The Great American Smokeout: “Training Day” for Quitting Smoking

Great American Smokeout - Training DayMark Twain famously said, “Giving up smoking is easy. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

As a former smoker, I can relate. I don’t remember how many times I quit. But I would never consider those times “failures”. They were learning opportunities.

“Training,” if you will, for the day it would finally stick.

Continue reading “The Great American Smokeout: “Training Day” for Quitting Smoking”

Global Running Day

Happy Global Running Day!

Global Running Day 2017

The first Wednesday in June is Global Running Day, which is a day for people all over the world to celebrate running. The idea is to share your passion for running and to inspire others to keep moving.

Just Run

So how do you celebrate Global Running Day? How else … by running! Just run. Wherever you want. As far as you want. With whomever you want.

Global Running Day
Make a Pledge

If you want to be more formal about it and find out more information about the global initiative, you can make a pledge to run here. The only information requested is your first name, how far you plan to run and what is inspiring you to run. That’s it. You can even create a personalized bib if you want.

Fundraising Option

And although you are under no obligation, there are also links to fundraise for your favorite charities through Charity Miles and Crowd Rise. I am downloading the Charity Miles app as I write this, and plan to start using my miles to raise money for great charities such as the ASPCA, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and more.

I’ll be celebrating Global Running Day by running about 3 miles with my pups. My inspiration is to stay healthy and keep moving.

What’s your inspiration? Who will you run with today?  Maybe today will be your first day of running? Or your first day back after a break? I’d love to hear about your celebration! Please share your Comments.

Happy Running!

Never Tell Yourself You Can’t


One of the first things women around my age say about my running is some version of “Oh, I could never do that!.” Unless there is a glaring reason why not, my response is, “of course you can, if you want to!”

If you want to do something, never tell yourself you can’t.

I didn’t start running until I was 45. I had quit smoking the year before, after more than 25 years of the habit. When I was a smoker and would see women jogging in my neighborhood, I longed to feel well enough to do that. For all I knew, that kind of physical activity was unreachable. I just didn’t have the energy.

Now as a nonsmoker I did have the energy, and I gradually began to learn that I had the ability to do more than I ever would have imagined.

And I am not the only one to make this kind of discovery.

I have a friend who was critically overweight and had serious health issues well into her mid 50’s. She started exercising, lost over 170 pounds (“a whole person”, she used to joke!) and ran her first 5K race in her early 60’s. A few years after that, I saw her run her first half marathon.

Never tell yourself you can’t.

Author Molly Sheridan was 48 years old when she decided to try running. She was already healthy and active, and the first race she trained for was a full marathon! A few weeks into her training, she suffered a compression fracture of her foot. The doctor told her she was too old to run and essentially ordered her to stop. Not one to give up, she kept training as best she could until her foot healed. She finished that marathon and mailed a copy of her finish line photo to that doctor. Today she is an ultra runner and has run over 45 ultramarathons.

Never tell yourself you can’t. And don’t let anyone else tell you.

Parathletes are competing at Olympic levels in so many sports. It all began with wheelchair races. Now, medical knowledge and technology are ever advancing to allow athletes to participate and compete in ways unheard of decades ago.

These athletes are clearly not telling themselves they can’t do it. They are overcoming greater challenges.

I see more and more stories on social media and in the news, of senior citizens in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s running marathons and half marathons. I joke that if I’m still running when I’m 90, that’s when I’ll do a full marathon! Clearly, these seniors aren’t telling themselves they can’t do it. They’re just doing it!

Never tell yourself you can’t.

There have been so any times I’ve doubted myself even as I was running. “What are you doing?, I ask. “Why are you even trying to do this? Aren’t you a little old…?”

The trick is not to allow those thoughts any voice. The proof is in the action. In spite of the nagging in my head, I finish races. I’m a runner. Clearly I CAN do it, because I AM doing it!

Get out of your own way. Find these stories. Look around you at the people who are doing it. Let them inspire you.

Never tell yourself you can’t.

Here Comes the Sun: Five Tips for Surviving Daylight Saving Time

by Shelley EnglishHere Comes the Sun

The saying goes that time waits for no one, and at no time of year is this truer than at Daylight Saving Time. You wouldn’t think that one hour of lost sleep would make that much of a difference. But for many of us, the “spring forward” seems more like a vault!

Here are some tips for a smooth transition into the time change, shared by sleep experts at Loyola University and WebMD.

1. During the week before the change, go to bed and wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier each day. And get outside in the morning. Exposing yourself to sunlight as early as you can will help reset your internal body clock. Early morning is my favorite time to run; there really is something about being out there before the rest of the world (or so it feels). Starting the day out with a brisk walk in fresh air and seeing the sun rise is an awesome way to start the day.

2. This is the perfect time to start exercising. Any kind of exercise can help you sleep better. Before I started running, I took Zumba classes at my gym. The classes were early in the evening – right after work, in fact – and I always came home exhausted and hungry. In the beginning, it was a toss-up between eating and going to bed! Needless to say, I started going to bed earlier and sleeping much better. So if you’ve been considering trying a new exercise regimen, now may be a good time to start. One caveat, though; exercise can also be a stimulant, so if you often have trouble sleeping, don’t exercise close to bedtime.

3. Speaking of stimulants, avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco for 4-6 hours before bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep. Indigestion caused by food that is fatty or spicy, or by having too much in your stomach, can also contribute to sleeplessness. Some light carbohydrates and a glass of milk early in the evening are easy to digest and shouldn’t interfere with sleep. I try to stick to water beginning a couple of hours before bedtime…although I’ve learned the hard way to keep liquids in moderation before going to bed, so I’m not up again frequently throughout the night!

4. Relax before going to bed. Worry and stress can cause insomnia – even stress produced by a overstimulating television show. A few of my favorite TV shows are a tad suspenseful and just happen to be a little too close to my bedtime; so I set the DVR and enjoy a good book or a long bath instead. I can always catch up on the recorded shows later in the week. If anxiety is related to situations you might face the following day at work, it may help to write out a schedule for the following day, or journal about your concerns – then let them go before your head hits the pillow.

5. Avoid napping the Saturday before the time change. But if you find yourself dragging afterward, take an early afternoon nap of 20-30 minutes. Sometimes just a 15-20 minute nap during my lunch break breathes new life into the rest of my afternoon and evening. It is also helpful to keep up the routine of going to bed a bit earlier.

The internal clock will eventually adjust, and soon the lost hour will be forgotten…that is, until it comes “back” in November!

What are some ways you have handled the transition to Daylight Saving Time? Please share your comments.

Make Room for Joy

by Shelley English

This morning I was driving to work, and approached the exit from one interstate to another.  The exit is two lanes that merge into one. Usually, fellow commuters follow proper etiquette as the right lane merges into the left, forming one line. But occasionally, drivers from the right lane attempt to squeeze in before their turn.  They do this by attempting to pass the car ahead of them, even as their lane dissolves into the left.

As a (perhaps too) defensive driver, I sometimes take it upon myself to “keep them in line” by placing my own car in the middle just enough that they cannot safely go around me.  Of course I’m not proud of this behavior. Getting to work is serious business. We have little time or patience for dawdling drivers, and even less for those who try to cut corners or push through the bottleneck to come out ahead.

As I began my exit, it seemed the car behind me was hanging to the right. Gripping the steering wheel and glancing in my rear view mirror, I expected to see the driver behind me glaring ahead, intent on passing me and cutting the line. To my surprise, she instead appeared to be singing gleefully and enthusiastically. In spite of the rest of us, she was carrying on her own car karaoke party. She appeared to be aware of her surroundings and was not, as it turned out, trying to get ahead. She was simply enjoying her morning commute, not letting a little traffic harsh her groove.

Her mirth was contagious. I immediately felt happy, and found myself smiling and singing along to my own music and “going with the flow”. The rest of my commute – and my day – was so much more enjoyable.

So during the daily commute or any other drudgery, I hope to remember the merriment of my fellow commuter from this morning.  I hope I will remember to make room for joy!

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