Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Im such a daredevil!

For my friend Danielle's birthday, she, the natural daredevil and adventurer she is, convinced me to tag-along on a Zip Line Canopy Tour with her in the forests of Whitesburg, Georgia. Unbeknown to most people, Zip Lining is the act of attaching yourself via harness to a cable hundreds of feet in the air, then leaping off the platform to propel yourself, against gravity, through the skies.

As CRAZY as it sounds, it was the most EXHILARATING thing I had ever done. I am not afraid of heights, and i find there nothing more better than a roller coaster adrenaline rush, well...that was until I discovered Zip Lining.

It was awesome. We were in a large tour group of families, couples and teammates who all decided that Zip Lining was gonna be on the agenda for the day. For two hours, we soared through the trees and conquered high rope obstacle courses that connected us from one zip line to another. If I am not mistaken, I remember our instructor telling us that at one point in our tour we were 200+ ft above the ground!

Danielle and I taped our trip and combined all our clips together to make a little mini movie. Hope you like it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Embracing your Beautiful self

While reading my Essence magazine, I came across a beautifully written article from Bishop T.D. Jakes about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was truly moved by his words. I can only hope if I continue to write and read more thought provoking authors, that I too will write heartwarming articles as Jakes’.

What touched me was his constant call to all of us to believe in ourselves, love ourselves and teach our children to love themselves. He used Susan Boyle, who was a contestant on the show Britain’s Got Talent, as an example of how her unattractive appearance possibly cost her victory on the show. We, as a people, are so fixated on beauty and acceptance, Boyle’s singing career never blossomed.

By reading that article, it brought up a lot of issues that I experienced first hand growing up as a child. I remembered my most challenging years (all five years of elementary school) of being the outcast because I wore my natural kinky hair style and wore hand me down clothes. For a very long time, I wished to be invisible because being noticed got me nowhere but in a fight trying to defend myself or on the back of the school bus crying. Lady, my mom, can attest to how many days I would come home crying, begging and pleading to switch schools. But she told me to stick it out, and I did. I vowed to myself after what happened to me in elementary school to never tease or torment someone about their appearance.
Looks and clothes are fractions, if not nothing of who a person really is. Think about how many great people would or have gone unnoticed because they are the ugly duckling.

It hurts my heart deeply that we put so much emphasis on beauty that it overshadows a person’s true worth. We glorify buying new noses and other body parts to fit in. I believe in the saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I think Jakes does too. He quickly referenced that some times weight looks good on people, but they have to see the beauty in themselves in order to believe it.

I’ve never been smaller than a size eight. I’ve never been tall. I’ve never had long hair and I’ve never had exotic colored eyes. I wear a size 11. I’m 5’2. My hair falls to my shoulder and if I don’t perm it regularly, it will get unmanageably kinky, and my eyes are brown. I love the young woman that I am and the woman I will grow up to be.

If nobody told you they loved you today, I’d like to be the first to say so.
I love you.
Until next time

(Note: I submitted this to Essence to see if they wanted to print it...they didn't respond! Oh well...)

 Me at 3 years old

Yes...I am a Wannabe Traveling Foodie

On any given day when I am not working or on the go you can find me doing one of two things; making up something in the kitchen or watching the Food Network and the Travel channel. I am not a big TV person simply because I am never home, but when I do watch TV it is either to catch a movie on cable or to watch my favorite two channels.
One day I plan on being a jet-setter. I love traveling and the idea of going to new places, meeting new people, eating new foods and taking pictures. And to feed my traveling habit, I indulge in the Travel channel. On the Travel channel I get a heavy, but healthy balance of travel information and food destinations. I’ve learned about so many different, not talked about places that I cannot wait to see in person. I truly believe it when Andrew Zimmern, a Travel channel personality (host of Bizarre Foods) says “To fully learn about a culture, you have to eat their food…If it looks good, eat it.” You never know if you are going to like something unless you try it.
And when I’m feeling my inner Chef kick in, I watch the Food Network to grab ideas, though I would strongly advise not watching the Food Network when you are hungry. It is very teasing. I speak from experience.
My favorite shows on the Food Network are Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, Good Eats with Alton Brown, Ace of Cakes, Down Home with the Neely’s and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. During my snow day off and all throughout the weekend I watched several marathons of all these shows. It was heaven to me as nerdy as it sounds.
I do not necessarily try to make everything I see on the Food Network, but I watch to see the skill, learn about new ingredients and cooking technique. Eventually I will get curious and I will try something out in the kitchen. To date, the only thing I have tried and completed successfully were some fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies.
Growing up, I was never kitchen-friendly. I would attempt to make stuff I saw Lady cooking or I would just play with food for the heck of it, just trying to cook but it was never too appetizing. My way of making sure things tasted well was giving it to my brother Joe. If Joe ate it, it had to be good. If he didn’t, try again. I have gotten better, now that I am on my own, older and a little bit wiser. Cooking is not as hard as some people think, but it does take patience and understanding.
If you are ever board at home and want to see something different, click over to the Food Network or the Travel channel. I am almost positive you will be intrigued by something or somewhere. You never know, you just may discover your inner traveling food critic.
Until next time…

The Bridge is OVER..Or is it?

And WE (meaning me!) are back! LIVE and in living color. I am proud to say that as of Monday, April 5, 2010 that I, Jovani Y. Fox has completed my Lenten feat. As previously mentioned in an earlier entry, for 40 days and 40 nights, I was giving up my "social life"...No Twitter, No Facebook, No Myspace and the hardest thing to give up; NO TEXT MESSAGING. It was hard at first and I almost slipped up a few times, but I held my ground and this is what I learned:

THE BEAUTY IN VOICES: The people that I texted the most were the ones I called often. I have never used the phone as much as I did the last month and a half, but I am glad that I did. Without texting, actual phone calls were my only way of communication. Gladly, I didnt go over my minutes.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BEEPING?: With no notifications going off and text messages coming in, my phone barely made any noises! When I was logged onto all of my networks on my phone, just about every 5 minutes something was buzzing, chirping or ringing. With all that ceased, I was at peace. I wasn't rushing to see what it was because...there was nothing there to check or rush to. I realized how annoying it actually was.

 I REALLY CAN SET GOALS: Now, I admit, I am not the world's more structured person. Often times I say i'm going to do one thing and I don't. Not because i'm careless or I don't care to live up to my word, its simply the fact that hell, I forget things alot! But this experience showed me that I can buckle down and make my goal my FIRST priority. Now if I can just remember to apply that theory to my diet I'll be in business!

When I felt like cheating or sending a harmless text, I thought about why I was doing this and what Lent means to my Catholic faith. For 40 days and nights Jesus gave up so many things in preparation for his death and resurrection. I thought about it. Long and hard, if my Savior could deny himself the very things that help him healthy and alive, how hard could it be to give up social networks and texting. The verdict--not very hard at all.

And in the end, I made it. All 40 days and nights.