Tag Archive | running on the beach

So Much Thanks

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. When you get right down to it, the vast majority of us in the world have a WHOLE lot to be thankful for, and with the world as whacked out as it is, I think it’s important to vocalize our thanks. Focus on the good. Be… excellent… to each other. ‘Tis the season.

This year I want to participate in the 30 days of thanks challenge. Is it a challenge? I’m not sure. I may have made that up. 30 days of thanks… extravaganza? Or maybe it’s just 30 Days of Thanks. That sounds more like it. Either way, I want to do that thing where you vocalize, literally or electronically, something you are thankful for each day.

Most people do this through a Facebook post or a tweet, but being the long-winded writer that I am I’m anticipating wanting to elaborate a bit more so I’ll use the ol’ blog to get the word out. This will also give me a true challenge, to write every day for 30 days.

Join me on a 30 day journey of reflection and deep-hearted thanks. I encourage you to join in the extravaganza!

(I’m a few days behind, so I’m going to spitfire Days 1-4 and get on track with one post per day starting tomorrow).

Day 1

This face/person/soul:

 

petal 1

 

Brad Light. I don’t know what I did to find him. Whatever celestial magic that brought him my way, to “you” I say thank you. I am thankful for his spirit, his silliness, his sense of humor, his tenderness, his gentleness, his handsomeness, his goodness, his curly brown hair, his horned-rim glasses, his love of the sea, his quest for adventure, his love of his family, his love of cats, his delicious stir-frys, his understanding, and more than anything I’m thankful that he loves me. Again, celestial magic. It’s a thing. I love you to the moon and back Brad.

Day 2

These squishy fluffy faces:

Kitties

 

It is an excellent idea to live with cuddly animals. They teach you about unconditional love. They challenge you to take care of something precious other than yourself. They encourage you to embrace empathy for non-human creatures, which then translates to empathy for human creatures too. These are truths for me. I am so grateful for my two kitties, Sharky and Mr. Wizard. Now if only they loved each other as much as we love them. Maybe next year.

Day 3

My running route:

Last night Brad and I finished a glorious 10 mile run along the beach. Around mile 4 the sun was setting over the Pacific and Brad says to me “if anyone told me when I was a kid that one day I’d get to run along the beach next to my fiance as the sun sets over the ocean, I’d have been able to suffer through a lot more pain with a smile on my face knowing where I’d eventually end up.” Isn’t that the lesson we all need. First of all, when life sucks, as it often does, you are never without the tiny kernel of knowledge that somehow it will get better. It just will. And that maybe all of the hard times are necessary, as they are leading to something more wonderful than you could imagine. So today I am grateful for where those hard times and wrong turns have landed us. In a little apartment on the Pacific with the most glorious running path two runners could ask for.

20130907_191609

Day 4

I am grateful for the fall.

13361_208564036328_537659_n

Today I woke up and I knew it would feel like fall (as much as it CAN feel like fall in Los Angeles). Brisk autumn days are something I miss so terribly living in L.A. Some people get bummed out by a lack of sunshine. I get bummed out by too much. I like the seasons to obey the seasons and Southern California is the land of eternal summer. Bummer. Today I have a scarf around my neck, and I wore a jacket to work. I noticed some leaves falling off trees, and the shadows are extra long. Today, it feels like California fall and it may only last until about 3:00 pm, but I’ll take it. I’ll savor it.

 

Sometimes I worry that acknowledging all that I’m grateful for will jinx me, and it will all fall apart. This comes from the part of my brain that is convinced I don’t deserve to be happy. Hogwash. We all deserve to be happy. But we gotta thank the universe once in a while. She won’t bite.

 

See ya tomorrow.

 

 

Advertisements

running with dolphins

I firmly believe that a great run leads to a great day. That’s just one more reason why I prefer to run in the morning. It sets the tone for everything that’s to come. This morning’s run gives evidence to this claim. 

I woke up feeling groggy and frustrated. My alarm clock didn’t go off because my stupid phone decides to turn off for absolutely no reason every once in awhile and won’t start again unless you physically remove and replace the battery, so my alarm didn’t go off when it should have. This meant I could still run, but not early enough that I would be able to take the bus to work, which meant I would have to drive and lose my fantastic parking spot for the weekend. These are the concerns you think about when you live in a Los Angeles beach community during the summer. Parking is everything.

I decided to run nonetheless. What started out as a sluggish first 2 miles was made bearable by the gorgeous morning weather and the cheery disposition of my running partner. I really couldn’t complain. Then things really turned around completely when we looked out at the sea and saw a huge pod of dolphins running right next to us very close to shore. I see dolphins practically every time we walk out to the beach yet it’s still always a magical sight to behold. There’s just something about dolphins; knowing how smart they are, and the types of communities they build together and live in. They are crazy cool animals. I always want to swim out and join them. I didn’t however. This morning I was satisfied with running beside them.

The video doesn’t do them justice. There were many more and they were much closer than they appear. Sorry for the shakiness. I forgot to stop running while taking the video 🙂

With luck from the dolphins, it’s been a great day. Big relief came through on a project at work. Success! Sold some more items in my Etsy store. Yay! AND, I finally got my new wallet that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. I really adored my last wallet that I got in the Land a few years ago. I’ve tried for weeks to find an exact replacement but they just don’t make these anymore. I held onto it for too long methinks:

a little worn out, don’t you think?

It’s just so darn cute. Though I will miss my Mad Tea Party, I’m quite fond of my new one. It’s sophisticated, yet whimsical.

classic alice

Now I’m heading off to the theatre to kick off closing weekend of The Crucible. Just an all-around great great day. I don’t usually write “this is what happened to me today” posts. Generally I find them rather uninteresting. Today, however, compels me to write. Today was a relatively insignificant day full of significantly lovely moments. Nothing huge happened. I didn’t win the lottery, get married, or get pregnant. But I’ll remember today nonetheless. Days like this make up a good life.  

Amazing what running with the dolphins can do.

treadmills: not just for lab rats

If you’ve been following my writing and running, you’ve probably heard me say that I do not, in any way, shape or form enjoy running on a treadmill. I don’t know what happened. Once upon a time treadmills were my M.O. Back in ye olde college days you rarely caught me running outside. I hit the gym every single day and did not leave until I’d finished 30 minutes on the treadmill. (Damn I was fit back then) This may have something to do with the fact that it was 20 degrees outside most of the time and the gym was three blocks from my apartment. Not to mention the fact that it was the most amazing gym ever known to womankind. Free tampons in the locker room, a rock climbing wall, and fresh cucumber slices for your relaxing pleasure next to the steam room, and did I mention FREE TAMPONS! Long live Healthworks!

Living on the beach in a place that is always between 70 and 80 degrees has single-handedly increased my penchant for running outside, and now that I have discovered the joys that go with it I can never go back. Every step on the treadmill is just painful and makes me feel like a pet rat in a spinning wheel.

So now you are wondering, well then what’s the problem? Just run outside dummy. There is one small problem. I run immensely faster on a treadmill.

I know exactly why this happens. Running outside is so pleasant, so serene. There is so much beautiful scenery to look at, so much people watching to take in. I feel like a relaxed pony out for a gentle gallop through the countryside. I want to take it all in, and it slows me down. Not to mention there is actual terrain outside and the slight increases and decreases in incline, turning of corners, and traversing of stairs does its part to put on the brakes. On a treadmill, it’s ruthless. First of all, outside, you are in control. Your muscles and mind constantly control how fast you’re running and in order to run faster than is comfortable, you must constantly push your muscles and mind out of their comfort zones. On a treadmill, the machine is in control. It’s like Terminator, I’m telling you. Once you set that speed, you MUST run fast enough to keep up with the machine or you will fall on your ass in the middle of LA Fitness and look like a fool. So that’s one reason the treadmill wins in the speed department, it runs YOU. The second reason treadmills equal speed goes like this:

There is no joy, no ambiance. It’s just you, your iPod, and that super skinny girl on the machine in front of you making you feel like a walrus as you are forced to stare at her long stride and toned tush for the next 30 minutes. It’s brutal. Sooner or later the vision of all the fit people around you makes you feel like you should press the + on the speed button. So you do, and it hurts, but you deal with it because you’re not going to live with the shame of running at a 5.2 when everyone around you is running at 6.3 which you know because you peek to your left and right every five minutes to see how fast the people next to you are running. Before you know it, you’ve completed 3 miles in 30 minutes which is something you haven’t done outside in years, but the competitive atmosphere coupled with the smell of sweat and testosterone have pushed you to your max and you killed that treadmill. You step off the machine feeling a sense of relief that you’re done, mingled with an overwhelming rush of cockiness that you ran faster than that skinny girl in front of you for at least 2 minutes. You take a shower and leave the gym feeling like an athlete. Despite the cutthroat nature of it all, this experience made you push yourself; and that must be positive for someone in training, right? It is. But here’s the issue. As far my motivation goes, the experience I’ve stated above has taken the backseat. I’ve become someone who runs primarily for meditative reasons. Running brings me inner peace, helps me clear my mind, boosts my self-esteem and puts me in touch with the air, the ground beneath my feet and the world around me. I’ve got a bumper sticker on my car that says “Running is cheaper than therapy.” Truer words never spoke. Some people have yoga, some have tai-chi, some have video games, some have hallucinogens. I’ve got running. It keeps me sane. This payoff is much greater than the pure sense of athleticism I feel at the gym. AND YET I WANT TO RUN FASTER WHICH APPARENTLY I CAN ONLY DO ON A TREADMILL! Oh the humanity. I feel like I say that a lot, but OH THE HUMANITY.

Not only do I run faster on a treadmill, but some days it’s much easier to get to the gym than it is to drive all the way home to Venice to run on the beach, especially if I have to be somewhere after work. I suppose I’m forced to combine forces. I’ll get in some treadmill time, let’s say once a week and/or as needed, depending on my schedule. It undoubtedly helps increase my speed and as I mentioned in a previous post, that’s important to me right now. I’ll spend the rest of my time on my beloved beach, and somehow figure out how to push myself running outside as much as I do on the treadmill. Maybe if I recruit some super fast super toned super fit people to run in front of me it will do the trick. A horse and a carrot folks. All I am is a horse with a carrot, gently galloping along the beach.