Monthly Archives: August 2014

Her Endless Summer

EndlessSummer3-1_1 copy

What can I say? I live at the beach, and refuse to let go of summer. You know usually my birthday (September 21) falls on the last day of summer. This year (2014) the last day of summer falls on September 22. So my birthday always brought in the closing of something great, but to be honest I was always ready for Fall (*Sigh* Pumpkin Spice Lattes anyone?).

This year I am not letting go. Not settling back into cookies and sugar laden lattes (sorry Starbucks). Though we all need to kick back, have a down period, well I am somewhat skipping mine. Heck, I still have Ironman Arizona in November, so I really can’t take the Fall off. <– That all didn’t sound right. Of course my coach will secure my recovery time. But what I mostly mean is that I am taking control.

Yeah, selfishly doing the crazy crap I’ve dreamt of. CRAZY adventure. Not just the typical. No, I kinda want the near death experience, and something that maybe only 2% of people will do. I feel as though I need to be pushed to the point of giving up, I mean TRULY being pushed to all limits, and having only my mind fighting with me to shutdown.

Beautiful things need to be seen. For the past 8 years I’ve told Mark “I want to see beautiful places. Places that not everyone sees. Places I would have to physically exhaust myself to see”. As a proud subscriber to Backpacker magazine and Outside magazine (subscription expired, and I still go to the store each month and purchase the magazine, only because we move so much and I just haven’t resubscribed…. I just need to do it), I live in the world of adventure through others. I dream, and put up barriers, telling myself I just don’t live that life or have the means to do something so amazing.

Thats all BS. You can have and do whatever you want if you set your mind to it. <– Yeah, sometimes I need to smack myself in the face, or just tell Mark “Im going to do it. You coming or what? Peace out!”

My life will be an ENDLESS SUMMER. Also I am coming up on a deployment. This leaves the kids and I free to the world. Yep, I’m taking my crazies with me everywhere I go (there will be some trips without), so its not only myself in need of something to look forward to or to keep my mind occupied. Its also the kids that need to experience the world, the wild, LIFE.

Please follow along on Facebook, my Instagram, and Twitter  . The Knitty Triathlete Endless Summer poster on the right links over to my future EVENTs, so if we are in the same area, lets meet up or say hi!

Happy thoughts my way please 🙂 Also know that YOU dictate your life, not others. So make it happen. Go crazy.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.”- Peter Pan

“Think of happy thoughts, and you’ll fly.” – Peter Pan

Not One But Two

IMG_0285IMG_0283

Every once in awhile I like to remind everyone that I have kids. I don’t think its so much as a reminder to everyone else, but mostly to myself. “Christina, you have kids. Not one but two.” <– Thank you SELF for the reminder.

But also, I reminder to you that I promise I am not a 21 punk kid living some random life, where every once in awhile you see a photo of a child and wonder “Is that her kid?”. Ha, 21 …

IMG_0292IMG_0284

I was 21 when I was pregnant with my little Mark. In Japan, by myself (well not ALL the time, Mark was sometimes sorta in port). Time has flown. Lived coast to coast and halfway around the world. With every moment I’ve experience only being added to the foundation of who I am.

“In life we do things. Some we wish we had never done. Some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are. So just live, make mistakes. Have wonderful memories. But never ever second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly where it is you’re going.” – Thank the Pinterests Gods for that one, because I couldn’t say it any better… well maybe I could…

P.S Total Mom sappy moment… But don’t I have to cutest little water babies?

Just One Thing

IMG_0373IMG_0366

You guys ever seen the movie “City Slickers’? Well its a Billy Crystal movie, that has Daniel Stern, and cowboys <– Enough of a reason to see it and get some laughs.

Reason I bring this up is because 2 of the greatest movie lines come from that movie…

“If hate were people, I’d be CHINA!” <—- I crack up every time.

Curly: “Do you know what the secret of life is? [holds up one finger] This.”
Mitch: “Your finger?”
Curly: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.”
Mitch: “But, what is the “one thing?” ”
Curly: [smiles] “That’s what *you* have to find out.”

IMG_0357IMG_0365

I believe we are ALL always looking for that ONE thing. To some its religion, family, love… to others its something more. I’m gonna be a pessimist on this and say that most of us have absolutely NO CLUE what that ‘one thing’ is.

Now don’t get in a huff, its because we all have this urge to ‘find’ ourselves, or find this ‘one’ thing that drives us; to explore new things, push our limits, try harder, love more, be inventors, or just let the sky be our limit.

I almost think that ‘urge’ (I’ve now changed that ‘one’ thing to URGE) that is in all of us, is a gift. It can be a psychotic gift though. One that leaves you feeling that there is more to life, or URGING to you do more.

But why? Because you are capable.

IMG_0369IMG_0367

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much”– Mother Teresa (my all time favorite quote).

Christina is totally going to be the optimist now and say “Ya know that crazy feeling? The one leaving you feeling as though you will never find yourself. The mindset of not knowing what to do with your life, though you have experienced so much?” That feeling, is a gift from God (Buddha, aliens, your body, your mom, the earth) telling you that you are capable of more, and were made to DO MORE.

IMG_0374IMG_0370

Now don’t go jumping off roofs thinking you can fly. Start with baby steps, but TODAY (right now), let whatever CRAZY shit that just popped into your mind, well make it happen. Though it may not be something achievable today, take the first step in the right direction. Heck, WRITE IT DOWN, PIN IT UP, remind yourself, and throw yourself into the wind.

Dream BIG. Don’t set limitations on yourself, and especially don’t let anyone else set limitations (screw them, you don’t need people in your life like that anyways). You may have already dreamt up something, and wrote it down, go look for it! Pull it back out.

The ‘one’ thing doesn’t have to be an Ironman, marathon, climbing Mt. Everest. It could be learning a new language, reading ALL the books you own, saying “I love you more”. Most importantly be a POSITIVE change in the world. No matter what your dreams are, I challenge you to change the world (or those around you). Hell, YOUR STORY, may just be enough to set a positive influence on someone.

As you can see I have had some deep reflection on myself with some things. I am in a constant state of “do more”, or “perfect this”, but though I may try and steer myself those ways, well I stop and think “Am I in the right direction?”. I’ve stopped and looked around to see what I have surrounded myself with. What have my dreams been? They been bigger. The curve ball is to give myself 100% to my family while we are all together.

So crazy plans are in order. Hard ones. Crazy, REAL crazy ones. I’m excited and feel good about them. Scared but good. I just know that big things are in store, but I have to challenge myself. Ha, I never can seem to settle right? <— And thats not a bad thing.

Don’t save something for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion. – Thomas S Monson

Make things happen people, WANT IT… Then fill me in 🙂

 

Mondays Playlist (2)

**Videos originally posted on The Knitty Triathlete**

Last Monday I shared my recent playlist, and I thought, “why stop?”.

So round 2, this weeks jams that circulated my playlist.

Song I have on replay? Sleeper Agent- Waves

Like the list? Any recommendations? Lame? Lemme know :)

What to wear & expect at your (my) first SUP race

UntitledUntitled

Before I get into my first race experience I want to cover TWO things I had to google the night before my first SUP race. Ya know, sometimes you throw yourself into certain situations, and not till the moment right before (of night prior) do you stop and think “What the hell am I supposed to do tomorrow and what am I supposed to wear?!”. I shall take on duties of clearly this up for you.

IMG_0317IMG_0315

What to expect at your FIRST SUP (stand up paddle board) race:

  1. You aren’t the only newbie– Hell I was cool enough for 2 ladies to come up to me and say “You look like what you are doing, what do we do next?”, I only laughed, thanked them on the compliment and explained I was glad I even made it on time. SUP is a new sport, kicking off really in 2005, though its been around for a LONG while. According to WIKIPEDIA, a recent report stated the SUP as an outdoor activity had the most first time participants in 2013. So smile put on a hat, and roll with it, you aren’t the only one.
  2. Make sure you have a PFD and LEASH– My dumb ass couldn’t find my PFD in the morning, and didn’t realize you HAD to have a leash. We are paddling on a river, is there some wave coming to wipe me out and I have to be attached to my board? Egh, probably not, but rules are rules. Don’t be THAT guy. Though I was totally that person. Great thing though, I WASNT the only one (thank you other newbies), and SUP organizers are surfer laid back/friendly. “No problem, we got you! Just pull that leash off that guys board”.
  3. Surfer Friendly– I actually just looked up the definition of Surfer Friendly (SF), apparently it means things are idiot proof. But in this post it means IDIOT friendly. The most chill, happy people out on the water today. You know the dude with the bleach sunned hair that comes up with a dopey smile and just thinks its totally rad you made it? Yes, these are the people at SUP races. You can see the appreciation of people just happy to be out on the water. Its like an adult skate park. The funny teasing back and forth. The “Hell yeah!”s. Its a happy place.
  4. The Surfer & The Newbie–  There are only 2 kinds of people out there ; The Surfer & The Newbie. One thing I learned the other night at my first SUP meet up was “Either they have been doing it forever or they JUST started“. Completely true. There are NO in-betweens. You can usually tell between the 2, and again the surfer is glad you’re there and the newbie is as nervous as you are.
  5. They are serious about there sunscreen– Everyone reaks of it, and if you don’t, well you might as well have a cigarette hanging from your mouth as you are walking down the aisles of Whole Foods. Just wear it. Please.
  6. You will fall off your board– Yep, it will happen, and if not you, someone else will, and if YOU do, someone is glad that they aren’t the only core challenged person. When you do, pretend it was hot as hell and you needed to cool off. Because it probably is hot as hell.
  7. This is a RACE– Though it is all fun and games, and people can state that they are just out there for the experience, its STILL a race. Even the sweetest of old ladies will cut you off. Also who knows, according to a SUP pro (ok, maybe not pro, but pro of information, Dan the Man of WUT SUP), winning a race can start from the START. You get the right lead, you better keep it, you might be going home with some bling.
  8. Doesn’t matter what kind of board you are on– Yep, you don’t have to have the fastest thing. Trust me, there are things out there that look like they should be illegal, cause how can you compete with that? Most races actually have different classes/heats for different kinds of boards. The majority of people might actually be on rentals. So don’t be scared to rent, borrow a friends (kinda a big deal for someone to loan out their board), and or roll up on your foam board.

IMG_0324IMG_0341

What to WEAR to a SUP race: (yes, this was actually a minor freak out for me)

  1. Your bathing suit– Your on the water. You WILL get wet. What are bathing suits made for? TO GET WET <— again something so simplistic and I still have a panic attack about it.
  2. Sunglasses– I want to say don’t wear the nicest sunglasses you own, but I saw some classy ones today, just have a sunglass leash on them, so it they DO fall off, they only fall off onto your neck.
  3. Sun block– Don’t be stupid. Put it on. You are out on the water, and for who knows how long! Protect yourself from a burn and from skin cancer.
  4. Hat– Im a total classy lady and am ALWAYS rockin’ a hat. Well truthfully I don’t believe in washing my hair everyday and hide behind hats. But the purpose of a hat is to provide shade from the sun. AGAIN, you are out on the water, protect your face and give yourself some shade. Plus you can jazz up a boring outfit with a hat, get crazy, there are so many selections of hats out there.
  5. Rash Guards– I actually saw quite a few people with rash guards on. Not only to protect your chest from a RASH made by the boards, but to provide you with protection from the sun. See the trend with sun protection?
  6. Camel Packs– I did not wear one, but there were some of the guys doing the longer distance that had one. Makes sense, I was sweating like a whore in church, and was desperate for water and only paddled for 20 minutes! Its hot out there, and you don’t want to drink the lake/ocean water. There are NO water stops in a SUP race. So bring your own nutrition, and don’t be a douchebag and litter.
  7. Something Comfortable– There were plenty of people in just shorts and a tank. Wear something you don’t mind getting wet in. Something that breathes (it gets HOT out there). Wear something you would wear to the gym, again this is a SPORT and you do get a workout in.

All those tips my be common sense to some, but others it may help. Again, last night I was googling for help. In the end DONT freak out. People are happy you are there. This sport is ruled by beginners, and in the end race organizers want you there, so TALK to them. UntitledUntitled

My race experience at the St Johns Sup Rush was great. Again with the sport & community just building up here in JAX it was a pretty low key grass roots feel of a race. Everyone said hi, truthfully everyone had more to say than hi. It was nice to have small random conversations, and make new friends.

As with most races you start with walking up and checking in. There I picked up my race t-shirt (which is a sweet ladies fitted North Face tech-tee, VERY NICE), got my number marked on my arm, and was redirected to the map, start times and informed that there would be a captains meeting at 8:15. This is also where I quietly asked if I could rent a PFD because I couldn’t find mine, then asked if I HAD to a have a leash on my board. Though I was embarrassed to ask both, they replied quickly and sweetly and hooked me up with BOTH to borrow.

After mingling for awhile, and listening to when & how we would start, we all slowly started entering the water. I have to say that I had the best little crew with me (Mark, Chloe and Little Mark), they were my handy helpers, cameraman and cheer squad. They wished good luck as I entered the water. Now normally I am nervous, but I told myself “its only for the experience”. I kept calm, talked to the guy paddling out next to me, and then we waited.

Once the race went off, it was the fastest 20 minutes of my life. I knew within the first 30 seconds, that this was a RACE and not an experience, plus the Smith Optics rep told me that they were giving away a pair of sunglasses to the winners of both groups (beginners & intermediate). So my ass took off. I took Dan the Man’s advice and went out strong. Since we all went out together I had NO clue who was in which group. I based it off of athleticism, yep I was totally checking everyone out.

The only people in front were surfer dudes that were hauling ass and an asian guy that had just slipped by me. I only had to get to the first bouy, and pay attention to who was hitting that bouy as well, and the only people that were headed that way was me, asian dude, and a 17 Liard Hamilton. I was positive that the Liard look alike had to be a race organizer, and was only showing the beginners where to go, because that kid was HAULING ass. He as so far in front….yeah, he was so far in front.

3/4 of a mile to the bouy. Pssh, I SWIM farther than that, so I can sure as hell slip a paddle with some strength for that distance. Paddle, paddle, paddle, and WHY THE HELL IS IT SO HOT!??! Thats all I thought for 20 minutes, oh and “That kid better not be a beginner”. I was on a mission, those sunglasses were mine. I was feeling strong, I had passed the asian dude at the turn, and no one was getting by. Hell I felt as though I didn’t even have time to look over my shoulder.

UntitledUntitled

I came across the finish line happy as a clam, and asking the mini-Liard if he was a beginner, and apparently he was. DAMN! Oh well, at least I was first female, and second only to Billy Bad Ass over there. So happy. Felt strong. Just having the feeling of strength made the race amazing. I thank my strength/Tri coach Audra for all the work I’ve had in the gym, because without that I know it would haven’t taken me longer, and that would have NOT been fun.

After I set up my board, we stayed with everyone else on the dock and watched the rest of the paddlers come in. I was in a happy place sitting there watching everyone glide in. It helped that the kids were somewhat enjoying themselves on the dock. Once the last of the paddlers were out of the water, the award ceremony was held in the Rudder club. First drinks were on Blackcreek Outfitters (main sponsor of event), and awards were given out swift & sweet.

Check out that swag for placing!! Crazy amazing! What neat is that all paddlers went home with a goodie bag full of amazing things! Coming from running/triathlon racing, you have almost given up on anything great coming in swag bags anymore, so to get this, WOWZA! Registration was only $25! Big thank you to the race organizers and volunteers. Everyone was super helpful and sweet. Best first time experience, and the other paddlers made it amazing as well. I think I am hooked!UntitledUntitled

So yeah, sitting on the dock watching the paddlers come in, Mark starts shaking his head, I turn and ask whats wrong, he tells me “Your going to have to get a full time job….. because your going to need a faster board”

“I was pretty bad ass huh?”
“Yes, but not as bad ass as that board there” (points to guy in a sleek fast looking board)

I then start shaking my head…
“Your right Mark, I do need a faster board, and a surfboard”
“Oh shit”

Right then and there I thought he was going to pass out and fall off the dock…. This is my life.

SUP & SURF 1sts

UntitledUntitled

Its been done, I came out of my little shell and met up with the local SUP group, AND took my first surf lesson! Phew! Group meet ups are NOT easy for me, some may be surprised but I am actually a very nervous/shy person. I have to get myself pumped up (or raging on caffeine) to drop myself into a social situation. Nothing worse then being the new kid, and not having a clue what you are getting into!

UntitledUntitled

Though for my first SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) meet up, I DIDNT bring my board (yeah, running super late, thought people would have already been gone, didn’t want to be THAT person), we stilled rolled up anyways. I thought I might as well say “HI!” and meet with some people, with all hopes that I would see the same people Saturday morning at the St Johns SUP Rush race.

Ended up being SUPER chill. People just hanging on the beach, playing in the waves, and the guy that puts it on (Mike) was super friendly and introduced some people. Most of the guys there were local reps, and some there just to try out boards. Got filled in on the local scene. Though JAX is a big surf community, the SUP scene has yet to get as big as you would think (for some reason I thought it would be huge here). I’m totally cool with small.

Sometimes its hard to come into an established group of athletes (paddlers? people?), it can be extremely intimidating, you feel yourself getting sized up…. Flashbacks, scary, egh, totally didn’t happen here. I’ll take these laid back surfers any day. This sport has been nothing but beginner friendly (both here and on the MS Gulfcoast). Heck its essentially a new sport, its just gaining ground. So hop on the bandwagon while its still growing. Just like the waves though, it will always be there.

UntitledUntitledUntitled

Tell you about the surf you say, ok…
I’ve only been wanting to surf since watching the surfers down in Encinitas, CA where we spent our summers (Del Mar racetrack, just didn’t “summer” at the beach).  My brother and I only had boogie boards, and though we weren’t as cool as the surfers, we caught the biggest waves we could, and put ourselves smack dab in the madness with them, which they (local surfers) absolutely hated, they would scream at us, and I remember thinking “Screw you! You don’t own the ocean!” Im pretty sure my 9 year old self was flipping the bird to them as well, sorry.

I desperately wanted to surf, my mom would try and promise us surf camps, and I would always bring home the brochures for them, but it never happened. Also couldn’t just ask my mom to buy a surfboard either, those things are expensive, so we stuck to boogie boarding. Boogie boarded our asses off. I think (pshh, I know) I have suppressed many memories as a kid, but the summers at the ocean, in the waves, I’ll never forget.

Now actually living in a place that has waves, and being only a walk away, it was time for a surf lesson to happen. Once I dropped the kids for their first day of school, I went and made an appointment for my first surf lesson. Ill be honest and say I was intimidated. Meeting up with Tony (surf instructor/owner of JAX Beach Surf Shop) was tough. Instead of easily penciling me in, we had to have a crash course on meteorology & oceanography and figure out the best day to have a surf lesson. Holy hell, we can’t just go surf? Proud to state that I may now be a semi-pro user of swellinfo.com , my meteorologist husband just MIGHT be impressed (we did get into a fight about ground swell vs wind swells though…. google it).

Untitled

How did it go? TOTAL BAD ASS. Not gonna lie, I was completely ready to get my ass handed to me. Was lucky though on the fact that Florida waves are no where near intense as the California waves I grew up with. Though I had a few wipeouts, I was able to get up on my first try, and things just got better wave after wave. Tony was direct, and straight AWESOME. He covered water safety, marine life, surfer etiquette, and a little more tips then normally given (I was getting the hang out it!). Apparently all those years boogie boarding played into my being able to read waves, yes-uh!

One of the coolest thrilling mornings of my life. I got to do something I’ve dreamt of for 20 years! So yeah, now I am getting ready for the next best day to hit the waves and looking into purchasing a surf board (lets get to Ironman Arizona first right?).

Oh, and you know your going to have a great lesson when your instructor starts with  “Don’t freak out when you see fins come out of the water. Totally the worst thing you can do is freak out. Understand?” <—- My thoughts? “This is gonna be totally awesome!”, and it totally was.

Lifeguards Kids Go to School Too…

Untitled

School has definitely kicked off with a happy start for my two little minions. They love it. So far no complaints, and I am proud to say that I have their teachers chase me down to tell me how wonderful they are, then we proceed into the car where they release the hellion that has been waiting to show itself all day… I digress.

Its mostly Chloe. “She is such and angel!” her teacher proclaims, then once the door closes to the car, I feel as though her head spins a slow 360 degrees and she demands to know why I am wearing a dress. <— That seriously happened. So now I am explaining myself to a 5 year old, which only leads to a screaming match between the two of us. I feel as though I am 9 years old and my dad is demanding to know why I am wearing nail polish! What the hell just happened? As Aunt Vicki would say “Beat the devil out of her!”, LOL…. There is no air!

lUntitled

So I have to share, one thing that has been ingrained into my parent mind by the teachers of the kids new school is that “This is a beach community…”. Seriously, I heard that from EVERY teacher at orientation. I wasn’t sure how to take it. Like “we are laid back and if there is a good swell, school will start an hour later, dude” and or “Your child will be a pro on the quality, quantity and application of sun screen”? All I’ve done is nod my head and smile, because c’mon, Chloe’s kindergarten teacher looks like a 5’11, beach barbie, that can drop kick a 40 lb child across a football field WHILE standing on top of a surfboard. She’s no joke, I’m totally impressed.

Untitled

I’m totally  mc’lovin this beach school. In the morning I gawk at the lifeguards tans as they drop of their little beachlings (made that word up, going to have to google it).  I count how many Tony Hawks I see cruise up on their “club cars” (supe’d up golf carts, next to beach cruisers, everyone has one). What do you mean by Tony Hawks? I mean the 35-40 year old men that stroll up in flat brimmed hats, amazing sideburns, Spy sunglasses, Rainbow sandals, some surf brand t-shirt, and either board shorts or some sexy fitted Dockers/Dickies shorts.

I smirk at the moms that have their cute little sundresses over their bathing suits as if they are actually going to cruise over to the beach that instant and hit the waves.
Wait…. that chick just grabbed her beach cruiser which has a rack for her surfboard, and yes she IS going to hit the waves <—- Hell, I learn’ today!

Last but not least, Namaste to all the Yogi moms hittin’ up one of the 100 yoga shops within a 2 mile radius, and HELL YEAH (high five!) to the ripped up Crossfit couples jamming out to the local box for their morning WOD.

This is what I see every morning! No exaggerations! This is my current life, I sit in my  car and people watch in complete shock and leave voicemails on Marks cell phone saying “I never want to leave…. Babe! I need a beach cruiser because I’m scared the hippies on the corner will drop some bad juju on me if I drive the one mile to the school again!”

#beachlife #hashtagginginmyownblogpost