The turning of seasons is a time that for me to get motivated because- or in spite of-what has come to pass. This is a time I put my hustle on the back burner and ask: do I still love what I'm doing? Fortunately, I've never been at a loss for inspired people around me willing to contribute ideas and energy towards season events that promote community.
I have so many wonderful memories from seasonal events in the past. However, this autumn's collaboration was a turning point for me. My hard-work is in equal measure to my need to control. I lived by the mantra: if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself. Maybe it's age, maybe it's laziness, but this was the first event that felt like everyone was working side-by-side. This is not to diminish the efforts of those in the past, but I stopped overshadowing everyone with my micromanagement and everyone had the space to do what they needed to do this time around.
And it was perfect. Sunny kicked off the event leading the 7th edition of Critical Mass in Busan. Critical Mass takes bikers on the road as a unit to raise the awareness of urban biking. This is particularly critical is dense urban areas like Busan where accident rates rank among the highest in the world, gridlock puts bike and bus commute times side by side, and there's no question about the environmental impact of more cars on the road. The bike ride brought together both the local and ex-pat population with a united mission and passion. We saw the mantra in action: better together.
We rode to the beachfront at Gwangali Beach where Kara of Kara Bemis Yoga led a yoga session meant to compliment the ride. The cliche, "yoga is for everyBODY," is one every yogi is guilty of uttering at least once. However, there was one participant who has muscle damage in his lower body as a result of a polio infection. Could he really do yoga? And not "do" yoga in the way that "sending positive thoughts into the universe" is doing yoga. Kara took this challenge and rose to the occasion planning a torso focused practice. Assisting her, it was such an amazing challenge to check in with my understanding of the postures. What is the function of adho mukha swanasana? Vira II? How do we access benefits of asymmetrical standing balances when you're not standing? I got a rush the way I used to during a dinner rush back in my waitressing days. I had to think on feet (or on my seat as the case was) and find a way to make it work in real time. It was also the perfect reminded that modified in no way equals easier. Switching chaturanga with uttitha dandasana? Yikes. He was a champ and we found common ground- beyond language, beyond body composition, beyond occupation or any other delineations we make.
And then we jammed. After training, I've been very weary of jams. I'm not an amusement ride and acroyoga is more than spectacle. However, this jam was special... and I remembered why jams and acroyoga matter. We play, we laugh, we move beyond what we ever thought was possible and we support each other along the way.
Finally, nothing brings people together than breaking bread. Eric Plese has begun doing pop-up restaurant events in Busan. I reached out to him to handle the grub and he, along with the Hyuna magicians in the kitchen at Roof Westernpub handled the tall order of a seasonal vegan dinner served family style with a flying colors! Cocktails in hand, Amy Kathleen serenaded us with an acoustic set of both covers and originals on the roof.
This collaboration served as a fundraiser for the Busan Climate Action film festival coming up later next month. It was the meeting of exceptional talents from many different persuasions. Thank you to everyone who helped organize and to all the participants that make these events possible. Looking forward to a great fall now that we got things started right!
Thank you to Ben and Simon for their video and photography work! Full photo album below: