Friday, November 18, 2011

525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year in the life?

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of when I started this blog.

To me, it was no big deal. Just a fun way to document some of the things that have been going on in my life. A sort of virtual scrapbook to keep track of the important things, and maybe a chance for friends and family living across the country to be updated.

I never expected it to be anything more than that. Yet some of the feedback I have received has been overwhelming to say the least. I have had friends tell me that it inspires them to do things they wouldn't normally do. I have had friends tell me that it encourages them to take risks they wouldn't normally take. It has sparked some conversations that I will remember forever. This was even included in an email from an amazing friend:

Also, I wanted to mention your blog. I think the world would be a much better place if more people looked at life like an adventure and appreciate all the little things in life the way you do. I still remember one post you made about your doubts with creating a blog because no one would read it or be interested in it. But trust me, your blog is worth reading. I admit, I have gone back and read some of your old posts, and they are just the boost I need to stop being lazy, grab life by the horns and make things happen. Like your running stuff…I started running like 2 years ago to get into shape and I sucked at first, but I’ve been trying to get better because I actually enjoy the “not being able to breathe, my legs are burning, and I have so many cramps I can’t keep going” feeling…haha, it somehow always feels worth it in the end. I got so inspired by reading your blogs about your struggles and up and downs with running that I have been training all summer so far…and my roommate said she would sign me up for my first 5K once school starts!!! I’m nervous because I know my time will not be good because running just isn’t for me…but I’m working to get better, and well, I have to start somewhere…so I’m looking forward to it :) So keep updating your blog because I will keep reading it!! :)

I have been floored by some of the responses I have gotten.

Several times, I have questioned why I should even bother... but those responses are why.

Let's take a look back over what the past year has included:

-I saw a couple of the best concerts in my life
-I was in my first wedding
-I ran my first 5K. And 10K. I ran. A lot.
-I went to Disney. A lot.
-I moved to Colorado.
-I lost 50 pounds
-And so many other unforgettable experiences

And for the few people I inspired, there were countless more that inspired me. Thank you.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Human Experience

Last night, I watched one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen.

The Human Experience is an incredible film following two brothers and some friends in search of finding meaning in their lives through having different experiences and perspectives. One of their main premises is that you are unable to understand someone's situation until you take the time to understand. To live it. To be it.

A film asking the ever challenging question: What does it mean to be human?

Their experiences take them to different parts of the world: NYC, Peru, and Ghana, and they encounter people from so many different walks of life. Many of their experiences involve interactions with survivors - homeless, abandoned children, lepers - many of whom simply try to make it from each day of the next. What do they have to live for? What is their purpose? What makes them wake up in the morning?

One of the biggest things I took away from the stories shared in the film is how special life is. Having suffered from depression, there were several times in my life where I was unable to see this, and I still find myself searching for my own purpose. Through these stories, you are reminded of a more primitive purpose that many of us forget - that every day and every life is special, and as long as there is life, there is a life worth living. So many of the people featured have nothing - no home, no families, many with diseases or deformities, and have been all but thrust out of society - yet they believe that every day they wake up, they have a purpose.

So many times, we get so caught up in ourselves that we lose sight of each other. We get so bogged down in the day-to-day and the here-and-now that we forget the bigger picture. No life is more valuable than anyone else's. There is no better or worse, only different. We are all connected in some way. We all a story to tell. Once we remember that, the question then becomes

do you take the time to listen?

Trailer for The Human Experience
Go watch the movie now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Golden Gallop

10K Number 2 - Golden Gallop.

The day I realized that running in Colorado is completely ridiculous.

This race was tough. Like... super tough! To the point where all the real runners finished and were commenting about how difficult the course was. It wasn't just me.


Here's what made it tough:

Tough to read, but look from miles 2-4.75. Ridiculous uphill. What you probably can't read at the bottom says this:

Start elevation: 5890' Finish elevation: 5909' High point: 6031' Low point 5753'

Gross gain: 566'

To put that in perspective, this little 6 mile race had more elevation gain than the entire STATES of Florida, Delaware, and Louisiana.

So Aside from the torture of running uphill for the majority of the race, it was still a blast! And I LOVE the 10K distance.

And I got to spend some time with my friend Carli, who is leaving for the Peace Corps soon...

Official time: 1:04:31

Hour, I'm coming for you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Falling for Fall

The last month or two has given me a whole new appreciation for this amazing season.

It's been one for the record books.

Sure, part of it is probably because I haven't really had a fall for 2 years while living in Florida. But give me changing leaves and hot cocoa, and this guy is SOLD! Even the snow looks amazing!

When you step outside into the sun, there is a sense of rejuvenation.

As the sun sets and gives way to the night, and you bundle up in a sweatshirt, there is a cozy feeling that no matter where you are, it feels like home.

I've also discovered that being in the mountains in the fall is magical. The aspens paint the earth more colors than you can imagine, and the cool, crisp air cleanses your soul. It is truly breathtaking.

In the air, looking out at the colorful world, through each moment, and with those you spend your time with,

all you can feel in your heart is