Tag Archives: passion

On running, tragedy, and inspiration.

I almost chose not to write a post about yesterday’s Boston Marathon tragedy, but the more I read, the more blogs, tributes and gestures, the more I fall in love with running even more than I ever thought I could.

Because I’ve always been teetering on the fence of love-to-run and love-to-hate-to-run, despite my best efforts to get rid of the ‘hate,’ there are still days I struggle. With breathing, with pace, with ‘in my head-ness’ and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever love the sport as much as others will.

But the truth is? It doesn’t matter. And it never will. 

What matters is that I do it because I DO love it, at the heart of it, because it is the one sport, I truly believe, that never gets any easier, no matter if you are an elite, a jogger, or somewhere in between. You run because it is a challenge. Every.single.time. There is no such thing as an ‘easy’ run. (despite those that call their runs an ‘easy run day…’). You may run with ease, but the act of running itself? Not. Easy. Ever.

But my point with all of this is…after yesterday’s tragedy, I honestly don’t know that I have seen a community come together as quick as this, to respond, react, support. From instagram, to Twitter, to Facebook, to tributes, to candlelight vigils, to worldwide support in every single way…there it was. And it was, and still is, beautiful. Every single time I come across something else beautiful, in light of tragedy.


This quote (Runner’s World):

“It’s the only sport in the world where if a competitor falls, the others around will pick him or her up. It’s the only sport in the world open to absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or any other division you can think of. It’s the only occasion when thousands of people assemble, often in a major city, for a reason that is totally peaceful, healthy and well-meaning. It’s the only sport in the world where no one ever boos anybody.”

This act of kindness.

And this ‘virtual’ run that has spread so quickly, so virally. And you better believe I ran this morning. M and I ran and ran, in silence, our longest run since the fall. It was tough. I was in my head at the start, but by the end, I felt accomplished, happy, and in a way, paying it forward.


Take a minute. Pay it forward. Tell someone you love them. Run. Walk. Smile. Do something. Be inspired today, and take one step in front of the other, onward.



On a job vs. a career.

A year ago, I was neck-deep in one of the biggest challenges of my job. I was covering for my boss, the director of corporate communications for the company (global, employs 900) as we were doing a major launch event and webcast (what I termed as ‘big ass launch’ – totally a technical term, look it up!) and this day a year ago, said launch happened. Without a hitch and with one of the best compliments on a job well done that I have ever received (see link above to read all about it!).

Yet, as I lamented about it with my boss today, remarking how we are in the midst of yet another big ass launch (plus another big event we are planning for two weeks after that – gluttons for punishment, I tell ya!), but ‘at least there are two of us’ this time, I told her that the difference this year is that I am not crying every day leading into the launch. I am not stressed to the max. I am not scared. I am focused and ready. And able.

And part of the difference, besides now being in this job for about a year and a half vs. 6 months (and flying solo last year without my boss around!) and feeling more confident, is that I have my ‘net’ back. I have my sounding board and the ability to bounce ideas around, get advice etc., and ultimately, some of the decisions that I struggled most with last year, are decisions I no longer have to make on my own. They fall back into ‘her camp’ and let me focus on my job, the social media, the US-based PR activities etc. Not as much of the ‘over my head’ office politic-y things that were part of my interim role last year. The parts of the job that I hated disliked most are no longer part of my job.

Which leads me to the real point of this post (sorry for the meandering!).

The difference between a job and a career. 

You see, I love my job. I love what I do. I love that I can learn ‘on the job’ and I love that I can try new things and see what sticks. But, almost as importantly, I love that the ‘buck doesn’t stop at me. It stops at my boss. The level of responsibility I have in my job is exactly the right dose I want to have a good work/life balance. To leave work at work and shut down mentally for the night (given I work remotely, I can see how easy it is to just work all night, into their PT timezone, and just be on 24/7). To draw the line.

M asked me the other day ‘if you were offered your boss’s job and a boatload of money, would you take it?’

Honestly, no, I wouldn’t. Not in a heartbeat. My job is what I love to do. I am always learning. And it allows me to do something I like personally anyway – social media – in a business setting. You can’t get much closer to doing what you love, than that. And to get paid well *and* work remotely (most of the time, except when I travel!)? What more is there to ask for, right now? I don’t *need* or *want* the extra responsibility. I am still growing. I am still learning. I am still developing my skills. There is no sense of stagnation. 

To some, that may sound like I am not driven. But I am. Absolutely. But I am also a huge believer in work/life balance and doing something you are passionate about (hello teaching barre n9ne!).  And right now? Having a job vs. (expanding) my career is where it’s at for me. It’s what I choose. Because at the end of the day, balance and happiness account for more than a title and a bigger paycheck. 

What never gets old.

when someone ‘gets’ how amazing a barre workout is, the first time they experience a class. (hello this girl and this one too!)

when they look over and immediately ‘get’ what it means to ’embrace’ the shake at the barre, to allow it to happen (because that’s ultimately proof that your muscles are going to failure, that they’re changing, working, and leaning!).

talking to others that also take barre classes, near and far, small studios and bigger chains, that, when you say ‘oh, you have taken barre classes too?’ and you get that knowing nod, that smile spreads across their face and you just ‘get’ it.

It never gets old.

that feeling after taking a class, focusing on proper form, alignment, the shake, the resistance and light weight training, and walking away feeling…euphoric. Every muscle worked. Every part of you feeling incredible.

it may sound borderline dramatic, but to those that have taken a class, even just one, just ‘gets’ what I mean. 

and on the first day of the second studio opening for barre n9ne, experiencing some new clients feeling the shake for the first time, and seeing them whisper to each other, wondering if it’s ‘good’ or bad, and then seeing their excited feedback after class...is incredible. 

teaching class on Saturday (my first in several weeks), and seeing the sweat pour down, hearing the mutters of ‘another set?!’ is the best feeling. it means its working. and I am helping others achieve their goals. 

It never gets old. 

Coming upon a year of taking classes, then training to become an instructor, and now reaching the point where I am teaching regularly, it’s just an incredible feeling. To see the progress of the studio, of the expanding list of clients and successes, and now to be such a part of it, is simply amazing.

What never gets old is doing something you love, helping others achieve their goals, and being part of a community of barre-a-holics that ‘get’ how phenomenal a workout it is, and how it perfectly complements something like running, and how much it conditions and strengthens in seemingly subtle ways.

My 6-month run challenge: week 8 (a PSA on running vs. racing)

As month two of my 6-month run challenge rolls onward, I have been really thinking.  About my goals. About racing. About *not* racing. About what is propelling me with this run challenge.

I’ll tell you what’s *not* propelling me forward. And that’s the idea of a race, or two, or three, or many. Nope. The more I think about it, and the more I look around at race dates, locations, courses etc., the less compelled I am to actually sign up for any of them. Why? Because I still firmly believe that for me, I am a runner, but I am NOT a racer. And friends, that is okay. That is more than okay.

But sometimes I just need to remind myself, amid reading the many blogs that focus on running and races and all sorts of fun stuff, that just because this is what they are passionate about doing, doesn’t mean that I have to be or should try to be.  If it’s not for me, well, it’s not for me. My goal with this run challenge was to find my love for it again, to reinvigorate my running mojo and sure, to increase my pace a bit and as Bald Guy Running says in his blog…allow running to ‘be its own reward.’ Because it damn well is!! And as soon as I released myself from the pressure I was putting on myself to find another half marathon to gain vindication over my last two failed attempts, voila…my running started to flow again, I started to enjoy it again and that passion that I always wanted for running but never quite had, came on with a vengeance.

I write this in part because I read blog from Bald Guy Running proclaiming ‘no races for 2012‘ and reading that was such a huge breathe of fresh air for me and made me realize that ya know what? That just may be my mantra for this year too. Sure, I am aiming for 13.1, perhaps, but that doesn’t mean I gotta do it as a race. I do it because I want to do it, prove it to me, and only me. I also write this after reading Alicia’s blog and Ronda’s blog about the pressure and anxiety training for a race or goal of some kind can be…because it really really can, especially if your heart isn’t truly in it. It’s not just about your body being capable, your mind and heart have to be right there with you as well. And for me? My heart says go for the gold…for you, and only you, and see what happens from here.

*end PSA*


Now that I got that little diatribe off my chest, let’s discuss this little run challenge I got cooking, shall we? As I am just part-way through week 8, I will say that staring out at a snow-covered ground makes the thought of running outside downright treacherous. I hope it clears for the second barre n9ne rundate on Saturday however, because I am *so* planning on hitting the pavement on Saturday so long as weather permits, along with some other fabulous ladies!! I hit up 5 miles today (and my cross-training yesterday) and it was a mental battle for every.single.mile today. My mind was whining ‘I don’t wanna, don’t make me, no, no, no’ and my body was pushing and almost gave up, but I got ‘er done (that’s what matters!) and feel great, now that I did. I am planning another tempo/hill/interval thingie for tomorrow (that’s the technical term) OR my long run (making that a game day decision!) and whatever run I don’t do tomorrow, I’ll do Friday, capping the week with my barre n9ne rundate!

What say you, friends? What are your get-active plans this week? Ass-slap to ya’ll for getting a little sweat on, whatever you are passionate about doing (running, walking, yoga, you name it!).

And what do you think of my little PSA? I guess for me, it’s ‘to each, his/her own’ and for me, it continues to hold true…I am not passionate about racing. So why do it?  I *am* passionate about running. Thus, I run. For me.

It makes a huge difference.

When you love your job again.

When you feel inspired to perform, to go for the gold, to make a difference, to move up.

When you want to go to work, don’t mind a late meeting or two (or conversely, an early one), or putting in the effort.

When you are surrounded by people that care about their jobs, that want to succeed and want you to succeed.

When you are supported by your peers, your boss(es) and your department full of smart minds.

When you feel pride for the place you work, and want to help it grow and gain awareness and be great.

When the CEO of the company utters “we’re already good…let’s aspire to great” – and it gives you chills.

When you look around and see camaraderie, smiles, and joking…proof that others love their jobs too.

It makes a huge difference…to be passionate about your job again.


As tired as I am, as long a week as it has been, as challenging as it has been so far, to throw myself into conversations (even meekly), introduce myself to colleagues and executives, this week has proven that by far, I have made the right decision, that I am supported and that everyone around me wants me to succeed. I haven’t been in an environment where people care about their jobs and the company they work for, for so long, that it’s been hard to envision anyone actually liking their job.

Sure, every job has their trying times, their stressful times and times when you want to just give up…but the getting back up and doing it all over again is the difference between a job you ‘phone in’ and a job you show up for with a vengence.