Alive and Well.

 

The sun comes up over the Mokes

The sun comes up over the Mokes

August 26.  That was the last day I posted on this here blog.  Life has been a big piled up hurricane of fun and exhaustion and stress and blessing. One of the things I’ve loved about LANC (that acronym stands for “life after North Carolina” and doesn’t confer negative feelings to North Carolina) is that life feels like it’s in high definition.  Nothing seems like it’s part of the drudgery.  It’s like we’ve broken out of shells we didn’t know we were in.  I love being out from under “American Dream” societal expectations.  Having always disagreed with them, it’s nice to be in a place and time where my little rebellion is the norm.  Down with picket fences!  And I digress…

A little quality time in the kayak.

A little quality time in the kayak.

I was hired by my current company about 8 months ago and that time has flown by. I wear myself out every week reacting to the curve balls health care reform throws and I love it.  It’s incredible to be part of this initiative, to work with such talented people and to be able to see the fruits of the labor on human faces.  I don’t care where your politics are on this (please don’t share them either).  All I need to keep me going is the image of a dear friend’s smiling face, holding the health insurance card she was denied for years (note: she lives in a state my company doesn’t work in…but I still love the story).  After I tackle health care reform, I have big plans to turn the office thermostat up about 2 degrees.  Brrrrrrrr…..

Me and the Gentleman

Me and the Gentleman

The Gentleman has been really thriving in his work as well.  He’s been moved around quite a bit, but each time he moves it’s because he’s been hand-picked for the new role.  Together, we’re facing down a big transition on the horizon and our second wedding anniversary.  Does it sound bad that I feel like we’ve been married ten years already?  It shouldn’t.

In addition to weekday activities for which we get paid, The Gentleman and I have kept our schedules full.  I’ve had the great pleasure of leading a women’s bible study one night a week and we still love seeing our small group on Thursdays.  In between, I’m back to marathon training (it’s in two weeks!  Yikes!) and The Gentleman has graduated from Insanity  workouts to Heavy Medication and a Straight Jacket (or maybe it’s called Asylum 2?).  He’s also able to schedule in a dawn patrol or two every week (surfing).  In between workouts and bible study, we manage to grab dinner with friends once and a while.

Atop nature's stairmaster: Koko Head with my gals!

Atop nature’s stairmaster: Koko Head with my gals!

Naturally, weekends are a huge commodity for us.  We’ve managed a few staycations, logged the miles on hikes, soaked up the Hawaiian sun rays and sample amazing dishes at some of our island’s best restaurants.  Every couple of weekends, we’re so wiped out we just watch a lot of football.  I love football weekends.

My surfer dude.

My surfer dude.

I’m hopeful that the speed of my work will reduce in the next month or so.  There are so many things I’d like to get back to: cooking big meals, running club, this blog.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying high definition life.

 

 

 

I’ve been working my face off along with a really talented team of people to respond to all the health care reform curve balls.  I still love the challenge, but would like a slightly less cold offie

signature

Spartans and New Legs

When last I wrote, it was two days before the Xth anniversary of the 29th birthday.  I remain delighted with my 30s – this decade keeps getting better.  The Gentleman surprised me with an awesome painting of our epic local beach and dinner with friends.

I know, I know.  I don’t like birthday celebrations or surprises so why would he do this?  Because he does it right.  For the most part, when you okay a birthday celebration the people organizing it get out of control quickly and “no gifts” turns in to “I just got you some small [enormous] token” and then people are singing and there are 85 pictures and YIKES.  Hubs kept it all EXTREMELY low key and I’m grateful.  It was fun to see friends for dinner on a night that happened to be my birthday and to get a lovely gift he and I can share.

The next weekend, The Gentleman and I along with my much-loved running buddy Thea and her fiance Josh knocked out Spartan Race Hawaii.  We were told by some experienced distance runners that this would be the hardest race we ever did.  Not true, but mighty close.  And, we LOVED IT.

sparta

During. I’m the 2nd chick back in blue. We’re all smiling because this was the second obstacle and arguably the easiest.

There are a few professional pictures from the course, but I think it’s worth describing a few things:

1) Wall climbs.  The first wall we encountered was 5 feet tall.  Up and over no problem.  The second was 6.  Up and over, a little extra shoulder work.  The third? 7 feet.  And you can guess the pattern all the way to 9 feet which then happened twice.  The last three required boosts from husbands or fellow racers and an awkward slide down the other side to avoid a hard landing.  The bruises on my inner thighs from swinging a leg over these walls are unbelievable.  A fellow racer stepped squarely on my hand atop one wall crushing my fingers.  As a group we ran back and forth at each wall obstacle to alternately boost and catch each other.  But we all made it over every single one.  Seriously cool teamwork.

sparta1

After. Literally still scrubbing mud off a week later.

2) Barbed wire crawl.  This seems simple: plop down in the mud drag yourself about 20 yards under some barbed wire until you’re free.  Not so.  First the “under” part was not flat.  The Spartan Race folks created little hills and pools all around underneath the wire which meant that racers had to collaborate to hold up barbed wire in spots so other racers wouldn’t get tagged.  It also mean that a usual crawl didn’t work.  There were lots of odd positions and limbs dragging, which means that the second unexpected part of this obstacle hurt.  Bad.  Here in lovely Hawaii our mud was full of tiny pieces of jagged pumice gravel, so we all came out of these TWO obstacles cut, scraped and bleeding.  The second obstacle was about 50 yards long with a muddy, slippery uphill crawl at the end.  Tough stuff.

3) I just want to call out the rope climb.  On this obstacle, you started in waist high muddy water and then had to climb up a 20-25 ft rope to ring a bell.  Several of the ropes had knots to facilitate using legs for the climb (the only way to do it).  One mud-slicked rope had no knots and that’s obviously the one my monkey of a husband climbed in seconds.  I’m just going to say: “Airborne! All the way!”

Great fun all around and we’re definitely in for next year.  And y’all know I like lots of dirt!

Next up for me is a half-marathon which will be a first for my running buddy Thea.  Don’t be fooled:  she’s run a full marathon before, but it’s been a while since she did this distance and I’m excited to pace with her for this milestone.  Hopefully it’ll cool down a bit over the next week (since it never drops below about 79 at night, it’s super hot during the day right now).

Lastly, stay tuned for details on our upcoming vacay in Thailand and Cambodia.  Super pumped for this!

 

 

signature

One cracked foot and a whole lot of life later…

Atop Mariner's Ridge.  Amazing view of Windward Oahu!

Yep, it’s been THAT long.  The last couple of months have been the kind of silly, crazy busy that means you’re really living. I’ve been working wear-me-slap-out hard and since every 8-5 job I’ve ever had has really been 7-7, I have to clarify that this doesn’t mean I’m working long hours…necessarily.  I am, however, [...]

[Continue reading...]

Ainokea: On Stress in the Aloha State

himsnbc

{source} I’m going to assume that you can guess.  That’s right.  According to a Gallup Poll, Hawaii is the least stressed state in the nation.  And while I know you’re thinking that it’s because folks who live here spend all day surfing in crystal clear waters at the base of Diamond Head, you’re wrong and [...]

[Continue reading...]

Why I Don’t Like Quentin Tarentino – or – Now I Understand Peter Griffin

tweet

Last night I posed a simple question to the Twitterverse: A few folks answered my actual question (The move is queued up), but someone pinged me to ask why I don’t like Quentin Tarentino.  My answer to that question is sort of complicated, so I set it up in classic “Sarah Argument” style.  If you [...]

[Continue reading...]

Trip to the Mainland

charleston2

Y’all the past few weeks have been a wonderful blur.  When last I wrote, The Gentleman and I had survived a series of disaster flights home from the mainland and I had just (re) started my new job.  That was three weeks ago and we have been busy bees. For today, I want to acknowledge [...]

[Continue reading...]