The Pursuit of the Personal Best

The Pursuit of the Personal Best

I grew up a high strung kid. Most people would likely still say I'm a high strung adult, slightly too anxious, and always reaching for the unattainable. In many ways, I'd say they are right, or more certainly that they were right. Today, more than ever, we are surrounded by ideals of perfection. We see them on facebook, instagram, snapchat, and blogs. We are bombarded with the images and videos captured on only someone's very best day... marked in the illusion that life can be like this all the time. I'm personally extremely guilty of using social media to portray my "best self" through the portal of imaginary reality that I'm living my best life. Then, as I'm sure we all-too-intimately relate, on the inside we're faced with questions like is this enough? Am I enough? What am I missing out on? 

This wasn't a new phenomenon for me. I think I experienced the term "FOMO" far earlier than the concept existed in any type of abbreviated form. I always felt an urge to be at the center of the action. I always longed for the moments that were just distant enough in the future to still be dripping in imagination. At any instance I was doing one thing, a part of me felt so strongly I wanted to be doing something else. This bred a nervousness in me. It created a concept that whatever I was doing wasn't as good as I what I could be doing. It cultivated the concept that if I just worked a little harder, expelled a little more energy, ate a little less, trained a little longer... you could imagine this is a slippery slope. 

In college it spiraled so far out of control that I lost sight of what I wanted in the long term to focus on the "image" of what I thought I could portray of a life I wasn't even leading. The concept of sharing experiences with others forced me away from experiencing them myself. Immediately following that, I realized that the sharing wasn't the issue, but the perception of being and thriving didn't stand a chance when measured against an external scale. 

The concept of the happy runner was born on the backbone of this timid realization.  The happy runner is not distracted by comparisons, put-downs, or the concept that every race needs to be competitive with the elites. As a runner, the concept of "personal best" is not only key, but critical. While the goal of being elite is both attainable and important to keep in one's mind, it shouldn't and - if we are lucky - isn't the climax of the sport. Bearing ability, opportunity, and injury in mind, we - the happy runners - move along the trails and pavement in pursuit of much more personal and internal goals. 

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Broccoli Forest - what’s in your lunch box?

During busy days at the office, I find my calm in whole foods filled with green veggies. Broccoli has been linked to brain health, energy, increased circulation, and lowered stress levels. Paired with lentils and quinoa this packs the veggies + fiber + protein combo to help you power through your afternoon.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 2 cups broccoli, roasted
  • 2 cup kale, roasted
  • 1 can lentils or lentil soup
  • turmeric, cayenne, salt, and black pepper

To cook the quinoa:

Combine boil 2 cups water. Add 1 table spoon of oil (olive or coconut), and a pinch of salt. When water boils add 1 cup quinoa and lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Done.

To roast the veggies:

Pre-heat over to 450. Wash and cut veggies and place in a boil. Add a little bit of oil (your choice how much but go light!) and roll/stir them until they are lightly coated. Empty onto a cookie sheet and spice with turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes or until slightly browned.

To make the dish:

Combine all ingredients - quinoa, veggies, and lentils in a large non-stick pan. heat and stir until well mixed. Makes 3 lunches.

 

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Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.