Life Lately, Vol. 4

October 16, 2017

Life has a (not so) funny way of falling apart so bigger and better things can fall into place.


I've been wanting to write this post since I moved out of Maryland for good, but between settling in and starting a new job, that wasn't at the top of my list. After all, life happens and more important things deserve as much focus and energy as possible.

Honestly, though, being busy wasn't all of it. I realized part of me was putting this post off because I haven't wanted to sit down and sort through all my thoughts and feelings. In a nutshell, this last month has been a rough road.

So, how did it all start? With heartbreak. I didn't see the breakup coming and, when you live together in preparation for the future, it's an even harder pill to swallow. Over three years together and still today I have no explanation. No closure. (Though looking back, I saw some writing on the wall, shall we say.)

Through all of that, I realized something: I wanted to move back home to Pennsylvania.

Then I realized it has been something I wanted to do for a few years. Years! But I figured the longer I stayed in Maryland, the more I'd grow out of feeling like I needed to move home. Never mind the fact that anytime I'd drive home to visit, I'd cry as I left to drive back to Maryland. Or when I talked to my Mom every week and heard about all the family time I was missing out on, my heart hurt. Each time I had that feeling, I told myself it'd be fine. Life would go on and home just wasn't in the cards for me.


Life did go on - and then I found myself single and making the decision to start job searching in PA. Before I knew it I was interviewing and then offered the job just an hour after leaving my interview!

It's been four weeks since I've been back with my family and I'm the happiest I've been in years.

The joy I feel to be in the land of spotty wifi, one lane bridges, roads without lines, farmland, and Steeler Sundays is unmatched. I've traded the hustle and bustle of Maryland for the occasional "traffic" jams of Amish buggies, turkeys, and tractors. My drive to work is longer than it's ever been, but I am finally part of a company I love with a President that respects and appreciates everyone. I don't dread work weeks and know this is where I belong. I'm more relaxed, calm, and care-free. For the first time in a long time, I'm happy.

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My hobbies currently include: pet sitting, missing the mountains of Utah, volunteering at a local fall festival, and enjoying family time. I've even been taking some time off from the gym and even though it's been unplanned, it's been a much needed reset.

As hard as the past several weeks (heck, months) have been, I'm grateful for one door closing and a new chapter beginning. I'm learning a lot about myself..... and others. I've learned it's nearly impossible to suppress feelings, they'll just continue to consume you. I've learned who my true friends are, and to hold them close. I've learned what (and who) deserves my energy. I've learned I'm stronger than I know. I've learned that there is nothing more important than family and there's no place like HOME.

Good or bad - everything happens for a reason. Happy Monday, fit fam! I promise there will be many more regular posts coming!

My Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Experience

August 31, 2017

It's only been four days since I was in Philadelphia for the  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and I am still smiling when I think of the amazing time I had.

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To say that it was a fun experience is a total understatement. For those of you that followed along across my social media channels - thank you! If you missed anything, hopefully this post will help you get an idea of what a 3-Day event is like.

I can sum it up pretty quickly: an experience unlike any other! However, I can't not share some of my favorite memories, photos, and perhaps the most important... some things I learned from my first 3-Day event.

Friday

The Opening Ceremony was an emotional kick-off to the 3-Day and one of the events of the weekend I won't forget. Men and women shared why they were walking and to hear their stories was so inspiring.

The route was through several neighborhoods and there were SO many residents that had cheering stations along the way. Some even had music playing which really put a pep in my step!

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We also walked through Bra Street. (Um, can I live here? Seriously.) I saw photos of this from past events and let me tell you the pictures don't do it justice. The street was lined with bras, music was blastin', and it was just one big party. Let's do it again!

Saturday

In my opinion this was the toughest day to walk. Friday I pretty much power walked because I was so excited and everyone's energy just made my feet go faster. However, by Saturday afternoon, my feet and calves hurt so bad I had to head back to camp early... even after much debate. As much as I wanted to finish the full route, I decided to rest up in hopes of being able to walk all day Sunday.

Needless to day, the one lesson I was reminded of on this particular day was to listen to my body. Walking 20 miles a day for three days isn't easy and by the middle of the day, my body had had enough. Sometimes it's best to rest and recharge so you can come back stronger. (And avoid injury.)

Sunday

Sunday's route was all through downtown Philly and it was so cool! I haven't been to Philly in over 10 years so it was fun to play tourist. We walked through the Philadelphia Zoo, Kelly Street, the Rocky steps, and we even passed an Eagles practice! (I wish I had my terrible towel to wave, ha!)

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I've never given so many high-fives in my life than I did over the course of these three days, but let's just say I still want to high-five everyone I pass!

What I Learned


Since it was my first 3-Day experience, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Of course I had an idea by seeing posts from 3-Day events in other cities, but until you actually live it yourself, ya just don't fully know. Ya know?

I learned a lot, especially in my first day, so of course I'm sharing 'em all with you!

Blister protection = essential. I got a lot of advice from walkers who have done several 3-Day events and they recommended seamless socks, friction block, as well as switching out your socks halfway throughout the day. I was also told to try rubbing vaseline all over your feet before putting socks on (even just to bed if you already have blisters like I did) and I'm still shocked at how well it worked! Who knew?!

Slides over flip flops. I realized this the very first night as I was hanging out at camp, barely able to walk because my feet hurt. Flip flops are fine for showering - but bring slides to wear in the evening when you are eating dinner and enjoying camp festivities. (These slides are my favorite!) I even had a fellow walker give me the same advice when she saw me limping, haha!

Use the Medical Crew. I am not exaggerating when I say I was in the medical tent 2-3 times a day. They are there to help! And not just in a case of emergency. They also treat blisters and roll out tight muscles which was SO helpful for me!

Fun fact: my first night I met Vicky because she rolled out my very tight calves. After that, I saw her three times a day (in the morning before breakfast, at lunch, and in the evening at camp) so she could loosen my calf muscles. She was great! We became BFF's real fast. ;)

Airplane Mode. I don't know about you, but I love taking photos. And I knew I'd be taking tons of photos all three days as I was walking which can drain your battery very quickly. Thank goodness for airplane mode! It conserves your battery and you can still snap photos! That really helped my battery last all day until I could get to camp to recharge.

You're Never Alone. Even though I was a solo walker, I met so many people along the way that were eager to add another person to their group. It was awesome! We walked, talked, and shared stories, laughs, and sunscreen. There is even a solo walkers area where people can meet on the first day to get to know each other. I certainly never felt alone!

Use the sweep vans. Much like the medical crew, the sweep vans are incredibly helpful when you need a break from walking. I loved that each one had a different theme, too. Two of my favorites were the S.S. Nauti-Girl and America the Boob-iful. lol!

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I had a great three days walking, seeing Philadelphia sights, and meeting people, but I will never forget their stories and spirit.... long after my blisters heal. In just three days, 60 miles, and over 124,000 steps, I met breast cancer survivors, those still fighting each day, women who lost friends, men who lost their mom or wife, and many more. It was really eye-opening for me because I realized just how much breast cancer affects everyone. Overall, the event had 400 walkers and $1.1M was raised. That's quite a big step closer in the fight against breast cancer!

Just in case you missed it, you can read about why I walked in the 3-Day here - and if you're walking in an upcoming 3-Day, check out my training schedule and packing list!

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If you're looking into participating in the 3-Day yourself, I'm giving you a virtual high-five! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day schedule for 2018 is already online - I'd love for you to join in on the fight against breast cancer!


This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.