Friday, March 24, 2006

Revisiting Maui

Pictures are deceiving. More deceiving that you want to admit. Tonight I revisited the Maui 2005 Runbutan DVD. In truth, sometimes watching the DVD is a bit painful because my memories of the actual marathon aren't pretty. In fact, they're pretty miserable. It was the longest day of my life that I really don't care to re-live. Some of the low-lights included:

- BLISTERS! I don't have a photo of it, but on the DVD, there's a photo of me in the medical tent after crossing the finish line. You can clearly see the two onion-sized blisters that formed on BOTH of my feet. About a 1/4 mile away from the finish line, the blister on my right foot decided it wanted to POP. Yeah. IN MY SHOE! I crossed the finish line in tears and in pain - body aching with warm blister juice oozing inside my shoe. In case you want to get a taste of what my blisters were like, look below. WARNING: The following photo contains an image of graphic nature.

This is what happened to my feet after the trial marathon in San Francisco. In a state of denial, I didn't even take a photo of my feet post-Maui marathon. This was the best I could bring myself to do:

- RECOVERING FROM THE BLISTERS! Each time I had blisters I couldn't walk for at least three days. The marathon was on a Sunday, and I couldn't walk until Wednesday! I spent ten days in Hawai`i and couldn't go into the water because my feet were healing (salt water and blisters are a painful combination).

- Sharing sick and twisted stories with Tzel about my favorite books because I was in a sick-and-twisted state of mind.

- Watching the marathon vehicles follow Tzel and I so they could pick up the orange cones.

- Struggling every step of the way hoping the end would be near.... Finally getting to the end and discovering the finish line had been taken down, the freebies were gone, and the nurse at the medical tent who pointed out to her co-workers how ugly and disgusting my blisters were.

Let's just say these days I'm not signing up for my next marathon and right now, that whole thing is up in the air. Currently, I take a serious two-mile run once a week and do running drills almost everyday during my boxing conditioning classes. While I'd like to actually run perhaps a half marathon, right now, I think I would walk them at best. For now, I'm aiming to walk the SF Half and the Nike Women's Half.

In a recent e-mail exchange, a friend sent me this link that explains ten reasons why marathons are bad for you. There is also this link to consider. Not that I'm anti-marathon, but a little reinforcement as to why I shouldn't run them is nice.

So for now, I'm not signing up for any full marathons and am planning on walking a few half marathons at best. At this point, I like my feet when they're blister free.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

this just in...

I'm sure you're all tired. SICK AND TIRED of hearing me gush about my nephew Nikko and his hockey career. If you are, read no further, as this is another post dedicated to my awesome nephew Theoren Tydingco (Theo to most, but Nikko to the family). Earlier today, Nikko and his team, the Santa Clara Blackhawks just won the Pacific District Championships. YEA! WOO! HOO! That's right folks! In Las Vegas, the SC Blackhawks competed against teams from: California, Las Vegas, Washington, Oregon and (I think) Vancouver. Right now, all the stats aren't posted and I don't see any stories about the games. From what I saw in the stats, for the first three out of five games they played, Nikko had two penalties (in the same game?! shame on you! you rarely get penalties!) and scored two goals. (Keep in mind that Nikko plays defense, so a player who defends and scores is a total treasure - regardless of whether he's related to me.)

Needless to say, I'm proud. PROUD!PROUD!PROUD! All weekend long we kept calling my sister asking if she got calls from Vegas about the scores. (Unfortunately, only my two nephews and brother-in-law made the trip.) Also, my mom swears she prayed a lot and that God was actually listening.

Nikko celebrates his fellow teammate score during the state championship game.

Next up for the Blackhawks is the national championship. This is definitely going to be a tough one! It happens at the end of the month in Indiana. Currently, the Blackhawks are heading back to California to their normal lives and training for the national championship tournament. Also, I'm sure the team and their families are celebrating. I know we are!

For those of you who read my previous post, I mentioned that Nikko scored a penalty shot during the California state championship game against the Ducks. Click here to see the footage. It's quick (just a few seconds long) and check out his celebration gesture. :-) In case you're wondering, I'm pretty sure that's me screaming in the background. :-P (If you know me, you'll know which one is me.)

This is me and Nikko at the local gelato place. We went there with the cutie Bren (who took the picture) last summer. Nikko swears he'll never have long hair like that again. Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure. Right. Fine. Whatever.

Nikko has had an awesome year in hockey and again, I am so happy and proud of him. The entire family is. My only wish is that my father and Norbert's (my brother-in-law) mother were alive to see their grandson shine. Nikko never met my father and although he has met his grandmother, he was very young when she passed away. I'm sure they're watching from above.

In true Joanne form, I have to mention this. For me, watching Nikko is a true delight, especially when I think about our families and where we come from. He's an island boy on both sides. Historically, people from Guam and the Philippines are often ignored, forgotten, disrespected, silenced and expected to be ashamed of themselves. I think of my father and how these factors affected the way he lived and the way he died. But there are moments - like Nikko making that penalty shot - that help remove those silences.

It's no secret that island boys don't play hockey (That's because back home, you don't skate on ice. You shave it, pour syrup on it and eat it.) and that most people associate hockey as a haole sport. But when my nephew - the captain of his team - steps on to the ice, leads his team and plays his heart out, I can't help but think of how important it is that people see someone like him do well in a sport like hockey. I see it in the faces of my family. I hear it in the voices of opposing teams who watch Nikko and constantly mispronounce his last name. I feel it when the crowd roars because he just scored a beautiful goal.

He gives our island people presence and a reason to hold our heads a little higher. This means the world to me (and to the generations of people who were denied that presence).

So anyway... we're getting ready to welcome back the boys and wish them well for their journey at the end of the month. If you could, please do what you can to throw them some good karma (light candles, chant, burn sage, whatever...) for a good tournament.

My mom proudly poses with Nikko after winning the California state championship.