Running On Om

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Wall of Inspiration

Wall of Inspiration

When packing for my journey to Ethiopia, I spent a lot of time thinking about how much different items weighed and the space they would take in my suitcase. I decided to pack some of the lightest, yet most important items I own— my paper inspirations that I have put up in my dorm rooms throughout all four years of college. I have found the easiest way to put up pictures, postcards, and art is in a close-line style with miniature clips.

I made a Wall of Inspiration for my room in the Yaya Village that both motivates and grounds me.

What do YOU have on your wall that inspires YOU everyday?

Top line (all lines right to left):

  • Picture of Zoe Romano running to Tour De France: to learn more about her incredible story, check out ROO Podcast #6
  • Picture of the Buddha given to me by Lily, one of my closest friends. One of my favorite ROO Tuesday Truth quotes is from the Buddha: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
  • Postcard of Live Aloha: I lived and studied on Oahu, Hawaii my junior spring and met some incredible people there, including ROO Podcast interviewees Susie Stephen #1 and Carly Wilson #51
  • Postcard of the American Sign Language (ASL) Alphabet: I have always been fascinated by deaf culture and hope to study ASL someday.
  • Picture of a hamster in Warrior II, also given to me by Lily, and makes me giggle every time.
  • Oiselle Postcard of their motto “Heads Up, Wings Out.” It has become one of my favorite running mantras that I have learned since joining the Oiselle Team

Second from the top:

  • Postcard of my favorite Rumi quote, “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” It was made by the Bates Multifaith Chapliancy, one of the communities I felt privileged to be apart of during my time at Bates.
  • Picture of Barbar doing yoga!
  • Postcard of one of my Oiselle running heroes, Lauren Fleshman, who shares some wise words, “Think about what you want your body to DO for you rather than what you want to take away from it. Honor your body. Don’t talk bad about it.” These words reflect her must-read article, “Keeping It Real “. Also have had Fleshman’s insight on ROO’s Tuesday Truth on being a dreamer.
  • Postcard of the Dalai Lama, one of my spiritual teachers and areas of study as a religion double major in college.
  • Postcard of Dubrovnik, Croatia, the place where my grandparents live and are from. Before traveling there for a month this past summer, I wrote a ROO blog post on traveling on a plant-based diet with tips from many ROO interviewees, check it out!
  • Gift tag with wise words from friend and running partner, Amory Rowe, who founded the incredible In the Arena Organization— definitely want to do a ROO podcast interview with her when I return!

Third from the top:

  • Picture of Hawaiian Goddess Pele meeting Buddhist diety Quanyin on a card from soul sister in Hawaii, Lauren Seaman, check out her blog, Flowing Wellness!
  • My all-time favorite piece of art, “Rose Bushes Under Trees“ by Gustav Klimt.
  • Cutout of Kara Goucher, another Oiselle Running hero, who was recently featured in a beautiful Runner’s World article by Tish Hamilton about Kara’s Podium Retreat— an event that is on my bucket list! Kara has also sourced two ROO Tuesday Truths– on believing and seeing how wonderful life is.
  • You can never have too much Rumi! “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” A beautiful piece of art given to me by my cofounder of the Bates Yoga Kula, Lindsey Gwynne.
  • A rad Picky Bars postcard, thanking me for supporting their Runners High new flavor, now known as Blueberry Boomdizzle. Wanna know why I love Picky Bars, read here.
  • Picture of Amma, the embodiment of love, who I had the privilege of meeting four years ago. I was introduced to Amma by one of my mentors, Prajna Hallstrom who among other things, leads kirtans (group chanting) in the Boston area. I am dreaming of going to one of her kirtans when I return to the States in Winter 2015!

Bottom Line:

  • Rebecca Pacheco, ROO interviewee #3 shared this Storm Jameson quote on living in the present at one of her yoga classes. It was during a time high school when I began to fall in love with yoga and I was touched when Rebecca then posted the quote on her OmGal blog. I have since then read it many times in my yoga classes and have had it posted on my wall as a daily reminder.
  • Cut out of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from Menla Mountain Retreat Center, where I had a transformative weekend retreat studying with Krishna Das that later inspired me to write my ethnomusicology thesis on kirtan, focusing on Jai Uttal, another amazing kirtan artist.
  • Picture of BEAUTY, found on one of my favorite running routes on the Charles River, which I then posted to my ROO Instagram.
  • Poster of “Practice of Belief” by Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan from their empowering company, Believe I Am which just published a new training journal (I brought to Ethiopia with me and have been loving it!).
  • Calligraphy of “Be Beautiful. Be Yourself” from Thich Nhat Hanh. I had the opportunity to see him speak in NYC and hope to get to hear him again someday!

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Yaya Journal 1: Learn, Love, Live

My friend Tigist making injera bread in her home.

My friend Tigist making injera bread in her home.

It has been an incredible first few days in Sululta, Ethiopia at the Yaya Village. The new class of Yaya Girls will arrive in two weeks and until then, we are preparing for their arrival.

I love things in threes. My birthday is on a third. My brother’s birthday is on a third. Om has three syllables within it (A-U-M). The father, the son and the holy ghost — basically, many powerful things come in threes…  As I take stock of my first few days in Ethiopia, I am inspired to reflect on the three Ls: learning, loving, and living.

Learn the Path of Patience: At over 8,400 ft, acclimatizing to the altitude in Sululta will not happen overnight. I’ve had to remind myself to start VERY slow on my runs, to be able to sustain them, and not worry about mileage or pace, but instead to be patient, as my body adapts and enjoys the journey.

Love Injera: Injera is the bread that is the base of most Ethiopian  meals. It is usually served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with veggies, meat, lentils, and sauces on top. It is made from teff flour which is gluten-free! As a celiac, injera is the dream bread for me — it is spongy, filling, and nutritious. I also love that injera is eaten with one’s hands and is often shared, from the same plate, with others.

Live in the Flow: In the US, I am the calendar queen. Since arriving in Ethiopia, I have realized that I can’t have an agenda for every minute and hour of my day, since time passes here at a different, more relaxed pace. For example, the local bus is on a fluid schedule with no exact times; and in general, people won’t set precise times for meeting, but instead make plans by referencing a general part of the day. Also, I don’t have regular internet access where I live, and thus have to redefine my daily routine without being connected to the cybersphere. It is refreshing to live in the flow of the present in a whole new way here.

I know that I have lots more learning, loving, and living lessons coming my way over the next four months in Ethiopia…

Stay tuned for more reflections to come on my Yaya Journal!

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I am headed to Ethiopia today and overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of family, friends, and strangers as I have prepared for my trip.


My fundraising campaign for the Yaya Girls Running Program in Sululta, Ethiopia was a huge success! I surpassed my goal and raised over $8,000, which will not only fund four young Ethiopian women for the upcoming trimester, but also contribute to future Yaya Girls scholarships.

Numerous companies have donated incredible gear and goodies for the Yaya Girls. Oiselle, which I run for, has contributed beautiful shirts with inspiring running designs on the front! Health Warrior has given delicious Chia Bars of all flavors, in addition to awesome shirts and hats. Nuttzo, which I am an athlete ambassador for, has supported my campaign throughout— I am even bringing a few jars of Nuttzo for the Yaya Girls to try!

If you would like to follow my work in Ethiopia with the Yaya Girls, the best two ways to do this are:

1. Subscribe to receive ROO blog posts in your inbox by submitting your email in the “Subscribe to ROO Posts In Your Inbox” tab on the right corner of this page.

2. Follow ROO on Facebook!

I will not have daily internet access, but plan to post pictures, reflections, and interviews on ROO whenever I can.

As for the podcast, I hope to continue the ROO podcast in Ethiopia, however it will not be released on a weekly basis. Please take my four month journey as an opportunity to catch up on the 85 podcast episodes I have published thus far. You can download the most recent 50 episodes on iTunes or live stream all 85 on

In gratitude and love,


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ROO #85: Ashton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton on the Journey of Training Together


Ashton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton are a powerhouse track and field athlete duo.

Ashton is an American decathlete and Olympic champion, who holds the world record in both the decathlon and heptathlon events. Brianne is a Canadian heptathlete and pentathlete, who is an Olympian from London 2012, holds the Canadian record for the indoor pentathlon, is a heptathlon silver medallist from the 2013 World Championships, and a pentathlon silver medallist from the 2014 World Indoor Championships.

In the episode, Ashton and Brianne describe each other in three words. They explain how they cultivate a competitive, yet supportive mindset in their training together. Ashton and Brianne recount the story of they met. They discuss the logistics of training together on a daily basis. Ashton and Brianne reveal their favorite and most challenging events in their multi-sports. They reflect on the proudest moment they have experienced when watching each other compete. Ashton and Brianne recap Ashton’s world record decathlon, including the nerves they both experienced with his 1500 meter event. They provide a glimpse into how they unplug in their offseason. Ashton and Brianne preview their upcoming calendar as they prepare for the 2016 Olympics. Lastly, they offer wise advice on staying injury-free.

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ROO #84: Matt McCue on Pursuing Your Dreams in Running and Writing


Matt McCue is a writer and runner.

In this episode, Matt recounts how he got hooked on running and then writing. He discusses the role of perseverance in running as a walk-on for the renowned University of Colorado Program under Coach Mark Wetmore. Matt reveals what it was like to pursue a job as a writer after college. He reflects on his journey writing An Honorable Run and his accompanying book tour. Matt shares sources of inspiration for writing stories. He provides his perspective on the future of American distance running. Matt explains how he finds time to run now. He reflects on dealing with regret as an author. Lastly, Matt previews upcoming projects and publications.

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Matt’s Sites:


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