Monday, March 1, 2010

Birkie + running + music = love.

Running is a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful thing. Running is my pick me up, escape, get away, and love. I was reminded just how much I love running this weekend after a 13 miler. Running is one of the simple things in my life. I run while I have amazing conversations with friends. I run while I listen to music. I run while I think about life. I run while I figure out life's setbacks. It's just a simple sport that gives me so much happiness.
This 13 mile run was fueled by an inspirational day spent at the American Birkebeiner . A 50k ski race in Northern Wisconsin filled with 8,600 skiers from all over the world. After watching the skiers finish for a couple hours, my motivation was through the roof. I feel like I'm a pretty active person but really, all I do is run. After watching the Birkie I decided I NEED to try some more endurance sports. Skiing the Birkie is now on my life list; reasons being. 1) It's a Challenge. I've skied only twice in my life, I have no technique but I feel like it's something I'll love. 2) The atmosphere on Birkie weekend in Northern Wisconsin is so wonderful. 3) It'll spice up my winters! Plan is to do the Birkie in 3 years. I need those three years to learn how to ski. hahaha.

This summer instead of just straight running, I'm going to keep my mileage low and add A LOT of biking into my workout schedule. I have a beautiful baby boy named Julius (yes, I name my bikes):

Julius was purchased last summer but got a little neglected over the summer & fall. But, come spring Julius and I are going to spend A LOT of quality time together. I'm even thinking of entering into my first bike race (bike/run). It's the Minneapolis Duathlon on August 29th. And maybe do a couple more bike races in the fall. We shall see.
Bike, Run, Ski.... what else? SWIM. Unfortunately, I cannot swim. But, I need to learn. So this summer I'm dedicating at least 2 days a week to learning to swim. It's about dang time.

Running will always be my first love. But I'm looking forward to mixing it up a little. The snow is melting quickly here in Wisconsin so I might have to push off perfecting my skiing until next year :) But I do plan to rent some skis this weekend and give it a try!
Also, after an amazing 13 mile run this weekend I decided it's time to commit myself to a spring race. I've officially decided on the Fitness Festival Marathon in La Crosse on May 2nd. It's soon, so if I feel like i'm not in the shape I need to be, I'll down grade to the half and plan for Minneapolis Marathon in June. Wrote out my training plan for the next two months today and I'm SO excited to get some 15-20 mile runs in! As you may know, I'm the definition of an injury prone runner so my strategy is to keep the weekly mileage low (35-40) and do a lot of cross training. Whether it be spending quality time with Julius, a hike in Hixon, or swimming.
I'm also changing up my diet (a tad). No more eggs unless I know where it came from! Strictly organic or from local farms. I'll explain why later, that's a post all in itself. Until then, I encourage everyone to check out the documentary Fresh or watch the movie Food Inc. That'll explain it all!
One more thing, I had an AMAZING weekend up North (home) with my friends for Birkie weekend. I'm so blessed to come from such a beautiful area with such beautiful people! I spent my Saturday watching elite skiers, running 13 miles, eating dinner with my girlfriends, and danced the night away listening to my friend's band play at a local bar. It was absolute perfection.

Well, that's all my friends. I'll end with a Jack Johnson quote cause he's simply awesome.
"Slow down everyone, you're moving too fast."
Feel the sunshine on your face, walk slow, and enjoy every single day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

.. begin.

The radio (or rather Semisonic) gave me some wisdom today.
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
New beginnings.. so many opportunities, places to go, people to meet, and lives to change. Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'll be ok.

Friday, February 5, 2010

5 de Febrero

Today I saw a t-shirt that said:

"Everything is amazing and nobody is happy."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sleep Through the Static

"Sleep Through the Static" -Jack Johnson
Trouble travels fast
When you're specially designed for crash testing
Or wearing wool sunglasses in the afternoon
Come on and tell us what you're trying to prove

Because it's a battle when you dabble in war
You store it up, unleash it, then you piece it together
Whether the storm drain running rampant just stamp it
And send it to somebody who's pretending to care

Just cash in your blanks for little toy tanks
Learn how to use them, then abuse them and choose them
Over conversations relationships are overrated
"I hated everyone" said the sun

And so I will cook all your books
You're too good looking and mistooken
You could watch it instead
From the comfort of your burning beds
...Or you can sleep through the static

Who needs sleep when we've got love?
Who needs keys when we've got clubs?
Who needs please when we've got guns?
Who needs peace when we've gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
We went beyond where we should have gone

Stuck between channels my thoughts all quit
I thought about them too much, allowed them to touch
The feelings that rained down on the plains all dried and cracked
Waiting for things that never came

Shock and awful thing to make somebody think
That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops
And either you're weak or you'll use brut force-feed the truth
The truth is we say not as we do

We say anytime, anywhere, just show your teeth and strike the fear
Of god wears camouflage, cries at night and drives a dodge
Pick up the beat and stop hogging the feast
That's no way to treat an enemy

Well mighty mighty appetite
We just eat 'em up and keep on driving
Freedom can be freezing take a picture from the pretty side
Mind your manners wave your banners
What a wonderful world that this angle can see

But who needs to see what we've done?
Who needs please when we've got guns?
Who needs keys when we've got clubs?
Who needs peace when we've gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
Beyond where we should have gone
We went beyond where we should have gone
Beyond where we should have gone

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't let your dreams be dreams.

School started today. Once again I'm back to the responsibilities and back to living by a schedule. Same thing happens everyday, which is nice I suppose. But in between my two classes today all I could think about is how much I miss traveling already. I miss taking naps in the hammocks in Costa Rica, walking around the islands in Panama, dancing in Spain, swimming in Portugal, riding the metro in London, and laying on the beach in Mexico. I'm completely obsessed with seeing the world; it's not just seeing it but it's the lifestyle. I like not knowing what I'm going to do that day, taking pictures of the beautiful places, writing for hours next to the ocean, just living simple. Now, my life is class and soon (as in 2 months!) I'll be spending my days observing in the classroom and teaching(!!!!) lesson plans. I would much rather spend my time living out of my backpack and not knowing what city i'm going to wake up in next.
I haven't really written much about my travels in Costa Rica and Panama. I have about a half an hour before my next Spanish class so I figured I would try to describe it a little. My words and pictures, however, don't do it justice.

The pace of living is slow and everyone is very relaxed. That is the most important thing I learned while living the Costa Rican life. Majority of Americas live such a fast paced life, all of our heads are spinning and time is our enemy. I really try to not be like that, but now I'm really concentrating on being relaxed.. not get worked up about things and not live by a strict schedule. I'm just going to let things happen and more than likely things will work out. So far, it's going great. As of right now school schedule for this semester is an absolute mess but instead of crying or spending my day worrying about it I'm just doing everything that I can do and waiting for the results. It'll work out, even if it's not actually the outcome I want. Pura vida.
The luxuries that we have in the United States don't exist there. For example: flushing toilet paper, drinking the water or taking a nice long hot shower. At first it was annoying, but then I got to thinking..Why exactly do we need warm showers? Don't get me wrong, I love them. But it just made me realize how spoiled we really are in America and many people don't think twice about it. We've got it pretty good in the US but yet there is still constant complaining. That is why I prefer to get by with less.

A little piece of my personal journal from the trip:
January 9th: Bocas del Toro, Panama
"Had my first experience with walking across a border today. We crossed the bridge to get from Costa Rica to Panama that you literally had to watch your step otherwise you could be stepping to your death (little exaggeration ;)). Once you get to the Panama side you just see the poverty..little boys shining shoes, offering to carry your bags, and houses that are barely above. Once we got to Bocas it was a lot more developed, it's really amazing what tourism can do for a town. Anyway, here I am. New day, new country.. Sitting at Aqua Lounge waiting to lock up our stuff so we can go explore. No rooms available so we'll be roughin' it another night in the hammocks."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mac Book!

My Mac came in the mail today! It's beautiful

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Oh the places you'll go

The best part of traveling is the wisdom that you gain from the places you go. My mind expands every time I set foot on foreign soil, as I learn the customs from the locals and hear life stories from other travelers. I always come home with a new way of looking at things, a new perspective. For the past 3 weeks I've been traveling in Central America I have discovered so many things about myself, my attitude, and my life that I want/need to change. I have completely fallen in love with the simple way that the Costa Ricans live. They enjoy and preserve their beautiful country, it is true peace. That is what I want to take back with me, living simply and living slowly. They call it "tico time" here, they don't rush do to much of anything here. They savor their moments and I find it absolutely beautiful. If you want a cup of coffee, be prepared to have to wait a couple minutes for it.. and then enjoy every sip slowly. How many times do you pass a Starbucks in America and see people rushing to get their coffees then rushing out the door gulping it down. What happened to enjoying the little things in life?? Why do Americans feel like they have to live in high speed? Costa Rican life lesson number one: Tico time leads to happiness :)

I've spend my time laying on beaches, swinging the night away in hammocks by the ocean, listening to non-stop Bob Marley, hiking through rainforests, swimming through waterfalls, watching sun sets, listening to Spanish, meeting new people, and writing. That, to me, is perfection. I was exploring and learning and I could breathe. Now, I'm home. Back to Wisconsin (which I love) but my mind is already searching for something. It's restless, but when I'm traveling it's quiet. I learn something new every single day, I see the world with a new outlook.
I'm really struggling to put everything into words. My pictures don't do the country justice and my words don't even come close to describing it. The towns are filled with art work, people walk around barefoot, the ocean is the most beautiful shade of blue, the air is fresh and the calmness is unreal. Pura vida, Pure life. You don't see anyone getting worked up about anything, upset, or rude. Cause really what's the point? Why spend life worrying? We just gotta LIVE because life is beautiful and wonderful. Things don't always go the way we plan but we just gotta go with the flow. Pura vida.

So now, here I sit in Wisconsin with the dry air and snow. I see the beauty in this too. :)
Side note: My prayers are with the people of Haiti. Please if possible make a donation to help. Text Haiti to 90999 to give a 10 dollar donation, most of us are able to spare 10 dollars and every little bit will help. What really breaks my heart is that thousands of people are suffering right now and a lot of people aren't even thinking twice about this tragedy. It bothers me an unbelievable amount to think of the people sitting in their fancy houses, spending money on material things, and not caring. America needs a wake up call and I believe it's coming soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

El viento viene

All the wisdom is in the wind
And the beauty in the clouds.
But eventually the sky goes clear
and the wind isn't always quite this strong.

But here in monteverde, my soul is waking up
so I'm letting things fall where they may.
And I'm filling the clouds with pieces of my heart
and the wind is sending it your way.

So when you open your eyes, open your heart
to that cloud passing by..
Then, listen closely to the wind
as it whispers through the sky.

'Cause lately my words just fail
And my eyes aren't so clear.
But this wind, it'll sting your skin
and explain everything you should hear.