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It’s true what they say about riding a bike. It just comes back to you, no matter how much time has passed. Within 3 minutes of my first spin class in over a year, my inner smile returned, my legs found their rhythm and every cell, muscle, thought, quickly remembered how important it was for me to be there. As always, I enjoyed the dimmed lights, the loud music and the sense of being in a group while focusing inward. There is no competition, no comparison – it’s just a small room packed with individuals sharing an experience. Kind of how I always view the Boston Marathon, actually. No threat.
I was actually able to go to two spin classes this week and already feel like a new person. I used to love starting my Fridays with Emily M at the Chestnut Hill club. Unfortunately, with all of the changes in my home life, I have not been able to make that ticketed 9:15 class. And now, I am thrilled to find that she has added a 10:15 to the roster. That I should be able to enjoy on a regular basis. Emily has great music, fun rides and a natural way of leading the class with just the right amount of conversation. Her calm nature will surely ground you and help you to refocus on your own well-being. If ever you are looking for a great way to start your weekend a bit early, try out one of her classes.
For a long time, I spied on the spinners from afar. From the safety of the treadmill and the elliptical machines, I watched the ladies ride in unison and then emerge from the room soaked in sweat and accomplishment. They wore power on their relieved and satisfied faces. Oh, how I envied them. And yet I felt trapped by my not-so-daring personality type and stayed put on the machines that I knew I could do well and without embarrassment or risk of “failure”. Then, one morning I felt compelled to check out the class schedule and saw an Intro to Spin segment listed. Even though I hadn’t ridden a bike in a decade or more, I played with the idea of trying it and headed to the club.
Thank God I did, because it was love at first ride. On those stationary bikes, I soared into my own soul. A few times a week on that seat, I met my 47 year old, bike-riding brother who had died suddenly of a heart attack. He met me there and filled my head and heart with humorous, healing and inspirational chatter. My dad then passed away and began piping in with a few lines and special appearances. And then I met and had delightful conversation with the baby boy who had been conceived. I rode with and spoke to him until a week before his birth. Before long, my rides were filled with the calls from my heart to allow my marriage to die a graceful death. And this week, my mind allowed visions of a new life to surface. The right class, the right teacher and the right space can support you in untold ways; it’s simply a matter of finding your place at the club and allowing your body and heart to take the lead.
As I hovered outside the door of the spin class on that Sunday morning so long ago, trying to gain the courage to enter the room, a stranger stopped to encourage me. As she swung the door open with a smile, she assured me that I could be in control of my own ride, that I could sit by the door and leave if I wanted to, and that she was fairly sure that I would be hooked by the end of the hour. She also clarified that the women who were riding, in full gear and full stride, were not there for the intro class, but had indeed chosen to ride through one class and into the next as a way to winter train for the PanMass Challenge. Suddenly, it didn’t feel so intimidating. I thought that she was the teacher and followed her to a bike on the right-hand margin of the room. She promptly introduced me to the teacher, David, and asked him to help me set up my bike as she headed to her own in the far corner of the room. She was right, by the hour’s end, I was hooked and ever so grateful to her. I don’t remember her name, but would recognize her anywhere, in or out of context. After a while, I even had my own “gear” and “stride”.
And so, my advice to you is that if you want to try a new class or experience at the club, just go for it and leave all of your self-limiting labels at the door. It may just change your life. And, if you ever see anyone lurking on the borders of a class that you enjoy, please take her hand, guide her over the threshold and welcome her into your circle. It may just change her life.
I must say, an almost-two week respite in FL does wonders for the body and soul. Just to leave my shovel standing aside my front door and head to the warmth of longer days and expansive views of the bay was rejuvenating. Of course, with the anticipation of mornings by the pool and afternoons by the sea, came the reality that it would be time to break out the bathing suits, shorts, sleeveless shirts. Egad. Could that possibly be the downside of this sunny vacation? Last year when I made the same journey to visit my mother in her winter home, I was smaller than I had been in years, and yet here I was, facing my empty duffle bag and a pile of summer clothes that may or may not fit. And so, I decided not to focus my attentions there, but to rather focus on enjoying the break in weather and routine, regardless of what I was wearing.
As we slipped through the sliding doors of the airport, we could sense the color that we had missed for so long. The greens were verdant, the oranges juicy, the reds blossoming. It was as though our world of black & white film had transformed into a color filled, multi-layered feature. Everywhere we looked, there was life and movement. I had forgotten how moods and health change when the cold air bites us with each step outdoors and the blanket of white weighs upon us, begging us to stay inside and cozy. Granted, I did get lots of exercise while shoveling my seemingly endless driveway and walkways. I was just as happy, however, to get the same level of exercise while walking back and forth, time and time again, from dune to water’s edge with pails full of water and mud. To get it while chasing my 5 year old who was chasing dolphins. To get it while throwing balls around a tennis court for my little guys to collect and bring back, only to be tossed again. We let the warmth energize us.
And so, as we get back into our groove here in Boston, I want to remember the power of color, to smell it, taste it and feel it around us. Since the snow continues to cover my neighborhood, I have turned to our fruits and vegetables to satisfy part of this need and tropical desire. For years, my sister has made and shared a 7 Spice Mix that is very tasty. Although it is a great addition to many dishes, I especially love it on roasted vegetables. Just this afternoon I cubed a sweet potato and beet, tossed them with a bit of olive oil and the spice mix. I popped them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a 400* oven and let them cook for just under 30 minutes. A great snack full of color, vitaminsminerals and healthy benefits, it also curbed any cravings that I may have had for something sweet or salty. I have also enjoyed this spice on a combo of summer squash, zucchini, asparagus & bliss potato all cut up and roasted. Brussel sprouts, eggplant and broccoli. Really, I haven’t yet met a roasted veggie that doesn’t taste even better with a dash of these flavors. The mix is nice because it doesn’t mask the flavor of the given vegetable, but rather seems to draw it forth and match it.
Since my sister no longer lives locally, she responded to my most recent request with the recipe rather than an already-made batch. I had all of the ingredients in my cabinet and now my stash is full. According to her, one taste enhancing tip it to use the freshest spices possible. She taught me to fish.
I hope that if you try it, you’ll like it. Enjoy.
7 Spice Powder
Ingredients Small Large
Garlic Powder 1 – 1 ½ TBS 3 TBS
Ground Cumin ¾ – 1 TBS 2 TBS
Ground Coriander ¾ – 1 TBS 2 TBS
Herbes de Province 2 TBS 4 TBS
Celtic Sea Salt 2 tsp 4 tsp
Black Pepper 1 – 2 tsp 3 – 4 tsp
Cayenne *optional Dash Dash
“Don’t eat anything that comes from a package”.
My doctor dared me as I was leaving her office after my annual check-up. Clear to both of us was that my weight and creeping cholesterol levels were publicizing the stressful changes in my life. In the six months prior to my November appointment, I had not only gained almost 20 pounds but also experienced a wide array of not-so-serious- but-hard-to-miss stress related symptoms. And so, my trusted physician threw this very salient morsel of advice my way.
It’s not that this statement is especially profound. It doesn’t provide a sparkling insight. It may, however, offer the stripped down reminder and inspiration that I need. The single rule is simple enough to follow. It seems to keep the focus on choosing rather than dieting and controlling. There is no measuring or weighing, judging or guessing. There is only one question to ask.
I do like some things that come from a package, I must admit. And I do believe that I could eat very healthily with some packaged foods in my diet. Perhaps, though, it’s time to experiment. I remember with fondness a guided, 9 week Auyervedic cleanse that I did years ago and look forward to once again letting go of all that is clogging my body and my life. Adding the healthy never seems to be the issue; it’s subracting the unhealthy and low energy that seems to be the block.
My life flows more smoothly when I eat food that reflects the intention to be healthy and clear. I laugh more heartily, connect more easily to others and feel better living in my own skin when I eat and drink well. And so, at this moment, why are my choices littered with foods that bring neither health nor clarity? Why, with all of my knowledge and desire, do I find it difficult to embrace conscious eating as a continuous and natural setting? Who knows. Perhaps today is the day to explore even more deeply what “foods that come from a package” offer me. Perhaps today is the day for even more change.
The 12 Step adage, “One day at a time”, wields tremendous power and makes all things seem possible. I am sure that even one day without packaged foods will resonate with the woman whom I want to be and will bring her forth once again.
It was in 2000 that a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the only way natural to her, she faced her disease with tremendous poise, courage and beauty. We should have known then that in the midst of difficult, painful and scary moments, she would focus her attention and intention upon the creation of a product and company dedicated to alleviating discomfort for hormonally-unsteady women everywhere.
As her own treatment and chemo-induced hormonal changes sparked unbearable night sweats, the imagination of her former Olympic skiing and bobsledding husband started problem solving. At his suggestion, she wore his dry wicking athletic clothes to bed one night. At that moment, performance sleepwear was born and the couple proved, in yet another way, that they were going to navigate and conquer this disease together.
And that they did. She has now been cancer free for years and they have indeed created a dreamy line of sleepwear. And so, if you know anyone who loves luxury, needs a great night’s sleep or begs for uninterrupted and deep rest, then you simply must check out this product. These dry-wicking pajamas are soft, silky and comfortable. The proprietary fabric is reminiscent of both your favorite lingerie and the best athletic wear you have ever worn. You can order nightgowns, camisoles, shorts, full length pant and top sets or any combination of such. You may also pick and choose from a wide array of colors, piping and button options. You can go for sexy or practical or both. Everything that you order is “custom built” according to your preference and design.
No longer is their consumer base rooted solely in women experiencing the hormonal fluctuations resulting from cancer treatments, pregnancy and menopause. My own favorite, go-to, nightgown was a gift that I wore before, during and since pregnancy. For me, shifting hormones have not been a problem, and yet I love the feel of these pajamas and wear them often. As the product line and options expand, so does the clientele. Women of all ages are enjoying and ordering these fabulous pajamas for women of all ages. Actually, men of all ages are also ordering these fabulous pajamas for women of all ages. Recently, I suggested to one of my close male friends that he buy a nightgown and set of pillow cases for his lovely wife. She is, for some undetermined reason, suffering from night sweats that keep her awake and changing linens when she would rather be curled up next to her man. In the end, I suggested, it would behoove him to keep her comfortable and asleep. At my own wedding, another male friend advised my husband, “A happy wife = a happy life”. This is just one way to keep a wife happy. For all of you women looking for something to make your man smile this Christmas, don’t forget to order a set for him, too! The shorts and tops will have him looking athletic and buff while feeling just as comfie as you do. No matter how you look at it, this is surely a great way to crawl into bed.
And there’s more … the company has now grown into the field of tailor made scrubs as well. The greatest part of this gift is that anyone who lives and works in scrubs will enjoy the delight of feeling as though she/he is wearing comfortable, fashionable and professional pjs to work. Our friends have created a fabric that is anti-microbial; sweat-wicking; odor, stain and wrinkle resistant; fade and shrink proof. Again, each set is made to fit your individual taste and designs. The palette of colors is extensive, the combinations seemingly endless and you may have names or logos printed on the scrubs themselves. I have to say that my brothers and sister-in-laws who are in the medical field are already wearing and loving them. The women, especially, appreciate the shapeliness of the styles and piping. Regardless of body size and shape, everyone whom I have seen seems to look taller, slimmer and more comfortable and fluid in their hospital garb. My same brothers and sister-in-laws are giving the scrubs to each other, their colleagues and support staffs for Christmas gifts this year.
Just imagine, you could be the favorite gift giver this year. Or the most grateful gift receiver this year. Simply explore www.performancesleepwear.com and www.performancescrubs.com and you won’t be disappointed. Some choices could be gift wrapped and slipped under a tree while others could just as easily be placed on the top of your own wish list for Santa.
I have never actually craved the traditional “comfort foods” and yet I have recently found and enjoyed some delicious and cozy meals to warm these brisk autumn evenings. I have always loved to flip through cooking magazines, scan health food books and saunter through recipe websites, collecting treasures along the way. While living with my husband, I experimented regularly with collected recipes and as we ate, we would decide whether it was a keeper or a throw away. It was a mostly tasty system for getting through the always growing stack. I haven’t been as diligent about trying new things now that I am working through dinnertime most nights. In the name of making life easy for the sitters and comfortable for the kids, I tend to leave meals that I already know will be eaten enthusiastically rather than questioned suspiciously and refused wholeheartedly. Recently, however, I pulled out a recipe that has been in my “untried” box for years, made it and left it to be reheated. The sitter, the kids, the landlord and I voted unanimously that this is indeed a keeper for us.
I would consider this more of a stew than soup, but that may simply be a semantic difference. I like my “soups” to be hardy and thick, without a lot of extra broth, and so this fits our tastes well. Its primary texture is creamy and a bit mushy, but that is partly what makes it feel so comforting. It’s a bit like the beloved home-made mac & cheese with a few more health benefits. This is not a soup that screams with flavor, and may actually smell more flavorful than it tastes. It is a calming, satisfying and yummy meal that is perfect on just the right day. The leftovers were great the next day as my 5 year old took a thermos full to kindergarten and I enjoyed a bowl at work with a small spinach, goat cheese and walnut salad.
Always keeping our family palates in mind, I may make a few changes the next time I make it. I know that we would like a bit more garlic, for instance. I will also either skip the cheese or continue to replace the Swiss (my sons deem it too strong and smelly) with a Monterey Jack or some other similarly mild flavored substitute.
Enjoy. I have been re-inspired to try a new recipe at least twice/month, even if I am only cooking for a small crowd with small appetites. Perhaps you will be inspired to do the same.
Lentil Barley Soup
¼ cup margarine (I use ghee and not nearly as much)
¾ cup onion, chopped
¾ cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp dried oregano, crushed
¼ tsp pepper
1 28 oz. can tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¾ cup dried lentils, rinsed and drained
¾ cup pearl barley
6 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
Melt margarine in a 4 quart Dutch oven or soup kettle. Cook onion, celery and garlic until tender. Add water, undrained tomatoes, lentil, barley and rosemary oregano and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add carrots and simmer for 15 minutes more until carrots are just tender. Ladle into soup bowls and top with cheese.
Makes 5 servings.
In some crazy way, I can say that it was indeed a Happy Thanksgiving. We entertained not out-of-town relatives, dear family friends or make-themselves-at-home siblings. Instead, our guest, the infamous stomach bug, was uninvited and unfriendly. In my opinion, it overstayed its welcome, but has now seemingly and finally left our home, leaving only hints and whispers of its lingering and annoying presence.
On Tuesday, I was remembering one of my favorite Thanksgiving mornings, just a few years ago, when I was able to start the day with a Healthworks spin class. By the time I headed to the home of some friends (who are both chefs and wine connoisseurs, mind you), I felt great and hummed with energy. That early morning work-out, time alone and sweat set the tone for the rest of what became a balanced and very happy Thanksgiving celebration. On Tuesday, I also remembered, somewhat sadly, that this year, I would not get to the club, or sweat, or enjoy time alone.
And then, by Wednesday, the subtle complaints and hollers from our stomachs began. No Kindergarten that day. No work either. The writing was on the wall, even if I didn’t want to read the message just yet.
And so, with a bit of comfort and normalcy returning to our moments, I look back on our non-traditional, isolated holiday weekend with a bit of a smile. It turns out that it was somewhat healthy in an uncomfortably unhealthy way. Even with a very quick trip to my mother’s home, the calorie intake was low and guarded. For us, there were no hors d’oeuvres, fancy drinks or rich desserts. No extras enjoyed as we dashed in and dashed out. Not disappointing as I also realized that it meant there were neither over-sugared and over-stimulated children nor an over-triptophan sedated mother.
Once we were home, I enjoyed a good 36 hours of near continuous lunges, sprints, dead-weight lifts (Luckily, I have a 5 year old 45 lb weight and a 1.5 year old 25 lb. weight in house and easily accessible. Who needs barbells?), and stair climbing with overflowing baskets of laundry. I even got a great upper back workout as I scrubbed the bathroom & bathtub, washed floors and spotted carpets. During our down time, my boys and I enjoyed many hours of old cartoons, chapters of The Magic Treehouse, adventures in firefighter role-playing, handfuls of dry Cheerio-s and glassfuls of warm Ginger Ale. When the high drama moments had passed, we each enjoyed splashing, or soaking, in long and relaxing bubble baths.
Life is good.
In the end, I got my Thanksgiving work-out. It just came in a form that was unexpected and unlike any that I have enjoyed before. May I return to my spin class for next year, but for tonight, as my sons sleep soundly and in relative comfort, many are the blessings that I count.
I am not a dog person. Lately, however, I have been appreciating the dog people of my life in a whole new way. In the past couple of weeks, I have enjoyed long walks and even better conversations with great friends as they take their four-legged family members out for adventure. On more than a few occasions, the Fionas, GiGis and Higginses have begged for fresh air and a good meant-for-exercise run. I have been reminded that like children, when it comes to dogs, there is no “later” option. I have also been reminded that unlike children, there is no choice to stay inside, regardless of the weather, when a potty emergency arises.
During a recent trip to the Berkshires, I stayed with two different dear friends. It was so great to sit and sip tea, sharing both memories of our past experiences as well as our current storylines. We moved from room to room, becoming more and more comfortable in the coziness of great couches as we reconnected. In the mornings, it was great to wake, enjoy healthy breakfasts and continue our conversations. The dogs interrupted, though, and needed to get out, leaving us no option but to pile on the fleece and comfie clothes. In both cases, we walked a bit before unleashing the dogs; they immediately bolted and played with an exuberant and almost frenzied sense of freedom. Although we didn’t sniff trees or chase squirrels with them, we did find a brisk pace that filled all of us, each day, with life. The autumn colors were vibrant and so were we. Women running with dogs.
Since those great escapes into the woods, around empty schoolyards and through quiet, small town neighborhoods, I have had occasion to accompany other dog owner friends and family members on their daily journeys around the block. For me, it has been a great, untapped source of exercise. My boys want a dog and may one day get a non-allergenic one. For now, our fish Rosie will do. I will, however, visit dog-loving-friends more often and focus not as much on the leaping , lapping adn subsequent sneezing and watery eyes as on the potential for a great trek, rain or shine.
I’ll have to remember this next weekend as we head to ME for a pre-Thanksgiving family gathering at my younger brother’s new home. Perhaps I will count on Emma, the resident Jack Russell, to keep my calories eaten/calories burned equation in check.
Oh, the long-awaited extra hour of sleep! How I pined for it, wishing and hoping that it would indeed be and feel true. Alas, as the boys woke last Sunday morning, the usual 6:30 plea for breakfast felt much more disappointing and difficult than usual. I swear the self-adjusting clock gave a wink and a sneer as it glared 5:30 in my dark and cozy room, seemingly wishing better luck next year. Bummer.
As I think about living well, healthily and happily, I have come to believe that sleep is the most important factor in the equation. Chronic, sleep deprivation, for whatever reason, is insidious and sneaky as it reaches into every fine line of our lives. I haven’t yet mastered how to fit myself into my own very busy days. Trying to do that with virtually no sleep has created mystery where there used to be routine. I just don’t know how to enjoy regular exercise and healthy, relaxing meals when I am running from early morning to late night on imitation energy. Just this week, sick and teething children have left me with fewer than four hours total sleep on three different nights. Then, as I twirl through the following days of details, work, students, drop-offs, pick-ups, errands, meals left behind for the different babysitters & same kids, laundry blah, blah, blah, I find myself reaching for yet another comforting cup of tea, diet Pepsi, handful of high-calorie nuts, chips and hummus, unbalanced meal. What I really want, of course, is to crawl into a kid-free bed and slumber. A funny word, but one so appropriate for the sleep of my dreams.
There have been moments when I could sneak a walk outdoors or a quick trip to the club by myself; however, during those pauses I am so overwhelmed with exhaustion that I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to push my body even a whisper beyond where it is. And so I skip the exercise and reach for another caffeinated drink or quick sugar shot, when what I really need is sleep. To slow down and to savor deep, uninterrupted rest. And then to go for a great, sweaty work-out soaked with lots of water. Pure and simple.
I will figure this out. I must. So for the next week or two, I am keeping my sights on this core element of my life. If my hypothesis is correct, the sleep is the kernel for health and the exercise and healthy diet the byproducts. Rather than focus on the classes at the gym that I want to attend, the veggies that I want to enjoy and the higher energy that I want to feel flooding my system, I will just sleep whenever and however I can. Ideally, the simplicity of this shift in attention will offer permission to just stop, will calm that voice that “shoulds all over myself” and will, in the end, invite health and wellness back to my days.
And so with that, good night.
I am, no doubt, a breakfast eater. According to the rules of healthy living, it seems this practice gains me bonus points on most self-assessment quizzes. It’s a meal that I always enjoy and prefer to eat at home. I am not one of those people who loves going out to breakfast, exploring new diners, searching for the perfect home fries, adding a long list of veggies and cheeses to my omelet or drinking the seemingly endless flow of coffee refills. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy a fresh bakery bagel with a hot cup of tea every once in a while, but when imagining a meal out on the town, breakfast is seldom my choice. I was raised on non-sugared cold cereals, vats of fiber-filled hot cereals, fresh waffles, french toast and poached eggs. For a while, we even ventured into the world of homemade yogurt, adorned with wheat germ and fruit. My mother’s goal was to jumpstart the days of her eight children, six of whom were boys, with healthy, hardy fare. Clearly, I have inherited this gene as I send my own sons off to their adventures with bellies full of good choices. Luckily for me, I usually eat what I serve in the morning and so am able to stick to my own high standards.
This is the time of year when I begin to shift my cooking gears a bit, leaning more towards warm and comforting foods on these brisk mornings. Although we love our oatmeal and cream of wheat, quinoa (keen-wa) is the hot cereal that I especially like for its versatility. The Incas deemed quinoa as sacred, referring to it as the “mother of all grains” while appreciating it as a complete plant protein full of essential amino acids, dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Its gluten-free qualities make it easy to digest as our bodies mine the nutritional treasures. While in other people’s homes, at cooking classes and in restaurants, I have enjoyed quinoa (both red and white) in a multitude of dinner sides; however, for me, it resides primarily on the breakfast food shelf in my heart. I am endlessly surprised (who knows why after so many trips to the supermarket) that I can never find the quinoa in the cereal aisle and must travel to the grains section of any given store to find it sitting aside the millet and barley.
Although I always enjoy quinoa infused with the flavors of apples, almonds, cinnamon and almond milk, my favorite, slightly decadent recipe includes coconut, dried berries and almonds. I do believe in some of the healthful qualities of coconut and, when eaten in moderation, don’t mind using it as a tasty ingredient in my dishes. In its various forms, it adds both creaminess and crunchiness to this meal. When I know that I won’t enjoy the luxury of the 20 minute cook time in the morning, I make a pot the night before. Usually, I’ll splash a bit of the remaining coconut milk into our bowls before reheating so that a bit of moisture is reintroduced. Another option is to drop a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt atop the cooked quinoa. If you feel like you would like a bit more sweetness, you may add a drop of stevia or honey into the mix just before eating. At our house, we find that a small teacup will provide a great combination of protein and complex carbs, keeping us satisfied and running smoothly for hours.
May you have fun playing with this recipe and venturing into new combinations and pairings. I imagine you will find new love as well.
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup lite coconut milk
Dried berries (Trader Joe’s has a “Dried Berry Medley” that is great in this recipe)
Unsweetened, shredded coconut
Place the water, coconut milk & quinoa into a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, sprinkle in small handfuls of almonds, berries & coconut as desired.
Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
I am the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. I am the daughter-in-law of a breast cancer survivor. I am the sister-in-law of two breast cancer survivors. I am a personal friend of a breast cancer survivor. I am the professional friend of a breast cancer survivor. I am the godchild of a breast cancer non-survivor.
We all know what it feels like to create such a list for ourselves. Women of all ages, races, religions, social and economic groups are affected by this disease. Many of us may, one day, be forced to address the same questions, fears and life-altering choices that women are facing every day. That moment when we feel the lump, get called back with a questionable spot on a mammogram, notice a strange and unexplained symptom, are forced to learn about the rare, and often fatal, Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
And so …
As we find ourselves in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I hope that you have committed yourself, in some meaningful way, to this very worthy cause of raising funds in the name research and patient care & support. There are myriad ways to make physical, financial and emotional donations. Three years ago, when I chose to participate in the Avon 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer, I asked two friends to join me on the adventure. One agreed enthusiastically and whole-heartedly to walk by my side. The other simply and honestly said, “I don’t walk, but I do write checks”. May we all look at the women who surround us each day – at work, at the school bus stops, at the health club, at the supermarket, at our own family get-togethers – and may we recognize that any one of those women may at some point have an intimate relationship with the phrase, “breast cancer”.
Take a moment to explore what is possible for you. And then take action. Let your heart guide the steps you take. Do you want to walk, to ride, to volunteer or to write a check? You choose.