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August 12, 2013

Balanced on the Edge

Balanced on the Edge

You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge.

~ Danielle LaPorte

I have never been excellent with boundaries. Maybe as a child no one told me no often enough, or I somehow missed the lesson that there were things I couldn’t at least try if not achieve. I have always figured that this somewhat contributed to my success in life – I have not been afraid to try things, to push forward, to test boundaries (mine and others). I have been lucky. I have continued to find my way down a successful path – one that has allowed me to have a comfortable life, personal success and more than I really ever asked for.

I have often approached life like a fitness pursuit. Always looking for the next level of my personal ability like a runner looks for better times or a weightlifter a new PR (personal record)

The two are not that different really – you work hard and continue to put new challenges in front of yourself to see if you can do better. If you run you can always run a little farther, tackle a hill, pick up your pace. CrossFit is built for this – there is always a heavier weight, a harder technique, another rep to add. Life is basically the same if you think about it. Continue reading…

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April 10, 2012

Far Away with Children and Running Shoes

Far Away with Children and Running Shoes

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
~ Anais Nin

6 AM in Darwin, NT, Australia is 1:30 in the afternoon and a day behind in California. I woke this morning feeling like a weary time traveler. My 10 year old had taken all the blankets (but given that it’s 95 degrees here most of the day, that was not so bad) and my 12 year old is snoring like a wild bear.

All I can think is:

Can I find my running shoes in the dark and get back before they are awake?

I change in the dark. Whisper in the ear of my older son that I’ll be back within an hour and slip out the door. He grunts and rolls over. Did he hear me?

10 minutes later I am running here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it seems like – just when I start to get accommodated to the level of chaos I have – I throw a new challenge at myself for sport. So why not a major international business trip combined with my kids’ spring break vacation?

I know at least some of you are laughing now. Continue reading…

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March 30, 2012

Fun With Food

Fun With Food

It’s a well known secret of the inner circle of nutrition professionals, that most of us who are into nutrition, also love food. So when I heard that this very smart woman named Lindsay had started a program to get people to exchange food care packages, I could not wait to sign up. You can read about this very fun project (and learn how you can do it too) on her blog The Lean Green Bean. She has a lot of other great information there too, so look around.

For those of you who follow along with this blog, you know I am on the road a bit for work. At the beginning of the month, I had let my first “food penpal,” – Katy Beth (who blogs over at Curly Runner Bug Moves In) – know that I was off to Europe and not back until the 15th, so she nicely timed her delivery to meet my schedule (thank you Katy Beth!)

She may not know this, but as a business traveler, I empty my house of most food before each trip of more than a few days. So on the 15th of March, knowing I was arriving to a house empty of most food, a cool box of treats waiting on my front porch felt like Christmas.

Here is what I got in the box:

How fun!

A truth about food is that by the time most of us are adults we are pretty fixed in our ways and we don’t tend to try new stuff. I could already see that there was one thing I really wanted to open:

Continue reading…

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March 17, 2012

Cobblestones, Canals and Mountains

 Cobblestones, Canals and Mountains

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

~ Sir Isaac Newton, The Third Law of Motion

I have had quite a week, but it has not involved running or blogging and I am waking this morning trying to figure out how to write about that. What it feels like is this:

I had months of things really going very well. I had no real pain, other than my asthma my body was really improving with running, I was running farther and faster and…I was even starting to enjoy the ride.

But I have written here more than once about the general chaos of my life with kids and career and travel and I guess it was going to happen eventually. I think maybe the universe like balance. Things can only go well for so long and then maybe you just have to have a spectacular failure to remind you that that’s not how things always go. Now don’t think that I am wallowing in self pity and pain over here – this failure did involve Venice, Salzburg and an excursion in the Austrian Alps (for work naturally…).

Let’s start in Venice Continue reading…

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February 22, 2012

Going On The Road, Hoping Not to Freeze

Going On The Road, Hoping Not to Freeze

Starting tomorrow, I am headed to Utah for the annual Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium.  I have been attending this event for the past 10 years, and I always look forward to it.  It is usually held in someplace snowy in mid-February, so the participants (like me) often spend a bit of time enjoying the local recreation.

I tried learning to snowboard for a few years, but this year I intend to go back to skis.

I also intend to try running in the cold. I am telling you all of this because – native beach girl that I am – I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cold. I love to look at snow, I love mountains, I love being in big snowy mountains. I just hate to be cold. When it comes to winter sports, I have done everything from cross-country skiing to winter camping – and as long as I can stay warm I am pretty happy.  But the minute I am really cold, it sort of sucks all the fun out of me.

Being new to running, I have not done much about gear.  Until a few days ago, I was thinking: Treadmill. Then I thought again. This year of running is supposed to be, in part, about having an experience and really learning about running and myself and my tolerances for all sorts of things. I have several upcoming trips to cold mountain-y places (Utah, the Austrian Alps, Lake Louise in Alberta…for work, I swear) so I figure that if I am going to have an experience of cold weather running I am headed to a few very beautiful locations to do just that. Might as well have some picture of snow-covered majestic mountains to contract with all my beach pictures, right…

Then I thought: I am going to be freezing. Continue reading…

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February 6, 2012

Staying the Course

Staying the Course

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. 
~ William James

I broke my own running record yesterday.

Never mind how far I went or what the prior distance was. I finished the run quietly sitting at my friend Wendy’s kitchen table watching our kids play. It was Sunday morning. Friday night I had returned home very late from Cleveland, Saturday I was up at 5 to prep for each of my boys having separate sports tournaments in a city almost an hour away at different locations. Saturday night one at a slumber party, the other another social event. I was sweaty and tired – my day ahead involved laundry, errands, homework and a Super Bowl party. Monday was starting to look restful.

And quietly, I am smiling to myself because I just accomplished something – something just for me – in the midst of it all. I don’t need to share.

My life sometimes feels like a series of sprints and obstacle courses. I may not be a trained runner, but I am a trained mom, coach, chauffeur, business woman, traveler and friend. I am an endurance athlete in life. Continue reading…

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February 4, 2012

On the Run

On the Run

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
– Lao Tzu

Somehow, people think that when you travel for work, it must be glamorous. I mean new cities, new people, hotels, restaurants…all kinds of fun, right?

Those people, I assure you, do not travel as part of their job.

Mostly, when I travel, I am in airports, hotels, hospitals, clinics, restaurants, running from meeting to meeting, presentation to presentation. I eat, meet, and even sleep on other people’s schedules. When it comes to running, it is a thing I now fit in whenever and however it works.

Here is an example:

Arrive in Cleveland 4pm – on a flight that is 30 minutes late.

When I arrive I already have a text message from my rep saying she is picking me up at my hotel in just under an hour.  I am 45 minutes away and not dressed in business attire. Continue reading…

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January 13, 2012

Summer Feet

Summer Feet

Today I am writing from the beautiful island of Barbados in the West Indies. I am – really  – here for work, attending and speaking a the Inaugural Caribbean Obesity Forum. This beautiful island nation, sitting near the equator, lives in what most of us would consider to be perpetual summer. It makes my home in Southern California appear to have “real” seasons.

For those of you who are runners, you have probably recognized in the name of this blog the title of the now-famous running book by Christopher Macdougall, Born To Run. If you are unfamiliar, the very well-written book tells the history and the story of the rise of the barefoot running movement – with a focus on the tie in to the Tarahumara people of Mexico. Even if you have no interest in running, it’s a great read.

I am not the right person to comment on the pros and cons of running with or without shoes – many experts are weighing in on this these days. But having just completed a second reading of the book, and having walked on the sand of a beautiful tropical island today, I am thinking about feet.

Growing up as a kid in Southern California, we always talked about our “summer feet.” Continue reading…

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January 6, 2012

Off to Phoenix

Off to Phoenix

One thing that is part of my life is travel. My work demands a certain amount of time on the road, in hotels, airports, etc.

Travel is an interesting challenge when it comes to sticking to my running. This morning, I woke late and didn’t have time to run – so if I want to get in a few miles it’s going to be the hotel treadmill or finding a route near the hotel that I am comfortable with. Usually, I chose the hotel gym, but I am getting a bit more brave these days. On this particular trip, I have an advance invite to run with a couple of the other meeting attendees…so we will see how that goes!

The meeting today is with one of my favorite non-profits in the world – The Obesity Action Coalition – of which I am a board member. I hope that you will take some time to read a little more about our work.

Happy Friday to All!

Jacqueline

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December 31, 2011

On Endings and Beginnings, Running and Joy

On Endings and Beginnings

It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.
– Counting Crows

It’s been a long year.

I could elaborate on that statement with all sort of detail, but a few highlights aught to do:

  • My company completed our first full year of post-merger integration
  • I sold a home, bought a new home at the beach and moved
  • I traveled almost 200,000 miles for my company
  • My youngest son’s water polo team took the gold medal at the National Junior Olympics
  • I got pneumonia
  • I made some really good new friends
  • I took up running

I try not to classify the events of my life as good or bad anymore.

The greatest truth is that you can’t really know what the final impact of an event will have on your life will be until you get enough distance from it – and I suspect that sometimes the only real perspective is looking back over years or decades. So these days, I try not to pass judgment. Events happen – in the moment they are joyful or sad, invigorating or stressful. This is the ebb and flow of the tide of my world.

Continue reading…

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