It surprises me that some friends haven't heard certain Portugal stories. Stitches, secluded beaches, aerial workshops, purse thief catcher, marriage proposals, FC Porto, and others need recounting. I'm not one for gathering people around me and telling stories en masse. Not from the guy who reads at parties. So people have gained glimpses verbally, mere written snatches on Facebook, snippets missed due to feeds. Gather round then.
Day 1 found us at Leça da Palmeira. We practiced basic aerials such as the frog jumps and a litany of trip flips. We worked our way towards Moons which was easy enough. Then we started building up the pancake aerial. We got to the dive into the swing prep where I realized my mistake. Don't practice in sand if you're ill prepared for sand flying in your face.
Subsequent days found us training at the Palácio de Cristal. The sand free grass made it an easier training environment. Abeth worked hard even adding pliometrics to her workout routine. The aerials progressed well since we narrowed the teaching list to 4-5 aerials. We stepped through preps, down and ups, then overs so we understood together how the workshop would proceed. This is because workshops are best when both people can contribute to the learning process. Besides, both of us would have to pass around the room assisting people and letting them know whether they could proceed or refine an intermediate stage. Here's one video of us training the pancake.
Aerials were progressing well. The aerials workshop went rather smoothly and we had about 30 students. About half the guys worked with two women each, but they hung in there and were still throwing them at the end. Everyone got the pancake that day too. Talk about success! Abeth and I then did an aerial wrapup video that went quite well too. As I wrote in an email: "Your students should also admire the effort you put into learning and teaching these aerials with me today". See for yourself.
The Francos metro station was near my house and there was a tempting rock wall surrounding it. I was training plyo jumps there for parkour. I choose a slightly higher target, one foot makes it, the other doesn't. My shin's in pain. There's an open wound but no blood. I start moving the surrounding skin and notice it's moving independently related to the white stuff I see underneath. Then the blood wells up and I freak out (foreign country, no insurance, will I need stitches?).
The Purse Thief
Lindy Hop Portugal held the Atlantic Swing Festival June 3-5. Abeth and I taught alongside Argentina's Gaston Fernandez and Tina Rizza. After Sunday's workshops, everyone headed to the gazebo near the Jardim da Cordoaria for my farewell party. If I read Google Groups ever, I would have trusted this information. Any time someone would mention "hey, it's your farewell party", even if it was Gaston and Tina, I inwardly scoffed. It seemed appropriate to have a relaxed Sunday party, but I never trusted the intel related to me.
It was an adrenaline rush. The purse was unopened, the guys were congratulating me, we successfully returned. It was an exciting moment that deserved mental replay, but you can't recapture that feeling. The purse belonged to Mariana, the doctor who stitched me. She jokingly proposed to me and I gently declined.
I had trouble walking after that hard sprint. I thought it was my sciatic nerve acting up and my Porto chiropractor didn't give me conclusive information to dissuade me from this self-diagnosis. Only until I arrived in Colorado did I get a proper diagnosis. My lasting reminder - a scarred meniscus. My range of motion is improving, but I have to watch my landings.