1000 Days and 300 Miles

It’s been a milestone week for me. Not any of the big life events but those simple tasks that add up to a “Wow I did that” sort of milestones.


Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project and author of many wonderfully insightful books wrote; What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” I believe this to be true, which is why I’m writing about these minor milestones. Let me begin by explaining that I recently discovered ironically from Gretchen Rubin’s latest book The Four Tendencies that I’m an upholder. Which according to Ms. Rubin means I meet both outer and inner expectations, so things like 1000 meditation days and 300 miles on a pair of running shoes are sort of built into my tendency.

I’m very regimented I love lists, and I love to do things that make me a better person, like meditating daily and running three times a week. You see what you do every day… Yes 1000 days or 2.79 years of daily meditation earned me a tiny gold star on my Insight App this morning. According to my activity app on my Apple Watch I’ve run 300 miles since the end of August or the equivalent of running to New York City and back. Little things add up!

It’s important to recognize our mini-milestones I believe these little everyday things are a  part of what I like to call the 1% better. Which is sort of a mantra of mine to be 1% better than I was yesterday – It’s something that I’ve shared with my staff and students. I believe we get too wrapped up in working on the big things which are often looked at as the BIG change that will make my life perfect, my dreams come true… (The perfect mate, home, career, family – life ) DON’T EXIST!

What does exist is the ability to be a better person; to be more centered, more compassionate, more engaged, more forgiving, more flexible, more healthy than we were yesterday and isn’t this what we should be teaching children? Just be better than yesterday is so much less stressful than being the best! In the long run the out comes are far healthier.

I do know I’m 15lbs lighter and far more centered, patient, healthier and disciplined than I was 1000 days and 300 miles ago!

Do your 1% best,



Hills; The ones we run and the metaphorical ones that we run into…

I set out on my usual Wednesday 2 miler, looking forward to clearing my head, working up a sweat and trying to gain some perspective on what’s been a crazy start to 2018.

Running does all of the above, it’s my antidepressant, my fat burner, and my Gingko Biloba. Which is why most of these blogs are written soon after returning from my runs. Today’s hill thought is no exception. If you’ve been following my journey please excuse the next bit explaining how I started and where I am now (first I will be turning 61 in about six weeks, I’m a former nurse, who is a master teacher/owner of a martial arts school who decided to run a half marathon to celebrate her 60th year). I’ve run on and off since 1991 but didn’t become seriously committed to running until training for the half.

Now back  to the hills during my training and until very recently I walked slogged up most large hills. Then it occurred to me that I’m running six miles with relative ease the hills are no longer a physical but a mental challenge. That’s when I start using my soft eyes technique (borrowed from meditation). You simply direct your gaze to only a few feet in front of you. Focusing just a few feet kept me from seeing the size and steepness of the hill. I felt the shift in the incline much like on a treadmill but maintain my narrow focus to the task at hand running a few more feet. I’ve taken this lesson into my busy life, I try not to look at the enormity of a task or event, I maintain my focus on smaller tasks that will lead to completing or solving the challenge. Yes there are unexpected obstacles but just like the physical obstacles along my run I navigate them to the best of my ability and stay away from worry of completion just trusting that one step at a time will tackle any hill as long as I remain focused and committed…

Enjoy the process, the results are usually worth it!


Running through Winter…

I ran six miles today and it’s February 4th! That was my “Big Game”. To think a year ago I wouldn’t have entertained running in February – Maybe on a treadmill (then again this time last year it would have been 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill.)

Why is any of the above relevant? My point is no matter how old or where you are in you head-space you can change your thoughts. I hated winter and made all those around me fully aware of my feelings – I’d start whining in December and would continue to piss and moan through Easter. I would put on 5 to 10lbs every winter mostly through less exercise but also stress eating. I’d be checking the fifteen day forecast more often than a broker checks the market. My mood would be as cold as the weather.

What changed?  My attitude — I decided to run a half marathon. That goal got me to the gym and on the treadmill last winter and onto the roads this past spring and summer. I became a different person losing 15lbs, running more seriously 3 times per week; two shorter training runs and a long run on Sundays, getting to 12 miles before the half. I didn’t want to give up all that I gained so this year I got winter running gear.  I’ve been running when the weather or road conditions cooperate or hit the gym if the weather is bad. I’m still checking the 15 day forecast not so I can complain but so I can schedule my running. My attitude toward winter has changed, not that I love it but I found an appreciation for the rests it affords.

Winter teaches me that I’m not totally in control of what happens but I am in control of how I react to what happens.

I’ve taken advantage of the snow days and got a lot of paper work done, reading, listened to pod casts, watched Ted Talks. Things that I’d have less time to do in better weather. I’m finding more happiness in simple things like just sitting with my cat, building a puzzle with my 94 year-old neighbor, taking my mother to visit my aunt or sharing the bike path with a squirrel, sparrows, and a red tail hawk.

Dr Wayne Dyer was right “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

What are you looking at now?


The Word For 2018

Last year I chose inspire the word for “My Intent bracelet”. This year I chose CREATE – I want to continue my momentum from 2017, building my inspirations into creations.

This past year had many wonderful highlights including training and completing a half marathon, reaching my goal weight, being in the best shape of my life. There was the travel to NYC, Las Vegas, Az, Boston and Nantucket. Time with family and friends along with new friends made.

There were challenges as any year brings but I feel better about my ability to face them.

2018,  my intentions are to CREATE more adventures, complete more challenges, give more to my students, family, friends and community…

Blessings to all remember you create your own reality, we all control how we react to the things that happen to us. Choose to react positively!

Happy 2018

Off The Rails

I’ve been off from work this last week of December. It’s a time I celebrate the holidays and take inventory of the past year, while looking ahead to goals for next year – It is a time for me to go “Off The Rails.”

Yes, I leave my very scheduled disciplined life to experience the art of unscheduled nothing. I get up when I want eat what I want; for example sleep until 8:30am and eat homemade cookies for breakfast. I even went to the gym in the afternoon! Okay my off the rails isn’t exactly going over to the dark side, but I did go to see the Last Jedi. The bigger point is I’m letting go of my need for structure and control to clear my vision. Often routine prevents us from seeing other options or opportunities. Like reading a book verses watching a rerun, enjoying holiday treats without feeling guilty, spending evenings watching game shows with an elderly neighbor instead of surfing the net. I have managed to get things done – Necessary things. As the week nears the start of the New Year, my disciplined self is contemplating goals and structuring my schedule to fit them, but at least I still have cookies for breakfast.

Here’s wishing you a great 2018 on or off the rails,


Recent Thoughts

I believe my last post was after my half marathon, it’s not that I haven’t been running or participating in races. I really have no explanation other than I’ve not been writing – I’ve composed a bunch of blogs in my head while running but they never made it to the computer.

After my half-marathon in October I continued to train and ran four more races two virtual runs and two local races the last being a new favorite the Jingle Bell 5k in down town Providence. The fact that I’m still running at the end of December in Rhode Island is a bit of a Christmas miracle.  Prior to this year I was a fair weather runner, running only when the temps where 55 degrees and above, along with clean dry streets and side walks (I have an issue about getting my shoes dirty). My entire mindset has changed toward running, before training for the half it was just another aspect of conditioning – Now it’s a necessary part of my life. I’m running in the cold, on wet sandy sidewalks! As long as the temps are above 25 with little or no wind and clear side walks and streets I’m running.

I’m not sure when the transition occured? Going from someone who ocassionaly ran into someone who “runs/slogs” .  I do know it was during my long runs when I found a sense of freedom, peace, serentity that I’ve never found anywhere else – Not sitting in meditation, not in yoga not even in martial arts and especially not sitting in church. Believe me noone is more suprised by this revelation than me!

My best guess is that running provides me with what I’ve always known about myself that in order for me to be truly at peace I need to be engaged mentally spiritually and physically. Which is why just sitting in meditation or in church does’nt fill my soul. Martial arts and yoga require paying attention to movements too mental. Running requires putting one foot in front of the other nothing more. It’s the perfect balance of physical and mental creating a wonderful spiritual experience. It has changed me and the way I view life. I’m more in tunned with my body, (in the best shape of my life). I handle stress better, sleep better, eat more mindfuly and it has made me appreciate nature and where I live. What a gift!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



13.1 Thoughts

Last December on a whim I decided to enter the Amica Newport Half Marathon. It was held yesterday and yes I ran and completed it, here are my thoughts on that run.

Mile one; December of 2016 reading through my emails I notice one from Grey Matter Marketing announcing the Amica Newport Marathon. Deciding this would be an interesting goal for turning 60 I registered. No where in my wildest dreams did I realize what a profound effect this would have on my life.

Mile two; Shortly after registering for the race I happened upon a Facebook ad for MyIntent.org and their bracelets. They ask you for one word to put on the bracelet and I chose INSPIRE I wanted this to be a year where I was inspired and could inspire others.

Mile three; In February my mother hit a speed bump she had a heart attack and required four stents. At the time I was also contemplating training for my seventh dan in martial arts. I decided to table that to be a larger presence in my mother’s life and to focus my energies on the half. My mother’s illness also brought into focus my less than ideal physical state. I was nearly ten pounds overweight and out of my customary shape. I know a few of you may find being ten pounds over weight hardly out of shape. Those ten extra pounds on my small frame would make running difficult. I increased my cardio at the gym and started using the Lose It ap.

Mile four; I turned 60 on March 24th, part of my birthday celebration was to head to Arizona visit my brother and sister-in-law, where we’d also road trip it to LasVegas. While in Pheonix I got in my first outdoor tun of 2017. The half marathon was over six months away but this is where it started to become real.

Mile five; Zeal by Zurvita became my go to training and life supplement, if you’re unfamiliar with this great product go to my web site zurvita/va02885.com and check out the great benefits of this amazing product. I use it everyday most days twice a day. It was also a part of my long run regime and had a bottle with me at the half.

Mile six; Chi Running by Danny Dreyer; I knew if I was to run a half marathon my body wouldn’t be able to endure the way I had run in the past. It was time to seek a new way. I had taken a mini course of sorts on Chi Running several years ago at the karate studio of a former training partner. I was intrigued to say the least but didn’t pursue any further training because I was only doing one or two 5k’s a year, but a half marathon would require longer and more training runs. I bought Chi Marathon and downloaded Chi Walk/Run from the Chi running web site. I used these valuable tools to set up my training and to get reacquainted with running.

Mile seven; On the road again, armed with my sixteen week Chi half marathon training guide, now eight pounds lighter I took to the roads and to the track to practice. Believe me running or slogging with a metronome is no easy feat, when you’re rhythmically challenged! However I persevered and found an ap for a running metronome that played behind the music in my headphones – Which also alleviated the strange stare I got from people who heard me beeping as I ran.

Mile eight; Running longer and further than I’ve ever ran before. The first time I ran more than eight miles I though I’d die. I was in the heat of August and I’d run a hilly course. It was one of the few times I had a twinge of doubt regarding my goal.

Mile nine; Learning about running shoes and choosing the right one for me. The great thing about running is it doesn’t require much equipment. The bad thing is the equipment required has to be good or you’re toast! After reading Chi Running and understanding how the body works, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the best possible shoe for me and my goal. I had run in a stability shoe that was recommended for me for over ten years, but after investigating my foot, reviewing my wear patterns and assessing my hip discomfort I found out these shoes were wrong. I went to Brooks and did their shoe finder and found the perfect shoe. My runs are smooth with very little discomfort during or afterwards.

Mile ten; having friends, coworkers, and family members support your mission. I can’t tell you how important it’s been to have people ask about my training and encourage my slog posts on Facebook. Knowing you have people who believe in you or that you inspire makes those Sunday morning training runs so much easier.

Mile eleven; Having a bigger purpose than just running; Yes this was about seeing if I’d be able to complete the goal, get into shape and cross another thing off the bucket list, but to me it was more much more. I wanted to do something difficult and meaningful to celebrate my 60th year because so many friends, and family members weren’t lucky enough to reach 60 – Including my father. When it got hard to run up a hill or something hurt I’d remember the pain they all endured and I’d go on for them as much as for me, maybe more…

Mile twelve; pre-race doubt and some paranoia. To say I was a bit paranoid about getting sick before the race would be an understatement (to all who endured the nutty instructor, my apologies). Then there was the thought of horrendous weather or being unable to finish on time or at all. The pre-race insomnia (thankfully I had to be up at 4am so I didn’t have to toss and turn as long).

Mile thirteen; the race, let me begin by saying initially this was going to be a one off. Done box checked on to the next thing, but after experiencing the people and the event I’m hooked! I had the most amazing time! This was one of the best days of my life and I want to relive it again….

Point one; After crossing the finish line and spending the remainder of yesterday, reflecting on the incredible experience. I know these things to be true, I will do it again, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself; I’m in better physical and emotional health than I’ve ever been. I will toast myself with the homemade beer given to me from one of my black belts and enjoy a Lean Cuisine pizza (don’t want to go too far off the rails).

On to the next thing,