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New Strides in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Happy Birthday, dear Elizabeth!

Instead of my usual Motivation Monday post, I decided to publish my latest Laura Loves Fitness musings on a much more significant day during this particular week. Today would have been Elizabeth Leonard Barton’s 45th birthday. My repeat readers may remember she is the dear friend from my St. Mary’s High School days who lost her brave battle with breast cancer nearly two years ago. While I know I’ll never get used to the fact Liz was taken from this world far too soon, I will celebrate her warrior spirit today by remembering her with love. In honor of her birthday, I could think of no better time to sign up to take my next steps in the fight against breast cancer – and ask for your support.

As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and four-time walker in Avon39, I was sad to learn the June 2017 Walk in Boston would the last 39.3-mile journey I’d share with Sue, another beloved St. Mary’s Gael. However, this spring we learned Avon was shifting its breast cancer crusade efforts to become the first ever national presenting sponsor for all of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events.

Just like she did with our inaugural Avon walk together back in 2014, Sue signed up first for the American Cancer Society’s Central Park Walk taking place on Sunday, October 14. She created the Gael Force Wind team in Liz’s honor. While the route will be different and the journey not as long, we’ll be walking toward the finish line with the same mission: raising money to kick breast cancer’s butt once and for all and to help fund the services assisting patients battling the disease today. Those services include helping patients get rides to and from their treatments; assisting with lodging for patients who may need to leave home for their treatment and providing support groups for patients and their families.

For the October event I have set a fundraising goal of $1800, which was the minimum amount needed to participate in my past Avon39 walks. To all my Avon39 donors, I thank you for helping me raise more than $20,000 since 2014 in the fight against breast cancer and hope you’ll continue your generous support. For anyone considering a donation, please know every dollar helps. Please click here to be taken to my personal page where you can make a donation – and maybe even consider joining the Gael Force Wind team. Obviously, this will be the first of several posts here and on my social media channels to encourage people to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

I close with a huge thank you for the support you’ve given me since I started this blog seven years ago. Whether you offered  words of encouragement to keep up with my mission to fight breast cancer or just get through a particular struggle in this windy road called life, I am beyond blessed to have family and friends who are always in my corner. Here’s to our next steps together in the never-ending journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!





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!

Freestyle Friday

We’ve enjoyed some glorious sneak peeks at springtime here in New York City courtesy of Mother Nature this week. Along with the beautiful weather, I’ve found an extra spring in my step during my morning walks to the office thanks to what I call some “oldies but goodies” in my iTunes music library.

On today’s walk down Broadway, I took a fun trip down memory lane as the shuffle option played a medley of songs that brought me back to all those high school dances at St. Mary’s or Chaminade. The songs also reminded me of the days when I’d rush to pop a cassette in my boom box to tape them from the radio and use my birthday bucks to buy them on 12-inch vinyl. While I laughed to myself about all the crazy outfits I wore (I actually owned tie-dye Z. Cavaricci pants!) and all the hair I teased to go to those dances and bust a move to those songs, I also realized they still carry some good bass beats for a workout!

So, I thought I’d end the week by offering a fun freestyle music list for you to enjoy on your next date with the elliptical machine or maybe as a warm-up for your next visit to Culture Club.

  • “Baby Don’t Go,” Fast Forward
  • “Bad of the Heart,” George Lamond
  • “Boy Toy,” Tia
  • “Clave Rocks,” Amaretto
  • “Exposed to Love,” Expose
  • “Boy I’ve Been Told,” Sa-Fire
  • “I’ll Be All You Ever Need,” Trinere
  • “Can You Feel the Beat?” Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam
  • “Theme to S’Express,” S’Express
  • “Move Any Mountain,” The Shamen
  • “Dance With Me,” Tony Moran
  • “Dirty Cash,” The Adventures of Stevie V
  • “Ride on Time,” Black Box
  • “Show Me,” Cover Girls

Mixing up my music list is one of the ways I keep my fitness routine from getting boring. In 2012, it’s definitely entertaining to get my heart rate up with the help of some of my favorite tunes from my teens and 20s. It’s also a big relief to know at some point since then, I realized the big hair and shoulder pads would not become essential components in the ongoing journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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