Category: Inspiration & Reflection

A Commitment To Myself After One Year of RAD Living

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I started this site.  The past 12 months have definitely been full of big highs, like starting my own businessa trip to Disneyland and Barbells for Boobs, but there were also quite a few lows as well, my winter funk, a devastating miscarriage, and the loss of a mentor.  And that’s life…ups, downs and all of the in betweens.  We can only learn from our experiences and move on.  I know I’m stronger and wiser (that’s debatable) because of them….so let’s move on!


This year I want to make a commitment to myself.  A commitment to be a better person, a happier person, a healthier person!  I can only be successful if I commit to being the best self I can be, and I can’t be there for others if I don’t take care of myself.  So here are some of my goals.

1. Eat Better & Drink Less

Don’t we all find ourselves saying this…A LOT?!?  I know I do.  I go through ups and downs all the times.  I have a cupcakes addiction and I really enjoy martinis…sometimes I indulge in both things a little too much.  With the summer and my CSA providing fresh produce it’s much easier to stay on track right now, but I want to stay on this path!  My goal is to follow the 80/20…80% of the time eat well and 20% of the time enjoy those indulgences.  

2. Stick to a Training Plan

Time and time again, I’ve tried to map out my training for upcoming races or competitions and every time I fail.  EVERY. TIME.  I have 2 events coming up this fall, the Disney Fit Challenge and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I am determined to make these events GREAT!  Starting next week, I will be following Jeff Galloway’s training plan for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon which has two 30 minute runs and one log run per week.  I will also continue with CrossFit 4-5 times per week depending on my schedule.  This plan means that there will be many days where I will have to run in the morning and then WOD in the evening.  To ensure proper recovery, I’ve also incorporated one full rest day…I know that will definitely be needed.  Now all I have to do is stick with it!  Easier said than done…      

3. Schedule My Time Better

Time management is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned since becoming self-employed.  Your day can get away from you so quickly and because I’m working from home there are other distractions like laundry and cats.  Scheduling has become a necessity and I need to make it even more detailed going forward.  My goal is to actually block out my day for business development, client projects, blogging, training and personal time.  I think this will be key to having less stress and getting projects done on time.

4. Give Back to the Community

I really want to volunteer this year.  Whether it be with a local community group like the United Way, or at an event like the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, or simply handing out water at a local race…I need to do something.  I am so grateful for all of the volunteers that have supported me in the many races I’ve done and 

5. Love the Ones I’m With

My family and friends mean the world to me, but do I always let that show?  I’m not 100% sure.  This year I want to make more of an effort and let everyone in my life who means something to me know it.  There will probably not be and grand gestures here, but just picking up the phone more often to check in or simply sending a card to let you know I’m thinking about you.  Everyone needs to feel special…especially if they are ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Be Happy

I started down the road to happiness the day I quit my job and I never want to veer off of it!  It has improved my health and overall well being.  It’s amazing what living in a toxic environment will do you not just your motivation, but to your physical health.  I aspire to be happy every day and love what I do.  When it comes down to it, that really is what life is all about.

Sometimes being selfish is ok.  It just consists of a balance of doing what is right for you while being there for others.  It’s a continuing juggling act, but as time passes I seem to get more and more balanced.  I’m committing this year to be better and be even more RAD than before.  

Thank you for reading, commenting, and being supportive over the past year.  I hope you will continue to stick around and share your journey with me as well.  This little blog has opened the door to so many opportunities and has introduced me to amazing people.  I can’t wait to see where the next year brings!

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An Inspirational Conversation With Christmas Abbott

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok. 

Last week I was chosen by Reebok, along with 4 other FitFluential Ambassadors, to attend the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional Competition.  It was an amazing experience overall which I will be going into more detail about tomorrow, but first I wanted to share the best part of the whole day.  Getting to meet elite CrossFitter Christmas Abbott and hearing how CrossFit has changed her life.


I have to admit when I found out we were headed to meet Christmas I squeeled a bit on the inside.  She is one of my CrossFit idols!!  Not only is she incredibly beautiful, friendly and covered in some badass tattoos, she is also STRONG!  She’s only 5’3″ (my height!) and can throw up some serious weight.

Christmas Abbott CrossFit Invoke (Raleigh, NC)

Christmas Abbott
CrossFit Invoke (Raleigh, NC)

Before meeting her, we were treated to some shopping in the official Reebok Headquarters Store where not only did we get to choose any Reebok item we’d like (WIN!) but we also got to pick a shirt from Christmas’ line (DOUBLE WIN!).  I obviously went with the Cupcake and Kettlebell tank.


Needless to say, she was SO excited we we all arrived and were wearing her shirts along with our brand new Reebok Nano 3.0s we were given earlier in the week.  We were like Christmas groupies!  Ok who am I kidding…I’m totally a Christmas groupie ๐Ÿ™‚


After our photo session we got to sit down and with Christmas for about 20 minutes or so to hear her story and ask a few questions.  What an amazing story it is…

To say she has led an unconventional life is an understatement.  In her early 20s, she spent 4 years in Iraq as an independent contractor.  She was on a bad path and living an unhealthy lifestyle.  This was the kickstart to a new life and this is where she found CrossFit.  They didn’t have fancy equipment and often carried chairs and sandbags as weights, but it got the job done.  The group were often ridiculed and called “Circus Fit” by others, but they were just having fun.  Well if you can call grueling workouts and frequent vomiting fun.  There wasn’t any scaling in those days.  Men and women did the same weights and Christmas commented that a WOD that would take the men 15-18 minutes would often take her 45, but she would push through.  I asked if she felt this made her stronger and she said “physically no, but mentally definitely!”  

Upon returning home, she continued with CrossFit and eventually opened her own box, CrossFit Invoke in Raleigh, NC.  Her goal was to create a welcoming environment where people of all fitness levels can come and feel accepted.  She will never forget how difficult a 400m run was when she first started and will always help her members get over those hurdles.  She looks for coaches who might not be the best and most elite athletes, but for the ones who can relate to the members.  The motivators!  

Christmas has gone on to compete in the CrossFit Games, be a head trainer for CrossFit Headquarters and become nationally ranked as an Olympic Lifter in the American Open.  A few years ago she also took on the challenge of being one of the first women working on a NASCAR pit crew.  This is a fascinating and surprisingly challenging sport!  She’s decided to take a break from that venture, but you should still check out this video of the skill it takes and how she trained to rise in the ranks.

One day Christmas made the decision to stop smoking, get healthy and make better choices.  She came from a place that many of us have been, myself included, and that we don’t want to go back to.  She encourages everyone to be the exception, amaze yourself and invoke your inner athlete.  I left feeling inspired and with a renewed excitement to push myself even harder.  I’m so thankful for this opportunity and am taking some of her energy back to the box with me to crush my goals!


How do you invoke your inner athlete?

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A Walk in the Wepawaug Conservation Area

As the weather has been getting warmer, I’ve been feeling the need to get out and walk around in the woods.  This is something I’ve loved since I was a kid when my Mom and I would take our dogs for long hikes.  There is something so calming and peaceful about being out in the woods.  It’s a great place to reflect and gather your thoughts, all while getting some exercise.     


Last weekend after I learned of Lee’s passing I needed to get out of the house and I knew a good walk in the woods would help to clear my head.  So I headed to the Wepawaug Conservation Area in Orange, CT to walk the Orange Triangle Trail.  This is a small nature preserve with a few miles of easy hiking trails.

Wepawaug-Conservation-Area-Orange-CT-Trail-MapIt is an absolutely gorgeous area for an walk, an easy trail run or even some fishing.





Wepawaug-Conservation-Area-Orange-CT-6After about a mile of walking, I found a log and sat for a while watching the Wepawaug River pass by.  And there were ducks…I love ducks ๐Ÿ™‚



After some reflection (and a good cry), I headed out along another trail and passed a woman who was out walking her 3 yellow Labs.  They were SO EXCITED to be running in the woods.  They were even running in and out of the river!  It reminded me so much of my black lab Butch from when I was a kid.  I really think a Lab might be in our future.


Wepawaug-Conservation-Area-Orange-CT-Labs-2After another mile or so I headed back.  Throughout my walk I saw a father and son doing some fly fishing in the river and they were walking back to their car.  So cute…


I’m so lucky to have a place like this close to my house and I can’t wait to come back throughout the summer when the trees fill in.  I’m definitely going to add hiking into my exercise routine!  A great local hiking area is Sleeping Giant State Park where there are over 30 miles of trails, some of which are very difficult.  I haven’t been there for quite some time, but I will be tackling that giant soon.

Do you like hiking in the woods?  What are some of your favorite trails?

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The Anxiety of Change

As an anxious person, doing something like quitting your job is completely unnerving. Yes I’m beyond excited to leave this job behind and to move on to bigger and better things, but as I enter this final week it is becoming clear that this is not an easy transition….for a few reasons. Anxiety

Giving Up Ownership

Having been in my role for over 5 years, I have a feeling of ownership over many areas of my job.  There are upcoming events that I have planned, partnerships formed and budgets in jeopardy.  I am working diligently to get a plan in place before I leave, but there is part of me that is having trouble giving it all up.  It’s hard to think of someone taking over all of the hard work you have spent years creating.  You don’t want to see it changed or fail.  I know I need to just let go and move on but I have pride in the work that I’ve done. Although you might not be able to tell my my desk at the moment…


Seeing How My Decision Affects Others

This has by far been the best decision for me, but it is hard to watch how something so good for me has such an impact on others.  First are my colleagues.  This has dropped a large amount of additional work on them and due to poor management (a large part of why I’m leaving) it looks like it will be awhile before my position will be filled to fill that void. It also has made a few people have to make tough decisions about their own positions that they wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.  

Second are our members and the community. I work for a non-profit, member based association.  All the work we do is for the benefit of our members whether it be through education, legislative efforts, business partnerships, group discounts, etc…  By benefiting the members, we provide service to the community at large.  I would hate to see things fall through the cracks and have a negative impact on that side.

Yes, I know this all sounds very egotistical.  Can my resignation REALLY have such a big impact?  Maybe it won’t, maybe it will actually be good for the organization to get some new blood and some new ideas in there.  Honestly, I really hope so! However seeing how this is all being handled, it’s making me concerned.

Stepping Into the Unknown

Oh I don’t deal well with the unknown.  I often times wish I was a risk taker.  Someone who could go whichever way the wind takes them and figure it all out along the way.  Nope.  I’m a planner.  I like organization (I know…it doesn’t look like it from the state of my desk!).  I like structure.  I like spreadsheets!  So this leap of faith is nerve-wracking!  

As I get closer to being out of my current position and finally on the road to doing something I love, I am getting SO MOTIVATED! Yes, I’m nervous.  Yes, I’m having frequent panic attacks.  But you know what?  I’m happy.  For the first time in a long time, I can say that I actually feel happy.  My family hears it in my voice over the phone.  I keep spitting out ideas at B (he probably wants to kill me by now!).  I see opportunity EVERYWHERE!  Oh man…I’m so ready to do this.

Change is terrifying. Whether it be a job, a move, a child, a relationship…it’s all scary and that fear is what stops so many of us from finding and doing what we love in life.  I know that it has stopped me for YEARS! No more.  I’m doing this and I’m going to be happy and healthy from now on.  I’m going to BE RAD!  I hope you will too. ๐Ÿ™‚

How are you going to BE RAD this year?!

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Remembering Boston

200px-BostonmarathonlogoAs the one year anniversary of the the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, I can’t help but think about that horrible day often.  That tragedy shook me to the core and still does to this day.  I know all too well what it is like to be smack in the middle of a horrific event like that.  To think that all of those people who were either living their dream of running the Boston Marathon or who were there to show support for this amazing feat were subject to something so terrifying is both devastating and infuriating.

The incredible thing about the tragedy was how the running community came together to show their support.  The day after the race many people are wore race shirts to show their support or ran 4.09 (the time on the clock) or 2.62 miles.  I asked people to share their photos and the response was AMAZING!  Here is the video:

I can’t wait to watch the Boston Marathon this year and cheer on all of the courageous runners taking on this race and struggling up Heartbreak Hill!  I can only imagine how the city is going to come together to show the world what #BostonStrong really means.  I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it!!  I think this commercial says it all…

Best of luck to all of you running this year…may the wind be at your backs!!

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