Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year 2010

2010 proved to be another memorable year for me. Personally, following things stands out, not in any particular order

1. Hiking Nevada Falls in Yosemite with Prem, while Promila and Liz did Half Dome hike.

2. Running – This year, after struggling for some time, was able to finish two Half Marathons. Now running has become a part of my life. I never felt so strong in my life before.

3. Hiking Mt Whitney

This year proved to be very good year for Prem. Nebulizer which used to be a constant feature in our family room is now hiding somewhere in closet. No asthma episode for him. I can watch him eat Pizza at Birthday parties without much concern. However, healthy diet and natural cures continue to control his triggers (runny nose) very well. And I am very thankful for that.

Looking back, in 2009, major highlight was hiking Half Dome. However, most of the group who hiked with me at that time moved on to do other things. As I enjoyed hiking very much, I was looking for company where people have similar interest and fitness level. I met Chetan and Prasad (and later Nitin) on one my solo hikes on Mission Peak. Promila’s ginger tea (yes, she still wakes up earlier than me to make it so that I can take it on my 6 AM hikes) proved to be ice breaker and one thing led to another, I ended up doing some major hikes with them.

Big thanks to Chetan for detailing out Mission Peak to Monument Peak (though we missed Monument peak) hike in January, Berry Creek Falls and Rose Peak hikes in April, Mt Tallac and Mt Whitney in August. I am looking forward for his lead to continue doing different hikes this year.
I was fortunate enough to do some other major hikes with my old buddy Paul, who got me started to hiking at the end of 2008. I remember hiking in Alum Rock Park with him, and after a month of hiking on weekends, we did Mission Peak and I remember very well that my legs were shaking after I reached the top for the first time. Just like Chetan, Paul has eye for the details and knows most of the hikes in Bay Area and around. He led me and Liz (my manager) on some beautiful hikes; Pinnacles National Monument in March, Quick Silver Almaden in April, Nisene Park in June and Sierra Azule in November. Again next year, we are planning for a few major hikes.

I was very happy that Liz and Promila hiked Half Dome. I was blogging throughout the year on most of my major hikes. Surprisingly, I received more than dozen of ‘Thank you’ for my blog on Half Dome hike, as it helped other people in planning, preparing and getting it done. Also, I received couple of comments hinting that sometimes blog is too long, and few comments asking for more details. Let me be clear, main purpose of this blog is to document my journey and share it with my friends and family members who are in India. Also, later when Prem grows up, at some time, if he is interested, he could look at it to have some idea as what are the things, growing up, we did together.

Courtesy Prem and Promila, I admit shamelessly, that I was father of the year.

New thing which I learnt this year was running. My struggles with running has been very well documented, and apparently this also helped few people in taking up running. Thanks to Dave to lead long runs on different trails, that I am still able to continue running. It really helps to have some company with similar fitness level again. Few days I might be down a bit, when Dave leads, and other times I might be leading. I find running more challenging, as I lose running fitness very quickly if I did not run for 3-4 days. It is good to have Norm and Vimal also on few of these runs, as it keeps everybody motivated. Promila has also started running somewhat regularly now.

With Prem doing well in last few years now, Promila was able to get a 6 month contract this year and enjoyed working in a startup and getting back into job market. She was her usual self, doing everything with lot of energy and passion. Before the start of her job, Promila took some home projects. She took off the wall paper in living room, textured the walls and then painted them, probably 4 to 8 different coats for each wall. She experimented quite a bit and was very pleased with her effort. It was indeed a big effort and a totally new area for her to take on. We got one of our bathroom remodeled and enjoying our Jacuzzi tub almost daily. The handyman who helped us with bathroom remodel, further aided us in recovering some of the walls Promila textured and painted. Promila is looking for a new job now, and I am somewhat anxious that she gets something quick, before she decides to take on another home project.

Promila and Prem started Taekwando and both now hold Green Belt. I was taken aback to find out that they can do 20 pushups and to see Promila’s bruised knuckles. Prem and Promila have made major leaps in learning swimming. I know that swimming is considered great cross training for running, so started going with them for recreational swim, one day a week, while their swimming classes are off till next summer.

As I write this blog, I am in Carlsbad, next to Legoland. Big thanks to Manoj E this year (just like end of last year) for making it possible to send us this last minute unbelievable deal. We are using hot tub and heated pool almost every day. Promila was thrilled to find Costco across the street, and I realized how truly she enjoyed cooking. As I write these words, Prem read my mind and said that this is the 5th day on vacation and we haven’t eaten outside as yet. The main reason for this is Promila has been cooking and eating very healthy food that she has lost the craving for comfort food, in fact, most of the time, it repulses her. It showed up in our yearly check up, both of our cholesterol level are over 30 points down, compare to last year.

We spent couple of days with Som-Swapna-Jahnvi during this trip. We managed to get out and go to Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which took us to 8800 ft from desert floor. To our surprise, there was 2 ft of snow at top and a lot of areas to do snowboarding. Prem was missing throwing snow balls and playing in snow this year, however, this made it possible. It was amazing to enjoy beach one day and snow next day. In hindsight, I think this is a real good way to do snowboarding as you avoid all that uncertainty of road conditions and weather and still can play in snow and come back down the same day. We did go to SeaLife Aquarium and Museum of Making Music (shows most of the instruments from 1890, and how changes in technology wiped out certain things).
Though I lost everybody from 2009 hiking group, however, joined/formed three new groups, two hiking and one running. And everybody in these groups reached new heights this year, literally. However, main thing was that we challenged and enjoyed each other’s company and had fun. Looking back, I feel that this is a normal human tendency to remember the year by what good has happened and holding onto the things you love. Abraham Lincoln had summed it up in this quote

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~

Happy holidays and we wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2011, filled with laughter and joy.

with love (Prem)

Promila - Maneesh