Friday, April 20, 2018

10 Years On

I thought I had a handle on it, I really did. I thought I had found some comfort, understanding, maybe even some familiarity in the passing of my dad. There was only one problem: I hadn't.

(Some of my favorite pictures/memories with my dad and brother)

Here I am, 10 years on, and I have come to realize I do not have a handle on it. Not fully, anyway. My life before my dad passed away was fantastic. Hard, stressful, scary, of course, cause thats just life, but I never feared it. I had the greatest parents in the world, and that alone is the most comforting thing life can offer.

On February 8th, 2008 my world crumbled. The year leading up to that date should have given me time to prepare, but it didn't. You don't understand death until the moment it happens.

(the day I was told he tested positive for Creutzfeltd-Jakob disease)

The moment my dad took his last breath was the moment I lost a part of myself. I have been chasing the feeling I had about life in my first 24 years for the past 10 years. In the 10 years since my dad passed away, I have developed fears I never had before, and while I believe in myself, I fear the love of others. I have trouble letting people get too close to me, I fear the feelings that come with fully trusting a significant other, and I fear my own strength without the backing of my dad.

Not long after my dad passed, I packed up my life and moved 3,000 miles away, from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles. At the time, I told myself it was to grieve out of my hometown spotlight, get some space from the gravity of it all. Looking back, its clear I ran away.

The moment I moved away, I created an additional void. Now not only was I dealing with the death of my biggest cheerleader and support system, but I was also far away from those that knew me best. I didn't see it then. I really thought moving away was the smart choice. I thought I was grieving in my own way. There were nights I would cry, dates that would trigger me (birthdays, holidays, the anniversary, etc) which all made me think I was grieving. And I was, but not fully.

The pain I harbor from losing my dad is showing itself now more than ever. As I grow up and build a life of my own, I have questions, fears, funny stories I am just dying to tell, wins to celebrate and loses to grieve...and I feel like I am missing the guy who would be on the other end of all of it.

I wasn't ready to lose my dad on Feb 8th, 2008. I'd realistically never be ready, but at 24, I really wasn't ready. I'm a late bloomer, always have been, and I think this loss just hit me at a time when I was not mature enough to handle it. Paired with knowing you have to be strong and handle it, I think I hit <> on my own grief so I could be there for my mom. Over the years we - my mom, my brother and myself - have had highs and lows and chosen to help each other when one of us was weak. However, that has manifested itself into the ability to either feel nothing and act numb or react to a commercial, song or movie and just get sad. 

I am scared. I am scared to face the rest of my life without my dad. Who is going to give me tough love and help me through the stressful times? Who is going to remind me I don't need to be everything to everyone, or the best at everything all the time? Who is going to give me a lecture when I get too hard on myself, which is a lot of the time. Who is going to be there for whatever reason? Recently I have had an aching feeling that I may never be as strong, secure, funny, beautiful, successful or happy without my dad in my life.

Tonight I ordered a grief book, and my mom is going to arrange a time for me to chat with the counselor who Bill (her now husband) used to chat with when we was getting divorced from his first wife. Baby steps.

(His visits to the UofA campus were some of the best times)

In time I hope to find peace in the loss of my dad, learn to fully trust myself and those around me and shed some of the fears I have developed in the past 10 years. Grief is a funny thing. Heres hoping I find the punchline.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

march madness

i have come to find the madness of life happens far beyond march. that said, when we really think about it, lifes madness is a gift, right? i mean that in a "take the good with the bad" kind of way, not so much that i love the madness.

i live in madness. all the time. i love so many things about NYC - but sometimes, those same things are the things that sending me screaming into my pillow or heading out of town at a moments notice.

take this past weekend. i had had enough of NYC - sleepless nights, work stress and a nagging running injury. it was one of my best childhood friends birthdays, so i hopped on a train for a 3.5 hour ride to newport for an incredible night filled with endless prosecco and bread, birthday cake and wonderful memories and laughs, i returned to NYC 24 hours later (after a 5 hour wi-fi less ride) a better person. sure, the ride back was brutal - but the sore abs and messy hair reminded me that it was exactly what life is about.

madness, baby. may it last far beyond march!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

break a sweat - even when youd rather do ANYTHING but.

there is only one way to begin the difficult journey of the holiday sugar detox: break a sweat. 

miraculously i didnt miss a day over the holidays to break a sweat -- but that really just means i got up extra early or ran when people were napping (i.e. full and feeling gross) so not all of my holiday miles or squats were pretty. or felt particular good.

BUT, i laced up and got out there -- or followed along to a dailyburn workout. i kept telling myself i could slow down or take it easier, but shit, im doing a workout.

so basically, what they say is true. no matter how slow you go, youre still lapping everyone on the couch. go get in a good sweat, then reward yourself with some couch time :)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Enjoy the CrAzE of the Holidays

Christmas Eve!! There are few things worse than traveling for the holidays - what, with the crowds, the heightened stress levels,  the delays, the "holy shit I'm late, gotta sprint...." folks and the ones who way overpack and spill over into your space. despite best efforts, its always chaos.

However, as i sit on a very crowded train, coffee in hand, i revel in the fact that I have somewhere to go for the holidays. sure, being in a house with a dozen people (including 3 kids/babies) plus 4 dogs is sure to create personality meltdowns or arguments, messes and spills and indecision for which movie we should watch -- i know one thing is for sure: i wouldn't change a thing. this is life. the messy, hilariously chaotic, disorganized adventures are all part of life. and I'm fucking lucky to experience it.

I look forward to running and working out back home -- or wherever we are outside of NYC. it clears my head, keeps me centered and offers me the ability to appreciate the moment.

I admit, i get antsy on the train ride home. 3 hours always feels like a long time to sit still -- but i am grateful to look forward to baking and decorating cookies, making and enjoying a fire, playing Christmas songs and spending time with those that matter most. its worth a few hours of boredom :)

Happy holidays to my nearest and dearest. Its been a hell of a year - and i am thankful you are in my life. Family is everything - and i cant wait to spend the next few days being humored, entertained, annoyed and loved by mine!! 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

summer OUT / fall IN

And just like that, summer sixteen is over. Hello fall! While I love nothing more than heading out for some miles in the kind of weather that makes it hard to breathe, makes you sweat more than you thought was humanly possible and leaves you a bit red in the face, I equally love the crispness of fall mornings, the smell of fall in the air and apple picking!

Ok, I’ve never actually gone apple picking. I’ve dreamed about it. Glanced at pictures of it. Hoped I would do it. Friends never seemed to want to go – and the boyfriend thing has been a fleeting item on the to-do list. Well, its happening this weekend! Sunday. Sinuses, weather, and whatever else, keep it together. This girl wants to go apple picking! 

Fall sixteen has already gotten off to a busy – and celebratory – start. Mom and bill got married (!!!) which made me really emotional and nostalgic. It was a beautiful weekend and definitely cemented how much I want a love of my own. Been a tough go though – I mean, its supposed to be hard to find. I get it. But, I’ve been in nyc for 6 years and I can count on my one hand – fuck, I can count on two fingers, dudes that have touched my heart. I now you cant force it, but man, I had hoped the one I have (had?) my eye on was open to it. What are you doing to me life?? 

I spent the majority of the summer drinking rose, dating, traveling and basically running….ish. 
I have ZERO regrets about living my life this summer, sometimes in lieu of doing any kind of serious training. ZERO regrets. I may not be singing that same tune in a month when im on mile 23 of the portland marathon, but whatever, ill just think back fondly to that summertime crush and glass of rose that mellowed me out and made me happy. Who needs to feel good at mile 23 anyway, right?

Discussion has also progressed to the big move to florida. My mom and bill have scheduled their first trip to scope out houses next month. The “plan” is for me to move in with them and find a job and a place. I definitely want my mom to help me find the perfect pad and help decorate it! HELLO NEW BED!! 

So back to the ol’ boyfriend. I figure if I put the vibes out, he will find me right? Watch this space. 

Monday, March 21, 2016


Every runner knows aches and pains come with the passion for the sport. Im currently in a major phase of aches and pains that just doesn’t want to go away. Seriously, its all bugging me - shins, calves, heels, ankles. Whats up, legs?

I took a week off about 2 weeks ago to see if that would help and it didn’t. It isn’t something where I thought “oh another week or two will help” so im running and just monitoring everything (with strength training, biking, stretching, serious icing and foam rolling), but like whats up. What is seriously up. 

We are just shy of 3 months until our ultra race. Soooooo once everyone gets back from Boston (still sad about that), training will kick up a notch. Or 10. So im going to need my legs to get on board. 

im hoping a few days with my mom back home help to refresh me. Im heading home Friday and while I am sure work will bug me, I will be home all weekend which makes me happier than a kid in a candy store. Knowing I have a 930am train home on Friday is legit one of the things keeping me going this week! 

My mom texted me pics of easter eggs and baskets for us (her boyfriends son, wife and baby will be there too) so dyeing easter eggs, eating candy, running in a new spot and just laughing with loved ones is basically what has me smiling right now.

I will also be spending some time with my newly-turned 86 year old grandmother!! She wants to go to church and just hang out - I can get on board with that :)

It will be a few days of laughing, cooking, sleeping, running and selfie-ing. Or, what I like to call, a perfect weekend with my BFF's.

this, that, and more of that....

Saint Patricks’s Day 2016 looks a lot like 2013 – minus the green. Not quite running a half marathon today, but hoping to cover at least 9 (or, if the stars align, 10).
Regardless, its fun to look back and realize that exactly three years later, a lot of things in my life are the same. My friends, my incredible friends, my passion for running and thinking color is fantastic are all things I still LOVE today. 

Until I landed in NYC 5+ years ago, my life was chaotic (my choice) and I avoided building roots at all costs. I lost my dad and I needed to explore the meaning of life. It sounds deep, but its true. Life didn’t make sense to me so I had to go be all over the place to see if I could find – or create – something, anything. 

Now that I am in my early thirties, consistency is cool and those I’ve surrounded myself with are my truest and dearest friends. Life still doesn’t make much sense, but im learning how to be strong amidst loss and devastation. 

Switching gears a bit, its no secret I love fitness. I mean, I LOOOOOOOOVE fitness. I love sweating and the feeling of pushing my body further than I thought I could go. Recently I took a spin class at a new facility that I had been wanting to try – it not only lived up to my expectations, but wildly exceeded them. Evidently my effort did not go unnoticed. The instructor and I began to follow each other on Instagram and she instantly discovered just how much I love fitness. 

She extended an invitation to me to tryout to become an instructor myself. I have always wanted to marry my love of fitness with my full time job (hello runners world).

Hopefully something will come of it – or, at the very least, new friends and new opportunities. If not this exactly, its opened my eyes to wanting to find something like it.

Going after what I want in life – whether it be in business or in fitness - isn’t hard, per se, because every challenge feels worth it. That third pillar of life – love, as its otherwise known – isn’t that way for me. Im not really into being hurt or being vulnerable and that’s basically love. Ha. So im working on that – been dating a bit for the last few months. 

Eventually ill just know, right? Well, in the meantime, ill go run. Or box (which I have hilariously been attempting to get better at). 

Monday, February 29, 2016

nothing like enjoying a bonus day in february!

today is leap day - well, to everyone and everything except for my watch! its already telling me its 3/1 - which is highly annoying to switch but simultaneously exciting since its basically spring. and no, thats not a challenge to you winter, you can begin to fade away :)

I realize as a passionate runner I will deal with my fair share of aches and pains.  I am fairly certain even doctors believe if we aren’t in some sort of constant state of sore, were not actually runners.
That said, for the past few days (couple of weeks) I have felt uncomfortable sore. basically, my worst fear – nagging patches of tenderness.

I refuse to say its anything more serious than that, for no other reason than the principal of it. 
to help aid (or speed up) recovery I’ve gone to kryotherapy twice. I also havent overdone it – haha, well to me I haven't. But my threshold for what is normal isn’t exactly, well, normal. 

the weather has been mild for a few days which makes it hard to not want to grab a few miles – and I resent not feeling great enough to do so. even though I am a stubborn runner through-and-through, I will take a few days to cross train and see how things go. GAH! 

im so crazy excited its march 1!!! Its finally that time when I start to believe there is a light at the end of the winter tunnel and its not going to be painfully freezing forever. 

heres to feeling healed quickly and all those lucky pennies I’ve found doing their job :)

just a few weekend pics - it was a colorful few days :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lets just cheers Sunday.

Sunday is that day of the week where we can sleep in, sip our coffee slowly and move at a slower pace with absolutely ZERO guilt. 

The rest of the week is spent moving at a pace for other people - finishing a project for your boss, dash to dinner with a date or needing to rush home for the landlord. or whatever other 99394375784 demands there are on our time. 

weekends (when not working) are mine. and hanging out with good friends and family is the way i like to spend my weekend days.


and running. we do lots of running. everyone has their vice - drinking, drugs, sex, food, whatever. I'm part of a crew who's vice is sweat. and a touch of wine. but mostly sweat.

and now that we've had bouts of springlike weather, I'm getting super excited!! training is better in mild weather. i do like a few runs in the brutal cold/blizzard/downpours - it reminds us were badass, crazy, insane, whatever. but a tank and shorts? any day.

happ sunday all - can't wait until its the weekend again :)
...until then, I'm getting ready to do battle with the workweek! #cheers

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Ever have one of those days where you get really excited about crossing something off your TO DO list — only to then be given 3 more things to add? 
Haha, its starting to feel like this happens every day. 

Busy people problems, amiright?

So the world survived Valentine’s Day! The funny thing is, I actually had a dude this year – well, up until about a week before Valentine’s Day! The day before I was set to attend a Super Bowl party with him — and two of his close friends — he freaked. Freaked about the future (we had been dating for a month) and freaked that his friends would love me and that would suck if we ever broke up.

Him: “well, Hil, what if things don’t work out and they continue to ask about you. I mean that would be sad for everyone – like, what would I say?”
Me: “say what?”

He proceeded to text me that he missed me while he was at the party (I told him he’s confusing) as well as put me on blast for loving running.

Him: “yea hil, so I think youre right. I will never support your running”
Me: “hahaha, ok”

I mean, what else do you say?! We all get one shot at life – and im fully aware mine needs to be spent with athletic, motivated people. If you aren’t in that bucket, I am no for you. No hard feelings.

So, back to the dating pool. Next dude I date will need to be an athlete - I can't handle another dude who just caaaaaaaaant be bothered with a chick who runs. 

Since I dont have a boyfriend, ill just go back to that time I surfed in Hawaii with one of my high school friends who is gorge. Surfs up everyone! Plus, that time some of my fave running friends tackled the snow with me. These were taken 2 months apart - and while I loved both days, Hawaii ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF. 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I'm homesick. Let me explain.

As an avid runner, it's pretty standard that at any given time I'm jokingly (or seriously) dealing with mild injuries, soreness and fatigue. This can sometimes pose a problem since I don't do "sidelined".

As a way to deal with a shin and calf flare up over the last couple months, I started my day with a 3-4 mile walk. I figured I could get in some miles and break a sweat with very little impact. 

Runners rarely slow down. I rarely slow down. Morning (and/or night) walks forced me to do exactly that and I discovered I actually like it - you know, second to running :)

It's been fun walking around NYC before and after the chaos erupts. I look around and feel close to my dad. 

I rediscover what it means to feel serene - even if the feeling is fleeting. I crave running - but really enjoy walking.

So, as I said, im homesick. Homesick for my life as it was, before being an adult complicated it so much. Homesick for for the feeling that everything will work out. 

It's been a tough few weeks - work shit, legs not feeling 100%, more work shit, not enough sleep. I need to worry less. Every day I do my best - I do better than even I think I can - and if that's ever not good enough, I want to learn to not give a fuck. I want to get more selfish with the time I worry about things that aren't going to make sure I'm ok in the end. Work is one of those things.

I also need a crush. I'm boy-crazy hil, I'm never not crushing. But there hasn't really been anyone in a while. What's up with that NYC!? 

Well it's September 1. The start of a new month, a week away from the start of a new season. Fall is an awesome season - the colors! The smells! It's all beautiful. {It's cousin, Winter, always shows up after a while which totally sucks, but let's take it a step at a time}

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Forever Celebrating the Boston Marathon

Official Boston Marathon finisher certificates are being sent to runners - as if I needed another reason to just fall in love with the entire experience.

The Boston Marathon is so iconic and maintains its old school way of doing things unlike any other marathon. The six months following registration (September) until the race (April) we received so many letters, directions, packets that it felt like Boston Marathon Christmas every week.

The entire experience was incredible {and hard, freezing, encouraging, blessed, did I say freezing and soaking wet?} BUT SO FREAKING WORTH IT.

I can't wait to run it again next April {and just like last year, fresh off a December marathon}. Only this time it's Hawaii, not Kiawah. I admit, I dig this annual tradition of a marathon on 12-13.

While I anxiously await the delivery of my certificate, race pics will have to suffice. 

uffice for now. One of the greatest weekends of my life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Early Birthday Wishes to the Best Dad Around

I am not entirely sure how it's already the end of July, but that means it's time for my dad's birthday. Or as I like to call it, one of the hardest days of the year.

Birthdays, by definition, celebrate ones birth, which is excruciatingly hard when that person has passed away.

Spending the weekend at home this past weekend {and nabbing a first place AG race win in the local 10k} really brought me back from the ledge. The ledge, as it pertains to my dad is just a place of confusion and sadness and is a place I find myself when an anniversary, birthday or holiday is near. Spending a long weekend around my mom {and getting a lot of sleep} really help me.

It's been 7 years - thats 7 freaking birthdays - we have had to forego buying my dad amazingly awesome boxers. Wait, are boxers even still made - I mean, we haven't helped that market in 7 years. Haha!!

It's been challenging without my dad and yet, since we had no choice in the matter, been very prideful knowing the three of us are unbreakable.

My mom and I have been having dreams that include my dad where he is there but just out of reach. She dreamt she couldn't reach him while he was in front of her, whereas I saw him in the crowd of a race cheering for me but I just couldn't get to him. THATS HIM SAYING HI!

We both believe he's around - my brother too - but we'd love more visits!

Happy early birthday dad! I've eaten my fair share of M&Ms this week just for you! We LOOOVE you!