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Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere and longest day of the year for daylight. I celebrated by riding my bike to and from a stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga class. As I was paddling along the calm reservoir water with a wonderful group of people, I felt completely at peace. That’s the second time I’ve had that feeling in the last two days – yesterday, it was after riding my cruiser to a blissful yin yoga class. Biking and yoga seem to have that effect on me!

Today, being on the water was what had the most influence on me. Water has been calming and special to me ever since childhood. Unfortunately, my kayak hasn’t seen a lake in far too long. Now that I’ve done SUP four times, I’m even more inspired to live somewhere (at least part of the year) that is near enough to water that I can justify buying a board! In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll be back at the reservoir this summer to rent a board.

Today marks the seventh day of my Ironman Challenge, and I’m going strong. I’m already almost done with the biking – I have ridden three times for a total of 93 miles, leaving me with only 19 miles to go to reach 112. I only made it to the pool once so far to swim, but I managed more laps than I set out to do, so I’m about a third of the way through the 2.4 miles.

Jogging has been a struggle as I suspected with my knee woes and having been off the wagon for so long. Wearing my brace, icing afterwards, and mixing up the route seem to help. My second jog was particularly challenging and the only thing that kept me going was my music playlist that was reminiscent of my road trip through Costa Rica a year and a half ago. I knew that the run would be the most challenging part of my goal, but I’m feeling good as my legs are getting back on board with this running thing, however it always takes about a mile to get into a rhythm. I have jogged four times and am almost half way to my goal of 26.2 total miles. With nine days left in June, I’m confident that I will succeed in meeting (and maybe even surpassing) this challenge!

The cleanse part of my solstice challenge has been difficult to abide by. I originally intended to avoid gluten, but that hasn’t happened with the exception of maybe one day. While I have been successful in avoiding caffeine and most added sugar, I drank sangria after yoga on Tuesday and had some beers at the street fair last night. I have been eating salads, but am definitely not eating mostly raw. For my other points of focus, I have been journaling or meditating every day, and doing random acts of kindness on most days, including one for myself.

Overall, I’m feeling positive about this experience and am happy to be focusing on doing the right things for my physical and emotional health. It’s a process, and there will continue to be challenges and circumstances that take me off course, but I know I can always find my way back.

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