So much has changed for me since starting at Solcana in September 2015. I joined out of a weird competitive streak I have and then slowly remembered how much I disliked working out. Like, would do anything to get out of running–for example I switched to the keeper position on my soccer team to avoid running (but keepers can also legally slide-tackle in the keeper box, so that was also a good reason). After some of those gentle nudges that Coach Hannah is so good at, I eventually began to drag myself to the gym. Dragging soon became walking and the walking became running to find out what the workout was that day (I never look at the workout ahead of time I am incredibly good at psyching myself out). This was two years ago now!!
I can honestly say my enthusiasm for getting strong and moving my body has never been higher since I joined. To be affirmed that I get to move my body in ways that feel good for me, and to be challenged when *some people* know I could probably put more weight on, has been such a joy–it’s one of the reasons I kept at cleaning the gym through this past Year of Never Ending Commitments. I know being a part of Solcana/doing positive things for my body is something I’m committed to long-term. My feeling of being strong (strong for me right now is showing-up in class when I am real tired or sore, being present, and grounding myself) and connecting with others working on what strength looks like to them is what I wish working out has always been.
To make a long and definitely boring story about how much I overcommitted myself this past year brief, I’ve been pretty consistently working 12+ hour days 5-6 days a week for the better part of a year. Between starting a welding program at MCTC, two full-time jobs, cleaning the gym, and remembering to pack myself lunch, it was hard to hold onto the other parts of myself. The exhaustion and frustration that came from that experience (now 1.5 weeks behind me) pushed me to consider what values I was really living out and putting time towards. It came with some hard internal work and challenging life events.
Being a part of Solcana–even in the background these past several months–has helped keep me connected to what’s important to me. It’s having time to build relationships with other people. It’s remembering that moving and being aware of my body is essential for me. It’s having the energy and presence to show-up either physically or with my actions from afar. It’s remembering that taking care of myself isn’t always comfortable, and for me, it’s rarely done alone. Taking care of myself is putting my energy into things that keep me afloat (like taking care of my body and putting time and work into relationships!) but also to support amazing work that is being done by radical organizers and artists, to listen, and to continue delving into recognizing and challenging the harm white supremacy and capitalism continues to do and how I am implicated in that every day. Long-ass days with little room to myself doesn’t lend itself well to most of these, for me and I’ve had to make some really hard choices in the past couple weeks.
Some things don’t change; I still think burpees are the devil’s design, I still hate running, and since I’ve been out of the routine for so long I’m trying to get my rhythm going again. Learning patience seems to be a never-ending task for me.Through Solcana I’ve found some amazing people I’m humbled to consider friends and cook for, people who are so willing and excited to affirm my accomplishments during my first year of welding, and even more people who are joining who I’m grateful to know already and am excited to see (hopefully) more regularly.
And if you need something welded or fixed, you know where to find me!