Girls Rule!

bookWhat Would Happen If Women Ruled the World?

Everything could change, according to former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers. Politics would be more collegial. Businesses would be more productive. And communities would be healthier. Empowering women would make the world a better place—not because women are the same as men, but precisely because they are different.

I might guess that yoga would be part of regular PE curriculum in US public schools.  For now:

Total Number of Americans who practice Yoga 15 million
Percent female 72.2%
Percent male 27.8%

Source:   NAMASTA, YIAS, LiveStrong, Yoga Journal

We  have a long way to go but women are taking on more and more powerful positions in politics, business, society, and yes at home.  And that’s where the real change starts.  Further change at home starts with a change of heart – believing in yourself.

There are a million good approaches to elevating self-esteem.  First and foremost: exercise.   Second and foremost: read.  Information is power.  Third and foremost:  roll out your mat!  Pick all 3.

In my house – girls do rule!  My husband and son and male dog are 2,000 miles away for 8 days on a testosterone-filled adventure to hunt birds.  We miss our boys, but daggone-it! parts of this are really fun.  On Friday, my youngest daughter and I had a girls movie night with dinner in front of the TV.  Ketchup sufficed as the vegetable.  It was a girlfest.

Love  my Jane.janeclairkiss Maggie – the real queen – slept with us:

MaggsKathleen and I are staying fierce.

KatclairfierceAnd there are no cleats in the family room or smelly socks on the bathroom floor.  Heaven.  Things are where they should be and there is minimal baseball being watched – although it is the World Series and we are fans.  It’s only day 2.

I know our lives are richer, fuller, better when we co mingle with the ‘other gender’.  But right now.  I am partial to girls.  We rule our world.

When my son was born – my Dad came to visit us in the hospital and stated:

He’s beautiful, Clair – a precious child, but you know I’m partial to girls.

He had 4 girls (and 2 boys).  I was sort of taken aback when he said that but now that I have these 2 girls, for the next 6 days, I get it!!  Maybe we can start a little change in our little corner of the world.

Dee Dee Myers is on to something.



Poor pigs.

Why is it that whenever anyone is being self-deprecating about being selfish, they bring a pig into?  Here’s what I heard this week:

I am a selfish pig, I am glad my kids are going back to school. (Colorado Athlete Extraordinaire)

I was out  mountain biking and was late picking up my daughter from softball.  I am a selfish pig.  (Virginia Nut Bag)

I did not go meet my son’s teacher because I had an appointment for my highlights.  What a selfish pig, I am.  (Richmond Beauty)  


Adopt A Pig

Poor pig.
If you look closely however, the association with selfishness might make a pig proud.
I saw this great article in the paper this morning:  Mother’s self-care helps the whole family.  After receiving sage advice from her mother, Mia Redrick decided to commit to dating herself, spending 90 minutes to 2 hours every week to stay connected to who she is – some activities include having coffee or tea alone at a local coffee shop or book store or going for a walk.  After yourself, the article goes on to say – date your spouse and our children on a regular basis.  In that order.
When a Mom has time to herself… she returns from that time alone with a level of appreciation for her children and her spouse.  It improves her relationships.
Nice pig.
I don’t know about you, but I do try to arrange my time to train for races or practice yoga or ride my bike around my family’s schedule.  But sometimes it isn’t possible.   It’s okay to leave the nest and go to a yoga class.  It’s okay to go for a run when everyone is home and awake.  One of my favorite things to do with my husband is to go for a long run somewhere without the kids.  We reconnect and serve ourselves at the same time.  When we return home, lo and behold! – the house is still standing and we are nicer.  And the children are not plotting emancipation.  They are proud.  It’s good for your children to see you living with passion and engaging in healthy pursuits.
And there is still time for this:
ClairNick10k_thumb.jpgAnd this:
And this:
And this:
This too:
For me a lot of it is because of this:
(I LOVE my yoga)
And this:
Go ahead.  Be a pig.

For my Mom and Dad in heaven

One year from today, my 3 sisters and I are running the ING Miami Marathon.  We are 4 of 6 lucky souls that landed with Kathleen and Homer Handy.  Our time with them was shorter than most – they died 8 years apart each suddenly each too soon.  We miss them every day.  Living without them is difficult to say the least.  My youngest daughter asked me today if my Mom was real.  They never met, no wonder she wonders.  The parenting journey without parents is a  process, one step at a time.  Though I would like to, I could never capture their essence in words but I can take steps as they would want me to – with determination, faith, love of family and friends and mostly in gratitude.  So my 3 sisters and I are taking approximately 33,000 steps over 26.2 miles each to celebrate our health our bond and our beginning:   our parents.  Look out Miami, here we come. 

Here is a picture of 3 of 4 of us Handy girls.  We are with my Dad’s sister looking over photo albums.  She misses her brother as we miss our Dad. 


Me, Grace, Heather and Aunt Geneva

We had a lot of fun walking down memory lane.


One sister was in Southern California when this was taken – blazing trails and taking names.

There are a lot of families, God love them, who run together in fellowship and solidarity against life’s thrashings.  I love you all.  But for us what makes this unique is, we all used to dance growing up.  With the support of parents who believed in us, we all (there are 6 in all – my brothers are my rocks and my salvation) were encouraged to try hard, do our best and follow our heart.  There were buckets of pointe shoes and pink tights in our house.    With different styles (I was the jazz and tap dancer) and varying degrees of commitment and talent, we gravitated toward the same activity and had the same interests.  I find it delightfully symbiotic.  And now we hang up the Capezios and bring out the Nikes.  Bring it.

Individually we have a number of races under our belts.  A few marathons, a number of half marathons and a bunch of 10ks collected like pink tights and black leotards of years gone by.  This is special.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  Just wanted to share.

And this too:  Sixteen years ago today my husband asked me to marry him at my Mother’s two-week old graveside.  On January 12, 1997 my life felt like it had ended.  Two weeks later it began again. 

Thank you God for my life, my parents, my husband, my sisters and brothers and my friends. 

Thank you for my  health and these working legs.  Mom and Dad, I have 33,000 steps to take on them just for you in Miami on February 2, 2014.  Steps closer to heaven.  I love you.

70’s and 80’s TV

If you grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s like me, you didn’t have 6 million television channels to choose from.   You selected one or two favorites from a menu of around 12 for the week and planned your life around those shows.  I lived for the Bionic Woman – Tuesday’s at 8.


And them along came Fame.  Monday’s at 9.  It was way past my bedtime, but my Mom rewarded me with this privilege if I was good.  I was darn good.   fame-tv-series-debbie-allen-8386355-563-390[1]

Irene Cara captured the essence:

I’m gonna live forever
I’m gonna learn how to fly
I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry
I’m gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame

Remember him?


I loved him.  I can’t even remember his name.  (TWSS)

I am adding a treasure to my box of part-time jobs:  Dance Instructor.  Look out Goochland County, Debbie Allen is in the house:


I wonder if Deb was 44 when she did this or had a chocolate lab who wondered if she was crazy. 

I was crazy for choosing this as my St. Gertrude High School yearbook quote:

You ain’t seen the best of me yet, give me time and I’ll make you forget the rest.

–Irene Cara

I was never afraid of a good bass but what a weirdo for choosing this quote.  I also had no past I wanted you to forget.  I just wanted to dance.  And  now I am!

What was your favorite childhood TV show?  My girls watch Dance Academy.  Shocking.

The Yoga of Bridesmaids

I see yoga everywhere.  Shocking, I know.  You probably didn’t realize how saturated the hit comedy, Bridesmaids, starring Kristin Wiig is with it.


I am allowed to have this opinion because I was was single until I was 29 and in 13 weddings before my own.  I got engaged 6 weeks after the first date with my  husband because, among other things – I wanted in.  During 12 of the 13 weddings, I didn’t even have a boyfriend so I can so understand the Bridesmaid’s perspective.  The Yoga of it is I didn’t trust life or ENOY THE MOMENT.  I didn’t live in the place where it’s okay to be single.  It’s okay to be married.  It’s okay to be happy, worried, scared, confident, lost, healthy or compromised.  No situation is better than another.  It just is.  Yoga teaches us that being where you are in life, fully present in the

Now is the bomb

Bridesmaids teaches us that one cannot easily sneak into first class during a flight.  I love Annie.  She’s recovering and searching and hoping and cute and funny and trying.  Everything I was and fancied myself to be during the Bridesmaid Chapter of my life. 

During the above scene, Annie is not afraid to be what she thinks she is.  Poor.  Poor of heart and wallet.  Yet, she is surrounded by friends who love her (offer her valium) and keep  her in check (intervene when necessary).  I STG this was my life.  And in many ways, still is.  Only now I’m married (same guy, it did work out!) but it wouldn’t matter if I were married or single.  We are loved.  Each of us.  And we should be relaxed and ready to party….

Source:  Tumblr 

There are so many more yoga moments in this movie – like when we learn the mousy sister-in-law to be is a powerful, rich FBI agent. 

Nothing is as it seems

Or when the rival bridesmaids learn to like each other.

Don’t judge.

Or the policeman suitor turns out to be Annie’s perfect prince. 

Everything you dream of is close at hand.

So many yoga nuggets, makes me want to make a weird face and pretend like I’m Annie.



If you haven’t seen that movie I know you think I am off my rocker.  If you read my last post, here’s the fasting  update.

I did it.  I fasted the day before Thanksgiving and started turkey Thursday of with warm lemon water.  It worked.  I did not over indulge and was a major wine lightweight.  Perfection.  The next day I took a Bikram Yoga class, dropped 40 pounds of water weight in the 107 degree room and am sore all over my spine.  Double perfection.  So welcome to the holidays.  Eat/detox.  Drink/detox.  Family dysfunction/detox or watch Bridesmaids.  Or take this approach:


It will make you strong.


Even amidst this hilarity:


And you will pass it along to  your daughter:


And she will enjoy being a bridesmaid 13 or 30 times.  Because you learned your lesson.

And life is complete.

Go ahead.  Start meditating.  I dare you.

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs

Race Report


Another Half Marathon is in the books – number 7.  Far from my best and a little ways from my worst in terms of time but my aftermath attitude is better than any.  I was scared until the gun went off because I knew I was undertrained by anyone’s standards.  I realized that since my Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in September, I really had not been doing the long runs. I experienced strong short ones and did lots of core work and yoga. But here is no substitute for time on your legs.  So, I dropped my expectations and showed up thinking I knew I would finish.  The rest was up in the air.  And that was okay. 

Because I didn’t wear my Garmin (broken) and had no strict time goals, I enjoyed (almost) every step.  One aspect of race experience I love is reading the signs along the way.  I’ve decided the nicest, most clever, and nastiest (but funny) people make posters and line race courses.   Here are some favorites from Saturday:


  • Smile, if you peed a little.  (I saw 2 runners getting their picture taking in front of it when I passed)
  • It this were easy, it would be called:  ‘your mom’.
  • Camel toe check here.
  • Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.
  • You don’t sweat brown.  (ewww.)
  • You’re almost finished.  Go faster.  ‘That’s what she said.’

Hand’s down, my very favorite parts were:


Seeing my youngest, Jane at Mile 10.  (Thanks, Larry!!!)



Seeing, Megan


Mike Richmond 2012 a

Knowing my husband (blue shirt/black shorts, nice butt) was rocking his race (way) ahead of me.  (Thanks, Larry!!)

I wasn’t just trying to get through this one.  I was enjoying most aspects of the journey.  So much so I know I have another full marathon left in me.  Just one more.  That’ll be three, to match my children.  And maybe a half ironman.  (There, I said it.  Again.)

Here are some parting thoughts on the 7th 13.1:

  • Marrymemile4 – loved seeing the street where my sister lives
  • Marrymebaldmaninfrontofme – inspired by your tenacity and persistence
  • Marrymefatherdaughterteam – touched by your bonding method
  • Marrymewobble – for being a nasty line dance that gets me going when the lyrics say:  ‘big girl, back it up’
  • Marrymeproffitts – for getting my Jane down there, picking up Nick, having lunch with us and being the greatest friends
  • Marrymedjatmile11 – love you for your funking bass and playlist that makes the pope blush.
  • Marrymepartypeoplegivingoutbeertorunners – love your zest and hospitality.  (No thank you, I waited until the end!!)

I loved 13.1 but I still love yoga more:  Marry Me Yoga?


In case you’ve read my last few posts about Amy’s and my journey to Zen meditation – I sat on my zafu the day of and the day after my race and every day for the last 21 days.  Enough to start a new habit.  There’s something special happening here.  The signs are everywhere.


Have you gotten a sign lately?