Gratitude-Day 1

 

I’ve decided from now on to mostly dedicate this blog to the things in my life that I am thankful for.  To keep myself on track, moving forward and positive.

 

Today I am grateful for my new roommate.  He is great addition to my life and my household.  He has taken two yoga classes with me this week and tonight we created a delicious dinner together.  Also, he’s just a nice guy.

 

Today I tried Spin class at the new YMCA that I recently joined.  I had also done yoga earlier in the day.  Spin was fun and super intense.  I am grateful that I possessed the strength for all this physical activity in one day.  I am continually amazed by the things my body is capable of.

 

I cleaned and organized almost everything I own today.  I am grateful for the clarity I feel when my space is in order.

Today was a good one.  I plan to make tomorrow even better.

 

 

 

 

Ready to Start

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So I guess I’ve been extra tough on myself lately. All these new journeys I’ve taken on and I’m determined to make something happen; to move forward in my self-improvement. There are those things that remain beyond my control and that is difficult for me to accept at times. So, in a way, these new endeavors represent the parts of me that are strong, able and willing. I’m not competing with anyone nor do I have anything to prove. I’m doing it all for me.

Bikram yoga has proven to be the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself. It brings everything out of me. Every hidden feeling, every unhealthy thought, every single emotion. It’s not uncommon for me to be in tears at some point during class. This is the most important outlet in my life right now. There are so many things that I feel I cannot discuss with anyone else around me but within these 90 minutes I am free to feel it all. And it always feels better afterwards.

My body is going through many adjustments. The flexibility happens slowly and I’m still in a lot of pain much of the time. But I can feel how much strength I’m gaining. In addition to yoga, I’m working at changing my diet once again. I’ve decided to re-introduce eggs here and there and I just began a 21-day sugar detox.

I feel so small sometimes. It helps to have a grasp on my own wants and needs. I’m empowered by the control I finally feel I have in my life.

Less Strife, Pretty Little Life

 

Tonight I faced a new challenge.  One I have been fearful of for some time now.  I attended my first hot yoga class.  It was undoubtedly hard work but very therapeutic.  It was almost as if I could feel things inside of me melting away with every bit of dripping sweat.

 

Lately I view my life as a whirlwind.  Definitely a fun whirlwind, but not close to subsiding anytime soon.  It’s like when you see someone in the distance and you can’t tell if they are walking closer towards you or further away.  I’m not sure which way I’m headed.

 

There are so many good things that I am doing for myself.  Self-awareness continues to be my greatest concern.  As much as I intend on living in the moment, I still catch my mind wandering.

The gift of yoga is the only thing that I’ve found that keeps me balanced.  I’m able to accept things, let in the good, let go of the bad.  All I know is that I finally understand that I am good enough.  Just as I am.  That alone is enough to keep me going every single day.  I feel strong.

 

 

 

Keep Going

Reminders for this upcoming week:

If it hurts, that means it is working.

Nothing really worth it ever comes easy.

My body is capable of anything.

I am as strong as I decide to be.

My body can run many more miles after my mind wants to give up.

The process is progress.

I’m back in the fitness game full strength. My whole entire body is in pain but it’s always worth it.

Riding the Waves

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I wish there were a way for me to fully capture this moment in which I am currently existing, at least so I could share the feeling with someone; anyone really. Jazz in the background, candles lit, safely snuggled under my heated blanket while I lounge here to document this next stage of me.

Rewind back to last year this time and I was living in a beautiful world called Columbus, Ohio. My job was high-stress, friends were scarce, resources limited and I needed something big to happen. For me. I was longing for a new outlet. I made the decision back then that I would someday run a half-marathon. Running was still somewhat new to me at that point but undoubtedly something I had grown to love. I pushed myself so very hard for the next 6 months, although not quite as intensely as I had hoped for. So instead, this last May, I ran my first 5k. One of the most rewarding moments of my life.

Fast forward to now. My wonderful friend Johanelli and I have decided to really start training for a Half Marathon next May. Now that I have an actual partner in crime to share this amazing and excruciatingly difficult journey, I feel more motivated than I ever have. I know all too well how painful this process is sure to be but at the same time the end results are guaranteed to be powerful beyond measure.

On top of marathon training, I will also be moving apartments in two short weeks. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to be moving on from this unfortunately poisonous living situation. Not to mention this new place will be a definite step up in my world and I can’t wait to start over again. It seems I do that often.

I could be the heated blanket, the Jazz, the endorphins or the fact that the moon is finally in my sign. All I know is that I’m on top again. Queen of my ever-changing wonderful world.

Warrior One, Two and Beyond.

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“Gratitude leads to Acceptance,

Acceptance leads to Bliss”

Sometimes hidden in the very dark places of your mind, light finds a way to shine through anyways. Lately I’ve found so much joy in learning more about the things my body and mind are capable of, while simultaneously building my mental and physical strength. They say our body is a temple and how true that has proven to be these days.

Yoga has taken me to a higher level from which I am able to face each day with a clear mind and a clean slate. I let myself feel freely and in turn have let so many of my walls down. In fact, there are no walls left. My life is now divided into separate chapters; then and now. There is a weight that I no longer carry and a burden that will never again be mine. Letting go is finally something that makes sense to me, at last I’ve learned how.

Very thankful for this new blessing that has been taking care of me. Thrilled to see what heights my mental well-being will continue to soar to in the future.

Building a Better Me

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I feel it is only normal to fall off the fitness wagon every now and again. For me it is the simple fact that I am only human and sometimes I have the will power and sometimes I do not. I can only limit myself for certain undetermined waves of time before, eventually, I have to cheat on this plan somehow.

There are a plethora of body types out there and different ways that people treat their bodies as well as how strong of a metabolism they may possess. I was not blessed with a high metabolism as I have to work very hard to keep fit and maintain a healthy diet. This takes an extreme amount of self-control and sometimes near excruciating exercise plans. So as I said, this discipline only lives in me for certain periods of time before my deep-rooted bad habits begin to slowly resurface.

When I make good choices and treat my body well through the food I consume and how active I keep myself, I always feel a high sense of accomplishment. I feel stronger, happier, more energetic and just plain content with the person I am. Working on myself in any way continues to be of high importance to me always.

I’ve began to take better care of myself again. The trick for me this time was to incorporate new ways to stay in shape. I think after I ran the 5k back in May I was just feeling very burnt out. I still love running but I needed a change of pace. So thankfully in this amazing city I live in there are various fitness classes being offered throughout the duration of summertime and to make it even better they are completely free. These classes range from Zumba to Yoga to Pilates to Spin and beyond. I attended my first Zumba class today and I loved every second of it. It really got me moving, taught me some awesome moves and provided a killer workout for my entire body. The best part about these classes is that they are being held in prime locations. I never thought I would be dancing my butt off at a Zumba class along the East River, with the view of the Manhattan skyline as well as the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve also started doing some early morning runs in Battery Park along the Hudson. It feels good to escape the enslavement and confinement of the gym and just reminds me of how lucky am I to be back here in this place with endless opportunities.

I’m going to work very hard from now until the end of the year and beyond because the challenge alone fills me with so much energy, passion and drive. It feels good to push myself and I will continue to do just that.

Strength and Endurance-My Journey Towards Excellence

The most important lesson I have learned thus far in my life is to always focus on my personal growth; keep myself happy first and foremost. When I take care of myself and my well-being, I am just an overall better person. I deal with potential stress-ors with more positivity, I am more patient, more open-minded, I am a better friend, a better listener and see the world full of endless opportunities.

Last year this girl began a journey. I began a new hobby and it has completely changed who I am; for the better. I first decided to pick up running due to the fact that it terrified me. In hopes of conquering another fear, I jumped in not knowing at all what to expect.

I have spoken many times of my running adventures; this is something of much importance to me. Last fall I set a goal of running a half-marathon on this very day. I have trained hard but have also faced minor set-backs in the last 7 months or so. I gained so much heart throughout this time. I learned what it felt like to push myself harder everyday and to keep pushing even when it felt like I had nothing left. I really discovered just exactly who I am. I have an iron soul and I never give up; ever.

Sometime in March I began talking with one of my managers who had just taken up running as well and was planning to complete the 5k portion of the race I had been training for. She said we should sign up together. I decided that a 5k was a more suitable and most-likely more attainable goal to shoot for as my first public exposure to running. And so began the countdown.

Today was a day I will never forget. The amount of pure adrenaline coursing through my body alone was unexplainable and just felt thrilling. Being around so many others with the same drive and passion was beyond rewarding. Not knowing what exactly to expect kept me anticipating every second. I started off strong and kept steady. My pace definitely slowed between the second mile and the finish line but I kept going. Guided by an army of runners just as dedicated as myself, pushing themselves to the limit, I made my way towards the finish line. I collected my metal and met up with my friends. Words cannot possibly begin to describe what this accomplish means to me or what I felt in that very moment. I have never been so proud of myself. Next stop, half-marathon.

So here’s to dedication, persistence, believing in yourself, dreams, goals, strength, happiness and striving to become a better person. These are the things that truly enrich our lives.

Never give up.

How Running Saved My Life.

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At my very first remote understanding of what becoming “healthy” was, I was more than willing to jump on the bandwagon. I had explored diets religiously for years prior but what really kick-started the process was my decision to become Vegan. The way I felt on a daily basis changed for the better almost immediately. Although I still had many bad eating habits to overcome, this new way of eating and treating my body felt magnificent. I kid you not when I say that I even had people tell me I was glowing unlike ever before. Along the way I have tried many other adventures such as fasting, raw foods and even juicing. But overall I am just much more aware of what I eat and how it makes me feel. I’m not saying that I don’t eat crap sometimes because believe me I do. I have an undying love for sweets unfortunately. But when I choose to eat a lot of things that aren’t exactly healthy I do know that I don’t feel well and I don’t like feeling that way. I’ve learned that I would rather eat to feel energetic, nourished and happy. So I had already broken through the initial barrier between the very unhealthy way I used to live and this newly adopted, energized, smart and worthwhile lifestyle.

I never thought I could stand to run longer than maybe a minute at a time. I didn’t think my body could handle it. Thankfully, there were success stories of my friends everywhere I looked and I had heard of the Couch to 5k program. Slowly I built my pain tolerance because believe me, it was and still is at times, excruciating.

While I’m running, nothing else matters. The stretch marks, the little belly I’ll probably never fully get rid of, the patches of cellulite here and there, the countless times I was picked on and called “fat” as a child and beyond… It all disappears. I have nothing to prove to anyone surrounding me. I exist only inside my own mind. The thoughts I produce while running are nothing short of powerful. I feel undeniably amazing. I can conquer anything. It is a high matched by nothing else I have ever felt.

Most of my initial runs have been at the gym, confined to the treadmill, due to the fact that I am not yet inclined to do so outside in the cold. I made a discovery while having interactions with many of the same people on a daily basis at the gym. Sometimes when I’m running so hard and pushing myself further than I ever have, I glance to my right, then to my left. I imagine that we are all an army of soldiers running together, supporting each other. We are the walls that hold each other up. We are a team. I am inspired to be among others who are doing what they love. I feel this is extremely symbolic of our lives. Without our own personal armies of soldiers, we can feel so frail at times. It helps to have those people by your side. Friends, family and strangers alike.

Who knows how far this new hobby will lead but I sure am learning new things about myself along the way. It has already been the most rewarding process of my life. Much respect to all my fellow runners out there.

Weekly Update-Marathon Training WK 8

I’ve been a bit of a slacker on the weekly updates. Life has been a bit hectic. But I can’t complain too much. I’m still surviving. That’s all that matters. So here goes.
My sister is for sure moving back to AZ. I decided that I will not stress about this. I am going to miss her very much. We have always been together through everything and it will be rough not to have her here. But if this is what she needs to make her happy, I fully support her. Once again, I’m faced with the challenge of figuring out how to survive. I’m pretty much car-less during the coldest part of the year. It’s not fun but I’ll get through it. Thankfully I have some great co-workers who are nice enough to give me rides sometimes.
I’m just holding out for my tax return so that I can buy a simple car to transport me to work, the gym and to school. This are my only needs in life at the moment. Well, maybe some fun too.

Last week was really good in the training department. I’ve been increasing my speed in small increments throughout my runs to build stamina. I need to do this in order to be able to handle running in the outside conditions, once the weather permits.
I’ve also been doing some yoga designed especially for runners. It’s been a new challenge and that always excites me. Here’s why I accomplished this last week:
Monday- 4 Miles
Tuesday-4 Miles
Wednesday- REST
Thursday- 3 Miles
Friday- 4 Miles
Saturday- Yoga
Sunday- REST
Until next week, I leave you with this:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.