Podcast of the Month: Happier

As long-time readers of this blog will know, I’m a big fan of podcasts (you can check out some previous posts here and here). Honestly, one of my favourite parts of the day is walking the half hour to work, coffee in hand and podcast in the earbuds. And recently I’ve been really enjoying a new podcast, which I wanted to share with you today.

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It’s called Happier, and it’s presented by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project) and her sister Elizabeth Craft. It discusses “habits, happiness and human nature” and has been really adding value to my life recently. Although a podcast called Happier may sound slightly superficial (in line with all those well-intentioned people who tell you to just think positive), Gretchen and Elizabeth show a real understanding for the difficulties of the human condition- everything from the depression we often feel after a big goal or milestone, to the anxiety of changing gym.

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The podcast is broken up into sections:

  • Try This At Home
  • Happiness Hack
  • Listener Questions
  • Demerits and Gold Stars

Here are just a few pieces of wisdom  I’ve received from the podcast over the past few months:

  • Sometimes things just suck- for instance, a breakup, or a bereavement. It’s okay to acknowledge that and just allow it to be.
  • Limiting your news intake can be helpful when it comes to getting depressed over current affairs, and print is shown to be less anxiety-provoking than video.
  • Doing something every day is easier than doing it some days- this has been really useful for me when it comes to getting up at the same time every day, even when my schedule can vary. It’s just easier to not have to think about it.
  • When you lie about something, it’s often because your reality doesn’t live up to your values- like for instance if you tell people you run 5 times per week, but often only manage once. In these situations, lies can act as a signal that you either need to change your reality (ie. the thing you’re lying about) or just fess up and be honest.

See, I told you these ladies were insightful!

Want to give it a listen? I would recommend one particularly insightful episode all about how to deal with depressing current affairs (spoiler alert: taking action helps). It’s just what we need in a Brexit and Trump-filled world.

Any podcast recommendations for me?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Five Minute Review: Running Man

One of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at least some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. But hey, we’ve all got busy lives. So in that vein, here’s your five-minute book review!

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If I had to describe Running Man in five words, it would be:

Interesting adventures, somewhat weak narrative.

If you’re a runner, you’ll probably have exhausted all the obvious choices when it comes to running literature- Born to Run, Eat & Run, Running with the Kenyans…etc. etc. I turned to Running Man for a dose of running-based inspiration, and whilst it delivered that in spades: charting the author’s journey from drug and alcohol addiction, to ultra marathon adventure racing, to prison and then to rehabilitation; the narrative structure was sometimes lacking. It was very much a chronological telling of the events in the author’s life, but lacked cohesiveness and an overarching message. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a wealth of insights to be learned from such an adventurous and often troubled spirit; it’s just that perhaps the autobiography wasn’t the best vessel to convey them.

Would I recommend it to a friend? If they were a runner, maybe.

Marks out of 10: 5
This concludes the review.

Tell me, have you read Running Man?

What books would you recommend I read?

Lots of love,

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Christmas

Christmas was somewhat difficult this year. I love Christmas spent with my family, but at the same time it can be quite intense. Running is usually my way to cope- physically removing myself from potentially overwhelming situations and substituting them for fresh air and endorphins. Sadly this year that was not the case. Add to that the fact that I’m somewhat incapacitated, and can’t actually do a lot for myself (even make a cup of coffee!) and you can see why this year was a Christmas I’d rather forget.

You know how it’s easy and often tempting to regress into old family dynamics when returning to your family home? Well it’s quite tricky not to do that when you’re physically incapacitated and have to rely on those around you. I felt childlike and like a sad, Bridget Jones type at the same time. It’s been difficult!

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Here’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

The Good

  • I got to eat great food and have my family bring me cups of coffee
  • Crutches are great for upper body strength- I’m gonna have Michelle Obama arms by the time I’m done
  • I got to get outside most days, even just for a hobble down the road with Shadow
  • The Matriarchs (Mum and both my Grandmothers) taught me how to knit. I have a scarf in the making! It’s fugly, and I don’t care.
  • finally got to binge watch Parks and Rec, which had been on my must-watch list for ages!
  • I worked on (and reevaluated) my goals for 2017
  • My pup Shadow was by my side to give me hugs and slobbery kisses…yum.
  • I got to bust out my sparkly Christmas leggings because I can’t fit anything else over my swollen ankle!

 

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The Bad

  • I couldn’t run, walk or really do anything for myself all Christmas
  • Lack of running = grouchiness
  • Everyone’s Christmas gifts were kind of crap because I was unable to go do my last-minute shopping!
  • I can already feel my whole body getting a bit softer. As much as I’m not overindulging, I’m also being conscious not to restrict, so that my body can use all that energy for healing!
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Trying to focus on nutrition right now!

The Ugly

  • My foot. I mean, really. It’s disgusting. The swelling has now mostly gone down, but it’s a multitude of colours thanks to the bruising. It’s been too painful to shave, and wearing a cast all day makes your foot smell kinda nasty. TMI?
  • My mood has not been the greatest. I’ve been trying my hardest not to take it out on the people around me, but I worry that I’ve failed. I’m overwhelmed by the prospect of jobhunting without being able to walk, especially when the alternative is festering all day in my can’t-work-can’t-walk stupor. I’m trying to give myself a kick up the backside, but it’s a case of baby steps right now

 

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An Update

I’m off for an MRI on the ankle in a few hours. Following that, I have an appointment in the New Year to evaluate if I’ll need surgery, or just immobilization and a ton of physiotherapy. I’m trying to remain positive and have faith that this will all work out in the end.

 

How was your Christmas?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Serena Williams

I love to share inspiration and motivation wherever I can, and I especially love championing fierce and fantastic ladies. This week I was inspired by Serena Williams’ open letter to women everywhere, and so I just had to share it. So this week’s post is a slightly different format; I’m going to let Serena’s words speak for themselves.

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To all incredible women who strive for excellence,

When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.

I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.

So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.

As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.

For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.

Serena Williams


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I’m constantly in awe of how Serena handles herself in the face of ignorance or naivety from the media or the sports industry itself. She shines like a beacon of self-confidence, self-assurance and empowerment, and I think we could all do with being a little more like her.

So tell me, how do you strive for excellence in your life?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Monday Motivation: Question Madness

This past week, I’ve been contemplating why we do the crazy things we do. Why do we push ourselves to the limit, experience so much pain and frustration, and potentially risk failure?

We do it because we can.

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Being able to take on challenges, try new things and ultimately reach the limits of what we think is possible? That’s a gift. And it’s a gift we often take for granted. The failures, the stumbling blocks, the anxieties and the grind- it comes with the territory, and we need to remember that. Whenever things go wrong (which they invariably do), it’s so easy to rally against the world, and get frustrated that things aren’t going our way. But the fact that we’re even able to attempt such feats is a testament to our privilege.

Big, hairy, audacious goals are one of the biggest luxuries out there, even if they don’t feel like it at the time.

 

What’s inspiring you right now? Do you have a challenge coming up?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa