So I’m new to linkups, but my friend Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC links up with a few awesome bloggers every Friday and I’m still trying to figure it out, but I think the first step (that I think I was supposed to do before I actually linked up) was actually post about five awesome things (this week’s Friday Five topic). Blogger fail. Whatever, I’m learning. My grad school semester just started so I’M LEARNING.

Anyway, without further ado, I’m joining Courtney, and other awesome bloggers like Mar at Mar on the Run and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! (best running blog name ever right?) and posting about 5 awesome things going on in my life right now.

1. My fundraiser for Noah’s Light Foundation has raised over $1,300 so far!

ImageYou can read about my mission to raise $1,900 for Noah’s Light Foundation in pursuit of a cure for childhood brain cancer in yesterday’s post. Since yesterday I’ve raised another $65 from friends ranging from elementary school (thank you Margit!) to college (thank you David! – link is a shameless plug for David’s awesome theatre company he manages full of kids I studied theatre with in college). I’m so energized by the drive to find a cure that claims far too many young lives. There is just no way this many children should have to suffer from something we NOAH there is a cure for. NLF is on the forefront of groundbreaking research for better, more effective treatment suited specifically for children and I’m proud to be a member of Team Noah.

2. My penultimate semester of grad school has started!

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Okay, so this definitely won’t seem awesome in even just a couple of weeks. But for now, my OCD tendencies for to-do lists and planners is working for me and I’m energized and motivated to stay on top of this semester and kick its ass. I’m taking two really interesting courses and I already like them better than last semester’s courses. Last semester I was so not invested in school, I hated having to sit in a 3 hour lecture after work all day at a job I couldn’t stand.

Now, not only are the courses I’m taking far more interesting – they’re far more interesting because they directly relate to the job I do every day 40 hours a week. This is what grad school is all about and I’m so glad the decision I made to go to Hopkins and go after my dream of working at the organization of my dreams. All has come together in a beautiful marriage of… a ton of reading, discussions, and future papers and projects BUT it’s all stuff I find fascinating. The workload is heavy but as I read I immediately want to take what I’m learning into the office the next day. I think that’s a good sign.

3. I’ve run 80 miles in January alone and I still have a week left!

ImageWhich means I have 7 days to run 36 miles to meet my January monthly mileage goal BUT even 80 miles in 1 month is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I barely scraped over 500 for the totality of 2013 so to already be 25% of the way to my 2013 total in under 12.5% of 2014 completed? Pretty sweet. My training plan only has me doing 25 before January is up so I may be falling 11 miles short of my monthly goal. Maybe I’ll throw in an extra mile here and there during each of my runs to get just a bit closer.

I have 4 miles to run tomorrow and 12.5 to run on Sunday – just a week after a half-marathon! I really do feel like I’m a little crazy. But what do they always say? “Running is a mental sport – you have to be NUTS to do it!” 🙂

4. I signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon!

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Image credit New York Road Runners

Before it sold out! That’s right, it sold out in less than a day. It’s gonna be tough getting up there on a Friday afternoon to run the next morning on a Saturday, but I can’t wait to go up to New York again after a year away and see all my friends up there (hopefully I can fit as many as possible in!). And talk about a great course! A finish line on Coney Island? I hope by May the half-marathon distance is so ingrained in my body that I can actually enjoy the day following the race because I haven’t really spent time in the Brooklyn borough since I was small and had family still living there. First NYRR race (out of the four I hope to run to be able to run the NYC Half in 2015!), here I come!

5. I applied to be a Girls Gone Sporty ambassador!

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Image credit GirlsGoneSporty.com

I’ve seen the #girlsgonesporty hashtag all over Twitter and Instagram and finally decided to see what this was all a bout. I sometimes stay away from really popular “fitspiration” trends because sometimes I think they can be unhealthy and fat-shaming, which I’m strongly against.

But when I read the mission on the GGS website, I knew I wanted to be a part of this community. Check it out:

Women who work hard, play hard, compete and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves.

Our Ambassadors form a network of sporty women who band together to focus on positive health. Studies have shown that: 1) healthy living is contagious, and 2) healthy living is not just about weight loss. While we recognize that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important, weight and appearance are not cornerstones of our belief system, and we want to encourage women everywhere to embrace whole health and an attitude of adventure – body, mind, spirit and lifestyle – right where they are now.

-GirlsGoneSporty.com

I mean, PREACH. I love the diversity of women who represent the Girls Gone Sporty brand. Some are runners, some are foodies, some are swimmers, some are everything. I see all body sizes represented on the site. And there’s an emphasis on mental wellness too, which to me is absolutely key to physical wellness. Everything starts with the mind and the heart and that’s what I feel like so many fit bloggers are missing – they seem to think peace of mind and happy hearts comes AFTER weight loss and their idea of physical health. Personally, I believe physical health is a manifestation of inner peace. I love that Girls Gone Sporty preaches acceptance of the moment and self love for women interested in getting healthy, whatever that means for them.

So fingers crossed I’m accepted as an ambassador!

So that’s my Friday Five Awesome Things! Once I figure out the widget thing I’ll add it so you can link up as well, but for now, check out these other awesome bloggers –

1. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC 5. Nikki @ grab your kicks 9. Ally @ Well-Fed Principles
2. Mar @ Mar on the Run 6. Meranda@Fairytales and Fitness 10. Jennifer @ Run Jenny Run
3. Karen @karenlovestorun 7. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! 11. Michele Phillips @apaceofbalance
4. Heather @ Divas Run for Bling 8. Nevie @ Writing Reading Running 12. Anita @ Dunwaetin

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