Words for Women

We live life like there’s an algorithm to determine our value

A formula; weight times pants size, plot it on a graph and there’s your worth

We praise beautiful women for flawless skin and perfect curves

but silence the same women if they dare to open their mouths and disagree

We call little girls bossy but little boys leaders

and teach girls that if a boy teases her, it’s because he likes you

We harass women who bare skin while shaming those who choose to cover up

We teach boys that disrespecting women is an expectation and their right

But we can break the cycle

Honor and uplift the women that surround you

Listen to their words and feel their strength

Thank your mom, sister, daughter, spouse, teacher, or best friend

You are the revolution

My mom, one seriously incredible woman

Originally published here.


View story at Medium.com


A Lesson in Recovery

A Lesson in Recovery

Again and again, I’ve fallen victim to the trap of training too hard and recovering too little. As a result, I’ve succumbed to multiple injuries over the years. I’ve experienced the consequences of neglecting rest and recovery, but until today, I hadn’t truly experienced the benefits from prioritizing it. 

A couple of weeks ago, my long run was a 16-miler. It was nothing to write home about, but it went well. I came home, stretched, had a bagel and chocolate milk, then hopped in the shower. Up until that point, I’d done the right things, after that, I threw recovery out the window. I headed out of town for the night with nothing but a pair of heeled booties, I didn’t eat again until dinner, and I greatly neglected my hydration. The next day I was tired and sore. That morning, I headed out for my easy run, that wasn’t all that easy and later, some unseasonably warm weather and a Monday off led to a few too many glasses of sangria. On Monday, I repeated Sunday’s mistake and ran even harder. By the time the week’s first real workout rolled around on Tuesday, my body felt like garbage.

I felt like crap the whole week; heavy legs and aching joints. When I got to Saturday’s long run of 12.5 miles, far less than the week before, my body was begging for a break, but I pressed on and ran what turned out to be 12 of the most miserable miles of my life. The run was so rough by mile 9 that I walk-ran the last three miles, something I’ve never had to do. At that point, I began to recall the past week and pinpoint why I felt so bad; it quickly became apparent. I didn’t take care of myself in the hours and days after my long run, and I was paying for it. Right then, I vowed to focus the coming week’s energy on rest and recovery, so I’d be ready for today’s 18-miler.

This past week I’ve hydrated and I’ve eaten. I’ve had no more than one alcoholic drink in a sitting and I’ve foam-rolled daily. I ran Friday morning rather than Friday afternoon to increase recovery time before my morning long run. I made little choices every day in hope of maximizing my recovery and waking up with fresh legs.

I didn’t sleep well last night and I crawled out of bed this morning hesitant, worried about how the run would play out. As I began running towards Meridian Hill, where my running buddies would be waiting,  I immediately noticed that my legs felt fresh. I expected to feel this way until mile 8 or 9, but with each mile, I continued to evade the fatigue. Mile by mile flew by and I continued to feel like I’d just started. Finally, at mile 15 I said by to my running partner and headed towards my car. I feared I’d get tired, running alone the last few miles, but I put in my headphones and focused on relaxing. Those last 3 miles flew by and without realizing, my pace dropping significantly. When I was alerted by my phone I’d reached mile 18, I was actually disappointed. I felt great and I wasn’t ready to be done. Runner’s high. 

Last weekend was one of the worst long runs of my life and today, despite running 6 miles further, was one of the best. The difference between the runs was not fitness, motivation, shoes, or running partners, the difference was recovery. Today I was able to experience, for the first time, the tangible benefits of recovery and now, I’m convinced.  I’ve always had an “I’ll believe when I see it attitude” about recovery. Now, I’ve seen it and boy do I believe it. I wish I had this moment sooner, but from this day forward, my perspective on recovery is changed.

It’s Time to Talk About It

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and It’s Time to Talk About It. It’s time to share our stories and remove the stigma from mental illness and eating disorders. It’s time to talk about our struggles and share our recovery. It’s time to create a sense of community and empower others to embark on the road to recovery.

As I set off for my morning’s extra easy run after a rough week of marathon training, I was filled with inspiration. The Lane 9 project has officially been launched with the goal to educate, inspire, and empower active women about the Female Athlete Triad, amenorrhea, and disordered eating. With the creation of this project, a light has been brought to my life. I am passionate and hopeful about the future for women suffering from body image issues, disordered eating, and overexercising. The badass women I am working with are an inspiration and together we will create a movement that will change the path for so many active ladies. Head over to Lane 9 Project to see what we’re all about, be inspired, and join our community.

You are enough.


Running the Numbers

Running the Numbers

Runners are obsessed with numbers. We count miles, meters, minutes, steps, hills, workouts, and runs. We measure personal records, wind speed, temperature, heart rate, and weight. The sport is inundated with numbers.

Numbers have great value in running. Whether it’s time, distance, or place, numbers are the sole means of measuring our improvement in the sport. Numbers provide a training plan and can even keep us in check when we’re trying to do too much. But many of us become so shackled to the numbers that we never really just run. Dangerous habits develop when we run for the numbers rather than for the run.

In my experience, I’ve shed waterfalls of tears over the time on my watch. It sounds ridiculous saying it, but when you’ve placed your worth in the number on your wrist, you’ve got a lot riding on every run. I’ve deemed myself a failure for setting out to run 8 miles but calling it at 6, even though my body was down right exhausted. I’ve said things to myself I’d never dare say to someone I love just because the number on the scale increased by a pound from the day before.

I know one bad run doesn’t define success and I am aware that even a five-pound fluctuation on the scale is totally normally but when you’re bound to the numbers all logical thought flies out the window. When we chain ourselves to some shallow definition of success we never grant ourselves the chance to excel.

When the numbers start to suffocate you, take off your watch, close out your Strava, step away from the scale and take a breath. If you’re putting one foot in front of the other you are doing enough. There is plenty of time to run the numbers, it is foolish to do so every day.


Lady Gaga and Her ‘Normal’ Body

I wish we weren’t thanking Lady Gaga for being brave enough to bear her ‘normal’ stomach on national television. I wish we weren’t calling her stomach normal. I wish we weren’t talking about her body at all. But we are, so here are my thoughts:

Saying that Lady Gaga’s body is ‘normal’ does not give her enough credit. 

Lady Gaga took the stage and belted out song after song while performing aerial stunts, dancing, and running around the stage in heels (HOW!?). That is not the feat of a ‘normal’ body. That is a feat of a fit, strong, and healthy body. Lady Gaga was brave to show off her stomach, that society apparently deems as less than perfect, but it shouldn’t take bravery. Women’s body’s should not be so scrunitized that even someone as fit and strong as Gaga runs the risk of being shamed for showing some skin. We shouldn’t be talking about how Lady Gaga’s or any woman’s body looks, we should be focusing on what woman’s bodies can do.  

So here’s a little reminder to stop analyzing your stomach and your thighs, stop scrolling through Instagram’s of fitness models and celeberties. Instead, get up and move your body. Test your body to see what it can do and then say thank you. Thank your body for hanging in there despite the cruel things you often say to it. Thank your body for being powerful and strong, and for giving you the ability to move. As long as you’re doing the best you can to nourish your body and keep it moving, then chances are you’re pretty damn healthy and that is enough. 

Give Lady Gaga some more credit and give yourself some more credit. We are all more than just bodies and we are all enough.


A Female Athlete Triad Podcast

I watch the news while I’m getting ready in the morning but this morning, after about 10 minutes, I decided if I heard “Trump”, “Conway”, “travel ban” or “ethics” one more time I was gonna LOSE IT! So, I headed to YouTube, typed in “education Ted Talks”, clicked on one that sounded interesting and proceeded to lose it anyway. This gave me the idea to try listening to podcasts while I’m running. Not exactly a novel idea, but a first for me.

So today as I ran I listened to a podcast on the Female Athlete Triad that I found to be informational, easy to understand. and pretty insightful in many ways. (There was also a lot of chat about the paleo diet, which isn’t my jam, but the overarching messages are applicable to a wide range women.) Here are my thoughts and major takeaways.

You need your period. Is it nice to go 4months without breakouts, cramps, cravings, and tampons? Yes. But unfortunately, that isn’t good for you. Many women believe amenorrhea (not getting your period) is fine, but the longer you go without your period the greater damage you are doing to your body. Some consequences of amenorrhea are infertility, hormonal imbalance, and bone loss. Bone loss is a biggie, especially in your peak years of bone growth, and leads to osteoporosis. If you’re not getting your period, seek help to get it back. If you’re still not convinced it’s an actual problem, listen to the podcast for a brief science behind your period.

You need to sleep and eat. If you plan to eat, workout, and sleep, but you only have time for two of three you should prioritize eating and sleeping most of the time. This does not make you lazy, it makes you smart. In order to be at your physical and mental best you must be nourished and well-rested. Exercise is important, but if you’re not eating or sleeping exercise may be doing more harm than good. Train smarter not harder. 

Be willing to face your issues with food and exercise. If all you ever think about is food, exercise, and your body you’re probably not at your healthiest physically or mentally. Accept that those things may be an issue for you and work to challenge them head on.

If you have a problem, talk about it. Don’t have your period? Tell someone. Struggling with overexercising, undereating, or body image? Tell someone. Having people to support you lifts a huge weight off your shoulders. And chances are someone close to you is struggling with the same thing. Working out with a community is awesome, but it can also be problematic if you struggle to take time off and take care of yourself. If people in your fitness community catch you miss a day it’s commonplace for them to nag. This can be counterproductive for someone dealing with disordered eating or exercise patterns. But if people know what you are going through they will support you and encourage those days off rather than getting on your case for missing a workout.

Your people love you for you. They don’t love you because of your defined abs or your 5k time. They love you because you’re a good person with talents, ideas, and interests. Their love isn’t dependent on your current level of fitness. If your worried about what those around will think if you begin to exercise less, eat more, or simply use your time in other ways, go back to my last point and talk to them. Your friends and loved ones want you to be happy and healthy. They don’t care how thin you are or how fast you run, they will support you. You are enough. 



Moments. This life, our day to day existence, boils down to a collection of moments. Our moments define us. Small moments, monumental moments, long or short moments, wasted moments, forgettable moments, fleeting moments. All of our moments, pieces of a puzzle, assembled to become the image of our life. No one moment more important than its successor or predecessor, for without every piece, our puzzle shall never be complete. We hope for a greater abundance of moments and dream of longer moments. We wish our moments aways and drive them to speed past. As tragedy floods our lives, moments slow. We shiver as they breeze by with the wind in blissful times. Moment by moment, the pieces of our puzzle find their place. Every unconscious breath we take counts a moment that illustrates our life.

Every unconscious breath we take counts a moment that illustrates our life. Often, what we fail to recognize is that each and every one of us has only one puzzle. We throw pennies in a well, wishing for the pieces to another’s puzzle, not considering how they will never fit into our own. Our fate is destined in the moments we have been blessed with, it is a shame not to cherish each piece. As we wish to alter our moments we tend to forget they are not infinite. Once the last piece of our puzzle has been placed, our collection of moments becomes an image of our life.

We must hold sacred each moment we are given, for others are robbed of their pieces each day; never able to complete their puzzle. We must fill each moment with optimism and love, so that in the end, when all of our pieces fit, our puzzle is a work of subtlety flawed beauty to be admired for eternity.