This blog is all about dreams: mine, yours and the ones we make come true. When we talked about this rebrand last year, I wanted the blog to be a place for sharing, learning and growing. Of course, I'm a photographer and this is a photography blog featuring my work. But on this Thursday and many to come, we'll be dreaming big together: telling stories, empowering each other and of course, I'll share some photos!

If there's a rule about this, I'm breaking it! In this journey, I have met so many inspiring, motivating people and I can't wait to introduce you to them! All these experiences have molded and shaped me and I've learned so much - I can't wait to share with all of you!

Some of these inspiring people are smiling at you right here (Hi Matt, Lindsay and Becky!):

My involvement with the Liz Logelin Foundation, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that serves widows and widowers with young families, has taught me the importance of giving back, paying it forward and most of all? Inspiring others to do the same. After reading Matt's blog HERE over two years ago, I knew I had to get involved. It just tugs at your heart and you want to help however you can... so I did! After meeting Lindsay Lewis, LLF executive director, we bonded instantly and I am so proud to say that today? Lindsay is one of my dearest friends and such a supporter of all these big dreams. 

One of these dreams is to inspire and motivate people like YOU in the journey to living your best life. This can mean something big or small, but we all want to be around for as long as possible, right? Make that time the best you can! For some, this means trying something new every day. For some, this means lacing up those running shoes and pounding the pavement. If you've been to this blog before, you're familiar with my running story. But for those who don't know, here's the "Long Story Short" : My cousin challenged me to run a 5K with her in 2010 and having never ran more than a basketball court length in my life, I took her up on the challenge. I trained for months, ran my first 5K in June 2011 and haven't looked back. With each race number and free t-shirt worn, medal won and finish line crossed, I realized that there are not only physical benefits, but that running is what allows me the chance to decompress, to breathe and to focus on simply putting one foot in front of the other. 

So what do my crazy running adventures have to do with the LLF?

Coincidentally, Matt's wife Liz was a runner too. Matt told us that lots of her running adventures happened while he was away in India on an extended work trip - she ran to keep herself busy while he was gone, running at their home in LA and also here at home in Minneapolis. To honor Liz, the LLF hosts a 5K race each summer at Minnehaha Falls Park. This year, we're offering a 10K option too! Join us on June 8 and sign up HERE. Although this race happens here in Minneapolis, the LLF supporters live both near and far, so there's always the option to rally your friends and family together to "race around the world!" Because the LLF supports families, there's also Maddy's Mile - a one mile race for kids, my personal favorite aspect of this event! Look at these adorable cuties :)

For those runners in Minneapolis, Team Liz just launched TODAY, March 7th (7 was Liz's favorite number)!! Join us HERE on Facebook to get going! I know it's still a bit chilly here in Minneapolis to be running around the lakes, but once the ice melts, we hope to meet some of you at Lake Calhoun one Saturday a month until June 8 to run and walk together. Community matters, especially when you're starting something new - and we're here to help. Some of our friends from a variety of running abilities will be with us on these Saturday meet-ups to offer their own experiences and encouragement! Everyone from new moms + families with kids, experienced runners, young professionals and brand new runners are welcome! We can't wait to meet you! 

This is an excellent opportunity to prepare, train and cross the finish line together on June 8th. For some, the words train and run might be scary! I can relate, but trust me, I'll be there with you every step of the way. Every other Thursday on this little place in the Internet, I'll be sharing tips for how to get started, how to stay on track and everything in between! I have been waiting months to launch this series and I can't wait to jump in. I'll be introducing you to some of my favorite products, places and people who have helped me on my journey, in the hopes you'll be excited to start yours!

If you're in another city, I encourage you to find a local park and grab some friends - and post to the Facebook group so others can join you! 

Over the next few weeks, we'll talk about preparation: everything from which plan to follow according to your ability and schedule, to which shoes to wear and the perfect routes to run or what to eat before and after a workout (this is my favorite part!). Whether you're an experienced runner or a novice wondering what the heck that Couch-to-5K trend is all about, I promise we'll have fun! Because really, why do something if it's not fun? 

If you're curious about how to get started, sign up for Active.com's mailing list - they literally JUST sent me these Top 5 Tips for 5K Training! YAY! Go HERE and check it out :)

Side note: I LOVE fashion. So when I stepped into my local running store (Marathon Sports ROCKS!) and was fitted for my first pair of sneaks, I quickly found the perfect fit. But the shoe only came in blue. BLUE. Why couldn't I get the hot pink flashy ones on the wall? But I trusted the salesperson (I mean, I had NO CLUE about running at this point!) and after our first run together, I realized these BLUE sneakers were perfect for me. Turns out, they were right: "fit over fashion!" And wouldn't you know, I've gone back three times now and purchased the SAME EXACT BLUE PAIR of New Balance running shoes since then! Not to say I haven't compensated with overly bright and flashy running shorts + tops :) A girl has to look good, right?!

For those of you who are new here, I hope to see you back - don't be afraid to say HI! Leave a comment below and tell your story - ask questions, tell me what you want to know! Let's be in conversation and get TEAM LIZ off the ground - I am so excited to see what the next 3 months bring! LLF 5k/10k, here we come!

xoxo,
Sydnee 

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a licensed fitness professional, but I know people who are - and those dear friends will be making an appearance on the blog soon :) And as always, seek a medical professional's advice before starting any new routine or lifestyle change. I did - and frankly, it saved my life! More on that next week ;)