Monday, November 24, 2014

A Non-Runner at The Philadelphia Marathon

Do you know how I feel about running? Are you one of the people who've heard my stupid story from when I tried to be a runner about five years ago? Long story short: I'm a hater of running. But yesterday, I cheered on the Philadelphia Marathon. 

I have no idea where my enthusiasm came from when I arrived at the City Fit Girls Official Cheer Zone at Mile One, but I started cheering at 7am & I didn't stop until the last runner had passed us.
City Fit Girls!
Mile One--here they come!
Mile One
But wait, there's more! Cheering at Mile One wasn't enough for us, so we walked on over to Mile 12 & cheered for almost two more hours! 
Mile 12
Clearly, I had a lot of fun making my sign (google "dirty marathon signs"--it was a tough choice!), but when I decided to start reading people's names on their bibs & personalizing my cheering, that's when the fun really began. I just thought, if I was running (hahaha, yeah right), I'd love to be called out by name. It motivates me in group fitness classes, it would motivate me in a marathon, too. 

I won't be out there training for a marathon soon or anything (or ever), but I loved the feeling of being part of something greater, something that attracts people from all walks of life, something that builds community. 

As I said loudly & repeatedly yesterday, I think you marathon runners are pretty crazy, but I respect the hell out of all of you & I'm proud to cheer you on. See you next year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

On Flywheel, Fitness, & New Beginnings

I used to be able to put my ankles behind my head & now I can barely touch my toes. I'm searching for my middle path.

I used to be a yogi. I started practicing yoga 16 years ago, started teaching yoga 9 years ago. Yoga was my first love & my only form of fitness. Until I got hurt. I idolized the wrong teacher & I ended up with knee & hip & shoulder injuries which resulted in chronic joint pain. My last year in Miami, I was pretty much off the yoga mat, but I worked out with a great trainer twice a week who really helped me rebuild some stability in my body.

When I first moved to Philly, I immediately got back on the mat, but found my old injuries flaring up pretty quickly. It was then that I discovered Flywheel. Here was something completely different, something totally out of my comfort zone, & my body felt great! For the first time in my life, I was enjoying cardio. And as much as I fell in love with the endorphins of Flywheel, I also fell in love with the people of Flywheel. More important than the amazing workouts I had over the last year & a half are the amazing friends I've made. But with this new comfort zone, that old joint pain is pretty bad again & I think I know what I need to do about it.

See, I went from super gentle yoga girl to badass Flywheel baller. And now it's finally time for me to find some middle ground. I desperately need the stretching of yoga & I cannot live without the endorphins of cardio. But there is that obvious 3rd piece of the puzzle that I've been ignoring. And at my age, that's a big mistake. Yes, it's time for me to add strength training to the mix.

To that end, I joined 12th Street Gym. Offering a huge variety of classes/week, it's a one-stop-shop for all of my totally-out-of-my-comfort-zone fitness needs. And the thing is, if I'm being completely honest with myself, Flywheel kind of costs more than I can actually afford, especially if I need to do other things too. Obviously, I still think that Flywheel is worth every penny & I would not take back one minute or dollar that I spent there, but for the 1st time in my life, I'm finally trying to live within my means & 12th Street Gym fits quite nicely in my budget.

I cried when I left Flywheel yesterday. Which is ridiculous because I'll totally be at Hayley's 80s Hair Bands Theme Ride on Thursday. I'm not leaving forever, how could I? The only real change is that I just won't be flying 4-5 days/week anymore. And that's OK.

So. New LJ does a variety of workouts & she follows a budget. I like her already.

<3,
LJ


Monday, October 6, 2014

Coming Home

I was in central Florida last week. I saw my bestie & her daughters for a couple days, then headed over to my annual conference for work.

I had a great time--lots of laughs, lots of really positive team building, lots of learning, lots of connecting with people I only get to see once a year. I even presented with great success. As I do every year, right now I have the post-conference blues & I can't wait for the Lead Teacher face to face in about six months to hang with at least part of my crew again.

But if I'm being really honest, I am so very happy to be home. That moment the plane touched down in Philly was a happy one. Being back in my awesome Center City apartment, getting takeout from Govinda's as soon as I finished unpacking...so damn good. Then I had a great Philly weekend: two Flywheel rides, walking the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, eating at Almaz & Hip City Veg, cocktails at Charlie was a sinner (do check out their fall menu!).
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. Photo Credit Ed Coffin
There really is no place like home.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

City Fit Girls

I've already told you about my friends Takia & Kiera & how awesome they are. They are seriously all about making the world a better place. In a variety of ways. I want to talk about two of those ways: the 2nd annual City Fit Girls FitRetreat & Meal Planning 101.
Kiera & Takia at FitRetreat 2014. Photo credit Darren Burton
This year's City Fit Girls FitRetreat was phenomenal. So many incredible session options--workouts, lectures, panel discussions! And so many incredible vendors! My favorite part was Kiera's Club Cardio--I love the way Kiera leads a workout--with a constant smile on her face. I also enjoyed the session on the Psychology of Eating. And the vendor I'm now obsessed with is THINX--moisture wicking, stain/leak resistant, anti-microbial, absorbent, & GORGEOUS period panties! So. Great workout, great knowledge, & a new obsession! I'd say the FitRetreat was a success!

Meanwhile, Takia also leads the Meal Planning 101 Series. I highly recommend signing up for this. I know what I need to do to eat correctly, but sometimes, I need a little nudge. Enter Meal Planning. Takia sends bi-weekly emails, chock full of educational nutritional goodness. She teaches you how to navigate the grocery store & how to create healthy balanced meals. Do something good for YOU! It is SO worth it.

So check out City Fit Girls. They exist to Inspire. Uplift. Encourage. Motivate. Get to a workout. Sign up for a run. And in October, check out their active wear line. Yes please!

Love,
LJ

Monday, September 22, 2014

Philadelphia Farm Sanctuary Walk: Saturday, September 27th!

The Philadelphia Farm Sanctuary Walk is THIS SATURDAY at 10am! It's not too late to sign up or donate & it's going to be phenomenal this year!
Last year, my friend Jess & I led the walk
Here are some details:
Register for $15 today, or for $25 the day of. That's right, you can just show up & walk without lots of advance fundraising. Or, if you can't make it, you can feel free to make a donation through me, I'm still doing lots of fundraising, and I haven't met my goal yet. Every bit helps the animals.

I hope to see you there. I'll be checking people in upon arrival, so make sure you say hello!

Love,
LJ

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years? I did! I went to his house (the one of his Philadelphia houses still standing, National Historic Site, actually!) with my grandparents when I was in high school. And I just went back this month--it was just as cool now.
beautiful & sunny outside...inside was a different story...
On my birthday weekend, my two best friends came to visit & we had much fun touristing. All three of us were English majors & two of us are English teachers, as well, so where else would we go but to a FREE tour of Edgar Allan Poe's house.
Nevermore!
It's a cool little self-guided tour. There's a short film to watch, which we oohed & ahhed over, then they give you a laminated tour guide paper & you take yourself through the house. Naturally, I read it aloud dramatically. The best part of the tour is, of course, the basement. Super creepy!
the basement that inspired "The Black Cat"
I highly recommend this tour for anyone who enjoys American literature, Philadelphia history, the darkness of Poe, & FREE tours. They're open Friday-Sunday, 9-5 (closed 12-1 for lunch). You do need to knock first. Enjoy!

Love,
LJ

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Phila Flea Markets

Do you know about the Phila Flea Markets? They're one of my favorite things about living here! A wide variety of vendors (including my favorite vendor of vintage dresses, Kittycat Antiques), a different spot each time in the summer, indoors & heated in the winter, it's like miles of vintage goodness.
I went this past weekend near East Passyunk Square & I scored two new-to-me dresses from the 60s. I meant to shop just for winter, but there was a sleeveless one so wonderfully colorful, I just couldn't resist. I'll look forward to wearing it some time next June. At least I got one long sleeve!
It was a gray day, but there were still deals to be had!
Mostly I'm into dresses, Pyrex, and lamps, but lately, I'm also into jewelry & glassware. I like to shop alone--I don't want to rush anyone & I don't want to hold anyone back either. But that shouldn't stop you from saying hi if you run into me there!

Next Market is this coming Saturday, September 20th at 10th & South. That's super close to my apartment, so you know I won't miss it. Hope to see you there!

Love,
LJ