Category Archives: running

Letter to Dad: It’s not just about the race

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Daddy mou,
 
Although I always say that marathon training is not just about the race, today I seemed to fret about everything at the Aphrodite Half Marathon.
 
Well, it was only four days ago that I found out that all the pain I had during my last long runs was due to a dislocated hip… So, I kept worrying that it would go out of place again.
 
As I waited at the start line, feeling the sun on my bare shoulders, I worried that my running top felt a size too big. I worried that I didn’t train hard enough and that my stop watch kept acting out.
 
“Do you think that Pheidippides had a Garmin?” a dear friend alerted me, instantly bringing me to my senses. And that’s when I realized that what I was really missing was you (and your smiling face) assuring me that I would be just fine.
 
Seconds before the starter pistol went off, we heard a lightning strike, followed by rain and then hail. “So-long to our winter sun bliss,” I thought as we began to run.
 
Battered by a hail storm? On the island of sun? Seriously? Well… it surely battered all my worries away.
 
Daddy, the hail went on for the first five kilometers. And, it hurt!
 
But then, the most magical rainbow painted the grey sky. Soon after, it felt as if we were waking up to a different season and for the next 16 kms, sparkling sun rays were the only reflection on the Paphos sea.
 
Daddy, I will not dare talk about my disappointment with my finish time.  Only because this race was in the true running spirit and choosing to relive wonderful, timeless, inspirational moments of our run together a year ago.
 
The extra touch of spice, daddy mou, were the friends who ran ‘next’ to me. They cheered me on, gave me low-five’s during the race and a hug at the finish line. I felt so much love in the air and in every footstep…
 
Love
 
‘Procopis is smiling,’ so many people said…. Priceless…

So, here’s a vow for 2015, and you are my witness: After 16 half marathons, I am now ready for my first full marathon… The Athens classic route? Or, New York? I need your help on this one!

Love you so much…

Mahi

6 ways to deal with terrible news

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Last Christmas, my family had lots of festivities planned, as usual. Then, out of the blue, my vibrant, 67-year-old father was presented with a serious health challenge. The festive spirit suddenly went into pause for my family, and we spent the last week of the year caught up in a marathon of doctor’s appointments, medical tests, fear, anxiety, panic and tears.
But amid the chaos, my father remained incredibly spirited and positive. I was not surprised. A longtime exerciser, he proudly told one doctor that this was the year he would start training for his first 10K! Read the whole entry on #mindbodygreen http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13010/6-ways-to-deal-with-terrible-news.html#comments 

a run for my dad

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Running is the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. Running keeps me focused, motivated and happy. With running every life’s challenge becomes easier…. with running, creativity starts flowing.
 
I would like to share a personal story with you about the power of running. This Xmas season was different from other years. My dad was presented with a health challenge and the festive spirit suddenly went into pause for my family. Fear and anxiety prevailed. But my daddy’s spirit remained intact. He told me he was ready to start training for his first 10k and asked me for a pair of new running shoes as a gift.How can one beat that spirit? I instantly had flashbacks of my ½ marathon in November when daddy held my hand in those last 100 meters when my body failed me. It was my turn to run for him and bring into light my best of energies for his recovery.

 
I run through the breathtaking setting of Athalassa park. It was just me and lovely nature, breathing in the fresh air, feeling refreshed, focused, inspired and rejuvenated. The words POWER and FAITH echoed in my heart and I knew right there that everything would be fine. 
 
ForTheLoveofRunningJoin me in raising a glass to daddy’s gracious spirit
On Saturday, January 18
At Athalassa Park (Latsia Entrance: play area/kiosk)
3.30 Run/walk
4.30 Healthy Bites and a Conversation with Dad

PS: You don’t need to be a runner… just join me for the love of life.

Miles Hilton-Barber, the blind adventurer

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Fit to Inspire has taken the liberty of adapting the traditional Proust questionnaire, as popularized by Vanity Fair magazine, to find out how noteworthy friends get fit, stay fit, and squeeze a lot of well-being into their busy lives.
 
I had the honor to interview Miles Hilton-Barber right before the NYC Marathon. Below is his interview as it appeared on the FTI website:
 
http://www.fittoinspire.com/blind-marathon-runner-answers-our-proust-fitness-questionnaire/

let the journey begin

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August 10: Training day 1 at 7am at Athalassa, Nicosia, Cyprus and 78 days till the Big Race..!
Marathon training is not just about the race. It’s all about the journey towards the destination. The fun, the laughter, the excitement,  the sweet pain and your adrenaline sky high. It’s also about your running buddies sharing that experience with you and holding your hand along the way. It’s about your wellness warriors telling you what to eat while reminding you to smile when pain kicks in. It’s about the people who inspired you to sign up for that race in the first place and the sweet anticipation of reunion. But above all, it’s about the reason you are running… All this excitement, blended with countless beautiful energies and prayers, will be dedicated to a beautiful family which I have in my heart. A family with which I will be re-uniting on the final countdown to the race. Let the journey begin!

Fit to Inspire

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Living and loving passionately is my life’s motto. After all, it’s all about that extra touch of spice, which we put into what we do!
In May 2013, I joined Fit to Inspire, an inspirational community which fosters fitness and well-being.  This new venture has invigorated me immensely and I have since been inspired to try new challenges- SUP yoga, trail running, even inspiring my sister into fitness!
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Founded by a precious college friend, Rebeca Plantier, FTI’s philosophy is that ‘living a healthy life starts with friendship – and friends who work out together not only have more fun, they ultimately feel better about themselves and their life.’  Having known Rebeca for over two decades now, inspiring fitness in others- including myself- has always been a way of life. Which is why I salute FTI with great delight, enthusiasm and a smile!
 
What’s more, I am honored and delighted to be part of FTI’s team as writer and community manager (stay tuned for FTI’s soon-to-be launched website www.fittoinspire.com ). Pursuing your passion is wonderful… Writing about your passion and sharing all the goodness and inspiration is extraordinary!
 
Today, I would like to share this passion through some photos which speak for themselves… They are all about my love for running and what inspires me to keep running…
 
 
 
…the morning mist… nature in all its glory… my running buddies, and so much more. Whether it’s my dear friend Maria who ignites that spark to hit the park every single week, or, my wellness warrior who keeps inspiring me with his love for challenging sports and wellness as a way of life… my running is a magical experience every single time.
 
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With running every life’s challenge becomes easier and creativity keeps flowing..! Which is why it is essential to keep the inspiration factor up in the air!
 
The photos were captured through the artistic eye of my fellow TEDxer, Andri Josef (AJphotoart) who managed to grasp all that inspires me!

chasing a lizard at the Troodos Challenge

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By 8am on Sunday, Troodos square was bustling with enthusiastic runners and cyclists, getting ready for the most talked about race of the summer.  I was told that the Troodos 15k Challenge would be a grueling, yet fascinating course to explore, I was cautioned to watch out for stones and roots while I was also promised that it would be memorable. I was READY, or so I thought…
 
the 1st 5k: The race took off at 9am and after a few hundred meters, we were greeted with a steep, slippery hill which prompted most runners to start walking. ‘So that’s what they meant by serious hill work?’ I asked, and my fellow runner grinned: ‘this is nothing compared to the climb to Mount Olympus.’  At 1952 meters high, Mount Olympus is the highest point on the island of Cyprus, and the mere thought of accomplishing that, was enough to get my adrenaline sky high. Having climbed that first hill, I was happy to see a flat terrain… but not for long. I picked up a faster pace while a fellow runner’s words echoed in my ears: ‘Make sure to keep your feet high off the ground so as not to stomp on stones and tree roots.’ As I hopped around like a rabbit, I realized how priceless that advice was. Minutes later, I was face to face with the most abrupt slope… Jolly bunny rabbit soon turned into a nervous chicken and for minutes I simply froze. ‘That’s the steepest ski slope,’ someone said, to which I replied, ‘yes, without the snow..!’ Walking down that hill seemed endless, and that’s when I lost sight of every runner.
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the lizard at the 6th k: ‘Pssst…! Do you want me to show you around my kingdom?’ I thought I heard a brown-striped lizard whisper. So I began to run a little faster through the most gorgeous rugged terrain amongst pine, olive and oak trees. ‘What a breathtaking landscape and panoramic views to all corners of Cyprus,’ I thought, while a minor slip reminded me to keep my strides well above the ground.
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12th k: On the 12th k, right after a refreshing water stop and cheering by the Dro.Me.A. marshals, I was thrilled to finally get a glimpse of other runners. As I looked up to see which runners were in front of me, I forgot all about the stone alert and fell face down, becoming one with the red soil. Ouch! Seconds later, the First Aid was with me, and following a thorough clean up of my scraped  knees and elbows, I was back on those trails. A friend’s encouraging advice resounded in my ears… ‘Remember to keep smiling, with and without pain.’ And so I did.
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Another hard fall on the 14th k and a little after 2 hours, I completed this 15k challenge with tens of fellow runners cheering for me at the finish line. Who can beat that awesome feeling of completing a race and being embraced so warmly by so many people?
 
It’s all about the love for running, coupled with the beauty of sharing this exceptional runners’ spirit. The Troodos race surely had its share of challenges, yet it was that magnificent journey leading to the race, which made it so exceptional… And it was moments captured through that journey which kept me going to the finish line.
 
My journey included:
–      training with a great team (thank you Dro.Me.A. for your guidance and precious tips).
–      Running buddies for life (cheers Maria and Coach).
–      Words of encouragement to smile with or without pain (thank you dear warrior!)
 
Above all, I decided to embark on this specific journey as a personal dedication to a very Special Lady. A Phenomenal Lady who kept ‘walking’ despite the countless challenges in her path. A Lady, who simply stole my heart with her genuine smile, beautiful heart and gracious warrior’s spirit. My dearest Kika, I could feel your presence throughout this race and I am presenting my medal along with the beautiful energies, which this run has left upon me, to your lovely family.
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