Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Big 3-0

I turn 30 on Friday.

Where did the time go? Most of the time I don't FEEL old, except for the occasional 2-day hangover. Ok, gravity is beginning to take its toll too.

Shouldn't I be having a crisis or something? Shouldn’t I be dreading turning 30, crying everyday and calling my therapist and my 30+ friends in the middle of the night? (No, they have freely given me their advice… Rumor has it- 30s are the new 20s. Thank goodness.)

Strangely, I am not afraid of turning 30 (YET anyway- I have 2 days to go.) Perhaps I am in denial?

I don't have dismay about where I was “supposed to be” by now or what I “should have done” with my life by this arbitrary age... I think that is where people freak out- when they have expectations for themselves associated with a timeline. In fact, it seems to me that the only time anyone is EVER disappointed is when they have any expectations whatsoever. (Try NOT having any expectations sometime. I highly recommend it.)

I have not been elected president yet. I don't care. You all know I would be a HORRIBLE president.

I haven't been married or popped out any kids. Does it seem as if I regret it?

I am not CEO of a big corporation. Big whoop. Sounds like a lotta responsibility to me....

Does all of this make me a loser, as if I have lost my life’s purpose? Maybe to some people it does. Some people are cut out for those types of goals. Those same people have goals like having kids by 25 and being CEO by 30, ruling the world by 60. Not me.

I'm not disappointed at all with where I am with my life so far. I have a solid Master's degree. I own real estate. I have a retirement plan and a job that pays ok. I have been to a LOT of amazing places. I have met some fabulous people. I have learned a lot. I'm not saying that I don't have any regrets (I do have a couple), but I am saying that I don't think you should put a time limit on accomplishments.

My plans for the future don't have an expiration date on them. I know that one never knows when things may change drastically or when life as you know it may end, but I don't believe that the important things in life have a deadline. Just have fun. If you happen to end up in the White House one day, great. (But I hope you aren’t republican.)

It is ideal to expect the worst and prepare for the best.

Why are the decade birthdays such a big deal anyway? I had an age “crisis” at 27. What did that have to do with a multiple of nine. Or three. Anything??

….And I have to say that lots of alcohol and friends is a great distraction from reality….

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Take a Poetry Break

Why I Have A Crush On You, UPS Man

you bring me all the things I order
are never in a bad mood
always have a jaunty wave as you drive away
look good in your brown shorts
we have an ideal uncomplicated relationship
you're like a cute boyfriend with great legs
who always brings the perfect present
(why, it's just what I've always wanted!)
and then is considerate enough to go away
oh, UPS Man, let's hop in your clean brown truck and elope!
ditch your job, I'll ditch mine
let's hit the road for Brownsville
and tempt each other
with all the luscious brown foods —
roast beef, dark chocolate,
brownies, Guinness, homemade pumpernickel, molasses cookies
I'll make you my mama's bourbon pecan pie
we'll give all the packages to kind looking strangers
live in a cozy wood cabin
with a brown dog or two
and a black and brown tabby
I'm serious, UPS Man. Let's do it.
Where do I sign?

by Alice N. Persons, from Don't Be A Stranger

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Friday, August 10, 2007

My Boot Camp Finale

My horoscope for today reads:
The encouragement you've been waiting for will finally arrive today, from a very comforting source. A group of women will cheer you on and enable you to get out of your comfort zone a bit more, which will open your eyes to just how capable you actually are. People are looking out for you right now, and they want to give you the help you need -- whenever you need it. You are an important part of someone's life, and today you may finally start to understand just how important.

I'm not so sure about that last part, but the cheering women, the "encouragement I've been waiting for" and emerging from my comfort zone came this morning at approximately 5:51 am when I finally beat my stagnant mile time of 9 minutes 27 seconds.... fitting since this was my last day of Boot Camp (sadly, I can no longer afford the VERY reasonable $200/month.) I would like to preface my record time by reminding you that when I first started Boot Camp, my mile time was 11 minutes 04 seconds- f***ing SLOW!

My time this morning: 8 minutes 47 seconds.

For all the math whizzes, that's 2 minutes 17 seconds faster than the first mile I ran when I started Boot Camp in May! Still, that may not be impressive for you runners out there, but I was stuck for more than a month at around 9 minutes 25 seconds. I am SO proud! It makes me want to run everyday to keep beating it!

I cannot recommend Portland Adventure Boot Camp more. If you want to jump start your fitness program, get fit while having fun and get great support while doing it, you should try it! Daniel (previously referred to as "Sergeant") is seriously the best, most knowledgable, patient and positive trainer I have ever known. Everyday I went to camp, I would ask myself WHY I got up at 4:45 am (there is also a 9am class) to work my ass off. But after about 10 minutes of being there, I knew why- because I never have a bad day when I go to Boot Camp, I feel so energized afterwards (I don't even get sleepy at work!), Daniel gives fabulous tips and information and it is so great to be outside that early in the morning! (No, Daniel did not PAY me to write this.)

As for improving my mile time- the things that catapulted me this morning were:

1.) The first 1/4 mile is the most important. Daniel always told us to pace ourselves for the first 1/4 mile, to take it easy- but its a lot like your first semester of college: it's easier to keep a good GPA if your first semester is good, but it is REALLY hard to bring your GPA up if you have a bad first semester.... so I challenged authority and ran my butt of that first lap. (I also pulled off a pretty good sprint at the end.) My first split was 2 minutes! As long as I didn't totally run out of fuel in the next 7 minutes, I would be sittin' pretty. Which brings me to my next booster:

2.) Fuel. I drank lotsa water and ate lotsa carbs the night before. Mmmm.. leftover lasagne! Thanks Ali!

3.) Mood/Attitude. I was so discouraged by my times the last few previous miles and I know it affected my attitude. If you don't THINK you can do something, of course you can't. But if you KNOW you CAN do something, well....

4.) Music: I recommend M.I.A. My friend, we'll call her Miss Fitness, told me NOT to listen to my iPod while running because she said I needed to concentrate on my breathing. It may be true that I need to concentrate on my breathing (especially because I was getting a lot of sideaches at the beginning), but I need a distraction! If I didn't have good music, I would be concentrating on the texture of the track or something totally stupid instead of my breathing- I would be bored out of my mind!! Once again, I challenged authority. Music is emotional- it makes you feel relaxed or sad or happy or really frickin' motivated! ...and anyway, I think that the breathing thing just came naturally from all the great training that Daniel gave.

Thanks Daniel!! You are the best!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Virgo Hike at Mt. Adams

My friend Melissa invited me to go hiking and camping with her and her sister-in-law (we're all virgos!) and their dogs Judy and Molly this past weekend. I passed up the beer festival for it! I am so glad I did.... but I forgot how grueling it can be! I haven't hiked with an overnight pack since college.

The only speedbump was that the original trail the ladies had planned to hike was not accessible. A 30-foot stretch of the two-lane road was totally GONE. An older couple who live nearby said that the Forest Service was not going to repair the road for at least a year because of budget shortages. What a shame- the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is so amazingly beautiful! These photos don't begin to capture how gorgeous our hike was.

We found another trailhead nearby which was mostly uphill-UGH!. We camped at Lookingglass Lake- a small, slightly sulphuric lake that we enjoyed all by ourselves. We were warned of the flies and mosquitos by other hikers, but we camped there anyway and we had just a few. They were definitely worse on the trail during the day! Even slathering ourselves in bug cream and spray didn't seem to help on the way to camp. Unfortunately, the day after our return I found several small bites.

If you make it Mt. Adams, stop at the bakery/cafe connected to the Chevron and get a huckleberry smoothie.... mmmmm! Delicious!

Special thanks to Melissa for carrying the tent!

Mt. Hood from Mt. Adams

Lookingglass Lake from our campsite

On the way back....

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