Tag Archives: yellow

Chasing Mavericks

Posted on

I wasn’t supposed to be there–at the Far Rockaways. I wasn’t supposed to be doing a hobby at all that day. If this were still just a “project” –and not what I now deem a lifestyle–I would have fulfilled my quote with shark diving at the beginning of the week. But that’s not the case. I had booked two hobbies for the week–and I couldn’t have been more excited. However, I wasn’t supposed to be double hobbying with surfing–I was supposed to be in Pennsylvania–jumping out of a plane.

Less than 24 hours before my scheduled skydive, I received a call that my trip was postponed due to low clouds. It only took me several moments to visit a surf school website in New York, text the owner, and sign up for a class. I didn’t need to replace skydiving–but I felt compelled to.

Sometimes when one cloud covers–another wave of opportunity will present itself–quite literally–and metaphorically here, of course.

I admit—while putting my wetsuit on (initially backwards), I questioned if this was a bad idea–if just signing up for a surf lesson without thinking was really something I should have done. For a couple minutes–I decided it wasn’t. And then for a couple more minutes–I still believed it wasn’t. I wasn’t sure I would even have the courage to walk into the water–but I didn’t have a choice. After a brief sand lesson, our instructor had us stepping into the frigid waters of the Atlantic with the boards in hand.

And not before long I was getting pummeled by waves.

I should preface this by saying that I am terrified of ocean water–I see going into it as an unfair heavyweight battle where the little guy is well below the size of the big guy–and the knockout comes quickly–almost instantly. When I was little, a life guard saved me from the under-toe on some family vacation which paralyzed any positive thoughts I could have about ocean water and what could happen if I went in. During a trip to Bermuda, my mind was changed briefly as the water’s beauty and delicacy seduced me. But upon returning to the East Coast waters, my fears began to loom again.

After the first wave knocked me down on Saturday, I regained my composure, briefly, and I declared the ocean the champion. And instead of raising an arm in victory–it knocked me out again.

I cleared the hair from my face, and said a myriad of things to myself, “Well this was not my best idea.” “I should probably leave the water now.” “I should be jumping out of a plane today–not getting my ass kicked by some personified piece of nature.” Yet, I continued walking out to my instructor who was positive that after a few minutes of learning to stand on the board–on the sand–I’d be able to make progress on the water.

“Hop on that board.”

“Now?!”

He laughed at me.

Silly me–he meant just get on and lay down–not HOP. And of course he meant now. I struggled to get on the board, but after a second try I was up.

“Okay, now sit.”

So like a trained pup, I sat.

“Good. Now lay on that board. Move back a few inches. What’s going to happen is I am going to tell you to paddle…then I’ll push the board forward, and yell “Up.” When I yell up, You stand.”

“Easy,” I said, thinking to myself that I was more likely bound to go face first into the sand at the ocean bottom.

“Paddle, Paddle, Paddle…..” commanded Joel.

I rushed to paddle. But I didn’t know how fast or how slow I should be paddling. What if I didn’t get enough speed? But before I had time to readjust any of this, Joel yelled, “Up,” and I attempted to push myself to my feet.

BAM

Knocked out.

I covered my head so that if the board went flying it wouldn’t truly knock me out. I stayed underwater a second more, and resurfaced  before another wave crashed into me, and another one–and another one. And then finally, I found my balance, and realized that throughout those continuous wipeouts–something had happened. I had lost my fear. I was still here. I was still breathing. And I had gotten back up on my own. Bonus point for overcoming fear.

Even still, the ocean was now ahead of me by a score of at least 6 Hits.

Ocean 6: Libs: 1

I had a major comeback to accomplish. I stayed resilient and walked back out to Joel. “How’d that feel?”

“Really freaking good!” I exclaimed. “Nothing to be scared of. I’m really happy I tried to stand.”

Joel smiled, and pushed me out again. And as my two feet landed on the board I slipped off backwards.

Bam.

Knocked out.

Back up.

And out to Joel again.

“I’m going to get this,” I said to him.

I was set on earning more points during this battle with the Atlantic.

And then, with a magnitude of paddling, a swift push from Joel, and a command of “up,” I felt myself make it to my feet. Suddenly, it was like the rest of the water, and the beach, and the sky had disappeared–and it was just me on this foam board, flying. What was only a few mississippi seconds–felt like a beautiful lifetime.

As I surfed closer to shallow waters, I splashed off the board and was congratulated with a nose and mouthful of salt  water. When I surfaced–I fist pumped into the air, and yelled “I did it.” Joel looked at me and smiled from a distance, though I’m not sure he actually heard me with the crashing white waters. But it didn’t matter. I didn’t do this for him–or for anyone else–I did this for myself.

End of day score?

Ocean: A lot  –  Libs: Smiles

________________________________________________________________________________

Special Thanks
New York Surf School
surflessonsnewyork101.com

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

Posted on


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.

 


 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________________

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!

The Hobby Hoarder Performs Her Pants Off: Subway Performing

Posted on


So many times we don’t take advantage of all the things here in NYC or, really, anywhere for that matter. So I say, just go out there and do something. Surprise yourself. Surprise others. Attack a new craft. Conquer a fear. Live your life.

I didn’t go down to the subway platforms just to be a little bit ridiculous—okay well maybe I did. Every day I walk down the street, my headphones blasting in my ears, and my legs shaking with instinct to dance it out. So often, we are way too concerned with what people will think of us that we hold back. I am tired of holding back. I am tired of being afraid of people seeing what I am really wanting to do. When a tiger or a lion wants to roar—they roar. And when The Hobby Hoarder wants to sing and dance—she sings and dances.—even if it’s in her boxer briefs. When you want to do something—you should do it. Stop worrying—stop waiting—think like Nike and just do it.

Performing in a subway or on a subway platform or out on the street is sometimes referred to as busking. I see people doing this all the time. Sometimes they annoy me, sometimes they thrill me, sometimes they make me laugh, and sometimes they make me ponder. I feel as though I did all of these things for a variety of different people the other night—and it was the greatest feeling in the world. My friend and co-comedy-show-producer, who shot this escapade for me on my iPhone, said it best when he said: It’s great to see what really makes people crack a smile.

 

I hope you cracked a smile watching this. I cracked a lot of smiles—and a lot of laughs doing it.

The Hobby Hoarder Speed Dates: Speed Dating

Posted on

“You’re a racist.” This isn’t exactly the first thing you’d like to hear on a first date–but it’s how my seventh date, in one night, almost instantly opened up our conversation. We were twenty seconds into our five minute date and I had already wishes that I could sprint to the bell and ring it to signify next–How was I going to get through this speedy date that seemed to be going in slow motion?” -Excerpt from upcoming essay.

I went to speed-dating with three thoughts on my mind:

1. To prove that speed-dating could indeed be a hobby.

2. The rest of my life seems to be on speed (not me–my life), so maybe if I pump up the dating process and the amount of prospects, it might actually work out this time around.

3. I may find some comedy material.

And I indeed did. Here’s an excerpt from the evening:

“I am a high school teacher, guess what subject I teach…”-Male #7
“Um. Is that what you wear to teach?”-Me
“Nope.”-Male #7
“Um. Math?”
“Libby, you are such a racist–just because I am Asian…” – Male #7
::Sulks:: “I am not racist. What subject do you teach?”
“PE”-Male #7
“Oh what sports do you play?” -Me
Wait for it….

“Ping-Pong” -Male #7

“This speed dating is crazy…It’s like us males are just being served to you on a plate for you ladies to judge…It’s awful.”   -Male #12
“You mean it’s like life…”  – Me

I did, however, make a match or two. Not so bad for speed dating.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 NY Easy Dates

A Guide to Speed Dating

Have your own speed dating experiences? Share them in the comments section.
Got tips for future speed dating adventures? Share those too.
Got a speed dating success story? Send it over!
Email thehobbyhoarder@gmail.com if you’d like a featured piece on your own speed dating experience on the site!

My best tips?
1. Dress like you. A lot of people may tell you to do yourself up, but if you do indeed hit it off with someone, they may be disappointed to find out that you were faking your style. Just be you and the rest will come.
2. Don’t talk about speed dating while speed dating. Treat it like a real date. You wouldn’t say: “Wow isn’t it crazy we are on a date right now”–unless it was absolutely crazy that you were on a date with someone you never thought you’d be on a date with.
3. Don’t call the opposite person a racist.
4. Compliment the other person the moment they sit down.
5. Don’t have expectations. Just enjoy the new company and see where it takes you.

The Hobby Hoarder is the 10 Billion Dollar Libby: Boxing

Posted on

I didn’t set out, schedule, or predict that I would end up at a boxing lesson for the hobby of the week, this week, but I did. In fact, I should have been at a West-African dance class at the Alvin Ailey Center that I had put on my calendar two weeks earlier. I am not sure how I got to the boxing gym. I had called my mother hours earlier to say it was a beautiful day outside and that I wanted to change my hobby from West-African dance to something outdoorsy. She suggested being a “naturalist.” Apparently, I decided to act naturally on my current feelings because four hours later, I was sitting in a boxing gym, texting my best friend to say, “What the hell am I doing–do you think they’ll make me jump rope–and will I get hit in the face…I am a crier.”

I realized that frustrations that had built up from the evening prior, and the day of, had sent me to the boxing gym to release tension–in a safe way. I didn’t want to hit a person–I just wanted to punch my problems away.  I mean it… I wear yellow sunglasses, damnitt–I am NOT a violent person.

Besides, for self-defense–it’s not so bad to know how to throw a punch–or block your face.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
While on my back-to-back quest to discover how to defend myself, I realized that I was really just disguising another quest…to become Hilary Swank movie characters–I’ll be flying a plane on May 20–to take care of her role in Amelia.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Church Street Boxing Gym
25 Park Place
Manhattan, NY

%d bloggers like this: