Saturday, November 5, 2011


I just finished reading Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong.  I dog-eared a lot of pages.  It's a good read with lots of wisdom and lots of experiences that resonate loudly for me.

".2 is the metaphorical distance between you and any finish line in your life, anything you have ever dreamed of doing or becoming.  It's what's separating you from your truest, most authentic self and your most actualized life.  It's what's worth thinking about, strategizing about, planning for, training for, and going for."

Remember that. Live that.  Believe that.


One the eve of my last work trip of the season I'm feeling weary.  And lonely.  And worried.

It's been a good season.  I got to go to New Orleans and connect with colleagues - both those I rarely see and some I see almost daily.  It was energizing and I loved New Orleans - for a few days anyway.


A quick trip to Aspen to go to the Western Slope College Fair affirmed for me something I know - my soul is at peace in the mountains.  Seriously, as I turned the corner to go to the college fair and the Maroon Bells commanded all my attention my heart literally skipped a beat and I gasped for breath.  I'm not being dramatic.  The view took my breath away.  Syd and I drove up to the park to get a close view even though I was supposed to be going to the high school to set up for the fair.  Still made it on time and filled my soul a bit more.  It was worth it.

And I am lucky to travel to Hawaii for CC.  I've gone enough that I count some of the counselors as friends.  I got to stay at Nancy & David's home on Maui - a more peaceful sanctuary I'm not sure I could find:  

My friend Sara and her husband coach the paddling team at their school and have been paddling in the Islands for 20 years.  Mark gave me a quick lesson and off I went.  It is blissfully peaceful and empowering.  I loved it.  More than I thought I would.  Sara and Mark were impressed with how quickly I flipped the boat back over after my first "huli."  It was a choppy day, but Sara had confidence in me - "you're a jock."  I write that proudly - reminding myself that I've got an adventurous spirit....

So, as I sit here tonight, feeling lonely, I know that much of that is the result of my vagabond lifestyle that will soon be over.  But it's more than that.  It's a more profound feeling.  I wonder, as I often do, about the plans the universe has for me.  School isn't especially fulfilling this fall which makes me wonder if I'm on the right path.  A parent told me yesterday that I should teach - she was so impressed with the information session I gave about CC.  I know that I'm interesting, maybe not as interesting as some, but I also know I'm more interesting than many.  But I'm feeling lost and alone today.  Wanting more, so much more.  Doesn't help that Syd is limping tonight.  She hasn't done that in quite some time.  Chasing too many squirrels today, most likely, but it always makes me sad and accentuates the lonely feeling.

But tomorrow I go to San Francisco.  I'll see mom & dad and replenish my spirit a bit.  That's the plan, anyway.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finding Joy

"Joy does not come from what you do, it flow into what you do and thus into the world deep from within you.

You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end.  It isn't the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it.  That aliveness is one with who you are.  This means that when you enjoy doing something you are really experiencing the joy of Being in it's dynamic aspect.  That's why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation."  Eckhart Tolle

Thanks to my friend Jillian for providing me with thought provoking and relevant quotes - many are the intentions she sets at the beginning of her Thursday night candlelight yoga class.  I'm not much of a night person and I was dragging my heels at taking a class that starts so late - 8 pm - yikes.  It turns out that it has become one of the true joys of my week and something that I look forward to.  It's after a hot yoga class so the studio is pretty warm;  believe me I was sure that would be the second reason (after the late hour) that I would decide not to go back.  Turns out, I like the cleansing feeling I get from sweating in Jillian's class.  And over the last few weeks, I've definitely taken risks that I don't take in other yoga classes.  Maybe it's the semi-darkness; or the heat, which seems to nurture my joints, which is more fulfilling than the sweat dripping is annoying; or Jillian's gift as a teacher; or possibly all that and other intangible things.  No matter.  I.LOVE.this.class.  Did I mention how much I love it?  I'm getting close to achieving crow every time I try and I even managed a tripod headstand with my knees on my arms (not up in the air) which for me was a first.  Huge.  Love this class.  So glad that my classes are on Wednesday night this semester so that I can keep going to Jillian's Thursday night candlelight yoga - for inspiration, good intentions, for cleansing and for stretching myself.

Other joys these last few weeks include a few good hikes.  Laura, Marigny and I hiked Mt. Bierstadt.  We intended to do a moonlight summit but work schedules and life meant a 3 am wake up call to be on the trail by 6 or so was in order.  Turns out that there were a few benefits to that choice.  I saw some of the Perseid meteors as I was driving to pick them up.  The moon was beautiful.  And we saw 5 Bull moose in the willows not 10 minutes after we left the trailhead.  5.Bull.Moose.  Just an hour our so outside Denver.  So very coo.  You can see a couple if you look closely here:

The downside to not doing a moonlight hike was that there was, literally, a conga line of people up and down the mountain.  Seriously.  I don't need to do another local, close to civilization 14er again - too many people.  No rhythm at all.  But the company was great.  Loved spending the day with Laura & Marigny.  And Syd hiked her first 14er and was tormented by the pikas.  Here we are at the summit:

I was a little nervous that climbing the talus to the summit might have been too much for Syd's bionic limbs.  Nope.  She chased cars from the cargo space of the Subaru all the way home.  Good entertainment.  And Sunday morning, she wasn't stiff, sore, limping or showing any signs of 2800ft and 7 RT miles.  Is this my dog?  

I took a few days off work and Tuesday saw Amber, Syd and I headed to Breck for another hike.  Definitely one of the best hikes I've done in Colorado.  So incredibly beautiful.  Words, photos, nothing really captures what the day was like.  So much joy in my being while hiking to and from Mohawk Lakes outside of Breckenridge.  I can't decide which photos so here are too many:  


And before all of this, I decided, somewhat on a whim to fly to CA for a long weekend.  My aunt and uncle and cousins were going to be in Nevada City and I hadn't seen them in forever.  Turns out the real reason I went was to give myself permission to do nothing.  Sit by the pool; nap; read; float on the air mattress and just relax.  It was joyous and blissful to be sure.

So ready or not, school starts tomorrow night.  The new students come to CC on Saturday and travel starts as soon as I plan some!  Thanks to Jillian, Amber, Mom & Dad, Laura, Marigny and Syd - especially Syd, who everyday helps me find glimpses of joy - for allowing me to enjoy so much this August.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"You, just as you are, and your life here, right now, are all there is and all you need to know.  You don't have to do anything special.  Mostly, you have to be open to meeting face to face, and even dancing with, the truth that pertains to your life right now.  You have to find a way to collect your fractured pieces, examine them, and then accept them as part of who you are.  Spiritual practice is about transformation, but it's also, and more importantly, about working with what is."  Angel Kyodo Williams

Trying not to over think.  To let go.  To let life happen.  Surrender a little to the universe, rather than fighting to fit into a prescribed box.  It's easy to say.  Not so very good at living it, though.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


That's how I would describe our weather.  I awoke this morning to a light (and I mean light) dusting of wet spring snow.  We need a whopper of a snowstorm.  We're like 25 inches behind in precipitation this winter.  It has been DRY and cold.  But I digress.  Yesterday was spring-like, albeit windy - I guess that is springlike.  So to waken today to low hanging fog and a drippy morning seems unsettled.  Maybe that's why I felt so at home in today's weather.  It's the way I've been feeling for weeks now.  Unsettled.

I had a REALLY good run yesterday.  By myself.  With my tunes - I NEVER run with tunes - but yesterday I did.  12 miles at Greenland Open Space.  I love it up there.  The only thing that would have made it even better would have been Syd's company - but she's not a 12 miles-in-one-run-dog anymore.  Though she did a good  18 - 20 over the course of the week.  I guess I needed some me time and some me time without getting stuck in my head.  Tunes were good for that.  Unsettled, then, but deferred by motivating music, rolling hills and brisk sunshine.

Unsettled.  Waiting.  In limbo.  Just decide folks.  I want to start planning my summer.  Or what little of it I will have after two 8-week school sessions.  School.  That is unsettled too.  I am unmotivated.  Behind in my reading.  Haven't started my 5-10 page paper - not due for a while, but really I need to at least reflect on the content of this paper.  It's about me; my life; the patterns in my life; the patterns I've learned from my family.  It might reveal something helpful.  Maybe I'm placing too much weight on what it might or might not reveal.  Or maybe I'm afraid I won't be able to see anything.

I cannot seem to find peace in anything I do.  Unsettled.  Searching.  Maybe I am thinking too much rather than connecting with my heart.  Not sure I remember how to do that these days.  I want to spend a Saturday reading a book.  I want my house to become clean; my bi-fold doors to rehang themselves; you get the picture.  Unsettled.  Unmotivated.  Keeping my head above water.

So yesterday's run, and today's run with Amber up to the Palmer Park Lookout  where we couldn't see a darn thing, were just what I needed to bring a tad bit of calm.  The run today, and yesterday, was on my beloved trails.  Today's run with Amber was on trails I rarely run and I loved the feel of the low hanging fog and the light snow on the trees and Syd's brilliance in finding our way on trails she doesn't now.  I wish I could be like Syd - so certain of where she is going, what she loves and what she wants. The weather felt a big like a shroud - forcing me to look within rather than searching and searching for the elusive and unknown.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hot Springs & Spa Treatments

It's a good way to spend January weekends.  With good friends.  Relaxing and doing the things we don't very often do.

Had a wonderfully chill weekend at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs so that Marigny and I could celebrate together the milestone birthday that was separated by just a week back in December.  Karen, Beth, Wendy & Laura joined us in the soaking and the adventure.  We started the weekend on Friday in Salida at Amica's with yummy food, good beer and lots of laughter.  We sought out the local bookstore which turned out to provide more than just a winter trails book for the area - chocolate and a tad bit more hilarity!  Post dinner we head to the hot springs for a good evening soak.  The stars were UNBELIEVABLE.  You forget when you live in the city how many stars there really are.  I was wishing for a star chart and remembering a time when my family (mom, dad, brother) spent a winter break at Yosemite looking at the stars!

Saturday morning allowed us to use that new book.  The first attempt yielded a trailhead with no snow.  Not ideal when you are hoping to snowshoe.  So we headed back toward the hot springs and up the canyon a bit.  This trailhead was better, but really, the snow levels didn't require snowshoes.  But we ventured out anyway!  Snowshoes in had, we trekked for a bit, until there was sort of enough snow to put on the snowshoes.  For Wendy, Beth & Marigny this an inaugural snowshoe and they were eager to try it out.  While they didn't really get the feel of those snowshoes because there wasn't enough snow, putting them on burned a few more calories and generated a lot more heat which was essential since we were in the shade nearly the whole time.

Arriving back at Mt. Hot Springs was perfectly timed as both Laura and Karen pulled up within minutes of each other.  The afternoon was spent soaking in the 'guests only' pools.   It was luxurious and lovely.  Once we'd had our fill of soaking we headed in for showers and followed "that apple thing" (or Wendy's IPhone map) to Eddlyline Pub for dinner.  It was as awesome as I'd heard - both beer and food!  Not that I could get there again without the "apple thing" but I'll definitely go back.  Not just because it was so good, but also because Beth bought two growlers of the seasonal Pumpkin Ale and one was left in my care, another in Marigny's.  So now I have to refill it :-).  We cracked a bottle of champagne and the chocolate upon returning and had a great girls night in.

Love these friends of mine and so lucky to have spent the weekend with them.

Monday saw me back to work, but it was a short work wee for me.  On Thursday afternoon I headed to Phoenix for a long-planned girls weekend with two of me best girlfriends - KayKay and Shawnna!  Miraculously, despite ridiculous weather on the East coast, we all arrived as planned on Thursday night! It was midnight by the time we got to Kip's place in Scottsdale and Shawnna had been on the road since 8 am EST. 

Friday morning we found oatmeal and peanut butter toast and McDowell Sonoran Preserve for a morning walk.  A quick trip to the grocery and a run through the showers and we were off to the day spa!  Body and Soul Day Spa pampered us well.  Kudos to Stime (Shawnna's husband) for finding this gem.  We each had a massage and then KayKay and I had a Sugar/Salt Scrub.  Seriously, that was heaven on earth.  KayKay did it first and her report, "It was NOTHING like anything I've ever done.  It was like I went through the car wash!"  I was intrigued.  Bliss.  That's all I can say.  And if you get the chance to do both a massage and a scrub, do the scrub after the massage.  Pure heaven.  We tossed around the idea of a variety of dinner options and opted for PF Chang's and a little shopping at Fashion Sqaure in Scottsdale.  We laughed a lot on Friday.  It was awesome.  

Saturday we embarked on the real adventure of the weekend.  We headed out to climbed Camelback.  1.2 miles.  No problem.  We picked what was deemed the easier of the two trails.  3 1/2 hours later, 30-minute summit break and a whole lot of shirtless llamas and we were back at the car.  Cannot really describe the experience.  Photos might help.  In dire need of food, we went to Uncle Sam's and inhaled sandwiches.  The afternoon was spent relaxing in the sunshine - catching a few rays.  Shawnna cooked up a yummy stir fry.  And Sunday was a leisurely morning.  A trip to Target (after all, it's 45 minutes to WalMart for Shawnna) and a little more of that Phoenix sunshine and it was time to take KayKay to the airport.  How is it that time goes so fast?  Shawnna and I returned to Fashion Square for a bit more shopping and then I introduced her to Trader Joe's 99 cent cards.  A tad more sunshine and it was time for me to go.  We've promised to to this more often - like every other year.  LOVED my time with these two awesome women.  Love them both very much.

And so today, I ran with my Sunday Sistas.  9 miles.  It's been a while since I clocked that many miles.  It was chilly, but beautiful today.  Syd ran 6 with me.  Amber the last 3.  We breakfasted at my house on oatmeal, carrot bread, banana bread and coffee.  Tomorrow begins reality for real.  School has started and there are files to be read.  I used my month off well, as I also spent a lovely week in CA with mom and Dad.  We had as much sun in Sacramento as we did rain, which is unusual for December.  We saw the newly expanded Crocker were mom volunteers, we took a couple of drives into the foothills, including an afternoon wine tasting and gaping at the snow covered Sierra's.  It was a good break from work and a good break from school.  Now I brace myself for diving back into the everyday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The spirit of the season, oh, and aging up

Sometime in the last few weeks I let go of the anxiety and decided to embrace turning 40.  It's just a number, after all.  I don't feel 40 and according to everyone I know, I don't look 40.  And everyone says 40 is the new 20.  I like that.  Not that I want to go back to 20, but I like the spirit of the sentiment.

I've celebrated well and the celebrating isn't quite done.  On my last business trip of the season, I had a few extra hours before a red eye so I treated myself to a luxurious afternoon at the Grand Wailea Spa soaking in the Terme pools and then getting a lovely massage.  Thanksgiving was spent with my Colorado Springs Family - the Waldon's!  And Christmas Eve, too!  Love them bunches.

December has been a whirlwind.  I knew it would be and I did as much as I could ahead of time, but I still felt like the Perfect Storm hit the weekend of December 11:  all files must be read and the toughest of my exams to be taken on Monday, December 13.  By exam time I was exhausted and uncertain about my knowledge.  In the end I did just fine with a lot of help from my friends.  Hugs given liberally, a dog walker in Jill made Syd and I so grateful.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My actual birthday was celebrated reading files, for the most part.  But the day was filled with phone calls, a cookie bouquet, and dinner with the Waldon's.  I could not have asked for a more perfect day.  That was followed by a gift from my Sunday Sista's - a little par-tay at the Roman Villa!  Words cannot describe the love and generosity of my friends.  I am so blessed to have these women in my life.  And to have so many wonderful friends - all together in one place to help me celebrate.  Pizza, salad and carrot cake cupcakes!  Yum.  The banner photo is of my Sunday Sistas - thank you!

In January, I will complete the celebration with a trip to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs with a few close friends and finally, a trip to Phoenix with Shawnna and KayKay - I cannot wait!

They say 40 is the new 20, or 5 1/2 in dog years.  I'll take 'em all!

Colorado Runner Girl