Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Catch Up If You Can

On Tuesday morning I met a good friend from college to jog along Shoreline Drive in Alameda.  It's a beautiful and bustling trail along the southwestern coast of the island that has breathtaking views of the San Francisco bay. We jog/walked and went about 3 miles in thirty minutes.  It was a great catch-up session where I heard all about her new pet sea turtle, her path to buying a home in the Bay Area, and tales of grandbabies and middle management and losing 50 lbs in a year.  Incredible!  When we said goodbye we agreed to a weekly meeting when the weather is nice.  This turned out to be a mini-brick (which means a bike and run workout back-to-back) which is fantastic - and it was oh so fun to see an old friend's face!

This week I'm looking forward to tagging along with Dan for a Thursday morning workout with the Vitruvian club at Lake Merritt *and* Billy and I are also talking about going on a long ride this weekend (somewhere between 40 and 60 miles) so I can barely contain my excitement for that.

It feels so good to be training again.  I can feel my body coming back one day at a time.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I'm baaaaaa-aaaack

After five excruciatingly long weeks of rest, ice and heat, yesterday I met an old friend who I haven't seen since our high school graduation for a jog along the beach in Alameda.  I am pleased to report that my strained achilles tendon (which landed me in bed rest since mid-January) has finally healed.  We did a 3 mile out-and-back and *man* it felt grrrrreat to be back!  I'm already looking forward to my next buddy run tomorrow morning with a friend from college who I haven't seen (again) since graduation.  It's so incredible to be able to get back in touch with these fit friends to gather a little momentum for hoisting this bag of potato chips back on the tri-training horse.  As long as I stay healthy for the next month I'll be training for the Oakland Running Festival - a half marathon - which takes place on March 22nd.  Woohoo.  That's all for now.  More later!

Friday, May 2, 2014

California, I'm Coming Home!

The Waiting Game

I realize that this blog has been, at times, depressingly self-important.  Haha!  Since August, blogging about my experiences here has been a linear connection to home (and a very therapeutic one I might add!).  Though the content has been pretty positive, the whole story is that it hasn't always been puppies and rainbows.  I've experienced homesickness (missing Billy and my family and friends), along with loneliness and  *lots* of waiting.  In fact, looking back, so much of my time here has been - in one way or another - a lesson in waiting.

In terms of volleyball, waiting is such an important part of training; not just in terms of resting and recovering properly after workouts, but also technically on defense, hitting, and blocking.  Not unlike many sports, volleyball is a game where a lot has to happen between touches in order for a team to be successful.  The incredible saves you see...  the impossible kills...  they all occur because of 1. the incredible ability of a team to perform explosive synchronized actions in a split second and 2. the ability of individuals to wait for the exact correct moment to come into contact with the ball.

In terms of life, I've been counting down the days until my return home since Billy left in February.  Looking around this place I've inhabited since August, my bags are finally packed.  I'm now counting down the hours before I leave France (maybe forever).  It's a strangely familiar feeling...  My two beautiful sisters, Sarah and Meghan, were here in Paris with me this week...  in a way, ushering me back into my life in California.  The waiting will soon be over.  That will be a feeling I haven't felt in a while!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random Ramblings - Part 4

I was sitting here thinking about all the random things about France that I haven't yet mentioned here.  Things that I'm a little worried about in terms of re-adjusting to American life.  Things that I've gotten used to that I might need to warn Sarah and Meghan about before they get here (TWO DAYS!!!!).  So, here is my final list of random ramblings about my frenchified life:

Detachable Shower Heads

Yes!!!!  If you've ever found yourself praying for a day when detachable shower heads are the norm, maybe start praying in French, because the 'dieux des douches' are wide awake here.  Detachable shower heads are seriously in every shower.  It might be difficult to go back to the stationary stream...  Oy.

Hustle and Bustle

The French have a very different understanding of personal space in public places.  Whether the sidewalk is crowded or not, old ladies will check you like an Alabama State line-backer if you're in their way.  At first I wondered if there were reinforced shoulder pads on their old-fashioned dresses, but that was before I realized that these public displays of disorderliness were a cultural norm enjoyed by all ages.  Pushing a stranger aside, bustling their bags, or even just full-on running into a total stranger for no apparent reason are not really considered rude here.  It's normal.   Happens all the time.  I'm still writing this a little in disbelief of some of the things I've seen.  Just like, someone totally pushing people to cut in line or just simple to get where they want to go (regardless of age, gender, size, all that just goes out the window)...  This is especially crazy here in France because otherwise people are SOOOOO polite.  Good morning, good afternoon, yes ma'am, yes sir, yes please, no thank you...  I mean, if you need some bread you better say 'yes please ma'am thank you have a nice day', but if there is a human being in your way go ahead and hustle and bustle the hell out of them.  You'll fit right in!

Commercials' commercials

In addition to still having panty hoes commercials here they also show commercials for commercials.  Every station (at least on public access anyway) has commercials warning you that five to ten minutes of commercials are about to begin or end.  Commercial breaks only happen once (maybe twice) during an hour-long show.  The commercials themselves also happen to be a lot less annoying.  I can't really explain why.  They're funny - or at least clever in some way - and normally play off of the different quirky things about France or other European countries.  In the most extreme cases, this manifests as me watching commercials and then changing the channel or just turning the TV off completely when the show comes back on.  Ha!

Aerosol Deodorant

This is more just an oddity that I find interesting.  The deodorant aisle at the supermarket here looks like the air freshener aisle in the States.  Indeed.  That means that for the last nine months I've been assaulting my underarms every morning with blinding whirlwinds of spray antiperspirant...  It definitely still feels like I'm febreezing my armpits...  and I still stink.  Haha...  So, yeah.