Santa Monica in the winter is fantastic. We have been enjoying tremendous weather, with Santa Ana winds, crystal clear skies, and warm dry weather the first few weeks of the new year. Rain is such a novelty in Southern California, when it comes, it is a welcome change, cleaning the city, refreshing the mountains with moisture, and lining the trails with green grass.
We've had some great skiing in the Wasatch Mtns this winter re-connecting with family and friends and getting after "the greatest snow on earth"! Snowbird, Alta, Deer Valley, and the backcountry. We still miss many of the ways of life we left in Cortina during the winters, but there is no replacing the superb snow in Utah.
Living in Southern California has its share of Star sightings on a regular basis, and we have become accustomed to the common spots: Reese Witherspoon at Starbucks, Dennis Quaid and Toph exchanged words out on the trial as Toph came running by Dennis riding his grey quarter horse, Seal and Heidi Klum at Via Veneto, one of our favorite Italian restaurants, and others at the beach and shopping along the streets of Santa Monica.
2009 is shaping up to be a transformational year for everyone around the world as the global economic crisis has created a new paradigm for everyone at every socio-economic level. We have a new president and a change of course for America, which sits at the epicenter of the economic crisis, and the most influential global partner to free market society. In challenging times with such radical changes happening hourly and daily, it can be difficult to remain grounded in life. It is amazing how much we draw upon our ultra-running experiences in the times we are in. In a 100 mile race you live a lifetime, in a single day. You hit multiple walls and manage through extreme duress and multiple crisis'. And when we experience these challenges in running, we do what we know best and put one foot in front of the other and keep moving, but never stop, never give up. We focus on smaller objectives, make it to the tree up ahead, the top of the next hill, the next aid station. And we string these small victories together and push through knowing that if we are moving, we are making progress where we need to go. The elation of completing a 100 mile race is highly emotional as you have spent a day living on the edges of life and exploring the depths of your resolve and what you are really made of, and you feel more alive than ever. Challenge and adversity has a way of making you stronger and feel more alive than ever. Embrace these times we are in, and keep yourself balanced and grounded in what you know, and put one foot in front of the other, then enjoy the ride. Here's to 2009 being one of the greatest years at testing our resolve, it won't be an easy year, but it should be one of the most growing years of our lives!