Barracuda: Fitness Goals

This post was inspired by Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, a novel where former Olympic hopeful Dan destroys his swimming career and his attempt at redemption after prison. Join From Left to Write on September 30th as we discuss Barracuda. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


In case you are new, I belong to an online book club, From Left to Write, we read books and review them in non-traditional manner. Basically, we take a theme from the book and write from that. It can be the overall theme from the book, or just one small piece that stood out to us.

I’ll be honest, as I write this I have not finished this book. Life has been crazy busy, and the book has been a slow read for me, unfortunately when I have 5 things on my plate, this goes to the back burner because the book just hasn’t kept me wanting more.

One theme that has stood out is fitness goals and dreams. When I started working out and enjoying working out, my whole life changed. I started have goals outside of my family and career. I am not just talking about losing X amount of pounds or looking a certain way. I am talking about real, clear-cut goals, they started with running a 5K, then PRing my 5K time, and it has snowballed from there.

NWMSFWhen I first started working out, it was crazy to think that I could run a 5K, or even a 10K. I have now completed TWO half-marathons! I’ve run countless 5K’s, a few 5 milers, and 5 10K’s. Sometimes it’s hard to think that this body, that I feel like has let me down recently, has been strong enough to do all of those things.

My long-term running goal is to run Boston. I am not delusional, I am not a BQ (Boston Qualifier) type of runner, I would have to run for a charity that I am close to. I am not against that, I think that charity runners are amazing and are real runners even if they didn’t qualify. Boston is not an easy course, but it is one I grew up cheering at, I’ve watched many friends cross that finish line. It is my ultimate running dream.

Pure Barre LynnfieldBut what about my other fitness goals? While running will always be the sport I come back to and the sport I love, I dabble in other things fitness related. My short-term goal is 100 classes and completing the Fit for Fall challenger at Pure Barre Lynnfield.

Someday, I would love to be a fitness instructor. I have a teaching background, and I have a passion for fitness, I think that I would be great at it. I am just not at a place in my life where I could do it.

Some other goals I would love to meet:

  • Become a yogi. Yoga is something that I need in my life, but it’s not something I do often enough.


  • Become less fearful about taking Spin classes. I’ve taken one spin class in my life. It was 7 years ago and it was awful. Things have changed since then and there are a ton of boutique studios where I am sure I would have a great experience, but that overwhelming fear still holds me back
  • Get my half-marathon time down, I’d love for it to be 2:40 or less. This is a goal that will take time and dedication.
  • Be a fitness role model for my son and my future children.


What are your fitness goals?


Bittersweet: Leaving Your Hometown

This post was inspired by Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, a novel that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, and an outsider’s hunger to belong. Join From Left to Write on May 20 we discuss Bittersweet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


It’s no secret that I don’t spend a lot of time talking about going home to the house I grew up in, my hometown, or life pre-college. It’s not a place that holds a lot of happy memories for me. I don’t feel comfortable or at ease when I am there, so for me it is not a happy place. The problem is I love lots of what Vermont has to offer, I love the idyllic imagery any picture of Vermont gives, I just don’t love what else it reminds me of.

While reading Bittersweet I related to Mabel’s character, the average looking girl from a meager background, with the beautiful wealthy friends. Never feeling accepted, working hard to earn everything she had.  Then Mabel and Ev go to Ev’s family estate, in Vermont of course. They even mention my hometown in the book, the town I went to my first year of college in, and a few places that do hold great memories for me, like Al’s French Frys.

I had to leave Vermont, it just couldn’t give me what I needed out of life. Even though many of the people who used to be in my life suggest that I think I am better than they are because I left, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I just needed a better life, and Vermont wasn’t going to give that to me. At the age of 18, I packed up and went to college. I spent my first 2 summers going home and working the three jobs I had when I was in high school. After my junior year, I had off campus housing and I never went back home.

Leaving has never been easy, there is the guilt that others put on me. At the end of the day, I have to do what is best for me and my family. The life we have now is wonderful. Close to the city, but we still have a backyard. Plenty of friends and family members that live nearby or visit, friends and family that are encouraging and supportive.

But there are many things that I miss about Vermont. The local food, REAL maple syrup, fall foliage, seeing the stars at night, Ben & Jerry’s factory visits, Burlington, Long Trail, Magic Hat, the lack of fast food joints, Cabot cheese, and Dana’s breakfast in Quechee.

I will never forget Vermont, but Boston is my home now.