can’t compete, at least I can hang out behind the ropes and reconnect with a lot of people. This definitely wasn’t my year, and considering where I’m at healing-wise, I’m glad I’m not going out there and trying to compete while still injured. Kind of jealous of the first individual events though. Well, except for the 8km bike ride part! And to think that my previous strongest association with Camp Pendleton is that it had an unusual POS setup (four in-store terminals and no drive-thru … of course!).
Funny thing: you know you’re going to what is essentially a CrossFit convention when convention-goers spot each other in the airport. There was a guy I noticed out of the corner of my eye as I walked in. He was wearing a Reebok shirt and looked kinda like an athlete, so I figured he was a CrossFitter. When he saw my bag we started talking. Turns out he’s the guy at Reebok who heads up the CrossFit relationship. Figures.
Wicked jealous of the first team event: 6x415m run, in a relay. I used to run the 4x400m in high school, and it was far and away my favourite thing to do. One of my crowning achievements of my high school career was beating someone I shouldn’t have beaten, on the anchor leg of the 4×4 in front of the home crowd. Pretty sure she was from Milton too. So the closest the CrossFit Games is ever going to come to a 4x400m …. And I’m going to be watching. OK to be honest ALL the team events look like a lot of fun Oh well.  
On this subject, I am massively disappointed that they have announced pretty much all the events in advance of the day. I get announcing the triathlon bit in advance, but as an athlete and competitor, getting the events in advance as you do at Regionals takes a lot of the fun out of it. CrossFit becomes less about learning the material, and more about practicing for the test. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
Now having said that, a few days is not a lot of time to be practicing specific skills you may not be ready for (haha, or to train for a triathlon!!), or much time to be talking strategy if you’re a team. Still, a few days to talk strategy is a hell of a lot more than 15 minutes.
It’s cool, though, to see the variations on ‘normal’ CrossFit exercises coming up. Pistols & hang cleans, the introduction of lots of static holds in team workouts, bar muscle ups, medicine ball cleans, and paralette handstand pushups, one-arm dumbbell snatch, and now split snatch … and sprinting!
So I’ve been in the States a bit shy of a week. Random musings/feelings/thoughts:
  • The recognition that a mile is significantly longer than a kilometre!
  • General irritation at no-touch sinks, soap, and towel dispensers … all this waving of hands around and waiting for things to respond brings out my impatience
  • Feeling paranoid whenever I see a police officer or police vehicle … my mental gymnastics literally goes something like: “Am I doing anything wrong? No. Ok.” It’s a weird feeling that they make me feel like I’m doing something wrong even when I’m not!
  • Continuously handing my credit card to the cashiers, who then wave me to the self-service device
  • The momentary feeling of being stifled when driving through Massachusetts suburbia, contrasted with the heart-in-the-throat moments of driving into and through Boston, a city that is very VERY close to my heart (what does this tell you? I might just be a city girl after all!)
  • My palette has changed. I was having lunch with Rob at Sichuan Gourmet (my favourite Boston-area restaurant) and I took one bite of a non-spicy dish and exclaimed how spicy it was. He flashed me the most awesome look of condescension, it was awesome. Then I recovered (it wasn’t THAT spicy).
  • Google Traffic … man, this is the one smart phone feature I really miss in Cape Town.
  • Speaking of mobile phones … unlimited data really changes your usage behaviour. And by changes I mean increases 10x or so … there’s no more ‘Oh this can wait until I’m on a computer or near a WiFi zone’ here!
  • Logan airport Terminal C is very different than it was! Times change.

Yeah. Random.
I had this strange feeling in the Logan Airport security line (after I saw the Brad Pitt look-alike and before the full body scan) where I felt like I’m not going to be the same after this trip. Strange feeling to have; I mean we change all the time after all. And yet.
  • “It’s dangerous to drive when you’re crying.” – Ellie
  • “Dismissing things out of hand is not the mark of a great intelligence.” – Mom
  • “I can’t believe we ate all that!” “That’s because I was here.” – Rob & Ellie

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