Identity Crisis

There is no question that I have endured my share of stress this year. After being told that my husband had pancreatic cancer on April 4th, 2011 my entire life changed in a matter of seconds. I knew immediately that our life as we knew it, would no longer ever be the same.

Learning about this horrible diagnosis and prognosis that comes along with it, was enough to transform my whole outlook on life. The things that I thought were once important, like my career as a practice administrator, seemed secondary and unimportant to everything else going on. To go on record, it was the first time in my adult life that I put my life and family in front of my career. You could say that my priorities were all f’d up.

In life we all have to make choices. Sometimes our choices are right on and other times we regret and learn from those mistakes. I know for certain that I have no regrets about my choice to be with my husband every step of the way as he battles this disease and crushes every prognosis statistic ever documented. He will be the man who will make history and ruin the curve because he is at the top of his class.

Thinking back on how two individuals had the nerve to challenge or question my decision to go to Baltimore and leave my career just infuriates me. Not to mention the emotional turmoil it created in my life up until the last hour before my departure. I know for a fact that these individuals would have done the exact same thing as I did- no questions asked. I believe they thought that my life was somehow less important than theirs or something like that. You know who you are if you ever stumble upon this blog- so shame on you! I still need to work on coming to terms with the anger element in that scenario.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult saying goodbye to my job, healthy paycheck and benefits. It was like I lost my identity because I no longer had an impressive title attached to my name and nowhere to go from Monday to Friday. As I reflect back on the earlier months when I was feeling down about leaving my job, I just laugh at myself now. I learned that I was stagnant in my career anyways, and not utilizing the skills and MBA that I had earned and worked so hard to acquire.

I have had the time to really think about what my next career adventure will be and soon I will be sharing those thoughts with all of you. I know for certain that whatever I decide to do, I will make a difference in this world and help people who want to be helped and that money is not everything!  First and foremost it will have absolutely nothing to do with babysitting adults. Been there, done that and will never do that again. It was a thankless career choice and I will use extreme caution selecting my so-called second home.

It goes to show you that what appeared to be the worst poker hand dealt turned out to be a royal flush. You never know what life is going to throw at you so try to make the best out of it even if the circumstances suck. Open your heart and eyes to the new doors and opportunities that will eventually come your way.

I would love to read what you have to say about my identity crisis. Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever put your job before family and friends? Feel free to even disagree with my choices.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with fun activities. See you all next week.

Reservation or Race?

Hello… is there anybody out there?

Did you miss me? Don’t feel obligated to answer that question because I know that I have been silent on this blog for a long time.  I am happy to say that I am in the final weeks counting down the days, hours and minutes to my summer break.  Well, the relief will be reality when I complete 2 more presentations, submit 1 huge A$$ nutrition education curriculum with my group, write 1 media critique, and submit the final 3 papers.   Yep, my to-do list is finally trimmed down to 7 items so I am taking a little breather to write this short post.

The old news that I want to highlight today has to do with the Boilermaker?  Remember this post?  Well, this year the Utica Boilermaker sold out in just 2 hours, 19 minutes.  Record time once again! That’s right 14,000 runners registered to complete the 15k road race on July 13, 2014.  I am happy to report that Tim and I are in and probably were some of the first few hundred that got in considering we typing our name and address on the online registration process the second the flood gates opened.


Word on the street is that Boilermaker officials are contemplating various ways (i.e. lottery system) to deal with registration in future years to come that accommodates this crazy high demand.  Obviously, I have my own agenda on how this system should work since I have run 20+ Boilermaker races and want to ensure my slot in the lineup.  However, I do understand the strong desire for others to want to join in on the fun.  I guess we will have to wait and see what the race director will decide to do.

Complicating the race registration process even more  is that I have heard of this new trend that there are runners/walkers that sign up for several of these “coveted sell out road races” to ensure they have a bib by making a just in case I want to run reservation.  When in reality they have no intention of running the race.  Kind of like reserving a hotel room one year in advance then canceling last minute when you remember that you forget to to take the time off at work.    This reservation nonsense and “no show” mentality blocks other runners who really want to participate and run the in race. Not cool. Granted individuals that do this still have to pay the registration fee to get in; but I am not sure why anyone would want waste this kind of money.    The Boilermaker still allows runners to transfer their bib to another runner but I’m sure that time is ticking when they will follow suit with other huge high demand races that have no transfer policies.


What do you think of these sellout races?   Thoughts on this reservation trend? Tell, tell me what you think in the comments…



Fittitude 2 Freedom

Hello readers,

I am just dropping in to announce that I have changed the name of my blog. It’s a long story on the why but I am happy to introduce Fittitude 2 Freedom !

Out with the old and in with the new!

Hoping to chat with you soon about what has been going on as I approach the finish line of my first semester at Syracuse University. Boy how times fly when your having fun with exams, papers and presentations.

Have a wonderful weekend,




From Point A to Point RD

I think it was some time in the early fall of 2011 I decided I was going to trade in my years of experience as a medical practice administrator,  leave my comfort zone and return to college as a fullt-time student to earn the registered dietitian credentials.  After all that I had been through emotionally after Tim’s diagnosis and treatment earlier in the year, I knew that I needed a fresh start in my life to do something that was fulfilling and stimulating to my mind, body, spirit and soul.  I have to thank Tim for being so adamant about me not taking another administrator job for the sake of having a “job” and earning a paycheck.  If I didn’t have that time to heal and rejuvinate, I probably would be miserable doing the same old same old.

I had no idea where to begin when I embarked this journey, so I called the director of the nutrition program at Syracuse University to gather the data to see if this desire and dream of mine was even a possibility.  I remember thinking to myself before punching in her telephone number that since I had already earned a BS and a MBA, that I would probably need approximately one semester max filled with a few nutrition / science related courses to start the master’s program at SU.  Wrong I was with a capital W!!!

My jaw was practically dragging on the ground after my initial conversation with the director of the master’s program.   I learned that I was way off base with my initial calculations of the preliminary coursework I needed before I could even think about filling out an online application to SU. Not only was I told I needed to take a gozillion science and nutrition related classes that were not appearing anywhere on my current transcripts; but, I needed to take the GRE- no exceptions, ifs, ands, or buts about that.  I’m telling you that GRE was almost a deal breaker for me and if you could surmise from my last post, I sucked it up and took it bitching, screaming and complaining the whole way.

I was overwhelmed with questions and decisions to make and never thought that this dream would ever become reality because  it was going to take much longer than I ever imagined and that three letter word- GRE.  Of course, the cost benefit equation popped up several times in my mind which was equally important if not more important in the overall decision process.  Tim and I have both worked full-time since we got together and were accustomed to a two paycheck family and I never in a million years thought that we could survive on one paycheck.  I guess I was wrong.  As the saying goes, you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.

Once I got over the initial shock of how long  and expensive this new career educational process would take, I formulated an action plan outlining the  pre and co requisite coursework I needed so I could get from point A to point RD in somewhat of a reasonable timeframe.  Believe me, I begged and groveled with many of the colleges I spoke to about my desire to “getter done faster” and they kept telling me, “no you can’t do that”.  Entering the field of dietetics is very systematic and sequenced so that you can’t run before you can walk and you must follow all of the rules before you proceed.  Trust me, I devised several compelling and convincing ideas to expedite the process but for some reason nobody wanted to entertain those creative suggestions.  It basically was the schools way or the highway and I made the decision to follow the schools outline.

My journey started here:

Semester 1- Spring 2012 

Anatomy & Physiology I w/ lab

General Biology w/ lab

Nutrition in Health

Elementary Algebra I – don’t laugh- the college made me take it – too many years had passed since I took a math class and the registrar’s office was never going to allow me to enroll in required chemistry class without Algebra1 and Trigonomety. Secretly, I was ok with this because it was going to be a nice refresher for that horrific GRE.

Semester 2- Summer from hell 2012

Anatomy & Physiology II w/ lab

Semester 3- Fall 2012

Quantity Food Preparation & Service

Applied Food Sanitation

Intermediate Algebra w/ Trigonometry- there it is again.

Health Field- (nutrition course)

Medical Terminology

Semester 4- Spring 2013

Chemistry I w/ lab

Food Service Management

Food Selection Preparation & Service w/ lab

Photography- obviously not needed but why not, right.

GRE- not a course, just a test and by now you probably are on to me – this was the only thing in the process I procrastinated on until the last possible moment and deadline.

Semester 5- Summer 2013 – TBD if it is another summer from hell

Chemistry II w/ lab

Fall 2013-Spring 2015 – Syracuse University here I come for graduate studies in Nutrition.  

Post Spring 2015 – Dietetic Internship – and I have definitely peeked at Oh, the places I could go to satisfy this requirement.   Napa Valley, CA, NYC, and I’m hoping something in Hawaii will make it to my top 5 choices.

It’s happening! I am starting graduate school in the fall at Syracuse University and I couldn’t be happier! Time flies when you are having fun.  Going back to school as a full-time student has been both a  blast and eye opener! I have really enjoyed the courses and stimulating my brain again.  I have even met some wonderful young minds throughout the process that keep me young and on my toes.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t think that I would have ever survived this curriculum the first undergraduate time around. Probably would have changed majors after the first semester.    You need some serious discipline and solid studying habits if you want to succeed in nutrition or any related science field.  It seems that A&P and Chemistry are the filtering out courses for those individuals that choose happy hours over study hours.   Not that there’s anything wrong with that.







It’s almost over!

Well hello there,

I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything on Fittitude Freedom.  My erratic full-time school schedule, new job, and everyday responsibilities consumed so much of my free time, I had to send Fittitude Freedom on an uninterrupted cyber vacation. I am happy to say that it’s almost over and it feels good.   Only one more final exam on the agenda for tomorrow and I will be officially D-O-N-E!  Let’s party!

Here’s a few photos of what I have been up to.  I plan to elaborate on the details of most of these photos in future posts to share the fun and not so much fun I had along the way.  It’s almost all good.


A line cook or as the French call this position in the kitchen “The Grillardin” in the Classical Brigade System… Don’t you think the french version of sweating over a hot grill and  flipping burger position sound so much more glamorous?

Flipping Burgers & Grilling Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Flipping Burgers & Grilling Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

A Front of the House Restaurant Manager

A waitress

A photographer

A chemistry student

A rainbow of colors

And last but not least…. The world’s biggest GRE loather

At the end of the day semester, all the craziness was worth it and most of it was fun.   My schedule was all over the place so much that I had to have daily calendar alerts to notify me where I needed to be and what time I needed to be there.  In fact, I had to create Tim his own schedule so he had some idea of my whereabouts.  Just about everyday he would say “good luck on your test sweetie” because he had no idea if I were coming or going and he wanted to cover all bases.

There you have it, the highlights of my life and why FF has been incognito for a while.

Have a wonderful day!