Tag Archives: Support

Motivation Mondays: My First 5K

I hated running with an unbelievable passion. I was the kid who faked illness to get out of running the mile in gym class. During softball practice, I was the last one to finish laps. Running was not on my to-do list this year until suddenly it was.

One of my best friends, Trish asked me to participate in a run to raise money for her friend’s scholarship fund. Her friend, Clay passed away last summer in a car accident. It was tragic and painful to watch my friend go through that. So, if running the 5K for Clay was one small thing I could for the both of them, I was in. I had no clue what I was up against; a Rugged Maniac course that was 3.1 miles with 20 obstacles. Go big or go home, right?!

I started training for your standard 5K in March and surprisingly wasn’t nervous before starting the obstacle course on Saturday morning. Realistically, nothing would have prepared me for what I encountered on the course. Walls, tunnels, mud crawls under barbed wire and much more. I am still amazed at what I accomplished. I am wearing several battle wounds proudly today and learned three important lessons after my first 5K.

Our before and after picture

Our before and after picture

I knew I ran this race because of Trish and because of Clay. Last summer, I remember feeling so helpless, that there was no way to comfort my friend, whose life changed forever that day. Saturday was one way to help her and to honor an amazing guy who lit up the room with his presence. I could not imagine losing one of my best friends and having my world change so instantly. Trish and all of her friends are remarkable and turned such a sad day into a celebration of Clay’s life. I admire them for that. A lesson we’ve learned so many times was reinforced Saturday: that life truly is too short.

I never would have dreamed of running a 5K a year ago, let alone complete a mud run with obstacles. I physically, mentally and emotionally blew myself out of my comfort zone. To be honest, it feels (and felt) great! Crossing that finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life and I will never forget how it felt to accomplish something I never thought I could do. Impossible is a relative term because if you want to accomplish something, you will. I tried something that scared me, succeeded and now want to continue to get better.

During the last four months, running has taught me a lot about myself. It has become a form of therapy and the best way to manage my anxiety. When I get that pang in my chest and feel anxious, I go for a run instead of freaking out or screaming or eating. It has worked every single time with a variety of emotions including anger, sadness and nervousness. It has made me healthier, helped to manage stress and forced me to eat right. Amazing to think saying yes to one race led to all of this.

Saturday was amazing and I would totally do it again. I encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone,

5K For Clay team afterwards

5K For Clay team afterwards

with arms wide open. It is terrifying but the payoff is tenfold. If you’re as lucky as I am, you’ll have friends and family pushing you every step of the way. Friends like Trish and her brother Andy who were there each time I wanted to quit during the race. Friends like my co-worker Alicia who literally forced me to run certain days and supplied constant virtual support during the last couple of months. I am so grateful for their support as well as the support of others because you can’t do it alone.

Next time an opportunity to do something new, something that scares you arises, DO IT! I promise it will be a life-changing experience.

If it scares you, it probably is exactly what you need. 

Family Fridays: The Power of People

HigherI think I’ve mentioned this quote before on the blog. I believe in what it means and lived it out firsthand last week.

Self-confidence is has always been hard for me. I’d like to believe I’ve become better over the years, but I know there’s still room for improvement. Additionally, I can keep myself motivated usually because I know someone else I respect is relying on me. When all of this is taken into account, it’s easy to see how working virtually can be a struggle for me sometimes.

I was lucky enough to be with my entire team last week and reaped the benefits in more ways than one. Everyone had such a positive attitude that was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel happy and excited about the work you were doing. Each of us demands excellence and holds one another accountable. When excellence is a requirement, everyone strives to be better, reach higher and push themselves further.

More than anything, I completely felt part of a team, of a family last week. I’m finally comfortable andwe-are-what-we-repeatedly-do have earned my wings so to speak. We are like a family: we have each other’s backs, talk one another down and genuinely care about each other’s well being. This new family also continuously challenges me and pushes me far outside of my comfort zone, helping me to grow both personally and professionally.

The people you surround yourself with both at home and at work absolutely impact your attitude, behavior and decisions. Take advantage of this and use their positivity and ambition to thrust yourself forward. Remember to thank them occasionally too…a big thank you to the team I was with last week!

The Living At Home Conundrum

Exploring all the aspects of the young professional’s new life has made me realize how many different pieces of the puzzle there are to consider. It’s a big adjustment in more ways than one, regardless of what anyone says.

I’ve found the biggest adjustment to be moving back in with my parents. Let me start with a disclaimer: this post is not a reflection of solely my situation and is not intended to bash my parents or anyone else’s. Like with similar posts, it is an area of discussion among new, young professionals.

When you graduate college, a job is not a guarantee like it used to be. Neither is the financial stability to move out on your own. More than likely, after you graduate, you will be moving back in with your parents. Within my circle of friends who have graduated, all but one have moved back in with their parents or relatives. As of June 2012, 53 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds said they moved back in with their parents after college because of the economy. That’s more than half of the college graduates.

welcome backIf you ask a college graduate if they wanted to move back in with their parents, I’d bet you an overwhelming majority would say absolutely not. It’s not that we hate our parents but that we’ve been independent for the last four years; no one wants to give that up. I certainly didn’t and now have the ‘move-out’ inch.

There are obviously pros and cons to living at home. For those who have forgotten, let’s give you a refresher:

Pros: 

1. Money Earned, Money Saved: Most parents I know are not charging their recent college grads rent. This means you are immediately saving more money than you would be living on your own. Even if you pay something, it’s absolutely less than normal rent. Saving money also means you can spend it on other fun things like concerts or vacations. Expendable income is higher while living at home.

2. Support System: Your family has been your support system for the last 20 or so years. You are comfortable with them and they are right there when you need something. They are also supportive in ways you never thought of. Like when the heat breaks, you don’t have to call your landlord and pay to get it fixed. Either Dad walks down the stairs to fix it or Mom calls the repairman and pays for it.

3. Space: More than likely, your parents live in a house, with space to move around, hide or even entertain friends. Your apartment doesn’t have that basement to store your sports trophies or the backyard with the pool.

Cons:

1. It’s Not Yours: There’s something to be said for being able to call a place your own. It’s yours to decorate, to mess up, to have a puppy in. It means your friends or significant other can come and go as they please. When you live at home, it is only fair that you need to ask if people can come over or crash.   It’s not your house so you have to be respectful of when you’re bringing people in it.

2. Privacy: I have three siblings, three parents and there’s usually a continuous flow of people in and out of both my houses. I love these people to death but sometimes a moment of peace and quiet would be nice. Sometimes I’d like to hide and cry into a pillow or scream. When you’re living at home, someone’s bound to find you. Try having a phone conversation. Someone will know how much those concert tickets cost.

onyourown

3. Independence:  In college, you came and went when you pleased. Coming home at 4am on a Tuesday? No problem! I don’t care how lenient your parents are, they want to know where you are. That doesn’t mean they won’t let you go. But it does mean you are responsible for keeping them updated on your location.

Recent college grads are very lucky to have parents that will take them back in and let them live rent-free. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that and that it’s only temporary. Do you struggle with living at home? Share your challenges!

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