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Lorna Jane: The Active Living Room comes to Portland

“Our vision extends beyond the product. We don’t just sell activewear, we sell an active way of life. Our garments encourage women to achieve their best through Active Living and ultimately reach their full potential.” – Lorna Jane Clarkson Founder of Lorna Jane Active Living Line.

WP_20141124_136So much of the vision of Lorna Jane relates back to my own personal journey not only with weight loss, but finding out who I was through my active lifestyle. I have always honestly had a huge crush for some of the clothing I have seen. The brand was started in Australia in 1989 and has sprung into more then 150 stores nationwide. I was quite excited to hear that they had been opening a location at Bridgeport Village here in Portland.

This location is what they call an “Active Living Room,” though the construction is not complete. When it is, they will be holding fitness classes and nutrition workshops. Active Living Rooms also include healthy cafes where you can get your quick fix of healthy food as you are out shopping. It will be a one stop shop for everything you need for your active life style.

When I arrived to check out the new store. We had been met by the amazing Gloria; one of the Lorna Jane associates. We talked about some of the active things that I was involved with. She steered me in the direction of several of her favorite pieces of the Lorna Jane line that she thought would be perfect for me. We also talked about bras, and she pointed out several bras for me to try on to find a style and size that I might like. She convinced me to try on a couple pieces that I might not of tried on normally myself. Even after loosing all my weight sometimes I am not brave enough to try on pieces that will be more form fitting or show a few more curves. She went into this with the goal of getting me the outfit of my dreams. She wanted me to find something that made me not only look good but feel good.

One of the things that I like is the versatility of the pieces and it was evident in the outfits that we picked out that pieces can be combined with a lot of different pieces in the Lorna Jane line. The pieces are also built to support all body types and figures while still making people look and feel their best.

I can’t explain it. But there was one outfit in particular that the second I tried it on, I just knew. I knew this was the one. It felt like it fit like it was meant for me.

The Hoodie: Run Time Pullover Hoodie
Have you ever had a hoodie that you try on once and you swear you may never take it off? WP_20141124_088

The Run Time Hoodie has quickly become that hoodie for me.
This hoodie is the first time I have seen a hoodie that flatters me while still giving you the comfortable feel that you come to expect from your favorite hoodie. Its made out of the LJ cotton loop back fleece and the hood is quilted. Its the perfect pre or post workout hoodie or the perfect hoodie to wear out on the town with friends.

The Tights Isometric F/L Tight
This is one of the pieces that I first did not think would look good on me. Gloria convinced me to try them on just to see how they felt. The Isometric F/L Tight is a high rise pant that molds right to my legs. They are made from the LJ Excel and Mesh Fabrics. These fabrics keep them fade resistant, shrink resistant, quick drying and breathable. The high waist was the question for me, I have had a lot of high waist tights that just don’t stay up on the waist no matter how much I try. These felt like they molded right to my waist.

The Animania Bra Animania Bra
Though you can’t see it in the photo of the final outfit. The winner by far is the Animania Bra. The cross straps make it not only pretty but comfortable. They have removable padding that gives the girls shape and extra support. The bagged out sweetheart neckline is a different look for me, but it was something that really felt like I was wearing something better then a bra. They call this the perfect outfit for the high impact workouts (hello, new running bra). For me this felt like the perfect mix of form and function.

For those of you in Portland, I highly recommend checking out the store. Not only so many cute things, but I can not say enough about the help I got from the staff was amazing on helping me the outfit of my dreams. They are located at Bridgeport Village near the movie theater.

Disclaimer: This blog was sponsored by Lorna Jane through my ambassadorship with Sweat Pink. I was provided the outfit for my time, but the opinions in the blog are my own.

The Other Side of Me…. A Thank You Letter to @TheWCWC and Wrestling in General

Okay… I will get back to health and running stuff later. If that’s all you read with me you may move on.

For those of you who follow me in my social media adventures, you pretty much know that there is only one thing I love as much as I love running. This just so happens to be professional wrestling.

I have been around Pro Wrestling for as long as I can possibly remember. My late grandfather used to sit in front of his favorite chair every Saturday night for Saturday Nights main event. My mom was raised on it, and turned my father into somewhat of a fan. And I was just kind of raised on it from the early Portland Wrestling days.

Someone posted something on Facebook that came across my timeline that hit home with me. It was in a letter to his fellow wrestlers.

“That for just that small moment, as that person, be it child or adult, cheered or booed, you helped remove them from the horrible realities that surround us all every day. That for just that short moment, you helped take the pain away.”

I would not say its a horrible reality that surrounds me. But, if you have been following my journey for any length of time. You know I have been dealing with a lot outside my running life when it comes to my fathers illness, all the logistical issues that come up with it, supporting my mom through this and trying to figure out my own future. At times it gets to be a lot of stress. Running is always helpful but there are some days that running just does not snap me out of funks.

One of my faviortes Remey Marcel myself and Nick Price
One of my faviortes Remey Marcel myself and Nick Price
A good dose of Professional Wrestling always seems to do the trick and leave me smiling for days.

We ware lucky enough here in Portland to have The West Coast Wrestling Connection. I honestly found them because of the fact that they brought in one of my “must not miss ever” (See name of blog website if you have never figured this one out). But I have found what feels like a second home. And its a guaranteed break away from sometimes feels like uncontrollable chaos The talent there is amazing. And they really care about putting on the best show they can for their fans.

The WCWC has also jumped on to be one of my biggest cheerleaders in my fundraiser for George. They have promoted it social media. And really stepped up to back me up.

It is to the point that I look forward (when running is not interfering) to when they are on my calendar.

Thank you to all involved with WCWC for not only reminding me why I love wrestling. But giving me that break away from chaos that comes with the life of being a dreamer, a hard worker, a care giver, and a women with a flat out

My fashion hero, and one of my favorite guys to watch, Ashton Vuitton
My fashion hero, and one of my favorite guys to watch, Ashton Vuitton
nutty life. Thank you to the ones that support my crazy dreaming as a runner, business lady and soon to be… well you just have to wait and see.

I am the social media guru/ambassador for the Premier Wrestling Federation and it is a dream come true for me. Everyone has such an amazing passion for the business. It is a dream come true to work with such a great group of people and be able to help them out with things. Thank you to the PWF team for dreaming big.

And thank you to the few others, who know who they are (including my adopted running coach) for following my crazy journey and supporting the chaos. And thank you for putting your talent out in the world.

Being a “Fireball” – Zumba Half-Time Show @ Portland Trailblazers

I miss Zumba.

Because of what has been going on in my family, I have not been to Zumba or done Zumba in 15 months. My workout time is limited and so dedicated to my running time. Zumba is just not a huge priority. But when I saw a chance to dance with the amazing Portland Zumba community. I jumped quickly. I needed that positive, crazy juice.

Our day of performing started early. We had a rehearsal at 1:30 so we knew where we needed to be on the court. We could go through the dance a few times, work on getting on and off the court. It was nice to see some of the amazing people I have met through my crazy fitness journey.

Satha, who is one of the most amazing positive people that I have ever come across has helped organize this event for the past few years was joined by a new face to me, Zumba George. I had heard about some of the amazing things that he has done but this is the first time I have ever gotten to dance with him. His energy is amazing and pretty infectious.

Like the first time I ever did this a couple years ago. I got stuck in the back row. This time by choice as I asked to be put there. I have big clunky feet at times that need more space.

Zumba Group Photo The routine was to Pitbulls Fireball. The bad news for me is I did not have much time to work on it. There is just a ton of stuff on my plate. But I picked up on it pretty fast. And was lucky to have some great people around me who knew it really well.

After a couple time running through it (which at this point made me really okay with doing this) we worked on getting in and off the floor which is a science in itself.

Performance time was a bundle of excited energy. Lets be blunt, there is only one team in the NBA that I ever pay attention to (#thunderup). So I spent more time just enjoying the people and the sights. Blazer games have their own amazing energy. And the people are really dang cool. The group met up on the concourse before heading down to the courtside level. Everyone was excited. We spent a lot of time talking to each other, taking photos, taking our big group photo.

The performance itself went so fast. I was so into it that I was just off in my own world. I was way over the top. Which I was having fun with. It was good to me, to just go off and be a show girl.

I miss the Zumba community. Some of them have been some of the most amazing and supportive people even as I have gone through all my chaos.

One thing I learned, I need to go back to dancing quickly.

#NABloPoMo: November 4th Prompt: Graduation Day

Today Prompt:

Nov 4: What is your favorite holiday memory? (And yes, you can pick any holiday, including your birthday.)

I don’t really know if you consider this a holiday or not. But it is a day by all indications I never thought would happen.

I have told the story before. I was doing okay in college. Nothing really impressive. And then my dad got sick. He was spending time in nursing homes, hospitals ect. (Sound familiar? I am going through that right now as well.)

I ended up having to drop out of getting my bachelor degree. In reality, I actually failed out.

Yep, my GPA was insane. (I think it was a 1.25?)

I really did not even want to think about coming back. I figured the bridge was burned.

unnamedIn the middle of everything going on with my weight loss journey, rebooting my life, finding running ect. My job situation had fallen apart. With the help of a couple amazing people in my life they convinced me to not take it as something of a derailment, but take it as a sign that it was time to go back across that bridge.

It was tough. I had to petition to the college to let me come back with aid. I had a term to prove myself. That term was nerve racking. But I rocked a 3.36 right out of the gate and I was flying.

I had a few challenges. It seems anatomy will never be my best subject EVER. I also hate math with a passion.

It took a lot of work, a lot of struggle and a lot of flat out hard work.

I do not regret it.

We do not even talk about my final capstone project; which was my first ever research paper.

In December of 2012 I graduated. And because I graduated when I did, I had to wait until June to make the walk in my cap and gown. Because of what is going on with dad I almost did not make graduation until my dear sister from another mister and friend Kathy drove up from Dallas, picked me up and we took a road trip across the state for me to be able to walk across the football field.

That was a major accomplishment for me. Our college president Dr. Davies had known me and about my journey and he even gave me a hug as I made it across the stage.

I will never forget being able to celebrate this day.

George’s Love and Fundraising for the Love of Dogs

Can I just say it?
Fundraising is hard.

When my little canine angel George passed away in January, I knew I needed to take the pain and grief I felt and put it towards something to do some good. This is what he would of wanted. We always had the best time together at the Doggie Dash, Run for the Love of Dove, Walk5K9 Run/Walk and the Mt. Tabor Doggie Challenge. Hell, he took to the stage at the Doggie Dash in a dress. He liked the time out with me, he liked the time with other dogs.

We made differences all over the place and made a lot of people smile.

George watching me work one summer day. He loved sitting with me when i would take the laptop outside to work.
George watching me work one summer day. He loved sitting with me when i would take the laptop outside to work.
I have said it before. George was my heart. He was rescued from a really bad situation where he was abused. But he never let it stop him from unconditional love, and make sure everyone in his path left with a smile. He took his health issues in stride and even loved his medical team.

I did my research and realized that what the Seattle Humane Society was doing to allow runners to fundraise without all the pressure of the tradition race fundraising programs and I knew it would be a perfect fit. The funds I would raise would be able to help other animals and humans find that bond that we had.

I have dedicated what has turned out to be a crazy running year on his behalf. I have raced some amazing races including two marathons. I have developed a great love for Virtual Racing (Thanks Skirt Sports and Joist Running). I have just explored the idea of less racing and more running for me and reconnecting with the idea of running being my therapy.

The fundraising has been a challenge. I have had some amazing friends who have stepped up and helped me because they understand how much that it has meant to me to be able to do this. I have had a lot of doors slammed in my face and a lot of friends just flat out tell me that they do not want to hear about it. I think I let the no’s get me down.

I decided to put it back out there this week, and I have had some amazing support. It reminded me that I could do this. I could keep raising funds to make a difference. The no’s did not need to stop me.

At the end of the month, I will be back in Seattle (yes Seattle peeps) to celebrate this year with a final run. George did so much in his little life to make me better.

I will continue to fight for George. Even if you can spare $1 it will help. You can click here for more information Charity Athlete Page: Bonnie Wilson

#NABloPoMo November 3rd Prompt

I tried to do some of these last year, but my discipline with them was not good. But I really want to try more of these this year. #NABloPoMo is a Blog Her program that gives people prompts to encourage creativity and more kind of daily posting kind of thing.

So the November 3rd prompt

Write about an amazing imaginary brand or organization you’d love to work with. What would their pitch to you look like? What would your post say?

unnamedSo… If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I have been dealing with a lot outside my running life that has made a big time dent in my race schedule. I am not racing near as much as I used to. It is not really by choice but the money is not there.

I have really focused on the idea that running is my therapy and it is the time that I need outside the chaos of helping my mom, helping figure out things related to dad’s health issues, running my business stuff ect. Running is the time to focus for me. I want to prove to people just because you might not be able to focus on race goals, does not mean you have to give up on running.

It has changed my relationship with running a lot.

But there are companies out there that don’t seem to see that. So I would love to work with a company that is realize running is more then just racing, its about getting out there and having the time to dedicate to yourself and dedicate to your health.