An Ageless Inner Child

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Two days ago I had one of those days that will be etched into my mind forever. I think every day that I live on this planet, I have something to be grateful for, but this day….this particular day was exceptional!

I woke up and drove down the beach to a neighboring community for a yoga practice. Practicing on the beach, in the sun, with the waves crashing right in front of you, is second to none in my book. Before practice, we talked about having no exceptions and having a child-like sense of wonderment. To not allow “should” to come into your mind, as in “I should be IN this pose” or “I should be able to get into this pose.” Instead….forget it, and allow yourself to be like a child, who, never thinks that they need to or should be doing something. They just do it. If it works out, fantastic! If it does not, what happens? Most often THEY LAUGH! As we went into tree pose, she then asked us to close our eyes, which makes the pose that much harder (for me anyway.) It’s easy to have balance when your eyes are open but shut them, and you have to really find some inner focus. Your drishti. She reminded us that if we fell out of the pose to

laugh

about

it,

and to not put pressure on ourselves OR our practice. *For the record, I am a HUGE proponent of laughter! Even at my own expense (just ask my family.) quotes-the-purpose_5321-1

After leaving that morning, I thought about those words all day. It’s what I took off my mat. Be Childlike. When is the last time you allowed yourself to feel like that? To let go of fear? Of expectation? Of the pressure to be perfect or get “into a pose” To laugh hysterically when something

 DOESN’T

work out? My hubs and I talked about the fact that when we were younger, we just did stuff, throwing caution to the wind…. Build a bike ramp with the neighbor boys, and then have the same boys lay on the ground one after another past the ramp, and see if the boy on the bike can jump them all! Build a treehouse with a Tarzan swing to get down, tied to a limb by your sweet friend from next door, who was just learning to tie her shoelaces. And GUESS WHAT? You tried the swing out on the first try without even thinking about the safety. The fact that you could fall to the ground never crossed your mind. We were fearless. We didn’t even believe that we were incapable of doing things. We were adventurers and crusaders and pioneers of the unimaginable. How about learning something new? We tried, and if we didn’t quite succeed, WE LAUGHED! It never crossed our minds to get upset. Ever!

How do we lose that?

Unknown-1 They say “older is wiser” but sometimes that means “older is limited.” Limited in our thinking, our actions, and our behaviors.

The words from our yoga teacher stuck with me throughout the moring and as we went out surfing later that day. It was late afternoon, and we figured if we only had an hour, it’s STILL an hour on the water! It was so incredibly enjoyable out there. We were having a blast! We were being a little bold. And guess what? LAUGHING! Laughing-out-loud at nothing, other than the sheer thrill of what we were doing right then. Laughing at our stupid mistakes that sent us flying off our boards or being tossed and turned in an underwater washing machine of salt and sand (ahem…me) that had us rolling along the bottom of the sea. We felt like kids. Entirely in the moment, throwing caution to the wind and just being present on the waves in the warm ocean.e9fc788cf15b3f8542f8576b962c87c5--teaching-children-quotes-quotes-children

Then it happened.

As I headed into shore on a soft pillowy wave, I turned to paddle back out. The sun was setting, and I hadn’t even noticed, BUT when I turned around the sky had changed into the most extraordinary work of art I’d ever seen. Brush strokes of bright oranges and

P I N K!

The water in front of me turned the most amazing rose coral, and I sat up on my board and just started crying. Have you ever seen something so beautiful that it’s made you cry? I sat in the rosado water with a sky bursting open, and I just cried. At that moment I was so incredibly beholden by what I was seeing. I continued to paddle out to where my hubs was floating, transfixed by the same sun-setting sky and he said: “Do you see this the same way I am?” We were both so taken by nothing more than the sun, the sky and the sea. I thought for a second that I wished I had my camera; to have a witness to such artistry. Honestly, I could have paddled back in, but I just sat there and knew that it was going to have to be a moment that I simply remember. Like all of the great memories in childhood…we didn’t always have a camera handy. There were no cell phones and selfie sticks….you had to bank the experiences in your mind tucked away to pull out and relive later.
I think living in Costa Rica has allowed for more of a child-like sense of wonder in us. Living in another country, you are continually seeing and doing things that are different from what you’ve become accustomed to. It’s exciting! I love the fact that we can wake up every day and learn and discover something new and most of the time I DO feel like a child, laughing as we speak Spanish that is not always correct, learning the different animals, reptiles, and bugs and being wholly astonished when a Toucan lands in the tree next to you on your patio.

My hubs and I sat until the sky was dark. We just didn’t feel like we could dishonor what we were witnessing by turning our backs. To say this was quite possibly the most amazing sunset we had seen in our lives is understated. We both fell in love with that moment. Being silly and simple and allowing ourselves to stop and do nothing except stare in a childlike way into the sky. Marveling at the craftsmanship of such a generous gift.

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I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

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I just came off of such and incredibly, inspiring, weekend.  A weekend of nervous energy, loads of laughter (LOADS) tired muscles, roadtrippin’, group hugs, high fives, some tears, (from both nerves and happiness), tired aching muscles, a little anxiety, great friends, amazing girl time, new friendships (Hi Jenny and Tomek) Swedish Fish, a Twilight Zone McDonalds stop, toilet sleeping* and Ironman camaraderie.

Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3. (This is not a race report)

A few weeks ago I had made the decision to withdraw from racing LS.  A decision that was hard, but I knew was in my best interest.  A few days after that, the decision was made that I would still attend, with friends and my training group, as support & cheerleader!   I had SUCH a great time!

From the fist 15 minutes of our car ride out of town, I knew this weekend would be amazing (hello Mini Vacation)  The energy of a race has a way of oozing onto you, even if you aren’t racing.  And of course a car of friends wrapped in laughter on a 4-hour road-trip is always Fab-ulous!!

We spent our first night in Issaquah, which is such a beautiful part of the Pacific NW (always so grateful that we get to LIVE here), at my friend’s sisters.  They were great hosts (ummm, hot tub under the stars and a little vodka who can complain?  Not this girl!) The next day we set out for a short drive into Lake Stevens, hit the expo, checked in and met other friends that were racing.

As the one not racing and just /observing it was funny to see my friends rituals of set up.  Clothing, shoes, helmets, bags, changes of clothes.  I observed, being sure to be very quiet as they worked.  They talked to themselves, changed things around, walked around the hotel room…. all this, while I sat in silence.  I felt like Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist, watching…from afar.  Taking it all in, but being careful not to “startle anyone!”  They asked for advice on things, to which I carefully answered what I would do…but adding, “everyone is different.”  A strange breed us Triathletes are.  But then again…having something “off” can make or break a race.  All joking aside, they were great….I just know how it is when I am in race prep, and let them carry on, not getting into their way.

After the packing ritual….we hit dinner with our whole group.  Italian of course, and again the laughter and wine flowed easily.  We toasted everyone, toasted our coach, toasted to the hard work and dedication of this group of athletes.  Then…bed!

BAMS

We don’t have ANY fun!

Watching and waiting for friends to finish a race, especially a 70.3 distance is a test of patience and sometimes frustration.  Not knowing (on a huge course) where people are and trying to keep everyone tracked down is cRaZy!  Especially when you know so many racing.  Luckily, I had some great friends to keep me company throughout the day that had also made the drive over to support our BAM’s

For many of them, it was a first at the 70.3 distance.  They all trained hard and well during the past few months.  But as anyone knows on race morning…you forget all that you have put into training and your mind wanders to the “what if’s” and the “maybe I should’ve.”  They have ALL trained, but of course 2 minutes before jumping into a lake with 1500 other athletes for a 1.2-mile swim, you forget that.  So again, we spoke softly, but gave lots of hugs, smiles, “go get ’em’s” slaps on the butt, quiet whispers (R.T.B.) and sent them on their way.

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Lake Stevens 70.3

 

Click to Enlarge Photos

 

 

Watching friends from my training group cross the finish line at a race is amazing!  It brings tears to my eyes, and a huge smile to my face.  It makes my heart happy to see people accomplishing their goals!  To see their families waiting in anticipation is priceless!  Their hard work and dedication paid off.  And as hard as they worked out there…the minute they cross that finish line it’s all worth it.

The SWEET success of a Finish Line

The SWEET success of a Finish Line

Great work BAM’s!  You ALL finished!  You ALL rocked!  Congratulations on your Ironman 70.3 finishes, Fishes!!  The big one’s next!!

 

PS:  IM Lake Stevens put on a phenomenal race.  It is a GORGEOUS venue to race at.  Great support, great seeing the Pro’s out (Congrats to Craig “Crowie” Alexander and Meredith Kessler on their wins) there, and perfect climate.  This 70.3 is definitely on my future race list.  No doubt!!

* I’ve discovered that this is what happens when you are so sleep deprived and you stop for a potty break.  It allows you a 2-minute nap.

Ummm… It’s March!

What?  How did this happen?  I have gone 3 months without a single post.  And I do believe in my New Years post, I said, I wanted to keep up on this blog.  Here’s the deal…

LIFE HAPPENS!!

And before I go getting upset about any part of that…well, I just don’t!  Getting upset about things…not in my DNA!

That's Right!

That’s Right!

So what have I been up to since January 1, 2013?  A whole-lotta-fun!  Had great holiday with my friends and family.  Rang 2013 in with some amazing friends, laughing and dancing…exactly where I wanted to be.  Surrounded by the people I love and love me right back!

January comes into Northern Idaho like an evil stepmom.  Just rough and cold and unforgiving.  You have to either embrace it, or you will be spending a lot of days and nights curled into a blanket with a snarling look on your face!  I’ve seen this look…and it’s not pretty!  So to combat the winter blahs…We snow-shoe.  We ski and jump into frozen lakes (well some do) and still do as much as we can outdoors.  Including running and training for our summer race season!  It’s hard, but you just

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I had the great honor this winter to ski with a first timer.  A great friend of mine, who is overcoming and jumping the hurdle of a life long battle with severe asthma.  If you haven’t seen her blog, you need to!! (See it here)  Never before this year, has she been able to enjoy outdoor activities in the winter.  But she is kicking butt and having fun!  We have made some fabulous memories skiing this year!

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How many skiers does it take to get a boot into a binding?

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The Terrorists!

We also got to travel to White Fish, Montana this past month for a little ski trip with some friends of ours.  This was my first time taking on this mountain, and it was incredible.  Great powder, with amazing snow ghosts at the summit.  It was just a great time with one of our favorite families!!  The little town of White Fish is so quaint with fun, with little shops, some amazing restaurants, and truffles galore!  If you are a truffle-hog like myself, this little town offers truffle oil on EVERYTHING!!  And I had it on everything!

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Gorgeous snow ghosts near the summit.

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A little night skiing in White Fish, Montana

One week later after skiing our legs off in deep powder I boarded a plane to Kona, Hawaii with a friend.  It was literally a split-second decision.  From Friday night having dinner together and complaining about the cold, to booking a sun-filled, beach-lovin’, ocean-swimming trip the very next morning!  How’s that for spontaneity!?  I love being spontaneous!

Kona was fabulous!  We enjoyed every single second of warm, sunshine and beach that we could.  We soaked in Vitamin D like it was our job!  We snorkeled with some giant turtles, one,who seemed extremely interested with the bling on my bikini.  I think he may have been asking for a date.  We lounged!  We drank yummy drinks and ate incredible food.  We went on a whale watching tour.  The whales are there having their babies right now.  They are amazing,  gigantic, beautiful creatures.  We saw them breeching several times!  We decided one day to have a little fun adventure and went to “Flume the Ditch”  This was so much fun.  We laughed the entire time, while we kayaked down the Kohala Ditch, in and out of underground tunnels, for about 2 1/2 miles.  We learned a lot about the island from our amazing guide!  We decided to go and chase some waterfalls, and spent the day over in Hilo.  It’s such a different landscape from the Kona side.  We took off in the morning, with the top off of our little Jeep, and before we knew it we were pulled over replacing the top.  Taking the fun and CRAZY Saddle Road to Hilo was an adventure in itself.  What we didn’t anticipate as we climbed our way between two volcanos is, that even on a tropical island, it can get COLD in the mountains.  The 90-minute drive to Hilo was like being on Mr Toads Wild Ride.  Up and down big hills, making our stomachs drop, all while twisting and turning.  “Hands up!”  Hilo, was magical.  Thick jungle, dripping, humid, rain forests, waterfalls. We spent the day exploring, driving the Hamakua coast, doing some shopping and having a great meal before heading back to Kona.  Our trip was a great time to unwind, catch up with friends, relax, and boost our immune system through ridiculous bouts of laughter.  A, D and S…I’m still looking for giant centipedes!! HAHA!

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Hapuna Beach

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Never missed a sunset!

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Rainbow Falls- Hilo, Hawaii

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Akaka Falls- Hilo, Hawaii

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Cruisin’ on the Body Glove boat for our whale cruise!

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Puako Beach

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Flumin’ the Ditch

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Puako Beach

Now that I have been back for 19 days…I am again craving the sunshine!!  So off we go!  To our home away from home, Costa Rica!

Keep ya posted…..

  ~Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain