Boxed Water’s Social Reforestation Campaign

Boxed Water's Social Reforestation Campaign #ReTree
As I’ve mentioned, I love to support companies that do their part to give back. Whether big or small, these incentives allow consumer to better understand bigger issues and how they can impact us all. One such company that is doing their part-both as a brand and through the partners the support-is Boxed Water. With a motto “Boxed Water is Better,” Boxed Water was created with a simple mission to offer an alternative to plastic drinking water, making a product that is more environmentally-friendly. Essentially just water and a box, Boxed Water is 100% recyclable, shipped flat to help reduce offset the carbon footprint, and made with a minimal design (no excessive paper). And what about the water itself? It’s made with an 8-step purification process to ensure that it’s free of impurities and minerals and that the pH levels are very close to neutral.
Boxed Water's Social Reforestation Campaign #ReTree
Boxed Water's Social Reforestation Campaign #ReTree
boxed water nyc event
During a recent event in NYC, I not only had the opportunity to try out the water (it’s good!) but to also learn more about the company and their partnership with the National Forest Foundation and their #ReTree social reforestation campaign.  Through this social media incentive, they are working to protect the planet by planting one million trees within the next five years. And we can all participate! Simply post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter featuring Boxed Water using the hashtag #ReTree and Boxed Water will plant two trees. You can also subscribe to their newsletter where they will plant two trees on your behalf or purchase online and they will plant six trees. How easy is that?!
To learn more about Boxed Water and their sustainable practices, be sure to visit: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/pages/retree
Continue Reading

One Tribe Apparel: Bohemian Fashion Brand that Gives Back

The beauty of so many modern companies is that many support and educate the public about important causes, allowing the consumer to connect to bigger issues while supporting a brand that gives back. One such company is One Tribe Apparel, a Bohemian fashion brand that began when two travellers fell in love with Thailand’s Bohemian styles, and decided to bring them back to to the west in a socially conscious way. This includes a product line that’s sourced and made in Thailand by local artisans who are paid fair wages. This includes gorgeous Bohemian finds such as the fun “Summer Dreams” bucket bag, Elephant Harem Pants, colorful Kimonos and much more.

In addition to offering stunning pieces, your purchase also supports a company that gives back in quite a special way. For every purchase made, One Tribe Apparel donates to the Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai, Thailand, which rescues and cares for endangered animals so they can roam freely in a safe environment. Amazing, right!? We were certainly inspired and know you will be, too! To learn more about this socially conscious company, we spoke with Suzette Williams, partner at One Tribe Apparel to learn more about how One Tribe Apparel is breaking geographical barriers and uniting women around the globe with a shared passion for travel, culture, and conscious fashion!

Interview with One Tribe Apparel

One Tribe Apparel suzette williams

Wellness Patterns: How did the idea of One Tribe Apparel come about?

Suzette Williams: One of the amazing things about traveling to Thailand is that you’ll meet people from all over the world. I’m from Australia but in addition to great Thai friends I’ve created bonds with people from Africa, Europe, South America and almost everywhere else in the world. It’s this incredible melting pot for travelers and that was the initial inspiration for One Tribe Apparel to bring together a global community through art and fashion.

One Tribe Apparel waters

yoga One Tribe Apparel

Wellness Patterns: Tell us about your connection to Thailand.

Suzette Williams: We’re based in Northern Thailand now but I first lived down south on the islands. It’s beautiful, it’s old fashion in some ways where the wifi isn’t that strong so people hang out on the beach and drink a coconut or a beer while taking in this breathtaking nature. It has some of the best food in the world and the people are amazing. There’s just something about Thailand that’s hard to put your finger on, many people come back again and again or they come once and decide they want to move there.

one tribe apparel thailand

elephants One Tribe Apparel

Wellness Patterns: Tell us about your partnership with Elephant Nature Park.

Suzette Williams: One thing many travelers & tourists to Thailand may not know is that many of the commercial elephant rides and attractions are very dangerous for the animals. They are abused & chained & whipped from the time they are babies to make them compliant and obedient. It’s really sad to see and most people don’t know what their contributing to and just want to interact with the elephants. We strongly advise people to never ride an elephant especially if they are strapped in to any kind of basket. This article does a good job explaining the work of the elephant nature park and the plight of the other elephants in the country – https://expertvagabond.com/elephants-in-thailand/

What elephant nature park does is provide a safe sanctuary and rescues and buys elephants that have been poorly treated. At the park you can feed the elephants and interact with them in a fun and safe way that doesn’t hurt them.

We love the mission of the park and since many of our products have the traditional Thai elephant on them we felt it was a great way to give back. Right now we make a donation for every sale of every product we sell but we’re working on exclusive products in the future where 100% of profits will go to the park.

one tribe apparel thailand

one tribe apparel thailand

Wellness Patterns: Why do you think fashion should have a conscious connection?

Suzette Williams: With fashion we’re inspired by culture by nature by animals and by our communities. I think it’s only right to give back as a thanks for that. In addition to our work with the park we hire local designers & artists and we make sure all manufacturers we work with have good working conditions and fair wages. It’s possible to do all of these things and still make a profit and we think it’s great that many fashion companies and companies in general are doing this as well.

One Tribe Apparel waters

One Tribe Apparel harem pants

Wellness Patterns: What are some plans for the future of One Tribe Apparel?

Suzette Williams: The original concept for One Tribe Apparel was that every year we would pick a new destination like Nepal or Bali and do a clothing line featuring the artisans of that location. Unfortunately, that’s incredibly expensive and logistically difficult but we still love the vision. We plan on keeping our roots in Thailand but would love to add styles from Nepal next. As for our product line we’re going to be greatly expanding our collection of bohemian handbags and our yoga accessories like straps and bags.

For more information, please visit: https://www.onetribeapparel.com

Continue Reading

Summertime Sides from Organic Kids L.A

Lazy summer weekends are around the corner. One of the cornerstones of this time are BBQ’s and with Father’s Day right around the corner, we are definitly inspired to get our grill on. One way to get get kids involved is to have them help out with the cooking. To inspire young chefs, we are sharing two summertime sides from Lisa Rotondi of Organic Kids L.A, a company that provides lunches to preschool, elementary, middle and high school students throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Read on to check out some of these awesome healthy and easy to create side dishes.

Summertime Sides

Summertime Sides

Organic Summer Succotash Edamame Salad:

Ingredients:
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 medium organic onion, chopped
· 1 bag (1 pound) shelled organic edamame, thawed
· 1 bag (1 pound) frozen organic corn, thawed, or 3 cups fresh-cut organic corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
· 2 large ripe organic plum tomatoes, diced
· 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1/4 cup minced organic fresh chives or basil

Instructions:
Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the edamame and corn and cook, turning often, until heated through, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato, salt and pepper. Let cool and then chill if packing in a lunch box. When ready to serve, stir in the chives or basil.

Organic Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Ingredients:
· Lemons
· Water
· Sugar
· Simple Syrup

Instructions:
Squeeze the lemon juice through a hand presser. Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Boil the water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool.
Mix the remaining 6 cups of water, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and enjoy!

For more information, please visit: http://www.organickidsla.com

Continue Reading

Say Bye, Bye to Bug Bites this Summer with U.S. Organic’s Anti Bug Spray Line

new organic anti bug spray for kids

Bugs! They are everywhere, and so, so annoying! While sun protection is an obvious factor of the summer, so is protecting your skin from bug bites–some of which can be harmful, like ticks and certain mosquitos!

That’s why I was so psyched to learn more about U.S. Organic’s new Anti Bug Spray Line, a DEET free line that featuring three products (US Organic’s Anti Mosquito Spray, US Organic Anti Bug Spray Outdoor formula, and even a US Organic Indoor Anti Bug Spray!) for long-lasting protection from mosquitoes and other bugs. And it’s safe, which as you know, is not always the case with certain bug sprays. The line is Certified Organic by USDA and safe for usage on infants, children, expectant moms and anyone looking for serious mosquito protection.

Having used it for a few weeks now, I also love how lightweight it sprays on the body, offering a mild scent (herbal or coconut) that doesn’t feel sticky or gross on my skin. While the outdoor sprays have been in rotation when the kids play outside, I’ve also loved using the US Organic Indoor Anti Bug Spray, a safe spray made out of organic ingredients including soybean oil, castor oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, cedar oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, and deionized water. Awesome for indoor use on pillows or blankets that I spray on when we are maxin’ and relaxin’ at home. With its lightweight and smooth formula, no one complains when it’s on or anymore since they haven’t had any bug bites! And as a huge bonus, the line is made in the USA and isn’t tested on animals! Hooray times a million for that.

Summah’s here and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Make sure that you slather up with essentials like sunscreen and this new organic anti bug spray. Trust us, your skin will thank you!

 

For more info, please visit: www.us-organic.com.

We were provided with samples for review.

Continue Reading

Reconnect with Nature at Camp Navarro for Adults

Camp Navarro  for adults

Some of my favorite memories from childhood come from sleep-away camp. I fondly remember leaving Brooklyn, discovering a new sense of freedom where I made incredible friendships, learned to swim and picked up a few new skills (juggler for hire, anyone?!). Sadly that time came to an end around the early high school years, but Camp Navarro doesn’t think that the camp experience has to be limited by age. Their unique camp can provide an incredible location where groups can drink in nature while being spoiled by amenities such as gourmet food, yoga sessions under the trees, stargazing, river exploration, spirit pole carving, foraging hikes, and more to help revive the spirits of the modern (a.k.a stressed out) adult.

cool adult-only Camp Navarro

Situated in Northern California’s Anderson Valley, Camp Navarro comprises over 200 acres of old growth forest nestled along the north fork of the Navarro River and was reborn in 2013 as a nature retreat and unique event destination. Today, Camp Navarro welcomes groups such as Camp Grounded/Digital Detox (a tech-free summer camp!), Yoga Tree, Spirit Weavers, and more who have enjoyed its state-of-the-art facilities, including its 10,000 square foot Main Lodge, a restaurant kitchen, and an outdoor amphitheater.

We recently spoke with Dan Braun, adventure travel guru with more than thirty years of experience in environmental hospitality and owner of Camp Navarro to better understand what a person can expect and why he thinks the camp experience is important for adults. Read on to learn more about this unexpected soul-cleansing experience that might even inspire you try it out this year.

Interview with Dan Braun on Camp Navarro

camping for adults at camp Navarro

Wellness Patterns: Why do you think the camping experience is important for adults?

Dan Braun: The camping experience is important for all humans but Adults especially need a break from our normal, busy and sheltered lives. Day to day we adhere to rigid schedules, a reliance on technology and media, and major responsibilities like work and kids so getting into nature allows adults to simplify, breathe deep, reconnect with the earth and be free and youthful again. On a deeper level, it can be a reminder of what’s important in the world and cut through the ‘noise and chatter’ that bombards us on so many levels.

camp fire at camp Navarro

Wellness Patterns: What are some activities you offer?

Dan Braun: Archery, rock climbing, star gazing/night hikes, day hikes, foraging, wood carving, arts and crafts, yoga, square dancing, river exploration/swimming holes, wine tastings, color wars, volleyball, badminton, cornhole, horseshoes, etc.

archery at Camp Navarro

Wellness Patterns: Tell us about Camp Grounded.

Dan Braun: Camp Grounded is an adult, tech-free summer camp that started at Camp Navarro. It allowed adults to disconnect from normal life and get back to basics and what’s important; having fun, being a kid again, connecting with nature and other humans, and being appreciated for not just what you do but who you are. Participants did not talk about work, were given nicknames, relinquished all technology and watches, did not talk about age, and basically spent four days having the time of their lives. The motto is ‘disconnect to reconnect’.

Wellness Patterns: What do people (in general) get out of this experience?

Dan Braun: It varies but in general it is a reminder of what’s important in their own life including having fun and adventures, taking a timeout from typically a normal chaotic life, appreciating the beauty in nature, and having meaningful conversations and experiences with friends, family, co-workers and colleagues.

Wellness Patterns: What interested you about setting up this kind of experience when you bought the camp?

Dan Braun: I grew up at summer camp and always knew I would own a camp someday, it just took me thirty years to do it! In the interim, my previous endeavors and careers still centered around getting people into nature whether as a mountain guide or as a hotel owner in Yosemite. My next endeavor was to own a camp, focus on events before opening it up to the general public, and continue to get people into nature. In doing so, we were also protecting an asset that would have been lost for good. We are living in ‘interesting’ times, and people’s priorities are often driven by material things so I do my best to have impact by just getting people outside and then seeing what kinds of transformations can take place in their lives.

For more information, please visit: http://www.campnavarro.com

Continue Reading

What are the Differences Between Artificially and Naturally Alkaline Water?

There has a lot been said about alkaline water and how it’s less acidic than tap water. But now we’ve been hearing about artificially and naturally alkaline water and have been confused by the differences and benefits for the body. To help us out, we interviewed Ryan Emmons, founder of Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water to learn more about this topic. Read on to learn more about his company and to better understand the differences.

Interview with Ryan Emmons on Artificially and Naturally Alkaline Water

 Artificially and Naturally Alkaline water: interview with Ryan of Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water

Wellness Patterns: How did the idea for Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water come about?

Ryan Emmons: I grew up in California and Hawaii, spending all of my winters and summers there with my Hawaiian family. During that time, I gained an incredible appreciation for the environment and the active, nature-filled lifestyle that’s unique to these places. That, coupled with a history of involvement with clean water, education, and conservation NGO’s led me to try to begin developing the concept for Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water after I realized there was a dire need for a lifestyle brand that could create positive industry and social change.

I went to the Marshall School of Business at USC because it had the number one undergrad Entrepreneur Program in the country (the LLoyd Greif Program for Entrepreneurial Studies), and started developing the concept, feasibility, and business plan over the next few years before graduating early and launching it full time.

Wellness Patterns: What are the differences between artificially and naturally alkaline waters? When measuring alkalinity, an alkaline pH can be the result of natural or unnatural conditions in the water.

Ryan Emmons: Naturally alkaline water has a chemical makeup that is vastly different from artificially alkaline water. A naturally alkaline water’s pH corresponds with the amount of minerals present in the water — the higher the mineral content, the higher the pH. On the other hand, artificially alkaline water has undergone a process they call ionization, or “electrolysis”, that gives the water a certain pH, but rarely possesses the minerals found in naturally alkaline waters.

At the end of the day, more research needs to be done on high pH waters. The health benefits are uncertain as there is very little research to prove that a high pH can have any effect on our bodies — our stomachs need to be acidic to digest food and our bodies have powerful mechanisms to balance our internal pH, whether it’s in the blood, digestive tract, or internal organs. What we do know is that healthful minerals found in naturally alkaline waters, such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, are bioavailable in water and have many FDA-approved health benefits.

Remember, I’m not a dietician or doctor, nor am I offering any medical advice. There’s just a lot of conflicting information floating around out there and this topic will only be settled once conclusive studies have been published. But as Dr. Mercola says in one of his publications on alkaline water, the value of alkaline water has much more to do than pH alone. And that’s really the difference between artificial and naturally alkaline water.

Wellness Patterns: How is the water sourced?

Ryan Emmons: 2,400 miles from the nearest industrial landmass and surrounded by 10 million square miles of ocean, Waiākea is completely isolated from the rest of the world, originating in Hawai’i through both snowmelt and rain on the pristine snowcapped peak of the active Mauna Loa volcano, one of the purest environments on Earth. Waiākea is then filtered through thousands of feet of porous lava rock before re-emerging at its source, a deep volcanic well, located at the eastern base of the Mauna Loa volcano in a secluded area surrounded by rich and bio-diverse forest preserves.

Wellness Patterns: What differences will a consumer notice in drinking your water?

Ryan Emmons: Waiakea has a smooth mouthfeel and a very subtle hit of sweet (that’s from the silica!).

Wellness Patterns: What are some of your plans for the future?

Ryan Emmons: As a company, we’re always evolving. Some of the most exciting endeavors on the docket
involve furthering our commitment to sustainability and ethics.

For example, in the next year, Waiakea will be the first premium-bottled water to biodegrade in anaerobic and aerobic environments—yes, that means that all our bottles will be biodegradable, even in landfill or ocean environments.

Additionally, we’re expanding charitable partnerships beyond our long-standing relationship with Pump Aid, to include local nonprofits on the Big Island, and more specifically Hilo.

Furthermore, Waiakea is expanding their partnerships with local nonprofits in conservation and education on the Big Island, and will be making some pretty significant announcements of our new community programs.

Continue Reading

Awesome Green Festival Expo (and a Discount Code!)

Green Festival Expo in nyc

There are so many exciting things going on in the wellness community that it can be hard to be on top of everything. One way to meet brands that are doing their part to make a difference is at the upcoming Green Festival Expo in NYC.

Green Festival Expo at Jacob Javits Center
Connecting with green brands made way easier at the Green Festival Expo

As the largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event, this year will also include the inclusion of some environmental organizations and local New York community groups–making it the first time New Yorkers will have an opportunity to utilize an environmental activism platform.

The annual festival will kick-off with the Farm Sanctuary’s Plant-Powered Run featuring a timed 10K Race, an untimed 5K Fun Run, a Kids Run and a Walk for Farm Animals, beginning at Pier 84 and ending at the Javits Center.

Green Festival Expo in nyc
Zen is the new black.

There will also be tons of interesting speakers in attendance such as Amy Goodman, Host and Executive Producer of Democracy Now!; Ricky Kej, Composer and Grammy® Award Winner, ‘Global Humanitarian Artist’ and US Billboard #1 Artist; Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary; Marianne Schnall, Journalist, Author, Co-Founder/Executive Director, What Will It Take Movement: Dayna Reggero, Director, Climate Listening Project and film The Story We Want and much more! Chandanni Miglino, Ayurvedic practitioner, Founder of Chandanni and Co-Founder of the Chandanni Scholarship Fund.

Additionally, attendees can expect to learn more about thousands of products and services to live a healthier, more sustainable life from the latest technology and all-natural products to chemical-free household supplies and a wide selection of non-GMO, organic and artisanal food and beverages. In addition to the Vegan / Vegetarian Food Court, attendees can enjoy hands-on demos, educational activities, and learn from inspirational speakers.

The expo will also featurepavilions and green-theme stages, such as the Kids for Positive Family Fun Pavilion, with interactive educational activities and entertainment for kids; the Activism & Advocacy Pavilion, featuring Collectively Free, World Progress Now and Vigil 4 Peace, among others; the Gita Nagari Yoga Pavilion, featuring dedicated free yoga and meditation sessions all weekend long; and the two main stages, the Green Festival Stage, sponsored by GoMacro and Rodale’s Organic Life, and the Sustainable Innovations Pavilion, both highlighting green business entrepreneurs, community leaders and environmental experts.

We are so excited to attend and think you’ll love it, too! The Green Festival Expo is incredible way to connect and learn more about some incredibly innovative companies that are doing their part to promote sustainable practices and living a healthier, happier life.

Green Festival Expo Details:

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001
Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Register today using the promo code: GF17X22P [20& off NYC Green Festival] when you register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-city-green-festival-expo-tickets-31063053429

 

We are excited to be partnering with the Green Festival for this event!

Continue Reading

Ready for a Challenge? Check out the 2017 UA Mountain Running Series

challenge yourself with the UA mountain running series

Ready for a challenge for 2017? Oh, we’ve sure got one for you with Under Armour Mountain Running Series! In partnership with POWDR Adventure Lifestyle CO, the UA Mountain Running Series kicks off in July at Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor, the largest ski area in the Cascade Mountains with a peak elevation of 9,065 ft. The next stop in the series takes place in August at Killington, touting a peak elevation of 4,241 ft. and tucked in the Green Mountains of the Appalachians in Central Vermont. The series finished up at Copper Mountain, situated in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with a peak elevation of 12,313 ft.

challenge yourself with the UA mountain running series

UA trial mountain running series
Ever wanted to climb a mountain? Now’s your chance!

Ideal for trail running enthusiasts and professionals (or wannabes, like us!), this trail running series can be done individually or as a series. Each location offers diverse climates, different distances and varying elevations built to push athletes at every level to their personal limits. This includes a 5K, 10K, 50K, Half Marathon (we are doing this one!), Marathon, Marathon Relay and Vertical K. And if the accomplishment of reaching the top of a beautiful mountain and going down isn’t quite enough for you, think about the $5,000 prize purse that will be divided between the top 3 male and female 50K finishes at each event.

What is sure to be a competitive, challenging, and life-changing experience running on a beautiful mountain, we are so psyched for this incredible event that is sure to be a test of our mental and physical abilities.

2017 Under Armour Mountain Running Series Schedule 

July 21-23: Mt. Bachelor

August 18-20: Killington – See ya there!

September 8-10: Copper Mountain

Registration for all races are open! Get in there by checking out www.UAMountainRunning.com

We are happy to partner with Under Armour to spread the word about this incredible event!

Continue Reading

Coyuchi For Life: New Subscription Service for Environmentally Sustainable Linens

Coyuchi For Life: New Subscription Service for Environmentally Sustainable Linens

Did you know that 10 million plus tons of textiles, like clothes, bedding, towels, etc, end up in landfills each year?! While that is shocking, there are a lot of companies out there that are doing their part to change the way we consume like Enter Coyuchi, a pioneer of organic cotton linens, and their program ‘Coyuchi For Life,’ a service where users can subscribe to organic bed and bath linens in six, 12, or 24-month increments. When the subscription period is up, customers send back used linens to be recycled or renewed, and receive a new set. A refreshing, environmentally-friendly option, the service can benefit customers and the planet with less waste and the use of GOTS-certified sheets, duvets, and towels are made from natural and organic fibers, free of the toxic dyes, bleaches, and finishes used in conventional textiles. to learn more about the service and how it works, we spoke with Eileen Mockus, CEO of Coyuchi. Read on to learn more about how this service is major game changer in the textiles industry.

New Subscription Service for Environmentally Sustainable Linens

New Subscription Service for Environmentally Sustainable Linens

Wellness Patterns: How did the idea for Coyuchi for Life come about?

Eileen Mockus: With over 10M tons of textiles ending up in landfills each year, Coyuchi wanted to create a solution that would help customers reduce their impact on the enviornment that also works with their busy lives.

Wellness Patterns: How does the service work?

Eileen Mockus: Coyuchi for Life is a new, first-of-its-kind subscription program designed to allow shoppers to get new towels, sheets and duvet covers every 6, 12 or 24 months, and send back their old ones to Coyuchi to be renewed, upcycled or recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. A handy return prepaid label makes the return process a breeze.

Coyuchi For Life: New Subscription Service for Environmentally Sustainable Linens

Wellness Patterns: What are the benefits of using a service like?

Eileen Mockus: The service allows consumers to subscribe to sustainability and change their sheets for good.

Wellness Patterns: What happens to the linens when you are done with them?

Eileen Mockus: The Coyuchi for Life products will not be sent back to the same owner; they will be sold back as renewed by Coyuchi or other partners like The Renewal Workshop.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.coyuchi.com/subscribe

Continue Reading

Running the Brooklyn Half (or How I Pretended to be Brave!)

A few weeks ago I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon, a race I never thought that I would ever do. And yet I did and had an incredible experience facing something that I thought was out of my reach. But it didn’t happen overnight. Over the years I’ve gotten more into a running, slowing building up my speed–both hating and loving it with every new accomplishment. Something that seemed so impossible was slowly starting not to feel so, and as a full-time working mama with three kids, I found that it gave me with this newfound mental release that provided me with something that was just for me.

Brooklyn Half Marathon the beginning
The start of the madness.

So I’ve been running more, pushing myself even further to do more 5Ks and even Half Marathon with Shape earlier this year. And then the Brooklyn Half. I was really excited for this one since it was a race through my hometown, doing something so different, so challenging, and yet so exhilarating! It also meant that I had to brave, strong and confident: a mantra that I profess on the daily to my own girls.

brooklyn half marathon

The day of the race was thrilling! I woke at 5am, made coffee and ventured to the Brooklyn Museum where a collection of other eager runners were waiting. It was freezing out but I tried not to think about the cold as I waited for the 7:45am start time. Once we were signaled to go, it was incredible to see all of the bodies in motion as we swopped around Grand Army Plaza, through Prospect Park, down Ocean Parkway and finally on the boardwalk of Coney Island. While the cooler temps made for the perfect run, it still was very hard, grueling and mental to get through There were times when I wanted to stop, take a break, but I didn’t. I had to push and be strong for myself. And what I did realize as I looked at the Brooklyn that I once lived in, is that running is hard and the people participating are all sorts of runners: some might love it, some might hate, or maybe some are like me and they have found something that challenges them and pushes them outside of their comfort zone. Or maybe they want to show their kids or family or themselves that they are strong, brave, and can do hard things. Because we can.

brooklyn half marathon at coney island

brooklyn half marathon parade

brooklyn half marathon mom

brooklyn half marathon wet day

That was the only person that I was running for and against, and in the end the only person that I wanted to beat as I mentally challenged myself through the run to try to run under two hours. That didn’t happen for this race but I did reach 2:09 as I crossed the finish line at Coney feeling relieved, stronger and no longer having to pretend.

 

Get involved by running with NYRR. They have so many great mini runs, and of course, the big marathon coming up! http://www.nyrr.org/

Continue Reading