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.

Oh, Deer!

Lookey who greeted this morning at Green Lakes.  This little fawn was more concerned with munchin down on some breakfast that he didn’t even flinch an inch when I snapped the photo less than a few feet away from him.


Obviously, he was enjoying the blades of green grass. You know, a little fiber every day is good for regularity.

As you all know that whatever I did to my body during the Boilermaker, set my ability to run back yet once again.  Since the onset of this injury in March of this year, I have seen 3 doctors, consulted with a back specialist in NYC via the telephone, had 2 back X-rays, 1 MRI & 1 CT of the spine, 2 sacroiliac joint steroid injections (one on each side) and an another injection to the back near the spine.  And can you believe with all these experts, I still don’t know what is wrong with me and why I can’t run like a normal human being.  Due to my desire to rule every possible diagnosis out and get to the bottom of this,  I  asked my primary care physician to set me up with a neurologist appointment to make sure everything is AOK with my internal wiring.

The MRI suggested that I had spondylolisthesis which is the technical term for a slipped vertebra or another word for degeneration of my back because I am getting old.  The MRI report also stated that I had a very small synovial cyst near one of the discs and possibly a fracture.

However, more recently I was told that I don’t have the slippage that they once thought and that a hairline fracture could be the culprit of my running woes.  Good thing I didn’t listen to the first doctor and go under the knife due to a problem I didn’t really have.  Not sure what they would have done with the unused screws and bolts left over in the operating room since there were no vertebrae out of whack to fuse together.  Not to preach, but for this reason is why one should always seek another or two second medical opinions.

I have been logging some good miles inside the comforts of my home on my bike trainer.  If you can believe it, I rode for a complete hour and a half.  That is definitely a record for me. I’m actually starting to like the bike.  It’s a great way to multi-task or catch up on any shows you missed.

Today was a really good day despite my running setback.  I tested the water on the trails again.  To my surprise, I was able to run non stop for 5 minutes.  I ran for a total of 5 followed by a 2-3 minute walk.  I’m not going to get too excited until I see how I feel tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions of what I should do to get me back to running, I would appreciate your thoughts in the comments.  I gave up on Dr. Online awhile so maybe one of you have had a similar injury and found the magic cure.  

Thank you for reading Fittitude Freedom!


Trail Time

Note:  I’m sorry if you have received some of my posts that are in process or half done…. Don’t know what has happened with my blog but somehow it has published without me pressing the publishing key…. I need to look into.

Today is day number 2 of my fall semester and so far so good.  And I have sneaky feeling that I am really going to enjoy my classes this semester for two good reasons.

The first- I will be taking two of my classes at the Copper Turret Restaurant in Morrisville, NY.  There will be some classroom instruction on food safety, theory, etc. as well as some serious kitchen time dedicated to understanding the food service industry, improving my culinary ability and food preparation skills. That means I will be slicing, dicing, chopping and bopping doing whatever is asked of me so I can get a good grade.  I am really looking forward to improving my knife skills and expanding my horizons in the kitchen. To be honest, I really could use a lot of help in the knife skill category because I cut everything with a small serrated knife. Tim is always worried that I’m going to chop off a finger or two in the process.  I know, I know serrated knives are primarily used to slice bread not vegetables, meat, and the contents of the refrigerator.

The second- Is this textbook.  Don’t you just love the beautiful photo of the artichoke on the cover?  This book is definitely over priced but for all of the amazing cooking techniques you get and recipes to go along with each food category section, I think it is totally worth the price.   I’ll let you know what I think of it as I delve into the chapters.  I also needed to purchase a subscription for culinary lab online for purposes of the class.


So I survived the long lines at the college bookstore and made it out alive to tell you about it.

After my class today, I wanted to explore the Harry Lang Cross Country Trails located behind Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.   Years and years ago, (I’m talking late 1990’s) I remembered one of the Rave Runs in Runner’s World  featured a picture and short article about the beautifully groomed running trails in Hamilton, NY.   Every year since I saw that article I have been meaning to go there for a run but never have.

Unfortunately, I could not locate the photo or article from Runner’s World in my old magazine collection or the internet but wanted to share this picture I found online so you can see what I mean about how inviting the trails are.

Photo of Harry Lang Cross Country Trails & 3 runners - c/o Internet

Photo of Harry Lang Cross Country Trails & 3 runners – c/o Internet

I decided that today seemed like a good day to finally check these trails out.  One of my classmates, Lauren, decided that she wanted to join me since she is considering a half marathon in the fall.


It took us about 10 minutes to go from the Morrisville campus to the Colgate Campus and about 20 minutes driving up and down some serious hills with two stop and ask someone for help on where we needed to go to find these trails; but eventually we found trails.

Let’s just say that today was a day of exploration.  We found awesome trails to run on and other trails that were not so great for even walking.  This discovery was worth the agony of the rocks and roots.  I definitely plan on going back there now that I am acclimated to the lay of the land, the landmarks – it will make my trail map more meaningful!


The Bronzed Foot

Over the weekend I attended the Healthy Living Summit in Boston and I will be posting a recap later this week to share the highlights of the social activities I participated in and what I learned at the conference. The conference was a blast and I can’t wait to write about it but I thought that this post was more appropriate since my fall semester begins today.

At the last-minute Tim worked out his work schedule so he could join me on my travels to Boston.  I was so excited about his decision to go with me because we have never spent any time together in Boston since we have been together.  I knew that we would be able to paint the town red after the HLS’s session ended on Saturday and we would have all day Sunday to explore.

We left early Friday morning and made decent time getting there even with a few pit stops thanks to Tim being in the driver’s seat.  I knew that we were close to our final destination when I spied the iconic CITGO sign which is a famous landmark that overlooks Kenmore Square.  I do need to point out that one should not be fooled like I was when you see this sign when running the Boston Marathon.  Someone once told me at the starting line of my first Boston Marathon that once I saw the CITGO sign,  I was near the finish line. NOT!  If I remember correctly I spotted that sign at mile 20 and still had 6.2 miles to go.  Remember:  Objects that appear in front of you when running the Boston Marathon are not as close as they appear.


After the closing remarks of the HLS, Tim & I hopped in the car and headed over to the Harvard University campus to walk around and find a place for dinner.


The historic brick buildings, wrought iron fences and gates surrounding the perfectly manicured grassy area in Harvard Yard were absolutely beautiful.   We even snapped a few photos of us rubbing the shiny bronzed foot on the John Harvard statue that is located in front of University Hall.   This statue is known as the statue of three lies because nothing about the engraved three lines in the front of the monument is true.  However, rumor has it if you rub the foot on the statue, good luck will follow.

Knowing that my fall semester would  be starting today, I figured it couldn’t hurt to rub the foot and wish for a semester filled with academic success.  I hope my wishes come true.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Do you believe in superstitions that can bring you good luck like rubbing John Harvard’s foot on a statue?  Share, share your secrets in the comments.


Thank You !

Greetings and salutations to the people out there checking in here at Fittitude Freedom! I just wanted to start this post by saying thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read what’s going on in my life.  I realize that my posts are not as consistent as I would like them to be; but, I am going to make an effort to post more than once a week.  If there are topics you would like me to write about, just let me know in the comments and I will see what I can do.


I do appreciate the 7 individuals (you know who you are) that have subscribed to Fittitude Freedom and my goal is to get more readers to connect with me via email or twitter so you will receive instant notification when I post.  So please if you haven’t done so already, sign up at the bottom of this post or on the right side bar under “subscribe to Fittitude Freedom”.

I know that I still have lots to do when it comes to formatting my little home here in the blogosphere.  I hope that I can gain a few tips on how to do some tricks of the trade from some of the blogging gurus at the Healthy Living Summit this weekend.  Since I started this blog it has been self learn and I have managed to amaze myself when I figure out how to integrate a new feature or plugin; but, I know there is so much more I could do to enhance the overall appearance and navigation for your eyes and fingers.

Converting to the self hosted platform was not as easy as I thought it would be.  I guess I underestimated how long it would take to do certain tasks and often want to pull my hair out because I wasted hours trying to learn how to do something basic.  It can only get better, right? One can only hope.

Suggestions and feedback is always welcome in the comment section.  Let me know what your thoughts are or what I can do better so that you keep coming back.

Again, Thank You for your support as I continue to develop Fittitude Freedom!