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  • barrettje 12:34 pm on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Fast, easy, fun – 13.1 

    My adventure this week was a very cold, very challenging half marathon. I’ve run other halfs before, but never when the starting temps were below freezing and when I was recovering from a 12-week bout with the Whooping Cough.

    The original idea was to run a half in my town. I’m not much of a runner in the everyday sense of the word. The road doesn’t call to me. I never feel the desire to lace up my shoes and go for a run. Honestly, I only took up running as part of my weight loss journey. But I do love organized runs. I like being in the group at the starting corrals as everyone stretches, sets their watches, etc. I love the sound of my feet and hundreds (or even thousands) of others hitting the pavement. I love to read people’s t-shirts and to see crowds cheering on the runners. Mostly though, I love the finisher’s medal. Something tangible that says I just ran 13.1 miles.

    So this last weekend I ran the Austin 3M Half Marathon. It was a cold start – 26 degrees with the wind chill. My fingers and nose may never forgive me for the pain of that first mile as my body heated up from the workout.
    6b

    Just over 6,000 other people had the same idea I did. Once I got running though, I felt far worse for the spectators. They had to be freezing. At least I had my body heat to keep me warm.
    8f

    I was very out of shape but I finished in a decent time and I felt good about getting my year off to a healthy start.
    13c

    But mostly, I just loved getting my medal
    19b

    I can add it to the others I’ve already collected and those still to come as a reminder that every step is a step toward my health and happiness.

     
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  • barrettje 10:34 am on January 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Adventure 2: Ice skating 

    I am accident prone. And not just a little. I am constantly covered in scrapes, cuts and bruises. As such, I tend to avoid those sports (anything but running really) that might lead to some new injury. Consequently, I’ve always shied away from ice skating but in honor the new year, and new adventures, I decided to give it a try.

    My local Whole Foods has an ice skating rink on the roof every winter:
    Ice1

    I arrived just as one session was ending and the ice was being prepped for the new group:
    Ice3

    I donned my skates and scooted around the rink (basically gripping the wall the entire time) but had a blast.
    Ice4

    Ice2

    My husband came with me and while he is a good skater, he humored me and stayed by my side until I’d had enough. After I had my fill, he zipped around a few more times and then bought me a hot chocolate.

    I won’t be a proficient skater anytime soon but I did enjoy the experience and may try it again next year.

     
  • barrettje 3:54 pm on January 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Austin Polar Bear Plunge 

    Wasting no time getting started with a new year of adventure, and embracing my new-found spontaneity, I saw a post about Austin’s Polar Bear Plunge on January 1st so I decided to make it my first “plunge” into this new year. Sorry for the pun, terrible I know, but I couldn’t resist.

    At 10:00 in the morning I threw on a bathing suit and headed to the local swimming hole. A swimming hole is the best description. Barton Springs Pool is a man-made pool that exists as a channel of Barton Creek and is filled by water from the Barton Spring.
    Polar1

    The water maintains an even temperature throughout the year so while it was chilly when I first jumped in, it warmed up after a few laps.
    Polar2

    And, I certainly wasn’t the only person to usher in the new year this way. About 100 other brave sould joined me.
    Polar3

    I would definitely make this a yearly tradition, and maybe some year I’ll even take the plunge in a cooler climate.

    I hope you all had an equally fun start to the new year!

     
    • Kimberly Hula 3:59 pm on January 2, 2013 Permalink

      Ah, this reminds me of my first adventure! Congrats on doing it – nothing like a near ice bath to jump start the new year!

  • Kimberly Hula 11:55 am on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , family therapy, graduate education, langston hughes   

    Ante Up Academia 

    Recently I’ve exchanged emails with a faraway friend who had a dream – a big one.  She readied herself; prepped and did diligence to see it to reality.  She steeled herself against potential rejection and devised plans of action and at the moment of – the I-put-all-on-bets-on-this-horse wrist-clencher of a moment – she got what she wanted.

    You were expecting bad news, weren’t you?

    So she celebrated and grew anxious for new adventures to come, but, on account of many of lifes obstacles, she had to hold off.  It was a tough decision (grueling, really) but it was a decision that needed to be made.

    Why am I re-hashing sad stories, you ask?  Well, I’m not.  The upside to this is that our heroine has opportunity to chase her dream again, just after sometime.  While it’s never ideal to put your dreams in forebearance, it’s also not an open-and-shut case.  They are there for the pursuing, lest you not forget about them.

    This got me to thinking of dreams I’ve long deferred.  Namely THE dream I’ve let slide, on account of many things: fear, other budding dreams, convenience, terror.  Because I’d sooner explain the day away in prose, here’s a good summation:

    What happens to a dream deferred? (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 11:28 am on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: instagram, photoadaymay, ,   

    Take a Shot at It 

     “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
    Henri Cartier-Bresson

     

    Day 12: Something that makes you happy (Conglomerative Craning)

    By now most anyone that knows me understands that if given the option I’d rather write it out.  Meaning, I’ll defer to text over talk; email over skype; personal readings over public readings.  I’m a slave to my own introversion and while it’s something I’m working on (see: year of adventures makes me uncomfortable), it’s also something I’ve come to recognize in myself.

    All told, this has served me well.  I’ve convinced myself that I like writing and then I write.  I pretty much shun all the other lovely art forms out there because, well, they are intimidating and beyond my realm of comprehension and ability.  Would if I could write and illustrate and pontificate and prepare as others can, but I can’t.  I dead-end with the pen and that’s that.

    Well, maybe not.  This week (month) had me follow

    Day 28: The weather today (Sunny, says Hiro)

    ing the lead of a dear old friend, Ms. Myndi.  Now a new mother, mama Myndi has the Midas touch for making anything (and I mean anything) into a beautiful something.  Of late I’ve been a fan of her photography.  Even more, I noticed that she took part in a ‘photo-a-day campaign’ via Instagram.  This charge had her produce a photograph a day, in accordance with whatever the list decreed.  The results were lovely, often unexpected and always so Myndi.  So I thought to live life through the eyes of the photog and give this game a go. 

    It’s not nearly as easy as it seems.  First off, composition is everything.  That said, composition really is everything.  There is SO MUCH to photograph.  There are infinite stores of color and light and people and places in this world.  There is so much matter that might perfectly depict, “A word I love” (Day 10) or, simply, “fun” (Day 4).  How does Myndi do this?  How does anyone do this?  I thought to find out. (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 10:25 am on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Promising Pals, volunteer,   

    The “Write” Stuff 

    “With writing, we get second chances” – Jonathan Safran Foer

    Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?  You might think, and they are quite darn, but kids also have an amazing propensity to say all the things we adult sometimes keep ourselves from saying.  They are compact truth seekers – perpetual ‘why’ yowlers, who keep us on our toes and remind us of the people we once were (which in turn, speaks to who we’ve become).  So while they may not speak in polysyllabics, the ‘stuff’ of their speech should be heeded.  And heed I will.

    I volunteered at a local Boston Public School, The Timility, in a campaign called, “Promising Pals”.  The premise is simple: volunteers (typically professional graduate students and adults in the community) will pair up with an assigned student and exchange letters throughout the year.  At the end of the academic year the volunteers will convene for a school assembly and breakfast with their long-time ‘pal’. 

    Me & Mr. Musse hamming it up

    It’s such a sweet concept.  The assembly: sweeter (but more on that shortly).

    You can request a student, but I had no gender or age preference and rolled the dice.  Lucky roll as I received a letter crafted in fine penmanship from Mr. Musse.  He was a seventh grade student with a love – a FERVENT LOVE – of math.  What luck!  A studious student!  Someone who would appreciate the intent and philosophical push of this campaign.  He employed good grammar!  He showed ambition in education!  Everything was as I’d otherwise request, with one some caveat.

    Mr. Musse hated writing.

    This is a great blow to a writer.  (More …)

     
  • Berton 12:24 am on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Adventure #8 – The Transit of Venus 

    Most people that know me well would say that I am a nerd, geek, or some other word associated with that kind of culture.  And they would be spot on.  Not only do I collect comic books, play tons of video games, and have a geeky tattoo, but I also absolutely love outer space.  I use the word stellar as a regular adjective.  I can go stare at the stars for hours on end and be inspired to have the most heart staggering conversations.  I read books by Stephen Hawking for the fun of it.

    However, I can’t remember the last time I looked through a telescope.

    My father has a telescope, and I’m told that when I was younger, we would look through it together.  But these memories are sadly lost to me.  However, as I’ve discovered countless numbers of times over the years, the impression of these events with my father has stuck with me.  So for my adventure, I decided to observe the Transit of Venus through one the largest telescopes available to the public in the Twin Cities, which was at the University of Minnesota.

    I was somehow able to convince three people to join me by saying that looking at a shadow of a planet as it crosses the sun is a fun thing to do (thanks for humoring me).  And I’m glad they came along, because the event was attended by far more people than I was expecting.  The line was over an hour long, and the event itself was only visible for close to three hours from our location.  I won’t lie, I was kind of worried that we wouldn’t make it to the telescope in time.  We were inching forward and racing the sunset.

    But we made it!

    We were able to see the transit maybe twenty minutes before sunset.  And though I was only able to view it for ten seconds, I was absolutely floored.

    My mind has a difficult time grasping such vast notions as space.  The distance between our planet and Venus is staggering, and yet I was able to see it.  And it was only a small dot compared to the vastness of the star that helps to sustain life here on Earth.  And our star is only one of an infinitely large number of stars in this universe

    When I look towards the heavens, I am so humbled.  I am literally able to look back in time just by looking up.  I am able to realize how I am such an infinitesimal cog in the gears of the universe.  Yet, I’d like to think that I have the ability to make large, positive, and shattering contributions to my friends, my family, and the world at large.

    This contrast makes me feel nothing shy of giddy.

     
  • Berton 5:54 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Back in the Saddle Again… 

    For the past few weeks, I have missed adventuring.  That isn’t to say that I have been sedentary.  Actually, far from it!  Since my last posts, I have done quite a few things.  I gave up soda for Lent; I went to my first baby shower; I began working out five days a week; I drove to Chicago to help a friend move to Minneapolis.

    However, these were all things that sort of happened naturally.  Yes, they were amazing and enjoyable and I had put forth a great spirit and vibrancy to them.  But the lone fact that I didn’t consider them to be a part of my “Year of 52 Adventures” just didn’t make them feel quite as alive for some reason.

    I am sure this is all a psychological freak out in my head, but it made me want to adventure again.  So here I am!  Attempting to finish what I started just over five months ago.

    I have a lot of catching up to do.  Therefore, this may be the busiest, craziest summer ever.  But I think I can cope with that idea.

    In order to make up for the lost ground, I will have to do multiple adventures during many weeks.  Therefore, from now on, instead of marking my posts based on the week they took place, they will be titled based on which Adventure Number they represent.  Not that you care; just a matter of housekeeping.

    So look forward to Adventure #8, coming soon!

     
  • Kimberly Hula 11:47 am on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: basil, cilantro, gardening, grandmother, herbs, oregano   

    It’s Not Easy Being Green 

    This year has already wrought so many changes, and I’m only in the early stages of 2012 adventure!  We’ve moved, starting squirreling (nay, elephanting) away money for our impending wedding, returned to school, and more!  It’s been chaotic, but thankfully we can retreat to a place with simple serenity; our cute little barn house on Walnut Terrace.

    We are mere renters but Hiro and I attend to our space like new homeowners.  Never have we had the luxury of space, of grass, of shed and neighbors all to ourselves!  Perhaps in preparation of one day being real-time home owners and because the worst of the winter gracefully passed, I dedicated my next adventure to gardening.

    Let me tell you, it’s not easy being green.  My grandparents were ardent groundskeepers.  Their lawn was the envy of the surrounding Chicago neighborhood and they maintained a vegetable patch that rivaled anything you’d see in Better Homes & Gardens.  It’s one of my greatest regrets, not learning the delicious art of it all.  Now that they’ve passed there is no one left to try to maintain their legacy.  What remains of my family, in way of botany, is suburban lawns and some perennial flowers near front doors.  It seems a shame, to let all that our patriarchs built dry up, so here’s my attempt to water the seeds of newfound family tradition.

    I have to start simply.  In part because I began this at the tail-end of the winter frost, but mostly because I have NO IDEA what I’m doing.  I’ve begged the internet for advice only to find that my remedial starting point is so far below what most gardeners consider beginner that reading alone won’t suffice.  I needed to start small and understand the basics, so I’ve begun with herbs. (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 11:07 am on May 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: assimilation, biking, cycling, san diego, tour   

    The Sum of SoCal 

    I have nothing against assimilation.  I think being in Rome is as good a time as any to try your best Roman, and this is an attitude I’ve adopted to travel.  It’s easy for me as I like to please people and worry that I’ll make a right fool of myself but try as I might, the best laid plans go all kinds of awry.

    So it was in Japan when I tried serving Green Tea only to splinter the bamboo stirrer in everyone’s cup; or my embarrassing inability to NOT use the words “lovely”, “bullocks” and “right-o” when speaking to anyone with a British accent.  I make attempts, and my trip to sunny San Diego is no exception.

    What is inherent to Californians?  Those clever celebrity-dense ad campaigns would suggest sun and able-bodied fun.  I grew up in the land-locked US.  My family didn’t jet-ski or engage in bouts of sand volleyball.  We were efficient travelers.  We used up all our time riding every ride imaginable in Disney World.  The idea of sun-soaked leisure is new to me.

    (More …)

     
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