Standing Room Only?

By | lifestyle, style

A couple of weeks ago while scanning my closet for things to purge, I pulled out “Ole Yeller.”  I had only worn her once this summer, so I decided to do a day-test, that is, wear her for the day to see if I still liked her enough to keep her.

Later that morning I met a few friends for coffee.  As soon as I walked into the café, they complimented me on Yeller, and even suggested I wear her  for a style video I was shooting later that day.  Flattered by the compliments and not listening to my gut, I wore her.

Here’s what I learned: Listen to your gut, especially when you don’t want to bring attention to it. HAA! I liked the top whilst standing, but when it came to sitting, all bets were off.  You see, in the seated position, Yeller became clingy, making me feel quite self-conscious of my torso area.  I became a mini-diva, as I couldn’t find what I thought to be a flattering position to sit in.  I had to change into pants from a skort, thinking that would camouflage my tummy more.  It didn’t help. And as Richard Wilmore of The Richard Wilmore Show filmed a conversation between Kathy Wise of Streetwise and myself, I was sweating buckets, not only because it was a 1000 degrees outside, but because I was uncomfortable/self conscious  in Yeller.  I don’t even know what the hell I said in our conversation.  I hope it made some sense because Kathy and I talked about 2 great topics: 1) what to wear when you’ve lost a lot of weight and 2) the importance of situational awareness if exercising outside alone (please see the attached videos).

Standing room only? I think not.  Life’s too damn short to waste time feeling that self conscious.  Therefore, Ole Yeller is in the “donate” pile, but in her honor, I’m going to find another lemon-yellow top or dress that I feel terrific wearing.

Numbing Right Along

By | lifestyle

In the last couple months I’ve been experiencing a kind of numbness.  Not sadness, not depression, but something more reminiscent of  Seinfeld’s David Puddy staring blankly into space.  I began to withdraw from social media, networking and other functions, simply because my heart wasn’t in it. I was even a bit slow to respond to non-emergency friends and family correspondence, knowing they would allow me non-judgmental space.  In the past, I would’ve beaten myself up with guilt or the fear of missing out, for not participating in everything I thought I should have.


But then something cool happened, I gave myself a break.  I decided to honor my numbness and not shove it into some little compartment.  Recently I’ve had some wonderful coffee chats with good friends who have experienced similar comatose states (lol) and I’m currently reading a few timely and enlightening books. There’s a reason I feel this way and it’s giving me an opportunity to grow and evolve.  No doubt being 51, approaching menopause and the current idiotic political climate has contributed to my state of numbness, yet I feel a sense of excitement.  I see and feel a spiritual and emotional shift happening.  I absolutely know who I want to spend time with and how I don’t want to waste time with negative BS.  I’ve become much more clear about what being a personal stylist and personal trainer means to me.  With styling it’s so not about the trends, clothes, shoes or jewelry.  It is about how those things, when they work with our shape, coloring and personality, can finally allow a woman to see her boundless potential.  I’ve discovered the more women I help in finding their authentic style, the more authentic and inspired I become.  There is nothing better than seeing a huge smile break out on the face of a client-friend when she finally  sees herself the way I see her: strong, beautiful and unstoppable.  In other words, when she “finds her shine.”  And after  years of personal training, I invoked my own velvet rope policy, and that alone was a huge dumbbell lifted from my shoulders (bit of strength training humor for ya). The people I’m fortunate to work with are not only fun to be around, but they truly care about their health and wellbeing.

I can already feel some of my Puddy-esque fog lifting, but if you happen to see me staring blankly into space, no worries, I’m just embracing the numb. 😉

Calgon Moments

By | lifestyle

A couple weeks ago a conversation with my Mother reminded me of the old “Calgon, take me away” commercial. Mom told me about this incredible blueberry-lemon cake my sister-in-law Dro made for Mother’s Day. Dro has a very demanding job, but she’ll often bake when she gets home from work. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after a long day is bake a cake, and yet Dro can’t wait to get into the kitchen to create something yummy. Anyhoooo, I surmised that baking is most likely a form of meditation/Calgon moment for her. Curiosity then set in and I wanted to know the Calgon moments of a few friends. So sit back, relax and be prepared to be taken away.

Oh, here’s a super short video of my Calgon moment….

Here is a picture of my pool & deck area with my pink raft-this is my Happy Place, My Calgon take me away place. Especially on a day with a bright blue sunny sky. Here is where I am able to block any and everything out. Once I sit it the chair or lay on the raft, I feel like every worry and care just floats away. I feel at one with nature and marvel at the blueness of the sky. It also makes me feel at one with nature and with God. Glenna M.

I think my Calgon moment is after I have mowed the grass and gotten the yard to look fairly decent. Then, weather permitting, I can sit on my patio sipping a glass of wine and enjoy nature’s beautyLisa P.

One of my Calgon moments is going for walks at Ft. McHenry. I feel lucky to have this beautiful national park practically in my backyard. I often try to go at the end of the day when it’s quieter. It’s such a peaceful place. I also enjoy seeing visitors from all over the world. Attached is a photo I took last fall. Lots of love! Alisha

At the moment, my meditation hobby is finding quiet time in two places.  (It used to be running but I’ve turned in to a bit of slacker lately).  I like sitting on my deck in the warmer months and looking at the flowers and hearing the birds. In the winter it is meditating in my studio.  It helps me feel connected to the earth and feel at peace, just to retreat from the world for a bit. Just BE.  🙂 Jen C.

I’m learning to slow down and enjoy walks with my dog.  I typically hurry it along so I can get to the “important” things to do but I find that when I leave my phone at home and it’s just him and I taking in the sunrise, it’s glorious.  He listens to me talk about what I love about life and what I don’t and his stops to roll in the wet grass when he’s hot make me stop and enjoy the time I have to myself.  Our walks have increased from 60 minutes almost 2 hours because the peace and time alone is needed.  Richard W.

My hobby to unwind and reset is four-wheeling.  It is such a great stress reliever for me.  Riding the trails with family and friends taking in the beautiful landscape while having fun is just good for my soul. Angie R.

Shooting around with my girls is my Calgon Moment!

Every Saturday Morning at 9am we hit the Turf! Rain, Snow, or Shine (hence the Turf) I have the pleasure of coaching these little ladies in a player development clinic at Coppermine Field House! Running, Laughing, and Learning with these leaders has brought great peace and joy in my life and life coaching business! I teach my girls that Instead of Stressing Out! We Sweat it out with our team! Danielle A.

Getting to lake. Driving down the road myself. Getting out of car and admiring the green and the view and walking around looking at how things have grown.

Also, sitting in the lake on a noodle with a cold beer in hand. Val Q

 My Calgon moment believe it or not is not window shopping but walking early in the morning with my hubby Robert. As we make are way down the hill we are in awe of the mountain view. As we continue our way down the parkway we can’t help t build our own “Stonehenge” creations. As we make our way back up the hill our reward is to see this beautiful tree and survived the “Parkway Summit” another day.
But at the end of day when I drive home it makes me smile to see the stacked stones. Patricia “Patsy” M.

 Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, “True Love”  talks about the practice of Mindfulness.

He says, “Mindfulness is the energy that makes it possible for us to be aware of what is happening in the present moment.” I treasure my 10 minutes on the mat, moving mindfully through each yoga pose. Suzie L.

 My Calgon moment is hiking at Susquehanna State Park.  I have my trail.  It’s 7 minutes from my house.  It’s pretty strenuous so I can really get my heart pumping if I am frustrated and need to work things out.  The views are spectacular and I take a journal with me to write down what I am thinking about.  I have several stopping points on the hike that pause to reflect and when something catches my eye, I’ll stop at that point, too! Nettie O.

Anytime I get outside, especially in the woods for a hike, bike or run, I am in my happy place. My blood pressure instantly drops while my heart and soul are lifted. Attached is a picture I took while on a run on the Mount Nittany trail. Sarah C.B.

My meditation is meandering outside and capturing nature in a photograph- the ability to be surrounded and part of Mother Nature – gathering insight, stillness and acceptance.

I love capturing the beauty around me to share with others – they are taken and shared with love.
It helps ground and center me no matter my day or what else is going on. It brings me to mindful presence right here in this moment.
Mother Nature is the greatest life coach of all. Stacey A.

 There you have it. If you lack your own Calgon moment, the hope was for you to find inspiration in these! xoxo

Life Lessons from the Track

By | lifestyle

During the Triple Crown season I’m always reflective of my horsey days.  I fell in love with the idea of becoming a jockey while attending the 1976 Kentucky Derby.  Our seats were right up against the track, and I remember almost being able to touch Bold Forbes as he walked by us in the Post Parade.  I could have sworn we made human to horse eye contact.  I had my Dad put a $2.00 bet on him, and to my delight, he won! That was the moment my obsession began (as you can see, I’m riding my pony like he’s a race-horse). But it wasn’t until we moved to Maryland in 1983 that I got a chance to pursue my jockey-ing dream.  It was a wild ride, but one I wouldn’t change even a second of.  So you parents with kids who have non-conforming dreams, read up as you may find this helpful.


Tenacity and Hard Work

When we moved here I was 17 and had never ridden an actual race horse.  I found a racing farm in the area and asked the trainer if I could work there.  I started out mucking stalls, grooming and walking horses after their workouts, feeding them and doing any menial barn task that needed to be done. Not long after that, the trainer started to let me ride. Within a year, I was a licensed exercise rider at Pimlico and Laurel racetracks.



You know that saying “you’ve got to get back on the horse,” I actually lived it. I think I got run off with or thrown off almost as much as I stayed on.  I even earned the nickname Crash from my little adventures.  One day at Timonium my horse reared up, almost flipping over and I fell off. On the way back to the stable a trainer said to me, “You have more heart than anyone I’ve seen.”  Pretty sure what he was really saying was, “You fall off more than anyone I’ve seen, but at least you keep getting back up.”


I learned to ask for help

In my riding days I was too proud to ask for help. I thought it was a sign of weakness.  But when one is being run off with by a 1000 pound speeding muscle machine, one should ask for help, or one could die.  I’ve since learned asking for help is a strength.


I learned to stand up for myself

One day, barely into my new riding experience at the farm, I exercised a horse too fast.  As I came off the track, a guy who worked there called me a dumb broad.  My heart was beating a mile a minute because I was embarrassed, but I looked him in the eye and told him to, “shut the F up.”  He didn’t say a word back and pretty much didn’t speak to me from then on out.  No loss there.  And as in most sports, there’s definitely a seedy side to the track. I quickly learned who to stay away from and how to say NO THANKS.


There are angels among us

My angel was Skeet.  He was a seasoned and respected exercise rider around the tracks. I think he spotted my desire to learn, so he took me under his wings and taught me a lot about riding and who to avoid.  In other words, he taught me how to be track-smart. Skeet always had my back. He even bought me my 1st pair of official exercising boots. That gesture was extremely special to me. You never know where your angels may pop up, but they’re out there, so pay attention.


Your dreams may not go as planned, but that’s ok

After about a year and a half, I discovered racing was no longer my dream.  I have no doubt I could have become a jockey, maybe even a decent one, but something told me to move on. I’m eternally grateful my parents gave me the freedom to pursue my dream/obsession, as it shaped me into the woman I am today.  And in my current life, whenever I need a little extra strength or courage, it’s reassuring to know I can always summon my inner-Crash.