Monday, May 20, 2013


Home is not warmth
Home is not happiness, or tears, or excitement
It's not the smell of chocolate chip cookies
Or fresh cut grass
It's not the owls hooting or the sound of traffic
Home is not warm summer breeze cutting through the living room
Home is not fresh cut watermelon
It's not where you read by hallway light way after bedtime
Home is not music 
Home is not a bike ride around the neighborhood
And it's not necessarily where your heart is
Home is not early mornings or late nights
Home is not the stars that illuminate the night sky
It's not mac and cheese with hot dogs and it's not your first filet minon
Home is not a flurry of snow or the crash of thunder
Home is not a flickering light or a patch of roses
It's not poker nights, sleepovers or movies
Home is not the books you alphabetize or the clothes you sort in the closet
Home is not the nooks and crannies you explored as a child

Home is a word
It's just a word
It doesn't mean anything unless you let it

Monday, April 29, 2013

A New Trip, A New Blog

This summer I'll be heading to New York City! Woohoo!

For updates including planning as well as crazy exploits from the trip, follow my new blog: Maya in New York.

Expect lots of trip updates there (I even promise pictures!), as well as a more frequent update of this bad boy. I'm sure skipping around a crazy city is going to spawn lots of genius thoughts.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Owning Cool Things

First, the circumstances in which these thoughts came about: my 6 year old Toshiba laptop mostly runs like a charm. Sure, the right clicker didn't work, and it occasionally froze, but overall all was good. Then I got a virus. This one. Ugh! I was locked out of my computer, frustrated and out of patience. I'd been thinking for a while about getting a new laptop for law school, and decided it was finally time to pick up a Mac - specifically, the MacBook Air (13 in., 256 GB, oh yeah).


Note: I also recently bought a Google Nexus 4, so I've got some sweet new tech stacking up.

My boyfriend made a comment this morning (the morning after I bought computer): "It's so cool that you have this stuff," in reference to my new phone and new computer.

I paused to think for a second, then responded with a comment about how that sort of bothered me. I felt like his comment had unintentionally defined me by the things I own. That bothers me for a few reasons.

This may or may not be me. Just saying.
1. In the case of being a Mac or Google person - I think those labels are dumb. I wouldn't have bought a MacBook Air if I didn't believe it were the best product for my needs. I don't like buying things for their label, be it a purse or a computer. I did the research, I feel confident in my purchase regardless of the store I bought it from (Slight tangent - you can actually get student discounts in person at the Apple Store, not just online. I'm glad I found that out!).

2. I have joked about "going to the dark side," or being one of those Mac hipsters. Now that I own a Mac, I realize how much I hate that concept. I hereby vow to not judge books by their covers in this regard, and try to not make assumptions about people just because they use a certain brand of technology. I know I definitely do not identify with the hipster counter-culture stereotype that comes with storing your MacBook Air in your Etsy-sold bag, while walking around in skinny jeans and sporting round, thick-rimmed glasses. Because those are the things I do, and I think it's awesome.

3. I've said in the past I thought it was cool that we have certain items for the gym in our garage, like rubber plates, and two barbells. What I really meant was I think it's cool that my boyfriend made the decision to invest his money in those things, thus improving my experience in a place I spend a decent amount of time. Anyone could have spent the same amount of money to get those items, but he actually did it.

Thesis: Regardless of what you actually purchase, it's just money that is now tied up in an item. It's not the item that makes you cool - it's the decision to get it. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get Ready for Random

For a long time, I've been under the impression that a blog should have some consistent theme. If you have good enough ideas to post online for others to view, it's likely you will appeal to a certain audience. For example, someone blogging about fashion is likely to gain the following of a specific demographic. That following is likely different than the average person reading a weightlifting blog.

For a while, I have written with a certain audience in mind: my peers. Average 20-something-year-olds who are in to sports and could probably be considered average "young professionals." With every post, I have pictured a person like this reading it, and tried to use a certain style to cater to this imaginary reader. I consider what would make them smile, gasp in shock, etc. This is a skill worth practicing in any public writing, and one I have found carried over well to when I was writing at Skyd.

But I digress - my real point is I no longer care about who is reading this. How I define my audience has shifted, though it's possible the actual readers who fall within that definition stay the same. From now on, my target audience is those who care about what I think. 

I have so many random thoughts that pop in my head on a daily basis. So many of those would make good blog posts, but I haven't really considered this blog an outlet for most of those thoughts. The other day I decided that was dumb. I have good thoughts that I believe are worth sharing, and so from now on, I intend to do so. Some posts may be provocative, controversial or downright boring to you. If you have a problem with that, too bad, it's my blog.

Get ready for random, loyal readers. That's about all you can expect.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Getting to "The Zone"

Heart pounding. Sweat dripping. Breath is heavy, or non-existent. Focus is stuck on that one little point of light in front of you. A moment of stillness...

An explosion! Movement at the speed of light. Force applied so hard you feel like your body might break, but it doesn't.

And then it's over. Awareness of things that surround you starts to seep in. The cleansing, oh-so-good breath returns, invigorating your body with fresh oxygen.

But for that moment, be it a second or an hour-long moment, you are on a different level. I'm talking about being in the zone. I find it when I run repeated sprints. I find it near the second round of a Crossfit WOD. I find it when my lifts near my body weight, or when I am setting a new PR. Lately, I've been so glad to realize I have found it in yoga.

I recently purchased a LivingSocial deal at a hot yoga studio. Anyone who has researched the price of a yoga membership will know that $35 for a month of unlimited classes is a really good deal. I was in the mood for something new, and had heard yoga provided good balance to a heavy lifting schedule. And I was trying hot yoga, so at the very least I was guaranteed an hour of sweating. I thought to myself, "Why not? It's just a month. I'll go a couple times a week between my lifting days."

Now, I can't get enough. Since last week I have gone to a class every day I have been in San Diego. I have tried Hatha and Vinyasa and the intro class. I have gone at 7 PM, 8:30 PM and 6 AM. I have been so pleasantly surprised that no matter what type of class or time I go, I find myself getting to my "zone" almost immediately. From the first relaxing child's pose to the last down dog, I am focused on myself, my breath, my intention. I love the idea of sharing my practice with my classmates. I love the help the instructor gives, reminding me of the power of superfriends. I love that it is not only acceptable but also praise-worthy to be at any stage of practice that one is capable of. It truly is non-competitive. With the sweat dripping I feel detoxified, powerful, serene. I feel like I can tackle anything. I walk out of every class with a huge smile on my face. Time passes so quickly in the zone, an hour of effort feels like a few minutes.

I'm sure at some point I will return to the heavy lifting, but for now, I am so content to ride the wave of yoga happiness. I feel pride that my strength training allows me to try different poses and to properly hold the chaturanga dandasana. I highly recommend giving it a try. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself. I hope to see you in the studio, until then, Namaste.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On Decisions

Some decisions are easy. Yes, I would like to try skydiving. No, I don't want to wear that prom dress to the club. Of course I'd like seconds on your delicious homemade pie.

Some decisions are hard. Should I go heavy on the eye makeup or sport some red lipstick? What do I wear to the gym? Thin Mints or Trefoils?

But the hardest decisions to make are the ones you know are right, but will have incredibly painful consequences. These past couple weeks I have been faced with such a decision. I know the right answer, but I feel great sadness when I think of what it means.

This August, I will likely be attending law school somewhere. In hearing some circulating rumors of club tryouts and whatnot, I realized I needed to decide if I was going to play ultimate this summer. Immediately I knew what was going to happen. I'm moving to the Bay Area, after all, land of the amazing ultimate opportunities. I don't know if I could make a team that would go to Nationals but I could definitely make one that was more competitive than the past two I have played on in San Diego. I would enjoy meeting new people and making friends through the sport I spend the majority of my free time playing, writing about or thinking about.

And yet, I will not be playing this summer. I can't in good conscience pay a ton of money to law school and then commit my weekends and some weekday evenings to a team. It's not fair to the team I would play on for me to be distracted by school and it's no way to guarantee I get the most out of my education. I know that's the right thing for me to do. Ultimate isn't going anywhere. If anything, the opportunities to play competitively are becoming more available. But 2013 isn't my summer. I won't be playing. I won't be writing. I won't be travelling to amazing tournaments.

I know there's great leagues in San Francisco, and I can always play in the coming years. I just can't help feeling a painful loss when I read on Facebook about the excitement building for the Triple Crown Tour, or hear my friends talking about the tournaments they can't wait to attend. There's a real fear that if I don't play for a summer I'll be "out of the loop" or will find it difficult to return. That fear might be completely baseless, but it's there.

The choice to not play this summer has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. And there's nothing much more to say about it than it totally sucks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Strategic Throw

In light of the fact that my upcoming Regionals tournament will follow this format, I consider this an appropriate time to write out some thoughts that have been brewing for a while.

We talk so much about in-game strategy, and equal play time, and the best way to win games to make it to Nationals. But what happens when you find yourself in a situation as we may, facing a team we know we are 90+% likely to lose to, only to drop into the second "game-to-go" bracket and face a team coming high off a win. I can name many instances where trying your ass off in that first game only leads to a team burning out and losing both games-to-go in a row, knocking them out of Nationals completely.

In this case, the best way to maximize your chances of going to Nationals is to throw the 1/2 game. Literally put two people on the line, and turf the first throw (because a forfeit in the Series is auto-DQ). Let the other team score. This will rest your team, effectively giving you a bye before your next game. You'll even have the opportunity to put in your top 7-12 in a high-level game situation before the game ends to get them warmed up. You then go on to play a team who is coming off a probably close win; they are elated, but they are tired. You run them into the ground, and take off with the second bid.

Now, is this generally considered a bad idea? Will people dislike that you intentionally lose? Is this against the spirit of the game? I know I haven't ever heard of this happening (though I don't doubt that it has, just saying I haven't heard about it personally), and honestly, the answers to those three questions are very different. First, is it generally considered a bad idea? Probably. Does that mean it is objectively against your team's interest to throw a game? Definitely not. Second, will people hate you and get upset? Probably. Does that mean your team shouldn't do it? Definitely not - people get upset in ultimate games all the time. At the end of the day, the only people who could really complain are the ones you're going to be up against in the second game-to-go, and you know what? They could have done the same thing if they had won earlier games. Third, is this against the spirit of the game? In my opinion, this question is the most relevant, and really, the only important one. Part of why I love playing ultimate is, well, the playing. Is it against SOTG to let the obvious champs run away with the win? In my mind, there are two aspects to spirit: there's on-field spirit, and general spirit of the community. On-field involves calling appropriate fouls, not spiking, not cheating in other ways that the rules really leave room to do. Off the field involves having a respect for your community, being generally supportive, and developing a strategy that will challenge your opponents and result in the best possible ultimate being played. Because of these, albeit slightly vague, personal definitions, I believe that throwing a game is completely spirited, assuming, like I said before, your team is very likely to lose. You will only tire yourself out, making the next game harder for you, and less competitive. Additionally, if you made it to the 1/2 game, the assumption is that you are the first or second best team. Another team gets a second chance to beat you because we want to confirm that this is true. If the third place beats second place (loser of the 1/2) then we chalk it up to some game error. But really, in a region with 2 bids, the first and second place team should advance to Nationals.

Throwing a game to ensure that is thus not only spirited but smart, and more fun. I hope I get to be part of a team that pioneers this strategy.