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    SPARK Blog

    Guest Post: How to Survive a Running Injury

    As we head toward National Running Day on June 6th, we continue to celebrate running stories that touch on the heart and soul of the runner—because that's where we find the inspiration. It's not about miles clocked or races completed. We believe it's actually about the runner, and what he or she does to cross the finish line. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. So today, we give you Janelle from Run 4 Days. Those of you that are currently suffering running injuries will find her post particularly inspiring:

    So you're injured and you can't run your goal race. Your friends are all meeting on Saturday mornings for long runs and you're not out there with them. I totally get it; I've been there. A nasty heel injury last Fall kept me from running for seven months, and I only just returned to the roads this March. I could not run what should have been my first full marathon in November, and I missed months of training runs with my run club. I feel your pain. During those long months of not running, I learned some valuable lessons. I learned how to survive (and thrive) and make the best of a running injury.

    1. Become a cheerleader. Go to that race you were supposed to run and be your run club's biggest cheerleader. When the Philadelphia Marathon rolled around in November, I bundled up and supplied water and gels to my friends out on the course. I screamed my head off for them. You could also find a local race and volunteer at the water stops or finish line. Just stay involved in your running community and support the runners who are still out there. It will boost your spirits and fuel the fire for when you can lace up your shoes again.

    2. Keep moving. Now is the time to focus on cross training and strength training. Hop on a bike, swim, or try an appropriate fitness class. During my recovery, I thoroughly enjoyed weekly yoga and barre sessions. Let me tell you, barre is tough! Talk about focused strength and coordination. Many running injuries are caused by an imbalance that leads to compensation in your gait. Focus on your weaknesses and strive to come back stronger. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist and make sure any activity that you're doing not going to injure you further. 

    3. Take Advantage. Do the things that you’ve been putting off. Write in your journal. Watch that running documentary. Meet up with that friend you haven't seen in ages. Use your time wisely and be selfish! You have the extra time now, so take advantage of it. 

    4. Stop Googling your symptoms. Sometimes Google can help—but a majority of the time, Googling your symptoms is a complete waste of time. Google told me I had heel spurs and nerve entrapment, which I can tell you right now was not the cause of my injury. Instead, surround yourself with a team that you trust. After many doctors’ appointments and imaging studies, I found that my best resources were my physical therapist, my chiropractor and my massage therapist. It all depends on the injury, but these people are professionals for a reason. Use them.

    5. Come back slowly. Seriously, slow down. Really, even slower. After taking a good amount of time off, you can't expect your body to return to the same level of fitness. Depending on the injury, you may need to get used to the pounding again. Even if it feels good, have the patience and control to hold back and think about the long term. Keep doing your therapy and cross training—and always listen to your medical team! No exceptions. And no excuses:

    6. Stay positive. I know it’s easier said than done, but keep your head up. Have a small pity party and then move on. Spend some time with friends and enjoy a few laughs. You will not feel this way forever and this injury will pass. Those months without running may seem like forever, but your time will come. You will get back out on the road just like I have!

    Need help staying positive? All of our inspirational Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes with a running theme are currently on sale through June 6th, National Running Day. It's a good time to stock up! 

    Guest Post: Running with Heart (and Your Mom and Sister)

    National Running Day is next week, but we started the celebration on Monday! All of our Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes with a running theme are on sale right now. To highlight this, and the power of running itself, we're featuring inspirational running stories on our SPARK blog. Today, Heather has an inspirational story about her most unforgettable race weekend. We think you'll enjoy it: 

    If you told me five years ago that I'd be running, let alone taking part in a marathon, I would have said that you'd lost your marbles. Fast forward to 2018 and my love for an active and healthy lifestyle has grown into a passion. I love to share my spark with others, including my amazing mom and beautiful sister. 

    Over the past year, my Mom has endured some life altering battle wounds by way of an unexpected heartbreak and divorce. She’s also been diagnosed with some very irritating abdominal issues, which can impact her daily routine and any travel—but she doesn't allow this to stop her. She's always been my rock, and I wanted to show her just how strong she is. Together on a whim, we signed up for the inaugural Silo District Marathon. All proceeds for this race would be donated to rare cancer research. Knowing my mom is not a "runner," I encouraged her to walk or run the 5k portion the best she could. Of course, no trip would be complete without my one and only sister Kacey. She is not a runner, but reluctantly signed up for her first ever 5K race in Waco, Texas. 

    We each live over 800 miles from one another, so we flew to Texas and met at Dallas Love Field for an unforgettable race weekend. 

    The night before the race, we set out our matching outfits and I shared special Motivate Wraps with my mom and sister. I wanted them to know how resilient they are. I wanted to share some extra encouragement. I wanted these women to know that whether we are 800 miles apart or right next to each other, they are special and loved. I also wanted to remind them that everything they want is on the other side of fear. I didn’t want them to be scared, I wanted them to feel empowered!

    When your legs can’t run anymore, run with your heart. That’s exactly what we did at the Silo District Marathon. We laced up matching as triplets and headed to the starting line for my family's first ever 5K run together. Waiting at the start line, I began to get teary eyed thinking of how proud I was of these two women stepping outside their comfort zone to overcome recent emotional and health obstacles. I knew they could do it! I was beyond excited to share this journey with them and 6,000 other runners. I wanted my family to feel the powerful emotions that occur before, during and after a marathon. There is nothing else quite like it. 

    We took off together through the beautiful streets of Waco, Texas. Shortly after mile 1.5, my mom encountered a very unexpected and painful stomach issue. Many  people would simply call it quits, but not my mom. She kept on going, pushing her hardest to the very end. She embraced the race, made new friendships, danced and laughed her way to the end. She crossed that finish line with me and my sister Kacey right by her side. To see them dig deep and never give up makes me feel so proud. I feel blessed to have such amazing women by my side. We unite, we stand strong, and embrace each moment in life—good or bad, always together. 

    I got to spend four amazing days surrounded by the ones I love, the ones who encourage me to be the best version of myself, people who I cherish every day, people who love me through it all, no matter what. To be a part of something that was undeniably bigger than myself, bigger than a 5k race or marathon,—it was about changing lives and helping others by coming together for the greater good. And for that, I am thankful.

    We are thankful, too, for all of the members of the fitness community that continue to #sharethespark with others who strive to be the best versions of themselves. We here at Momentum love making jewelry, but it's bigger than that. It's about sending our products out into the community with the sole purpose of uniting and inspiring people everywhere. And our products do that because YOU do that. With every photo we're tagged in, and every story like Heather's that our products are a part of...we are grateful and, in turn, completely inspired. 

    Our special National Running Day sale ends on June 6th. Be sure to take advantage of discounted Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes. And keep tagging @momentumjewerly, #momentumjewelry and #sharethespark on social media. 

    Guest Post: 10 Reasons Why You Should Run with Friends

    Calling all runners! National Running Day is June 6th, and we're getting ready for it by discounting all Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes that feature running related messages. That sale starts today, and so does a series of blog posts related to running. Up first, Kathryn Metz from Mommy Goes & Goes with an argument for running with friends:

    When I laced up my first pair of running sneakers nearly three years ago and ran my first consecutive 1.92 miles (yes, I still remember how long the run was; I think I always will)...I was alone. Just me and the streets and some birds chirping. When I finished, I was hot and sweaty and so very proud of myself, but there was no one there to share the excitement with. No one to high five, no one to hug and no one to fist-bump. It was me, the birds and my sneakers. 

    Fast forward a few months, excluding many double-jogger stroller miles), it was  May 2016. I was signed up for a local Mother’s Day 5k race; my husband and sons accompanied me. I was super excited to see what I had in me. It was my day after all, right? What #motherrunner wouldn’t want a PR on Mother’s Day? Run, done.  25:55 PR achieved, but what happened after the race that was even better—I met a friend, and not just any friend. I met a friend who runs! “Let’s run one day soon together," she said. 

    This was a game changer. 

    Vicki and I ran together very soon after that day. When we finished, we hugged goodbye and walked away with perma-smiles plastered on our faces. Soon after that run, my eyes were wide open (and perhaps hunting) for other running friends—and what do you know, they started to pop up everywhere I looked. My friend Mariana and I ran my first 10k in Central Park the following month. She introduced me to several of her running friends, and I began to see that in addition to running itself being one of the best gifts—the community that came with it was even better.

    How is running with friends different than running solo? 

    Running solo has many benefits and there are times when running alone with your thoughts is truly the best thing in the world. When you’re a runner, it becomes your go to for life. You’re in the best mood, this day is perfection, the sun is shining so bright—the runner inside you beings to crave a good run. Conversely, it’s been the longest week, you are super frustrated at work, your kids have been off the wall, and you just need a break—solo running becomes therapeutic, and when you’re done, you feel so much better.

    But again, running with friends can change everything and I encourage you to find your tribe. Here are ten reasons why:

    1. It provides you with company on those longer than long training runs.
    2. It gives you a partner on hills from hell; it’s always better to have someone next to you shouting words of encouragement.
    3. You are guaranteed a hug and/or a high five at the end of every run.
    4. It makes dragging yourself out of bed at 3:30am to go run just a little bit easier when someone is waiting for you.
    5. The smiles during your run get bigger, and science has recently proven that smiling while running actually makes you run faster! 
    6. You don't have to pay a therapist because running with a friend is therapy.
    7. The miles go by faster, even if you’re actually running slower.
    8. You'll be safer out there in the unknown world of new trails or dark roads.
    9. Every finish is much more monumental...there is something innately wonderful about seeing a close friend achieve a goal right alongside you. 
    10. Sometimes you start as strangers, and in the end you become friends.

    Be sure to follow Kathryn on Instagram to see her hit the pavement with all of her best running friends. And you can follow Momentum Jewelry, too—tag us in your best Motivate Wrap and Foot Note photos so we can run with you from afar! Be sure to take advantage of discounted Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes with a running theme. Sale ends on National Running day (6/6/18). 

     

    "Positive Energy" and The Positivity Charge: An Epic Wellness Retreat

    On June 9th, Parish Smith and Dr. Rubina Tahir are heading to Philadelphia to host The Positivity Charge: An epic day of wellness that aims to fuel healthy practices, to inspire and empower—all with a full dose of positivity. This year, Momentum will be there as well! Any wellness event that brings together like-minded individuals in order to cultivate healthier self care is a wellness event that aligns with our core beliefs.

    All attendees will receive a "Positive Energy" Motivate Wrap. We believe this saying highlights the theme of The Positivity Charge, which Smith and Tahir created in response to their own positive journeys to better health and wellness. This epic one-day event that will be headlined by internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star Jessamyn Stanley. Additional speakers and events will target topics like heath, wellness, food, creativity and business.

    "It's live, it's real, it challenges you to grow and overcome your fears," said Dr. Rubina Tahir. We like to think our products do that, too! Especially the "Positive Energy" Motivate Wrap. 

    According to Smith and Tahir, research consistently shows that positive thinkers are better at building skills, boosting health, and improving work out comes. "The Positivity Charge is designed to inspire a better version of you. All of the workshops, workouts, and speakers are aimed to help you awaken your inner positive self," said Smith. 

    Sound familiar? At Momentum, our mission is to inspire and motivate people to live more active and healthy lives. Our hope for every piece we create is that it will ultimately help someone feel strong, confident, happy and fearless in the pursuit of their dreams. 

    And we firmly believe that everyone can benefit from a little bit of encouragement. That's why we can't wait to soak up The Positivity Charge in June. 

    Are you going? Come find us, we'll give you the opportunity to hand stamp your very own piece of Momentum Jewelry. Want more information about the retreat? Visit their website, and follow @thepositivitycharge (and @momentumjewelry!) on Instagram.

    #sharetheSPARK: Never give up.

    If you look at #sharetheSPARK on Instagram, you'll see evidence that this movement makes big strides in the fitness community. Our fans and our awesome ambassadors are getting out there and motivating others to achieve and believe. This incredible movement, however, is not limited to the fitness community. As one of our ambassadors discovered, a little motivation can make a big difference to cancer caregivers. This is Stacey Morgan's #sharetheSPARK story:

    My Aunt is a school teacher in Northern Minnesota. All teachers are amazing in my opinion, but Trisha has a history of going above and beyond. Whether it’s helping a struggling student find resources to succeed or loudly leading the cheers at the Friday night football game, Trisha has made a positive impact on her small-town community and is well loved for it. 

    Last June, she and her husband were enjoying a summer vacation out East. They were visiting and staying with their daughter who lives in Virginia. After a relaxing day at the apartment pool, my uncle Steve suffered a massive stroke. A stranger found him collapsed on the men’s locker room floor. Paramedics were called and Steve was rushed to the nearby hospital where he immediately underwent a series of tests while they attempted to get his blood clotting under control. It was during this extensive investigation that doctors discovered Steve has stage IV prostate cancer. Without the ability to fly home due to the recent strokes, it was determined he would need to undergo chemotherapy in Virginia. 

    Initially, Steve was unable to speak and couldn’t move half of his body. Miraculously, nearly 9 months after the initial strokes, he is walking and talking and laughing again. But they are still in Virginia. And as the chemo treatments continue, so does their fight to come home. 

    I wanted to find a way to remind Trisha that her family and friends are rooting for her and Team Steve, even when we can’t physically be there.  So for Christmas, I sent a “Never Give Up” WISH Wrap. I hoped it would give her strength during harder times.

    My cousin, who also received a matching bracelet, snapped this picture on a day when it seemed as if an insurance snafu would force my uncle to miss a scheduled Chemo.

    After hours and hours of being persistent and steadfast, the situation was resolved and my uncle’s treatment plan continued uninterrupted. My cousin sent me the photo with a text that said, “This bracelet was REALLY useful today!” 

    My aunt didn’t know that it was being taken. She says she looks tired, though calls the photo “honest.” But I love how engaged and indomitable she looks. I also love how it shows the power of a WISH Wrap; how something so small and simple can carry a feeling of support, comfort and confidence across the miles.

    In mid-March, the family was able to return to their home in Minnesota! 
    They are still managing continued care for Steve with many therapy appointments and check ups, but have enjoyed being able to settle in to their "new normal" at home with family and friends nearby.
    
    Pain, struggle and feelings of hopelessness aren't unique to marathons and weight loss goals. Life is funny that way. We all experience some version of them, and the common lesson is this: One small token of love and appreciation can ignite greater feelings of hope and persistence. We couldn't be happier that the small token in this story is a WISH Wrap. Remember, you can make a difference in someone else's life (even if you can't be there). So whenever the opportunity arises, we hope you'll always #sharetheSPARK