I have been absolutely riveted by the winter Olympics this year in Korea.  For me, a walk down Canyon Road is an intense workout!! Honestly, I do not stress about it.  It is what it is.  At least I CAN walk!  I know that I have other talents!!
I love watching these amazing athletes. I wish I could spend one day in their shoes!  I would love to feel what it is like to train hard . . . to take myself to my most physical capacity . . . feel the win . . . feel the loss.  By the time these athletes are qualified to be in the Olympics they have had a whole life of dedication to their sport.  Even the fifteen year old Olympian has known the same kind of dedication as the 40 year old Olympian.

I love to admire the athlete’s look of determination; their fit bodies; the concentration they emit and the elegance and grace of each sport. Their bodies are truly a tribute to human kind.  Let’s remember the Greeks who strove for perfection in the human form.  They used athletes as models. For someone like me who appreciates beautiful design and fashion, I adore their hi-tech, slick sport suits and the aerodynamic eye protection they wear.

I have seen tiny women like the gold medal winning and petite Japanese 500 meter speed skater who just killed it with her fierceness on the ice.  I saw the American Bobsled Team walk away unscathed after their cart tilted at the speed of 80 MPH! When we saw them crash, the whole world held their breath until they stood up like nothing had happened. But the team that won my heart was the Jamaican Bobsled Team. You read it well: JAMAICA !!!!!!!!  I was so impressed by their story.  They had the drive, tenacity, faith and CREATIVITY to figure out how to do the sport even without the right facility or equipment!

I also find amusing that regardless of which country, gender or sport, all the athletes look like a mess when they remove their hi-tech head gear.  They are all sweaty and their hair is a mess and they are ALL worried about what their hair looks like!  LOL!  Of course, they were just putting 200% of themselves into their sport!!  (Maybe the figure skaters still look fine).  You can see them all preoccupied with fixing their hair even if they just won a gold medal – or lost one – they are all worried about their hair dos!!
But in this very diametrically opposite world, we have had extremely sad news.  The violence happening in our schools, innocent kids being gunned down.  It’s unbearable. The National Rifle Associate recorded a total of $11.7 billion earned last year with a $993 million PROFIT!  Like everyone else, especially the students themselves wish that this money was invested in sports and education for our youth. I must say that I am biased about this subject since I have my nieces in college and my grandchildren in the high schools. I’m just like YOU.  I want my children to be safe AND I want them to get the best education.

Right now there is a terrible environment of fear.  The kids are fearful going to school.  The parents fear sending their kids to school.  Just in New Mexico several schools have been receiving threats and everyone is terrified.

A couple of weeks ago, I was coming back from a business trip and as we were in line to board the plane, I had a quick glimpse of the news on the television. They were broadcasting a threat that was occurring in one of the universities in Florida. My heart stopped since my niece is at the University of Tampa!  But I was being pushed along to board the flight. Throughout the whole flight the worst thoughts came through my mind.  It seemed like an eternity before we finally landed and found out she was not in that particular university.

We have to live with this new reality…
I know it is too late for me to learn how to be a figure skater or a speed skater, bobsledder or slalom skier.  In the meantime, I will continue to admire them and wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes.  They might be wondering what it is like to have such an amazing shoe closet at their fingertips!!

I love hearing from you!  Guada755@gmail.com

Do you remember watching the movie Rocky? It is the movie that made Sylvester Stallone famous!  I can’t even imagine you have not seen it but in case you are not familiar with it,  it is an epic film about a determined boxer who has all odds against him. Believe it or not, I watched it when it was released on the big screen in 1976!

In the movie Rocky gets brutally beaten up by his opponent.  The film goes into slow motion during these clips so you can really experience his suffering at each blow.  For every punch the entire theatre would gasp! We would hold our breath until after a struggle, he would rise to his feet determined to stay in the fight.  They would show him with puffy black eyes and blood and sweat trickling down the side of his jaw.  Actually, Rocky would look a lot like Jesus Christ during the Passion beaten by the Romans exxcept Rocky’s lips would be so swollen that they looked like Kardashian lips!

The world today is like Rocky. We are being punched with hurricanes, shootings, earthquakes, fires and the threat of a nuclear war!  With every punch the whole world gasps in unison. We are being beaten up with a whirlwind of natural disaster and human decision making punches!  We feel like we are never going to get up again. Are we going into an apocalypse?!!  My mind will go there if I allow it.

A few weeks ago, I went to visit Marfa, TX.  This art pilgrimage has been on my bucket list.  I decided not to wait around and see if someone would read my mind and take me so I made the plan to go with my honey myself.  I love road trips. Road trips serve at least to remind us how vast this country really is.  We are tricked through our connection lines, cell phones, the internet, etc. . . . to believe we are all near one another but there is vastness between us, too.

As we got closer to Marfa we were taken by surprise by a heavy rain storm.  Visibility was ZERO!!!!!! The rain was hitting our car so hard plus it was pitch black outside.  We . . . ok . . . I was very scared.  I thought about the recent hurricanes and images of the people experiencing them rushed through my mind.  Here I was comfortable in my car but still scared.  Yet, I did not have to worry about real flooding, whether my house was going to be lost, the loss of all my belongings, being in danger.   We held our breath through the rainstorm. There was no option to turn around but as fast as it dropped, it stopped.

We arrived to famous Marfa and it was dark and calm. I don’t know what surprised me more: that the town was so small or that our room did not have a shower or a bathroom!  Without realizing it I chose a hotel that was built of Air Streams (Oh My God!)!!   I chose the hotel because the name was appealing to me (presentation is everything).  The Air Stream we stayed in was not what I would call roughing it but it did not have a bathroom or a shower!! Showering outside felt like being in the army.  I could not complain though.  The bathroom was a luxurious outhouse!  Believe me, this experience was not cheap! My luggage that contained my clothes and shoes (Hello!! What do you expect!?) took up half of the air stream!

I was feeling guilty about taking this little trip while such terrible things were happening around us but I was a good sport.  I clicked my heels and said to myself, “Let’s enjoy this adventure and we forget all of the tragedy in the world, including Las Vegas.

Marfa is pretty quiet Monday through Thursday and then it comes alive on the weekends.  They have good restaurants (three!).  Something that surprised me was that there were no televisions.  To my surprise I was completely fine without TV. We were very isolated from the news about the world.  I did not realize how good it could feel to be unplugged from the world.  We did not make a difference to the world and the world did not make a difference to us.  Life goes on despite being hit hard like Rocky with Apocalypse type punches…..

Life goes on with or without us and struggles and hardships happen.  So, from now on, I will keep traveling and fulfilling my bucket list and counting my blessings.

Share your thoughts with me at Guada755@outlook.com or visit my blog at j4kicks.com and please leave a comment.

Guadalupe Goler

“I’m so glad you’re leaving!” said the angry voice of a woman.  I was completely taken by surprise!  Was this voice directed at me?  I look up from my crouched position- I was picking up my belongings- I had just had my nails done.  Her facial expression was of pure anger! I looked around to see if anybody else was behind me- maybe she was talking to someone else?  But no, she was clearly talking to me.  All I could do was blink back at her.  I imagined her angry expression like one from my emoji keyboard.  I didn’t understand why she was so upset with me.  I realized that my naivety did not make me innocent but I couldn’t figure out why she was so angry at me.

My brain was working frantically trying to determine what my reaction should be. The room was full of people that I knew.  Should I make a scene right back at her?  Like the velocity of light, I mulled through my options.  The truth was that I didn’t want to have a verbal fight with this woman who was a perfect stranger to me.  I muttered, “Have a good day.”  I figured she clearly wasn’t having a good day.

I left the salon flabbergasted.  What did I do to aggravate her so?  The only thing I could think of was that I was talking on my cell phone in this public place.  I was definitely talking to a friend of mine but I wasn’t gloating about my sex life for Christ sake! I wondered if I should go back and tell her off, “Hey lady with the ugly shoes, you ruined my day!!!!” It’s true she had upset my day- I know I unwittingly upset hers- but I tried to remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  I kept saying this as a mantra in my mind…. but it didn’t work. I was upset and I wanted to feel the breadth of my upset-ness!

Ironically enough, the next day at about the same time, I experienced a total different situation. I was in an airplane flying to……….Mexico for, yes, ANOTHER trade show as well as to see my dear mother. I was looking through the airplane window through the layers of clouds- still disconcerted by the previous day’s encounter- when a man’s voice interrupted my mental conversation with that lady. I turn toward the voice.  It came from a good looking gentleman, probably in his 80’s.  It was a nice, calming voice. He was asking me where I was headed and it took a second for me to decide how to respond.  Should I stop thinking about that woman, or should I drop it an engage in an authentic conversation with him?  I decided to talk to him. He told me about his background, he had been a very successful business man in the film and TV industry in California. But now he is retired and has moved to San Miguel de Allende.  But instead of resting on the laurels of his successes, he was now founding shelters for children that have been sexually abused. As we talked I could feel the level of compassion he had for these innocent kids. He said to me that a lot of people go to Mexico to die but that he was to work.

The time went by pretty fast talking to this amazing human.  Before I knew it we were landing in Leon.  I was emotionally tired from the trip that he guided me through, into the lives of these kids. I looked through the window and it was raining and pitch black outside.  I felt so far from the incident from the previous day.  It seemed so irrelevant. At the terminal we said our goodbyes.  I thought to myself how lucky I was….