Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend of Resurrections

I just want to give a quick shout out to Polaris Industries [my soon to be employer] for acquiring Indian Motorcycles. Check-out this article for full details. Long story short, Indian Motorcycles used to be a name to be reckoned with in the motorcycle industries, being the first ones to mass-produce motorcycles in America.

Hitting the road in 1901, Indian was not only the first American motorcycle, it was the world's best-selling bike!

Though they used to be quite iconic, the have since, almost become extinct. Leave it to Polaris to jump at the opportunity to resurrect such a legendary American brand!

Who's excited to start working for Polaris? >>This girl! <<

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We live and die; Christ died and lived!

"Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. " ~Floyd W. Tomkins

This is going to be short, because no one needs me preaching at them. But let this Easter time be a time of family and remembrance, a time of reflection and change. Just because Lent is over, let's not slip back into our old ways, but continue to make changes for the better [as Christ would want it].

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Twenty-two and counting...

Cheers to my first post as a 22-year-young [I'm convinced saying "young" instead of "old" will help me stay young!] First item of business = birthday re-cap!

This birthday turned out to be one of the best yet! My mom came up to visit [and help me test-drive and purchase my first car!] the weekend before. Family is always the best birthday present, I think! Spending time with my mom always makes everything better; she has a way of making me feel like everything will work out, and somehow we always end up laughing the entire time we are together. :) What would normally be mundane tasks turn into a corny-joke session and giggle-fest...

On the eve of my birthday, Jordan took me to get a McDonald's sundae and a movie from red-box (Jack Ass 3), to spend a leisurely evening at home. Meanwhile, my roommates surprised me with fresh, home-made brownies [a generous donation from the "shared" food-shelf]. I have the best roommates!

So on my actual birthday, Monday, my dad, grandma, and godfather took me out for lunch to French Meadow Cafe in Uptown. Great organic, vegetarian and locally grown food! Check it out sometime: French Meadow Cafe

The rest of the day progressed as most normal Mondays do, with slight increase in texts screaming "HAPPY BIRFDAY Sha-mo" and an assortment of other nick-names [Most of which will remain unstated due to lack of appropriateness]. That night, the ladies and I headed to Psycho Suzi's [best pizza in town], where Nicole was conveniently working. After a few of their famous Tiki-drinks, great pizza, and memorable pictures [see facebook], we headed home. 

Monday the 18th of April, 2011, was the perfect way to kick-off my 22nd year of life! Great friends, and tons of laughs; who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Birthdays. A dreaded word for many, an avoided day for some, but overall just another mile marker, a sign that reminds us that life keeps moving. My birthday is fast approaching [it's tomorrow], and it has somehow snuck up on me.

My birthdays tend to fall on odd days for celebrating... like Mondays and Sundays, and this year is no different. So as tomorrow comes and goes, as any other normal Monday would, I am determined to at least make it a productive day of introspection. Milestones in life should be reflected on, and adjustments made. For me, 22 represents the departure of youth and adolescence. By-gone are the carefree days of college. The excuse "I'm just a college kid" goes right out the window. What lies ahead is the question everyone asks: What are you going to do with your life? What's next?

 So, as I enter this intimidating time of transition, it's time to reflect. I will be 22 [tomorrow]. What does that mean... It simply means: Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

To me,  this year and the years that follow, will just be numbers. Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Even though years may wrinkly the skin, giving up your enthusiasms of youth wrinkles the soul. Therefore, this year, the year of the twin-two's, I refuse to give up on my passions, my goals, and re-assert that just because I'm growing older, doesn't mean I have to grow up. The fun is just beginning and I can't wait to see what my life as 22 will bring.

Celebrate life. It's the only one you get, so cherish it!  Live out loud, and don't regret getting older. Its a privilege that not everyone gets. And remember, everyone is the age of their heart. What age do you want to be?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seven Golden Daffodils

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter
the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”
I do not have a mansion, and I haven't any land,
Not one paper dollar to crinkle in my hand.
But I can show you morning on a thousand hills,
And kiss you and give you seven daffodils.
I do not have a fortune to buy you pretty things,
But I can weave you moonbeams for necklaces and rings,
And I can show you morning on a thousand hills,
And kiss you and give you seven daffodils.
Seven golden daffodils, all shining in the sun,
Lights our way to evening, when our day is done.
And I can give you music, and a crust of bread,
And a pillow of piney boughs to rest your head.
And a pillow of piney boughs to rest your head.   

I was overcome by nostalgia on my walk him from class today. You may be wondering, "What triggered this?" Was it the realization that I am a senior and about to graduate college? No. Rather, it was the glimpse of a bed of daffodils that reminded me of summer nights gone-by, gathered around the camp fire or sitting in the sweltering lodge singing songs before lights out and taps. 

Every kid deserves the chance to be just that, a kid. And Phantom Lake was a haven, a magical place where kids were encouraged to grow, try new things, gain confidence, and escape the judgmental and often discriminating labels that develop at school.

I have many fond memories of Phantom Lake YMCA camp, and most of them are because of the amazing people I met. Its often hard to explain to "non-camp people" why a summer camp is so great, but honestly I can say it's because I will never forget the people I spent the summers with. I still remember all of the girls from my cabin when I was 11! That says something about this place, don't you think?

Phantom Lake will always be a second home for me, a place to look back on and smile, a reminder to constantly be working on the sides of the square (wisdom, stature, God, man), and an importance piece of who I am today.

By old Phantom's rippling waters, where the campfire's bright,
Keep the flames of friendship burning, in our hearts tonight.
Here we gather in twilight, loyal friends so true.
Building in our hearts fond memories, Phantom Lake, of you.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.- Luke 2:52

Monday, April 4, 2011

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."

We all make mistakes. Some big, some small; some are deal breakers, but most are forgiven. How do you know how much repenting is required to atone your mistakes?

I have grown up forgiving readily and easily and apologizing quickly... I hate having people mad at me, and I equally dislike being upset with other people. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and will go to all lengths to make amends. For, in my life, having relationships or friendships that are out of balance is one of the worst tortures. I have always been the peace-maker in my family, so maybe that's where my yearning for harmony comes from.

But this is not the case for everyone, and this I have learned first-hand this weekend. I will not get into the details, but while intoxicated, I did some things to upset my boyfriend and my roommates. Though I agree that intoxication is never a valid excuse, I have no recollection of even doing said things. So in an attempt to make amends, I apologized to everyone multiple times, and cleaned the mess that was made. I thought this for sure would ease the tension and restore balance in the house. But I was wrong. I still feel like an outsider in my own house and am ignored by my own roommates. What more can I possibly do? I can't take it back, so all I can do is continue to apologize and promise it won't happen again. Hopefully this will all blow over soon. :(

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it" ~Mark Twain

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chi Running

I love running. Its not only a great workout, but a great way to clear your mind, not worry about your to-do list, and escape the mundane of everyday. But guess what, my knees hate that I love to run. They complain the whole way and throw a tantrum when I am done. Bayer Aspirin and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past few months, and that's a friendship I would like to discontinue!

 Last weekend I went to Midwest Mountaineering for the Minimalist Footwear Class. They talked about barefoot running Five Fingers shoes and chi running. It was encouraging to know that many people with chronic running injuries have over-come them and continued running well into older age by converting to Chi Running form. So I figured, what the heck, let's give it a shot.

I am in the process of ordering the book and instructional DVD... and if those aren't enough, I plan to sign up for a class with a professional instructor. For now, my Internet research will have to suffice. So far, my attempts at mid-foot striking have been successful. My knees no longer scream in protest and my distances have increased drastically without much effort. However, the transformation is a slow one. My calves and Achilles tendon have definitely been worked harder then normal, and I had to take a day-off yesterday. At the class, I was warned about pushing myself to hard, too fast and being prone to injury. Chi Running depends on using and strengthening muscles that are not relied on in typical heel-striking running form, so I'm trying to ease into it.

Overall, I hope to be up and running and full speed and full strength by June so I can participate in my first half-marathon since Spain! (Minneapolis Marathon). Well, I am at work, so I should probably actually do some work! Happy trails, and Happy Friday!

What's your favorite thing about running?

Have you ever been injured from running?

What's your running goal?