Long story short

I was born and raised in New Jersey (fist pump) where I did not know nor did I think I'd ever have to know how to pump my own gas, care for any team in Red Sox nation or refer to my sprinkles as jimmies...fast forward a few plus years to 2010. I live in Portsmouth, NH, after graduating from UNH in 2006 and enjoy pumping my own gas, root for the New England Patriots but still call those fun colored toppings on my ice cream sprinkles.

Growing up I was not allowed to eat pop tarts or Count Dracula for breakfast, nor was I allowed to have dessert if I didn't finish my dinner. If I didn't want what was being served, I could not make a grilled cheese. Actually come to think of it my grilled c heese's were not even made on the stove, but in a toaster oven. THANK YOU MOM! I learned how to be healthy without even knowing it :) I was an active child (dance, softball, basketball) but my real segway into fitness came my freshman year of high school when I was cut from the softball team (ouch) and so I became a "track star" instead. Holla at your hurdles. High school was difficult. My tall and slim figure developed curves I was not really sure of and definitely not ok with. Running track I ran and ran and ran...then I strictly limited my diet. It wasn't pretty. But don't you worry, I learned to love food again. Ohhh did I. My college years were filled with the usual freshman 15, late night food, greasy dining hall discoveries, I'M 21, YOU ARE 21, LETS GO TO THE BAR struggles UNTIL I met Weight Watchers. Wow, what a little portion control can do!!! I would love to say it was smooth sailing after that but it wasn't. Weight Watchers definitely introduced a lifestyle change but I still wasn't fully awake yet. I mean I knew the point value of every food under the sun but where did that really get me? Every step is important though.

This past fall I trained for a half marathon. Yikes. Let me preface this by saying when I began this training I worked out about 2-3 days a week if I put my mind to it. I could run 3 miles but then I wouldn't work out again for a few days, that three mile run was my good work out for the week. I really wanted to see if "that" phrase was true, you know the one your parents, teachers, idols and mentors tell you: "You can do anything if you put your mind to it." Well after a training program involving: 13 weeks, many miles, early rainy Saturday mornings, copious amounts of protein, motivational coaches, and support, I did it. It was physically and mentally tough and I cried, but I ran 13.1 miles in 2:22 on November 8, 2009.

There have been many tipping points in my life and I know there will be more. You see, once your eyes are open you can see more clearly. Practicing yoga and pilates centers the mind and body.  Running is therapeutic. Randy Pausch's book/lecture The Last Lecture reminds all who read to celebrate the dreams we all strive to make realities and Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements offers simple truths: be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions and always do your best.  These teachings and practices have led me to where I am today and there have been numerous meaningful conversations sharing thoughts on mindfulness, spiritualism, hardships and happiness that only perpetuate and punctuate. Life is all about the journey and this is only the beginning. In the mean time, thank you Mom for not letting me have a sugar high before school, thank you Coach Ambrosino for cutting me from the freshman softball team and thank you Weight Watchers, yoga , running and Don Miguel and Randy Pausch for reminding me about moderation, balance, dreaming, believing and how to savor the now!