Monday Gym Soreness

I very recently moved to Reading from London (more details may come soon), therefore I left my old gym to join a new one – BuzzGym. Well, I have to say that the change of scenario kind of refreshed my motivations. As I have no specific goals – I still can’t run on tracks, I don’t want to do any bikini or body building competitions or any other kind of competitions, sometimes I’m afraid that at some point I’ll lose my motivation when lifting weights.

Monday gym soreness, gym soreness meme

And then the Monday gym soreness starts and I feel better. The best way to kick off the week is to live with gym soreness! When you’ve lived with chronic pain for 4 years it’s so rewarding and relieving waking up and feeling the so-called ‘good pain’ :)

Your body always speaks to you. With the chronic pain it told me something was very wrong with me, but today it’s only saying it’s happy to improving its range day by day!

BuzzGym is a very cool place. I haven’t found my ‘spaces’ yet, but I’m confident that it’s only a matter of time. I am so get used to my training habits and circuits at my old gym that I feel a bit lost now in such a big gym floor with a number of new and awesome machines, and many more people attending.

Have a wonderful Monday gym soreness everyone!💪🏻

Taken at BuzzGym
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When your first marathon is an Olympic marathon: Catherine Bertone

This is Catherine Bertone’s story about her first, wonderful marathon at age 44. It’s the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon.

Catherine bertone, olympic marathon, running
Catherine Bertone is a 44 year-old runner from Italy. Amongst all the runners who have run the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016, she stands out because running is not her full-time job. In fact, Catherine is a pediatrician by day, and a long-distance runner by night. She runs because she just enjoys doing it, nothing else.

The fun fact about her is that the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016 has been her very first race as a ‘pro’ runner.

Her story is such an inspiring one. She earned the qualification at the Olympic games last April, when she’d run the Rotterdam marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes, and arriving 4th. What an achievement for a casual runner, arriving before pro runners who do this as a full-time job!

The Italian athletics long-distance team didn’t lose a minute and asked her to join the team and go to Rio with them to run the Olympic marathon and represent Italy. She of course accepted the invitation, and there she was, at age 44, running in Brazil the marathon every long distance runner dreams of running!

“Running in a race remains essentially a fun thing to do for me. When I come home exhausted after a working day, I just need to put on my shoes and I feel like my legs get light again. Running is the only moment of my day that’s all mine. During that 90 minutes of running I keep the whole world out of my world. I also avoid to bring my mobile with me, unless I need to be available. When I have to train at 6am, because otherwise I wouldn’t have time for running during the day, I often wake up one hour before the alarm clock rings, because I’m afraid of not getting up on time for my training! A part from the relationships with the people I love, running it is what makes me feel better and excites me the most.”

There’s anything better that Catherine’s words to describe her dedication and passion. Catherine has completed the Olympic marathon and arrived 25th. When she crossed the finish line, she leaped and danced as if she won a medal!

Catherine Bertone’s story reflects the true Olympic spirit, because if you have a dream it doesn’t matter if that dream becomes your profession or not. The most important thing is living it.

Photo Credit: 2.bp

I can run! I finally did it!

I can run, running, happy, injury, recovery

I can run again, it’s official. I’ve just managed to run 10 minutes in a row on the treadmill for the first time in 4 years.

This celebration may look weird to someone who hasn’t followed my journey of endless chronic pain during the last few years, but the other day I really set a great milestone in my total recovery path.

In 2011 I went overtraining and seriously damaged the abductors of my right leg and consequently my whole core muscles. I couldn’t figure it out at the beginning so I wasted a lot of time trying to not think of the pain and keep training. Worst mistake of my life. The injury got so worse I could barely walk at some point.

Meanwhile I moved to the UK and started working at Decathlon, meaning walking for an average of 72km per week (!!!), which meant also no room of improvement for my poor leg and core.
At some point I also had a disgraceful plantar fasciitis on both my feet, which really pushed my mind and my body to the limits. That was when the NHS started treating me with a massive physiotherapy programme which I sometimes still do to keep everything under control.

After 1 year of therapies, structured physio, lots pf patience and strictly and controlled reintegration to the running (I started with 30 seconds running on the treadmill back in mid February, and adding 30 seconds every one or two weeks), I finally made it. I can run for 10 minutes in a row on a treadmill.

I’ve been dreaming this moment for nearly 4 years and finally it’s come. God knows how many times I stared at runners (indoor and outdoor) feeling so envy. I saw overweight people struggling on the treadmill and me – being 5kg undeweight – wishing to exchange their extra 10/15 kg with the possibility to run in their behalf.

Words cannot describe my feelings. I’m coming back stronger and more motivated than ever. My target is set to 20 minutes.

I beat my demons. Hopefully the worst is gone now.

Here are some of my old articles about my leg/abs injury:
Scroll down to read the English versions!

Taken at énergie Forest Hill

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7 life changing goals I achieved in 2014

2014 has been a golden year for me as I’ve managed to achieve a number of life changing goals in the past 12 months.

life changing goals, goals achieved, achievements, hero, good intentions

I skipped writing down my annual good intentions in early January 2014, but maybe that’s what made it such a lucky and memorable year for me.

The life changing goals that I managed to achieve affected both my personal and professional life in fantastic ways.

Here are 7 of my most memorable achievements from 2014.

1. Back to workout

I’m finally back to doing my workouts again. The doctors have allowed me to lift weights and take regular trips to the gym, but I still have to avoid impact exercises like running. If you can recall my endless injury, you’ll know that it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t matter if I still can’t run, the main achievement is that I’m moving my body again.

I joined the gym at the end of August when my body weight was 43 kg (94 pounds) and I felt pretty powerless. My muscles were “asleep”. Over the next 6 weeks I managed to gain 2.5 cm (almost one inch) in my arms, 1 cm (0.3 inches) on my legs and hips, and I lost 1 cm (0.3 inches) on my waist. After 4 months I had gained a whole 5 kg (105 pounds) of muscle and I now have enough strength to lift a handbag and place it into an aircraft luggage compartment. I feel better, I’m happier, and most of all I haven’t lost the hope that I can eventually return to running again.

2. I switched jobs

left my Running Jedi role at Decathlon to become the SEO Lead for Wauwaa, an online destination for new parents and growing families. I got the job thanks to a collaboration of my personal achievements as a mystery fiction author and self-publisher (see below), and the fact that I acted so natural because I had no idea that one of my interviewers was the CEO himself.

3. Books, books, books (and ebooks)

Not only have I managed to read almost one book a week, but I’ve also achieved great goals as a mystery fiction author too. Only a year after my first flash fiction experiment with my detective (super) short stories collection, I’ve written and published many more books. After Cutting Right to the Chase and Into the Killer Sphere were published,  2014 saw Cutting Right to the Chase Vol.2 and Pull the Trigger on the Amazon Kindle Store.

And I’m proud to say that my audience received my titles very well. I’m particularly impressed by the reviews that Pull the Trigger received after less than one month of publication. 50 reviews (and counting!), all with 4 – 5 stars ratings. What a great success. And what does an author want more other than to get back to the writing desk to craft another success? Cutting Right to the Chase Vol.3 is in progress already.

4. Leading a team

At Wauwaa my role not only revolves around SEO. I also manage the copywriting team and I’m heavily involved in the product creation process in the ecommerce area. It’s more of a covering role, but it’s a responsibility that I’m more than happy to have taken on. The copywriting team is made up of a small group of extremely talented and young individuals.

My role not only requires me to manage and coordinate other employees and resources, but also puts me in the spotlight as a role model for these awesome youngsters. I must admit that it’s not a walk in the park, but that’s what pushes me to be balanced in my decisions and choices. They watch and learn from me every day. 

5. (re)discovering Yoga

Yoga plays a crucial part in my long recovery from my injury as the weights workout at the gym make my muscle fibres stronger, but shorter and less flexible. Every time I end a yoga session I feel emotionally drained but Yoga is a discipline that “opens” the body and the mind, bringing myself to a deeper level of consciousness. Sometimes though I hate yoga for that very reason: what you see and feel when you practice yoga is – more than often – what you have been running away from during the whole week prior.

6. Embracing positivity

I’m sorry to say that I’ve recently been hanging around some pretty negative people, which have influenced my point of view. My focus of 2014 has been to “clean up” and review my perspectives, embracing positivity. I must say that seeing the glass half full is quite a tough exercise, although very useful in many aspects of my life, especially work.

7. Planning a new future

The above achievements, and many others not mentioned, have determined that my London settling-in phase is now officially closed. Franz and I came here in the UK determined but unsure of what we would eventually find. Now that I have found what I have been looking for, and I’ve nailed my goals, it’s time to unlock some more achievements, plan more, and go ever further. Look out 2015, here I come!

What about your 2014? Have you managed to achieve some life changing goals throughout the year?

5 ragioni per cui amo correre / 5 reasons why I love running

Scroll down for the English version

5 reasons running - 5 ragioni per correreA dire il vero avrei almeno 50 o 100 buoni motivi per correre e farvi correre :)
In ogni caso, non posso tradire il mio magico numero 5, per cui eccovi le mie 5 ragioni per cui amo correre – e per cui dovreste iniziare anche voi!

1. Corro per essere “più”. Sì, correre mi rende qualsiasi cosa abbia un comparativo di maggioranza. Correre mi rende più forte, più agile, più veloce. In poche parole: (più) migliore.

2. Corro per pensare. Non importa se ascolto della musica o se corro in completo silenzio, correre mi connette con la mia parte più profonda. Posso pensare a un sacco di cose tutte insieme, oppure posso non pensare a nulla; posso esplorare le mie sensazioni come se avessi un altro senso, oppure semplicemente lasciare che la corsa mi porti avanti. Quando corri hai il controllo totale della mente, è un po’ come fare meditazione.

3. Corro per spingermi più avanti. Correre è un modo per sentirmi libera, ma anche un modo per sfidare i miei limiti. Io sono una tipa da sprint e brevi distanze, mi piace confrontarmi con l’amico cronometro e vedere quanti decimi riesco a limare ogni volta. E quando fallisco – la maggior parte delle volte! – è un punto da cui partire per continuare a migliorare, nei limiti delle mie possibilità.
Non si tratta di competizione: a volte può essere un po’ doloroso, ma è un modo per dire a me stessa: “Ok, può fare di più, sia sulla pista che nella vita”.
Spingermi ai limiti significa essere un’atleta migliore e una persona migliore.

4. Corro per stare bene. Che non è “essere in forma” tout court. Se volessi perdere peso andrei in piscina o a fare qualche allenamento massacrante con le diete in stile in ginocchio sui ceci. Correre è sentirsi sani, per me, perché anche se è uno sport d’impatto, il mio corpo sta bene quando corre. Ho ereditato da mio padre – anche lui corre, ovviamente! – delle belle gambe grosse e potenti. Sono nata così, non posso sciuparle. Corro per tenere le mie gambe forti e reattive come me le hanno date, anche se non incarnano proprio lo stereotipo della donna sottile che vediamo in TV.
Correre mi permette di avere un’ottima forza muscolare e tanto fiato, che significa molta più resistenza (fisica e mentale) alle fatiche di tutti i giorni.5. Corro per aiutare. Non sono un medico, non ho doti particolari che aiutano il prossimo a stare meglio. So solo scrivere e correre: uso la scrittura per intrattenere la gente, la seconda – a modo mio – per aiutare. Faccio quello che posso. Correre ti permette di raccogliere soldi per beneficenza, e tu – sì, tu, caro lettore che ti stai chiedendo se è il caso o meno di provare a correre, prima o poi – puoi aiutare altri runner guidando quelli ciechi. É un’esperienza che ti cambia la vita e di cui non vi pentirete. Visto che la Federazione Paralimpica per ipovedenti e ciechi esiste, ma il sito web non funziona, vi rimando al sito di Disabili in corsa, un progetto bellissimo fatto da volontari che ci mettono davvero tutto per aiutare gli altri.

After the Boston Marathon tragic events a lot of people are wondering why all those crazy runners are going to run the London Marathon, despite the terror and their relatives’ recommendations.

I have at least 50 or 100 good reasons to run and encourage you to run
. However, I can’t betray my magic number 5, so there you go:
 my 5 reasons why I love running – and why you should start running too!

Continue reading on Huffington Post UK!

Photo credit laufix