California, why the runner in me loves you

My brother the financial advisor (a great one at that!) often asks me why we live in California. He doesn’t understand why on earth we would live in a state with such high taxes, high housing costs, and high cost of living in general. While reviewing my finances, he — who lives in my wonderful home state of Texas — is perplexed by our choice.

He isn’t alone in his wonder. In fact, my girlfriends and I often have the “pros and cons of staying in California” conversation.

Well, I know at least part of the answer. I just returned from Yosemite where my family and I enjoyed a quick camping trip with a bunch of our friends. We do it every year. Two gals and I enjoyed a 13 mile easy run through the Valley.

My boy and his mountain - Yosemite Valey, one of California's magical spots
My boy and his mountain - Yosemite Valley, one of many magical spots to run in California

Over this same weekend, another Morgan Hill family is rafting in Sacramento, and the family runner is enjoying 14 miles along the American River. At least three people from my running club are racing Wharf to Wharf at the beach in Santa Cruz tomorrow. Last weekend, two runners from the club competed in Vineman 70.3, swimming, biking and running through the beautiful wine country of Northern California. And as I previously mentioned, three of us raced through the Sequoia-filled hills of Oakland last Saturday.

You just can’t beat all of that.

Combine that with the great people who live here and it is hard to leave. I really like my friends; I don’t want to find new ones. I really like my running mates; I don’t want to find new ones. I really like my community and my kids’ schools (despite our abysmal state education); I don’t want to find new ones.

True, taxes here suck. Housing and gas prices suck. I miss my family, who live in Texas and Colorado. I am bummed by the expense it takes to start a small business here.

But as a runner and outdoor enthusiast, it is an awesome place to live. As my nine-year old emphatically said just yesterday, “I am perfectly happy where we live. I don’t want to move! … at least until I am ten.”

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