In the end, we always seem to think about the beginning.
My college journey was hardly traditional. It began with a year in North Carolina. One in Ohio. One in New York City.
And now, on my last first day of school, I am back in good ol’ Columbus reminiscing on how much has changed during these four years. How much I’ve changed. But most importantly the people + experiences I’ve encountered along the way.
So to preface the grand senior finale, this week, I ended the summer on a high (both runner + food). I ran miles with meaning and broke in my kitchen with a home cooked meal in our new Columbus home — not a shabby way to start the year at all.
HOW I SWEAT:
After a full day of moving + unpacking (and the inevitable “$100 what the hell did I even buy” Target trip) I finally settled into my new room in our house in Columbus.
It’s been a transition, but I have to admit that walking around this town got me excited to be back in Buckeye country.
But naturally I knew I needed one thing to truly feel welcomed back to Columbus — a run.
A long + beautiful run.
I got out the door early (to best avoid this late summer heat wave…) and within the first few strides, I could feel a smile growing within me.
I was home.
I split my route between off + on campus — a gorgeous 10k through those familiar places now returning to my memory.
I ran past through the Oval and past Ohio Stadium Horseshoe with the comfortable understanding that no matter how far I roam, once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.
And as wonderful as this run was, I continued the trend later at one of my favorite and most memorable annual events, The Ohio State Relay for Life Glow Bucks 5K.
My roommates + friends are heavily involved and do incredible things for this wonderful organization. So natrally when an event involves running for a cause, no questions asked, I’m in.
I dedicated my run to my Grandmother who passed away early this year from lung cancer. And having her in my heart + thoughts drove me through each mile. I could here her familiar voice in my ear — “andiamo” — c’mon let’s go. And that was all the encouragement I needed.
I love 5K’s because they are the perfect distance to push yourself a little. And so when my Nike+ app told me I ran my fastest mile ever, it motivated me even more to finish as strong as possible.
WHAT I ATE:
So with a new house, comes a new kitchen. And although I desire to visit all of my missed Columbus restaurants, I was excited to break in our home with a family style dinner.
I gathered the roommates on the night before classes — nostalgic laughter for years past + hopeful anticipation for the final year ahead.
Not to mention a DELISH meal to bring us together around our newest dining room table.
MAHI MAHI FISH TACOS:
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4):
- mahi mahi filets (fresh)
- red onion
- lime juice
- cayenne pepper
MAKE IT DELICIOUS:
- Season the mahi mahi with lime juice + dash of cayenne
- Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes
- In a small bowl, chop mango + red onion + cilantro, add lime juice + pepper
- Throw it all together between whole grain tortillas
Add some chips + homemade guac [sorry this recipe is staying with me 😉 ] and forget about it. Dinner done absolutely delicious.
Time is a funny thing.
The big moments take up space, but in reality when you look closely, the years merely reflect thousands of everyday moments. Moments that culminate to create who you are.
And I’m taking my final college leap into senior year with that idea in mind — appreciating the friends I’ve made and the Buckeye family I will always be apart of. Because these fleeting seconds won’t last forever.
And more importantly, neither will the cheap beer + Buckeye Donuts.
So for now? I’m embracing the beginning of the end of this chapter. Because what a wonderfully scarlet and grey chapter it has been.
“The seasons pass the years will roll. Time and change will surely show, how firm thy friendship. O-hi-o.”
Here’s to senior year, kids.
Run far, eat well, drink better.