After college, Eric (99 Walks co-founder and my husband) taught skiing for three winter seasons while he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. One of his favorite stories is about a group lesson comprised of a bunch of eight-year-olds on a snowy Saturday morning. Just before lunch, Eric led the group to the top of a big, open trail. It would be challenging for them but not beyond their abilities. Most of the group took off, whooping and hollering as eight-year-olds are known to do when skiing.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reap the benefits of living a life of increased gratitude.
There is no one right way to do it. Here are three simple ideas, all of which can work because the most effective way to keep a gratitude journal is simply the one that you stick with.
Having skipped out of high school after my junior year, I arrived at the University of Maryland a newly minted 17-year-old. Accompanied by my parents, we moved my stuff into my dorm room and headed to the armory to register for my freshman classes. This was a decade before class registration was moved online. Together, my parents and I waited in the various lines. Freshman English, check. Math 101, check. Biology, check. Intro to business management, check. And then it was time for electives so off we went to the registration desk for the dance department. “Sorry,” the woman behind the desk said. “You can’t take that class unless you are a dance major.”
My dad was a competitive sprinter, meaning that the majority of his running success was predicated on races that lasted less than a minute. When the race is that short and that intense, one of the things that separate the victor from those in second, third and even last place, is the start. Runners crouch down at the starting line, place their heels against the starting block and wait for the gun to go off. And when it does, they come off of that block with tremendous focus and intensity and give the next seconds everything they’ve got. They will end the race gasping for air.
You already know that walking is good for you in a whole host of ways, from your physical well-being to your mental health and beyond. But have you ever considered the ways that walking is good for the environment? In honor of Earth Day, here are three ways our Earth says "thank you" when you choose to walk instead of drive.
I suck at meditating. For years, I tried different ideas, everything from walking meditation to meditation classes to simply taking five slow, mindful breathes while sitting on the floor of my closet.
Nothing worked. I didn't have the time or money to go to meditation classes, walking meditations were really just walks and if I managed three breathes on my closet floor before either thinking "this is stupid" or noticing the pile of laundry in the corner, well, that was a miracle.
99 Walks has a lot of core values. 99 of them to be exact.
These are the things that we believe. The way we choose to live our lives. They are part principles and part sparks of inspiration. Some of them may appear to contradict. That’s because we aren’t the same every day. Say yes and say no. Eat less sugar and eat the cupcake. Sometimes, well, sometimes you just need a cupcake. Because without the occasional cupcake, life is too predictable. Too rigid.
“I’m so sorry,” the email began. “I swear I’m not one of those people who miss deadlines, but I hurt my back and I won’t have the column to you on Friday.”
I was laying in my bed, alternating between ice and heat - because that’s what they say you should do. Neither were working. I had done something bad at the gym earlier that week and simply breathing sent shooting pains up and down my spine. I was stopped in my tracks. Laid out and laid up. On my calendar that week was two full days of meetings, one writing deadline and a dinner for a women's networking group that I had created. A meeting at my daughter’s school to discuss her class schedule for the coming year and my son’s 18th birthday.
March 14 can be written as 3.14 or Pi -- the mathematical constant of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and a magic number in the math world. So March 14 is often called “Pi Day.” To celebrate, I ate apple pie for breakfast. Then I ate a little more for lunch because, well, because it was there and it was delicious. Dinner was a big plate of spaghetti.
Aren’t we all looking for the magic bullet? The one thing that will make us thin, turn our house into a showplace and move our business to “the next level?”
The media is replete with tales of overnight success. Justin Bieber puts a homespun video on Youtube and becomes a bazillionaire. A couple of students found the company Rovio, release the Angry Birds and become millionaires overnight. Lana Turner gets discovered at a drugstore counter.