Fit For A Mom

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

To Everything there is a Season… May 19, 2010

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Life. Death. Running. What is the connection between the three?

Death makes you stop in your tracks. Literally for the one who has experienced it, however, I am referring to those who are remain after it has swept by. One minute everything is under control and in a matter of hours, chaos. April 1 started seemingly usual as I returned emails and phone calls. I distinctly remember that I was planning on going for a run that day but was extremely busy and could not find the time to squeeze in something, anything. It was then that I found myself catching up on school work (I am an MBA student) and the phone call came. My dad indicated that my grandma was going into surgery. Ironic, since I just called the hospital and left a message with her roommate who mentioned she was getting tests performed. I asked her to call her granddaughter and she asked which one. I responded, “her only one.”

My grandma was just admitted into the hospital a couple of days before and was planning on being released on Good Friday. My dad gave no reason that this was anything to be worried about. I would soon find out that he truly did not have any indication of the events that were to come. I hung up the phone, said a short prayer and continued my reading. I had an ominous feeling that I could not place. Within the hour, dad called back, his voice stricken with panic. He said that it is more serious than originally thought. Can you go and pick up your mother from work? Sure I said, trying to hide my fear. As I am on my way to go pick up my mother from work, the following words flash across my phone: “If you want to see your grandma, get here as soon as you can” – Dad

This was all he needed to say. For me that meant that everything is going wrong and her time is limited. Calling my neighbors to watch my children, we arrive at the hospital. The old cliché is true that you can never be prepared for when you see a loved one lying there. Shortly after, she opened her eyes and through her pain communicated that she was “at peace.” More importantly she knew we were there. Several hours passed and her breathing became more and more labored. My dad and aunt, her two children are holding her hands. The clock is ticking and it took all that I had not to get up and scream thinking that we are just waiting for death to come. The chaplain walks in and she starts quoting Pslam 23. It was at that very moment that the angels came for her. Ironic that her passing would come in the holiest of times for someone who was deeply religious; the day before Good Friday or Maundy Thursday.

After a long night, I come home. My children are sleeping and my husband is out of town, unable to catch a flight till the next day. My mind wonders. I feel like I am in a dream and that so much has happened in one day, or has it really? Everything is foggy. Logically I know that she was 88 and lived a good life, but the pain and guilt are real. I was suppose to have lunch with her today so that she could see her great-grandson and now she is gone. Why did I reschedule? What made me think that having the landscapers come over was more important? I am wrenched with guilt. Guilt that I reschueled. Guilt that I have not seen her since Christmas. I would call, but “things” came up and I never made a visit. I had every intention but what are intentions good for now?

After a fitful sleep, I take my children to school and before getting work done, I go for a run. It is the only thing that I can think to do. Truthfully, I wanted to lace up my shoes at 2 o’clock in the morning, but realized that it was not a smart idea to run the risk of having the police at my house because I went AWOL. Running is truly my therapy. It is what clears my head and in this instance, made me feel. Feel my breath. Feel my muscles burning and aching. Feel my feet rhythmically striking the ground. Feel my heart beating out of my chest. I needed to feel the pain to make me realize that I am alive. Over the next couple of months, I continue to run, a lot. I am not able to eek out much writing but I am feeling more and more “at peace.” In a different way, I now see what my grandma was referring to. We all have our own journeys to take, albeit some shorter and some longer. Make every moment count so that when the road ends you are “at peace.” I know I will as I continue to run, write, and love this life.

To everything there is a season
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die – The Byrds

And the angels have come for her…Rest in Peace Jeanette Dallas.
Till we meet again!

 

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…

 

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.

 

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.

 

Running With Ghosts and Goblins…and a Yellow M&M October 30, 2009

Last Sunday I ran a 10K which was very exciting for multiple reasons.  One, to race is always a challenge, but this was so laid back that it was a nice breather. Two, this was unique in that it was a Halloween theme.   After having lived all over the country, my husband and I decided to move back closer to family and lucky for me my dad is a runner too. Six weeks before the race, I called him up and after thoroughly convincing him that he wouldn’t have to wear any kind of “costume” he agreed.  That morning as he sat down in the seat, I was thinking, “Why, am I doing this? I am going to freeze!”  I have to fill you in with the fact that we moved from Southern California and back to where there are now seasons, four distinct ones to be exact.  Driving down the road I summon up the courage to look at the temperature reading on the dashboard of my Jeep.  It screams back at me with that bright green hue 38 degrees.  Seriously. 

We arrive and find a place to park and head on up to the start line.  Before taking our place, we stand in line to use the infamous race port-a-potty.  This is one of the situations in my life (next to the monthly thing) that I wish I was a man.  I proceed to pull down and pull up all of my layers while trying to feel what I am supposed to feel.  You get the idea.  Ms. SoCal girl forgot her gloves, or should I say it did not cross my mind to bring them.  Rest assured that it was the first thing on my mind in that bathroom and I was kicking myself  for my hands being red and frozen.

After stumbling out the door I reach the facet where water comes out via the foot pump.  So here I am pumping this make-shift sink with my foot and anxious to get the 5 million germs off of my hands, when at that moment, the water hits my hands and it is ICE COLD.  Why again would I have thought that it would have been warm since it was probably sitting out all night?  After peeling off the layer of ice (of course I am exaggerating, but darn it that’s what it felt like) on my hands, I looked at my watch and realized it was almost time. 

We take our place. The gun goes off and the race begins.  I start running and slowly I began to notice all of the costumes and the original reason that I was excited.  I became intrigued by what I saw and made it a game to take notice of all the varieties of costumes.  Witches, ghosts and goblins were the norm, however there were a few that stood out in my mind;  The Jedi knight, the jockey with the horse actually attached to him, JFK, a fly with huge wings which clearly affected his equilibrium.  Unless, he was just drunk which I would have had to be to wear that awful contraption! Of course I cannot forget the yellow M&M.  He stood out in my mind the most because that was my favorite color as a child and M&M’s were so yummy.  Who am I kidding?  They still are!

The M&M Runner

After I locked my eyes on him, I started to feel sorry for the poor guy.  His running form was all over and he was sweating, a lot.  But, there was a smile on his face.  Not to mention a smile on mine and many others.  After a couple of miles I began to warm up and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  MJ would have been proud that “Thriller” was played on almost every street corner and that the crowd was having just as much fun as the runners, if not more.  With 2 miles left, my competitiveness started to kick in and I set my eyes on the witch in front of me.  Just as I was about to pass her, she veered off to the side.  It was then that I realized that little voices were saying, “Mommy, mommy, we are so proud of you”.  I turned to see two little girls around three and six hugging their mom.  I had to rub my eyes to clearly see.  It was then that I was brought back to my original state of mind.  Take it slow and enjoy the ride, er run.

 

Happy Halloween Mr. M&M guy and everyone!