Photo Blogging Challenge – Winter

When PJ posted the February theme for his photo blogging challenge, “Winter”, I had no idea what a harsh winter February would bring to Massachusetts!

This has been the snowiest month of February on record for MA, with over 102 inches of snow recorded!

So, my problem this month was not with photo inspiration. It was actually figuring out how to choose only 5 photos to spotlight in this post.

Let’s start with a happy one!

Wookie

How do you spend your snow days? My husband wears his Wookie robe and looks at snow from our condo window

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This is me, in front of a snow pile where the front lawn of my parent’s house should be. I’m 5’3″ & the pile is taller than me. Notice also the scary icicles hanging from the gutter. They are ice damns that have grown so long they hit the snow pile!

100_2418Speaking of icicles – they got scary this winter and scenes like this one from a building across from my office in Natick were pretty common

snow blowing roof
As the snow kept falling, we dealt in more ridiculous ways than anyone could have imagined.

This is a photo of 2 snow-blowers clearing a roof in Quincy, MA! 

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And finally, here’s a view of Quincy from my condo window during on of the many snow storms

Winter in MA this year has been scary & inconvenient.

The National Guard was called in to help with snow removal once the governor declared a state of emergency.

Our public transportation system (the MBTA) pretty much broke down. It closed completely on multiple days and had shuttle busing instead of subway route for weeks. My husband’s normal 1 hour commute from Quincy to Malden became a 3+ hour commute – one way – due to shuttle busing.

I drive to commute to my office and the roads were way more jammed with traffic than usual, increasing my commuting time as well.

Many days, we worked from home because it wasn’t safe to even try to get to work.

My awesome friend Crystal was highlighted by the news for shoveling snow from her wheelchair and mobilizing groups of Braintree residents to help her clear sidewalks! She also had a great op ed published in the Patriot Ledger, Save your pity; instead provide accessibility. (I highly recommend you watch the news clip & read her op ed.)

MA residents are a resilient lot. At this point, we’re about 6 inches of snow away from an all time record of snow in winter in MA, so most of us want to have a few more inches fall and break the record.

We may very well get that wish, with a small snow storm heading out way March 1st.

This monthly photo blogging challenge is facilitated by PJ of the Northeast Bloggers Network.

Thanks for inspiring me to take more photos!

Boston Talks: Fitness 2.0

Boston Talks snip

On Thursday night, I attended the inaugural “Boston Talks” at WGBH’s Boston headquarters.

The topic was “Fitness 2.0” and the speakers were:

Jeff Garabedian from New Balance

Melissa Malamut health writer at Boston Magazine

Matt Rubin from Social Boston Sports

The host was Edgar Herwick reporter at WGBH

Boston Talks 2

I’m the woman in the back left watching the speakers answer final questions

It was a fun night!

Jeff Garabedian talked about the inspiration for the New Balance new spring line (Rio Olympics) & how fitness clothing has evolved to actually have products designed for women, instead of the old way of just changing the color on a mens design for women to buy. He also said their target market was “Metropolitan millennials” – to which someone standing near me whispered to me “that’s you!”. I replied, “yes, and I’m a New Balance customer.”

Melissa Malamut talked a little bit about fitness tech and where she sees it going. She was actually a bit anti fitness trackers because the only people who seem to keep wearing them are already fit millennials. (I wear my Fitbit every day & I have different bands to wear for working out vs. fashion occasions. I think paying $100+ for a Tory Burch wristband for a Fitbit is ridiculous though.) She also talked about trusting the health research that comes from hospitals & colleges right in our backyard in MA.

Matt Rubin gave a great talk about the importance of social as a motivation to workout. (I love Social Boston Sports & I’ve played in Fit, Soccer, and Baseball leagues through them. My next SBS league is soccer and it starts up March 1st.) I agree with him that a social aspect is definitely what motivated me. I won’t go to a gym alone, but I’ll meet friends for a run, November Project workout, or fitness class.

Thanks to WGBH for hosting a great event!

I’d Love to Win a Trip to FitBloggin

FitblogginFitBloggin’ is an amazing blogger conference for people that blog about fitness, wellness, and healthy lifestyles. It’s a 2 day conference in Denver Colorado in June.

Why do I belong at FitBloggin’? I’d love the chance to meet other fitness bloggers and learn how I can make my blog even better! I’ve got the desire to use technology, blogging and social media to motivate, inspire and foster a culture of health and wellness!

I’ve mentioned before that I work in fundraising for a nonprofit. It’s rewarding work, but the salary makes paying for travel to and passes for FitBloggin’ impossible.

Also, I’m from MA & this winter has just been crazy with over 90″ of snow falling in just the last 3 weeks! I need a trip on my horizon to look forward to – reminding me that winter will end! I’ve never been to Colorado and I’d love to check another state off my “visited” travel map!

I’d share what I learn about improving my blog and social media with the Northeast Bloggers Network – paying it forward for other bloggers who could use the knowledge but can’t attend.

You can help me win their sweet contest for full Conference Passes, 2 nights hotel stay AND a full FitBloggin swag bag by sharing this post on social media with the hashtag #Fitbloggin

Cross your fingers for me that I can win my way in!

Zumba on Valentine’s Day

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The monthly free community Zumba class in Quincy lined up with Valentine’s Day!

Above is one of the instructors, Fen, dressed in red for the occasion.

I’m lucky that the class is walkable from my condo. The studio is on the lower level of a building, so that’s how we have the snowy windows behind Fen.

I’m glad I attended. It was a wicked fun class, with about 20 people attending!

I got a great workout in – before the snow started again.

The forecast for this weekend is NOT looking good. Another 18+ of snow (on top of the 71″ of snow still on the ground from other storms this month) and hurricane force winds. It’s actually the wind that had me more worried than the snow for this one. I’m hoping that we don’t lose power.

Because of this, everyone who planned to run the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5K has been changed to a “virtual” runner and we’re all trying to get in the miles on treadmills. (My plan is to get my miles in on Sunday, as long as there’s power for the treadmill.)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

My husband & I are having a fun, low key day.

Flywheel – A Tale of 2 Spin Classes

What a difference a week makes!

I’ve taken spin classes on Thursday night for the last 2 weeks at Flywheel Boston.

Last week, the AC in the studio wasn’t working. I felt faint from the heat and left after only 2 songs.

This week, I called ahead to confirm the AC was working & they said it was. Then horrible traffic hit & I was running from my car to make it to class. Just as I was finished adjusting my bike, the lights turned off & class started.

Well, I may have found the secret to feeling like time in a spin class has flown by. Since my body was coming down from “you’re not going to make it” stress, I used the adrenaline to push myself through class. I was surprised when we got to the last song with how well that worked for me! (I’m not trying it again intentionally though. I’m one of those people who likes to be early for everything, so when I run late I seriously stress.)

Here are my stats for the 2 classes:

Flywheel 2.12.15A bit of a difference compared side by side

I’m still trying to use my pre-paid classes before they expire on March 1st, so I’m signed up for a 7 PM spin class on Monday (2/16). Let me know if you want to join me! Your first class at Flywheel is free, so just call them to reserve a spot.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Snow Angel Challenge

I’ve mentioned briefly on this blog before that I work in fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation MA/RI chapter.
I manage 6 Great Strides walk sites in MA.

One of my walk teams in Worcester started the “snow angel challenge” to help them reach their $20,000 fundraising goal.

I took the CFF Snow Angel Challenge with my co-workers. (Click through to watch the video)

I challenge you readers to take the snow angel challenge and donate to Great Strides at http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/DKempe

(And yes – I am going stir crazy with the additional 15 inches of snow that’s being dropped in MA today.)