Boston Strong

I had the most inspirational start to my week. I was fortunate to get to watch my friend kick the Boston Marathon’s butt! I flew up to Boston on Sunday night after spending Easter with my family. After a  little bit of a hectic plane departure (sitting on the tarmac for over an hour waiting to get off), I got to my friend Katelyn’s apartment.

 

We got up early the next day to drive her into the city and see her off to the buses for the start line of the race. Our goal was to make it to as many spots along the route (hoping for three) to see her go by. We made it to two spots and the finish line to cheer her on! I was so happy to have friends in Boston to help get us around. It would have been really confusing otherwise!

Katelyn is one of the people who sets amazing goals and actually reaches them. Each time we saw her throughout the day, she was smiling and so positive. It was so great to be there to cheer her on. She is someone that I wish I could be more like. I love her to death and am so lucky to have her in my life.

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The most amazing site was the finish line. People were trucking along to get to the finish. Some people were hurting and others were flying by. Runners pulled out their phones to take pictures and videos of the finish line. The crowds were going crazy. It was such an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to experience my first Boston Marathon.

I flew out early the next morning. I was so inspired by this day that I spent all my time looking up marathon information- what marathons were in my area coming up and how to qualify for Boston. We’ll see if this bucket list dream can get pushed up the list!

Working Out Without the Gym

School is super stressful and doesn’t leave many hours to worry about your health and fitness. I know I am not the only one who goes to school before the gym opens and leaves after it closes. Or sometimes you have to plans and commitments and loved ones/pets counting on you and can’t go to the gym after school/work. It also stinks to pay for a gym membership you only use once a month. It isn’t worth the money at that point. You end up eating junky food and not being your best self. The rut just keeps getting bigger.

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I found that I needed a way to do some workouts without going to the gym. I needed a way to feel sore and accomplished in a short period of time that I could do at any time of day. I hit google to help me figure out what was next. That is when I found the BBG program. It has three strength conditioning and three cardio workouts per week. I am able to consistently do cardio by riding my bike on the trainer, but I needed it for the strength work. These are thirty minute workouts that you can do almost anywhere!

The workouts need weights and a medicine ball and a way to do step ups. Some other equipment is also needed, but I usually just fudge it when I am at home without it. I got weights and a medicine ball off Amazon because it was hard for me to get to a store. These workouts really work your arms, legs, and abs. It really does a good job of making you feel sore the next day. I also felt like I noticed results quickly when I do the workouts consistently. For example, I barely could do push-ups when I started and often had to cheat to my knees. Now, I can do fifteen push-ups in a row. Progress! No matter how big or small, it is progress.

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I usually do these workouts in my living room with a yoga mat. My dogs are always so helpful, licking my face as I do pushups or ab work, making it just a little harder. The time flies by with TV on in the background. Since being home more recently, I have been working out outside, which is so refreshing!

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My favorite move is the commando, where from a plank position you move to a push-up position and back to a plank position. It works your core and upper body. It always seems to be at the end of the work-out when my arms are shaking. I work on these almost everyday, regardless of whether I did a full work-out that day or not.

This program comes as an app on your phone, which is great because it is always with you! If you are on vacation and traveling, visiting a friend, or whatever, this workout can be done. Keeping you on a schedule and consistent. I highly recommend it if you need something to kick start your summer body!

The Full Body Workout

I have become a little obsessed with mountain biking. It has become my new favorite sport and way to workout. It works your whole body, which is weird, I know. Your arms get a way bigger work out than you would think. They brace you as you go downhill, and they have to stay strong as you maneuver over and around obstacles. Your core has to keep your body upright to prevent you from riding in odd positions. Your legs get the brunt of it, working to pedal up hill and support you as you stand going downhill.

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There is so much more to it than just being able to ride a bike. There are logs, roots, and rocks that all become obstacles, just waiting to knock you off and onto the ground. These guys get me more often than they should. A huge part of getting over the obstacles has to do with confidence. If you are unsure if you are going to make it, you probably aren’t. If you go in with the mind set that you can, you can often go right over it, within reason of course.

The best part about biking is being able to bring Dizzy along. She loves to be outside and loves to explore. Dizzy gets really hot really fast, so we have to plan our routes where there is water periodically for her to hop into. It doesn’t matter if it is 80 degree or thirty degrees outside, she will lay down in the water. I don’t mind, as long as she is happy! Unfortunately, she cut her paw pad when we were riding the other day, so I can’t take her while these heal. I’m not sure how it happened, and I feel so bad! We stopped by the veterinarian on the way home to make sure she was ok!

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Muddy After Riding

Dizzy gets really tired after riding, which makes me feel great. I spend so much time working that I feel like she doesn’t get enough love. I try to make our time together as meaningful as possible!

If you can, get out and go biking in your area with some friends or find a local bike shop. It is something you won’t regret!

Workout Clothes

If I am not going to school or out with friends, and sometimes even then, I can almost always be found in athletic apparel. As soon as I get home, I take my real world clothes off and slip into some leggings. It has become such a habit that I almost hate wearing real clothes. My love for athletic apparel is only being made worse by all my favorite brands starting their own lines. Living in Philadelphia without an in unit washer dryer has really caused me to increase my amount of workout clothes. I used to run out of clothes every three days and have to spend $3.75 on a load of laundry, which is ridiculous. I felt like every week I was going to the bank to get another roll of quarters.

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Some other places I love to shop are Gap, Tory Burch, and Nike! Each brand has different strength and weaknesses that draw me to them. Sometimes I buy athletic clothing purely because it looks cute versus sometimes I need some really breathable athletic wear! It really depends on the activity (yoga, running, biking, hiking). Bulky clothing is something I tend to avoid for all activities!

 

 

New Year, New Me!

I hope everyone had a wonder and happy New Year! I was lucky to spend in with a group of wonderful friends who are family. I love the start of a new year! You get an excuse to celebrate with friends and family with a new beginning. It gives you an excuse to become anyone you want. I have my list set for this year, and I am really excited to make these changes stick. I try so hard every year to keep my resolutions and often fail quickly. I tend to make these goals outrageous and not attainable for myself, so this year I was much more realistic.
Be Healthier // I want to become a healthier version of myself by making smarter choices in the grocery store, in the kitchen, and out with my friends. I do well in spurts, but I need to make this consistent and a lifestyle change! I drink soda occasionally when I need something other than water, and I really want to kick this habit. There are so many healthier options that are equally delicious.

Stop Adding to My Clutter // I love to shop for clothes, for household items, and for my friends and family. My room at school and at home are stuffed to the brim with just stuff! I want to clean out my room and apartment and stop adding to the mess. I keep things and clothes for “just in case,” but I have things I haven’t worn or looked at in years. My new (cliche) mottos are “one in, out out” and “if you don’t use it, lose”

Be Conscious About Food Waste // I am notorious for getting way too much produce at the grocery store or making way too much food and not eating all the leftovers, and I don’t really enjoy eating leftovers. I am lucky to live with my brother because he will eat anything, but I want to do better because I won’t live with him forever and he is not always around. There are so many people in this world who don’t get to eat, and I am wasting food. I need to make this change starting with how I purchase food and spread it out for the week.

Devote More Time to Dizzy // Dizzy is an amazing girl, the best dog ever. She would do absolutely anything I asked and only asks for a few things in return. I do my best to give her attention and exercise while I am in school, but sometimes when I do have the time, I spend it relaxing on the sofa. My goal is to spend more time with her exploring Philly and less time sitting around. Her Whistle helps to keep me accountable, and I am increasing her goal to 80 minutes a day!

Whine Less (and maybe wine a little more) // It is so easy to complain about my long hours at school or the next rotation I have or what someone said, but it is such a waste of my time and energy. It drags you down with such negative energy. I want to spread more positivity into my life and surround myself with friends and family who lift me up and don’t drag me down!

Read More Books // I absolutely love getting caught up in a good book. I get so absorbed and involved that I get really upset when books end and making me a huge fan of series. My list of books to read is pages long, and I really need to get cracking. I have a pile of books I have gotten from my sister once she has read them. I plan on picking one when I get back to school and putting aside a few minutes every night to read.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Balance Is Everything

I really tested my luck and balance this week and went paddle boarding. I am known in my family for being somewhat of a klutz in my family. I was teetering over ice ice cold water.  I took my shoes off to prevent the waves from splashing my shoes, and the water froze my toes.

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The hardest part was honestly getting on and off the board without getting soaked and  falling in. The dogs thought that I really needed help and tried to get on the board too. I would have loved to have gone more when I was home, but the weather was not going to let me! The river was iced over most mornings and there was too much rain!

If you have never tried paddle boarding, you must. It is an excellent workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. My abs were sore the next morning from trying to stay balanced. I really want to try yoga on a paddle board, but I do not think I am ready for that yet. I need to get way better at both before attempting that with some warmer water beneath me for when I fall.

Training in the Winter

Exercising is extremely therapeutic for me. A good hard run after a stressful day helps me to get it out. If I am upset, I can yell in my head and push myself harder, getting me through what made me upset and I get a better workout. However, I am bad at motivating myself in the winter. When I go to school and come home from school in the dark in the dark, it makes my day feel so long. I get home and am so ready to eat dinner and relax, not always workout.

It can be  so difficult to get dressed to run outside in the winter. It is cold so you bundle up, and then as soon as you get going, you begin to overheat. It is such a fine balance. Over the years I have accumulated many different options to help me, but I still get it wrong. Before a big race, I always call my dad to ask him what I should wear. He always gets it right.

My favorite place to run is along the Schuylkill River Trail where there are no stop signs or cars to get in your way. Plus there are beautiful views along the river. The trail is flat and it can get extremely crowded at certain times of the day. The hardest part of running here is that it always makes my runs an out and back. Sometimes I run shorter distances and cheat and sometimes I run way to long and get tired on the way back. I have no self control!

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I am lucky because I have a bike trainer in my apartment here. I can put my road bike on the trainer, which is more comfortable than a stationary bike, and ride at any time of the day. My trainer also has the ability to control the resistance for you, making you work. You pick a course and it forces you to do it, which has pros and cons for sure. It just gives me the ability to always work out which is nice on such crazy schedules!

Biking in my basement is also really hard and lonely. The courses range from one hour to two hours of sitting on a bike with nothing changing. Watching TV can be helpful, but you quickly run out of entertaining shows and just watch the clock tick. Running and working out is the best because it helps ensure that I do work out. They also help to push me when I would not have pushed myself. It can be so hard to coordinate with our hectic and different schedules.

I also love to go to yoga classes or spin classes at my school gym, but with my schedule I can never plan on making it a certain class. I am super competitive with sports and I end up pushing myself so much harder when I got to workout classes! I am looking forward some less hectic clinical rotations in the new year to make more of these classes.