Women I Admire

I am SO excited to let ya’ll know that I’m bringing back the Rockstar Series! Founded in 2013 (and shamelessly neglected in 2014), the Rockstar Series featured interviews and stories from amazing women who live well while busy. It’s the best thing that ever happened to this little blog and I am SO excited to be bringing it back.

This time around, I’m broadening the scope a bit to include more elements of what it means to live well. We’ll hear about professional accomplishments, volunteer work, parenting, travel, overcoming adversity – you name it.

Look forward to stories from incredible women with different lifestyles across the country!

In the meantime, you can check out the original posts: one, two, three, four, five, six and seven. If you or someone you know is a Rockstar, let me know – I’m always up to meet brilliant humans.

 

 

 

 

 

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I won something and I’m angry.

IMG_0006_2I raced my first tri of the season this past weekend, and it was fantastic. The weather was perfect (overcast), I enjoyed every minute, pushed myself to a level that still felt comfortable, and placed in my age group – a first for me! But today, I’m kind of pissed off.

I’d been doubting how prepared I was for this race because:

-I’ve only been working out about 4 times a week.
-I’m about 10 lbs over what I consider my “race weight.”
-I’ve been really down on myself about the way my body looks right now.

You see, I turned thirty a few weeks ago – which was a blast, and believe me I’m NOT worried about being thirty – but there were photos taken of me in a bathing suit and I was horrified.

Here’s a sample of the offending photos (full disclosure – this sh*t is not touched up):

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On the left – my not so chiseled abs. These ones made me cringe a little.

On the right – my big bootie/thunder thigh connection in the full throes of the competing forces of gravity, momentum and muscle flex. I saw this pic, and felt absolutely mortified.

How f*cked up is that?

I have a body. It has fat on it. It also has muscle and skin and hair and is shaped differently from your body, or her body, or my friends’ bodies. Why do I feel badly about that?

Sometimes it’s a little heavier, sometimes it’s lighter. Sometimes it retains water because I’m having a good time celebrating. Sometimes it looks really svelte because I’m only putting great things in it. Sometimes it looks really svelte because I’m stressed and don’t feel like eating. One isn’t better than the other, it’s just the reality of living my life.

I’m a real person, living a really spectacular life. That means I’m not going to look like something in a magazine every time I take a picture.

So yeah, I’m pretty pissed that I KNOW all this – I know I’m strong and healthy and frankly, kind of a badass – and I still see a picture like this and feel bad.

TIMG_0011_2his is my stand. I’m so happy to see so many body positive messages and more body diversity in the media. It’s awesome. I genuinely hope that all the young women growing up today feel like their bodies are beautiful.

But this is for all the ladies in my generation. I know we all grew up feeling like we should be as waif-ish as Kate Moss. I know we all know better. I know we all still feel the pressure in spite of everything. We hit a tough time. We were raised in a world with increasing quantities of processed foods, a huge jump in rates of obesity and type II diabetes, yet the media presented us with an ideal that was desperately thin. I know my body’s never going to look like that of a 90s supermodel, but there is a part of me – however tiny – that will always wish that it did. I’m not proud of that, but it’s ok.

My imperfect body – second thigh/butt and all – is f*cking awesome. Yours is too. Whether you’re built like Kate Moss or Rosie O’Donnell, your body is awesome. Take care of it and try to love it as it is. I will too! Let’s be real – we’re worth a lot more than what we look like anyhow.

And oh yeah, here’s my big butt bringing home a third place finish.

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Coming up for air

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Summertime is here at last! I haven’t posted anything in almost a year, but summer means races, adventures, and day drinking in the sunshine. These most blog-able of subjects cannot be ignored. Stay tuned – fun things ahead!

In the meantime, I’ve updated my summer recommendations on the Arts & Culture and Happy Hour pages. Check ’em out!

The Places that Make Us

A little exposition: I wrote this post months ago and never went live with it, but it feels like a nice little tribute to Global Running Day, so you’re getting it now:)

I’ve been thinking a lot about place lately. Places we’re from, places we live, places we go. I never thought I was particularly attached to places. In my parents house, there’s a framed piece of embroidery with the lyrics of Billy Joel’s You’re My Home: 

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

It’s apropos, because when they were first married (and in the first few years of my life), they moved a lot. I don’t rIMG_2502emember most of our moves – actually the only one I remember was when we moved from Raleigh, NC to Bucks County, PA when I was 9 – but I’ve never associated home with a place. Home is where your people are. Simple.

But lately I’ve been thinking about how much place has shaped me. I might not be “Straight Outta” anywhere, but I don’t exist in a vacuum.

Since I don’t do things by halves, I decided to feed my fixation. So I visited some of my places. And I bought a book about places. And I mulled over the places I choose, and the places that chose me. Do you know what I figured out?

I’ve left pieces of my heart all over the place.

In the same way that you leave little pieces of your heart with your people – you can leave them in places too. And in the same way that you’re filled with joy when you see your people – you’re filled with joy when you’re in your places. Places have changed the shape of my heart.

Lucky for me, since I’ve been running for awhile, I’ve got miles and miles of places. I may not know where I picked up the 5 different weird accent elements that my family busts my balls about, and I may not belong in any one place, but I can always feel at home on my own two feet on an open road.

This one time, I raced a race… over a month ago. #tbt?

Wow. The summer is almost over. Holy. Shit.

In all honesty, I don’t know why I’m surprised. It happens every year. It’s the fourth of July, I blink, and suddenly the mornings and evenings are cool, pumpkin spice everything is for sale, and all the little kiddies are back in school. It slays me every time.

Don’t get me wrong – fall has a lot to redeem itself: gorgeous weather (the BEST run weather), pretty leaves, FOOTBALL, the best clothes in my closet, the list goes on. But it does mean that summer is over.

And while that is sad for me – it does mean that I really REALLY owe you all my NYC Triathlon race recap.

First – I want to take one last moment to thank the amazing humans who donated to my race fundraiser for Back on My Feet New York City. You are so generous and kind, and I’m truly grateful for all of you!

I also want to thank Back on My Feet and my Brooklyn teammates. First, because running with ya’ll is the highlight of my week, and second, because you gave me the opportunity to race one of the coolest races on the planet. Thank you!

Next, I want to thank all of the volunteers and cheerers along the course and my fellow racers. I have run a LOT of races at this point, and the positivity and energy along the NYC Triathlon course was something else. The encouragement from on and off the course was palpable!

Last, but certainly not least- whoever handed me a bag of ice around mile 3 of the run – I will love you forever. If I had an estate to will to you – I would do it. HOLY SHIT was it hot that day, and that bag of ice made my last few miles so, so, so, so much more enjoyable.

On the whole, this race was definitely a more emotional experience than I’m used to. It meant a lot more to race it for an organization I love, and to think of all the people who made it possible for me to be there that day. I often get pretty blissed out while racing, but this was some other level shit. #hippydippyoverhere

A few weeks before the race, I decided that I wanted to really enjoy the whole thing, which was a deviation from my original season plan. Back in January, I had big plans to BEAST this one, but come June I was just feeling like racing for fun. I mean, aside from paying a grand to race it again, when else am I going to get the chance to swim in the Hudson River, ride my bike up the actual West Side Highway, and run down the middle of 72nd street?

So what was the Hudson like? It smells a little funky. There are definitely fish in there. I palmed a plastic grocery bag at one point. Otherwise, it’s basically just open water. It was pretty cool. I felt like Kramer.

The bike course is amazing. It’s full of rolling hills (which killed me, but in a good way…and what goes up gets to speed down), and it is BEAUTIFUL. You go over this one bridge twice (I should google what it is, but who has time for that) with this incredible view, and all I could think was “This is so f*cking cool!” Seriously, so cool.

The run course isn’t anything life changing, but it was cool to run down the middle of 72nd street – and who doesn’t love a loop (or almost loop) of Central Park? It was hot by the time I was on my feet, but thankfully, the park is nice and shady, and there were all of these wonderful humans giving me water – and a special set of humans who gave me a bag of magic ice (see above). #blessed

I’m about to get RULL with ya’ll. Around mile 2, I had to pee SO badly. There was a part of me that wanted to wait it out and suffer through…but I killed that part of me real fast and hit up a port-a-potty. Turns out, I’m just not that serious about racing and would rather be comfortable than speedy.

In the end, I came out with respectable times, but nothing to write home about, and I had a damn good time. I even took advantage of the free massages at the finish. #superblessed

Life was good. Life IS good.

I’ve decided to forego my previously planned October tri (for a million reasons), but it feels pretty good to close the season with this one. It was a great race, and it really captured everything I love about triathlon. Of course I want to get better, but at the end of the day, I enjoy the shit out of a good swim, bike, run.nyc tri

Until next season, triathlon!

P.S. – Imma blog about NOT training soon. #whaaaat?

P.P.S. – Please excuse my extraneous, inappropriate, and sarcastic use of hashtags and run-on sentences. I can’t help myself.