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The Habit of Optimism

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 09/24/2014 05:54:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Relax

I locked my keys in the car.  I missed my appointment.  My computer crashed.  My watch stopped.  Seriously?!  What emotions go through your mind on a morning like this?  

 

Do you believe it is possible to live up to Charles Swindoll's famous quote “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react?”

 

I had two choices:

 

  1. Doom and gloom: Decide the day sucked and act accordingly
  2. Optimism: Decide to let go of the urge to feed my inner tantrum and believe in the power of optimistic thinking 

 

Notice the key word in both of these choices?  DECIDE. Yes, YOU have a choice in how you will react.   This will determine the tone for the rest of your day and ultimately your life as a whole.  

 

Consider that dirty pile of laundry on your floor.  If we don't clean up our thinking, the pile magically continues to grow.  So how do we keep our mental pile of laundry picked up?

  

Practice. 

 

If you were born an eternal optimist, then more power to you.  If you are like most other human beings out there, a casual smile isn't the first thing that crosses our lips when disappointment hits.  So when you are about to drop a four letter bomb, take a deep breath and follow these tried and true steps to develop the habit of optimism. 

 

  1. Count blessings:  My kids weren't locked in the car, no one got hit by a car, oh wait- I get to own a car, a computer, and I have husband with spare keys.  Is this really that bad? 

 

  1. See opportunity:  Spontaneous adventure is a great distractor from the loss of not having your way. I decided to go for a run, play with my kids and clean a cupboard I had been wanting to clean for months.  Bam!  Not so bad after all.  When a door closes, open a window. You can still get some fresh air.

 

  1. Surround yourself with positivity.  Do you have ongoing positive influences in your life?  Friends, family, activities, blogs, etc.  Keeping dirty laundry in a pile is a magnet for more clothes to be thrown on top.  

 

TO DO:  For one week, keep a small rubber band on your wrist.  When you are tempted give in to doom and gloom, snap the band and take the above steps to optimistic thinking.   

 

Remember, habits seem big at first but get easy with time.  Before you know it, Optimism will be a reflex!

 

I’d love to hear how this little trick works for you. Share below!

Stop the Self-Hate: 12 steps to loving what your body can do

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 09/21/2014 08:46:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate

Hi! I’m Sami, one of the Skirt Sports fall/winter models and I’m a self-hater…well, a recovering self-hater.

“Hate” is such an ugly word, maybe I’m not a self hater but I have been guilty of talking to myself and about myself worse than an enemy would. In this age of women’s sports, elite female athletes and fitness magazines we’re bombarded with images of amazing bodies and even more amazing athletic accomplishments, but what if we don’t fit the “elite” profile? Don’t we deserve the same praise, especially from ourselves?

A few years ago I ran the Denver’s Colfax Half Marathon, it was a great race, I only missed my (then) PR by one minute and I felt strong throughout the entire race. My husband used his phone to video tape me as I went through the finish line. I couldn’t wait too see the clip, it was a grand moment of accomplishment but the thing I noticed above the sweat, cheers and finisher’s medals was the little support my sports bra was giving me…Oh, the horror! My girls were all over the place!

I pushed the horrid image of that video clip out of my mind (along with the thought of the hundreds of people who witnessed the bouncing train wreck) and moved on with my celebratory beer. It wasn’t long before the image crept back in and I began to criticize the way I looked rather than bask in the joy of running 13.1 miles in under two hours.

As the races have come and gone over the years I’ve managed to PR, go the 26.2 distance and share my love of running with my daughters. I’ve celebrated the victories and have continued to set new goals however, that little voice was still in my head, pointing out the flaws and critiquing the imperfections. Stealing the joy of the accomplishment!

I don’t remember the exact “ah-ha” moment when I decided that I’d had enough of that mean little voice in my head and began to question how I could find a balance between loving my body and having realistic expectations.

Here are my twelve steps to self-hate recovery:

  1. Don’t depend on others to make you feel confident. Even though my husband is an amazing cheerleader, I would have run a marathon anyway… I did it for me.
  2. Take a risk. Step outside of your comfort zone and set new goals.
  3. Baby steps. Start with things you know and feel confident doing then slowly learn new ones.
  4. Assess your current strengths. What are you currently good at and what areas of your body do you love? Come up with a list and write it down.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on being the best that you can be.
  6. Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back. When you’ve accomplished a goal, don’t be afraid to be proud!
  7. Practice good nutrition.
  8. Limit alcohol. It’s full of empty calories and can become a real downer.
  9. Make leisure time a priority. Do more of the things that you love and focus on your emotional happiness, not just your physical beauty.
  10. Get enough rest. When we’re tired we can get down on ourselves.
  11. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Why not be as nice to yourself as you are to the people you love? Think to yourself, ‘would I say this to my best friend, or my sister, or my mother?’
  12. Give yourself a break. There is no shame in taking a break if the workout is too difficult or you’re not feeling well. Give yourself permission to rest without guilt.

Learning to love your body is not always as easy as buying a new supportive sports bra (especially from Skirt Sports) but it’s important that we stop the self-hate. I have had to work at putting these new practices in place in my life and as simple as they sound it can be easy to get competitive with myself. Don’t mistreat your awesome bod, let’s take joy in the amazing things our bodies are capable of and all they do, that should be celebrated everyday!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Cry

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 09/18/2014 08:53:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

My name is Anastasia (but since you know me now, you can call me Annie). I am a photographer (www.anastasiarae.com), a Resident Innkeeper at The Bradley Boulder Inn, and one of Skirt Sports Real-Women-Models. I want to fill you in on one of my secrets… I am not a natural athlete, nor was I one in school. My dad is an avid runner and has been competing in marathons my whole life. My sister followed in his footsteps completing her first marathon in 2010, and two of my brothers swim at the collegiate level. I played on the occasional sports team in high school, but I was never the star of the game. I spent the majority of my high school years in the marching band where the most active thing we had to do was high-step onto the field. Sometimes, for me, it takes some convincing to get out of bed every day and decide to be an athlete. I still am not the most coordinated athlete you’ll meet, but since moving to Boulder, Colorado, I love to stay active.

 

I grew up near Detroit, Michigan, moved to Colorado in 2011, and haven’t looked back since. The outdoor community here simply can’t be beat. I love to hike, snowboard, rock climb, and run. This community has motivated me to sign up and start the training process for my first marathon. I’ve done my fair share of 5 and 10k’s, a half marathon in Detroit, and even a 150-mile bike race, but this 26.2 is my big new challenge. My training started in July. I tried a few training programs and couldn’t quite find the right fit until I landed on my current schedule by Hal Higdon. I didn’t have an extreme base when kicking my training into high gear, so there have been some definite ups and downs. I want to share with you guys the good, the bad, and the ugly-cry.

 

My biggest advise thus far while training for a marathon is two-fold:

 

  1. Make sure you’re in the right pair of shoes. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple pairs even if they are the exact same model. Rotating your shoes helps to lower the risk for injury. Here’s an interesting article that helped me understand why this is important as you increase your mileage: http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/study-backs-rotating-shoes-to-lower-injury-risk
  2. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to push it or ease back. My first 18-mile run was just plain hard. I was actually shooting for 20, but at 18 I was done, mentally and physically. That being said, I felt pretty good all things considered, and I completed 18 of the 20 miles, which was still a big feat for me. A week later, I ran a loop around the Boulder Reservoir (5.5 miles) and cried. You read that correctly; I literally stopped to walk and cry because I was frustrated and worn out. My body was clearly telling me that I needed a rest and maybe more than that, a break. I have realized throughout my training that it is important not to get mad at yourself when you cheat on your training schedule. It will still be there when you come back to it.

 

Speaking of training schedules…another piece of advice is to find a training program you like and stick to it. It’s much easier to wrap your head around your first 8-miler, and your big 18 to 20-miler, if you know what day it will be and what your mileage looks like before then. If possible, try not to cheat your long runs (but go easy on yourself if you do – see above J).

 

By no means am I an expert when it comes to all things active. I am a real woman sharing my real experience. To me, there’s not a better feeling than the high I feel after a run. I am hoping to complete my marathon and go on to do more marathons and possibly other big races in the future.

 

Are you training for your big new challenge? What has your experience been like? We’d love to hear from you about your training and what your good, bad, and ugly are. Leave a comment below!

 

When Skirt Sports Was Just a Glimmer in Nicole’s Eye

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 09/15/2014 08:54:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate

I met Nicole in 1998 when I moved to Boulder. I believe our first encounter was at a wild triathlon gathering where she was the life of the party. I’ll keep it rated G here. We gradually became long time friends. Life went on, I got married and had a baby. Nicole started dominating the races and getting faster and fitter and stronger.

 

One afternoon in 2004 Nicole and I decided to treat ourselves to the spa which happened once a year. Afterward we had coffee and chatted. Nicole announced, “I have a business idea, I’m going to design a skirt that you can run in.” She talked about the spankie, patterns, and design ideas. She said, “You can be part of my test group.”

 

Fantastic! I loved the idea but was not really expecting her to actually make it happen and so quickly. Before I knew it, she was cutting and sewing, packing and shipping out of her basement. And TRIKS was born. SKIRT, spelled backwards, very clever!

 

I watched her work hard long hours building this amazing company. She hired talented employees, had excellent customer service and marketing. Skirt was in the fitness magazines, and hosted Skirt Chaser 5K races, where you received a running skirt at the end of the race! No one did that!

 

The brand continues to grow and the innovative designs never stop. The running dress! LOVE it. Bringing femininity and sexiness into sport, an industry usually dominated by men. Every piece Skirt designs is very well thought out. Hidden pockets, cleavage pockets, tear-away tags, and just wait until the front zipper bra is released! [NOTE: this bra is now available – click here!]

 

Nicole is a great friend and she is successful because of who she is in this world. Her passion for life is so strong, she’s dedicated, a hard worker, and a whole lot of fun to be around. I’ve heard many friends, including myself, come up with business ideas but we haven’t quite been able to get these ideas off the ground. Nicole made Skirt what it is today from an idea, a lot of hard work and a huge passion for sport. Nicole thrives on helping women feel good about themselves, and she keeps everyone motivated, moving and laughing. I am so proud to call myself her friend (I’d wear the stuff even if I didn’t like her) and to be able to represent her company as a real-life model after all these years.

Your Skin Needs You!

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 09/03/2014 08:55:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

I’m Pauli M, one of Skirt Sports real-women-models. I’m also a lifelong athlete of many outdoor sports, currently training for the Snowmass-to-Aspen Golden Leaf Half Marathon. I have been in the sun protection profession for over 16 years (dermatology) and with my personal experience with outdoor activities, preventing skin cancer is important to me on many levels. My husband has had two skin cancers (his first at age 28!) and I have 2 young boys that I am trying get to enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors without compromising their young, undamaged skin! So, I thought I would mention a little about sunscreen.

 

Do you wear sunscreen everyday?

 

I’m guessing you just wrinkled your nose or had some sort of “not really” face expression. We have all done it…head out on a run or hike on a cloudy morning without a hat or sunscreen and half way through the workout the clouds part and the sun starts blazing down on our fresh, fragile skin. Or caught off guard in a workout class where the instructor suddenly yells…”now lets take it outside!”. Yikes! But it is all of that cumulative sun exposure that is causing all of the damage to your skin. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have issues leaving the house without sunscreen on (I feel like my face is naked without it!). Of course, before your run or hike or any outdoor sport it is super important to be protecting your skin – but everyday is important too. All of that cumulative sun damage can add up. Finding just the right sunscreen is the tricky part – and making sure you apply it every morning.

 

How much sunscreen do I use and what about reapplication?

 

Most Americans only use about 25% of the recommended amount. One full ounce (that’s a shot glass! -or 2 tablespoons) should be applied to all exposed parts of your body. One-half teaspoon will cover your face. And do not forget to apply to your neck and chest also (especially in summer months). It takes time for the sunscreen to bind completely with the outer skin layers for best protection. Sunscreen should be applied 20-30 minutes before leaving the house so that it has time to absorb into the skin and should be reapplied every 2 hours. So reapply- reapply-reapply!!

 

What is the difference between a “physical block” and a “chemical sunscreen”?

 

A physical block will contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that literally block the suns rays. While chemical screens (such as avobenzone, octylcrylene, homosalate and helioplex) will absorb the UV rays before they can do damage. Chemical screens do their job well, but can potentially cause more irritation (like rashes on your skin or run in your eyes and sting). For best coverage and especially if you (or maybe your kids) have sensitive skin, it is good to use more of a “physical block” (with maybe a small portion of chemical screen included). My favorite sunscreens main ingredient is zinc (a physical block). Zinc is a natural anti-inflammatory. In fact, it is the main ingredient in diaper creams for this reason! Zinc also does not cause acne like titanium dioxide has a tendency to. And now the zinc is usually micronized (in small particles) so it does not have that white ghostly look. Some of the brands even have a slight tint to them that is nice for a little coverage too. Two of my favorite brands are EltaMD (UV Sport SPF 50 and UV Physical SPF 41) and Skin Ceuticals (Physical Fusion SPF 50) which can be found on-line or in dermatology offices.

 

See what you think about this video…I think it’s pretty intriguing and may inspire us to put on that SPF each morning:

 

 

PS – I just wanted to add that skin cancer is not only your risk…more than 90% of the visible changes to your skin commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. So bust out and have fun – but don’t forget your SPF!

Meet Noelle W. – Queen of the Kick Starters!

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 08/29/2014 08:56:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Who would know that walking by a sample sale for a company I didn’t know a heck of a lot about could bring me to one of the most rewarding experiences of my life? I’ve been fortunate enough to not only be a part of, but to manage, the Skirt Sports Kick Start program. Right now we are in the final stages of our current Kick Start Program, the “Kick It Up a Notch 10k” (I just made that name up!). We have 11 women who previously entered our 5k Kick Start Program who will be running their first 10k on Sept 13th!

 

Let me rewind a bit and share my story of how I got involved with Skirt Sports and the Kick Start Program. My kids were out of school, summer was in full swing and I was rethinking my current job, good timing because Skirt Sports was hiring a Customer Care position. I have a pretty colorful job history from working in the healthcare industry, managing a local marathon, coordinating events for the pharmaceutical industry and working as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school…why not try this out! I’ve worked with people of all walks of life I figured I could handle managing kudos or the occasional complaint, it happens in all professions! Plus I’m a runner, a cyclist, love fashion and best of all – I love to talk about things I love. I got the job and here I am today, knee deep in Skirt (literally my closet is full of Skirt), but best of all I’m knee deep in being a part of transforming women’s lives.

 

Shortly after I started, I guess Nicole DeBoom thought I had a knack for more than just Customer Care. She gave me a few challenges, first our Skirt Sports Ambassador program and then Kick Start. I heard about the Kick Start program, but didn’t know to the full extent what it was about, so that scared me a bit. I knew that it was a special program that helped women who have barriers in their lives and have never run a 5k (or for some, they’ve never run much at all), and paired them up with a motivator (someone who runs, loves to run and would be a great support system). I understood there would be meetings, introductions and updates, and then they would all run a 5k. Sounds easy enough, right? Well sure, when you spell it out like that, but it really is so much more; it’s the emotional part that you can’t put down on paper.

 

When I take a project on I want to make every piece of it memorable. Something that kept ringing in my head was how special this program is and the huge effect it has on women’s lives, not just the beginners but also the motivators, their families and ME.

 

I jumped in last spring. It all started with a shout-out for applicants for Beginners and Motivators. We hit Facebook, emails, even a TV spot on a local morning show; we searched every avenue we could! The applications started rolling in and then it hit me, I have to choose these women, I have to pair them up with other women who will have a profound effect on their lives….this is a big deal and I need to do this right. So I did what many might do, I filed them and walked away for a good bit. I was scared that I might pick the wrong partners and worse I might fail at this.

 

Lucky for me and the program I didn’t have much time to be in denial about the selection process because time was of the essence and it had to be done no matter how I felt. I started doing this very methodically, first by location, then by age, then by stories….the stories boy that was huge. I laughed, I cried, I had chills, I smiled over and over again because this was becoming really exciting! I got it! I really think I got it! After many notes, highlights and discussions with myself I was able to pair up 34 women! I paired 17 women with barriers in their lives with 17 women who would motivate and support them through one of the most exciting and possibly scariest, yet rewarding times of their lives. That felt really good.

 

Next up was the Kick-Off meeting. A Kick-Off meeting is where everyone in the program finally comes together, tells their stories and then meets their partners…oh yeah and then we go for a 20 minute run, for some this was their first run, ever. There was not a dry eye in the house and I wasn’t quite prepared for that. I read the stories in the applications, but it’s not the same as hearing it in-person; this definitely was going to be special and transformative.

 

Then the training began. A lot can happen in 8 weeks, meet-ups for walks, jogs and runs, Facebook/email communications with lots and lots of questions, concerns and kudos, and then boom the 5k! What I found most important during these 8 weeks was not just the buildup of miles, but the buildup of relationships and trust.

 

On June 1st, I could tell for many it was nerve-racking, their first 5k ever! The energy was just amazing at the Skirt Sports Half Marathon and 5k. Before the race we had a big pow wow to get everyone revved up to go with an incredibly inspiring talk from Nicole DeBoom, a pep talk from me, a warm up and then we lined up at the starting line! We had runners, joggers and walkers and everyone did it.

 

queen of the kickstartersI am so proud to say everyone crossed the finish line with huge smiles, some tears, lots of hugs and of course high-fives. What a proud moment to see each and every one do this, although I think I missed a couple because they were so fast they crossed the finish line ahead of me! As I sit and write this I still fill up with tears of joy knowing that I was a part of transforming these women’s lives – the beginners, the motivators…and ME!

 

Join me virtually as we cheer on the 11 women who are making that huge leap from the 5k to their first 10k. We all know how important each step of the journey toward becoming a runner is. These women are well on their way!

 

Part Funky, Part Vintage, All Charm

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 08/28/2014 08:57:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate

Hi Skirt fans! I’m Keli V, Director of Product Creation. One of my key job roles is to identify new trends for our new styles, colors and prints. We take inspiration from everywhere and research a TON before each season.

 

This new season we saw animal prints trending in a non-traditional way, which made me think about snakes and the way they slither, slide and have a slight sexiness to them. We may not be snakes, but we move in our own way as we run, pace, sprint and move every day of our lives. With busy schedules, we want to feel sexy as well, but also energetic and happy!

 

By throwing away the traditional snakeskin pattern, I wanted to infuse more LIFE and ENERGY into a snake print, so I thought COLOR, how can we pump up the volume on a snake print? How could we charm our way into your lives even more?

 

Snake Charmer 1I am drawn to color, and this season our key inspiration was a funky, retro tapestry from the 1970’s. A one of a kind piece from an American art studio that had fun ‘experimenting’ with design. We saw it and immediately fell in love with the colorful and playful snakeskin print. Staying in tune with this seasons trends on reptile skins, Snake Charmer comes to life with a bold and graphic take on classic animal prints. The retro inspiration we saw, could be from a famous fashion house, or a sexy classic celebrity siren may have worn something similar, but we will leave it up to you to find your own meaning for this collection and let your imagination RUN wild. I wanted to feel hypnotized and charmed by this print, and hope you will too!

Rest Stop Required

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 08/26/2014 08:57:00 AM | 0 Comments Relax

I’ve felt more overwhelmed in the past few months than ever before. Phrases like “walls closing in” and “pulling my hair out” suddenly seem more literal than figurative. It’s odd, since nothing suddenly changed. My husband and I have the same hectic jobs we’ve held for years, even before kids. Our boys, at ages 7 and 8, are as Minecraft-obsessed and full of potty humor as you’d expect. And while our twin three-year-old girls seem as bent as ever on our destruction, we know a time is coming when it won’t take three hours to put them to bed (I’m typing this midway through that dreaded night-wrecking ordeal). But ever since early summer, the baseline chaos of our life has suddenly felt unmanageable, and I couldn’t figure out why.

 

And then we took a road trip.

 

At the end of July, my husband Miles and I piled all four kids into our scraped-up Sienna for the 1,242-mile trip to a lake in Washington State. When you live in the Rockies, you’re willing to go great distances for a natural body of water warm enough for swimming.

 

Normally in the days before a road trip, I’m checking things off the list – Costco, car cleaning, gear collecting, clothes packing. Stocking up on Wet Wipes. But this time Miles and I were both too busy at work to deal with these tasks, so we were behind before we even hit the road. When we finally left Boulder, the inside of the minivan already looked like we’d been in it for two days straight.

 

A road trip plucks you from your busy life and forces you to contemplate it. I spent the first hour or two chastising myself for all the stuff I didn’t get to before we left: cutting up the strawberries and packing them in tiny, easily-distributable Tupperware containers. Putting fresh sheets on the beds. Turning on my Out of Office Assistant at work. And then I had a brief period of euphoria, when I let go of these little failures, cranked up the radio (but not loud enough to interfere with Madagascar 2), and decided to just enjoy the scenery. This lasted until approximately Bozeman.

 

When it comes to road trips, I have an eight-hour theory. No matter how freshly-showered you are at the start, eight hours is when the trip starts seeping from your pores. At eight hours, the ice in the cooler has melted, creating a small lake in the bottom of the bag of baby carrots. You begin to question your hard-boiled eggs (I did manage to boil the eggs! Victory!) And the boredom. Oh, the boredom.

 

This is the point when it makes sense to stop. Get out and stretch your legs. Swap places with your co-pilot, if you have one. But the temptation is to push on through so you can reach your destination, even if it’s still impossibly far away.

 

In our day-to-day lives, Miles and I mostly high-five each other on the way to and from the house for swim practices, soccer games, work, groceries. Always the groceries. We’re constantly saying things like, “when the girls are four, it’s gonna get easier.” Or, “once we renovate, we’ll be able to relax.” Our best time lies somewhere around the bend, and we just have to push on through to reach it. And it occurred to me somewhere east of Missoula, we’re living with a road trip mentality. In our worst moments it can feel like we’ve been inside our stinking messy dented life on wheels for too long. This explained my recent feelings of defeat. I needed to get out of the car. I needed a rest stop.

 

If you’re reading this, then “rest stop” for you might look like it does for me: a long run, followed by reading in the hot tub; a swim, followed by a ride and lunch. Whatever your definition of true relaxation, when your life reaches the “eight hour” mark, you need a break. It can’t be crammed in; you have to step away from your normal routine. It might feel indulgent, and it can be tricky, especially if you’re a solo parent, or you have a partner who travels. In my case, with August overbooked, work busy, and the start of school, I had to look ahead to a Sunday in late September for a few hours that can be mine alone. But I’ve been surprised by how much better I feel inside the car, just knowing there’s a stop coming up.

 

Now, if I could just do something about this bedtime situation, before I actually start beating my head against the wall.

 

Don’t Let Your Workouts Become a Solo Project!

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 08/22/2014 08:58:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

Skirt2I’m Sami Bookout, one of this season’s Real-Women-Models. I’m a 1st grade teacher, mama of 2, fitness blogger (www.gogomountaingirl.com) and more. Sometimes I feel a little too real for my own good as I try to fit it all in!

 

I love playing team sports, the thrill of competing against others, cheering on my teammates and socializing is so much fun. Unfortunately, I don’t have tons of time to join a team or get on the field for a quick game. I tend to get stuck in my routine and it’s easier to hit the road for a run or take my favorite Saturday morning group fitness class than call up the girls and schedule a workout. Even though it’s easier to work out as a lone wolf there are really great benefits to working out with friends!

 

Last January I was going through my typical routine when I realized I was totally fed up with trying to motivate myself. It was the beginning of a long, cold winter and I was losing steam, fast! It was a month of bad hair, bad skin and bad weather. I had gone for one too many runs in the frigid cold and developed severe dry skin on my face! I went through the next few months referring to it as my “dragon scales”. The patches would crack and bleed and the more I cleaned, exfoliated and moisturized they would not go away! It wasn’t until our vacation to Disney World Orlando that my dragon scales started to clear up. It must have been the humidity and the magic of the Disney Princess Half Marathon that healed my scales!

 

After spending time in the most magical place on earth I found that my motivation for long runs was dwindling and the cold dark mornings made getting to the gym before work almost impossible. Through the struggle of maintaining a slim-to-none workout routine I had a moment of clarity, I realized my workouts didn’t have to be a solo project and since I couldn’t go to Disney World every month to stay sane I created a fitness group of like-minded ladies that meet once or twice a month to workout together, encourage each other and socialize. I quickly realized it’s a great way to stay fit and focused without getting too serious. Enter the Go Go Mountain Girls on the Run.

 

I know tons of women that are juggling kids, career, school and fitness and couldn’t think of a better way to spend time together and catch up than getting our sweat on and endorphins flowing. So, I came up with the Go Go Mountain Girls on the Run, a group of active ladies (some old friends, some family and some co-workers) who meet once or twice a month to workout together. Through social media I easily created a group page on Facebook where I post workout events, ideas and encouragement. The ladies in the group can post pictures of their latest adventures and ideas for future workouts. We have an awesome personal trainer who kicks our butts in a kickboxing boot camp, personal yoga instructors/friend to come to my home for a morning yoga session followed by breakfast, and we love crossfit at Blunt Force Training in Denver. We meet at the trail for a run or on a Friday night for black light boxing. It makes workouts more fun, changes things up and keeps us on our toes while socializing and catching up with each other between yoga poses.

 

Exercising with your pals is more fun, you’re going to do it more and stick with it longer and in the end you’ll see better results. These people are planning on you being on the track with them. It makes you more accountable in regards to eating healthier and not skipping workouts. Go Go Mountain Girls on the Run communicates on Facebook to plan workouts in advance ensuring the needs of the entire group are met and it helps keep us accountable. It’s also a platform that allows the members to express health concerns, needs and victories.

 

There are tons of benefits to working out with friends, as stated above however, being a good friend and taking it seriously is also important for the success of the group. Here are a few quick tips to being a fab fitness buddy.

 

  1. Be In Touch ~ send reminder texts or emails and prearrange rides to the gym.
  2. Be On Time ~ Always!
  3. Push Your Partner
  4. Suggest New Ideas ~ Keep things interesting
  5. Keep Tabs ~ Keep up with each other’s illnesses, travel and other routine breakers.
  6. Care for Each Other ~ The more you care about your partner as a person, the stronger your alliance will be…don’t wallow in negative talk. It’s an energy downer!
  7. Be Flexible ~ Work with each other’s schedules.

 

Staying (or getting) fit doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Working out with friends can help you stay committed to fitness and fun! Group fitness will double your chances of staying fit, make exercise more fun and will help you get out of the rut or through a plateau. If you have any questions you can connect with me on Facebook at Go Go Mountain Girl and if you live in the Denver metro area you can join our group at Go Go Mountain Girls on the Run.

 

Don’t go it alone, make it a group effort and have fun!

 

We’d love to hear about your group fitness success stories! Leave a comment and share with us how you are staying fit with friends.

 

2014 Fall And Winter Class Of Real Life Skirt Sports Supermodels

Posted by Sarah Vernon-Brunner on 08/21/2014 09:57:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Relax, Run

At Skirt Sports, we don’t shoot supermodels and try to make them look like real people. We shoot real people and bring out their inner supermodels. It turns out our newest class didn’t need much help. They glowed all on their own. All we had to do was capture the moment.

 

As we documented eight wonderful women who were willing to get out of their comfort zones for the greater Skirt Sports mission, we learned more about their stories and realized that they are, in fact, the heart of what Skirt Sports epitomizes.

 

They are brilliant yet flawed. They are excited yet anxious. They have lofty goals but some days they are just grateful to make it to dinnertime. They are lawyers, coaches, stay-at-home mamas and teachers. They are training for sanity, health, me- time, girlfriend-time, weight management, 5k’s, marathons and triathlons. In other words, they are incredibly diverse, but they all share a common goal. They all find happiness through running and fitness, and they want to share this discovery with other women.

 

While it is inspirational to watch the fastest athletes kick butt, most women will never race at that level. But it doesn’t mean training and racing is any less important to us. Did you notice I said “us?” Yes, I am also in this camp – a decade after finishing my professional racing career, it is clear that I now work out for different reasons too. That’s why I decided to find real women who will motivate us in real-life ways; not by breaking the tape first, but by demonstrating that it’s possible to include fitness in our already-overflowing lives. I asked our models to share their stories on our blog this season, so be prepared for some guest bloggers who will speak from the heart with honesty, compassion and vulnerability – just how we like it!

 

Let’s have some fun while we celebrate the good, not-so-good, and who-knows-what-else this season will bring. Enter the Fall & Winter Class of Skirt Sports Supermodels!

Pauli: 42
Married, 2 boys (5 & 7)
Physician Assistant in Dermatology for 16 years
“After ten years of rock climbing all over the country, I had kids and my climbing days slowly declined. That’s when I began running… and running! Now I run in several races a year to keep me motivated. My next race is coming up in September – the Golden Leaf Half Marathon trail run from Snowmass to Aspen.”

 


Jen C: 41
Married (twice), 4 kids (12, 7, 4, 1)
IT sales background, CrossFit instructor & active mama of 4
“My athletic background includes gymnastics, track, cheerleading, NCAA diving, triathlons, I’ve run 9 marathons, and now CrossFit. For me, enjoying an active life is important. I want to age gracefully.”

 


Hailey B: 36
Married, 3 kids
Stay-at-home mom and Pilates instructor
“I plan to do some 70.3 triathlons in 2015 and also try my first bike time trial and crit races. Because I’m so busy, I have figured out some small tricks to look a smidge human in between workouts. There are some simple things can help you feel put- together with no work.”

 


Sami B: 38
Married (13 years!), 2 daughters (12 & 9)
1st grade teacher
“I’ve been a Muay Thai kickboxer for 18 years and found running as a way to supplement my training. My first race was the Bolder Boulder 10k in 1996 and I’ve been running ever since!”

 

 


Heidi S: 35
Married, 2 kids (3 & 8 months)
Life & Health Coach, Cardiac Nurse
“After 12 years of triathlon training (5 years coaching runners & triathletes), I now focus on running and HITT (High Intensity Interval Training). With less time to train, these workouts are high-quality butt-kickers!”

 
 


Jenny S: 41
Married, 4 (cute) kids (including 3-year-old twins)
Lawyer with a writing habit
“I’m a former competitive swimmer and triathlete, now trying to hit the pool three times a week and run whenever possible.”

 

 


Jocelyn H: 41
Long-term relationship, 2 boys (12 & 11) and a bonus child (13) who is her boyfriend’s son!
Entrepreneur: Owner of two businesses
Quote: “I liked individual sports growing up, but did not have a competitive (athletic) bone in my body until I hit my 30s. Moving to Boulder changed all of that. Since 2001, I have competed in 4 Ironmans, 5 marathons, 8 half-ironmans and dozens of other shorter races.”

 


Annie S: 23
Unmarried, no kids
Innkeeper & Photographer
“I’m training for my first marathon in October!”