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Archive for January, 2009

Half Marathon Walk

That’s the target, but not necessarily the goal. The goal is the Portland Full 26-Mile Marathon in October. I will blog about this after the Eugene Marathon.

Saturday, January 10th, was the first day to join a bunch of like-minded people who are pursuing walking the Eugene Marathon in May. There’s a choice of a 13-mile half or the 26-mile full marathon. I’m opting for the 13-mile walk.

Two years ago, I was thinking of prepping to join a half marathon. Ambition fizzled to every lame excuses that I could think of. I thought it’s better to be comfortable in own my laziness. It took 2 years to realize that I’m kidding myself for not taking this opportunity to be healthy and remain healthy. There’s really no excuse to get one’s toosh to workout for the benefit of self. Besides, I have to shake off 15-20 pounds (with the 20 as being ambitious) that have been hanging around me forever.

So far, I’ve made changes to my daily schedule to include an every-other-day walk, with Saturdays being the social and coach-tip walks. The Saturday walks always begin and/or end at Alton Baker. And here’s a description of the park and a bit of the marathon from Thistle Dew Too. It’s best that the description comes from a non-resident of Eugene. But to add to this, Alton Baker Park hugs the Willamette River. Awesome Willamette River!

The Saturday walk at Alton Baker is always inspirational as the public trail wounds up with having the park on one side and on the other, along the path of the river with its currents fast-moving and very, very cold. There are a few footbridges that one can cross to complete one’s walk/run/cycle. I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that there are more 15 miles of trails that one can easily practice on at this park that extends a bit to local neighborhoods in Springfield and Eugene.

As gorgeous as the park is and pleasant being in it, there are pockets of the park where there are only narrow trails and lots of trees. We were instructed to be safety-conscious; and if possible to walk with a companion or two. I, for one, prefer to walk alone. It clears my mind and I love self-contemplation and day-dreaming. Walking with someone makes me slow down and talk and would feel guilty or snobbish and be considered unfriendly. However, walking with a group puts me in touch with others with the same angst, inspiration, pain and joy of walking. So I like it both ways.

I truly find the walks fun and invigorating. I should have done this a long time ago, when I stopped competitive rowing. Anyway, nothing is lost.

Once the days get longer and longer; the early mornings getting lighter and lighter, I will add an after-work walk from my (where else!) work place to the new regional hospital along the bike paths by the McKenzie River. I will write more about McKenzie River next time I blog about my marathon training.

There’s a little 2-mile walk that I’d like to join in early February called Truffle Shuffle. It would test my endurance to speed walking. I’m excited!

WALK ONWARD TO HEALTH!

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Powerful words coming from someone who is full of life. The video speaks for itself.

When we think life seems to be pointless, we are reminded how lucky we are to be fully functioning beings, who happen to whine alot about nonsense. We can be our own obstacle.

I cried when I saw this. This is one inspiration that shows nothing is impossible. I don’t consider myself religious and God-seeking, but seeing this video was an exception.

Nick Vujicic should be considered a hero.

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I dread it when time change begins in Fall. It’s the official countdown to Seasonal Affected Disorder for me.

SAD is not so bad during the months of October, November and December as there are quite big distractions, e.g., son’s birthday, Halloween, even the annoying Thanksgiving and peaking at hubby’s birthday, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

January…..I dread January as well as the coming February and March…..all before the next Spring Time Change. Nothing, not even major holidays, to divert attention to. Nada!

These are the times, when all over the horizon is GRAY, GRAY and GRAY. Moods are gray too. Bleak outlooks.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest has been such a wise decision, except we, er I, wasn’t prepared for its Winter, Spring and even the first part of Summer seasons, when RAIN, more RAIN, FOG, more FOG, and endless GRAY come into play. Snow, actually, makes things come alive, be it for a brief time. And the plunging temperature that comes with snow makes one wishes for RAIN. With rain means higher temperature.

For the first few years of working nights, winter had not bothered me to the point of tearing my hair out. It was on the 5th year. Totally drove me nuts! From then on, I had to find diversions fast. I found plenty alright. Mostly in the form of taking classes upon classes. All kinds of classes……top most of which would be Spanish immersion, cooking, martial arts and dancing classes (see next paragraph). Once, even joined a tour group for seniors even when I wasn’t of senior age. Had to beg to get in. The highlights were touring local popular stops and even extended tours that span more than 100-mile radius from home. And then there was the rowing club… the rowing practice was year-round… even in dead winter, when we dragged our frozen tooshies to practice.

Well, this year, here is one of choice dancing classes I’m considering:

English & Scottish Country Dancing  I’ve never been interested in line dancing before. Never liked country music, except for a few. But English, even Irish, dancing is totally new to me. They are not as popular as the other ballroom dancing of mambo, samba, salsa, swing, hustle, etc. But with ‘waltz music’, I can imagine being in England in ‘Victorian periods’, dancing and meeting marriage-potential rich lords and even a prince in grand Victorian ballrooms, like we see in the movies.

Little did I know English-Scottish dancing to be challenging, although I know Viennese waltzing steps. To say the least, I HAD FUN. It’s literally a sweat activity, meaning there’s a workout feature to it. 

Anyway, the Eugene group of the Heather and Rose Country Dancers has no website. I was told by one the organizers, Leslie, that the Eugene group is unique in that there’s a sense of community in the group. They prefer to include newbies and have no specific rules of pairing by gender, by skills, etc.

So, being a newbie, I was hesitant to come in last night to check out the group. I wanted to just observe the dance and make a decision from there. I did, however, call Leslie with inquiries. Last night was the first session of a 12-week program. So, when I appeared in the middle of a 2-hour session, all attention was on me. Everyone stopped dancing. I was on the spot as everyone wanted to know who I was. Oh, you don’t know HOW shy I am when it comes to being a center of attention to anything, especially when I do NOT know who these people are. AWKWARD MOMENT!

Then before I could even say I just wanted to observe the dancing, Leslie dragged me into the group and the lesson began, er, continued. The first few minutes were truly awkward for me… a total failure following everyone’s steps. The group didn’t mind. They insisted. They persisted. That was good. I stayed even after the class ended, socializing and meeting members. That meant the lesson and the people were enjoyable enough to endure that initial awkwardness.

Twelve weeks of English-Scottish country dancing here I come!

I decided to join the group. Yipeeeee-hay-hay!

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Okay, I’m Over It!

All the years growing up Catholic, one characteristic that has stayed with me is GUILT. I’m such an expert on GUILT, Of all the things I’m good at, this is it!

The last entry of my post was quite a depressive entry. And I felt bad and guilty for writing it.

But to get out of the dumps, I picked myself up and pulled this from my stash of YouTube clips to get something uplifting. This is the right time to uplift my spirit or anyone’s, don’t you think? Dancing does that for me. And here it is.

Yes, this will one day be hated, like we did with the MACARENA or WHO LET THE DOGS OUT songs. But this video really got me up my dancing juices.

I’d say, of all the fans’ imitation videos of Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ vid, Shane Mercardo’s is the best. He IS one great dancer with so much expression and personality.

Now that Shane is a bit famous, I hope he gets a job dancing his little heart out (or toosh*) professionally. You can tell it’s his passion.

What do you think?

*Cannot use the right spelling in fear of spam.

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Warning: depressing post coming on; read at your own risk!

Let it be hope and a miracle!

The nightmare that is 2008 would hung around for awhile.
The abyss of good life and plenty is actually a false assumption and has hit rock bottom. Almost everyone, globally, is suffering.
The signs of time are upon us. It’s not like it happened overnight. There were predictions and forecasts of hardship, pain, and death. But everyone is aware of that. No one can avoid it.
2009 is a waiting game. Waiting to see what the world leaders would do to get their countries out of a h*llhole. For the U.S., we are looking up to President Obama. But Obama indicated  there is a need for every citizen of his country to pull up their bootstrap and work like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s different with the first Depression. There were no major wars going on. Actually, the U.S. had to go to war to stimulate the economy.
If we get into another Depression now, it would take alot longer to come out of it. The wars we are fighting on currently, has the mighty military struggling and weakened. The purge from fire (literally and figuratively), will be devastating, I’m afraid.
Would this be the beginning of the end as predicted about 2012?

It’s weird that these thoughts came out of me upon waking up today. I must be depressed.

Let’s not pretend that something wonderful, something miraculous would happen overnight. We are in the pits; it would be a great hurdle and struggle to get out of it. We cannot wait for someone else to help us; everyone else is on the same boat. We gotta help pick ourselves up and not be a burden to others, who already have their own burden to carry.

But there’s always that HOPE to shoot for. MIRACLE may be out of reach at this time.

So, even if 2009 seems to become an extension of 2008’s headaches, pain and destruction, at least everyone will attempt in their own ways, to come up with a ‘coping mechanism’, to lessen the damage for the preservation of self.

THAT IS MY HOPE! A HOPE FOR A SUSTAINABLE 2009!

Is there anyone out there who thinks the same way I do? Or, have I lost it? Am I a doomsday-sayer? A pessimist? A realist? Stupid?

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