Thursday, June 16, 2011

3 Legs - No Limits

I have been running on Tuesdays and Thursdays forever. Ok, just the past 2 years or so. Someday, I will be able to say forever and it will be true! Anyway, back to the story…

Every Tuesday & Thursday, I would see a man and his little brown dog running on the trail. Sometimes we would be going in same direction but usually we would be running in opposite directions. The little brown dog was never on the leash when I met them on the trail and he would run back and forth chasing rabbits or stopping to smell stuff. Normal dog stuff. When I would go running by him, he would often run with me a little. I’d look down and see him smiling up at me as if to say “Hey, this is fun!”

Now, I usually do tempo runs on Tuesdays or Thursdays and sometimes fartleks. So there would be days when I would be flying down the trail (at least in my head) and then this little dog would go zipping by me and look over his shoulder at me and I could swear he was encouraging me to run faster. I saw the challenge in those big brown eyes! I would laugh at how effortless he ran and how hard I was working and couldn't keep up with him. He'd definitely put me in my place but yeah, I would pick it up a little after seeing him.

But then a few months ago, I stopped seeing them. No dog and no owner. Then a couple months ago, I started seeing the owner but not the dog. I would wave to the owner or say good morning but I didn't ask him about his dog. I almost didn't want to know why he wasn't running with him anymore.

Well, today I saw the little brown dog out with his mom. Not where I usually see him. But he was running around checking things out and since it was dark, I didn't recognize him til he was a few feet from me. Then I saw that he was running with just 3 legs. He'd lost one! But he was still grinning and I think he was happy to see me. :)

I asked his mom what had happened and she said they'd found a cancerous tumor in his front leg and they'd had to remove it two months ago. I told her I was glad to see he was out and about and she laughed. Probably wondered how I knew her dog! But she was also probably laughing because I don't think that little dog knew he shouldn't be running and having fun. It's just what he does and who he is. He’s a dog. He runs. He enjoys a little freedom. He doesn't know anything else. So he has no limits. Missing a leg is not going to stop him from doing what he does best: being a happy dog.

I thought about him for the rest of my run. What would it be like to go thru life without putting limits on what you can do? To be so happy to just be and do what you love no matter what? I have to think it would be amazing.

Last week, I talked about how you might be influencing people you aren't even aware of. That little brown dog certainly gave me something to think about today and he'll never know.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Thing of Beauty

I hate that the first sentence in a story about the Tour de France is about drugs and NOT about the sport. A bicycle is a thing of beauty. And one that's going very fast, powered by someone very fast...that's beauty in motion.

Photographing a race is a dizzying kaleidoscope of color and speed and sound. There is so much to capture and it's flying by in the blink of an eye. I like the challenge.

And just once, I would like to be that fast. A girl can dream. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Certain Step

I am not the most graceful person. Oh, I've survived so far with just a few bumps and bruises and a scraped knee here or there. And one broken leg. Broken while walking through the grass. Sigh.

Oh, in my mind, I am graceful. Light on my feet, swift and sure. Like a dancer. It just never seems to translate down to my feet. Hello? Anybody down there?

This might be why I love to watch dancing so much. All kinds. I am fascinated by the choreography and intricate steps. How do they do that without falling over? Without tripping? Without colliding with someone else or a door or wall? And usually in heels, no less.

As I watch, my foot taps along to the music, so hopeful that it will be able to do the same someday. In the meantime, I satisfy my craving by photographing dancers. And while I often take the whole picture, I find that I focus in on their feet more and more. Hoping to capture the beauty of feet that move with passion, confidence, strength, and agility. As I hope to move through life.

Not to mention...I like shoes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Childhood Memories

Bath Time

I love ducks. I always have. When I was growing up, my mom used to make terrariums and she'd buy little animals to put in them - squirrels, birds, etc. In one of the bigger ones that she made, she put a little pond in it. On the pond was a family of white ducks, swimming along. One of the little ones had its backside up in the air. I can't tell you how many times I got into trouble because I'd try and take the ducks out to look at them more closely. And probably to see if I could see the little duck's head under the water.

One morning, I was at the local park and watching all the Days Of Our Ducks, more commonly known as springtime when the ducks are more than a little frisky. There was much quacking and posturing and chasing going on. This one, however, was off by itself and taking a bath. Maybe sprucing up for later. The morning was calm, the sky was blue, the light was low and soft. The pond, reflecting the sky, looked like blue porcelain just like the terrarium pond. And this duck reminded me of the little white terrarium ducks. Of course, I started snapping photos.

The only rule in photography is that there are no rules. of the suggestions is that you never stop with just one photo. You never know what you are going to catch. The duck had just dipped it's head into the water so I thought I would catch the droplets on it's feathers. I didn't even realize that a drop from it's bill had fallen into the pond to make those ripples until later when I was reviewing the photos. Woo! A bonus.

What a lucky duck.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cobra at the Lake

The Cobra at the Lake

I went to a local car show last year that takes place around a little pond at the park. The cars are parked around the pond, in the grass and it makes for some interesting photo opportunities. There were older cars than this one there, incredible old beauties. But the blue of the Cobra against the grass caught my eye and so did its reflection in the pond. And the little pop of red against the blue was the kicker.

It seemed like the Cobra was daydreaming by the lake. Maybe dreaming of racing on the open road? It makes me dream of warm, summer days and a road trip...

That's why I took the shot.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Smile

This week's featured photo (click to view large).

This is "The Smile" and it's a photograph from the San Dimas Crits in 2008.

It was taken just before the start of one of the races as they were lining up and waiting for the leaders to be announced. This is one of my favorite photographs from that weekend even though it's not of the actual race. Luckily, the sky was overcast with only a few sprinkles so the lighting was awesome and there were no harsh shadows.

I like it because of the different way each man is waiting and preparing for the start. Some are focused internally and concentrating. Some are talking amongst themselves. Some are checking out the spectacle. Some, like the man in the center, are having fun.

To me, his smile says that there is no other place he'd rather be at that moment. It says that he is confident and relaxed and ready to race. When I saw his smile, I had to push the button to capture it.

Do you see what I see?