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Celebration: beyond the visual

Over the past two decades, I’ve watched a lot of Celebration events. I’ve watched them while pregnant, and with babies on my back, while keeping half an eye on errant toddlers and with (and without) my sulky teenagers. Every year I’ve been thrilled by the visual richness of Southeast Alaska Native culture, and grateful for the chance to appreciate it first-hand in such a dramatic way.

But this year, as I watched the grand entrance last Thursday, I was newly stunned by the artistry of what was in motion in front of me. I even found myself slack-jawed with amazement at a few points.

Around the bases

Our hope in the Juneau Empire Sports is to bring out more community sports news. This requires a lot of input from the community. I would love to hear from locals about little league tid-bits from their past, present and future to include. Such as:

Confessions of a fisherwoman

I have a confession to make: I have not been fishing.

I’ve been skiing, I’ve been running, hiking and gardening, but no, I have not been fishing.

My trusty fly rod — “Joan” — sits neatly in the rod holder in a corner of our dusty garage. My waders and boots are coated in last year’s mud and bug repellent; the smell of deet puts my mind at the river’s edge.

But in my mind is as close as I’ve gotten this season to the water and, well, that’s just not acceptable.

It’s time for a change.

It's all about me

After waiting 42 weeks, gaining 30 pounds and embarking on 98 runs into the wilderness, my second baby was born — a girl, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

She was healthy, beautiful and pink as soon as she entered the world. Her cries quieted as she lay on my chest and in that moment all the waiting and work were more than worth it.

Three months later, I’m back working and trying to find time between motherhood, babyhood and a career to squeeze in moments for me.

“I just don’t know how you do it,” people often say.

Thriving vs. dying: A simplistic approach to health

“Let thy food by thy medicine.” - Hippocrates.

This statement has been my mantra.

In our household its importance is heightened by a multitude of factors; but frankly, it truly is a matter of life or death.

Whoa.

Extreme.

It sounds that way, doesn’t it? But it’s not at all different than the messages nutritionists, doctors and scientists have been touting for years - eat right and thrive.

Sounds simple.

'Riking' and the right of way

As soon as I think I’ve heard it all, I’m proven wrong.

“You’re still running?” many have said.

“You ran how many miles yesterday?” is what I’ve heard from others.

Or, one of my personal favorites, “Did you know running causes premature labor?”

It’s questions like these that play on like a skipping CD through my weekly conversations.

I just smile and nod. Or, to the premature labor inquiry, I laugh outright and rebut with a probe on where they got their information.

Bravery and a bare, white belly

When it rains, it pours.

Not all welcome the flood. But for me, the deluge has brought a rich assemblage of great things.

First, I passed my follow-up glucose test, which means I bucked the odds and dodged gestational diabetes in this second pregnancy. This means I will sidestep a multitude of unpleasantries. Perhaps most importantly, it means my baby and I seem to be reaping the rewards of pregnancy exercise.

46 pounds faces off against 7 months of pregnant

The news wasn’t good. I’d failed the hour glucose test by two points —the upper limit was 139, and my level registered 141.

I took it hard. This meant I was one step closer to 332 finger pricks, 83 days of a restricted diet and a mandatory hospital birth.

It’s times like these that make me want to go for a run.

A trail run is where I do my best thinking. I’m able to clear my head, process thoughts that need processing, sort through feelings that need feeling. I’m always surprised that I think about nearly everything but the actual run.

Solstice run under the summer sun

Fueled by the heat of a solstice sun on my back, I climbed higher into the muskeg. The boardwalk was dry and the moist meadow in full bloom. Bog violets and pink shooting stars stood out polka-dotted against the green of sedges, mosses and low-growing bushes. Closer to the trail, dwarf dogwood (or bunchberry) huddled close to the wooden planks and bog laurel bloomed in bright fuschia every few feet.

I’d parked my car at the top of Blueberry Hill and run up to the Treadwell Trail before taking the turn toward Dan Moller cabin.

Packing on the pounds: Not just for mommies

Gaining weight during pregnancy is like the flab that comes with old age — it’s inevitable.

But there’s another side to this coin. Dads-to-be and significant others seem to suffer from a phenomenon commonly referred to as “sympathy weight.” Think the “freshman fifteen” in college — it’s absurdly common yet totally avoidable.

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