Hello and welcome to my blog! I am 24 years old and currently living in Northern Virginia with my wonderful fiancé, Kevin. I have been reading healthy living blogs for a few years now and they have inspired me to start my own. Here is a little bit about me and the things that I love!
Running is my first love! I fell in love with running during college. It began as a way to lose the freshman 15 (or 30!) that I gained while indulging in typical college activities, and somehow blossomed into a full-blown love affair. It started with me running on the treadmill at the gym to “burn off” the Chinese take-out and beer that I drank the night before, and now it is something I truly could not live without. I love the way running makes me feel and how it challenges me every day. It helps me think clearer, have more energy, and it inspires me to be a better, healthier person inside and out. My running journey has definitely not been an easy one, but through it all I have run countless races including 5 half marathons and 6 full marathons. One of my goals in life is to run a marathon in each state and eventually every continent. One reason I wanted to start this blog is to document my running and training and all the highs and lows that come with it.
Kevin is the second love of my life, but obviously the most important! He just came along a little bit later than my first love 🙂 I met him about a year after I moved to Northern Virginia through a mutual friend. We found out very quickly that we were meant to be together and on November 11, 2009 he asked me to be his girlfriend. Less than two months later we were living together. And right before our six month anniversary, he asked me to marry him during a special ‘scene’ he had set up at a mystery dinner theater. That was one year ago, and we will be getting married this November 11, 2011, on our two year anniversary! Life with Kevin has been amazing. He is my best friend, biggest supporter, and now he is hooked on running too! He just ran his first marathon last weekend, and I could not be more proud! I’m so excited to spend my life with him.
Teaching and Graduate School
Teaching is what brought me here to Northern Virginia. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and went to college at Penn State University. After graduating in 2008, I knew that teaching jobs were slim to none in Pennsylvania. Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to pick up and move to Woodbridge, Virginia to take a job teaching second grade. I taught second grade for two years then took a new position at my school as a Title I reading teacher. Now I teach students in third, fourth, and fifth grade who are struggling with reading. I LOVE what I do and I enjoy going to work each day. It is so rewarding to be able to help a child learn to read. I honestly cannot think of anything more important than being a literate adult. Literacy opens the door to future success in life and I am happy to support kids in getting there.
I am also pursuing a Masters degree in a Reading Specialist graduate program. It is a two-year program and I am about halfway through. It has been a lot of stress teaching full-time and going to school at the same time, but I know it will be worth it in the end when I have my degree. Running and being active helps me deal with the stress and find balance.
I decided to become a vegetarian on June 29, 2010. It all started because I began developing an aversion to meat. I found myself not enjoying the taste and texture of it anymore, but would still eat it because that’s what I was used to cooking for Kevin and myself. I slowly started eating less and less of it, instead finding creative ways to cook plant-based meals. On a family trip to Ireland in June I decided I had enough. I was tired of eating meat because I felt I should, or because of convenience, when I was not enjoying it anymore. I decided to try to eat a vegetarian diet for thirty days to see how I felt. After only one week I felt lighter, healthier, and had a ton more energy. After thirty days I was convinced and I have never looked back. I felt so much better inside and out, my running improved, and I was enjoying my food again. As I learned more about the benefits of a vegetarian diet for health, the environment, and animals, I knew it was the right choice for me. I definitely do not judge others’ food choices and I would hope that others would not judge mine. Being a vegetarian or not is a personal choice that I would never push on anyone. It is just what makes ME feel best. Kevin still eats meat, although he does eat less of it now. He has been nothing but supportive of my choice and he is always willing to try new things that I make 🙂
When I moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia, one of the hardest things was leaving my my dad and sister. I didn’t know anyone in my new town and I was very lonely most of the time. My first year of teaching was so busy and stressful that I didn’t have time or energy to be social or make friends. I lived alone for a year and a half, and I went back home to PA often to see them. Even though I am much happier living here now it’s still hard being away from them. I try to see and talk to them as often as I can. They are very supportive of all my crazy adventures and ideas!
This was just a little introduction to me! Thanks for visiting my blog!