Monthly Archives: August 2012

Guest Post: Luciana Bonifazi Goes for a Swing

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DISCLAIMER: As someone who is on a quest to try one new thing a week for an entire year, I believe that it is absolutely beautiful to watch and support other people try new things and or complete their own challenges. Every now and then I will post videos, photos and or stories from other amazing individuals who are taking advantage of all that life has to offer (cue cheesy music, and my big proud grin). Please contact me with your stories/ and or your hobbies @ thehobbyhoarder@gmail.com or tweet me @LibbySegal.

Luciana Bonifazi Goes for a Swing

Lucky Luciana Bonifazi  is a friend and fellow comic. On a regular basis, she posts over at Chicago Now where she talks about “Thriftstyle Living in Chicago.” This week, she writes about not only her thrifty frugal lifestyle, but something else—Trying a brand new experience: Trapeze–and EVEN how she pulled it off in her all-star thrifty way. Check it out!

          Photo By Romeo Talento LB: Last night I had a brand new experience, and it totally rocked my little world: I took a flying trapeze class.

It. Was. Insane.

Just the absolute best. It was with the lovely people over at Trapeze School New York (highly recommend it) on the lakefront near Belmont Harbor. The setting was rustic, beautiful and magical. It had that amazing circus-y feeling to it, as if you are a part of something weird and obscure and a little scary. It felt like you were one of the strange people in Big Top Pee-wee, doing things and living a life that few dare to. And that feels awesome. To me, at least.

The flying itself was incredibly thrilling. Such an adrenaline rush. It’s a bit nerve-wracking on the first couple jumps because, when you’re reaching for the bar, the only thing between you and falling face-forward into the safety net is a guy holding on to the back of your safety belt. Its a weird feeling having to lean forward to grab the bar while also standing upright and feeling like you should be face-planting. But after 3 or 4 jumps you get used to it. And once you’re actually flying – the rush is unstoppable. I was hooked almost immediately. It helps that I was kind of a natural at it. After my first run the guys were asking if I was a diver or a gymnast (I am neither). But I could see it kind of being less fun — and actually more like a total drag — if you can’t do the tricks.

I did a backflip. I did a catch-and-release. And, because I was able to do everything so quickly, they even taught me a trick they usually don’t do first class called “heels off” which is a dismount which is eventually paired with a catch.

My awesome friend was a photographer there and got me the first class for free as a birthday gift. (I’ll post at some point in the future about the importance of networking in Thriftstyle Living. But basically, the more people you know, the more you can do and the less you ultimately have to pay for.) And they were running a promotion where you buy the second class that night and get the third class for free. So I was lucky enough to splurge on one $57 class and get two classes free. In the Thriftstyle Living Handbook, that is what we call an “awesome deal.”

Its not a bad workout either. I think part of the reason I was halfway decent at it is because of all the core-work I’ve been doing over the past year or two. But we all were definitely exhausted after the final jump. (Look out for a post in September about ways to get in shape on the cheapy cheap.)

And not only was it a great deal, but it was an amazing experience. Something I will remember forever. Something most people will never have the chance or the guts to experience. Its something I can look back on and laugh about and feel proud of. Something I could maybe turn into a new stress-relieving hobby. The happiness and rush from doing this lasts WAY longer than the happiness I would get from a lunch out or a cup of Starbucks what-the-fuck or a pair of designer heels. Bleck. Again, this is just MY personal definition of happiness. If that cup of coffee or pair of heels gets your heart pumping for weeks on end, then go out and get them. Figure out what happiness is to you and cut the costs on things that are not it.

Are you interested in doing trapeze? You should be. It freaking rocks. AND you can get an awesome deal too (for the next 13 days) on Living Social. Check it out. You get a 2.5 hour class AND dinner and wine. Pretty sweet. And it would make for a pretty cool date. (Although this is in their indoor location, and, while I haven’t been there, I think the lakefront location is probably a more beautiful and romantic setting.)

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On September 22, 2012: I’ll be making my own trip to a trapeze center, and after reading about Luciana’s experiences, it’s safe to say that I am ready to go for a swing!

Color Me Maybe: Running “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”

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Every once in a while, it’s really nice to go back to old hobbies–hobbies I’ve hoarded, for life, in the past. Like old friends, they tend to welcome us back in with open arms when we let them.

I’ve been running races for just over three years now. In the spring of 2009, I ran my first 5k in Rhode Island, and just two months later, I ran my first half-marathon–which for a long period of time, I considered the proudest moment of my life. Since then, I’ve ran a number of 5ks, several 5 milers, a 4 miler, and a second half-marathon. Post second half-marathon, my legs yearned for a break. I went a month without running–and then another month. In June, I took my first run again–and still my legs said, “What do you think we are? Machines.” And thus began my longest hiatus from running, since my field hockey team was cut in college.

At this point, I had already signed up for the much anticipated Color Run. Nervous, I began to run three weeks before today’s run–to try and get back into 5k shape. I woke up early during my work trip, I ran, I walked for an extra work out, and today, on race day I woke up with an excitement that I knew very well beating in my chest. I threw on my white shirt, my white shirts, and slid on my bright new yellow socks:

If you could see my face at the same time as I took this photo-you would know that I totally had my game face on. While my friends and I made our trek out to Floyd Bennett Field and the Aviator Complex, I continued to spontaneously yell about how we were heading to the “Happiest 5k On the Planet.” And the truth was–we did end up at the happiest 5k on the planet. (Even the post color run patterns on my shirt said so!—Check out THAT smile on the back of my T)

As my friends and I made our way through the thousands of color runners, we stopped for free samples–happiness mingling–and special photos (which I am sure we will have a great laugh about later). When we reached the race track, I already felt a huge smile forming across my face–it could have been because “Call Me Maybe” was playing, but I have a feeling it was because I was surrounded by tens of thousands of people who signed up to have BRIGHT COLORS thrown at them in a city that tends to stick to it’s blacks and grays. I spotted neon sunglasses, much like my own (I went with the blues today instead of the yellows–for color stain reasons), neon socks, neon wristlets, neon shorts, neon everything. New York was already looking happier!

As our wave approached the starting line, I watched smiles turn to grins. It felt much different than many of the road races I’d done before, where everyone paced at the start line, worrying if their clip on their shoe to record their time was attached right. This was much more relaxed–much more anticipated–much more happy. We weren’t racing for medals–we were racing for bright yellows, pinks, greens, oranges, and blues. We were racing for happiness–and it was clear that, even in the early moments–we had won. As I ran and rolled through (YES ROLLED THROUGH) color stations, I felt life begin to feel a bit brighter–a bit more beautiful–a bit more happier.  (Just call me a hippie already 😉 ) But really–it truly was–the happiest 5k on the planet.

In the words of the Muppets: “Life’s a happy song–when there’s someone by my side to sing along”–or in this case: Run along.

 


 

 

 

 

 

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On another “Happiness” note, my good friend, fellow comic, and ventriloquism teacher April Brucker will be releasing her book this week entitled:

 I came, I saw, I sang: Memoirs of a New York City Singing Telegram Girl

 Join her fanpage HERE – and PURCHASE the book next week. I know I will!

It’s All About the Rebound: Stunt Trampoline Jumping

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A trampoline can teach someone a lot about life. I didn’t know that, of course, until I made my way back to the Hollywood Stunt Center, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn this past weekend for my lesson. What’s great about a trampoline is that it teaches you the true nature of a fall–of getting back up–and the even more successful rebound (Of course I will be taking an urban rebounding class this fall!)

During many moments in life, I often feel like my feet have been swept out from right underneath me, even when they are still, right there beneath me–fully in contact with the pavement. Too often I forget to feel my feet on the ground, and the pounding of my heart against my chest–even when it’s the first lesson I learned this year in acting class.

It wasn’t until my legs and feet literally came out from underneath me, at this lesson–that I realized how important their strength in holding me up–and pushing me, really significantly matters–and has always mattered.

After several falls–regaining my balance, flexing my muscles, I found myself jumping–not only successfully–but even higher–the way I imagine the success I may find in life. It’s all about the rebound from the fall–all about the rebound. Jump up–Jump up and get around.

Special Thanks

Brent Hankins

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Hollywood Stunts
www.hollywoodstunts.com

An Update, a Thank You, & a Challenge

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Ciao readers, followers, acquaintances, strangers, and stumble-uponers:

Thank you. Thank you for every pass-by, every read, every click, every motivating comment. Thank you for supporting me. I am happy to announce that on July 24th, I hit the halfway mark of my yearlong quest to become a professional amateur and completed my 26th NEW hobby (activity)—two weeks ahead of schedule. I guess you could say I’ve been on a Hobby High!

In New York City, it is extremely difficult to find a significant other who will stick around for much more than one or two dates—and with each of these significant others we learn something new about ourselves. On February 17, I began my one year love fest with activities—and what I’ve found now, one half of the way through the year, is that I am much more content “getting around” than I ever was standing still.

Since starting the Hobby Hoarder project, I have become more confident, more ambitious, and more versatile as a blogger, vlogger, writer, and speaker. In taking on so much, I have actually become even more focused than I ever was. I have become less judgmental of myself. I have stopped using the word can’t. I have developed new friendships with people who now join me on my adventures, want to document them, or really just want to hang out on the weekends. I have found that I am more open and willing to activities that I never imagined myself trying–like Jedi Light Saber training–or samurai sword fighting–or stunt jumping–or break-dancing—or pole dancing.  And for the first time since picking up a field hockey stick in 8th grade, I have felt passionate about something–and that’s what living life is all about–passion.  Most important, I’ve learned that my adventure is much bigger than ME just trying to do something new – it’s about inspiring others to do something new too.

And honestly, you’d be amazed at how much you can do when you try something new every week. You really become incapable–of being incapable.

This year has taught me, thus far, that time is short but full of opportunity. So often, in the past, I found myself whispering “I want to do “that” some day” about a whole lot of “thats” and then never doing any of them. Now I am.

Additionally, this year, so far, has been about human interaction–meeting new people each week–hearing stories–spreading their stories–and building new relationships. I have found many times that the hobbies I am trying–are made that much more enjoyable because of the people I am meeting and spending time with.

In the past I found myself following a routine of waking up, working out, going to work, eating, and going to bed. And then by the time the weekend would roll around–I didn’t want to do anything–but sit–and then complain about how I accomplished nothing all weekend. I don’t think I am the only one who’s done this–repeatedly. And who the heck decided that work days should be 9 to 5 anyway? Why is it that living has become such a rare hobby in itself?

Here’s where I call on you:

 If you have a hobby—have tried something new—or are dying to do a new activity, reach out to me—send me a video—a blog post—photos—whatever, and I’ll feature YOU on the site. I want to know what OTHERS are doing. THAT’S what this is all about—pushing ourselves to try new things, take risks, and jump without knowing where we will land.

I challenge you to start your own quest–and try something new: Remember- we can fly anytime we want, because life’s accidental blessings will be there to catch us. Nothing like a bit of sweet serendipity.

Ciao for now,

Libs

The Hobby Hoarder

Not So Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Hobby Hoarder Goes Rock Climbing

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“Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb!”
-Miley Cyrus

Life is a series of pushes forward–and steps back. It involves making decisions–choosing paths–and putting one foot in front of the other. It requires you to use your physical and mental self to maneuver above, below, and around obstacles. It asks you to take risks–and not to look back. It strikes you with emotional and physical cuts and bruises and above all it forces you to lead your life–and sometimes even, choose the path less traveled in the end.

Life–it’s a lot like rock climbing–or maybe I should say–Rock climbing is a lot like life–always asking you to look at where you should put your hand or your foot next; wondering if you are going to slip and fall–but knowing that someone is at the bottom to catch you (much like knowing we have friends and family to catch us as well). Rock climbing involves mentally deciding to go left–right–up–or even a few steps back to re-analyze where you really want to go. It requires you to mentally–and physically maneuver above, below, and around boulders (life’s bigger problems). Rock climbing asks your body to sacrifice itself at times, like life, for cuts and bruises in order to work through struggles. And of course rock climbing forces you, like life, to take risks–to lead your life–and sometimes even, choose the path less traveled in the end.

       -Photo Courtesy of Northeast Mountain Guiding

       -Photo Courtesy of Northeast Mountain Guiding

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Northeast Mountain Guiding
www.northeastmountainguiding.com

The Hobby Hoarder Goes Kaboom…I mean…Does Stand Up…Paddle Boarding

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Looking back at the video–I now have a really thorough understanding of why it was so difficult for me. How terrible can someone’s form be? Look at me all hunched over–like I am ready fall flat on my face–which I do. But what do you do when you fall down? You get back up–and that’s exactly what I did. And after managing to get back up on my feet, I took in the view, paddled against and with the current, and smiled brightly. For once, the water felt like home.

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Manhattan Kayak Company
Pier 66
http://www.manhattankayak.com

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