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Team Tough Chik Welcomes New Ambassadors!

30 Aug
Angela and Shannon

Angela and Shannon at Cross Vegas

Angela (Team Tough Chik Co Captain) Here-

Team Tough Chik started a few years back when myself and our fearless leader Shannon put our heads together and thought about a multi-sport all women’s team.  The team we created is about passion for the sport, supporting one another, and most of all having fun.  Fast forward to now, and we have an awesome team of 240 women who compete in everything from 5k fun runs, triathlon’s, rock climbing, mountain bike racing, marathons and so much more.  As the team grows we thought that it was time to have Team Tough Chik Ambassadors, who could help spread the good word for Tough Chik, recruit other members, but most of all be an awesome and inspirational role model for women of all ages.

With that said, here are the 10 Team Tough Chik Ambassadors!

Walisa Dickson

Walisa Dickson

Tara Hanna

Tara Hanna

Angela Compton

Angela Compton

Erika Myers

Erika Olson Myers

Jillian Harrington

Jillian Harrington

Lisa McIntyre

Lisa McIntyre

Lisa Pokorny

Lisa Pokorny

Deb Bahr

Deb Bahr

Casey Divane

Casey Divane

Michelle Bouchard

Michelle Bouchard


Tough Chik Testimonials: Part 2

18 Oct


“Biking is boring, a waste of time and in no way going to make me stronger,” said no one ever! I love biking but when my boyfriend and his posse started coaxing me into racing I said “no way”. Why? Because I am slow and the only girl in the group. After constant nagging I signed up for a race in Temecula, CA. Let’s just say it did not go well! Mile after mile of torture, watching many people pass, I just wanted to sit down and wish for it all to be over. Then, out of nowhere a voice wishing me good luck for making it as far as I had and to “keep pushing girl” gave me a boost. This chick was racing with streamers on her handlebars, how kick ass is that? I later discovered it was Angela, Team Tough Chik Co-captain. I set out on a mission to find out what TTC was all about. To my surprise it was a group for all shapes and sizes! I quickly signed up and could not be happier about my decision to join a group that supports me, yes me! That girl who always stood on the sidelines knowing she could do what the guys were doing (if not better) was finally a part of something bigger than herself. It’s a good feeling to know that when I am down or off track with my fitness I know I can turn to the Tough Chik ladies for a boost of support. And, when I race, I see TTC racers beside me having a great time. That is what being a Tough Chik means to me. We are Tough Chiks and this is what tough looks like!



I have been back at running now for a long while and continue to beat that voice that tells me “I am not good enough”.  However, now I feel more ready for support and running friendships.  I have pushed past that initial mental hump on my own and continue to stick to my love for running.  Yet, I remain pretty alone.  This is partially my own fault.  I admit to having a wall around me, but those who have taken the time to get to know me realize it comes down pretty easily.  It is simply a protective part of my personality.  I live in a smaller town and there are not a lot of running groups around here, not like the ones some of my friends in other cities are part of.  So at the beginning of this year when I was introduced to a group called Team Tough Chik that was started by Shannon, the amazing creator of Tough Chik clothing, I knew I had to join.  I knew I was ready for more support.  In fact I not only knew I was ready for it, but I knew I needed it.  I may be a loner runner in many ways, but it does not mean I do not crave those running friendships that others have even if at this point it is only virtual.  This group also came during a time when I needed it emotionally.  I was feeling hurt and like even more of an outsider than usual because a group had started in my community and it was one I was not invited to be a part of.  This led me to feeling even more like an outsider and internally I was screaming out “Hey, give me a chance.  Get to know me.”.  I write about this here because I have grown to accept that hurt and own it.  That hurt led me to Team Tough Chik.  Why?  One of the reasons I have stuck to running is because I have met the most amazing “virtual” running friends.  I was never a sports girl in my younger years because I never liked the competitive nature of it all.  That is why I always enjoyed running.  I could go out there and cheer others on and they would do the same in return.  This is the same reason I still love running.  It does not matter what size you are, how fast you are, or what your goals are…………..I can guarantee you someone will be cheering for you.  When you go to a race the atmosphere is not just competitive, but more exhilarating than anything.  Everyone is there for their own reasons and no matter how fast or how slow, each person is respected because they are a runner.  I will cheer on everyone, even those who may not cheer on me.  Just like on race day the fastest runner will still cheer on their competition.  It does not matter.  All walls are broken down.  That is one reason I love running and why I love Team Tough Chik.  This team came to me during a time when I knew I was ready to step out of my shell and look for more support.  I may be a loner runner, but I know to reach my running dreams/goals I need friendships and support.  This is not something I can do on my own.  Through Team Tough Chik I have met the most amazing women.  There are cyclists, triathletes, and runners galore on the team.  Together we cheer each other on, offer advice, and give genuine group hugs when needed.  For the first time in my journey back with running I feel like my dreams are attainable and I truly have this group to thank for that.  I do not feel so alone anymore.  Of course now I have an even longer bucket list too because now I would love to meet each of my team mates.  I finally feel like I have a community I belong in.  I place where I can “talk shop” and be welcome.  It is a place where I have many times mentioned my loner or shy side and been told it is okay.  After all, I may be a confident woman and happy with the person I am yet I am still human.  It is always nice to know that you are welcome and accepted.  As a member of Team Tough Chik I always feel that way.  This group has even given me the courage to step way out of my comfort zone and start a Moms Run This Town group here locally where I can meet other running moms within my community and nearby.  Being a member of Team Tough Chik has shown me it is okay to be the quiet loner, but you should also be willing to share yourself with others.  Allow people into your life and show them how you shine.

Join these ladies and over 200 just like them!

Straight from the Tough Chik’s Mouth: Team Tough Chik Testimonials!

3 Oct

Below are four testimonials of Team Tough Chik team members from our inaugural year.  Read their stories, and decide if you to want to join Team Tough Chik!!!



Around this time last year I noticed some chatter from friends on Facebook talking about joining Team Tough Chik. I had thought about applying for sponsorship or to be on a few teams but never followed up because I thought I wasn’t fast/competitive/accomplished (take your pick) enough to be on anyone’s team. I was just someone that loved to tri and was pretty much a middle of the packer. When I took a look at Team Tough Chik I realized this wasn’t your average team. For the price of a kit – and there are lots of levels  and cute options to choose from – I became part of a team who was in the business of encouraging everyone from a beginner 5K runner to a competitive ironman athlete to get active and support each other  in our athletic endeavors but in our personal lives as well. Lots of teammates cheered me through my ironman training last year and helped get me to the start line with their advice (hello shin splints!) and support (I’m tired and don’t know if I can do this- help please). I’ve made virtual tough chik friends across the country and have met a few in person at races. I’ve also had the thrill of having fellow racers take a look at my team singlet and confirm for me that I *am* what tough looks like! So I’ll definitely be joining up again this year- I guess the only question is will it be a new cycling, tri, or running kit that I will be sporting?


I wear my Team Tough Chik gear a lot.  Those who don’t know me probably think I’m arrogant sporting the, “this is what tough looks like” slogan.  Some think its cool and say the same, others pass me up thinking “you’re not THAT tough”.  However, for me, being tough is as much a state of mind as a physical attribute.  There will always be others who are stronger and faster but I am tough enough to get it done when most wouldn’t even think to try.  I’m tough enough to push forward when I want to just give up and sit one out.  I’m tough enough to encourage others even when I know they will be better, stronger, faster than me.  I’m tough enough to know that being tough has nothing to do with physical strength but everything to do with self esteem.
What does Team Tough Chik mean to me?  It means that I’m part of an amazing community of active, confident women who love themselves and want to propel other women forwad so that they too recognize themselves as tough and powerful.  I love the Team because its inclusive and recognizes that tough comes in all different shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities.  I encourage friends, and perfect strangers alike, to join the team inorder to enjoy the many resources Team Tough Chik offers on all things fitness, to have the opportunity to meet our amazing sponsors and be introduced to great products, to be part of something so much bigger than they will experience on their own…….a world wide network of Tough Chiks.
When I first heard about this team, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had been sponsored before on a fairly large team, and was not happy with how that turned out, but Then I checked out the website and fell in love with the clothes, and decided to try again and apply to be a Tough Chik and boy I’m glad I did! Not only is this a team of women on the move, but an awesome support system. The group page is filled with love and support whether you are running your first 5k, having questions regarding training or injuries, just having a bad day at work and just need to reach out to others.  The other bonus is that the clothes are super cute and are durable and you take pride in wearing these clothes. Although I haven’t met any Chiks in person yet, I feel I have developed great friendships with these ladies and look forward to meeting them someday.
When I first heard about Team Tough Chik, I knew immediately that I had to join. I grew up playing sports and have always loved being part of a team. As an adult, I stepped away from team athletics and moved into endurance sports. That led to lots of training on my own. But I have never believed that endurance events were meant to be a solo venture. An athlete needs a support system, training partners, and like-minded individuals to gain knowledge from and share information with. I longed to be a part of a team, a community, where I could contribute and be supported. Over the last year, Team Tough Chik has provided all that and more. Joining Team Tough Chik has given me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. To represent “what tough looks like.” And to grow as an athlete. It has been an experience I wouldn’t pass up and I wouldn’t want anyone else to miss either.

Getting My Mojo Back

25 Jul

Angela- Team Tough Chik Co Captain here…

Life has been crazy the last few months!  New job, new boyfriend, new battle wounds, new travels, and yet I haven’t been channeling my inner Tough Chik like I would like to be.  The new job requires 95% travel, which is great, and has taken me to some fun places, and I get to visit a lot of friends… however training and race time has taken a big back seat… 

Im a mountain biker by trade, and an enjoyer of all other things outdoors and recess time!  When race season started I had big expectations… I was hoping to line up on the start line and rip some legs off  (that is something we say in mountain biking when we crush the competition).

Well it turned out my legs got ripped off instead week after week.  I lost my race mojo, and with the constant travel, well it made training a lot harder and my fitness went down, and I started to get frustrated when I would go on a ride and would notice the definite lack or decline in my fitness.  I felt like I was stronger last year… thats not supposed to happen.

So at the end of the season, and the races were over for the local So Cal Series… I decided to take some time off and not race.  Instead I went to the races and enjoyed cheering on and helping my friends and my man.  I started going on fun rides with friends, and found myself taking time to conquer technical sections that before I would just walk.  Now I would take time, study the section, and then try it until I rode over a technical section without crashing/ putting my foot down/ stopping.  It was sooo fun.  I loved it.  So my mojo started to return.  My love for cycling was still there, I had just gotten frustrated with it, and it was mostly my fault… I had taken myself too seriously, put too many expectations on myself, and I wasn’t having fun anymore.

Riding with fellow team mates and good friends definitely helps pick you up when you are down!

So I decided to only have fun.  I have a few races on the schedule with some friends, but I will be out there smiling, and having fun like I used to.

I will have that bow back on my helmet, and some streamer on the bike, with some knee high argyle socks, and a smile on my face the whole time!

Photo courtesy of Pink Shorts Photography:

Smiling Tough,


A Tough Chik’s Guide to Nuun “Fire & Ice”

26 Jan

FIRE: According to Angela

I was sick last year with chills, no energy, and aches.  My roommate turned into mom for the next few days and took care of me, and one of my favorite things she did to help me get better was make me “Nuun Tea”.   Yep she heated up some water, dropped a few Nuun tabs in the mug and a splash of honey later, I was drinking some awesome electrolytes and feeling much better.  I had never had Nuun hot before, and I loved it.  Now when its cold, or im feeling a little under the weather, you better believe that a new bottle of Nuun for some “Nuun Tea” is first on my store list.  Luckily this past week I already had a few flavors at home, because I havent been feeling well, and Nuunhas definitely come to the rescue!!

Nuun Tea: Strawberry Lemonade Flavor

The best part about “Nuun Tea” is making it.  Be careful on how full your mug is, because once you drop the Nuun in, a fun little explosion occurs in the mug, almost volcano like, so beware, and be prepared with a towel, or break it into bits, and drop a little bit in at a time.   My favorite flavor is Tri Berry, however I only had Strawberry Lemonade at home, its also good, just a bit sweeter.

ICE: According to Danielle

As a “new runner” in 2010, I was really unfamiliar with the gear and products that were available for use.  During training for my first marathon, I bought a fuel belt but only filled it with water and found that on long, hot and humid training runs I was left flat.  I didn’t use sports drinks during runs because I hated the stickiness left on my skin if I splashed, never mind the fact that if I drank too much at a time I’d be left with “sloshy stomach” and begin to feel nauseous. I learned a lot from reading running blogs—techniques to test and products to try.  It was during my training for my second marathon, National Marathon (Washington, D.C.) in 2011, that I was introduced to nuun thanks to Heather at Run Faster Mommy and Tonia at Racing With Babes.  I was nervous to introduce a new hydration method into my training runs so late into my training cycle, but thought that it was better than sticking with straight water since I knew my body was suffering from electrolyte shortage since I was a heavy sweater.  I found that nuun was not only tasty, but did everything that I needed it to do (and NOT do—i.e. no sloshy stomach and no stickiness from spillage).

Danielle with Nuun Ice Cubes!

Nuun became a part of my longer training runs and races—buying up Pink Lemonade like crazy (in addition to other flavors).  When I found out I was pregnant, I continued to use Nuun, but not only during longer runs.  Nuun went from being used only on runs longer than 6-miles to runs that were as short as 2.5-miles.  It was exactly what I needed to keep my properly hydrated during my pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I came down with a horrible stomach bug and couldn’t drink enough to keep me hydrated.  Again, the sports drinks were too much for my stomach, and I needed to remain as hydrated as possible due to my pregnancy.  I thought about what we gave my 2-year old daughter when she had the bug (a children’s electrolyte replacement frozen pop) and how well it had worked for her when she couldn’t keep liquids down.  I then had my husband make some nuun and place it in our ice-cube trays to freeze.  I started to suck on the frozen nuun cubes to help keep me hydrated and it really worked wonders!  My lips, that had been dry and cracked due to dehydration, and my headache from it as well, went away after I finished my first full serving of nuun cubes.  I kept at it and within a half day felt tons better and was hydrated which was the most important thing! I honestly liked my nuun cubes so much that I started to make them more often and use them inside my nuun to keep it extra cold and not water it down.  My daughter also loves to drink my ice-cold nuun when I would come up from a run on the treadmill.  Now that I’ve had the baby and am getting back into training for upcoming races, nuun cubes are now going to remain a part of my nuun usage.

Last Day to Join These Awesome Tough Chiks!

7 Jan




Name: Becky

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Sport of Choice: Mud Runs, Softball, Indoor Rock Climbing, Rowing

Other Hobbies: Knitting, Crocheting, Reading

2012 Race Plans: Shooting for my first half marathon and other random runs that come up.

What Makes You A Tough Chik?: I actually don’t really like running, but it’s great exercise, it’s basically free, and it helps combat my asthma. I would like to improve my running and maybe one day, I’ll actually enjoy it.

Fun Fact: If I’m going to run, I’d rather do it with mud and obstacles.


Name: Beth

Location: Vacaville, CA

Sport of Choice: Triathlon & Running

Other Hobbies: whatever my kids are doing, lately that is BMX racing

2012 Race Plans: Haven’t decided all of my 2012 races. A few 1/2 marathons and Olympic TRI’s for sure.  Not sure if I will do an HIM this year….

What Makes You A Tough Chik?:  I have to remind myself that I am tough and I am an athlete.  I like when people give you that look and you know they are thinking “You ran/biked/ etc how far???? without someone chasing you? you are crazy” While I am not the fastest out there, I am there and I enjoy challenging myself.

Blog URL:

Fun Fact: For our wedding we got a tandem bike and for our honeymoon we rode from CT to Philadelphia.  That tandem is probably the only bike that we will never get rid of (we have had it for 13 years).


Name: Deihdra

Location: Glen Rock, NJ

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Other Hobbies: blogging, photography, reading

2012 Race Plans: San Juan 70.3, Rev3 Knoxville, SheRox PA, Pumpkin Man

What Makes You A Tough Chik?:  While life is tough for many people, myself included, I find competing in triathlon one of the toughest things in life.  At least for me it is.  I’m not your typical triathlete, I’ve never been an athlete in my life.  I’ve always hated to work out, hated anything that required too much of my energy until the ripe ole age of 36 did I get bit by the beloved triathlon bug and it’s been an amazing journey ever since my very first race – which was just last year!  This past year I completed 7 races and had the best time doing it!  What I find the toughest of all toughes is staying motivated to train.  I love to race!  I could race every single weekend but training is so difficult for me and it’s a constant internal battle.

Blog URL:

Fun Fact: I spend $11/day at Starbucks but I don’t drink coffee.


Today is the last day to join Team Tough Chik.  Go HERE to find out how.

Meet More Toughies : XLMIC, Andrea and Almine

6 Jan




 Name: Andrea
Location: Lexington, KY
Sport of Choice: Triathlon
Other Hobbies: Kayak, Hiking, Running, Blogging
2012 Race Plans: Atlanta Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon in May
What Makes You A Tough Chik?: I have always wanted to do a triathlon.  At age 37 I signed up for one.  Never mind I didn’t swim, bike or run at the time.  I put in the hard work & crossed the finish line with a big ‘ole smile on my face.    Now I am hooked! 
Blog URL:
Fun Fact: I had my left kidney removed in 2001.  In 2002 I adopted my dog from U of Wisconsin.  She also has one kidney due to research.  I named her Karma.  It just fit.


Screen Name: XLMIC
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Sport of Choice: Running
Other Hobbies: travel, reading, movies, hiking
2012 Race Plans: Oakland Marathon Relay, 3/12; Eugene Marathon, 4/12; SF Half-Marathon, 7/12
What Makes You a Tough Chik?: I’m always up for a challenge. 
Blog URL:
Fun Fact: In 1991, I met Fidel Castro and was in People magazine as a result of my participation in the PanAmerican Games that year in Havana, Cuba.


Name: Almine
Location: Bend, OR
Sport of Choice: Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Adventure Racing, Trail-Running, Mtn. Biking
Other Hobbies: Don’t have enough time in the day to squeeze in much more than the above activities.  🙂
2012 Race Plans: “Tour of the Heart,” Jan., 1/28 “Mt. Bachelor” snowshoe race,  several Adventure Races are in the works too 🙂
What Makes You a Tough Chik?: Have you got all day?  🙂
Blog URL:
Fun Fact: I began traveling the world, with a backpack on, when I was 18 yrs. old.  Its taken me to some remote and amazing places.   
You have 1 Day left to join these ladies and 104 others on Team Tough Chik!  Go HERE to find out more about the team that is taking the world by storm!

Team Tough Chik Supporters

5 Jan

 For those that have joined the team, when your running singlet, triathlon kit, or cycling kit arrives in the mail, it won’t be all alone, it will have many goodies and things to try.  The following companies have donated samples of their products, and some have even provided a great discount for our ladies on the team!   We would like to thank the following companies, and tell you why we (Angela & Shannon) love them so much, and are excited to get the women on the team to try them.

 Luna Bars – talk about tasty, satisfying, fuel that is specifically designed for women. With some amazing flavors, you cant go wrong.  My personal favorite is the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.  Great for a run, ride, or a nice healthy snack during the day.  The minis are perfect for a mid-ride or mid-run fuel with less that 100 calories.

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation/ Team Duke – is a great organization that supports awareness programs, education programs and support groups, and is aligned with like-minded groups and non-profits that advance the fight against cancer.  They have sent along some awesome sunscreen for the girls to use, to keep your skin protected.  JWCF/ Team Duke has many support networks and programs for people who have survived or are living with cancer. If you or anyone you know is battling cancer encourage them to check out JWCF – they do a lot of good, and have many great resources!

Big Bear Vacations – with some amazing rental homes on the lake, nestled in the mountains and close to the slopes, Big Bear Vacations has the perfect getaway for you!  Big Bear Vacations is offering a special discount for Tough Chiks to use throughout the year.  Shannon and I are interested in getting a bunch of girls together for a “Tough Chik Weekend” when the Amgen Tour of California comes to town, and of course we would stay with Big Bear Vacations.

Arbonne Cosmetics, Independent Consultant (and Tough Chik) Nancy Holguin– Arbonne is great.  All of my skin care and cosmetics are from Arbonne, and one of my new favorite things to get is their Sea Source Detox Spa Detoxifying Recuse Wash – which is great to help clean off the toxins a day of hard work and sweat can produce.  The line also includes some amazing face creams and make up.

Chain -L – is the best chain lube I have ever used on my bike.  It’s actually now the only chain lube I will use because it’s just that good!  Our cyclists and triathletes will get the pleasure of receiving a sample of this awesome bike lube, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!  Its great for the century rides, long training days, and endurance races, as well as sprint tris and just your everyday riding.

Reflect Sports – is a very fun company that is the creator of the best women’s specific chamois butter on the market, Hoo Haa Ride Glide.  Designed for ladies, this stuff is the best, and makes being in the saddle for a long time a comfortable experience.  For all the swimmers out there, Reflect Sports also creates and excellent swim shampoo and conditioner that will help keep the green out while restoring chlorine damaged or dry hair.  Their products are great, and so is their motto : “Be Strong. Be Bold. Be You.”

Ladies – there are still a few days to join if you haven’t done so yet.  For more information on the team and to register click here.

If you are interested in supporting one or all of our over 111 women on Team Tough Chik, please email Angela and Shannon at

Angela’s Call To The Cyclists Out There: “Come Play With Me”

21 Dec

Here is my plea to the cyclists out there who havent joined yet. Imagine me as a 4th grade school girl, with a grass stain on my jeans, and mud in my hair because I have been playing soccer at recess with the boys, because none of the other girls want to play any sports… so im stuck with the boys. Imagine me looking over at the other little girls sitting together with their hair in curls, in their pretty dresses. I just want some other girls to play with. 

Fellow Team Tough Chik Lauren is really more of a roadie, but I got her on dirt last year! We are overlooking Big Bear Lake!

Well imagine me now. Im on this awesome team, Team Tough Chik, and I love it. I am surrounded by women from across not only the US, but also Toughies from Australia, South Africa, Canada, etc!!! If we were all in the same room, only a handful of us would be cyclists. Sure we have the Triathletes mixed in the process, but right now the majority of the ladies on our amazing team consists of runners! Don’t get me wrong, I love runners, in fact I run… but I love my bike even more than my running shoes.

So here I am looking for a few good women to join us, some biker chiks, cause I want some friends to play with 🙂 Shannon and I are getting so excited about the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs, and it would be great to have some fellow Toughies out there to join us on one of the rides. So here it is ladies who ride bikes, you dont have to be a hard core racer to join the team. 

If you are someone who enjoys charity rides, or centuries, Team Tough Chik is for you! 

If you are a uber beginner and are just thinking about doing your first road race, mountain bike race or cycle cross race, Team Tough Chik is for you.

My first mountain bike race resulted in me getting off my bike quite a few times to go down technical sections, and my first road race (crit) had me dusted in the first lap only to get pulled. I loved these first races… even though I didnt podium, or win, I had fun, and did my best. And since then, heck Ive gotten a lot better!!! Its all about growth, and having fun. As I tell many little kids when they are first starting to ski, or ride their bike, I say the most important rule is if your not smiling, your not doing it right. So dont feel like you have to be a hard core cyclist to join. We embrace the beginner. Heck were getting ready to do a basic bike maintenance clinic, and some future group rides in the mix.

Ladies only bike rides are the best!

So I invite you ladies who love to ride, but who may be a bit timid or nervous about racing, to give us a shot. I want some cyclist friends to play with. I have a ton of triathlete and runner ladies to have fun with, now im looking for the ladies that know what keeping the rubber side down means. The ladies that understand what I mean when I say “two wheels, one love,” the ladies who feel their mood pick up when they clip into their pedals. Im talking to you!

 Join me, join Shannon, and join the over 55 other TOUGH women who have joined the team. I am so excited to see what this next year brings, and to meet you ladies. I cant wait for the moment when a Toughie is crossing a finish line to be greeted by her team mate, to be cheered on, and to even finish with a fellow Tough Chik.

This is going to be a great year.

Join us.

Because this is what Tough Looks Like.