27 August 2013

I Wanna Be A Supermodel

Okay, the title is a little misleading. I do not really want to be a supermodel. For starters, I suffer from shortness, and I've never heard of anyone with my particular malady walking the runways in Paris (aside from some circus performer on stilts). I will stick to running on the walkways of Seattle (ha, see what I did there?).

However, I am sort of feeling super-modely because I did do not one, but TWO photo shoots last week!.

I wanna be a super model....or an extra on Hunger Games.

First, I was contacted by my friend Genevieve Hathaway, who recently returned to the USofA after years traveling abroad in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Australia. She takes amazing photos on interesting topics (her passion for archaeology, biology, mountaineering leads her to capture modern cultural heritage) and she was looking for a model to amp up the "outdoor lifestyle" section of her portfolio. I am flattered that she contacted me.

We met near my work at Magnuson Park and she took lots o' fun running, stretching, and foraging photos. She really has an eye for colors and framing, and I have to say I LOVE all of the pics she posted.

Not only did Genevieve take SPECTACULAR photos, but she also wrote a fun blog about it on her site which she is calling "The Face of Adventure." It includes a Q&A session with yours truly. Go and read the interview here. Seriously...why haven't you clicked yet?

Below are some of the photos she took - to see the rest, like her on Facebook.

Delicious blackberries

Contemplating awesomeness

Stretching (which for the record, I never do)

Yoga in the fins

The Face of Adventure

When I saw the very last photo, my first thought was, "Wow, that's awesome" followed shortly by, "I finally look like I'm almost 30." Not sure if I feel good or bad about that...

BUT I promised you two photo shoots!  In September I'm going to be auctioned off for charity. Yes, you read that correctly. A date with ME is being auctioned off for charity, and trust me when I say we will be doing something adventurey. More information to come on that, but here's a teaser from the 2nd shoot wherein we were instructed to look our best and had make-up people on hand to get us all dolled up.

Never before in my life have I worn so much makeup. I was...startled. But according to my 7-year old niece I looked like Barbie. So we'll call it a win!

13 August 2013

Running a Beer Mile

The only thing you need to know about a beer mile is that you do not need to be good at running to be good at running a beer mile. You just need to be good at drinking. Specifically, beer drinking.


Here's what you need to know about a beer mile: it involves chugging four beers and running four quarter miles in the shortest amount of time possible. Chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap....four beers, four laps. You get the picture.

The beer mile was invented by someone AWESOME. Probably a dude-bro frat boy who drank too much Budweiser during pledge week. That's what I like to tell myself at least.

The fastest beer mile ever recorded was 5:05 (unofficially). You read that correctly. Someone (an Olympian no less) ran a mile AND drank 4 beers in just over five minutes. And they recorded it in this youtube video.

Last weekend I ran a beer mile with some friends to celebrate a birthday! Our starting lineup did not, sadly, contain any Olympian,s past or present. No, our motley crew was decidedly more of the weekend yogger variety. The competitors consisted of 10-finishers (I think?) all pictured below. Notice I was the only female to finish. More on that in a bit.

The boyz. Beer Mile sponsored by birthday boy Adam at bottom center.

Because everything is better in a tutu

We convened at Greenlake Park at 5pm to beer mile on the dirt track. Our staging (read: beer chugging) area was tucked away at the west end of the track, semi-conspicuously under some low hanging branches. With the rules explained (there's only one important rule: no puking or you're DQ'd [or given the option to drink an extra beer, blegh]), we all selected our drink of choice and raised our cans in honor of Adam's Birthday.

With a 3...2...1... countdown we cracked the cans of carbonated goodness and launched into chug fest.

Chug, chug, chug

Kevin was off to a fast start, followed shortly by Brian and then Jason. I fell toward the back of the pack, but managed to beat the other girls out of the gate and was back in for beer #2 before they finished their first lap (hey, small victories, okay?). Beer #2 went down easily enough for all the competitors, and everyone came in feeling pretty good after the second lap.

Then it was on to beer #3. Oh how different beer #3 is from beer #2. You start in on #2 and you are feeling good. Barely even full. But then...then #3 hits you like a bat to the FACE!

I did NOT want to drink beer #3. I think Brian's expression below really showcases the struggle of beer #3.

So. Full.

By now people were dropping like flies. The three other girls had long since bailed, and I was even beating a few of the boys. My beer chugging skills are sub-par at best, but at least this is where my running skillz (yes, skillz with a Z!) helped me out, as I was handily able to run each lap in about 90 seconds.

The 4th and final beer was a nail biter, at least for second place. With Kevin well in the lead, Brian and Jason did their best to put back beer #4 for second place. Now I should mention that...well, skip ahead if you are squeamish....I should mention that Brian was able to get everything down....but he may have had to swallow a few things a second time. Thankfully he powered through, because I'm pretty sure if he had blown, he would have taken the rest of us with him.

Brian and Jason, beer #4

I came in from my 3rd lap just as the boys were finishing beer #4. I took one look at them and promptly went to lay down on the grass. To say I was FULL would be a complete understatement. I couldn't even look at another Coors Light. Couldn't. Even. Look at it.

I'm gunna need a minute

But then, well ... then THIS happened:

That's right, I was peer pressured into finishing the race when all I wanted to do was throw in the towel. Stupid boys and their silly mind games about male superiority.

Number 4

BUUUT I pulled one out for females everywhere and put that beer to shame. It may have taken me 10 minutes, but I somehow made room for that 48th ounce of carbonated goodness in my 5'2" (and a half!) foot frame and started booking it around the track. I finished at a sub 7-minute pace (click tracker below for more details)! If that doesn't say #WINNING I'm not sure what does.

Full, and, well yes drunk, I was very happy to be done and helped cheer on the final finishers. Then birthday boy Adam and I noticed that our outfits were opposite-matched and so we had to take a jumping picture. Naturally.

Jumping for Joy! And for birthdays! And for beer miles!

4 laps of awesome! Happy Birthday Adam!

After the epic beer mile we all walked (safety FIRST) back to Adam's house and continued our celebrating with burgers, birthday cake, and yes, surprisingly more BEER! While I'm not clamoring to do another beer run any time soon, this was a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday, and it's certainty something I'd recommend everyone try once in their lifetime. At the very least, it's a very efficient way to get a buzz.

Oh, and a huge congrats to our winner Kevin, who finished in 9:23! An honorable mention goes to Jason and Brian, who fought hard for 2nd (Jason ultimately won out when Brian lost time with his near-vomiting), finishing in close succession around the 10 minute mark! All of the standout performances received commemorative tank tops (as this was Adam's 4th Annual Birthday Beer Mile). Looking forward to watching from the stands next year!

Thoughtful Adam, while the rest of us do pukey faces. I have classy friends.

09 August 2013

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

I recently read this amazing piece by Drew Hoolhorst wherein he makes an argument that everyone should write for writings sake. That it's good for us. That it's fun. That we should just write because. Of his own writings, he says:

I didn’t start writing because I had a novel to publish or even an idea of what the hell that would look like. I didn’t start writing because I had some master plan about where this was all going. I started writing because when I was a kid, thanks to Bob (my grandfather), I wrote the shit outta everything. I wrote long-winded love letters to girls. I stretched the birthday card note to the point of “turn over to backside for more” every single time....And I think it’s how people should always write.

He states it doesn't matter if we have groundbreaking ideas to share. Just share your ideas, and if it's groundbreaking for someone, all the better!

This got me thinking about my own writing. When I started blogging back in 2008, it was two-fold:
  1. I wanted to chronicle my recent travels to Patagonia (and was hoping to create a permanent home for all of my 2006 European travels...yeah still working on that one)
  2. It provided me with a creative outlet in my otherwise uncreative worklife
Five years later, my motivations to continue writing are both completely the same and entirely different. I still love to share travel stories, and writing still provides me with a creative outlet.

But more than that, I am rewarded by my desire to share my passion for the outdoors.

I like to think that, for the few minutes it takes to read my entries, I can transport someone to experience life beyond the city. That perhaps someone will learn something from me; that they will be inspired to do something they didn't before think possible; that they will strive to view their own adventures with new-found excitement.

Life beyond the city

Because writing about my own adventures has allowed me to do just that - I approach each trip just a little bit differently knowing I want to write about it later. I take more time to notice the details. I fret less about "the plan" and just try to enjoy the experience. Life becomes about being on the journey.  To borrow from my pal Dean Karnazes, "go as you please, savor and explore, immerse yourself wholeheartedly in the experience of being completely alive for this fleeing moment in which we inhabit the universe."

And there is something profoundly satisfying about being able to share these experiences with you, my lovely readers. Seeing an awesome sunset by yourself can be great, but watching that same sunset with friends over a beer is all the more satisfying. It's in our human nature to want to share experiences with others. Early explorers kept journals of their travels - this blog is simply a new-age version.

Notice the details

Immerse yourself in the experience

And that is why I write. To capture those moments and save them for a lifetime.

I never imagined that my last 5 years spent on this blog would be the deciding factor in why I was hired for my dream job. But come to find out, all of those hours spent pounding on the keyboard laid the foundation for my career in professional outdoor marketing.

So I will keep writing because. Because you never know where it will take you.

Let it take you somewhere