All posts filed under: Inspiration

Can Any Body Be an Athlete?

Anyone can be an athlete. It is true. Not having enough time, only have one leg, or fear of swimming can all be overcome. I have met climbers missing fingers, mountain runners with one leg, Olympic marathoners who previously lost their ability to walk and they are doing it. It is in us if we want it. Then there are the busy people – really busy – like full-time jobs and five kids busy – who make it happen because they want it that bad. When someone says to me “Oh, I could never do that” – ‘that’ being something seemingly out of their reach like running a five kilometer race, climbing a mountain, getting up every morning and running ten miles on a tread mill – I don’t believe it. I have had the privilege of getting to some of the world’s best athletes. What they all have in common is something we all have within us. That is the gift of perspective on limitations. Limitations don’t become boundaries. Instead, they become challenges to …

How I Became a Runner

I have been a runner since the fifth, grade ever since my Aunt Kathy cajoled me into running The Rankin Run 5k with her. She dragged me complaining the whole way. Then, she pointed out the finish line and with my eye on the prize I kept running as she watched me from behind. Her encouragement that day sparked the runner inside me to continue learning what I was capable of accomplishing. Another defining fifth grade moment for me was an elementary school track meet. I had decided to try out hurdles, long jump, and high jump. At after-school practices I quickly learned that my “grace and coordination” was meant for something else.  My gym teacher, Mrs. Storm said, “Why don’t you run the mile? No one else is doing it and you can win a blue ribbon.” My eyes lit up. As a child who didn’t find herself very athletic in the ways everyone else her age seemed to be (basketball, kickball, hurdles, soccer), the idea that I could win anything was very appealing even if …

Sitting Still Sitting Still

In the book It Is Hard to Be Five  there is a part in the story where this five year old boy is using every bit of effort and might he has to sit still in morning circle. Sitting still. Still. Sitting still. SIT STILL. He is struggling quietly in his mind to stay sitting still because that is what his job requires. We teach children that there is a time for movement and a time to sit still. As I sit here with a sore back from sitting, writing, reading, watching, learning, and computing I know  we sit too much. Our work and society has us chained to the act of sitting.  Movement is wrong or something you do when you get punished. Sitting however, is the real punishment. I certainly feel like I am being punished when I am forced to create power point slides that could be communicated better with a photo and some written words while I jump from point to point around the room. I respect stillness and a time for …

Head Lice and a Boston Marathon Finish

When doubt set it in that I might not have the wear-with-all to run the Boston Marathon last April, one man removed all doubt. He said “Do not run the Boston Marathon. Your marriage, your kids, and all you do are too much in need right now to take this on.” Those were all the reasons I needed to at least try and run this thing. I needed a break, not from running but from working so hard to try an keep the circus of my life – sick kids, sick me, dying grandmother, struggling marriage, insecure family members, loud-mouth family members, desk job – in control. I needed this marathon to set in stone what I always knew. I have no control over any of those things. I can however, control myself and this self needed to check out for a week and surround myself with people who run. All it took was one more well-meaning family member to say “Don’t run”! Are you kidding me? That is all I want to do right now. …

Working Where I Work

Working where I do opens doors that lead to opportunity. It opens doors to learn, grow, and explore my  identity. This is a privilege and a challenge for which I am grateful.  Over the past few years these doors have almost always lead me outside to run (far & high), camp, hike, ski, and bring my family with me no matter how challenging. Watching these four athletes, experts in their individual craft, step out of their comfort zone to ski, climb, ride and surf together all in one day inspires me to think about what I might try next. Not pictured in this short film is an amazing athlete that I work along side every day. He humbly sits behind his desk each day to orchestrate adventures like these, adventures we can all dream of and do when we let go of fear and self doubt. This short film, Dream Day, reinforces for me a desire to ski beyond the boundaries and into the back country. Where might it take you? Short trailer. Click Day …

Boston Marathon Energy Nutrition Plan

Expectations for my Boston Marathon experience have been re-calibrated. Gone is the goal of a marathon PR. Boston marathon is not going to be about a PR. I don’t need that kind of self-inflicted pressure at this point. Maybe later on, but not today. For me Boston will be about  opening up my vulnerabilities, putting aside my fears, and going for it with what I have available to work with today. It will be about coming together with the people of running,  digging deep into the experiences of the one-hundred and twentieth Boston Marathon, and riding the wave of emotions  marathons inevitably bring (happy, sad, disappointment elation ? Who knows?) How will I do it? I will sloooow down, smile (smiling relaxes me and makes the running feel easier. Yes, I am serious!), and maybe even hug along the way. Then, I will move in for a really strong 10K  finish. Of course, I will also apply my sports nutrition knowledge, tested and approved by my body on long runs and many trial and errors. …

Piecing Together the 26.2 Puzzle and Trusting the Process

Training for a marathon is like building a puzzle.  Trusting that it will all come together I piece together specific workouts,  nutrition, and rest. My last two weeks of training have been light.  One week of light running is built into my four week training to help me rejuvenate and absorb the training I have done the weeks prior. I take it easy with light jogs, body work, and rest. This time however required two “light weeks” to absorb a pre-Boston Marathon visit to Boston to celebrate the life and legacy of Nana Mary, the nurturing matriarch of our family who’s nearly ninety-eight years on this planet have had a lasting impact on my life. It seems  counter intuitive that not running will actually help me (not hurt) better achieve my goal of running  Hopkinton to Boylston at the Boston Marathon, but it works when accompanied with the other pieces of the puzzle and my job is to just trust the process. The loss of Nana has had a physical and emotional toll that demanded …

Take the Latest CLIF Adventure Quiz!

Atop of massively high peak or the depths of a wooded trail I feel small and free, and I smile. Being in the presence of nature’s grandness provides me faith that there is something bigger at work beyond my individual little world that can seem all-encompassing. This thought is gift to my efforts in living with  more grace and ease.  It is in the acceptance that humans are not at the center of the universe that makes everything “doable”. It does’t mean I am insignificant.  It does mean that those overwhelmingly difficult struggles are manageable no matter how unmanageable they may feel at times. Preserving the grandness of special places in nature that provide me with “smallness” is close to my heart. Kevin Fedarko, author and speaker at the Conservation Alliance meeting inspired these thoughts with his request that we protect and honor one of the grandest natural places from becoming yet another amusement park. Preserving The Grand Canyon as National Monument protects it for future generations and ensures it remains one of those places where we …

January is Diet Month

It is that time of year when well-intending people set themselves up for a miserable battle with that thing we can not live without: FOOD. Resolutions turn into obsessions and suddenly the very ingredients that invigorate us are leaving us to feeling guilty and bad about ourselves. This doesn’t have to be however. I cringe when friends and family tell me what is on their list of restrictions for “diet season”. Often times these restrictions are self-imposed and nonsensical, nutritious foods like bananas, carrots, or whole grains. In life, where a lot of things are out of our control, food can take the brunt of our control issues. Imposing rules and restrictions on calories, fat, carbohydrate, gluten, dairy, or protein can make us feel we have control over something  that  can seem uncontrollable. Even as a dietitian I have been there. Dietitian confession alert! Once upon a time I would get up in the middle of the night and munch like a little mouse in the cupboards. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t fully awake, and I would …

Run Away

Running brings moments of escape and freedom. It doesn’t have to be hard.  One foot goes in front of the other and it is all you. There is no collaboration or navigating different personalities. Only you set your pace, goal, and direction. You can plan your journey or follow along. The choice is yours and it is quite refreshing and rejuvenating for the body and mind, especially the body and mind of a full-time working parent who is trying with all her heart to embrace the challenges, opportunities, and joys of her choices. Running helps filter the noise that clutters the mind with cynicism, doubt, and unhappiness so we see that gratitude exists in even some of the toughest of times.