My Running MUSTS List......

Here are some of the items I use daily when I go for my runs.....I had to get used to my Brooks Pure Connect shoes but I am very, very happy with them. They are minimalists, incredibly light and just get better the more they are used. Mine are in yellow and you can see them a mile away in the dark. Great reflectors. 
Brooks PureConnect: 

Pepper Spray: Because I run at 6am and the sun does not come up until 7am I carry pepper spray with me....in my hand. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but there is no one else out there at this time except a few runners here and there and then I'll run for blocks and blocks with no one in sight. I am a mom and I'd one day love to be a grandma...so I'd rather be safe than sorry. I got mine from Dicks Sporting goods in Maryland, in the 'hunting' section. If you have kids you need to make sure you tell all of them not to use/touch it. 

Kickbooty Tech Stretch from Athleta: These pants are both warm, fitting well on my non-so skinny figure and dry overnight if handwashed. They also have the ability to wick a lot of sweat......I need to buy a few more pairs...
reflectors....a huge MUST if running in low lighting.....

when running in sunny days....I always wear sunscreen. Not getting any younger!!

I use this to keep track of calories burned and heart rate. Comes with a strap that goes across your chest, under your clothes....very easy to use. 

When running I listen to fast merengue music always. It matches a very fat foot pace and you can't help but to keep up with the fast pace.


Never Say Never - In parenting we learn too

                        If there is something having kids does to you is it teaches you to never say 'never'. Back in the day at the beginning of my mommy journey, I had no idea that through the course of being a mom I would be forced to become an expert on things I would have never dreamed of or ever cared for. Currently, my daughter, who is 5, is obsessed with Justin Beiber. She loves to learn lyrics to songs she hears and on youtube they often have the song paired with lyrics making it easier to help me help her learn words to her favorite song. It was one video of him singing and she began asking me to search out more of his songs....and the rest id history. It was THAT fast. For those of you who would not be able to pick this guy up from a line-up, think of me!!....I could not either, about 2 months ago. Now, I know ALL about this young celebrity, and I must admit, I actually think he's quite talented. I now know all his lyrics, I would easily be able to pick out which songs are sung by him, plus, I know lots of miscellaneous facts about the young man that now fill my head for no reason other than to be able to communicate and speak with my daughter on her interests. 

                 Now, don't think for a New York minute that you are exempt to this phenomenon. this experience I just described is not an exception to the rule, this experience is not a singular, one-time, freak incident of parenthood, this is a reality for ALL parents, plus, it happens many, many times, as the child grows. To illustrate, when my son was one and half he was obsessed with school buses, then trucks, then trash trucks, then construction trucks. Oh, how we'd run to the front door of our home each trash-pick-up day and observe the trash being hauled away and the school children being whisked away to school. We'd all wave frantically at any and all yellow buses as if someone we knew or loved was each of them. Furthermore, my husband and I learned the official name of all the trucks on any given construction site and bought videos and books pertaining to the world of trucks. Now that he is eight we are also experts in baseball, football, outer space, Einstein, basic physics and the list goes on and on. 

             You might go into child-rearing with a certain plan, a certain idea of how YOU are going to run this 'ship'. But we soon learn that we are not in control of who this little person wants to become. We find that the word 'never' has no place or power in this new reality. For example, I went into parenting thinking ' I am not a sports fan, I hate organized sports', but just a few short years later, I am  cheering like a crazy woman at your son's Little League baseball games and simply loving it. You see, this reality of parenting is not by any means a negative thing, on the contrary, it is an absolutely wonderful thing to go through (if you have the right perspective). Allowing the narrative of your child to unfold as his soul intended makes child-rearing into a true adventure for us. It breaks us open from our own pre-set, self-imposed limitations and makes us better. We soon abandon our need to make this child into anything we thought up and come to realize that he came here with his own set of instructions, and we are just there to provide support.  I strongly propose having fun with it and staying wide open for becoming, in essence, love. For it's this deep love for our family and our little ones that help mold us, slowly into much more open human beings. 


One benefit to running.....

I have now been running since July of last year and there have been many benefits to adding running to my daily routine. Today I am going to only talk about one of those benefits; its ability to teach you how to handle discomfort more gracefully. 

On any given run one comes across killer hills, sudden leg cramps, even slight discomforts that may come, yet, within just a few blocks all is back to normal again, this may happen several times in a run and at the end of each discomfort everything always feels just fine....a few blocks later. Similarly, in my daily life, I have noticed that when I come across annoying, uncomfortable and mood-altering situations in I now react to them much differently than I did before running entered my life. I know that with time, anger, moodiness, contempt will all pass and I'll be fine. All that's required is full, unquestionable acceptance of the negative mood (not fighting it) and patience. 

Last week I woke up moody, I went through the whole morning with this added heavy cloud hanging over me. Typically, needing to rid myself of the discomfort of this bad mood, I would have either started a fight with my loved ones, or would have turned every situation to some negative result where I would have to later dole out apologies of all sorts. This time though was different, I chose instead to simply allow the dark mood to live in me as long as it needed to be there, that I would not fight it. I treated the negative feeling like a ball of bad energy that would soon fade to nothing and leave my body. Sure enough by the evening I was fine, the cloud had lifted, the mood had left my body as trusted it soon would. I felt so incredibly proud of myself for I came out of one of these moods unscathed. In the past I would have surely done some damage along the way in my attempts to rid myself of the discomfort of the bad mood. Not this time. This time, I had not gotten into any fights with anyone, I did not snap at anyone, I did not even negatively react to the many normally annoying situations that popped up on any given day. 

I see running as the Universe's gift to me this year; I simply cannot imagine my life without it. The benefits that running have brought to my life in just 6 months are so numerous and so amazingly life-changing that I cannot help to want to try and convince everyone of them....