NYC: It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later

The last four years in New York City have been a part of an era that I don’t know how to adequately put into words.  There’s truly too much to say, too many links to reference, too many pictures to post, and too many people to say goodbye to.  Since I promised that I wouldn’t Irish Exit, this is my first attempt at saying goodbye.  Or rather, see you later because let’s be real, who actually likes goodbyes?

In about two weeks, I will be getting on a plane with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, California.  I made this decision about 6 months ago and it wasn’t until last week that the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.  I don’t think it’s really hit me that I’m moving but am sure I’ll have an “oh sh$t” moment at some point.  But for now, I know that everything ebbs and flows and I will forever be grateful for this time in my life.

 Four years ago I moved out to the Big Apple I do something different.  Some could consider it cliche to pursue your dreams in New York City but that’s where I was going.   It was thrilling to have this whole new adventure ahead of you, an entire city to make your mark on, thousands of people to meet, and maybe leave a legacy.  Sure, I wasn’t going to find the cure for a disease or solve global warming, but I set out to figure out myself, my goals, and my ambitions.  As I have now learned and accepted, we never truly know what we want or what we want to do with our lives.  There are patches where we find passion within a job, a workout or routine, or even seeking experiences like hiking or traveling.  But in the middle there are bound to be down patches and that’s what makes life unique.

I have grown more in the last 4 years than I ever did in college.  I have found the confidence (though it’s really an ever continuing work in progress) with my mind, body, and unique strengths.  I’ve learned that you aren’t going to please everyone and you may not stay friends with everyone.  There are reasons that we meet certain people and while those reasons aren’t clear at first, I do believe that things happen for a reason.

All of this couldn’t have been possible without moving out on my own, exploring this booming city, and then creating friendships with countless amazing humans through November Project.  You’ve followed along as I drank the cool aid, became obsessed with the cult-like workouts, fell in step with some pretty awesome folks, and so on.  There’s something unique about finding people who are ready to greet you with a smile so early in the morning and are there for you when you need them most.  As I began marathon training, I stepped out of it but am dipping my toes back in the water.  I’ve drowned on in too many posts about it and I’m sure you get the picture 😉

To the NP and NYRR community, thank you for allowing me to spend all of my disposable income on races and get so caught up in the spirit of racing.  Totally not being sarcastic (ok, except for the taking all of my money part…).  I will forever be spoiled by the standard of race organization, the ability to select a race every weekend, and to run the greatest marathon of all time – the New York City Marathon.

Looking back this was probably one of my favorite memories.  There were the months leading up where I would run in the early mornings, run with friends, and get excited to put my body to the test.  There was the week of anticipation and there was the day of nerves and then disbelief that it was over.  Granted, there was just less than 4 hours of running and pain going on for me but I now know that starting with this marathon was the perfect decision.  I mean, just watching this video with Alec Baldwin again brings up all the good feelings and sometimes some happy tears.

 Over the last few years, the frequency of my blogging declined and my use of Instagram skyrocketed.  I try to document as much as possible to remind myself what an amazing city I’ve lived in and how many wonderful people I have crossed paths with.  For the most part, I’ve linked up various adventures to my NYC Bucket List and leave it to Instagram to fill in the rest.

Things I love and will miss about this city:

  • Access to bodegas on every corner.  Looking for a seltzer at 1am?  No problem (not that I’m really ever up at that time but still.  Easily accessible)
  • Subways and buses aka legit public transportation.  Come on.  We complain about the subways but where else can you get to so many places so easily?? And really just for $2.75?
  • Fall leaves ~ This whole concept of fall and the changing of seasons is so unique to the east coast and I loved it!
  • Bagels and pizza dough.  I was definitely a no bagel kind of girl when I moved out here.  It’s something about the water.
  • Black & White Cookies + Babka + Challah ~ Let’s continue the food train because food always makes a city unique.  I only eat these on special occasions because there’s no need for me to have a box of any of that in the apartment (it would be eaten within a day) but they are so.darn.delicious.
  • Citibike ~ I love love love biking and it makes the city even more accessible
  • Walking around town.  There is so much to see in this town and while the concrete does start to get you down, it always blows me away that I’m walking past Rockefeller Center, through Central Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and past so  many unique people.  Most weekends I would run in Central Park, grab brunch and then just find myself walking home.
  • NYRR + other sporadic races around the city including the very great New York Marathon.  It was such an amazing thing to experience from the years I volunteered to the year I ran.

There were ups and downs and I know this is how life will always be; there will always be times of triumph and times of loneliness.  Now, it’s about using that confidence to say yes, I’m one helluva person and am going to go chase my dreams.

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Life of Late ~ July 2017

Let’s all have the mind-blowing realization that we are pretty much halfway through summer.  The heat and humidity have rolled in full force and we are about 7 weeks away from the start of football season.  For some reason football and fall are synonymous with one another, even if it doesn’t really cool out on the west coast.  I can recall going from cross country meets or soccer matches to football games, sweating through every single item that I owned.  Ah the good times. 😉

July has been a blast thus far filled with beach days, rainy days, and time spent in the park.   This week has actually been the first week in a long time that I was in the office ALL 5 days.  Between various summer Fridays and other PTO days, I’ve enjoyed my casual 4, 3, and even 2 day weeks!  I’m gallivanting down to D.C. this weekend, entering the swamp, and expecting to sweat out half my body weight.  Pretty much like the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she tries to steam down her weight.  Yep, totally safe.

prospect park 4th

summer friday

Current Workouts:

  • Back on the November Project schedule.  Maybe I’m not hitting up every workout but it’s good to see some friends in the morning and I really love the new co-leader’s enthusiasm.
  • SPIN!  After watching the triathlon last week I was inspired to get back on the bike.  It’s definitely healthier to balance with running and so back to some Equinox classes and Soul Cylce I go.
  • Water aerobics – Because when you don’t schedule any sort of trips on your three day weekends, you use Friday to attend water aerobics.
  • Barre + Weight Training Classes #blessed – Not sure why I need that hashtag but thank goodness for the wide array of classes offered at Equinox.  I’m trying to vary my workouts and increase those non-running muscles.  Or rather I’m trying to strengthen those muscles so when I catch the running and racing bug again, I’ll be stronger than before (here’s to hoping…)
  • Yoga and I JUST LEARNED CROW POSE!  It’s taken me about 3+ years to get there and I’ve told myself my bottom half is too heavy and I don’t have enough arm strength but I did manage to balance for about 2 seconds.  The excitement is real.  Now comes the trick to balancing for longer.

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The other day at track, I was thinking about what it means to feel normal.  Sure there is the mental side of things like going day to day with no stress or too much stress?  But then there is the physical side of things.  What does it mean to run without feeling like you are running through a swamp?  Or actually have boundless amounts of energy?  What did my legs feel like last year prior to marathon training?  Oh I could go on and on and on.  Just some food for thought.

np with jess

Currently Listening to…LOTS OF PODCASTS!:

  • Gatorade + Gimlet “The Secret to Victory” – My friend Cait works at Gimlet and got me hooked on this.  Using her own words because well, she works in marketing 😉
    •  The premiere episode of The Secret to Victory is live now! It’s Gimlet MediaGimlet Creative‘s first SPORTS POD with Gatorade. This week, we talk to Eli and Peyton Manning. But not about how Eli is still the only QB to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl (twice, sry), or how Peyton is considered by some to be one of the best QBs of all time (and pretty funny in those Papa John’s commercials). We talk to them, and even Archie about the disappointment of both of their rookie seasons with the NY Giants & Indianapolis Colts, and how it only fueled the fire that lead to greatness.  
  • Ali on the Run
  • ESPN’s 30 for 30 – This might be a direct competitor of the above Gimlet production but still cool stories and I’m an ESPN girl through and through.
  • Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield – Because we all need a little more of this in our lives.
  • Mike & Mike on ESPN – These guys have been my morning go to for the last few years.  Sometimes when I wake up and am running or getting to the gym, I just don’t care for music, so I turn to sport’s radio.  Anyways, turns out these guys are calling it quits or moving in different directions this year and I’ll miss their banter.

Currently Watching:

  • The Kennedy’s on Hulu and I AM FASCINATED!  With every episode, I spend at least an hour diving into articles online, Wikipedia pages (don’t judge, they are millennial’s form of a basic encyclopedia…) and more.  For some reason this part of time always draws me in.  If you have any good books on the subject, PLEASE comment!
  • Bring it On – Just a random movie I decided to watch this week.  I’d actually never seen it.
  • Seinfeld on Hulu.  This is another classic show that I’m working my way from start to finish.  The episodes are perfect for one or two before bed and more if I’m lazy.  My mom would go to bed watching them every night so I’ve heard some of the jokes but having lived in the city, now I really GET the humor.  Not only that but I picked up a ticket to go see Jerry Seinfeld next week!  Very pumped about that.
  • OJ Simpson Hearing – Yep, I was one of those people curious to hear what happened.  Oh! I was also watching the OJ Simpson: Made in America series on Hulu.  Wow I DEFINITELY think he is guilty and am also fascinated by these turn of events.

Currently Reading:

  • The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football – Yeah…I like sports.  It’s something I grew up around and something that brings me a lot of comfort.  That being said, this book is intriguing.  I didn’t realize the extent coaches and teams went to recruit and some of the behind the scenes action players got themselves into.
  • My Not So Perfect Life – Beach read for sure but also funny to compare with today’s social media obsession.
  • Stormy Weather – Not entirely what I was expecting but still a good historical read about Lena Horne, an American jazz and pop singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist.

beach day

Tasting Table ~ “Modern Tiki Trends” ~ I’m all about hosting summer events and creating a theme around it.  Ok, maybe I’m just all about the IDEA of themed summer parties.  I don’t exactly have the space to host or even prep but having these Tiki Themed tips is giving me ideas… If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with anything Hawaiian, tropical, or Polynesian.  Thank you Dole and Tasting Table for that.

 C’est Christine ~ “Notes on Defining Success” ~ Broken record but Christine always puts it so eloquently.  She referred to a quote that said “comparison is an addiction to losing”.  We compare compare compare and while this can be good to get yourself moving, ready to take action and work towards your dreams, it can also cause a bit of anxiety and disappointment.  People are always going to share their opinion with you – what you should do, where you should live, etc.  It’s up to you to define what makes you happy and stand by that decision.  I also loved how she ended the post, her goal to obtain “a more intentional type of success, a focus on thriving instead of just striving”

oculus

^^ This was year #2 celebrating the 4th of July in the city and I have to say, rooftop game was on point.  I actually happened to have a 5-day weekend and really just bopped around town.  Sure I had my fair share of FOMO, looking at people’s outdoor pictures (even those who I didn’t know…lovely social media) but made the most of the weekend in my own special way.

ice cream

^^ On the hunt to sample all the classics in the city and this was a SUCCESS!  I actually made a pitstop after cheering folks in Take the Bridge: Manhattan Bridge edition.  We had gotten caught in an extreme downpour and while my friends decided to go home, I waltzed in and ordered a scoop of Taro while dripping water everywhere.  #runtoeat #eattorun

yoga

^^ I tested out the talked about DAYBREAKER and have to say, I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I’m not a rave gal and can’t go for that DJ music at 7am in the morning but it wasn’t my jam.  I had woken up at 5:15 to make it for 6 am yoga (meh) and then packed as many snacks away to make up for the $35 fee.  #sorrynotsorry  In the end it was an experience and maybe would have been better if I had a huge group of friends there OR was completely solo and wanted to dance/jam out on my own.

bagel

^^ What a view at last week’s NYC Triathlon.  I ran up with a friend, grabbed a bagel sandwich and cheered on some friends in the run portion of the race.  This is one race I had/have no FOMO over.  Swimming in the Hudson filled with dead bodies and sewage?  No thank you.  Even though I heard the 0.9-1 mi swim took people about 15 minutes to finish.  If you aren’t familiar with timing of swims, it takes me about 30 minutes in the pool to swim a mile.  Still, I don’t think I would commit to that water…

With these rambles complete, here’s to the weekend!

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“You are remembered for the rules you break” – Douglas MacArthur

Summer in New York City ’17

There is nothing like summer in the city and you can take this one of two ways.  The first is much more enjoyable – the feeling of waking up to full daylight and walking outside until the sunsets after 8.  The other is that when the humidity hits, man it hits hard.  You are walking around hoping you don’t sweat through every single item and praying that the smell of the trash doesn’t seep through your clothes.  I know I just painted a lovely picture and if you’ve experienced NYC during this season, you’ll know exactly what I’m writing about.

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Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

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Holidays in the City

Unless you find yourself amidst the holiday markets in Europe, there’s no better place to be during Christmas time than New York City.  From the countless trees decked with lights to the window displays along Fifth Avenue to the ice rinks found around the city.  Hey, most of the time we even have the crisp air that allows you to bundle nice and warm, because who isn’t about that boots and scarf look?

Having lived here now through four Christmas seasons, I do agree that the Big Apple does it best – it’s been a treat to wear jeans, sweaters, and scarfs on a regular basis but I also have been fortunate to go home for a sunny and 70F Christmas morning.  I have made it my goal to experience as much Christmas cheer as possible and have a list of things that you certainly should check out one or many years down the road.

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