Monday, August 6, 2012

New Posts Coming Soon- I promise :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

One Good Habit to Bring into 2012

If anyone reading this blog remembers me from my inception through the first part of college (which means pretty much everyone who reads my blog) then you remember a skinny-mini girl who played soccer every chance she got and ran twice as often. For most of my life I was a tanned young thing who practically lived outside. The only time I wasn't on a soccer field, track, or in a park was when I was injured and when I was injured all I wanted to do was run, frankly I was a little fanatical.

Then came the latter half of college (read: drinking a little more than the first two years, eating lots of pizza, Ramen and Chinese take-out) and working in an office (read: 1.25 hour commute, sitting at a desk snacking, not getting home until it was dark). I was tired and unmotivated, and despite friends at work, a pleasant working environment and all of that something was missing. Those 4 years or so made me to become a shadow of my once active self. I felt depressed, out of sorts, I became paler, I got a little rounder and I just wasn't the me I wanted to be.

Fast-forward to February of 2010. I finally decided I needed to change this downward trend. I officially quit my office job in favor for the unknown. I had started living with my boyfriend. I decided to stop caring about what other people thought I should do and start doing what seemed right. Yes it was and is scary not having a job. But now I get to write whenever and whatever I feel like. In any case, my main point is, things were starting to look up.

That spring, I joined a women's-only fitness bootcamp, which met at 5:30 am every weekday. Bootcamp was tough, I had to do things like run half of a mile with a 5 pound bag of sand, roll a tractor tire across a field, lift cement blocks, and many other crazy feats I would sometimes rather forget. I got whipped into shape, made some friends and continued on my upward trend. On a particularly cold, wet morning, I went for a run. It was pouring, the sun was not yet up, it was just me and the road. Most people will at this point think I am crazy. Who the hell gets out of a perfectly good bed to run in the rain at 6:00 a.m.? Me. And when I realized this, a sudden a well of emotion overcame me- I was myself again. Running on the road, in the rain, that was me, who I had been, who I wanted to be, who I was again.
This year I ran two half-marathons and a 10k with my sister. For 2012 I'm planning on running at least three half-marathons, the Broad Street Run, and three 10k's.

So, to get back to the title of this post- the good habit I plan on bringing into 2012 is my commitment to fitness, and, more specifically, running. Not only is running a good habit, but it's also something I am passionate about. With running there is always a sense of satisfaction, of accomplishment, of relief. Tied to that accomplishment is the knowledge that you can always improve and the drive push yourself.

What good habit(s) will you bring into 2012? Do your good habits define you? Do you need to re-focus on who you want to be and what you want out of life?

P.S. I MUST share this:
(((first two pics from Pure Insanity, last pic from Tumbler, but I lost the link, sorry!)))

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One word for 2012: Breathe

So, yesterday I told you how 2011 made me think of the word BLUR; and so I am hoping I can keep the word BREATHE in mind during 2012. We go through our daily lives breathing without being conscious of it. At the doctor’s office we take a deep breath in and exhale out on command, in a yoga or cardio class we become conscious of our breath, and when instructed to focus on it we are often thankful for the reminder. When we work out, work, are in stressful situations or are excited we often forget to breathe. I know I do. I think very few of us appreciate that centering feeling one gets from deliberately and carefully tracking our breath. Frankly, I hope remembering to breathe will help me calm down when I am stressed or angry and appreciate life when something beautiful or poignant is happening. Life is brief, and the only way to truly appreciate it is by letting go of all of our petty worries and paying more attention to enjoying and getting the most out of life. Too often I get upset over snide remarks my friends make to me or to others. Sometimes I spend time worrying about what someone might think of me, or how something I do might look to people around me. In the end, what does it matter? True friends accept you for who you are, and time spent worrying is much better spent living. So, before getting angry or hurt or upset, I'm going to take a breath, let it go, and let all of my worries go with it. Instead of worrying about the future or the past I will spend my time in the present, where it matters most with the people who matter most. I'm going to appreciate what I have been given and give to those who are in need. Every day let's just take a moment (whether it be scheduled or just in the middle of a stressful situation) to breathe.

((image found here))

Monday, December 5, 2011

One word for 2011: Blur

Once again the calendar reads December and so a New Year is almost upon us. I am therefore once again drawn to reflect on what has happened these past few months, in an attempt to squeeze the most out of the new days ahead of us all.

One word which would best describe the year of 2011 for me is Blur. As in, everything has been a blur.

More than any other year in my life, 2011 made me realize just how quickly the little moments in life seem to pass us by. I don't mean to sound defeatist or glum, it is just that everything from vacations to car rides to the growth of my second cousins seem to be going at warp speed. When did everything start moving so fast? How are the days, weeks, months and years progressing at such a fast rate?

Let me start at the beginning. When I was just three or four my father would drive my sister and I forty-five minutes to my grandmother's house to be baby-sat while he taught at a nearby school. Forty-five minutes was an excruciating eternity. And endless car-ride. I found it impossible to sit still or stay quiet, despite it being the wee hours of the morning. When would we be there? What's that water? Are we there yet? What is fog? How far away is Grandma's? What's that building? etc. etc. I would exhaust my father with questions until I was told to rest and be silent, at which point I would sit and watch the blur of landscape rush past my window. Over the river, through the woods and small towns. . .

As a child, and even a teenager my family would tell me life can go by in an instant. They would attempt to explain how quickly time goes by once one comes to adulthood, but I never really understood what they were talking about until this year. Now, forty-five minutes seems like thirty. Sometimes fifteen. An easy commute, it is a blip in my day. As it's doubtful I'm more patient now than I was over two decades ago; I think the blame goes to an over-active schedule. Everything is a game of hurry-up an wait. Every day is a rush from this meeting to that one, this appointment and the next, squeezing in dinner with friends, scheduling time with my family and his, and all as various and elusive to-do lists get longer and longer.

When do we ever sit down and reflect? Almost never, if you are like me.

Since I'm starting to ramble I will leave you with this: When I was thirteen I was visiting with my great-grandmother (Nana) and asked how she was doing. She became wistful and told me, "Life is like leaves on a tree." At different times this means different things to me, but it has always made me think.

What one word would describe 2011 for you? What does my Nana's quote mean to you?

((images courtesy of Douglas Kielmeye Blurred Christmas Lights, Elated, and PhotoShopStar, respectively))

Friday, May 27, 2011

My favorite Memory

My favorite memory of my mother is rather simple, and is in fact my first memory.

I was only maybe 3, and my mother is sitting across from me, smiling at me as she paints my nails. It is a warm summer day, and we are sitting in front of an open window in my room. My tiny hand is being held ever-so delicately by my mother's. I remember trying to be dainty and lady-like while my mother completes this very grown-up task, but I am so excited I can barely contain myself. I felt so happy to be getting so much attention from my mother, I felt special, loved, and I remember I just couldn't stop smiling. As I studied her and my manicure I felt deeply connected and in awe of her. I felt so much happiness and love in that moment, and I think this is why it has stayed with me for so long.

I don't remember the color I picked, (but I want to say it is red, because red is my favorite color), or the conversation we had (although I would like to imagine my mother was impressed with whatever 3-year-old me had to say), but I do remember my mother's warmth and love, and that is all that matters.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Wonderful World

Hey y'all. Well, this week has sort of been a roller-coaster of emotions for me. You see, tomorrow is the ten-year anniversary of my mother's death. While it is still incredibly hard for me to come to terms with my mother's death, and the emptiness I feel in the place she once inhabited, I have learned to communicate with my mother's memory.

I see and feel my mother in so many ways. My mother's joy is in the lilacs beside my house- her favorite flower. My mother's tenderness is in the wind that whips my hair on a warm spring day. My mother's laughter, full of life, still echoes in my ears when I watch movies we both enjoyed. She is everywhere and in everything that I do.

Tomorrow is going to be hard, just like all of the tomorrows since she passed-- but by now I've learned there are good days ahead as well. Remembering my mother in these ways helps me deeply. Instead of thinking about my loss, about everything my mother was not there for, and will never be apart of, I focus on the beautiful pieces of time we did have together.

Therefore, I would like to implore you: Respect the time you are given, Appreciate your friends and family, Make every Moment Count, and See the Beauty in everything.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Post

Hi there y'all, I know I haven't been as consistent as I would like with posting recently, but I wanted to let everyone know I guest posted for one of my good friends, Doug-Smug.

Doug runs a Website devoted to wine- terminology, tastings, and tips. Please check it out: