Finding Inspiration

Four years ago, inspiration was…

  • A beautiful work of art
  • A gentle melody
  • A picturesque vista
  • A book…movie…celebrity

Choices you make and life events that you experience will undoubtedly change your perspective on where one finds inspiration. For me, I chose to go from couch potato to marathon finisher with the help of Team in Training, an endurance training organization and part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

So today, in addition to being inspired by art, music, nature, etc…I have also found inspiration in…

  • A mother who survived cancer, completed her first endurance event, and said FU to cancer
  • A father who coaches others to run while completing his own marathons in memory of his teenage son
  • A husband completing his final chemo treatment and going for a “short” 10 mile run
  • A sixty-five year-old grandmother of two who kicked cancer’s ass THREE times
  • An eight year-old boy whose battle touches the lives of thousands around the world even after his passing

Where do you find your inspiration?

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. On behalf of everyone living with or being treated for blood cancer, LLS wants to raise $400,000 this month. Please help them reach that goal by donating through my fundraising link: Make a Difference by Donating

5 Tips for a Successful Healthy Living Journey

This past weekend, I reached my 180 day milestone of my healthy living journey.  During the past 6 months, many people have asked about my secret to success, so I thought I’d share my Top 5 Tips for a Successful Healthy Living Journey.

Incredible Support Network  

My wife and children are the foundation of my network and journey.  They keep me grounded, encourage me to accomplish my goals and, most of all, put up with me and my smelly clothes.  They are the reason I do what I do…they are my everything!  In addition to my family, I have a team of great people who keep me moving.  This includes chiropractors, a massage therapist, physical therapist and nutritionist.  I punish my body day after day, week after week and do not stretch nearly enough.  Without them, I’d probably be in traction.  Finally, it’s important to be around others that share similar passions and goals.  For me, that group is the amazing coaches, captains, staff and participants of Team in Training (TNT).  I couldn’t think of a better group of people in which to spend time!      

Set Realistic Goals and Do It Again

At the beginning of the journey, I set just a couple of short-term, realistic goals.  To stay focused and committed to the journey, I continually re-examine these goals and set others to ensure I’m 1) still going in the right direction and 2) able to adjust goals as appropriate.  While developing these short and long-term goals, I made sure that each of my goals was actionable.  For example, instead of saying I’m going to run a ½ marathon in July, I developed a running schedule that prepared me by race day.  

Nutrition: My Fitness Pal

I track EVERYTHING that I eat in My Fitness Pal.  Yes, this can be cumbersome but it has made me more aware of what I’m putting into my body, the percentages of macronutrients (Carb, Protein and Fat) in my diet, and, most importantly, keeps me honest.  If I think about eating or drinking something that I don’t want to enter into this tool, I’m NOT eating or drinking it.  

Wearable Technology: FitBit

I use the FitBit to track the number of steps I take in a day…my goal is 15,000.  I usually exceed that goal, but on “rest” (non-running) days, I’m lucky if I break 7,500.  My perspective on the FitBit is that it provides feedback on how active I am, or should be.  For example, if my steps are low, I might take the stairs vs. the elevator.   I also have fun with FitBit specific challenges with others on the app as well as at work as part of my company’s healthy challenges.

On-Going Learning

Certainly social media and the internet provide quick and easy access to resources and information, especially when that information is delivered right to your email.  I also subscribe to Runner’s World magazine and have read several books on running.  Learning about your passion will only strengthen your commitment to your journey.

“Success is a journey. Not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”  Arthur Ashe

It’s a Wonderful Day

I was not having a wonderful day.  In fact, it’s been quite a frustrating day with one thing after another.  Typically when I have these types of days, I look forward to a good, hard run later in the afternoon.  Not today though!  I did my 7 miles early in the morning…on the darn treadmill!  I guess you can say my not so wonderful day started somewhere between “early” and “treadmill”!

My day wasn’t so terrible where I needed to bring in the big guns – my wife – for support!  However, I had to think of a something to change my mindset.  Locking myself in the office or venting to a co-worker was out of the question.  I went for a walk but that didn’t work (see Take a Flight).  The old “hang in there” and “it will all be over soon” just makes me more frustrated because someone other than me should be hanging…and soon!

Then, out of nowhere, I heard in my head:  “Hello, it’s a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern!”  That’s it.  That’s what I needed!  A silly, ridiculous but positive mantra.  Using a mantra works when I need to push through a run or up a hill at mile 12, so why can’t it work for this?  (But why this mantra?  Not sure but maybe I was just hungry!)  So, every time I was getting to that point of frustration, I’d say to myself, “Hello, it’s a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern.”

The mantra worked almost too well because I became distracted.  I started to wonder if anyone ever called Tabor Road Tavern just to hear a cheerful sounding person on the other end of the phone say, “Hello, it’s a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern”.

Yes, of course I called them.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Cheerful Person: Hello, it’s a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern.  How may I help you?

Me:  Uh, hello.  Can I ask you a question?  Has anyone ever called just to hear you say that it’s a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern?

Slightly Uncomfortable Person:  Uh, not me personally but maybe someone has.

Me:  Maybe someone just needed to hear someone, somewhere was having a wonderful day and that they knew such wonderfulness existed at your establishment.

Laughing Over the Phone Person:  I wouldn’t put it past someone to have called for that reason.

Me:  Just wondering.  I needed to hear it today.  Thanks for your time.

Still Laughing Over the Phone Person:  You’re welcome.  Any time.

It truly is a wonderful day at Tabor Road Tavern…and mine has gotten a bit better too.

Note: Tabor Road Tavern (www.taborroadtavern.com) is one of our favorite restaurants.  In fact, the Harvest Group owns a variety of excellent establishments in the New Jersey area.  I highly recommend you try them all!