Wednesday, December 4, 2013


"Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all." -Buddha

Monday, October 28, 2013


“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” -Pema Chödrön

The following story is from my dear friend Kara.  She is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met and I am so grateful for her friendship.  She has now completed 2 Ironmans, this story recounts her most recent.  It inspires me to courageously dedicate myself to the events in my life, the way Kara dedicates herself to hers.

Where to begin…I've talked to some of you, but not everyone…

This race was about making it to the start line and crossing the finish line before 17 hours. 
I signed up for this race last June 2012 and was ok'd to take the time off knowing I would have to figure out some work logistics. 

In May I was told had to be around the weekend of Lake Tahoe for work. I flew to Tahoe on Thursday and checked in. I got my Transition 1 and Transition 2 bags ready and left them along with my bike for my friend Rachel to drop off on Saturday. She was so helpful and took my bike up to Tahoe on Tuesday.  I flew back to San Diego Thursday night. I worked 10 hours on Friday and 5 hours on Saturday and caught a 2:30pm flight to Tahoe. My sandwich at the SD airport was lunch. I arrived at 4pm and Kelly decided at the last minute she wasn't going to miss my race. Her flight was scheduled to land at 5 but it was delayed and got in at 6. The salmon at the mountain house restaurant at the airport was my pre race dinner. 

On the drive from the airport to Kings Beach, it was snowing at the summit. (At this point, I am thinking what did I sign up for? My original concern was that I might overheat during this race.)
I made it to the hotel at 7pm. My parents showed up with my bags with everything I needed in the morning from my wetsuit to all my hydration/nutrition that I could put on my bike and in my T1 bag and I got everything ready for the morning. I was getting hungry again and Kelly took me to the store to get bagels and peanut butter. 

It was a brutal day out there…

It started off on the chilly side; 27* outside when we started the swim. I was glad a bought a pair of slippers at rite aid the night before along with chap stick. I chucked the slippers right before I got in the water. The swim was actually nice; majestic even. It was pretty to watch the sunrise from the water.  My goal was a 1:20-1:30 swim since it took 1:22 at IMAZ and we were now at elevation and it was freezing. The water was warmer than the air so it hurt to breathe while swimming but I finished the swim at 1:24. The sand was frozen. I felt like I was running on snow getting out of the water. T1 transition was the most freezing I have ever been and it took forever; 23 minutes. Wet, naked, outside and in the 30s is not a great combination. When I was at Rite aid the night before, I should have bought some extra socks, but didn't think of it. Since I didn't have socks for my bike ride, I never warmed up.  

I usually eat shot blocks but they were cold and my face was freezing so I couldn't chew, it literally fell out of my mouth and shortly after that I dropped my chap stick, again couldn't really feel it. There were people stopping on the side of the road taking their shoes off and holding their feet to get warm.  It was such a pick me up to see Jenny Grupe and her entire family out on the bike course cheering me on. The second time around the course my sister and mom were there too and stopped to say hi. I stopped at special needs and couldn't believe I was only half way done. My ride was 2 hours longer than I anticipated. The bike ride had the longest sustained climb, 7500 ft, of any US Ironman all above 6200 ft of elevation. I ate bananas and took in all my hydration and dropped a water bottle early on since I couldn't feel it. I was finishing the bike ride when I saw my friend Rachel around mile 9 of the run and was thinking, ugh, I am not even off my bike yet.

Getting into T2 was such a reality check. I had just finished 114.4 miles and just had 26.2 to go to make it to 140.6 but it seemed impossible in my current state of mind. I wanted to be done. I did see two friends just leaving transition so I knew I wasn't far behind or alone.

It was really nice to put my socks and running shoes on but I was already exhausted. And it was cold. At this point, I put took off my cycling shorts and put my capri's on. I kept my SOAS tank top on, it has pockets in the back for nutrition, I took the arm warmers off, but kept my cycling jacket on. I saw my support crew as I began the run and I when I hugged Kelly I just starting crying; I was dreading the run.  She gave me a pep talk. She said you are living a dream, your dream, and doing another Ironman. She also said, just follow the feet in front of you, which is usually what I say to myself. It was late in the day and I had a marathon to start and finish. Someone had just finished the race and I could hear the announcer…."you are an Ironman." No not me, not yet anyway.  My first thought was to get to 8 miles. I had to walk up all the hills. At mile 10, which was just after the turn around, I knew I was going to finish but just had to keep moving. Our special needs bag was just around mile 13 and I was freezing. In addition to the tank top, t shirt and cycling jacket, I put on a long sleeve dri fit over the tank, then put the t shirt back on, then the cycling jacket then another nike wool jacket and I was happy I put my Bears fleece hat in there because my ears were also freezing. I don't remember the last time I wore that. My nutrition/hydration at this point in the race is a potato chip followed by coke, it helps with the Ph balance in your body followed by chicken broth. At mile 15 I saw my support crew, Jenny Grupe was the rockstar tracker and knew where I would be and Kelly ran with me until mile 18. At mile 18 I saw the finish line and heard the announcer again…"you are an Ironman." Not me, again, and I had 8 more miles to go and thought how am I going to do this. I saw my dad between mile 20/21 and he walked up a hill with me. I saw the rest of my support crew just after 21 and again Kelly started running with me and was by my side the rest of the way! Down the stupid wood chip trail and with headlights on our hats. With 5 miles left my goal was to finish by 11pm. I got excited with one mile left to go. Seeing the sign that said mile 25 gave me a burst of energy, well it seemed like it anyway. I finished at 10:29:24pm and crossed the finish line at 16:14:14.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


"The cultivation of gratitude is essential to the transformation of our suffering. If a person is blind, what she wants the most is to be able to see. If a person is having an asthma attack, what he wants the most at that moment is to be able to breathe in and breathe out normally. If you are having chest pain or a heart attack, what you want the most is for the pain to go away and for the heart to function normally again. What conditions are we in right now? Can our eyes see? Can our lungs breathe normally? Can our heart function normally? ... We want things other than what we already have, but in the most critical moments, what we truly wish is for things to be normal again. Our practice is to recognize daily the positive conditions in our lives and to be grateful for them, so we don’t wait until they are gone and then yearn for them." -Sister Dang Nghiem

Monday, October 14, 2013


I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I'm on and to relish each day as a gift.  -James McGreevey 

By editing out "things" I am able to focus on what is essential for my life: Time and energy to spend on the relationships that are most important to me; Peace of mind that I may be fully present to enjoy the beauty and abundance around me; Strength and courage that I may handle all that life brings.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” -Barbara Marciniak

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013


"If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!" -Dalai Lama

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Choose Stillness

"To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders." -Lao Tzu

What is it about a thought that can leave me feeling completely debilitated?  Occasionally a thought will just shut me down completely, emotional turmoil far beyond the normal level of worry I continually fight.  And despite successful work on my self esteem in general, over the past 10 years, these debilitating reactions to certain thoughts still continue to haunt me.  I've found a way to be at peace with myself most of the time, and I am grateful to have found this stillness, but I want total stillness.  So I guess it is time to dig deep so my true spirit can shine and not hindered by this particular breed of worry.  For me, what finding stillness continually boils down to is: choosing stillness.  I will ALWAYS have haters (or at least my mind will try to convince me I do.)  There will ALWAYS be bad things that can (and will) happen.  I will make mistakes.  My kids will make mistakes.  My husband will make mistakes.  This is life.  I choose to focus on the positive.  I choose to enjoy the pleasant moments and make the best of the bad (or at the least, try to get through them as calmly as possible), because I KNOW good happens, too.  And if I really think about it, I will remember that way more good things have happened to me throughout my life than bad.  Choose to see the good.  Choose to remember that the bad will pass.  Find stillness, even when it seems impossible.  Choose stillness.           

Thursday, February 7, 2013


"Don't worry, Be Happy." - Bobby McFarrin

Don't sweat the small stuff, worry is waisted emotion, etc., etc., etc.  These statement's couldn't be more true so why is it so hard to stop worrying?  There has never been a time in my life when I chose not to worry about something and regretted it.  Worry causes us to act out of fear, which I have never found to be useful in any situation.  On the flip side, every time I have chosen to overcome worry, through meditation, yoga, exercise, distraction, etc., it has always been in my best interest. Always.  When the going gets tough, remember.... "Don't worry, Be Happy!"   

Thursday, January 31, 2013


 ....WAY more than just exercise!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013


"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."  -Lao Tzu

We began living minimally(ish) about 4 years ago and it has given us so much more than any thing we could have ever gotten rid of.  More than ever I believe that there is no thing that can bring us happiness.  Contentment is a choice.  Contentment is having your most basic of needs met.  

Found this blog this morning, Becoming Minimalist, it talks about living minimally in a very clear and beautiful way.  Check it out and see what you think.     

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A dose of Zen

A dose of Zen to end your weekend (or start your Monday morning with.)  Keeping with the theme of embracing the passing of time (as well as savoring the moment) with this one.  Click on the link from the quote for a fun interpretation of this proverb.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes and hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. - C.S. Lewis

It is the beginning of a new year.  A time when most reflect on the past and make plans for the future.  For me, the beginning of 2013 has been about honoring time and embracing the passing of it. Recognizing the unstoppable nature of it and accepting the good and bad, gain and loss, success and failure that unfailingly come with it.