Get Gutsy: Go On The Radio

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My friend Jessica Lawlor shares every day on her blog about #gettinggutsy and after entering her Get Gutsy Essay Contest, I started making note of things I'm doing in my everyday life that are a bit on the gutsy side.

For instance, I had a 'get gutsy' experience just yesterday morning, I was on the radio!

Working in media I loved being face to face with individuals, learning their stories, using my words to tell their stories. But readers only new me as a byline unless they followed me on social media and could associate the name and face. I was hidden behind a byline.

So recording a PSA at WNPV and knowing my voice will be on the radio is a little awkward to me! When I listen to talk radio or my usual radio personalities on my drive into work, I always wonder what people look like. I wonder if people will think the same about me. EKK! Will I sound funny? Did I rush? Did I stutter?

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous sitting in the recording room with the mic in front of me -- my palms were sweaty, hands were shaking holding the script. But I got gutsy, read nice and slow and BAM - in one recording, our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance PSA was recorded and Miss Piccirilli is your newest radio personality (I kid, I kid.)

Motivation Monday Vol. 2.3

Monday, January 19, 2015

In observance of Martin Luther King Day, I ask you to question yourself -- when is the last time you did something for others?

We often do things for our friends and family, but have you ever done something for an absolute stranger?

Working in the non-profit world, it is amazing to see the thousands of people's lives changed because of the work we do. Getting involved with Special Olympics and I Run 4 has also given so much pleasure in helping out others in need.

If you've never volunteered or done any special work like this, I definitely say try it. It may change your perspective on life forever. 

I'm Mad, Real Mad

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This morning before work I read an article that pissed me off....I mean REALLY pissed me off. I wanted to blog first thing in the morning, but I decided to sit on it and cool down from the anger. But nearly 12 hours later, I'm still pissed. This morning I came across an article titled "No Marathon For Me, Thanks: Five Reasons She's Opting Out" on Zelle. (Read it, it's a quick read)

It had to do with running,  so it clearly caught my eye, so I clicked away. What I thought was going to be a fun little read had my blood pressure boiling with each paragraph read. (Did you read it yet?)

Now some of you may have read it as, okay she lists her reasons. What's the big deal? Everyone is allowed to have reasons not to run a marathon, which I completely agree with. HOWEVER, her reasons are excuse my french, bullshit. To me I read this as a huge cope out and excuse filled blog post...here is my reasoning.

1.) OPRAH: Ever since Oprah ran the Marine Corps Marathon (with her time of 4:29:20) in 1994, marathons have been about completion... Forget a competitive time—the point of running 26.2 miles could simply be … to finish?   Isn't completion what a race is all about? Who cares if your first marathon means to cross the finish line...who cares if that's the way you look at your third marathon. I WISH I could finish in the time of Oprah. Because I was slower than her, does that mean I'm not a justified marathoner?? (two times mind you). To discredit individuals for what they have done and what they have gone through is absolute bullshit. According to this, those 18-weeks of training and the sweat and tears really didn't mean anything because I didn't cross the finish line FIRST nor beat Oprah. Hey JoAnna, I'm an all-or-nothing girl myself and I damn well put everything out there on Nov. 21st.

2.) THE ME-ME-ME SHOW: Isn't this post all about her-her-her? So what if we Instagram our trails, or Facebook ourselves during a mid-run or talk about running on social media? I read about friends having babies, getting engaged, taking a dump and I love it all. They are posting about things they love!! Quite frankly I think some of my posts inspire people here at there to get off there ass and move. (I know so because I've seen comments and I LOVE knowing that.) I'm helping someone and someone is helping me. So sorry JoAnna - I'll continue to post about me-me-me and blog about me-me-me. If you don't like it, unfollow me. Buh-bye.

3.) NOTHING TO PROVE: I personally think training for ANY race has LOTS to prove. To prove you're physically strong enough to take on a challenge. To prove to yourself that you're mentally strong enough. And most importantly to prove that you didn't give up to something you committed to. So what us long distance runners go out for two hours. Those are two hours where I am completely enjoying myself and bettering myself. My two hours of running are someone else's two hours of painting. Is that a waste of time for them also?

4.) KNEES AND HEART: Last time I checked physical activity is beneficial to your whole well being. Right? If not, school has been lying to me since I was 5!!

5.) THE JOYS OF MODERATION: We're not promised a tomorrow so you better give it your all while you can. Again, another cope out.

Running a marathon is a BIG deal...and she's right, it takes lots of time, lots of determination, lots of energy. She nailed that right on the head and she could have been brief with her reasoning saying those few things. But to belittle other runners and make us feel like our reasonings and accomplishments aren't good enough -- that's where this article stings. And quite honestly, I don't think she would make it through the training because she's not mentally tough enough.

The running community has been one of the most accepting, open armed groups of individuals I have EVER surrounded myself with. But in every group there is always a sour apple. This just goes to prove that you can't let one hater bring the group down as a whole. Each and every runner should be proud of their accomplishments. I hope JoAnna is proud of every finish line she crossed. But maybe next time she thinks about blogging she won't be so judgemental and rude to runners of all kinds, from the experienced runner to the recreational runner. Her article could detour someone who is considering to pick up running from never wanting to step out the door.

Don't ever think that way -- us runners love all of you. Lace up your shoes and join us. It will change your life forever - marathon or no marathon.

Motivation Monday Vol. 2.2

Monday, January 12, 2015

Work smarter, not harder. 

I've been hearing this quote since I was 10 years old on the soccer field and I never thought I'd start using it in my work life. Our coach use to tell us this quote when we played against teams -- guiding us to pass the ball around the field (work smarter) and not play kick and run which was making us exhausted (not harder).

I've been at the United Way for exactly two months and from day one things have been non-stop and full speed since my arrival. I thought a lot of this was because I was new and I of course had to learn the lay of the land -- but I was wrong. From day one I hit the ground running and I've come to learn this is how the industry is. I'm a fan of a fast-paced environment (hence why I think I loved journalism.) But being action packed all day has made me realize that I need to "work smarter, not hard" while at the office. There are many days when I look at the clock and it is 3 p.m., I've yet to get out of my chair, eat lunch OR pee.  AND it feels like I have nothing checked off my "to do" list.

But that is what time management is all about - working smarter, not harder. Not all days are hunky dori, filled with flowers and rainbows. Lots of days suck, like today. But luckily with some running therapy and nearly two hours of Facetiming with your best friend, you day picks right back up and you're ready to do the whole thing all over again.


I Made It Official

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Do you guys remember back in November how I FINALLY hit the publish button for my “I Am A Runner” post? Well….just like that blog post, I’ve been sitting on an idea for this blog for over two years and for some reason something was holding me back to commit.

For most of you non-bloggers this might not seem like a big deal, but today is a BIG DEAL! I am super excited to announce that Amanda Piccirilli’s Take Your Pic is official because it can now be found at www.amandapiccirilli.com.  That’s right, after two years of debate I took the plunge and have made it official with my own self-hosted site. My friend Jessica Lawlor always used to tell me that while my blog posts could be amazing, when people look at the URL and see that it says blogger or WordPress the credibility lessens. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not – I find it doubtful that some HUGE news source would find little old me interesting enough to feature, but HEY! Maybe she’s right and now I’ll be all over the interwebz. Or heck, maybe I’ll be the next Carrie Bradshaw! (A girl can wish!)

With a blog face lift in April of last year, I finally feel like this blog is going somewhere. Maybe it is only going somewhere for me, but I'm okay with that. I have my few loyal readers, some posts get hundreds of clicks and some posts I barely have five hits. But that's fine.

Writing is my happy place and I’m very thankful for the continuous support from my loyal followers! Luckily for me, www.amandapiccirilli.com will forever be mine.


Motivation Monday Vol. 2.1

Monday, January 5, 2015

I could be way off, but if I was a guessing woman I would take a stab that nearly 75% of Americans got up early, packed a healthy lunch today, are planning to hit the gym and are all organized for the entire week being that it is the first full week of the new year. Does that sound like you?

I like that about individuals – the new year comes and we’re eager to do right. Eat healthy. Workout more. Focus on bettering ourselves. I’m ALL for it.

But I really hope everyone eases into it. If you’re heading to the gym for the first time in a while, take it easy – get back into the swing of things. Don’t go and run 5 miles if you only usually run two. You’re going to wake up sore tomorrow and that will set you back, make you discouraged and possibly even injure yourself.

Want to eat better like myself? We need to take small steps. A lady from my mom’s work gave us these containers and I absolutely LOVE them! You can see them at easylunchboxes.com. What do I love most? That is shows me portion control. If it doesn’t fit in there, I’m not eating it! Plus, go ahead and creep around on their instagram, they have AWESOME lunch ideas (lunch is least creative meal -- I always need help so feel free to share with me!!)  I already have my lunches picked out for the week. Like everything in life, it’s just sticking to it! Ugh...

Small, obtainable goals – we got this guys. Good luck on week one. Statistics say habits can be broken/formed in 21 days. Let’s mentally get there! Happy Monday!

Get Gutsy: Be Better Than Yesterday

Friday, January 2, 2015

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.


We don't need to make a new year resolution. We've got 365 days of them. Be better than yesterday.

But you can’t be a better you unless you make a change. It doesn’t matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around. As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

And that’s what I did; I got gutsy on September 4, 2013 and vowed to never be that same unfit, unhappy individual ever again. I was ready for a new me. I strive each day now to better myself.

I was committed to making myself a happier, healthier Amanda – pushing myself to limits I have never stepped on before, knowing that the road would not be easy and I would have a long way to go. (Which to this day I still have a ways to go!)

With a bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality on the outside for all of my friends and family to see, I
I Run 4 Liam and GA1 Awareness!!
was filled with self-hatred on the inside – ashamed of my weight, my looks, my life. I was in a dark, DARK, hole for many years. So instead of feeling sorry for myself day after day, I decided to make an active change.

You are the only one who can produce happiness. I wanted happy – the happy I saw in my friend’s eyes and lives – I wanted that.

So I made it happen. I made the choice to change my lifestyle after being haunted by pictures of my over-weight self and the awfulness I felt each and every day from being physically out of shape and in bad health. I was an athlete my whole life – it was time to get mentally strong again. Be that confident young woman that lives inside the roots of my soul. The choice to better myself has been the best decision of my life.

In 16 months I have lost a total of 35+ pounds and I have accomplished fitness goals I never knew possible! Even though I started running back in 2011, I now have the self-assurance to call myself a runner – I competed in 13 races during 2014, getting a new personal record in my half marathon (2 hours 1 minutes) and beating my previous marathon time by an hour and 25 minutes (a new PR of 4:49).

But the best thing that has come out of me getting gutsy is that I’ve helped others get gutsy, helping them get out of their comfort zones. I truly feel like I have touched the lives and inspired so many individuals who realized, ‘wow, if she can do it, I can do it to!’ We can all do it, you just have to want it. That's a reminder to myself each and every day.

Making the commitment takes sacrifice – no raging weekends with friends because of training runs, opting out to go to dinner because you’re being extra good, getting up at 4:40 a.m. to hit the streets by 5 a.m. on hot summer mornings – but all of that was and still IS worth it to me. It's what I want, it's now who I am.

Be selfish with yourself because in the end your happiness is all the matters in life. And when you’re happy others around you are happy – it’s infectious. So get gutsy by taking control of your life -- you're the one with the reigns, take them where you want to go.

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