I’m going to talk today about a couple of thing that you didn’t know about me. You know me as a knitter, that I dance Lindy Hop and that I moved to Madrid one year ago. But what about the rest? I’m going to tell you a little bit today.
As I often work from home (I don’t have a team here in Spain and I don’t have an office for myself where I can comfortably call customers) I need my evenings to socialise and “move the body”, as I say, after 9 hours of lonely sitting.
In June I decided to retake Pilates classes. I used to do it years ago, before going to Belgium, and I remembered it did wonders with my back. You don’t know either, but three or four years ago, when I was living in Belgium, I had a very bad year with a lot of back pain, irradiated pain to my right arm and hand and long hours at the physiotherapist. The humidity there was also a killer for my back and I had a severe case of LBP in the middle of July. So I decided to go back to Pilates class and I found a wonderful Russian guy that teaches very good and hard classes just 5 minutes from our home. I can say that since then I improved very much and I rarely have back pain nowadays, except for those very few days that are cold and humid here in Madrid.
Pilates is a very good exercise but unfortunately it doesn’t help to work on your condition. I have asthma and this is something very important. After spending all my days sitting on a chair I noticed that I used to get tired just when walking uphill and I often was out of breath. So last August I decided to sign up on the gym I have also 5 minutes from our place. There I tried spinning and I hated it. I also tried Pilates to see if it was any good and I could save some money and quit the place of the Russian guy, but what I saw there was very disappointing. I was going to stay with the Russian. I tried the machines but I got rapidly bored. There were lots of different classes and almost randomly one day picked Capoeira. It was hard, man. And my legs hurt for four days after that Wednesday. Going down the stairs of the metro was almost impossible and I couldn’t dance at the Swing party of that Saturday. But I went back and I got hooked, and my condition and strength have improved enormously. It’s also fun and it has the added value of being a group activity, you feel like being part of something.
And here it is one of the examples that I wanted to illustrate. Why we do things. Time can pass and things can evolve, but you always have to remember why you do things. Yesterday we had a quite hard class and I got yelled at and I had to repeat things and I was almost cool at it. It’s just his way of teaching. But then I continued to be yelled at and the teacher told me that he was getting tired of repeating always the same and the he already got a name and that we still needed to build ours and bla bla bla. And I suddenly realized that I ALREADY have a name of my own (hey, I’m Elena, pleased to meet you) and another one that I gave to myself when I belonged to the Tolkien Society and that I kept using in Ravelry and some other parallel worlds. So I don’t really need to build up a NAME and a reputation if I just want to learn Capoeira for the fun of it and its benefits (condition, strength and elasticity). I’m not dreaming of becoming an important figure nor fighting on important events. Most of my classmates are younger boys. Their body and mind are more suited to this, but not mine. I’m just a 34 year asthmatic woman that goes there for fun and to feel healthier.
Last May or June (I don’t remember) I started taking sewing class. Well not only sewing, since the main goal is being able to take your measurements and make patterns to then cut and sew clothes. I decided to go because I have always been very curious about this and wanted to learn. It was organized at my friends’ shop La Guerra de los Botones and it was also 5 minutes from y place. I have to confess that since I started I have just finished a skirt and a dress, I fixed my boyfriend swimming trunks and I’m almost finishing a Winter coat. My goal from attending this class was not filling up my closet. Since we moved to this tiny apartment I’m very please with myself that I learned to stop myself from buying tons of clothes that I will later not wear. Well, that also applies to wool and antiques and lots of stuff that I used to buy without thinking twice. I am happy with this change in my life and I have no regrets. It’s also that another goal was learning new techniques, and I’m doing it. Every garment I made was quite complicated and none of them could be called simple. So when one of our classmates, which has made almost a dress per week, teases me at almost every class and says that what I’m working on should be finished for the next class, I just smile, say nothing and remember why I decided to go to there in the first place.
It’s also that I could sew more at home, but I prefer to keep that time for knitting, and what I want now is to finish my boyfriend’s cardigan.
I put already a lot of pressure on myself at work, my boss always tells me, but that’s what helps me earning the money to buy food, pay the bills, pay my classes and buying beautiful yarn.I don’t need to put more pressure on any other disciplines because they are just there to make me feel fine and nothing else.
Good morning baby, I home I’m gonna make it through another day.
Elena, good for you, not letting people put unnecessary pressure on you. I learned Pilates through books to help my back and some martial arts because I couldn’t afford classes. But I did eventually sign up for a Taekwondo class (with mostly teenage boys, at the time) and I loved it. However, the owner of the studio had a lot of control issues he worked out on us and began putting pressure on me. At that point I taught taekwondo and yoga- and, though I love martial arts, I hated being in his studio. The atmosphere was toxic, so I quit. I’ve never regretted it, wish I had quit sooner.
But man, capoeira is so cool. It’s the martial art I most wanted to learn. I have a couple of books, but can only learn to a point with them. Congrats on trying new things in your thirties. It’s a wonderful example to the others in your class, and never let an instructor brow beat you. The class should compliment your life, not take it over. But, you already know that 🙂
Thank you for your kind words. To be completely honest, I didn’t know a lot of capoeira before starting this class, but I love it now, even though I know I will never reach a very good level.
Books are good, but if you don’t take lessons you need more material, like videos, a video camera and somebody that could give you feedback. When we moved to Madrid, we realized that the Lindy Hop level was not good enough and taking classes was useless. So we signed up for online classes. We practice at home and film ourselves on a video camera and then check what we do wrong and correct it. But we are with two. You could train capoeira like this too, but you need a certain level and then you still need to solve the problem of fighting against somebody. Another thing is being careful not to get injured since it can be a high demanding discipline.
I always love when you pass by 🙂
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