To know me is to know I love birthdays. I love knowing that there is one day each year that is super special for one person. I love that, however many years ago, that person entered the world and didn’t even know it and now they’ve made it all those years, through happiness and sadness, hard times and easy ones, meeting goals and facing disappointments, and for all that, once a year, they should get a cake with their name on it. And balloons. And special breakfast. Or whatever else they want to do to celebrate all that stuff.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been at “home” for my birthday and I’m enjoying finding out where I’ll spend each one now. This year, it was in Christchurch, NZ. Alone.
Now before you all start pointing fingers at Jesse for my solo birthday, you should know that it was my choice to spend it that way – I certainly didn’t have to. We had an ambitious weekend all lined up in Hanmer Springs, complete with running, kayaking, mountain biking, hot pools, BBQs, and good friends, but I passed it all up for two days and two nights by myself. Many months ago I wanted to sign up for my first ultra for and on my birthday; the St. James. Then, early in our NZ trip, I munted my knee and couldn’t run for more than about 2 minutes without pain. So I saw a physiotherapist and made some slow healing progress and signed up for the 20 km instead. Then as that approached, I still wasn’t feeling confident that I could finish and be happy so I decided to skip the weekend all together, but urged Jesse to still compete in his SUPER CRAZY PSYCHO event with his buddies (7 km kayak, 100km mtb, then a 50 km run. In one day. OMG.)
The morning of my actual birthday, I made myself some Milo (one of my favorite NZ hot beverages – it’s basically hot chocolate, but for some reason it has novelty value), opened my sweet present from Laura, and had a nice chat with my mom (since it’s technically her day, too!)
I also watched TV in bed. I read books and rode my bike around town. I took myself out for breakfast. I had a lovely dinner date with my sister-in-law. I drove around in Dan’s car (which was enough adventure in itself!), and I did other genuinely fabulous birthday things. Have I mentioned how I love birthdays? But the best part was my birthday morning run around Hagley Park, just to see. Ten miles later, I was grinning ear to ear – it was my furthest distance without pain since we were in Hamilton!
Jesse came back from the weekend early to hang out and it was great to see him and hear all about his weekend. His kayak leg was beautiful and the mountain bike was all the challenge he hoped it would be. Due to the heat, the run was shortened for everyone and Jesse decided to skip it. It was a tough event, to be sure, but the heat can make it pretty dangerous to push it. I think he made the right call. And it was well over 12 hours of adventuring regardless so it was still an epic day!
And speaking of heat, we spent two more days in Christchurch and then hopped on a plane for the true summer weather in Australia.