A Mild Monday Morning

That’s what it is here in New York today.  The humidity and threat of summer already beginning to make itself known.  But for now it’s still that special breed of morning cool, dew, and light.

And it’s just 10am.

Are you sick, Christiane?  Why… how are you still home at 10 on a Monday?

Yes, I ask myself that occasionally, as I’m sure others do.  But gone are the days of waking up at 5:30am to commute to work, ping-pong between jobs, and finally arrive back home around 11pm just to collapse on the bed and to it all over again a few hours later.

That’s right, I’ve gotten a new job… well more like I’ve climbed up a rung or so on the proverbial ladder.   I’ve been with this company 2 years June and stuck it out (even when it seemed like the end) so a promotion came with open arms.  That’s not to say it’s all fun and games.  It’s a total retraining, relearning, re-strategizing process.

I work in sales.  No, not retail so much anymore.  Not hospitality,  although my Southern charm has come in hand way to many times.  Sales.  Membership sales.  Sales of an intangible practice at lofty prices.

Sure, I can talk about the value and benefits all day long.  I can put you in the right class again and again and know you are enjoying it.  But then comes asking.  Asking for or assuming the sale.  It’s not like selling a pair of shorts– OK, these fit and they look good.  I need shorts, cause it’s warming up and all.  Great, I’ll buy these shorts.  I know they are what I want and I know I will have immediate use for them.

It’s not exactly the same process for a membership.  “Would you like to continue your practice with us?”  Sure, maybe I would… but I’m traveling and what if I get hurt and can’t take class or I get busy with work and never make it in for the classes I want.  I’m sure I will enjoy it, but I want to come 3 times a week and I know I won’t be able to any time soon…  Wait, it’s now much?  Will I be coming enough to justify spending that?

I hear it every day.  Smiles and Southern flair only get you so far.  And that’s where my biggest challenge lies…  in the new uncharted unknown.

I’ve also found myself so much more immersed in the business… the numbers game or a large company.  The stat reports and corresponding percentages are suddenly something I check and actively participate in every day.

So why am I writing about this as I sip my coffee and procrastinate putting on stretchy pants and a blouse for work?  1.  Because I thought my fabulous blog community should be made away that I have a new position and will probably be writing more about it.  and 2. Because of the newest book i picked up the other day for summer reading.

While browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble on 80 something and Broadway I picked up my usual- the latest edition of Women’s Running, another book on the cosmos, Origins by Neil DeGras Tyson, a book recently turned major motion picture that was recommended by a good friend, Wild, and then I found myself in the Business Management section.  Here I was drawn to a book bearing the Starbucks logo– Onward; How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, by the company CEO Howard Schultz.

I don’t know what it was about the book or the moment, but I had to have it.  Will it unlock some hidden secret about working in a corporate company?  Maybe… I have no idea.  All I know is I haven’t been able to put it down.  My train commute is now something to look forward to rather then hold off on a long as possible.

While I’m not very far into it yet, a section of Onward stuck with me and I will leave you with it.

lovealways, Christiane

“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.  But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing in the right and best thing to do.  We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”

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Running- Through My Eyes

So, I was running the other day… yes, what else is new?

I was running through Central Park, my required 5 mile run for half-marathon training… ok that’s kinds cool but what does it have to do with eyes?

And I was in total awe of how beautiful the park was with the setting sun sparkling off the snow and ice, which was covering the ground and trees.  It looked something like a winter wonderland.  A silent white glistening undisturbed other-world.

I suddenly had the desire to show everyone what beauty I stare at when I run.  I wanted to share that with everyone.

It’s the same way I feel when I’m running Hudson Greenway/ Riverside Park path and the George Washington Bridge appears for the first time in the distance around a corner, peeking up from behind the trees.

GWB sunset

Or the way I felt on New Years Eve on the downhill final mile of the run- New York City all lit up for the night coming into view in all it’s splendor and glory.

I don’t know how to show it.  To share what I see.  And I don’t know if any of you would care.  I can’t find words to do the view justice… and I can’t stop a run every 2 minutes to take more pictures.

So what’s the point of this post?  
I don’t really know.  I do know that I haven’t written in ages and that when I’m running these are just things I realize.  I suppose, what i see is so often what keeps me going.  I’m almost finished with week 2 of training and it’s starting to take me to places that are truly challenging.  I know it will only get harder before it gets easier and I reach the final prize.  And when I’m somewhere in the middle of a run and my mind starts to talk me down and get tired I start looking around me.  I put myself in the present moment and open my eyes to truly see what I’m in.  I distract my mind with light and shadows and eventually it clears and is calm and quiet.  My body takes over and I look on.

Snowy trees

I had someone ask if I get emotional when I run… or when I’m done with a run.  My reply- Yes.  “When I do a really good run- in time, distance, or just feeling- I get a little choked up at the end (and sometimes in the middle when I hear my mile count and get really proud of myself).  Partly because it’s over, and partly because- in that moment- I feel so powerful and amazing”.

I’m discovering how personal running can be.  It’s become more then just a workout routine for me… more then just a way to lose weight or make myself forget about how lonely I am.  It’s a time when it’s just me.  I have to be honest and true to myself and no one else.  It comes down to myself- body and mind,  my shoes, and the road(or the tread mill).

I still have a long way to go to 13.1 miles… then eventually the big 26.2.  In fact, in about 12 hours I’ll be out on a 5 mile run to wrap up this week.  But the only one who’s gonna get me there is me. 

What keeps you moving?  Comment, Share, Like, Follow, Tweet (@nychristiane) or Instagram (@nychristiane).

lovealways, christiane

#Motivation

Happy New Year, lovely readers!

What are you up to today?  cleaning, sleeping, socializing, gym hunting, hangover nursing?  Well, whatever it is, I hope you are enjoying it.  Me, I’m relaxing in leggings and an oversized shirt eating a leisurely breakfast and writing to you, after sleeping in and recovering from my events last night… we will get to that in a minute.

Let us first talk about New Years.  A time when people party hard on 12/31 and ofter regret it the next morning.  A time when we get resolutions or intents for the next 12 months and (if we remember them for that long) try to see them through.  New Years is often about staying up late and possibly being out in the cold to watch object (a ball, a peach, a pelican) “drop” as thousands count down the last 10 seconds of the old year and welcome in the new one with confetti and cheers.   For many it’s a time to be with friends, family, and loved ones.  A kiss at midnight recognizing love and good luck is often shared between couples.  It’s a night to dress up and see fireworks another night then July 4th.

This New Years was… is… will continue to be different for me.  I didn’t dress up fancy- although my outfit all together was over $300.  I didn’t share it with anyone in particular- yet I shared 4 miles and a whole evening with 4000+ total strangers.  I didn’t hug or kiss anyone- I did cheers myself with sparkling cider along the way.  I didn’t set a “resolution” so much as I changed my focus… my personal motivation for getting up in the morning.

What did I do to ring in 2015?  I participated in the New York Road Runners 4 mile Midnight Run through Central Park… at, you guessed it, the stroke of midnight.  A massive fireworks display right in front of us kicked things off as several thousand runners took of to bring in the new year the best way we know how, in one of the most amazing cities north of the ATL  (lol).  I overcame so much in just a few hours.  I did this all alone… not with a group to follow… I took myself down and figured it out.  I did this in 30 degrees!!  25 or so with the wind chill… that’s cold guys, for me anyway.  I realized I’m overcoming my aversion to the cold (when dressed properly) and actually enjoyed it.  And I never stopped…  of course my pace varied, but I never stopped running, and this is a big one for me.  My mind gets tired well before my body and I’m often tempted to quit… but I didn’t not that night.

For me, this run will set the trend for my year.  I’m not making a resolution, as much as I’m setting my motivation.  Over the past several months it has been brought to my attention that I seldom do things because “I want to”.  It’s always been because it will please someone else, or make them happy in a long run, or look good when I go out with them, or to beat myself up for “mistakes” I have made.  I’ll let you all in on something not so pretty– all those days of fitness I did and nearly everything else for the past 5 months has been predominantly motivated by this thought, “If your Ex is that talented and good looking and amazing and YOU messed that up, you deserve to shred your muscles and push your body and beat yourself up… if for no other reason then that for a short time the physical pain is more intense then the emotional pain and for that time you don’t feel it”.

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Yes, I know that’s unhealthy and I’m tired of it.  So in this new year- I am my motivation.  This year I am going to set goals, most likely various races in NYC, do things that make me happy.

“I will run for… myself.  To be the best me in this new year”.  to quote my race bib.

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If you think that sounds selfish, it’s not.  Through a lot of thought, reflection, and growth I recognized that I have always done things to please others… that has been my motivation. But this is un-healthy and un-sustainable (as events in the past months have demonstrated).  However, if I am a truly confident and happy individual it will please others (and myself) for longer… healthier relationships.

This is going to be a new Christiane in a new year and I am pumped.  Not just running and working out… using my time, resources, and creative skills more.  I will write more.  I will make the time to grocery shop and cook again.  I will get my butt to classes.  I will socialize and explore.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy…  but I’m not going to dwell on things I can’t fix and instead be in the present and be in it for me.

So y’all, what’s your New Years resolution… or motivation?  Share here if you would like, or just write it someplace for yourself and see what the year brings.

lovealways, 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

On the 1st Day of Fitness

Took a foam roller to my upper back and shoulders.

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After running a lot this weekend and sitting at a computer at work, my back is tight! Using a foam roller helps to release tension and open my back and chest. It’s important to stretch and strengthen your muscles. I find it relaxing too! BE CAREFUL: don’t roll out lower back and be safe on your IT band. Take care of your body!

Foam Rollers have been getting a lot of press recently, both good and bad. The way I see it, and the same goes for any type of physical activity that you choose to engage in, educate yourself and know your body. Ask your Yoga or Pilates teacher, gym personal trainer, or read about it. Knowing what you are doing and doing it correctly will mean YOU get the most beneficial results. Women’s Health has some basic “rolls” that I enjoy and wanted to share.

Comment, Share, Like, Follow, and JOIN ME as I embark on 25 Days of Fitness physical, mental, and everything in between. Check out my Instagram @nychristiane for the daily posts as well as the blog! Let’s encourage each other!

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

Time. All it takes is time.

That’s a line from a song that has been floating in and out of my thoughts for weeks now, but I can’t place it or find it anywhere!  I can hear the melody and everything, but can’t recall any other lyrics, much less where it’s from.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?!  

Anyway, regardless– the concept, that anything takes time– is what truly resonates with me.
Time to grow
Time to heal
Time to learn
Time to practice
Time to adventure
Time to gain perspective
Time to understand
Time.

Time is something I’ve struggled with in various ways over the years.
Wishing I had more time
Remembering back to a different time
Not knowing what to do with my time
Having to much to do and not enough time
Wanting to go back in time

The list could go on.

But it’s not ok to live like that, I’ve discovered. Always living in a different time. Because then you are never living in the NOW, you will miss all the experiences and people that are coming and going around you because you are to busy stuck in a past time.
I’m not saying this is always easy, but when you can it opens you up to a lot of fun things.

This isn’t intended to be a long story based post, just a short muse on a topic… and to out these song lyrics out there into the universe, that maybe someone will recognize them and help me fill in what I’m missing, or just what the song it!

Anybody  know??  Or have personal reflections on the concept of time?  How it’s affected you?

Comment, share, like, tweet, reblog, etc!

Time is always been something I’ve struggled and played with- so much so that it, and a book titled, “Einstein’s Dream”, sparked a dance piece that I did the summer before my 1st year of college.  I don’t share this one much, and no comments on my movement technique at the time, but I think we all wish we could freeze some moments.  (And yes, back to the days of being super blond!)

 

I hope you all enjoy,

 

lovealways,  christiane

 

“it is’t yes, it’s not quite no”