Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 恭喜發財

The Green Girl wants to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe, and Chinese Lunar New Year.

According to Chinese astrology, our universe consists of five basic elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. It is said that everything in the universe, including humans, has a relationship with these five elements.

The Chinese believe every element is equally important and powerful. Metal will create Water, Water will create Wood, Wood will create Fire, Fire will create Earth, and Earth will then create Metal. Conversely, there is also a cycle of incompatibility and destruction: Metal will destroy Wood, Wood will destroy the Earth, Earth will destroy Water, Water will destroy Fire, and Fire will then destroy the Metal.

2014 is the Year of the Wooden Horse. Wood is related to tree or green. Therefore, 2014 is also known as the Year of the Green Horse.

The Year of the Green Horse is a time to live modestly and be fiscally conservative. 2015 will be the more adventurous and glamorous Year of the Sheep.

In the Year of the Green Horse, it's important to focus on mental and physical strength. If you are out of shape, this is the year to get back in shape.

By tradition, the Year of the Horse is an optimistic time when people are generally more apt to work together in a spirit of community while still enabling independent ideas to help solve problems.

The Year of the Green Horse will be the perfect opportunity for me to focus on learning new technical skills and improving my running and cycling technique.


The Green Girl's Updated Motivational Collage

The Green Girl decided it was time to update her Motivational Collage.

The focus of my last collage was the amelioration of my mind, body, and soul.

A significant portion of last year's healing process involved a chronic case of Achilles tendon bursitis (retrocalcaneal bursitis) in my right heel.

The rehabilitation of my heel was two-fold: Active Release Techniques (ART) and strength training to reduce muscle imbalances.

In addition to being a Certified ART Provider, Dr. Sebastian Gonzales from The Performance Place also performs gait and stride analysis for runners. I went through the process with him a few years ago and Dr. Gonzales identified some muscle imbalances.

Plagued year after year with overuse injuries, I finally opted to enlist the help of a personal trainer. I started training with Chris Nelson from Beach Cities Mobile Fitness twice a week.

One of the benefits of working with a professional is the fact that they are able to quickly identify muscle imbalances or tightness based on the exercise posture of my body. Slight adjustments during workouts make a significant difference.

I credit the treatment, support, and guidance I received from Dr. Gonzales and Chris for the completion of my first ultramarathon last year at the Run Woodstock Freak 50k. While my Achilles bursitis is not completely cured, I am able to run. I support my heel with kinesiology tape on long runs or at the first sign of sensitivity.

My updated collage revolves around:
  • Regular stretching and yoga
  • Disaster/emergency preparedness
  • Local exploration

I am going to get back into a weekly yoga routine and set aside dedicated time for stretching at home.

I want to continue educating myself about emergency preparedness. I don't want a zombie apocalypse to take me by surprise.

Finally, instead of hopping on a plane, I want to focus on exploring locally through trail runs, hikes, and road trips. I identified a number of places I'd like to visit in my 100 Things in 2014 list.


The Green Girl's 100 Things in 2014

The Green Girl was inspired by the Day Zero Project's '101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge' to start her own challenge of attempting to complete 100 things in 2013.

Ultimately, I fell short of 50% completion success by accomplishing 48 out of 100. For 2013, I'm rolling over some outstanding items and removing others from the list.

My focus for 2014 is personal growth, introspection, and local exploration.

The Green Girl's 100 Things for 2014 - [019/100]
  1. Answer the '50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind'
  2. Cultivate a new, positive habit
  3. Do something outside of my comfort zone
  4. Learn 10 new, useful keyboard shortcuts [10/10]
    • + Left/Right/Up/Down Arrow To move window
    • Type 'wo' in Start Menu To Launch Word
    • CTRL + Backspace Delete previous word
    • ALT + . In Outlook To field to open address book
    • ALT + K In Outlook To field to Check Name
    • ALT + L In Outlook To field to Reply All
    • CTRL + 1, CTRL + 2, CTRL + 3 In Outlook to switch between Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
    • CTRL + D In Excel to duplicate the cell above
    • CTRL + L In Notepad++ to delete line
    • CTRL + L or F6 In Firefox go to Address Bar
  5. Take a course on UNIX basics
  6. Take a course on Jenkins
  7. Update The Running Green Girl's 'About'
  8. Update The Running Green Girl's 'About Angelman Syndrome'
  9. Get technical certification
  10. Get trained in mountain search and rescue
  11. Attend a self-defense class
  12. Attend a gun/firearms training class
  13. Learn to tie 10 useful knots [00/10]
  14. Learn how to sharpen a knife without tools
  15. Start a fire with a flint 09.23.2013
  16. Start a fire with common household items
  17. Make a camping stove and boil water on it
  18. Open a can without a can opener
  19. Learn 10 new survival skills [00/10]
    1. How to boil water using hot rocks 09.20.2014
  20. Make a travel carry-on friendly survival kit
  21. Transmit via ham radio
  22. Add 10 items to bug-out bag [10/10]
  23. Get a Dremel tool
  24. Get a Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV 01.10.2014
  25. Get a new carry-on luggage
  26. Get a 'going out' outfit
  27. Try a new cuisine
  28. Roast a whole chicken
  29. Grind flaxseed
  30. Get a garlic press
  31. Go fruit picking
  32. Eat at 5 places featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives [0/5]
  33. Go to the beach with Jade 05.20.2014
  34. Go trick-or-treating with Jade 10.31.2014
  35. Spin a penny with Jade
  36. Make an obstacle course for Jade
  37. Make homemade paint for Jade
  38. Make a necklace using colored straws with Jade
  39. Make a balloon rocket for Jade
  40. Make cloud dough for Jade 05.12.2014
  41. Make goop for Jade 05.15.2014
  42. Ride BART with Jade
  43. Find natural odor 'removal' solution for Jade's car seat
  44. Get mole check 03.27.2014
  45. Get wisdom teeth removed
  46. Get a facial
  47. Spend a day at a spa
  48. Make a scrapbook
  49. Volunteer at an assisted-living or retirement home
  50. Replace conventional candles with natural alternatives
  51. Replace air fresheners with natural alternatives 01.04.2014
  52. Try out 10 uses for vinegar [10/10]
    • Boil and combine with baking soda for clogged drains
    • Add to laundry to remove bad odors
    • Combine with baking soda to remove stubborn carpet stains
    • Use in place of alcohol for cleaning
    • Remove grease stains on stove
    • Clean the refrigerator
    • Disinfect cutting boards
    • Remove hard water/minerals stains from ice cube trays
    • Use with raw rice grains and shake to clean the inside of a bottle
    • Clean toothbrush holder
  53. Organize bathroom cabinet
  54. Organize the kitchen pantry
  55. Organize bedside table drawer
  56. Clean out garage
  57. Salvage or repurpose an item instead of throwing it away
  58. Dispose of eWaste 01.05.2014
  59. Organize or digitize photographs
  60. Consolidate contact information
  61. Put pictures in frames
  62. Learn how to use manual features/settings on camera
  63. Document a day in the life of a Green Girl in pictures
  64. Mark all the places I've visited in my 1000 Places To See Before You Die book
  65. Go an on overnight ride with Lexa
  66. Drive along Historic Route 66
  67. Visit the Skinny House
  68. Visit The Time Travel Mart
  69. Visit The Great Wall of Los Angeles
  70. Visit the Lake Shrine Temple 01.05.2014
  71. Visit Noah Purifoy Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum
  72. Visit Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch
  73. Visit the abandoned Griffith Park Zoo 07.04.2014
  74. Visit the Watts Towers
  75. Visit the Leo Carrillo State Park tide pools
  76. Ride Angel's Flight
  77. Visit San Pedro's Sunken City
  78. Visit the Venice Canal Historic District
  79. Visit Joshua Tree
  80. Visit the Salton Sea
  81. Visit Salvation Mountain
  82. Visit East Jesus
  83. Visit Potato Chip Rock 01.11.2014
  84. Visit the abandoned Nazi Camp
  85. Go trail running at Santa Anita Canyon
  86. Go trail running at Claremont Hills Wilderness Trail
  87. Go trail running at Echo Mountain
  88. Go trail running at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
  89. Go trail running at Sara Wan Trailhead at Corral Canyon
  90. Go trail running at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area 03.29.2013
  91. Go trail running to Paradise Falls
  92. Go trail running to Escondido Falls
  93. Go trail running to Etiwanda Falls
  94. Go trail running to the Bridge to Nowhere
  95. See a movie at the Electric Dusk Drive-in
  96. Go whale watching
  97. Learn to pitch my tent 09.05.2014
  98. Go camping 09.05.2014
  99. Go paintballing
  100. Go stand up paddle boarding
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