soul and body meet in faith, food, and fitness


My most memorable run {our engagement story}

Remember how my last post (which was WAY too long ago) was about being led by my left hand? Well, the gentleman doing the leading is now my fiancé! I know, spoiler alert. Up to this point we’ve been intentional that I don’t mention Philip by name or post about him here, but now I can. So wonderful readers, meet my beloved, Philip, by way of my most memorable run.

A few days before we left to spend Thanksgiving with my parents in my hometown, Syracuse, Indiana and Philip asked if we could go for a run along the lake. I grew up in an area with many lakes and we often run when we have time to, so it was a seemly normal request.  So, on Black Friday, we planned to go for a run after he logged a few hours for work.  My parents don’t have internet at the house so Philip spent the morning working from my Mom’s office in town while I relaxed with my sister’s family and her rolly polly baby.


my niece

Around lunch the pit in my stomach grew. I felt bad enough that Philip had to work the morning, but the project was going long and he wasn’t going to get off for another few hours. I fully expected by the time he returned to the house that he would NOT want to go for a run by the lake and we’d do it another time. So, it was a surprise to me when he said he still wanted to go out after a quick lunch.

Bundled and ready, I suggested we simply run from the house, but he insisted we should park at Oakwood Resort, a waterfront hotel on Lake Wawasee, and run from there.  Philip had been to hotel once for a wedding, so I assumed it was for lack of knowledge of the surrounding area that he suggested that particular location.  Naturally, I suggested we start at a different waterfront park because it made more practical sense.

Having none of it, Philip once again insisted we park at Oakwood and run from there. He’d had a long frustrating morning so I didn’t push it any further. Off to Oakwood we went.

I had a lovely run! It was slick with days old snow and brisk the first mile, but once I warmed up I was jabbering away as Philip grumbled about the cold and how miserable it was to run in winter. Making our way back to where we parked the car, Philip convinced me to walk towards the small lawn and gazebo right on the lakefront. There was a helium balloon tied out front and he wanted to investigate.

Still in my own world, I bumbled on about how funny it was that there was a half deflated balloon tied up at the gazebo – naturally, I thought it was left over from a kid’s birthday party. In a gazebo. In Indiana. In November. Riiiggghhht.

aerial view

Seeing my parents come out of hiding

A sweet couple happened by right as Philip proposed and snapped this picture at the exact moment my family came out of hiding. Little sneaks. They’d helped pull off Philip’s grand heist.


It was not until the moment we arrived at the balloon and I saw it was tied to a tiny covered basket that I knew the reason for our run. The run was never really about the run. It was about the finish line. And at the finish line of that run, I received the best prize I could hope for.


Now, we’ll run the marathon of our lives together and uphold each other as we reach for the eternal finish line in heaven. I am so happy to be yours Philip Frederick.



Guest blogging at Someday Saints

Now that I’m back from my trip to Guatemala, I have a few posts swimming around in my head —things I’ve learned as a Beachbody coach, preserving the summer harvest, and keeping progress in perspective. Hopefully these will be forthcoming in the next few weeks b/c I miss posting more regularly.

With school gearing up and summer activities beginning to wind down (although I’m not ready to be done yet!), you can feel the shift of seasons.  If you’re like Gina,  you might be ready for a change in routine.  With the thought of getting into a new routine for fall schedules, Gina started a great fitness series on her blog and invited me to share a guest post.  You can read the full post over at Someday Saints (and catch a glimpse of me running)!

A Higher Purpose in Exercise

“With these obstacles in mind at the start, training could easily have been overwhelming. Below freezing temps, ice, dark morning hours, plain old tiredness – I could think of a myriad of reasons to avoid that 5am wake up call. What got me through those 5am training runs in the below freezing temps was the spiritual link to those seminarians. I would begin to complain about the cold or the early hours, or both, and gently the Holy Spirit would remind me why I was training and it would push me up that next hill or out the door into the cold or rain.”

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A jumble of thoughts from a stressful day

My mind was a jumble at the end of a day like yesterday—where meetings filled my head with what ifs and worries of what’s ahead.  My desire is for my most loved ones to be near and to de-stress with either a stiff drink or a long run. A long run has the power to reunite my head, sprinting ahead into the unknown, with my body here in the present moment. Yet thanks to prior plans, I found myself sitting in the chapel with my Lord. An Eagle Eye Ministries retreat is happening at the Holy Spirit Center this week and I’ve stopped over to see my friends in the ministry.  But before saying hello, I stop for a moment in the chapel, only to discover the retreatants are in the middle of their daily Holy Hour.  What a treat for me!
Adoring in the wilds of Scotland
The sense of peace and calm in the space of a Holy Hour with members from Eagle Eye Ministries and the Community of St. John is nearly palpable.  It is the same peace here in Cincinnati that I sensed in the Holy Hours while I traveled through the highlands of Scotland with Father Nathan Cromly last summer.  Despite being miles and miles from where I held that sense of interior silence, I catch a glimpse of it once more.  In fact, a run would be nice, but this, this adoration of Him is what can unite my body and soul in a way that a run never will achieve. I must run to You, Jesus.


Meaghan’s Change to Clean Eating

I’m pleased to introduce a fellow runner and college friend of my sister, Meaghan Arzberger, for a guest post today. She’s had quite a journey the first couple months of 2014 as she started eating cleaner and realizing how much diet impacts health – not simply exercise. 

Guatemalan Market

I ran my first race at age 7, and I haven’t stopped running since.  At almost 29 years old, I have completed more 5ks, 10ks, 15ks, etc than I can count, about a dozen half marathons and four marathons.  I have also completed Insanity twice and regularly attend a beach boot camp three days a week (I live in Maine).  Basically, I have always thought to myself, “I am healthy.  I exercise!”
As I am sure many of you know, our health is so intertwined with other aspects of our life.  About five years ago, I lost my mother-in-law quite suddenly, which put a lot of strain on our family.  Unfortunately, our bad luck continued.  My husband’s cousin was in a terrible ATV accident resulting in serious brain damage, his sister was in a car accident and nearly lost her life, and his step-father passed away after a failed liver transplant.  All of these events occurred in about a three year period for our family.  We also had our share of happy moments such as the birth of my niece and a couple of beautiful weddings!
I continued my strenuous exercise routine throughout all of these ups and downs.  I still believed that I was healthy.  About a year ago, I started seeing a therapist.  I didn’t really have any set agenda. I just knew that I had been through a lot and felt like I wanted to just process some of the things that I had been through.  I finished my meetings this past fall with new clarity and priorities in life.  My mental and emotional health process helped me reconnect in a positive way with my exercise, my marriage, and my faith.  “Finally!”, I thought to myself.  “I am now truly healthy!”

Again though, I was mistaken.  One of the ways I had coped with our family struggles was with food.  While I was still exercising and had taken the time to focus on my spiritual, mental and emotional well-being, I had neglected my diet.  I thought, “I am exercising so I can eat what I want!!”

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Running Away From Stress

January is generally one of the busiest times at work for me as I lead the team preparing for volunteer groups traveling to Guatemala.  And even though I anticipate the stressful season, I still haven’t learned how to handle the stress gracefully.  That being said, I’m grateful for realizing in the past year that running clears my head like no other form of exercise.  Remind me to take a run when I’m stressed this month, ok?

This fall (during the other stressful season at work) I wrote about one such run in my journal and I wanted to share it with you.

Running clears my head like no other form of exercise I’ve found. This may not be the case for everyone, but the crisp, clear, fall air this morning helped me run away from my stress.  Surely, I face the stress again when I reach my front step again, but for those brief moments of my day, I can run from the stressors.

1 ..... week 11

During my warm-up (I have to go straight uphill for 2/3 a mile when I start off) running up the hill into Mt. Washington, I may be processing – facing the demons of worry and anxiety or the vices of anger and pride at something that happened. But if I run long enough I will always outpace the personal demons. Continue reading