There are not many words that make my skin crawl.

Cute is one of them.

The only things, in my mind, that can be considered “cute” are small animals, small children and maybe a smile with dimples.

You know what’s not cute?


My goals.

My work.

None of that is “cute”.

I get that you may have used the throw-away word to give a compliment. To fill in the awkward pause. But, you did exactly the opposite.

My hard work isn’t “cute”. My hustle isn’t something that needs your approval. My goals don’t need to be validated by you. They don’t need to be brought down to the level of a dog chasing it’s tail.

Tina Fey talks about this in her book, Bossypants, when she talks about Amy Poehler’s first appearance on a late night show that :

“Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

Just like that. I’m not here, blogging, cheering, rooting for you just to be cute.

I’m here because I believe in you.

I’m hustling because I KNOW you can do it. I know you can do it, because I went through it. I’m not here to just sit on the sidelines and let someone else dictate what is going to happen in my life. I’m grabbing each opportunity by the damn collar and making things happen.

There is a lot of sweat, a good amount of tears and a little sprinkling of blood that goes into my life… and none of that is “cute”.

Call me a badass. Call me strong. Call me stubborn. Call me whatever you want to call me.

But don’t you dare call me cute.


The Sweat Life

I. Am. Ready.

For those who have been with me since this was “The Road To A Healthy Life”, you’ll remember that I started my fitness journey by lacing up some white sneakers and heading out for a run.

Well, last May, my running came to a screaming halt, thanks to earning a stress fracture during the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Hobbling through the last 4 miles of that race on a technicolored foot was a stupid thing to do – but you would have had to pull me from the course screaming to get me to stop.

I crossed that finish line, and I knew something was wrong.

So, from May 2016 until today, I’ve been on a running hiatus.

Yes – I HAVE run. Three months after my doctor cleared me to run, I walked hesitantly into an Orange Theory Fitness class, nervous for the treadmill portion. My base pace hovered at 5.0, a full 1.5mph below what used to be my easy comfort pace.

Was it an ego crusher? Yes. Was it necessary. Absolutely.

Today, I told myself that I was going to break my running backpack out of hibernation and go for a run to the gym. I packed it late last night, with my work clothes, hydration, granola, protein shake, keys, cash, and teaching clothes. I was ready.

This morning, I stepped outside in pea-soup humidity and felt nervous.

What was I doing?

Was I going to hurt myself?

Maybe I should go back inside…

But I snapped a photo, posted it to my IG story and tagged two peeps that I knew were going to be at the gym. I hit “go” on my Nike Run Club App (which I haven’t logged into since May 2016), and went.

By the time I was a half a mile in, I was pouring sweat.

A little over a mile in, I stopped to snap this photo.

This was the reason I fell in love with running in Wakefield in the mornings – the sunrises over the lake. It was quiet. The town was waking up. It was just me, my thoughts and the sun… reminding me that it really was a brand new day.

A day that I was ready for.

Seeing that familiar sight added a little pep in my step, as I cruised over the small North Ave hill, crossed the street at the Subaru dealership, and headed to the third light to make a left. Funnily enough – that’s where my google map had left it. 2.3 miles. Turns out, there is a good .4 miles left to run from the driveway off of Walter Brooke Ave to the back end of the shopping center to get to Golds Gym.

2.75 miles later I arrived, dripping sweat with a goofy smile on my face.

I had done it.

While it was not a speedy time, but it was a good run. It was a run my heart and soul needed. It was a run that showed me that I CAN do it. That I WANTED to do it. That my body was really healed and arguably stronger than it has EVER been.

That by listening to my body, I was able to heal it properly.

So sweaty peeps – I. Am. Ready. Are you?

Also, shout out to Greg who snapped this while I was walking/dripping into Golds this morning. Watch and enjoy!


The Sweat Life


Recharge & Take Charge

“If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air.”

– Nayyirah Waheed

Ever since I was a kid, the beach has been my happy place.

I remember when I was little, we would go to a beach called Pajaro Dunes in Watsonville. It was about an hour away from where we lived in San Jose –  we would pile into the mini-van and drive away from the bustling city, through the strawberry farms, and land on this little slice of beach heaven.

Now, if you have ever been to the beach in Northern California – it’s not always the warmest place.

But you would have to peel me out of the water, every single evening. Sand was always an accessory. Family was always close.

It was where we went to recharge our family batteries.

We all still remember the trips we took to Pajaro Dunes. No matter where we moved, how many places we went. Those trips cemented our love for the ocean.

Now, I live in New England, and my heart still craves time at the beach.

When things get stressful and busy, and seem to be spinning out of control – my default is to head to the water. The ocean waves wash away the stress, the sea breeze takes those dizzying thoughts and somehow makes sense out of them, and the sand always welcomes company.

And just like Pajaro Dunes, the water here in New England has a little bit of a chill to it. But even as an-almost-30 year old, you have to peel me away from the water when it’s time to go. There is always a question asked, “How about five more minutes?”

I head to the beach to recharge.

I leave the beach ready to take charge of what I need to.

As the summer comes to an end, I’ll make a few more visits to the beach. Getting my dose of sand, salt, water and sun that will carry me to the first spring beach day. When I know it will be there ready for me, and I for it.