Entries Tagged as 'Inspirational Stories & Interviews'


Out of the Darkness Overnight Philadelphia

out of the darkness overnight philadelphia

I just heard about the Out of the Darkness Walk last week on the radio and was quick to pickup the phone. I wanted to learn more and get involved.  Out of the Darkness Overnight is a 16-18 mile fundraising walk from dusk until dawn, where the community brings awareness to depression and suicide. This is the 12th year of the overnight organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a national not-for-profit organization, and walkers raise awareness and funds for research, advocacy, and prevention. Walkers range from teenagers to grandparents. Some are survivors of suicide loss, others battle with suicide, depression, and other mental illnesses and others are supporters of the cause.

Participating in the event as a crew member this year is important to me. Did you know that every 14 minutes someone in the U.S. loses a life to suicide?  I didn’t know this until I read this on their website. I hope that some of you will join The Overnight here in Philadelphia June 28-29, 2014 to bring the issues into the spotlight and support the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help people and save lives. For those who are unable to join, you may also consider a donation.  Please feel free to contact me or The Overnight with questions.

Philadelphia Out of the Darkness Philadelphiaimage Susana Bates via Daily News


Entrepreneur Barbie

Barbie entrepreneur

image via Papusile Mele

Entrepreneur Barbie?  Um, YES PLEASE!  I thought Yoga Teacher Barbie was cool a few years ago (still do) but this is awesome.  Yay for Barbie becoming an entrepreneur!  Mattel just announced that Entrepreneur Barbie will join their I Can Be career line as it’s Career of the Year. I never played with Barbie as a kid but maybe I want to now!  Hopefully Entrepreneur Barbie’s spirit inspires kids to explore entrepreneurial ideas, envision opportunity, unlimited potential, and teaches us all a little something about being our own boss.

I just might want this Barbie when she goes on the shelves this June 2014!  Read more on entrepreneur.com

Good luck, Barbie!

p.s. last week she became Barbie Sports Illustrated Cover Model Not sure why there’s controversy.  Nothing wrong with fitness and sports. And she’s a doll, people!


How to prepare for your first race

Sporting Club Bellevue Belong How to prepare for your first race

Sporting Club Bellevue Belong How to prepare for your first race

Spring 2014 BELONG Magazine

Right before the new year I received a handful messages, questions and interest in half marathons, marathons and triathlons. Once in awhile someone in a spin class or the gym cafe approaches me and asks how to get started preparing for their first race. This stuff excites me!  I am still pretty new at racing but after completing my first four races in 2013 I was happy when Angela Denby of BELONG asked me to write an article on how to prepare for your first race.  I hope that whether you’re interested in running a 5K or triathlon you feel inspired to start today!

Thanks to BELONG Magazine, Angela Denby, Margo Hurt and everyone at The Sporting Club Bellevue. 



I messed up. Sorry.

friendship quotes

Have you ever woken up and said to yourself  ”Wow, why did I react that way?”  That’s how I felt this morning.  It feels like shit and aches in my belly to think back to the way I responded last night. But you know what?  I am the one completely responsible for my behavior. I could make a million excuses for my actions but the truth is, nothing justifies reacting to someone with meanness or disrespect.  I didn’t mean it in the moment. Honest. I wish I could delete the way I chose to respond. I’m pretty sure that I usually respond to things that affect me in a much calmer, kinder, rational way. Why didn’t I this time when I 100% knew deep down that there was no bad intention from them? Why did I respond so unacceptably when I know this person is an exceptional communicator and it’s so easy to have a simple conversation with them?  Why did they communicate so clear and kind with me in a moment where I probably didn’t deserve such kindness?  Why did I do this to a friend who has done so much (understatement) for me?  I know it’s because I actually care otherwise I wouldn’t have had any reaction at all.  But that’s not a valid excuse.  I feel like kicking myself. We are responsible for our actions.  No matter how we feel in a situation, we choose how we respond.  I made a mistake this time and took the wrong route.  I feel worse about myself for the way I behaved than the way I felt from the actual situation. I am the wrong one in this situation, not the person who had no intent to affect me. This is a lesson and reminder to step away from a situation until you can present your thoughts in a kind and compassionate manner.

If the road is free of bumps, maybe we’re not headed in the right direction. The bumps are often valuable and it’s what you do with them that matters. You can ignore them or allow them to help you learn along the way.  Sometimes I struggle to accept and forgive myself when I make a mistake…especially when it involves another person. When I realize I’ve made a mistake, I feel like I’ve let myself down and I have to acknowledge it. I just don’t feel right when I mistreat people even though it’s never intentional. Even if it doesn’t matter to them it matters to me. We are human, we make mistakes, and the most important thing is to acknowledge these mistakes and choose learn from them.

I’m sorry. “Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.”  Unknown


The Day After Christmas Syndrome

Day after Christmas Syndrome

December 26: “The day after Christmas syndrome” Have you heard of this?  I was talking to someone about a difficult situation recently and she mentioned this syndrome. “You know, the day after Christmas… where everything is just kinda blahhh… one of the more depressing days of the year where nothing much happens…”  is how she explained it. We both laughed when I told her that the day after Christmas is actually my birthday.  I agreed though that it’s often one of the more blah days of the year.  I mean hey…who can top Jesus’s birthday yesterday, right?

When I was a kid, people weren’t around during the holidays or they were in holiday recovery mode the day after Christmas.  Truth is, to me birthdays aren’t different than any other day of the year. It’s just another day so with the exception of childhood it’s never mattered when December 26 rolls around. I do remember two adult birthdays though that I’ll always appreciate.  Make that three after today.

It actually started two weeks ago when I received a surprise in the mail.  It wasn’t for my birthday so it caught me by total surprise.  Such surprise that I can’t even tell you how excited I felt.  Something I never expected and something that meant a lot to me.

This morning a really good friend called to wish me a happy birthday and twenty minutes later I received a birthday package from her in the mail.  So, so kind. What’s going on?  Two packages this December?  What did I do to receive such thoughtfulness?

Today’s plan was just to train 1:00 cycling and 1:30 swimming.  Slight change in plans though when my friend found out I’d be spending a portion of my day at the gym.  After cycling, she ended up throwing me a little swim party at her new place. I couldn’t be more grateful to have friends who wanted to train with me on my birthday.  Post-swim we headed out for dinner and one of the greatest evenings in a long time.  No need to blog the details of the rest of the evening but I must give thanks for such a perfect day.  Thanks to all of my friends who’ve made me feel so incredibly fortunate today.  Life is good.  I can’t wait to see what’s ahead in the next year!!

Cheers to the day after Christmas syndrome! This year rocked!


Looks like this wasn’t my first swim party.





As soon as I saw you


I remember that moment clearly… and it did. Thanks for making the difference you have in my world.


Holidays and Productivity

It’s Monday!  Sweet.  Every day is a new opportunity.  Put yesterday’s struggles behind or build on yesterday’s success. It may be a holiday week but let’s not use this as a reason to make excuses.  As the holidays roll around again, this is often the time of year where people start slacking with their fitness, career, and personal goals.  People get so busy and it seems like so many create unnecessary chaos during a time where we’re supposed to be grateful while celebrating with friends and family.  It’s a time filled with temptations of all kinds of special holiday treats and reasons to get lazy that we don’t see the rest of the year.  It’s really easy to use it as an excuse. And maybe that’s what you’ll choose. However, if you’d like to establish some sort of balance throughout the holidays, read on.

Deciding that you’re not going to let the holidays destroy all your goals and hard work is a good start. But you need a plan.  It is possible to remain productive with work and stay on track with your personal goals.  I’ve already seen a bunch of excuses posted on Facebook of why people won’t make it to the gym this entire week and how they won’t be able to avoid setbacks.  How is it possible to miss an entire week of scheduled workouts when it’s just a one (maybe two) day holiday?  Plan to succeed rather than sabotage your goals.

I am choosing to approach the holiday season like I do with any of my goals: with absolute commitment, focus, and knowing that the alternatives are not productive to me.  I’ll be driving 16 hours over this Thanksgiving week so what will keep me sustained while on the go?   Once again, planning.  I’ll simply need to shift my schedule and plan in advance.  Earth shattering info? No. Do I have to stick to it? Yes. Is it possible I’ll get lazy and not want to do it?  Maybe. Will I feel horrible if I get off track one day?  No, but I’ll remember the importance of my goals and won’t use getting off track one day as a reason to destroy my goals over the holidays.  I will enjoy time to celebrate accomplishments and express gratitude while continuing to pursue my goals over the holidays.

Thanksgiving week goals 




Adam Levine and Puppies



Adam Levine joins the Today Show’s puppy party! I adore this picture of Adam holding Titan, the little yellow labrador. Today passed 2 million Twitter followers and to help celebrate they threw a puppy party this morning. The puppies were guide dogs-in-training brought to the show by the nonprofit group Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Adam + puppies+ supporting nonprofit?  Now this is my kind of party!



Week with my niece and nephew


I can’t believe how fast my week went in Arizona. Living on the east coast with my sister’s family now in the southwest makes me a long-distance aunt.  I wouldn’t let distance make me distant.  Although it’s not the same as seeing each other whenever we want, I’m thankful for Facebook, Skype and the phone.  It’s been a half year since I’ve seen my 4 year old niece and 3 year old nephew and I was fortunate to be able to take care of them this week.

The highlights.

The train park.  Riding inside a kid’s train car while holding my head crooked to fit inside.  Riding the marry go round and seeing RW show me how to ride his horse by himself for the first time.  Being totally silly with them and playing make believe.  Speaking in Español.  Hearing the kids speak in Spanish makes me happy.  HQ’s Spanish accent is far better than mine ever will be.  Swimming lessons.  HQ is becoming quite the lil’ fish.  Doing HQ’s hair each morning. Seeing RW be such a little guy.  Getting ice cream with them…strawberry both times.  Bath time.  Coloring.  Cooking meals and seeing how much they love fruits and veggies…cheesy broccoli, tomato cucumber salad, strawberries and kiwis were the winners.  Picking out birthday cupcakes on their mom’s birthday and calling her to sing Cumpleaños Feliz…Happy Birthday in Spanish. Our dance party. Seeing them rock out to Call Me Maybe and Never Ever.  Bedtime stories, especially reading them the Spanish books.  Tucking them in at night.  Falling asleep with HQ, sleeping with her last night, and waking up to her hugging me this morning.  Lots of hugs and kisses.  Hearing all the clever and funny things they have to say.  Hearing I love you and this morning hearing “please don’t leave Gaguy.  We’re going to miss you so much”   Spending an hour with my brother-in-law this morning before leaving for the airport.  Our conversation meant a whole lot to me and I’ll always appreciate and remember it.   I know I’m going to miss them and look forward to returning to see everyone sooner than later.  Next time I look forward to spending time with my sister too.  My flight just started boarding so it’s time to close up and head home.

Goodbye.  I’m terrible at saying goodbye to people I love.  I’ll never master this.  I’m better at saying “see you again soon.”  If tears run down my face when I say goodbye it’s because I love you.  Sad to say goodbye but so thankful for the opportunity this week.  What an awesome week, I’ll always remember it. I love you HQ, RW, S & J.  xoxo Tia Gaguy.


How to be amazing at anything


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