Summer of 2017

… is going infinitely better than Spring of 2017. In my bubble of life anyway, a very secluded, tiny chunk of the world.

Things are looking up and I have lots and lots of play time. Which is especially enjoyable knowing it’s limited, come September I’ll be singing a different song. As of now, I’m living in Virginia Beach rooming with my Nana and living the poster life of a VB Summer. I’m juggling a bunch of jobs- Summer Swim coach, Gymnastics Coach, and Zipline/Adventure Course Instructor. Work did not come about as seamlessly and lucratively as I had anticipated, but things are working themselves out.IMG_5643

In terms of activity, life is a solid 9.9/10. I’ve manage to squeeze running, climbing, surfing, swimming, gymnastics, and obstacle course racing all into the work week and it’s phenomenal. I’m getting to do all the things I love and I get to do them outside and in the sun and it’s grand. I’m also maxing out the family time which is wonderful because I haven’t spent more than a week at home in probably six years. Having pizza nights every week with my parents and cat (yep, bailey’s still kicking), getting to see my cousins a few times a month, plus regularly seeing old friends, it feels good- if only temporarily. Things will change soon so I’m trying to bank it as much as I can.IMG_5687 (1)

mama and I at the Governor’s Mansion

Now let me back up, cause I grazed over something that’s actually turning into a bigger part of summer life thanI let on. Obstacle Course Racing. Have you heard of it? Maybe somebody you knew once did a Mud Run or a Spartan race and it sounds vaguely familiar? Well it’s basically what it sounds like. It’s a race that can be any number of miles, speckled with obstacles. Think cargo nets and monkey bars, but also more glamorous things like shiny grip-strength challenges and definitely lots of mud. I have certainly found a niche and I’m having a grand time. I discovered the OCR classes (some ninja gyms offer them) long before I had any interest in racing, but this summer I’m doing both. I found a group (shout out to ROC) in Newport News that’s great and have kick-started this new thing.  All of my different athletic background collide for these races. It takes equal parts strength, endurance, and flexibility, and as a climber/runner/gymnast- it’s a great fit. I tried a couple races just for fun and I did pretty well!  I’m hoping to seriously race the next one (now that I know the ropes a bit more, figuratively and literally) and see what happens. For most of 2017, my anxiety alone was doing most of my calorie-burning. I was broke and had no “normal routine” with all the upheaving. I walked into this group relatively out of shape and it was no problem to jump in and perform pretty well. (I am super aware of the privilege in that sentence and the luck, circumstance, and good fortune that it expresses. I share it here because this blog feels somewhat of a diary where I can share my thoughts without fear of judgement or need for validation.) So what happens if I start to train?

That said, I’ve been bitten by the OCR bug and it’s starting to swell. I am thirsty for more   and I’m learning a ton. I’ve got some great people to train with and feel overwhelmed by how motivating it is to be competing in athletics again. I’m super eager to see where this leads and how much I’m actually capable of.  I’m hyper-aware of how unpredictable this is, any number of life events and injuries can derail this agenda, but hey. That’s how it goes. OCR training is pretty high on my summer priority list so I’m going to give it a go and see what happens. 19149133_340363336379227_5682814981696218481_n19225861_343547859394108_5565655738852905315_n

Did I mention they send you “Quality Race Photos” free of charge?!

Alright, all. Thanks for listening. I received a notification that my blog had 99 followers today and that was so cool. It’s not a high-traffic site by any means, but I took a second to look at all of the “likes” from total strangers and smiled. It’s kinda cool. I’m putting something out there and there are a few, if only a few, people that think it’s worth liking. I have no goals, no expectations for this particular blog, Sunshine Shannon. It’s just me, and a solid depiction of who I am and who I was and who I’m becoming. Thanks for letting me know there are some good things in here :)IMG_5561

Summer is going by fast, but it’s all I could ask for at this point. Super pumped for the chapter ahead but certainly trying to relish in this little snapshot.IMG_5542


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