Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue Sky

I love the Big Island so much!! There is mystery, beauty, and magic around every turn. Nothing makes me appreciate it more than driving around the island. I like living on the Hilo side because of how raw and rugged the ocean is off of the Hamakua coast. Paddling and surfing off of the windswept coast definitely makes me feel alive and directly connected to the pulse of life. On the other hand(or side of the island) I highly enjoy the calm clear turquoise waters of the leeward coast.

Kealakekua Bay is one of my favorite places for many reasons. Its stunning beauty, tranquil vibes and deep history make it a place that I frequent. Not to mention that on any given day you could find yourself in the middle of a pod of spinner dolphins, or this time of year witness humpback whales breach! There is no better way to celebrate a day in the water of frolicking/paddling than to stop by South Kona's only farm/speakeasy/my former residence for a night of live music and dancing. The Dirty Shack is a funky and unique place that is for sure. Two bands played really fun sets as the crowd steadily grew.

After dancing all night I somehow made it to the start of the Peaman Splish Splash and Super Bowl Shuffle. I am not a swimmer and have not swam since my life guarding days four years ago. I thought it would be fun to partake in the ½ mile swim/3 mile run event. There are different events put on throughout the year by Peaman and I have been curious try something new.

(Photo:Big Island Running Co)

There was a buoy marking the swim and I thought to myself from shore how easy it looked like it was going to be. However after the madness started and I got kicked in the head a few times, swallowed about 2.5 gallons of water and had a near panic attack from seeing only bubbles; the buoy suddenly appeared miles away. The only words that were going through my mind were profane as I tried to get out of the “fucking reptile zoo” and into a section of water that was clear and void of others. By the time I approached shore I could only laugh at the sad state I was in. Both of my calves were cramped up big time and one of my sides was cramping too. I felt like a plane stumbling in for a crash landing. I was so relieved to not be swimming anymore! When I went to put on my shoes my left calf contracted and started to spasm. This had never happened to me before so the only thing to do was laugh at the absurdity of it all. Once I put my shoes on and started running I was instantly rejuvenated and finished feeling great! It was a fun time, I really liked the laid back feel of the event and it was great to mix it up and try something new!

(Topped off a fun weekend by swimming through trails lined with ferns)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Indoor Snorkeling

Heavy rain+ fog+ lazy evenings+ hazy electronic music+ oil pastels= Indoor snorkeling

Friday, January 7, 2011

Peaks and Pastures

I have been doing lots of running and exploring around the land of red roads, rock wall ruins, ancient volcanoes, and waterfalls of clouds spilling from the sky. The grass in the pastures was glowing green as a collective bouquet but each individual blade contained the whole vibrant spectrum of the color.

I think of running as an expression and there are many ways to draw new lines and do old things in new ways. The vast and wide open landscape felt like a giant canvas for me to paint with my strides as I ran. Off of Mana Rd. many hills (Pu’u) dot the landscape rising up to various elevations.

There are no roads or trails to or up them so I decided to go truly cross country and run up various peaks in the area. It was just a matter of choosing a side to run up and a line to run down. I felt like a kid running through huge grassy fields full of wild flowers to the base of the hills. It sure was steeper than it looked from afar. I guess being juxtaposed against Mauna Kea will make anything look small from afar. I was happy because there are not many runable sustained climbs around that are off road. Once I made it to the top I saw the USGS marker that said Pu’u IO. I later learned that it stands at 3,547ft. I was confronted with the kind of view that I dream about and could just lay in the grass and dissolve into it. Echoes of Thomas Merton were ringing: “And a voice in me seemed to be crying “Look! Look!” For these are the discoveries, and it is for this that I am high on the mast of my ship...”

As I looked out the fog converging from separate directions, the summits of Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and the great Pacific; I thought how this is what gives shape and meaning to my life. Smaller hills were all around so I flew down the steep backside of Pu’u IO into and across a pasture and up up up and back down again. I made a triangle from the point where I went off road running up three of the fairly steep hills. The land is wide open clear to the summit of Mauna Kea so the exploring possibilities are endless! This was the first time in a while that I have felt better at the end of a long run compared to when I started.

This is what I felt like after 4.5 hours:

Trails, waves, whatever the medium, sometimes looking back it feels like part dream and part reality. What’s left over is a memory that shines bright and a lingering feeling of inspiration.

Continues to inspire:

Derek Hynd from aramis17 on Vimeo.