Motivation Tips for an Active Life

Today, a good friend who wants to be more active, asked me, “how do you stay motivated with training?”I responded with this reflection. Five years ago, you would not have found me rising by 5:30am to get an early morning work out before going to work. I would do it later in the day and sometimes skip it because I was too tired after work. Now I do get up early and prioritize my workout that I regard as self care. Currently, almost everyday, I start my day with either…

Adventures Beyond Cookies: Crumbling the Girl Scout Stereotype

“In the late 1960s, as a school-age girl and tomboy, my experience with Girl Scouts was short lived. My troop leader was interested in teaching us crochet and macaroni art when I wanted to get outdoors, camp, hike, and do what the boys were doing. I was seeking “something with a little swagger in it.” I crossed the bridge from Brownies to Cadets to never return until surprisingly, decades later, after having pursued a long career in outdoor adventure education. In 2011, I arrived at Girl Scouts of Northern California…

Curve Balls: A Lesson in Self Care

Over the past two months, I have been tending to an inflamed cornea in my left eye, related to my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), but that was triggered by the smoke from the Napa/Sonoma County fires, north of San Francisco. I have had eye related flare ups two other times in recent years. My first eye incident was in spring of 2013. I was preparing to depart for a long awaited ocean paddle training camp in Hawaii. I had to cancel. I had an infected ulcer on my retina that was…

An Epic Odyssey- part 2

The morning I had been waiting for, the Ka’iwi Channel Relay, a 40 mile outrigger canoe race, crossing from Molokai to Oahu, had arrived. This relay race is paddled in a one person outrigger canoe where you switch out with your partner every 30-45 minutes, requiring an escort boat. The Ka’iwi channel is notorious for its reputation of being one of the toughest ocean channel crossings in the world because of its strong winds, currents and large swells. Situated in the middle of the Pacific ocean, with exposure to thousands of…

An Epic Odyssey- part 1

I returned home humbled, inspired, and with a full heart from an epic odyssey in Hawaii.  After months of consistent training and planning, my vision and goals came to fruition. I competed in three outrigger canoe races, two solo races and one solo relay, in three weeks. Two of these races were significant channel crossings ranging from 26 miles to 40 miles. I felt welcomed by the paddling community (ohana) and am forever grateful for that support of aloha in practice. My first weekend, I warmed up with Kanaka Ikaika’s State…

Ocean Inspired-Training Tips

In less than two weeks, I will be in the final hours of preparation for a long awaited race day in Hawaii.  This will be my second time to participate in The Pailolo Channel crossing race, a 26 miles, solo outrigger canoe competition that begins on the Northwest shores of Maui, crosses the Pailolo (“Crazy Fisherman”) Channel, to finish in the harbor of Molokai. A week later, with my buddy, James, we will compete in a 41 miles relay across the Kai’wi channel, paddling a solo canoe and switching out…

Ouch! 6 Lessons Worth Sharing

Every week my spouse, Andrea, gives me a shot of Enbrel to control my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I hate the sharp pain of the needle going into my arm, wincing every time, and most times yelling, “Ouch” or even swearing! Moments later the stinging pain is gone. I thank Andrea, because for her, it is difficult to inflict pain on the one she loves. She suffers along with me. We have shared this weekly ritual for 14 years now. I remind myself the short term pain is the trade off…

Back in the Boat- reflections on tides and currents

This morning felt balmy for February as I prepared my one person canoe to get on the water and paddle with my club, San Francisco Outrigger. I tag along with the six person canoes. We launch at Crissy Fields, just inside the Golden Gate bridge and Fort Point by 9:30. After a warm up paddle to the Golden Gate bridge, we head along the San Francisco waterfront towards the Bay Bridge in hopes to catch the ebb tide home before it turns into a flood tide by 11:30 am. The…

Out of the Boat- Rest and Recovery

Out of the boat today. Tired. Recovery day. Normally, Thursday mornings, I am on the water by 7am and paddle to the Golden Gate Bridge and often beyond to Point Diablo before I begin my workday. I love starting my day on the water, quiet, feeling the water, my focus on form, not speed and being among the sea birds, porpoise and harbor seals. Often sola. Last Thursday, just before arriving at Point Bonita, my buddy, James, and I saw a gray whale sloshing along while we rode up and…