I usually don’t like to write about work.  Strange thing though as work and passions are intertwining.

Federico, Elena, Lalo

The Revolution is Coming

I got to meet Lalo Alcaraz one of my favorite pochos (I haven’t forgotten you Gustavo, Al, Daniel and Laura Luna P).  I got to help organize the first ever African-American Latino Comix Expo, SOL CON (here is a cool article about the why of SOL CON in the Washington Post), and as part of it Lalo Alcaraz was one of our 50 artists.  It was amazing, and I am not sure I even started to appreciate it until it ended.  I knew I was a fan girl (a term I learned this weekend) for Lalo but it was amazing to watch grown men drool over Jaime Hernandez.   Grown men, organizers of other comix expos just stared at poor Jaime.  I overheard a man, published multiple times himself and recognized in the field say “I just got to carry Jaime’s box. It wasn’t heavy or anything but I got to carry it.”    I desperately didn’t want to be that dorky so I actually avoided Lalo…although my concussion also had me out of many of the events. Truth is only comic book I’ve ever bought was Love and Rockets by Jaime Hernandez and his brothers Gilberto and Mario.  I bought it for two reasons the name ‘Hernandez’ and the inside seemed to be Mexican-American.  As a Xicana growing-up in Ohio I craved anything Mexican-American, anything that was like me.

That is what the artists offered this weekend to so many, and to each other, art and writing about things we could relate to—it was cathartic for many.  David Walker (by the way I feel like there are tons of people who are jealous I got to talk to this guy when he is totally awesome and down to earth and I had no clue who he is–still don’t I think) said it this way “I can say ‘it smelled like a hot comb going through hair’ and my audience will immediately know that smell.”  We crave understanding, belonging and seeing our self and that is what this weekend provided for me.  As well as an appreciation for comix that I hadn’t had before.  I am excited to read more, to ask for more comix zines from my friends. I am very appreciative for all that was shared with me this weekend. I am appreciative of the inspiration from people like Tim Fielder, and Raul Gonzalez III and watching them motivate high school students and providing legitimacy in the black brown nerd…not that I needed it but that I crave having it confirmed.  I like to say, you might be preaching to the choir but sometimes we like to know we aren’t singing a solo. I am appreciative that I got to organize this and work with John Jennings, Ricardo Padilla and my boss Federico Aldama…because of them I only know Black and Latino Comix.

SOL CON 2015

SOL CON 2015

For my health I skipped the after parties which still makes me sad. Also, because I was so busy during the event I missed out on a lot (including going by the bank to get cash) I missed out on Tim Fielder’s Matty’s Rocket (black super heroes ¡yes! ) I wanted to buy a couple and for a way under-priced $5, Mr. Fielder was doing drawings of fans.
I missed out on having a conversation with Raul Gonzalez III and thanking him for making exciting Xicano characters.  These are all things I have to look forward to next year.

Pancho Villa a TKO

Pancho Villa and I butted heads, and he knocked me out, quite literally.

Pancho Villa's big head

Pancho Villa’s big head

I had come home for lunch bent down to pet him and Pancho Villa overwhelmed with excitement lifted his head up into mine and *bang*.  I think I lost consciousness, I was definitely out of it and left home without lunch but with a headache.  Later that evening I would meet friends for an after work drink.  As I explained to the doctor later I am not sure how many drink(s) I had as I don’t remember very much at all.  I remember my head pounding and a friend walking home and that was about it.  The next day I felt awful. Worse than I have ever felt from drinking.  I messaged my friends I’d been out with “Do you feel this bad? No? Why do I feel this bad then?”  I was nauseous, head pounding, vision blurry, and I was sensitive to light.  I figured it would go away after awhile but it didn’t…and in some ways got worse.  I stopped exercising because I didn’t seem to have the balance and mental abilities for balancing.  I went to yoga and all I could muster was a standing tree…usually I can stand on one leg hold my other leg by my toes and rest…just wasn’t happening.  My memory was also shot, I’d walk into the bathroom and while in the bathroom forget that I needed to pee and I would turn around and walk back out.  Writing is a lot easier than reading.  I couldn’t read and remember what I read. Watching TV was the same, I’d start to watch an episode and would forget what had happened 5 minutes earlier.  It was worse at the end of the day. It was as if I’d used all my brain power in the first part of the day and was now out of fuel.
I had a big event for work and I pushed myself to get the event rolling otherwise I would have rested but at this stage I just couldn’t so I pushed on.
One of the sweetest things happened though because of this accident, an ex of mine, a doctor that specializes in neurological trauma stopped by to visit me.  He spoke (semi scolded) to me logically, using research to explain the importance of “brain rest”.  I really dislike listening to men I’ve been involved with but I dislike it even more when they use science and logic to counter my actions…because then I have to admit they are right. As such I did my best to rest the remainder of the event as frequently as the event permitted.  I have very much felt a difference and feel like I am on the road to recovery.

UD Tri 2015

Did a modified Sprint today, 0.5 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 3.5 mile run, at Caeser Creek in Dayton, Ohio that was a fundraiser for the University Of Dayton and was, I would say, at least 90% collegiate.

OSU Tri Club

OSU Tri Club

Generally in triathlons I come out middle of the road or higher for the swim portion.  Today, I think I came out in the bottom 10%. Those collegiate athletes sure are fast swimmers.

Onto the bike, generally my strongest leg.  Perhaps it would have been my strongest leg if I hadn’t felt so alone on the ride or if I hadn’t gotten lost.  In total I did a little over 25 miles…or in other words 25% more than everyone else.

By the time I got to the run, I was almost dead last.  The run is generally by far my weakest event but I think since I had already accepted this wasn’t going to be a strong race or a personal best, I allowed myself to enjoy the run and talked to people along the way.  All in all it was a pleasurable race with a great team.

Alejandro “Mono” González

El viernes tuve el honor de interpretar en forma de conferencia por Alejandro Mono González.  Fue completamente un despapya.  Me había, por si, dado ansiedad por que es Chileno usando vocabulario de artista y además que no me dí cuenta hasta después iba también usar palabras históricas y políticas.  Yo estoy mucho mas acostumbrada interpretar por cosas médicas.   Llevo años interpretando por cosas medicas entonces me siento muchismo más cómoda se las palabras que van a utilizar y oraciones que van a usar…por mayoría pues.  Todo es conocido y hasta puedo anticipar lo que van a decir esto fue mucho mas diferente.

Además fue delante de mis colegas y mis profesores.  Que pena…pues por lo menos ya aprendí que tengo que ser mucha mas fuerte cuando digo que no me siento la persona adecuada.

‘Athletes come in all shapes and sizes’

While seeing the awesome pictures of Amanda Bingson: ‘Athletes come in all shapes and sizes’,  I am glad because it is something we all face with social constructed ideas of what does fit look like and what should it look like.  Although,  the images are empowering, make sure you read her interview too.

Amanda Bingson - Competes in the Hammer Throw

While ESPN’s coverage and writing is unsurprisingly problematic, I am still pleased as Bingson generally has an attitude I much admire: “You might be prettier and skinnier than me, but I’ll kick your ass in a game of one-on-one.”  Which is for sure how I felt yesterday (minus the pretty part—I know I am the prettiest ;-)   )

I had a woman I’ve never met, come-up to me yesterday in a ropes class during the water break and tell me to “not give-up” that I could “do this” and I wanted to respond “Bitch, do I look like I’m giving-up or doubting my own abilities?”  I turned to the instructor and asked “When is the warm-up over? I am ready for the real stuff to start.”  Also, that was my third hour of exercise at that point in the day (each a different training).

The women I train with have given me lots of confidence, like National Strong Woman Sharon Moss and World Champion Power Lifter Hannah Ghindea; but not just my competitively elite friends but the numerous badass women around me who set personal goals and train to become fiercer for themselves. Those goal setting women invigorate me. The stronger we women become the more we give zero shits about what others think and the more we love what our bodies are capable of—it is liberating.

Sharon and Elena Mary

Sharon and Elena Mary

Amber, Elenamary, Hannah

Fierce Women (Amber, Elena Mary, Hannah)

No athlete I’ve trained with, no coach, no physical therapist, has ever expressed doubt in my abilities because of my body (this isn’t to say I haven’t encountered douchebags).  I’ve been lucky but generally those who are good at knowing how to push their bodies (and others) know that much of what we push our bodies to do is mental.  Yes, of course physical training and ability is necessary but at some point, it becomes wanting it more than anyone else, working harder than anyone else, and being in the right place at the right time–and none of those have to do with body size or type.

Which also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
“I’m just into physical intensity. I’m not saying, like, clamp my nipples and stick pins in my nuts. Because that’s like some passive please-hurt-me thing. Ask any Olympic athlete, they’ll say, ‘God it hurts, but it’s awesome.’ It’s the pain that comes when you try to achieve.” – Henry Rollins

Also, speaking of  “clamp my nipples and stick pins in my nuts”, remember my boobs last summer after a triathlon?

they looked worse a few days ago ;-)

they looked worse a few days ago ;-)

The State of Mexico on Elenamary

This is a great article by Daniel Hernandez for Vice News: Mexico is Having Its Most Depressing Election in Recent Years.

I think I like it so much because it touches on so many things that are of strong influence on me, yet that aren’t known by others here in Ohio, and so I can share this well written English article that offers a glimpse into the state of Mexico.

People here don’t know too much about the 43 and when they do it isn’t real to them in the same way it is to me.  I have driven by that school how many times, was held up (in a very considerate way) by those students, that my mother is friends with a mother of the missing 43.

That yes political elections are scary in Mexico right now and that I have multiple friends involved in multiple political parties.  One friend in particular I am frighted for is, Salomón, who is running for Governor of Guerrero, a state that has already had two political candidates murdered this year.

That the drug wars have effected me closely and taken a friend.  That Michoacán where my family is from, and Oaxaca where my godparents and friends live are in political upheaval more so than other states.

Daniel’s article does a great job of covering and weaving all these topics in a way that the English speaker interested in Mexico, can understand.  I am quite thankful I can share this article.