Alexis Santi . Photographer . Writer . Publisher . No Order .
I am quite early in my career as a photographer, however, I have a great deal of enthusiasm and love for the craft. My background and training is in the world of writing. I have always been highly observant, sensitive and aware of all around me. I believe life is told in a series of single moments that tell the world around us who we are, what we stand for. I have a Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing and am an accomplished writer with numerous publications. I publish the literary journal Our Stories, the only literary journal with a humanist business model. This world of writing, to me, is one where the vision and beauty reside in our collective imaginations, the unconscious and conscious minds. I have always been highly observant, sensitive and aware of all around me. I believe life is told in a series of single moments that tell the world around us who we are, what we stand for.I tell you in words what to see, to hear, to smell till it is a lapping lake of water, on sharp rocks, in May, before it is warm enough to wade into the lake. You are shivering but happy to be alive enough to know cold, to know that it makes you appreciate warmth. We may envision the words on the page but they do not come alive with an image outside of our imagination. I decided to start taking photographs because I wanted my friends to see the world as I saw it. Thank you.Read more
CrossFit Pallas Special: CFP Owners on their Friendship and GRID Wins
CrossFit Pallas Special
This interview expands on the Ithaca Voice article that appeared 11/9/2015.
Tim and Eamon, CFP Owners on their Friendship and GRID Wins
Lex: So you both won your GRID championships. When did the events happen? Both were in California, right? What days?
Eamon: The GRID Invitational happened over the championship weekend- September 17-20, 2015 in Anaheim. My team, The Bridgewater Gladiators, competed in August for 2 days against 8 other North East teams for the right to represent the North East GRID League at the Invitational. Both were amazing experiences!
Tim: The GRID Championship week was the week of September 14th. The Brawlers matches were on 9/17 (Eastern Conference Semi) and 9/20 (GRID Championship Match).
Lex: How long have you both been doing Crossfit? And how do you see (or don’t see) GRiD as an outgrowth of CrossFit?
Tim: I’ve been doing Crossfit since the summer of 2012. I started after finishing up with hockey at Ithaca College. GRID was created by a former member of the Crossfit HQ Media Team – the success of Crossfit, and specifically the Crossfit Games, definitely spawned the birth of GRID. While many of the movements we see in GRID are also seen in Crossfit (any many not – Back Uprise, Backrolls to Support, Double & Triple Touches, 1 Arm OHS) they are in completely different formats. GRID is all about teamwork, substitutions, and operating at redline (maximum output) for as long as possible. Once you dwindle even slightly, you are subbed in for someone who is more fresh and able to work at their maximum output. Crossfit is all about operating within the 70-90% threshold as much as possible (save a few strength or sprint events) – whoever has the best 90% output, wins.
Eamon: I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years now, competitively for 4. Typically- you are in it for the long haul in a CrossFit competition! I see GRID and CrossFit continuing to evolve independently but having its roots in similar methodology.
Lex: Did you talk/text to one another before or after the events? If so, what did you say?
Eamon: Tim and I talk and text almost every day, so being in California was no different. I would let him know after their match that he did a great job and I was proud of him. I tried to offer words of encouragement when things didn’t go as planned, and we made sure to meet up in Newport Beach to celebrate after all was said and done!
Tim: Honestly, I’m not a big talker either before or after events. I get supportive texts from my fiance, Caitlin, but that’s the only person I will talk to before a match. She’s been my biggest supporter on this functional fitness (both Crossfit and Grid) from the start, and I couldn’t have had the successes I have without her. Grid’s travel is much more significant than Crossfit – most of our matches are 6 hours or more from Ithaca (Washington DC, Florida, California) so it is hard for Eamon and I to support each other in that respect. The Crossfit Games Regionals, however, are a different story – I have qualified the last 3 years, and Eamon hasn’t missed a day. He has been there as one of my biggest supporters and fans every single year.
Lex: Tell us a bit about some exiting highlights so far and your matches?
Eamon: Winning each match was a pretty big highlight for my team. It’s an adrenalin rush every time you step out onto the competition floor!
Tim: Definitely winning back to back NPGL championships with the Brawlers. The league has been around for only 2 years, but through building an incredibly tight family who supports each other, we have managed to build the first dynasty of Grid.
Making Regionals 3 back-to-back years has been the highlight of my athletic career. Every year I have come closer to my goal of making the Crossfit Games. Year 1, I unfortunately DNF, Year 2, I finished 16th, and in my 3rd year (2015) in the new Super Regional format (where every region was combined with another, yielding a field of 40 athletes, comprised of the top 20 from each region), I was able to finish 8th – only 3 spots from qualifying for the Games. It has been another incredible year so far, and I feel more prepared than ever to chase my goal of qualifying for Carson next year.
Lex: Any reflections on the journeys that you both took since forming your friendship and partnership for Pallas?
Eamon: There have been many ups and downs since opening that little gym on Court St, but friendship and support for each other has always been an underlying theme in our relationship. Tim is an incredibly gifted human being and he is relentless in his personal pursuits as well as helping others achieve their goals. To me, that is something that should be recognized and celebrated.
Tim: This journey has been incredible, put simply. I was set to be an Auditor working 80 hours a week with KPMG before we decided to open Crossfit Pallas. CFP has allowed me to have a much more rewarding ‘job’ – everyday I get to help transform people into physically and mentally stronger versions of themselves. You can’t ask for much more than that. That being said, being an owner, coach, and athlete at CFP doesn’t truly feel like a job to me. I love every minute of every day – I couldn’t ask for a career that gives me a better work life balance than being a leader at CFP.
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Cuba, The Interview and What Comes Next
Cuba, The Interview and What Comes Next
I, like the other 1.7 million Cuban-Americans residing in the continental United States, woke up December 17th to a world that had changed. Whether you were born in the United States or Cuba, your identity has been linked to this small island off the coast of Florida and the failed policies of the United States.
Cuba, The Interview and What Comes Next
I, like the other 1.7 million Cuban-Americans residing in the continental United States, woke up December 17th to a world that had changed. Whether you were born in the United States or Cuba, your identity has been linked to this small island off the coast of Florida and the failed policies of the United States. These polices includes the embargo, Helms-Burton and extend to covert missions like the Bay of Pigs to absurd assassination plots with exploding cigars. The headline of normalizing relations was shared with the absurd story of North Korean hackers who have brought a Hollywood studio to their knees. Fffty-two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have the North Korean Hacker Crisis of The Interview. We live in an absurd world and Cuba is now proudly out in front. A very real dictator and his brother have made amends, while the last lonely cold war dictator sends scorched earth messages over a Seth Rogan movie. Absurd indeed.
I believe the United States has a fascination with Cuba and Cubans. We are the exotic, last bastion of untouched, your sex gods and goddesses and unapproachable fast talking Spanish speakers. Those missile crisis Latinos who vote Republican, welcome you to the Miami, Buena vista social clubbing, Jay-Z and Beyonce conga line dancing, best cigar having, mojito drinking, Scarface mayn say hello to my Castro beard, Che keychain swinging, baseball playing, Elian Gonzalez clamoring, flag waving, strong ass coffee swigging, rum chugging people. Part of this fascination has been kept in place by a fifty-year embargo. This is a consumer culture and Cuban culture is in high demand because of the rule of supply and demand, no one supplies it so the USA demands it. Now that the doors are open we’re likely to find more and more articles referring to reviews of Cuban cigars and Buzzfeed top ten vacation spots than political prisoners and human rights. I cringe at this and the first friend who messages me asking for advice on where to go, I promise I’ll unfriend you.
There are many different opinions of what the events December 17th, 2014 actually mean. They run the gambit from traitorous screams against “that Commie Obama” on Calle Ocho, to tears of joy in the streets of places as far as Wyoming and Saint Tropez. Cubans on the island rejoice an end of one thing and a reunion with their cousins. Cubans that left recently know also of the possibilities of what tomorrow could bring; their journey to leave, still fresh on their mind. For many, it has been a lifetime of pain, suffering and detachment. Yoani Sanchez, long telling the world in micro sized bites the story of Cuba, had this wise statement the other day, “An era is ending and I hope that what now begins is the role of a civic society.” I think we all can hope for that. Personally, the son of 1960 refugees, I fall someplace in between it all, I’m still trying to figure it out.
President Obama quickly undid all of the back and forth squabbling that has incensed and fueled Cubans for the five decades. In part, it seems to have been catalyzed by a USAID agent who was caught absurdly passing out satellite phones on the island. The big trade came with the Cuban 5 whose exploits and associates brought downed two planes over international waters in 1996. At that point during Bubba’s administration, there was no retaliatio. No Gulf of Tolkien, No remember the Maine! and certainly not what will come in retaliation for the shelving of the Interview.
What happened the other day was not the change any of us really expected but being Cuban you get used to the absurd. You see, absurdity holds us all together, regardless of where we fall and what state or party line. You’ve heard the one about the kids go to Castro and he asks them what they want to be when they grow up? The first kid says, I want to be a revolutionary. Castro beams with pride, the second kid, says he wants to be a doctor and serve the country, and again Castro smiles and strokes his beard. Then the third says, after a long pause and says, “I want to be a tourist!” and Castro just says, “Sorry kid, it will never happen.” This joke still holds true right now and gets us some cheap laughs. Some of us had hoped for an invasion, regime change, that sort of thing. Others looked to democratic movements like the Valera project to usher in a wave of democracy. Even some others hoped for a twitter-like, Cuban-Spring-like events that would tumble the Castro brothers into the ocean. Nope, none of that has happened. Instead policy papers and backroom deals in the Vatican have filled our TV screens. Is this bitter, sweet or bittersweet? It’s both, all three it’s something and we’re going to have to wait and see what this all means.
As we do sort this out though, we must not forget—all of us, Cubans, gringos, yumas, all of us, that there has not been change in 50 years in Cuba because of more than just this embargo. There has not been change because of a repressive regime that has quashed all dissidents and bloodied the water with lives lost and spent imprisoning those that wanted freedoms, freedoms that we hold dear in the United States. There have been many more than 50 political prisoners in Cuba. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National reconciliation, an independent human rights group, accounts for over 2,000 at last count, have been detained arbitrarily (2). Cuba’s story in these last 50 years must be heard and until Cuba is truly free there will not be dancing in the streets, at least not by me. On the other side of the coin, the reason we all got into this mess was because the United States used Cuba little more than as a boozey-narco-vacay-state, a role I’m worried continues to have its exotic appeal. Respect and understanding of Cuban sovereignty and ability to maintain self-rule is critical. So my fellow United States citizens, I ask you to hold off on your dance party as well.
We live in a society of absurdities and the picking apart of the invisible sea wall that separated Cubans in Miami and Havana has now come tumbling down to the bottom of the ocean. Our fractured people from all corners of the world, some in exile, some blacklisted from returning, some scared to return, some ready to return—all of us—now have to rethink and rediscover what it means to be Cuban and what it will mean in the future. This is the next conversation and one that I am excited that we are beginning to have. We welcome it, no, we need it.
Oh, and those of you with eyes on the beaches and the great service, with dreams of returning with handfuls of Cohibas and all the bottles of rum that Cuba can offer, well, I’m glad I don’t have to listen to you rave about your vacations for at least a little while.
Alexis Enrico Santí is the Coordinator of Travel Safety at Cornell University and a published poet.
Yin Yoga at Sunrise Yoga
Exciting news. I’m teaching Yin at Sunrise Yoga every Sunday at 1pm. Your first class is free.
Sunrise Yoga • 119 South Cayuga Street • Ithaca, NY • 14850Read more