Sabbatical: Week 2

My second week on sabbatical feels like it went by super fast, and also incredibly slowly. This week it also hit me that a lot of my self-esteem comes from work. Without it, I have these moments of just sitting on the couch all mopey like, “Now what?” On the flip side, I also have all these little projects that I started, so I see I’m trying to fill my day up with “other” work — which is cool, but also something I’d like to avoid a bit because having time to do nothing is just so rare.

This week, on Saturday, Gustavo and I spent some time at the gym, still working on more skills for the upcoming competition in January. Afterwards, we walked over to the mall to do a bit of holiday shopping. My favorite tidbit? Brazil doesn’t just do Black Friday. No, no. It does BLACK NOVEMBER. (Though, honestly, I didn’t think anything was on sale all that much.)

Just after, a friend asked to go to the beach, so we hopped in a cab and spent some time in the sun, watching folks play futvolei at Praia do Leme. Finally, at night, we checked out La Paz, a very cool, queer-friendly club in Rio that was planning a women’s poetry slam until it started raining — but the music was good nonetheless.

Sunday and Monday were two days where I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I spent some time reading, re-watching Doctor Who, and working on a few other projects here and there.

Tuesday and Wednesday were crossfit days and the workouts were hard. On Wednesday, it was a WOD in pairs with 35kg lunges where you held the barbell in a front squat position. All in all, I did about 60 repetitions for my part and my legs only just recovered now.

Somehow, afterwards, I managed to walk back over to the mall to finish all of my Christmas shopping which makes me so happy. First, I love buying presents for people and I can never wait until the holiday to give it to them. Second, I love finishing things early. There’s a super cute store called Imaginarium which has a bunch of fun, quirky trinkets where I bought a couple things, including a Harry Potter Sorting Hat mug for myself. Every time I pour my coffee, it tells me I belong in Hufflepuff 😉

 

Thursday, we got back to training with our coach. He was away for a week, so while we followed the programming during that time, we had some trouble finding a place to finish the workouts so it was a bit lighter than usual. The rest helped though.

We practiced snatch, which is one of my least favorite movements, but I got up to 35kg easily and even attempted 40kg (instead of the planned 37kg). I was super close to getting it, but I need to work on the explosive strength in my upper body. I was able to get the barbell over my head and stabilize, but my elbows were the last to lock out, which is not what you want for the technique. Nevertheless, I was pretty happy with the progress.

Hang snatches are feeling better! 35kg/77lb

A post shared by Erica (@ericavarlese) on

On Friday, I started off with my second Portuguese session of the week. I do feel like my conversational skills are getting a lot better, especially as we dig into the more complex verb tenses.

I’ve also noticed a new habit I have of just responding to people in English within a conversation. It usually makes people pause for a second so I have time to think of and translate what I want to say. Brazilian conversations, much like most Italian conversations (or at least with my family), involves a lot of interrupting. Which is… challenging for someone who needs a moment to find their words before speaking. But, hey, at least I found a new adaptation.

Author: Erica V.

Always seriously joking and rambunctiously soft-spoken.

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