Showing posts from 2014

Jumping Ship (Part 1)

When I was little, I was convinced all of you would watch me swim in the Olympics one day. Absolutely certain. It's kind of hard to explain how there wasn't a question in my mind that this would happen. At some point in high school this belief was not so solid. I began to spend less and less time in the water. I started working.

Do I regret all those hours spent with my face underwater...jumping into all those two-a-day practices...forcing myself to wake up while it was still dark and plunging into a cold pool...getting ready for homecoming in the locker room after a meet...smelling like chlorine all the time?

I don't.

Specific moments were definitely difficult. The first lap in a cool pool in the early morning always felt especially torturous at the time. The deep gouges cut into the flesh on the tops of my feet etched in by the fins we wore one summer, the same spots where faint scars still remember, were so painful we added socks to our swim attire to create a barrier b…

Stuff I Hear at Work

Some days my students say things that make me smile, laugh, and shake my head in fear of the future. I managed to write a couple notable words of wisdom down these last couple weeks. I have not changed wording. I have only added end punctuation and quotations...and possibly adjusted spelling to make sure you can understand what they are trying to say. These quotes are absolutely real (even if you might hope they are not).

"I learn best from documentaries and movies because I have a photographic memory." --during a discussion about how students learn best.

"The thing I don't understand about cheaters is that vaginas are basically the same." --during a small group discussion about modern day sinning and how adultery is viewed by our society.

"My attitude this week was kind of crappy because I had tonsillitis and scarlet fever over the weekend." --written in a reflection evaluating how they performed during the week.

"I was always taught that if you …

Cycle the Coast Slide Show

Back to work tomorrow to start the new school year. We spent the last couple days organizing our photos from our trip in order to create some sort of finished product. I should have started two weeks ago when we first got home since we still have a ton of pictures and video clips to go through on the GoPro. Oh well. It was a choice, and while my time lounging by the pool and watching Survivor was not as productive as it could have been, I enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing to round out my summer. Hopefully now that we've practiced a little with this slide show, perhaps the "extended cut" will go a bit smoother and we'll be able to incorporate some of the time lapse and video clips.

Coastal Ride: Stats and Stuff

I may not like math like my husband, but I like stats. And while some of you might find this boring, I found this kind of information helpful for me when planning, especially when people went back to their original lists of items and reflected on their experiences. I would like to do that for anyone else planning this type of trip.

Before I get to that, here are a couple celebratory pictures. Thank you Mom and Dad, Pam and Erik, Val and Denis, and everyone else who made us feel like we really did something when we finished.

Peace Arch, Blaine WA to Border Field State Park, CA via Pacific Coast Highways (101, 1, and PCH)

Riding Stats

Total Days: 37

Actual Days Riding: 32

Total Miles: 1,741. 21

Daily Average: 54

Longest Ride: 89.36 miles (Day 32: El Capitan State Beach to Malibu, CA)

Shortest Ride: 22.02 miles (Day 36: Old Town, San Diego to Border Field State Park, CA)

Average Speed: 9 mph

Total Calories: 82, 379

Average Calories Per Day: 2,574

Most Calories Spent/Day: 3,998 (Day 32: El Cap…

Coastal Ride: Days 34, 35, and 36 (Tour Complete)

Sometimes when I think back to living outside of the states, it just doesn't seem real. I have the memories, I have the pictures, and in a few cases, I still have the friendships. But it's not my current normality and so those years take on a sort of dreamlike quality. It's kind of disorienting and a little sci-fi. This trip is already starting to feel that way and it's a little bittersweet.

We're semi back to real life. The new school year will begin in just a couple weeks. We've already flown up to Washington to retrieve our pups and our car. We've managed to unpack and wash clothes. We've gone through 40 something days of mail and paid bills and deposited checks. Tyler has done some yard work and pool maintenance. I've tried, and am still trying, to salvage any survivors from my vegetable garden and citrus trees. We're back to walking the pups at 5 am to avoid the heat this area is capable of this time of year. Leah has already had a trip to…

Coastal Ride: Days 31, 32, and 33

"Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive." I found this quote on a subreddit for bad tattoos. Instead of "you're", they used "your". I suppose that's beside the point because I kind of like the quote. Sure it's a little cliche and yes, I can picture a good portion of my students really latching onto the words over the potential meaning (YOLO kind of shit right?), but for me and for this ride down the coast, it makes sense.

People's reactions over hearing what we were doing has varied from startled- to excited for us- to nervous for us- and at times very unclear as to why we would elect to do something like this. That's the part that is kind of hard to explain in a few minute conversation.We are not avid cyclists, obvious to those who know us, but doing something like this is not just about being on a bike for eight hours a day. No really, it isn't. And so while I wouldn't consider myself some hardcor…

Coastal Tour: Days 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30

"If not now, when? If not here, where?" At some point along the way we've adopted this philosophy. Mostly we say it in reference to foods and coffee and beer and wine. But honestly, I've had to let go a little. (I'm a kind of tight with money in real life). However, my typical mentality does not easily transfer to this kind of trip. I'm also way more routine than I thought I was (which is basically an impossibility when every day everything changes). It's been a challenge to do something like this--some days are way better than others--some rides fly by while others drag on. I'd say it is awesome 85% of the time (Tyler says 70%).

Coastal Ride: Days 22, 23, 24 and 25

Things that make me smile when riding:
- listening to seals bark as we hug the coast - the smell of freshly cut wild anise (licorice) which over the last week grows rampant in some areas - Tyler singing his version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while bouncing up and down on his bike - finding my glove velcroed to my ass after thinking I'd lost it - Tyler chasing after other cyclists who pass us as fast as he can trying to keep up (copying my dad) - when a passerby cheers for me when climbing a tough hill

Coastal Ride: Days 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21

This section of our trip has been as enjoyable as it has been emotionally and mentally difficult. We ventured into unchartered territitory for both of us, and while exciting, we lost some of that comfortable familiarity (which is basically the point, but kind of intimidating at times). Luckily, and this might sound a little lame, at least we had each other. Luckily, our bad moments didn't happen at the same time. Luckily, we aren't willing to just say fuck it. The good stuff has been too good for that kind of ridiculousness. We've seen such gorgeous views and cool stuff along the way. I find myself over and over stopping and taking pictures and just generally enjoying what we're doing here.

Day 16: Crescent City (Eat Day)

You probably won't be surprised to hear how we spent most of our rest day eating. Again! What was especially nice is that we were able to share all that eating with Pam and Erik, who took very good care of us in terms of ensuring we were satiated …