Dancing On My Own

This morning, I did something really strange. I went to a club and danced before work. By myself.

It’s called Daybreaker and it’s an interesting concept: yoga followed by a DJ-led rave/dance party before work. You can buy admission to just yoga, just the dance party, or both. I’d heard about it from a friend and wanted to try it out, so we bought tickets for the February dance party (yoga sold out fast!) and planned to meet there.

Then the Seattle crud claimed my friend and she bailed at 6:45 this morning. I had a choice: forfeit my $15 admission or suck it up and roll solo. Trying to ignore that junior high-level insecurity in my belly, I got on the bus and headed to the club. To dance by myself. At 7am. There would be coffee, at least, so even if I just stood in the corner like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles, at least I’d have something to clutch. Or maybe I’d find a friend! Even Joan found a friend.

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I got off the bus and walked to Sole Repair, a former cobbler shop-turned-event space. I could hear the DJ from a few blocks away; this part of Capitol Hill was surprisingly quiet in the morning and the bump-bump of techo music announced itself loud and proud.

I opened the door and WHOOSH the humidity of sweat and movement took me in, along with a very tall, beautiful woman who yelled “Welcome!” over the DJ and gave me a big hug. “We’re so glad you’re here!” She stamped the inside of my wrist and pointed me toward the back wall, where everyone had dropped their coats, purses, and extra clothing.


The room was packed with mostly women wearing their best and brightest Lulus and Athletas. There was one gentleman in a Ghostbusters jumpsuit. A few ladies had stripped down to their sports bras and were glistening with sweat; I dropped my bags and headed straight for the coffee, then to the back of the crowd to people watch and send sneaky SnapChats. (Except there was no need to be sneaky because almost everyone was snapping and selfie-ing with abandon.)


And before long, I was dancing. By myself, but also with everyone. It was too crowded for cliques and too loud for conversation, so a lone wolf didn’t look too out of place. My spot on the periphery eventually closed around me and soon, I was in the crowd. I started with some head nodding and hip swaying, but then a remix of Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came on. I slammed the rest of my coffee, put down my cup, and danced.

And then: Hall and Oates “Can’t Go for That” accompanied by brass and drums. What!!

The rest of my hour consisted of more dancing, more coffee, bubble machines, giveaways, happy birthday to the gorgeous woman who hugged me at the door, and free samples of all kinds of bars, juices, and even canned iced coffee. And a random woman just painting away in the corner.


As I was checking the time and feeling kind of sad that I had to leave for work soon, I heard a group of women next to me say, “This is [blergh blergh]. She came her by herself!! Isn’t she so brave and amazing?!” And the group embraced her into their dancing circle.

HEY! I wanted to say at first. I came alone, too! I also deserve your hugs and validation. Pick me, choose me, accept me, I am worthy of your attention even though I don’t know you and will never see you again!

I let that feeling pass and instead, smiled and did a sweet spin move* (being very careful not to spill my coffee or bump into the woman dancing next to me who wore elf ears) and realized: I am just fine dancing on my own.

*the spin move was probably not all that sweet

Franklin Falls / 8 Years

It was our eighth wedding anniversary yesterday and we had a choice: eat all day (our usual plan) or rent a car and go have an adventure. We chose adventure! 

In a trusty Subaru ZipCar, we drove about an hour east on 90 to visit Franklin Falls. The area got a lot of attention after a Seattle Times article and the parking situation was dire, so we took the advice of a kind British lady on snowshoes and parked about a mile and a half from the trailhead. Excellent decision. Also an excellent decision: wearing Yaktrax, a gift from my mom a few years ago. They were so handy on the packed icy trail!

The whole hike was magical. 


It ended up being about seven total miles of hiking, so we were good and hungry by the end. Twede’s Cafe, aka The Double R Diner from Twin Peaks, just happened to be on the way home. A few hot sammies and fries later, we were golden. 

After cleaning up (I wore my finest black turtleneck) and caffeinating, we continued the celebration with fireside drinks at Hotel Sorrento -we tried our first Boulevardiers, Negronis made with bourbon – and an insanely decadent dinner at L’Oursin. Oh my lord, the bacon terrine!! 

It was a pretty perfect day. It’s been a pretty perfect eight years. Cheers to that. 

It Wasn’t All Garbage, Was It?

 

What a dumpster fire of a year 2016 has been. So many amazing people gone except for the one person who should explode in a mass of Cheetos and straw hair (and pls take your shitty racist women-hating followers with you THANKS!). But in the spirit of positive vibes and glass-half-fullism, I will now try to remember the good things that happened this year. Because it wasn’t all garbage, right?

January

My dad turned 60 and we surprised him with a phenomenal party! We played outside and Larry ended his hipster bartending career.

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February

Some cold-weather running featuring beautiful sunrises and a trip to Florida to visit Lar’s dad.

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March

Jay Blistan visited! We ran up hills and went to the Sounders home opener. Cherry blossoms came out, daylight lasted longer, and we celebrated Easter with friends. march1

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April

My grandparents visited!!! So did friends from back east, and it was the best birthday ever with my whole fam in Denver.

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May

More visitors: college bestie, our most famous friend David Crabb, and I met the U.S. Poet Laureate at our big work fundraiser. We camped with friends for Memorial Day.

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June

We ran the Bend Beer Chase for the second year in a row. I made boozy cherries with good friends, we celebrated Lar’s birthday at the Seattle Rock Orchestra’s Beach Boys show, and we took Tippy on her first camping trip – also our first unsupervised camping trip. We made fire!!

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July

I made beautiful American jello shots. Shenanigans at the Dixie Chicks concert and camp out involving biblical rain, Gentleman Jack, and pitchers of wine. We gained a new family member, Fippy. East Coast Wendy visited!!! I learned that I am really good at shucking oysters and we climbed a mountain with Tippy.july1 july2 july3 july4 july5 july6

August

Month of excessive vacations! We traveled to Mexico with old friends AND Croatia with new friends. Also: helmet nachos!

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September

Still Croatiaing. I did not run a sub-2 half but did PR at 2:05 and haven’t run more than a mile since. My parents visited!!! And I got to be a witch for Harry Potter trivia at work.

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October

I rowed in the rain and visited my sis in Charlotte with our mama. Football games, soccer games, and Tippy’s 12th birthday party. We sold our Prius and became car-less city folk.

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November

I was depressed. We escaped reality by binging The Crown and with a long weekend in Astoria. And we spent a week back in Philly with family and friends. That was like balm for the soul. ❤

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December 

I went home to Ohio for the annual girls weekend and met Josie! We celebrated the holidays by seeing The Nutcracker, a White Christmas sing-along (this was THE BEST!!!), and lots of movies. We’ll celebrate eight years of wedded bliss on Friday and are hosting another NYE party on Saturday.

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And then it will be 2017. We’re heading to Grand Cayman with my family in January (and will be very drunk there on inauguration day) and will come home to a new president. Not my president. And then impeachments shall begin, Russia will get involved, China will be pissed, the nukes will come out, and the world will end.

So here’s to 2016. And a very merry 2017 to us all!

Retired Rower

I’m just a big ol’ retiree these days.

I graduated from Learn to Row class at Lake Union Crew on Saturday after 12 sessions in the month of October. It was an awesome, really hard, and really humbling experience. It made me remember how much I hate to suck at things, and some nights, I sucked hard at rowing. I could probably stay in the Learn to Row level for the rest of my life and still not be great at it.

Most of my classmates are moving on to the next level – Sweep & Scull, doesn’t that sound bad ass? – but I can’t make the class times work with my schedule. Classes almost always run long and being late for anything ever makes me hyperventilate. I’m bummed, but it’s fine. I’m glad I did it, and if they change up the times by even 15 minutes in the mornings, I could maybe make it work. Maybe maybe maybe.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is some ESPN-caliber action of us rowing through the Montlake Cut – hallowed ground if you’ve read The Boys in the Boat or are any kind of a rowing nerd. I’m in the 7 seat, light blue jacket/white hat.

So much history there! My favorite painted sign was on the opposite wall: Bust a Nut in the Cut. #klassy

Here we are doing the traditional last-day-of-class Trust Exercise, for which we were reassured that NO ONE has EVER fallen in, in all of our coach’s years of experience. WELL GUESS WHAT. Our 1 seat? He fell in.

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Teamwork makes the dream work. Our bad, bro.

So what’s next in the land of fitness? I’m still on running hiatus until 2017, per my own stubborn Rx, and I have come to the conclusion that I need something in addition to yoga to regain strength, and the apartment gym isn’t doing it for me. So I’m trying out a CrossFit spot tomorrow. (eeeeek scared face emoji big time)

Someone hold me. It’s really going to hurt.

Retired Runner

Hi.

hay

It’s been a long time and I have no good excuses. Let’s blame it on Russia. Or my nearly dead laptop. Nah, Russia.

The last time I checked in, I was cranky and not running due to heel pain. Well, I stopped resting, resumed running, started weekly acupuncture, and yet the pain continued. But I stubbornly refused to give up on running the Woodinville Half in September. This was my year and I was going to break two hours if it killed me.

Spoiler alert: I did not break two hours, it did not kill me, but I did PR by 5 minutes, finishing in 2:05:47. I was upset at the finish line for a minute, but I did my best and have to be happy with that. It wasn’t my favorite half – IT POURED from the moment the gun went off to like 20 minutes after I crossed the finish line, adding at least 90 pounds to my clothing, and the course was lackluster, especially compared to last year’s Oregon Wine Country Half. Here are some scenes from the rainy race:


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Once I was done feeling sorry for myself and had a nice, hot breakfast in me (omg that cinnamon roll), I decided to cry uncle and really, truly retire from running half marathons. This was my eighth half and the only one where I’ve ever really tried to push myself; my old ass couldn’t hang and fought back. The writing is on the wall and I will happily retire from that distance.

bye

I’m also firmly committed to giving my feet a rest until at least 2017. No short runs with friends (this part sucks, I miss my friends!), no long runs on the weekends, not even a quick jog with Tippy. Instead, I’m on to a different sport: rowing.

I started Learn to Row class at Lake Union Crew this month and we had our first night on the water this week. It’s hard, it’s awkward, there’s a whole new language to learn and I’m probably going to end up in a lady-overboard situation one day soon, but otherwise, it’s awesome. I’m meeting lots of new people and can’t wait for the day when it clicks. I got to row stroke seat on Tuesday, meaning everyone had to follow MY stroke and do what I did. I was the boss! Me! I am so sore.

I owe you a bunch of other catch-up things, like the Bend Beer Chase, Larry’s birthday, Tippy’s first camping trip, a slew of visitors, so many good book and podcast recommendations, my new secret talent, and a two-week trip to Croatia. Also, that time we sold our Prius and became car-less city folk. More coming soon from the Lost Summer…thanks for sticking around.

I’m Resting.

I’m resting and it sucks.

My heel started to hurt a few weeks ago after a great seven-mile run around Lake Union at a 9:15/minute mile pace, which is right on target with where I need to be to run a sub-two hour half in September. I’ve been saying for years that I want to run a sub-two and finally decided that this year was the year: I’m going to train at a faster pace and really push myself. And it was going really well, until it started to hurt.

I’ve self-diagnosed myself with the very sexy sounding Policeman’s Heel, or really just a heel bruise. I can’t see a bruise, but man do I feel it. This is caused by the way I run – heel striking, or really really wrong – and plantar fasciitis.

Here is how not to do it:


That there’s a heel strike.

According to Dr. Google, the only way to cure the Heel is rest. Bah humbug, rest. This ain’t my first rodeo with foot problems, and just like that time, this is driving me batty. Resting is fine for a little while. I like a good lazy morning in bed as much as the next gal (especially now that I’m reading Outlander, holy lord!). But it’s been two weeks and the pain is still there. I’m starting to panic that all the progress I made toward my sub-two goal is rapidly disappearing. And this makes me not happy.

What I am happy about is that my new heel-cushioning supports match my new JCrew shorts in color exactly! I’m basically Beyoncé.


Send happy heel thoughts my way, please. Actually, don’t. I don’t need them that much. Send all your good thoughts to Cleveland, where “an ambitious corn dog that escaped from the concession stand at a rural Alabama fairground, stole an unattended wig, hopped a freight train to Atlantic City and never looked back” is currently holding court with a sidekick who is known to hate women, the entire LGBTQ community, and low-income families, for starters. So much vomit.

Good thing the rest of 2016 has been cancelled. Yay!

See, I told you I was cranky. Here’s a sleeping Tippy. She is all that is good in the world.


So until this heel heals (pun!), I guess you can find me doing this:

A Month in Photos

Well, hello there. It’s been a hot minute. I’ve got no real excuse for the lack of updates other than life, which is a great excuse! Springtime is upon us and with spring comes visitors and travel – my amazing grandparents visited two weeks ago and that deserves a post of its own, and we currently have some of our old gym friends in town this week before we jet set off to a wedding in Denver. Add our big work event to that and my head just spins! But according to the photos on my phone, there have been a few other activities documented over the past month, and I will share those with you now.

Tippy was a foam roller hog.


We watched the Sounders lose their second match of the season at our local sports bar and spotted a small Pennsylvania university that one of my besties attended – random!

Our running crew went on an absolutely soaking wet six-miler on the Lake Washington path.


Tippy was adorable and a total snuggle-butt.

The mountain was out!!

Our roof deck got a new addition…it’s either a coffin or a fire pit. We shall see.

Ugh, again with the Tippy snugs.

There was a fabulous girls night involving karaoke in the International District, where I slayed “Shoop” but later fell on my butt doing the Molly Ringwald during “Take On Me.” Red wine made me do it?

We sent a Dempsey Sounders jersey to our favorite tiny soccer fan and OMG SHE IS THE CUTEST!!!


I saw this fantastic suitcase.

We celebrated some March birthdays with happy hour and I finally met the newest member of our crew!

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Trees were beautiful.

We rode 30 miles on our bikes with friends who are training for the 200-mile Seattle to Portland ride this summer. They are hardcore; my butt was so sore. #poetry

I made Lar go on an Easter morning run with me.


Then we went to BirthEaster Celebration brunch! A lamb made out of butter and a selfie stick were present.

Tippy loved the grass.

  

Morning runs continue to be glorious.

{Grandparent visit recap to come!}

Rainier came out again while I was waiting for a bus.

Larry had 80s day at work and stole all of my clothes.

We cooked out with neighbors on the roof and our pumpkin pie hat was involved.

Philly friends arrived and we hiked Mt. Si! Check out that awesome view…?

  

We hit up Snoqualmie Falls on the way home and that was better.

My baby sis had a birthday!! This is one of my favorite pics of her. She just looks so joyful! And Tippy’s tongue. Hilarious.

So that’s about it from this end of the computer…looking forward to celebrating April birthdays and a wedding with the fam this weekend!! And lots more roof time.