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Help Me Walk the Walk

One of my Favorite Pictures with Mom

One of my Favorite Pictures with Mom

On this Motivation Monday, I find myself 54 days away from an event I’ve wanted to participate in for years.  I’ve committed to take part in the 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer here in New York City. The two-day event takes place October 18th and 19th. Thousands of people will walk 39.3 miles to help fund life-saving research, education and advocacy programs.

I’ve wanted to participate in the Avon Walk ever since my Mom’s diagnosis back in 2008. She beat breast cancer, and I know thanks to other events like this, more people will, too. Within the past few months, I learned of two young women – one in my high school class, another in my fitness circle – who are now waging their own war against breast cancer. So I decided it was time to stop talking about joining the fight against the disease and start walking!

However, I can’t do any of this without some help. In order to join in the Avon Walk, I have to raise $1,800. Your generous donations will help make that possible. Please click on the the link below to visit my personal page at the Avon Breast Cancer Walk website. While I hope to raise more than the minimum, I’ll take all the support I can get!

While I’ve Zumba-d my bootie off for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and donated to other charities, I’ve never done anything on this scale before. It’s a wonderful way to use my love for physical activity for a good cause and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I look forward to walking with Sue, a fellow Gael from St. Mary’s High School Class of 1991, and thousands of others as we strive to top last year’s New York donations of $6.7 million.

I close with a big thank you for your support on this new adventure. For all of you who follow me on social media, I appreciate any likes, shares and double-taps you can offer on those channels, too!  I look forward to sharing more about an experience that will hopefully help more people on their journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A Not-So-Typical Motivation Monday

I hope you’ll forgive my wandering off the normal Motivation Monday path, but I’ve spent the past week swimming through a sea of emotions.  Those feelings fueled some extra intense workouts, and I now find them guiding my fingertips on this keyboard as part of what could be considered my attempt at a mental-health workout.

On Friday, my parents & I said good-bye to a dear friend and someone I’ve considered the guardian of my spiritual health and well-being since I was a kid. I was in the second grade at St. Mary’s in Manhasset, New York when we first met the Reverend Ralph Ferro. As I was just a child, I couldn’t tell you the specific date or time when we all grew close, but it happened somewhere between my father caring for Father Ralph and his family as patients and the countless Christmas dinners he spent with us even after his parents and his brother passed away.

Through the decades we knew each other, he celebrated a gamut of monumental events ranging from my cousin’s wedding to my best friend’s dad’s funeral. He celebrated my own wedding, and later counseled me through the divorce and even the painful annulment process. He shared in my joy when I found love again and shared in my sorrow when it didn’t work out. He prayed for my parents when they went through health scares and surgeries. He prayed when we mourned the loss of loved ones to cancer, old age or unexpected tragedies. No matter what was happening, I could turn to Father Ralph who either face-to-face or through the phone line would tell me, “It’s gonna be okay, kid. God loves you. So do your parents – and so do I.”

At his funeral, a fellow priest described Father Ralph as a “diamond in the rough.” My parents and I – along with many of the people who filled Holy Spirit Church to say good-bye – couldn’t help but  chuckle in agreement. He didn’t look like a “typical priest,” but under his unique character was a true heart of gold. It was that heart along with his faith that led him to counsel people many of us would rather forget – prisoners in the Nassau County jail system. Sadly, that big heart stopped beating at the age of 71 – not even a month after we shared another memorable Christmas together.

While the news of his sudden death shook my parents and I to the core, it also reminded me of something so simple and so important, yet all too often forgotten. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, here it goes: Our time on this earth is far too short to put off living for one more day.

So if you’ve been meaning to make changes to follow a healthier lifestyle in the hopes of being on this earth as long as your body will let you, start today. On the flip side, if you don’t want to workout today because you’d rather spend that free hour visiting with the friend or loved one you haven’t caught up with in far too long, then don’t. If you’ve been denying yourself the indulgence of a certain treat, have it. If you can’t remember how a petty disagreement stopped all communication with a relative or friend, pick up the phone and start making amends. I’m not saying to spiral into an abyss and abandon all sense of order in your life. However, there’s no time like the present to stop delaying happiness when the opportunities to embrace it exist right in front of our eyes each and every day.

If there’s some semblance of motivation to be found amidst these 600 words, maybe I offered a push for you to think about doing the one thing you’ve put off for far too long. Sometimes we all need a  reminder to enjoy each moment and live as if today was our last chance to have fun, be fit & feel fabulous.

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