Fit Pantry - a Fit Foodie's thoughts, tips and recipe

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Sappy Christmas Story that's Good for the Soul

I'm usually not this mushy.... Oh who am I kidding.  I may look tough in my Combat shorts and huge grappling gloves, which makes me look like Mickey Mouse ... not really a tough personification of a fighter come to think of it..., but get back to the first thought, I may (try) look tough, but give me a sappy songs or touching pictures or stories, and I would bawl.  In particular, when listening to Elvis' Blue Christmas and around Christmas time.  The first reminds me of my Dad, who passed away in 2008, and the second reminds me of how many Christmas I have spent without him and all those years I took it for granted. Now that he's gone, all I could do was reminisced the time I spent Christmas with him and my whole family, which I sadly now think it would be when I was in Junior High, or was it even earlier than that.

I remember a much older Christmas time when we still lived in the old grandma's house. It never snowed in Jakarta and there was no real Christmas tree there. So we made do with cotton balls, a lot of them, and decorated our plastic tree. I remembered staring at the blinking multi colored lights.  I was too little then to help my parents set up the tree.

After I came to US, there was no more Christmas where I would be together with my Dad. I was always in US, him in Jakarta.  We would only talked on the phone and told each other Merry Christmas.

Was I too young to care and too self centered? Perhaps. Nowadays when I hear Elvis' singing Blue Christmas, I heard him in my head singing the song instead, making his voice like Elvis. And it brought tears to my eyes. Not tears of joy, because I miss him and I regret the time I have lost.  I know I can only move on from here and cherish the family I still have. And spending the moments with them with pleasure and gladness. 

In his passing my Dad taught me this last lesson, to not take those who love me and those I love for granted.  I only live one life in which time keeps moving forward, use it to cherish family and loved ones. And most important, be happy.

Merry Christmas, Dad. Merry Christmas, Oma. Merry Christmas, everyone <3 Peace <3

Thursday, December 12, 2013

We're Singing, Dancing and Running in the Rain!

Last Saturday despite crappy weather, some of us laced our shoes, wore tutus, blinking hat and headed out to the beach at 6:00 in the morning. Christmas was not until 18 more days yet we thought it was never too early to celebrate the season with a .... different kind of activity. So there we were, in the morning drizzle that at times turned into light rain, pacing the pavement with hundreds of people mostly dressed in red and whites with bells or candy cane socks, antlers, and santa outfit.  It was the 36th Annual Santa Monica - Venice Christmas Run. 

Sharing Purple Yam and
Nutella Cream Cheese Toast
First time running in the rain, I might have over-prepared. But who cares!! I'm a newbie! Poncho made out of cut out garbage bag, brought that silver foil space blanket, snacks and food in the car, coffee (although it was cold by the time we were done running ... still good tho!), blanket and towel waiting in the car, sandals, change of clothes.  Let me put this down for the record: I love my CRV with limo tinted window, privacy in the car is almost guaranteed. Not that people would be looking in as they scrambled away to their own car in the rain anyway, so Elise and I changed in the car and warmed ourselves up real nice after the race. 

No one's spirit was dampened by the rain. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves regardless of wetness and cold. Being here with friends, amidst the rain, sweat, and cold, I feel blessed.  I wasn't there to simply bust my knees on the pavement, heck most definitely not for the cold morning air! 

This was not about medals, not about personal record. If you ask me why I do this, here is my answer: 
In this run and any other run that I have done or will participate in, I am there to be with friends, to connect people or be connected, make new friends, to bond, and to strengthen friendships. 

If I were just there for the medal or PR, I'd be going home empty. But when a group of friends doing this together, it transformed into something beautiful - even though it may rain or storm, a memorable day and we all would go home with a full heart.  (.....and empty stomach! Hence we always have a celebration brunch together :) )

Here's to close 2013. I look forward to 2014 and more fun ahead.

Find me on Facebook and check out the rest of the photos from this event!