Mather Elementary School 375th Birthday Celebration – 10,218 Steps


On Friday, my husband & I attended a birthday benefit for the Mather Elementary School in Dorcester, MA.

The Mather is the 1st public school in the USA and they are celebrating their 375th birthday!

My Mother-in-law is the art teacher at the Mather School, and she attended the school as a child! In fact, my Grandmother-in-law (Nana G.) attended the Mather as well and sent all of her children (7 of them) to the Mather for elementary school.

Nana G. spoke at the Convocation last Sunday that began the birthday celebration. I wish I could have cloned myself to be able to attend (it was my Mom’s birthday & parents wedding anniversary on the same day so I was hosting a party for them) but my Father-in-law recorded Nana’s speech so I have been able to watch it. She was great! I’m shocked that at 88 she remembers so much from her childhood. I can’t even remember the names of most of my elementary school teachers & I’m younger than half Nana’s age.

The Friday party was wicked fun – including dancing. So keeping with a theme that dancing makes my step count pass over 10,000 – I was on the floor dancing with my Husband, Mother-in-law, and Sister-in-law, Jen. (I’ll share pictures when they’re posted online.)

Happy birthday to the Mather School & cheers to many more years making history and changing students lives for the better!

November Project – Week 16 – Wet and #WeatherProof

NP logo orange

I really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. When my 5 AM Fitbit alarm went off – I ignored it. When my 5:30 AM alarm clock went off, I debated just skipping the workout and going back to sleep.

I’m glad I woke up and went to the workout though.

When we started climbing stairs at Harvard Stadium at 6:30 AM this morning, there was a light rain. By the end – it felt like a monsoon, my clothes were drenched, and I could barely see through my glasses.

I didn’t check the weather this morning before leaving the house, so I assumed it would be cold and rainy. It wasn’t cold – 50 degrees – so within a few sections I’d taken off 2 layers and tied them around my waist. (My rain jacket and a long sleeve shirt from the 2013 stair climb benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.) I got in 18 sections of stairs climbed & a newbie told me that I “am very motivating” when she saw me turn & go at the bottom of a section. (For those who haven’t climbed with us “turn & go” is getting to the bottom and NOT STOPPING – just turning your body and continuing up the next section of seats.) That made me smile. I wish I could have convinced her to put down the roller blades she was carrying though. I don’t understand why she climbed with that extra weight.

Brogan made me laugh twice today. The 1st time was when he climbed with a small child on his shoulders and then stopped at the bottom so the child could high five us. The second time was when he told us to interlace our fingers during the group picture and added “my yoga wife taught me that!” His wife Goldie is a yoga instructor and they are a Boston Fitness Power Couple.

Edit: Here are the goofy group photos of all of us soaked from the rain.

NP_10.22.14_1 NP_10.22.14_2November Project is weatherproof and a little rain won’t stop us!

13,881 steps – Thanks Yelp Boston Somer Love-In!

On Saturday night, Yelp Boston hosted an amazing party in Somerville “Somer Love-In” at Brooklyn Boulders.

My husband & I walked over from the Porter Square T station which was about a 20 minute round trip walk.

One of the highlights of my night was watching the African dance group Agbekor Drum & Dance Society.

Yelp photo 1

Yelp photo 3Me & my husband are part of the watching crowd on the top left

Much to my pleasant surprise, they pulled in people from the audience to dance in their last number and I was one of the lucky chosen.

Here’s a photo of me enjoying the moment:

Yelp photo 2After the dancing, my Fitbit flashed to let me know I’d passed 10,000 steps for the day.

Here’s what I had to say about the event in my Yelp review:

What a wonderful, wicked fun night! Thank you again Yelp Boston for organizing!

I had a blast!

The food & drinks were delicious & filling!

There was a DroneCam from Above Summit filming the action. (I really hope it has audio for when a friend realized there was a camera on the drone.)

My jaw dropped watching Esh Circus Arts ribbon suspension performance!

Agbekor Drum & Dance pulled me into their dancing! Thank you to Laura for instructing me on the moves. (She was an awesome dancer!) I’m afraid of what pictures will look like because I have 2 left feet but I had a wonderful time.

Post dance, my Fitbit called me an “overachiever” for getting in so many steps in one day.

The Yelp swag of a flask made me laugh but I took a plastic tumbler cup instead.

It’s 2 days after the event and I’m still in awe!


On Sunday, I started wearing my Fitbit Flex.

I love it so far! The step tracking, sleep tracking, and food tracking have all been great.

There’s even a silent alarm that I used to wake myself up for the early morning November Project workout on Wednesday without waking up my husband too! (Our alarm clock is on his side of the bed.)

Here’s a look at what my Fitbit dashboard looks like on my computer:

FitbitIt also tracks sleep, water consumption, and calories eaten too (they just weren’t worth a second screenshot).

Another cool feature is it shows how your steps for the last 7 days compare with friends who use Fitbit. I’m a bit competitive so it does motivate me when I have rainy days like yesterday & I end up at the bottom of the leaderboard – to figure out a way to get more steps in. You can also cheer your friends on by clicking on a smile icon next to their name on the dashboard and send them messages too. Thank you to the friends who have cheered me and sent me messages so far!

November Project – Week 15 – Feeling Strong

The warm weather was still in MA (it will have a high of 78) on Wednesday at 6:30 AM.

I was happy to be among the Boston NP tribe climbing the Harvard Stadium stairs.

I got in 20 sections of stairs climbed today and it felt good!

I was getting a little down on myself for how slow I was going but I kept moving forward. (I think it was Bojan that shouted “pretend you’re a shark – if sharks don’t move – they die!” as encouragement to the group.) I was near the newbies but that just gave me more people to say “You’re doing great!” to.

One newbie asked how long I’d been a part of November Project. I answered “Since June – believe it or not”. (I’m a slow climber after all.) She replied, “Oh I believe it! You still have breath to be able to cheer people on unlike the rest of us!”

I love it when people say exactly what you need to hear. She was right! I am stronger since I joined November Project – and even if I haven’t upped my personal best for the number of sections climbed – I’m improving in other observable ways.

Thank you to the Boston tribe for reminding me that steps forward all add up to positive growth.

My abs are a little sore right now – but it’s totally worth it! (And that’s probably from both yoga last night & stair climbing this morning anyway.)

Happy birthday to Elin (collapsed in the photo below – as a funny reaction to the “birthday boom”)!

NP_10.15.14Thumbs up if you had fun at the workout!

Sweetgreen Passport – Nutrition + Yoga workshop

It’s hard to believe it’s October in MA and I was able to take an outdoor yoga class on Tuesday night – wearing short sleeves & capri pants! There is a unseasonable warm snap happening this week which is awesome – and I’m making the most of it!

yoga 10.14.14I’m on the left in the pink shirt

Julie Starr-Wood from JSW Nutrition lead us both in the yoga class and nutrition discussion post work out.

Both the workout & nutrition discussion felt really needed to me and the timing of this on the same week I’ve starting using Fitbit to track my food & activity was perfect. I joked with Julie that I’m a “recovering Weight Watchers member”. She mentioned limiting fruit as part of a healthy diet (due to the high sugar content) and that runs very counter to WW’s “free fresh fruit” mentality. Julie’s approach to nutrition and exercise seemed very reasonable to me. She’s anti the food fads of “Superfoods” and “Juice Cleanses”. She stressed trying to eat local food as much as possible and that eating “organic” doesn’t mean much so it’s not worth putting local farms out of business that can’t afford to get an “organic” seal for their product.

yoga 10.14.14_groupHere’s the whole group post dinner & nutrition discussion

New Balance Girls Night Out – Breast Cancer Awareness Run

On Wednesday night, I joined a fun group of ladies at New Balance for their Girls Night Out. This event had a 2.2 mile run – followed by speakers on Breast Cancer. NBGNO_10.8.14

Me, Maggie, & Jess L. – waiting for the workout to begin

NBGNO10.8.14The 2.2 mile group – waiting for the walk sign to continue the run

I’m towards the back of the group – not with the November Project people like I usually would be

NBGNO10.8.14_groupExcited full NBGNO Boston group

It was a really moving event for me & I found the tears flowing as I listened. I lost a Great Aunt to breast cancer. She was scared of visiting doctors so by the time she was diagnosed the cancer had already spread and nothing could be done to stop it from being terminal. I was close with this aunt & I think I get a lot of my personality from her. I share her love for the Boston Red Sox. (She had seasons tickets behind the Red Sox dugout!) She worked in advertising and I think that’s the root of my interest in marketing & communications. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve visiting her & my Great-Grandmother on Sundays for huge family meals and fun stories. I lost both my Great-Aunt & Great-Grandmother to cancer the same year – just months apart from each other. Thank you to New Balance for hosting & Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor for being the event MC and one of the speakers.

Weight Loss Update

I weighed in at Weight Watchers today and was down 0.8 pounds – 24 pounds lost total.

While I’m happy that my weight is going in the right direction again, I’ve made the decision to cancel my membership with Weight Watchers at the end of October.

After my last post about my frustration of gaining & losing the same 25 pounds over the past 2 years with Weight Watchers, many friends reached out to me on Facebook.

I’ve bought a Fit Bit Flex & I’m going to try using the Fit Bit app to track my food and activity. I have other friends trying to lose weight who own Fit Bit so I’ll have a support system there – plus many other friends who’ve offered to support me too.

If that works, I’ll be saving $50 a month and that’s worth it to me.

November Project – Week 14 – with Firedrills

This morning was another great morning to “rise & shine” and “just show up” for a workout with the Boston tribe.

I saw a few friends and stopped for hugs before continuing my stair climbing. Elin cracked me up by carrying around a speaker blasting music while climbing.

I got in 13 sections of stairs & 4 sets of 5 push ups (the “fire drill” when a cowbell clanged).

The rain held off – but I was prepared to be “weatherproof” anyway & brought my rain jacket.

I left before the group picture (I know – boo!) but I have a feeling a few cameras caught photos of me climbing so I’ll share them if they’re posted online.

Edit: As promised, here’s a picture from the start of the stair climbing

NPI’m in the pink jacket – smiling and holding a water bottle

Finally – a HUGE good luck to my friend Mike who is going to ROCK the Chicago Marathon this weekend. He showed up at NP this morning to cheer all of us on – even though he was tapering for the marathon & couldn’t climb himself.

That type of behavior is exactly what brings me back to November Project every week. You will make friends and you will get encouraged – no matter if you’re getting in 40 sections of stairs or 10.

Cambridge 5K – Oktoberfest

c5k_oktoberfestOn Sunday morning, I ran the Cambridge 5K – Oktoberfest.

It was a slow race for me. I finished 2078th overall & in 44:48 minutes. I was disappointed in myself because I wanted to finish in 40 minutes or under. Edit – a friend who also ran the race mentioned that her GPS watch tracked 3.24 miles not 3.1 which made me remember my watch doing the same thing. I checked my GPS time for just 3.1 miles and it was a over 2 minutes faster! 42:10 minutes! Much closer to the goal I had going into the race so that makes me happier!

I was also disappointed in the race experience as someone in the back of the pack.

Even scarier – I felt in danger on the course. Unlike for the fast runners – the course was open to cars before I finished. I nearly got killed by an SUV that not only drove on the race course but tried to pass a cab by veering into the bike lane I was running in! It was in front of a cop directing traffic for the race – but he didn’t even reprimand the driver. It was a pretty terrible feeling.

Finally – at the beginning of the race people were really rude about passing slower participants. I made sure I wasn’t lined up at the front of the start line and I stayed to the right when I had to walk. But people passed me very close – both on my left & right!

My husband was awesome though and got a picture of me before the race:


Post race – I skipped the party & headed to Boston with my husband for the celebration of “Poe Returning to Boston” a statue in honor of Edgar Allan Poe being unveiled. You can read about all the Poe fun in Boston over at my husband’s blog – Staying Square in MA.