entrepreneur, Island Life

Letting Go of Control

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For the past few months, our business has been rolling along wonderfully. We’ve had time to tout our crazy-full guest calendars, revamp our welcome messages and leases, upgrade our advertisements, and put together fabulous owner packets for prospective leads. Our numbers and ratings were sky-high. In short, we had the business firmly under control.

Or at least we did, until a then-category 5 hurricane began swirling its way towards the Hawaiian islands. Guests cancelled left and right; flights were cancelled; we fielded calls and messages and inquiries and complaints all day for over a week. Our awesome numbers dropped and our chock-full calendars were marred by vacant days at the end of the month. I kept asking myself, what is happening? What did we do wrong?! Why?!

A looming hurricane felt like it had ruined everything (everything!), but the truth is that it took away our control. Hurricane Lane itself is naturally, and obviously, out of our control – but I couldn’t stop myself from running through ways of controlling the result of it. Could I open up our properties to last-minute reservations? Displaced guests? Surely one airline was still landing….

It was my fiancée that made me realize how ridiculous it all was. We had a major, potential natural disaster-level storm a few hundred miles away, and I was upset that guests had cancelled their trips? Of course they did! What in the world was I thinking?

f062b425bdf17d58915c9d0da25a3dedI realized that I love running my own business because I love having control. I love managing, watching, tinkering, tweaking things to be perfect. I dig it, and it’s been a way of life for me for a while – but it’s not really how life works.

Actually, Hurricane Lane is a pretty good metaphor for life. You can do everything on earth to ensure your life/home/business are picture-perfect and under control, and then something external and totally unexpected can swirl right through and cause some chaos and mayhem. And you have no choice but to do your best and just deal. 

As our business grows, I know the day is coming when I’ll have to relinquish control. I’ll have to trust. I’ll have to let it go – and that day is coming sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy a few days off curled up with my man and dog until the storm passes.

Running

Half Marathon Training & Coconut Chase 8K!

As all runners know, the onset of fall means one thing, and one thing only: RACE SEASON. The marathon organizers were kind enough to at least schedule most of them in the fall, during the cooler, breezier, and run-friendly weather that autumn brings. Not to mention the magical experience of running through a cacophony of swirling red, orange and yellow leaves. Even here on the island, where the leaves don’t change, the weather sure does. It’s cooler and windier and way less intense than the terrible month of August. Ugh.

Normally, I’m gearing up for the Marine Corps Marathon, which I’ve sadly decided to forgo this year. In January, I suffered a difficult back injury that kept recurring due to my refusal to stop playing soccer and rest. So, as injuries tend to do, I ended up unable to do anything for quite some time, and missed the critical buildup period for my MCM training plan 😦

Instead, I’ve spent the summer building back up to my normal strength and speed and have signed up for a litany of fun, short-distance races throughout the fall. The first being the Coconut Chase 8K along Sand Island, which kicks off this Sunday (yay!). It will be followed by a buildup of races each month, ending at the Honolulu Marathon in December:

  • Coconut Chase 8K (August)
  • Old Pali Road 5-miler (September)
  • XTerra Gunstock Trails Half Marathon (October)
  • Val Nolasco Half Marathon (November)
  • Honolulu Marathon (December)

I’m thrilled to test out the short-distance waters and build my confidence back up after being set back by such a tough injury. I’m prepping right now for this weekend, which will be my first short-distance race I’ve ever done. Surprisingly, I’ve stuck to full and half marathons and not really dabbled in anything less. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve started to consider smaller races and shorter distances.

Wish me luck on my race this weekend! It’ll be along the beautiful shoreline of Sand Island, an easy, hot, and flat terrain.

Happy Running!
Nicole

Island Life, Running, Uncategorized

Honolulu Marathon 2016!

This past Sunday I woke up bright & early to take on the Honolulu Marathon. The start line was a quick ten minute drive from my apartment, I didn’t have to hop on a plane, and I know the course all too well. The Chinatown – Waikiki – Kapiolani Park – Kahala Loop is the favored long run course for anyone and everyone on the island training for any and every marathon. I know the hills, the heat, the downhills and ebb and flow of the concrete jungle the course winds through. However, I still didn’t exactly feel ready – or all that enthused – the night before.


I trained hard and heavy for the first three months in preparation for my Marine Corps Marathon I did in October. Since then, I’ve barely even hit the pavement aside from a ten mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and a few easy paced five and seven milers here and there. And because I didn’t really care, and figured I’d struggle anyways, I decided that going wine tasting with some friends in Kailua and then downing a few beers at my boyfriend’s office Christmas party was a great idea, because f*ck it – why not?!


Well, surprisingly, it all worked out fine. The race was totally ok, albeit a bit painful. I’ve been extremely lucky in that my other marathons just flew by in a blur. Miles blended together and I felt like I flew through them in batches of five relatively unscathed.


This marathon was different. For the first time, I felt each and every mile. I felt like I actually did run a full 26.2, exactly, to the step and second. For the most part, I hated it. I never bonked or hit a wall, but I never soared through a single stretch of the race either. It was slow, grueling, and packed with people. It was hot and muggy without even a semblance of a breeze. I spent the majority of the race bobbing and weaving through a thick crowd since the Honolulu Marathon apparently doesn’t believe in corrals. I spent quite a bit of it biting my tounge as well, and keeping my temper in check as I was cut off, stepped on, and physically pushed by cute little old ladies and their sharp, bony elbows.


Regardless of all of these facts, I had a fantastic time. I realize it makes no sense, but blame it on the runner’s high – no matter how miserable the race, we always want more. It’s the feeling at the end of the marathon that runners remember most vividly, even though it’s a teeny fraction of the time we spent suffering to get there.

The Honolulu Marathon will never be my favorite race, and I really wouldn’t recommend it. However, it’s in my city and on my turf and it’s impossible not to do it each year I’m still on the island. So, most likely, I’ll do it next  year with the same lackluster attitude and general ambivalence and inability to simply stay away.


Plus, the medals are pretty cool 🙂

Happy racing!

Nikki

Island Life, Thoughts

Hawaii Poetry Slam

I have been the worst poet ever for the last four or five months. I love poetry, and there’s a special place in my heart for the live stuff. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s incredible, and pretty astounding how creative and eloquent humans can be. When I share my poems, I feel like I’m not just spewing out words or repeating something I’ve forced myself to memorize by repeating 123452345 times. I’m sharing my heart, my thoughts, and  my soul. I’m going to the place and feel of what my poem is about and taking the entire audience with me. It’s a very deep, unique, inexplicable thing.

The Hawaii Poetry Slam happens once a month at a seedy little dive bar that I absolutely love. Why did I not go for five months? I have no fucking clue.

Anyways, this month I actually WENT – and I even shared a poem. A short, sweet, deep piece I’ve been sitting on for way too long.

It felt terrifying and incredible to be back on stage and so vulnerable and open. I feel as if this beautiful little poem that chose me to manifest itself in was finally off my chest and out in the world to be heard and appreciated. It’s a lot like letting a balloon disappear into the clouds; yes, it was my balloon originally, but I made the conscious choice to let it go to wherever it chose.

 

I’m so happy I went. I love the venue, the audience, the poets, the vibe, the love, the sharing, ALL OF IT. I will absolutely be back next month to share more of the madness that goes on inside of my writer’s head.

 

Island Life, Uncategorized

Travel Tuesday: Mt. Olympus Hike


I expected to be writing a super cool post about my awesome travels around Europe with my family, which I would be getting back from just about now. Instead, I didn’t go anywhere – the Europe trip I’d been looking forward to all year became the Europe trip that wasn’t. My mom tore her Achilles tendon, my sister had knee surgery, and my dad injured his kneecap – all within a week. Apparently, this trip just was NOT meant to be.


Seriously, that really did happen. Don’t believe me? My sister sent me this of all of their boots chilling at home together in collective injured non-travelness.


Since I can’t travel, I decided to cram some extra adventure into my life on the island – in the form of beach time, hikes, and  a spontaneous trip up to North Shore. My favorite adventure, though, was a wet, cold, slippery hike up Waahila Ridge Trail to Oahu’s Mt. Olympus peak.


It was one of those hikes were everything went wrong; we left too late, picked the worst possible weather, and struggled to slip and slide up muddy slopes. Mt. Olympus usually offers stunning, panoramic views of Oahu’s south and east shorelines, but it was so cloudy we couldn’t see a damn thing. In fact, it felt as if we were walking on mist itself, the ridge breaking out just above the crown of the clouds.


It was freezing cold and we drudged through mud and sideways, slightly torrential rain. We got to almost the top and the rain picked up so much that we were climbing up a river and were forced to turn back. It was nearly impossible to grab onto the ropes, since they were slick with rain and wet and mud.


We left so late in the day that we walked back the last third of the ridge in the dark. I slipped and fell on my ass half a dozen times on slick tree roots that I couldn’t see because the sun had set and were out of light and luck.


Yet, somehow, it was insanely fun and memorable. How is it that the worst times are often remembered as the best?
  

Running, Uncategorized

Hapalua Half Marathon Recap!

Toeing the line of the Hapalua Half Marathon last Sunday, I was   convinced that this was not going to be a good race. I was coming back from being sick; I hadn’t really trained; I just wasn’t feeling too confident. I’m starting to get used to the dreary, early-morning excitement of race days, but this wasn’t one of them. Instead of normal butterflies and focus, I had a heavy, distracted sense of dread.

As the race kicked off towards the iconic statue of Duke Hahanamoku, my steps got a little lighter and easier. I was so distracted by my bad attitude I didn’t even realize until mile 5 that I was going faster than my normal pace and was almost halfway done. Say what?!! I started to do the math between my watch and mileage and recognize the fact that I might even p.r. – and I wasn’t even tyring. I was plodding along while mentally complaining at a pace faster than I’d ever ran a half before.

  
After the halfway mark I enjoyed every step. I even picked up my pace until I hit the hill of death that was, for some terrible, awful, unknown reason, at mile NINE. Everyone was staggering and walking their way up the hill, but I hit short steps & breaths and powered through the crowd and caught the tail end of the next group. I sailed down Diamond Head and ran the last mile hard. Nestled between Diamond Head and the crowded Waikiki Beach, I finished the Hapalua at a 2:15:05 – a pace of about 10:20 (according to my results!)

  
I’m stoked and slightly shocked that I clocked a new p.r. without much training, confidence, or optimism. I guess it means, if anything, that staying healthy and fit does make a big difference in your performance. I have another half along the same course at the end of May, so I’m shooting to train and come in under two hours. As a slightly slow (and former very slow) runner, a sub-two hour time would mean the w o r l d to me and my thick, soccer legs.
Happy racing!

Nikki

 

Island Life, Running, Uncategorized

New City, New Apartment, New Me

For the six years I’ve lived on the island, I’ve always been somewhat of a country girl. Even my dorms were out in the boonies! I’ve gotten used to crazy traffic, lots of driving, and the slow, patient beauty of the island’s east side. I fell in love with the majestic mountains and sparkling waters that captured my heart each and every day.


This month, though, I decided to change it up – and I fell hard in the love with hustle and bustle of Honolulu. My new job, soccer teams, and plenty of friends were all crammed in among the local eateries, shops, hotels, and ethnic restaurants that comprise Oahu’s biggest and busiest metropolis. It only made sense that I placed myself in the middle of the cacophony.


Now, I live in a small apartment a one mile walk to work and a two mile run to the nearest beach. I’ve barely even moved my car since I arrived here in Honolulu, as I’ve walked and ran pretty much everywhere. Since my former home in Kaneohe sat on a gigantic hill among other equally monstrous inclines, walking wasn’t much of an option and running was a serious struggle. Here in the city, my knees and hamstrings are thanking me as I swiftly run to the gym, beach, work, happy hour, a friend’s house – you name it, I will get myself there proudly on foot amidst the heat and faster than the traffic. I feel so healthy, happy, and accomplished by all the outdoor time that it’s made a significant difference in how I feel, think, and eat all day long.


Most importantly, I’m able to play soccer almost every.single. day. if I want to. There’s even a park with lights – a subject of great excitement for any player – that I can literally see from my apartment. I can train, run, or play there any night of the week without a second thought. With virtually no commute and lots of time strolling around outside, I’m happy. I feel more like myself. The city certainly has it’s issues, but nothing beats adding so.much.room.for.activities. to my life 🙂

I’ll definitely be enjoying my new running turf as long as this honeymoon phase lasts.

Happy Running!