“I feel so high – Like if I could fly
I feel so free – so free to be me
I wanna go up – I wanna get down
This feeling can’t stop – So put your hands up
I said put your hands up!”
A lot of people ask me if there are any hobbies that I have stuck with post-initial hobby year. The answer is, “Yes–a few.” And in fact, the one I’ve returned to the most is the fitness-based Caribbean reggae dance class called Pon De FLO And there are three simple reasons why I keep coming back:
The freedom to be free and to dance, the kick-ass music, and last but certainly not least–I find myself coming back to the class because of the supportive and upbeat founder and teacher of Pon De FLO: Heather Fay.
But Heather is not just the Pon De FLO founder, instructor, and choreographer–she is a bright and motivational force, inspiring her classes of newbies and pro-floer’s to leave the negative vibes at the door, to stop thinking and to just dance. There is doubt in my mind that her vibrant energy and positive attitude is what keeps not only me but a number of her students coming back for MULTIPLE classes each week.
Last week, when I asked “hobby coaches” to submit a motivational song for a blog post, I knew I had to ask Heather. But when I asked her–Heather didn’t submit just one song–she submitted a whole album of them.
She told me that her list of motivational songs could go on and on and then added why the songs motivate her:
“These songs motivate me because they all have the underlying motivation of living for today, enjoying life, and being true to yourself.”
“The songs are also a reminder that no matter how hard life gets or how bad someone hurts you, you can dig deep within yourself and push forward because right when you feel you want to give up and throw in the towel–is when your story is born.”
What do you think? Are any of these on your motivational soundtrack? I know they’ve definitely been added to mine:
“Waiting for the End” – Linkin Park
“Written in the Stars” – Tinie Tempah ft Eric Turner
After posting my motivational soundtrack yesterday, I decided to go to some of my hobby coaches and find out what songs motivate them. AND I took it one step further and asked each of them why they chose their songs. What you’ll read is sure to amaze you–and inspire you. Here are some of the answers I got:
Christopher Grady(Guitar Lesson):
“I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon
“It’s nearly impossible to have that song come on and not move from a walk to a strut. It has all the swagger of Staying Alive but none of the cheesiness. Plus it makes every sidewalk feel like a catwalk.”
1.” Causing a Commotion” – Madonna.
“This is because it reminds me the world is mine and the stars and sky is only the limit I make it.”
2. Glamorous Life-Fergie.
“It makes me know my dreams and the Hollywood life are within my reach.”
“It gets me going and it is a song I covered.”
4. Take Me Home-Lisa Lisa.
“Reminds me that I am worth only the best and to respect myself in business and in life.”
Jon Hanson(Downhill Mountain Biking):
“18 Candles” – The Sessions
“The song is from a mountain biking video called seasons with one of my favorite riders Matt Hunter. The video is like 5 years old, but any time I watch Matt’s part, I get stoked to ride.”
2. “I Believe I can Fly” – R. Kelly
“Because he said if I can see it then I can be it.”
Flynn Michael (Jedi Light Sabre Training & Stilt Walking): “Heh, favorite inspirational song as a kid was High Hopes (Rubber Tree Plant) song, but as an adult, I’d say Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of.
Laura Fisher(Singing Lesson):
“Creator” – Santogold
This song has all of the wild, dark, inspiring energy I need to get me going any strange day I wake up and need some abstract coffee. The lyrics also give it that equally important layer of self-empowering wordwisdom that I need to toss me up on top of the world. a gleam of chorus:
“Me, I’m a Creator
Thrill is to make it up
The rules I break got me a place
Up on the radar
Me, I’m a Taker
Know what the stakes are
Can’t roll it back, it’s understood
Got to play our cards.”
Brandon Jacobs(Drumming Lesson):
“Rearview Mirror” – Assorted Animals
“I know that it is a little self indulgent to choose a song by my own band, but it is a song that does truly inspire me. Not only is it a testament to what I have accomplished with my band in New York City, being that it’s on our first self produced album recorded in NYC, the song itself has a great message.
“Isn’t funny how things always seem to seem/Oh the grass is much more green/as it disappears/through my rearview mirror.”
It’s a message of always looking forward, and even if you look back and it might seem better, it doesn’t matter because we always have to move forward towards something better.
That and it’s a kick ass song that’s catchy as hell. That doesn’t hurt either.”
“Nightcall” – Kavinsky (featuring Love Foxxx)
(Excerpt from an amazing email Jason sent me when I asked him to name his motivational song and why–make sure to check out the doc he’s working on and more at JsWorks.Org)
“I first heard this song while watching the movie “Drive” with Ryan Gosling. I had just started my documentary, and in the beginning, it was going to be much more of an uplifting film. I hadn’t even thought about tackling any heavy issues / conflicts within myself, and wanted to show mostly the uplifting or “overcoming” aspects of my story / disability.
It sounds corny, but something clicked inside me when I heard this song sitting in that movie theater. The idea of the lonely driver, who’s essentially a good man, but has some dark demons he’s trying to hide from / escape, really resonated with me – because that’s how I felt about myself for most of my life (post accident).
I’ve always had a passion for music, and really identified with / attached personal meaning to various songs over the years, but the dissonant tone of the beat, coupled with the lyrics, just stirred something up inside me. It made me realize in that instance that I had to go places I hadn’t wanted to ever go before… push myself to explore all the negative feelings / thoughts I’ve ever had about who / what I was – and my “disability”- on camera.
There are things I have accomplished in my life that I should be really proud of – and some could look at it as the whole “overcoming” thing – but at the same time, I constantly feel like I haven’t accomplished enough, or pushed myself hard enough. I feel like these internal demons (thoughts / feelings) really weigh me down. But I realize now that many of those feelings come from the very thing I’ve been running away from (or chose not to face / explore until now). I don’t know if my internal conflicts have helped to drive me (no pun intended) all these years, or if they’re standing in my way of something bigger.
Throughout the process of my film I’ve played the song over and over as a source of inspiration. Every time I listen to it, it still gives me the same feeling / motivation to dive deep into uncharted territory within myself.
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 @ email@example.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.)
____________________________________________________________________ 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!
On June 5, I headed out to the subway to do my first subway performance ever. I enjoyed it so much–I just had to go back. This time I was joined by my good friend Katie Haller who is a brilliant white, African, British, American Jew that does stand up comedy and improv on a regular basis. Since the next hobby isn’t until this coming Saturday (Stunt Jumping–woo), I thought I’d share this fun video.
DISCLAIMER: As someone who is on a quest to become the professional amateur, by completing 52 hobbies in 52 weeks, 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 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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @LibbySegal.
Rena Unger Completes 100 Bikram Yoga Classes in Less than 100 Days: That’s kind of a big deal!
“Stretch more, Libby.” I can hear the echos of my field hockey trainers lecturing me on my lack of flexibility. Generally, when I am asked to stretch, I whine like a little girl. To use a throwback cliche–my muscles are tighter than spandex! This might explain why I have always been so intimidated by yoga classes. I’ve always felt like Gumby’s horse–rather than Gumby! But when I headed to Bikram Yoga East Harlem to support my good friend Rena Unger, as she completed her 100th Bikram class in less than 100 days, I was completely in awe of the workout–In fact, within moments, I sweated myself into a puddle Hot yoga is clearly no easy task, and I admire anyone who has had the courage to flex themselves into a pretzel in that type of heat–let alone 100 times in less than 100 days. What a challenge–what an accomplishment.
And the truth is life should be about challenging yourself, aspiring to do BIG things, and inspiring others. On June 3, Rena did all 3. And I feel very fortunate to have been included on her journey. Here’s to 100 more.