Leisa and the Lake

For almost of a third of the 10 years I’ve lived in Dallas, I’ve been by White Rock Lake.

Lakeside photography
Lakeside photography

In 2009, when I broke up with my ex-fiance and moved from the Highland Park/University Park area where I had attended college and lived most of seven years I’d been in Dallas, I chose a quiet community in East Dallas. I didn’t know anyone in the area and it was far enough away from my previous situation that it felt like a new start. One of the features that sold me was “lakeside access,” meaning if you have an extra five minutes, you can walk along the man-made lake and enjoy the scenery. I took my dog (reference below) with me, and we became patrons of the lake. She was my running buddy, when I had more time for those kinds of things, and sometimes just a slow stroll partner.

my dog
Never forget this face.

The bike and run path that circumnavigates the lake is about nine miles around – trust me I searched for the details after a very laborious first lap around the lake on my new bike – and connects with the bike trails around the city like the Santa Fe Trail and Katy Trail. There is a passionate community of people in the bike/hike trail community who are consistently raising money to help make Dallas a more navigable city.

Now, after a two year respite, I’m back by the Lake – actually, just down the road from where I first lived back in 2009. And I have lake access again. I’m going to start sharing the sights and sounds of my long dog walks, bike laps and jaunts down to the lake. Today, on a long walk with Forti, I saw a family practicing fitness (complete with boxing gloves) and a pelican hanging out on the water. In the last few visits, the lake has given me two men under an umbrella in a Peanuts-like “Free Advice” booth, a older woman wearing all pink everything giving it her all in a nice jog and house envy from the gorgeous lakeside estates.

As the weather warms up (and the fact that it’s 63 on February 2 gives me hope that it will keep improving), I’ll be getting back out there on my bike and taking in more sights, which I’ll then share on here. I’ll try to take some pictures too!

The "falls" under the bridge off Garland Road.
The “falls” under the bridge off Garland Road.


Where Are You Running?

Hey, Happy New Year and all that jazz. Yes, I recognize that it is January 26, it’s been a while. Since I don’t really do resolutions, I didn’t have the desire to write an obligatory “This is how I’ll conquer the world in 2013 by [insert betterment].” Not really my style. The changes of my life are usually a steady progression, a series of actions (and inactions) that lead to a conclusion of my own (usually) choosing.

I decided, after a bout of anxiety and self-doubt, to begin working with a life coach – though she wouldn’t agree with that title. I say “life” and “coach” because that is the area in which we are focusing and that is the role she plays for me, coach. Her name is Dawn Mitchell, check her out. She’s kind of a big deal and I vouch for her.

In our biweekly conversations, we touch on quite a few topics, from work to personal to spiritual. Imagine one of the more enriching and empowering conversations you’ve had and you’re on the right path. Today, we got on a thread that is still resounding with me almost an hour later. And it was inspired by a recent episode of “Scandal.”

Yes, yes I am one of the Scandal fanatics. Stans scare me, I’m just a fanatic, right above fan. Anyway, before I go down that road, let me focus on the scene in particular that I referenced.


The important part starts about 1:00 in, when Olivia, the communication strategist running Fitz’s (the second character in the scene) presidential campaign, tells him that he’s running “like he’s being chased,” not like he wants to “cross the finish line first.” That got me thinking about the situations in which we find ourselves, in the transitions of life between where we are and where we want to be. As Dawn and I discussed, often our motivation when we’ve reached the end of one situation in life is more moving away from that place than moving toward something better. Think of the toxic friend, the shiftless beau, the dead-end job: the thought, I’m sure, was “I’m done with [this person/job/circumstance]” rather than “I’m ready for the next and better.”

We should stop that thinking. Life’s changes should be purposeful, for improvement and not for escaping. So though I don’t believe in resolutions, I do believe in truths and I think I found a new one. I no longer want to run from my circumstances, because often that is how you end up repeating the same situation with the same life-draining frenemy, ne’er-do-well partner and routine job with no prospects for growth. My journey is purposeful, centered on goals, inspiration and a step forward. I’m running and I have a finish line, not a circuitous route.

finish (on track)