if it's about Disney, running, or staying semi-sane, I'll write about it.

I Second That Emotion…an encounter with Disney magic

Not too long ago I was asked what made a Walt Disney World vacation special to me and my family.  It wasn’t the old, “You know there are other places in the world to take your family on vacation, right?” <said with a sense of satisfied smugness>.  And just for the record: Of course I know that! My family has been fortunate enough to go to some amazing places on vacation.  Instead, the question was a sincere desire to understand why we love  Walt Disney World so much and why we return year after year.

Very simply, I can sum it up with this fabulous little video, which interestingly enough wasn’t even filmed at Walt Disney World! It was at a mall in Long Island, New York a world away from Central Florida and yet overflowing with Disney pixie dust.  

Over on Oh My Disney there is a  brief interview about the making of the video. You may have already seen it floating around Facebook or Twitter, but it is worth watching again, so go ahead and cue it up.

So what is it? What is it that keeps up going back to Walt Disney World (or Disneyland or motivated us to explore Disneyland Paris or Disneyland Hong Kong or plan for a trip to Tokyo Disney)?  I think it can be summed up in four words: emotion, connection, inspiration and imagination.

Just like the faces of the children when Mickey and Gang walk out from behind those doors in the mall, something about Walt Disney World elicits emotion – joy, surprise, love.  Which leads to connection, like the way that soldier connected with Mickey in a dance-off (who knew Mickey could bust those moves?). So much of a Walt Disney World vacation is about connecting as a family, connecting with Cast Members, connecting with other Guests, connecting with our memories and even inspiring us to look into our future. And inspiration gets us every time we are there and we have Mr. Walt Disney to thank for that. Our family’s favorite Disney quote, “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” resonates in our minds over and over again as we take in all that a Walt Disney World vacation offers. Like those who passed by that storefront window and realized that it was more than it appeared, curiosity goes hand-in-hand with inspiration. Those unsuspecting shoppers let their guard down and let their imagination loose. They explored and were rewarded with… joy.

Well, now we are back to that emotion word again, aren’t we?  I’ll second that.

Today *IS* That Day ~ Running with the mind of Jeff Galloway

Catching up with Jeff Galloway at the runDisney Disney World Marathon Weekend 2013

Catching up with Jeff Galloway at the runDisney Disney World Marathon Weekend 2013

Ironically, at a marathon expo I saw a shirt that says, “Someday I’ll run a marathon. Today is not that day.” I had always thought of “Today is not that day” in basically the opposite way: “Someday I won’t be able to run. Today is not that day.” Or something similar.  And yesterday, that mantra kept running through my head.

My favorite running buddy is training for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon and she needed to get her last long run under her belt or tiara, as the case may be. Not a problem, right? The glitch was that just the day before I ran my favorite Atlanta 10k, the Tartan Trot, which is the epitome of Atlanta hills! And for some crazy reason I decided that I needed to PR it. So I was a wee bit sore and tired. But running buddy duty called and I laced up my shoes and headed out the door. We had an awesome 9.2 mile run plus a mile worth of warm up/cool down!

As we approached mile 8 yesterday, I spontaneously said, “Five years ago, I never would have even considered running 9 miles much less 15 miles in two days.”  And it is the truth. I had a few false starts on long-distance running. You know the ones – stress fracture, chronic muscle injury, and the dreaded constant chaffing/blisters/fatigue (seriously, just fill in the blank, right?). All of that until I discovered Jeff Galloway. Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached over a million runners to their goals through his clinics, wonderful retreats, training programs, books and e-coaching.  Not only is Jeff an accomplished runner, he is perhaps that most genuinely positive human being on the planet!

I picked up one of his books on running and never looked back. I’ve listened to him speak at race expos, I follow him on Twitter for daily inspiration and have had the chance to speak with him on several occasions about running.  His run-walk-run method moved me from a struggling 5k runner to a happy marathon runner. I’ve gone longer, run faster, and stayed injury-free while doing it – and I will tell anyone who even looks like they may have a slight interest in running about it!

So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to be a part of the brand new Jeff Galloway Blogger Program, which will enable me to share even more information with others about the Galloway Run Walk Run Method so that you can get out and run because today is that day!

If you are thinking that today might not be that day, here are some of Jeff’s insights to help you get you going with Run Walk Run:

  • You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks.  You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.
  • If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.
  • Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

If you are a “run-only” runner who is struggling with injuries, distance or pace, check out some of these thoughts from Jeff:

  • The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.
  • A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day.  Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.
  • Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens.  A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.
  • When paced correctly, running delivers the best attitude boost you can get. Sustain this by pacing yourself gently during the first mile or three.
Go ahead, lace up your running shoes and get out there and make today that day!
Sign up for Jeff’s  free newsletter at here for more information and inspiration.

 

Tchotchke Wisdom

So I have set a goal for myself to write here at least once a week as a part of the #TypaAChallenge. How hard can it be, right? Well, it must be fairly hard because I have yet to get the hang of it! Despite the fact (truly – the fact) that on multiple occasions every week I have butterflies in the stomach saying, “Oh, this would make a rich blog post!” I just can’t seem to get it together to reveal these pearls of wisdom to you, oh faithful reader (yes, I mean all 4 of you.).

Which leads me to wonder: what the heck do I do all day? I’m mean seriously. I have, in the last 23 minutes, developed a real complex about this. I’dont mess it upm wishing that I had one of my mother-in-laws Xanax right about now because I’m on the verge of freaking out. You see, I’m the one who savors the moment, takes it all in, appreciates the passing of time. I like to take the long road home – even get lost once in a while just for fun. And all I’m thinking right now is to get it done. Stop wasting time. It is as if my propensity for OCD and my ADD have collided.

And so, I’m looking at the little tchotchke (honestly, that’s how it is spelled) on my kitchen counter that says, “This is the day the Lord has made. Don’t mess it up.” and I’m wondering exactly what that means.

Don’t Know ~ but can’t wait to find out!

It is the final countdown of the announcement of the Disney Parks Moms Panel Class of 2015. I feel like the High School Musical soundtrack should be cued up.  I’m wishing upon a star that my name is on that list. It would be a big commitment and would require me to keep my head in the game (see what I did there?) in a new way, but it would be awesome!

On a smaller scale, I answer questions all the time from family, friends, neighbors, and strangers (just got a text a few minutes ago, in fact) asking me for advice on their Disney Parks vacations. And I get giddy with every one! I love helping other Guests make Disney vacation magic. I love it when they send me pictures of what a pixie-dusted time they are having. I love it when they come home and they tell someone else about how fantastic their Disney vacation was.

I also love being stumped with a question.  Getting questions about things I don’t really know the answer to immediately is like icing on the cake! I’m not a Disney Parks go-to person because I know everything there is to know. Seriously, who does? Instead, I’ve learned a lesson from the Disney Cast Members, like Byron from Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, who have answered my questions with, “That’s a great question! Give me a second and I’ll get the answer for you!” keys to the kingdom

That is half the fun for me. It’s what motivates me to explore new the things when I’m on vacation myself and then write my “Ten Things” posts (as off the wall as they can be!). It is why you will find me checking the Disney Parks Blog every morning. I love learning new things and then sharing that information with others to give them a sprinkling – or sometimes a huge helping – of pixie dust.

I know she didn’t mean it in just this way, but I think Pocahontas nailed it when she said, “But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” And I can’t wait to do it – if not after tomorrow, then someday. Until then, at least you know where to find me!

Ten Things I Learned at Walt Disney World Resort® ~ Summer 2014 Edition

This post first appeared on the fabulous The Adult Side of Disney website – go and check it out for some great up-to-date Disney information!

Dreaming at Disneyland® Paris on the Adult Side of Disney

In my quest to visit every Disney Park in the world, I made it to Disneyland® Paris!  You want to hear all about it? Oui, oui! Well, head over to The Adult Side of Disney and read all about it – it was magnifique!

http://theadultsideofdisney.com/better-place-dream-disneyland-paris-shannon-dill/

 

 

A castle like no other!

A castle like no other!

2

We Did It ~ and both lived to tell about it.

So, I’m feeling a little nostalgic. My friend, who was “Sherpa” on the venture I share below is about to do a century bike ride (that’s 100 miles, if you didn’t know) in Moab, Utah (aka: the middle of nowhere). I wish I could be there to return the Sherpa favor, but since I can’t this will have to do…

DISCLAIMER: This post is full of “you-had-to-be-there” references.  This one’s for you, Sherpa.

I have been thinking about writing this post for a couple of weeks now, but somehow I needed to process the whole experience before I could say something more than, “It was great!”
Really?  “Process the whole experience?”  Who am I?

Well, it was GREAT! The whole thing, from start to finish, except the fact that I didn’t get my pre-race dinner of  the “Anchors Aweigh” sandwich, but even that ended up working in my favor by giving me something to look forward to other than the finish line!   Yes, everything was more fun and way easier than I imagined, no kidding!

Of course, there was at least one reason for that.  Yes, the best part, the part that was truly amazing was sharing it with “Sherpa Extraordinaire: KPD!”  I mean really, who else would get up with you at 3:00 a.m. (as in…the…morning – it is dark at 3:00 a.m. and it stays dark for a long time after 3:00 a.m.)?  Who else would break a number of traffic laws while half of the Florida State Patrol police force was within arms reach?   Who else would run back to the car in the EPCOT parking lot (have you ever been to the EPCOT parking lot?!) to find my gloves for me (well, it was one fabulous parking space, but really).  Who else would tell a bold-face lie to that nice volunteer who was just trying to help – oh wait, that wasn’t a lie, that was acting!  Cinderella, step aside.  Who else would walk like a sardine (work with me here, if sardines could walk, you get the picture) along with 27,000 other nuts just to make sure that her friend knew where the heck she should go and what she should do?  Like how to get into a start corral – with or without a race number – and that is real knowledge, my friends.  Who else would be one side of a make-shift latrine in front of said 27,000 people?  (let’s not mention why, shall we?) And who else would run for half a mile without a race bib before making a quick and stealth-like getaway.  And did I mention that this was all while video taping the whole thing – and I mean the whole 72 hours or at least the highlights?  I’m not kidding.  It was amazing.

There is no doubt that this experience – from start, which began here: (http://wp.me/pJ4M8-jto finish, which culminated here, was less about running and way more about friends helping friends put one foot in front of the other.

 


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