Monday, February 28, 2011

It's not the load that breaks you down, It's the way your carry it

Like every other girl in America, I was tuned in Sunday night to watch the Oscars.  The gowns, the jewels, the hair, makeup, everyone dressed's so fun to watch and comment on everything!  This year they praised quite a few Hollywood greats, visionaries and people who paved the way for changes in the industry.  One of those people was Lena Horne.  In honoring her, they listed a quote by Lena - 'It's not the load that breaks you down, It's the way your carry it.'  For a woman who helped pave the way and break stereotypes, she must have had one heck of a load on her shoulders.

Lena's quote got me thinking - we all have things that weigh us down every day but it's how we deal with those burdens.  Some of us deal with it by holing up and getting much needed alone and reflection time; others by doing some form of exercise - be it running, kickboxing, tennis, bootcamp, etc.; hanging out with friends and just talking; escaping into a movie; whatever it may be, we all have our own coping mechanisms.  I don't know about you, but I find it very easy to lose myself in a goal and having something to work towards.  I've been thinking a lot about doing another triathlon and found one coming up in May.  I've tried to find other people who would be interested in doing the triathlon with me but scheduling conflicts seem to hinder quite a few people from joining.  I kept thinking how I needed to have the accountability of someone else to train and complete the triathlon but I think doing this without that accountability may help me prove to myself that I can put my mind to something and accomplish it.  So I'm doing another triathlon!!  Oi, this is going to be interesting.  It's a sprint triathlon (300m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)...the distances aren't too terrifying.  Maybe you should think about doing one too!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What makes you happy?

I've been fighting it for awhile now but it's official, I'm sick.  The upside to this is that I've been able to catch up on all my blog reading.  One blog I have really enjoyed reading is "Ben Does Life."  Apparently he's starting to write a book and looked to his Dad for some inspiration as a forward.  I pasted it below.

I’ve learned a lot about the disease of addiction over the past 12 or so years.  One of the most interesting aspects of the condition is that it’s not about the substances we use.  Regardless of how we get there, most of us end up in the same sorry state – lonely, empty, and sad.  We isolate ourselves so nobody sees what we’ve become.  We lie and deny; it simply hurts too much to face the truth.  We settle into despair as our health disintegrates.
Those who find recovery generally agree that they seek a new way to live because the old one just wasn’t working anymore.  The substances, whatever they were – whiskey, pills, cocaine, pizza, video games – eventually betray us, and don’t provide the joy or escape they once did.
So we try a different way of life, something new and tentative and scary.  We reach out to others and gradually reconnect.  We find love again.  We stumble at first, keep working at it, find our stride, and then we run with it. And, sometimes, we run far.

I bolded the last part because it depicts the challenge and the change.  I've talked previously how I felt like I have lost a little bit of myself and I'm starting to slowly find me again and it's still true.  I am trying to find one thing a day that makes me smile and find a positive.  A few weeks ago, I took my Mom to NYC for her mumble-mumble'd (just for you Mom - I didn't sell you out :) ) birthday.  My 2 favorite pictures are her with the FAO Shwarz toy solider (b/c he flirted with her and that was hilarious) and then a picture of us in Central Park.

I love to keep photos around of people I love and fun times, so when I get upset, I have something around that makes me smile.  Other things that make smile?  Setting a goal and a reaching it, no matter how small the goal.  I got my runs in last week, before I got sick.  Since I can barely walk without coughing or sneezing, running is out for now but that doesn't mean I can't go for a walk or do the eliptical at the gym.  Which also leads to some pretty spectacular hacking moments.  Yes, you're welcome for that visual.  So for this week, my goals are: get my 3 runs in - keep upping my intervals, say goodbye to a friend moving to dc :( but enjoy a last party in her honor :), make sure I get to hang out with Megs so I get to see her rock (that's right kids, Megan and Allan are engaged!) and kick this darn cold!  I feel like a little bit of myself comes back every week.  So a big thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through these last couple months - I know I didn't make it easy but I appreciate each and every one of you!

One more thing - SPRING IS COMING!!!  I don't know about you, but we had 2 absolutely gloriously beautiful days which reminded me spring is just around the corner.  Bright colors, warmer weather and more sunshine.  What's not to love?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


This time last year, I had just completed my first half marathon and sobbed after I crossed the finish line.  That was one of the proudest moments of my life, up to that point, as it took so much hard work and determination to get there.  Even with all the snow last year, I did whatever it took to get my mileage in - even running around the inside track at my gym for a 10 mile run.  My gym is a bit smaller than a 1/4 mile track, so it's 6 times around to complete 1 mile; do the math on that and it was 60 laps around that track.  Was it incredibly fun?  No.  Was it necessary?  Yes.  One thing is for sure - I couldn't have done it without my running partner, Amanda, who joked I gave up on our friendship at mile 11.  Though I assured her it was okay because I re-instated our friendship at mile 13.1.  It was also amazing to have my cousin and now cousin-in-law there and running the race as well!

I was so driven to get to that point and now, looking back, it also makes me sad looking how far I am from that person 1 year later.  It's amazing how quickly your choices add up and how taking a little time off turns into a few months which turns into a year and I'm now getting back to training, though my first race is a 10k.  Sometimes I wonder where my determination, motivation, no excuses attitude came from and where I can find it again.  Though I think what it comes down to is whatever you have internally is going to manifest itself.  Whether it's struggles with certain questions or situations or debating on whether or not to do something, being frustrated with things, whatever it may be it will just consume you and start to overshadow other situations in your life.  Now I've previously said I'm not a huge fan of making excuses and that still stands.  However, I am a huge fan of knowing issues in your life and facing your problems because I truly think that is the best and healthiest way to move forward.  There have been a few situations come up in my life over the past year that have caused my focus to shift away from my "motivated, determined and no excuses attitude" and it has taken me this long to realize the culprit.  All I can do is learn from this past year and try to take everything one day at a time, making the best and healthiest decisions each day and remembering to take time for myself and to recharge.