2019: Year of Transformation

Every December I set core fitness goals for the upcoming year to give me something to focus on and to plan my training. I also try to calculate expected financial costs because as fellow racers know, a year’s worth of race expenses adds up quickly. In addition to my main goals, I sprinkle in smaller events throughout the year as people tell me about them.

This year there’s an additional component to my plans. Yoga. In 2018, I completed a year of dedicated training to become a certified yoga teacher in both sculpt and power styles, and in December I proudly started teaching sculpt and flow at a yoga studio called Fierce Om. Jenny, the owner/manager, has been amazingly supportive as I strive to build up my client base and become the best teacher I can be.

Bev, my life coach, told me that she foresaw 2019 as being a transitive year for me. Typically, change makes me uneasy, but for some reason, I am very excited by this prospect of life transformation, and I’m going to carry it with me and trust in the journey ahead! 

The reason why I started Gal on the Go was to inspire girls and other women through my life examples, to take reasonable risks trying things outside of their comfort zones that would help them to lead healthy lives and discover what they are capable of in areas they never imagined!

Since 2014, when I entered my first race, the Virginia Spartan Super, I have learned a lot through trial and error and advice given to me by other racers. One thing you should never underestimate is the power of your mindset. Sure, physical training is essential, but your mindset can have a significant influence on your outcomes in life situations. Keeping your mindset in check when moments of uncertainty start to creep in is crucial. IF you find your head leading you down a path of doubt or negativity, I offer you these two things to help you push through …

  • A mantra … Mirror, mirror on the wall, I’ll always get up after I fall. And whether I run, walk, or have to crawl, I’ll set my goals and achieve them all!
  • A song (music is a great mind booster) … download and crank up DREAMER by Black Violin.

I promise that you can truly achieve anything you set your mind to combined with honest prep work. Every time during a race, defeating thoughts enter my mind at a grueling point and I have to focus hard to push them aside. I refuse to let those negative thoughts get the best of me. During those moments I tell myself STOP WITH THE SELF-SABOTAGE! I CANNOT FAIL, I WILL NOT FAIL! I may not finish exactly how I hope, BUT make no mistake, I will finish. I am naming 2019 the #yearofyou; get out there and do things that fulfill both your mind and your body!

So what’s coming up in 2019? Some cool stuff!!! Here’s a sneak peek.

YOGA EVENTS I’M LEADING

(NOTE: If you are seeking an enthusiastic yoga instructor for your event, email me at galotgo@gmail.com.)

DATE EVENT LOCATION
January 27 (Sun.)

 

 

Doggy Noses + Puppy Poses: Yoga Flow Class @10:30 a.m.
NOTE: Tickets SOLD OUT in two days!!! Thank you!
Mustang Sally Brewery, Chantilly, VA

 

February 9 (Sat.)

 

 

Athleta In-Store Sculpt Class @9:00 a.m.
Free and open to the public.
*bring your own weights
ATHLETA, Reston, VA

 

 

February 17 (Sun.)

 

New Year Transformative OmWorkshop: Nutrition + Restorative Yoga; Time: TBD Fierce Om, Chantilly, VA

 

??? ??? ???

RACES I’M PARTICIPATING IN

(NOTE: If you there is a race you think I should do or you are looking for a team member email me at galotgo@gmail.com with the details.)

DATE EVENT LOCATION
May 5 TD Five Boro Bike Tour (40 miles) NYC
August 17 SeaWheeze Half Marathon + Yoga Festival Vancouver, BC
??? ??? ???

I don’t have any financial sponsors yet for 2019, but I hope to have some soon. I was fortunate last year to have the support of Westfields Dental, Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Essence of Om, and Downs and Associates Insurance. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Gal on the Go, please email me at galotgo@gmail.com.

“Here’s to the dreamers! Yes, I’m a dreamer!”

– black violin

Race Season 2018: Sponsors

And so it begins, race season 2018! This year my schedule organically evolved into a theme of running, the sport most outside of my comfort zone. I am very appreciative to have secured three company sponsors so far…

Westfields Dental

Westfields Dental in Fairfax, a woman-owned dental practice using the latest technology in their field and very community focused. This is Dr. Whitney Jarrell and her awesome team’s second year supporting me. Westfields Dental is special to me because they have believed in me and supported me from the start, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Downs and Associates

Downs & Associates (who recently merged with HRI Associates) located in downtown Herndon are new advocates of mine. They are an insurance company who don’t typically support individuals but were impressed with my future goal for starting a foundation based of off Gal on the Go. Bonus surprise, their office manager Lana heard about my blog and plight to encourage girls and women to lead fearless healthy lives and sent me a personal check.

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Fairfax and Manassas is another new sponsor of mine. They donated a laser treatment/injectables package for me to auction off and Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute goodies for my #galotgo bags. Their life-changing team consists of Dr. George Bitar, an award-winning board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon and member of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), Dr. Larry Lickstein, and a highly skilled crew.

Thank you, advocates, for backing a member of your community who is striving to make a positive difference in the world in her own small way.

I am still in need of additional sponsors, so if you are interested in supporting my goal to have a positive healthy influence on the lives of girls and women everywhere, please give me a shout at galotgo@gmail.com!

SIDE NOTE: Workers recently entered my apartment to conduct an annual dryer vent cleaning. I was at work and had my camera on because as a female living solo you protect yourself the best you can. I have all my race medals and bibs hanging on a wall. One of the guys touched the medals and said, “wow, that’s a lot for a girl!” Another guy looked at the medals and said, “that’s too much exercise for me.” I am sure they meant well but listen up guys, the women of today are a fierce new breed!

Testing 1, 2, 3 … Podcast Running Session

The Running Couple Podcast

I had the honor of being the first guest on a podcast show called The Running Couple. Mark and Lissett Lineberry, aka The Running Couple, are a cool duo who are busy parents of four and share a passion for running. They travel all over the US participating in running races of various levels and distances. I had a blast being interviewed by them! I hope that my session inspires you to go out and conquer any physical fitness challenge, small or large, that brings you enjoyment.

Be sure to check out their website and other inspiring podcast session interviews!

Outtakes From Running Podcast

The Running Couple Podcast

Here is the original transcript of my podcast interview with The Running Couple. I am sharing it in hopes that as you begin to set your fitness goals for spring and the rest of 2018, my journey will motivate you!


Kimberly Evering started her blog, Gal on the Go, years ago as part of a grad school project. She’s had so much fun doing it, that she’s kept it going for 10 years. Kimberly was originally inspired by a story Ted Leonsis shared about his bucket list on DC101. She decided to create a fluid bucket list about her life experiences through blog posts and photos. Gal on the Go organically grew into an adventure theme with a custom logo and the tagline “Use your fears to become fearless!” After three significant surgeries over the past three years, Kimberly decided to take control of her circumstances and work hard to make healthy comebacks each time. She entered a variety of races including Spartans, 10Ks, Tough Mudders and triathlons all over the world. Kimberly maintains her blog in hopes that her stories encourage other girls and women to lead healthy lives and try things, within reason, outside of their comfort zones. Her ultimate goal is to start a foundation one day!

Q: What was your favorite race this year (2017) and why?
A: My favorite race was the VA Momentum SUPTri in July because it combined a new sport for me, paddle boarding with a sport I have loved since I was a little girl, cycling, and a sport I just started a few years ago and that I am still learning, running. The race presented a weather challenge that I had never faced before in the form of a torrential downpour. During the very hilly cycling portion I was cursing Mother Nature, but then I realized I needed to see it as just another challenge and tackle it in that way.
Q: What drew your interest to running?
A: I ran for the first time a few years ago as part of a boot camp class. I thought it would be unenjoyable, but surprisingly it wasn’t! I moved to a different city and visited a local store called Pacers Running. Doug, the manager, told me about a community group that meets up at the store for fun short runs on weekdays and long runs on Sundays. I joined a three-mile weekday run and liked it so much, that I continued running with the group. I learned a lot from Lissett (half of The Running Couple Podcast) and from other experienced runners in the group.
Q: What keeps you running?
A: I continue running to improve my skills and because I enjoy the comradery of others.
Q: What’s playing on your running playlist?
A: I am a HUGE music lover and serve on the board of directors of the college radio station WBNY. Ironically, however, when I run solo I don’t wear headphones because I try to be as alert as possible to my surroundings, and when I run with a group I like talking with others. In my car, you can catch me singing my heart out to my favorite tunes on Spotify … sorry to those stuck at red lights beside me.
Q: What’s the biggest obstacle you had to face?
A: Physical recovery from a surgery and then having to do it again two more times! The biggest surprise obstacle has been fighting my mental doubts. I got into running and serious physical fitness late in life. At first, I thought is it too late to get into running? Should I even try? I pushed the self-doubt aside and figured why not! The running, yoga and challenge race groups I am part of consist of people of all skill levels and ages — there’s no judgment; which is very inspiring!
Q: Do you run for speed or for distance?
A: Currently, I run for distance because I am still learning about pacing and speed. During races, I try my hardest to be fast, but I have not figured out a good consistent pace for myself yet. I tend to run at the pace of those around me … or at least I try.
Q: Are you a trail, pavement pounder, or treadmill runner?
A: I am a pavement pounder! Give me a nice paved path to run any day. Trail running is a close second because it usually provides cool scenery. My least favorite running is on a treadmill because I spend the bulk of my day working in an office, so the last thing I want to do when I am off the clock is being stuck inside.
Q: Are you a morning, afternoon or evening runner?
A: I prefer morning or evening runs, especially during hot summer months. I found that I usually have a more productive day when I kick-start my energy with a form of physical activity in the morning. Also, it’s nice to get my workouts in early so that if other things come up I don’t feel cheated missing out on my favorite activity of the day.
Q: Where’s your “wall”?
A: My wall seems to be about 10 miles. I look forward to working on increasing my “wall”, especially given my goal of doing a half-marathon.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while running?
A: Hmmm, probably the time when a baby deer ran swiftly across only a few inches in front of a group trail run I was part of — it hung out on the side briefly watching us. I wondered if it thought it could show us a thing or two about grace and speed!
Q: What’s your favorite running resource or gear?
A: Since I am still fairly new to the running scene I continue to experiment with gear by different brands. When I first started, I ran in Nike sneakers, but someone recently turned me on to Brooks® Ghost 10 Running Shoes and I really like them. My absolute favorite tool that I use for all my fitness activities is my trusty Endomondo app on my phone! I use the free version, which provides a range of valuable data. I have been promoting the app to others for years, so much that I should be a brand ambassador for them!
Q: What’s the best thing that happened during a run? What’s the worst?
A: The best was reaching a final distance I was unaware of during a group Sunday run and being proudly in shock when I found out how far I had run. The worst was when my legs cramped badly during a challenge race, which in turn held back my teammates. I felt horrible and helpless.
Q: How has running helped you?
A: Running has provided me with an interest in a sport new to me and the determination to see what level I can reach — I am currently up to 10K level. Everyone needs to start somewhere! (UPDATE: This year I will attempt my first half-marathon in Vancouver, BC, as a SeaWheeze participant. SeaWheeze has been on my fitness bucket list for many years before I knew what serious running entailed just because of its “fun factor” reputation. I didn’t deserve to participate in the event before, which I respectfully realize. I now have the running knowledge and training to merit my place as a SeaWheeze participant and true appreciation for the opportunity.)
Q: What’s the most special race you’ve participated in so far?
A: The Dulles Day 10K, known as “the flattest, fastest race in the beltway”, is my favorite for sentimental reasons because it was my first 10K and the longest run I have completed so far. The challenge races I’ve done like Spartan and Tough Mudder involved a lot of intense running through woods, but the running was broken up between obstacles, so it’s different. Dulles Day was also memorable because it took place on the full length of the Dulles Airport runway shut down special for 2,500 runners, providing unique views of planes and the airport tower.
Q: What’s the craziest thought that has popped into your head during a run?
A: Oh no, major wedgie (and there’s nothing I can do about it if I am running with others)! I also think about unexpected obstacles like tree roots or rocks, hoping not to trip and fall on my face!

 

Tote-Worthy

galotgo_bag

Get your very own limited edition #galOTgo reusable tote bag for only $10 (+shipping for out-of-state)! It’s the hottest accessory this spring/summer!  😉  I am selling the bags to raise funds for big races I am participating in as part of my healthy comeback, and to promote women to live fearless lives through my galOTgo brand!

I was training for a Spartan Trifecta weekend, then, in 2016, things took a turn and I underwent two major surgeries that caused me limited mobility. I felt helpless and depressed. My best friend Jenny encouraged me to turn my mindset around by setting new physical goals. I picked three major races to focus on and have worked very hard to rebuild my strength and mobility through occupational therapy and yoga classes. I found mental strength along the way through my community who are pillars of support and keep me motivated.

The classic black tote has the hashtag on one side and makes for a fun conversation piece as people try to decode it like a personalized license plate. The bag is 12×12.75×8 with an 18″ carry strap and removable plastic bottom insert. The bag is great for:

  • workout clothes
  • beach gear
  • diaper bag items
  • shoes
  • groceries
  • and more!

I keep reusable bags in the trunk of my car and on my coat rack at home for use on the go!

NOTE: If you are local I will deliver bags to you directly; if you live outside of the Northern Virginia area I will ship bags to you. To place an order, please email me at galOTgo@gmail.com

Thank you!

Determination and Gratitude

2016, to say the least, was a year filled with medical drama for me. I underwent major surgery in February and was looking forward to recovery so that I could stay on track with my goal to participate in the Spartan Hawaii Trifecta in August. Six months later I was nearing recovery and got into a bicycle accident. I broke my wrist, along with major road rash and bruises. My years of training for and participating in the Spartan Hawaii Trifecta in August were officially dashed.

Through my bicycle accident, I was connected with Dr. Laino, an accomplished hand surgeon at OrthoVirginia. He implanted a permanent titanium plate and five screws in my wrist. Then, like the passing of an Olympic baton, Karen Popovich, an amazing physical therapist, took over my care in thrice-weekly PT sessions. She provided me with consistent mental and physical support that resulted in me thriving at a positive rate.

Recovering from two significant surgeries within months of each other can take an emotional toll on a person. I went through a brief period of self-pity until my friend Jenny gave me some tough love reminding me that my situation wasn’t permanent, and for that reason, I should feel lucky. I quickly adjusted my defeatism mentality and set new goals for 2017. I became fueled with a desire to reasonably beat the recovery periods for the surgeries and come out on the other end equally strong, if not, stronger. I read an email that Spartan was holding a once-in-a-lifetime race event in Cuba on March 18, 2017, open to only 1,000 participants. The opportunity intrigued me for many reasons. The March date seemed like a reasonable amount of time for me to prepare and aim to get back in challenge race mode. I submitted my application for the sprint and I am happy to share that I made the cut as one of the 1,000 racers! I shared my good news with Dr. Laino and Karen and asked for their medical approval, which they provided.

Next, I have to secure benefactors to cover the more than $3,500 in race expenses (race registration, airfare, hotel, etc.). I started a GoFundMe account and my friends have been very supportive (special shout-outs to Rita, Jenny and Alicia). I also need the help of business-level sponsors. I thought about how OrthoVirginia had a key role in building me back up after my accident and what a great sponsor they would make, so I reached out to them for support. Their director of marketing just notified me that they will be making a contribution! I am very grateful to OrthoVirginia and I look forward to them being part of my race experience in Cuba.

I have reached about $1,000 of my fundraising goal so far. If you or a business you know of are willing to join OrthoVirginia in sponsoring me, please contact me at galOTgo or you can make a direct donation through my GoFundMe account https://www.gofundme.com/galotgo.

I hope to make my friends and sponsors proud in March. More importantly, I am determined to show that when life presents you with challenge after challenge, you may need to keep readjusting your goals, BUT never give up on them!

SPONSORS: Contact me to have your company’s name and logo added!

OrthoVa_horizontal copy

It’s All About You Followers

Happy New Year! Thank you for taking the time to read about my adventures.

The main theme of Gal on the Go in 2015 was training and Spartan Races. I still plan on doing some races, but I’d like 2016 to be a year of mixed life experiences. I will be out of commission in March and April for medical reasons, BUT when I’m back and active, look out!

Your opinion matters to me. What are some adventures, activities or events you would like me to participate in/attend and write about this year? Enter your suggestions in the reply section of the blog or send me an email at galotgo@gmail.com. Wherever I go first, I will bring back the person who made the suggestion a souvenir. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Cheers,
Gal on the Go

Beast Officially Conquered … and Aptly Named

My original fitness goal for 2015 was to train for the Virginia Spartan Super and improve my previous year’s time. However, all that changed when I met and interviewed Desirée Rincón (see my article about her on the Last Word on Sports website). Her story inspired me to pursue a trifecta and become a member of the Spartan TRIFECTA Tribe! A trifecta is the successful completion of all three Spartan distances: Sprint, Super and Beast within the same calendar year. The Virginia Super took place at the end of August, so I had to devise a plan quickly for fitting in the additional two races in order to achieve my revised goal. I read on the Spartan website that the Vermont Beast was coming up, and since it’s known as the most difficult Spartan course in the country I figured why not do it — go big or go home mentality.

The morning of the race I was nervous and shaky. I was by myself and the terrain and level of competitors were intimidating. Right before I had to enter the starting gate my boyfriend Chad sent me a text telling me to view the race as ONE obstacle. I repeated that mentality several times as I waited in the stale with fellow racers for my 8:30 a.m. heat to start. The 13+ miles and 39+ obstacles I tackled throughout the day tested my endurance. You never know exactly how your body will perform on a given day — an obstacle that’s easy one day, may be more difficult another day. For instance, I had never come close to being able to do a rope climb challenge, but I completed my first one during the Beast! It’s wild how when you’re mentally spent you’re sometimes able to tackle and excel at something because you’re not overthinking.

There were about two and a half miles left to go in the race when I was doing a barbed wire obstacle. Due to exhaustion I miss judged the height of one of the wires and was impaled with a barb in my head. (Shout-out to the awesome Spartan Medical team who took great care of me after the race!) Right before the barbed wire challenge, a man walked past me and commented how he had done 40 of these races over the years and that he was impressed how consistently hard I had been working throughout the race. His positive words gave me a mental push that I needed at that point to channel what little energy I had left and power through to the end. I finished the race with a time of 7:10:59. I am very proud of my performance time given the fact that it was my first Spartan Beast, on the Vermont course, a male dominated sport, AND a Founders’ Race edition (which meant the course was made to be extra challenging).

I learned that people compete in the Spartan Races for a variety of personal reasons — some with a goal of just being able to finish a race, some hoping to beat their previous time(s), and others trying their best to make it to the end without having to do a single burpee penalty. All equally commendable. I was supposed to do the Pittsburgh Sprint as my next and final race to achieving a trifecta, but other racers told me that I HAD to do a stadium race because they’re unique and a blast. So I modified my plan and registered for the Fenway Park Sprint set to take place on Nov. 7. I’m very excited for the Sprint in Boston and for being close to reaching my end goal!

Visit Last Word on Sports to read my interview with Joe De Sena, co-founder of Spartan.

Year of the Spartan

On August 23, 2014, I participated in the Virginia Reebok Spartan Super at Wintergreen Resort, my first major race ever. My goal was to just finish it, which I did in a little over 7.5 hours. I was determined to return the following year and do better. I spent the next 12 months training to the best of my ability solo and with friends. Unexpected life events got in my way at times, but I worked hard to stay on track with my goal. I am proud to share that I returned to Wintergreen and completed the race with a time of 04:28:15 (3 hours less than the previous year)!

I met some cool new people. One racer in particular, Desirée Rincón, inspired me to write about her for my freelance job for Last Word on Sports.

Prelude to Spartan

My friend Birgit organized a group of us to participate in Run Amuck. The four-mile HILLLLLY run and 21 obstacles including: massive mud pits, belly crawl, rope bridge, ammo can lift, hay bales jumping, tunnel crawl, balance logs and more were dispersed through the wooded terrain of Marine Corps Base Quantico. Last summer I took part in the Spartan Super and the monkey bars were my nemesis — my arms weren’t able to reach the span of the bars and I dropped to the ground on the first rung. When monkey bars appeared on the Run Amuck course I flew across them with determination and didn’t look back! It took about an hour for me to finish the race and it was a lot of fun. Only 69 days left until I compete in the Spartan Super again. Time to step up my Rocky training regime! Cue up theme song…