Carnival 2015 part 2!
As a Trinidadian, you are supposed to love Carnival and play mas, but for me Carnival is so much more than just the music and the masquerading. For me, it is about living, moving and having me feet touch the ground every step I take. I have always said after I had DBS I would play carnival, but finally it dawned on me why? Because every step is so deliberate, it has to move to the beat of every different soca song and because it just makes me smile and remember that every year I masquerade is a year more I can move.
As fate would have it though, for Miami carnival my battery started to die but I swore that I wanted to play carnival with an amazing woman and friend that I played my very first carnival with..
2015…still on my right side!
Despite, the lethargy and knowing that I was feeling crummy, I still woke up that day determined to enjoy every minute of the day. And I did! I had a solid crew of friends that day and how could I not be happy in that sea of color and music. For a solid 5 hours, I enjoyed the day, reveled in the music and smiled with every step. I live my life with music and dancing, those 2 ingredients are the special sauce to my life…as Machel would say, I am the happiest man alive! Thank you carnival for making me smile, for reminding me how every step is a journey and every wine is a dream come true!
The amazing crew of friends that made that day wonderful! Thank you Zhivanna for our first grown up carnival in a long time and many many more to come!
It’s called a yoga “practice” for a reason!
2015 was all about conquering fears, being fab at 40 and just doing it! My friend Stan took up yoga years ago and swears by it. He always invites me and I am always like:
- Is he inviting me to be nice?
- Doesn’t he remember I have Dystonia and can’t balance?
- Why does he always ask me?
So even though we now live miles away, he sends me inspirational quotes every time he goes to his practice. One Sunday, I decided I was going to try it again. I called him and said Stan, I am going to try it and I am sure I am going to hate it. He calmly said to me, they call it yoga “practice” for a reason. Everyone in the room is in their own practice, at their own level. My response “**crickets***, Oh!” Then it all clicked, I can practice weekly to one day get into crow pose. It won’t happen on day 1 but if I practice it will happen.
I am in the middle of my practice now, I haven’t quite gotten into crow pose, but I have lost the I can’ts and only see myself in the room practicing – just me and the teacher. Yoga has been a great way to calm my nerves down and get my neuro system in check with my breath. It’s been a journey which I wasn’t expecting and I am not giving up now. There are times when I wobble and wan’t to give up but then I hear Stan in my ear – “Carrie, they call it practice for a reason” then I focus on my breathe and continue!
Return. Sorry. Tribe
I am so sorry that I have taken almost 6+ months off but we all need breaks every now and then. I needed a break from running. I needed a break from blogging. I needed to reflect. I needed to remember what Dystonia means to me.
Dystonia is here to stay. There is not a day that I don’t think, OMG it’s getting worse. OMG, I sneezed, I moved a wire. But more importantly, daily, I remember gratitude. I remember how incredibly lucky I am. I remember in every workout class or every step on the treadmill that I am lucky. I am thankful. I have gotten smarter in my old age. I have realized that practicing gratitude everyday is what’s important. Every day is a gift, every day is my hallmark holiday and that holiday is gratitude.
I am also thankful for my tribe. These 2 –
These 2 are part of my initial tribe, they meant so much to me 30 years ago and they mean even more today. I am thankful for these two more than ever in this stage of life. They both constantly remind me that I am an amazing person and more importantly they are amazing to me…these brothers, make me laugh on good days and bad days and I am sitting here today thankful. But what is most significant about these two, is that there was never a day in 30 years of friendship that they told me that I couldn’t do something or said they felt sorry for me. These two are in my tribe, these two have seen me for who I am not what disease I have. Today, I am thankful.
“You are right where you should be”
Today in my afternoon run, I decided after 2 miles I didn’t want to run back, I wanted to walk. Sometimes in all the training I do, I forget to stop running and just stop and realize this is exactly where I should be. Slow it down, I told myself, these moments are too beautiful to run by.
We all need to take the time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. Our past isn’t meant to be a reflection of our future, our past is meant to be a stepping stone to make us stronger for our future. After many years of denying that I had a disease, that I am disabled, I finally realize I am right where I should be, where I need to be. I can’t imagine a world of not appreciating every run for what it is, I can’t imagine my life without this blog, On this journey called life, we can’t control the onset of a disease, the loss of a loved one or whatever is thrown in our path but I am realizing instead of ruining the beauty of today with tomorrow’s worry just remember you are right where you need to be. Instead of worrying about my DBS or a battery replacement, I just enjoy everyday for what it brings, change is inevitable, how I handle that change is up to me.
Did my instructor just call me an athlete? But she knows I have Dystonia, she knows I can’t do it all…hell yeah she called me an athlete!
I am an athlete. I lace up about 7-9x a week and do something good for myself. I go to bootcamp, I go spinning, I go running, I do Pilates, I go boxing, I go to yoga. My friends are alway saying – how do you do it? How are you so disciplined? Here is the secret – for 20 years I couldn’t. I always remember on the operating table saying to myself if this thing works, I am going to be called an athlete one day, I am going to be able to jog, I am going to be able to spin..I am not going to take this science for granted. And I never did. The big realization I have had on this journey is when you have an opportunity, a miracle, a gift whatever it is, cherish it, bask in the glow of the gift, BUT don’t take it for granted.
Remember how in my last post I said I wake up scared everyday thinking about bootcamp. The BIG secret is I am scared everyday thinking about losing this miracle. I am not taking a day for granted. I am not taking life for granted. I am not taking my life for granted every again. I am not perfect though, I fall off this philosophy every now and then but you know what, that’s okay. Everyone has their bad days, but I decided in 2015 I am going to make someone smile everyday, because their smile would light me up and remind me everyday is a miracle.
To smiling once a day and remembering how lucky we are Dystonia or not!
“Do Something that takes you out of your comfort zone” – Erica, Barry’s Instructor (1/4/2015)
Well I do something that scares me everyday, takes me out of my comfort zone yet makes me realize I am lucky, I am grateful. The crew below scares me every day…Everyday I wake up with doubt, can I do this? can I really do bootcamp? but in 2014 everyone in the picture below made me realize despite Dystonia, despite having a neurological disease I can run on that treadmill.
Everyday for 25 minutes a day I am scared my shaky legs will fail me and that I will fall off everyday. Everyday I am nervous I will lunge and fall over, yet everyday when I look up and I see one of the instructors below glance at me with a smile or say go carrie, I realize I did it – I overcame my fear. So 2015 is all about living outside my comfort zone, having the right people on my team and realizing in this 9th year of being able to walk, I am still the luckiest person I know. Everyday going to Barry’s, going for a run, or just working out is a miracle, so that’s my motivation, accepting my miracle, getting scared and knowing if I fall, I can get back up and get on the treadmill.
Be scared everyday. Dystonia is scary, having a disease is scary, realizing that I should be in a wheelchair everyday scares me, so today when I teared up as Erica said do something out of your comfort zone, I realize I do every day and for that I am certain. To being present in the moment, appreciating every hill I climb because I can always say I went out there and climbed that hill. I will never know what tomorrow brings today, so do something scary every day and be grateful you had the chance to do it.
Thanks Barry’s Crew – Love you!
Inspired. Awe. Giddy
This weekend I had the pleasure to fly to NYC to cheer on two of my friends while they ran the NYC marathon. I stood in the blistering cold for 5 hours and I have to say the energy of the runners, the love of the families out there cheering made me warm – my toes were numb but my heart was so warm. I was touched by the person who ran with no legs, the runners who were blind and those that didn’t have any legs. Their strength and tenacity reminded me that each of us have our own strength – it is how we decide to use it that separates the heroes and the average person.
I screamed for 5 hours, cheering every Jennifer, Bob, Matt and Melissa. There were the runners that smiled everytime they heard their name and you can tell it were these moments when they realized all their training was worth it. Every charity runner made me so proud from the Dystonia runners, to Team Fox and all the other charity runners out there – your bibs helped spread awareness. I am still giddy high five-ing all those runners, just like those random strangers have done for me in the past. I realized in that moment that helping others, showing my love for complete strangers when they least expect it makes me feel special.
The energy of that race is infectious. It truly is a NYC special, one that I may have to think about doing in 2015…2014 was a slow year with 2 surgeries but already thinking of throwing back on that Bib and continue to spread awareness for Dystonia. Quite frankly, it isn’t the time that matters, it is the strength and the heart of the person to be courageous and make the disability be the wind at their back!