Realize How Great You Are

Last week I ran into a professor I had freshman year of college. I had taken a speech class with her and she had really liked me. It was nice running into her and catching up but she said something to me that changed my entire view on myself.

We were talking about a recent scholarship I’d received and she commented on how I had always been a great speaker and that my speeches were always wonderful. I thanked her and then she said to me, “The thing about you, in your speeches, and I’m sure in all aspects of your life, is that you never knew how great you were. Your speeches were always wonderful but you just never got how great you were.”

Long after our conversation ended what she had said stayed with me. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that I didn’t actually know how great I was. I didn’t actually know the impact that I had on other people or my role in their lives. I didn’t know how great my personality was or my smile or my heart. I realized that I honestly had no clue about who I really was.

My entire life I have allowed negative thoughts to destroy my confidence. I have let my negative view of myself diminish who I really was.

But I have to stop. I have to realize that who I am and who I work towards becoming every single day is special. I am one of a kind and I am great. No, I am not perfect, and there is a long list of things I wish that I could change about myself but for now, in this moment, I know that in some aspects, to some people, that I am great. I have to hold on to that greatness and never settle for less.

I deserve to lead a life where the people in it see me as great and that is what I’m fighting for, starting with me.

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November Project

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I finally did it!

After wanting to try November Project, a free, grass-roots fitness project that started right here in Boston, for over a year, I have finally done it!

My best fitness friend, Stephanie and I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to make our way to Harvard Stadium to run some stairs. It was early but we were both very excited. As known fitness freaks we could barely wait to try some new fitness adventure together.

My anxiety and excitement the night before had resulted in sleep that took the form of the night before Christmas rest, agitated and aware with a hint of awe.

After walking the half a mile from the train station to the stadium we were a little intimidated and a little struck by how big the stairs actually were. These weren’t your normal run the mill stairs, these were apparently steps made for giants, giants who were in very good shape I might add.

There were plenty of people easily making their way up the massive stairs but also some slow movers. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, but I was no match for these things.

I usually managed to run about halfway up the steps and then I would lose momentum and have to walk/jog up the last few to the top. I was also slow coming down because they are very steep and I was scared.

After ten sections Stephanie and I called it quits with burning quads and tight calves. But even with the extreme exertion and heavy breathing November Project had cast its spell on me, and now I want to go back.

It was early, and difficult, and a struggle, but I was enjoying time with a close friend while working up a sweat and afterwards I couldn’t help but think that I could do more sets. So next Wednesday Stephanie and I will be attacking those giant stadium stairs again, with a goal of 12-15, closer to the 15 side, and we will get there!

You Make It

I have waited my whole life for someone to make me happy. I have waited twenty years for someone to make me feel whole and special and well, to put it simply, perfect.

What I didn’t know was that I didn’t need anyone else to make my life feel perfect. I only needed myself.

The way I see it, I can either spend my whole life waiting and doing nothing of value, or I can commit my life to living with zest and purpose and happiness. I want my life to be perfect, but I want to create that form of perfect. I have no desire to define myself by someone else’s standards of perfect. I want to be happy and I want to do it all by myself.

Strive to do one thing a day that makes your moments perfect. Drink a cup of your favorite tea, read a chapter of your favorite book, go for a run. Don’t sacrifice the things you love in the name of your busy life, choose to use them as a way to add some perfect to your life, to add some beauty and happiness.

You make the moments and the miracles and the happiness, so focus on creating your very own version of perfect, every day.

What is the Value of Fitness?

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To me, running is an art. The movement of your legs, swiftly filing one foot in front of the other takes an amount of skill not widely recognized by the human race. The swing of your arms and placement of your hands in a rhythmic dance with your breathing makes running something truly special.

What is most fantastic about the art of running is that anyone can do it.

I am a runner. I love it and find it to be the most wonderful and exhilarating form of exercise that I have tried to date. But, what is the value of running? Or more importantly, what do I lose when I log only miles?

To be fit as a fiddle you have to vary your workouts. I hate this fact. If I could run every day for the rest of my life I would, but I will not get a better, more in shape body that way.

I will never truly reach my peak fitness if I don’t hop on the spin bike once in awhile or reach for a yoga mat.

The value of fitness is found in trying new things. A gym membership no longer holds the same value that it used to because hitting the elliptical and lifting weights five days a week doesn’t yield appropriate or satisfying results.

So this is an introduction to my new series, The Value of Fitness. My main goal is to try out as many new and challenging fitness regimens as possible, without breaking the bank of course, and for you to come along on the ride with me.

Join me as I tackle CrossFit, the November Project, the Orange Zone, Yoga, Spin, and so much more. What is most important is that I will be trying out these things in as many free ways as I can and reporting back to you on their worth. So stay tuned for fit fun in the evolving Boston fitness scene!