You know those people that simply radiate positivity? The kind of individuals whom, if you’re having an off day, will make you smile/giggle/forget your problems with just one hug?
Let me introduce you my personal shining light, my friend, a true, 100% genuine and passionate fitness professional, Cara Gilman.
Cara and I met a few years back over a deliciously overflowing Sweetgreen salad. She had emailed me about growing her blog/brand and wanted to pick my brain for some tips.
I vividly remember receiving that initial email from Cara and laughing to myself, “Someone really wants tips from ME? But WHY?” Let’s just say at this point I was certain my ever-supportive mother, aunt and occasionally sister were the only ones reading the words on these pages.
Flash forward and Cara and I have made it a point to meet for coffee or grab lunch. Each and every time I go I am reminded of how beautiful she is … inside and out. And while for many Cara only exists in the pictures on this page, those lucky enough to live in and around Boston should take her yoga class. Immediately. [See her schedule here]
Cara Gilman, you’re a true Boston fitness gem.
Caroline Earle: What is your latest health/fitness accomplishment?
Cara Gilman: From a personal perspective, it would have to be earning a personal record at the Boston 10K race this past June; averaging a 7:30min per mile pace. Earning this PR took commitment, and switching my running routine. I started running with others.
Mondays I ran with my RunYoga crew, Wednesday nights I ran with my Marathon Sports Boston run group and Saturdays I ran long with Marathon Coalition. Support from others, especially when we’re pushed beyond our limits is so incredibly important.
My next big personal health/fitness accomplishment will be taking on the 2015 New York City Marathon for the Michael J. Fox Foundation this November. I’m also hoping for a personal record ☺
CE: If you could teach a yoga class anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
CG: I would have to say leading a yoga class in the Berkshires, which I will be doing this October for my Revive.Refresh.Retreat to the Berkshires day long event.
The Berkshires have a special place in my heart. It’s where my husband and I got married and it’s a place where looking back, is where I had some “yoga transformations”. I’ve taken many trainings at Kripalu and the first time I ever visited, I was still in my full time corporate job and was unhappy knowing that teaching yoga was my calling.
Over the course of the week of being there, I was able to recognize what my true fears were and was finally able to get my ego in check. I realized that it’s not about making the big time salary, having the important business title and wearing the fancy business suit.
It’s all about being happy and living authentically by following your dharma, whatever that is for you.
I’m so excited to share this very special place to me with my students. I hope this retreat and this place will inspire them just like it has inspired me.
CE: How do you stay motivated to run marathons and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
CG: The first word that comes to mind is community.
Running marathons, for my husband and I, is more than crossing that finish line and feeling great about the accomplishment, it’s something that allows us to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
This will be the 2nd time that my husband and I will be taking on a fall marathon to support a cause that is close to our heart, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
We both feel it’s important to give back to our communities and it makes it even more powerful when we can challenge ourselves through something we love doing together and have it make an impact on the world.
CE: When was the last time you took a trip? Where did you go?
CG: My husband and I just got back from a trip to Carmel, California. We took the trip for a wedding. We stayed in Carmel by the Sea and traveled through Big Sur, the Monterey Coast Line, Pebble Beach and San Francisco.
The trip was breathtaking.
The sights and places we visited were unreal and it was so special to spend time with friends we hadn’t seen in years.
CE: What is the first thing you do in the morning and last thing you do before bed?
CG: The first thing I do in the morning is hit the snooze button. I set my alarm 10 minutes earlier just so I can wake up knowing I can take my time getting out of bed ☺ It’s a bad habit I have formed since high school and something I have never been able to shake.
The last thing I do before I go to bed is say good night to my husband. I go to bed earlier than he does, so he’ll tuck me in and I fall right off to sleep.
CE: What is your healthy living mantra?
CG: I would have to say balance.
I’m a go hard or go home kind of person (weird to hear from a yoga teacher, huh?) and I like to go all out with everything I do. Living healthy is not about eating perfectly every day, getting exactly 8 hours of sleep every night and working out everyday. Living healthy is about listening to your body, giving you what you need and trusting that it’s the right thing to do.
This is where my yoga practice becomes so essential. It allows me to slow down and take the time to feel what’s going on within.
Sometimes it’s eating a whole entire pizza. Other times, it’s only working out once a week because I need rest. Through finding balance in my life and listening to what I need, I have been able to have not only a healthy lifestyle, but one that’s sustainable.