Sunday, August 11, 2013

Birthday Challenge By-Products

Turning 49 isn't so monumental so my birthday challenge reflected a somewhat every day, not-so-hard but just challenging enough kind of effort.  That 40-year-old one set the standard, I'll admit.  Here's how it started yesterday:  I ran two sets of 4.9 miles for a total mileage of 9.8, which isn't so impressive after running a marathon and certainly isn't anything compared to the past 9 years when I divided my age in half and did that number of miles in kilometers.  A 24.5k was just too much to harness, and plus, I'm running a half marathon next Sunday so you know, 9.8 was coincidentally right on training.  (If you think you'd like to stalk me, I'm running America's Finest Half Marathon here in San Diego with pretty much zero training so that effort - I'll tell you now in advance, is going down as unimpressive.)

Birthday Challenges taught me a few things.  One is that I take heart when many other friends and family members of mine started designing their own birthday challenges in really creative ways.  Like my one friend who, in addition to her physical challenges, decided to volunteer 30 hours to an organization for 3 months.  Another turned 50 and ran a total of 50 miles each month for 5 months starting 5 months before her birthday.  One of my favorites was my friend Melissa, who is trying 30 new foods as she leads up to her actual birthday.  Perhaps most inspiring though is when my own kids and my students feel compelled to do one of their own without any prompting or prodding from me, and they kill it on that day.

Another thing I learned is that challenges themselves can be so demanding, and can turn you into a boring, seemingly one-dimensional person so I really prefer to keep what I'm doing for my physical challenges on the down-low until I do them.  Plus I really don't like to work very hard physically - I like things to be just-enough and just-for-fun with fitness as the by-product.  I've discovered I'm pretty satisfied with the process and for the most part, my results.  So I've embraced birthday challenges as one year-round goal and anything else I get to do in-between is a bonus.

That additional perk of excitement and support when I hear about others' birthday challenges makes me believe in the power of positive influence, and the effects of being intentional.  People want to be better tomorrow than they are today.

I think that's true - at least I'm optimistic that it is true.

Anyway, here's how the weekend went down - some running, in-door rock climbing, hanging, pull-ups, sit-ups, and planks.  And drinking.  And food.  And family.

After our run - this is my brother-in-law and my sister, Geri.

Drink #1 post run. 
Drink #3 or #4, I don't know which really . . . 

Tryin' to make it to 4.9 Moscow Mule drinks.  Fail.
Here's a little video of us at Mesa Climbing Gym in the San Diego area.  It's kind of funny.  Auto-belay systems on really high walls freak me out, but they're a lot of fun.

Climbing alongside Brad :) from Vera Naputi on Vimeo.

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