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

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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,

Gin

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!

Gin

 

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,

Gin

 

 

 

Past,Present,Future

Ever have one of those days when all aspects of “your” time on the planet align? The past 24 hours have been that way for me…

First the past, yesterday would’ve been my father’s 88th birthday — I spent the day remembering and celebrating him, first with a simple Facebook post acknowledging his birthday. Which he thanked me with a penny I found at the gym (1989 the year he passed.) Before heading for work I made my annual birthday beer visit to his grave. (You see before he passed while he was still lucid I asked him if he wanted me to remember him in a special way and he said on his birthday pour a beer on his grave.) I filled him in on the news: mom’s new living room furniture, my brother and sister-in-law’s recent visit and how the NY Giants suck at the moment. I also told him about my upcoming half marathon and asked for a little help (actually a lot of help). Then I poured the last can of Samuel Adams summer ale on his grave (very fitting as it was the last day of summer).

Present, I accomplished 365 consecutive days of meditating with my insight timer! I’m pretty jazzed about that goal, because I proved to myself I can go the distance. Which is important to my psyche with my 1/2 marathon just a few weeks away. In fact I did a little reconnaissance for the race. First I found where I’m to park for the shuttle on race day then I drove the route to evaluate the hills and to get an idea of where to go (as there will probably be no people running when I finish). I’m feeling ok about the hills the scary part or wild card is weather, wind will not be good. Much of the route is by the Atlantic ocean and a head wind could be brutal. Excessive heat or rain won’t be very welcome either – Keeping my fingers crossed…

Future; every Friday I do my assigned task in my book of Lists, today’s assignment was to list things that mattered 5 years ago that no longer have the same meaning. It was refreshing to see that I’ve grown less concerned with material things and prefer more spiritual pursuits. The second part of my task was to go onto the FutureMe.com site and write an email to myself to be sent sometime in the future I set my birthday 2020. I have my reasons for choosing that date and will share them at another time. I highly recommend you trying this assignment out, it was quite up lifting for me! It should be quite a surprise when I get the email as I’m sure I’ll forget I wrote it!

So there you have it past, present and future. I’ve been blessed. I am blessed and I’m sure I’ll be blessed!

How lucky can one ninja get?

Gin

Make Fireworks Every Day

My latest Shutterfly creation was a place mat with the above picture with the words “Make Fireworks Every Day”.  This is to remind myself to give my best in all aspects of my day.

Somedays this might be a 200% goal reached on my Apple Watch’s activity app, a new personal distance ran. It could be learning something new about teaching, martial arts, childhood development, nutrition, or just general knowledge. Sometimes it’s giving incredible service at my business, inspiring my martial art students to be their very best. Then again it could be assisting an elderly neighbor who’s locked themselves out of their apartment, helping an aging parent with their chores. We can make fireworks by being a shoulder to a friend in need of one, supporting a charity with a donation or volunteering.

There are millions more ways we can create fireworks, (the good kind) – Which is why every morning with my breakfast I look up and see a small sign that says “There is always something to be grateful for” and now when I look down I see fireworks and my mission for the day; To make each day count, to be better than I was yesterday, to spread love, kindness and inspiration to all I meet… In other words MAKE FIREWORKS EVERYDAY!

Do you have a morning mantra, mission statement or ritual? If yes please share, I’d love to hear how you’re making fireworks…

Gin

Peace and Joy

I’m coming down from my soapbox — My last few posts have been rather pointed and for good reasons. However I’d like to get back to the “Joy of running”.

Fall is just around the corner, although it feels in full swing in my coastal neighborhood. Temperatures in the low 50’s and a gusty northwest wind made me adjust my Friday morning park run. Instead of running along the water I ran through the middle of the park and onto the wooded trails. I’d forgotten how much I love being in the woods (not fun in the heat and humidity with mosquitos) the grounding solitude running trails gives you is like no other running.

If I had to rank running surfaces, trails would be my favorite because it seems the most natural — Where it all began. It’s funny because my preferences reflect a progression from most natural to least; wooded trails, bike path, streets, tracks, and treadmills in that order.

My senses are definitely heightened because of the tricky surfaces, the occasional squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk or woodchuck dashing about. The air was clean with the crispness of the impending autumn even a few leaves have started to turn. It’s humbling to think about the history of this beautiful land and how blessed I am to be living here and now to enjoy running in this beautiful natural cathedral.

What was supposed to be a two mile training run turned into a 3.5 mile run/hike, which was fine by me because everything including the few wrong turns was perfect  — the way life should be experienced, with peace and joy!

Where do you find your running bliss?

Ginnie