After a year of stops and starts, my return to running was a decisive one. Instead of pressuring myself with the traditional new years resolution resolve, I opted to start running Dec 31, and the goal was simple: run every day until I left for California on January 21st, so that when I was in Los Angeles I could run those burly Hollywood hills. I didn’t tell anyone about my “run everyday” plan because I didn’t want to put the wrong kind of stress on myself. Instead, I was gentle and patient with myself.
I was desperately out of shape (post baby #2 January 30, 2016) and knew that just getting 12 minutes initially was enough. And then 14 minutes. And the “Ooh Ahh! Ooh Aah!” every time I walked downstairs. And the crackle crack every time I bent down to pick up my 30 pound 1 year old son. All of the humbling beginnings of the journey back to physical fitness were there: and for 21 days straight I ran to build myself back up. And when we left on the morning of the 21st, I was up to running 2.5 and 3 mile runs. I had accomplished my goal and I was #happy!
And what a gift and treasure those tough training days were for me, because when we got to Los Angeles, we stayed in the Hollywood Hills. Those beautiful, twisted, burly hills! And I had the best time running with my boy in the Bob stroller up up up those hills. Exploring all the nooks and crannies of the secluded and mysterious, gorgeous and legendary hills. By the 5th day I was running 44 minutes and feeling like a total rockstar. On one particularly epic trudge up a steep street I saw a beautiful young woman sitting in a Mercedes with a guy. In my mind she was a Lakers cheerleader, absolutely gorgeous, a flawless beauty. I didn’t feel myself inwardly critiquing myself or bemoaning that I wasn’t a size 0 or 2 (as I might have done 10 years ago when I lived in LA); instead I felt focused and in the moment. This is exactly who I was supposed to be and I was “making it work” as Tim Gunn would say. And as I ran by her she smiled and with total sincerity she cheered me on “Yeah!!!” and I felt so much pride. I felt proud to be me; proud to be a woman; proud to be a mom; proud to be a runner.
It was a rough transition returning to the cold and snowy wet roads of Massachusetts, and I won’t lie and say its been easy sticking to my runs without those blue skies and burly hills beckoning…But it is Spring now finally and I’m registered for a run in Boston to honor Fallen First Responders on May 28th. I am hoping to stay humbled, stay healthy, and to keep a piece of those Californiahhhhh runs in my heart.
My story in pictures:
The famous Hollywood reservoir was closed, which turned out to be a blessing because I explored more of the neighborhood’s nooks and crannies.
Often I’d be running up a hill and think it was ending, only to find another hill around the corner. There was no stopping those hills…and me!
The boy would fall asleep and I would savor the quiet beauty; here you can see the Hollywood sign behind him (a bit blurry).
I loved the door frame without a fence. I imagined that a famous actress like Jessica Alba or Cameron Diaz lives here.
(Obviously these houses are very expensive and) the landscaping and architecture is phenomenal. The little details- like these flower boxes- made my heart swoon.
I was dying to try this trail (above) but it proved too treacherous for the Bob stroller. However, you can see the Hollywood reservoir in the picture (below) and get a sense of just how lush everything was. There was a massive amount of unprecedented rain, which really brought the area some vibrancy I’d personally never seen here.
To quote Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there.” Le Sigh.
Here I am after a burly run. It was so hot, I took off my shirt and ran in my Victoria Secret Knockout Bra. #Likea40yearoldboss!
The design of this house stopped me in my tracks. You can see through to the hills and downtown!
I was unfamiliar with this (apparently famous landmark) home. Once a church, it looks like a fortress and a sanctuary. The sign says it is Hollywoodland.
I took this picture because I could not believe the insane views with no clouds, virtually no smog, and just epic beauty in all directions. I felt #accomplished!
Lush greens and blooming flowers (above and below) for days. Hooray!
Yes please! As Britney Spears once said “Gimme gimme gimme more!”
Through the closed off but holy fence of a renovation I could see past downtown all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Hello Hollywood! And thank you!