Life Without Boot Camp…

“I found every single successful person I’ve ever spoken to had a turning point.

The turning point was when they made a clear, specific unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this anymore; they were going to achieve success.

Some people make that decision at 15 and some people make it at 50, and most people never make it at all.”

Brian Tracy

haha you know it's true!

In case anyone is wondering (or worried) I am continuing to survive my time without boot camp (just barely ūüėČ ).¬† Only one more day to go, and it will take nothing short of an act of God to keep me from class tomorrow night!!!!!¬† I have been continuing to use my Jackie Extreme Timesaver Workout DVD and adding additional exercise reps to keep myself from completely withdrawing.¬† Meanwhile, I continue to wait for my Insanity DVDs to arrive (it’s taking FOREVER!!!- or maybe it just feels like it and I’m being dramatic…).

As an added workout, Adam and I hit the climbing gym today.¬† It was the first time I had been there in a long time, and I was surprised that my harness was really loose when I pulled it on. (I’d say Woohoo for boot camp weight loss, but I have actually gained (stupid muscle weighing more than fat!)…so instead I’ll says Woohoo for inches lost in all the right places!)¬† Luckily, it still fit once I synched it down.¬† I was a little nervous about my arms being fatigued after all the upper body work I did in my morning workout; however, once we began climbing I was excited to find that my endurance was dramatically improved.¬† Unfortunately, my technique was totally off- apparently rock climbing is not like riding a bicycle.¬† Shocking, I know!

Prior to boot camp, I had to rely primarily on maneuvering my body efficiently to get up to the top.¬† Now that I have significantly more strength, my initial impulse was just to power up using my new and improved muscles.¬† Of course, this was not nearly as effective.¬† Looks like I’ll be needing to brush up on my skills.

Overall, it was still lots of fun. I would definitely recommend rock climbing to anyone looking for a fun, challenging total body workout.¬† This is definitely the most sore I’ve been in a long time!¬† Hopefully I can still move tomorrow!

Finally, in case anyone needs a laugh or a little inspiration, I wanted to share a couple links.¬† The first is a blog called “My Time is Now”¬† (also now located in my blogroll) which is written by a friend and fellow boot camper.¬† She is truly a thriver in my book –in addition to being one of the most inspiring, driven, caring, and compassionate people I’ve ever met. She’s risen above circumstances that would have caused others to crumble, and actually has a second blog I’d recommend that chronciles her mother’s battle with stage IV lung cancer.

Then- to help you clear up the tears– all my runner friends out there should check out this post by the Tortoise Runs for a good laugh.

One more funny thing for good measure:

Oh, I would also like to point out that I have added my trainer/boot camp instructor’s blog to my blogroll as well.¬† He was jealous insulted that I had added Kelly’s first, in spite of the fact that I regularly rave about how awesome he and boot camp are and frequently link to his page in my posts… (You knew I would call you out, right? ;-p I know, extra burpees tomorrow. Bring it on! lol)¬† Seriously though, his blog has some great advice and recipes.

¬† That’s all for tonight folks!¬† I hope you all are enjoying what’s left of your weekend!!!!

Post Marathon Ick

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon.

There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”


Life post marathon has been slightly less than riveting.¬† I have been experiencing what some (including Adam) have dubbed post marathon ick.¬† My body has developed a cross between mono and the flu with the result being pure general discomfort, associated nausea, and exhaustion despite sleeping most hours of the day.¬† Yesterday, I didn’t even feel well enough to check my email (gasp!) let alone blog.¬† Luckily, I think I am on the mend.

I have still not had my post marathon epiphany.¬† I think it’s because I didn’t feel like I conquered the distance the way I did with the half.¬† I knew I could have¬† run it better- especially if I had stretched my IT bands better the week before.¬† The back- to-back boot camp sessions the Monday before definitely left my legs fatigued, but I can still say I don’t regret having done it.¬† It was great mental prep, and I was still able to finish.

That being said, I am already trying to sort out what marathon to run next.¬† Initially, I didn’t want to ever think about pursuing that type of torture again.¬† Through more than half of the run, I was telling Adam it was my first and last.¬† However, just a couple days out from finishing, I have noticed that I’m not sore.¬† The only thing that bothered me afterward was my IT bands- which are already much better thanks to my trusty foam roller.¬† This absolutely tells me I could have run harder.

Despite not having a major life changing moment, actually completing a marathon has dramatically changed my perspective on a few things. First and foremost, it has lit a fire under my you-know-what.¬† Initially, I viewed the marathon as an end point.¬† It was my last big goal before some much need rest.¬† However, now that I did it (and know I can do better) I am already scheming for my next big race.¬† I knew I would want another challenge, but never imagined it would be another marathon- not in a million years.¬† Instead of being an endpoint, my first marathon has become a spring-board to a world of endless possibilities. After all, even though it may have been torture for 5 hrs, it didn’t kill me.¬† Truthfully, it didn’t even make me that sore.¬† I was in far worse shape post 1000 rep boot camp than I was after the marathon, so why not keep at it?

It took 26.2 miles to make me realize and appreciate just how driven I am.¬† I made it through 5+ hours of absolute suck- in spite of the pain, tears, and exhaustion.¬† I set a goal that took months of dedication and training to achieve, and I accomplished it.¬† Sure, it wasn’t my best running day- but I have my whole life ahead of me.¬† Even Adam took over 5 hrs to finish his first marathon.¬† I wanted to make a difference, and I did.¬† I raised money and awareness for a cause I believe in, and that makes finishing so much more meaningful.¬† I don’t know that I could have pushed myself as hard as I did if I wasn’t constantly reminding myself of the physical and emotional anguish that the victims of domestic violence endure on a daily basis.¬† My discomfort during the race was nothing in comparison to what these women go through; and it was a small price to pay to show them I care.¬† That is why I plan on continuing to run in honor of victims of abuse and continuing the Running for the Color Purple Campaign. ūüôā

On the Edge

“We all have a comfort zone where everything feels safe and familiar. We tend to not want to venture beyond it, however if we allow ourselves to stay there we will not be challenged, experience personal growth, or learn new and exciting things. In other words, we would stagnate.”

It’s taken me a little while to get to posting.¬† Besides the usual being super busy, I just wasn’t sure what to write about.¬† I have been really on-edge lately, and that has really been bugging me.¬† Wednesday we leave for California and my first Tough Mudder.¬† As excited as I am about getting away and finishing my first obstacle race, I am also equally stressed.¬†¬† I have been pushing myself way outside my comfort zone recently, and this will be another HUGE step.¬† I know I can finish, but I am terrified of a few of the obstacles- specifically the electric shock and under water tunnels.¬† Being underwater makes me claustrophobic.¬† I even hyper-ventilate when I snorkel.¬† I am a little worried that going into a dark tunnel, underwater is going to give me a panic attack.¬† On the bright side, I know that Adam will be there to look out for me; and that is a huge relief!¬† Just knowing he’s there gives me that little boost to push myself a little firther than I would have otherwise.

It is so easy for me to get frustrated with myself for being worn out and stressed, while completely overlooking all the progress I have made recently.¬† I have been more social- spending time not only with my own friends, but with Adam’s.¬† I have let my guard down and really enjoyed the company of new people in my life.¬† I also have tried knee boarding for the first time, and even picked it up quickly!¬† I didn’t think about falling or hurting myself; I just went for it.¬† Adam and his friends were all impressed- they told told me I looked like a professional. lol¬† I think that was a little gracious.¬† They were also all very supportive of my marathon training. It meant a lot to me, since a few of them are marathon and obstacle race veterans!

Tonight I have Boot Camp Session #3, and tomorrow the plan is for a 17 mile run (GPS watch permitting).¬† I have my new hot pink compression sleeves to try out.¬† ūüôā¬† I am hoping to squeeze in a morning Boot Camp Session before we fly out Wednesday too!¬† Saturday will be the first of the three big races milestones (Tough Mudder, Diva Half Marathon, and Hartford Marathon) I have planned for the fall.¬† I feel like everything is starting to happen so quickly now!!!¬† I am looking forward to getting through all of it and taking a much need break. lol

As far as my missing tapeworm post- it was about how all this training has turned me into the “hungry catepillar” (complete with picture!) and what a chore eating all day has become.¬† I am always hungry!¬† If I don’t eat every 2 hours, I get light-headed and my stomach growls loudly like it has a mind of its own.¬† Training and eating have taken over my life!!! I don’t even want to look at food anymore.¬† There’s no fun in eating. ¬† It’s become a challenge to shovel in protein wherever I can get it, as frequently as possible; because despite stuffing my face all day everyday, I still seem to be losing weight.¬† lol

Anyway, there are far worse things I could be plagued with than binge eating and still losing pounds.¬† I hope everyone takes a step outside his/her comfort zone this week!!!¬† Thank you for reading!¬† Questions and comments are always welcome. ūüôā

Here's the proof!

Chafing is no fun…

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
Wayne Dyer

Or you could run enough miles to eat the whole package of cookies and still not feel guilty- then throw in some boot camp for good measure. ūüėČ

I debated whether to name this post “I make mud look good” or “Chafing is no fun”… and the title went to the one I felt more strongly about.

Today I went for a 3 hour run.¬† My initial goal was 15 miles, but I couldn’t figure out how to work Adam’s GPS watch and figured 3 hours would be close enough.¬† That is exactly how long I made it before my gait started to resemble a drunken sailor, and I called Adam to come rescue me.¬† I stopped at a gas station less than 2 miles from home.¬† I knew I could push myself the rest of the way, but it would be at the expense of over-doing it (again).¬† I didn’t want to risk another sideline, especially when my joints were already screaming from running on the pavement- and I knew I still had a boot camp class to make.¬† To reward him for the effort of dragging himself out of bed to get me, I bought Adam a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream (his favorite flavor) while I waited.¬† I also purchased a package of Vienna Fingers (no not the little one- the big one!), which I promptly dug into while the patrons pumping gas looked on with bewildered expressions (largely, I’m sure, owing to the fact that I was soaked and covered in mud).

I had just enough time in between my run and my evening torture session to grab some lunch with Adam.  I made it a point not to stuff myself with the hopes of decreasing the amount of workout related nausea ahead of me.  Overall the second class went well.  I only got light headed a couple times and barely had any nausea.  The work out was tough, but totally rewarding- I was especially proud to have managed the entire 60 push-ups scattered throughout the hour.  Adam was there to cheer me on and coach me through many of them, which I immensely appreciated.

So today I give myself a gold star for motivation!¬† My calves feel like jello, but my hot pink compression sleeves are due to arrive tomorrow, and I’m hoping they will help!¬† I am also hoping to get one more long run in before we leave for Cali and the NorCal Tough Mudder.

The downside of my ambitious workout- I have so much chafing on my back and chest from carrying my weighted down hydration pack that I am pretty much covered in itchy, raised, pink blotches.¬† I have scars on my collar bones from where the straps cut in; and scars, scrapes, and bruises all over my legs from all the debris and branches I get tangled in when I’m on the trails.¬† It’s all pretty sexy. ūüėČ

Not visible- my calves completely caked in mud

Thanks for reading!!! Comments and questions are always welcome.  Have a terrific evening everyone!

Weekend Update

Spend the afternoon.¬† You can’t take it with you.¬†

~Annie Dillard

Okay, so I have been slacking on the blogging lately.¬† Life has been so busy!¬† All good things, thankfully.¬† I have not managed any long runs since my last post, mostly due to lack of time issues.¬† However, I did get in some workouts at the gym.¬† I have spent an hour on the elliptical with the resistance maxed (and my hydration pack on to add some weight) on two separate occasions- the most recent being today.¬† When I first started running I couldn’t make it through a full hour without feeling like I would pass out or throw up- even without the resistance maxed.¬† Now I am plowing through that hour- even with extra weight!¬† Workouts like that help me realize just how much progress I’ve made. ūüôā

I have also been spending a lot more time stretching now that I got my foam roller in the mail.¬† The first time I used it I had flashbacks of physical therapy as a teenager.¬† The therapist would press on my IT band insertion point, and I would literally jump off the table.¬† This was the same pain.¬† The experience can be summarized in one word “OUCH!”¬† By the time I finished, it was much less tender, but I felt like I had deep bruises in my thighs for a whole day afterwards.¬† I am hoping this helps with the long runs!¬† I am also pleased to announce that I did not have any increased IT band issues after my 13 ish mile run, even without the benefit of the foam roller- something I am taking as an extremely positive sign.

Today I will be going out on the boat with Adam and some friends.¬† We’ve been trying to cram in as much time as possible out on the water before the weather gets to cold (part of the reason I have not had as much time to run).¬† It’s nice to get a change of scenery and actually be social (for a change!).¬† Although I have to admit it gets tiring at times to spend so much time around other people- being an introvert and all.¬† It is so worth the exhaustion at the end of the day though!¬† So far we have taken out my little sister- who loved every second of it, and a few of my friends from high school.¬† It was so great to see everyone have a good time, and especially to spend time with some special people I don’t get to see very often. ūüôā

That’s all for now!¬† Boot Camp starts tomorrow.¬† I will keep you all posted on how it goes.¬† In the meantime, I will be thriving.¬† I hope you all do the same and have a happy and healthy holiday weekend!!!!

Me and my BFF

When trails become streams…

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”¬†

~Author Unknown

I’m BACK!!!! It’s official!¬† Just shy of 13 miles today and only minimal IT band pain.¬† Wohoo!¬† lol¬† I’m so happy to FINALLY have gotten some mileage in.¬† Initially, Adam and I headed to Hopbrook (my favorite place to run), but it is completely under water.¬† We decided to do the Bridle Trail instead, which was slightly less damp.¬† The trail had turned into a fresh water stream in many places, which was actually pretty fun to run in.¬† Meanwhile, the small brook that typically runs along the gravel path had turned into class 5 rapids (See picture below).¬† We actually thought we heard traffic coming when we were crossing, but it turned out to be the water.¬† It was pretty impressive.

when brooks become rapids...



The first 6-7 miles were pretty easy, but my legs got pretty tired on the way back.  I was getting tangled in a lot of the debris from the storm, and Adam was light-years ahead of me.  He kept stopping or walking to give me time to catch up, and I felt kind of bad that I was running so slow.  I know there is a faster runner inside and I am determined to release her at some point!  I kept reminding myself that no matter how slow I was running, I was moving forward and still smiling- the 2 most important things.  Overall, the run went pretty well.  I was glad to have Adam there to show me a few new side trails and keep me from over-doing it.  Plus, he makes good company; and the view running behind him is not too bad either. lol  He even took pictures for me to adorn my blog.  He is so supportive!

Initially, when I was reading about many of the other bloggers who had run their first marathon, I noticed that a lot of them had a fair number of people cheering them on.  Many of them had photos holding flowers while posing with their finisher medals.  It made me want flowers when I finish!  Then I realized that I have something even better- a boyfriend who is willing to suffer through the 26.2 mile stretch with me to help motivate me and keep me going.  How lucky am I ?!   I am sure there are other things he would have rather been doing today than running through 13 miles of mud and debris, but he knew I would appreciate it.

In related news, I am looking into joining the boot camp program at my gym.¬† It looks like a lot of cross fit type training, and I’m hoping it will help me take my conditioning to the next level.¬† I also got an email today that my foam roller and cliff bloks shipped.¬† I am pretty excited! ūüôā

running through the stream




made it!!!

Top 10 Reasons I love trail running

“The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote‚ÄĒthe

wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon.

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and

cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk,

opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and

worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the

primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my

blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote

wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me‚ÄĒI am happy.”


AMLINGARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s,

February 1899

There are many reasons that I love hitting the trails.  Below I have listed a few from the top of my list:

1.¬† You can’t beat the scenery.¬† I love the unexpected sight of white tail deer, chipmunks, hawks, and other wildlife during my runs.

2.  The air is clean and refreshing.  There are no exhaust fumes running on trails; you can breath deeply without coughing or polluting your lungs.

3.  The ground is softer than running on the road or a track, and much easier on my joints.

4.  The serenity.  What could be more relaxing than being enveloped in trees and nature? Nothing makes me feel more rejuvenated.

5.¬† The challenge!¬† It’s a great workout!¬† The uneven terrain is great for working your stabilizing muscles, and the steep hills always push me to work harder.

6.¬† It’s full of surprises.¬† The landscape is always changing.¬† I never know who or what I might run into (or run on for that matter!).¬† I love the scenery changes, unexpected wildlife sightings, and the feeling of never knowing what may lie ahead when¬†running on a new trail.¬† I appreciate all¬†variation running under shaded trees, to open fields filled with wild flowers, to narrow paths, to steep inclines, to views of ponds and streams.

7.¬† It’s the only time I can enjoy classical music without falling asleep.¬† Classical music makes a great soundtrack to the scenery!¬† Plus, it keeps me relaxed and engaged in my surroundings, and helps me regulate my breathing when I’m working hard.

8. The sounds are relaxing.  I would much rather hear the tranquil sound of a running stream or the birds, frogs, and crickets chirping than the hustle and bustle of traffic.

9.¬† It’s a chance to enjoy nature.¬† There’s a connection to the earth that you just can’t get on the roads.

10. It’s fun! It always feels like work to me when I run on pavement; but hitting the trails gives me a chance to relax, stretch my legs, and clear my head-¬†despite the fact that ¬†it’s a better workout.¬† I miss the trails when I can’t run.¬† In fact, I get down right edgy.¬† I need that time with nature; it’s good for the soul. ūüôā


“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:

Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

-Jane Howard

(Quote on my Archangels workshop folder)

“Day 3 of the Thriver Retreat and I am drained.¬† I had nightmares overnight and didn’t get much sleep.¬† I am still missing my natural rhythm of running in the morning and have had difficulty shaking off lingering negativity.¬† I should have run this morning , but it’s too late to beat myself up over it.¬† I do anyway.¬† I feel guilty for not being more upbeat.¬† I don’t want to drag down the rest of the group.¬† I need to stop doing this.¬† I need to allow myself to feel off at times.¬†”

Above is my journal entry from this morning.

I spent this weekend at an Archangel Thriver Retreat at the Guest House in lovely Chester, CT.  It was both an energizing and exhausting experience.  That is part of the reason my blog posts have been delayed and are now coming in a flood.

Naturally being an introvert, I find spending time in groups extremely tiring.¬†¬† I can’t even handle long periods with my own family without getting worn out.¬† I need alone time to recharge.¬† Don’t get me wrong.¬† I truly enjoy other people’s company.¬† I want to feel connected like every other person, but this was a little too much of a good thing.¬† By the end of Day 2 I was over-extended and overwhelmed.

The lack of sleep that night only added to my fatigue.¬† By the morning of Day 3 I felt like I had nothing left to give.¬† I was drained.¬† Breakfast was a bit a of a solemn affair.¬† I could see the exhaustion I was feeling written on the faces of some of the other women.¬†¬† This made me feel a little better, a reminder that sometimes being off is normal and not a lingering remnant of abuse.¬† We looked like we had been to battle- in many ways we had.¬†¬† The retreat had pushed each of us outside our comfort zone and forced us to confront our inner critics.¬† Survivors of abuse have particularly loud inner critics (many times taking on the voices and comments of the past abusers).¬† It’s a constant struggle to keep them quiet.¬† It was clear the fight had worn on many of us.

The morning began by “opening the circle”, a chance for the group to meditate, offer prayer, share energy, and our thoughts of what we were grateful for.¬† There were many apologies mixed in.¬† Apparently many more people were experiencing low energy than I had realized.¬† I was clearly not alone.¬† Even Susan was not herself.¬† Sharing this knowledge helped us try to shake off the negativity and embrace the day.¬† Our theme of the retreat was “Fireworks”, inspired by Katie Perry’s hit song.¬† It was the first time I had actually read the lyrics.¬† They seemed so appropriate.

We let our colors burst by writing letters to ourselves from 6 months in the future.¬† We were supposed to envision all we’d have accomplished by then.¬† It was so wonderful to hear everyone’s positive vision of the next 6 months!¬† I was the last to read mine to the group.¬† I started strong but started to tear up (as usual).¬† I congratulated myself on finishing my first half and full marathon despite doubting that I could do it, for fundraising for charity, for having a successful blog that was reaching and inspiring other women and spreading the word about domestic abuse, for using my desire to help and heal others to overcome insecurities and my inner critic, for accepting myself and others, for no longer keeping people at arms length, for letting go of the lingering notion that I “make everyone around [me] miserable” (something that still haunts me from my abuse), and for finding volunteer work that was meaningful to me.¬†¬† It was a tall order, but I’ve always been one to aim high.

I also gave myself the task of organizing a road race as a fundraiser for CT-ALIVE.¬† It will be my first attempt at organizing any event, period.¬† I don’t know anything about how to host a road race, but I will very shortly!¬† It gave me a pit in my stomach on the ride home, and then I reminded myself that 1) I won’t be doing it alone, 2) even if I fail or it doesn’t work these women will support me and encourage me to keep trying, and 3) it will be COMPLETELY AMAZING if we actually pull it off!¬† After all, my goal is to help other victims and speak out, and this will be a terrific opportunity to not only spread the word about domestic abuse, but also about THRIVING.

As worn and exhausted as I returned home today, I was equally inspired!  I LOVE these women.  I have never experienced such unconditional support and understanding from a group, many of whom are practically strangers.  It is such a profoundly incredible  feeling to belong to such an empowered and optimistic network of women.

Here is another terrific music video that one of the beautiful ladies at the retreat shared: “I Love Me Better Than That” by Shirley Murdock

What is a Thriver?

“Sisterhood is many things. It’s a warm smile on a cold and rainy day, a friendly hug, a cheerful hello…¬†It’s all that a good and lasting friendship is, only better. It’s treasured. It’s sacred. It’s knowing that there will always be someone there for you. It’s dreams shared, and goals achieved. It’s counting on others and being counted on. It is real.”

This post dedicated to all my Archangel Sisters.  I love each and every one of you!

This morning I was charged with the task of defining¬†what “thriver” means to me.¬† I compiled a list of the first words that came to mind: self knowing, embracing life, living to the fullest, empowered, open, secure, unbroken, girl power, liberated, and vibrant.¬† It was a good start.¬†¬† However, truly grasping the essence of¬†thriving is not something that can be¬†broken down and explained on paper.¬† It’s something that needs to be felt.¬†

The most wonderful thing happens when you attend the My Avenging Angel Workshops and follow-up sessions.  You become part of a sisterhood: a loving, accepting, flaw embracing community of women committed to improving not only their own lives, but also the lives of others.  That is where the thriver energy emanates.  It comes from each and every woman. 

The Angels are a diverse group-¬†coming in every shape, size, age, color, and religion- a reminder that domestic violence does not discriminate.¬† Yet, we do not dwell on our past.¬† Instead, we celebrate the beauty of our differences¬†and bond over a common experience.¬† Surprisingly, it’s not the trauma or past suffering that brings us together.¬† It is the desire¬†to bring about change- in ourselves and¬†in the world that binds us.¬† Together, we see a future filled with limitless possibilities.¬† In each of us there is¬†hope, faith, and the courage to embark on a journey to a more fruitful and fulfilling¬†life.¬† We give each other strength.¬† Our ties cross town and state lines across this country.¬† We are feminism at its best-¬†an abuser’s worst nightmare!¬† Are motto: “Living well is the best revenge”.¬†

Being a thriver¬†is more than becoming a self-aware, self-loving individual.¬† It is about belonging and becoming part of a community.¬† The community is necessary to impact other lives.¬† It’s the sense of sisterhood that helps to empower us.¬† I could not imagine what a difficult journey it would be, or¬†it even being possible to thrive¬†without a strong support network.¬† No one individual¬†is¬†self-sufficient¬†enough not to need a shoulder to cry or lean on during hard times.¬†¬†A house is only as good as the foundation it is built¬†upon,¬†and¬†the individual is no different.¬† You are¬†only as solid as¬†your base.¬† In this respect I have been very lucky (not only to have the Angels, but also the unconditional love of my amazing family, friends,¬†and boyfriend who always back me 100%¬†– equally in success and failure).

I am so grateful to belong to such an awe-inspiring group of women.  Each is a blessing in a my life, a window to the possibilities of how the future could be.  I am fortunate to not only have such a tremendous family (both by blood and bond), but to be part of one.  Knowing that I play a role helping and healing others is more healing and empowering than anything I could achieve on my own.

If you reside¬†in or near Connecticut and are interested¬†in moving beyond survivor to thriver¬†please visit Susan Omilian’s website for more information on the FREE My Avenging Angels Workshops.¬† You can also email me at

If you do not live near Connecticut and are still interested in joining the Thriver community, check out the Thriver Workbook.  In it you will find many of the exercises Susan uses in her workshops.  You can also check out The Thriverzone.

As always, thank you for reading!¬† Please feel free to share any of the information here if you know someone who can benefit from it (just give credit back to the site please ūüôā ) Comments and feedback are always welcome and appreciated.¬† Good luck in your Thriver Journey!!!

First day on new legs…

Man imposes his own limitations, don’t set any”

-Anthony Bailey

I have finally begun my (not so triumphant) return to trail running!

I may have been pushing it, but the combination of rest due to nagging IT band syndrome and my subsequent viral invasion had left me home bound and stir crazy. At the first sign of being able to stand upright and marginally breathe through my nose I was out the door.  I needed to run. 

I brought Penny along to ensure¬†I took it easy and give her some much needed¬†exercise and attention.¬† We did an easy couple miles with a¬†few good hills.¬† Penny disappeared frequently into the nearby streams before finally¬†rolling in a¬†particularly large, muddy puddle.¬† She instantly turned from yellow lab to chocolate.¬†¬†¬†She was delighted with herself.¬† I couldn’t help but laugh.¬† It’s a good thing I’ve gotten past keeping my car meticulously clean!¬†

The trails were particularly wet and buggy from all the rain earlier in the week.¬†¬†There was evidence of¬†recent flooding with fine silt covering the leaves of the low lying¬†shrubs.¬†¬†The¬†pavement and large concrete blocks¬†had been upheaved¬†and oddly twisted out of place.¬† There were branches and leaves scattered that had fallen prematurely, likely from some violent wind storm.¬† The whole scene¬†had changed dramatically from my previous¬†run there just a few weeks earlier, a reminder that nature is always changing and evolving.¬† The bugs, however, were the same-¬†a reliable drawback of trail running.¬† They swarm so closely that I have frequently¬†inhaled and swallowed them accidentally.¬† I wonder if¬†it is still bad karma to kill bugs even if it isn’t on purpose…¬†

Overall, my trail performance was not stellar.¬† However, I made it out and I enjoyed it.¬† More importantly, I didn’t aggravate my IT bands- a promising sign.¬† ūüôā¬†