Ambassador Madness (And DISCOUNT CODES!)

Lady-Crew? Want discounts on See Jane Run products or races? Check out the discount codes within!

Spectrum Strong

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I’m SUPER excited to announce that I’ve been selected, once again, as a See Jane Run Ambassador! This is my second year on the team and I’m so happy to do it once again. What’s an ambassador? It’s like a brand cheerleader. I strongly believe in the See Jane Run stores’ philosophy of inclusiveness, support, positivity and thoughtfulness. SJR is a woman-owned company started in San Francisco. The stores and website sell awesome women’s athletic gear. The company also sponsors 4 races each year. This year, they are 3 half marathons (Alameda, CA, Seattle, WA and Wichita, KA) and a women’s triathlon and duathlon in Pleasanton, CA.

See Jane Run stores are full of knowledgeable associates. Most of the women I’ve met in their stores are serious runners who really care about the sport and the success of their customers. Want to save 10% on your purchases in their…

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Ballerina Bad Ass!

Our workout today was super cool!

We went to Sparta Tae Kwon Do today for a boot camp class unlike anything I’d ever tried before. We started with some slow jogging drills around the mat followed by another warm up activity where we lined up as “pylons.” We stood in a single file line with about 3 feet between us. The last person in the line did “foot drills” by agilely running around and through us, the pylons. Think of a race/agility course with safety cones where we were the cones and one of us was the race car. We also did boot camp drills like high knees and high kicks across the mat and then we got to the fun stuff: kicking and punching!

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Working as partners, one partner held the paddles while the other punched or kicked. When someone forgot to point her toes while kicking, I reminded her to think like a Ballerina Bad Ass – point your toes as you kick the crap outta that paddle! I swear there is some aggression not so far below the surface of my daily attitude! I LOVED whacking those paddles!

We ended our workout with some self-defense techniques where our instructor, Diane Hoh, showed us how to escape the grasp of someone trying to grab us. While I’ve never felt personally threatened in such a way, it was really empowering to know that the ability to escape is built into me – I just need to know how to tap into it!

In case you ever want to try out for a bit part in a Matrix movie…or you just want to learn some cool moves, check out Sparta Tae Kwon Do or their TDK Boot Camp program. It’s a really fun workout and a great way to tap into your inner bad ass! Tae Kwon Do is a graceful Korean martial arts practice, the tenets of which are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit. Those tenets are the reason I signed up my son for Tiny Titans class. Now that I’ve tried it myself, I’m tempted to learn more.

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I’m the green-shirted dork in the helmet. We figured, “when in Rome, right?” 🙂

Sometimes my life feels like a “Three’s Company” episode

This morning I got started out bursting with a spirit of organization. To change things up a bit, I created a real list on paper! Cute boots on, list in hand, children strapped into seats…I began my mission. First stop, preschool drop off. The kiddos asked if they could stay at school for lunch today so I obliged, granting myself an extra hour and 15 minutes of errand running and alone time.

Getting back into the car, I reconsulted my list:

1) dry cleaners (hoping they can magically remove the weird sleep smell from our comforter so I’ll stop wanting to gag when I enter my bedroom)
2) consignment store (looking to get paid for crap I don’t want to have in my house anyway)
3) farmer’s market
4) library

Easy enough, right? Before diving into my list and knowing it was only 9am (retail places don’t open until 10am, right?), I decided to see if my girl was into grabbing coffee. She was! In fact, she was at a coffee shop already. Perfect! I drove from Walnut Creek to Martinez to meet her…after all, what is that extra hour of preschool for?

It turns out that Tina is like a celebrity in Martinez. She knows EVERYONE. She knows the proprietors of the coffee shop, in fact. An hour later, as she left our coffee encounter, the barista shouted, “Hey, Happy Birthday, Tina!”

“What?!?” I said, “I thought your birthday was in June.”

Tina looked mortified, rolled her eyes, made a quiet comment which I didn’t catch, gave me a big hug and headed for the parking lot. I panicked.

The barista looked at me sideways (after all, Tina had just introduced me to her, calling me out as her super good friend). I said, “Whoa, I can’t believe I didn’t know today was her birthday.”

“Yeah, the guy behind her in line told us…we didn’t know either.”

I googled and yelped nearby florists. None of the FOUR answered their phones at 10am on a Tuesday. Ugh. Then I remembered that she had been super excited when Le Jardin at the Spa (in Pleasant Hill) gave FFF gift cards for services for our fall challenge winners. So I called them. They put together a spa package deal and gift card. I got back on 680 and sped over there, picked up the gift card, got back on 680 and sped back to Martinez. 10:22am, the time was flying but I was ok. I just had to pick up a card, balloons and a cupcake (all of which Safeway should be able to handle) and make it to Downtown Martinez before Tina left her 10am hair appointment.

10:30am: Parked at Safeway
10:43am: Left Safeway (balloons, cupcake, card and shaved Parmesan to complete my dinner recipe…all in hand)
10:49am: Arrived Downtown Martinez
10:51am: Noticed Tina walking down the street!

Window down, I shouted, “Hey You!”

Tina replied, “What’s up? Where are you coming from?”

“Where’s your car?”

“Around the block.”

“Ok, I’ll meet you there.”

Coming around the corner, I noticed her car and a free parking space behind it. Feeling like a completely awesome, I-didn’t-really-forget/miss-your-birthday-friend, I pulled out the balloons, card/gift card and cupcake and waited for her next to her car.

As Tina approached, I noticed a really strange look on her face. Thinking, “Wow, she’s really not into her birthday!” I marched on.

Huge, embarrassed grin on her face, she said, “It’s not my birthday. My birthday is in June, just like you said.”

“Huh? Wait, what’s going on?”

Taking the offered balloons, she said, “Some guy came into the coffee place after me and kept saying it was his birthday so I asked him if he was serious and he said no. Then he that it could be my birthday.

As I ordered my coffee, the barista overheard him and asked if it was my birthday. I said no, but he kept nodding his head behind me. Rather than embarrass both of us even further, I just smiled. They gave me a huge discount on my coffee so I felt really weird but I didn’t want to make that guy look like a quack.”

“Wow. I got you a spa day gift card.”

Yeah, that really happened.

Realizing that this will likely be a story we remember fondly for years to come, we both giggled our way into our cars. As she pointed out, even if it’s not her birthday, she’s feeling HUGELY loved today. And after I left her, I still managed to check off most the items on my list. Even though I feel like an ass-hat, at least I showed her how much she means to me. And now thanks to the simplicity of the world wide web, you all know too. Having a friend as awesome as Tina is rare. I am so grateful to have her in my life, so upon thinking that I missed her birthday, I wanted to make sure it didn’t pass without the fireworks and crazy amazing recognition I believe she deserves. So I charged through a ridiculous series of hoops in 60 minutes time in order to show her how much I love her. And now she really knows (and her hair looks adorns, too – don’t you think?)! 🙂

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Happy It’s Not Your Birthday! You’re an amazing friend. Love you MORE!

Linda’s Story

Linda is a beautiful light in FFF. She’s always full of smiles and positive energy – we’re so lucky to get to spend time with her. I think we can all relate to her story and to what she learned about taking care of herself.
Here is my story…I fell in love at 18 to this wonderful handsome man whom is my husband, we have been married for 34 years.  He has been my soul mate, lover, and greatest support to who I am today.  This is my life lesson into learning about balance.  After 2 children and about 7 years of marriage I did not feel good about who I was.   Yes, I was about 62 pounds over weight.  I joined Weight Watchers and starting walking everyday.  Mando encouraged me along the way, also I went into counseling because I truly thought I lost my identity.  I was only mom to Nicole and Miguel, wife to Mando…where did LINDA go?  I started to find my inner soul and love of life again!  I was gaining strength.  Walking and talking with my lady councilor was a great tool.  Little by little LINDA was coming back, and happier.  When my mind, body, and soul were truly mine again I was never going back to my old ways.  Saying no to people, friends, my children, and doing it in a nice way made me realize that it is OK.  Life does go on and good things happen.  I have been on this journey since 1988 and I love who I am now.  My past helped shape the wonderful happy and lucky woman I am today.  I am truly blessed for my family and friends.  I am so rich at heart and that’s all I need in life.  
This is the first time I have actually written this down.  It feels good in a weird way.  I have enjoyed the FFF so much, thank you for starting this wonderful wellness program for us ladies.

Working for a Living (or working for a JERK?)

One of our lady-crew is having a really challenging time at work. I am sure many of us have experienced similar or related situations. My own was different but WRONG none the less. A former boss asked me (while drunk at a client dinner, after the clients had left) what words my husband and I used to talk about my vagina. “You know, while you’re doing it? Like muff triangle?” I was appalled and really frightened about what to do. So I did nothing. Fortunately he was soon fired for unrelated causes but I’ve always been ashamed of myself for not reporting him. Let’s give some love to our lady who is struggling right now. 
So, I wanted to present at our last meeting about my career issues because it was a room full of women.  I have been dealing with misogyny at the work place for the last year.  It’s taken me a long time to obtain my degree and this is my first time in the work place in my new career.
I wanted to share with the other women who are in the work force, who have been in the work force, and in general who may have experienced at one time or another misplaced Male Issues.  I have dealt with sexual harassment before but never have I been so blocked in by someone who actively just does not feel it is a woman’s place to be at work.
My current project director (a supervisor) has walked a fine line between harassment and “allowed” criticism of my work.  He has passive aggressively told me that 1) a woman belongs at home taking care of the house and children 2) that if I had a second child I’d have to quit anyway to raise that child.  I’ve brushed these off saying to myself “this is a cultural difference,” buried my resistance, and moved on.
Today was the first time I experienced active misogyny.  He was being belligerent in critique of my work and I decided it was a good time to have a frank discussion of his supervision style and how I could best work to produce the results he wanted.  I informed him that his micromanagement, his (as he called it “pushing me”) demand I work at his pace, was not helping me produce good results as it was stressing me out so much I was making the very minor mistakes he was complaining about.  He (and I really want the other women to visualize that pure anger you’ve seen across someone’s face) was immediately angry and told me in a firm, cold, tone that it was not my place – NOT MY PLACE – to tell him that.  If I wanted to speak of his approach I was to talk to ANOTHER MAN my MANAGER and deal with it that way.  He then proceeded to “instruct” me like what had just transpired was a non-issue.  I stood up and told him, “I was not going to talk about this at the moment” and immediately went to speak with my manager who has been aware of the issues between this project director and I for the last YEAR.
I was sent home today to allow me space from the toxic environment – not on my asking but suggested to me by my manager as he dealt with it.
I’ve never battled such issues before and was wondering if any of the other women in our group have faced hardships from men who have an issue with women in the work force. 
 
Well, I don’t think our friend is alone. Please share your suggestions, feedback and/or similar experiences in the comments so she won’t feel so alone.