Category Archives: Exercise

Running Girls

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MK and S

In March I ran my fastest 5K ever. This Saturday I ran my slowest, and it was just as much fun. Plus, I got to wear a rainbow-colored tutu.

The occasion? Girls on the Run (GOTR), a nation-wide program that I should have created. It’s the kind of program I could’ve used as a kid and dreamed of as an idealistic new teacher. I wish I’d had the foresight to see this thing to fruition. This award-winning holistic girl-empowerment program (that just announced partnership with mega athletic girl gear company, Athleta) features self-esteem boosting meetings and activities while simultaneously training for a 5K. Oh, and the girls are in fifth grade.

I wrote about GOTR while living in Bellingham in 2008 (August 26-Sep 2, 2008 issue). Inspired, I tried half-heartedly for a while to find a place for it to blossom on this side of the mountains when we moved back to Wenatchee in 2009. I made some calls up to Chelan, where there had once been a GOTR program. Then I tried to entice the local YMCA, the hospital, and an elementary school PE teacher to no avail. I should have tried harder, but my focus drifted.

When I found out last month that a local GOTR program had formed under the guidance of Columbia Valley Community Health I was thrilled. Unfortunately, between my recent humanitarian trip to Haiti and the GOTR coordinator’s aid trip to Guatemala, I didn’t get to help beforehand like I’d hoped. But I wound up getting to take part in the grand culminating event anyway (translation:  most fun Apple Blossom Festival run ever)–as running buddy to my friend V’s daughter, S.

To run and walk alongside such a rock star kiddo (people, she makes her own videos already!) completing her first official 5K race (she’d already completed the training version with flying colors, of course) was beyond compare. We’d done a short pre-run recess workout the day before. Based on Friday’s dry run I thought we’d be walking nearly the entire race on Saturday. But S did tell me she liked to run, and she proved it on race day when I saw a glimmer of her friendly, competitive streak burst forth. She ran like the wind for spurts; then she slowed down to catch her breath. All the while we talked about favorite books, writing stories, field trips, and summer plans.

On the home stretch I tried to surge ahead to grab an action photo of us on my phone. S surged right along with me, leaping past her peers with ease. In fact, she kept up so well that I only barely managed to get ahead for a photo, an off-kilter one at best. S looks radiant and nonplussed, whereas my expression mirrors the terror I felt during that split second of time, on the verge of ungracefully tripping over myself and in danger of breaking my nose (in full tutu and all). Thank goodness we crossed the finish line together a mere eighth of a mile later, unscathed and giggling.

Action photo

From her pre-race peppy cheers and dance steps (totally my fault since while we waited for the race to start my fake hip hop moves were noticed, I caved to peer pressure, and suddenly found myself choreographing an impromptu Girls on the Dancefloor troupe…), S was an absolute trooper, athlete, and delight. I had a ball and hope she did, too. Maybe next year she’ll be my training partner for my second full marathon? I guess I’ll have to ask her mom for permission.

True Warriors

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My friend T and I completed 3.55 “hellish” miles on “the craziest (bleep) day of your life” as the Warrior Dash was billed. In truth it wasn’t nearly as challenging as it sounds. I don’t know if it’s because I regularly do crazy things like flip tires and run in the mud for fun but these obstacles weren’t all that insane. With the exception of the flame jumping and the mud pit at the end, the run was really pretty tame. But it was pretty darn fun, too. Next year we need to have costumes. Here we are in our warrior helmets.

Hip Hop You Don’t Stop

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For some time now I’ve wanted to blog about the hip hop class I’ve taken off and on for the past year or so. I will expound upon it sometime in the near future, but for now take a gander at my friend M’s fab account of the recent class recital. I’m so glad she did it! Don’t worry, I’ve already promised to join her next year, come hell or high water. Yay for public embarrassment and pushing your comfort zone!

The Recital–from Molly\’s blog

Go To Your Happy Place

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This has been a trying couple of weeks. In the grand scheme of things I know that these annoyances (bedbugs, spouse in ER, cat peeing, car rifled through, home improvement projects…) are pretty tame stressors (and for that I am lucky), but nonetheless it is stressful! Since most of us can’t do yoga 24/7 in order to keep ourselves sane we need to keep breathing, thinking good thoughts, and “going to our happy place.” This is one of my favorite places to go, in person or virtually. Where’s your happy place?

Skiing Makes Me Happy

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I had a t-shirt once that said this. It still holds true. I’ve been on the slopes since I was four or five. I’m so happy I’ve grown up with this sport (since I’d be freaked out to start skiing as an adult!). I learned to ski on the carpeted hill at Alpine Outfitters in Redding. From there I graduated to the rope tow at Mt. Lassen. Eventually I made it up the chairlift at Mt. Shasta, then Tahoe, Banff, Austria, and beyond. I’ve skied in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres all in the same year. I’ve skied on glaciers in France and Canada. I’ve skied California slush and Vermont ice. I’ve skied Olympic runs and kiddie courses. Downhill, cross-country, skate…I don’t discriminate. I’ve had so many wonderful, laugh-full, memorable ski trips with family and friends. Like when E, S, J and I did room gymnastics in New Hampshire. And when R, A, and I went ‘rodeling’ down an old logging road in Austria. Charging breakfast to our room with S at age, oh say, 10. Getting a side ache from laughing so hard playing Taboo with Mom and DA. Cruising Springmeier with K again and again… But above all else, my very favorite ski partners will always be my two very favorite men, my dad and my husband.