Because I never really properly celebrated International Women’s Day, and I wasn’t really sure what the celebratory protocol WAS for International Women’s Day (Am I hiding eggs in fertility clinics? Taking someone else’s daughter to work? Buying products that “celebrate” women by encouraging them to buy products that fix the things society hates about them? I do love their body wash…), I decided to make up a celebration. Man, I hope I’m doing this right…
Anyway, I’m going to spend a few minutes telling you about the inspirational women in my life. I’d say running life, but really these women are runners who inspire me in all kinds of things. Pigeonholing their inspirational qualities to “running” seemed like a shame.
I didn’t actually interview these ladies (because who does responsible journalism anymore, right?), but I AM a good listener, and quite the observant, unsuspecting investigator (creeper). Mostly, I wanted this to be more about who they were to ME, because to ME they’re pretty great.
Why “Ladies Who Launch”? Because these ladies are not only launching themselves into the stratosphere of success, but they’re launching the rest of us mortals right along with them. Through their hard work, humor, and humility, they inspire ladies like me to better themselves and better others. And to brunch. We also like to brunch.
She blogs over at We Wander and Ponder.
Jenny is fairly new to the distance running thing, but she was all like “whatever” and BQ’d in her first marathon (Chicago, 2011). She loves Saucony (Ask her about her Kinvaras. No, seriously. She’s run out of people to gush to.), but probably not more than she loves coffee or craft beer or her dog, Barklee.
Jenny as a runner: Jenny’s a really technical runner whose happy place is in the ritual and data, and she probably pores over her Essie nail polish selection each Friday night just as much as she pores over her goal pacing splits. Don’t let the nail polish fool you. I think she puts voodoo fast magic in her top coat. She just started working with Coach Mark Hadley, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she told me over brunch sometime soon that she broke a world record on a random Wednesday afternoon.
Why she inspires: Jenny is fast. It’s not just that she has a natural gift, but she has the determination and work-ethic to back that up. Sometimes, I think, “one day, I can be fast like Jenny,” and I get that glazed over, “Ralphie dreaming about a BB gun“ look as I imagine myself flying across the finish line.
That work ethic is also inspiring as a professional. She’s a savvy lady, making a name for herself in the digital space, and kicking all kinds of butt. She’s also better at censoring herself than I am. Oops. She works from home (or a favorite coffee spot, duh), and is strong enough to actually get stuff done. She may be a few years younger than me, but I look up to her as a professional woman who has her head on straight, and makes it all work.
She blogs over at Chanthana Dot Com.
CT is one of the very first people I interacted with on Twitter, and one of the very first people I met in real life FROM Twitter. She always seems to be jetting off to the latest and greatest new thing, and is generally the person I go to when I want to know how to keep up with kids these days.
Chanthana as a runner: Why did I chose to include a picture of CT in what seems to be some sort of agony? Because it’s not agony. Those would be tears of joy as she crossed the finish line of her first BQ. I say FIRST BQ because, well, she did it again at TCM this past year. SHE JUST KEEPS DOIN’ IT!
CT is seemingly THE person to know in the Chicago running community. Maybe you already belong to the CT Daily Mile fan club (if you don’t, you seem to be in the minority). Maybe you’ve waved at her smiling face on the lake path. If you’re lucky, you’ve snuck a few side-fives from her as she breezes past. CT wears her heart on her sleeve, and she’s got guts.
Why she inspires: CT works with Granato Racing and is looking towards her very first Boston Marathon experience this April. CT is a runner that I’ve been striving to be like for some time – both in results AND attitude. She is heartfelt and honest in her introspection, and it seeps through in all that she does.
Not only is CT a bad-ass runner, but she’s a bad-ass person. She’s been on the forefront of the social media wave for years, and she’s making her mark along the way. Her perseverance, professionalism, and panache are traits we can all hope to have. I envy her energy. And her hair. Girl’s got great hair.
She blogs over at Kris Lawrence.
If you can believe it, those abs have housed three children. Three! (Cute ones, at that.)
I met Kris for the first time in person on our flight to TCM in Oct. She was nice enough to talk to me after I embarrassed myself trying to get to her going the wrong way down a crowded airplane aisle.
Kris as a runner: I specifically chose this picture because she’s dusting a bunch of dudes… which is what she does on a regular basis. She will equal-opportunity kick your ass on the road, and then cheer you across the finish line. She’s one of THOSE people… you know… ridiculously nice.
She, like Jenny, is currently training under Coach Mark Hadley. Kris, however, is in Hadley’s U.S. Marathon Trials Project, which seeks to prepare athletes to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials. Whoa, that sounds like a big deal, right? Yup. Expect big things from Kris, because to do less would be un-American.
Why she inspires: Kris is as humble as she is talented. She never hesitates to encourage, or to lift others up, regardless of their speed/achievement. She’s a busy mom of three young kids, and you’ll never hear her complain about a full plate or no time. She makes time. She quietly goes about her day, and when she kicks ass, she’s only taking names so that she can be sure to yell you across the finish line. She’s so nice and unsuspecting, that when she totally rips on you, it’s that much funnier.
To recap, Kris is a no-nonsense, “get it done” athlete, who happens to look way too good in a pair of bun huggers to be human.
Team Race With Us: Ladies Who Launch
What do these women have in common? Casual badass syndrome. All of them will be toeing the line at Boston this year, and all of them have worked their butts off to get there. I’m proud to call all of them my friends.