Competing Beach Wisdom

I went out for a run yesterday morning by the beach.  Five miles, slow and easy.  Nothing too fierce.  James came up beside me and started running backwards in the sand, and as always teasing me a bit with his beautiful self:

“Hey, looking good…race you to the Pier Carm?  Come on.”

I laughed, just a little in that flirty way so he gets the hint that I’m not about to go any faster than I am right now.  He prances off turning around every so often to see if maybe I’ve taken the bait.  He’s absolutely stunningly, by the way.  Even if I could race him, why would I choose to miss such a magnificent view?  The boy’s got perfectly  long muscular  legs, stands about 6 feet tall.  The perfect “back” if you get my “meaning” and has that beautiful “triathalony”, not-one-ounce-of body-fat frame anyone would be jealous of.  And lastly, the dark beautiful skin that’s golden tanned like only the California sun can produce with perfectly blonde “surfer boy” kinda hair that’s a little too long, but perfect all wet and sweaty….

Let me tell you, if there’s ever a question why I work out every morning, let’s just say, I have incentive!

But as I watched James get farther and farther ahead of me, I started thinking a lot about racing and competition.  For as much as I competed as a kid in so many different activities, I was never really a competitor.  I never felt great about winning because I knew that meant someone else had to lose.  And since I had my share of losing, well… it just wasn’t in my nature to like making someone else feel bad,   even if it was fair competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for kids to learn about competition and more specifically, learn how to compete.  People should learn what it feels like to win and to lose.  I’m completely opposed to these new “rules” in some schools that say everyone always wins and no one ever loses and everyone gets an award and blah, blah, blah.  No.  Winning and losing help develop character in a way that no other experience can.

But, now, when I think back on it – I know I’ve never been a competitor, not in the classic sense anyways.

As a kid, I never competed with anyone else but myself.  I wish I could say it had to do with being so wise, but actually it had more to do with knowing what it felt like to lose and realizing early on that when you win, someone else has to end up feeling bad, someone else has to lose. . . and I hated that more than anything else.  So, when I danced or played basketball and won competitions or games, I always went out of my way to try and be kind, gracious and appreciative to the other competitor or team.  But I hated both – losing and winning for sure.

What I did love, was “being better than I used to be”.  Hearing my instructor tell me that I was 150% better from last weeks show,  or,  when I passed the basketball to a team member and they’d hit the winning shot when before they’d never even really played before…  That was brilliant!  The joy in their eyes or their overwhelming happiness was a different kind of feeling for me  – it’s better than winning actually.  It’s something sort of magical!

Well, suffice it to say, I gave in and started running a little faster to meet up with James.  He wasn’t really running afterall.  He was lightly jogging and turning around every so often to wave at me.  Taunting me really.  I couldn’t help but run as fast as I could when he wasn’t looking and then I leaped  on his back…  we both went crashing down onto the sand, the waves came up ever so close and it gave me just the little head start I needed.  He was surprised and still finding his footing when I dashed ahead towards the pier.

So much for not competing.

Eeehh, I cheated…  But come on, this wasn’t a real competition – suffice it to say, he still beat me (is there anything worse than cheating and still losing?  OYVEY!).   But it was a great work-out and a lot of fun and the reward for finishing was….spectacular!   ;)

Happy Day everyone!

Right Now

I woke early this morning, brushed my teeth and splashed some water on my face.  When I returned to my bedroom, there was freshly brewed coffee on a tray alongside the latest script to read and my writing booklet with a personalized note:  “Have a beautiful day. You do realize you’re doing everything you’ve always wanted to do, right? ”

Sometimes we forget in our quest to meet the “end goal” that we don’t enjoy the accomplishments along the way.  We “miss the forest for the trees”.  Every step of the way is pretty brilliant and although sometimes I find myself bummed and stressed about getting to where I’m going, you know, to see the forest, I forget to  notice all the great moments along the way – I don’t see the individual trees along the path to my ultimate goal…

Well, today I was reminded (thank you!) that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and that its pretty amazing!  It took me a long time to get here, but wow! I’m finally here, doing my thing and that, at the very least, deserves a moment of happiness!

Hope you can find some joy and solace in what you’re doing right now – be grateful for it and continue to move forward accordingly.

Peace, love and all that good stuff!

Where Everyone Knows Your Name…

Went to my favorite local hangout last night — and for what it’s worth, it’s pretty much a 5 star restaurant frequented by many “A-list” and “local” celebrities.

I’ve been “hanging” there for over  10 years but it’d been a while since I’d stopped by and I have to say, I really missed being there.  It has a bar of course, but it’s all class.  Very elegant place to have dinner and quite expensive for most folk (uhmmm, very expensive for me too!).

But I used to go there early in the evening to watch the game and do my writing.  The owner is a HUGE Laker fan, and I’m…well, a Celtic fan and that’s kinda how we “met” for real!  But I could just sit at the bar for hours – watching out the window as my fellow neighbors passed on by in their cars or walking – a perfect little view for daydreaming, boy-shopping or just chillin’.

My secret little getaway.

But whenever there’s a game (basketball or baseball) we’d watch on this little tiny TV they just happen to have stuck inside a little portion of the wall.  The volume’s never up and, well, it’s just not that kind of place.  But the “regulars” come weekly, share a glass of Vueve or the latest expensive wine and watch quietly at the bar before heading off to their dinner…

Last night was perfect.  I loved walking in.  Without even trying you seem to make an entrance, that’s how they make you feel anyways!  The host came over and kissed me on both cheeks, hugged me and welcomed me back.  He motioned to the waiters and bartenders that I was “here” and then he asked me how I was doing.  Sincerely concerned that I’d hadn’t been around for a while.  I told him he looked fabulous – and he did!  He’d been working out or something – then the owner came over, also kissed me hello and got me seated at the bar immediately.  Coming over frequently to make sure we had everything we needed. The bartender automatically turned the channel on the TV. The Celtics were playing afterall. . .   very cool.

I grabbed my glass of champagne, and in walked a celebrity, also a regular, and I won’t mention his name since, well, there’s no real need to.  But there was the owner, hugging  and welcoming him back too.  The host shook his hand and they talked about his latest “TV-ism” for a moment.  And I thought to myself “…how cool is that?”  The “celebrity” looked on over and gave  a quick nod and silent “hello” my way – knowing I to, had come back “home” after being away for so long.  He looked up at the screen and laughed – he remembered my Celtic/Laker rival with the owner …again, very cool.

Eeeh, it sounds like just good customer service for a restaurant to do what it needs to do to get people to come back – and I’m not clueless to that.  The difference is this feels authentic and always has.  They’d be a fabulous restaurant with or without the brilliant “family-esque” customer service because it truly is one of the  crème de la crème of restaurants food-wise.  But there’s just something about walking into a place where everyone knows your name and makes you feel right at home.

Yeah, I really do love this town.