Monday, October 28, 2013

My Top Ten Secrets to Living a Fabulously Fun Life

I have been incredibly blessed with a Joyful and Fabulously Fun life.  This is something that does not happen overnight.  You must be mindful and consciously make key life choices.  These choices lead to actions that will direct you towards a life that is meaningful, full of amazing experiences, cultivating continuous strong relationships, and an appreciation to live each day to the fullest.

10. Try your Luck at Contests.  Somebody has to be a Winner!  I cannot tell you how fortunate I have been to win several contests!  I have had some amazing life experiences because of winning multiple contest's!  Ironically, after I wrote this blog post today (and before it was published) I won a radio contest from Fresh FM 94.7!  I am going to an intimate show featuring Matt Nathanson (about 20 people will attend) tomorrow afternoon and I also won 2nd row concert tickets to his amazing show tomorrow night! "I'm a Great Believer in Luck" ~ Thomas Jefferson quote

9. Be Persistent.  If it is something you really want, do everything you can do, to Make Things Happen. You may need to get creative but it is worth the extra effort. "One quality all successful people have is persistence." ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers quote

8. Find Your Passion.  This will carry over to other area's of your life.  You will wake up energized with the mindset of asking yourself, "What can I do to make the world a better place?"  If you are passionate, people will see this in you.  Through your actions, you will inspire people around you to find their passion too.   "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Meade quote
7. Treat Everyone you meet with Respect whether it is the CEO of a company, a new acquaintance, the cashier at the grocery store, or the bus driver.  People appreciate it and will remember you.  My Dad is my Master Teacher on this one! "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forgot what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou quote

6. Think Positive.  For good things to happen, you must believe in the best possible outcome.  Hope must be alive to carry you through the difficult times in your life. Positive thoughts will create positive experiences. "The person who sends out positive thoughts, activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results." ~ Norman Vincent Peale
5. Practice Kindness. By practicing kindness, you will begin to understand that living each day is not just about your life but it is about helping other people.  What you put into the Universe will be returned to you.  Be mindful of the words you speak and your actions. Take time to volunteer.  Raise money for charity. Randomly do something kind for a neighbor, friend or stranger. "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." ~ Albert Einstein quote

4. Embrace Opportunity.  I am the Queen of this philosophy.  I tell my kids all the time "If you don't ask, you will not receive." Take the time to break away from your bubble and put yourself out into the Universe.  Take action steps to create an opportunity and when it knocks on your door, make every effort to embrace it.  You may need to jump through hoops but it will be worth it.  You must also be observant because sometimes opportunity is brilliantly disguised. "Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities, stronger men make them." ~ Orison Swett Marden quote

3. Seek out new friendships and cultivate existing relationships.  Being a military brat, I thrived on meeting new people and appreciated every friendship formed.  If we connect and become friends, I am your forever friend.  It sounds exhausting to many, the thought of building new friendship's or as they call it in the business world "networking" but if you do not take the time to do this, you are closing yourself up.  Open the door to learning from other people and embrace new friendship's. "If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere." ~ Zig Ziglar quote
My family jokes about my insane Christmas card list but I take pride in keeping in touch with my friends.  The memories and experiences we share are a part of who I am.  I make a conscious effort to be in touch and stay connected because in the end, it is not our "things" that we will be thankful for.  It is those people, who have touched our lives, in big and small ways that we will cherish. "No friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever." ~ Francois Muriac quote

2. Express Gratitude. Every day I am aware of the goodness in the world.  I strive to be not only kind but gracious.  In college, I was selected as "Miss Gracious Living" in my sorority because my sorority sister's witnessed my actions as conscientious.  My Mom is my Master Teacher on living a life with gratitude.  You must appreciate Everything that you are given. Ask yourself when is the last time you said "thank you" via words or actions. Everyday we have an opportunity to appreciate the goodness in our world and to be grateful.  "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." ~ Epictetus quote

1. Relish the Moment.  Once you begin to recognize that every single experience is truly a gift, your life will change dramatically. From the moment you wake up to when you go to sleep, stop and appreciate.  Each moment you experience is an opportunity to experience joy whether it is having coffee with a friend, being a chaperone on your kid's field trip, sharing a meal with your family, being front row at an awesome concert, or going on an amazing vacation! Our future is not guaranteed and your mind must be present in what is happening at that very moment. "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." ~ Omar Khayyam 

*BONUS SECRET* And of course, I believe everyone should Run a Marathon (if this is physically possible for you)! I promise that crossing the 26.2 Finish Line will change your life forever and open up your world to limitless opportunities. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Embrace the Race

I am writing this at my chiro's office while receiving my weekly "maintenance" treatment, ever since embarking on an epic Fall race schedule!  I have a few minutes before the doctor arrives so I thought I'd take advantage of my "free" time and my blogger app!

This month alone might be the highest mileage that I have ever ran in one month.  I would know for sure if I had only kept tabs on my mileage.  But I am a runner who doesn't get caught up in the number's game.  I simply enjoy the experience of lacing up, getting out there and being free.

I want to write race re-caps on the fast and fun Philly Rock-n-Roll Half that I ran in Sept, and for October, the epic DC Ragnar Relay, the amazing Chicago marathon, and most recently, the slow and steady Army Ten Miler!  On Sunday, I will run the Marine Corps Marathon - my 3rd MCM/6th marathon!  And next month will be my finale Fall race - the JFK 50 Miler!  It will be my second one and I will be attempting to shave off 2 hours of my time from last year.   I must do this in order to finish in the allotted time of 12 hours and not get pulled off the race course.  Last year, I finished the JFK 50, my first ultra, with three minutes to spare!

And I am running all these races with crazy obstacles to overcome, such as diagnosis' of pneumonia and chronic Lyme Disease.  I have been on antibiotics for one month and just began another month of antibiotic treatment. I don't like to discuss the next steps for chronic Lyme Disease treatment which involves IV antibiotics for one month and no running. 

However, I remain hopeful that my current treatment is working despite the fatigue I feel after each race. I embrace my rest days to recover.  After crossing each finish line, I am feeling stronger and believe that I am making a "comeback" in my race times.  I haven't had a PR yet but my times are much better than last Fall/this past Spring, when I suffered from extreme, debilitating pain in my left foot, most likely caused by the chronic Lyme. 

My goal with each race is not a PR (personal record) because then I wouldn't be able to run naked!  In the running world that means not running with a GPS watch!  My goal is to embrace the race and cherish all the goodness that each race brings!  For me, it is important to finish strong or "Swirl Strong," a tagline that me and my Swirl Sister's - my fellow Swirlgear Brand Ambassador's - like to use, when we celebrate our athletic accomplishments!

With my two most challenging races approaching quickly, I would appreciate any good vibes and cyber cheers you can send my way!  They are greatly appreciated! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cavalia’s Odysseo: Riding into a world of beauty and nature!

The latest buzz in Washington, DC, besides the furlough, is the arrival of Cavalia’s Odysseo!  I recently had the opportunity to get an inside sneak peak at the latest Big White Top to arrive at National Harbor in MD. 

Cavalia’s Odysseo is the largest touring show in the world featuring a show of beauty, 64 horses and 49 artists that takes the audience into a “world of dreams” according to the artistic director, Normand Latourelle.  This show is a journey of how people and animals can live together in peace.  The horses are an integral part of the show and are symbolic as they are portrayed as “the speakers of nature,” and provide the inspiration behind this magical show created by Normand Latourelle.  It promises to be a wild ride combining the talents of horses and acrobats. 



Cavalia Odysseo Artistic Director, Normand Latourelle, and me, with the Big White Top as our background


Cavalia’s Odysseo dazzles audiences with its array of beauty that transcends into your soul and allows one to escape the difficult times of the modern world.  The experience will leave a lingering impression with the hope that one will continue to search for beauty and peace, when interacting with nature and animals.


Upon arriving at National Harbor, you will immediately see the 125 feet tall Big White Top canvasing the landscape.  Inside, you will find a masterpiece stage that has been carefully crafted together to create the largest touring stage in the world, 17,500 square feet, larger than two football fields.  The impressive backdrop is comprised of three high definition IMAX screens.  A magnificent carousal with porcelain horses is centered in the middle of the stage.
A special feature with this show is the finale with 80,000 gallons of water being released on the stage for the horses to enjoy!  If you are sitting in the first couple of rows, near the stage, you might have the possibility of being splashed with water! 

Below is a photo of where the stage will be and the water will magically appear, in front of the audience, to create a spectacular grand finale!

Cavalia’s Odysseo is a family friendly show.  Kids of all ages will find it magical, as the four legged stars gallop onto the stage and talented acrobats, from all over the world, will entice the imagination.  Cavalia’s Odysseo will premiere under the Big White Top at National Harbor, MD, on Wednesday, October 9th through November 3rd.  Tickets for Cavalia’s Odysseo are now on sale online or by calling 1-866-999-8111.  As a result of the Federal Government shutdown, all tickets (except VIP) are half price through Tuesday, October 8th.  Hurry and buy your tickets today before this awe inspiring show gallops away!