Can anyone else not believe it’s already MAY! We are officially entering the second quarter of 2018. I don’t know about all of you but these last four months have flown by and I’m feeling like I’m spinning a little. Thankfully, May is Mental Health Awareness month and National Physical Fitness and Sports month. YAHTZEE! No, I did not make up these campaigns – although they could not have aligned any better with the launching of my blog – but they certainly highlight two of my greatest passions!
In recent years, there has been a massive increase of awareness and readily available resources advocating the importance of mental health. The demands of the daily grind steer the majority of our attention and energy towards the dreams, goals or needs of those around us. We are constantly giving to others while sacrificing ourselves. I, for one, can speak to this output of energy as I inherently compelled to serve others before serving myself. I’ve developed a habit of putting the needs of those around me ahead of anything I’m trying to achieve. It’s a blessing to be able to help others but I’ve learned, quite quickly, that no one is looking out for you more than you. Before you spin off the wheel. Stop. Step back and focus on putting energy “in” versus working out. Guided meditation apps, self-help books, built-in wellness programs and even “breathe reminders” have made the efforts of developing a strong mind easier, more convenient and not as intimidating as we all may think.
This month I challenge you to actively work on developing mental awareness. Turn inward. Find out where your passions lie and what makes you tick. Turn off your phone and pick up a book to develop those creative muscles. At some point of the day stop whatever you’re doing down and simply take a deep breath. Feel the air deeply feel your lungs and embrace that feeling of LIFE that’s circulating through you. Without being too cliche, do you?
Now that our minds are at the forefront, let’s check in with our bodies. Are we still committed to those New Year’s resolutions or are they hanging out back in mid-March in hopes of picking up speed? I personally do not set New Year’s resolutions for the sheer disappointment I’ve felt after crumbling to temptation or drop-kicking my schedule during a tough week but I do set intentions. Selecting themes for each month to focus solely on one area of my life I would like to improve. This month kicks of a personal campaign that has gained some attention from my Instagram followers and I want to take this opportunity to invite anyone who reads this post to join the fun.
If you know me well enough you are aware that I am always chasing the sun. Sunrises, sunsets, Sundays, sundaes…you get the picture. Something about catching the first and last brink of daylight awakens my soul. Summer Time Chi has officially arrived and the sun is greeting all of us! I moved to Chicago last fall and despite the fact I have already moved twice since arriving, the joys of heartbreak, there is so much of this city I have yet to explore. One of my favorite ways to experience new cities, especially when I’m traveling, is to run. Now let me be clear, after competing at a high-level for ten years it has taken me some time to understand running can actually be enjoyable and not something to be feared – anyone else have nightmares to 6 a.m. turf runs and 300-yard build ups – but I’ve actually found JOY – I’m just as shocked- in running through sightseeing.
With the long Chicago winter finally coming to an end, the sun calls my soul earlier every morning. Longer days call for more action, more life and I challenge of you to get out this summer and explore the place you call home.
From May 1st to August 31st, me and my Nike Reacts are hitting the pavement to run 100 Miles of Summer. That’s 18 weeks, roughly 5.56 miles per week. My routes will take me to new areas throughout the city, giving me the opportunity to feel the vibes and personality of Chicagoland all the while chasing the sun and enjoying every bit of summer I can squeeze in. For those of you in the Chicago area, #100MilesofSummer will happen every Saturday at 9 a.m. at various locations throughout the city. Since the goal is the immerse myself in new neighborhoods, every run will be at a conversational pace for no longer than 3 miles. Plenty of time to make new friends, share goals and maybe pick out your next brunch spot. I will announce the meet up location Friday morning’s on my Instagram story. If you’d like to join simply meet me at the designated location at 8:50 a.m. and we will hit the ground running – pun fully intended – at 9 a.m. For those of you who are unable to make the group run or are located out of state, you can join us virtually! I will not be live-streaming runs, trust me when I say no one wants to hear what I sound like running…it’s not pretty, but tag @k_jete #fitandfullbykayla #100MilesofSummer so I can keep up with all of you! I look forward to meeting everyone this Saturday, May 5th for the first inaugural run and every Saturday until August 31st! Are you up for the challenge?!