Look for the Open Spaces: The Importance of Focusing on the Positive

Look for the Open Spaces: The Importance of Focusing on the Positive

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.

Gratitude that Pops

Gratitude that Pops

How you show gratitude is not near as important as doing something.

Anything.

At the moment I am a little partial to the sticks of dynamite we made out of paper towel rolls and then stuffed for wait staff at a local restaurant. But, your gesture should be a reflection of you and the way you shine.

What My Mother Taught Me

What My Mother Taught Me

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.”

Build Your Starting Block

Build Your Starting Block

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.

A Different Kind of Exercise

A Different Kind of Exercise

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 Core Values

99 Core Values

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.

Yes, You Do Have 30 Minutes to Walk Today

Yes, You Do Have 30 Minutes to Walk Today

“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.

Looking for a Magic Bullet? Look Again

Looking for a Magic Bullet? Look Again

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.