Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Gotta (ride) or walk the talk!

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this may just be our best angle!

this may just be our best angle!

PMC riders at the start

PMC riders at the start


I’ve posted a few times about pushing oneself out of the comfort zone, either through interval training, intensity, duration or trying a new activity. Last week’s blog discussed trying something new for a short time to see if a new habit can stick. Another blog highlighted how biochemicals like catacholamine make a substantial difference in changing one’s metabolism and muscles. Every year, I push myself out of my comfort zone in both intensity and duration during my bike ride for the Pan Mass Challenge. When I decided to ride in 2006, I had a definite goal in mind- trying to deal with the fact that my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s fine now, and since then, the ride has taken on a larger significance for me. Ride locally, think globally! I’ve known so many people who have been affected by this disease, and I take some comfort in knowing I can help in some small way. I like to look toward other people for my inspiration.

For example, my friend, Dr. Lise Johnson, MD, MPH, founded the Healthy Learners Program within Communities Without Borders in 2011.  She oversees research/service projects run by Harvard Medical Students and now is able to provide school based medical care to all the children belonging to Communities Without Borders. Annie Gatewood, another Waban native brings her daughter and goes along with her and other staff on these trips to assist in delivering these much needed services.

These people look beyond themselves to help others in need. There are so many ways we can help, both large and small, in our communities and beyond. One of the biggest benefits I find is that it takes you outside your normal thought patterns, and makes you appreciate your many blessings.

We tend to feel the most fulfilled when we live our lives according to our ideals, values and dreams. The Pan-Mass Challenge is one way I try to “walk the talk” of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, super-charging my metabolism, and thinking beyond my own little world to help others in need. As the PMC website states: ” Cycling long distance is an accomplishment in and of itself. But the real glory comes from channeling that physical, mental and emotional energy into a goal greater than athletic achievement. With every mile we pedal, PMC riders bring cancer researchers closer to a cure.” Thanks so much to those of you who have already contributed, and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time- the challenge takes place next weekend. Just click on, type in my full name, and donate securely. I’m very grateful for your help and for sending me invigorating vibes for the ride – wish me luck!

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