Posts Tagged ‘Santa Ana River’

When I woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday for my scheduled 18-miler, I was surprised to find my husband Mike awake as well. Sadly, he had gotten the call, the call we knew would come someday. It was time for Mike to head to the hospital to say goodbye to his father. Howard had been in a coma for nearly five years after suffering a stroke. We were all sad to lose him, and yet comforted knowing that he would now be at peace, and thankful that Mike could be at his side when he passed.

Howard was a kind, generous man who always saw the best in other people. He was a good father to Mike and a loving grandfather to my girls. For a few months before his stroke, we had the privilege of living with him before we found a house in California, and he absolutely delighted in getting to see his grandkids all the time.

After a final goodbye and a long day at the hospital for Mike, we crashed into bed at 11 p.m. Even then, Mike encouraged me to get up in the morning to go for that 18-miler. So, bright and not-so-early the next morning, I paused at the trailhead to think of Howard and dedicate that run to him.

It turned out to be a magical run. At one point past the halfway mark, I saw about 20 beautiful white pelicans flying overhead. (Fact of the day: a group of pelicans is called a pod). On the ground below I saw a group of humans (let’s call them a crowd) staring at the Santa Ana River. Then I saw this:

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans on the Santa Ana River

That’s just a fraction of the 100+ American White Pelicans that swam in two pods on the river. All the people who had stopped along the trail were grinning with excitement. We kept looking at each other as if to say, “Can you believe it? How lucky are we?!”

I tore myself away and restarted my Garmin and my book on CD. For the 3-hour run I listened to the first three discs of Shockaholic, read by the author Carrie Fisher (yes, Princess Leia herself). Due to the crass nature of her storytelling, I can’t exactly recommend the book, but I can share with you something amazing she read toward the end of disc three, as she talked about holding vigil at the bedside of a dying loved one:

One stays until the other can’t anymore, and the one who won’t be able to stick around is much more important than the one who can. And I find relief in the understanding and acceptance of the unspoken urgency in this arrangement…. You love them until they can’t feel loved anymore, then you keep on loving them, as if they were still there, as if there’s been a reprieve at the last moment, and fate has reversed itself. It all turned out to be a bad dream that you both had and now get to wake from…. After death takes someone from you, it gives you something back…. It’s as though you’re living for two now. Their memory lives inside you and you feed it. You live for them now that they can’t anymore.

Rest in peace, Howard.

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Don’t worry men, you don’t have to avert your eyes for this one, we’re not talking about that kind of burning. We’re talking about the burning questions that bring searchers to Fit Fun Mom via Google. I am here to help!

1. black running shoes are they bad

Now that depends on what you mean by “bad.” Bad as in “cool”? Totally! My husband says I look like I’m on a secret military mission when I wear my black Brooks and my black running tights and top. I like looking fierce!

Runner in black

The fierce Fit Fun Mom in black takes on Mammoth in winter

(Confession: I only bought the black pair because they were cheaper on Amazon and I am nothing if not cheap). Are black shoes bad in the traditional sense? Only if you’re concerned about visibility, and even then you are better off relying on your shirt and shorts to make you visible to others on the road.

2. can you swim breaststroke in a wetsuit?

Absolutely! A wetsuit might totally feel restrictive but it won’t keep you from swimming breaststroke. You won’t get far (you’re way faster doing freestyle) but you can do it. I do it when I suddenly need to catch my breath during a triathlon swim.

3. do kids have to swim freestyle in triathlon

Nope! Adults don’t have to swim freestyle either! In triathlon you can swim any which way you want as long as you are propelling yourself forward under your own power.

4. can you swim in the Santa Ana River?

Dude, the better question is why would you want to swim in the Santa Ana River? The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board names one of its challenges as, “Reduce salts and nutrients in manure and wash water from dairy operations overlying the Chino Groundwater Basin that have severely degraded groundwater quality and threaten downstream water quality.” Eww! It goes on to say it needs to “[m]anage nonpoint sources of pathogens that continue to affect the quality of the Santa Ana River, thus rendering the river unsuitable for swimming.” So no, do not dip your toe in that river. Besides, half the time the river looks like this:

The Santa Ana River, not exactly flowing along swimmingly

5. penis for women to pee

I know I wrote about the Shewee: For Women on the Go “To Go” and I did talk about penis envy, but even I had to giggle when someone searched for “penis for women to pee.”

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