Book Tour: The Adventures Continue With a Talk at BU

I took on my first book tour 11/29 through 12/7, landing in Boston, driving to Vermont to speak at Saint Michael’s College, driving back to Boston to speak at BU, driving to Rhode Island to speak at URI (Kingston), and back to Boston for one last talk at BU. You can find the first entry here, and the second entry here. The following details my journey Saturday 12/2 – Monday 12/4:

“Just act like you know what you’re doing.”

That’s what I told myself as I walked up the stairs out of the T rail on my second day in Boston. I was nearly confident with where I was going–which was a lot more confident than I had been 12 hours prior–but still trying to get things down perfectly and had to fake it until I made it.

Luckily, a week before this trip to Boston, I had found out at a Thanksgiving party that an Aquinas cross country alum had moved to Boston. Nick was my lifesaver, and I happened to be walking out to my lifesaver this very day I had figured out the T rail.

Nick came out to my presentation Monday, too!

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Book Tour: First Stop Colchester, Vermont

I recently took on my first book tour 11/29 through 12/7, landing in Boston, driving to Vermont to speak at Saint Michael’s College, driving back to Boston to speak at BU, driving to Rhode Island to speak at URI (Kingston), and back to Boston for one last talk at BU. The following details my journey on Wednesday 11/29 through Thursday 11/30.

Book Tour Day 1: Up at 3:30am, arrived in Boston by 9am, grabbed a rental car and I was off for a 4-hour drive to Colchester, VERMONT!

To say that it was a beautiful drive would be an understatement. I hadn’t looked much into Vermont with the limited time I had in the weeks leading up to this mini book tour (it felt like I was just suddenly on this trip–it came up FAST!) so I had no idea what I was getting into, but it was a very pleasant surprise.

A quick description: Miles upon miles of tree-lined roads, Moose Crossing signs (we have DEER crossing signs in Michigan), rolling roads, vast expanses of mountains (not sure if they were mountains, but they were definitely mounds bigger than what you see in Michigan). I was in awe, and the moment I arrived at Saint Michael’s College, I couldn’t stop telling everyone I met about my drive (the student athlete journalist who interviewed me for the school newspaper, the photographer for the school newspaper, and later my host Emily and the SAAC leader and the athletic director… the list goes on).

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What I’ve Learned in One Year as an Author (and Speaker!)

A year ago today, Running in Silence was released.

The best way to sum up this year would be that it has been a huge learning experience. Writing and getting a book published doesn’t suddenly make everything easier–I had a LOT of work ahead of me. The more emails I received from those who went through similar journeys, and the more people that attended my talks and spoke with me afterward about their struggles, the more I realized I needed to get out there and keep hammering the message.

As a recovering perfectionist (striving to be an “imperfectionist”), writing a book and having it published without being able to make big changes or adjustments when I overthink scenes or experiences in my life has been terrifying. I see ways in which I can grow as a writer, but I’m thankful that I’m not still laboring over the same piece a year later. My perfectionism might’ve left me with this book still in only my hands for the fear of publishing something I might STILL deem not completely “up to par.”

The reality is, I had to get it out there. It was time.

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A Second Book, Video Interviews, Journal Entries Revealed

With snippets of information here and there, I figured it was high time to give more details about what’s been going on in the realm of Running in Silence and future writing/speaking endeavors. Honestly, I’ve just been way too busy, so I’m trying to carve more time into my day to work on writing, speaking, and YouTube videos. THANK YOU to all of you who have supported me/followed my journey so far!

YouTube

I’m about to embark on a video interviewing spree, which will include talking with my parents (separately, as they offer differing perspectives), men with eating disorders, and possibly my coach from Aquinas. Check out my YouTube channel (Running in Silence) for extra videos (and be sure to subscribe!). I will keep you in the loop on those upcoming videos via social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). In the meantime, be sure to comment below (or email me at runninginsilence@gmail.com) if you have questions you’d like me to ask the interviewees!

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017

I can’t believe how easily time gets away from me–it’s already been nearly two weeks since National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW), and I’m able to update on the craziness at last.

A few days before the NEDAW officially began, Karen Saukas (eating disorder survivor and mental health advocate), Zach Stepanovich (my friend and former Aquinas cross country teammate who also suffered from an eating disorder), Gail Hall (Director of the Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders), and I were all on the Maranda show to raise awareness for eating disorders.

Just days later, early on Monday morning, Zach, Gail, and I we were on Fox17 News for the lighting of the blue bridge in Grand Rapids (huge thanks to Gail Hall for making this happen for the first time EVER in Michigan!). The bridge was lit in the NEDA colors (green and blue), which made us a part of the nation-wide “coloring of buildings.”

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Visiting Suzy Favor Hamilton: California Part II

Half the time in California was spent with Suzy, including a gorgeous bike ride along the coast to Venice beach, and two hot yoga classes (“This is my community!” Suzy said). The other half of my time was spent walking by myself along the beach, looking in shops, and reading and writing outside.

I used to have so much chatter, introspection, confusing thoughts, and deep thinking about the eating disorder going on in my mind during my alone time. Now, there’s not much left to think about in terms of my recovery. I’m just content.

Yes, there are still difficult days (especially with travel, even). I don’t have easy access to all my “safe” food, and I’m faced with food I haven’t eaten in a long time. There might always be that challenge. But I continued to remind myself that even if I did gain a few pounds from a trip what did it matter? My clothes may be a little tighter, but they would still fit. No one would think differently of me. I know how to trust my body, and having it fluctuate slightly is healthy and normal. I could partake in all the experiences in California without spending so much time and energy focusing on the food I was consuming.

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Book Release Aftermath

It has taken five years of writing, editing, and research to make Running in Silence happen, which means that when the book released this past Tuesday, most of what I felt was relief and exhaustion.

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And as everyone buys the book and starts to read it, I begin to feel like there’s this suspenseful silence …. I await to hear anything good or bad come my way. Then the responses trickle in little by little, and with each positive review, the excitement starts to creep in.

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My Story is Your Story

Running in Silence is not just my story.

It’s a peek into thousands of stories.

I share my journey not to highlight what happened to me specifically, but to reveal an individual perspective of fear, darkness, and chaos that either mirrors or closely reflects a community of women and men, thin and heavy bodies.

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Upcoming Book Release

My life has been non-stop busy, what with coaching cross country (finishing off a good season with our ladies!), adapting to a new work routine at the YMCA (it’s great to work for a place that not only focuses on fitness of the body but also the mind and spirit–the epitome of how I strive to live now), while also getting the marketing and promotion of this book going, has made life a whirlwind. I can easily say that sleeping in until 1 p.m. this morning (whoops, afternoon!?) marked a new personal record for me, and is just one example that demonstrates the exhaustion I’ve felt in keeping up with everything at the moment.

I recently ordered my first round of books for my upcoming Book Release Party event on November 15, as well as for a book reading at Aquinas College the next day!

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Book Breakdown Before Publication

When I first received the PDF version of Running in Silence, I was in awe of the layout (props to Koehler Books!). But this soon turned into somewhat of a horror film as I began to make a final round of SMALL EDITS/CORRECTIONS (emphasis, my publisher).

Thoughts: It’s almost a book! So many things to fix that I hadn’t seen before! I can’t publish this right now!!!

I asked my publisher if we could get more time. I asked if we could change multiple sentences and paragraphs, and I questioned myself as an author. Deep down, I knew what was happening–I realized I was in what I now call “pre-publication freak-out,” a stage that my editor admitted she experienced as well with her book Looking for Lydia, Looking for God.

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