Fit For A Mom

My ramblings of balancing my passions… fitness, family, & entrepreneurship.

Running For My Tiara…Disney Style March 13, 2010

After two and a half months of training during which time I was fighting a stomach virus, juggling my business, school, husband and kids I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon last Sunday.

The race was amazing to say the least. Roughly 13,000 participants (mostly women as there were only 400 hundred or so “princes”) This trip to Florida served a dual purpose. Obviously to run the race, but also to spend quality time with my husband, sans the children. Over the course of the 4 days, we hung out with my sister-in-law who lives in Orlando, slept in, and rode all of the “big kid” rides.

The start of the race was not what I remember a typical Florida morning to be for that time of year (I have lived there). I was right as I heard many Floridians, my sister-in-law included, that they had been having unseasonably cold temperatures. Really? I would never have thought to think that 38 at the start line was cold. Especially after having to get up at 3 a.m., hop on the bus by 4 a.m. and be in the corral by 5 for the 6 am start. So on top of being tired, I was cold. Miserably cold. I was wearing a running skirt and a long sleeve tech shirt and light jacket. I was also smart enough to bring my gloves as well (all I can say on that one is to see my post on the Yellow M&M).

Not to bore you with the race details, the race was nothing short of what you would expect from Disney. There was something at every mile – characters, crowds cheering, people stopping to take pictures. I knew going in, that I was not going to set a PR. I wanted to enjoy the festivities and not worry about hurrying through it. Enjoy I did. The event culminated in a rockin’ tiara shaped medal with crystals on it. What a fairy book ending, huh?

Thanks to all who played a part in organizing such a great race. Since I have now run this, I will be setting my sights on the Disneyland Half Marathon which will enter me in the “Coast-to-coast” challenge!

Looking forward to next year’s race…

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What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? March 1, 2010

I was out on my last long run of 10 miles today before my Disney Princess Half Marathon and was in the zone. Truthfully, it was because the wind was blowing so hard and I was miserably cold so I had to get my mind off of it. Among random work things such as how to further build clients and gain additional projects, I started to think of all of the fun stuff that I have done in my life. Again, I am positive that this was because of my current wind-blown state, but I went with it. I then started to think of “my list.” This list of mine which is purely in my head, is all of the things that I want to do before I leave this earth. I have thought over and over that I should write this down, but have never done so until now. With that being said, this list is not comprehensive and is a living and breathing document that forever evolves. Who knows, maybe my ambitions or goals will be different when I am 50. I am certain they will. I hope that by that time, I can check off most of the following and compose a new list.

I am always telling others to live to the fullest. I know it sounds cliche but it is true on so many levels. The real tragedy is that most go through a lifetime of “what ifs, I should haves and I wish I coulds.” I am not perfect and at times struggle with this myself, but I am cognizant of it. I strive everyday to keep in the moment and gosh, I feel that sometimes that is all we can do.

My emergency tag on my running shoe has the quote, “never waste the gift” on it. I practice what I preach. Below is a partial list of things and events that are important to me. They are not in a particular order and who knows, some may be important to you too. Although, I am sure your list will be different, as it should be. But the question is, have you started yours?

1. Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with my husband
2. Go to a deserted island
3. Skydive
4. Have a wildly successful company
5. Write a book (one at the very least) and get it published
6. Run the Boston Marathon (and Big Sur just because it is beautiful and I am always having Cali withdrawals)
7. Become a triathlete
8. Take a “girl” trip with each of my daughters
9. Visit the Great Wall (Check. Will take place in Oct. 2011)
10. Backpack and tour Europe
11. Start a nonprofit
12. Travel down under (can you tell that I love to travel?)
13. Help bring a future grandchild into the world
14. See the northern lights
15. Travel to Fiji
16. See my kids graduate from college
17. Travel to all 50 states (well on my way with that one)
18. Leave a lasting legacy
19. Own a beach house
20. Always remember where I came from and where I am headed
21. To always have a close relationship with my children and for that to deepen as they grown older.

 

What really is this “Active Living” all about? February 7, 2010

Active living is a way of life that naturally incorporates physical activity into daily routines. Walking with your kids to the park, walking to the store, riding your bike to the beach. It is the way that are bodies are meant to live, active and fluid in everyday life.

Active living is and should be a community-wide effort.  Prior to the “suburbia” flight of the 1940’s and 1950’s, communities were structured quite different than they are today. Neighbors talked to one another, the store was a few blocks away, kids and adults walked most places.  Why?  Because the communities were accessible to everyday needs, they were “walkable”.

Once the suburbs were established things changed drastically.  By nature the word means “A residential district located on the outskirts of a city.” Since these communities developed outside the city, naturally they were not easily accessible say to the grocery store or the library. People wanted their “patch of land” and did not want the more condensed way of living that the city had provided.  Due to this rapid expansion and the natural architectural design of these neighborhoods, it became impossible for its inhabitants to walk anywhere. Traditional city blocks with sidewalks on each side gave way to curvy wide roads, cul-du-sacs, sometimes with sidewalks only on one side.  Regardless, each “development” or “subdivision” was separated by two-lane roads which did not have a pedestrian path.  Once you left your development, you could most likely walk to several more, however, the sidewalk would end and you would be forced to return. Instead of the corner store where you could walk to, citizens of the suburbs were now forced to get in their car and drive even further to a strip of stores to purchase their groceries and their clothes.  After a day of shopping, they would then return to their cars and drive back to their respected suburb.

As you have heard, this is one theory on why Americans are overweight and suffering from a vast array of chronic diseases.  To save time on this post I will not go into the explanations and theories.  You are an adult and smart to say the least.  Make your own conclusion.

Fast forward to now. Proponents of “new urbanism” are leading the movement to revert back to walkable communities.  According to Wikipedia, “new urbanism” is an urban design movement, which promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s and continues to reform many aspects of real estate development and urban planning. Simply put, revert back to traditional neighborhoods where people worked, played, lived AND walked.

If your like me, you live in a suburb.  This might be by choice as I know it is for our family.  We moved across the country and asked our realtor where the best schools were and “BAM”, here we are.  With that in mind, you are not a slave to your surroundings.  Get out there!  Drive to the park and walk if you have too. Walk around your communities, and as one familiar phrase puts it, “just do it!” Can I get a kickback on that promotion? 🙂

The goal is to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day. This can be achieved in many different ways, from walking or bicycling to playing or gardening in a neighborhood park.

Active living is about creating healthy communities that have safe and convenient choices for people to walk, bike and be physically active on a daily basis. Consider these facts from the most recent research summaries by Active Living Research:

* People who live in neighborhoods with a mix of shops and businesses within easy walking distance have 35% lower risk of obesity.
* 43% of people with safe places to walk within 10 minutes of home meet recommended activity levels, while just 27% of those without safe places to walk are active enough.
* Creating and improving places to be active can result in a 25% increase in the percentage of people who exercise at least three times a week.
* More children walk to school when there are sidewalks

Make the little changes and do what you can to MOVE and have a life that is Fit For A Mom and her family!

 

Social Media Pointers Take 20 January 31, 2010

  1. Spend time truly listening to others. It’s called “social media” for a reason. Be prepared to interact consistently.
  2. You can’t win the game focusing on the scoreboard. Focus on the game of engagement and the traffic will come.
  3. Don’t worry about losing followers. Focus on quality and the quantity will come.
  4. Have a goal and measure results. This provides feedback and improvement.
  5. The internet has always been about helping people connect to people.
  6. Pay it forward. Teach and guide others, especially newbies.
  7. Study people who are credible with the type of clients you want to attract.
  8. Marketers aren’t always synonymous with community builders, traffic and followers isn’t always equal to credibility.
  9. Before you start your campaign define your market and their pains.
  10. Everyone and every company gets off message once in a while. Learn to reengage and refocus.
  11. Continually tweak and update your Linkedin profile, your network will be notified as soon as you do. That way you are on the front of their minds should they ever need your product or service.
  12. Social media is changing so quickly that if you stop too long to smell the roses you’ll be out of touch. Be up on your game.
  13. Try a new platform each month, video blogging, FaceBook, tumblr etc. Mixing it up is good for your skills and stems curiosity in others.
  14. You can’t make a robot network for you at a party, why do you think they can do it for you on the web?
  15. Some un-follows are strategic. People want to know if you’re really listening.
  16. You can’t please everyone.
  17. Ping.fm updates FaceBook, Brightkite, Twitter, tumblr and Linkedin statuses all at once
  18. Be careful about auto following your followers. The last thing followers want is the be blasted with DM’s (direct messages for you newbies) touting your business or product and how they can make you one gazillion dollars in 5 minutes.
  19. Be genuine and credible. People can sniff out a phony very quickly.
  20. Most importantly, have fun with it!

 

Cat’s In The Cradle January 30, 2010

In the car this morning I heard the song “Cat’s in the Cradle.”  This is a 1974  folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. As Chapin’s only #1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music.

The song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son.  Though the son repeatedly asks him to join in childhood activities, the father always responds with little more than vague promises of spending time together in the future, which is peppered with images from nursery rhymes. While the son longs to spend time with his father, he continues to admire his father. This ultimately shapes the son’s future behavior. The final verse is a reverse of the roles; where the father asks his now grown-up son to visit, but the son responds with his father’s line. The father then reflects that they are both alike.

I am a big fan of this song for multiple reasons and it is a well-played favorite on my iPod.  This song is one of the rare few that continues to resonate with me every time I hear it.  It makes me think, “Ok, are my priorities in shape?”  There was a time, not long ago when they were not.  I remember hearing that song play and I was flooded with emotion. Trying to fight back the tears, I knew why they were there.  I was working a lot and my son was only 6 months old.  I saw him briefly in the morning and by the time I came home, we spent roughly an hour and a half together. Total time = 2.5 hours.  I compensated, or so I thought, by cramming as much time on the weekend as I could. That coupled with catching up on errands and laundry, did not lead to quality.

After my corporate lay off, I had a chance to reflect. I now realize that I DO need to work, both for financial and personal reasons.  However, I am beginning to realize that this can be on MY terms. I do not need, nor do I want a long commute, long hours, and lots of travel.

As a woman born after the feminist revolution of the 60’s, I know that those courageous women paved the way for my generation to have it all.  Don’t get me wrong, I do want it all…career AND family.  But, I want them to be balanced. I want to remember this time with my kids as much as I remember my purpose and my work. Chapin’s song is always close to heart.  I know that my children are watching me.  I have experienced them wanting my attention.  I have been guilty of pushing my 13 year old daughter away and telling her “I’m busy.”  I have done the same with my 6 year old, as well as having put my 17 month old son in front of the TV.  But I have also learned to push away other things and telling them that “I’m busy.”  Work will be there. It always will be calling your name.  Kids will not. I do not want to look back and wonder, “where did the years go?” Not to mention my daughter (who will be in college in 5 years) telling me, “I’d love to see you mom, if I can find the time.”

Find the time now.  The ride will not last forever.

 

Spandex Anyone? January 12, 2010

BskinzNow that the holidays are over, I finally have time to get back to my blog.  There is just something about the holiday season and not having enough time for anything. Who am I kidding, how is that any different from the rest of the year? Oh well, I want to get to the meat of my post and talk about an up and coming mom business whose focus is Spandex. Yep, it is making a return!

Since I am a mompreneur myself, one of my passions is connecting with and  chatting about other mom’s ideas and products that I think are unique and useful, especially those that help me spread the word that:

FIT MOMS = FIT FAMILIES = FIT BUSINESS.

Mom-owned company Bskinz is just that, and is simultaneously blazing a path in the compression shorts arena. Bskinz is owned and operated by two stay at home moms from northern NJ, who decided to reenter the workforce. They started as a small sports team apparel business, which furnished local teams with custom screened apparel.  One day a team of cross-country girls approached them wanting hot pink spandex compression shorts to wear under their game shorts. On their quest to find them,  they discovered that none of the large manufacturers such as Under Armour or Nike made fashion oriented colors for girls compression.  Not satisfied with just the basic black, white and sometimes navy, they decided to launch our own line.  It was then that Bskinz was born.

What also sets Bskinz apart is their customization process.  When ordering you could get one pattern for your left leg and if you choose, another for your right. How cool is that?  My daughter thought that was awesome and based on Bskinz success, she is not alone in her thinking.  Bskinz is distinguishing themselves alright.

Bskinz sent me their product to give it a whirl.  As a runner, I could not wait to put these to the test on my next outdoor adventure. One of the first things I noticed is the quality of the capris. The stitching is top notch and the spandex itself is thicker, yet still breathable. After having laced up my shoes, I headed out the door.

Alright fellow running junkies out there, you know what “chafing” is and how it is one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen to you out on the road. After a 6 mile run in my awesome Bskinz, I returned home with nothing bleeding!  Not to mention, I didn’t have to interrupt my run by having to pull up my pants as with other pants that I’ve tried.  Best thing since the Nike Women’s Marathon’s Tiffany finisher’s necklace….well, almost!

Since that first run, I find myself reaching again and again for my Bskinz, even more so since winter.  I have discovered that Bskinz makes a great base layer for cold weather running.

What more could I ask for?  Breathability, made in the USA, developed and launched by mompreneurs, supporting girl sports teams and the local economy, stylish and true to performance, not to mention it dries quickly. Oh yeah, did I mention a couple of FIT MOMS came up with the idea?  Rock on Bskinz, you are definitely FIT FOR A MOM!

Don’t just take my word for it, check out the many styles and patterns yourself over at: http://www.bskinz.com

P.S. One teeny, tiny recommendation….placing a little pocket on the inside so us FIT MOMS could put a key or a GU in there 🙂

Patterned and colorful girls compression wear with a tag line of B-Active, B-You.  After all isn’t that what every girl wants – to be active and yet express themselves fashionably!  I could not have said it better Bskinz.