Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting back into fighting shape

Hello readers, remember me? I was prepared to come back and grovel, plead for forgiveness for disappearing for so long, but truthfully, I've been too busy living and shouldn't be ashamed. It's not that I've been constantly "busy" busy, in the sense that I didn't have a lot of time to sit around on the computer. I've done plenty of that. But even when I haven't neccesarily had things to do, I've been too caught up with my thoughts and changes I'm working on for myself and my life that I don't have the energy, desire, or even words to share it all until I understand it myself. While I'm not quite there yet, here I am, ready to share at least what I've been busy doing in the standard sense of the word because I have done quite a bit and gone to many many places that I need to catch you all up on. It kind of feels like I'll never be able to remember it all but I'll get started. This is, after all, meant to be devoted to my travels.

I left for Argentina at the end of January, but had never caught up on my trip to Arizona. I then spent 5 weeks in Buenos Aires, came back 2 weeks ago, and have been trying to get my life back in order since then. That means trying to do a lot of work to make up for the money I spent, increasing my workload by expanding on my interpreting abilities so that I can finally make a decent income (meaning one that is at least enough to live off of). I'm determined to start studying for the legal certification exam, and in the meantime I've applied for many hospital interpreting jobs. I'm still doing a lot of simultaneous interpreting for the market research industry, and trying to get our company's marketing plan and strategies in order. I've also considered doing some on the side marketing consulting for start ups, but I'm not sure how that will work.
I'm back to yoga as well, doing a lot of hot yoga to learn teaching techniques and the sequences so I can get up in front of a classroom as soon as possible. I'm so intimidated by this! It's one thing to be able to DO yoga, I know I'm good at that, but it's totally different to teach. I get up there and go blank, my voice is monotone, I forget the routine, I'm too quiet....ugh, kind of sucks. Any teachers out there have some tips?
I also recently, as in last week, started running! Like seriously running. For years now I've done this thing where I decide maybe twice a year that it would be really cool to be a runner, I go jog half a mile maybe twice and then decide I can't run. But there are so many marathon runners at the yoga studio, and so many blogs I follow now that focus on running, and it just seems like so much fun! I love the sense of community, being able to run races for charity, and the emphasis on physical fitness. And that doesn't even begin to describe the endorphin rush during and after runs, and how great it feels to actually succeed and continue improving so quickly on something I never thought I could do. I began the Nike website 10k program last week and have diligently stuck to the running schedule. Yes, I let myself walk/ jog, as long as I get the mileage in but the walking has become a lot more sporadic and I don't really need it. My longest run has been 5 miles (this from the girl who thought she could never run more than a mile!). Yesterday I had a 4 mile jog and was absolutely running on air! It was amazing, I was singing out loud, sweating like crazy in the Houston humidity, and could have honestly kept running. I think yoga has really helped me in so many ways. I think what I always lacked was the mental stamina, but now I know how to focus myself more, plus my breathing stays a lot more stable, and I'm totally used to dripping sweat now that I do yoga in a 105 degree room. It doesn't bother me as much, I literally let it slide right off. Haha, gross :p).
Another thing I've been focusing on since getting back is getting more involved in both the yoga community, and the Houston vegan community. I've met such wonderful people and feel like I finally found a friendly and accepting environment where I can feel comfortable and share common interests with new friends.

So that's my life in a nutshell! But enough of that.

I want to get you started on Arizona, since it was WAYYYY back in December. (Geez Gaby, lazy lazy blogger!)
I visited both Sedona and the Grand Canyon with the whole extended family. My parents, brothers, aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother who was here from Argentina staying with us.

This city is so beautiful! Of course the Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world and you have to see it, but I prefer to stay in Sedona for many reasons. For one, it's a city with things to do, restaurants, shopping, some cute historic things, all the hikes you could possibly want, and dazzling views. At the Grand Canyon you're in the National Park so there's nothing else there, plus if it's foggy or rainy, or in our case, giant snowstorm-y, you can't actually see into the canyon. In Sedona you're pretty much inside a big canyon, surrounded by colorful red clay and striped cliffs and mountains. The colors are truly unbelievable. See for yourself:

There are excursions such as mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, camping, fishing, among many many other things to do. Since my family is so large and has such diverse interests, we prefer to do our own thing. We split up a few times so that the more adventurous of us could do some more intense hiking. By intense I mean we climbed a 1 mile hike so some spectacular scenic views. Other than that, we did some scenic walks but nothing too adventurous. Everything is so pretty anyways! I really wanted to go mountain biking but each trip is upwards of $150 per person. There's a gorgeous stream we walked along with a few more rapid parts. My mom remembers this from the first time we went when I was 9 years old so she was excited to go back and see it.  I think this first picture should be my next album cover...when I learn to sing or play an instrument...That's my handsome brother causing the creek to glow, sorry ladies, he's very taken!

Arizona is also home to a lot of art galleries for people who happen to have millions of $$ burning holes in their pockets. At least they're nice to look at, and give me ideas for fancy abstract art I can recreate for my home that looks expensive. For the more normal range spenders, there's plenty of shopping you can do for cool indigenous things, American Indian artwork and jewelry, namely, and good local products like prickly pear honey I had to buy. We also checked out the farmer's market where I got bee pollen to try for the first time, goat's milk lotion that smells like butterscotch that the local "goat lady" produces. She also makes fudge but I didn't get to try any, no more samples :(
Aside from the prominent Native American culture, Arizona is also home to all the extraterrestrial type thing, psychics, tarot readers, and things of that kind. I didn't meet any aliens or see crop circles but maybe next time.
Though I'm not a huge ET believer or anything, the whole hippy atmosphere does mean that AZ is home to a lot of the major yoga and spiritual retreat centers. It has perfect weather for this and is such a beautiful and relaxing environment, I would love to one day come back and do a yoga retreat. However, I contented myself with doing my poses dangerously close to the edges of cliffs.

Food is abundant and generally really good and diverse. Of course with a group of 16 Argentine's of varying (as in closed minded) tastes, I didn't get to try as many cuisines as I would have liked but I always manage to eat well! There are 2 raw vegan cafe's called Chocolatree that I did not get to try, but I did manage to convince the family to go to D'lish vegetarian eatery, which is kind of a small cafe with a lot of soup/ sandwich type foods. I admit it was not quite the dinner location we were hoping for but my family made kind of a big scene and complained a lot. That meant my brother and I simply had to eat our meals plus everyone else's. Oh well. There's of course a lot of your standard Mexican, and a lot of your fancy dining where you pay more for the views than the food. There is Korean and Thai but my family stuck to the typical American or Italian. Again, I love trying all kinds of things, but it's the company that counts. Here's everyone at a small family owned Italian place called The Hideaway that I chose for New Year's. It turned out to be really good!

Whew! Well that was definitely a long overdue and long in length post. Now that you're somewhat caught up on my life I won't feel like such a blog stalker when I comment on everyone else's blogs.
While I'm sure I've lost most of you already, I commend anyone who read all of that. Stay tuned and if you're lucky, you'll get a recap of the Grand Canyon before the weekend is over.
Over and out,


1 comment:

Jamie Walker said...

Hey girl, thanks so much for the comment! Glad you'll be making it out to San Francisco soon. For your vegan eats while you're here - check out The Plant Cafe (my FAVE), Herbivore, or Alive - all super good! As for running, if you want flat, try Crissy Field....