|Long Beach Lighthouse from the Ferry from Catalina|
I can't think of a single thing that has gone the way I anticipated. But then again, it hasn't been all bad either.
Sometimes surprises are good.
1461 - A Brief History Shortly before BonBon made her cross country move from So Cal to the shores of Conneticut, she invited me to do one of Danskin's Women's Sprint Triathlons with her. I eventually agreed (somewhat reluctantly - the fact that it was at Disney's California Adventure was a huge bonus).
It turned out to be a life changing surprise. I was completely out of my element. I LOVE swimming and have always been a bit of a fish when it comes to water. But I wasn't prepared for the combat -style swimming in tri's. I can finally understand how and why people drown! Within the first minute or two, I'd been dunked under and slammed up against a Disneyfied 'rock' (aka concrete beaten to look like a rock) and cut up my leg! And that was just the FIRST event! I was stable on a BIKE before, and I'd NEVER ran a 5k as an adult before! Yet, here I was with all these competitors, riding my $60 Walmart special bike, singing "Come On Hear the Noise. Girls rock the boys!" at the top of my lungs as I talked myself up another hill. Out of the group of women I was competing with (other friends of BonBon's), I came in last by a good 10 minutes. Out of the entire group of women racing, I wasn't last - which was my only goal.
That race completely changed my life.
|Pre-race, getting my number at the Expo, June 2008|
|More Current fitness, August 2013|
One more thing about that race... It was on Father's day. The first person I called (after a tearful hug from my mom at the finish line) was Dad.
For the first time in I can't remember when, I felt like my parents were truly down deep proud of me. Maybe it's because I was proud of me too...
Anyway... let's fast forward to this month's 1461s, shall we?
My Sailor ended up coming home within days of me leaving town. (Gotta love a good irony, he was home for our anniversary - I was not. Oops!) See, my parent's wedding anniversary is within a few days of the wedding day anniversary My Sailor and I celebrate (though we celebrate our elopement day as well, just more privately). Since this is Mom's first year flying solo, we decided to make a 'girl's trip' out of it. Though we have somewhat different travel styles, we still both had a good time.
|Up at 6:30am to ride on Radiator Springs Racers before it gets REALLY crowded for the day.|
|Princess Tiana Performing|
First thing's first though. I had business in Disneyland meeting up with folks for the magazine I write for. That ment late night schmoozing and meeting one of my fellow Celebrations Magazine contributing author's, Jamie Hecker (shameless plug for magazine here), as well as some of my friends from Window To The Magic Podcast and Little Red's Writing Hood. I'm still a theme park commando when I tour parks. I'm up early, up late, with a possible nap in the middle of the day. If I don't log about 7 miles on my feet, I've done something wrong. But this trip was also about showing Mom a good time. I was really glad she got to glimpse the parks the way I do - without little ones in tow. While those trips have their own kind of magic, it's nice to be an adult and be able to marvel at the technology and artistry that makes it all possible, without having to think about diaper changes and height requirements.
|The weight portion of the Fitness Room|
In the past, the walking would have been work out enough. I found myself scouring menus for the healthy options (which isn't as hard as it sounds anymore - Carthay Circle's Sashimi Grade Salmon was to die for...)
Sure, I still enjoyed some luxuries, but it's a far cry from how I toured the park just a few years ago. Usually, it would have left me a LOT more tired. Instead, I found myself somewhat energized to see what the next adventure had in store, despite the less-than-awesome occasion.
Catalina was a play ground for the rich and famous of Hollywood's past (Natalie Wood, just to name one) and the Wrigley Family (you know, like Wrigley chewing gum, and the Cubs...). It's a unique landscape where you can see tropical fish under the waves, and buffalo roaming free over the interior of the island. It's a mountain biker's paradise and a nature lovers' dream...
|Can't wait to explore the Casino building on the next trip!|
|Beach day at a Cabana - stroke of Genius.|
|Ready for our last day|
|The town of Avalon from the ferry dock|
|Ocean as far as the eye can see on the Ferry|
|Mom and I goofing off during our last meal on the island|
The water was so clear I could spot a few sting-rays and even a lobster doing their thing at the bottom of the big blue sea. Even with all the walking around, I still hit up the gym for a Fight Gone Bad style workout. The gym at this particular hotel was pretty awful, but with my trusty jump rope and a dumb bell, I can pretty much make anything work.
Once I came home, I had 1 day of 12 hours of work to cram in, because the next day was the Seattle Zombie 5k! I was able to register My Sailor and we ran it together. It was through a fantastic little park (Magnuson Park) and I'd like to get back out there sometime and ride some of the trails on a bike (which I'll be getting THIS WEEK! Yeah!) and explore their rock climbing wall (which is FREE, well - you know, 'free' aside from the ferry ride, gas mileage, and all that jazz). To my surprise, I set a new record on my 5k, shaving 4 minutes off the last 5k I did just a month or 2 ago! Instead of a 34 minute 5k, My Sailor and I finished at 30 minutes 31 seconds! I guess running from zombies is good incentive!
|My sailor, Random Zombie, Me, and Brother in Law|
|The Whole Team... plus a couple zombies.|
|My Sailor losing the war|
|Not quite flipping these yet...|
If you've made it this far, you deserve to find out what the 2nd part of the title of this blog is all about too.
I can't WAIT for the Strongman Competition on Saturday! That alone is a little surprising. I never thought I'd look forward to things like races and competitions, but I feel prepared, excited, and looking foward to seeing how I pull my weight. I'm a little disappointed to hear they may be 'lightening the load' for the ladies - but it doesn't matter nearly as much to me anymore. I mean, yes, it's a 'Strongman' challenge, and the entire point is to push your limits (and sometimes discover them).
Either way, I've been practicing with a 400lb tire for the tire flip. To my surprise, I can flip that monster just fine.
And after today's massive Strongman prep work out, I made peace with that big old hot hunk... of rubber.
I didn't get here overnight, but boy, does it feel good. I think it's safe to say, like that triathlon, this new way of life is another 1461.