Running In Sochi

The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics is on! And it’s buzzing. From Track Speed Skating to Moguls and Freestyle Skiing and any and everywhere in between, the games provide something for everyone. Spanning some 90 years with its first official game in 1924, its been hosted more or less every four years like its summer counterpart, and have graduated from its early history of Scandinavian domination, its predecessor The Nordic Games, to include countries as far north as Canada and as far south as New Zealand and Australia. It also includes countries from South America and the Caribbean.

imageThis year the games of The XXII Olympiad boast a field of events that tests athletes endurance, skill, precision and speed on the ice.  To my way of thinking, many of these “snow/ice sports” share something in common with running, the big difference being  that they’re performed on ice. Take the Biathlon, Speed Skating, Short Track and Cross-Country, these are all sports with a running component with the adage of skates and skis as it would be impossible to run on ice without them. I recently watched a video of learning to cross-country ski and it was telling to see how one literally has to learn to run (diagonal stride) with skis on, only adding poles as you become more proficient. Since running is all about speed and endurance, I relate on a less icy level.

However, my favorite to watch at the Winter Games has always been Figure Skating. This year Russia’s own 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya, the youngest recipient of a gold medal for Team Russia, is a treat to watch.  Yulia LipnitskayIn the women short program on Monday, she put on one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen in figure skating and could well be the star of the show. I suspect an upset is imminent as former predictions for the popular Women’s Figure Skating event did not include her among USA, Japan, South Korea and Italy favorites. It’s the event to watch Feb 19 & 20.

What is super cool is that these games show us that while winter could be cold, harsh and unsettling to a lot of us, we’d do better to accept it for what it is, and what it brings and too, for all the sporty running things we can get up to.  If over 2000 athletes can do it then so can we. Winter Olympics 2014, we ❤️ you!

All Peaches and Running Dreams

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I love running in Georgia. Particularly, I delight in the fresh and pristine air surrounding the Savannah Rapids River in Augusta, and the cacophony of sounds that enfold me as I make my way along the scenic trails.  Because I consider myself a nature lover, I relish the times I can get away from city life and get in tuned with my wild side.  There’s nothing more inspiring than being lost to the world of city lights, blaring traffic and the constant chatter of well-meaning or not, people.  It is here that running takes on a whole new meaning; where competition, pace and races take a back seat to enjoyment, beauty and appreciation.

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It seems everything and everyone conspire to offer the perfect conditions -it’s hardly winter here today- for lacing up and heading out.  And because it’s so designed, I can hardly not take a camera along as picturesque scenes are sure to greet me.  I picture the willow trees, its branches swaying gently in the breeze as the gurgling sound of water gushes by and the birds singing sweetly as they tag along on this self-defining run that will unearth more than I can imagine and unload more than mere calories.

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I may return with some Spanish moss in my hand and some stunning shots on my camera, but what I hold in my heart and my head, words cannot express, nor can I really articulate what it means to this city girl who’s really country at heart.

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