Monday, August 25, 2014

Movement

There are big moments, small moments, experiences, peoples, places that make us stop. They get us out of real life and into something beautiful.

Like #MoreMovement last night.

We met up at Dewey Square at 5pm and there was that nervous, fun, jumpy adrenaline energy that happens when you don't really know what's about to happen. We ran a few miles, with some jumping jacks and burpees thrown in, following Brogan to our super secret spot for part two: yoga with Goldie.

We ran up and down side streets downtown and alleys in Chinatown and then deep into the South End. When we got to SoWa Vintage Market, the energy was up and the music was already jamming and we filled that old brick building with more energy and more noise and yoga mats and a whole bunch of sneakers.


I flowed with gravel on my mat (because, hey, it's an open market and there's gravel) and with my sunglasses on (because, hey, that strong summer light was streaming in). And something about the gravel and the light and the super cool DJ and the vinyasa was unreal. After a week of what I will call too much realness, #MoreMovement was unreal in the best possible way.

There are a lot of things that have done that for me. Running SeaWheeze. Colorado. Wyoming. Wanderlust. There are big, impactful, beautiful experiences that make me hit the re-set button in a powerful way.


But there have to be smaller experiences and moments in daily life too, and I am lucky to have them. There was last night. There was Saturday at Narragansett Town Beach. There is Boston. I don't have a backyard, but I do have every Boston sunrise and sunset. There will be tomorrow morning with the November Project.

And there will always be movement.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Humbled

Marathon training is tough. Marathon training at altitude is, in a word, humbling.

Yesterday in Jackson Hole, I went out for my long run. There was something about 7200 feet that got to me. My legs moved slower, my heart beat quicker.

I ran two miles downhill around curves and switchbacks towards Jackson and I sent up thanks to the running gods when I hit four miles of straightaways. The straightaways were perfect. I tacked on an extra half mile, because the straight road felt that good.


But, running uphill, back the way I came, was next. Moving tired legs and pulling oxygen into tired lungs became harder. I was hot, so hot, and I kept swallowing reflexively because I was thirsty. As I went up, up, up, I moved slower, slow, slowest.  

I thought about walking the last half mile. But walking is even slower than running, so I kept running.  I made a bargain with myself: Just keep running.

That was it. That was the bargain. No reward, no pay-off. Just keep running.

Let’s be reaI: I was barely moving.

Later, I did the math. Jackson is at 6200 feet, and I started my run at 7200 feet.

Meaning: I descended 1000 feet and then ran back up 1000 feet. Holy sh*t.

I was humbled. I was completely humbled by the Tetons. I was humbled in more than one way. Guys, the Tetons are really beautiful. They are very tall and very majestic and, to state the obvious, we don’t have anything like them in Boston.


And isn’t it a good thing to be humbled once in a while? Humbled by our bodies, by the physical challenges we put ourselves through. Humbled by the potential in the opportunities that exist before us. Humbled and inspired by others; humbled and inspired by nature.

It is not so far a stretch from being humbled to being grateful.

So here it is: I am grateful for my body, for my legs, and for my lungs and I am grateful for those very hard, very hot miles yesterday. I am grateful for the spectacular beauty of Wyoming and for the simple fact that places like that still exist.



And I am grateful that I live at sea level. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Highlights, High Fives, and Volume on High

The week is over. Let's recap.

Started Monday with the November Project. Casual 8 mile run, 5 minutes of wall jumps and planks, 7 minutes of burpees. BG said to be impressive. I think we nailed it.

I also nailed my shin. See that wall below? I left some skin there. It's cool. No tears allowed. Just high fives and good vibes.



Bought these Lululemon tights. Black mesh panels? Come at me. I will wear them to yoga and I will wear them to the office (yup).

Walked Memorial Drive to Meadhall. 7:30pm looked phenomenal. Boston, you are phenomenal.


Ate hyper-local kale (ugh I feel pretentious just typing that, ugh I'm the worst) at The Sinclair with new friends.

And found this remix. Very much a summer Sunday long run jam. 10 miles down, volume up.

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Practice Makes Radness

Ever heard the words yoga and practice in the same sentence? What's that all about? What's a "yoga practice"? Let's be real: It sounds just a wee bit pretentious (yikes) and the word practice also holds connotations of work. Working at something, working through something, getting better at something. Hard work.

But, when we use the phrase "yoga practice," I think we are hinting at something more, something very rad. Something very significant, and very, very hard to define.

All pretensions aside, yoga is important to me. It makes my running better, and there's something to be had on a yoga mat that I can't get elsewhere. That undefinable something.

But I would turn around and say the same thing about running, or the November Project, or learning to surf and swallowing an ocean-ful of salt water, or paddle boarding, or barre, or hiking, or kayaking. Or, all the rest.


It's not about any one thing for me. So, what is it?

It is the practice of being active. 


Today, it was back-to-back yoga and a 7 mile run. Tomorrow, I'm trying to figure out if I can make it to November Project and back in time for work (I think I can do it. And you should come.). And tomorrow evening, we will be paddle boarding with the sunset.

My active practice is fundamental and it is core. And, to me, it is rad.

There is a Zen proverb: Move and the way will open. 

A simple but very impactful phrase, with so many meanings. Shift, change, work hard, dig deep, transcend. But maybe it's just move. Move. Move more often, move big, move strong, move fast. Move. And the way will open.

I didn't always feel this way. But I do now, and I can't imagine my daily life, my weekly life, my forever life, without this practice.

So I will move and I will practice. And then? I'll stop and take it all in.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

S'mores and Sand Castles

The weekend was bookended by s'mores and sand castles.





You can't get any more summer than that. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wanderlusting

Wanderlust Oahu. Yoga with Eoin Finn, surfing and swallowing an oceanful of salt water, more yoga, more salt water. We watched the sun set over the North Shore cliffs every night, all eyes on the horizon and the last surfers in the water.


Four months later, back at Wanderlust, this time in Stratton. Three buddies and about 300 miles round trip. We road-tripped, stacked our wrists with bracelets and silvery tattoos, flowed on yoga mats and paddle boards, and road-tripped back.


So, tell me... when's the next Wanderlust?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Layover

A 24 hour layover in San Francisco treated me exceptionally well, and so did the weather.

6am sunrise, jet lag, + three cups of coffee.


Yoga + a view at International Orange.


Palm trees + sunshine on the Embarcadero.


Taking photos + buying no souvenirs in Chinatown. 


Afternoon light + skyline delight.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Healthy Is As Healthy Does

D and I had a really interesting conversation about granola bars a couple of days ago... you know, how some bars are "healthy" but have added sugar or weird ingredients. And then we started talking about health.

Health is such an intensely personal thing. Every body and each body are so incredibly different. And what does health feel and look like anyway?

When B asked me a few months ago if I have always been healthy, I didn't know how to answer. Because my own definition of health has changed and evolved. I have eaten things that I thought were healthy but actually made me sick (7-grain bread, I'm looking at you. You devil you.) It has been a process of trial and error to find the foods that make me feel happy and healthy, to create an active life, and to make sure that my diet and my physical activity work in tandem.

This means fruit and vegetables and protein. Nothing processed. This means a boatload of water. This means quinoa and oatmeal (grains I can eat!). Coffee, because I (really) like coffee. Almond butter. Berries. Spinach. More protein.

This means running. This means strength training. Bootcamp. Barre classes. Plenty of yoga. And it also means November Project because I like forty stadium sections at sunrise and planks in the mud (read: dirt, sweat, and endorphins). 

I have been stoked to see new food and fitness options come to Boston. Flywheel. Barry's Bootcamp. SoulCycle. Plus, Exhale Spa just added a Core Fusion Barre + Cardio class. I like the kale and the quinoa at Boloco and Sweetgreen and there are finally more and more smoothie bars. These are all good things, especially when it's cold as sh*t outside and you need a fun new workout and something delicious to eat. 

{Cue the smoothie/snow montage}

Love Alive from Life Alive

PB&J from Fuel Bar at Barry's Bootcamp

Especially the smoothies. I'll hike to Southie for Nourish Your Soul, I have a crush on the PB&J smoothie at Fuel Bar, and today I tried CocoBeet, the new organic eatery near Government Center. I scoped out the menu beforehand and I was pumped to try it post-Sunday run. Granted, I was a little bummed that the smoothies and juice are bottled and not made to order. CocoBeet also does not serve food on the weekends, so it's really just open to sell the smoothies and juice (I think this business model may be a bit questionable, yeah?).


Regardless, I'm happy Cocobeet is there. I bought the Blue Coconut and the Kale Karma (points for fun names!). I liked the Blue Coconut - I definitely tasted the almonds and coconut oil. The Kale Karma is in my fridge for tomorrow.

I'm excited for kale and November Project tomorrow. I'm excited for yoga class this week and running in San Francisco next weekend. I'm excited for health, always.