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38 years old: Another journey around the sun

And just like that. I am 38 years old. A birthday is much more than an occasion to receive gifts. It's a chance to celebrate and to give thanks. It's a special occasion to rethink life, to reflect on the past, evaluate the present and make plans for the future. A birthday is a transition from what was to what can be. It's a spiritual refresher.

37 was a difficult year for me. I wrote about (most of) it in my 2019 Year in Review blog. 
"Life can be difficult, unfair and tough to understand. If I had to use a word to describe our 2019, it would be strength. We had to find strength to experience the highs and we had to find strength to get through the lows. Triathlon provides us with many life lessons but in 2019, life hit us hard. Throughout the year, there were several occassions when our hobby of triathlon was put to the aside in order to deal better with the hard times. As athletes, it can be difficult to stay positive, hopeful and focused during stressful, sad or dif…
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Dear Dad

Dear dad,

It's been six years since I last saw you, spoke to you, touched your hand and hugged you. Six years ago I had to say good-bye to you. The time we had together wasn't nearly enough. I only got to spend 32 years of my life with you as my dad. There are still so many questions that I need answers to and you are no longer just a phone call away.
I miss your words of wisdom. I miss your sense of humor. I miss your knowledge of everything. Not a day goes by when I don't think about what life would be like if you survived your 10-month fight with cancer.

When I find myself in a situation or scenario that leaves me confused, concerned or worried, I imagine what you would say or do if you were still here. I wish you were here to share in the happy moments and to help me through my struggles.

You left this world with so many great memories and you left people with a lot of great memories of you. You liked people and people liked you. You made people laugh. You always smile…

Healthy coping during stressful times

In today’s fast-paced, stressful and unpredictable world, it’s important to have a toolbox of healthy coping mechanisms. A coping mechanism is something that helps you deal with something that is difficult or uncomfortable. Truth be told, nearly every coping mechanism can provide a benefit. However, some coping mechanisms have negative consequences associated with them.

For example, do you often reach for a beer, glass of wine or hard liquor to help unwind after a long or stressful day of work? What does your alcohol consumption look like in social situations or during difficult times? Alcohol functions to slow down the central nervous system, helping you feel more relaxed. It also reduces inhibition, memory and judgement. For many people, having a drink is the easiest way to deal with something that is uncomfortable or to distance from a stressor or challenge. As a result, alcohol becomes a crutch and barrier to developing more effective and healthy coping strategies.

Another example …

A healthy conversation about body image, fad diets and disordered eating

In our body-image obsessed culture - supported by a multibillion-dollar industry that profits from body dissatisfaction, the idealized body image, dieting and fear of fat - creating a healthy relationship with food and your body can be incredibly difficult. Sadly, even in a global health crisis, weight loss, appearance and body image are still priorities for many people, athletes and businesses.

The diet culture is constantly reminding you that you are not good enough at your current weight and being a bit thinner or more toned will improve your health and happiness. In other words, changing what you look like will make you happier, more successful or will make people like you better.

What starts as an innocent attempt to eat a bit healthier or lose a few lbs can easily spiral out of control. When body image dissatisfaction is present, "healthy" eating can quickly turn into dieting which can turn into disordered eating. For many, it doesn't stop there. Dieting is consid…

A quick self-care trip to Lexington, KY

I took Campy on a weekend road trip to my old Kentucky home. If you are new to my blog (thank you for finding me), I was born May 31st, 1982 and I spent the first 22 years of my life in Lexington, KY before moving down south for graduate school.

I get awfully sentimental over people and places. No matter if the experience was positive or negative, if it shared some meaningful time in my life, I have trouble letting go.

Like many of you, I'm still on a rollercoaster of emotions. I've been on the same ride since around mid March. I recogniz that I have a lot to be thankful for during these times and I realize it's a privilege to feel grateful for so much - health, career, home, family, love. But sometimes I can't get out of my own head and this leaves me stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and confused. Let's just say that unless I have a lot on my daily plate to keep me insanely busy, my mental gymnastics will spiral into overdrive.

Another fun fact about myself - I am …

How to plan a healthy summer picnic (+ recipe)

With warmer weather in your near future (fingers crossed), you may be looking to enjoy a meal or two outside. Whether it's a family backyard cookout or a picnic with a friend at the local park, here are a few tips to keep your picnic meal nutritious and safe.
If you plan to be outside for several hours, choose foods that won't melt or spoil easily. Good options include raw or cooked firm vegetables, chopped fruit, cooked grains, cold pasta salad, beans, popcorn, pretzels, hummus and trail mix. Consider going meatless with plant proteins that hold up well in hot conditions. Options include beans, lentils, tofu or tempeh. You can mix into a beautiful salad or your go-to grain dishes. For a savory-sweet dessert, consider cheese alongside dried and fresh fruit.Don't forget to hydrate. To limit individual plastic water bottles, have everyone at your picnic bring/carry their own reusable insulated water bottle. When grilling, consider heart-healthy options like fish, lean meat, …

How to thrive during a difficult time

We are all going through a very difficult time in our life. It's ok to feel your emotions. But in these challenging times, maintaining a positive and resilient mindset is very important.

To help with this, remember that everything ends. Whether it’s good or bad, nothing lasts forever. You've overcome challenges before.

Think about the setbacks/obstacles that you’ve successfully overcome in your life. When you do this, it acts as a reminder of your ability to handle challenging situations and to succeed. It boosts your sense of self-confidence and it eliminates the sense of helplessness. This attitude shift is needed to motivate you to not give up and to successfully rise above the situation.

As part of our weekly "Motivational Monday" post on our private team Facebook page, I recently asked the Trimarni team members to share their best advice/tips on how to thrive through a difficult time.

Here are some of their incredibly insightful responses:
Injury: “Try to rem…