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Get it Girl

5th May 2015

Maybe it started with the Spice Girls, it definitely at least feels like it started with the Spice Girls. Nearly eighteen years ago this summer, Wannabee hit the US airwaves and girl power as we know it (or at least as nine-year-old me knew it) changed forever.

Fast forward to 2015 and we’ve encountered a whole new era of girl power. An era where two women have announced their intent to run for president, where George Clooney’s wife isn’t best known for her looks and where I can lift a bike over my head and get it on the bike rack without a boys help.

I realize one of those doesn’t fit with the others, but for this 5’2″ girl, an accomplishment it most certainly is, even if I’ll have bruises to show for weeks as a result of the multiple attempts it took…

#girlpower

Beyond politics and Hollywood, the tide of women in sports is also in a period of change, and I couldn’t be more proud to watch it unfold. From Arc’teryx #DefineFEMININE, to Ram Trucks “The Courage is Already Inside” and Nike Women’s #betterforit (which I had the upmost privilege of working on earlier this year), brands are setting a new standard for what it means to be a women in sport.

But inspiration doesn’t always come from personal bests or even the chills of YouTube. This weekend, I had the pleasure of joining Red Bull for the Wings for Life World Run, a road race held across the globe simultaneously in 35 countries where 100% of the proceeds benefit the Wings for Life foundation in search of a cure to spinal cord injuries.

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The premise of the race itself is quite different than your typical race format. Runners start at the same time, but continue until they are caught by a catcher car that takes off thirty minutes after the runners begin. There is quite literally no finish line.

I myself have been a participant in countless races, but as I’ve rarely spent time on the sidelines, it was fascinating to listen stories from the finishers area and watch as hundreds of people crowded around to cheer on the final runners. The leading female runner in Sunrise, Florida was caught just past 32 miles. Thirty-two-freaking-miles, but even watching that unfold wasn’t the best part.

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Volunteering at the event with the Red Bull team, I listened to countless stories of men and women sharing race records unheard of … to themselves. From I’ve never run further than a 5K in my entire life and I ran seven miles today, to my goal was six and I hung in there for twelve, it was quite incredible to see what someone is capable of without their even knowing it.

So get out there. Go for it. Try something new. And if you wind up with a a few bumps a bruises, (even if they are from trying to lift something twice your size over your head) hey, that’s an accomplishment too.

Source: http://nikewomen.tumblr.com/

Source: http://nikewomen.tumblr.com/

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Berries and Bicycles

3rd May 2015

This month I’ll celebrate five years since graduating college, I was reminded of that distant past as my baby sister crams for finals and texts asking if we have ramen noodles she can “borrow.” While finals week may be a thing of the past, I’m glad the trusty procrastination events my college roommate and I put together years ago are still going strong: strawberry picking and Twilight weekend.

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Athens Twilight weekend has long been one of my favorite weekend of the year in the Classic City. While there’s no experience quite like a game day Saturday in Athens, Twilight brings an entirely different crowd, vibe and call for celebration to the city that can’t be missed.

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Alongside the bike race, we’ve made it somewhat of a spring tradition to make our way out to Washington Farms for rows and rows of fresh strawberries. Strawberry season is in full swing here in Georgia and I’m 100% on board for Spring’s cheesy cousin to fall apple picking.

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Thanks to Pick Your Own, you can consult this handy dandy calendar to determine harvest dates in your state for any number of fruits and vegetables. We’ve frozen the majority of our berries (smoothies for days), but I did manage to bake a little Strawberry Cobbler and may even try my hand at a jam thanks to this book, a gift from friends a few years ago.

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Here are a few other recipes I have an eye on:

As for the bike race, those guys never cease to amaze me. With a shorter course this year due to construction, we saw a bit more lapping from the riders, making the outcome that much more exciting. Thankfully the rain held off meaning fewer disastrous crashes, which was fine by me.

IMG_5065In the spirit of inspiration, Patrick and I took off on Sunday for my second ride out on my very own mountain bike. If you sped the GoPro footage up about 10X, maybe I’d look like I was going the speed of the Twilight road racers. I have quite a bit more to learn on that end, but hopefully I’ll be back soon with more to share than really muddy tires.

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Un-Belizeable: Honeymoon Adventures Part Three

22nd April 2015

If you’ve been following along, you’ve read a little bit of our Belize honeymoon adventures with caves, bugs and really cheap cocktails. You can read about the Belize Jungle here and Caye Caulker here. Next up is our last stop: Ambergris Caye.

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Ambergris Caye is known as one the popular, if not most popular, beach destinations within Belize. Slightly north of Caye Caulker, this island is considerably larger and technically makes its way up to connect to Mexico. To get there, we turned again to the handy-dandy water taxi, a short thirty minute boat ride away.

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When planning this leg of the trip, we found the number of resorts and options a bit more overwhelming. While there are some beautiful spots (checking this one out is a must) we once again opted for something with our own space and in a manageable price range. After some digging we came across Cocotal Cabanas. While the property was a bit further north, we were drawn to the adorable little cabanas and nice stretch of beach.

Little yellow home for the week

Little yellow home for the week

Similar to Caye Caulker, most resorts in Ambergris Caye offer bikes and kayaks. While we were about three miles north of town, we figured a thirty minute bike ride a few times a day would be great. If you prefer, smaller water taxis will take you from dock to dock in a matter of minutes.

More beach biking

More beach biking

While we had grand plans of bike rides daily, mother nature didn’t quite agree. Nearly as soon as we arrived to the island, rainy season decided to rear its ugly head. Living in Georgia, we’re no strangers to a good thunderstorm.

Sunrise calm before the storms

Sunrise calm before the storms

However, take a “good storm” multiple it by six and then increase the duration by infinity and that’s what we encountered in Ambergris Caye. There were some tears shed, but as I was reminded by P, this is OUR honeymoon and if we want to stay in bed all day and watch HBO and House Hunters (a real treat when you’re cableless), that’s perfectly OK. Crisis averted.

Thrilled for photos during breakfast at a yoga retreat center

Thrilled for photos during breakfast at a yoga retreat center

 

A very small friend at breakfast

A very small friend at breakfast

Between marathons of how many times one can see Maleficent, we did take shorter trips into town to explore. San Pedro is quite a bit bigger than Caye Caulker, though cars are still very limited. The road heading into town was still under construction when we visited (though we hear it should be done in 2015), meaning our bike rides were often more mountain bike style than beach cruiser. It made for great stories and fun maneuvering in-between rain storms.

I swore this said Elvis, though the food was delicious still

I swore this said Elvis, though the food was delicious

We found quite a few great little places to eat, hang out and just relax, but by far hearing of the day’s dive expeditions or stories of home from global travelers and locals alike was the best part.

The streets of San Pedro

The streets of San Pedro 

belize8By day three, the storms had subsided (for the most part) and we were more than thankful for some time outdoors. We quickly soaked up sun and more dock time.

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IMG_4314We were also finally able to check out Palapa Bar, and while we weren’t able to enjoy their famous inner tube and pulley system for ordering, we did catch a great sunset and see some spotted eagle rays from the deck.

Palapa Bar

Palapa Bar

This portion of our trip most certainly didn’t turn out as I had planned, but as God always reminds us, our plans aren’t always first. A little rain and a lot of time with just the two of us was just what we needed to recover and set our sights ahead towards married life awaiting us at home.

Dinner and drinks at Palapa

Dinner and drinks at Palapa

 

IMG_4321After 12 days away, we were quite ready to get back to our house and our sweet little animals. We’ll be forever grateful for our time in Belize and hope to make a trip back someday. Until then, we’re taking notes on world maps and charting our next #greatwhiteadventure. IMG_4356

In case you missed the recaps from the remainder of our trip,

Part One: Belize Jungle: Caves Branch

Part Two: Caye Caulker