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August FD Challenge – Dairy free!

As always, I made a stickK commitment for $100 – to go to an anti-abortion group if I fail. And as always, I am doing this for a reason: to send more campers to First Descents. Check out what #outlivingit is all about, and while I’m dreaming of creamy bries and stinky blues, won’t you consider throwing a few dollars toward the cause?

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A Letter of Gratitude

Together, we have traveled to five new homes in three states, plus a few countries in the past eight years. You helped me connect to dear friends in my new cities. You were there for me when all ten of my crappy work computers blue-screened. You prompted me through the GMAT, graduate school applications, and countless papers and projects during my first three years of my masters programs. You distracted me with Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, and countless hours of television, music, and movies as I nursed hangovers, colds, food poisoning, turning thirty, and yes, even a few more broken hearts. Even when I was not sure what my next step should be, as long as you were working (and providing means of procrastination as I figured things out), I knew I was going to be ok.

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Right Foot, Left Foot

As I put my right foot in front of my left 286,647 times this month, I learned so much about the history of this insidious, devastating disease that continues to claim the lives of far too many loved ones. It was fascinating to hear about the development of the drugs that I had taken twenty years ago: cisplatin, adriamycin, & methotrexate. It was humbling to hear the frustration of brilliant scientists and dedicated advocates, as they struggled to understand and find a way to humanly treat its victims. I always want a happy ending to a long story, but in this case, the story instead must end with hope and a resolve to continue putting the right foot in front of the left and persevering, however we can.

My April 30-Day Fitness Challenge for FD has come to an end. April was a month of many different types of crunches, lunges, and squats, plus a few oddly named exercises. It was ultimately invigorating to roll out of bed every morning and do a quick burst of exercise to start my day. As an aside, I recently started watching Tina Fey’s new show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In one episode, she mentions that you can do anything for 10 seconds (or repetitions). I repeated that to myself a lot this month–usually starting around burpee #12 of 100 or crunch #42 of 200–and surprisingly, the advice is pretty accurate! I could always find it in myself to give 10 more crunches for FD (and then 10 more on top of that, and 10 more on top of that…) If I can give 10, so can you!

Somehow, tomorrow is May 1, which means I start my new challenge: Walking.

Five years ago, when I was living in Boston, I often found myself walking home from work in Fort Point to my apartment in Brookline. The distance on it’s own sounds pretty long at first, but like Kimmy’s advice, broken down into shorter chunks, it seemed far less a feat. Fort Point to South Station? No problem. South Station to Downtown Crossing? Easy. One step after another, and before I knew it, I was home. That window of time is a great opportunity to listen to a book or podcast, catch up with friends or family, or just decompress before or after a long day…favorite activities that I rarely get to with my work and school schedule.

The walk from my work to my home in Washington DC is approximately 3 miles and takes about an hour, on average. Although I do walk between work and home once or twice a week, this month I’m going to step it up. During the month of May, I will walk to or from work a minimum of 3x per week. I aim to walk every day, but as I listen to the thunder outside while I’m writing this blog, I recognize that sometimes weather and my work/school schedule will not permit me to commit to 5x per week. I’ll share MapMyRun images throughout the month so show that I’m keeping up my end of the bargain. And of course, this StickK part of the challenge: If I fail, StickK will decide which of their “anti-charities” my $200 will go to; as I am not eager to support the NRA, a Republican Super PAC, an anti-gay-marriage charity, or anything else to that effect, you better believe you will find me walking…10 steps at a time!

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In the Third Week of April, my FD Challenge Gave to Me…

My fellow campers, counselors, chefs, camp moms, doctors, nurses, and even folks on the side of the river knew me as Chewie. And I knew them as Big Bird, Beefcake, Pedro, Sweet D, Mrs. Robinson, Cha Cha, Ripple, Turbo, Doc Brown, and so many more. All of them, collectively and individually, shaped who “Chewie” would become, and in so doing, they changed my life.