50 Miler Training Video Journal Day #2

I’m still pushing! #TeamAlexx

 

 

 

 

50 Miler Training Video Journal Day #1

I’m keeping this video journal, so you can travel this crazy journey with me.  :)  #TeamAlexx

Here’s hoping we can motivate each other toward achieving all the things to which we set our minds. #Teamwork

Not by the Hair of My Chiny Chin Chin!

chintweezeAbout a month ago, I was walking down the street & saw something that scared the $#!% out of me. I stopped cold, like I had gotten kicked in the chest. I saw one of my worst fears, a possible glimpse of my future, & I wasn’t ready to face it. I saw a woman with a full on goatee, & she was rocking it like there was nothing odd about it!!

I, like a lot of women, have unwanted facial hair. While I don’t have a moustache, I do have what I call “chin fur,” & I worry if left unchecked, I’d have the chin hair of a traveling circus act. So, I spend countless hours removing every hair I can find. I can’t imagine all the things I could do with all the extra time I’d have if I wasn’t dedicating my life to the removal of chin hair. Plus, it’s a huge fear that when I finally make it on the tv show “Survivor,” people will be on social media using #BeardedLady when referring to me. Even though I am the queen of “I don’t give a F*@% what people think of me,” even I have to admit that would not be good & beyond embarrassing.

Seeing that woman & her buddy, the goatee, made me realize just how bad this could get, especially once I hit menopause. Isn’t that supposed to be the time woman really experience this issue? Well, I guess it’s just lucky me who’s always ahead of the curve. Granted, to each his own. Everyone is allowed to make the decisions that allow them to live their happiest life, but I’m not going #BeardedLady without a fight! Also, I don’t think that trend will be catching on any time soon.

My friends all have their preferred method of hair removal… tweezing, waxing, threading, depilatories, laser, even shaving. But unfortunately, nothing ever seems to be a permanent solution, as those annoying little furs always return. Either way, I’m not giving up, & I encourage you not to give up either if you share my plight. That lady with her goatee was frightening. It was Halloween, horror movie, nightmare stuff, & I don’t want it.

I sure do hope men appreciate all we go through as women. But I guess, men have their equivalent, too… MOOBS! And you can’t tweeze those. LOL! ;)

Strawberry Avocado Salad

strawavaI’m one of those weird people who always craves a really good salad.  This is one of my favorites to make when I don’t have much time, but still want something light & fresh with lots of flavor.  The strawberries provide the sweet, while the avocados & nuts are buttery, packed with “good fats” & protein to keep you from feeling hungry.  It’s super simple & easy to make. :) Enjoy!

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cups torn salad greens

1 avocado – peeled, pitted and sliced

10 strawberries, sliced

* 1/2 cup chopped pecans  (substitute with candied pecans for extra sweetness)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, olive oil, honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Place the salad greens in a pretty bowl, and top with sliced avocado and strawberries. Drizzle dressing over everything, then sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving, or serve immediately.

My 1st TV Commercial

After moving to the Bay Area to launch a new radio station & morning show, I’m in our station’s TV commercials!

I had so much fun shooting them. Just don’t blink or you may miss me jammin’ in my car. LOL! :)

Check ‘em out!

My 1st Solo Wilderness Adventure

IMAG0593Committed to my goal of pursuing adventure, a few weeks ago, I took advantage of the first 3-day weekend of the year by exploring the Ventana Wilderness, near Big Sur State Park. It was my first solo camping trip, and it didn’t disappoint. I was so excited for the unknown of what was in store that I found myself constantly quoting Ellie from the animated Disney/Pixar movie “Up,” saying, “Adventure is out there!”

A short 150 mile drive south of San Francisco brought me to Big Sur State Park. The drive along the coastal highway, heading to Big Sur, was nothing short of breathtaking. The ocean and cliff views looked like every picture and movie I’ve ever seen showcasing Hawaii, and I had to pull over to take it all in. I was in an entirely different world just a couple of hours from the city.

IMAG0572When I made it to Big Sur, the Ranger told me all the campsites were full, because of the 3-day weekend, and suggested I try finding a site in the Wilderness. That sounded like just the kind of adventure I was up for… spontaneous and steadily unfolding minute by minute. I followed the map the Ranger gave me. In less than half an hour, I found a campsite, miles into the Wilderness, on the edge of a huge forest ridge cliff. It was glorious!

I got lots of swanky, new camping, hiking, and backpacking gear for Christmas, including a top-of-the-line, super warm sleeping bag. I was itching to use everything for the first time. I quickly set up my tent with all of my gear and supplies inside before sunset. Before going to sleep, I took time to admire the stars in the pitch black sky, while enjoying a warm cup of peppermint tea, beside a small fire. It was the perfect way to end the evening. After all, I had a big day ahead of me… exploring the wilderness.

I woke the next morning, very early, to the sounds of nature. Birds were singing, chirping and calling out their “good morning greetings.” I quickly packed up my campsite, made breakfast with the little camping stove I borrowed from my co-worker, and then set off on a hike into the forest.

IMAG0611There were 2 marked trails by my campsite, and since I couldn’t choose which to do, I made a plan to keep track of time and do both. First, I hiked down among the majestic redwood trees. They were huge, and I found such peace and calm in their shade and shadows. I took in every second of the sights, sounds, and clean smells of the pure outdoors. I was in a slice of nature’s perfection. I came across several different bird species and walked my way down by rivers. After that, I hiked up to the second trail that ran along a forest ridge, with the most magnificent views of endless trees for as far as the eye can see. It was a good day.

I made it back to my car by late afternoon and headed out of the forest, hoping to catch the sun setting along the coast and cliffs, as I drove towards home. It was an amazing couple of days. Taking a moment alone with nature is just what I needed to refresh and restore my mind and spirit, after months and months of keeping an extremely busy schedule.

Here’s hoping you find something which does the same for you. Remember Ellie from “Up.” “Adventure is out there!”

Never stop exploring!

IMAG0657

Lost Luggage… Until We Meet Again

lost luggageI was really looking forward to going back home to Chicago for Christmas and New Year’s. After living in San Francisco for several months, I was very much in need of some hometown love.  Plus, I had a staggering amount of loose ends to wrap up after dropping everything and moving in September.

The trip was exhausting, as expected, but I ultimately left Chicago feeling relieved.  It’s true, I didn’t get one full night of sleep, and I didn’t get to spend enough time with friends or family. However, my huge “things to do list” was tackled and slayed.  That alone was a tremendous weight off of my shoulders.  Despite being sleep deprived and run-down after weeks of non-stop work, I was definitely returning to California with a more optimistic mindset.  Unfortunately, my new-found optimism was slightly derailed once the airline LOST MY LUGGAGE!

I had an early morning flight back to the west coast on Sunday. When I arrived, I soon discovered not all of my luggage arrived with me.  In fact, one of my bags was never even loaded onto the plane.  After spending time in the Southwest Baggage Claim office, I was assured my bag was still in Chicago and would be on the next direct flight out, set to arrive around 11pm.  Additionally, for a fee of $25.00, my bag would be delivered to my home shortly afterwards, between midnight and 4am.  I was warned that the delivery person would call me to confirm the delivery, and if I did not answer the call, the delivery would not take place.  So, after staying up all night finishing last minute projects, and not resting on my flight, I would now be staying up another night waiting on my missing bag.

It was a struggle staying awake for a 2nd straight night, but I did it. Unfortunately, I received no call, and no bag was delivered.  I called to check on the delivery, but the Baggage Office was closed and no one would be there until morning.  By now, I was loopy from no sleep and a zombie at work, but I was excited to finally reach someone at the airport, who said my bag was located and would be to me in 4-6 hours.  FINALLY!  I’d have my bag and I could get some rest.

4-6 hours came and went and still no bag.  I was told the delivery folks were severely backed up, so I stayed up yet another night, certain my bag would arrive.  Plus, I was way too afraid to go to sleep for fear of missing that call.  Remember, I was warned… miss that call, no bag.  Bottom line…  I stayed up all night for a 3rd night and still NO FREAKING BAG!! WTF??!!

At this point, I was delirious and struggling to make sense on-air at work.  In the meantime, I received an email from the airline that said delivery driver Carlos had my bag and would drop it off by 4pm, unless traffic, weather, or something else delayed the delivery.  By now, I’m half-crazy from no sleep and upset that the airline had me “twisting in the wind” for days.

I’m happy to say, my bag arrived by 2pm, and because it was sooooooo late (3 days), I did not have to pay the $25 delivery fee.  How nice of them. (sarcasm)  Here’s a secret… at that point, there was no way in hell I was going to pay that damn fee!

I can sort of laugh about this crazy experience, now that I’ve had some sleep, but I truly sympathize with folks who have to deal with never ever getting their luggage returned.  I feel your pain.  A couple of folks asked me, what in the world was so important in that bag. There was vital paperwork and some other things, but I’m especially happy that I have all the tasty snacks I brought back from Chicago.  I can’t find them here in The Bay, and a little bit of home goes a long way in keeping the spirits up.  You know I love my snacks!  ;)

Why I Went Into the Woods

yocollageCamping, hiking, backpacking, climbing & exploring the great outdoors definitely isn’t for everyone, but it absolutely is for me! When I moved to California a little over 2 months ago, these activities were on my MUST DO list.

The overwhelming desire to spend as much time as possible in the vast wonder that is “America the Beautiful” started 2 years ago, after going on a magical 2 week trip with my mother and aunt, touring some of our most awe inspiring National Parks. I spent time enjoying the magnificence of so many natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Mesa Verde, the Grand Tetons, Monument Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, & Yellowstone National Park. After that trip, I knew I wanted a life that included spending as much time as possible in places that had the same unmatched glory. Already a pretty accomplished endurance athlete, I also knew I wanted to take on the new challenge of adventure racing in that environment.

So, shortly after I returned home to Chicago, I got a part-time job at The North Face store and began to learn more about outdoor specific activities and sports. I loved it! I took in as much information as possible about all the different gear, technology, techniques, etc. I also started amassing my own collection of hiking & exploring gear.

Fast forward… I now live in California, & after just 2 months here, I went to Yosemite National Park to spend quality time in the woods. My first trip was a short one, but it was enough to take me right back to the much needed peace & calm I felt 2 years ago on my first trip into the wild. My coworker loved the idea of my adventure & I invited her to join in. Hi Freska! Everyone deserves a little wilderness healing.

It rained, hailed & the temperature got down to freezing, but I was in heaven, completely unplugged from the world with no cell phone service, no computers or tv. It was my chance to destress, decompress, & just be. I was bundled up, snuggled in a sleeping bag, in a tent, with my food safely in the bear food locker just outside… and it was perfect. I did have some trouble getting my bonfire started, but now I have it down for my next trip. I’m more than ready.

Despite the bonfire issues, I still managed to grill a pizza & make several cups of tea. Go me! :)

Never stop exploring!

New City, New Beginnings & Happy Birthday to Me!

ggbridgeIt’s been a crazy few months, but here’s a quick recap. Since late August, I left my family, friends, home & jobs in Chicago, completed my 5th IRONMAN triathlon & relocated to San Francisco to do morning radio with my best friend from college. (city #5 on my radio career tour) To say the least, I’ve been pretty busy. So far, It’s been a blast. Everyday, I still think about how wonderfully encouraging & supportive all my friends, family, colleagues & listeners were when I broke the news & how everyone continues to be. I’m extremely thankful for that.

It’s been quite the adjustment, but little things like, my new city’s baseball team winning the World Series, visiting Facebook headquarters, going stand-up paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, & Oprah coming to town, & taking in all of the iconic SF sights have definitely eased the transition.

On this eve of my birthday, I’m reflecting on the road I’ve traveled thus far & thinking about all the new & exciting things I have planned for the new year. Stay tuned… things are bound to get pretty interesting. Thanks for joining me on my journey. xo :)