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Harri and the Freedom of Cycling

Harri. What are you #Baonanas for?

H: Science and cycling.

I feel like cycling is probably your number one thing from what I've seen from you.

H: Yeah. It's like I get stressed out when I can't cycle. If I have to walk somewhere, it's just irritating. Cycling is just so natural. I even brought my bike over from the UK!

But I feel like I’m tested with my bike especially cycling through New York. So, [I] eventually get my bike over here, even though it's two kilograms over the weight for Norweigian Air, and within 24 hours I fell in a pothole in New York because New York is just awful.

And on Friday I collided with another cyclist. So I feel like someone is testing my faith, my strength, my commitment to cycling by continuing to throw me off my bike.

But I feel like nothing's gonna stop you 'cause you love your bike so much.

H: Yeah. Somebody asked me if I'd rather not cycle or not listen to music anymore. And it was tough to decide. I think I swerved off the question because it was just too hard.

Now you can answer it here. What would you give up? Either listening to music or giving up cycling?

H: Oh, Jesus! It’s like you’ve been asked, would lose your sight or your hearing? I don’t know!

So, you’re using cycling as a way to pretty much travel on your own and discover things that you haven’t discovered yet. That’s cool! I don't cycle as much, but I definitely know I can't cycle for as long as you can.

H: It’s just a little bit of practice. You just kind of get used to it. It doesn’t tired me up. I get tired running up the stairs or walking up the stairs even. I can cycle for hours not get tired.

Do you plan on going further with cycling?

H: I would really love to cycle the long distance. When you hear about people do the whole coast of South America, from this mountain to this mountain, or maybe this whole coast in America, I would like to.

There is gonna be a cycle open in Eastern Europe between the old Soviet countries. More like 4000 kilometers and I would like to cycle about that just to see all those ex-communist countries, architecture and the scenery. I think that would be very very mad. So yeah, I’ll take a few months from my employment.

So you purposely find time for cycling. It’s part of your everyday life and you actually love doing it.

H: It’s more. It’s not just exercise, it’s getting somewhere. But my bike is not a cyclist at the moment because I crashed into that guy. But he crashed into me, actually. Haha.

How is a day in the of Harri like with cycling incorporated in it?

H: No day is the same. I just run through bits and pieces. Sometimes I could be working in a shoot, or going to some meetings. I could have a day off and that is always fun. But it will entail waking up to the radio, NPR at 9 a.m. when they have the World Service on just so I could listen to a couple of British accents, a cup of tea, usually emails and writing lists. A long list of all things I should have done yesterday. And then, I usually bike before midday to go somewhere. 

Do you set a goal for yourself everyday to cycle as far as you can or is there a destination that you want to reach?

H: I have a list of places that I want to visit on my bike. And that would be a sort of day trip. [I'm] Excited to go to the Rockaways. What's still in on my list is to go to Dead Horse Bay where you start in an island and will cycle into ship graveyard on the other side of the island. [...] I have to go Jersey City obviously.

Queens! I need to eat some food in Queens. Exactly. I just heard amazing things. It smells amazing. We cycled up to the Mets Stadium and you just go through and are just bombarded with these aromas.

What’s the best thing about cycling that you would love to share with the world?

H: The speed. When you’re going down the hill and you take your hands off on the handle bars and you free off the pedals - which is kind of dangerous - on my bike. (Maybe keep hands on the handle bars anyway. Depends on the experience. I don’t wanna give anybody dangerous advice.) It’s just that sort of freedom of traveling to the air just very quickly -- it's great. It’s very liberating. And you can see things that other people don’t see. Like I moved to New York and in the first week my friend was saying, "Oh, you’re seeing more of Brooklyn than I have. I’ve been here for more than three years." So.. I get to know everyone quicker just as of the moment. 

Last question, what's your favorite #Baonanas flavor?

H: Peanut Butter. Bring Nutter to the Smorg.




Lloyd and the Humbling Art of Jiu Jitsu

Lloyd in his natural habitat.

Lloyd in his natural habitat.

Writer's Notes: Many of you know Lloyd as the Co-Founder of #Baonanas but before creating the company, he was part of dance teams called FR3SH and UFP. Along his lines of dancing he even managed his own troupe called The Mooks. In between dance and balancing his college life, Lloyd was introduced to the world of Jiu Jitsu and that's when he became baonanas for it.

It's only right that we kick off our series with one of the co-founders of #Baonanas!

What are you baonanas for?

Dance and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

Since when have you gone baonanas for it?

Since late 2014.

Why are you Baonanas for it?

Jiu Jitsu truly is an art. It’s a science. it’s an ego melter and everyone on the mats is an equal. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, all that matters are the techniques you know and how you execute them. Plenty of people say it’s like human chess or that every opponent is like a Rubix cube you have to figure out, and I couldn’t agree more with these similes. I’ve met some of the nicest guys on the mats that I know for a fact could choke me unconscious in less than 30 seconds. I actually find humor and inspiration in that, and that’s the beautiful thing about Jiu Jitsu - it’s about discipline and avoiding confrontation at all costs before having to apply it. My coach Jay Hayes at NJ United MMA in Totowa is an excellent teacher, and I’ve been too busy to train but I told myself August was my month to come back. When I’m on the mats, nothing matters but my opponent and me, and whether I’m the one who taps or I actually pull off a submission, you bump fists knowing that you asked or gave mercy to your opponent. Nothing is more humbling than tapping knowing that, if this was an altercation on the street, your arm would’ve been broken or you would’ve been choked unconscious. BJJ sounds intimidating, but everyone trains smart, never goes for the kill (unless training for competition), and is very open-minded about growing together as a huge Jiu Jitsu family. I’ve competed twice, and it gave me flashbacks to days as a hip-hop dancer with my crew, The Mooks. 

I was in the hip-hop dance world for about seven years. I was on FR3SH, UFP, and an all-guy dance crew called The Mooks that I actually directed for a number of years. However, we didn't really have one leader and we focused on coming together to make decisions creatively and focused on having fun, doing our thing, and actually placed at major dance competitions in Toronto, Boston, New York, and New Jersey. The creativity my crewmates would display always blew my mind, and their ability to dish out choreography and fun concepts is what I loved about dancing the most. Dance allows a free form of expression, similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Everyone person has their own style, their own interpretation to the music or the technique, and that flow state I talked about can be found in both forms of art. Not to mention the obvious parallel of self-awareness, body control, and technique learning and execution all of which can be constantly worked on.

Dance, I believe, will never leave me, and I’ll always groove to a beat wherever I may be. I’m in love with the growth and the beauty found in these arts, and I’m baonanas for hitting the mat or the stage and seeing all the hours you spent practicing and training come into fruition. Win or lose, the journey is what I’m baonanas for the most.

What do you plan on doing to achieve it or make it better?

My ultimate goal is to get my black belt. I was feeling really good on my road to blue belt (the belt after white - I’m still a white belt. Haha.), however the business grew and I got too busy. But as they say, lack of time means a lack of priorities, and I’m prioritizing my health and my overall investment into my hobbies and will get back to training in August. I'll be having a long sit down with my Passion Planner to ensure this happens

Are you finding a balance between what you’re baonanas for to what you’re doing now?

Right now, no, but once I get back from a family trip I’ll be getting down on the dance floor and on the mats. haha.

What flavor are you most Baonanas for?