Photo by tdaenuwy (Flickr)
A few weeks ago, Joaninha gave the warning signs that your capoeira group is like a jealous lover. I think her post was mostly in good fun, but it got me thinking.
When can the excitement and passion we all have for capoeira cross the line and become detrimental to our personal and professional lives?
Have you ever picked capoeira over your family? Over your non-capoeira friends? How did it make you feel? More importantly, how did it make them feel?
Do you ever feel that your capoeira expenses (travel time/cost, monthly fees, long distance travel/batizado costs, gear) can get to be too much, but you follow through with them anyway because you feel that your obligated (instead of because you want to)? Or maybe you feel that you don’t want to offend your group?
Does your capoeira group understand that money and time doesn’t grow on trees? Or do they sometimes look down on you when you can’t fly across the country 5 times a month or come to class every day?
I’ve gone to more than one capoeira class more because of guilt than devotion. I’ve felt the “evil stare” when I say I can’t come to a certain event or if I need to miss class for a while.
For me, capoeira comes secondary to the most important things in my life (family, friends, work, etc). Capoeira is my hobby; it’s not my life (some may take issue with that, which I will get to in the next paragraph). It’s a big part of my life to be sure, and it influences who I am, but it doesn’t define me. It’s no secret that capoeira is a very time and cost intensive hobby, and for some people that is perfectly fine and no problem, but for others I’m sure it can get to be overwhelming (I can’t be the only one in the entire capoeira world who has felt this way).
Have you ever felt that people think you aren’t “passionate enough” about capoeira? That there is an expectation that if you don’t devote a ton of your time to capoeira that you’re somehow unworthy to be a capoeirista? It sucks to admit that I have felt this “you’re not worthy” sense from people in the past, but thankfully it has been in a small minority of capoeiristas I’ve come across.
But, nonetheless, it can start to wear on you. You can start to question things… Am I not good enough for capoeira? Do I spend enough time developing my capoeira skills? Do I travel enough? Do I know enough about the history? Am I less of a capoeirista because I don’t know Portuguese or haven’t been to Brazil?
There are some capoeiristas who devote their lives to capoeira, and who have managed to successfuly blend their personal and capoeira lives (and sometimes their professional lives as well). I think their devotion is amazing, and if it works for them then it’s great!
But, I don’t think it works for every capoeirista out there. And sometimes, it can get to be very overwhelming. There have been times when I’ve spent more time worrying about capoeira than practicing capoeira, and that’s not a good thing.
I’m not sure that I answered the question, “can there be too much of a good thing in capoeira?” but I don’t think I really intended to do it myself. What I love about this blog is the conversation, so I’m hoping that you will have some insight that you can share with everyone in the comments.
Do I make any good points? Or am I just being a whiny pessimist? What strategies do you use to solve the life/capoeira conundrum? Is it even a problem for you?
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