I’ve been on a bit of a painting kick lately, and by “kick”, I mostly mean that I’ve painted two pictures in the past two months after two full years without painting anything. It’s one of those things that I only remember to do when my life in general is less busy, so I suppose that’s a good sign that I’m a little more relaxed than usual. Photos of paintings never quite do them justice but I was proud of the silhouette of the little girl in the tree painting, and the depth in the hot air balloon painting. You just need to stand back a bit to get the full effect.
The other new thing in my life is Crossfit. I actually did crossfit-style classes once a week for about a year back when I first lived in northern California, maybe 6 years ago, but never very intensely. Now that I’m not playing fútbol, this is my new outlet for exercise, and it’s actually been a lot of fun to learn new movements (toes to bar! handstand pushups! double-under jump roping!) and have an awesome community to work out with.
It started back at the end of October the first weekend after the end of the fútbol season when one of my close friends invited me to a “chill activity” on a Sunday morning at the beach with her crossfit gym. I partied pretty hard on Saturday night with the fútbol team since it was the first time in 9 months that we didn’t need to be super responsible, so I showed up to the beach on Sunday with a bit of a hangover and not a lot of sleep, but chill means easy, right? Wrong. Turns out it was a mini-competition in teams that my friend had signed me up for without warning me, and I spent about an hour doing some combination of burpees and dumbbell snatches and sand sprints and trying not to throw up. Thanks Natalia.
Even after the brutal introduction I decided to stick with it and actually join a crossfit gym because it’s much easier for me to exercise when someone tells me what to do, and it’s always more fun to move heavy things around with friends. Plus I love gymnastics-style movements and crossfit is full of them so if I’m being honest it’s really just an excuse to play and call it exercise.
Last, this wouldn’t be a proper hobbies post without the recommended dose of climbing. With a twist this time, because I made a surprisingly canine friend.
I didn’t have any pets growing up (except for that one summer between kindergarten and first grade that I took care of my class pet, a guinea pig named Furball) and am pretty much the furthest thing from a dog person that you can imagine. I don’t usually play with or even acknowledge my friend’s pets, and I actively avoid dogs when walking on the street or in a park. I understand that many people consider their dogs their best friends, but I don’t generally go around picking up my best friends’ poop or let them lick my face.
Victoria is different. I mean, she’s a dog, but she’s super chill and cuddly, at least significantly more than any other dog I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of meeting. She’s also not mine so I don’t have to deal with the taking-care-of-her part, I just get to snuggle at the crag during the day. Still to be determined if this new revelation extends to other dogs, but I’m not optimistic.
So that’s life lately. I actually just flew back to the US to take a month-long sabbatical from my job in order to do a climbing/hiking/mountain adventure trip with my three closest friends from Chile. We’re heading to Red Rock Canyon outside of Vegas, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Tahoe, and I am stoked. The goal is to be pretty disconnected for the full four weeks, but I’m sure I’ll check in with some stories when we have some down time.