benefits, breathe, causes, changes, equinox, exercise, fitness, food, friendship, hockey, rhythm, Seattle, universe, vibration, walking
Welcome, Autumn! And welcome Spring to my southern hemisphere readers! The season changes are such a sensuous time of the year. Along with obvious changes like the longer shadows during the day, a slight chill in the air and a longing to put away the sandals and rock my fall shoes and boots, I truly believe – if you breathe really deeply into the Universe – that you can FEEL the change. The vibration shift. The motions that are perhaps unconscious to us but are all around us.
I remember watching the Cosmos TV series (on PBS) as a young teen. This was a special Sunday night ritual with my Dad (my Mom didn’t seem too interested in it). While much of what Carl Sagan talked about was too complex for my young mind to understand, it stirred something within me. As if to say that seeds were planted – you might not understand everything now, fivenineteen, but your curiosity will grow throughout your life with an ongoing hunger to learn.
One of his segments talked about motion – how even if we appear to be still, we are not. I may be standing still on the ground, but the ground is not motionless. The Earth is turning on its axis. The Earth is revolving around the Sun. Our solar system is cruising along in some random outer arm of our galaxy (or perhaps in and out of galaxy arms – some say that is the reason for our planet’s Ice Ages)…AND our whole galaxy is whooshing through the universe too! To where I have no idea. Or how fast. All of this is mind-blowing to me when I try to make sense of it all. And believe me, Carl Sagan explained those last few sentences far better and far more eloquently than I ever could.
So, I made some of my own tiny motions into the Universe this weekend – both mentally and physically. My resume was overdue for an update, and it felt good to sit for a few hours and really focus on capturing my latest work activities. It’s funny, for as much as I love to write, I sometimes run into writer’s block about my career. How can it be so hard to summarize my latest accomplishments and job responsibilities into a few short sentences and bullet points? I’m much better at speaking about it than writing about it, resume-style. The work I’ve done over the past year and a few months is something I’m so very proud of. And my team is dynamite – I truly, truly believe that NO ONE ever does it alone and that many helping hands make the load lighter. This team embraces and breathes this same philosophy as well, and it shows. It’s not lip service. It’s something practiced constantly. I know this work engagement is ending to free me up for my next opportunity (and also for practical reasons, such as the budget for my role runs out later this year), and it’s like stepping off with a leap of faith that the right next step WILL happen. I’ve been through this cycle a few times over the past 6 years and I feel better taking that next unknown leap now that the job market has improved somewhat compared with the 2009-2010 era.
That was Saturday. Man it felt so good to just breathe and savor the change of seasons. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Plus I was able to get my car emissions test done on Friday afternoon (part of the requirement to get new license tabs), rather than gobble up part of a cherished Saturday driving a ways out to the site and waiting in line. Ugh. It’s a necessary thing to do but the car emission test site is one of those evil vortexes where time slows to a painful crawl. Same with the oil change places too!
And Sunday I joined my dear friend T and her friend D (whom I’ve met once before) and D’s adorable chocolate Lab, Lucy, to walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Pacific Northwest benefit! This was an easy, relaxing, two-mile walk along South Lake Union, north of the downtown Seattle core. This walk raised over $280,000 for Alzheimer’s research! T, D and I learned in chatting that we had each lost a grandmother to Alzheimer’s, so this was an especially important cause for each of us personally. T is also on the Seattle board – so proud of her generous donation of time and talent, especially having just started a new (unrelated) full-time job herself!
Now, if you haven’t been around the South Lake Union area recently, you’re in for quite a wonderful surprise. The area is transforming. Beautifully. Sure, there is some temporary pain, such as crazyass road closures, maze-like swirls of lanes blocked off and general confusion, especially for someone like me who tends to drive past this neighborhood rather than have it as a destination. I’m so glad today’s Alzheimer’s Walk showed me just how beautiful a transformation this is, and it stirs up my hunger again to someday live and work in Seattle proper, rather than the suburbs where I currently call home.
I was a little bleary and tired when the three of us met up for our carpool (there’s that darn ol’ ‘not a morning person’ flaw again), but by the time we were ready to walk and walking I felt more energized. The sun was out but not too strong given the time of year, the lake was beautiful, people dressed in purple were everywhere (the color for Alzheimer’s awareness) and it was nice to savor this part of Seattle on foot. Honestly I tend to just drive and whiz through the South Lake Union area or more recently avoid it all together given all the construction and transformation underway. So it was fun to see the lake, the Kenmore Air seaplanes taking off and landing and the view of Gasworks Park (my very first apartment after college graduation was just up the hill from it – dumpy apartment but great views – you have to start somewhere!)
On my way home I felt on a roll and made a beeline to my gym (where my trainer, B, is kicking my ass every Wednesday night). I had made a commitment to get in the gym Sunday nights, but I had a party to go to, so I figured why not get some more gym time in while I’m feeling good and on a roll from a fun but not too-strenuous-walk earlier?
I think I’m going to be addicted soon to the rowing machine. What a nice change from the treadmill. I love how it relaxes tension in the upper back and shoulders. It just feels like more of a full-body workout than the treadmill, and I truly appreciate B showing me the basics on how to use it, from the resistance settings, the “10 and 2” rocking motion back and forth (as in 2:00 forward and all the way back to 10:00 and so on) to getting your feet placed properly in the grips. I rowed 2000m (1 mile and 427 yards) in 12 minutes! My goal is to get up to 5000m at a stretch. I also did some weight and lunge work, lat pulldowns, plus the somewhat-evil hamstring strengthener using a fitness ball for resistance. Yep, I think I will be feeling all of this tomorrow for sure.
And I topped off the weekend with a party with my hockey teammates at our co-founder’s soon-to-be-second new donut shop! It was great to see everyone and share a few laughs and hugs. I love these guys like brothers and/but know my decision to take this season off is the best one for me. I was happy that they were open to having me come back next summer season. It’s never guaranteed – I don’t take that for granted – but it is nice it might be an option for next spring. It will all depend on where I am at that point and if I really, truly miss the ice and the game of hockey after my break. I have a feeling I will.
While I appreciated the food (and donuts!) provided at the party, I kept it to just one slice of Canadian bacon pizza and one beer.
After all, I’m proud of the progress I’m making physically.