Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Be The Change You Wish to See in San Jose

First off if you live in California vote No on Prop 6 (gotta lead off with that - it's kinda my brand for at least the next seven days. You've hopefully by now read and shared my No on Prop 6 post and LTTE. Also in San Jose vote Yes on V and Yes on Prop 1 and Prop 2).

But this morning I don't have time for long posts but I wish I had since I have good news on Cranksgiving San Jose to share - still on for Nov. 17th at 1:00pm at St. James Park. Cyclists will get together, get shopping lists, fan out across the city, and meet up at San Pedro Square Market for the weigh in, totals and prizes. Community Cycles of California and Ford GoBike have both stepped up as new sponsors this year - will have more about that; just follow Cranksgiving San Jose on Facebook for the updates. 

There's one sponsor in particular I want to single out for the moment: Be The Change Yoga & Wellness. My backstory with these people started at the tail end of the summer of 2016 which was about 3/4 of the way through the most difficult year in my adult life (and those of you who have known me a long time: yes, it even beats the summer of 2002 in New Hampshire).

I started doing yoga during the free 'yoga in the park' events to try to make peace with myself since I at the time, one year into living on the West Coast, I felt pathologically rejected by California. I felt like I was planting things, tending crops and everything would just die in a frost. Freelance work ground to a halt, hundreds of job applications went unanswered, and I felt like I had no tribe. 

But I met up with Be The Change and doing yoga once a week - or, rather, clumsily attempting to put my body through the poses once a week- was a good way to bring some light in. I made friends and just enjoyed talking with the people I'd meet - both the teachers of the class and the students in the class.

One student I met was a woman at least ten years older than me who was - and still is - very bubbly. We'd talk bikes often since I'd ride my bike to the yoga in the park. Once, I noticed a strange scar on her forearm and asked what had happened. 

Matter-of-factly she responded that a rat had bitten her while she was sleeping in the tent that she lives in. 

Be The Change is donation based and they're all about making yoga accessible to those who can't normally take an expensive class. People like my homeless classmate. Doing yoga classes once a week became a guiding force for me - I found that yoga would often help when I was in a creative rut

When I got a part time job last year (that, happily, was a couple of blocks from Be The Change) the first meeting I had with my boss about my hours factored in me taking a 90 minute lunch hour one day a week so I could attend class. The job eventually went full time and I still keep that schedule whenever I can. 

Be The Change sponsored Cranksgiving San Jose in 2017 and months ago, before Cranksgiving 2018 was on my radar, I asked the manager of BTC if they'd sponsor again and she immediately agreed. 

Sadly, something happened between that day and this morning: the rent, as it only seems to do anymore in downtown San Jose, skyrocketed and BTC won't be across the street from my office anymore - they have to move to 947 Park Avenue - and they are doing it soon.

You know what else? Even though this is a difficult and expensive time for them they are still stepping up to be a sponsor of Cranksgiving San Jose. 

I don't easily get floored by kindness or impressed by people, but the women and students of Be The Change are Those People (I also include the teacher in training who I startled last week when I fell asleep at the end of a restorative class - that I am not used to taking - and she tried to correct my posture. Sima: please tell her again I am so sorry about that!)

This is where I'm going with this: Be The Change needs help with their move and I want this to be the feel-good story you see on Bay Area Proud. A lot of people have already stepped up to help them with their expenses and I want you to do the same. Here is the link to their GoFundMe page:


That's really all I've got - value the businesses and organizations that are your neighbors and let's help a neighbor out. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

1 comment: