25 Days of Christmas

Day Twenty Five--Christmas!!

Day Twenty Five–December Twenty Five--Christmas!! #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Christmas walk! (4 miles!)

It's here!!  And so my countdown comes to a close:)  It's tradition in my family to go for a long walk on Christmas.  My parent's neighborhood, tucked away in the woods,  is absolutely beautiful...even more so when it's covered in snow.  It was the perfect, quiet and calm way to end this fun adventure. I feel so blessed to be near my family on this day, and to enjoy the beauty surrounding us.

It has certainly been an amazing Twenty Five days.  I have never felt more in the Christmas Spirit.  I feel like I got to soak everything in, reflect a little more, and enjoy the time given to me.  It was a challenge physically, but it was also a challenge to sit down and write every day.  But I realized, when you push yourself...you step up to the plate and make things happen.

It also amazed me how people stand behind my crazy ideas.  I wouldn't have done half the things I did if I didn't have amazing friends wanting to be a part of it, and supporting my efforts.  I will remember that as I tackle new goals and dreams in 2013!

I hope you enjoy these special times with your loved ones and cherish the sweet memories.

Here are some of my favorites from Christmas Day:

 

Wishing you a very merry and magical Christmas!! I'm looking forward to my next adventure:)

xoxo, Jenna

Day Twenty Four---Christmas Eve!

Day Twenty Four–December Twenty Four--Christmas Eve!! #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: RUN to and through Penn Station!

I had such a busy Christmas Eve! I worked until 2pm and had to hurry to get a train at 2:40.  I changed into my Christmas Eve party outfit...and I felt like I was in a movie as I ran down Broadway in heels, lugging my suitcase, waving goodbye to friends and yelling "Merry Christmas!"

Then tried to navigate the subways with my suitcase. Have you ever tried to lug a suitcase through the NYC Subway system?? It is a workout like no other!! Finally made it to Penn Station... which is a war zone on Christmas Eve!

I was RUNNING to catch my train...in heels... with my suitcase....dodging dozens of grandma's carrying tubes of wrapping paper and presents, kids wheeling suitcases, and no one looking where they're going.

I made it just in the nick of time! Collapsed into my seat and fell asleep.  When I woke up, snow had softly started to fall.

When we pulled up to the Lancaster station stop, the platform was covered in snow.  It was dark, quiet, and still... snow falling softly around me.  Just breath taking.  I couldn't help but squeal when I saw my little brother waiting for me.  It was one of those moments you wish you could freeze in time.

There's something so magical about Christmas Eve.  You believe in impossibilities, magic and miracles.  Your heart makes wishes and secret prayers you never knew you longed for.

This Christmas, I hope all of your secret wishes and dreams come true.

Enjoy the beauty.  Enjoy the magic. Believe in miracles.

xoxo, Jenna

 

Day Twenty Three, December Twenty Three

Day Twenty Three–December Twenty Three #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: LOVE NYC, run:)

I have an extreme love/hate relationship with this city.  One minute I'm yelling (talking sternly?) to an extremely pushy old Asian lady on the train (true story), and the next minute I'm in awe of people's kindness (thanks for not stealing my iPhone when I left it on the counter at my bank everyone).

Today, a friend at work said he has found a new relationship with gratitude.  And I thought that was beautifully profound.  As I ran along the Hudson this evening,  I decided I'd dedicate this run (the last in NYC til after Christmas) to just loving and being grateful for this incredible place I've found myself in.  There truly is no place like it.  It's the city where dreams come true, and also the city where new dreams are born.  It's a city of hope, of courage, and of community like none other. The people here constantly astound me...and are more kind than the movies let on (Word to travelers: get out of Times Square and in general, just walk a little faster...and I promise we will like you more and actually help you find your way:)).

Thanks for an amazing year, New York! I look forward to 2013 with you.

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!

xoxo, Jenna

PS~ So I know you're dying to hear the story about me yelling at an old asian lady. So here goes... there are about 100 old asian ladies who get on my train during my commute to work.  One morning, this lady was pushing and pushing and pushing to squeeze everyone into the train. There was no more room. Not an inch...and I didn't appreciate the rather large man next to me being smushed into me.   I simply said quite sternly (yelled?), "We are NOT preschoolers! So please just STOP pushing!! There isn't any more room!".  And whatya know... she stopped...and I could drink my coffee in peace (smashed up against the window, of course).

Day Twenty Two, December Twenty Two

 

Day Twenty Two–December Twenty Two #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: FlyWheel Upper West Side with Jesse!

I love it when you take a class and something shifts inside you.  An "Ah-Ha" moment...an inspiration.  Jesse is one of those instructors that makes the wheels start to turn...on your bike, and in your brain.

It is also amazing to me how people step into your life at the exact moment you need them, or you need the inspiration they have to offer.  When I woke up today, I had no plans of coming to FlyWheel.  In a fun twist of events, I ended up in Jesse's class...and what he had to offer, was exactly what I needed today.

Personally, I have been waiting on a lot of things, a lot of people, a lot of circumstances, a lot within myself to get the ball rolling in several aspects of my life.  Waiting, waiting, and waiting.  I'm so tired of waiting!

Then I went to Jesse's class and this is what I heard, learned and realized today in class:

You do not need to wait for anyone or anything in order to move forward...in order to be the person you want to be, to do the things you want to do, to live the life you are meant to live.  You have the power to change yourself now and move onward.  You do not need to wait.  So don't!  Stop waiting and start doing what you're supposed to do.  Start now...don't wait any longer.

What a perfect transition out of 2012 into 2013.  I'm naming it my year of not waiting!  My year of taking risks.  My year of big change.  My year of moving forward.  I can't wait...so I won't.  I will start my new year today.

What is 2013 going to be like for you??

Whatever your year will be like, you don't have to wait until January 1st to start. Start your change now.  Start taking risks now.  Start living the life you want now.

xoxo, Jenna

 

 

 

 

 

Day Twenty One, December Twenty One

Day Twenty One–December Twenty One #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Apocalypse run!!

While there were looming threats of the world's destruction today, I thought I'd take my chances with a quick run.  The only signs of destruction were inside out umbrellas....but they were EVERYWHERE.  Piles of them down my street.

Maybe what the Mayan's meant by "apocalypse" was really just an exaggerated way of saying: "it's going to be a really windy day that day. Watch out...your favorite umbrella may break."

Totally anticlimactic.

...But I'm ok with that:)

xoxo, Jenna

Day Twenty, December Twenty

Day Twenty–December Twenty #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Christmas Walk (It's tradition)

As many of you know, I nanny for a family on the Upper East Side.  They are such a big part of my life, and we decided to have our own "Christmas" before they left for the Holidays. I was planning on yoga to a yoga class after I was done with work...but a huge part of me couldn't rush out of their house.  They wanted to just hang out with me, and I thought that was more important than my class.  Besides, we had gotten in a long walk earlier in the day...because we went to the ZOO!

As per tradition in my house, everyone always goes for a walk on Christmas Day together...and since yesterday was "Kid Christmas", we obviously had to go for a walk...which had to be in a kid friendly place...and the most kid friendly place in New York happens to be the Central Park Zoo! We had SO much fun.   I love the zoo...but I love it even more when I get to go with kids.

It was the best "Kid Christmas" I've ever had... thus far;).

xoxo, Jenna

PS~ When we went into the tropics building, this guy stayed bundled up despite the 100 degree temps.  He looked like the kid in a Christmas Story.

Day Nineteen, December Nineteen

Day Nineteen–December Nineteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour:  "Cheers to '12" Run

After our roommate Christmas, Mary Joe and I ran one last time through our neighborhood before she jetted out of NYC.  This girl is headed to LA for the New Year, running a marathon in Arizona in February, and performing in Footloose after that. We spent the run reminiscing 2012, talking goals for '13, sharing lessons learned and hopes for the future.  What a lucky thing it is to have such inspiring friends!

What goals are you excited about for the new year?

xoxo, Jenna

 

Day Eighteen, December Eighteen

Day Eighteen–December Eighteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Stocking run!!

My roommate and I walked out of our rooms in matching socks today...and decided this run was our stocking run! We ran 5.5 miles through Sunnyside and Astoria, Queens...and ended up taking off our jackets around mile two.  Why is it 50 degrees when Christmas is in a week??

No idea.

Make sure to hang your stocking this week!;)

xoxo, Jenna

PS~ I don't recommend hydrating with egg nog... or wine.  I got home from Flywheel last night, and the girls and I had a bit of wine. Many cramps, many weird pains during the run this morning...

Day Seventeen, December Seventeen

Day Seventeen–December Seventeen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: FlyWheel Upper West Side with Ryan!!

The holidays are all about get togethers and fun...and this class was a freakin party! Ryan has so much energy, and is SO into the moment with you that you can't help but get completely absorbed yourself (and feel like a total bad ass along the way).

It was even more fun because a big group of us from lululemon were there together, and sweating our faces off. Let's do it again soon, guys:)

We love you Ryan! Thanks for an amazing, crazy, sweaty party!

xoxo, Jenna

 

Day Sixteen, December Sixteen

Day Sixteen–December Sixteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Snowflake run!

Had it been 12 degrees colder, we would've been running in snow! Instead, it was very, very wet.  My friend Alli and I ran down 5th Avenue from 85th street to 58th Street...where the largest snowflake is suspended in midair! Gawked at the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman, and the lights down 58th Street. Then we looped around the block and ran back up 5th Ave (Alli likes the creepy mist and creepy trees at night), then switched over to Madison Ave (I like the pretty lights and pretty window displays).

It was close to a 4 mile run, but they flew by (even in the rain)! Running with friends is seriously the best:)

xoxo, Jenna

 

Day Fifteen, December Fifteen

Day Fifteen–December Fifteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: SoulCycle

  "Our own strength surprises us every time".   My eyes rest on those words in class, and my mind repeats them as I leave the studio.

Today I couldn't help but feel the weight of the tragedy in Connecticut on my heart, and the hearts of all who have little children they love in their lives.  In the middle of class, Eliana, our instructor, said, "You cannot control what other people do, the choices they make.  The only thing you can control is what comes out of you, how you react, and how you change yourself moving forward."  

No, I'm not a parent.  But I am an aunt...and I have many little ones in my life I adore and love with my whole heart.  It's pure evil what happened, but what good can we take away from the nightmare?   The world's eyes are on us. What can everyone learn from this great tragedy?  I think it's an opportunity to learn to simply savor those sweet moments with the ones we love... savor the sweet, and savor the ordinary.  Because in the end, the ordinary is everything...the ordinary IS extraordinary. Can you imagine a world where everyone thought this way?

It is beyond unfortunate that so much grief has come at a typically joyful time of year.  So this year, celebrate the ordinary in this season. Celebrate the little things.  Celebrate the people you love...and all the every day things that annoy you about them because if they're annoying you, that means they're there.  They're alive.  They're close to you. And that's all that really matters.

And if you're struggling with pain, and sorrow, and grief beyond measure... I hope you find peace.  And I hope your own strength surprises you every time.

 

Many hugs and many prayers,

Jenna

 

I pick these little monkeys up from school every week.  They cough, burp, and sneeze (and one time almost threw up) all over me.  I get a cold every other week... but I love 'em:)

Day Fourteen, December Fourteen

Day Fourteen–December Fourteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Spinning to Christmas music in our window!

Not as easy as it seems!! Every other Christmas song is slooowww... but it was so awesome to switch it up a bit and spin in the middle of my work day!  Thanks to FlyWheel for giving us this awesome bike! Can't wait to take class at the new studio on West 83rd!! (I'll be there Monday in Ryan's class:))

Short and sweet and to the point today.  Wishing you a happy weekend!

xoxo, Jenna

PS~Having my hair down lasted 2 minutes... don't think for a second I spin for real looking like that.

#thesweatlife

 

Day Thirteen, December Thirteen

Day Thirteen–December Thirteen #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Yoga in the neighborhood and rest:)

Since we basically ran a half marathon yesterday (over 12 miles!), my body was both tight and tired.  I practically fell out of bed this morning. Remember that scene in The Little Mermaid when Ariel first gets her legs and doesn’t know how to walk and falls all over Prince Eric? Yes this one:

Well basically that was me this morning…except there was no Prince Eric to catch me…  Just my hard wood floor.  I took that as I message from my body to chill out, stretch it out, and maybe just have a little fun in the neighborhood.

So obviously that meant walking down the street with my camera and yoga clothes, searching for an unsuspecting person to take my picture doing yoga in a ridiculous place.

I came upon Flowers by Giorgie, a few blocks down my street and having fallen in love a thousand times over with the smell of Giorgie’s Christmas Trees lining the streets. I was told by the man himself that he was too busy to take pictures for me, but that he’d love for me to use his Christmas trees.  So naturally I ran across the street to see Chris, who runs the food stand on the corner.  He was more than eager to help out.  So let me paint the picture:

Chris (who runs the food cart) left his food cart unattended… Came across the street to help me…. do yoga… in front of Christmas Trees…on a sidewalk…in New York City.

Here’s the commotion we made:

(Tree pose…by the Christmas trees…. get it?)

 

I had so much fun…and what a beautiful day! If you love yoga in your favorite studio…get outside and do yoga!! One of my most absolute favorite things in NYC in the summer is Bryant Park Yoga. It is out of this world. Hundreds…I’m talking 600 people, outside on the lawn, practicing yoga.  Get outside, already!!

Anyway, I always joke with my roommates about how much of a commotion I make in this neighborhood.  It is a tiny, cute, adorable Queens neighborhood… and I’m convinced I’m the only blonde girl living here.  I’ve made up a fictitious newspaper called, “The Sunnyside Times” and I will come home and say, “Welp… I was on the cover of the Sunnyside Times again today…” and proceed with a ridiculous story about something I did that day in Sunnyside.

Today… I made the cover of the Sunnyside Times, yet again:)

xoxo, Jenna

PS~ This is Chris! The man who works the food cart down the street from me.  We have quite the history.  He helped me when I tripped running this fall, smashed my knee into a protruding brick and was gushing blood.  He also cheered for me when he saw me walking down the street in my race clothes and number last week.  And now he took pictures of me doing yoga on the sidewalk. Thanks Chris!

 

Day 12, December 12 = 12/12/12!

Day Twelve–December Twelve #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: 12 miles!!!!! 6miles at 12 midnight and 6 miles at 12 noon!

This was insanity. But we decided we couldn't let the date go by without doing something crazy. We started at 11:40 both times, so we would be out and about by 12 midnight/noon and 12:12 both times.  Here was our route:

Our midnight run was amazing.  I have some pretty stellar friends because we had a BLAST running around the upper west side, yelling to the world that it was 12/12/12. We scared quite a few people, but actually got a lot of people excited about the fun date and time!  Here! Re-live our midnight run with us:

Dinosaurs outside the Museum of Natural History!:

Mary Joe pretending she's a mannequin...

 

12:00 Midnight on 12/12/12 running down Central Park West!!:

Here is us at EXACTLY 12:12 midnight on 12/12/12 running in Columbus Circle!:

Then we ran into a really funny guy who was so excited for us and our adventure that he took a group photo of us with this crazy santa.  We started running away and I yelled back: "Thanks for not stealing my iPhone!!!" and he let out the loudest santa claus laugh!! We were so happy:)

Midnight run success!

Then MJ and I had to head home... which took longer than our actual run ( we got home after 2am...) and were so wide awake that we watched Elf. (If you want to stay up all night, run six miles at midnight. It's like drinking 6 cups of coffee.)

Ok...so we slept a bit, woke up, had coffee and BAM: here we are at 11:40am

 

We ran from Sunnyside to Astoria and here we are at 12 noon!! (sleepiest eyes in America.)

Look at these funny baked santas we saw?! (they had creepy faces like mine):

Then we attacked some poor girl at 12:11 to wait with us a minute to take a photo of us at 12:12.  She was awesome. Look at the little one minute photoshoot she did for us at exactly 12:12 on 12/12/12:

Thank you random, unsuspecting girl!!

We ran on ward getting ever closer to the 12 mile mark.  A favorite donut shop happened to be at mile 11, and the donut man gave us donuts for free because of our awesome endeavor! I present MJ running with donuts at mile 11:

 

SO we did it!! We ran 12 miles on 12/12/12 and were running at 12 midnight, 12:12am, 12 noon, and 12:12pm.  My friend Ali said something so wise right before our midnight run.  I was thanking these incredible girls for helping me tackle this crazy goal of mine, and Ali said something along the lines of: If we didn't support each other in reaching our goals, would we ever get any where? And it's so true.  I am so beyond grateful for the dozens of people who support me through the craziest goals I can come up with...and I would never be able to tackle any of them if it weren't for the people in my life who believe in me.   So thanks, friends:)

Anyway, we are TIRED. haha. So the plan is to end 12/12/12 with 12 mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa (they are the size of quarters), wine and the Christmas episode of New Girl. Great success and good night!

xoxo, Jenna

 

PS- Here's a little gem from last night.  My post run santa hat hair, which reminded us of Kristen Wiig on SNL:

 

 

 

Day Eleven, December Eleven

Day Eleven–December Eleven #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Living room yoga!

14 days!!!! Can you even believe it's almost here? Obviously I'm flipping upside down with excitement and can hardly contain myself.

I decided that today I needed a morning just stretching it out...and preparing for our epic activity tomorrow  (12/12/12!). ... Stay tuned!!!! Craziness ensues at Midnight;)

xoxo, Jenna

Day Ten, December Ten

Day Ten–December Ten #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Christmas Tree Run!!

I love that New York City has SO many Christmas trees everywhere.  I thought it would be so fun to do a Christmas Tree Run and hit all the major trees, plus a few extras along the way.  My friend Ali joined me and this was how it all went down!:

Start: 75th Street and Broadway

Down the Street for a quick stop at Trader Joe's:

Then we ran over to Central Park West, and ran down and across Central Park South (where a horse drawn carriage driver yells out: Rapunzel! Rapunzel!) Quick stop at the Plaza:

Then across 59th Street to the Bloomberg Building, where David the Security Guard caught me under the mistletoe:

and we saw their awesome Christmas tree in their courtyard!  (the lights are so blinding in person!)

Then we had to weave in and out of thousands of people trying to head downtown to the Rockefeller Center! We ended up at Radio City just as a show was letting out and hundreds of people flooded the streets. Eventually, we made it to the most famous Christmas Tree of all! Rockefeller Center:

We continued to fend off the crowds as we tried to make it to Bryant Park. We passed this little cluster of trees on Park Ave (which is completely  lined with Christmas trees):

Then we FINALLY made it to our last tree!! The Bryant Park tree-- which you can actually stand underneath! and this little angel wanted in on the fun:

Then we ran a few blocks south (again, to get away from the people), ran all the way west to Tenth Ave and set our sights North to 75th and Broadway!!

What a great success! Thanks to my gal, Ali, for such a fun run (despite the many many tourists).

xoxo, Jenna

PS... I found this in my camera roll afterwards from our random photographer at the Bloomberg building:

Day Nine, December Nine

Day Nine–December Nine #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour:  Yoga with my sister in law! (and soon to be born niece;))

Nothing is better around the holidays than family.  I'm so lucky to have my brother and my sister in law (and soon my niece!) share this city with me.   My beautiful niece, Cecilia, is expected to make an appearance the first of January and I'm secretly hoping she'll be the first baby born in the new year.  (Do you really get a million dollars if that happens?)

Needless to say, it was awesome to share the morning with these girls doing a little yoga in a studio over looking 5th Avenue. I can't wait until Cecilia is old enough to do a little downward facing dog on her own.

Wishing you lots of family time over the next few weeks!

xoxo, Jenna

 

PS~ I spared us a photo today.  We both left our apartments without umbrellas...and without showering. (TMI?) Here's a pretty picture of us at her wedding in Sydney instead:)

 

 

Day Eight, December Eight

Day Eight–December Eight #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Jingle Bell Jog in Brooklyn!

The only thing better than the sound of jingle bells, is the sound of thousands of them on a quiet, foggy Saturday morning rising up from the middle of Prospect Park.

I just knew it was going to be an awesome day when I hopped in a cab and my driver laughed and said, "This is fun...where to, Miss Santa?"  Then he told me he had no idea where to drop me off, but that once we got to the park I could probably follow the other santas in costume. "There will be thousands", he said.

Running a race is amazing in and of its self...but add in jingle bells, crazy costumes, and red & green bagels and you've got a perfect recipe for thousands of stupidly happy people.  I haven't even mentioned the hot chocolate and Christmas music.

Would I run the race again?? Der... you don't even have to ask.  All you need to wonder about is my costume for next year:)

xoxo, Jenna

PS~ Did I mention I was offered  a job a mile into the race?

 

Check out the New York Road Runners and race details here!: http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/jingle-bell-jog

 

Day Seven, December Seven

 

Day Seven–December Seven #25DaysofChristmas #SweetSweatCountdown

Activity du jour: Skating in Bryant Park (in the rain!!)

I'm sure most New Yorkers would agree there is nothing quite as awful as walking through the theatre district at 7:50pm on Friday in the rain.  It could be the worst combination of all time.  But I tell you what... the second you walk off the streets and into Bryant Park, your heart instantly feels a little lighter. Christmas music is playing, the air smells like kettle corn, and you can hear everyone laughing around the skating pond.  It is like a little oasis in the middle of chaos.

 

 

Bryant Park could possibly be my favorite spot in New York.  It is amazing at every point throughout the year, but it is the most beautiful and magical at Christmas time.  I love to come here early in the morning before any one else has arrived and just skate. Tonight, despite the rain and the massive amounts of middle schoolers, it was still just so peaceful.  It's the perfect place to just think, to unwind, and to soak in the joy of the season.

Expect to see another post from Bryant Park! It's simply irresistible this time of year:)

xoxo, Jenna