Sunday, May 29, 2011

54 - 5/25/11 - In My Footsteps Trip

Initial Impressions
Christopher Setterlund

54 – In My Footsteps Trip

                Today was a long overdue trip up to Portsmouth and Rye, NH.  There was also an unplanned stop it the little town of Stratham which will be explained later.  $35 in gas, stupid gas prices.  Total of 286 miles.
                Summer is close, which I could tell by the sheer number of cars on the road, so many of them driven by people who need to get their licenses revoked.  Way too much traffic too, ugh, started tiring me out before I got into Boston.  Not good for a 2h 20min drive.
                By the way Rt. 1 past Boston may be the worst paved road in the state.  I mean, can’t we spend a little money on filling the billion pot holes that I was fumbling all over?  Especially after being stuck in traffic and knowing I needed to go faster to make up time.  It was amazing that I didn’t blow a tire or 2 or 3.
                Once past Newburyport this was the furthest north I had gone since I went to Maine last October.  As soon as I got into New Hampshire I remembered why I love that state so much.  It’s like immediately entering a better place, the sun got brighter, everything smelled sweeter, and there were rolling green hills, no lie this all happened.
                Today marked the return of the ‘driving arm tan.’   Got some color/red on my face/neck, but the left arm is pretty bright, that’s what 9+ hours in the sun will do to a body part.
                Stratham Hill Park was an unexpected stop.  After seeing some cool photos of a fire tower at the top of a 230+ foot hill I knew I had to check it out for myself.  The hike up Lincoln Hill as the trail is called was tough, pretty steep, but the views were amazing.  The only way I knew which direction was which was thanks to a marker at the highest elevation of the hill with a compass on it.  It was such a great spot to visit, thank you to Emily for pointing me in the right direction!  Stratham Hill Park -
                It was 15 minutes to get to Portsmouth, a place I had planned on visiting during my Maine trip from last October along with Portland and Rye, NH.  The monsoon rains stopped that from happening but it was worth the wait.  By only choosing to visit two towns I was able to really take my time and enjoy both, it might be the way to go for me from now on.
                Parked in front of a paid meter which was great.  I got to walk out to a drawbridge which leads to Badger Island in Maine.  I got to see a couple of cool old VW buses near the water, neither was driven by a stereotypical burned out hippie though, little disappointed.
                Another unexpected stop was a place known as Prescott Park.  It was on my way to the Strawberry Banke Museum across the street but the park took center stage very quickly.   There I caught sight of a small garden with fountains through a white fence.  It was simply fantastic coming close to rivaling the rose garden at Lynch Park in Beverly.  There were three fountains and these awesome trees that cast half of the garden in shadows.  The photo will show you what I mean.  It was so incredible that I basically passed over what I had gone there for to spend more time sitting among the flowers and trees.
                On a side note there was a house next to the park which was also next to a cemetery.  The crazy part was the huge marble casket no more than 3 feet from the fence, I mean how freakin’ scary would that be out there every night?  Oh and I never went to the Strawberry Banke Museum.  It looked cool, like an old village, but there wasn’t enough time to see it all, plus there was a field trip going on and I didn’t feel like waiting to take photos to avoid the kids.
                Portsmouth Lighthouse was awesome, and getting the photos of it was so dangerous.  The lighthouse is on the grounds of a Coast Guard station, but so is Fort Constitution.  I was able to go in walking on a blue line.  The lighthouse was obstructed by the fort and Coast Guard buildings so how did I get the clear photos?  I leaned out of a small window of the fort, nothing between me and the rocks below but air, the photos were great though.
                I stayed in Portsmouth for 3 hours and still felt like there was stuff I had missed.  I went to Rye next which was all about the beaches.  Wallis Sands, Rye Beach, and Rye Harbor State Park.  They were mowing the grass at Rye Harbor State Park which was one big mass of dandelions.  Isn’t it when you mow them that they multiply?  Thought that was the case.
                When it was time to leave Rye I decided to make a special stop at Mike’s Pastry in the North End of Boston.  The traffic was hellacious, more than 2 hours stuck in and around Boston, guess that’s what I get for going there just before rush hour, smart.  I will tell you that the trip was absolutely worthwhile though and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I get the chance.
                In the end reducing the number of places to see made the day better, no more feeling like I was being rushed.  The photos will show just what a great place New Hampshire is to visit which is why I need to go back really soon.

Photos of the Day:
View from the top of Stratham Hill Park's tower.
Awesome shot from Prescott Park.
Portsmouth Light
An old man fishing at Rye Harbor State Park.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Impossible Is Nothing

           Impossible Is Nothing by Christopher Setterlund 

            To most people today the CapeAbilities 5K was just another race.  To me it was something much different.  To me this race today was the culmination of a transformation inside myself that I never thought would happen.  Today was never even on my radar as close as two months ago, but here I am after the fact now able to look back at what I have done with pride.  I have tried to make it known just how important personally this entire event and what led up to it has been, but maybe here you will get a better feel for it.  Bear with me as this is going to be an ocean of emotion spilling out in these words.
            For years my Uncle Steve has been telling me how much he wanted me to run races with him and for years I simply said no.  I said no because I believed in my heart that I could not, or to be more correct I did not believe in myself.  It has been something of a theme as time passed that my belief in myself seemed to wane and fade away, don’t know if it was just me or if others have experienced this as well.  You get so stuck in a way of thinking that it becomes reality whether it is true or not.  Sometimes it takes an unexpected voice to break that train of thought.
            I have a friend, she knows who she is and I will spare her the embarrassment of this praise, but I am proud to call her my friend and so blessed that I know her.  She was not born a runner, no she made herself into one through her own hard work and dedication.  The dedication she has is unlike anything I have ever seen in anyone and it is infectious.  For years I had seen her and wondered just how in the world she could do what she does, now I know, now I understand.
            You see people have believed in me, I am not alone in this world, but their voices were drowned out by my own self doubt, it was a powerful enemy I had to fight.  My friend, she ended up being the voice that broke the glass around my mind.  She believed in me because she had been in the same exact position before and had transformed herself into a world class runner.  She said if she could do it I could.  At first I was skeptical, my old beliefs were still holding on, but as time went on I began to see what was happening.
            I knew that I could count on her to be there as motivation for me to keep going.  For the first time in my life I was running and enjoying it and therefore starting to see results in how I looked and felt.  The 5K I did today was meant to prove to myself that I could actually do something I set out to do rather than giving up if it got hard.  I pulled every muscle in both legs at one point or another during my training but never did I lose sight of what I was doing.
            My Uncle Steve signed on for the 5K and was even more excited than I was because he had been pushing for me to run for so long and finally I was going to do it.  He was also not born a runner but transformed himself into one.  I was always inspired by him and so proud of him but I could never pull myself out of my own self doubt and lack of belief to join him.  That was what made today so damn special for me, I was putting those old feeling to bed once and for all.
            My time and pace were good, better than I thought, especially since I had a bit of a lingering injury to my left Achilles tendon, nothing major, just a dull soreness.  My Uncle Steve sacrificed his own time to run with me which made me feel so good, and important as well!  However, the time and pace meant less to me than the actual feeling of passing that clock and seeing my friend standing there with her hand out.  I had done it, I had succeeded in completing something that meant so much to me personally.  I had rediscovered my belief in myself.
            I collapsed with fatigue just after my sister Kate and my nieces Kaleigh and Emma and my nephew Landon gathered around me.  They were so proud of me, I had done something to make people proud of me.  That felt so good.  I wanted Kaleigh, Emma, and Landon to know that they can do anything in life if they put their minds to it.  I hope I was able to show them that through what I did today.   Having my family there to see me and experience it with me meant so much to me.
            As for my friend who I promised I would not embarrass here, I told you face to face what you mean to me.  You changed my life and my way of thinking by simply being who you are, I am so blessed and lucky to know you and hope that I have let you know that through my words and actions.  I hope after reading this you understand why this meant so much to me and why I feel like this day was the beginning of a new chapter of my life.
            So race 1 is in the books, I have 2 more already scheduled and have no intention of stopping whatever ride I am on.  I have had my eyes opened, I have had my mind opened, I have had my heart opened, and I have no plans to close them anytime soon.  I hope that maybe my own story will inspire someone to do something they thought they never could do.  It does not have to be running, that just happened to be my own outlet.  Remember that the term impossible is nothing.  You can do anything if you put your mind to it, I am living proof.  Thank you all for sharing this day, this moment with me.  I will not forget it as it is my own personal finish line and also a starting line for something great that only time can reveal to me.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heart Skips A Beat

Can’t stop, can’t speak.
Can’t walk, knees weak.
Can’t see, can’t breathe.
Can’t stay, won’t leave.
Heart skips a beat.
Makes me believe.
Your smile, my eyes.
You look, can’t hide.

What a night this afternoon, once it’s gone it’s ended too soon.
It’s the worst kept secret what I see in you.
I’ll keep the words, you know what’s true.
On my mind, stopping time, I’m the buzz, you’re the wine.
Brick by brick, the foundation of the house we build with time.

I wanna see you in the sunlight, in the moonlight, when there’s no light.
Let’s tune out the world tonight, let’s take over the world tonight.
I wanna give you all my heart, I wanna steal your heart.
I wanna take you everywhere, I’ll just take your hand to start.