Category Archives: Random Thoughts

A little bit of this with a little bit of that

I came across this challenge just before the start of the new year. The idea is to pick one word that will serve as your driving force. A word that will serve as a constant reminder of your goals. I’m not really sure I believe in New Year’s resolutions. I think anytime is a good time for a fresh start. So what if it’s already May, right? But I thought this was a neat idea, so I decided that my word for 2013 is Balance.
The fact that I haven’t written anything in a while is testament to the fact that I don’t know how to relax. I’ve mentioned before that I tend to overwhelm myself. It’s just part of who I am. A can’t-sit-still-Cuban. But I’ve realized that I need to occasionally slow it down for my own damn sake. Take a chill pill, Em. Hell, take two! Indulge in the things that make you happy. After all, what’s life if you don’t enjoy it?
I take pride in my accomplishments and all the things I juggle. I don’t know how you do it (words I hear often from friends and family). Good time management? Perhaps. Wonder Woman? We already knew that. But on those rare occasions that I do step on the brakes and breathe, enjoy my own company or the company of friends, I realize that a break can be so nice. I don’t want to become a workaholic or so busy that I don’t have time for the people that are important to me. I need to learn to make more time for them. I need to make more time for me.

My ultimate goal: Feel challenged by life but relaxed enough to enjoy it. My reminder: Balance.

So far, so good.

Albert Einstein said “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” I do believe that living a balanced life comes easier to you as you gain momentum. But listen, Einstein, sometimes you just need to stop moving so fast.

Tagged , , ,

Favorite Things: October

I fear change so much sometimes. And I realize that more often than not, it’s unjustifiable. I started a new job this week that makes my days longer than I’d like them to be. I’m exhausted. But I love it. I made the right choice and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Why was I so afraid? Sheesh.
Now I fear not being able to run this marathon. I finally went to an Orthopedic. Diagnosis: Hip Flexor Tendinitis. Nothing that time, lots of ice, ibuprofen, stretching, rest and massage therapy can’t fix. But it’s so mentally debilitating not to be able to run or be as active as I’m used to. Perhaps I won’t do the ING in January. At least not the full distance. Maybe this is all a sign that I should postpone this race just a few weeks. Maybe travel to run the LA marathon and visit a few dear friends on the west coast. I’ve been meaning to journey out there anyway. I just hate to think I’m giving up (Warning: stubborn Taurus mentality surfacing). Who am I kidding? If you know me, you know I’ll find a way to do this thing anyway, regardless of the circumstances.

I digress. The real purpose of this post is to share the things that have made me smile the last month. “Favorite things from October.” Here we go:

  • Becoming a Sweat Pink Ambassador and living the mission: Sweat hard, Play hard, and inspire those around me to achieve their best selves.
  • Receiving a surprise shipment of Zico Chocolate Coconut Water from one of my good friends, Bozievich. It’s the little things in life that are actually the greatest. And I’m referring to the gesture, not the beverage.
  • C.O.P.E. Instructor training (see earlier post). I can’t wait for unsupervised ziplining adventures with Gomez!
  • Finding a new apartment and job that I love.
  • Experiencing the Keys for the first time in ages with two very good friends. Sometimes a few solid days of laziness are in order.
  • Reaching personal records on long runs (pre-injury). I’ve never felt so good on a 12-miler in my life. And I had an awesome sidekick riding his bike alongside me the whole way.
  • Dressing up as a Loofah for Halloween.
  • Although this bleeds into November, the Glow Run 5k on Miami Beach was quite memorable. In fact, the whole weekend was spent in good company with out-of-towners.

And because I’m a huge fan of visuals, here are some photos for you to match to some of the events listed above. I can’t wait to see what November has in store. Enjoy!

Tagged , , , , ,

Hit and Home Run

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am guilty of unnecessarily stressing myself out over things that really are, in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. I tend to internally blow things out of proportion, which leads to over-thinking, which then leads to increased stress and sometimes a minor breakdown. I just want to throw my hands up in the air, screaming “I can’t do this!” like a lunatic. We’ve all been there, right? Between searching for a solution to my living situation, debating what my next career move should be, marathon training, and still finding time to manage my friends and family, I often feel like my head will explode. And on top of that, I am not the most confident person when it comes to making big decisions (surprise!). I won’t bore you with minute details but I do want to share the end result. Plain and simple: Everything has worked itself out (or is at least on the brink of it). I will be starting a new job at an ad agency in Midtown Miami in just under two weeks and have found an accommodating apartment that will not require me to make too much of a drastic change too quickly. Perfect. And here I was freaking out. Sometimes all it takes is saying things out loud and/or talking about them with someone else to realize that you already have a decision made. What you’re really looking for is reassurance. For me, at least. Lesson? Have confidence in your decisions and stop fearing that you will make the wrong ones. Even if you do turn out making what you think is the wrong move, it at least served as a valuable learning experience. Time to turn things around and move forward. As stated in earlier posts: There aren’t many things that are irreversible. Stop being so damn scared.

On another note, remember how I mentioned I’ll be going through those mood swings and bitchy moments during this training period? TADA! Here it is. Last Thursday night I stopped my run at six miles feeling like I was going to collapse. I went home to a hypotensive blood pressure of 81/41. I was severely dehydrated. I hate hospitals and refused to go to the ER. So I stayed up all night with a life-saving friend that kept me company and made sure I chugged water and gatorade all night long. I was back to normal by Friday mid-day, but needless to say, I gave my body a break for the weekend. Already discouraged from the incident, I went for a short tempo run on Monday night and somehow managed to strain my groin (self-diagnosis). Really? Another setback? I’m in a lot of pain and I know the only solution is rest. GREAT. More time wasted and I feel like the clock is ticking harder, faster, stronger. I really need to make an effort to not get ahead of myself and let my body heal before I hit the pavement again (oh, and and drink more water. Lots and lots of water). This whole limping thing isn’t a good look for me (although it may have solved my Halloween costume debacle….Penguin, anyone?) Timing is everything in life, I suppose.

I realize my training is not going exactly as scheduled and is actually becoming much like an obstacle course rather than a simple running plan. But such is life. It’s what I’ll do with these curveballs that matters in the end. Hit and Home Run. That’s my plan. Miami ING… you still don’t scare me. I have my heart set on you. See you in January.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Attitude, Actions or Appearance?

Another non-stop weekend has me (already) feeling exhausted this Monday. I kicked off the weekend on Friday with a 10 mile run along the beach after work. My buddy Ryan joined me for most of the way. I was thankful for that. It’s so much easier to run with a partner. It felt good but, needless to say, I called it an early night.

Then came the fun stuff. Saturday morning involved a 7am start to head over to Boy Scout Camp Elmore to participate in the C.O.P.E. Program Instructor Training, directed by my long-time friend Alex Gomez (let’s get real though, everyone just calls him Gomez). Just some quick background, C.O.P.E stands for “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience” and consists of group initiative games, trust events, and low/high course events (i.e. ziplining, wall climbing) all in attempt to challenge participants as a group while developing individual skills and emphasizing eight major goals: communication, planning, trust, teamwork, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-esteem. Our group of eight (inclusive of another long term friend, Trevor) spent two entire days getting to know each other, learning about safety precautions, how to properly use equipment and manipulate the course, doing occasional handstands and, of course, playing Hug Tag (Note: if you have never played Hug-Tag, please contact me immediately for a demonstration). The whole thing was a new experience and something outside of the norm and, as you probably already know, I’m constantly looking to get involved in things outside of the norm.

During one of our reflective discussions Gomez imposed a question for debate. What do you think holds more weight: attitude, actions, or appearance? There’s no doubt that these three A’s all go hand-in-hand. Actions speak louder than words. The old saying exists for a reason. No one will ever believe a word you say until you back it up with an action. Give them some tangible evidence to support your claims. On the flip side, however, it is your attitude, after all, that drives your actions. So without that positive mental attitude (or “PMA” as Gomez likes to call it) there will exist no positive actions. And then what about appearance? We all have bad days where that PMA seems completely unattainable. It would be inhuman for every one of us to be cheerful and smiling 100% of the time. But what if you can fake it for the sake of those around you? Is it really just the appearance of happiness and optimism that matters?

Just something to think about as you start your week. I would love to hear your various thoughts and opinions on this. In the meantime, a few photos from the weekend. Happy Monday!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Pay it forward

I went running with my friend Joe a few days ago, who also happens to be in marathon training mode. One of the reasons I enjoy Joe as a running partner is because of his goofball personality (aside from the fact that he pushes me to run harder and faster because he knows what I’m capable of). As previously mentioned, I don’t really enjoy running since I started taking on other less-grueling activities. So when I meet Joe for a run and he gets hyped up about Justin Bieber on his playlist, the laughs that follow force me to forget about the pain and the experience becomes so much more enjoyable.

On my way home that night I thought about the effects of Joe’s persona on my overall attitude. My friends are pretty awesome (shout out to you all!) and one of the many reasons is because they keep my spirits high. There’s nothing better than posting a vague Facebook comment and watching hilarity ensue in the threads that follow or acting silly with friends at work and laughing until your tummy can’t take the pain.

There are few things that I’m good at. And I mean REALLY good at. But I’ve been told I have an innate ability to make people laugh and keep things jovial and light-hearted. Why not? I think people underestimate the power behind a smile. Laughter is truly contagious. It’s why I strive to keep a positive outlook not just for myself but for those around me. You never know whose bad day you can completely turn around with one nice comment, one silly joke or one simple smile. Even from a complete stranger.

So here are a few of my favorite people caught in the act. Make it a point to pay it forward.

Tagged , , ,