He has a son now, and I have a lot of split ends now.

Changes

Date: April 18, 2014 at 8:27 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 87

Three years ago, I found myself in a pretty bad place.

I was in a relationship that had deteriorated—though I refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation for too long. So I was blindsided when my boyfriend at the time (and, uh, roommate at the time…I had moved into his apartment just three months prior) broke up with me one random Sunday morning. I was heartbroken and terrified.

Somehow, a running store came to my rescue — the same running store where I bought my first pair of “real” running shoes after going for my first two-block run a few months after moving to New York City.

Shopping spree!

Shopping spree!

I had applied for JackRabbit Sports‘ “Run for the Rabbit” marketing campaign on a whim. A Facebook post on the store’s page said they were looking for “runners who wanted to train for a marathon while also raising money for a cause that’s important to them.” Check and check.

Out of a field of more than 300 applicants, I was chosen.

The Run for the Rabbit finalists: Ben, me, Cipriana, Margaret, Anthony and Kim.

The Run for the Rabbit finalists: Ben, me, Cipriana, Margaret, Anthony and Kim.

At a time when I didn’t feel very special or lovable, JackRabbit saw something special — something lovable — in me.

Being a part of that campaign changed my life so profoundly.

The whole Run for the Rabbit crew. Can you spot the familiar face in the bunch? (Not mine...someone else's...)

The whole Run for the Rabbit crew. Can you spot the familiar face in the bunch? (Not mine…someone else’s…)

I met amazing people, like Coach Cane.

He has a son now, and I have a lot of split ends now.

He has a son now, and I have a lot of split ends now.

I got to be in the store’s commercials, which felt pretty cool.

Filming one of the JackRabbit commercials one morning at the Upper East Side store before going off to run the Scotland 10K with the worst allergies ever. Aw, memories.

Filming one of the JackRabbit commercials one morning at the Upper East Side store before going off to run the Scotland 10K with the worst allergies ever. Aw, memories.

I learned all about running dos (take rest days!) and don’ts (secretly take a spin class on those coach-mandated rest days).

I had one of the best nights of my life at JackRabbit’s Upper East Side store.

My in-store event for Run for the Rabbit. We played trivia. There were a lot of "Saved by the Bell" questions.

My in-store event for Run for the Rabbit. We played trivia. There were a lot of “Saved by the Bell” questions.

I found a tremendous support system as I documented my training and fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America here on this little blog.

I created the I Heart Sweat brand, which was a shocking success. And I purchased my first trademark!

I raised $20,000 for CCFA.

I trained for my first marathon, and that race day was the best day of my life.

The morning of the Hamptons Marathon. All smiles for hours and hours and hours that day (minus the hours between miles, oh, 13 and 25.9).

The morning of the Hamptons Marathon. All smiles for hours and hours and hours that day (minus the hours between miles, oh, 13 and 25.9).

I was healthy.

I met Brian.

On our secret little trip to Disney World very soon after we started dating.

On our secret little trip to Disney World very soon after we started dating.

At a time in my life when I felt so lost and so sad, and when I didn’t really want to accept that I needed help, JackRabbit saved me.

At a JackRabbit event in Central Park. We had a shoe-typing competition. I was undefeated because I took it WAY too seriously.

At a JackRabbit event in Central Park. We had a shoe-typing competition. I was undefeated because I took it WAY too seriously.

So now here I am, three years later.

I posted back in November about how I was feeling claustrophobic. I was having panic attacks and I couldn’t find the root of my problem on my own. I needed something, but I didn’t know what it was.

Then I got sick — again — and I was temporarily distracted from my overwhelming feelings of wanderlust.

I did OK being sick at first. December wasn’t terrible since I got some time off for the holidays, and January was so cold that it made being stuck in the warm bathroom kind of tolerable. By February, though, the old feelings of depression had returned, and in full force.

Everything just looks...sad.

Everything just looks…sad.

I felt that there was so much I couldn’t control. Without your health, you seem to have so little. I was sick, tired, stressed, angry.

Now here we are in the burgeoning springtime. As I’m slowly feeling better (most days, at least; I still spend more time in the bathroom than you probably do, and these night sweats just keeping popping up unexpectedly), I’m relishing the warmer days and the runs I get to take.

East Drive, you beautiful creature.

East Drive, you’re a vision in springtime.

There’s so much in life I can’t control, and accepting that over the past few years has really helped me. I’m still obsessive about making the bed every morning, but beyond that I’m doing OK learning to manage my stress and roll with most of the punches. And, I’ve learned, there are some things you can control.

Today is my last day as editor in chief of Dance Spirit magazine.

Cover lines include "How to Rock Sweats at Work" and "Legwarmer Chic." Pretty spot on. Thanks, DS — you get me.

A parting gift from the Dance Spirit staff. Cover lines include “How to Rock Sweats at Work” and “Legwarmer Chic.” Pretty spot on. Thanks, DS — you get me.

I declared this my dream job when I was just 16 and made it my life goal to move to NYC someday to make it happen. I feel so deeply lucky that I was able to make my dream come true. But after seven years, it’s time to move on and try something new. It’s time to make new dreams.

That De la Vega, always popping up when I need him most!

That De la Vega, always popping up when I need him most!

On Monday — three years exactly since I announced I was a finalist in the Run for the Rabbit campaign — I will be starting a new job as the Digital & Editorial Manager at JackRabbit Sports.

We have a good history, me and JackRabbit.

Now we’re going to make a beautiful future together.

Comments (87)
 
NYC. The sunshine state.

On My Mind

Date: April 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 87

First, a note about Boston: It seems wrong to write without acknowledging the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. I hate that that’s how we reference the anniversary. I don’t like that “Boston Marathon” is attached to the word […]

 
Awwww my old familiar route along the West Side Highway! Remember when I used to live over there? I guess not, because I didn't really have this blog up and running yet.

My Happiness Hat Trick

Date: April 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 37

When you’re sick, weekends suck. It’s not like, “Oh, sweet, it’s the weekend, I can get lots of rest and feel better by the time the workweek returns on Monday!” No, not at all. Instead, being sick on the weekend […]

 
For my 22nd birthday, the guy I was dating at the time took me into New York City (I was living in Connecticut then) to take me to dinner at the Loeb Boathouse. He was so pissed that I had never heard of it. He also turned out to be a total dick, so it's fine. My mom is not going to be happy that I just used that word. She hates it.

The Triumphant Return Of Thankful Things Thursday

Date: March 20, 2014 at 10:52 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 88

Big things are happening. Huge. On Tuesday, I ran to work! It was cold and wonderful. My first morning run! On Wednesday, I fully reacquainted myself with public transportation. I rode the subway three times and took the bus once. […]

 
Look at that stunner!

!!!

Date: March 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 69

Last Friday morning, I was taking my usual obnoxious expensive cab to work, and the driver asked me the most annoying question a cab driver can ask, which is, “Which way do you want to go?” (I always think they’re […]

 
This seems better than any side effect-filled drug, no?

My Great Escape

Date: February 28, 2014 at 10:43 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This is a “15 Thing Friday,” if you will. I had a post ready to go that ended up being just another “I have Crohn’s and I hate it so much every day lately” update. Boooooring at this point, right? […]

 
OH GOD, THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

February 18

Date: February 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 26

I was going to stop by the internet today to tell you about the very disappointing failure that was February 10. About how I showed up for my appointment, so excited in my tracksuit, and Study Lady was just shocked […]

 
You know what helps with a bad breakup? Girlfriends and booze. And finding a handsome new dude to kiss.

I'm So Excited...I'm So, So Scared

Date: February 10, 2014 at 7:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 49

Ladies and gentlemen, Jessie Spano. So today’s the big day. In just a few hours, I’ll be at the doctor’s office, getting what is either a drug that may heal me and give me the relief I’ve waited for for […]

 
I SHOWERED THAT DAY. I had to go to work, so it was a big deal. I put on mascara, too, and also a bra.

Survival Of The Sickest

Date: January 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This post was going to be so happy and so positive, you don’t even know. And you never will. But sit tight, because you’re going to get that whole story. Lest you think things are all dark and scary in […]

 
I haven't forgotten about you, CP! You're in my heart every day. And I hope to run all over you soon. (If I can remember how to run...yikes, it's been a whiiile.)

Those Familiar Feelings

Date: January 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 71

Let me take you back in time to a week and a half ago. The weekend had not been awesome. I’d attempted a yoga class Saturday morning, and I had to leave the room twice to use the bathroom. It […]

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