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Author Archive | Jeff O

Mountain Song

Guys, I’m pumped. Remember all those posts about how I hated running… ’cause what’s the point, amiright?!? Well, there may not be too many of those anymore.  Last weekend I took a beginner rock climbing course at the Great Western Power Company with George and signed up on the spot.

you have no idea how good it felt to tear up my hands climbing. i was DOING something! and it feels good.

you have no idea how good it feels to tear up my hands climbing. i am DOING something! and it feels good.

When I snowboarded consistently with guys and girls who were better than me it drove me to do squats, run high elevation trails and other junk like that just so that I would have the endurance to keep up and shred more and more aggressive terrain. The love of sliding down that mountain drove me to want to get in better shape and had the very welcome side effect of making me a happier person during a time when I was quite lost.

After only a few days climbing I’m hooked. This is the first activity I’ve done in a while that’s made me REALLY want to get in better shape. In less than a week I’ve gone from kinda wanting to drop a couple lbs just because I should (not so motivating) to feeling like I HAVE to drop those lbs… and get stronger, have better endurance, eat better, be happier, be more creative, work harder and be more enthusiastic all with the goal of conquering that 5.9, then that 5.10, then that 5.11, then that… well, you see where this is headed.

In short, if I can stick to climbing I really feel it is something that will help generate some positive change in my life AND get me back out there running!

Turns out I just needed a mountain in my life.

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Peel Me Off This Velcro Seat and Get Me Moving

photo copyI don’t know what the deal is but it’s been very difficult to get motivated to get out and get running. I’ve been playing a bit more basketball these days but not enough to keep me in shape. Last week I managed to get a run in along the bay and it felt pretty great. I guess it’s just a matter of making the time and getting the motivation.

I have been eating A LOT better lately and that’s helping me feel like I should be getting out there and getting after it a bit more.  Hoping the end of spring and beginning of summer lends itself to lots of time spent outdoors and in the woods specifically. I seem to come alive in nature. Natureboy. That’s me. Until then I’ll keep working on fighting the day to day grind in the city, well in a city, forget The City. Yuppies…

 

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Proof!

GTRC proof

Well, we did it and here’s the proof!!! Everyone survived and had a great time!!! Way to go GTRC crew.

 

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Not As Good As Some But Better Than Most

I haven’t exactly been crushing it with my running and my training but I’m still managing to get some miles in here or there.  So far I’ve peaked at a 9 mile run (for this round of training).  I’m going to go for 10 this weekend (there’s a rumor that Matt and I and Cheng might try and tackle the bay bridge trail). This would only put me one week behind in training and as Jon pointed out if I can run 9, I can run 10 and if I can run 10, I can run 13. It’s called math, look it up.

I’ve mostly been running near my work which just happens to be one of the most scenic places IN THE WORLD. Here’s some photos from some after work jogs.

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Running Is OK

I mean, running is pretty fun… ehh… maybe it’s just ok… ehh… it’s got it’s moments. I don’t know. Sometimes I’m torn about how I feel about running.

6 miles!

6 miles!

Running is taking up a lot of real estate in my brain/life at the moment and that’s fine, I am really enjoying my time spent running and how it’s starting to make me feel about my ability to build back a certain level of fitness. I’m starting to feel like a runner.

Just last week I ran 6 miles faster than I’ve ever ran six miles before.  I won’t kid myself, I felt pretty good about it, but running doesn’t seem to do for me what some other things in life have done for me and I’m wondering if running has what it takes, as an activity, to stick around for the long haul.

Lemme es’plain… I’ve dunked a basketball.

I’ve dunked a basketball on top of some very big, mean, and athletic guys who were doing everything they could to stop me from dunking said basketball. I’ve dunked a basketball on a guy that ended up being rookie of the year in the NBA 4 years later. It was rarely pretty, but I won’t lie… it always felt awesome.

Al Bundy 3 touchdowns in one game, I dunked on a kid on public access TV.

Al Bundy had 3 touchdowns in one game… I dunked on a kid on public access TV.

The best dunk I ever had was in high school; the game was being broadcast on local cable access TV, it was against our rival, there were probably just under 3 thousand people in attendance (including my parents and the girl I had a crush on at the time).

A quick turnover led to a 3 on 2 break with me filling the right lane.  Storming down the court I watched as our point guard stopped right at the top of the key drawing in one of the two defenders, as soon as I hit free throw line extended I started to make my dive to the basket.  I could tell the pass was coming my way… unfortunately, so could the second defender… as he made his shift over to the low block obstructing my straight path to the basket the ball came to me sooner than I had expected… moving at my top speed and with my less than stellar ball handling skills there was no possibility of changing course.  I had only one option… to jump.

I jumped from further out than I had ever jumped before.

Now, this did not go down like that time Vince Carter dunked over that 7 foot french guy, but taking off from outside they key I pretty much leapt over the dude. As the ball went through basket I swung from one side of the key to the other holding on to the rim like my life depended on it.  My momentum carried me completely to the other block where gravity finally took hold of me and brought me back to earth again. As I landed 3000 people simultaneously gasped “Ohhhhh…” followed by the literally overwhelming sound of the home crowd cheering. This was a sound I could feel more than hear and it caused my hands to shake with nervous excitement. Athletically, I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

There’s been a few things in life that have made me feel the same way; some big drops and turns on deep powder days in the sierras, seeing Cheng walk into a bar for the first time, catching that perfect Costa Rican wave… but running hasn’t had one of those, “oh fuck, I want to feel this way forever” moments for me yet. Can it?

Alright running, I guess you’re OK afterall.

If I’m being honest I think the answer is yes.

The more I run trails the more I think running might have what it takes to stick around in my life.  Being in the woods either alone, with a good set of buds and/or someone you love,  trudging up a path building potential energy and finally being able to realise it, whipping through the trees, dodging roots, rocks and pinecones… it’s a pretty good feeling.  Will 3000 people cheer watching me run a trail? No. Will future me ever be on pins and needles thinking about a run I had 19 years ago? Probably not. But that feeling I get moving through nature as my potential is turned kinetic is a feeling I wouldn’t mind having in my life for a long time to come.

What about running keeps you guys going? How does it stack up to some of your other experiences?

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