By Beca Iannone

It’s a crisp morning, dew still resting on blades of grass.  The sun just peaking over the horizon.  You spring out of bed, give yourself a nice long stretch and hum a merry tune to celebrate the new day and your undying energy to seize every moment possible.  That sounds like you, right? Yep, me too, when I am still asleep and dreaming about waking up as a form of procrastination from reality.  Mornings are struggle of lifting the weight off sleepy eyes and rising from a warm bed to walk across a cold room.  Of course, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference with how the following day may unfold.  Regardless of the amount of sleep you have mornings still come with a drag in your step.  The best way to deal with this small struggle is to give yourself the time to have a well-paced morning routine.  A good routine can ensure you feel good about yourself and the day ahead of you.  On the contrary, a rushed morning routine can lead to the feeling of being one step behind throughout the day.   Feeling behind leads to cutting corners to catch up, and what is the first corner we always cut?  Well, it would be our own wellbeing, often times in the form of sacrificing what we eat and the amount of time we give ourselves to eat.

How long do most people go without eating?  Typically not more than a few hours, assuming they give themselves the time to replenish their bodies.   The reason we start to feel hunger after a few hours is that your body is asking for a resupply of energy.  It is like filling a tank of gas when your car is on empty.  Fortunately humans are much more complex and able to adapt than a car may be, so running out of gas for a human would just mean taking the fuel from another source.  The negative result of that process is that each time you do eat your body tries to store the food rather than burn it up for fuel.   It is an instinctual process our bodies follow to ensure we do not starve.  Food storing equals slower metabolism.  Slower metabolism equals easier weight gain.  Long winded explanation short do not skip breakfast.  It is the kick starter for your day.  It is the initial fuel that allows your body to focus on its usual functions and your brain to focus on the work you need it to focus on.  Breakfast does not have to be a huge ordeal but skimping or eating the wrong foods such as donuts or very sugary cereal is just an insult to your body and deterrence to a smoothly flowing day.  Go ahead experiment.  Eat a donut in the morning and notice how your body responds.  The next day eat a yogurt with fruit, or whole grain cereal, or a smoothie.  Then notice how your body responds.  I will buy you a donut if the energy of your day was much better kick starting it with a donut rather than a nutritionally sound option. 




"You have to stop running"

“You have to stop running.” The five words that any runner doesn’t want to hear, and I’m no exception. The only difference (this time) was that the chiropractor told me those words two weeks before the Boston Marathon.  After a surprise win at the Louisiana Marathon, I was hoping for a similar performance at Boston.   This was a race I spent all spring training for, so the devastation was real.  

After getting hurt, I personally believe that I went through all five stages of grief during that time; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and the hardest of all, acceptance. I thought of all of the countless hours I spent training and how I could have spent my time and efforts elsewhere. I was sad and I felt an emptiness that I couldn’t fill. That may sound extreme to most, but my love and desire for running is very deep rooted and has always been more than “just running.” Looking to fill the void, I decided to put my membership at higherpower to good use.

I found solace at the studios. I never felt excluded or, for lack of a better phrase, not cool enough, to be there. I looked forward to and enjoyed the regimen; cycling with Shani on Tuesday evenings, doing TRX with Ms. Awesome on Saturday mornings, and namaste-ing in between. I formed bonds with the other regulars. We’re all creature of habits. We go to the same classes, at the same times, and eventually, you get to learn more than just what bike they prefer to ride on. Knowing that Megha and Whit would be there on Thursday evenings, when I usually drag the most, motivated me to get my butt to the bike; when Tina wasn’t working Saturdays, I know I could count on seeing her next to me at TRX. I took comfort in knowing that there was a community on my side.

I took four months off from running. Ten weeks into those months, I had jaw surgery. My jaw was literally broken into pieces, so running was definitely out of the question. Typically, surgeons aren’t fans of patients doing much in the form of physically activity after surgery, but mine made an exception. Swollen face and all, 10 days after surgery, I (slowly) returned to my yoga, cycling, and TRX routine at the studio. As I’m writing this, I truly believe that getting back into my routine helped me recover quicker and with NO complications; mind you, I was on a liquid diet, with a splint in place to keep my jaw steady, so the potential for complications were there. My surgeon praised how quickly and how well the swelling had gone down, and I advocated for the importance of encouraging patients to do physical activity after surgery.

After I got the all clear to start running, I went for a run. Ok, I ran a half marathon. What? Those who know me know that isn’t that crazy for me. We had a planned trip to Vancouver to run the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon and my only plan was to run as much of it as I can. I ran a total of ten miles in the four months leading into the race, so was I was surprised to be able to run the whole thing at decent time! Sidenote: Running a half marathon this way, especially if you’re new to the sport, is not what I would typically recommend. I had a very strong running base prior to this; I ran >55 miles a week when I was marathon training.  I attribute my success at SeaWheeze to the cycling, yoga, and TRX I did to maintain my fitness and keep my muscles and endurance intact.

At the finish of SeaWheeze, in that moment, I felt pride and gratitude.  Following the race, Mark Berger, our friends, and I scaled Grousse Mountain; those climbs showed how the mixture of strength in TRX, aerobic training in cycling, and balance & agility, helped us get to the peak after the half marathon.  I was proud of myself for making through the race, up the mountain, through the recovery of surgery, and through an injury that hurt my spirit more than anything else. And gratitude: gratitude for my health, the people in my life, and the ability Find My High (with the help of higherpower) in more than one way.