The Light

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Tim in The Story Continues

“What’s the darkest day of the year?”. It was question asked by the Rabbi at a Bar Mitzvah I attended last weekend. “December 21st” was the answer called out from the congregation. “That’s true”, the Rabbi went on “December 21st is the first day of the winter, the shortest day of the year.” But, the Rabbi went on to tell a story. One wall of the room that we were seated in is made completely out of glass. And that glass wall happens to be facing the south. So as the Rabbi explained it, in the height of the summer, when the sun was directly overhead, he looked out and saw the congregation covered in shadows, the roof blocking any of the light. But, on a Saturday afternoon, with the winter sun traveling low across the southern sky, the room was awash in bright sunlight. In fact, the lower in the sky that the sun travels, the shorter and darker that the day gets, the brighter the sun shines in to fill this particular room. “Often, you’ll find, it’s the same with life” concluded the Rabbi. It was a lesson I have had experience with. When sickness struck my family, when the days seemed darkest, suddenly we found ourselves awash in the light and support of a community we didn’t even know existed. Other times it would be simpler things, a phone call from a friend at just the right time. Or that break you get out of the blue, […]

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True Colors

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Tim in The Story Continues

Last weekend Aimee and I drove to my cousins wedding. It was a 6 hour drive straight north to the Canadian border. It was the perfect time of year to make this drive. When we left Connecticut, the trees were just starting to show their fall colors; just hints of orange and yellow around the edges. As we drove north, especially as we drive through the mountains, we found ourselves in the full swing of fall colors. We were treated to bright oranges and vibrant reds growing out of fields of lush green grass. It was really beautiful. By the time we got to “The North Country” as they call it, some trees had even started shedding their leaves. The drive was like being in a time machine, 4 weeks of fall packed into a short six hour drive. For those who know me, you know that sometimes I’m a bit of a geek (ok fine, those who know me know I’m almost always a geek). So while we were driving and watching the leaves changing colors literally in front of our eyes, I started to wonder, what makes leaves change colors? I’m knew it had something to do with the decreased daylight, and I’m sure that it’s something I was supposed to learn in 7th grade science class, but the details of exactly what goes on inside the leaf as it changes colors had escaped me. Fortunately, Google was there to answer all my questions. The answer I found […]

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Jumping Past The Top Of The Mat

Posted on October 6, 2014 by Tim in The Story Continues

If you’ve done any style of Vinyassa yoga, you’ll be familiar with the moment within a Sun Salutation sequence when you are instructed to “step or float to the top of you mat”. “Float” is a Yogis’ euphemism for: From a somewhat awkward crouching position, hurl feet and legs forward 3-4 landing them between your hands in a forward fold. To the best of your ability do this without grunting, grimacing, making any noise as your feet touchdown or falling flat on your face. “To float” makes it sound like this move should be no more complicated than rolling out of bead. In reality, “floating top the top of your mat”, takes a perfect combination of strength, balance, and trust. The trust is often the trickiest. You need to trust in your own ability, your strength and balance. You need to trust that you will be able to keep yourself from flying past the top of the mat, and crashing awkwardly into the yogi in front of you. Nothing could be further from “floating to the top of your mat”, than ending up in nose diving into a pile of flailing body ports on someone else’s mat. But that is precisely the possibility that I was asked to contemplate last summer at a Baptiste Level One training. What would be possible in life, if I committed to jump PAST the top of my mat. It’s usually the fear of jumping to the top of the mat that prevents yogis from […]

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Posted on July 16, 2014 by Tim in The Story Continues

My thirst for athletic competition had been sated at age 22 after retiring from a successful career as a gymnast. I had been a member of the US national team. I had been named an All-American. I was a member of an NCAA and multiple Big Ten championship teams. I had known what it was to set a goal and to work unconditionally towards it. I have a great sense of accomplishment for  what I was able to achieve during my gymnastics career. I also have memories of what it took to get to where I did. Being uncompromising with my decision to focus 100% of my efforts to training meant that often I had to make other compromises. During high school I didn’t go out with friends on Friday nights. Instead I was at the gym training. I would be back in the gym by 8 AM on Saturday. I missed the big high school Home-Coming games, even the year I was nominated for home coming court. I still kind of wish I had been there to drive the golf cart around the field at half time. I skipped family ski vacations, deciding it would not be worth taking the risk that I might get hurt. I skipped friend’s weddings, even one that I was asked to be best man at (one of the most shameful decision of my life), because I had convinced myself that nothing was more important than training and competing. This drive was difficult to […]

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The Voices in My Head

Posted on July 11, 2014 by Aimee in Lesson of the Day, The Story Continues

A few weeks ago, Tim and I set out for an adventure. We planned for months, scheduling airplanes flights, hotels, and rental cars. We secured childcare and organized our children’s crazy and hectic schedules. There was an entire room of our house overrun with zip lock bags packed for each activity they had: soccer, baseball, diving, and school projects. After months of planning and worrying, somehow it all came together and we were off. Off to Baptiste Power Yoga Level One training in Sedona, Arizona. I had learned about the Level One training from my best friend who had gone to the program. I could tell the experience was something special for her. I was in awe of her presence. The way she guided me through random situations, helped me to get clear with my thoughts and frustrations going on in my life. I wanted what she had. But of course, it was hard to imagine actually being able to go. The excuses came up time and time again. It was too expensive I would tell myself, it was too many days away from work and family. It’s always so easy to find reasons NOT to do something. But then late last year, Tim and I were talking about planning a vacation; maybe a trip to the Costa Rica’s Beaches and jungles or maybe a trip to Europe. You know… a nice, normal, relaxing vacation. But then one night Tim suggested we both do the Baptiste Power Yoga Level One […]

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Happy Healthier Halloween

Posted on October 31, 2013 by Aimee in The Story Continues

What does Halloween mean to you? I remember making handmade costumes and decorations, meeting with friends, and having parties. I even remember it involving a little shaving cream from time to time! What I don’t really remember is the candy. Sure it was there, but it just wasn’t the main focus. For my kids the costumes and decorations seem to be an afterthought, a quick problem to be solved all too quickly with a trip to the costume store. With this minor detail taken care of, focus can be set upon the thing if real interest, the candy!!! And wouldn’t you know it, for the convenience of us busy parents, the giant bags of candy are sold right there in the same store alongside the costumes. This is the ultimate in consumer efficiency, one-stop Halloween shopping. Where did we go wrong? Now, I’m not judging. This is exactly how my Halloweens have gone with my kids. But then I started to read the ingredients in that big bag of candy. I started to try to figure out which one has the least amount of processed artificial junk. Do you know what Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Gum Acacia, inverted sugar cane are? I sure don’t. All I know is that if I don’t know what they are and can’t pronounce them, how can I possibly give them to my children or anyone else’s children for that matter. So in my quest to provide healthier options for my family, Halloween has […]

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Did you Feel your Boobs Today!!

Posted on October 8, 2013 by Aimee in The Story Continues

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Although you should be aware every month! Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? Pretty scary, but the good news is YOU can be responsible and FEEL YOUR BOOBS all the time. Remind every one you know to feel them as well. MRI and mammograms are great but there is no better detector than YOU! So next time you take your shirt off or see someone take their shirt off or are talking to a friend or family member remind them!  You can make the difference!!! xoxoxox

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Back to the Boobs – Did you feel yours today?

Posted on October 1, 2013 by Aimee in The Story Continues

Dear Diary, It has been a long time since I have written down my thoughts.  October is upon us and it represents Breast Cancer Awareness month and my birthday, two important things in my life. As it comes to almost 4 years since the completion of my chemotherapy and the halfway point to my reconstruction, I am once again looking back on the thoughts, feelings and events that took place. From the moment of diagnosis I new exactly what I was going to do, the choice that best suited me and only me. I opted for the bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Why? For ME, I wanted perky boobs, like the ones I had pre-b reast feeding times. For ME, I wanted them to be symmetrical. And for ME, I wanted them both gone so I wouldn’t be haunted by what could or could not happen. Again it was the best decision for ME. There are many women who have made different choices and I TOTALLY respect them. This is not about what is right for other people. Some people may disagree with my choice, as a matter of fact I was recently told to remove my implants and that my husband would love me anyway. The truth is, it is my choice. Maybe silicone is not healthy in my body, maybe my husband would love me anyway ( actually I am pretty confident he would) but I want them, I like them and thats that. That being said, I have […]

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CT Challenge 2013

Posted on July 26, 2013 by Aimee in The Story Continues

Tomorrow I will ride again in the CT Challenge for the second year in a row. This year I will ride 50 miles less than last but 50 miles more than before life as a survivor. The CT Challenge, for those of you who do not know, is an organization and now a center that provides services for cancer survivors and also provides funds for research working towards a cure. It is bitter sweet this year as one of my riding partners from last year, Marlene, is once again in the fight and is unable to ride. I look forward to riding with her again soon. But this year there will be an empty spot next to me or shall I say an empty view in front of me as she always kicked my butt going up those big hills. Life before cancer was just that. Life after cancer is more heightened, from awareness and sensations to thoughts and emotions. Everyday is one more day of life. Life as I now know it, life that defines me as a survivor. I always was a survivor of sorts, even as a little kid. I survived divorce times 4, death of friends and family, mishaps, misfortunes, break ups and breakdowns. Now as an adult, which seems odd to say, I am a breast cancer survivor. At times I feel sad, why me, will I have to fight again. At times I amaze myself of how hard I try to be brave and […]

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Why am I doing this?

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Tim in The Story Continues

4am, the alarm sounds. The room is dark. Quietly I roll out of bed. My wife and kids  are still asleep in the hotel room beds. Why am I doing this?  I grab a cup of tea, a banana, and a bowl of oatmeal. Time to get dressed. I put on shorts, shirt, pants, jacket, hat, gloves…. it’s May, but it’s cold this morning. Why am I doing this?  I wake the kids and get them dressed. We pack the car and it’s time to go. As we drive, I feel that familiar knot in my stomach. I feel sick, but it’s just nerves. “Nerves for what” I wonder. Why am I doing this?  Time to line up, heart pounding, surrounded by other runners. In my head I count down, 5…4…3…2…1….GO! So started the morning on Bear Mountain as I began a day of running over 30 miles up and down the mountain trails of the lower Hudson valley. Why am I doing this?  It was a common refrain of the morning, and of the first few miles. “I could be home” I thought, “I could still be sleeping”! I could be spending my day playing with my kids, or just relaxing in the back yard. But instead here I am, running for the next 6 hours, through streams, over rocks, and around giant puddles of mud. It was a whole new challenge for me. A 50k run over some really unforgiving terrain. So mile after mile, hill after hill, […]

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