Good Morning, Good Morning


“Good morning good morning
good morning good morning
good morning, a” ~ The Beatles

4:30 am: The Blackberry alarm goes off, jerking me out of my slumber. I scramble to turn it off before it wakes my boyfriend. I groan a little, sore from the off-ice training the afternoon before and lack of sleep. In the kitchen I can hear the bubble and crackling of the coffee brewing (thank goodness for coffee pots on timers). I roll out of bed, tripping over the ever-present cat underfoot, quietly slipping out of the room to get ready.

5:00 am: Breakfast consumed, vitamins swallowed. Armed with food for the day, coffee in sippy cup, clothes to change into and my skate bag, I venture out into the silence and calm of the dark early morning. Everything is still, nothing stirring except for the birds who sing a greeting to the day. I hurry to my car, eager to get to the rink and see what the day brings me. I am alone on the road for the most part, just me and my thoughts.

5:20 am: I pull into the parking lot – mostly empty except for the cars of a few dedicated parents who bring their children to 5am hockey practice. I trot into the rink, claiming my spot in the lobby. I start my warm-up: light jog, some jump exercises and stretching. As I lace up my skates, a transformation occurs. Mentally I change into a skater. Thoughts of what I need to work on and corrections I have been given are broken up by motivational phrases. I stride into the ice area ready to show that ice surface who is boss.

5:34 am: I glide onto the ice, feeling the smooth surface thus far untouched by skates underneath my blades. I set down the ever-present Propel, Kleenex box and music on the sideboard. I have the ice to myself. Just the way I like it. I don’t bother to turn on music. I prefer the comforting sound of my blades crunching the ice. I stroke around the ice a couple of times to warm up, feeling my muscles protest after the beating they took the afternoon before. I plunge into my Moves in the Field (MIF). For the next 45 minutes it is crossovers, mowhawks, 3-turns, slips and brackets. Then, spin time! Scratch spin, back spin, sit spin, sit-back sit, sit to pancake (fail!), sit to broken leg (much better), camel spin, camel – sit, camel-change-camel (fail!), layback (dizzy yet?). Jump warm-up: all single jumps in succession, no stopping. Waltz, salchow, toe loop, loop, flip, lutz, loop-loop, salchow-half loop- filp(tired yet?). Then program run-through. Meanwhile, a couple of clothing layers have been shed, half a bottle of Propel consumed, and a good 20 kleenex used.

6:45 am: My favorite part of practice: what I call “jumpfest.” For the next 15 minutes I focus on new jumps. First up: axel. Over and over focusing on cleaning up my body position in the air. Then onto the double salchow. I prep: 1) I step forward, 2) I finish the 3-turn, remembering to pause and not rush, 3) my right leg kicks through while I’m mentally reminding myself to ‘kick the door’ and not move my left arm from in front of me, 4) I am up in the air and I pull everything tight while remembering to shift my weight to my right side. And I land. On my leg! On one leg! On the correct one leg! I hear my coach scream out from across the ice “That’s it!” A huge grin stretches across my face. A grin big enough to rival the Cheshire cat. I shout “yes!” and throw my fist in the air in triumph. The feeling of accomplishment is sweet. Thinking ‘that was fun!’ I promptly set up to do it again. It is not as good as the first one, but still there. I do a couple more good ones and then they start to fall apart. My legs feel like rubber and are begging me to stop. I can tell I am tired. By now it’s 7am and the zamboni is threatening to chase me off the ice. I gather up my stuff and walk into the lobby to take off my skates. Another mother congratulates me. I grin and thank her, blushing slightly, but glowing with accomplishment and satisfaction. Not bad for about two months work of work. I go through my stretches, still mentally feeling what it was like to finally get a double salchow. Such a great feeling. I can’t wait to do them again.

7:20 am: I skip out to my car a little lighter on my feet than when I arrived. Today I feel invincible, ready to take on an hour commute to work, an 8 hour day, an hour home, 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weights and stretching, then preparing for the next day to collapse into bed by 10pm if I’m lucky. It has all been worth it for that one moment. Those moments are what we work for, strive for, and cherish dearly.

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From Stage to Ice


As my dear readers know from past posts, I was a ballet dancer. When I moved to the East Coast, that became a little harder to do as my dance stuff was left back home in San Diego…I could only fit so much stuff in my car being shipped out to the East Coast and my regular clothes took priority. I knew I had to do SOMETHING for exercise and I am not one to just go to the gym to work out. I have to be working at something, learning something new, something where I an express myself yet see progress…tangible progress. I thought of playing soccer again, but with having a real winter that gets complicated and for some reason I just can’t become a fan of indoor soccer.

Then one day the boyfriend and I went ice skating. It felt as if I had returned home. It felt great to be back on the ice, gliding along. To jump and spin. To feel as if I am flying every time I jump. I can tell every time I step on the ice that is where I am supposed to be. Other than two instances that I can remember, once in 8th grade and once my freshman year of college, I had been off the ice for about 18 and half years. My favorite part is early in the morning when I have the ice to myself. The cold wind blowing in my face, making your eyes water and your nose run. The silence of the rink broken by the sound of my blades grinding into the ice. The feeling of spinning and spinning. Most of all, the feeling when you get the timing of the jump just right and you rotate through the air and float down to land. For me, it is one of the best feelings. I almost can’t put it into words.

So, I have set some lofty goals. By the end of this year I want all of my double jumps and double-double combos. By the end of 2011 I want all of my triple jumps and triple-triple combos. By Jan 2012 I want to take the Senior Ladies test. I have a few other goals to, but I don’t want to reveal them all at once. Maybe this will happen, maybe it won’t. However, I won’t know unless I try. I’m the type of person who throws themselves into whatever they do, and I will have fun in the process. I’m so excited for this. I hope you all join me on this journey. You can see videos of my progress on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/balletbarrister.

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Filed under Goals, Ice Skating

Easter Traditions


Photo credit: Getty Images

As my readers know, I moved in November to Virginia from San Diego. This will be my first Easter away from home. This has caused me to pause and reflect on what traditions my family has for the holiday and what traditions I want to create for myself.

At home, when I was a kid there were eggs to color which then be hidden throughout the house for me to find on Easter morning. There would be a basket on the table with candy and goodies from the Easter Bunny and an Easter card from my parents. Then there was church service. Later there would be a family gathering either at our house or at the house of a relative. My Mom would cook and dinner was always delicious.

Now that I am an adult living on my own I have to figure out what traditions am I going to create.
what traditions do you and/or your family have?

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Earth Hour 2010


Today at 8:30pm local time to where you are, in cities all around the world, people while be turning off their lights for an hour to conserve energy.

Below is the “Intro to Earth Hour” that can be found in the “Blueprint for Individuals” pdf on the Earth Hour website.

Pollution and climate change are two of the most serious issues facing our planet today. From melting ice caps to increasingly intense weather patterns, we are already feeling the effects.
Since 2007, millions of people in countries all around the world have made a bold statement of concern about climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour—Earth Hour. Here in the United States it sends a message that Americans care about this issue and stand with the rest of the world in seeking to find solutions. It’s time for America to be a leader in making the switch to a low carbon economy that will create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help remain competitive in the global economy.The costs of inaction are far too great to ignore.
Earth Hour was conceived by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a way to raise awareness among the general public about climate change and to convey that, by working together, each of us can have a positive impact.
Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and the annual event has become a global phenomenon. Last year during Earth Hour 2009, nearly one billion people in more than 4,000 cities around the world turned off their lights to demonstrate their commitment and encourage the world to take action.
By working together, in cooperation with nations around the world, we can find solutions. We must turn the lights off on pollution and climate change and create a cleaner, safer, more secure future.
We know that the amount of energy saved during one hour won’t be enough to save our planet from the potentially devastating impacts of climate change, but that misses the true purpose of Earth Hour. Earth Hour seeks to provide a forum in which people can engage on climate issues and find ways in their own lives to become part of the solution to this global threat.
In that spirit, we invite you and your community to take part in Earth Hour 2010. You can help send a message to the country and the world that the time for action on climate change is now. This document provides detailed guidance on how local communities can come together to launch and manage a successful Earth Hour campaign—in 2010 and beyond.
 On March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, please join us and unite with millions of others in turning out and taking action. We’re turning out for Earth Hour because we care about our country, our planet and our future.
Thank you in advance for your support of Earth Hour.
Leslie Aun
Managing Director, Earth Hour US
WWF

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Filed under Environment

Share and Share Alike


Photo Credit: Getty Images -- Yellow Dog Productions

I ride the Metro to work every day and people will sit on the Metro and have a conversation on their cell phones at normal volume as if everyone sitting the car wants to hear all about their life or even worse that they want to know about their work or personal ‘issues.”  Have we lost all sense of privacy or are we so self-centered that we have become oblivious to people around us and having respect for their right to enjoy the ride on the Metro in quiet. I have lost track of how many conversations that I have overheard in the grocery store, including someone obviously arguing with an ex in a nasty divorce. I grew up hearing the phrases “don’t air your dirty laundry” and “what will the neighbors think?” It used to be that personal conversations were private conversations that you kept…well…private. You held your conversations inside the house or inside your car.  I don’t want to hear about how hungover you are as you ride to work. Nor do I want to hear you argue with your ex about who gets to keep the Prkey Pig china set in the middle of the soup aisle, or even worse hear all about your medical “issues” as you contemplate the different options of cereal. I’m sure no one else does either.

I can see the generational difference on the Metro.  The oldest generation, the pre-Baby Boomers, hardly ever talk on their phones. If they do, it is a short conversation. “Hi. I just left station X. bye” *click* and the conversation is usually done in a whisper. Then you have the Baby Boomers who might or might not have a conversation, but it is usually carried on at a lower volume and not about anything too personal. Then you have Gen X and the Millenials. They are the boisterous crowd.  You hear both their phone conversations and in person conversations no matter where you are in the car.

Why is there this change through the generations? Is because the younger generations are growing up with loose rules? Or because no one is teaching them good manners? Or is because they are used to an online world and so figure the transparency applies to everything they do? Or are they just so self-centered they are oblivious to others? Or, do they just not care?

thoughts anyone?

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Filed under life, Uncategorized

Have you seen my Muse??


My blog has been neglected of late. I’ve been unable to come up with something to say.  I see interesting articles that I want to respond to, not to mention lots of events in my life. Yet, when I sit down to write about them: blank. The words just don’t flow. It is frustrating and saddening.

What do you do when you have writer’s block?

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Filed under Writing

2009 – a year in review


What a year 2009 has been!!! Let’s see if I can capture all that has happened.

I stopped dancing professionally. I started a freelance paralegal business. I started blogging. I joined Twitter. I took classes at a local university in San Diego.I found a regular client through a cold call. I started taking ballet classes again. I took a summer law school class at a local law school. I stopped dancing. I started moonlighting for a social media company. I started dancing again. I took the LSAT. I was the guest blogger/tweeter for the NALS conference in Irvine, CA where I had a blast. I went to Blog World Expo which was absolutely amazing (and I am for sure attending in 2010!!!) Meanwhile, through out all of this, I had met someone who originally was just a friend who would discuss cases with me and was helpful during my summer law class. He is now my boyfriend. I moved to Northern Virginia and I have experienced my first white Christmas on the East Coast. I have a new job in Washington DC and my company still exists in San Diego. I joined NALS and I am on their @Law committee (which is their publication).

Wow! 2009 was a year of growth, learning, figuring out life and what I want, and having the guts to move across country and try new things. All in all, it was a great year. I look forward to 2010 and the new things to come. I am confident that 2010 will be an even better year.

I am grateful for every experience. I am also really glad that I have joined Twitter. I have found clients on there, I have made professional connections, and most of all I have made friends. There are many people, such as Susan and Elisa, whom I am so glad are in my life and make me proud to call them friends. :)

How has your year been? Leave a link below so I can read about your year in review.

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Filed under life