Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Truthful realizations

I kept up with Loui, and with Randy and with Danny. Finally my legs broke loose. My legs--breaking loose--rocking a rhythm--going Poom! and then Boom!--flowing smoothly breaking the air--forward and up--locking and loading--falling into a mental state of--this is--Runner's High.

Today's practice consisted of a 40 minute run. That of which had to be endurance pace. That of which I qualify as not breaking race pace threshold but being near that intensity, I like to think of it as "finding my spot" my physical and mental state of being where whatever I'm doing leads down a path of harmony.

To top off my morning, psych class got canceled. I'm already home enjoying the day off.

But let's stop for a second, just stop. This isn't just about me, and I'm addressing my reader now, this isn't just about ranting off about my day and what happened and if I complained or not. Frankly, that would make me another cliche and I don't want to cheat you like that. Listen, it could be I'm not selfish enough to just make every word on this blog have my name plastered all over it, or it could be, and I really mean this, it could be I really want you to take something raw out of what I'm about to say.

So buckle your seat belt, because you are in my car now, and we are about to crash into a goddamn concrete wall.

There was a guy on a wheelchair at school, his legs were very thin, not because he was skinny, but because of the way his genetics had played him out. If he wants to move there is a joystick on the wheelchair, all he has to do is push it, and he can go any direction he wants. Only he's not really moving, the wheelchair is, and he just happens to be sitting on it.

Yesterday I met a girl, let's say her name is Samantha. One of her legs is very thin, not because she's skinny, but because of the way her genetics played her out. When she moves her body is off balance, and if she wants to go right she goes right, and if she wants to kick you in the face I'm pretty sure she can do it.

While on the bus this morning another guy on a wheelchair came in, this one had no legs, not because of the way his genetics played him out, but because of the amputation he had undergone, reason being.....a bomb could have blown them off way before I was even born. He was a war veteran.

On the second bus I took, an old man wearing khaki shorts got on. His legs were swollen, purple, bruised and he had trouble moving, I thought this was not because he had fallen and suddenly his legs were just bruised, but because he had a disease and it was slowly corroding his limbs. This man sat next to me.

While I sat there looking at that man's legs, all bruised and purple and swollen, I felt repulsive, but I also thought about the other people, I thought about the guy at school on his wheelchair with his thin legs, I thought about the girl Samantha and her one thin leg, I thought about that war veteran and his wheelchair and how he had no legs. I thought about them.

The minute I came home I looked at my own legs, and I mean really looked at them, inch by inch, detail by detail. I looked at them like I was searching for something that was lost long ago. I felt my muscles, the hair on my skin, the three scars on my right knee, I even rubbed my feet a little.

This is where the twist came--my moment of truth--my godly realization that didn't quite reach the extent of an Epiphany but still hit me hard enough to move me and knock me over.

These were my legs. They have always been mine. These were my legs and they work just fine, they are not swollen or bruised or thin, I don't even own a wheelchair, I don't even have to wear a cast around them. And they are skinny, but it's not because I don't eat enough, they are skinny because my genetics played me out this way, that and all the running I do.

So the next time I find myself keeping up with Loui or Randy or whoever, the next time I feel my legs breaking loose and slowly falling into a rhythm, when I'm breaking through the air moving forward and up, when I get my next runner's high, you can ask me this question: Angel, how do you feel about your legs? And I will say this:

I'm really lucky to have legs, I really can't stress that enough.

Stay Tuned

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New beginning...

Today was a rough day for the whole women's water polo team. We were slacking off in practice and were asked to get out and leave. I believe that we should never let it come to that sort of punishment; however, I do believe that it was a learning experience and that it was most definitely for the better.

Sometimes in life we forget to appreciate the things that we have big or small and I think that we all forgot to appreciate each other and our talents today. Well, not only today but for the last week or so.

Getting kicked out of practice actually worked to our advantage in some respect. Because we still had an hour left of practice and we decided to have a team meeting, without our coaches. During this meeting so much was said. We got closer as a team and we were able to get on the same page with everyone. We put all of our problems aside and listened to everyone and what everyone had to say. We all voiced our opinions towards what we need/want to accomplish this season and how we would work best together in order to get what we want out of this last month and a half.

The season is going by quickly and I know that I do not want to have any regrets at the end of it. I know how much talent and heart our team has, but sometimes along the way it either gets lost or pushed to the side. I know we are a great team when we can push aside our differences and come together in hard times. These girls are like my sisters and I would do anything for them. But just like any sister relationship there is going to be fights and arguments because we tend to fight with those we love and care most about, but in the end I know that I can rely on them in and out of the water.

I honestly believe everything happens for a reason and today us coming together was the reason for us getting thrown out of practice. I feel a new beginning coming on and now I know that we are willing to do what it takes to be the best and work as a team. Especially because we will be holding everyone accountable for their own actions from now on.

Until my fingers meet the keys, Amber

Monday, September 27, 2010

Talk about deep

I haven't quite gazed at the stars in a while. Like being there just looking up into the night sky, and oh yes, with Bella of course, she's a dog, and she was there laying with me, looking out for me I suppose.

But yes, this is what the heat does to you, it makes you get out of the house and onto the front yard, all to watch the stars and pass the time.

And speaking of this heat wave, it's very terrible haha. I'm very lucky I get to practice in the morning. We did four sets of five 200's. It would have been an easier work out if it wasn't for the high temperature. So on that end, practice was okay. I took an ice bath later, that made it a bit better.

For my psych class I received a C on my test, which is what I expected, but I was really close to a B. I will for sure get a B on the next one.

Other than that, I read a bit for today, "On the Road" by Jack Keraouc. What captured me the most was when he said that sometimes we feel these moments of bliss, and that we can't quite explain what they are because this at some point we felt while being in the womb, in our mothers, and the only way to recreate it is through death. Yeah, talk about deep.

Stay Tuned

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For something to release me soon

Work was crap. And I have this after feeling, like hmmmmm.

Well it wasn't all crap, it was going pretty well right up until the end, on account that it's my first time closing the place, and I had a lot of things to do, and some caught up to me, and I ran out of time. So yeah, that was the crap part, that and the manager rushing me, so it was a lot of pressure.

So it's this after feeling of doing a bad job, but it's unlike any other bad job feeling I've ever had, this one, I feel like I shouldn't care about it, because it's a fast food restaurant job and it shouldn't really mean much in my life, like come on, a fast food place, big deal. But you know, it pisses me off that I do feel bad about it. So yes, that left me pretty upset.

So to calm my mixed feelings I went over to walmart and bought me some ice cream.

Tomorrow though, I have a track workout, quite a few intervals I'm guessing. Those can be hard or easy. Depends how my body feels. I don't even want to think about it.

Sometimes I don't even know why I'm running anymore, or why I do any of the things I still do. Or why I'm hoping for a better future.

I think, I really need some closure with myself.

For something to release me soon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Poor sportsmanship...

This weekend Fullerton College competed in The 14th Annual Women's Water Polo Tournament hosted by Mt. Sac. Because of the talent that we have on our team and the great coaching staff that comes along with it; we have a target on our backs. Every team is out to get us and win. However, there have been plenty of teams that have put up a good fight but did not get the ending result that they originally set out to get.

For example, yesterday we played a team (I will not mention the name) and they resorted to trying to physically abuse us during our game. Do not get me wrong water polo is a very physical sport and we must play with aggression. On the other hand, aggression and intentionally hurting someone is completely different! Once that team learned that there was no way we were going to let them back into the game, they started taking cheap shots at us. Throat checking us left and right, kicking us in the face/chest, and punching/elbowing us in the face every chance they got.

Likewise, there was another team today that we played which also lost to us. Instead of just shaking our hands and saying saying "good game" at the end like we do; this team decided to spit into their hands. We had to shake their hands and ended up with all of their germs and saliva in our hands. Not only is that disgusting but it is very uncalled for. Some teams are just better or play better on any given day and they deserve credit for it. Today, we lost our first game and our first loss of the season and none of us would have even thought of doing something like that to the other team. The other team out played us and there is nothing wrong with giving them the credit in which they deserve.

I think the bad sportsmanship has a lot to do with the coaching staff. I believe that some coaches encourage their players to play in such a manner. Our coaching at Fullerton College would never allow us to play down to their level. We are better than that and I want to commend our water polo team for showing that we have more class than that. We win with class and lose with class.

Until my fingers meet the keys, Amber

Friday, September 24, 2010

Anything but musical talents

If you ask me, I would say I had a successful race. I kept focused and I pulled through. Those last 100 meters, out kicking all those six guys, and the guy that tried to out kick me, shoulder to shoulder we were, and it was just a matter of who would give out first, me or him?

He did. He gave out first. And I pushed through with my body embracing the pain in all of its glory, and those ten seconds, oh those ten seconds, it was eternity rushing through my veins and my bones and my feet, I had come to a point where life just stopped and I didn't care about anything but moving my legs and swinging my arms and these were rusty mechanisms grinding against one another and....something happened, I let go, I was there in the moment and it didn't matter whether I felt like dying, it didn't matter if I felt like throwing up. I had accomplished something, in a way, I had overcome a fear.

And before that, to the guy that crashed and bounced off of the water fountain during the race, I give you props, in some manner, it was beautiful the way you fell.

I ended the day by hanging out with a friend, someone who seems to share the same drive and pursuit about life than I do. We watched these group of brothers and and sister play music, and they just loved it so much.

Oh God, I have no musical talents, anything but musical talents.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Now that I think of it, I don't really eat 3 meals a day, it's more like a small breakfast, breakfast for runners that would be, pb & j sandwich, a banana, and and a protein shake. And then I might have lunch like around 3. And then that's pretty much it, like I have a small snack maybe after at night but rarely.

Today however, I had breakfast, and lunch, and now dinner at Oliver Garden with my xc team. So yeah, I got full pretty quickly, I ate a little pasta and that's pretty much it. Nothing else. I think I enjoyed more just being there with them talking about stuff and whatnots.

I'm glad that I get to do that, that I get to have dinner with my friends and just let life away. Maybe for once we can just forget about our troubles and tragedies and just be there in the moment. Maybe I still don't know much about life, but I know that, to try and live in the moment. I'm still trying to learn that though, and I'm exploring and contemplating how to live a simpler happier more full filling life.

Like the day that I just come home and sip on some red wine and eat a pumpkin pie while I do art, that's when I know I'm successful.

In the mean time, I'm still really young and I have a world to learn and get through, but I don't wanna have to worry about that, I just want to flow by and enjoy this, this right now, this moment that I have shared with friends, I like it. And I'm pleased with it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Breaking Point

Today during water polo practice I reached my breaking point. I was so distracted during practice that I could not concentrate on anything. We had just finished our swimming part of practice and we were moving onto drills. Of course I had to be the first one to go... I messed up right away. I got yelled at a little which was necessary because I was distracted and needed it to regain my focus. However, when it was my turn again, I did the thing right all the way up until the very last part where I stop playing. I didn't finish the play. Needless to say I got kicked out of practice for the day and I broke down.

There has been so much going on lately that once I got kicked out of practice I could not control my emotions anymore. I think I literally cried for two hours while I sat outside the pool deck watching my teammates do the things I should have done from the beginning. I should have been in the water with them from the beginning to the end.

But sometimes we lose our focus and it can really hurt us and the people around us, in more ways than one. Losing my focus today hurt me and others around me. Not only did it hurt my ego because I am suppose to be Captain of the team and I am getting kicked out, but also it hurt my teammates because now they have to readjust and work harder because I was slacking off. It was a bad day to pick to slack off when we have a game tomorrow and huge games this weekend.

I do not know what happened to me today. All the stress down to family problems, work, school, water polo, finances, and my social life in general just caught up with me. Like I talked about last week, responsibility is important but if we do not know what to do with it, it becomes pointless and we become useless.

Starting today I have made a vow that all of the things going on around me can continue to go on without me. I am only going to control the things that I can control and not worry about how others are going to react or deal with things. I cannot control how others behave or think and starting today I will not try to anymore.

I guess for the most part today I learned that I need to focus on myself and my own actions before I can even begin to try and help others. Sometimes we tend to forget that we need to think of ourselves first sometimes. That it is OK to be a little selfish. I am not saying forget about what is important to us or who has been there for us throughout this life journey; however, I am saying we need to give ourselves some time to do what we love. As of today there will be more time to focus on me and less time trying to control the uncontrollable things in my life.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Come together...right now.

I've come to find that "politics" is just a word, an ugly word that I rather hate, so what I'm doing is not politics, the upbringing of an entire generation has a nature of its own, it is set aside by those who stand up for what is right and truly devote their beings to a cause worthy of change. This is what I'm doing and I'm proud to say I've been part of it. Now I understand what all those people in history books meant when they said, "You have to fight for what you believe, you have to manifest it yourself before any other." And I think back to Abraham Lincoln, and how he helped rid America of slavery, and I think back to MLK, and how he helped fight for the civil rights of African Americans. And maybe, just maybe, someday I'll think of myself too, as being part of something important, something really big, something that changed the course of American History.

What I'm really trying to say though is: I would like to stay long enough to see my brother and half sister grow in this country, as they were born here and I wasn't. I would like to see gays and lesbians be accepted for who they are in the military.

And so I leave you with this,Repeal DADT. Enact the Dream Act.

Tomorrow, I'm ready to take the blur off of my face.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Effort and Hustle

This week has been extremely rough for me. I have never had the meaning of effort and hustle pushed so far into my brain before, in my life. This entire week the only words that I have heard are effort and hustle. Not only are these words important when it comes to water polo but also in my everyday life.

My entire life I was taught to hustle and always do my best at everything I do. "My parents have always told me, "Always work for what you want because nothing will ever be just handed to you." Because of these wise words from my parents and watching them work hard throughout their lives I too learned to hustle. Hard work just came naturally to me because I seen it day in and day out in my household. However, I have realized this week that I lacked the effort and hustle when it came to water polo.

I know that I am talented when it comes to water polo. I'm not saying that I am the best and that I am better than anyone because there are plenty of things I need to work on and all of my teammates are talented as well. On the other hand, I do have confidence in my ability to play well indidvidually and as a team. This week I learned that knowing that I am a good player and showing that I am a good player are completely different. Because of my lack of effort it seems like I am not as good as I really am. I take water polo for granted sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I know that I am good so there is no need to try. That is definitely a misconception. We are trying to win state and with the hard work and effort that all of my teammates are putting in, there is no doubt in my mind that we will. As long as I step up and put the same amount of effort as they do, we will be fine.

Overall, this week made me step back and look at my actions. Not only does my effort and hustle effect me but also the people around me. I have a completely different attitude now and I have become more humble about things. I need to be able to show that I am good but also that there are things that need to be worked on. Thanks to my coach for embedding it so far into my brain on thursday! Friday and saturday were much better days for me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The cash register and me

Let's back up a little bit, to yesterday. I worked the cash register for the first time at Rubio's (where I recently got hired) and well, I think it went better than I expected, on account that I still don't know all the menu and especially the ingredients everything contains, but it was still good, after a while I started to get the hang of the basic things, and how to punch them into the order and such, but there were others way more complicated, and yes, it was extremely awkward having to ask, but I really had no other choice, I don't mind asking for help, but it's always gonna be awkward, with customers too, when they ask you for something and I'm just like "huh." I felt like doing that thing that Mr. Krabs does on Spongebob where he goes like "Cashie!!!" Hahaha.

I think I need a lot more practice, even though my next working day is until next Sunday, come on, I should get more than that, maybe it's because I'm still a rookie, that's probably why.

Either way, that cash register is still pretty intimidating to me, but I hope for not much longer.

And today, I was at the cross country meet over at Fair view park, I did not run though, because I had ran last week, so it was the other people's turn to run. But it was fun being there though, just cheering people on. It's so much less stressful when you are not the one running. I guess I'm used to it now, I've been doing this cross country thing for eight years, so yes, I would consider myself a veteran, nevertheless, every time I step onto the starting line, there is still those nerves, but I think that helps.

Also, while being there today, I ran into my old high school team, and I got to say hello to my old coaches, it was rather interesting to do that, it felt good to see them again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


First off, I would like to say hello to everyone! I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity to share my life with everyone and also get feedback of any sort. I am a very open person and I do not plan on hiding anything or holding anything back. I would like everyone to feel free and ask as many questions as you would like. Also, comments and concerns are more than welcome.

So, today I went back and forth all day trying to decide what to write about first. I am so excited to write that I had a million ideas running through my mind all at once. And out of nowhere it hit me. Responsibility!! As a college student not only are we responsible for doing out homework and going to class, but also almost every one of us works, plays a sport, an instrument, performs of some sort, or just has other responsibilities that we must attend to on a daily basis. So, how do we manage our time effectively in this fast pace lifestyle?

As for me, I am a full-time student athlete; I coach high school water polo, work at Costco, and have guardianship of my niece that is three years old and my nephew that is one. I know how to manage my time effectively most of the time, in order to do my best that I can at everything. However, sometimes it is difficult to do the things I love. Because with each role come many responsibilities.

I want to hear from you now. How do you manage your time? Do you have any suggestions for me that can help manage my time to do things I love more often? What type of responsibilities are you faced with on a daily basis while being a student at Fullerton College?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Smack dab into the middle of the unknown

This is the first, and I'm the first, the first post, the first person. And now, let's unravel a bit.

I like to be part of projects, but that description wouldn't really do justice to my thoughts, so I should really say I like to be part of things, and people, and conversations, I like to be part of physical and mental change, not change as in I'm gonna change the world, that's too far out and quite irrelevant, I mean change as in self change, let's all start out by shifting ourselves into a different mindset, let's play with that for a bit and see what happens, maybe we'll land face flat on the ground and when we get up well say, "I've never been here before, the view is quite nice."

The word I'm looking for is "engagement," and by that I mean, I want to jump into the mud and really feel what it's like to be in every situation, deep deep deep. Isn't that the whole point of everything? To just go and do it, to submerge yourself so deep down in life that you have trouble breathing. I think it is, and all those people that say other wise are stupid.

For me, the way this worked, was with a river. It happened this summer while camping out with my friends. We went out for a swim and when we got there, the water was freezing, it was extremely cold, colder than anything I'd ever thought. Most of them were hesitant to even put their feet in, but something happened to me, I mean, just being there something happened to my brain, or my mind, or something about me snapped and it made me think, "I'm here, and this is now, and the water is cold, let's see what happens."

I dove into the freezing water, and through my brain, I heard a hissing sound.

When I came out I was shaking, and my lips were shaking, and my arms were shaking.

That was the first time I truly felt the blood moving in me, because I'd claimed my presence in that place of the world, and it was there and then and it was me.

I'm just saying, maybe we should just dive smack dab into the middle of the unknown. And maybe then, we can really feel something.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome to the Fullerton College Student Blogger, Blog!

Hello and welcome to FC's student blog. Here you'll get to follow four current FC students as they share their day-to-day life as a student at the college and outside of the college. You'll have the opportunity to follow them all semester long and read about how they make it work as a student.We hope you enjoy the blog and get a sense of what it's like to be a college student at Fullerton College!