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

The Runner’s Wishlist: Part 1

As Christmas draws closer, I’ve been finding more and more gorgeous gift ideas either for myself or for others. There are so many great products on the market at the moment that I just had to share some of my favourites with you. These are perfect for the runner in your life… hint hint!

Believe, Achieve Training Journal

Hands down, this has been the single purchase this year that’s had the biggest impact on my training. I have so many good things to say about it that I don’t know where to start. It’s a journal designed by pro runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas , and it’s a combination of training log, journal and training guide. There are sections on nutrition, drills, stretches and – most importantly in my opinion- the psychological side of trianing. It encourages a daily journaling practice, and I’ve found the dividends to be well worth the investment!

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This Works Lavender & Vertivert Candle

This year I’ve really discovered the true value of aromatherapy, and this candle has been instrumental in that! It’s got an absolutely heavenly scent that’s strong whilst not being overpowering, and it really helps me wind down at the end of a long day.

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Matcha Green Tea

As someone who gets sick relatively often, I’ve found incorporating matcha green tea into my daily routine to be invaluable. It gives me a nice boost of energy without leaving me buzzing the way coffee often does. My favourite way to drink it is with hot water and a spoonful of honey- especially lovely when you’re feeling a bit poorly.

Garmin 735 Multisport Watch

If I could only have one thing from my wishlist, it would be this! This multisport watch allows tracking for running, swimming and cycling, and even has a heart-rate monitor built into the wrist strap- no more itchy, annoying chest strap! I mean, I know it’s a stretch that anyone will buy me this on a whim, but a girl can dream!

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Soap & Glory Goodies

I’ve long been a fan of Soap & Glory products, be that cosmetics or bath and pamper treats. I absolutely love their shower gels and body scrubs, and it makes me feel so pampered when I have the matching set!

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Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack

This backpack is absolutely gorgeous and so so practical if, like me, you’re constantly dragging workout kit to and from work, the gym and anywhere in between. It’s available in a variety of colours, but knowing how bright most of my workout kit is, I thought black would be a safe option. If you’re reading this Mum, hint hint!

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Sarah Marie Design Studio Sweatshirt

I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Sarah Marie Design Studio for sometime now, and bought myself her Elite Marathoner Tee after completing my first marathon. However she’s really outdone herself for the holiday season, with gorgeous gilded sweatshirts that just make you want to cuddle up in front of a nice warm fire.

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The Obstacle is The Way

This book quite honestly revolutionised the way I think about life, its struggles, and how to overcome them. It has a lot to say about the power of hard work, as well as the value of humility. It’s not new age or airy-fairy by any stretch of the imaginaton- author Ryan Holiday does a great job of rooting a philosophical approach into everyday problems that you might encounter.

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What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
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

 

My Toolkit for Accountability

We talk all the time about having goals, but without an actual plan, goals don’t really mean anything. I’ve found I have to keep myself accountable every day in order to move forward and avoid losing momentum. I have a few ways of tracking my progress, and so I thought I’d share them with you today.

 

Believe Training Journal

This training journal, created by elite runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas has honestly revolutionised the way I look at my training. It’s a year-long training log that doubles as a journal and a handbook: you log your miles and rate each day/workout, but there’s space to do so much more than that too. Each week there’s a small prompt such as “When things get tough I’ll focus on…” and “Things that will make me a better runner”. It helps you look at your training more holistically- there are regular check-in pages as well as guides to nutrition, cross-training and balance, among other things.

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Bullet Journal: Habit Tracker

I recently started keeping a bullet journal as a way to organize my brain and reduce anxiety- it’s definitely helping! For anyone who doesn’t know, a bullet journal is more a concept than a product- you take a blank journal and you organize it exactly how you think would best suit you- there are guidelines on the “best” way to do it, but in reality its entirely up to you.  One of the most popular add-ons is the habit tracker: it’s really simple- you decide what habits you want to keep for the week, and you track them. In the lead-up to marathon day this mainly consisted of my strength and conditioning routine, although I also added an “Act of Self Care” to make sure I was taking care of myself well.

Wall Planner

Way back in July when I started tentative marathon training, I drew myself up a wall calendar on Word, and sneakily printed it off in A3 on my work printer. It’s stuck at the end of my bed, and every evening I would fill it in for the day. It wasn’t a training plan as such, but it helped me keep accountable as well as see all the miles building up, which defeinitely helped mitigate a few taper-induced crises.

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Accountability Buddies

For keeping yourself accountable, there’s no-one quite like a training buddy to count on. Not only can you tackle tough workouts together; even when you’re training separately you can check in on each other’s progress. It’s great to know that someone’s got your back, plus you can bounce all those crazy worries and nagging doubts off each other.

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It’s not just the races, it’s the hours of training together!

So there you have it, my toolkit for keeping yourself accountable and always moving towards your goals. If you have any other suggestions I’m all ears!

How do you keep yourself driven and accountable?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa