A friend recently posted the below on Facebook. It’s so true. Not that men aren’t equally amazing. They are. I’ve never understood a couple of things. One: Why don’t women embrace being women. That means we aren’t men, probably shouldn’t be treated like them, are unique and how amazing is that? Two: Why don’t we support each other more? We’re all women, we all go through a list of the same issues, we’re all struggling in similar ways. Geez, band together and raise each other up. Continue reading
My freshman year of college I took a personality test called Myers-Briggs. I also took it in the workplace on two separate occasions at two different jobs as well as in a pre-marriage class. Although I’ll always be me – ENFJ – knowing who I am in black and white has helped me to be more aware of my own actions as well as those around me. (If you click the link and take the test, when you get your letters go HERE to read all about yourself!)
Another little test I’ve taken is Love Languages to know that I’m a high physical contact and quality time kind of girl.
The reason I bring this up is that I feel the more you know about yourself, the more aware you are around other people. Having gone to a Women’s ReTreat this past month I immediately clicked with some women while others I hardly spoke with at all. At one point in my life it’s possible I would have wondered if it was something I said or did, maybe I’m too outgoing, etc… As I’ve gotten older I realize that we are who we are and we just connect with some people better than others.
Running supersedes many social norms. We act more like a group of kids at camp – instantly bonding and very quickly sharing fairly personal information. At the end of a ten miler it’s possible to feel as if you know that person better than someone you’ve been acquaintances with for years. In part it’s from sharing the “blood, sweat and tears” of a run and exchanging helpful information and encouragement. Also, we tend to breach uncomfortable subjects at an alarmingly rate – conversations about burping, farting (while running – it’s an art), runners poops, peeing on the side of the road, changing clothes in front of each other and a myriad of embarrassing topics – that some married couples haven’t shared with each other. (sad but true) Running gives us a tight bond. I appreciate the few friendships in my life that are up close and personal as well as the runners who have been part of my life whether it’s been just a short, quiet jaunt together or the deeper, longer lasting intimate friendship. Here’s to knowing who you are and finding people who love you in spite of that!!
This is what happens when you get 50 women together away from kids and husbands at an all womens ReTreat for 3 days and 2 nights…. Be afraid, be very afraid….
I approached the reTreat with some amount of trepidation. 50 women??? Yikes!! Although I didn’t get to know every one of them, the women I connected with are remaining great friends. With such varied and distinct individual lives, the reTreat brought us together and remains the glue that was the impitus of our new and developing relationships. Being women, each with our own set of goals, struggles and strengths, mothers, wives, all with unique set of circumstances allows us to remain friends in spite of our differences. Maybe more so because of them. We’ve begun to support each other, encourage, feel each others pain of disappointment and elate in each others euphoria of success. Connecting with women at this level is new for me as I tend to be very outgoing while at the same time breasting my cards so to speak. It’s wonderful…
I can no longer recollect how I initially heard about Another Mother Runner, but I’ve been following their blog, podcasts, books and website for a long time. Sarah and Dimity have offered a plethora of information on all things running from the basic to the TMI and I enjoy their candid humor. They are real women with genuine struggles balancing work, marriage, children, running and all the seemingly insignificant but often disruptive events that occur in daily life. I’ve
cyber-stalked followed them diligently, also using their interface as a springboard to connect with other mother runners. Sarah and Dimity have no hesitation admitting to be Badass Mother Runners not unlike myself – and encourage women to own it.
At one point in my
stalking following career, I wrote to thank them. Living in an instant gratification, negative society I try to point out the positive whenever I can. Sarah and Dimity had been making a significantly positive effect on my life and I was compelled to tell them. I recall saying thank you and telling a little about myself. Just, “Hey, you make a difference and I appreciate you” kind of thing. Sarah wrote back telling me MY story was an inspiration and stated, “Please tell me you have a blog!” No, actually, but having always wanted one, that was the final and much-needed kick in the butt for me to start one. That week tuffmotherondarun was born and I was even more grateful for my relationship with these wonderful women as I watched the ripple effect of connecting with them in my own life. They made me feel that my story is important and had the potential to touch other women in the same way they were a constant source of inspiration to me.
As a blog writer, I feel that it’s an outward projection of my internal dialogue. A creative outlet. A diary of sorts. If people don’t want to follow it, that’s OK. It’s mostly for me to be able to vent my inner rantings about being a woman, mom, wife and runner who admittedly doesn’t have all the answers. However if I can save someone from making some of the same mistakes I’ve made; that’s fantastic. If I encourage or make someone laugh that’s awesome! I hope if you’re following it, you enjoy it and I’m giving you something that’s needed because that’s why I follow Sarah and Dimity. They feed my badass mother runner soul.
Naturally, I felt compelled to meet these strong, determined, wonderful ladies live and in person. Sure, cyber-stalking is an enjoyable pastime, but after a year or two, I wanted to really know them. Last summer Sarah posted a blog on a Women’s ReTreat she had attended. I pored over Kingston Adventures website, looked longingly at the pictures, desperately wanting to BE there. When Another Mother Runner posted their calendar for the 2012 year, it showed they were both slated to return to the reTreat. Again, I pored over the information and realized I could actually make it happen. 3 days of trail running, SUP, yoga, Sarah and Dimity as guest speakers with their new book as part of the swag….. Certainly one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
Getting to meet the girls was wonderful. Their differing personalities shine through in their writing styles and are more poignant upon getting to know them. They’re women and moms just like I am, but their ability to utilize journalism to touch people’s lives is inspiring. Though all our email correspondence and blog reading allowed me to feel as if I knew Sarah and Dimity, nothing can compare with sitting down and chatting. I feel honored to call them friends, even though our acquaintance is new and I still look forward to getting to know them better as time goes on. At one point towards the end of the reTreat, Beth, the reTreat’s owner, operator and fellow badass woman spoke stating that she hoped this opportunity would allow us to continue the friendships we began there. I was sitting between Sarah and Dimity and leaned into Sarah whispering in the most creepy voice I could muster, “Don’t worry. I’ll never stop stalking you…” Creepy or not, there is truth in the fact that I want my life to be surrounded with positive, wonderful, strong, badass women who make me want to be a better me. Dimity and Sarah I count among those few special women.
For the first time ever in my 41 years I treated myself to a weekend with the girls. I’ve always wanted girlfriends to travel with, go to lunch with, chat with about important things like Botox, stretch marks, sex, kids, husbands, running, getting older, etc… However that is a luxury that has not been a large commodity in my life. I have one best friend, my sister and my mother in law all who live far away or a phone call away, however that’s just not the same as getting together. Otherwise the women in my life are cherished but more close acquaintances than friends and we don’t get together or plan things. Men are easier for me to be friends with I believe due to their simplicity, but again I have very few close male friends and I wouldn’t feel comfortable meeting for a drink to sit and chat. How do you have a weekend getaway with the girls when you lack girls??
Kingston Adventures!! I initially heard about Kingston Adventures from two women writers who’s blog, podcasts and website I follow. Sarah and Dimity from Another Mother Runner. Sarah attended Kingston’s Women’s ReTreat last summer and immediately after reading her blog, I linked in to sign up. While waiting the months until 2012 sign up, I looked at pictures, read information and cyber-stalked Sarah and Dimity with renewed vengeance and enthusiasm as they were the reTreat’s scheduled guest speakers.
The reTreat sold out in 20 hours even though the number of allowed women doubled from 25 to 50 in attendance. All I knew is that I made the list and only had 7 months to plan!! Although I believe you should never wish your time away, I did look forward to the beginning of August when I’d board a plane to Seattle, get on a shuttle to the ferry which would bring me to the Kingston ReTreat. At long last, I arrived although it took 3 phone calls to Beth – Kingston Adventures mastermind and owner and a rescue pick up at the towns grocery store where the shuttle dumped me unceremoniously.
50 women and a schedule laden with outdoor exercise, amazing food, a breathtakingly beautiful house nestled in Washingtons Puget Sound. Nirvana!!
All weekend I remained excited, anxious and enthusiastic with my journal, pencil and business cards in hand ready and waiting for the next wonderful moment. Beth did not leave me wanting. I met women who I plan to remain in close contact with, women who are strong, passionate, driven, entrepreneurial, down to earth. Women who make you want to be better than you are, to remain strong and renew your internal passion and drive. I feel my vernacular is inadequate to describe not only how amazing the reTreat was, but what a truly oustanding woman Beth and all the women she chose to be part of the weekend are. It’s an understatement when I say that I left a piece of myself in Kingston, but took more away.