Tuesday, June 8, 2010

..Vibing a new Frequency..

Lightning in a Bottle music festival really brought a lot of things to the surface for me....

Over the last two summers, I've been staying sober at music festivals. Its been an interesting experience. I struggle staying up to the wee hours in the morning, I struggle to continue dancing all day and all night and by day 3, I really feel my body suffering.

Dealing with my hip injury has also been hard. I have been tempted to consume some sort of drug to ease the pain and distract my mind, so I can enjoy myself...but I still resist and do not give in.

As I'm surrounded by those who are there to "party" which to them means consuming numerous kinds of drugs, along with alcohol and staying up allllll night, I just cannot resonate with them. I do not want to judge these people, they are here to have a good time and connect...but...destroying
their bodies for 3-4 days in a row? ouch.

I learned that I love taking good care of my body and I love my routine. I LOVE BEING SOBER!!!
I love waking up at the same time every day, I love doing my stretches and eating a proper breakfast, I LOVE TO WORKOUT! I realized that I am happier after having a great workout than I am at a music festival. whoa-wait-WHAT? I am happier living my normal routine of working as a personal trainer and teaching Hoop Classes?? How blessed am I? My real life is so incredible, i don't need to run away for 4-5 days, indulge in drug consumption to feel happy?! wow.

How can this be? I've lived and breathed for music festival season since 2004. I loved partying hard and raging life to the MAX!
But I feel a slow disconnect forming. Its soo hard on my body. Not to mention, I cannot put my hoops down, they are like crack! So submitting myself to hours and hours of hooping=extreme hip pain, to the point I cannot even walk without pain :/

I know I can still engage in my awesome routine at festivals, I know I can still take great care of myself, fueling appropriately, and even working out- regardless of others and their intentions for their bodies...

but Am I alone in these discoveries? Is anyone else realizing they love their bodies so much and want to take care of them??? at all times?! At EmrgNsee & Hornings I hope to set up camp with folks that are there to celebrate life and live to the fullest but also respect and take care of their temples!
I want surround myself with folks who vibe on my frequency, so I don't feel so lonely this time.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Meg. I'm in the same boat. Life is about balance. Everything in moderation. My motto is "keep it special". Since I don't overindulge much, my tolerance is LOW, so it doesn't take a whole lot of anything to get me in a comfortable space. I spent my first 6 burning mans almost completely sober. Here are some of the ways I protect & respect my body while still having fun at festivals:

    1- bring my own drinks. I hate the sugar-laden garbage with high-fructose corn syrup & artificial chemicals in most drinks so I bring my own "healthy" cocktails in. Pure liquor with organic juice, seasoned with fresh squeezed lime, ginger or mint. Sometimes I'll even mix the booze into a protein shake for added nutrition! Tastes WAY better than the crap at the bar, doesn't spike your insulin levels as much, provides electrolytes, helps balance out the harmful effects of the alcohol, and makes great gifts! (just be sure to pour it into peoples' cup if ya don't know where they've been)

    2- water! Camelbaks are my savior. Consuming alcohol or drugs while doing heavy sweat-inducing activity in 90 degree heat is a fantastic recipe for dehydration. As you probably know, only 2% fluid loss can equate to a 20% loss in athletic performance! Not to mention increased perception of effort, increased risk of injury, lower mental clarity, etc. I'm drinking water all the time, more if I'm altered or dancing. I make sure I always piss clear (or yellow if I took a vitamin).

    3- multi-vitamins to ensure I have what I need and more.

    4- my own healthy food. Fresh salads with lots of leafy greens, colorful veggies, protein and healthy fats, to keep me energized day and night. Or healthy veggie wraps to share. They make a great icebreaker too! I check the time to make sure I'm eating every 3-4 hrs no matter what, because it's easy to lose track of time and "forget" to eat for a whole night.

    5- stretching every few hours keeps me limber and muscle-balanced

    6- resting every few hours not only helps me recharge my body but reminds me to chill out and connect with people on a real personal basis rather than just staying in my own head the whole time. I love my "me-time" to dance but it's good to put down the hoop sometimes.

    7- working out and living healthy 95% of the time, so I can party hard the other 5%. If I'm living life at a higher frequency 6 days of the week (or 26 days a month with 4 days at a festival), my body will be able to take some abuse 1/7 of the time without even flinching. If you're running 25-40 miles/week training for a marathon, that 26.2 miles on race day isn't going to be that devastating as if you hadn't done anything. Like Will Smith says "if you stay ready, you don't have to GET ready!"

    8- listen to my body! Ignoring my body is the best way to get an injury. If I'm in pain, I stop and rest, or stretch. If my fabulous shoes are hurting my joints, I'll switch to my less-fabulous sneakers that support me! No amount of fabulosity is worth destroying my temple.

    9- don't compare myself to others. Everyone's on their own journey. Some people need to let loose, some are just experimenting , some are looking for an escape. Who am I to judge? When I can just be me and be happy - sober OR altered - and let everyone else enjoy their own experience, I have a much better time. Plus, people see that I respect myself and my body and they respect me more.

    10- surround myself with others who support me. It helps if they're in the same headspace & path as me, but it's not necessary. What's important is that they can help me through a crappy situation or look out for my best interests even when I'm not in a state to do it for myself. I don't need a babysitter, just a good friend.

  2. I love your spirit Megzz! Your words always come from the heart and I love listening to the wisdom you have to share about maintaining a solid mind-body connection. You, more than anyone else, has taught me that music and dance, love and withholding judgement are keys to living a balanced and loving life. Thank you for breaking down the perception that where there is music, there is drugs and self-abuse. It is simply a false stereotype and there are lots of us healthy folks out there waiting to party holistically.
    @Ted; Love the idea of the camelback and timing out. Great advice! Thanks.

  3. Great thoughts Meg! Before this summer season I was so excited and could not wait until all the partying begins......recently I went to few very cool events but there was also lots of alcohol and drugs......for some reason this time it hit me and I kept asking myself why I even bother coming. First thing that came to my mind is that I love to hoop dance in public to live music. Once I realized this then all other thoughts came to me like "attend a hoop camp retreat", "take a performance training", "engage more in local performances"etc. I always used drugs on festivals and could not imagine otherwise. But few very unpleasant events helped me to realize that my emotional "release" was causing more upset and turmoil than pleasure. I would always come back with the feeling of "cheating" on myself. Kind of weird, I know ;) But that is just me. I used drugs to open up and live my life for few days in a way I wished I lived for the rest of the year. So it's kind of nice to hear that there is another person out there that feels similar.
    Being aware of the INTENTION behind going to such events is crucial. Once you know that then it will be a blast.

  4. What a fantastic post! You expressed some things that have been troubling me for a long time now. I've spent the last several years as the mostly sober person at festivals (no drugs, the occasional beer after the sun goes down)and have gotten some ribbing from my friends because of it. However, the pay off for me is huge. I remember the music, all of it, and remember all the amazing moments I share with friends new and old. While I can't stay up till sunrise anymore, I feel refreshed, energized and ready to hoop in the morning and get so much more out of the festival experience as a result.

    I choose my festivals carefully these days, considering the the atmosphere as well as the music when deciding where to go. I've missed some great lineups as a result but also ensure that the festivals I attend are a universally positive experience.

    Again, thanks for the lovely post!

  5. Nice post Megzz! Honestly, I wondered your story on this subject. :) Hats off to you!

  6. I am right there with you girl. I have been going to shows since about 1995 and it has always been a big part of my lifestyle. But with all of the partying afterward comes a rundown empty feeling. In the past several years I have finally actualized what my body has known for a long time. There is a much more consistent high from good food, exercise and a positive mindset. It does become difficult sometimes to be surrounded by people who still "enjoy" their recreation with drugs and alcohol. It's not so much a judgement for me at this point, but a dissapointment and desire for those people to find their true happiness in other things. I was out busking last weekend late night and seeing everyone get progressively more drunk throughout the night was sad to me. People lost their smiles. I hooped so hard for 3 hours straight, blissed out and more than one person walked by and made an ecstacy comment. It made me giggle! I WAS in ecstacy, but I was totally sober!! I was out until 2am that morning and the energy of movement kept me going. I knew all was right when I was bopping down the strip at 2am with a huge smile on my face and a boombox on my shoulder only wishing everyone else looked so happy. Keep it up girl! You are a true inspiration to many and I'm so glad to have met you!

  7. good for you megz! if you are ever at a music festival in the kentucky/ohio/indiana/tennessee area, i'll be right there with ya! enjoying/remembering the amazing music, treating my body well, getting ample activity, drinking lots of water and maybe enjoying a cold beer later on. but never losing sleep! =)

  8. No one answer is ever the right answer.