Posts tagged Arizona Adventure
I had absolutely no idea my post on blogging last week would resonate with so many people. It boggles my mind when simple posts like that are shared and viewed so much. It’s definitely not a bad thing nor am I complaining. Just goes to show you that most often there’s no rhyme or reason. Hence one more reason to just go with the flow.
I just realized I haven’t posted much more about my transition to the corporate world after the first month I started. So I’ve been in my position since mid January. I LOVE it. I still can’t say where I work because I’m still contracted. Although I tend to share lots about my life I think it’s best for me to keep that on the down low.
For those that don’t know or (don’t remember), I’m a registered veterinary technician. I’m still working as a vet tech, just in a different capacity. I never thought I’d like sitting at a computer day in and day out doing the sort of thing. It took me awhile to adjust, which is still happening. I initially had a hard time dealing with the such a sedentary day, but have since figured out my daily workouts to mix things up and stay active. It’s turned out to be quite a rad experience and I finally feel like I’m doing work, making a difference, and have proved myself as part of the awesome team I’m working with.
My contract will be coming to an end within the next 2 months. Thankfully my boss stated her case to hire me on full-time or at least to extend my contract. I am grateful to say that I received word today that they will be extending my contract for another 6 months, meaning I will be in my position until the end of the year. Let’s keep it real, I’d love to be permanent and have access to benefits, but I know that things are going to happen as they need to. Maybe it’s not meant to be for me to be hired in, which would make it easier if something else would or change in our lives. Who knows.
There are moments where it’s a bit nerve wracking. (Like, should I be pursuing other job opportunities ) But I’m just going with the flow. If I’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that I needed to stop fighting or forcing my life in certain directions. It still feels weird, but I’m going with it….and it’s getting easier.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’ve been eyeing Yoga Rocks The Park Phoenix since late January. Unfortunately I hadn’t made it to one of their weekly events because I had been out adventuring in another way. Having no set plans this past weekend I went ahead and decided to finally register.
What is Yoga Rocks The Park? I’ll let them explain:
Yoga Rocks the Park is a weekly live-music and yoga gathering held seasonally in beautiful parks across the United States. We gather like-minded people to connect through yoga, wellness and music to discover our shared enlightened nature. Each event offers a 1.15 hour all-levels yoga class, complete with a wellness-vendor area including massage, acupuncture, sustainably-produced apparel, organic food and drink and so much more.
Right up my alley. As always, going into a new situation alone can seem a bit intimidating, especially being a newbie. But having already successfully ventured outside of my comfort zone by going to the Sedona Yoga Festival I had peace of mind knowing I’d be fine.
I had no issues finding the park where the event was being held. I had no idea the park was such a large and active area. It was excellent to see so many people enjoying the outdoors. I easily found the Yoga Rocks The Park Crew from their tents, matching shirts, and abundance of vendors. After being warmly welcomed, I received my wristband and goodie bag, and then made my way to the field where we would be practicing.
I set up my mat and was ready to go. Plank Yoga Mats are known for the ability to connect with the body. It’s funny because every session it takes me about 5 minutes before getting that connection, but when it does, “bam!” it happens. I was anxious to see how my mat would do it the midday warmth.
I really don’t think I could have chosen a better week to attend. The weather was mild yet sunny, providing the perfect warmth. In addition, the instructors were Anton Mackey & Gina Marciano. Having already met Anton and sitting in on his session at the Sedona Yoga Festival provided a reassuring sense that I’d do just fine. To top it off DJ Drez provided music for our flow. As Bob Marley’s voice came through the speakers and the park began to fill up, the energy was electric. By the time it was time to get started you can only imagine the positive energy that I was feeling around me.
We began by lying on our backs, feeling the breeze flow around our bodies. And that’s when I heard the beginning of “Easy” by the Commodores, with Lionel Ritchie. I found myself smiling and felt the tears fall down my cheeks. You see, I had just been talking about Lionel a few days earlier on my Facebook page. Something so simple, and actually quite funny. But hearing those notes flow was just yet another sign reminding me that I’m on the right path.
Photo Credit DJ Drez
Given I’ve only practiced at home I really have a lack of exposure to such experiences as being in a studio surrounded by fellow yogis. The overall vibe and instruction was somewhat similar as the Yoga Jam Session at the Sedona Yoga Festival….yet different. Of course I’m always aware of my surroundings, yet this time around It was the sun, the breeze, the instructors voices, my mat, and me. Centered. I felt as though anything could happen and I couldn’t be swayed. That’s not to say my asanas were perfect or not challenging. I was in my happy place….just flowing, falling deeper into the asanas than I have ever done before, connecting with myself and my mat. The connection to my Plank Yoga Mat along with the elements around me was out of this world.
As we were in Shavasana and our session came to a close I once again felt overcome with emotion. A good emotion. I quietly made my way to my car to head home. And that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. High on life and the positive energy I once again found myself crying, smiling, and laughing. I literally said, “I am right where I’m supposed to be.” I know I’ve sounded like a broken record lately, with “Be Here Now”. When I say it it’s not just a reminder for those reading it, but myself as well. It’s not always easy. The thing is, we are all where we’re supposed to be. Yet it’s whole different thing when we recognize and accept it.
What an awesome experience.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Have you entered my Road Runner Sports Giveaway? Don’t forget!
I’ve basically already talked about this a couple weeks ago, but just the other day I realized I glossed over something that deserves more attention. Being chosen as one of Columbia Sportswear Inaugural #Omniten. (What’s #omniten? Find out here.)
Back in late 2011 I won a jacket and base layers from Columbia through twitter. I always want to share my views on products and brands I believe in so I went ahead and did a few blog posts about what was sent to me. Columbia never asked me to do this nor did I expect anything in return for sharing my thoughts. In early 2012 I received an email from Columbia asking to speak with me via phone. I was stoked but had absolutely no idea why they’d want to speak with me. It was during this conversation that the idea of #Omniten was discussed. They explained that it was in the early stages of planning, gave me a few vague details, but wanted to know if I would be interested if it came to fruition. I couldn’t say, “Yes!” fast enough. Knowing that there was a 50/50 chance of it actually occuring, I didn’t get my hopes up. And then it happened.
In early March 2012 I received my first box of goodies and accepted my place among Columbia’s Inaugural #Omniten.
Over the next 6 months I acquired some amazing gear (including a GoPro), was whisked off to Sedona for their 2013 Spring Preview, was present when they revealed Project Z as their new technology Omni-Freeze Zero, rubbed elbows with some of Columbia’s head honchos (and didn’t even know it until I was well into my conversation….ha!), sat among some of the best magazine editors, practiced a little vortex yoga, and hiked into the Grand Canyon with 20 people I had met only 48 hours before.
To say the whole experience with Columbia has been life changing is an understatement. The gear has been absolutely rad, but in reality it comes down the experience and the people. I was told by one of our Grand Canyon guides that my life would be forever changed. Little did I know he would be right. It was out there in the Arizona heat that I realized there was so much more to life. I literally went home and told D, “We have to move.” And so we did.
The inaugural #omniten season officially wrapped in mid-late 2012 signaling it was time to make room for a new crew. However, it wasn’t the end, only the beginning. New adventures await and I can’t wait to see where they take us.
Photo Credit Will Rochfort
I have no idea why I was chosen to be part of the #Omniten. No idea whatsoever. What I do know, is that it happened for a reason. The experience brought out of me something I never knew existed and lit a fire in my life. And for that I am truly grateful. If you would’ve told me in during my initial phone conversation with Columbia, just a year ago, that I’d be where I am, doing what I’m doing, I’d say you were crazy. And yet, look where I am.
Columbia took a chance on something that they didn’t know would be successful. In the end it has proven to be successful, and it’s pretty kick ass to say that I was part of the inaugural #Omniten crew. Thank you Columbia for choosing me and proving that some of the best results come from taking a chance.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Sedona holds a special place in my heart. It was there that I practiced yoga for the very first time and fell in love with Arizona. Back in June I made the trip out to Arizona with Columbia Sportswear. We were involved in gear testing, excursions, and even hiked into the Grand Canyon.
The entire experience was unreal. So unreal we packed up and moved out here. Initially we had hoped to move to Sedona. After some research we decided it wouldn’t be in our best interest due to cost and lack of jobs for us. We settled on Phoenix as our current location but I haven’t given up hope that someday we will live in Sedona.
I’ve always been interested in yoga but it wasn’t until my experience in Sedona with Johanna Maheshvari Mosca, PhD, Sedona Spirit Yoga & Hiking, that I knew I had to involve it in my life.
After our move many things got pushed onto the back burner so that we could get “more important things” into line. i.e. finding jobs. After my trip to Las Vegas for Inspiration & Perspiration I was gently reminder that the time is now for me to add yoga/meditation into my live. That’s wat you’ve seen happening throughout the past few months here on my blog. I’m still in the early stages on my transition, but I’m enjoying every step of the way.
Awhile back I was made aware of the first annual Sedona Yoga Festival.
“A Healing Arts Conference and conscious event, SYF2013 aims to share consciousness and Love with humanity through its developing first year program. Our vision is to create an environment to allow the wonderful and healing benefits of Yoga and Energy Medicine to positively uplift each and every individual who is touched by this cause.”
I scoped it out and sadly had to walk away. Although I had so much desire to attend it just wasn’t financially feasible. I bookmarked the site, followed them on Facebook and Twitter, and marked it down in my Book Of Visions for the future.
While checking out status updates on Facebook last Saturday I saw that an old high school friend of mine had 2 free tickets to giveaway to the Sedona Yoga Festival. You see, she used to live out here, has since moved, but is very involved in yoga. Come to find out she is actually presenting at the festival! I sent her a quick message and after a few moments she responded saying, “The day pass is yours.” My mind started spinning and I had no real thoughts other than, “The universe is once again moving.” Not only do I get to attend this festival, but I get to reconnect with an old friend, at such a pinnacle point of my journey. Not to mention, this is all happening where my Arizona Adventure started. So apropos.
Due to my schedule I will only be attending for one day, but to say that I’m stoked is an understatement. I can only imagine what an amazing experience this is going to be.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Back in October I had the the opportunity to meet some amazing woman at Inspiration and Perspiration…2 of which live in the Phoenix area. After repeated messages of saying, “We need to get together….” we finally made it happen this weekend.
Early Sunday morning I made the trek over to southeast Phoenix to meet up with Rozanne and Leann to make it to Picacho Peak State Park by sunrise. We were the first car in the parking lot. Yes! Our goal? Make it to the peak of Picacho Peak. Although they have some experience with the the trail they had yet to make it to the peak. Having experience, they forewarned me that I should be prepared for climbing and scrambling….they weren’t joking.
The 5 mile trail was full of steep inclines, cables for assistance, and we definitely found ourselves scrambling. No photos or video will do justice for this trail, but I did my best to document the experience with my GoPro, Nikon, and Camera Phone.
A year ago I would have been totally intimidated by this trail. Quite honestly I don’t think I would’ve even attempted half of the terrain let alone make it to the peak. It wasn’t until my trip in the Grand Canyon that I gained confidence and trust in my abilities with the assistance of my fellow Omniten and Arizona Outback Adventures. Of course I always remind myself to be smart and recognize my limits, but I’ve learned that some of the best experiences happen outside of my comfort zone. One being today.
While ascending and descending the peak today I could feel my adrenaline pumping with a little bit of fear but a ton of pride mixed in. I was right where I was supposed to be.
Even more awesome? I had the opportunity to get to know Rozanne and Leann better with each step we took. We realized quickly that we have a ton in common, all have somewhat of the same experience/goals when it comes to hiking/running, and all have a serious hunger for adventure. Perfect! I see some more adventures in our near future. I can’t wait!
Anyone heading to the Phoenix/Tucson area looking for a trail that will test your limits, head to Picacho Peak. You won’t be disappointed.
No Adventure Should Be Considered Wasted Time – 1st Attempt To See The Salt River Wild Horses in Tonto National Forest5
Ever since arriving in Arizona I’ve been following the Salt River Wild Horses page on Facebook. As the photos come across my feed I find myself continually saying, “We need to make the trek out to the Tonto National Forest to see if we can catch a glimpse of a wild horse or two.
Although I had to work this weekend (last one before I start my new job. Woohoo!) D and I were able to sneak away for a few hours to do a little exploring. Our choice of adventure this week? Make good on my thoughts and head to Tonto National Forest. After purchasing our Tonto Pass for our vehicle online off we went.
Our drive was pretty straight forward and we found ourselves entering the forest in around 60 minutes. As we drove we found cars pulled off in random areas signaling people venturing out on their own adventures. Having done some research we made our way to Coon Bluff since this is the area with the most horse sightings. We found it to to be quiet with several small groups of people along with a couple campers and others who had chosen to pitch tents in the area. Within steps we were on the banks of the river…but no horses.
We knew that there was a good chance that we wouldn’t have luck finding horses but weren’t going to give up so easily so we began following the banks of the river. I was amazed at the change of foliage and terrain as we made our trek. Our originally starting point began in an area with many trees which created a beautiful shaded area of trees with exposed roots.
We soon found ourselves in more desert terrain with sand under our feet as D lead us farther away from the banks and into more foliage.
After hiking a mile or so down the river, venturing to and from the banks, finding our shoes filled with sand, we had no luck and decided to head back to the car.
Hopping in our car, we made our way out of the forest in the opposite direction we entered, allowing us to make a circle of the area and take in all of the beautiful landscape. I am continually amazed at how gorgeous our natural surroundings are out here in Arizona and find myself shaking my head and smiling on every adventure we take. Even more, I’m amazed as to how fast the terrain can change from mile to mile. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Just a friendly reminder to be here now.
Alas, our first adventure to catch the Salt River Wild Horses in action didn’t pan out as hoped but it was still totally worth the adventure and time spent together. I cant wait for our next attempt.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
One of our goals for moving to Arizona was to go after our dreams in all aspects of our lives…especially our careers. This is something I’ve struggled on for months. ”What is my dream job? What do I want to do?” My first thought was doing something in social media. My next thought, “I have no actual education in this field. How do I make this happen?” Soon enough I found that getting into the field was going to be a serious challenge. Most every posting required a bachelor’s degree or some other roadblock. I became disheartened, but kept looking. In the meantime I’ve continued using my acquired degree in the veterinary field as a registered veterinary technician in the practice setting as I’ve done over the past 10 years.
Several years ago I stepped away from working as a full-time technician for many reasons. Since starting back as a full-time technician I’m reminded on a daily basis why I originally stepped away from the field. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a technician and believe that most people would say that I excel at my career, but it comes along with much more than people can imagine. With that being said, I kept my eyes, ears, and mind open to possibilities that may come my way. And yes, I even recited, “At this moment I am attracting the right career that’s perfect for me,” on a daily basis.
I have been pretty frank in regards to the challenges we’ve faced in the 6 months since we began our Arizona Adventure. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve kept our chins up and kept the love and positive energy flowing. We knew our time would come. I think that time is just beginning. I’ve been pretty hush hush about some personal things lately because A) I didn’t want to jinx it. B) I need to be professional and keep some things private (we’ve all heard the horror stories when it comes to social media/job searches, right?) But the time has finally come that I get to share: D and I are both in the midst of some big career changes. Hooray!
D has worked in customer service in the corporate setting is heading back into the field. This takes him out out of the elements, is much kinder to his body, and a bit higher paying. In addition, his band is currently in the studio recording and they hope to begin playing shows and touring in the near future.
As for me, I’ve been through 2 interviews, had some interesting learning experiences, and had several “aha!” moments within the past week. Thanks to the heads up from Eric, I applied for an entry level social media position. To my surprise they contacted me for an interview. Almost simultaneously I was contacted by a large corporation for an interview for a position that would put my veterinary technician degree to use, but in a different way. As always I went into both situations with an open mind and as prepared as I could be.
My first interview was with the large corporation. I walked away excited about the position and pumped that I kicked butt in the interview. When it came to the social media interview I felt intimidated going into the interview but presented myself in the best way I could. I was genuine and remained true to myself. I realized quickly I wasn’t going to rock the interview but walked away with my head held high. It was a wonderful learning experience and I am proud of myself for willing to go after it and put myself out there. Like every other experience in our lives, I know in my heart this interview was placed in my life for a reason. It was my sign that although I love social media now is not the time for me to go that route professionally. I have since accepted the position with the large corporation and am stoked to start later this month. In a nutshell, I will be assisting their team of veterinarians who oversee pet quality and education throughout all of their stores. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my degree in a different capacity than I have ever done before and in a totally different setting as well.
I’ve never been lost along this journey but am more than willing to admit at times I’ve have found myself confused as to what direction I need to go. Throughout the past several months I’ve taken a step back from my “buzzbomb mode”, started paying more attention to my surroundings, being less judgmental and more accepting of people and situations. In return I’m repeatedly reminded with small signs that the universe is moving.
I’m still learning the balance between “go go go” and “relax, let things fall into place”. Progress does take hard work and determination. However, I also need to understand and accept that life needs to fall into place and not be forced.
Is this my dream job? I don’t know. What I do know is that it feels right. I’ve been living my life for 29 years and as with every new day, this is only the beginning.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
It’s been 3 months since we took off on our Arizona Adventure. If you’ve been following me here along with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you pretty much know how things are going but I figured I’d give you an “official” update and share with you some random things we’ve found out along the way.
Holy sand storms. It may sound crazy but I had no idea about sand storms until we received an alert the first day we arrived. It never entered my mind. For the first month we had warnings almost everyday and sure enough we had a sand storm everyday. The weird thing is these sand storms arrive about the same time everyday, which is mid afternoon. I guess this has to do with atmospheric pressures. As for the flash flood watches, ha! I laugh because we never see rain. I’m not trying to make light of flash floods because indeed, they do occur. However, during our time here I believe we’ve seen rain twice. Not complaining about that. I’m loving the sunshine. The sunsets and night time skies are the best I’ve ever seen.
The snowbirds have started to land. From my understanding they take over much of our area. Guess we will see how that goes and time our visits to the store and eating out accordingly.
In no way does it feel like October. Blame it on the weather or our whirlwind of the past few months. It’s crazy to think that we’ve got to start Christmas shopping soon!
The animals seem indifferent to the heat. I thought they’d love it but that’s not the case. Now that it’s cooled down a bit they are enjoying the weather even more and I’m sure they’ll appreciate it through the winter.
Allergy season exists out here too. We’ve experienced this first hand with Jax asthma. Come to find out my co-worker’s child also started with allergy issues at the same time. Over the past month Jax asthma has progressively gotten worse, to the point we’ve started him on an inhaler. (Yes, our cat is on an inhaler.) Thankfully he’s responding to treatment.
Waiting in line at Walmart takes just as long as it did in Louisiana In other words, a LONG time. I’m not talking 10 minutes but more like a half an hour. Seriously. Since Walmart does price matching everyone takes advantage, which in turn makes the check out process that long. I have yet to go through a check out where no one requested a price match. I have yet to take part in this craziness and tend to drive 10 extra minutes to head to another Walmart that is less busy.
I’m loving that we live so close to a Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. Both are more natural grocery stores so it’s excellent to have so many options at hand.
We have gone from a democratic state to a republican state. Every political sign and ad you see is republican. But you can bet we’ve registered to vote. I will say no more about this and leave it at that.
Thanks to social media and the sport of running I’ve met some pretty rad people in our short time here. In the past D and I tended to keep to ourselves, but one of my goals for this adventure was to reach out and meet new people. I think we’ve been quite successful.
We absolutely love where we live. We love that we’re in the suburbs but it’s decently populated with easy access to stores/restaurants. No matter what direction I run I see mountains and they make me smile every time. Unfortunately though, my drive to work takes 30 minutes each way and all of our friends live on the opposite side of the city. Bummer, but we still love the area where we live and at this point see ourselves staying put during our time here in Arizona.
There seems to be an overabundance of yard sales in our area at all times. In addition they post their signage in interesting ways, such as placing boxes in random locations. I have a feeling this has to do with some random law about posting signs, but we find it quite interesting.
I’ve been bitten by the race running bug pretty badly. With so many races to choose from and the ability to run through the winter without dealing with snow. I’ve had a lack of races over the past couple years for several reasons, so I’m in Heaven. I’ve already completed one, am ready for the next month’s race, and have already signed up for the next half marathon (more to come about that Wednesday!) Now, if I could just have an unlimited income to register for them all. Any brands want to sponsor me? =)
Running is way harder than I expected out here. The first month was hell. It has gotten better but I still feel like I have a long way to go.
We’ve successfully started adventuring and hope to do even more as the time goes on.
I don’t think there’s a Arizonian accent, but people definitely notice my midwestern accent and continuously ask where I’m from.
The price of gas is comparable to our hometown in Ohio. Even better, the cheapest gas we’ve found in Phoenix is the gas station that’s closest to us, right up the street. Just another positive point about our location. This definitely helps with the amount of gas I using driving back and forth to work. The station also serves as my pit stop on long runs too. Bonus!
We have yet to find our dream jobs, but the good news is that we both have jobs. With that being said, D is playing with an established band, heading to the studio soon to record, and is making some decent strides toward his dream. As for me, I’m still trucking along. Although I would love to work in social media/marketing in some way I’m still not 100% sure what my dream job is, but everyday I think I’m getting just a little closer. In the meantime we’re surviving. It won’t be easy, but going after your dreams rarely is.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Finally took the time to learn how to edit GoPro footage. This is where our adventure took us this weekend. Many more adventurous videos to come….
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
For those that didn’t hear, D and I have both acquired jobs. They are not our dream jobs but we are grateful for the opportunity for work and will continue working towards making our dreams come true. Although at times we feel we are taking a few steps back we realize it’s all part of the adventure and continue on.
If you can’t tell from my reviews, we have been embracing all there is to do in Phoenix. Last weekend was no different as we were hoping to hit up the local music scene. A quick google search led us to Crescent Ballroom’s Los Dias de la Crescent. We ventured to downtown Phoenix and found a large festival with 2 stages of rotating bands, vendors, along with authentic food trucks.
The first group to take the outdoor stage was Flamenco por la Vida. I had never experienced flamenco dancing in real-life before. I’ve been missing out! Want to see what flamenco is? Check out this video to see. I want to take lessons now…
The night continued to get better and better as we went from inside to out, listening to the variety of bands. From DJs laying it down, to an authentic mariachi band, and a brass band making us feel like we were back in New Orleans…it was a fantastic evening.
Hands down, the best band of the night was definitely Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkestra. Wow. The best way to explain them is “indie mambo”. There are no words to describe the energy that was flowing from the stage.
When purchasing our tickets for the evening we also received 2 tickets to Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkestra’s CD release party that was held yesterday, 8/25. After such a fun evening last Saturday we took advantage of our free tickets to watch them once again. Even better? Flamenco por la Vida was once again on the playbill for the night. Hot dang! In addition, Y La Orkestra brought their full group to perform. Absolutely awesome.
Needless to say last night was even better than last week. Last week we spent $29 on tickets/parking. This weekend we spent $14 on parking and purchasing their CD. Not bad at all….especially for such entertaining adventures.
If you can’t tell, we are having a blast finding things to do and can’t wait to make more experiences and adventure to Flagstaff, Tucson, and beyond!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)