Friday, June 19, 2015

Life in Atlanta Outside of Running (and some running)

Believe it or not, I've actually been spending some time in Atlanta doing things that are not running.  I promise!  There has been a lot of that going on but there has also been a lot of exploring everything else that Atlanta has to offer.   I've gotten a bit out of the swing of writing about my normal day to day life and want to get back into a routine, so let me catch up telling you about some of the cool things I have been up to.

Many of the things still come from the running group that I am a part of!  It is one of the reasons that I enjoy the group so much is that the friends I have made are always helping me learn about other cool things in Atlanta.  For example, recently I learned about an organization called General Assembly, that is just getting established in Atlanta, through the running group.  One of the former runners was leading a session about digital marketing for Millenials, which is right up my alley.  A big group of us went out to support and it was so neat to be able to attend such an interesting session, see friends, and also see the amazing space that the General Assembly team is setting up in the emerging Ponce City Market.  

The location is very similar to one of my favorite locales, the Krog Street Market, and I can't wait to see it come to life in Atlanta.  An older, industrial looking brick building, that is being renovated with shops and restaurants.  I love the feel and love that Atlanta is a city still emerging.  There is so much to discover and explore today and also so much still to come.

Another thing I love about Atlanta is the inexpensive and easy access to professional sports!  I am rooting for the home team while I live here and it was a lot of fun to cheer for the Hawks throughout the NBA playoffs, and when I've attended Braves games, I have been cheering for the Braves.

However, this past week the Red Sox have been in town and I saw them play with the group that I watched the Superbowl with back earlier this year!  It was a stifling hot night (forecasts have been in the mid-90s for the next 2 weeks!) and I felt like I couldn't breathe while I was there, but I also had a lot of fun seeing that group again and I swear, there were more Red Sox then Braves fans at the game!

Another cool sports event was heading to see the Atlanta Dream play their home opener in Atlanta.  I think it is my first NBA ever, and very cool that it was a WNBA team!  One of my friends from the running group played college basketball, and made it to a few NCAA tournaments too, so she has many friends in the league and organized for us to go.  We had great seats, all wore our Movers + Pacers gear, and even made it on to the big screen a few times!

Besides sports, I've also gotten some great culture in the Atlanta area with music and art.  Yes, they also involved beverages and friends and meeting new people, but there were some cool events I was able to attend in the past couple weeks.  One of which was an event called "Green Drinks Atlanta" where people who are passionate about or work in "green" industry, gets together for drinks at different locations.  You all know that I worked in renewable energy for a long time, so it was pretty cool to meet others in similar roles.

Although, I think a lot of people were there for the drinks and cool location as it was held at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

There was really cool art on display that had all been printed in different formats and with different methods and it was fun to walk around and interact with the art.

This week I attended one of the most amazing shows I have been to since I arrived here in Atlanta.  One of the things that made it so amazing was that it was a good friend of mine, and the FOUNDER of the Movers + Pacers running group who was performing!  In addition to friend, runner, motivator, and marketer, our group founder is also a brilliant local independent artist.  One of the things that gives me mixed emotions is that he is actually leaving the Atlanta area for an incredible promotion he received at his day job.  The running group will continue on, and the legacy he created in the city will stay really prevalent, but he will be greatly, greatly missed.  As a final sendoff, he did a last performance with some other artists and it was AMAZING. The show was seriously incredible, with so much energy from the crowd and artists.  It was seriously, an incredible night of music!

Kaos, as he goes by, has been such a huge part of me getting settled here in Atlanta.  He has welcomed me to the running group since my very first run and his friendship has meant so much to me.  I will write more about this later, but I loved the show and loved seeing Kaos in his element.  It was an incredible night.

I've been having an amazing time in the city, exploring the city in new ways, and seeing it from different angles.

I love that this city has become my home in so many ways.

OF COURSE, there was also some running stuff going on lately.  I cannot deny that.  One thing I forgot to post on here was the inspiring morning that I went out to go see some of the members of the running group I trained for the Publix Half Marathon with in a race.  So, at least this one doesn't involve ME running!

That running group is called RunningNerds and in Atlanta, the running community is very welcoming and nice with many members of different groups cross pollinating at times.  Since I had run with this group previously, I had heard the story of one of the members of their crew, Isaac, who very unexpectedly had a stroke at the beginning of the year. He was mid training for a marathon and it came out of nowhere.  He has been recovering slowly, and the running group has rallied around him, visiting, staying in touch, celebrating his road to recovery, and passing along so much energy.  Recently, they were able to get an adult running chair, and a week or so ago, a group of 3 runners, along with Isaac in the chair, completed their first 5K.  I went on to cheer them along and it brought tears to my eyes to see everyone coming together for this!

I've had some incredible runs lately with some fun people too.  We did a Peachtree Road Race practice run last week with a small group of people and I am getting SO excited about the actual race on July 4th!  It is the biggest road race in the country for pete's sake!  It is going to be an incredible experience and I have now run the route multiple times so I can't wait to see it on race day.

I've had some new friends out for before work AM runs this week.  I truly love getting my miles in before work and it makes it so much better when I have friends that join me!

And speaking of friends, the weekly Flagship run has become a great way to finish off every weekend with a great group.  I've been using the miles as recovery/easy miles which has been nice after the full weekends of exercise I have been getting in.  It's also been truly joyful to have people that I've invited out, love it and return week after week.

This group has meant so much to me since I've moved to Atlanta and I am so thankful to have these people in my life.  I learn from my new friends.  I am inspired by my new friends.  I have a ton of FUN with my new friends.  Life in Atlanta is good!  

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