Respecting, celebrating America as a melting pot

I am proud of my background and where I come from.

I am grateful to be American and have the freedoms I enjoy.

But I am also saddened and angry by blatant racism we are still plagued with in 2015.

We all should be proud of where we came from. But we should also respect the journeys (good or bad) we encountered to get where we are today.

I am proud to be a native Arizonan and Tucsonan. I am saddened by how my home state has been represented. True Arizonans are not racist. They are loving and open minded. That’s how I was raised.

I know I am late to posting on this subject. But I really wanted to think this out and take my time to really reflect my thoughts on racism, discrimination and the controversial subject of the Confederate flag.

I know what it is like to be a woman and be discriminated against because of that. I know what it is like to be scared and cautious because I am a woman. Girls are taught how to be aware of their surroundings. I know what it is like to catcalled on the street.

(This is a … Continue reading

Finding your paradise

I literally (pen to paper) wrote this post on Wednesday (October 15).

As a native Arizonan and Tucsonan (born, bred and educated) I spent many summers in San Diego, as did many other Arizonans.

Getting a tan, running my toes through the sand and the smell of salt water … that’s my ideal and dream vacation. Throw in an exotic location and it’s my paradise.

As I am handwriting this post (will take to the keyboard later–aka now) I am sitting on a private island on Bora Bora soaking up the sun (I am fully covered in sun screen), looking at the turquoise water, hearing the waves roll in and feeling so lucky … and happy.

(The photo above was taken right after I wrote this post.)

As you know my dear readers, things have changed a lot on my life in the past month. September 15 was my last day  in the corporate world. Today as I take pen to paper it is Wednesday, October 15.

Six days ago (now, nine days) I turned 40. In 10 days (now seven) I celebrate my 11th wedding anniversary.

While on probably the most exotic vacation I will ever take I have been … Continue reading

Upcoming first official yoga class

In EIGHT days I will be a certified yoga teacher.

This has been a long journey at Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Deep Yoga teacher training: 10 months of school, homework, yoga classes, observing and assisting, weekends, Thursday nights …

Days after I graduate I am heading to my hometown of Tucson to have some R&R, visit family and teach my first official yoga class as a certified yoga teacher at Mindful Yoga Studio.

My class is called Do Good While You Feel Good, a donation class to benefit Tucson’s Community Food Bank.

Here is a link to the event invite on Go Fit Girl’s Facebook page.

This event is open to anyone. Please invite your friends. It will be great support to me, Mindful Yoga Studio and the food bank.

I have learned so much over these past 10 months. And now it is time to put them to practice. It will likely be a little rocky at first. But the more I teach, the easier and better it will get.

I’ve already been working on the class I’m planning to teach. It’s part of my home practice. I think it will be a great beginner practice or … Continue reading

We are family

I was born, bred and educated in Tucson, Ariz. I left about two weeks after I graduated from college when I was 23.

Most of my family members never leave Tucson. So it was a big deal for me to leave and move somewhere where I knew no one. But for the sake of my career and to really grow up and blossom I had to take that step.

Previously I have written about how lucky I was as a little girl to have three great-grandmas, two grandmas and two grandpas. Apparently when I was a sassy little thing (nope, haven’t out grown that) my parents would say to me, we are going to visit grandma. And I would say (sweetly, I am sure), which one?

So most of them got nicknames from little Annie Chihak. My dad’s mom announced that she would be called Nana before her first grandchild (me) was born. My mom’s parents were named Grandma and Grandpa Lisa because my Aunt Lisa lived with them. My dad’s grandma was Grandma Chihak (I don’t think I made that one up myself). My dad’s dad was Grandpa Frank. (I have a feeling I didn’t make that one … Continue reading

A must read: A Gift of Hope

I recently read on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website,, about a book by Danielle Steel.

Now when I was younger I read many of her romance novels. And then I kinda outgrew that phase.

But the article that the Chronicle recently did on her latest book caught my eye and my heart. And I had to buy the book.

It’s a small book and an easy read. And it has changed my life. I am looking at the homeless differently. I have always had compassion for them. But I have been panhandled and played more times than I would like to admit. I no longer give money. I will, at times, buy food for someone.

And I just recently purchased Starbucks gift cards, which I will hand out when someone asks for money. The recipient can get something warm to drink and something to eat.

Danielle Steel lost one of her sons to suicide. He was bipolar and had a compassion toward homeless people. When she was feeling sad and low she asked God to tell her what she should do to ease her pain and help someone less fortunate than her. The message she heard back was … Continue reading

It’s go time

The Husband and I are traveling to Tucson for Christmas … by car.

We decided to drive as it is expensive to fly to Tucson and even more so for Christmas. We will need a car while in Tucson and for the second part of our trip to San Diego.

I am not a huge fan of long car rides. I have some back issues and sitting for a long period of time can be quite uncomfortable for my lower back. But I think Curt will be doing the majority of the driving, which means I can shift around a little more and my back should get some relief.

I plan to try out working on the chair yoga mini sequence, which Baxter has recommended and wrote about on his blog (along with others) Yoga for Healthy Aging.

So that should hopefully help with my back issues. And I am sure a few stops to stretch out my back will also help.

My other challenge/issue is my water intake. I normally drink a lot of water. But when you drink a lot of water you also have to pee a lot. We can’t possibly stop every 30 minutes for me … Continue reading

Ommm Shanti Shanti Shanti: Attention Tucson Yogis

I am excited to announce that tomorrow, July 30, my dad’s wife, Hilda, will have her Grand Opening of Mindful Yoga studio.

Hilda is a registered yoga teacher and has taught in Tucson and San Francisco. According to the website, her practice is one of mindfulness with emphasis on the breath and honoring the body, spirit and mind on and off the yoga mat.

The studio has a wide range of yoga instructors and a full and versatile class schedule.

Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to check out the studio or take any classes until the end of September when I am in town for my high school reunion. Fortunately for me that is only about two months away.

The studio is located at the El Dorado Village Shopping Center next to the Trader Joe’s. The address is 1101 N. Wimot Road, Suite 123, Tucson.

Make sure to check out and “Like” the Mindful Yoga studio Facebook page.

I know that Hilda has worked hard to make her dream come true. And she wants to share it with all of us.

So please check out the new studio. The prices are great and the … Continue reading

Mi familia

I spent a good amount of time last week at the hospital visiting my grandpa. (I was there every day for four days in a row. I also visited with him twice the day before he headed to the hospital.)

Last Tuesday my grandpa had surgery. I spent between 6-7 hours in the surgery waiting room. That’s a lot of people watching.

I am 75% Mexican American. I have a mother who is 100% Mexican American and a father who is 50% Mexican American; 25% Czech American; and 25% Irish American. (My grandpa is 50% Czech American and 50% Irish American.)

I identify with all parts of my ethnic upbringing. The most prominent, of course, is being a Mexican American.

I observed a couple of different Mexican families in the waiting room. Family is very important to Mexicans and Mexican Americans. (I realize it is important to other cultures as well. But I observed the love and loyalty of Mexican families last week. And Tucson is full of them.)

According to this Kwintessential link, the family is at the center of the social structure. Families are still generally large. The extended family is as important as the nuclear family since … Continue reading