Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The formula

I have try to post for so long just to loose my courage. Just like my good friend and fellow adventurer Bill told me, "your blog sucks lately, you are evasive, it was better when you spoke honestly". so here we go.
if you are looking for adventure or running you should stop reading right now. I am not sure how much i want to share yet so it be PG-13 or N-17, I have always been brutally honest to my friends, none of this is news but to strangers is not exactly small talk.

Things keep coming up and as usual i just deal with them as they come the best i can, when i find myself on a situation where i thing i am over my head, either in an expedition or a relationship i ask myself questions honestly and try to figure out, to a lot of people this seems cold and calculating specially if its about something personal but i believe this works for me, there is nothing worse than spinning your wheels.

Lets look at my current situation for example, I am in Vancouver still jumping hoops to get a job as a personal trainer, hell, i dont even get call back to volunteer at one of the gyms, i am not special enough, Vancouver is full of great athletes and my resume is not opening doors yet, i broke my right hand and barely missed have it operated on after they broke my hand and re set it twice. I am missing Arrowhead ultra as a result and most likely Badwater ultra since haven't really run enough races to qualify,last year i was MIA in the ultra world because i was climbing instead. I lost my sponsors so climbing is off until further notice and Charlie and I are on a break and not sure when if it will ever resolve. So how am i doing? I am great really. Every time i find myself in a situation that promises to turn into something too stressful, I use a formula to dig my way out of it.

So here is the process

First realize that it could be worse. Long time ago i promise to myself than i could handle anything except something happening to my kids, so instantly no matter what happens i feel grateful that is not that.

Second -I am honest to myself so I avoid the blame game, nothing good comes of that, the why is important only so you can hopefully stop it from happening again, after that throw it away or you will spin your wheels. The world is full of people like Marlon Brando's character Terry Mallow on the movie On the Waterfront screaming "I could have been a contender"

Third-Find the good things that this opportunity is bringing, no matter what it is if there is something hang on for dear life. If there is nothing then go to step four.

Fourth- Make something amazing out of what ever challenge you overcame, don't let it be in vain, things don't happen for a reason is up to you to give them meaning. Just imagine the incredible courage that it took for the mother who lost a child to a drunk driver and then created Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

So for me, Vancouver has proven tought but it has also given so many opportunities for my kids, my youngest son Hans is like a twin with my nephew, they are very busy with sports and it makes me happy to know he is not hanging out at the 7-11.
Karl's grades just exploded, thanks to the accommodations the school is making he is back to where he was before he was diagnosed, all A's and B's, he is feeling so confident that he even choose a University Emily Carr he wants to study Industrial design, you should have seen my sister's Muneca's face when Karl told her, "visual arts?!!"i am still smiling about it, until now everybody has focus on what karl was able to do, not on what he is capable of accomplishing if given the right tools.
So by now you probably forgotten that i cant find a job right? I not only stop the pity party, i also threw a party for the new found opportunities, what ever you feed your brain is what you will get, anger in, stress and depression out, happiness in, laughter love and excitement out, simple.

If you are reading this and thinking of excuses of why you really can't overcome this, whatever it is, a bad job, a bad relationship, go back and try the steps again, if your still can't find it is for one reason and one only. You don't want the change, and its OK, is perfectly fine, is OK as long as you don't drive yourself crazy over this. Own it or it will own you. One of my sister use to drive herself crazy over her weight, she use to call me crying all the time, she cried because she missed her treats, so i reminded her that she was certainly not movie star shape but healthy so it was OK but she cried and cried because she wanted to rock a bikini, then she use to also call me when she had a cookie, i finally couldn't take it anymore, i told her to eat or not eat the cookies i didn't care, to just made up her mind about what was more important to her then to stick to it. At the end she stuck to it until she reached a comfortable weight, not bikini but short dress weight, then made sure to enjoy her cookies responsible, easier to maintain that to loose the weight.

Of course i always get the easy for you to say, and no, is never easy for anybody and since when is it a competition? and what do you get then, yes your life do really suck, you win, now go and live a miserable life guilt free? is in it the whole point to ALWAYS find the way out?

For me life has showed me many opportunities when the skill to quickly survive and excel at a challenge proved a lifesaver, the first time i was rape i was 12, i was left to care for a relative and took advantage of me, and you want to know what it's worse, that relative was blind, so later i had to learn to overcome what blindness signified to me but for my sons i will do anything. So no, is never easy for anybody but I have seen what giving up looks like, i wasn't the only one in my extended family of course and it pains me to see the others who ended up with terrible lives as a result.

So there you go Bill, i hope you are right when you told me that by sharing i will allow other's to find their peace. There is something about keeping secrets that destroys you. For me everything changed when Oprah talked about it on her show, I felt relieved that somebody else had gone through it too, not only did she survived it but thrived, make no mistake, i will never say that it made me who i am, i am who i am inspite of it, this should never happen to a child ever or any human being for that matter.

So how did I overcome this? I kept focusing on things such as sparing my other little cousins of the same fate. It took me an awful long time to find the courage to tell, once I did they couldn't keep my mouth shut.

There seems to be thousands of years between that child and who I am now, that been the lowest point of my life then, recently I felt the same pain only stronger when Karl was diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy and I was waiting on results for my other son Hans to see if the growth on his bone was benign or cancerous, thankfully turned out to be benign, I learned that what ever pain I felt was nothing compared to the one I felt then, so never again will I complain about me, but I wish for my kids a long and uneventful life.

I am ready again, I will be going to the drawing table soon to find something that I CAN do, enough with what I can't, I am sure that if I dream hard enough I will find an amazing adventure waiting to be had.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am glad you and Charlie are on a break as I believe that is a good thing for you. Going out running ultra events will not really do much to raise awareness of the disease affecting your son. The founder of MADD build that organization by doing activities that specifically focused on advancing her agenda....from reading and doing her own research, to speaking out in front of large groups and working to draft legislative laws. Sure running in ultras you encounter people- but the impact of your story is not reaching as many as say, giving a talk at a Rotary Club or learning how to make a website that folks can find information at and links to clinical trials (take a look at livestrong.org or susan b koman)....

Leslie said...

It's so easy to be a critic when your Anonymous. Just sit back and judge and criticize. Weak. And mean.

Norma Bastidas said...

I agree with you Leslie.

Malcolm said...

Anonymous commenters are spineless armchair bullshitters and I know not a single person in the blogging world that listens to the crap they spout. Normally I measure my words but this idiot is talking through their ass. Norma has moved so many people and I would not know about Cone Rod Dystrophy if it were not for her gusty endeavours. Case Closed.