Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

Thanksgiving 2010 has come and gone.  The countdown to Christmas has started along with the annual catalog inundation my mailbox receives.   I realized I did not make note of all that I was thankful for, (well, except on Facebook) and this morning while drinking my coffee and reading "127 Days" - the story of Aron Ralston, the hiker who amputated his own arm in a successful quest for survival who records all he is thankful for while facing death - I know I have much to be noted.

I then stumble upon a study published by the Wall Street Journal which denotes that grateful people lead happier lives.  In fact researches conducted a study to prove this thought:

"A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being.

.Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.

Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families and schools than those who don't, studies show." - WSJ M. Beck 11/26/10

Me, I equate being grateful with optimism.  When you have awareness of just how much "good" you have in your life such as  family, friends, health, etc.; how can one be negative?  The next few weeks will be busy ones - I have a gingerbread houses to create with my niece and nephews, birthday to celebrate, holiday parties to attend, tickets to see Prince, Chelsea Handler, and of course the annual TSO extravaganza.  My family will be visiting from MA, I'll ring in 2011 with friends and best of all, I receive my very last Zometa injection with hopes that it will be last time  I see the chemo suite at my oncologist;s office. (For those unaware, Zometa is infused and yes, I get to sit in the very same chairs I received my treatment in - a bit disconcerting to say the least!)

I have passed the two year mark of completing treatment for breast cancer.  I have found the strength (I think...) to grow my hair out, sporting a pulled back look I'll most likely be wearing for the next year or so.  I have been able to identify many triggers of the hot flashes left as a result of my surgery this past summer.  I can still run, still swim.  I finally no longer have a bright orange sink in my kitchen.  Yes, I have much to be thankful for and hope you do too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back in the swim of things

In a sport that's ruled by the clock, freeing myself from the minutes and seconds that define success was liberating. I was now free to run when I wanted, without the gnawing obligation that comes with a competitive pursuit. I no longer have an interest in running "against" anyone. Rather, I'm often looking for someone to run "with," and it's the camaraderie, rhythm and ritual that continue to hold my interest. - Tom Ratcliffe, "Running Past the Finish Line," Running Times, December 2010

Tomorrow I'll be a spectator for the race many call "THE RACE" - the 2010 ING NYC Marathon.  I completed the 2010 Marine Corps marathon last week along with my brother and friend Jess.  I figure I need to pay it forward; having someone yelling words of encouragement to me at about mile 22 was extremely helpful, I'll gladly return the favor.
After 26.2 last week, this week I held off from running until Thursday.  Yesterday I hit the pool at my gym.  I had not been swimming since my last triathlon.  I was alone, the water was warm and it felt great.  I realized I missed the joy of gliding through the water and will make sure to hit the pool at least once a week. 
Life has been busy; training for the aforementioned marathon of course is time consuming and as always our house is a work in progress.  We are in the midst of putting in new ceilings in our family room downstairs.  Oh yes - it is about as fun as it sounds!
Now that November has arrived, there is much to look forward to - the holidays, my birthday and the BHS field hockey alumni game!  This November also marks my 2nd anniversary of finishing treatment and starting Tamoxifen.  Only three more to go...November also means daylight savings time, raking leaves, and did I mention raking leaves?  I best get out there!!!
Good luck to all NYC Marathon runners and a special shout out to  my cousin Kristen who will be running her first marathon up in NH tomorrow - 26.2!!!  Go get those bragging rights!!!