Wednesday, April 13, 2011

13. Running

I love running...

Which sometimes sounds surreal, given that back in my Cornell days, I could barely run, and in an attempt to become fit, I had taken running as a phys ed class. Now let me tell you, that did not go well, as on the last day of our class, the instructor decided to take us on a ___ mile run, which left me with such bad shin splints, I thought I was going to pass out. 

And here I am, in 2011, claiming that I love to run. My love affair with running really started with the Vancouver Sun Run in 2008. My boyfriend had signed up with his company to do the Run, and I thought it would be a good motivator to try running again. And I am glad to have tried it, as the run-walk training program that came with the run was amazing (still is), and led me to believe that almost anyone can run.

I remain a recreational runner (unlike some runners who I hear will pee in their pants so as not to lose time, I will actually pause my run to use a Porta Potty, lol :), and my running stamina has gotten better over the years, not to mention the euphoria I feel mid-way through a run, and towards the end of a long run. In the meantime, the Vancouver Sun Run, North America's second largest 10k run, has become a personal tradition for me, reminding me every year that if you don't succeed at first, you can always try again; that it might not necessarily be the activity that's not doable, rather it might be the approach to tackling that activity. Doing the Run every year is also my way of paying tribute to something that hopefully has become a lifelong passion, and that will eventually enable me to run a half-marathon (in 2012 perhaps?)

Here's the link to the Vancouver Sun Run:

Thank you Vancouver Sun Run, for making a runner out of me :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

12. Cherry Blossoms

Today I am nurturing my gratitude for cherry blossom trees...

These trees are a wonderful sign of spring bursting forth. I had totally forgotten about one of the best things about spring in Vancouver (since I typically associate Vancouver springs with my seasonal allergy) until yesterday, when I walked out of the  Burrard SkyTrain Station, to be pleasantly greeted by a row of cherry blossoms, in all their pink glory. Cherry blossoms, on a perfect sunny day with blue skies, can make one truly feel like heaven is on earth.

So I spent a very sleep-deprived afternoon, roaming around the city, enjoying every cherry blossom tree that crossed my path, feeling reinvigorated and reflective at the same time.

Thank you cherry blossoms, and nature, for nurturing my soul.

Pictures to follow, in the meantime, check out Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday, April 9, 2011

11. Oprah

I have been nurturing my gratitude since yesterday evening for Oprah Winfrey, in particular her show, "Oprah presents Master Class."

The woman is truly an inspiration, and has a gift for speech, for tapping into the emotions of people, for making an emotional connection with her viewers, her audience. In other words, she has an innate talent for what many entrepreneurs strive and possibly go to business school for - getting consumers to make an emotional investment/connection with the product. Her personal need to connect with people has possibly turned her into a self-made billionaire, and her courage to go beyond, to push the envelope, has made her who she is.

I have been wanting to learn more about Oprah and her work/products for quite some time now, looking up this famous personality on Twitter, Wikipedia, thinking of reading her biography (if there is one), of watching The Oprah Show, eyeing her magazine on racks at the grocery store, etc. So yesterday, after a mentally and physically exhausting day at work, with my hip muscles spasming, as I was flipping through the TV guide, I come across Oprah's channel, OWN. I watch Oprah talk about her life in "Master Class," and am completely in awe - of her gift for inspiration. This morning, I turn on her channel and watched the conclusion of Ms. Winfrey talking about her life, her show, and the life lessons she has learned along the way. At the end of this, I have a lot of respect for her perseverance, the ability to reflect on her own life, to candidly talk about her past, and for her spirituality. She has inspired me, and given me that extra oomph, to blog in between my shifts, to pursue my goals and aspirations of reaching my higher potential, of thank you Oprah, for giving me that extra nudge.

I end today's gratifying experience with a quote from the Master Class show that spoke most to me:

"Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

10. Jigsaw Puzzles

Today I am nurturing my gratitude for jigsaw puzzles...

I love making puzzles - it's such a great feeling to build a picture from a mishmash of cardboard pieces. Having the pieces fit together is like solving a great mystery, which probably goes back to my love of Nancy Drew mysteries as a child, or aligns with the analytical side of my personality, thinking and thinking about something until it makes sense to me, until I've gotten to the bottom of a pattern. I derive so much satisfaction from a finished puzzle piece, that I almost want to frame my achievement; needless to say, I can spend hours sitting at a table, trying to make the pieces fit, or staring at the picture on the box, trying to figure out the subtle shades that might provide me with clues to making my puzzle come to life.

There have been times when I've sat with my puzzle and pondered the question, "Am I prematurely getting old?" Well, making a puzzle brings two images to mind - that of a child excitingly putting the pieces together, and that of an older adult, passing the time with a cup of tea and puzzle pieces. Lately, the latter image has been popping into my head, especially yesterday afternoon, as I sat with my cup of hojicha green tea, pondering over the last pieces to my puzzle...

So, how to come to terms with my thoughts/fear of getting older? Well, old age is inevitable, and perhaps it is better to acquaint myself with the rituals of older adults sooner than rather, which might help with my transition to older adulthood, so that when I do end up in the hospital or an assisted living facility, a) the routines would be less of a shock, and b) I'd be one step ahead of those folks who are so in denial of giving up their past lives, that they miss out on all the fun of the present, and fall into a deep depression that makes them even more helpless. After all, I'd know - I work in a hospital, where 70 year olds seem young, i.e. 'Seventy is the new thirty,' at least in hospital age, lol.

So here's to making puzzles - thanks for bringing a smile to my face :)

Also, here are some pictures of my latest puzzle conquest, as I usher into a new tech era of blogging with pictures, whoa!