Kool-Aid.

Hi friends!

My brother and sister-in-law visited this weekend (more on that later), and after saying a reluctant farewell, I thought I’d cheer myself up by sharing some exciting news: I’m running the Ragnar Relay this August (uh, pending getting the day off work…)!

What’s the Ragnar, you ask?  The Colorado iteration is a 12-person, 200-mile relay race that begins at Copper Mountain and ends at Aspen/Snowmass.  We’ll be running continuously over…two-ish days?  Or however long it takes to run 200 miles.  I’m still fuzzy on the details, but luckily, our fearless leader (and awesome friend) Felicia has a handle on it.  She’s also organized our first group run in Wash Park next month!

Brooks Ghost

New kicks!

So I guess this is what happens.  You move to Colorado, and then one day, you look around and realize there are ski goggles in your sunglasses basket, you own more pairs of yoga pants than jeans, and you’ve signed up for a ridiculous race at 10,000 feet elevation.

A friend of a friend recently drove through Denver en route to L.A., where he got a super cool new job, and he said he couldn’t wait to “drink the Kool-Aid.”  He’s was so excited to get to California and be part of the culture, and – since we’d both lived in New York – we talked about how refreshing that was.  Part of the NYC Kool-Aid is being too cool for Kool-Aid, except for the underground flavor designed by this artist nobody’s heard of yet, which really isn’t for everybody because it’s so complex, and only then ironically.

New York is filled with people drawn there by a love so fierce it outweighs daily frustrations and humiliations.  You buy only as many groceries as you can carry, and you live out the drama of your existence on the city streets.  I wept in the Meatpacking District while on the phone with my mom, confessing I didn’t have enough money for those groceries.  I sobbed on a crowded 1 train to Columbus Circle as I finished reading The Book Thief.  I cried and cussed my way down 5th Avenue from Midtown to the West Village after being dumped – a 50-block walk that jump-started my move to Colorado.

After sling-shotting myself out of the mean streets, I was so excited to be in Colorado.  I went on hikes, learned to ski, and made a bunch of new friends.  And tonight, one of those friends sent me this video.  I was in my own home (on my couch, in the living room – which is a totally separate room from the bedroom…baller!), so this time there weren’t any strangers to see the tears.

I miss New York.  New York wasn’t always easy, but she was never silent – the city was either loving or fighting, and sometimes both, and I never felt alone.  In contrast, Denver sometimes seems to play hard to get.  Watching that video, I was reminded that Denver loves its natives (and its newbies) just as much, but it has a quieter love.  It has the confidence of a frontier town that knows adventurers will always find it’s mile-high perch.

It rewards us with 300 days of sunshine, delicious craft beer, and a whole team of people who are excited to run through the Rockies together.  And that, friends, is enough.  It’s plenty.

Monarch Mountain

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Powerful Core.

Hi friends!  Happy Saturday!  It’s sunny with a breeze here, and even though I can see snow on the mountains, I’m wearing short sleeves.

I’ve been whining about being out of shape for the past several months, so when my friend invited me along to yoga, I decided to ease back into health with the free first week of yoga at CorePower. We did two hot yoga classes, which were challenging yet gentle enough to let me believe I hadn’t lost much endurance.

And then, dear friends, I took what I mistakenly assumed was another hot yoga class this morning.  As I was laying out my mat and towel, I noticed that other students were grabbing dumbbells.  “Excuse me,” I said to the adorable (and extremely toned) teacher, “do we need weights?”

“Yeah,” she replied, looking perplexed, “have you ever taken sculpt before?”

I told her I hadn’t and was so excited to try!  She mostly concealed her trepidation and assured me I could drop the weights whenever I needed.  As someone who regularly challenges people to push-up contests after one too many margaritas, I thought surely I could handle a set of 4-lb. dumbbells.

BOY, OH BOY, was I wrong.  This was the hardest workout I’ve had since I took spinning class and promptly developed a rattling cough because I’d disturbed a bunch of crap in my lungs that had presumably been there for years because I hadn’t breathed that hard since college tennis conditioning.

Just imagine doing a bunch of push-ups, followed by a bunch of lunges, followed by ALL OF THE SQUATS, all while holding weights…for an hour.  I started blacking out so many times I hung out in child’s pose on my mat for a few minutes every so often, and even though I couldn’t do all the reps, I tried to participate in each exercise.  By the end of class, I was drenched, exhausted, and exhilarated.

For so long, I’ve been afraid to face how out of shape I am, but during that last hip opener (our teacher referred to it as cleaning out our emotional junk drawers), I got all teary-eyed and had that very “yoga” moment of realizing that wherever you are in your practice is where you are, and that’s great.  I went to class, I participated, and I didn’t quit.  Instead of feeling defeated, I was motivated to get better.

My free week of yoga is up now, but I’m sure I’ll be back, and every class will be better than the last.

Hope you find space in your day to feel strong, hopeful, and at peace.  NAMASTE, BITCHES.