Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: New {Old} Milestones

Are you sick of me talking about my post-surgery life/changes/milestones yet? No? Good.

And happy Better Than the Alternative Tuesday to you!

I was chatting with a friend last night and when she asked me how I’m feeling these days, I immediately went to how my runs are going. What can I say, I’m happy to be back! Anyway, I was telling her how hard it is to run just 3 miles when a little over a two months ago I was knocking out 8 or 10 like it was nothing.

*sigh*

I don’t get down on myself about this. Trust me, I celebrate running 3 miles as though I had just run 26.2.

You might think I’m kidding about the dancing part. I am not.

What my friend and I chatted about was how NEW it felt to run/workout again. It’s like my body has never done it before, except it has. FOR 22 YEARS!!!! I don’t even remember my first run being as hard on my poor hamstrings as any of these last week’s runs have been.

The last time I remember feeling like death on a run was my first practice as a freshman on my high school’s cross country team. I went from running 2 mile races to doing 5Ks. That may not seem like a big leap to you, but the warmup was 1 1/2 miles.

In August.

In Chicago.

In cotton.

*shudder*

It was torture. I was the last one in on the entire team and the coach turned to one of the captains and said, “What do you think of the newbie?” Thankfully, he said, “She’ll do fine.” So I stayed. Imagine if he said something different.

My face probably would’ve looked something like this. I make the same face for disappointing Christmas present wrapping as I do for when I don’t make the cut on the cross country team.¬†

I remember my first race with that team. It was my first 5K. 3.1 miles, which was “long distance” running to me. I was so proud of myself for training, for finishing, even if I didn’t place. It was such a milestone for me. On Sunday I ran 3.1 miles for the first time post-surgery and hit a New {Old} Milestone and felt that same feeling of accomplishment.

Yesterday I blasted through another New {Old} Milestone and finished my first Flywheel class post-surgery. It was HARD. Harder than the original first one I took. But I was so pumped to have been there, working hard with my favorite teacher, that my numbers didn’t matter. Just being in the classroom and sweating like an animal put a smile on my face.

Pretty sure I wasn’t this smiley after yesterday’s class. More like, half-smile *gasp* “No pictures, please.”

I have celebrated a lot of New {Old} Milestones since surgery. Walking. Showering. Washing my own hair. Walking by myself. Dressing myself. Making my own food. Walking as fast as my fellow New Yorkers (I definitely called the Obi-wans when this one happened!). Running. Spinning. Staying awake all day without a nap.

(Ok, that last one is more out of necessity. I kinda miss my mid-day naps.)

I do soooooo love a nap.

Some of these may seem silly to you, but I remember doing many of them for the first time. And now I remember hitting these New {Old} Milestones a second time, which is even sweeter.

New {Old} Milestones make me feel like I’m making progress. Actual, tangible progress. Every time I hit–and blast through!–one, I feel more and more like myself. Surgery can take away that feeling of self. So can injury. Or any other life change. Meeting these New {Old} Milestones reminds me that it’s just a matter of time and patience before I feel like me again. 100% me.

And that feeling makes being here any day so much Better Than the Alternative.

Have you ever hit a New {Old} Milestone due to a change in your life? How did it feel? Did you do a dance like I did? Share your story in the comments ūüôā Also, did anyone run this morning? It’s 57¬į in NYC!!!! ¬†

Now go out and run!

I’m Having A Party

Hi friends. It’s been a while. I can’t even begin to tell you what’s been keeping me from blogging but the simple answer is: LIFE.

Life¬†/lńęf/,¬†(noun): Physics class, work, UC “stuff”, marriage (it’s lovely, thank you for asking), pending PhD program, health, family, friends.

Oy. Just…oy.

There are days like this:

Ummm...oops.

When I thank God for this:

Bless you, lululemon. We all need this reminder from time to time.

Anyway, there’s so much going on these days I sometimes forget to shower. And when I do, I also forget to take my shower cap off before I answer the front door.

Good thing my Dry Bar shower cap is cute!

I mean, this sign we saw in Jersey pretty much sums up how my life has been in these past two weeks…and how it will be over the next month or so (or 3 years).

I just...I don't know what this sign is trying to tell me. Only in Jersey.

There is so much craziness happening, I almost forgot to tell you all about my charity Flywheel ride this weekend! You all know how obsessed with Flywheel¬†I am, especially when I can’t run. Stupid UC. I mean, just check out My Workouts¬†and add up my Flywheel visits. Bananas. I love it.

Anyway, you also know about my devotion to the Fisher House Foundation. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a non-profit organization that builds houses near military hospitals for the families of injured veterans to stay FOR FREE while their soldier is hospitalized and recovering. They are rated a 4-star charity (the highest rating) by Charity Navigator because 98% of the money raised goes to program expenses, not advertising or administration costs. Very cool.

My connection to them started when JB was on his second deployment with the Marines, I was here in NYC looking for a way to support him. I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon and do it for a military charity. I found Fisher House and was a part of their inaugural Team Fisher House marathon team. I figured if I ever needed them, I had earned my keep. Since them, I’ve run 6 marathons for them and raised over $25,000.

Yay, Fisher House!

This fall, JB and I are running the Marine Corps Marathon for the first time together for Team Fisher House. The very fabulous Aleah Stander, my fellow lululemon Ambassador and friend, and former Marine Steven Little, both Master Flywheel Instructors, have donated their time and talents to this Saturday’s Fly for Fisher House ride at the Upper East Side Flywheel Sports at 3pm. There is a seriously amazing raffle taking place, including the following confirmed items:

Oh, and there will be complimentary fro yo from Soft Serve Fruit & Co. following the ride.

What more do you need?

If you want to take part in the ride, please don’t hesitate! We are hoping for a full house and want anyone and everyone to be there. Visit our event on Facebook¬†(if you’re not on Facebook, email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com for instructions on how to sign up).

Hope to see you on a bike this weekend. Come on out and support our troops and meet me! Not like that’s much of a draw, but I’d sure like to meet all of you ūüôā That is, if you’re not ashamed to be seen with me at my sweatiest!

Now go out and run.

Friday Fitness Links: Eat More Chocolate

Oh, Friday, how I love thee. Friday means a light school day, work day and date night. And what’s on tap for date night this week?

Drumroll, please…

Golden Gloves Finals!!!! (are they the Finals? I don’t really know. I’m just the arm candy tonight) The event itself isn’t not nearly as interesting as the spectators themselves and the way that they react to the fights. So fun.

And don’t forget to stop by the lululemon athletica store on E. 66th St. & 3rd Ave. between 8:30-10am¬†THIS SUNDAY for the Star Studded Total Body Tune-Up, hosted by yours truly. You know how I’ve never missed a marathon due to injury (or anything else)? Come and find out why, courtesy of Dr. Shure and Lara Benusis. It’ll be fun! Stay for yoga! Stay for run club!

In other news, eat more chocolate.

Ok, everybody. Have an amazing weekend and I hope to see all of you on Sunday morning! Come by any time between 8:30-10am. Run fast. Run far.

Now go out and run!

Mentors

In my world, I am a leader. I coach teams, I train clients, I advise students. I am a Mentor. My job, as I see it, is to teach people how to take care of themselves so that they have the information to make changes towards leading a healthier life. I take pride in my job.

Go team BRick!

But everyone needs a Mentor. Everyone needs a place to zone out, to follow the leader, to let go and put 110% toward the effort of yourself and no one else.

This is why when people tell me they want to run their first or second race (usually a half or full marathon), I suggest they get a coach or a Mentor. First off, experience is invaluable. Second, education matters when it comes to how your body works. Third, if you have a goal and no clue how to reach it, shouldn’t you ask someone whose job it is to get people to their physical goals?

Mentors do this for you. They’ve been there, done that, and likely have many an ugly, ill-fitted, cotton race shirt to prove it. They’ve hit the walls and climbed over them. They’ve bonked and gotten back on the road. They’ve made the mistakes so that you don’t have to. They are the ones who make it their business what the latest and greatest shoes, gear, fuel, races, training tricks, and trails are.

They are also the ones who will push you when you need it and yell at you when you’re overdoing it. Mentors will talk you off your crazy ledge and make sure you make the smart training decision, even if it’s the hardest one.

I have lots of Mentors. I’m lucky to live and work in the fitness world and have my colleagues be the ones who push me, advise me, cheer for me, and talk me down when I need it. But how do you find a Mentor?

Two of my favorite cheerleaders and Mentors.

Running clubs are a great place to start. Some people feel more comfortable one-on-one with a personal trainer, in which case a gym is the place for you. Most of the lululemon stores have run clubs with rock star leaders from the community. I actually love my Mentors over at Flywheel Sports.

Ambassador Buddies.

Aleah, Steven, Dani, Jessie, they all push me in ways that I cannot push myself. I’m not ashamed to admit that I need to be pushed the same way that my I push my clients. Sometimes we need someone else to believe in us so that we can believe in ourselves and have the confidence to go another mile, faster, harder, and longer than before.

These are the Mentors in your life. They tell you that you can. They tell you that you must. They tell you not to give up. And you believe in them.

Who are your Mentors? Give them a shout-out here! I want to know who you turn to for the leadership that carries you through your workouts day in and day out. Tell me all about them.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: It’s DECEMBER?!?!!

I can’t believe it’s December. I can’t believe my PhD applications are in. I can’t believe it’s time to get a Christmas tree. I can’t believe I ran a marathon less than two weeks ago. What happened to November? Ready or not, here we come, December!

So, what’s news this week? Well, a lot actually. End-of-the year articles are starting to sprout up all over the place and the media world seems to universally taking stock of how fit/not fit we all are as the year comes to a close. The other stuff is pretty much all about what to buy your favorite fitness buff for the holidays. I’m going to try and get some science in here, so bear with me.

And we’re off!

  • If you’re in NYC, the free fitness opportunities abound. luluemon athletica SoHo has 12 Days of Fitness¬†that kicked off this week and my family at the E. 66th St. store have paired with Flywheel Sports UES on E. 67th St.¬†to offer free spin classes every week for the month of December. No excuses, people.
  • It’s not fitness, but I’m digging the Groupon¬†for Omaha Steaks ($45!) that’s available today.
  • Rockettes have great legs (trust me, I train one of them), try some of their favorite exercises. I train my Rockette a little differently, but I’m loving that Melinda featured the clam shell and bottoms up!
  • Exercise is good for your brain. And everything else.
  • Don’t believe everything you see in magazines, Photoshop use is rampant. Some are even trying to get Congress to pass a law that would have magazines disclose their use (or overuse) of the much-loved skinnyfication tool. Thoughts?
  • Did you know the size and COLOR of your plate¬†affects how much you eat?
  • Bondi Bands¬†add levity to just about any workout. Great stocking stuffer.
  • December 1-7 has been declared the FIRST EVER Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week¬†by Congress via Senate Resolution 199. Hug and IBD patient today! Hug me!
  • My professional opinion as a trained and nationally certified fitness expert is that this article¬†makes very important and accurate points about form, or lack there-of. I’m not going to knock it entirely since it gets people moving, but enough experts weigh in to maybe make you think…

That’s all I got, guys. I hope you’re having a great Friday and have all sorts of motivating fitness plans this weekend. I’m going to probably sleep and run and study. In that order.

Now go out and run!