Thursday, December 23, 2010

Scared? Do it!

It's amazing how quickly 2 people can bond over a shared experience.  Last October, I rode down to the Outerbanks with 2 people I didn't know, to meet up with 25 other people I had never met.  On that 3.5 hour car ride, I discovered one of the people in my car, Sarah Nash and I were pretty much twins.  We bonded over having lost 100+ pounds because lets be real, say what you want but to lose that much weight drastically changes your life, your outlook and your life experiences.  From that weekend, I gained a lot of friends but I gained a twin, confidant, someone to push me and be completely random but have so much doing it, a person willing to listen to my nervousness over running a half marathon and completely understanding where I was coming from and most importantly a life long friend. 

This past weekend, Sarah became the newest Mrs. O'Dell and I lost a 4 1/2 month roommate.  It was a fun few months having her live here but I was SO excited for Sarah & Larry to finally tie the knot!  You never know when life is going to throw you an amazing friend.  Was I terrified to go to the beach with 25 strangers?  Heck yes!  Did it turn out to be one of the most fun weekends of that year?  Heck yes!  While Sarah and I initially bonded over weight loss, we also bonded over our desire to be healthy and do things that challenge us (i.e. running a half marathon).  I encourage you to do things that scare you because you never know how amazing it will be on the other side - new friends, new experiences, new memories, new challenges, whatever it may be - it will be worth it.  Now go out there and do something that scares you...just don't forget to have fun!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NYC or bust

I have had quite a few people ask me about my race in NYC this past weekend.  I thought about just side-stepping the issue, but that's not fair to you and it's not fair to me either.  I was really looking forward to running the 10k in Central Park Sunday morning.  However, each day my friend and I were there, the temperature kept dropping and the wind kept picking up.  Finally Sunday morning came along and we had decided we would wait to see what the temperature was and make the final decision to run or not once we knew that crucial piece of information.  Sunday morning brought 31 degree temperatures with wind (not gusts, just straight-up wind) of 20 mph....dropping the temperature down to a frigid 21 degrees.  I could see myself standing around waiting 30 minutes for the race to start and I saw myself becoming a popsicle.  Unfortunately, I chose not to do the race which just means I will have to go back to the city to check "run Central Park" off my list.  Darn, what a shame...another trip to a fabulous, wonderful and fun city.  For your enjoyment, I've added 3 of my fav pics from the weekend.

I may not have run the race, but I was able to see some great people who are almost like a family away from home for dinner on Thursday, see the Rockefeller Christmas tree all lit up (beautiful!), check out amazing sites and have fun memories with a friend.  All in all, a good weekend, and that is how I will remember it.  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and keeping me honest and on track - I truly appreciate it.  Remember, everything is a learning experience, a stepping stone and a celebration.  I let the cold defeat me this weekend, but it won't defeat my dream.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New goals

Accountability is the key factor in life sometimes.  Whether it's fitness, job, life, passion, school, etc. related.  I have been going to the same gym now for a few years and have become a regular in certain classes (Zumba, Body Combat, Body Pump).  It's great being a regular - people know your name, you develop relationships and accountability with your classmates...but the staff knows you too.  So when I stopped going to Combat for a few months, the teacher happened to find me in the gym one day and called me out for not coming to class anymore.  Yeah, that one hurt a bit.  So I said I'd come back for one class...3 weeks later, I finally fit it into my schedule.  I did back-to-back classes of Zumba and Body Pump last night and I can assure you - every inch of my body hurts right now...but it hurts in a good way because I know I'm changing and changing for the better.  I also forgot how much fun it is and know I'll be back next week.

One thing has become clear to me recently, and especially last night - GOALS MUST BE CLEARLY DEFINED.  I love races as an excuse to travel (as mentioned in my last post) but it also gives me a goal with an end date.  Goals are great, but having an end date spurs me on even more because I know their is a definite end to intenese training or a day where I can show off my hard work.  Tomorrow is the first day of December and with that comes New Year's Eve and new year's resolutions.  I say to heck with that.  If you want to start or change something - start now!  Who says you have to wait a whole month?  Get ahead of the curve and start your change now.  It can be fitness/health related (as most new year's resolutions are) OR it can be to get a new job - update and start sending out resumes; work on stage fright - do you have a speech at wedding to give, know someone with a big milestone coming up?  Ask if you can make a toast.  Looking for love - put yourself out there!  Whatever your goal may be - start now; ask for help - not only does it hold you accountable but you may make someone else's day by letting them help you.  Lastly, don't forget to have an end date you can keep in sight.  Mark it on your calendar - use different colored pens, make a countdown, make mini-goals...but no matter what, keep it fun!  Now, GO!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What was I thinking???

So I'm supposed to run a 10k in Central Park the first week of December...I have even planned an entire trip to the city around this race.  When I signed up a few months ago, I thought, sure this will be easy.  I ran a half marathon in February; if I can run 13.1, I can definitely run 6.2.  Done.  Sign me up.  Silly me forgot to factor in the fact that I stopped running for almost 2 months after my half marathon because I just needed a break and wanted to WANT to run, not just do it because I felt I HAD to run.  Then came the summer time when I was completely slammed at work, working crazy hours so the last thing I wanted to do was go run in sometimes 100+ degree weather.  These are all excuses.  Fall finally came along and I stepped outside to start my running routine up again...funny thing about stopping running and expecting to pick it right up again.  You don't.  I worked hard to get into half marathon shape and I was no longer at that level. 

What did I do?  I turned to the Internet, found a half marathon training plan that happened to run along with getting in my mileage to prepare for my 10k.  I'm now 3 weeks into training and 3 weeks away from my 10k.  There are days I sit here and think, what in the world have I gotten myself into?  Is it too late to back out?  Answer:  An amazing and fun weekend; and YES, it's too late to back out.  This is also what I love about races:  once you sign up and pay the fee, you are committed.  For better or worse.  Another thing that's great about races: an excuse to travel.  I get to go to NYC and see the tree lit up and experience the energy, shopping, food and everything else the city has to offer because lets be real - there's always something new to find in NYC.  So google races in a city you have always wanted to check out.  If you are aiming for a certain distance - google the distance and see what races come up.  Pick a race, sign up, find a training plan, find fun things to do and explore during your trip and get ready for your next adventure! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I don't know if you've seen the new Jennifer Hudson for WW ads or not, but they're all about the phrase "I CAN" and concentrating on what you can do rather than what you can't.  Of course, this got me thinking.  Often I'm tempted to think about all the things I want to do but can't which sends me down a dark path.  Whenever I start this thought process, I have to stop myself and think of what I can do.  When I do get to something I can't do, I make it my I start to think, I CAN...go rock climbing eventually, I CAN ride in a gondolla, I CAN go skydiving eventually, I CAN find a job that I enjoy.  I have gotten to the point where, if someone tells me I can't do something...because I'm too young, a girl, too big, too southern, too whatever - I make it a goal to prove that person wrong and to show myself I'm stronger than I ever imagined.  Some people call this stubborn...I call it a will and a drive to succeed. =) 

I challenge you to look back at your life and see the obstacles you have overcome (celebrate them!) and look at what you CAN do, then look at your life and see if there's anything you want to change.  I'm not saying it's going to be easy, you may have to train, go back to school, see someone you don't particularly care for, face certain fears (I mean, I'm scared of heights...but I still want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane...strapped to a professional, of course :o) but it's worth it in the end.  Don't forget to include your family and friends in these goals...or at least 1 person.  It's nice to know someone has your back when you fall down and need that encouragement to keep going.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just to give you some info about me...this is a picture of me on the London Eye, 2 months after graduating from college.
A few friends and I after completing the triathlon.  October 2008

It All Starts with a Footstep

Hi blog world!

  I just saw the Marie Claire post which cast a very small light on a big issue and I thought there needed to be more uplifting and encouraging posts out there for people to read and be inspired!  I've been big a majority of my life, but by the time I graduated from college, I was over 400 pounds and I finally made a decision to change.  I joined Weight Watchers online (because lets be real...I was too stingy to pay monthly) and it was a safer option for me and I also joined a gym.  The first time I got on an elliptical machine, I almost fell off!  I made it 15 minutes and that was enough for me.  I kept going back and I started seeing changes.  Eventually I started training for a triathlon, a 10k and even a half marathon!  I have had an amazing support system of family and friends that helped me along the way.  At the beginning of this year, I had lost 160 pounds!  I started to slow down on my exercise time and went back to some old ways and put some of the weight back on but I have recommitted to losing weight and I have 115 pounds to go.  I know I can do it and I hope you will join me on my Adventure.  I have already changed so much - more confident, outgoing, friendly, compassionate, adventurous and giving and I'm excited to see what changes await me in the future.

I chose Emboldened Adventure as my blog title because I want you to be encouraged by me - to see the ups and downs, the hard times as well as the fun and fabulous times.  It is also my hope to be encouraged by you.  If one person reads this and is happier, tries something new or just has a better day then my job is complete and I would LOVE to hear about it!