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Hello Everyone!

The quote from William Butler Yeats “there are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met” came to mind when I had the pleasure of meeting Tobin Osusky for the first time last week. How have we not met before?? But after meeting him, it seems like I’ve known him a long time. Thank you to a mutual connection for introducing us to each other!

Tobin survived a horrific car accident, overcoming many many challenges that tested his physical, mental and spiritual limits. He found a way to stretch those limits, go beyond them and achieve goals others thought he’d never make. But any doubts from others seemed to super-charge his resolve, and because of his accomplishments, he is now giving back to others.

Tobin’s story can be found here, on the website of his gym and personal training studio, Temple Qinesis in Pompton Lakes, NJ at  https://www.templeqinesis.com/teamtq/

I really like the synergy between Tobin’s mission in life and Push to Walk. Especially the mindfulness component which is so vital to the training at Push to Walk and the clients we serve. Our trainers strive to incorporate mindfulness and visualization into the physical aspects of each workout, much like Tobin does with his clients.

According to Temple Qinesis’ website, it says “Our program teaches an integration of mind, biomechanics, emotions, nutrition and life-force energy.” Sounds pretty awesome to me, and an approach I’d like to follow myself! Read more at https://www.templeqinesis.com/about/.

For those of you who are familiar with Push to Walk’s philosophy, program and trainers, I am sure you will see the connection between us and Tobin. Hopefully you will witness some type of partnership in the near future between our respective organizations, all to benefit not only more people, but to affect those we do work with even more deeply.

Thank you, Tobin, and I look forward to a successful collaboration of some sort in the future!

Cynthia

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Hello Again!

During my last long run (8 miles!) I tried to focus on the topic of inspiration. What inspires people to do things, anything? Who inspires them? And why? How does having inspiration influence goals, and how does it affect performance?

On March 3, 2017 in Breckenridge, Colorado, my family and I attended the 2017 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Program, hosted by the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC). The festival included 10 different films, varying in length and focused on outdoor adventures. Besides awesome scenery and natural beauty, the accomplishments of the many athletes was outstanding, and yes….inspiring!

My favorite was called “Four Mums in a Boat” and told the story of four middle-aged working British mums who announced they wanted to row across the Atlantic Ocean. (WHAT???) I believe the journey was 3000 miles, took 67 days and was filled with challenges, struggles, tears and laughs. It was a story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things – juggling families, work and training – to accomplish a goal that seemed to be on the edge of “crazy.”

I loved the story, and especially when Darren said at the end, “don’t get any ideas, Mom!” Haha, I don’t think I have that amount of “crazy” in me, but I do hope I have enough to get through this half marathon on April 30th as part of Team Push to Walk!! Check out the story and see if it doesn’t provide you with some inspiration!! And then please tell me what inspires YOU!!!

Stay inspired! Love Cynthia

 

As I continue my journey of training for a half marathon on April 30th, I realize more each week that I must listen to my body. After a week in Breckenridge of not feeling well and not training at all, I came home and ran 6 miles. It wasn’t pretty, but not too bad overall. I followed my training program the following week and felt pretty good. I did my long run of 7 miles outside, driving to a nearby town where the terrain is flat and there are sidewalks. I felt safer, but did a lot more walking than I wanted. But at least I logged the 7 miles.

Starting the next week, I took an extra rest day (I listened to my body!), and my next run I felt great! Yippee!! The words of my title “better today than yesterday” kept repeating themselves in my head. It became my new mantra that has gotten me through a few more workouts, and I think I will keep this thought as I continue my training.

But these words have so much more meaning than just for running and training. They can be really meaningful in everyday life, in how I treat others and in practically every activity. I like having goals for myself, and this is a new one I can adopt.

I suspect that many of you who read this are working towards goals – whether they be related to exercise or running, family relationships, work/career-based, and even our clients at Push to Walk and how they approach their workouts and everyday challenges. If we do our best everyday, but strive to do better than yesterday, we can achieve our goals and find success. If we can support each other in working on and reaching our goals, the results can be AWESOME!!

If you have a mantra of your own that works for you, please share! One of the ways I get through my long runs is to focus on a thought and “go deep” on it for each individual mile. The more ideas and positive motivation I have in my head while running the better!

Make today better than yesterday!!

Love Cynthia

With more beautiful weather for running outside, I was able to run a bit faster, running some intervals to increase my overall time. I’m not sure it will work in the actual event, but worth a try! It also makes the run more interesting, and some would say, less boring. But I am never bored when I run. I have so much going on in my head!

I don’t listen to music when I run. I can’t stand anything in my ears (that’s a whole story by itself!). But I do keep tunes in my head! A song I like to sing to myself is “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross. I change “ride” to “run” to be more meaningful! Now if only I could run just a bit faster as I sing to myself.

If you have songs that will help me increase my pace and go a little faster, please let me know. I need some new ones to keep in my head!

Please support Team Push to Walk in the NJ Marathon on Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Long Branch, NJ. Our team members are running the half relay (about 6.5 miles), the half marathon or the full marathon. Each of us is raising a minimum of $500 to help Push to Walk clients reach their goals. Your donations will help us continue to help those with paralysis live more independently and live a higher quality of life. Please link to my personal fund raising page to read my story!

https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/PushtoWalk/2017/individual.do?participationRef=884.0.307203085

Thank you!

Running gives me time to think, clear my head, focus on something (or not!), and sometimes even gives me creative ideas. So I thought – why not write blog posts again?? Here’s to resurrecting my blog, the first entry in a long time!

Many of you already know that I retired at the end of 2016 from the day to day responsibilities at Push to Walk. While I continue to be involved and work with both the staff and the board, I can make my own schedule and do things on my own time.

However, on my visits back to our awesome new location in Oakland, NJ, I continue to interact with the clients and family members. Our clients face challenges every single day, a lot that we don’t see and most that we can’t even imagine. Every day, I know they all “push harder” because they have to. So that is my theme this week – week 5 – of my half marathon training program “Marathoning for Mortals.”

Each week, I have 3 days of running, 2 days of cross training and 2 rest days. One of my rest days usually includes tennis, but not every week. This past week, I really did not feel it was a rest day at all – it was a real workout, and fun, too!

As I think about the goal to “push harder,” I think about our clients, their families and loved ones, their communities and support systems. My mind wanders to the actual pushing of their own wheelchairs, family members who need to push their loved ones, and how this takes a toll on their bodies. But is a basic necessity of living life in a wheelchair. I also think about how our clients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and CP “push” themselves to reach their goals. Whether it’s the number of reps or the amount of weight needed for an exercise, or it’s walking a number of steps or a certain distance, the challenges are many. All of our trainers push our clients to do their best, set goals, work towards those goals and celebrate success.

In fact, I think it was these very thoughts that helped Darren come up with the name Push to Walk in the first place! If my training program can help me stay focused on reaching my goals, reminding me of our clients and their challenges and successes, I will be a better runner and a better person for my efforts. Help me “push harder” this week by letting me know you are with me on this journey! Thank you!

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weekend (at least for my friends in NJ!). I hope it was nice wherever you were!

I recently came across a beautiful pillow in Darren’s closet that was made to commemorate a wonderful event. A group of 18 dedicated, caring and loving women participated in the MORE marathon, and team half marathon on April 10, 2005. Some of these women I knew better than others; some I did not know at all. Some were runners, some were walkers and ALL were “doing it for Darren.” Not only did they become part of the group to raise funds (which they did and was MUCH appreciated) but they provided motivation and support that they might not have even realized. After the event, they gathered at our house with their aches, pains, blisters, smiles and medals. They had accomplished their goals and we were all so proud of them and their efforts to support us.

Darren’s spinal cord injury had only happened 9 months before. Our emotions were raw, our world was turned upside down, and our uncertainty was ever-present. But here were these women who decided to support us. Through their efforts and commitment, they showed us what “community” was all about. They showed us love, support and companionship. They also showed me the power of running.

It had been many, many years since I had run for any reason. But I am so thankful to my friend Liz Schecter, who organized this group, and later encouraged me to get back into running. Since a fateful conversation on New Year’s Day in 2007 (I am not 100% sure of the date, but I think it’s correct!), I have completed two full marathons and two half marathons. In just 6 days I will run my third half marathon.

Thank you to Liz, Maryann, Terry, Kelly, Trish, Meg, Christine, Cyndy, Diane, Lisa, Laura, Linda, Denise, Lynette, Teresa, Pam, Tammy and Erica for what you gave us 10 years ago and how your gift has provided me with a way to focus on goals, deal with a life-changing event, challenge myself and SO MUCH MORE. I am forever grateful…………

If you would like to help me in my own version of “Do It For Darren” and for all of our Push to Walk clients, please click here to donate, or come to Long Branch this Sunday, April 26 and cheer on Team Push to Walk!

Thank you, Cynthia

 

Happy Monday everyone! We finally had some warmer temperatures and sunshine this weekend – yay! A sure sign that spring has finally arrived!!

With warmer weather comes the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities (better than shoveling snow!). Come outdoors and join us on April 26 in Long Branch and surrounding towns as several of our Push to Walk clients take part in either the full or half marathon. Some are cycling themselves; others are raising funds as part of the event and I am running for them. Check out my story here.

Our clients work hard everyday to accomplish the smallest of things we able-bodied people take for granted. Whether it’s personal care, eating, going out and about – it all takes extra effort and planning from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. Some of our clients need more assistance than others; some are quite independent. In either case, the exercise and strengthening they receive at Push to Walk helps them do more for themselves and live more independently.

Please become a part of our team, and our client teams, by supporting us in this event. Check out the link here to see the entire list of team members. Then check out the stories of Alan, Darren, Gabe, Kevin and Lois. Their determination and commitment to help themselves is evident in their stories. I’m also very proud that so many of our staff members are joining us: Cory, Christine, Jackie, Kendra, Nick and Tommy. Our Board Chair Bob Snyder and his wife Mandi put together another awesome team this year, and several friends and family members round out the group.

I hope you’ll make a donation, spread the word for us, and come cheer us on! Help our Push to Walk clients achieve their goals!

Thanks, Cynthia