Ruin is the Road to Transformation- RUN

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All my runners out there you know this number.  The mile count for a half marathon.  Of which I have now done twice.  Perhaps you’ve run so many you’ve lost count, or you have just begun training towards your first 5K with your sights set on the miles ahead.  Where ever you are, be proud of where you are and excited for where you will go.

Me, a runner?  Tell me that a few years ago and I would have laughed in your face.  I was perfectly happy on the elliptical for my cardio and running the occasional 5K that took the better part of an hour to complete.  I didn’t love running… if anything it hurt my body like crazy and I couldn’t breath.

Ok, yes- in college I started to run more, like outside for distances greater then 2 miles, with the proper shoes and with a group of people.  My times weren’t anything special and I was worn out by the activity.  Skip ahead to my move to NYC and I was trying very hard to maintain my miles.  But city running and summer heat made me put on the breaks.  Fast forward to moving in with the boyfriend, running at the gym increased as we both joined Planet Fitness but try to run outside with someone who’s legs are twice as long and I was left in the dust.  Losing self respect and self confidence, my running shoes say the dark of my closet.


Wait, what??  Now I have 2 half marathon medals hanging on my wall?  When did this happen?

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and set out to accomplish something just for you.  Starting on New Years Eve and the Midnight Run, I committed to myself to do things just for me this year.  To set new goals and reach them.  To challenge myself, through running.  And I signed up for 2 half marathons.  3 weeks apart.

First, I ran the MORE SHAPE Women’s Half in Central Park.   This race marked so much for me.  One year to the date that I was thrown out of my home and relationship.  One year of not giving up or giving in.  Once year of hard work and job promotions.  One year of being totally alone and OK with that.  3.5 years sense my dad passed from cancer. Like 6 years sense graduating high school.  Almost 2 years sense graduating college and moving to NYC.

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Let me tell you, 13.1 miles gives you a lot of time to think!  But finishing better then I had predicted for myself, and 2:24:20, at that finish line all I could think about what how amazing this experience was and how much I wanted more water.

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But crossing that line to cheers, cause everyone is cheering everyone on- that’s when it’s all worth it.  The medal isn’t bad either!!

IMG_3487 (no works, only happy smiles)… (water?)

Then I ran the Brooklyn Half.  Yes, I trekked to Brooklyn (from Inwood) to set out on another 13.1 mile adventure that included airport security, 5 miles run in pouring rain, and a new PR- shaving off 3 minutes and crossing the finish line at 2:21:03.  OH, and another medal!

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I’ve also made some amazing friends alone the way.  People in my neighborhood, other runners new to the distance, and people to compare compressions shorts with.

My amazing beautiful awesome roommates have been there for me at the finish line every time and thanks to live tracking, friends and family who can’t make it to Central Park, and certainly not Brooklyn have been able to be a part of the experience.


“Ruin is the road to transformation” ~ Eat Pray Love

Had I not fallen so far, felt like I lost so much, and desperately not wanted to give in and leave… I never would have decided to conquer a half marathon, much less 2.  I wanted, no needed, to be a part of something. I needed to do something that only I could control… that i had to hold myself accountable too (training), and that wasn’t FOR anyone else but me.  I didn’t run these races or set expectations to show off for anyone but myself and honestly, I didn’t care what others thought or if anyone else even cared.

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I can see now now far I’ve come.  I have found out things about myself that only surface when you have a lot of alone time with yourself.  I’m stronger physically (well yes) but also mentally and emotionally.  And that feels really amazing.


Long runs are about over now for the summer, but training never stops and there are more courses to conquer and medals to accept!

lovealways, Christiane

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May this be better

Oh dear blog readers.   Yup, here I go writing again.  But this time I make no promises to write everyday or about all that I do.  Clearly, my personal goal to try and live in the moment and my full time busy work schedule takes away from my time to sit quietly in bed and write long posts.

Instead, as I near my 2 year New York-iversary, I’ve decided to post at least once a week… and for a while I have a feeling there will be a lot of catching up on past events.

Oh there are so many things I want to share.  But as I am chillin in the living room with a nice Riesling, take-out, and Mulan (oh, and 2 silly cats), I can’t write it all now.

So I’ll let you know what I want to share with you in the days to come: HALF MARATHON!!  like I ran one and it was amazing.  Job promotion… and ALL the things that come with that… ugh.  City adventures, new friends, and new goals.  I’m sure there will be some personal venting and all that good stuff, but all in due time.

This is what I will leave you with— April 19th (Yes, also the same day of my first Half Marathon) marked 1 year to that date that I have been living, deciding, and surviving on my own.  Never knowing where you will be sleeping tomorrow night makes having a safe, cozy, beautiful home so much more amazing.  I can see how much I have grown in that time and where I haven’t.  But mostly to never give up on and stay true to yourself.

<3always, Christiane

On all the Days of Fitness I’ve missed!

That would be the 8th-18th Days.

Wow… I now it’s been a while… which wasn’t supposed to happen, sense i was planning on writing every day for my 25 Days of Fitness.

Well, I want y’all to know that I HAVE been doing something every day!!  I’ve been posting on Instagram (@nychristiane) which is a lot easier and faster (sometimes) then working on a whole post. BUT I want to post everything on here and catch you up on my adventure!!

I’ll just caption each photo with what I did that day.  By the 25th… or 26th… I’ll do a nice reflection post.

So here we go… a photo array of the past 11 days and my fitness endeavors!

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On the 7th Day of Fitness:  I was up with the sun, headed to the Gym.  Today was a short run with high incline.  Then I came home and taught my roommate a Pilates Mat 1 class focused on arms and core!  Challenge your body and share your knowledge!

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On the 8th Day of Fitness:  I wanted to see if I could sprint out a 10 minute mile… and well, I can!!  Varying your running in distance, incline, speed, etc. can be a great way to keep your body on its toes!  Also did a fantastic upper body workout with weights!  Not a bad Monday.

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On the 9th Day of Fitness:  self led Pilates class with a focus on arms!!  I like to use easy alb weights.  Keep in mind, using light weights will build strong lean muscles (not lots of bull) so- ladies especially- don’t be afraid to pick up the weights for your arms reps!!  A strong supportive upper body can be a powerful, beautiful thing!

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On the 10th Day of Fitness:  Oh the weather outside was frightful (it was snowing) but the treadmill is so delightful!  Core work and 3 mile run today!  Feeling good and staying warm as winter sets in.  Remember it’s important to layer and stay hydrated!!

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On the 11th Day of Fitness: I had to listen to my body, which was saying “If you even thing about putting on those shoes, I”m gonna fall right off that treadmill”.  Instead, I reviewed my Pilates certification material and read Women’s Running Magazine with my snuggle flurries and some vitamin C (and Christmas music!).  It can be hard, but it’s always important to listen to your body and take it easy when needed.  Good food and sleep will only help your body on it’s path to health and fitness.

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On the 12th Day of Fitness:  I gave myself an intense Pilates class and included props.  Difficult 1 footed bridge shows here, lift and lower the free leg makes this a fun glut workout.  Then gave my feet some love and attention with Tune-Up Therapy balls!

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On the 13th Day of Fitness:  Core, arms, leg, and glut work.  Then a really kick ass run!  The process clearly isn’t pretty, but I”m loving the results.  I nearly gave up today at the 3 mile mark, but I kept going- one foot in front of the other- and the last mile was actually the easiest!  It’s a mind over matter case and my body was up for the push. Feeling super good!!

Don’t ask me where the picture for the 14th Day of Fitness is… I can’t get it to upload at the moment!  which is frustrating cause it’s pretty.  But on that day I got to take Pilates class before work.  Class had a serious focus on lower abs and triceps.  Then took some time to roll out my legs from that run last night!  Challenge yourself, but know when your body needs rest.

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On the 15th Day of Fitness:  Today was a guilt free rest day.  My body has been feeling and performing very well but I know that if I push it to hard without enough rest and rebuilding time between workouts, I won’t always feel as good.  I like to be active, so taking a day off from the gym or the mat is hard.  I did though do some body conscious shopping– can’t wait to foam roll after my next run and to unveil my new gear from Jack Rabbit Running!!

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On the 16th Day of Fitness:  Stretch, core, arms, and a chill run!  Feeling really good today.  Sometimes some quiet time at the gym can make even the longest days a lot better.  Can’t wait to go home and roll out a little on my new roller!

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On the 18th Day of Fitness:  I.. Ummm…. Didn’t make it to the gym or to a class or anything.  I did what healthy, walk around the city a lot, and carry bags of holiday gifts all over.  While I had my gym bag packed, in the end I decided sleep was more important this evening.  Not disappointed or upset with myself, just more motivated for tomorrow.

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And that brings us to TODAY!!!  On the 18th Day of Fitness:  Wanted some cardio without the impact, so I hit the bike today!  6 miles in 30 minutes plus full core, back, and leg workout… oh and threw some arms in there too!  Feeling good today and looking forward to tomorrow!

It’s been a really awesome few days!  It’s also been brought to my attention that I’m motivating others!!!!  I think that’s totally amazing and makes me even more motivated on days I don’t want to get out of bed.

As usual, please comment, share, like, follow, etc!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I have something special planned.  😉

lovealways, Christiane

It’s December!!

Happy Monday darling readers!
Can you believe it’s December 1st already? Where has 2014 gone?! I’m not really sure, but it’s definitely been a roller coaster of a year.

I started the day… the month… off this something seasonal and festive– my perfectly crafted Christmas Pandora Radio station and a Peppermint Mocha. If that does not say December, then I don’t know what would. And so far it’s been a successful day.

So, on the BLOG side of things, I wanted to start this month off this something new and seasonal and festive and I came up with “25 Days of Fitness” (a spoof on the 25 Days of Christmas). My goal is to share with you my fitness endeavors and progressions– I want to encourage myself to do something for my body every day and share it! These posts will mostly be short and sweet (i hope). Mostly just a picture of whatever I worked on that day and a brief personal thought or reflection on it. I’m really coming at this from my Instagram- so find and follow me @nychristiane too!!

So your thinking– “Great! We are just gonna get a bunch of pics of treadmill mileage.” Well, that’s probably kinds true, but not totally. I’m working on running, yes… but also Pilates, Yoga, Cross-training, Meditation… and more. Fitness can have many forms and I want to look into more then just cardio.

Look for the first post later today!! (What it will be focusing on will be a surprise)

I hope you all will follow along and maybe pick up your own “25 Days of Fitness”!! Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, personal goals, progress, anything you want- here!

And as always- share, comment, like, follow, chirp, etc! @nychristiane on Instagram and Twitter!

lovealways, christiane

Sharing is Scary Part 2: “Solo” in Progress

Happy Friday fabulous readers!

As promised, I’m continuing to work on and share dance performance and choreography. In this post I’m featuring the first rehearsal footage of a brand new piece I’m working on. This solo, untitled to date, is being performed by yours truly at the moment. I have always feared sharing a piece when is it still very much in progress, because things will change, be added or taken away, and people don’t always take well to seeing mistakes. However, I want to keep working on this piece and I feel like I will be more motivated if I have an audience to share it with. This is also helping me overcome my reservations and hesitations of sharing my original work.  (the link is at the bottom of the post… in hopes that you will read the post then watch the piece!)

 

With this piece being in progress, I thought I would talk a little about the many aspects and pieces that come together to begin work on a piece of choreography, at least as it applies to me. Each dancer and choreographer has their own process and method of working, so do not define the “choreographers way” as what I’m about to talk about… this is just my way.

 

MUSIC

Music is an important, but not totally crucial aspect for dance performance. Many pieces are done with and without music, sometimes the dancers know the track before getting onstage, other times it may be a game of chance. Some choreographers prefer not to use music with lyrics, not wanting the movement or the audience’s perception of the movement to be affected by the preexisting tone of the music.

Personally, I like to choreograph with my music already chosen. I don’t mind pieces with lyrics, but I’ll usually look for one that will compliment the style, movement and “story” of my dance. Often, when I hear a piece of music, I can already start to see the movement come to life in my head… this is how I know it’s something I want to work with. However, it’s not always the first piece of music that ends up fitting for a piece of dance. For this solo, I had chosen a very different piece of music, one that was very personal to me, and would fir well with the track for “Shaded Blue”… but at this time I was not motivated as I should be, to choreograph to it.   The piece I ended up choosing, “Elements” by Lindsay Stirling (check out her site and music!), found me. It came on a co-workers Pandora Radio station on day and I was hooked.  I could feel the creative juices starting to flow and I wanted to start creating right there in the middle of work… I know this was a piece I had to work with.

 

MOVEMENT

I like to create and set movement that is comfortable in my body. If I’m working on a piece for myself, or without a particular performer in mind, I will create using movement that highlight my strengths and show my body the way I want. On the other hand, if I’m setting movement on a particular dancer(s) or working with someone specific in mind, I will choreograph to highlight their strengths, while staying true to my form and style. For example, the opening solo to “Shaded Blue” which was specifically designed for Emily! I’m not at all adverse to making choreographic adjustments in the future, to make any piece a better fit for the dancer.

I have a tendency to pull from the variety of styles 

 

STRUCTURE, FORM, FUTURE

Some choreographers have a piece already mostly set, either in theirs heads or on paper, then the rehearsal process is just getting that out onto actual dancers. Others prefer to create as they go… maybe having definite points or movements that will happen as a given time, but the rest come together like a puzzle as they work. I am a little of both I think, depending on the piece. “Shaded Blue” was 90% written out on paper before I ever set foot in the studio with it and dancers. While changes and adjustments were made throughout the process, most of it is as I originally set. This new solo, on the other hand, is very much coming together each time I get in the studio to work.  While I have some ideas for the overall look and direction of the piece, I don’t always know what’s coming next… so much of my rehearsal time, right now, is playing and seeing what comes out.  The rehearsal process will be for another post… Yay, something to look forward too!!

In my head, this piece is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” (premiered in the last Sharing is Scary post). watch it again! While “Shaded Blue” was more so movement for movement’s sake, this solo is a little more aggressive and the character is troubled. There is more tension on the stage and she is always looking off to something else… something just off stage… something she can’t have. The movement is more angular and sharp and I actually love the silhouette look I got in the studio! The music adds to the driving element, while being light and easy to listen to… and believe me, I listen to it a LOT!  the first week of working on this piece, I listened to the track every day on my 45 minute train commute, just to get it in my body and lear the music, phrasing, and character.  

When this piece will be finished… performed… with or without “Shaded Blue” is beyond me.  Right now I’m working on it so I can keep creating and to have something special to share with you all!  I would LOVE to reset Blue with this piece when it’s done… but I also don’t want to rush myself so I truly create something I’m proud of and enjoy.  (“Shaded Blue” is by far my favorite piece of Modern/Contemporary dance I’ve done… so this new one has a big sister to live up to)!!

And on that note… I should fork over the link to the new piece and let y’all see it for yourselves!  Here it is “Solo” 2014.  Please feel free to share, like, comment, etc!!  I love your feedback and support!  

 

Love always,  Christiane 

 

Sharing is Scary: Part 1 “Shaded Blue”

As some of you probably know and others may not, I’m a dancer.  I’ve been dancing sense age 4 and have built up quite an impressive resume over the years.  I love performing, being on stage, directing, choreographing, etc.  However, I’ve always had a hard time sharing my work while it’s in progress… or really sharing my work any other way but live.  I’ve decided that is something I want to work on- to overcome.  While I think dance, and most live performing arts are better live I know there is a huge outlet for it via video, online, etc.  I’ve decided, that to overcome this fear and to get my work seen by a few more eyes, I will work on releasing various performances, pieces, and clips of work here on the blog!

 I’m starting with a piece I did a few years ago that is truly one of my favorites and one that I would love to put on the stage again.  “Shaded Blue” was choreographed in 2012 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA as an assignment for my Choreo. 2 class.  The semester before in Choreo. 1, I set a piece about my father and our struggle with his cancer and the aftermath of losing him.  That work, “Holding On/ Chasing Dreams” was an emotionally charged piece that above anything else was a way for me to express what I had been through.  After working on a piece so deep and personal, I wanted to create a piece that was just movement for the heck of it!  Phrases that felt really good in the dancers bodies and didn’t tell a deeper story.  Something that moved and was happy and beautiful, creative and flowing.  I actually wrote out all the choreography on an airplane.  I could just see the piece in my head, I didn’t need to feel it in my body, I already knew what was coming next.  This quartet is set to an original piece of music by Kyle Lacy, titled “Iceberg Shade of Blue”.  In a way, we collaborated on creating the perfect track for the final performance, editing sound levels, length, vocals, etc. It was exciting to create a new dance to a new piece of music, I was able to pull inspiration from the raw music and share the work of another artist.  The performers are all friends and fellow dance majors from Agnes.  Setting this work on them was fun and in many ways, easy, because we could all communicate and just play in the early stages of choreography to create some movement that was personal and individualized for each dancer.

And now I have to share!!   Click here, here, or HERE to see the Promo short for “Shaded Blue”.  This is a 1 minute clip that should spark your interest and make you want to see the whole dance…  Then you can click This, that, or the other for the full length video!!!   I hope you enjoy 🙂   (yes- everything in orange is a hyperlilnk to my youtube channel and the indicated performance video.  You have plenty of options on where to click…. and hopefully you will watch more then once!)

I was constantly inspired and loved working on this piece of choreography.  But I know it does not stand alone.  I have begun work on a new solo which is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” and may be one of three in total!  Exciting things are happening and I plan to keep sharing, so keep an eye out for more “Sharing is Scary” entries that will contain snippets of new work and progress as well as (hopefully) thoughts and insight on my process.  

Please do continue to read, share, follow, like, and comment!

love always,  Christiane

And if you read this far, you get a bonus- here is a special release 15 second clip of the new solo http://instagram.com/p/sEIFF2m4EL/

Enjoy and know there is more to come!

This Town ain’t Big Enough for the 2 of Us

Have you ever thought, “I’ll never run into anyone I know in this huge big city!”  “How great, I can re-invent myself here, I doubt I’ll meet anyone I know”. 

 

Well, let me tell you, I used to think that way about NYC and quickly figured out this was not truly the case.  Over the past year or so in New York City, I’ve come to the realization that while the city itself is heavily populated, the island of Manhattan is quite small.  According to City of New York Department of City Planning (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/census/popcur.shtml), in 2010 the reported population in New York City was an estimated  8,175,133 people with 1,585,873 of those residing on Manhattan.  The island of Manhattan itself has a total area of 23.7 square miles, measures 13.4 miles in length, and 2.3 miles at it’s widest.   (http://www.nycgo.com/articles/nyc-statistics-page)   So really, one is not all that far away from a LOT of people.  

On more then one occasion I’ve totally randomly ended up on the same train car right next to someone I know and maybe haven’t seen or talked to in years. For example-this past Friday I was catching the A train uptown from an evening of yoga classes in SoHo and who do I sit catty corner to?? Why Michael Wells, my swing partner (in crime) of 3 years back when we were in The Rug Cutters at Decatur School of Ballet!! Now of course I didn’t realize who it was right away. We were both sitting, reading, and in general tuning out anything on the New York subway that was happening. It wasn’t until we both looked up listening to the train announcer that we caught each other’s eye, took a moment to process who we were seeing, that we both broke into huge smiles and nearly screamed “Oh my GOD! I know you!“… Then proceeded to catch each other up on the past several years of our lives.This was a happy train run in. We’d been in the same city for over a year, sooner or later seems like we were bound to happen upon one another.

 

With the result of recent events in my life, I’ve come to wonder if this city is big enough for the two of us… ya know. Two people with similar (not the same… Clarifying that!) interests and similar commutes. What happens if… when we run into each other? Is this city big enough to keep us away and apart. If that’s what one wants, I guess so… New York can make or break dream, so why can’t it drive people together or apart? I suppose it can… It has.  

I suppose the reason behind this post, as random as it seems, is this:  As summer draws to a close and we return back to the city to prepare for what the Fall and Winter will bring what will happen.  I’m not backing down from whatever dream it is that I’m living out here but neither should anyone else.  So if there ever were to be that 1 in 100 train run in… how will it go down?  Is this city big enough for the both of us?

 

Comment, share, like, follow.  Instagram and Twitter  @NYChristiane

 

love always, Christiane

 

 

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