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Moving To Calmer Waters

Early June 2018

This week i decided to take action with some decisions that I’ve had stuck in neutral gear since turning 50 last summer. One thing I’ve learned over the years, when something is draining you, it’s time to make a change. For me, its time to retire my “recreational career” of modeling.

I took up modeling & working photo shoots for money, being published, or working free on spec mostly after my divorce in 2010.  I had done a touch of modeling prior to 2003.  (In college, or a brief stint & in the early 2000’s).  When i was married in ‘04,  I was a wife, a stepmom to 4 kids (only 1 lived at home), & flew a full time schedule as a flight attendant for a major carrier.  I had my entire family in the gym then, too.   There was no time for anything else. That was a fun time of my life, & when it wasn’t working with my marriage, my ex husband said, “you were the funnest & funniest of my 3 exwives”, when I was walking out the door. (This may seem too personal to share, but most things,  including this, were common knowledge with Joe).  To this day, I laugh about that statement.

In my modeling endeavors after 2010, the goal was to be published. I wasn’t tall enough for fashion, so I focused on fitness & running. I know how to workout & i know how to run.

Prior to getting married in ‘04, I made it to Los Angeles to shoot on spec with Medby photography for a ’03 cover  of Runner’s World Magazine.   Somehow, Vicki DaSilva (a photo editor at the time) was able to talk Mike into shooting me for free.   I was simply amazed & it was a fabulous gift.   It was the best news I could have had that year,  as it was after the 9-11 Trade Center attacks & I was unsure if I’d even have a job as a flight attendant, much less a job at all. (Also, I had to buy tickets on another carrier, as any use of flight passes for work in other areas would get me fired).

Working with Mike Medby was like driving a Ferrari in high gear.  He showed up ready to work on a Sunday, brought a ladder and knew all the best  locations.  He shot on high digital resolution and had light meters and all I had to do was know how to run.   Photography has change lots since then.  He even told me if the clouds didn’t clear, I wouldn’t get used, as the magazine typically only used sunny shots (luck with the weather was on my side that day and I learned sooooo much goes into getting a perfect look).  Mike owns the rights to all of the photos from back then.

I loved hearing about Mike’s work with Soledad O”Brien, and Will Ferrell, and a few other actors and athletes he had shot for the magazine back then.  Both Soledad & Will had been on RW covers that year.  I loved hearing about Mike’s wife and kids, too.   He had stepdad that he surfed with, his mom was nearby, and a sister that lived in TX.   To even get to LA shoot was insane!  I was a complete novice, & it was just off the chain.  How did I do this?  I sent my pictures in to the magazine on request (as any reader could) and offered to change my name to Rodale (as a joke)  if they thought it would help.  One of the editors though this was funny, & even said she wanted to meet me someday.    I missed the goal of getting a cover with my foot strike and gait being imperfect. (My best advice, have a coach take a look at your form prior a fitness shoot.  Editor’s are looking for perfection.  I had no idea my form was off).

2016 Myself with Senior Editor & writer Bart Yasso

 

I was in the company of so much talent in 2016, at the Onward Shay Marathon. Gold Medalist Frank Shorter, myself & Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers.

I still became friends with many of the editor’s at the magazine,  and would later meet Vicki and her husband at an art event in New York City, sometime in 2012.    Years later,  I’d meet George Hirsch, who had essentially published the magazine world wide.

I also became friends with legacy editors Amby Burfoot, Hal Higdon & Bart Yasso.   Through attending conferences, I really learned so much.  It was the best way to meet writers.    After meeting George Hirsch, I understood the backbone of the magazine.  His passion of the sport is understood by any runner, recreational or competitive, and no one is a stranger to George.  I met George at the first ever Onward Shay marathon event in Boise.  At the first race, Frank Shorter & Joan Benoit Samuelson both showed.   They were both Olympic  gold medalists and insanely talented runners.

2018  (Amby Burfoot, ‘68 winner of the Boston Marathon & George Hirsch, Chairman of the NYRR & Fdr. Of the Onward Shay marathon. I didn’t qualify for Boston, but fiew in to celebrate Amby’s 50th anniversary of his win. His wife Cristina was there, as was most of his family. Amby is a scream & I met him at the 2012 Runner’s World festival in PA.)

Throughout the next few years, I’d do about 4 more shoots.  I’ve worked with David Clifford, Sarah Lyons, James Patrick, Jim Schofield, and the late Paul Figura.  David & Paul both did 1 shoot free on spec, (an amazing gift and unexpected & just so nice).

Photo by Sarah Lyons 2014 Makeup by Allison Pynn
2014
Sarah Lyons/Picturegroove Photography
Allison Pynn Makeup
Medals are race finish medals which included The New York Marathon(s), various 10K’s, & top 10% finishes in The Gate River Run 15K

 

Jim Schofield Photography, Dublin, Ireland 2015 He built a remote control light switch setup to use outside. The pics were amazing.
Brian Ankers & I in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland Photo by Jim Schofield Photography, 2015 Brian won Connemara 100 that year & had previously set an Irish marathon record completing 84 marathons in 2014. I was published in Oxygen Magazine AU 11 months later.
David Clifford Photography, CO .  We had worked the whole day with Elite athlete Brian Ankers, & his wife Jenny up in Glendalough. This shot was in town at the “Harp” Bridge. 2016
David Clifford Photography & Robb Schartag. We started at 5 AM on the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC. We were all working free on spec. David is a Boston Native & was in NY to attend photo conferences all week. 2013.  It was an amazing compliment to have been asked by David to do this. 
The late Paul Figura took this free on spec. 2011.  It’s very special to me he did favors for me.   It was taken near sunrise in Downtown Jacksonville, FL.  Paul chatted on his kids, girlfriend & how excited he was to be meeting up later that night with Fred Taylor, ret. RB of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  I hadn’t had a beer in 5 weeks prior to this shoot, & was looking forward to the Jags game (& a beer), later that same night.

It was not until 2015 that I would be published with Oxygen Magazine Australia. It was an amazing gift i was sooo grateful and it was an honor and a priviledge.   It was a blast how it happened. I was in my 40’s, had been unsuccessful in getting an agent,  as I was told,  “you are too old for fitness”. ( I was number one in sales in college, so I usually didn’t take no for an answer right off the bat).   I was challenged with how to go about it.

I hit the library and spent a day looking at outfits worn in all magazines  (the 4 ir 5 publications I’d submit to), who the photographers were in each, and the rest would just have to be luck and being at the right place at the right time.  (If it didn’t happen, I was prepared for a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” , as I had heard a gazillion of times before).

If I can stress to anyone reading this, rejection notices go out more than yesses & you have to be the “fastest dog at the track”, hoping the other dogs aren’t feeling well the day you decide to race for the finish.   You just have to have luck on your side in some respects to what editors are looking for at the time.   Years later, the same agent telling me I was too old for fitness would call me for an infomercial audition in fitness (after I was published).   My view on that was that they needed an older fit girl to pitch the idea.  The commercial went to a redhead from what I understood.  When I heard from the agency, they didn’t have anyone else, i wasn’t even signed with them, & i was almost 7 years older than being “too old”.  They found me on LinkedIn.   Ironically, i would get an agent at 50, the best in Florida, Foley Talent.  I’m sorry the timing didn’t work better for agency work in 2010.  It’s my belief I was too inflexible about changing my look to get an agent when I was in my 30’s or 40’s.  I’m unsure I’ll ever return to the industry.

My hard earned publish in Oxygen Magazine AU, 2015.   It was worth every hour I spent to get there!  Top photo is me, by James Patrick Photography, AZ.  Bottom photo is part of the cover, Issue 78.  My makeup by Allison Pynn. Outfit is custom made by Rogiani Fitness, Los Angeles 2015.  I loved her designs!

To move forward with being published, I got advice too,  from one of my best friends in the fitness industry, Kim Dolan Leto. She suggested to me I get rolling with a website and hooked up to social feeds.   I got help from JB Bermudez (Light Switch Labs out of Rochester, NY) for the website help.  He would get me hooked up to social media, too.   I hated everything about fooling with all of this.  Nothing about my goal was easy, nothing.   Technically saavy most of the time, the social media mess tested every ounce of my patience.   I did research on outfits to wear, & wrote a few articles to submit with photos.  I was published in a two page spread in 2015. The website wasn’t free, & currently the domain will run till 2020. There are several worldwide Beth Adair’s, even more Elizabeth Adair’s, but only one bethadair.com. It was what helped in the publish.  I will keep it to use for my writing goals later, I’m unsure about that, but will worry over it in 2020.  I still like to write.

With social media, the formula I was taught for self promo  (by Sysomos out in CA).  I had an acquaintance with the company, Mark Young, who used to be a senior manager and he forwarded me an article.  (Mark ia now running his own marketing company in WA).  The formula was daily posts of the following: 1 Facebook posting, 8 Tweets a day & 1 Instagram posting. All of this in conjunction with regular writing & constant working on algorithms (that I’m sick of worrying over) are sure to help you get published. I managed all my feeds myself. A daily task that interfered in my relationships with family, friends & any guy I dated.  I was never opposed to shutting it down, but only on my terms & my timing, not theirs.  My family used to get so annoyed I’d be writing articles when in SC visiting them.  (The same family that instilled the stellar work ethic, & no need for “slackass” anywhere at work).  I sometimes would roll my eyes when my Dad would complain i should take a writing break.  He was the one that always stressed being thorough & not to do anything “halfass”.   I’m grateful for my upbringing.

Anyone that knows me will tell you I love to laugh.  If I’m not laughing, it’s just not worth it.  I stay away from drama everywhere, 24/7, Three sixty-five.   The only thing in this world I have 100% control over is myself.  Anything I’ve set out to do, I’ve done.  Three NYC marathons before 40? Done.  Condo in Ponte Vedra Beach? Done. (This goal I set when I was 18.  I had my first one there in ‘01, & again in ‘10).  Porsche at aged 50? Done.  You get the gist.  It’s time now to focus on more important things.  I’m taking modeling out of my equation, unplugging Twitter and Instagram & spending more time with family & friends.   I’ll keep Facebook , to stay connected, but will axe most all brand connections that I haven’t met in person.   I needed the highest following counts I could get when I was promoting my brand, and got all of them pretty high before retiring.  I was hacked twice, and I won’t miss that, or indifferent questions from strangers.

I plan to read up on NFL & SEC football, travel solo to foreign countries & will be completing more of the bucket list by going 120+ KPH down the autobahn in Germany before the year is out. (Not sure if I’ll do this on a work layover or vacation, but I’ve already picked up 2 Frankfurt trips to research it).

I’ll  still keep fitness in my life, will lose 5 lbs., & maybe learn to surf.    Staying in shape will be a goal.   I can’t wait for football season to return.   It’s almost here!  I love my beer & I love my nachos, so the key will be finding balance.   I have no plans to exceed a size 2.

I hope all of you get your goals accomplished and keep the laughs rolling!   Work hard & laugh harder, and if you don’t want to work, by all means keep laughing!   If you aren’t happy, pinpoint where the issues are, maybe even get a counselor ir life coach to help you, and press ahead.  It took a solo trip to Ireland last week to get the momentum rolling for me to reprioritize my life.    I’m happy with my decision:-)

#workhardlaughharder

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What Adds Life?

 

I’m often asked, “what motivates you to train so hard?”. I’m not an Olympic athlete, with a dossier of high ranking medals or stats.  I’m an everyday lady, with a schedule of commitments & responsibilities just like everyone else.

To answer the question, it’s really quite simple, the day goes so much better with a workout before I get going. It’s usually part of my daily routine. I do have caffeine to get my day going, too. You might wonder, what kind of caffeine? Either Plain coffee, a Coca-Cola or Diet Coke, or diet Mountain Dew, & usually not more than 2 at a time, of either of those. I did do some research, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, an 8 oz. cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine, most 8 oz soft drinks contain 24-46 mg, per serving.

I did drink regular Coca-Cola prior to running one of my marathons, the ‘99 New York City. I remember riding on the bus to the start of the ‘99 race, drinking a coke. Friends were commenting & one did say “well, if you did it in your training, I don’t see what difference it makes today”. I agreed. I was taught not to start anything new on race day. I did have my marathon personal record that year, too. (Not a Boston Qualify, but a 4:11 net finish). The Coca-Cola might’ve helped, & it was a windy race.  That was a long time ago.

I no longer do marathons. I’ve put them on the back burner until I’m 70.  I don’t need medications for blood pressure or cholesterol (my blood pressure was 12/69 last week, & my total cholesterol was 181).  The goal for me is just “status quo” for the time being.

My best advice if you are new to fitness, get it done before the day gets going. If you’re new to fitness, see a doctor before making any changes to your diet or fitness regimen.  (This includes changes in your caffeine intake).  You will find that you won’t want to miss your fitness training.   I’m 50, and at this point, I’m glad I can still maintain my level of training, but I know men & women in their 70’s working harder. I’ll save harder training for my retirement, in another 15 years.

As in the old Coca-Cola slogan, “coke adds life”, so go find something to do that’ll “add life” to your own day. Take a walk break with new jams on a headset at lunchtime, or join a new fitness group. You’ll find the laughs will come easier & any stress will be easier to manage. Make a list of the things you’ve been procrastinating on getting finished, and start getting them done, too.   If you’re new to it all, get “Clearance Clarence” before getting it started.

 

Untill ll next time, work hard & laugh harder.  Keep up the positive momentum on getting things done.

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Murad Resolution

 

Over the last several years I noticed an increase in occasional breakouts. I had made no changes to my diet, I’ve been drinking at least 2 quarts of water a day since the age of 18, and had made no changes to my lifestyle, either. The only thing I could contribute the breakout to was a hormonal change, stress, or clogged pores. Given I’m nipping on the heels of menopause with age, I had hormonal tests done.

In the course of about 2 months, resulting in a hormonal test, and a trip to the dermotologist. I learned I wasn’t in menopause as of yet, and my pores had been clogged. I took a trip to a surgeon’s office for a consult (because there i knew I would find a highly trained aesthetician), for a vitalize peel, which helped and then switched my facial cleansers to Murad.

The product itself is great! I picked it after seeing at Sephora,. I bought the Murad Acne starter kit, which retailed at the time for 32.00, and have been using it ever since. I like the travel size ones best, which in my job as a flight attendant, are perfect.   Occasionally there is an ounce requirement I can’t exceed getting through security, notably when traveling to the United Kingdom. (I usually go to London a few times a year).  I’ve tried other products, and in my 40’s and now over 50, this one is the best!

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Carpe Viam

 

Anyone in the running community will tell you, to get to the Boston Marathon is no easy feat and this year was extra special. It marked the 50th anniversary of Amby Burfoot’s @bostonmarathon win.  It was fun too, to invite locals down to FL for the @GateRiverRunJax.

I met Amby back in 2012. I had talked my good friend Marge into joining me for a “girls trip” weekend in Pennsylvania and running a 10K at the festival. She agreed to leave her family at home and take off “Thelma and Louise style” to PA.. I knew we’d see members of a magazine staff, & I knew elite runners would be there. What I didn’t know, was how much fun & how humble it would be to meet Amby.

Back then, Amby was selling one of his books, and chatting with runner’s from all over. We were talking with him about Florida and he had mentioned he and his wife were going to be moving to CT and had been looking at real estate. They had planned to set up one of their retirement homes in CT.

Over the course of the last 6 years, Amby has written two more books, traveled to Boise a couple of times with George Hirsch (former worldwide publisher, Chairman of the NYRR, & founder of @OnwardShay), gotten settled in CT and also traveled a few times to Mexico (where his wife Cristina is from).

Amby knows everybody, and I’ve even joked, “if you’re a runner, and Amby didn’t meet you, you didn’t exist”. If you ask me, he is just that hooked up with the running community.

Once I landed, got checked in to the hotel, and “Uber-ed” over, I walked right in and the first person I noticed was @DeenaKastor. She was signing books, getting photos with fans and had George not come over to say goodbye to her, I would have missed him and Amby! I quickly got a picture with everyone and was able to later chat with Amby on his current training and goals for the Boston Marathon this year.

Beth Adair, Deena Kastor

At the conference, I asked what kept him going and what his best advice was for anyone his age or near his age in keeping fit. He said to just “keep moving” and recommended walking. For the race on Monday, he said he’d be doing a 4:1 ratio of running to walking and said he was going to start training for shorter distances. Over the last many years, he’s completed the Manchester Road race over 50 times, been healed from depression caused by a C-diff infection (and was the most challenging health issue he’s dealt with ever) and has enjoyed training in CT and Mexico, “snowbird style”. He and his wife spend winters in Mexico.

Since 2015, I’ve been doing international trips as a flight attendant out of the New York City base and knew I’d be getting a unique gift for Amby to celebrate his 50th Boston Marathon. I had a trip to London, and while tooling around shopping, I was in Harrod’s and saw these great chocolate bars that resembled bars of gold. They were solid chocolate and a signature line to the Harrod’s brand packaged in gold packaging. I bought 5 (one bar for every 10 years) and gave them to Amby and his wife, as well as gave George Hirsch pictures when I saw him with friends last October, ( my running team was in Boise at Onward Shay). For many people like myself, it’s more fun to give gifts than get them, and gag gifts are even more fun.

After Marge and I attended the conference and met some fun followers, like John Young (@dwarfparatri), and met writers, Jonathan Beverly (@jbevrun), @DeenaKastor, & Scott Douglas. I got pics and had some laughs. Probably the most comical of the day was when Deena Kastor asked what race I attended to qualify for Boston. I answered, “well, I’m not exactly running, and haven’t qualified yet”. She laughed and made a few motivating comments as to how I’d do it later. Truth be known, I tried three times in the @nycmarathon, and I decided after the last one I completed in ’03, that I’m not going for it again until I’m 70. It’s a long way off, but till then, I’m crosstraining hard in the weight room and enjoying other forms of cardio in addition to my running.

The rest of the weekend was a riot, we checked out a few pubs, hit up a workout at @PlanetFitness in Revere and went shopping.  We stopped by the @BrooksRunning expo booth too, at Seaport to see some of the staff.   Marge got her daughter & husband a few things, too.

Marge is a business woman in the New York City area and gave me advice that I needed to write a blog posting once a week and circulate into a feed called “Scoop It’. This would help promote my brand on social media and generate more followers to what I hope to accomplish.  It was advised that to get your business more business, you have to get more web circulation through writing.  I’m grateful for such a fabulous friend!  I tend to surround myself with people who will motivate me to work harder and in turn, I try to motivate others.

I have a photo shoot with Paul Buceta up in Toronto in late May that I’m excited to do. I shared this with most everyone I chatted with this weekend. It will just be a blast! It’s for my campaign rolling, called “fitness over 50” and for @STRONGFitnessMag. Funny too, I was sitting at the pub @theblackroseboston and a man who missed his Boston qual by 20 seconds (and a touch miffed about it), was asking my opinions on his startup concept. It was a treat to offer advice on getting hooked up in social media, contacting a few contacts I had in Australia related to his business fitness concept and also to mention (since he and his girlfriend were from Toronto), to check out all of the @OxygenMagazine issues of the last year. (Oxygen Magazine is a Canadian magazine). I recommended too, he start writing a blog once a week (the new advice I was just given).  And, also, to check out any ladies fitness magazines, such as Strong Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and etc..

I don’t believe in a whole lot of coincidence, so it was great that I met this couple, and even if I never see them again, my “two beer stop in” to a pub in Fanueil Hall might’ve flipped a switch to motivate more health and wellness. It was funny too, the aggravation the man had with his “near-qual miss”, and the couple was entertained I showed up in a “no qual zone” just to see friends.  (No qual zone being my fun way of bypassing I hadn’t tried in a few years and have no plans for another 20).

I got the short phrase, and name of this blog post, “Carpe Viam”,  from an article Amby wrote on Ryan Shay. It means “seize the road” and when you are in Boston on marathon weekend, even if you can’t “seize the road”, you’ll “seize the vibe” and get motivated to get moving on a project. You might even motivate others to get projects going, too.

Until my next post, remember to work hard and laugh harder. I know I will be.