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Women Run… for dolce far niente!

As a busy woman, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is time alone… time to ask your questions and time to listen to the answers. We are women who run… always. Rain, shine, sleet, or snow. We are told to take time for ourselves. But do we? There’s never enough time, and frankly, if we do, the guilt kicks in and soon we are on to the next activity. Technology does not help. We think we are present – listening to the conversation in front of us or playing a game with our children.  Instead we are trying to capture the moments in photos, in video, through texting, face booking.

Well, it’s just not right and we all know it.  I always say I’m going to jump off the tread mill, but I never do… until recently.  After many years of working seemingly non-stop I decided to save my sanity. A mini vacation. I coordinated rides for three children and their activities, meals and soccer games. I paid bills, washed laundry, cleaned the house, and cut the grass. Very Thelma & Louise!

I traveled alone to the city by the bay – a place I once called home. I stayed in a beautiful hotel with all the amenities. An indulgence to say the least!  I plugged in my laptop and charged my phone. I took in the sites, hiked the hills, snapped photos and micro managed my family from 3,000 miles via text and calls. Life was good. Soon, it got better. I slept for more than 3 hours in a row, I forced myself to stay in bed, ordered coffee and I didn’t turn on the tv. It was happening… dolce far niente! (my favorite italian expression meaning: pleasant idleness. Literally – sweet doing nothing).

A scenic drive up route 1 on my way to wine country brought me to Stinson Beach for a quick pic-nic.  A warm sunny afternoon, a cold bottle of Reisling and people watching lulled me into dream land.  After witnessing the most spectacular sun set I let go of the idea of reaching wine country and headed back to the city. Soon a cozy restaurant on the side of the road begged to be investigated. I had a delicious meal and laughed with some new friends.

The next day I hiked over the golden gate bridge into the Marin Headlands. Parks were closed because of the Government shut down – at first a disappointment but soon an asset.  No cars – only bikers and walkers. By the time I was far above the city it was a very surreal experience. I could see the cars, the city, the bridge, the hustling and bustling traffic, but the only sounds I could hear were bikers whizzing down the hills and mother natures warm wind. I had done it! Twenty four hours without technology and now a clear mind. I was in the moment. Looking in my back pack for some water and a healthy snack after a long hike, with no agenda and no plan – I found only a bottle of wine (thankfully screw top) and a bag of peanut M&M’s.  Heaven! I had officially mastered the art of dolce far niente!

Keep Running…but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses

-kyra

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Women Run… for so much more!

The Sanity Chase – the most fun you’ll have chasing your sanity! (or dreams) You’ve heard about it and maybe you have registered for it! We are hosting a 5K multi-sport obstacle course. A fun event that will give us photos and memories to last a lifetime, but for WOMEN RUN, it’s so much more… it was an idea turned into a reality.

More women (and men) have reached out to us about that concept alone than the actual event itself. People are excited about the event of course, but they are even more excited by the fact that we took a whimsical idea and did something with it. We all have  ideas… would of, could of, should of ideas. We talk and laugh and say “some day”.

What would happen if that some day was today? What would happen if you took that idea and turned it into a list of tasks to reach that goal? Women Run has been one big “what if” in our lives and continues to inspire us on a daily basis. As a small company when someone says “women run should do this, or that” we turn around and say – “that’s a great idea… let’s try it!” That’s the joy and excitement of being an entrepreneur and a small business owner. Taking those fun and seemingly crazy ideas and turning them into a reality. The drawback of course is that there is no “great idea” team you hand the idea to – it’s all you! You inevitably have to take on the extra work and figure out the to do list. For some it’s the thrill of the chase. The challenge. The sense of accomplishment and ultimately “the win”.

“What if” could be trying a new sport, starting a new business, switching careers, going back to school, re-arranging your living room, trying a new recipe, signing up for a half marathon, learning to swim as an adult, moving to a new city, getting a new hair cut, or just doing the right thing even when it may be the hardest thing to do. Taking that first step is the hardest but it is also the most exhilarating! I remember the exact moment we took the idea of The Sanity Chase from a concept to a reality. I was amazed that something that once seemed so hard, daunting and overwhelming became a series of to-do lists and tasks to be checked off one by one. The unknown can be scary. What if I try and it doesn’t work out. What if I fail, what if I don’t like the new food, couch, city, school. What if…

But what if you DO succeed, FINISH the race, the business becomes SUCCESSFUL, you LIKE the new city, new school, new job. You can guess all you want. You can “what if” all you want. But you’ll never know how great things can really be unless you take that first step into the unknown and try. Change is scary to most, but to Women who Run…. it’s exhilarating and the only way to get that something more you’ve been searching for.  It doesn’t have to be a big step, baby steps are good, but for the love of Pete, just take a step!

 

…and keep running!

-kyra

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Women Run…to the Huffington Post

One hot humid day I was fortunate enough to meet Kritin Meekhof – a blogger from the Huffington Post in my garage turned studio/office. She was there to purchase a few Women Run items – a fan of Women Run and a follower of ours on Facebook. Shopping quickly turned into an interview when she asked if she could feature WR in the Huffington Post. “Absolutely” was my answer – read the Women Run story in Kristins words. We want to spread the word – please share the article directly from the Huffington Post with all of your friends!

“It is always inspiring to meet a woman who is living her dream. Kyra Lawton is such a woman. She is a busy mom to three school-age children, wife, architect and CEO of Women- Run. She did what many women only dream of one day doing: Growing their passion into a business.”

 

 

Follow Kristin Meekhof on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@KristinSafford

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-meekhof/how-one-mom-ran-with-her-passion-and-is-living-her-dream_b_3786511.html?fb_action_ids=10201059208153734&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=ticker&action_object_map=%7B%2210201059208153734%22%3A518426351562034%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210201059208153734%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D&utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=5025982b=facebook

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Women Run… to sit still

Women Run …for their sanity. But sometimes, just sometimes, staying still is the best medicine for our sanity. I’ve been running non-stop for many years – always on the go. Recently my three children went on vacation with their cousins leaving me an empty house and Mother Nature kindly gave me a week of rain. Bliss! I decided to tackle the “playroom” and tidy it up. Well, two weeks later I had literally torn apart every room in my house – purged, sorted and simplified. I wasn’t tempted to escape as I normally am. I needed this. We all need this. I cleared the decks – keeping only what makes me happy, is beautiful or useful. I switched the children’s rooms. A fresh perspective and a clean slate is always welcome and inspiring.

Many of us resist change. My eleven year old was not one bit excited with the idea of switching rooms. Change can be scary because we don’t know exactly what it will be like or how we are going to react or adjust to a new environment or situation. But change can also be amazing. All sorts of change can makes us grow. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of old familiar patterns and the comfort of routine, but if you embrace the opportunities that lie ahead the possibilities are endless! Needless to say – once he actually saw his new room he instantly loved it!

Clean, sort and purge. Clearing the decks can have a much bigger impact than just making your house tidy. With every piece you donate, recycle or purge you are clearing a spot in your mind for calm, serenity and peace. You are creating order and systems to make life run a little more smoothly. You are opening up spots in your house and your mind for new inspiration and new ideas. The items you’ll come across will jog your memory of dreams you let go by the wayside, books you forgot you wanted to read, and flipping through old photo albums will remind you of all the wonderful people you have in your life. A healthy lighter attitude makes any situation or obstacle seem manageable. It also makes sitting still by the waters edge for the rest of the summer guilt free! Embrace sitting still… take the time to recharge your battery in any way you see fit. Mother Nature gives us this heat so we will slow down, share idle time with friends and family and reflect on just how amazing life can be!

Happy Heat Wave!

-Kyra

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Women Run … because of their dads.

I’m often asked where I got my self confidence and each time I respond with a resounding “my dad”. From an early age he told me I could do anything and I believed him. Never questioned it. He would sit perfectly still for hours and read a book while I practiced drawing him. My father took me to art classes at the local university when I out grew my elementary school art teacher. He stood on the side of the road and cheered me on as I ran my first road race – held on Father’s Day. He watched me play field hockey and bike race, he pushed me uphill on skis so I could glide oh so graciously down. In turn I picked up his spontaneity and willingness to try just about anything. I flew with him when he wanted to take flying lessons, I climbed ladders to paint our house and repair the roof with him. I was “daughter #3” as he often referred to me. He let me jump at any good opportunity that presented itself.

Teacher by day, lifeguard during his summer breaks, always willing to help my mom around the house and play with us while she did whatever it is that moms do! He washed the kitchen floor every Sunday morning before church while Polka music was blasting in the background. Thursday nights he went grocery shopping. Must have been pay day. He spent 25 years in the 5th grade as a school teacher. My parents raised four children on a teachers salary and not once did I realize money was tight.

I do however, remember the day the tables turned and my confidence was tested.  I was filling out college applications and in those days they were filled out by hand and sent snail mail. I received one on a Thursday after field hockey practice and it was due the following Monday. This meant I had less than 24 hours to complete the application and mail it back. Hmm, one night to write several essays. Well, I did it. I finished my essays and illustrated them in crayon – it said to be creative! When I asked my father for the check for the application fee….the first shred of doubt reared it’s ugly head. He blew his top! I had two older sisters in college so he knew what was coming, but for some reason this application had him in a tizzy! I’m not paying for you to apply to this school, do you know it’s an Ivy League? I was applying for the architecture program and at the time this was the #1 architecture school in the country. What makes you think you can get into such a good school? I just looked at him thoroughly puzzled and said – “You, you told me I could”. Well, needless to say he eventually wrote the check, the application was mailed on time and when the acceptance letter arrived it had a hand written note praising the creative application.

As my father ages and his energy starts to dwindle – we encourage him to try new things and go on trips and new adventures and to believe in his own ideas. We help him with home repairs as he has done with each and every one of us. When my mother fell and needed constant attention and care – the strong children my parents raised stepped in to help. All four children are career driven and raising families of their own. The confidence he built in us will never fade. When people ask me why I started Women Run I think of my father. It was his voice that helped build my healthy ego. If I can be that voice for just one woman or girl and make a difference then I have done my job. But if I can help two girls or maybe even three… If I can encourage a mom to believe in herself and she in turn can encourage her daughters, then I have succeeded. It only takes one person believing in you to make a difference. My dad was that person.

My father is one reason I started to run and chose to forge my own path. Thanks Dad!  So to all the dads out there who don’t think your daughters are listening, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Happy Father’s Day! ;)

 

-Kyra

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