Category Archives: Holidays

Life in 2013!

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It’s hard to believe that today is the final day of 2013.  It seems like just yesterday I was bundled up, running through the snowy streets and listening to Ellie Golding’s Anything Can Happen and feeling excited and hopeful for the year ahead…

January started with the completion of a long time goal…becoming a certified yoga instructor!  It felt so good to finally complete my goal.   I spent most of January and February teaching my first classes and finding my way as a new instructor.  January also brought my year of being a sponsored athlete for Athleta, which was all sorts of fun and exciting.  I even went outside my comfort zone and modeled in a fashion show for them! Michael and spent most of the winter hibernating and we even watched as we got 30 inches of snow in one storm!  It was a long winter, and having ran outside all winter I was happy to see spring arrive!

The spring brought a lot with it.  Most significantly we endured the Boston Marathon bombings, and the days that followed.  It’s still a memory that brings back many emotions and thoughts. Unfortunately it is something I’ll probably carry with me for years to come.  I’m grateful for my safety and glad I was just far enough away and most of all  I was relieved that all 150+ Team In Training runners were safe.  I’m also incredibly proud of how our city has moved on and the strength we have shown.

I traveled a lot for work this past spring, attending the Inaugural Nike Women’s Marathon Half in Washington, D.C. and the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!  It was my first trip to DC so I made the most of every moment and saw everything from the Smithsonian to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and all of the monuments at the mall in addition to a trip to the Newseum!  My mom came with me to San Diego and my first trip to California!  We had a great mother-daughter trip exploring Coronado Island, the San Diego Zoo (amazing!) and enjoying lots and lots of delicious food!

Summer started with a trip to NY to see my parents and a staycation over the 4th of July.  I managed to go to the beach almost everyday, explored the World’s End Reserve in Hingham and the South Shore with Michael, and took a day trip to Newport to tackle the Cliff Walk and head to the beach!  I also started to think more about yoga and what I needed from my practice.  I signed up for 2 fall half-marathons and started training.  I was feeling really good with all of my workouts and training and loving it! In mid-July we lost our love, Brandy.  It was such a sad day as she was truly our little friend who greeted us when we came home with loud meows, snuggled with us whenever possible and followed us from room to room.  You were never alone with her by your side.  She was always little spoon and loved to fall asleep next to you.  Michael and I were heart broken and terribly sad.  As Brandy would have wanted we kept our best to keep on living and loving.  We spent the day together in Manchester by the Sea, tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding, had lunch by the ocean and spent the after at the beach.  We went to the track in Saratoga with Michael’s family and enjoyed many mornings at the backstretch (my favorite).  We headed to the Cape the following weekend for another adventure!  We explored Hyannis, spent my birthday eating pastries, exploring Provincetown, eating oyster and seafood ocean-side in Wellfleet and even watched Planes at the drive-in!  We worked the Falmouth Road Race and watched 35 Team In Training runners cross the finish line!  And to complete our tour of the Cape we spent the night in Martha’s Vineyard at a super nice hotel, enjoying a fancy dinner and exploring Vineyard Haven! We even saw President Obama playing golf!  We closed out the summer with one final weekend at the track in Saratoga!

Fall came quickly and was in one word, BUSY!  I got promoted at work not once but twice! We went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania so I could be the bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding and watch her and her husband say I do!  And we welcomed this little one into our lives!  Twila brought lots of laughter and happiness with her funny little ways! We headed to Newport again to go the Wine and Food Festival.  It was a pretty amazing day in one of the mansions trying food and wine and loving every minute of it! The last weekend of September brought one of the most exciting things of the entire year…our engagement!  Michael proposed in our Sunday morning yoga class!  We celebrated over brunch and with our family and friends!

October brought back to back half-marathons!  We headed to Portland, ME for the Maine Marathon and Half where I had an incredible race and loved the scenery!  The following weekend I ran the BAA Half Marathon yet again and had another fun race!  We celebrated both with lots of delicious food!  At the end of October my parents came to help us choose our wedding venue.  We set our date and began planning for our November 15, 2014 wedding!  In November we met with caterers, went to multiple tastings and picked ours!  My mom, cousin and I found the dress of my dreams!  We celebrated Thanksgiving with Michael’s family and yoga! December brought christmas trees, work travel and holiday shopping!  I celebrated the holiday in NY with my family and even went skiing last week with my Dad and brother!

Beyond all the activities I managed to scale back in my commitments and started to really live by the idea that less is more.  I refocused on my yoga practice and even stopped teaching in an effort to reconnect.  I’ve also scaled back my running and workouts to give my body a chance to rest and recover a bit…the first time in years.  I finally feel like I’m in a great place with work and life balance and put my time first.

It’s been an amazing year and we can only imagine what next year will bring!  We can’t wait to get married and become husband and wife and hope to see so many more amazing things come our way!  Thank you all for following my life and journey, even as I’ve stepped back and have been blogging less.  I’m hoping to be writing a bit more in the year to come!

Happy New Year Friends!! 

“The Posture Never Ends.”

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This morning as I laid in bed all snuggled up, enjoying the slowness of the morning and the day ahead; I reached over and grabbed my phone to check Facebook, and Instagram.   What struck me was the number of posts about people’s goals and lists of things to accomplish before the New Year.   Goals and lists designed to by completed by January 1st in an effort to start the New Year with a clean slate and fresh start.  I laid there thinking about my own life, what did I need to accomplish before January 1st to start the New Year with a clean slate?  I finally decided that getting a physical for the first time since college would be enough and that there wasn’t really anything pressing I needed to do.  Eventually I scolded myself for checking social media first thing in the morning, turned off my phone and picked up my book.

Meditations from the Mat

Mediations from the Mat by Rolf Gates

I was a week behind in my readings from Meditations from the Mat and thought I’d spend some time reading, and reflecting.  Day 35.

The posture never ends.

~Rolf Gates

To begin the passage he talks about Vinyasa yoga, flowing from one posture to the next with unbroken breath and meditation.  That the transition from one pose to another is a pose within itself, a pose often neglected as we look ahead to what comes next.

The lesson remains, however, that it is our tendency to pay attention to the postures themselves, but not to the spaces in between.  So it is in life.

We are always looking to what comes next. The New Year, the next relationship, the next job, the next item on our to do list…never noticing the between, the transition.

The reality is that the posture never ends, it just shifts from one form to the next, one lesson to the next, one opportunity to the next.  We remain life’s student whether we are inhaling or exhaling, in a relationship or out of one, saving the world or looking for a temp job.  The posture never ends.

…The illusion is that there is separation, levels of importance, beginnings and endings.  Yoga brings us to the understanding that the posture never ends.

It’s such a simple passage but it brought me back to my earlier thoughts of the New Year.  Many people feel that 2014 is a fresh start, a clean slate but in reality our past never leaves us.  Just as in yoga the pose before can affect how we feel in the poses that are to come.  But perhaps, the New Year is really just a big opportunity for us to all focus on the transition, to complete that to-do list before the New Year.  The movement from the poses of 2013 to the poses of 2014.  Maybe it’s an opportunity to transition mind fully, to set intentions for the next set of poses that will uplift us and fulfill us.  Maybe the New Year is not so much of a clean slate, but an opportunity to transition to a more healthy life, or a more fulfilling career, or meaningful relationship.  Maybe the New Year is the opportunity to be sure our feet are stable, aligned properly on the mat, that we find strength in our legs to lift us to that new pose in the year that lies ahead.

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As we come closer and closer to the New Year, I encourage you to think about how you’d like to transition.  How can you align yourself on the yoga mat of life so you can find strength in your practice and life in the year ahead?  For me the transition is about continuing to find the mat, and to strengthen my practice.  About taking the time to be intentional and purposeful in my words and actions.  The transition about aligning myself to avoid the busy traps, and choosing things in life that fulfill me, rather than just give me one more thing to do.  It’s an alignment that makes me feel whole and uplifted, more positioned to take on the next year in my strongest form.

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How are you transitioning to the New Year?  How can you align yourself to be stronger in the next posture of life?

Reflections on 2012

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The sun is shining and despite the chilly temperatures it’s a gorgeous day in New England.  Even though I’m incredibly sore from a weekend at yoga teacher training I was really looking forward to going for a run.  So I layered up and headed out.  Saturday night we had a good old-fashioned snow storm here in Boston and I think the skier in me was dying to get out in the snow and play.  As I navigated the snow and ice and treacherous side walks I couldn’t help but think how this run was much like 2012 itself…filled with obstacles, hard work and rarely a moment of clear sidewalks to just cruise but at the same time filled with happiness, contentment and smiles.

For me, 2012 was definitely a year of making dreams a reality.  I ran the Boston Marathon, became involved with Team in Training and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which later proved to be a relationship that would help me make the career change I’d been working so hard for.  I became a certified personal trainer.  I found myself featured on Women’s Running Magazine’s and Fitness Magazine’s websites.  I embraced my new career and job.  And started my journey to become a certified yoga instructor, which in just a few short weeks wraps up.  Michael and I escaped to Maine for a relaxing week away and in June moved in together.  2012 was a big year when I stop to think about it.

For me though, 2012 isn’t about all the accomplishments I can write on paper…sure, I’m proud of them and all of my hard work but I think I’m MORE proud of the person I’ve become and the lessons I’ve learned.  I think I learned this lesson for the second time in my life and I’m sure I’ll have to learn it a third but making your dreams a reality is a lot of hard work.  It’s persistence, diligence, tears and sweat and more so it’s about having a support system who might believe in you more than yourself and will listen to you doubt yourself again and again while always reminding you that you can do this. I’ve learned that not everything needs to be done RIGHT NOW and that truthfully I don’t want to do everything RIGHT NOW. It just means that it make take you an extra year or maybe 5 to accomplish your goals and make your dreams come true but it also means that you’ll slow down and enjoy the journey along the way and really isn’t that what life is all about?  I think most significantly (and with many thanks to yoga teacher training) I’ve finally learned to find peace in life.  I’ve learned how to just be.  I’ve learned to love who I am and outgrow the parts of myself I don’t love.  I’ve learned that the best moments in life are the most simple, like laying in bed laughing with the one you love and curling up with a good book on a snowy day.

As we head in to 2013 I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.  In my efforts to simplify and become a recovering Type A there are no goals to talk about, or lists to tackle this year.  I know my yoga journey will continue on as I transition from teacher trainee to teacher and I know my running will always be there.  Maybe 2013 will have another marathon in store for me, but maybe it won’t.  Most of all I hope 2013 brings as much happiness and laughter to my life as 2012 did.

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As I finished my run this morning I couldn’t help but find hope and happiness in the words that Ellie Goulding so confidently belts out…

But now I’ve seen it through

And now I know the truth

That anything could happen

Anything could happen

So as we welcome in 2013 tonight I hope you’ll believe along with me, that anything could happen and dreams really do come true.

Happy New Year Friends! I wish you all a healthy and happy 2013!

September is National Yoga Month!

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Let’s face it September is a big month.  Labor Day closes out the dog days of summer, school starts and your morning commute suddenly gets longer, the weather starts to cool off, the leaves begin to change, it’s one of the final months of preparations for your fall marathon and so much more.  Well let’s add one good thing to the month…it’s National Yoga Month!!!

If you ask me this couldn’t come at a better time.   I’m immersed in yoga teacher training,  loving my practice and the journey I’m on.  I feel like I’m celebrating the month in my own special way but there are some awesome ways you can celebrate yoga this month!

The first way is through free yoga classes.  Yep, you read that right,  free yoga classes.  By visiting this website and getting the free card you can take one week of free classes at participating studios in your area.  Awesome right?

You can also join in to a nationwide yoga practice to close out the month on September 30th at 7pm.  The idea is to be part of a worldwide yoga practice.  I love this idea!

You can practice on your own or with a group by finding an event using the event finder.  So hopefully you’ll take part!

If that wasn’t enough Yoga Journal has partnered up with Athleta(<–loving this store lately!!!) for a month of yoga!  There are free classes in stores, awesome blog posts, words of wisdom, and an Instagram photo contest with the chance to a $200 gift card to Athleta and yoga inspired jewelry!

If you ask me, that’s a ton of ways to get your yoga on this month and celebrate!!  I’m always a fan of a Sunday morning class with your best friends followed by brunch and catching up! And you can always stop by here to get your fix of yoga talk.  I’ll be in yoga teacher training for two more weekends this month and will be sharing my experiences and lessons, so there will be lots of yoga chat.  Happy National Yoga Month!

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How will you be celebrating National Yoga Month?  Do you love yoga as much as I do? Will you try yoga for the first time this month?

Red, White and Blue!

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Happy 4th of July! I truly love this day.  I love it because it is filled with family, friends and fireworks.  All of my favorite things!  Growing up I’ve always spent this holiday with my family at our summer home.  It’s the one week of the summer where everyone seems to make it home…all of my aunts, uncles and cousins are there.  We usually spend the day in the water and entertain ourselves with swimming, boating, waterskiing, food and fireworks! There is usually the berry flag cake,  lots of summer salads, barbecue chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers.  The 4th of July doesn’t tend to be a day filled with healthy foods.  But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a total bust of a healthy day.  Here are a few quick tips to make sure you don’t feel guilty over the celebration of America’s birthday!

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  • Get out and be active before your barbecue or party!  Most cook outs don’t start until mid to late afternoon so before the festivities begin take some time to get your heart pumping and your body moving.  I often don’t feel like running or yoga on holidays so I try to mix it up with activities that are a bit different.  Kayaking, swimming, hiking or biking are some of my favorites and can often be done with friends and family of all different fitness levels!
  • Sign up for a 5K! Many towns have parades and celebrations throughout the day.  Over the last few years I’ve noticed that more and more towns are adding 5k run/walks to the festivities.   Bust out that red, white and blue running outfit and give it your all!
  • When you hit the buffet at the party your plate can fill up quick with all the delicious sides your family and friends have brought.  I like a little taste of everything so to keep myself from overeating I only take a small scoop of each side.  A bite or two is usually enough to enjoy the taste, after a plate of bites you’ll be full! If you are still hungry go back for seconds on fresh fruit or salad and maybe an extra scoop of the oh so good side or entrée…it is a holiday after all!
  • This holiday tends to be filled with a lot of drinking.  It’s summertime and a beer or cocktail can taste so good.  Unfortunately alcoholic drinks are filled with empty calories.  To limit my intake of this I hold back on drinking until just before dinner.  I’ll enjoy a beer or cocktail with my meal and usually have one afterwards while watching the fireworks or enjoying the camp fire! Up the ante on this and reach for a “skinny drink” with 100 calories or less!
  • Lastly, relax and enjoy the day! It’s a holiday and indulgences are completely acceptable!

Unfortunately I’m not spending the holiday with my family but Michael and I are thoroughly enjoying our vacation in Maine!  I love fireworks, as does Michael.  We have a couple different options for the holiday and will likely be in Bar Harbor, or will take a drive up to Lubec and Eastport to sight-see and check out the fireworks!  If Michael has his druther’s we’ll be purchasing some of our own and launching them over the ocean for our own private show.  We did that last summer at my summer-house and had a blast! Fireworks aren’t cheap but we put on a great show and my whole family loved it!

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Stay safe out there today and enjoy!

How are you spending the 4th of July?  Do you love the berry flag cake like me? Are you a fan of fireworks?