NYC Marathon: A Triumph of the Spirit

November 9, 2010 at 7:28 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 7 Comments
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The NYC marathon was just this past Sunday. This annual event holds a special place in my heart and has been intertwined in my life since I was a little girl.

You see, my father was a marathon runner. He ran ten marathons in his career, including a comeback race three years after suffering a heart attack. The marathon brought the whole family together on the streets of New York where we’d wait in rain and cold to catch a glimpse of my father halfway through the race. We were all in awe of him and so proud.

When we met him at the finish line, there was always this sense of peace, mixed in with exhaustion, that took over. He was accomplished, every time, even if it took six hours. He stood there, huddled in his traditional wrap with his medal around his neck. He even gave me a few of his medals.

My father always told me that the marathon was a triumph of the spirit, and I was always in awe of those who could complete such an arduous task.

I told him when I was 18 I would run the marathon. I am now 27 and I have not come anywhere close to doing so. I have not yet developed a dedication for running. I actually did start running at the same time as I started this blog, but it only lasted for 3 months before famous excuses like business trips and summer heat got in the way. I have yet to pick up and try again.

I wonder if I ever will run the marathon. My father was in his 40s when he ran it. Maybe it’s a goal I’ll reach at a later time in my life. If I ever do, I know my father will be my inspiration.

Congrats to all the runners from Sunday’s race! You are truly an inspiration to us all.

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Stretch Armstrong No More

May 27, 2010 at 7:51 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 3 Comments
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When I was young, I was very athletic.  I played soccer, softball, danced, swam.  I was good at any sport I tried.  In fifth grade, I was awarded the Presidential Physical Fitness Award – I was the only girl that got this award that year, which tested speed, agility, strength, and flexibility against a national standard.  In 4th grade, I had a good friend who took gymnastics.  During recess, she would teach me new moves.  I could do hand stands, cartwheels, round-offs, splits.  I was pretty good for not having any training.  She tried to teach me how to do a front handspring, and what we ended up with was a hybrid of a handspring and a flip.  It kind of became my signature move.  It looked pretty cool, especially when I got the landing perfectly (it was easy to over shoot it, and sometimes, under shoot it).  I used this special trick in our 6th grade talent show, and probably pulled it out a few more times over the years.

But as I got older, I became less and less flexible.  I didn’t keep up with sports in high school.  I had better things to do – at least more interesting things to do – at the time.  I didn’t totally give up on fitness.  In college, I took several gym courses and even taught one.  I worked at a gym near my hometown and went there regularly for a number of years.  I really loved to take classes and lift weights.

When I was away in college, I worked at a nearby elementary school in their after school program.  Somehow, I got myself looped into doing my special trick in a gymnastics routine for their talent show.  Mind you – I am about 20 or 21 years old at this point.  I started doing this thing when I was like 9.  When I found that I could still do it, I was in shock.  But it took a lot more nerve to do it.  I was so much more afraid than I was when I was young.  When does that fear develop?  So strange.

So yes, I could still do this move, even with the fear. But what it did to my body was just insane.  I literally could not move for days.  My back, my spine was just killing me.  I felt like an actual old person.  I don’t think that if I kept up with any of my sports activities, it would have made a difference.  I think (gulp) I’m just too old for this kind of behavior.

I will always remember my athletic triumphs. How I beat all the boys in the rope climbing competition in 4th grade, my amazing high pop catch in a split in 5th grade which landed me a much coveted spot on the in field.  But I have to understand that my body isn’t what it used to be.  I’m not a kid anymore!  Sigh.

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