Isang's Blog/

{January 20, 2010}   I broke a nail!

While writing this post I decided why not show everyone I broke a nail? Two actually;)

It was more my pride then my already bruised leg that got hurt. Today Noa and I went off into the Panoramica, a beautiful long stretch of road surrounding the city. Tourists frequent it, cars less so. I warned him at the beginning of the ride that yesterday, I went to the gym and had some Spanish instructor take to being a bike Nazi during spinning class. My legs weren’t even recovered yet for the move from Casa Mexicana to Casa Bertha the next morning, a mere 3 minutes walk uphill with all my luggage. So, I threw it at him I wasn’t up for anything too difficult.

My Spanish has improved significantly, and so I got my point across. Of course, since Noa took it to heart to train me for this upcoming 3,000 mile ride, he still didn’t see eye to eye with me on what is fácil. We went a bit off road… actually way off road, onto a slim rocky path with burros poop and flowers (somehow the burros poop made the flowers even more beautiful…). Anyways, the slim rocky path got..slimmer, and the downhill became more…down. You know those moments where you go through something crazy but right before you go through with it someone says something you don’t understand in Spanish but then after the fact you learn that the phrase to describe the path is “For Professionals” in English. That’s why I bust out laughing after the fact of going through this path. Oh Noa, you have such faith in me:)

Today I learned two important lessons. Number 1, brake con los dos brakes. Not with one more than the other, and especially not with the front one. I learned this last time I rode steep paths…but it never hurts to learn again…my instinct is to brake when I see danger…in truth I should just accept I’m going fast and find another way to turn the curve.

Number 2, I learned that Number 1 will prevent having to relearn Number 2. When you fall, curve into the fall with your shoulder instead of reaching out. Kent told me that through e-mail and I was excited to apply it to the training runs. Of course, thinking you’ll change your instinct overnight just doesn’t happen. So I fell today, pretty hard. But it was worth it. I tore up my hip and gashed my right leg and hand. Got my first huge splinter (fell on rocks and branches) that I slowly got to pull out of the gash in my leg! But my motion of falling would have prevented some of the wounds if I curled in. Note taken, I can now see myself turning to the skies when I fall versus the ground.

Overall, it was a good bike ride. I was quite tired today, but the other days of workout have helped to make up for not going all out. When I’m in spinning class, all I can think about is going down a beautiful stretch of road somewhere in the middle of the US and coming upon some big hilly road, and knowing I can conquer it.

Efforts on the fundraising front have brought in some surprising developments. My research on Lung Disease in the US is now extended over to my mother’s homeland, the Philippines. It’s pretty ridiculous how many smoking related deaths occurred last year there. I’m strongly inclined to extend my efforts for raising awareness on smoking and lung disease in the Philippines. There is no national law preventing young people from purchasing cigarettes. It plays a strong factor for why 4 out of 10 Filipino youth (13-15 year olds), smoke cigarettes. Working on a few projects now to see how much noise we can make over this.

To sum it up, Guanajuato has made a place in my heart. I’m now volunteering at a nearby Shelter for girls/woman called Buen Pastor. I’m excited to begin working with Isabel, a 14 year old girl who has yet to learn to read and write in Spanish. When I arrived at Buen Pastor, I was drawn to how friendly and positive the atmosphere was. Much of my time in Guanajuato has been spent on sight seeing and adjusting to the culture. Now I look forward to spending it on providing resources for these young girls and the Sisters of Buen Pastor. The experience makes me feel at home here. Check out their website at

I’m going to apply bandages now to the knee again :). Hasta Luego!

Terry says:

Hola M, he leído tu blog ayer. Debe haber realmente me impresionó porque tenía un sueño acerca de que esa misma noche. Soñé que iba a subir la montaña a través de una serie de túneles. Cada túnel me llevó a una mayor elevación. Recuerdo que sale a 6.000 pies … y aunque era más difícil de respirar, verde el paisaje era exuberante, y la vista desde la cima de la montaña fue espectacular. En un momento, llegué a un claro. Hubo un par de casas a ambos lados de un arroyo hermoso. Las casas eran de cemento y el clima fueron golpeados. El terreno circundante era duro y compacto. Entré en una de las casas … no había ninguna puerta. La habitación era grande y colorida, y la gente que vivía allí era muy amable.

Just a note to let you know that your blog is really an inspiration, not only for getting back on a mountain bike, but to learn Spanish. But all kidding aside, I can appreciate that your experience goes much deeper than that.

Your Aunte Nette sent me directions to your blog yesterday and ended-up reading about your bike trip over lunch…how exciting!!! I really loved the details…it was like eating popcorn and watching a movie.

I also love the details concerning the volunteer work at Buen Pastor.

I know you’re fighting the “good-fight”…Keep it up.

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