Path to 45

I love celebrating birthdays, including mine — sorry, I know, that is a pretty only child thing to say, but I do. I like the idea of every person having their own personal holiday. This year, my birthday is a semi-big one and an actual national holiday, and I had big plans, the universe had other ideas.

While I may be a bit disappointed, I have much to be thankful for, so I will use all my “yogic skills” to focus on that.

As I said, it’s a semi big birthday – 45.

When I turned 40, I had intended to make a list of 50 before 50. I don’t think I even came up with 20 things, and some of the ones that I call to mind I know I haven’t accomplished (yes, looking at you guitar that I have still not learned how to play). So instead of a big list, I am supporting small.

For my birth month, I have committed to myself to do a yoga class every day. Not just what I am teaching – which in this livestream universe I am doing the class with my students, but taking a separate class. #yogaeverydamnday of birth month. I am also committing to a meditation and journal practice.

And here I am on May 6th, unmotivated thanks to this gloomy weather, and writing about doing yoga instead of doing it. But that’s why we write, right – to be accountable. It’s one of the reasons I am writing on the blog again, to be accountable to writing more, sharing more. So let me know what you’d like to see here. What you’d like to know. Aside from yoga and running, I am exploring more writing for lifestyle and skincare – especially for the 40-something. What do you think?

OK, about to hit publish … so guess soon after that, I’d better roll out my mat. Happy Birth Month to me.

My Quarantine and Chill Doesn’t Include Yoga Pants

Yes, I’ve seen all the posts and memes about the new WFH uniform of yoga pants. Before this quarantine, I also saw all the posts about the dream of living in yoga pants/leggings. Well, as a full time yoga teacher I can say this isn’t my dream. That is my work uniform. Sure some are more comfortable than others (yes looking at you Athleta and Lulu) but much like you want to get out of your suit or business casual clothes when you’re done with work, as soon as I’m done teaching and I don’t plan on taking a class, I change.

So, this quarantine has been pretty nice for me to not have to wear yoga pants for 12+ hours like I might when I was in-studio teaching because some days I would teach a 6:15am class and might teach until 8:30pm and even if I was home for some of that time how many time was I going to change, and how many outfits could I wear?! Now, bring on the lounge pants. And once this weather finally changes, bring on the shorts.

I love clothes, so while being a full time yoga teacher has limited the variety of clothes styles I “need” for work – I still love cute options. But what have I discovered as my new at home lounge favorite …. satin pants. Not only are they airy and comfortable, it brings a next-level style that I am here for. During a recent online retail therapy session I found myself in the sale section of the Victoria’s Secret site, and saw these beauties – pink tiger print! Are you kidding me, yes please. I envision wearing these through spring and maybe even summer with black tanks, feeling like I’m at a resort, even if I am only on my couch working on yoga classes (and this blog). There is no reason to not be fancy, or feel good. A great way to stay productive when working from home is continue with rituals like getting dressed, keeping a schedule — you know the drill.

So yes, yoga pants can be cute, and sure they are more comfortable than my skinny jeans (which haven’t seen the light of day since February). But off the mat you’ll find me in jumpsuits, matching Lily shorts and top sets and yes of course pink satin lounge pants!

During this quarantine how has your style changed?

Silver (Lining) Doesn’t Need to be a Fad

A long time ago, in a world that seems so far away now, I started changing up my jewelry from gold to silver, well really silver everything not just jewelry – and someone very close to me (like someone who I am not socially distancing from, sorry to rat you out, Hon) suggested to me that my new-found love of silver may a fad. It’s now a joke in the house because I do still love silver, although rose gold is also high on the list (I may be typing this on a rose gold laptop).

Now, here we are in a very different reality than we even were let’s say 2 weeks ago, but really 1 week ago as bigger and bigger changes started happening. I am seeing all of these amazing posts about staying positive, but there are times for even the rosiest gold of us when it isn’t easy. There will continue to be frustration, fear and yes maybe even anger.

Being at home to work, eat, play, sleep – can be an adjustment especially if we are highly social creatures. This current reality can then become very unsettling. If we look at the negative, and get angry about one thing and let ourselves ruminate on that, we can start to compound that negativity.

When I lead my students on inner reflection, asking them to scan and look at the spots asking for extra attention, I then direct them to look at the spots that are feeling good. I want to make sure their practice includes positivity (which is also why I ask for that after the negative — to remember that we do have things to be positive about and thankful for. When we can call to mind one thing it should hopefully open the floodgates of gratitude.

Yesterday on my Instagram @tamturse I asked people what 1 positive change or habit they were cultivating in this time of social distancing/WFH. Not only do I appreciate the responses, but much like asking my students to notice what feels good – it is important to see that you can begin to develop some new positive changes.

For me, I am working on my daily meditation practice (I use the Calm app, it’s been a game changer for me). I am also developing an at home workout practice, right now with yoga and some pilates movement. But are these just a fad, when I am released from my pod (sorry I just finished Love is Blind) will I go back to my life of distractions? I hope not. While I want to return to my life of not being socially distant, of connecting to my students in the studios, of building my fitness professional career – I want to also keep these positive changes. All these beautiful posts I see of parents having arts and crafts and game time with their kids, couples having dinner at home together — these are silver linings that will hopefully become the silver (and rose gold) jewelry of our lives.

So time to share, what is your positive while being socially distant – and do you think you can continue it when life begins to resemble “the old days?”

When Things Change

And when a headline is the understatement of the decade ….

Hey Friends!

I know, it’s been what seems like a lifetime since I have written here. And it’s not like I haven’t been planning on getting back to this. I’ve had many changes since I last wrote.

This past January, I did a vision boarding workshop which got me to a place that while on a yoga weekend I had time away to think about things that I wanted for me and my career. I made the commitment to dedicate myself to my fit pro life (if you know my story, you know I’m a communications professional in my “past life” including consulting last year). I signed up for a business/career coaching program (thank you Kate, and Manifest Magic). As I started to list out what I wanted to be doing, bringing the blog back was definitely on the list. I am a writer by nature, so this has always been a great outlet.

Of course, right as I start building up my studio classes, which I have been so fortunate to have so many great opportunities and amazing students (I miss you) – life as we know it has made a major change. And that alone is an understatement. Studio classes halted, being out and about halted – no races, no concerts, etc. I beyond understand it, since my last class on Saturday, I haven’t left my home.

It makes you look more at things. I was already shaking things up for me, and I do not want to squander this time by not being focused. I plan to use this time to keep up a work routine (it will just look different now), and continue to build up my professional life – those plans for when things return to something that seems normal (or the new normal). One of those things to jump into is getting back to writing, so hello Mats and Miles my old friend. Not a lot of miles to write about right now, but there was so much I saw for this blog, so you’ll be seeing lots more content, not just on yoga and running.

I have lots of plans for here – but this place is for you too, so what do you want to see, hear about, need? In the meantime, things you will find: my random thoughts, yup, sorry; races I have planned, yes, there is even a separate page for it but I will also be writing about prep and post-race thoughts; books and book reviews, yes I’m a major bookworm and this time in will hopefully get me reading even more; favorite products, yes, from race gear to hand cream recommendations because my hands are begging for help after all this hand washing, and everything in between. OK, you get the idea.

I’m happy to be back, I hope you’re happy to see me. Let’s get through this and come out stronger and better, together.

Marathon Musings

Monday was like the Super Bowl for runners – it was the Boston Marathon.

The race is always a show of amazing will and determination – just qualifying for the race is an aspiration goal of many (me, me, me!). But this past Monday was beyond what could be considered “adverse conditions.” Freezing cold, rain, winds – so many reasons to put the sneakers back in the closet and say today is not my day. But runners are not an ordinary breed, and I imagine the glory of Boston will bring it out even more.

I was working at home during the race, and since I have like 500+ TV channels, I checked to see if it was on my TV, and it was. I was so happy to bring my work out to my dry, warm and cozy living room and watch the best of humanity play out over 26.2 miles in Boston and the greater surrounding area.

Now as a Boston Girl myself, I wasn’t shy about making my hopes of a Shalane Flanagan win be known. So as I watched the first part of the race, I was in and out of the room, and while I was out, the announcers said something about Shalane, she made a detour to the porta-potties. My mouth dropped, she would lose her time, I hoped she was OK, but I thought at that point, that can’t be a good sign for a strong win. Then Des Linden slowed down to help out Shalane. What a sight, and what an inspiration.

Now if you follow running at all, which I imagine you may if you’re reading this – but spoiler alert, Des won the Marathon. She was one of 4 American women who had a great chance this year of doing it, but if you were going to judge from the early miles, you wouldn’t think so – and then to see her slow down to help Shalane get back into the lead pack, Des racing ahead and on to win would seem even more unlikely. But that’s Boston, right?!

Now I love watching sports, and I get riled up cheering for my team – but what I can’t stand is bad sportsmanship. I love going to college basketball games, but hate when even my home team yells “sucks” after an opponent’s name. This is probably why I love being a runner and participating in races so much – I feel that more times than not I see great displays of sportsmanship and fellowship during races. So, by now you may have also heard Des in the interview following her finish talk about how she had told Shalane that she didn’t think it was her day, and she wasn’t even sure if she would finish, and wanted to help Shalane if she could.

The next morning, after teaching one of my early morning classes, I was home and had Good Morning America on in the background and heard that Des and Shalane would be interviewed. When Des and Shalane retold their stories, George Stephanopoulos said he had to ask Des about slowing down when they were in a competition. Now I know what he was saying, and I know he wasn’t trying to belittle the women, or runners – but to me that was the perfect example of women competitors, and leaders (in any field) – yes, we can be baddasses, conquer 26.2 miles (the field, the court, the boardroom, whatever) but we can also do it and lift others up around us.

Who runs the world? Women Indeed! Thanks for the reminder, and inspiration Des and Shalane!

What I Read: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (Review)

So back in the day I had a book blog called BaileysandBooks (and no it had nothing to do with Irish Baileys, but to a childhood tradition of going to Bailey’s Ice Cream in Boston following an afternoon at Barnes & Noble), and while trying to increase my writing and add more lifestyle to this blog, I immediately thought of writing about books, since reading has been a passion of mine since I have been little.

511Dl74cE9LI recently finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, and if you read her novel The Nightingale,  you know Hannah’s capacity to draw you into a story and create a sense of tension throughout. Not so tense that you are filled with dread and can’t finish it, but that tension that creates a page-turner. This book definitely achieves that.

Starting in the 70s, we are introduced to young Leni, on the cusp of young adulthood, moving from the suburbs of Seattle to the wilds of Alaska when her Vietnam vet father Ernt inherits a war buddy’s property. In need of (another) fresh start, Ernt thinks this is just what he, his wife Cora, and Leni need, to be living off the land, and off the grid.

With much displeasure, but without a say, Leni begins to accept this new life as she sees her father return to be more of the man he was “before the war.” She makes due and starts to make a life for herself, settling into the chores to prepare for the dreaded winter they are repeatedly warned about from the locals. Come fall when it’s time for school, Leni meets Matthew, not just a boy her own age, but one who really seems to get her, and she is able to make a connection unlike she ever has.

Of course the shine of this new pioneer life and the renewed relationship between Leni’s parents begins to fade as the winter weather rolls in. Ernt becomes more fixated on independence, and grows more and more angry about those he feels are privileged. His old demons come back to haunt him, and his family.

As winter comes and goes throughout this book, it becomes very reminiscent of The Shining (which makes me laugh a little as Leni, an avid reader, mentions becoming very into Stephen King). Even when things are going well, you can’t help but wait for the other shoe to drop.

I did throughly enjoy this book. As it came towards the end there were some choices by Leni that lead to a lot of frustration by me (I hate when a character I like makes stupid decisions, but obvi that’s the point). It also seemed to have a bit of a rushed ending in that another “storm” was brewing, but was almost too quickly and neatly resolved. I wasn’t disappointed with the resolution, but it was a bit deus ex machina, as it could have been a whole book itself. But when you’re reading a fiction book where you love the main characters and the writing, you (or at least I) can put aside some pragmatic realism, for a bit of cleanly tying things up.

Overall – I gave this book 5 Stars on Goodreads. I definitely recommend, just maybe not in the winter months if you live in a snowy place, but this is not a beach read either.

How Do You Hydrate

Staying hydrated is one of the key components to a healthy life, right? And when you go to any yoga, pilates, spin, HIIT (you get the idea) class bringing your water bottle is as important as that extra hair tie around your wrist, right? Do you grab any plastic/giveaway bottle in your cabinet, or do you have a fancy bottle that you love.

I have so many bottles – including a BKR and a S’well. I love them both for different reasons. My BKR first off is so cute, it’s in my favorite light blue color and has stars on it – I mean how could I not love it. I like the glass – it’s easy and nice to drink out of it. But on the Cons side, it’s heavy and the drink gets up to room temperature pretty fast. Now my S’well bottles are light weight, and OMG they keep my refrigerator water cold ALL DAY! That should sway my feelings towards the S’well, right, but it doesn’t –  I do not like drinking from the metal like that. I can’t believe I used to drink down so many Diet Cokes straight out of the can.

I know this is hardly a problem in the grand scheme of life, but I do find I keep asking myself which of these bottle I like better. As the girl who likes what could be considered “the best” – why can’t I have a bottle that is a lightweight, but glass and keeps my water cold even during the heat of summer. That truly would be the best. And while we’re at it, maybe we could add a flip cap to make it easier to grab a sip while spinning – but could it be pale blue and have some stars too, please?! Am I asking too much?

I took a totally unscientific poll on Instagram and S’well edged out BKR by one vote. I sort of feel like you might be in one camp or the other, but me,  I just can’t decide.

How about you? Do you bring a water bottle out – and if you do, what type is it?

When It’s Time to Change

When I first started this blog, it was while I was in Yoga Teacher Training, my 200 hour (now I’m 2/3s of the way done toward my 500 hour), and I wanted to write about that journey, and also my running which at the time I was doing more and more of as well. Now here we are, a few years later, and I feel it’s time to let this site and my social media sites evolve.

So what’s up with the blog? It’s still a work in progress but I will be adding more than yoga and running, I want to include more of my life, and lifestyle.

As I start to add in new things, you might have already noticed that I added a new page – Bookshelf 2018. Back in the day I used to have a book blog, so I am going to include book posts, in addition to my work I try to be an avid reader – and adding my books on here will keep me writing, and also keep me on my reading. Starting with the book I am currently reading now, The Great Alone, I will include a book review. If you follow me on Insta you’ll see that on Wednesdays I have a post What I’m Reading Wednesday. So it will play off that, too.

I’ll be writing about my journey to more meatless days too, including meals I’m eating. But don’t worry – there will be plenty of posts on yoga and running too. I’m training for the Brooklyn Half now (although this week is a bad representation of it), and I am so excited for the Rock n Roll Vegas Half in November. And I think I have decided on a marathon… more on that soon.

So I hope you’ll enjoy the evolution and journey that me and this blog are taking. More to come.

Cheers!

Marathon-less Monday

My 2018 racing is off to a good start, even if I have only run 2 races.

In January I completed a Half Marathon that I admittedly did not train for – and sub-2ed it. Then last week I ran a 5K in the hilly Washington Heights, also with a time I was happy with (especially with the hills and wind).

I have a page of all my completed and planned 2018 races. A few things you might notice:
1. right now those are all NYRR races
2. there are 10 NYRR races on there, so yes I’m working towards 9+1
3. there is no marathon … yet

So if I complete the races, at least I won’t have to worry about what marathon I will run next year. But this year I’m still not sure – the Lottery Gods have not been kind so far: no Chicago Marathon, no NYC Half and no NYC Marathon. I have some ideas, but haven’t committed to anything specific yet, but I think I’ll do some traveling for a marathon and maybe at least one more Half Marathon (like maybe Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas).

What does your race calendar look like? Any Halfs or Fulls I should definitely check out before I set the rest of my calendar?

Retreat/Reset

Retreat. It often has a negative connotation: an escape, running away, those who are not “strong enough” do not continue on.

In our society of go-go-go, we may wear our packed schedules and tired bodies as badges of honor. We believe we are so valued, so important, that we need to be in constant contact, barely allowing ourselves a moment of true rest.

But a few weeks back, I went on a yoga retreat to Nicaragua.

Now  I can see if you’re reading this, and have a 9 to 5 (which as we all know is never really just 9 to 5), then you might be rolling your eyes asking if a yoga teacher really needs a retreat to recharge. I know that back in the day when I worked my corporate job I might have thought that. I wanted to go on it because I had never been on one before, I was curious about a retreat, and as I continue to build my yoga career, I may like to lead one in the future, so I needed to see one in action.

I had no idea what to expect. About any of it – the retreat, or even Nicaragua. Rarely do I travel where I am not making the arrangements, so I research, plan, prepare. For Nicaragua, I didn’t do any of that – someone choose the accommodations, and arranged transportation and the excursion, so I didn’t have to think about or plan anything. When we arrived, as we drove the 2.5 hours from Managua to our “resort” I was totally unaware that there was a famous volcano and lake in Nicaragua, but we passed it, so I did “see” it. The lack of planning alone already made this a vacation for me.

So how did a type-A, planning yoga teacher do on a retreat. Well you would have to ask those who traveled with me, but I think I was able to settle in to not being in charge, to letting someone else plan, to not having all moments of my day filled with teaching, class planning, or some other activity (definitely not running… more on that in a future post). This was all certainly a positive benefit from the retreat. Learning to surf, a double bonus. But something else this retreat got me, was a chance to have a yoga practice totally for me, again. Yes, I still had a thought or two about wanting to remember a sequence or transition that I could add to my classes, but for the most part I showed up on my mat for me. It’s been awhile since I could just practice with abandon. I was able to reconnect with the part of me that practiced yoga for years before it became my career.

I didn’t write as much as I hoped I would, but I did read a lot – and learned to surf (this was huge for me because I have always felt there is a surf girl trapped inside this body, but never made myself available to the opportunity to even try), and maybe learned to relax a little more. And I can say with absolute confidence that whether it’s a retreat or full on vacation – you need to do it for you. It’s beyond the idea of self-care, although it certainly is self-care, but also self-renewal and even self-discovery. Recharging in a place where there is a beach, and 80+ degree weather, bonus!

— Do you have any retreat travel plans in the near future? Where are you off to?