When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Soccer weekend.

Can you say “looser” with capital “L”? That what we (Stephen’s team) were, but, man, I would give so much to be their 10 year old selves and as careless about my losses!!! We all had SO MUCH FUN? Can you say “fun” with a capital “F”?

Our recreational league usually has only one game on Saturday. Our Coach Mo offered to enter a Willamette Cup tournament played by a mix of “rec” and “classic” teams. Our Eliminators faced 3 teams of “pro’s” plus one regular in a span of 2 days, and good they lost, because they were spared an extra game tonight!

We started Saturday with 7 am arrival at the field for an 8 am game. Boys were seriously asleep (so were the parents), and in a first quarter missed 4 goals. As we all were becoming awake, we noticed that the other team had uniforms with numbers, matching gym bags and a drill sergeant for a coach – that shed some light. Team gotten themselves together for a good defense and held the second quarter tight to no goals – but that meant they didn’t get any either.

That was only the beginning. An hour and hot chocolate later they met face to face with the best team in classic league. I will not go into details, because 11:0 says it all. And you know what – our boys put a heck of a fight, and had so much good time doing it, nothing fazed them out! Because by third game in the later afternoon, they were happy as butterflies, giggling, running around, giving their best, and actually (with their own recreational opponents) finishing 3:2 (loosing, but in a fair game). And they still had energy to spare at the playground! I think parents were more upset for them then they even thought about. At night Stephen was “exercising for tomorrow” in the backyard, doing sprints, push-ups, sit-ups and a bunch of who knows what.

Sunday gave us a “whole” hour to sleep in – we met at the filed at 8 am. Coach Mo was the best bringing Starbuck coffee for parents, hot chocolate for kids and donuts for all – and he refused the money I tried to shove into his cooler. So I helped with serving everyone and keeping all entertained while we waited for the previous game to be over and have a field to ourselves. Well, another “pro” team…are we lucky or what? But our boys, with all this practice in playing so many games together, finally were getting to be a “team”. They did awesome! OK, they lost again, but we screamed, and they kicked, and held defense, and tried offense, and in general looked much happier than the winning team. What joy!

On the house front:
I met with our Realtors who got us this house (exactly 2 years ago – time flies) on Friday. Market is down, and will be dead from mid-November to mid-January – exactly when we need to be moving before Alex comes back, but they are optimistic about our chances. We don’t want to make any big profits and be greedy, all we need is the difference to cover the Realtor’s cost, closing costs for both houses, moving expenses…and that’s it, may be minor fixings. So we decided on putting a pretty low price, and going on the market in about a week or so.
In a meantime, we need a couple of things to be done. Our backyard, that nobody cared for, looks pretty awful. You see, even though it rains in OR 9 months out of a year, it’s pretty dang hot and dry in the summer, so what grass we had was…not looking good. Also they suggested re-painting the front porch (noting how well we painted all the rooms).
We did some small things on Saturday and mainly worked on it on Sunday. I sprinkled some fertilizer all over and stood over with the hose for an hour watering the grass (we are such great home-owners, we don’t know how our sprinkler system works and where is the switch), and Oleg painted hand-rails and steps. What do you know – as soon as we finished, it started raining!!! So much for weather prediction – those people don’t earn their money! So I wasted all that water, and the oil paint got up and funky looking. Oh, well, needs another coat…

I did some search on high schools in the area and pointed to approximate map squares we’d be looking at. We’ll need to send Realtors pictures of the house next week. Things are moving along, may be not very promising, but at least we are doing something.

As we look around – it is sad…it was our first house ever, and as much as we kept saying we don’t care, we got attached to it. Life is moving on…

On the running front:
I cross-trained 3 times this week, did 3 yoga sessions and ran 3 times by 40 min each on trails – no matter how much I keep saying to myself I need to get on roads to get some faster turnover, I can’t push out the door for it. I did push the trails though on the last 2 runs. I also did one upper body and one lower session at the gym. I kind of hope to enter a shorter race – for no particular reason besides spicing my life up – but am: a) scared that I won’t do any near to what I did 3 years ago (100% expected), b) cheap to pay $20 for a mere 10-15 km race on roads, c) don’t want to stir things up with Oleg, who really doesn’t like my running/racing life (never did, sometimes allowed, and right now is happy with my resting self). But in my “don’t fear changes” quest I’d like to, so I’ll see about it.
Go read Krissy Moehl’s blog on her last race – things happen to the best of us, and she took it with grace and fun.
Absolutely everybody has to visit Glenn’s pictures of Scott Jurek’s phenomenal Spartathlon win – just have to. Scott is one of THE finest athletes (if I have idols, it is he and Anne Trason), and Glenn’s pictures capture how he is working hard, just as any one of us, towards his goal – only his goals are a bit further. I always get inspired by seeing real elite runners/athletes being REAL – with real pain, real hard work and real happiness with it all.
Also Glenn and Tony P. had put up a 2007 calendar with Ultras – mostly in PNW, but some more in the country included – for the second year. This project benefits forests and trails, and it uses Glenn’s fine photography – you might want to get one, keep an eye on the website .

Despite been so deep into all the “home/family” changes and occupied with life, I don’t stop thinking of what’s for me next year. Since I get a certain number of races to go to, I need to be picky and choosy – what is fine with me. Just as Rob noted, things shifted a bit and it doesn’t mean we love running or trails any less. The content of the blog changed somewhat too. I remember how many of us started with all the pages committed to racing reports and training runs, and now they get shorter, other details get included, and before you know it, blogs may get stored away. I intend to keep the page nevertheless as it is a great way to have all the reports stored together and have a link to other people. I do hope that many of friends who came together for simply sharing their running endeavors will stay in touch with each other through years to come.

p.s. all this ranting...and I forgot to mention I am turning 37 tomorrow!

10 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Olga! You are just a baby, still under 40....

    Selling a house is stressful, but you are doing it for a good reason. I hope you find something you like just as well.

    The soccer weekend sounded like fun - isn't it great how kids can play without a care in the world?

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  2. Sounds like an action packed weekend with all the soccer. Yes, the running has certainly changed, but the desire is still there and taking it easy for awhile will be less stressful on both of us. Good luck selling the house.

    Happy Birthday!!!

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  3. Happy Birthday young lady! I find it hard to go back to road running/racing after practicing avoidance for almost a year.

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  4. ~~~Happy Birthday Olga!!!~~~

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  5. Happy Birthday. Do you know we're nearly the same age, just 4 months apart?

    I don't envy you for having to move, we last moved a bit over 2 years ago and I swore not to move again for many, many years.

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  6. Happy Birthday Olga!

    We can certainly all take a lesson from Stephen and his team!
    The best part of blogging for me is the connection with others. Good luck with your home sale!

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  7. Happy Birthday, Olga! Being a soccer nut is such a wonderful thing! Good luck with selling your home. You know you are going to be running something again soon. To bad you can't come and do a 10 or 5K with me :-) That would be like a cat nap for you!!

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  8. Happy Birthday, Olga!!!!! :-)

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