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I'm a self-professed adventure writer and former exercise junkie seeking a long-term relationship with my higher self, healthy workout habits, and a balanced, adventurous lifestyle in San Luis Obispo. Join me as I discover the healthy activities of SLO County, from land to sea.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I remember a remark my business law professor made some 20 years ago when I was in college: People who witness a spectacular sunset remember the scene much better than those who behold the same sunset and take a picture of it.

I don't really know if this sentiment is true, but in my case I don't suppose it matters—or fits. Since I moved to the Central Coast over a decade ago, I don't know if I ever really appreciated the sensational sunsets I witnessed here until the last few years. 

But since developing an interest in photography, I will not let an opportunity pass me by to snap a few (or a hundred) photos of the grand spectacles of color that splash across the sky in front of me.

Capturing these mind-blowing images is a privilege. Here are a few reflections from the last few evenings in Pismo Beach—each offering its own unique colors and shapes, and evoking its own feeling.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


My waistline has seen better days. I can't help but wish that my clothes fit me better, that I had six-pack abs and a bikini-ready body.

But I have the ability to shift this sentiment into something positive. So here goes: I accept that my lifestyle habits and the choices I've made have resulted in all that I am at this very moment. My flab is my own. 

Now I move forward to create what I see for myself.

I'm not trying to assert any abstract thinkingI just want to take responsibility for where I am and get on with my health and fitness goals.The half marathon I've been busting my core and legs for is roughly 6,038,000 seconds away. 

That's plenty of time to rock these abs.

A colossal Pismo Beach sunset earlier this week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

SLO Seven

This morning I made up my mind to run/walk seven miles. Although I had to drag my legs along begrudgingly, the sum of my parts succeeded.

Throughout today's long, slow journey, something became clear: I need new running shoes. The ones I've been trodding upon are now broken-down, dirty and over-used. Before my next run, I've promised my feet that I will fit them with brand-spanking-new shoes that will cushion and carry me all over San Luis Obispo. 

I'll save the old ones for sunset chasing on the beach. 

A few nights ago one of the most stunning sunsets I've ever witnessed lit up the sky over Pismo Beach.
Last night pink reigned supreme at Shell Beach.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SLO Monarchs

On the tail end of a cold, I realized running would have put me over the edge this weekend. Instead, I headed south and gave my neck a workout. 

At the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, scores of enchanting, fluttering Monarchs clustered high above the ground in this lofty grove of Eucalyptus trees. Craning my head back as far as I could, I attempted to catch glimpses of these vibrant orange and black fly-by-day insects.

Each fall, thousands of these "King of the Butterflies" migrate to the temperate coastal climate to escape the cold weather of other parts of the United States. They cannot survive cold winters. After living in San Luis Obispo County for over a decade, I don't think I could either. 

Here are a few snapshots of these winsome kings.

This Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the largest in the United States. Located next to the Pismo State Beach North Beach Campground at the southern end of Pismo, it's not far from Highway 1.

The ephemeral beauties that flock to this grove live for six months, unlike other Monarchs whose lifespan is only six weeks. 

Bystanders at the grove relished the opportunity to glimpse these large, flitting, beautiful creatures.

My little camera didn't do these clusters of Monarchs justice. Squint!

Up close and personal.

The average wingspan of the Monarch is 3.7 to 4.1 inches.

Their season is almost over.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

SLO Recovery

This past week was brutal. With our office gearing up to move to a new location next week and a writing deadline that loomed ominously, my excuses for not exercising consistently during the week got the best of me.

But life happensand it goes on. This morning I dusted off my running shoes and logged in a cool five mile run/walk in the crisp, clear atmosphere of San Luis Obispo City.

To aid in my recovery, I made sure to consume a fortified sports drink immediately after exercising. After all, I burdened my legs and feet by pounding the pavement on a local bike trail, and my overworked muscles deserved a little protein and glutamine.

I still remain on track for the half marathon in April. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. 

Morro Rock in early January.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snail's Pace

I run at a snail's pace. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit. 

But I've learned to be comfortable with my slow, steady stride and I've accepted that even in my wildest dreams, I'll never be able to sprint through a half marathon at record pace. 

Since I started my training program, my legs are sore a lot, but each time I get out for a run, I feel stronger and better. I'm slow, but who cares? I still put one foot in front of the other. 

My compulsion to train for an endurance race stems not from the victory of winning, but from the triumph of setting a goal and then...making it happen.

One step at a time.

The first sunset of 2013 at Pismo Beach.
"Focus on your potential instead of your limitations." ~Alan Loy McGinnis

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I admit that I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I gravitate towards goal-setting throughout the year and believe that if you see change for yourself or want to achieve a future objective, start now. Why wait until the beginning of next year?

But I realize that when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, there's an expectation in our society that the slate gets wiped clean...and it's a new beginning. Nothing wrong with that! 

Last year I began working towards several goals that I hope will come to fruition at some point over the next 365 days. One of them is running a half marathon in April. My ambition is to train well, remain injury-free, have fun, and get to the finish line with a smile on my face.

To help me obtain this goal, I recently took on a pledge for the new yearthe 100 Days Challenge. I promise to moove and groove for at least 30 minutes per day over the next 100 days.

Regardless of howor whenyou set your goals, today marks the onset of a new year. In 2013 we have 31,536,000 seconds to make the most of everything. Get out there and make it happen!

I captured the first sunrise of 2013 at Pismo Beach.