Work hard, laugh harder.

We all want to be happy. Have you ever watched children playing? Hear the sounds of their infectious laughter, high pitched giggles that make their seemingly permanent smiles contagious?

Today I woke up happy.

I woke up early with one thought on my mind: running. I find myself thinking about going for a run all the time. If I didn’t run even a short 2 miler, I feel like I missed out. I set out for a long run around 6:45 this morning, taking my time to properly stretch before hand. My mind wondered off early on, thinking about who knows what now, but being in a place outside of my body, deep within my mind. My mind was also focused. I pushed myself, trying to maintain a pace I was happy with. I was happy. I was present.

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 9.35.11 PMI planned out going for 8 miles, but at one point I remember feeling tired (about half way) and listened to my body. Instead of giving up, I slowed down and told myself I would give the rest of my run all that I had—even if that meant cutting my run to 6 miles. I gave it my all.

I ran 2 miles through the neighborhood I grew up in, passing my elementary school and public school we used to play stick ball at as kids. I ran to Gateway National Park, the perfect place for a long run, ocean side to my left, beaming sun smiling down, approving my hard work. The air smelt like salt and sweat. I persevered. I ran to the entrance of the beach and turned back to make my way back home. On the home stretch back past my old stomping grounds, my body felt tired, so I ran with my heart. I continued to give it my all.

I ran an average pace of 11:26 min/mi, and although it was a little slower than I planned, I finished feeling accomplished.

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After a Herbalife Mint Chocolate and unsweetened vanilla almond milk shake, I showered and headed off to New Jersey to spend the day with my boyfriend. We had some running around to do, so we took care of some errands. The entire day I couldn’t stop smiling. We stopped for lunch and since it was a beautiful day, decided to spend the rest of it outside. We decided to do something different and drive (about 20 minutes away) to Keansburg to soak in some sun and have a few laughs.

keansburg2Keansburg is a beach/amusement park location, mostly for younger kids, but they offering some adult (like the Miami bar). Small children ran from ride to ride, the typical bumper cars and the like. But we embraced our inner child and bought a stack of tickets to ride the “big kid” rides such as the buccaneer ship that reaches a pretty decent height while swing back and forth. Our stomachs dropped each time the inertia brought us down, tummy butterflies flapping happily. We couldn’t stop laughing. Then we rode the free fall ride, where you are lifted up a bit then are at a standstill, time teasing you until the ride expectantly shoots up and drops you back down. We looked out to the water and back at each other with uncontrollable laughter.

We must have felt daring because we then decided to go into the “Haunted Manson.” We thought this was a corny ride, but it was actually a walk through type of scare fest. I held onto him as tightly as I could, as staff members creepily dressed as ghosts jumped out from nowhere repeatedly as we screamed in the pitch black dark. It was terrifying. We had so much fun.

We enjoyed our time there, even if the majority of the rides were aimed at kids. We then stopped for a drink before heading back home to watch the World Cup.

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 9.35.22 PMOn the ride back to the house, my boyfriend asked me why I was smiling. I didn’t even notice I was. It got me thinking about embracing our inner child to let loose and just have fun.

Training and working hard means so much to me right now, but we should all find that healthy balance and allow ourselves to be silly and have fun.

Starting my day off on the right foot allowed me to be happy all day. I couldn’t ask for a better Saturday. Sometimes we need to just embrace our inner child and let them run free. I know I did today, how about you?

How are you spending this weekend? What did you think about the England vs. Italy game? How do you embrace your inner child?

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