Friday, August 24, 2012

Being Present

Oh how I love to watch this story unfold.

Falling in love, finding love.

This story began earlier this year as I was participating in an online writing class.

It began with a simple post from another participant commenting that she was being "Dunzied"(distracted) by a small dog that had been abandoned in Lodi, California.

I watched in amazement as the power of community unfolded to transport Bella from California to Vancouver, Canada to begin her new life.

Art was even imitating life.  Hollywood was making a movie called Finding Bella.

Please take the time to read about how Jenn and BellyBelle, the magical dog found each other and found love by clicking here. 

I particularly love this passage from her post:

"You know that feeling when you’re holding someone you love so deeply and you don’t want the moment to pass, ever, even though your leg may be falling asleep and your lower back is screaming? Yes, that feeling."

This moment occurred for me on July 8, 2001 at the finish line of the Calgary Marathon.  I was able to hug my dear friend Kelly after running 26.2 miles in her honor. It was a stolen moment, a moment we weren't supposed to have.  Her doctors had given up on her in January.  She wasn't expected to live that long. Kelly had a different idea.  She wasn't ready to give up.

I leaned over to hug her and I held her and I held her and I held her.  I have no idea how long I hugged her for.  I did not want the moment to pass.  We never said a word to each other as we embraced.  I knew I would start crying if I did.  It was a perfect moment, a healing moment in my life.  I was completely present with this person that I loved so deeply.  I still get goosebumps when I think about that precious moment we shared.   I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life.

Go give that person, your special someone that you love deeply a hug. let your leg fall asleep and let your lower back scream for you to stop.

Then don't stop.  Keep holding on, deeply, fully with all that you have.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

With great love for Laura and her Kitty


A sad day for the Kinney's.

Laura's kitty died today.  She was 16 years old.

She had been abandoned when she was a kitten.  I am not sure if she ever got over that trauma.

It is never easy to lose a pet, no matter how prepared you think you might be for that day to come.

To my daughter Laura who endured many scratches and bites on her arms when Paws would decide she had been petted long enough.

You gave her a home, a life she wouldn't have had.  You filled her life with love and she loved you.  You were her favorite.  I don't think anyone could have loved her more than you did.

To the day when you meet her again at the Rainbow Bridge.

I love you  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Epic and Stupid Fourteener Adventure

Laura, Michelle and me at the top of Mt. Evans, 14258 feet above sea level
I added climbing a fourteener to my bucket list two years ago. I finally get to mark it as complete.

My daughter Laura and I set off Sunday morning at 5:45 with Michelle(Laura's friend from high school)  and headed to Guanella Pass to begin our ascent and for me to discover the reason why people climb Fourteener's.

Michelle and Laura gave me their top reasons.

1.  Because it is so pretty.
2.  You get to see Mountain Goats!

We thrashed through the bushes and marsh for the first 1.8 miles.  We kept seeking higher ground as we didn't want to get our shoes wet :)

Through the marsh and about to start climbing in earnest.   

Early on in the ascent, Michelle proclaimed this will be an "epic fourteener adventure."

The parking lot from where we started is in the top left hand corner of the picture. 

What do you mean we have to cross a stream?                                                   

We leap frogged back and forth with this group of fellow climbers.  The person in the lower left hand corner took our picture at the top of Mt. Evans with his camera and e-mailed us the photos!

Regrouping after ascending through the Rocks

We made it!

Top of the world!

Laura shows off her scrapes!

Not even Laura's kitty could do this!

Michelle shows off her "white socks"
Apparently this is the real reason to climb a Fourteener, Mountain goat sighting :)

Our fearless energizer bunny leads us on the descent

Laura tackles the descent through the boulders

When you see the stack of rocks, you know you are on the correct path.  See the little Marmot peering out on the right corner of the rocks.

Back where we started from! 

At the end of the day, we had climbed 3,426 feet according to my Garmin watch. 
At some point the "epic adventure" was deemed to be "stupid". 
We had waded knee deep through stretches of muddy marsh.  Our attempts to keep from getting our socks wet were utter folly. 
Michelle has no fear when climbing or descending.  Laura and I, not so much. 
The air above 12,000 feet is indeed rare.    I have never heard my heart beat so loudly in my ears.  Sometimes I would take 15-20 steps and have to stop until I could no longer hear my heart beating wildly in my ear drums. 

There is a definite sense of camaraderie that you share with your fellow climbers. 

I had no idea what it would be like to climb a Fourteener.  Mt. Evans is not a climb for the faint of heart.  There were several times where I felt like I couldn't do it.  We were at 14,000 feet and still had a mile to go to get to the summit.  That was a discouraging feeling.  Kind of like hitting the wall at the 20 mile mark of the marathon and knowing you still have 6.2 miles to go. 

Some of the views were indeed incredible.  The camera never can do justice to what we can see with our eyes.  This was  a rugged climb.  Lots of boulder's, rocky terrain.  

I am not sure that seeing mountain goats will be enough of a reason for me to climb a fourteener again.  
I think everyone needs to discover the truth of why to climb. My top reasons for climbing. 

1, I got to spend an epic day with my daughter Laura and her friend Michelle. 
2. See #1. 

I want to send out some extra light and love to Michelle.

Michelle's Father passed away unexpectedly on the morning of July 20 as we awoke to a world that had changed as we were sleeping.

Here is to father's and their daughters. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thunder Challenge

Thunder Challenge-Larkspur Colorado
I did my first adventure race today, a 10K run/walk/hike with ten or so obstacles challenges to surpass.

Project Sanctuary  Super Hero's: Randi, Michelle, Heather and Ginny 
Here are the female members of the team that I ran with. 

The first challenge consisted of running up and down a  hill carrying an empty beer keg or a 10 pound sand bag. 

After that we jumped into a pit of water, lurched out of the water pit and headed over to the next obstacle. 

We hit the first few obstacles early in the course and then began a long hike before we encountered the next challenge.  And we climbed and climbed and climbed. 

View from the top of the climb

You want me to do what?
We finally got to the last challenge where we had to swing over another pit of water with a rope in one hand and then reach out with the other hand and began scaling a large wall.

A couple of things I learned today about adventure racing.

1.  Having a very strong upper body is an absolute necessity.  There was a lot of pulling oneself up over walls, houses, monkey bars.   The people that had strong upper bodies had a huge advantage.

2.  If you do not have a strong upper body, make sure you have a strong team.

I had signed up to do this race as an individual and was fortunate to bump into a friend of mine, Heather Ehle at the registration table.  She invited me to join her team and I am so happy that I took her up on her offer.

When I got to the last challenge, I didn't think I could do it.

I got coaching from a Navy Seal on how to tackle the challenge.  "Commit to jumping over the water, explode into the wall and grab the wall with your other hand."

My teammate Ginny went first and made it safely over the water and started to climb over the wall.

I don't think I exploded into the wall, I think it was more of a glide, but somehow I made it over the water and started to scale the final obstacle.

I got up to the top and wasn't sure I could get my leg over the top of the wall.  I was stuck.  I couldn't go up, couldn't go down.

Luckily my teammate Ginny was there for me.  She waited for me.  She coached me to swing my leg over the wall, she reassured me that I was safe.

I've got your back!

It was the perfect ending for the day.  The Thunder Challenge was designed by Navy Seals.  The Thunder   Challenge was put on to benefit Project Sanctuary.

One of Heather's military family members from Project Sanctuary, Ginny stood on a wall for me.

This is what our military does for us every day.   They stand on a wall and say nothing's going to hurt you, not on my watch!

Thank you Ginny and a heartfelt thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and their families.