Check out my divot

My grandma loved watching golf. She would watch it most Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Over the many years I spent time with her, and eventually lived with her off and on, I learned quite a bit about golf rules. Somehow though I never played golf. I have been to driving ranges, and played my fair share of putt-putt, but a full round of golf has never happened in my life.

Last Friday I went golfing for the first time. Yes, can you believe it? I had an absolute blast, and so far I might be a new convert. It started out as a gorgeous afternoon and 70 degrees at the beginning of May, what Portlander would not be stoked to be outside? As you can tell by this picture, the sun eventually hid behind the clouds and it cooled off a bit. Still a perfect day for a nine holes of golf. I was with colleagues who were patient and taught me some of the basics (of course so many more things to learn). I now understand a bit more about an iron, driver, and a putter, and I think I quasi know when to use each club.

I even had one or two initial drives down the green. As you can see by the photo of me, not all swings were successful. Actually on most holes I tee’d off quite a few times before I actually hit the ball. The photo shows during that swing that I took quite a bit of earth, aka a large divot. Notice the chunk of mud/grass sitting on my ball. Yes, I may have no idea what I am doing, but at least I played with all power and zest. By the way, do not ask me how many different balls I used (and lost) in the course of nine holes.

I will definitely be visiting the driving range to practice, and would love to venture back this summer. Bring on the sunny days so I can see if the excitement is a short-lived adventure or if it is my new summertime exploration.

Any golf pointers for me?

Do you run like a girl?

A good book is always something that brings a smile to my face. This was a good one, maybe not on the top of my list for 2014, but at least one that was worth seeing through to the end. For some reason I have been reading books on running. I am not sure why exactly, but somehow when I read about running (and since I read while running) it inspires and encourages me to keep running. Try it sometime. Whether or not you are crazy enough to read on the treadmill while running, or if you listen to a book on your smartphone while running, a book that inspires running makes me just want to go faster and longer.

The book? “Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run” by Alexandra Heminsley. It is about a girl who never has run in her life and decides to train for a marathon. It is her training experience, how that shapes the relationship with her father (a marathon runner), and then how others ask her to train with them for continued marathons in her future. She is real, down-to-earth, and makes you realize that anyone, yes, anyone can run a marathon if they just put their mind to it and get started. It did not used to be this way, but running is now me. I am cranky when I do not have enough time to run, or if I am just too exhausted after a long day. I feel robbed when I do not get my run in. My thoughts are similar to Alexandra’s:

“That day in October was the day that taught me so much about why I run. It wasn’t a habit, it was a necessity: the essential realization that I can carry on when I am sure I am about to die; that to survive, I just have to keep going, keeping the faith that I could leave the house almost trembling with trepidation about what lay ahead, and if I could keep myself going, a few minutes, a few lampposts, a few blocks at a time, I would be improving not just my running but how I managed my life.” Page 109

Running keeps me sane. Just ask Chris. We often cater our weekend plans around my runs. I either will not leave the house for the day without getting a long run in, or I have to know that whatever event we are off to, when we return home there will still be time for me to run. Addicted? Maybe. Is that so bad? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When I have an hour to get out of my head, be quiet and present in my moving and sweaty body I feel most like me. There is something rewarding about knowing I have pushed through, and in the end I am often given answers to questions I have been asking, and a greater sense of peace about my life and the world.

#runningismysanity

Want to laugh today?

Oh man. I am cracking up. This would be so fun. A Facebook friend shared this video for: “Bubble Football.” It is where soccer players play inside inflatable bouncy suits. Watch a bit of the video and you will be laughing so hard. I want to try it! It looks like it would be so freeing and fun to move around in a bubble (isn’t that what so many folks do anyway)? HA! After a few Internet searches, I was not able to find any local facilities that allow me to embark on such fun! It looks like it is mostly available in the UK and Europe. Maybe this will be a side venture at World Cup this summer?

Seriously, it was like watching a video of a baby that cannot stop laughing. Each time I watch them chase the ball, and then knock into each other, I giggled a bit, and thought I WANT TO DO THAT!

 

Someone bring Bubble Football to Portland please!

Against all odds

We have been watching a lot of football lately. How can we not? College football championships, all the games leading up to the Super Bowl. There is a lot of testosterone in this house. So of course when I saw this ad for Duracell, an amazing but deaf professional football player, and perseverance I was inspired and had to share with you. Derrick Coleman plays for the Seattle Seahawks and was born deaf, was picked on, and was chosen last. Against all odds he became a professional fullback.

We have all had moments in our life when we were picked on and teased. We have all had moments when we were chosen last. Somehow we find out how to make it through, how to persevere. Coleman will encourage you to not give up. He will remind you that anything is possible. He may just bring a tear to your eye.

“A lot of fans are cheering me on, and I can hear them all.” Tears. Yes, I had tears for all our possibilities, for breaking down barriers, disregarding naysayers that tell us it is not possible, that we cannot do what we want. We can. Poo poo on those that tell us otherwise.

My first half marathon

At the 9th mile

At the 9th mile

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon! I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I enjoyed it. I was a bit emotional at the start line because my stomach was not agreeing with me. I was worried about that, as I do not usually run so early in the morning, but once I got started I was fine. There was a slight drizzle, and a cold 42 degrees, but as the minutes passed, the rain chilled out. I was definitely grateful for my Nike running jacket, to keep the moisture away and keep me warm.

stopped train...

stopped train…

The strange part about the race? Trains. Yes, trains. About 1/4 of the way through the race, all runners were stopped. We had to wait at least 10 minutes to wait for a cargo train that was STOPPED on the tracks. You know what it is like when you are in a car waiting at the train tracks for a train to move, then when it does it starts going slowly. Except it was freezing, drizzling, and we had just started our race. It was a bit unbelievable.

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

They have yet to post the times of the race. They said they would fix our times due to the train that stopped the race, so it is taking them longer. The clock said 2:02 when I crossed the Finish Line, so I believe my time was just over 1 hour and 50 minutes with the adjusted train time.

What would I do differently next time? Set up a play list so I would not have to scroll through Spotify on my iPhone while running.

#whatraceisnext?