Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Sun, A Blue Sky, Life is Good




            i I took pictures of my little run to Olive Park today. The sun was out, the snow and all the grey puddles were gone and it was just a gorgeous day.  It is amazing how different the same scenery can look depending on the weather. I made Heidi's Mushroom Casserole over the last week and it is really yummy!!!  I love mushrooms so next time I think I will add more than what the recipe calls for and a mixture of different types although baby portobellos/crimini are my favorite. And I made the ginger crisps as well, being the impatient person that I am, I did not let them cool off long enough so the cookies started breaking up. The crystallized ginger is what makes them taste great plus the brown sugar and my friends thought so too!!! With all the cooking, of course I have to up the running!!! 
The view of the Hancock building is from the end of Olive Park, that is where I do my sun salutations and cartwheels. Being upside down does something energetically that makes me feel so much better about life. I took some skewed pictures by accident today...I titled them, "My World", I thought they were quite appropriate for what my world feels like sometimes, out of focus and skewed, I am excited, I think I am much more in balance for 2009, and so many people I have encountered are moving on to their next stages and I think that is what is in store for me, the next stage which will include me being more humble in general and being grateful for what I have and focusing on the things and people that bring joy in to my life, support me and help me grow as a person and where I can be a positive force in their lives as well. Life is TOO SHORT to do otherwise. Funny what a SUNNY day can do. At least I can go back to these pictures when we get back into the normal, grey Chicago skies and I start getting to the edge of the ledge again....But I am excited, an Ultra(I signed up for the Lakefront Ultra on April 4th,although for me signing up and doing are 2 totally separate things but at least I am definitely in!!!!), more writing, skiing again at Snowbird, climbing again and plenty of Primary Series in yoga, I have the courage to go to a Mysore class soon and one of my major priorities is being more open to people and making new friends(particularly guys),  and appreciation of the friends that I have!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am excited for our new President who is inheriting a mess and it will take some time to sort things out but at least the country is getting back on the right track with someone whose convictions are in the right place in my opinion. I am excited to work on Edible Chicago, the little magazine that could!!!!!  And I have a couple of job opportunities that I am interested in, if they are interested in me.... And I just weighed myself today and I lost another 2lbs despite its being the holidays. I am so excited at getting back to the old/new me physically, as I get more at peace with myself I don't have a need for all the extra physical layers and I know I will never be skinny and I don't have to be, I will be happy to get to a point where I can finally do a kickback in yoga, I am doing handstands and headstands but I would love to be able to hold myself up in a seated position with just my hands and the laws of physics aren't letting me do that quite yet, but I am getting there. A lot of the binds in yoga are another thing, I was born with monkey arms so I can only do what I can do but I do laugh at myself,  A LOT, when I attempt any of them. Some people can look so graceful when they attempt things, I am just not one of those people.  So I am optimistic for 2009, I am going to pray more for one thing, particularly when I start getting to the edge of the ledge again, which is so easy for me to get to and I am going to practice accepting myself(this will take ALOT of practice) and just being me, to have fun at most whatever I do, and to see where this year takes me which hopefully means Colorado!!!!!!!!!

             Happy New Year 2009 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         JB


                         

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cold, Colder Xmas






Well, Chicago has officially turned into the Arctic, although I don't think it is going to last very long, it is suppose to go up to 40 degrees over the next couple of days which means slush and super huge puddles all over the city.  I went on a medium length, icy Xmas run out to the point at North Avenue beach.  As I continue to really, really, miss the mountains, and skiing and traveling, when I run with so much snow and ice on the ground I pretend that I am training to ski to the North Pole and the terrain brings back memories of being on the Baltoro Glacier in Pakistan or other times of being in snow in the mountains. Living next to the Lake is a true luxury because the landscape takes on so many different personalities depending on the time of year it is. I spoke to my mother and my brother, who is a true saint living with my mother, and who has the biggest heart in the world. I spoke to several friends to wish them Merry Xmas as well.  But as I ran I was so appreciative that I have the ability to run and I like the challenge of the ice and snow it makes my quick jog a lot more fun and interesting and really puts me in the moment as I had to focus on where I placed each step. For some reason I finally got the Xmas card sending spirit so that is one of my projects for the weekend.  And I was very appreciative of having sunlight today, and seeing the sunset!!!!!!!!!!!! For the last week it has been very gloomy and cold and I have decided that I definitely get S.A.D. during this time of year. I am appreciative of every ray of sunlight and every single sunset that I see!!!!!!!!!! I am not running the Huff50K, was not in the cards, I could not find any transportation to it but I am committed to the Lake Front Ultra on April 4th. I am entering shortly because I absolutely am going to run it!
  My plan for the rest of the day is to make the ginger cookies that has been on my list to do for awhile, and see a movie I rented that is about to expire, 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama. Somewhat of an appropriate movie to watch on Xmas, and the Xmas lights which I love are still up all over the neighborhood so life is good today!!!! The Xmas holiday makes everyone slow down, snow and ice makes everyone slow down, so for once, the rest of the world is forced to forego, "rushitis, the disease of acting incredibly busy and stressed".  And I am trying to get accepted by the Dog Running guy to start, well for me, jogging several dogs each morning in the neighborhood. I figure I need to pick up my mileage, I really miss having a dog and I can get paid for doing 2 things I love at the same time. So I have to remember to continue to lighten up in many ways, lighten up physically, which one of my weekend projects is to buy some new pants because most of pants are too big now, to lighten up mentally, and to appreciate those little moments of joy in everything that I do and to really appreciate my friends and to focus on increasing joy and love in my life............
                   Merry Xmas
                        Jb

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rudolph Scramble and Chicagarctic
















Well,  the lake has started to look like the arctic. It is not in its full winter look, but the ice has begun to form and from now on we start getting ice bergs in the lake. I took pictures from a run to Olive Park which is developing an ice shelf on one of the walls at the point. The other pictures are on my way back from the Rudolph Ramble and of course I had to get one of Santa Claus!! I got to the race or as my new name for it, The Rudolph Scramble, at the last minute, I was the very last person to enter. I thought about jumping in and not paying but I just did not feel good doing that and since I am trying to be more true to myself, I knew I would feel funny about hopping in and that it was just plain bad karma and since I had already crashed on my bike on the way there, I felt there was way too much potential for another accident to risk bad luck on the way home.  I crashed at the ramp at Oak Street beach. I thought the ice had pretty much melted but I ended up attempting to do a hockey stop on my bike so I executed the slo-mo, "slow slide crash". A homeless guy under the the little walkway came to my rescue and asked if I was okay, which I was, but it was a great wake up call to be careful. However, there is something in me that doesn't mind falling down, most of the time it is pretty comical and particularly when I ski and crash it just makes me feel like a kid and humble and stupid and I laugh. Not to get too philosophical but so many "adults" are so afraid to fall down, literally and figuratively, and falling down is part of life and I think the reason I never hurt myself is that I just roll with it.  I ,also, think I am probably too in touch with my inner kid and the spirit of having fun because in some weird way crashing is fun, I don't know exactly why? The race ended up being shortened to a 5K instead of 8K which I realized when we came to the finish line and saw that the race was over and we had only finished a 5K.  I am happy that I got up and participated. Given my slacker tendencies, when I go out running on my own it becomes more meditative and relaxing and freeing and I don't exactly push myself all the time so races are good to get my competitive juices going which does not take much, underneath it all I am always competitive almost too much. I feel much better about my races these days, I am now hanging out with the "fit" part of the pack, and I am really happy about that!!!!!!!! I still have a ways to go in terms of being up to speed(no pun intended) for me, but I am getting there!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!! And I really think I was a polar bear in another life because I love the cold and the wind and the elements, I tend to have a hot personality anyways and when it is cold, I just love to run hard, it makes me happy, it is not skiing but I have to say it was fun when the wind was at my back and I felt it pushing me along on my bike. And being outside in this weather just makes my spirit feel free and happy and lucky that I am fit to enjoy the outdoors!!
Well, I am entered in the Huff50K, even though I am not in shape I kind of want to do it but I have absolutely no idea how I am going to get there at this point, that is to be determined, I have decided it is either in the cards for me to attempt it or it isn't.  And on my list of things to do this week is to make Heidi's Mushroom Casserole and to make Brown Sugar Ginger Crisps. I enjoy cooking, I just don't make enough time to do it. So my motto for this week, is that changes take time and I have to be patient and that I want to be joyful about whatever I am doing because life is too short not to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this is my half year anniversary of my blog, OH MY, time goes by soooooooooooooo  quickly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had better figure out how to get that Ultra in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                           JB

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Missing the Mountains!!!!


I have realized lately, I guess because we have snow now in Chicago, that I really miss the mountains and skiing and hiking. My screen saver on my computer turns into a slide show from my photo library, when the mountain pictures are on the screen my heart tugs and I get pangs in my stomach. We are all on our own journeys but I have realized lately that I really do love the mountains but for some reason have had a hard time figuring out where, how to move to them. The pictures above are from my Pakistan trip and the tent is from the Ladakh trip. One of the things I like about Chicago is that we get ever changing weather which is very similar to being in the mountains and I love running when it is snowing for some reason snow makes me really happy. But I really, really, really miss skiing and I have to figure out how to get myself in a position to ski again. I chose my college, yes, because it was an Ivy League college but also because it was in the mountains and it had a good field hockey team, I moved to Chicago because I figured it was easier to get out west to Snowbird to ski. So, I am now focusing on how to make the mountain thing happen, the economy stinks, the job market stinks, there are a lot of reasons to buckle down and be practical, but my heart says the mountains and I just have to figure out how????? I signed up for the Huff50K but still have no idea how I will get there. I am about to go out for a medium length run and it is grey, gloomy, cold, drizzly/sleety here...sounds really fun doesn't it????? Somehow I am going to try to find some joy today, maybe I will get inspiration on my run....
FInally, Meghan on her blog referenced this book on the Cardinal Rules of Blogging, I am sure I have broken all of them but you know what, this is my blog......,heheheh, so I can blog when I want to and about what I want to..... as bug's bunny used to say...that's, that's, that's all folks......................
                     JB