Monday, January 30, 2012


"...don’t complain about what you don’t have 
when others are worse off than you." 
- Sheree Clampit

Photo Credit: Chris Scott Herald Sun via
Sometimes in surfing the web you come across stories about others that cannot but move and inspire you to achieve and do more with your life; with what you got. This week's "KnockOut!" Inspiration comes from a young Australian woman, Sheree Clampit, who was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare disorder that effects the joints of the body, curving limbs, fixing them, preventing them from having full range, because muscles, and or ligaments in those areas may be weakened, short or missing altogether. In severe cases the individual may be bound to a wheel chair, for others surgeries, often multiple will be necessary to correct club feet, reposition twisted hands, etc. Each case is unique. Sheree has had to undergo 22.

Her parents never gave up hope although doctors may have in the beginning and by the time she was of school age she was able to walk. Sheree is undaunted by AMC. She is a young woman on the move. A finalist for The Pride of Australia Courage Medal Sheree aspires to having a career in counseling and welfare.

At the present time as with many diseases it is not known what the exact cause in fetal development is that leads to Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Whether it is your very first time running or your 10th marathon, in addition to good health and strength a little inspiration can go a long way!

This weeks inspiration comes from Helen Keller.
                if we stick to it long enough."

Helen and her teacher Ann never gave up. They worked tirelessly. They focused on the journey that lay ahead of them not in its length. The stayed on course, jumping all hurdles that lay in their way. Frustrations, physical ailments, heartbreaks.

Helen Keller accomplished a lot in her life despite her inability to see, hear and have acquired as she says in this clip, "Normal Speech." She was a writer, a lecturer, a suffragist, a volunteer. She was an advocate for the blind, dedicating more than 40 years of her life to the efforts of the American Foundation for the Blind. Her life, an inspiration! 

Short run? Long run? Stick to it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Brrr-Running in the Cold: Tips

- By Maureen Baraka Bonfante

Baby It's Cold Outside. I love that song. Whether it's one of many duets recorded since 1949, the duets by Ricardo Montalban and Ester Williams, and Red Skelton and Betty Garret  in the movie Neptune's Daughter or this gem by Zach Braff and Donald Faison.

Winter blasts & traveling to colder climates leave many runners facing the "Baby it's cold outside!" test. Sometimes the pushing and pulling is with loved ones, other times an internal debate.

"I really must train."

"Baby it's cold outside!"

"I have a 10K."

"Baby it's cold outside!"

"I gotta to lace up."

"Your hands 'n feet may freeze, you know."

"I really must go, go, go." "So please enough talk of cold."

"BUT, baby it's cold outside!!"

BUT the enemy of all runners, when we really need to focus on HOW's. If you want to stay in good form whether you're running just to stay in shape or compete in a race you must get out of your physical and mental comfort zones, away from comfy couches, blankets, TV's, other fun distractions, tempting hot toddies, cocoas with cream, warm embraces from loved ones, warm, furry pets and, "Just do it!"

Preparing yourself in advance and having some HOW's in addition to a list of DO's and DON'TS will help you stay on course.

How to Prepare

1) Set reasonable distance, pace and total running time goals. 

If you have never run in the cold now is not the time to try to set a personal best record. Have a goal A & B. If you master A move on to B. For example, you are a new runner and the longest distance you ran was 4 miles when it was 64°F but it is 38°F and windy. Set Plan A for a 3 mile run at a slower than usual pace. If you feel good after 3 miles try for 4.

If you normally set out to run just for a set time, an hour every morning etc. no matter how far, consider reducing the time by a quarter. So your hour run becomes 45 mins and so on.

After a few days, you will get accustomed to running in the cold and enjoy continuing with your running program outdoors without a break throughout year.

2) Dress Accordingly/Prevent Frostbite

a) Wear layers. You can always take off a hoodie, etc. and tie it around your waist if you start to feel warm.

b) Protect your extremeties. Make sure you are wearing long sleeve shirts and running pants, not shorts and short sleeve tees. Wear a good hat, gloves, socks, ear muffs or head band. Cover your nose and face with a scarf or a face protector.
Frostbite begins to set in when the body's temperature drops below 98°F (34°C). Your body in an act to save itself starts to to contract blood vessels on the surface of the skin and extremities, so that blood can be concentrated in and keep vital organs such as the heart and lungs warm. In addition, to numerous factors increasing risk of getting frostbite such as alcohol or drug abuse, heart disease, poor ciruculation, etc. having sneakers that are constricting blood flow can also contribute to it. Be sure that your running shoes are roomy as well as comfortable.

c) Protect your feet and prevent slips. Whether you like a barefoot style of running or sneakers be sure your foot wear has good traction. Don't take a chance running on a snowy or frosty surface with footwear that is smooth. If you can, buy yourself a pair of running shoes with cleats. There are a variety of options out there. If you do not want to purchase a new pair of running shoes with cleats get a traction device you can slip on like the one below or if you are handy cleats you can put on the bottom of the soles.
Yatrax Walkers- Unisex $19.95,
3) Carry extra clothes, if you are commuting to run or participate in a race. See if you have options to check a bag with some extra clothes to change into. Adding to the risk of frostbite is being wet in the cold. You run. You sweat. It is unavoidable.