Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Neighbors and The 'Hood

Now that my ankle has finally healed and we are experiencing an LA version of December, I've resumed my running schedule. Just the other day, I ran around nearby Sloan's Lake - while wearing shorts - and watched the heavens dump snow on the Rocky Mountains. This is Colorado, a bi-polar state with a flat prairie alongside a massive mountain range, where hippies and rednecks collide and the weather has no allegiance to the calendar.

My new run tops out at 2.72 miles, a tad longer than my previous run around Wash Park, 2.59 miles. Every M-W-F, I untangle myself from cords and head south for 10 blocks, gingerly avoid massive goose turds and take in the big sky. 

 I've already earned one supporter, an old man who gives me a thumbs up when I pass him. While Sloan's Lake Park is flat and brown this time of year, with very few trees (Wash Park was always green and lush), the entire Western landscape presents the indomitable Rocky Mountain range. Its craggy, powerful profile provides enough inspiration to keep me chugging onward, grateful not to be a pioneer woman in a covered wagon.
Photo by Mark Fitzgerald.

And amongst my many new neighbors, there is Will. He is tall, friendly, interesting and has not led an average life, which I appreciate. When he was about four years old, his parents decided it would be an excellent time to pull he and his brother out of school and take them sailing around the world for the next two years. "I spent my sixth birthday in Tahiti," he told me. Naturally, we are now buddies.

Will comes to my door and says things like, "Do you want to go on a leaf gathering mission?" or "Do you want to go turn over some compost?" Last week, he rang the bell and asked, "Do you want some Green Drink?" Um, some what?

Will, his lovely wife, Stephanie, and their sweet daughter, Thea, all have strict nutritional needs so they are always coming up with creative ways to get the good stuff without all the crap that most of us ingest without a thought. Hence, the Green Drink.

I watched Will cram some green apples, spinach, celery, parsley, cucumbers and something else green I'm forgetting (frogs?) into a blender and frappe the hell out of everything.  The result was a bright green earthy elixir about the consistency of a fruity grass milkshake. It wasn't half bad and my body sure appreciated it. The day I gulped down the Green Drink, I felt like I could run twice around the lake.

Ah, lessons from the neighbors. It's nice.

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