30 Days of Awesome 2012 – Wrapped...
For those (probably three of you) who came to Rhymes this year expecting to follow along with #30daysofawesome only to find it missing, I’m terribly sorry. We did do it again this yea, but we posted our Awesomeness on Instagram. Infinitely easier and allowed everyone to participate again without hinder of the time black hole that can be blogging.
That said, Awesome in all it’s glory is still worth sharing here, so I’ve downloaded all 30 of my Awesome instas.
Two Days in Beaver Creek – Skiing for Sarah.
When I first learned of Sarah Burke’s passing, I was crushed. There is no simpler way to put it. She had a light and without her the world is a little dimmer. Shortly after I heard the news and my sobs had subsided somewhat, a friend said to me, “I didn’t know Sarah, just knew of her. And clearly she was a special person beyond her awards and accolades.” He then asked me to tell him a little bit about her.
It took me a minute to think and in that minute I realized that through my tears I was smiling a quirky little smile with my lips pressed together and one side puckered into a smirk. The Sarah Smile. Not the one she used when standing on top of podiums or walking the red carpet. It was the one she reserved for when she was out of the spotlight. The one that let you know she was so much more than the beautiful person and Olympic-caliber athlete you saw in the media.
It was the smile that said she could be goofy and wear fake neck tattoos and make wizard staffs of empty beer cans when pent up in a house with eight girls.
It was the one that said a night at Sushi Village with her friends or a day of snowboarding in pow with her dad was just as important as her medals.
It was the one she wore when talking about being stoked when a camper she was coaching learned a new trick.
It said that no matter how frustrating, she would never give up promoting and advocating for the sport she loved so much.
Sarah’s form of advocacy — to which not just female skiers, but females and skiers alike owe a debt of gratitude — was not the “in your face”, “make a lot of noise”, “look at me” advocacy. Rather, Sarah took a behind the scenes approach and let her actions both on and off the snow speak for her. If contest promoters said, “Not until girls step up,” when asked for more prize money for girls or more females allowed in contests, then step up she would with tricks not before seen in women’s skiing, as if to respond, “How about now?”
Through all of the advocacy and achievements Sarah never stopped smiling. Sometimes her quirky smirk and other times her bright, beautiful smile that could light up any room. Because from that smile came such a genuine warmth and light. There was not an unkind bone in Sarah’s body and you could feel that the moment you met her. She had a gift of making everyone around her comfortable and happy to be where they were. Her smile could make your day better and she always had one for you when you needed it.
For someone so often in the spotlight and so busy with all of her endeavors, Sarah always had time. Whether is was to sit down with a nervous assistant editor for an interview, take 15 girl campers to the salon to get manicures or text you on your birthday, Sarah always had time. If someone told me she had a tree in her backyard where not money grew, but hours in the day, I would believe them. How else could someone accomplish all she has? And rather than being sad about not seeing that smile anymore, I’m going to be as strong and determined as Sarah was in her life and remember just how lucky I am to have had her in my life at all.
And instead of being sad and sulking around the house when learned I lost a friend, I did what I knew she would want me to do. I went skiing. And I skied for Sarah.
I skied groomers. I skied trees. I skied fast. I skied slow. I skied park. I skied pow. I skied from first chair until my legs were burning.
While skiing Beaver Creek’s nearly empty slopes, I happened across a group of five nine-year-old girls skiing together on one of the first pow days of the year. I had to stop them and ask them at the top of the run if I could take their photo. Because when I saw them, I couldn’t help but smile and think of Sarah. These girls may not know who Sarah was or why some strange lady wanted their photo. But they were out there skiing and to me, they were a great representation of Sarah’s legacy. Wearing pink goggles and riding twin tips, they are a part of what Sarah worked so hard to accomplish and I can’t help but think she was smiling at them as she was sending them their first powder day.
I’m not sure if it makes sense to have a blog here AND a tumblr account, but, what can I say, I’m trying to raise my Klout score.
No, really I think my tumblr will be more for photos and inspiration. Quick little snippets. Like when my best friend Cari sends me her Quote of The Day (and she does. Everyday. Bless her heart) I can quickly jot the ones I like on my tumblr.
If there’s a beautiful video or song I want to share: tumblr.
When I want to report on my amazing Retallack trip : blog.
When you need to know about these shoes I found : tumblr.
When my friend Sarah passes away and I have something to say : blog.
“And Delight Reigned” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Secret Garden
Today was my first day on the mountain here in Chile. It can be summed up with one word: smile.
#30daysofawesome – DAY 30 – Introducing Neftalie.
I have always wanted to do this. I’m somewhat embarassed it took Awesome to finally make me do it. But proud I did it, none the less.
I sponsored a child today.
Her name is Neftalie. She is two years old and lives in Haiti. Her community is ravaged by AIDS.
She’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
For $35 dollars a month, my donations help provide food, clean drinking water and education for Neftalie and her community.
Neftalie’s parents are both laborers, but unfair wages prevent them from adequately providing for her and her three siblings. I hope I can help. Haiti has seen so much destruction and children are hit the hardest.
I hope one day to meet Neftalie and in the meantime correspond with her and her family via letters.
It can seem like a lot, but when you break it down to roughly a dollar a day, do you think you might be able to sponsor Christin:
If you could, it would be incredibly, amazingly, Awesome.
#30daysofawesome – DAY 29 – It’s My Double Rainbow Birthday!.
That’s right. I turned 29 on the 29th day of Awesome. In my book, that’s better than a Golden Birthday. That’s an Awesome Platinum Birthday or something.
Anyway, the other thing Awesome about my birthday is I came home to Denver after a couple weeks of traveling. What was awaiting me here in Colorado when I got home? A full-on double rainbow. That’s what!
Not only was it a double rainbow, but it went pot of gold to pot of gold. You know, all the way round. And a perfect excuse to use my new 360 app.
Not only was a double rainbow waiting for me when I got home, but so were Ian and Lesley ready to accompany me to birthday dinner at the Ale House in the Highlands. Lesley brought me these Awesome birthday flowers. Must be she knows how much I like flowers. Pretty sweet and Awesome Birthday.
It wasn’t any of the other girls birthdays. But I bet they got just as Awesome.
#30daysofawesome – DAY 28 – The Grotto.
As I’ve said before. I love flowers. Gardens. Etc… So when I was in Portland, looking for a hotel on hotels.com and it said the hotel I booked was close to “the Grotto” I had to explore.
Through a bit of research, I learned the Grotto was home to 63 acres of gardens. In the middle of Portland! That was enough for me.
It turns out the Grotto is not only a slew of gardens, but one of the most devout Catholic shrines in America. It is lauded as a place of prayer and reflection and it strewn with various shrines and monuments depicting saints and Jesus that can be seen among the miles and miles of hiking trails.
The coolest part of the Grotto, however, is the elevator that takes you up to the upper gardens. The 110-foot elevator is a huge stone building that encompasses the elevator shaft and that alone. It’s sketchy looking, eh?
The elvevator and the Grotto cave
One you’re up, you are able to walk around the 62 acres. Included are the Rose Gardens:
St. Anne’s Cathedral :
The Meditation Chapel — built of polished granite and glass walls — and the Monastery — home to the Servite Friars.
And the Peace Gardens:
Even though I’m not an extremely religious person, it was hard not to be spiritually moved by being here. If you’re ever in Portland, I strongly suggest you go check it out.
See what the other girls of Awesome checked out today.
#30daysofawesome – DAY 27 – I REALLY Love Books.
And because I love books so much, I HAD to visit the original Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR. Powell’s City of Books (as it’s called) is not just any bookstore. It’s the world’s LARGEST New and Used Bookstore. It encompasses a full city block and has over 68,000 square feet of retail space. That’s a lot of room for shelves of independent books for the Portland Hipsters to browse.
Upon entering the mythological place, I literally lost my breath. It was overwhelming and I had no idea how to navigate the many rooms full of shelves. This was not your average Borders.
At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd and losing half my followers and friends, I may have shed a tear or two of happiness being surrounded by all these books. Particularly when I chanced upon this shelf full of classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I LOVE me some Nancy Drew.
Nancy, Frank and Joe.
Not only that, but I couldn’t decide which books to purchase. I ended up with three new ones… Obviously.
On this same day, my friend Clare tweeted this amazing essay from Little Miss Dorkette. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Read it. Now.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
#30daysofawesome – DAY 26 – Going the extra Dutch Mile.
For all the time I had recently spent in the Netherlands, the biggest thing I don’t like is that I don’t know the language. I’ve always felt wrong about the fact that as an American, visiting a foreign country, rather than I know the language to communicate, every one in whatever foreign country I’m visiting speaks English. Even though they don’t have to! It bothers me. Makes me feel ignorant and selfish. So, as I was making my way from Holland to Oregon, I happened upon this Rosetta Stone kiosk in the Houston airport.
The very helpful kiosk attendant, William, showed me how it works and I correctly indicated the drinking children versus the eating children. Brava.
So, I did it. I purchased the last remaining copy of the Level One Dutch learning kit.
Please, dear Nog and Awesome patrons, hold me accountable and check in on me and my language learning!
Check what the other girls may need help being held accountable for! 30daysofawesome.com
Amsterdam and Bikes..
Amsterdam is the bike capital of the world.