Tuesday, July 28, 2009

tri number two

i completed my second triathlon last weekend, with the added bonus of my mom's presence. yay, #1 fan!! she took some pictures.

here's the run down.

i finished the 750 meter open water swim in 20:02. faster than my last tri time, but i still came in 14 out of 14 in my age category. i love swimming, but i'm really not that good at it. and i'm a lot worse when i'm traveling every other week. definitely some room for improvement. the best part of coming out of the water was seeing my mom and jocelyn cheering on the shore and realizing my best friend finished right beside me.

i picked up the pace on the bike. it was a short course, only 10 miles, so it's hard to tell how it compared to the last race (which had a longer, flatter course). i finished in 34:51, 7th out of 14. i felt good about it, even though i fell off my bike on the dismount. i can never remember if i'm supposed to dismount before or after the line! so i just tipped over. oops. too bad my mom didn't get a picture!

the run was a bear. super hilly. even my "elite" triathlete friends said it was a hard 3 miles. i finished it in 30:21. boo. but not terrible. good enough.

my transition times were faster this time around.

making my total time 1:28:43. i threw my arms up in triumph, hootin' and hollerin' as i crossed the finish. it was a really great day. thanks for being there, mom!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

outdoorsy girl

today i took some of my middle school kids to a theme park. three girls rode over in my car, singing to my adele cd.

suddenly, the girl in the front seat turned to me and said, “do you climb?”

“errr, yeah… i do like to climb, actually… why?”

“you just look like an outdoorsy kind of girl.”

“why is that?”

“your chocos, your watch, your climbing bracelet…”

“that bracelet is from africa. it’s not a climbing thing.”

one of the girls in the back, sporting mark jacobs sun glasses, piped in, “it’s true. you look outdoorsy. it’s not my look, but i think it’s cool.”

even after cutting 8 inches off my “hippie” hair, my kids seem to think i’ve still got some crunch.

costa rica

last week i went to costa rica with a group of 17 (11 kids, 6 adults) peeps from my church. we spent most of our time in san jose, the capital, working on the diocesan house (which is essentially home base for the regional episcopal churches).

it was a great time. we worked our tails off, plastering, sanding, sealing and painting walls, cleaning up our innumerable messes, gardening, and working (and playing) at hogar escuela, one of our pet projects. hogar escuela is a safe place for children to play and learn. it is a nursery, a school and an after school program. the children there typically live with their mothers, and know no father. if it weren’t for hogar escuela, these kids would be left to the streets during the day while their mothers worked to make ends meet. the streets are not a safe place to be.

hogar escuela started 45 years ago with only 6 families. several years ago, it was almost shut down, bankrupt and in ill repair. with a little help from the church and a lot of dedication from the families in san jose, hogar escuela is now one of the top ranked schools in costa rica (maybe the top ranked school?) and a favorite place for us to visit.

the episcopal diocese is about to build another school and daycare center like hogar escuela, just outside the worst slum in san jose, guarari. there, families live in corrugated tin lean-tos. most have come over illegally from nicaragua, where conditions are even worse. i look forward to returning to costa rica in years to come to see the school’s progress.

our lighter moments in costa rica were spent eating, drumming, singing, salsa dancing, watching the premier of harry potter, playing LOTS of games, zip-lining through trees, and chillin on the beach. we came home with stronger relationships, different perspectives, fun memories, inside jokes, new priorities, and a hunger for more of what God has to offer and asks us to offer of ourselves.


finally… the long awaited (and highly abbreviated) synopsis of our pilgrimage to ireland.

every year, as part of our 10th grade sunday school curriculum at church, a group of teenagers and teachers depart on pilgrimage together. it is a unique opportunity to leave the rhythms, rigors and routines of home behind. to come away, together, to a foreign land. to explore our surroundings and ourselves, and to draw closer to God and one another throughout our journey. it’s pretty awesome.

this year 37 young pilgrims and 6 slightly older pilgrims spent 10 days traveling around western ireland. you might think it’s impossible to have any kind of meaningful community with 43 people--i was definitely concerned. before i left for ireland, my boss (and head priest) asked what i was looking forward to most in leading this pilgrimage. having never lead a pilgrimage before, i told him i was looking forward to the things i knew i’d have no control over… the moments of grace. he said, “so… you’re basically excited about everything.” “yep,” i said, “i’m pretty psyched.” that was certainly the case with the community forged during our trip. it was nothing any of us could have controlled or planned for, and God’s grace was hugely evident as a result. again, pretty awesome.

so what did we do? we explored castles and forts. we walked around abbeys and cemeteries, thinking (and writing) about how we would want to be remembered. we hiked 4 miles along the cliffs of moher, mere inches from 800-foot drops to the rocky shore below, contemplating the sheer greatness of God, and how it makes us a little nervous and draws us closer all at once. we played golf (the monastery where we stayed had a pitch and put course). we bought loads of groceries and cooked meals for one other (iron chef style), we served and cleaned up after one other. we hiked up crough patrick, the second hardest climb i’ve ever done, in part because of the hail that rained down on us as we summated the slippery shale incline. we traveled to the smallest of the aran islands, a place called inisheer. we visited pubs and listened to irish music. some of our kids met up with local kids and went to an irish dance. we worshiped together in some really holy places, most memorable for me being kevin’s church, which is covered by sand every year, and every year dug out by the islanders on june 13. we shared ourselves in a way we will likely never share again, crying and laughing in spaces made safe by God’s presence. really, it was awesome.

i came home very exhausted, because really, it was a lot of work. but i also came home renewed, because really, it’s fun to watch God work.

Friday, July 10, 2009

not cool

i just wrote the longest post ever about ireland...
and then deleted it.
so not cool.