Recovery Walk and Dry Run 5k 2012

Although I’ve run the same early morning running route for years now I’ve never become accustomed to running past people literally passed out from the transgressions of the night before, sprawled on the side-walks of the Ala Wai Canal, the smell of liquor wafting from their sleeping bodies.

Even on the most focused runs I can’t help but let my thoughts wander on what led these individuals down a path that could get them to that point.

Last week I passed by a middle aged woman passed out on a park bench. She held a crumpled up brown paper bag nestled under her arm like a child would hold a teddy bear. Although she was asleep her facial expression looked so sad that it literally brought me to tears.

As I kept running, she stayed on my mind.

Waiting at a stoplight I spotted a banner for an upcoming 5k titled “Recovery Walk Hawaii“. As soon as I got home I signed up for the 5k that takes place this Saturday September 8th. The proceeds from the donations walkers and runners receive go to various local substance abuse treatment centers.

I chose to support Hina Mauka due to the fact that they provide treatment programs to homeless people and incarcerated women.

Serving the Homeless – Hina Mauka offers a unique service for homeless men and women at the Institute of Human Services (I.H.S.) homeless shelters at Sumner Street and Ka’aahi Street in Honolulu. In our approach we “engage” the prospective client to help motivate them towards more extensive treatment as well as provide a more formalized low intensity outpatient treatment. Since the homeless population is unique and often challenging to work with, we do not mandate abstinence. Success is determined by their choice to seek higher levels of care. While challenging, we find that they are certainly not without hope.

Working with Incarcerated Women – Ke Alaula Hina Mauka has developed and amazing therapeutic community treatment program called Ke Alaula, at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua on Oahu. Ke Alaula translates to “breaking of a new dawn”, and is a culturally sensitive program based in traditional Hawaiian culture and values. While outcomes are still being compiled in this relatively new program, everyone visiting the site readily observes the phenomenal transformation of the inmates. Ke Alaula is the result of an effective collaboration between Department of Public Safety department heads, the WCCC Warden and his staff, and the Hina Mauka. Excerpted from Hina Mauka Programs

Of course the Hawaiian Islands are known for their beauty, although the issue of homelessness and substance abuse rarely gets addressed as it is overshadowed by the Hollywood image of paradise.

I’ll be running in support of Hina Mauka this Saturday. Please help me in donating to this worthy cause by visiting my donation pageEvery $5 counts!

pics from the past few days.

I started the day off with my favorite low-key workout video from Barre3. I cannot tell you how much I love this workout. It’s a good burn, but it leaves you with the peaceful feeling of a refreshing yoga session. It’s a great early morning workout. I only wish they had a studio in Hawaii although, they surprisingly have 4 studios in the Philippines, so maybe I’ll get the chance to stop by in my travels.

Aside from that I had a really weird travel check-up that ended in my doc recommending a session with physical therapy for a gait-analysis. How this has anything to do with me traveling is beyond me. But hey it gives me something to do this week, so I suppose that’s a small victory.

Otherwise, I have to admit that I have an instagram obsession. As I’ve previously mentioned I was lost in blackberry world for the longest time, and I just recently got an “ap worthy” smartphone. So I’m currently basking in all the new techy glory that the rest of the world has been experiencing for years now. Call me a ludite…I’ll blame Don for that (even though he’s the one that ultimately talked me into getting a smartphone – and gave me his free upgrade).

And so, a longwinded rant concludes with some of my recent instagram pics.

My favorite treat. I have to walk a few miles to get there, so it's totally justified ;)

Evil eye art.

The most delicious veggie sandwich - some nutrients to make up for the Yogurtland sugar load.

Beautiful honolulu sunset from my balcony.

The most precious fallen birdsnest. It brought tears to my eyes.

A Waikiki street violinist that Don & I love. he was playing "La Vie en Rose", the song my little sister sang at our wedding.


the daily. route: my waikiki

For those of you who are curious about my daily surroundings (aghem… Mom) I thought I’d take a few photos of my neighborhood.

Today I got my second round of travel vaccinations and handled it like a champ this time. Last week I got 4 shots at once and nearly fainted, so this time around I was armed with coconut water and had ate a good breakfast. The result was way less dramatic. I then caught up with a friend at the beach and got super sunburned.

After coming home and doing a Jillian Michaels Kick my ass work out, I decided to got to Happy Hour at Doraku Sushi.  Don & I have a “frequent diner club card” there aka. a Doraku Card, & we’d racked up enough points before he left for me to go there tonight & have a delicious dinner that cost me a whopping $10 including tip.

On my way there & back I snapped a few shots.

Those were pre-dinner, here’s the walk home…

Freshen up.

Confession: I got up this morning, walked down to Waikiki, and had the breakfast of champions…a GIANT bowl of Yogurtland at oh say, 9:30ish a.m. because they for some reason thankfully opened early today.

I continued my morning with a few hours reading on the beach. The beach is really the perfect place to be an introvert, stuck in my books, while still surrounded by people who make me think I’m being social.

I did step out of my comfort zone a bit last evening and went to ARTafterDARK solo. I eventually met up with some friends which was of course the highlight of the evening, but I also was really surprised that I felt ok experiencing the social scene independently. And that’s going to be a really important aspect of my travels. I need to focus on my independent confidence and re-visit the assured, inquisitive person in me that’s taken a break for a while, I need to assert myself again.

And yes, going out on my own is a small step, but it’s a start.

On a completely different note, I need a healthy re-boot. Yogurtland for breakfast is nice in every once in a while, but I’ve fallen hard off of the healthy wagon and need to get back on. I’d love to train for a race. I don’t really think it’s going to fit into my travels so I’m going to make a commitment to myself to focus on eating clean and staying as active as possible for the month leading up to my trip. And this all starts tomorrow of course because well, even though Yogurtland is better than Haagen Dazs, it’s still pretty lacking in wholesomeness  ;)

So cheers to freshening up the routine and getting back into a healthy mindset.




chinatown marketday.

Honolulu’s Chinatown is truly representative of an international marketplace. The sights, colors, scents and multiple languages make you feel as if you’ve just crossed the street from downtown Honolulu straight into a foreign country.

Walking through the meat market sections certainly validated my recent choice to go vegetarian, but as a whole the experience of Chinatown was comfortably foreign and full of vivid and out of the ordinary imagery.

fresh air.

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I am underusing our balcony.

I live in Waikiki, Hawaii. I can see a sliver of the pacific ocean from my apartment balcony yet it remains a small underutilized part of our home. This is our amazing view in which at the right time of day, produces an breathtaking sunset.

While standing on the balcony this evening, I took in the fresh air, the amazing city/ocean view, and noticed a neighbor’s balcony who had a pretty little cafe style terrace set up that instantly inspired me to fix up our drab balcony & turn it into something that looks like this:

Instantly inspired by a neighbor, I’ve got a weekend project to look forward to.