Pre-ride Pity Party

I had written the following before the Aidsride/Lifecycle. And I finally feel open to posting it:

My knee is ice during the first hour of cycling. As if someone is injecting a dose of Mr. Freeze under my knee cap.

Cold. Is how I would describe my relationship with cycling. Real cycling. With spandex, pockets and diaper-padding.

Ungrateful. That’s me. Right now. Today. Not looking forward to 7 consecutive days of blood, sweat and tears. 7 days of being hassled by the safety police. 7 days of being an extrovert?

I know I’m hitting a mental wall. And I know I shouldn’t. I just won a freaking Cannondale. No shiny new bike can take away the disgust for Cliff bars, I have right now.

And in the same day, I was informing a friend about different saddles (seats). Encouraging the world of cycling. Join us! Is it the evangelical in me? Ugh.

I feel fat. Fat. Not phat. I don’t feel strong. I feel stiff. And unmotivated.

I miss lifting weights. I miss total body workouts. I miss being able to do 2 chin-ups. I got to two. And I’m back down to zero.

I rather be climbing. Someone get me that license plate plastic frame. I rather be on the track, sprinting. I rather be writing. Yes, writing. Not riding.

When my pants don’t fit. Really. They don’t anymore. The waistband cuts. Is my body still growing hips naturally? Is it the cycling? Is it both?

That’s all me today. Tomorrow should be different. I just need someone to slap the privilege out of me.

Yes. I am doing the ride for the physical challenge. But if the FoxTri team taught me anything, it’s about the opportunity to be physically challenged and being able to also make a positive change. We can use our free time for good. We can do the things we would already be doing: running, biking– not swimming in the ocean. That’s a new one for me.

Together we raised $6,000. We realized our friends and colleagues are generous and supportive people. You all are getting into heaven. For realz.

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Discouraged. Re-couraged. 

I knew this one girl in high school. She was a year younger. I admired her for being a good student and athlete. 

She was always calm and collected. She was always kind. I don’t think I ever saw her upset. Wait. Probably annoyed with Dupree. 

A week ago: She recently posted on fb about supporting Trump. 

I WAS HORRIFIED. It was a video of someone explaining he isn’t doing TOO BAD of a job. Better than expected. And hey, he doesn’t always say the right thing. And at the end of the video, he asked for donations. 

I wanted to respond. But again, I didn’t want to get into it on fb. I didn’t want to dive deeper into her mind. White women voted for Trump. Half did. 

Since then, we witnessed white supremacy in Virginia. I wonder if she thinks her post holds true. Probably not. 

It’s too late to denounce nazis. Too little too late. 

Yet, I don’t care if she thinks her post holds true. Fuck her. Fuck her ignorance. Fuck her false logic. Fuck her. 

The last two days have been discouraging. In the news. In work. There are people who choose to not give their best everyday. To not try to help others. To take out their frustrations on you. 

There are nazis groups. They are alive and well. 

I’ve responded with not taking opportunities to working out. With turning off the alarm and rolling over. Two days of lost training. But I will not punish myself. I’ll do better tomorrow. 

Tomorrow, I’ll rise. I’ll sweat. And I’ll be back on track. For success. For me. 

Half of the white women who voted, voted for Trump. After this weekend, will white women protest for Black Lives? What will it take?

Berkley Lynn Chow turns 2!

I wanted to take a break from writing. I had missed major submission deadlines because my work wasn’t ready.

I wanted to mix it up. I wanted to write an original story. It felt overwhelming. On Father’s Day, I decided to write my dad’s story. His journey from Guatemala to the United States of America. My summer project!

I struggled with simplifying. I struggled with watercolors. I mostly struggled with telling it in the correct tense. But it’s done. His story is told.

I’ll have to tell my mother’s in another way.

Happy GOLDEN Birthday Berkley!

Our dads show us hard work is hard. And that the dream is possible.

May your growing heart continue to learn empathy and tolerance. Enjoy!

Morning, JOE.

I enjoy elevator awkwardness.
I like putting my phone away to feel the uncomfortable environment.
I like making eye contact to acknowledge another person’s existence– who can potentially be trapped with me for hours.
If it’s morning, I’ll say GOOD MORNING.
If I’m leaving for the day, I’ll say HAVE A GOODNIGHT.

I’ll try to make small conversation.
BOY, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE.
I REALLY LIKE YOUR DRESS.
MAN, IT’S BEEN SUCH A LONG DAY.

This morning, I get into the elevator. And there is a guy already in it.
We make eye contact and nod hello.
The doors open again and JOE walks in.
HEY DUDE, YOU FOLLOWING ME? he says to the pre-existing guy.
The two men talk for a bit like two church ladies in a church parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
I pull out my phone and scroll.
Their conversation comes to an abrupt end. And I hear a small GOOD MORNING.
I hadn’t realized they were done talking and moved their attention onto me.
I respond to JOE with eye contact and a GOOD MORNING.

He laughs at my delay.

I WANTED TO GET YOU OUT OF YOUR PHONE FOR JUST A MOMENT.

I felt like he’d read the article on how to approach women when they have their headphones in. I felt he executed his duty to unplug me. I felt the need to sarcastically thank him.

OH THANK Y–

Too bad his attention moved quickly back to his pal. My sarcasm wasn’t felt.

Was it because I seemed younger to him? Because I ride my bike to work. Only the youthful commute on two wheels? Was it because I looked like a basic bitch that can’t stop scrolling through my phone? Did I remind him of the daughter that would rather pretend to scroll through Instagram than speak to him?

That last question was too harsh. But I’m going to leave it there for now.

He ‘unplug’ed me. But I felt penetrated.
Masculinity so fragile. Must be in control of women at all times.

JOE, bye.

Still hungry. 

Love of my life. Check.
Son. Check.
Cozy apartment. Check.
Sweet job. Check.
Fun commute to work. Check.
Squat my weight. Check.
Soccer and sprinting. Check.
Writing daily. Check.

This birthday was suppose to be easiest to swallow. Why didn’t I give myself more love and grace? There is so much to be grateful for. Most days are bright. Most days are healthy. I’m happy. Truly! I should be thankful. Where did this pity party come from?

I want more. I will have more. More to be proud of. Yet, I need to remember to measure myself in how I treat others– especially those I disagree with. Tolerance. In having manners. In generosity. In advocating for the marginalized.

Too late. Pity party. Party of 1, was had. As it must be. And it’s passed. As it should.

That’s what I can’t stand about anyone that gives advice to stay strong when you feel down/defeated. Fuck that. Feel those feelings. Acknowledge them. Understand them. Only then are you able to move into strength. Processing defeat is what kept me sane. Holding to ‘my best days are ahead of me’ kept me sane.

My best meals are ahead of me too.

White Man City

M: Are we sitting on purpose?

Me: Yep

The national anthem begins. 

The white man in front of us makes sure to check his surrounding. He looks back towards us. 

Stand up he says. 

We stare ahead.

Stand up he says. 

M: YOU can stand all you want. 

So disrespectful he says. 

Now we keep staring at him. My blood boiling. My silence feels uncomfortable. My anger feels familiar. My stare keeps him from my eye contact– he stares at M. 

Because M had more authority in our partnership? Because the man is the head of the relationship? Because it’s true, my glare could kill? 

He spent half the song distracted from the performance. He was paying attention to us. I was trying to pay attention to JOJO. Who was truly disrespectful?

When the game started, EVERYONE sat down. This guy takes his time. 


Again, who was truly disrespectful? 

How about respecting immigrants? How about seeing them as humans? How about respecting black lives? How about justice for the lives lost? How about respecting transgender patriots? How about valuing their service in the military?

So, I sit. You can keep standing. 

The Happiest Week of the Year!

Yes. My mother has always had two birthdays. And this has been normal to us.

Still. The truest of Leos, my mother was born on July 21st. The second living daughter to Emma Aranda, she happen to come into this world when her dad was out of town. In order to get the paperwork signed, the father had to be present. Hers didn’t come back into town until July 24th. In that time, men established legitimacy. 

Therefore, her immediate family celebrates her on the 21. Or anyone that knows the truth.
And we ALL (the public), celebrate her again on July 24th. She welcomes both celebrations. A true Leo keeps their celebrations going and going! And she does until July 28th. My birthday.
Your time is ticking, mother.