Highs and Lows

This weekend was {this} close to being an absolutely perfect one.  Friday afternoon, I said goodbye to the boys (who were being watched by my sweet sister!) and picked up three of my college girlfriends from the airport/their apartment in NJ enroute to our 10 year college reunion at West Point. Friday night was an organized dinner where we got to catch up with all of our classmates who had come for the reunion. We had decided to go sans significant others/kids so that we could have some girl time – we haven’t all been together in years. We didn’t make it to bed until 2am – WAY past my normal bedtime but totally worth the exhaustion we all felt at 6am the next morning when it was time to get up and get ready for the day. Saturday consisted of watching the pre-game parade (first parade I have seen since I graduated):  Having lunch in the mess hall (cafeteria): Hanging out in North Area (location where we had formation 2x/day): Touring the gym: and lastly, attending the football game: read more

No Greater Sacrifice

tommy9

After four years at West Point and over six years serving on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, I have seen my share of death.  The number of friends, classmates, and coworkers that have been casualties of the war on terror is too high for me to begin to count. I think there might be the perception that you expect death or become almost immune to it if you are in or around the military.  Yes,  death is always a possibility when you deploy but I think most service men and women would tell you that they expect to return home to their loved ones.  You know there is an inherent risk when you join the military, but the desire to serve your country is greater then any fear you may have. And let me tell you.  It doesn’t get easier. In fact, I would argue that it gets harder.  You get so tired of having to say goodbye to friends and coworkers, of good people losing their lives way too soon, and of seeing happy families torn apart and changed forever.  You get frustrated because things seem to stay the same despite their giving of their Continue Reading →

Push-ups for Patriots

After 6 years in the US Army and 3 deployments to Iraq, I have had to say goodbye to many friends, classmates, and colleagues.   I’m not sure what an accurate number would be – but suffice to say it’s a lot.  Too many.  When you live and breathe the Army and the overseas campaigns, it’s easy to keep those who paid the ultimate sacrifice close in heart and mind.  However, I will be the first to admit that since I’ve returned home from Iraq (Feb 2009) and been honorably discharged (summer of 2009), it becomes easy to push them to the back of my mind.  My mind is on my son, my family, the daily chores (laundry, cooking) and unfortunately, I tend to forget. It’s easy to remember on holidays such as Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day – but what about the other 363 days of the year?  I’m sure their families don’t let a day go by without a thought or memory of their loved one. For the next 28 days, I’ve decided to participate in the Push-ups for Patriots Challenge.  It’s organized by two fellow FitFluential Ambassadors – @Kymberly and @Alexandra.  You can read more about their challenge Continue Reading →

Hardest part of being deployed

What’s the hardest part of being deployed? This is almost always one of the first questions asked of me when I bring up my military background. As a Captain in the US Army who deployed three times to Iraq, it is a fairly easy answer: the last few weeks prior to departing the US. I would get to the point where I just wanted to deploy – it always seemed like time stood still the last few weeks I was home and I felt like I was living on borrowed time.  The quicker I left and arrived in Iraq, the quicker the clock would start counting down to my return.  Emotionally, I found myself pulling away from those I was closest with as d-day got closer.  I think I subconsciously believed it would be easier if I didn’t feel as close to my family.  The goodbyes were the worst part – that last conversation with my husband, mom, dad, sisters while I was on “American” soil – knowing that the next time I spoke to them I would be in “harm’s way”. Once the goodbyes were over, it often took upwards of two to three weeks to get from our base Continue Reading →

Running in Freedom

On Nov 11, 2008, I was heading out for my daily afternoon run.  I was building my base for training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. I ate my pre-run snack of whole wheat bread and peanut butter about 90 min before I left.  I laced up my Mizuno Wave Alchemy sneakers.  I turned on my Garmin.  It sounds like what I do before most long runs.  But that’s where the similarities end. I was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I was almost finished with my 12th month on a 15 month deployment. Although the end was in sight, it was an extremely hard time for me and most of the other soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division.  We were approaching the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and what would be the 2nd holiday season in a row that we would be away from our family and loved ones. Three years ago, I didn’t get to pick out my running clothes – I had to wear the issued physical training (PT) shorts and shirt every day.  I couldn’t run with my IPOD.  I couldn’t zone out during my run (I often ran along the inner Continue Reading →

Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge!!

I recently found out that I was chosen to represent Staten Island in the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge at the 2011 NYC Marathon.  Each year, 5 runners (one from each borough) are selected to participate in the challenge – they are to run the first half of the marathon together and then race against one another in the second half. Each year the challenge has a different “theme”.  The theme of this year’s challenge  is overcoming challenges.  If you are interested in reading about the other 4 runners (who have amazing stories!), please go to: http://www.nycmarathon.org/entrantinfo/5_boro_runners.htm I am so excited for this amazing opportunity.  Not only do we get VIP treatment at the start and finish and great clothes to wear during the marathon, but we actually get to start the marathon before all of the other runners!  I am already getting goosebumps when I think of  running across the Verrazano with just 4 other runners!