Acne Formation

Overcoming My Personal Acne Problem

High School was tough.

“Why?” you ask?

Well, mainly because of the awful acne that accumulated all over my face throughout my high school career. This is a problem I dealt with since the age of fourteen. Freshman year was when it all started. It’s when my first pimples began to appear. At first I didn’t care, but the acne gradually worsened. People were starting to make jokes and nasty comments about my face.I am not the type of person to take those remarks lightly, so it was very difficult to deal with. I lost confidence; I became shy and overall…. just more depressed. It was a real struggle throughout my entire high school career.

I had all different kinds of acne. White heads on my neck, cheeks, face, and black heads on my nose, and even a few cysts that appeared on my back. After much research, I concluded this acne problem was mainly due to my horrible genetics. (Thanks mom and dad!)

Over the years battling with acne, I tried many things and became actually quite knowledgeable with this topic. I know what works and what doesn’t. From my experience I realized there isn’t an acne solution that works perfectly for everyone. There are a lot of factors that come into play here. Some people can beat acne completely, while others can only mitigate the damage done from the awful skin condition.

How to Beat Acne

Acne treatment products are a must if you suffer from noticeable white heads. There are tons of great products out on the market that help reduce or totally prevent pimples. RateAcneTreatments is an awesome resource that reviews the best acne products 2015. In fact, I purchased Exposed Skin Care treatment from their website! I have been using this product for the last four months now, and the results have been nothing but exceptional. You can purchase a bottle for a reasonable price of $50, plus receive a year guarantee on the product. (Not bad huh?)

The reason I was attracted to that specific acne treatment was because of the raving customer reviews and the organic ingredients that are included in the solution. This treatment was one of the only products that actually helped me become acne free.

There are acne treatment products that you must be cautious of. Some products on the market may include ingredients that may be harmful to you, possibly causing an allergic reaction. If you can, please stick to acne treatments with organic ingredients.

You Are Not Alone

It turns out, an astounding number of young adults struggle with this embarrassing problem, according to MayoClinic,

Acne is most common among teenagers, with a reported prevalence of 70 to 87 percent. Increasingly, younger children are getting acne as well.

 

skin condition

Other ways to prevent acne

The solution I recommend above doesn’t work for everybody. Some people may not be able to afford it; others may be resistant to the treatment. If it’s the latter, please keep trying to find the right one for you!

Below is an additional resource that provides some helpful info regarding acne. I recommend you try some of the tips mentioned in this video if you are not interested in acne treatment products.

christ

Holiday Xmas Gifts Ordered!

Christmas is around the corner……just about two and a half weeks away! December 25th is by far my favorite time of the year. There is nothing better than spending time with parents, siblings, cousins and grandparents. Every year on Christmas Eve my parents host a Christmas party. And every year we drink, laugh, and create great memories. It’s tradition and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The only part I dislike about Christmas is the dreadful gift shopping that happens before xmas. This is honestly the worst. I never know what to get for my parents or brothers! Ugh, so frustrating! They are always so picky or already have everything I can possibly think of! My older brother Adam always has the latest and greatest tech gadgets … so I always have to especially think outside of the box for him. This year I did my gift shopping a lot earlier than normal, which allowed me to find a perfect gift. (At least I think it’s perfect! :)

Custom Clothing Gifts

After much deliberation with my mother and father and internet researching, I decided to get both my brothers’ their own personal crew necks! I ordered them both black men’s custom sweatshirts from my personalised clothing with their first names engraved on the left chest! The embroidery is an additional cost, the total came out to $26.34 or £16.79
I believe the heavy blend sweatshirts will be great for the winter and will turnout to be awesome Christmas gifts. I hope my brothers enjoy them!christmas shopping!

I ordered the jacket before the Xmas holiday deadline, which according to their website is the 12th of December, this means my jackets will be here by xXmas! In the past I’ve had problems with gifts showing up after the holiday, which was extremely disappointing to say the least. That is also part of the reason why I started my Christmas shopping earlier this year.

So if you guys or girls cannot think of any gifts for this holiday season, maybe consider ordering some custom garments for the person! MyPersonlisedClothing allows you design on many different types of clothing such as t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, fleeces and headwear! Definitely check them out! I also found the prices to be very reasonable, and their website has a great user interface that allows your to personalize and add embroidery to your clothing.

Did you guys order Christmas gifts yet? Please comment below, I love hearing from you!

xx

My Mother’s Plastic Surgery Experience

Plastic surgery is a growing trend in the United States of America…Everyone’s doing it!. The statistics speak for themselves. In 2013 alone, there were over 16 million cosmetic surgery procedures and over 6 million reconstructive surgery operations. Huge progress in the advancement of new plastic surgery technologies greatly attributes to the significant rise in number of procedures.surgery

So why are so many people doing it?

Well there are many reasons why one may schedule a surgical procedure. The most popular answers are below:

“To look better”
“To fix what is broken”
“To gain confidence”
“To feel better about myself”

Car accidents and birth defects can leave someone scarred, deformed and overall dissatisfied with their overall appearance. Plastic surgery helps these people in particular feel better and more comfortable in their own skin.

Two months ago my mother gave birth to my wonderful sister, Leah. It was a blessing and a miracle. Nothing is more precious that life itself. I am very proud of my mother and excited for my families future as we watch young Leah grow to become an adult.

After giving birth my mother was left with unwanted physical features. She had nasty stretch marks, bruising, and excessive lose skin. Her doctor recommended for her to see a post-pregnancy surgery specialist. She ended up deciding to go with Mommy Makeovers in New York City. They had exceptional service and helped connect her with a specialist and setup a consultation. After three extensive meetings with the surgeon, she decided to go with the Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck.

Basically the “tummy tuck” is the most effective way to reshape/fix excess fat and saggy skin in unwanted regions. In her case it removed the appearance of her stretch marks from the birth as well as giving the abdomen region a smoother and tighter look.

Since the tummy tuck she has experience a lot more confidence, energy, and overall a happier human being. The results have been absolutely amazing, this is a procedure I can highly recommend for women suffering from post pregnancy implications. Childbirth is such a wonderful thing; it’s unfortunate some women have to experience such troubling body changes afterwards.

Andominoplasty Cost

According to the 2013 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a tummy tuck can be from $5000- $6000.

Costs include:

• Surgeon / Specialist’s Fee
• Medical Tests
• Post surgery medicine costs
• Anesthesia
• Hospital & Facility Costs

The majority of insurance companies do not cover this specific surgical procedure, however there are many plastic surgeons that will agree to reasonable financing plans for patients.

Her recovery went smoothly, according to WebMD most patients will be able to participate in physical activity in under 8 weeks, in my mothers case is was only six.

All in all, my mother was glad she did it. If you are considering or even thinking about getting this operating done, please feel free to contact me or ask me questions regarding Abdominoplastys. I was by my mother’s side the whole time so I am fairly knowledgeable on the subject.

protein

The Best Protein Powder For Women – Health Tips, Weight loss, Diet.

Weight loss is always a hot button subject, especially with summer being right around the corner. As you look at your scale in absolute shock and wonder what happened to the New Years’ Resolution to lose weight, this is the time to take action. Reflect on the days leading up to New Year’s Day 2015. The chance for a new start fueled your motivation to lose weight. But here you are, a few months into the New Year, looking at your scale in great disbelief. This is the same story year after year. Therefore, it is time for a new diet, one that definitely works.
As a medical professional, I focus my dieting on portion control and permanent lifestyle changes. One summer I gained 28 pounds. I frequented restaurants and barely cooked at home. I always order salads (they are healthy, right?) topped with tons of cheese and every imaginable topping. There is a big secret behind the salad diet: salads are supposed to consist of raw vegetables without toppings and very minimal salad dressing to be considered healthy. I surely learned my lesson that summer.
To shed those unwanted pounds I changed my lifestyle. My eating habit now consist of home-cooked meals and drinking water as opposed to artificial juices. My meals are portion controlled, as I dislike the feeling of being “too full.” I prefer having small, frequent meals. In addition to my dietary changes, I began riding my bike and taking brisk walks. I lost the 28 pounds within months.
Key Points to Remember
•    Your diet is a part of your lifestyle. Make permanent changes that you can live with.
•    Avoid fried foods. These foods are high in fat and filled with calories that will be charged to your waistline and hips.
•    Avoid soda and artificial juices. These products are filled with sugar and worthless calories.
•    Prepare your meals at home. A home cooked meal is far healthier than restaurant-prepared meals.
•    Small, frequent meals are healthier for you than large meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals also helps maintain normal blood glucose levels and increases your metabolism.
•    Exercise regularly to ensure that your body is functioning at its optimum.
•    Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables and protein in your diet. And if you are a women, please use certified personal trainer, Sarah Geatz’s protein recommendation for the best protein powder for women to get adequate amounts in your diet.
The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Since you are all looking at the scale wondering, what happened?

Then it is time to evaluate yourself and change your lifestyle, for this year is about healthful living!

Healthy Living: Staying Motivated and Working Hard

Both guys and girls deal with different insecurities about their bodies; too fat, not enough muscles, too much flab, etc. So, many people are hitting the gym and trying to get the perfect beach body. Unfortunately, many of those same people lose motivation and don’t stick to their healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep you going!
1) Be diligent to go to the gym (or wherever you exercise)
Wherever you work out, make sure that your being diligent. If you go to the gym, set the days and times that you plan on going ahead of time to ensure you will go. Moreover, you will want to get into the habit of going to gym by, well, going! Even if you do not work out, drive to the gym anyway! Doing this will put you into the habit of going; and, more often than not, you will not want to waste the gas, so you’ll end up going in to work out anyway.
2) Always have healthy snacks with you
Nothing diminishes progress more than hunger. When you get hungry, you are prone to eat whatever is around–even if you try to fight it, you’ll probably succumb to the quickest foods around (fast food, chips, etc.). If you carry around some healthy snacks, like fruit or veggies, than you will start to train your body to enjoy those snacks while feeding your hunger. In the end, this keeps you from making poor food choices.
3) Never shop for food hungry
Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry! You are playing with fire if you do so. The chances of you buying food you do not need, and does not fit into your diet, increase dramatically when you shop hungry. When you’re craving food, junk food calls out your name and beckons that you come–and it doesn’t help that the advertisers use certain colors and layouts in order to influence your decision to buy their food.
4) Accountability
Have a trusted friend or family member that will help you; they can text/call you to ask if you worked out, ate well, etc. Moreover, they can help you stay motivated by noticing your progress and hard work. Ultimately, there is safety with having a good encourager that will support you in your healthy living. After all, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish!

Yoga and the elements of Health, Diet and Protein.

Yoga is everywhere these days: Celebrities, trainers and doctors are all extolling the benefits of regular practice, making it one of the most popular forms of exercise and alternative health management in the world today. It’s not pseudo science, either: Research shows that regular yoga practice can reduce stress, improve mood and slow the aging process.

The problem? Many of the 20 million yoga practitioners in the United States are missing the mind-body connection that is necessary to get the most benefits out of yoga. The missing piece of the yoga puzzle puts students at a greater risk for injuries when they dive in without proper instruction and guidance. I know this personally: I tried (and thought I failed) at yoga for a long time before I figured out that it’s not just breathing and posing.

“There are several disciplines of yoga, and with its rich history, the beginner can easily get lost – or worse – injured,” said Moving Meditation author Mary Jo Ricketson, a nurse and experienced yoga practitioner, told me.
The American attitude of “wanting it all” contributes to this risk, she says — beginners want to “jump in the deep end first” without learning the proper building blocks of yoga. The result? Injuries to their necks, lower backs, knees and shoulders — and lots of muscle soreness, in my experience.
Can you keep this from happening to you? Of course, Ricketson says — as long as you don’t fall into the same traps of many yoga beginners.
Not Enough Cardio Strength

The cornerstone of yoga — and mind-body training — is focused breathing. A healthy cardiovascular system means more oxygen is moving through your blood and body, giving your brain more “fuel” during yoga. I’ve found that my endurance and ability to stretch through the various yoga poses has increased considerably since I added running on the days I do yoga.

“Cardiovascular training is the single most important aspect of the physical training because it keeps the heart open and strong,” Ricketson says. Consider starting a cardio regimen — walking, running, cross-training — before starting yoga to maximize the benefits.

Mushy Cores

Your core muscles — in the abdomen — help your body maintain posture and strength. Yoga can improve your core strength, but consider additional training to strengthen those muscles — you’ll need it to keep balance and stability during yoga. My core was the weakest point until I started working with a specialized trainer who taught my how to engage my core at all times. Not everyone can afford (or want) a trainer, but check with your gym to see if they offer a special one-on-one session to introduce you to core work, or check out a group class that focuses on core movements.

Inflexible

Pay special attention to stretches during yoga — it feels good and is vital for muscles to grow and hold poses. Also, stretch after yoga for a few minutes and hold the stretches for at least 25 seconds — I was stretching too quickly and it didn’t help my muscles at all.

Sleep Deprivation
Sleep is a necessary part of living, whether you like it or not. A tired mind is not good for yoga — you must get sufficient rest for energy and equilibrium.
Seriously Lacking Diets

Eating a proper, balanced diet is vital to achieving “zen” during yoga. I use the website MyFitnessPal to log my food —  and it helped me realize I need to increase my protein intake!  I suggest you do the same. I did research, and I came to the conclusion an abundance of people lack the proper nutrients! I came across a resource that will guide people who are unfamiliar with that particular area in their diets, here. I found that helped guide me for my nutritional protein needs, and was especially helpful for women such as my wife. She had so many questions about protein safety in women, and honestly that website does a great job going into depth about the topic and essentially explaining on how increasing your intake can be very beneficial for both women and men. I mainly use MyFitnessPal because It helps me know what I’m eating and if I’m eating too much carbohydrates, fat, protein, sodium and sugar for my health goals. Also, it helps me figure out which foods give me the most fuel (and which ones make me feel terrible) on my yoga days. I wouldn’t know that without my food diary.

No Quality Time
All the diet and exercise in the world cannot make up for a lacking spiritual life. Be sure to spend plenty of time with loved ones.
“From Epicurus to modern science, study and observation show that we find greater happiness with access to friends and family,” Ricketson says.
Write It Down!

We all know the old adage: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Having an action plan for your life will help clear your head, making yoga all the more beneficial. I’ve started writing down my goals — yoga, fitness, diet and personal — and break them down into smaller achievements. I’ve found that I’m motivated to continue when I log those smaller achievements — and eventually they all add up to the big goal.

Why do you like to practice yoga?

Eating healthy is important. We all know this. If you eat healthy, your skin, hair, and body will look better. You’ll have more energy. Your immune system will be in better shape so you’ll get sick less. You’ll just look and feel better overall. But these days it’s hard to eat healthy. Health is not just about low calories and losing weight, it’s about nutrition. But in our culture, the two sometimes get confused. Many food products contain unnatural and unhealthy ingredients and additives, even those that are seemingly healthy.

New studies come out all the time, decrying a certain type of food that was praised a few years ago, or vice versa. It’s all so confusing. While nutrition can be hard to pinpoint, I’ve created a guide that is based on my personal beliefs of what is and is not healthy. These beliefs are based on a variety of things: things I’ve read, learned, and experienced for myself, especially in my experience working at a yoga studio and studying to be a yoga teacher.
These suggestions are just that: suggestions. I cannot claim a monopoly on knowledge of nutrients and healthy eating, and if you’ve heard or think differently, that’s fine. Ultimately, it is you who can decide what is best for yourself. But hopefully this guide will help those of you who need a starting point.

A Beginner’s Guide to Running: Tips that Will Increase Your Initiative to Run

Running is something that can not only help you keep a healthy body, but also a healthy mind. It is one of those exercises that can improve the health of your heart while providing a nice escape to think about the world or how you want to spend that next meal. Not only that, but running can be that moment where you shut off your mind and just enjoy a few minutes (or hours) by yourself.
A Beginner’s Guide to Running
The key to anything is figuring out what you are comfortable with, and then going one step further, and to become great at something, it just takes a little practice. That even stands true when you are starting to run for the first time, because you don’t want to push yourself too hard, and turn it into work, when it is really just an opportunity to have some fun.

Here is a great list of great running blogs that will help you take you running to the next level!

Learning How to Run

The first step to learning how to run correctly, is to work yourself up to the ability to run continuously. In order to do that, the best way is to start slow, and work your body up to a condition capable of running. Start by taking walks around the neighborhood or even in a local mall, and slowly increase the length of time and then the distance that you are walking. Also make sure to give yourself breaks in the first few days of pushing your maximum mileage. For instance, when you take a 3 mile walk for the first time, take the second day off, and then get back to it on the third day. When you are comfortable walking several miles at the same time, you are ready to take that first racing step.
How to Get Started Running
Once you have mastered walking, it is time to start running. Before you head out for your run though, it is always important to make sure that you not only stretch, but make sure that you are well hydrated. By stretching out all of your leg muscles you will help to get your body for the run, and by making sure to drink enough water, you are going to make sure that you don’t suffer any severe muscle cramps. Also have water ready at the end of your run so that you can re-hydrate your body, and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.
On your first run, you don’t want to over-exert yourself, and you should be careful not to set your original goals to high. Set a goal of trying to run half a mile, and go for it. If you can’t run the whole half mile at first, don’t even sweat it, because you can try again later, or the next time. Remember always that you are doing this at your own pace, and it isn’t a race to become an expert runner right away. Once you have been able to run that first half mile, increase your distance the next time to a mile, and once you have that accomplished for for 2 miles the next time. When you have been able to do that, you can start to push yourself, and work up to the day where you are just going to run until you get tired.

Running Tips for the Beginning Runner

The biggest thing you always need to remember when you are learning how to run is that there are no rules as to how fast you need to be good at it. You can take your time, just keep in mind that you want to keep at it, or you may have to learn how to work yourself up to it again. The real key is that once you have started running, and you have become comfortable with it, it will become second nature, and turn into a really fun activity.
There are a few running tips that you should always keep in mind when you are going to start becoming a runner.
Stay hydrated — It is extremely important to stay hydrated when you are running, because it will make the run easier on your body, and keep you from getting muscle spasms that can make the process harder that night.
Run at your own pace — If you are working up to running in a race, then make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to train, learn the best ways to run, and what you are comfortable with. Everyone learns how to run at a different pace, and it can quickly become a very fun activity if you stick with it.
Make sure to re-hydrate — When you are done running, your body is going to need water, and a lot of it. Don’t always settle for the energy drinks or drinks like Gatorade, because they are packed with sugar. There is nothing better for a beginning runner than a nice bottle of chilled water.
Have fun — Having fun while you are running will get you back out there over and over again. Once you are a runner, you will get healthier in the body, mind, and soul, and if you get really good at it, it could soon become something that you love to do in competition.
Source of My Running Knowledge
I learned how to run very young, joined a track and field team, and then started running for my Cross Country team in high school. In that I learned some valuable tools to use while running, and competed in many different races. It was a lot of fun, and helped me to learn how exactly it helped my mind and body. It became something I just loved to do, and provided many valuable opportunities to simply enjoy running.

Old Couple Women Fitness

The Importance Of Exercise Training For Older Adults

Within the past year, both of my parents have had health scares which led to hospitalization. Despite their age, I wonder how important it is for them to engage in healthy exercise. According to the non profit help guide resource, “Older adults can obtain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily.” I’ve identified five important considerations in exercise training for older adults. The following undesirable processes can be dramatically reduced and slowed with an increase in physical activity.
1. Many changes in height, weight, and body composition occur with aging. Fat-free mass in the form of muscle decreases, and body fat percentage increases and becomes more concentrated in the mid-section of the body. Three other major concerns are:
Osteopenia- a reduction in bone mineral density
Osteoporosis-severe loss of bone mass

Sarcopenia-the loss of muscle mass associated with the aging process

2. Strength and neuromuscular function decrease steadily with aging. Maximal strength and muscle mass both decline, while nervous system response to stimuli is slowed. There is an increase in Type I muscle fibers, and a loss of Type II fibers. However, strength-training can maintain or increase muscle in both older men and women.
3. Cardiovascular and respiratory function declines with aging. Peripheral blood flow-decreases with aging, particularly to the legs. Cardiovascular de-conditioning also occurs as a result of decreased activity. Additionally, Endothelial dysfunction contributes to reduced blood flow to the muscles, and prevents vasodilation from occurring in the blood vessels. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), vital capacity and max expiratory ventilation also decrease with age. These are the factors that determine how much air can be cycled through the lungs with each breath. However, with regular exercise many of the vascular changes which reduce performance in aging adults can be slowed.
4. Aerobic and anaerobic ability are both reduced with aging. VO2 max and maximum heart rate both decrease, and lactate threshold can be adversely affected. The authors of Physiology of Sport and Exercise state that “Athletes who continue to train have significantly smaller decreases in VO2 Max as they age, particularly if they train at a high intensity.”
5. For older adults, sensitivity to environmental stress becomes harder to tolerate during exercising. Exposure to heat, cold, and altitude are more dangerous for the elderly when engaging in physical activity. In order for the aging to prevent injury and maintain an active lifestyle, it is important to be mindful of these special concerns.
Aging adults can achieve similar benefits from exercise as young and middle-aged adults. Older people can lose body fat, increase strength and improve endurance. By remaining active, elderly subjects can slow the natural deterioration process that occurs in physiological functioning.

Two Of My Favorite Supplements For Triathletes

triathleteI recently visited my local GNC in Portage, Indiana, to find out what supplements they recommended for a triathlete trying to increase speed. I explained that I’d been competing in multi-sport for five years and had achieved considerable success, typically placing in the top three of my age group. I told the sales representative that my training regimen was consistent, but that I wanted to take something that would help me get faster, without having any negative side-effects.

“I would recommend trying beta-alanine and creatine,” he said matter-of-factly. I repeated his words, just to clarify. “Uh, yeah. Beta-alanine is gonna give you that anti-fatigue factor, and creatine creates ATP.”

I thanked him for his help, and he walked away to assist other customers. I was satisfied with his answer because he’d already gained my trust from prior visits, but I wanted to do my own research before making a purchase. Ultimately, his advice wasn’t bad. But it also turned out to be a very generic recommendation that could benefit athletes in many different sports.
Here’s what I learned about the two supplements:

Creatine:

Creatine is commonly used by both professional and recreational athletes. Furthermore, creatine enhances ATP levels — just as the GNC sales rep said — which can enhance recovery from intense training sessions and facilitate the production of power during tough bouts of exercise. Creatine also contributes to strength gains. However, research shows that the expectations for this supplement outweigh the actual ergogenic benefits. In addition, there is minimal risk involved in using creatine. When used according to label and with adequate hydration, there don’t appear to be many major concerns. A negative side effect is that it can cause weight gain (mostly in the form of water retention), which would not be desirable for an endurance athlete such as myself. Lastly, after learning that creatine mainly aids in sports “involving brief periods of high-intensity exercise,” I thought that it was a questionable recommendation for an endurance athlete. However, I thought maybe it could help with my transitions (from swim to bike to run), and to help me finish strong at my sprint (the shortest distance) triathlon events.

Beta-Alanine:

There are many benefits of beta-alanine. It has been shown to increase muscular strength and power output, muscle mass, anaerobic and aerobic endurance, and delayed muscle fatigue. There have also been studies to suggest that there are enhanced benefits when used with creatine (brownie points for the GNC guy). I also consulted a scholarly article published in theACSM, which reiterated that “the popularity of β-alanine stems from its unique ability to enhance intramuscular buffering capacity and thereby attenuating fatigue.” Beta-alanine might also delay muscle fatigue in older adults, over the age of 55. The benefits of this supplement also seemed to be emphasized in strength-training. These latter points made me question the efficacy in relationship to my needs as a 35-year-old endurance athlete.
As a triathlete, I would definitely feel comfortable taking both of these supplements, and they certainly have the potential to produce gains in speed and strength. I’ve never tried beta-alanine, but I’ve taken creatine in the past. They both have an excellent safety profile and have scientific research to support the possible benefits. Particularly compared to some of the more dangerous thermogenics and weight-loss pills that I’ve taken, neither of these supplements pose a threat to my health, and there is likelihood that they can enhance my performance.

Sports

How Extreme Sports Changed My Life

I’ve always been a bit fearless. Even as a child, I was willing to explore the unknown, even if it frightened me. I love a thrill, and more importantly, I love the feeling of confidence that comes from trying something new. I try to push myself to give my best in all of my endeavors. It’s never been enough to do something halfway, and I’ve always believed that anything is possible.

The summer between my sophomore and junior year in college I saw a commercial on The Wide World of Sports for the Ironman Championship. This was in 1998. I made a commitment to the sport at that moment. I didn’t think it was humanly possible that a human being could do 140.6 miles. Yet, there they were, hundreds of people finishing this race. I knew if they could do it, I could too, and I wanted to feel superhuman. After several setbacks in my personal life and career, it wasn’t until 2005 that I actually competed in my first Sprint (the shortest distance race) triathlon. I was immediately hooked. The adrenaline rush is definitely addictive, but my favorite part of racing is the feeling of empowerment it gives me. It’s also the easiest way for me to silence my inner thoughts, and be completely in the zone. This is very peaceful and brings me a lot of joy.

My self-esteem has benefited the most from my involvement in this sport. From clocking in excess of 40mph on the bike, to swimming in lakes with unknown creatures, to training in extremely hot conditions, the dangers of the sport never stop me from wanting to do it. It requires a certain amount of toughness, commitment and focus that is not always associated with femininity. Yet, one of the most liberating aspects of triathlon is that there is more equality between men and women than in a lot of other sports. Although I haven’t completed an Ironman yet, I have finished and placed in a Half-Ironman-distance race. I’ve done exceptionally well in the sport, despite having minimal experience in any of the three disciplines. I usually place in the top three of my age-group, and I am currently training to earn my license as a professional triathlete.
From having twins at a very young age, to struggling with career choices, financial setbacks and divorce, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. My love for my sport has kept my head on straight, and given me strength when I thought I had none left. Extreme Sports is not for everyone, but in my life, it has been an infinite source of positivity and fortitude.