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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
There are a few causes I am passionate about. One is helping others through running. When I ran the NYC Marathon under Team For Kids we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. The money went to fund health and fitness programs for kids in low-income areas. I got to run one of the most amazing marathons in the world and children benefited.
This year, a good friend of mine asked me to lace up my shoes and run the Staten Island Half Marathon for her team, Race2Rebuild. The organization was founded by NYC athletes to support the nationwide nonprofit, Rebuilding Together, a 25-year old safe and healthy housing organization that brings together volunteers and communities to improve the lives of low-income homeowners.
The race is on October 13 and for a bunch of reasons, including the fact I only run 3-5 miles right now and live in Los Angeles, I had to decline. However, her cause is worthy and I wanted to share it in case anyone wants to lace up or donate. Or both. If nothing else, you can “Like” their cause and “Follow” their movement. Every click counts.
We all know what Hurricane Sandy did to parts of the east coast, particularly Staten Island. It killed people and devastated entire towns. Beachfront residents there saw 15-foot waves tear their homes from their foundations. There are still thousands of displaced families. Volunteer groups like this are still out daily going through wreckage and ruin, helping families salvage whatever they can. We are coming up on the year anniversary of the storm, though in many ways and to many people, it still feels like yesterday.
The race on October 13th is to help rebuild a veteran’s home that was destroyed in the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island. This is about as grassroots as it gets. In doing Like, Follow, Give, you are directly helping someone get back on their feet. The goal for Race2Rebuild on Oct 13th is to raise $15,000.
Here are the details to help:
When you give on the Race2Rebuild Crowdrise site, click DONATE (top right) and select “Virtual Team.”
If you want to lace up for the race and join the team with a $1000 fundraising goal, registration details are here: http://www.race2rebuild.org/register/
As their motto states: RACE HARD. RACE WITH RESOLVE. RACE2REBUILD.
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charity, Gerritson Beach, Hurricane Sandy, marathon, NYC marathon, NYRR, Race With Resolve, Race2Rebuild, racing, Rebuilding Together, running, staten island, Staten Island Half Marathon, team for kids, triathalon, volunteer | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips
Monday, April 15th, 2013
The feel of your soles hitting the pavement. The roar of the crowds. The pride in pushing your body to do something so extraordinary. You do it for a charity, for a lost one, a loved one–or just for yourself. This is what runners do. This is what marathoners do.
I ran the Boston Marathon in 2008. I did it with two of my best running friends, Katie and Rachel. We were part of a team that trained together for multiple marathons. We ran through ice and snow in the Bronx, through wind and rain in Brooklyn, logging the miles, counting the minutes and checking off the weeks.
I sit here today in shock and heartbreak over the news of two explosions at this iconic event. Reports are still sketchy–many injured, possible packages found… your mind goes to the immediate: terrorism. It’s tax day. It’s Boston. It could easily be domestic. It’s also the world’s most famous running event. So it could be international. Or maybe a gas line exploded. We don’t know. The facts will come.
What is on my mind now are the runners, the spectators, the emergency workers, the reporters, my fellow running friends and anyone else who was, until a few hours ago, enjoying being part of this storied event. On so many levels the Boston Marathon signifies what is good in the world: Persistence, Drive, Kindness, Endurance, Humility, Charity. But right now, it also signifies the bad. Or the potential of badness that exists. I am trying not to jump to conclusions.
Soon I will put on my running shoes and hit the trail. I will think back to that day when I crossed the finish line: elated, exhausted, proud. For all of those who crossed today and for all of those who watched, it will be a different memory. One mired in death and destruction. Even one of the toughest events in the world remains, at this moment, so incredibly fragile.
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boston marathon, bronx, Brooklyn, explosion, marathon, marathon training, New York Road Runners, NYC marathon, race, running, team for kids | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Losing a Parent, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Must Read
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
I’ve said it before: I need better coping skills. I am almost embarrassed to reveal the absurdity of my latest freak-out. But here goes:
We went on a last minute, mini-vacation to Sequoia State Park a couple weeks ago. We had a great time. As we were heading home, we stopped at this cute playground for Fia to run before sitting in the cramped car (this time we took the direct route versus our disastrous, vomit-induced one).
Phil was playing with Fia while I breastfed Emmett. I walked over and Phil says, “Do you think she’s running funny?”
I gasped. “What? What do you mean?”
“Don’t freak out,” he said through terse lips. “Jesus, can I not even have a conversation with you?”
Clearly, my anxiety has been an issue before.
I took a breath, “You’re right, I’m sorry. Let me watch her run.”
She starts to run and her legs start hobbling. She keeps falling down. They looked like rubber. So guess what I do? I FREAK THE F–K OUT.
“Oh my god, Phil, Phil,” I pleaded. “Oh my god. What is going on?”
He looked at me concerned, because he was obviously concerned too. But I could tell he was also worried about me. Or sick of me. He has said time and again to get a grip. He says I can’t react with such panic–for all of our sakes. I know he’s right.
Trembling, I got down on her level and took her shoes off. I seemed to remember thinking last week the sneakers were getting tight. She took off barefoot. Her gait was perfect.
In the 10 seconds it took to figure this out, here’s where my head went:
On our mini-vaco. These are not the shoes in question, btw.
She has a neurological disorder. A virus. It is fast progressing and eating away at her nerves. We have to rush to LA to Children’s Hospital. Something life-threatening is wrong with my daughter. If anything happens to her I will not survive. I love her too much.
Basically I had an internal panic attack. I say internal, because I did manage to hold it together in front of Fia, mostly because I was so afraid Phil would forever hate me. And of course, I don’t want to scare my kid. I know all too well from my upbringing what it’s like to have a weak, hand-wringing (then drunk, devoid of coping skills) parent. It’s probably where all this anxiety comes from.
But seriously, in less than a millisecond, my mind goes to the worst possible place. Is that a mom thing or a sign of deep neurosis? My friend Kirsten wrote a beautiful piece I posted on the art of letting go. But I justify (in my warped brain) that this is different–this is about tragedy befalling my children.
Phil was really pissed off. And I don’t blame him. What I kept telling him was I don’t like feeling this way either. My visceral reaction truly scares me. It’s like my wires explode in my body and code red starts to ring. Then, because my body has basically been in fight-or-flight mode, it doesn’t just dissipate. It lingers. And on this day, it sat in the car for our 3-hour drive home, casting a pall on the once-boisterous mood.
If the scenario hadn’t filled me with such anxiety and dread, it would have been comical, ie: bad parenting moment: Our little girl has outgrown her shoes and mama freaked.
I spoke at length to Peter, my hypnotherapist. We did some really deep work in trying to get my brain to stop this pattern. Old habits die hard. It will take work on my part. But I have no choice.
This sh-t has got to stop.
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anxiety, Children's Hospital, depression, emotions, feet, gait, hand-wringing, mom freakout, nerves, nervous, neurological, panic, panic attack, running, running funny, Sequoia State Park, shoes | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Today my heart broke a little bit. That’s because I took Fia to her gymnastics class. We go every week. But today was different. Today she went to the “big girl” class.
Coach Sam told me awhile back to get on the waiting list for the next level up. He said he thought she was ready. I read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and I hated that woman. But in that moment, standing by the uneven bars with her swinging steadily, I got a glimpse of my inner Tiger. I beamed. I was so proud. I wanted to push her. Make her the best she could be. I couldn’t wait to get home and share my joy–yes joy–with Phil.
I bounded in, out of breath, “They want to move her up in gymnastics!” I exclaimed.
He looked at me, slightly puzzled, “Yeah, okay. Great. So??”
“But they want her in an advanced class! Advanced.”
He gently reminded me she was just over 2.
Yes, I know, we’re talking about a now 2 1/2 year old. But growing up, gymnastics was my love. I was never very good at it, but I persevered through high school. I always wished my parents had started me earlier. This is the only sport I can see myself being an overly pushy parent on, so I am acutely aware of the need to show restraint. Keep the Tiger on a leash.
Back to today: Fia and I arrived and went straight for the trampoline–her favorite. I noticed no other parents were chasing tots around on the mats. Just some coaches and kids quietly practicing skills. Wait, we were used to the free-for-all. We usually run in and bounce from one thing to the next, catching some mild structure and instruction in-between. This was different. Subdued. A coach approached me.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes,” I said. “We are here for my daughter’s advanced tots class.”
“Great. Wait behind the gate and at 11:45 we’ll call her in with the other girls.”
“But, what about the trampoline?”
“The advanced class isn’t free play. Parents sit and watch behind the gate. We work with the kids by themselves. You can come for the beginning though and see how she does since this is your first day.”
I gulped. She sat quietly on my lap, my arms holding her tight as we waited. When Fia was called in, I went too. But as soon as I sat down with the 6 other tots and 2 coaches, I realized she didn’t need me there. They told her to run and touch the cone. She did (I cheered loudly–then quickly shut up). Hop on one foot. She tried (didn’t realize what a skill that was). Then they were off to the trampoline. She and the others ran towards it with glee. I was left sitting on the mat. Alone. Realizing how quickly time is passing.
From afar, I watched her bounce happily and do seat drops. They moved onto the rings where my girl held on like the best of them. She waited patiently for her turn.
The balance beam was last and right in front of me. There she went walking confidently across. Then on the smaller one. All by herself.
From the moment they are born, it is our job to make them independent of us. It is primal. The baby feeds off you, then weans. She rolls towards you, then crawls away. She walks into your arms, then turns and runs. They still depend on us, but little by little they gain confidence to be okay on their own. It is a bitter and beautiful reality.
And it’s really f-cking hard.
Today I stood on the sidelines and cheered for Fia. Silently. I must remind myself to tread lightly. As she finds her footing, I must too find mine. It is a delicate balance between holding on and letting go. But this is my job–the one I signed up for when we decided to have kids. There’s a reason it’s the hardest one in the world.
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breastfeeding, crawling, dependence, gymnastics, independence, pregnancy, primal, running, toddler, walking | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Must Read
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Capturing the First Smiles...
He smiled earlier this week. And this morning I got the biggest grin yet. My little man is melting my heart.
We are both definitely coming out of the fog. It’s been 8 weeks now and that means he is getting more alert each day. As am I. I actually went on a slow jog this weekend. It felt good.
The funny thing for me about baby #2 is how I forget to do the basics. With Fia I had a chart. It detailed her poops, pees, barf and bath. Emmett is lucky if I remember to bath him. Things like tummy time just often get forgotten. Last night I had him on for about 5 minutes and he seemed really excited about trying to roll over.
Our pediatrician had a great line for me I wanted to share. It might be the only thing I believe is true from a peds mouth (I wrote about my frustration with baby docs). He said you’ll be so focused on making sure your first-born doesn’t feel left out, that you’ll give her 80%. And for the rest of her life she’ll feel jipped for not having 100%. Your second born, on the other hand, will be eternally grateful for the 20% you manage to give him.
I had to laugh at that when I realized it had been almost a week since I bathed him. And yet, he seems perfectly happy and chill about it all. Maybe it’s just his temperament but he doesn’t seem like the wild child Fia was from the moment she came out.
My brother is super mellow. He ice climbs. As a profession (technically he’s called an Alpinist). If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry. It’s insane to me. He lives in a shack in Colorado and travels to places like Patagonia and Pakistan to climb for months at a time.
I am the opposite. I like a good adventure, but I like my beautiful home, and all the comforts that go along with it. In other words, I don’t like roughing it anymore (unless I’m going to re-climb Mt Kilimanjaro).
Yet despite our differences, we’re incredibly close.
It will be fun to see how Fia and Em shape up in this world together. Smiling, I hope!
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bath, brother, doctors, Emmett, Fia, jog, jogging, newborn, newborn milestones, Pediatrician, pee, poop, pregnancy, pregnant, run, running, sister | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Newborn Care