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2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Jessica, Michelle and Sue!

20 May


Name: Jessica S.

Location: Miramar, Florida

Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon

Hobbies: aside from my life hobbies of Running and Triathlon, my family enjoys boating, model airplanes, RC cars, bike riding, and any other outdoor activities.

2014 Race Plans: 2014 is a big year for me as I embark on many new adventures. I plan to continue in my new Triathlon endeavors with more Sprints, and potentially an Int’l and Oly distance. I will be continuing the HM’s with at least 3 on the schedule, and my biggest planned accomplishment is to complete my first full marathon next December

What makes you a Tough Chik? BELIEVING in my physical abilities. I have only been in the running sport for 3 years and my 1st tri this year and the only thing holding me back is me. I am a full-time out of the home working mom with a police husband working nights. I juggle the school nights of our 2 kids and their swimming mostly alone, but have made it a priority to fit in time for me to be healthy to inspire them.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? none i thought i couldn’t live without my running watch until it broke

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? When you need something to Believe in…. start with yourself.

Fun Fact: I was born at 30 weeks at 4lbs 4 oz and my parents were told to have very low expectations. At 34 years old I have a Bioengineering Degree, have an awesome job designing/developing Heart Pumps (LVADs) and continuously exceed my fitness goals for running and now Tri-ing. Eat that dr’s in 1979 🙂


Name: Michelle V.

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Sport of Choice: Running, biking, triathlon in that order. But I love riding my cruiser bike anytime!

Hobbies: Cooking, traveling, hiking, drawing, crocheting, anything fun and creative.

2014 Race Plans: Surf City Half
San Diego Medio Fondo
OC Half

Fall racing not yet determined

What makes you a Tough Chik? I don’t give up easily

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone. It connects me to family, friends and the internet.




Name: Sue S.

Location: Gettysburg, PA

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running
My kids!

2014 Race Plans: April 27, 2014 -Run Like A Diva Half Marathon Myrtle Beach
May 31, 2014 – Zooma Annapolis
June 21, 2014 – Spirit of Gettysburg
November, 2014 – Richmond Marathon (Hopefully!)

What make you a Tough Chik? Life makes me a Tough Chik! I had three little girls in FOUR years, and then was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I had surgery, radiation, and today still deal with it. Having kids to care for though doesn’t give you an opportunity to hesitate. Life goes on and you need be the best example to your children that you can.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? IPOD Nano

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? We Create Our Own Tomorrow By What We Dream Today

Fun Fact:I love anything with flowers, or plaid! Mornings

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Andrea, Maria and Katharine

1 Apr

Name: Andrea T.

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: motorcycle riding

2014 Race Plans:

The Gate River Run
Wolfson’s Children Hospital ultra marathon
The Donna Full Marathon

What makes you a Tough Chik? being a strong runner yet not having a “runner’s body”

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? gps

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? suck it up buttercup




Name: Maria L.

Location: South Lyon, MI

Sport of Choice: Running, skiing, bike riding.

Hobbies: Gardening, reading, sight-seeing.

2014 Race Plans: Marathon Maniac in May!!! with Flying Pig and Rite Aid Cleveland
Hollywood Half
Chicago Women Rock Half
Martian Marathon
Whatever comes up and sounds good.!

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a Tough Chik because once I set a goal I do whatever I have to reach it. I don’t give up easily!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? NIKE GPS

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? You only get ONE life so LIVE it!




Name: Katharine R.

Location: Texas

Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon

Hobbies: Girl Scouts
Weight lifting

2014 Race Plans: Galveston Marathon
Seabrook half
Austin Triathlon
Sugarland Triathlon
Fort Worth Marathon
Firecracker 4 Miler
BCS Marathon

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be the fastest or smartest, but I am the most dedicated and I succeed by my sheer determination.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Iphone 5

Ragnar SoCal or BUST – Meet the Tough Chik Team!

28 Mar


I am beyond stoked for Ragnar SoCal!  What is Ragnar you may ask?  According to the Ragnar website:

“Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport.  You and 11 of your craziest friends (or 5 of your crazier friends for an ultra team) pile into two vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style. Only one runner hits the road at a time. Each participant runs three times, with each leg ranging between 3-8 miles (OR 12 in our case!) and varying in difficulty. So, from the elite runner down to the novice jogger, it’s the perfect race for anyone.”

I have wanted to compose a Team Tough Chik Ragnar team for years, but with the encouragement of Tough Chik Ambassador, Lisa, I decided that 2014 was going to be the year and So Cal was going to be the place!


We would LOVE for you to follow our adventure!  Below is our team and their individual blogs, twitter and instagram handles.  We will be using the hashtag #TTCRagnar14.  So follow Team Tough Chik and we tough it out down the California coast starting Friday April 4th at 6AM!  It will be EPIC!


Here is Team Tough Chik Ragnar So Cal 2014!





Twitter: @lruns4cupcakes

Instagram: lisarunsforcupcakes












Instagram – mrsvgoyer

Twitter – @vgoyer





Instagram – toughchik

Twitter – @tough_chik




Instagram: @brit_chick





Instagram: Bookaim




Instagram: @theresadnelson










Instagram: @jessynelson

Twitter: @chicksthat





Twitter: @CaseyGirl00




Instagram: crantina

Twitter: crantina








Instagram – @moreylifescapes

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Lynette, Cheryl and Dereka!

25 Mar


Name: Lynette

Location: Shady Point, OK

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: sewing, crocheting, wrangling four kids

2014 Race Plans: Planning on a marathon in April and hopefully an ultra (50k) in September or October.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m wife to a soldier and mom to 4 kids. We’ve managed through 2 deployments (pushing a jogging stroller with 100lbs of kids is pretty tough!) and moves across the country all without losing my sanity =)

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My Garmin

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


Name: Cheryl G.

Location: Salisbury, NC

Sport of Choice: I’ve always been athletic. I ran high school track and played field hockey. Then ran on a scholarship at Syracuse. Then life and “stuff” got in the way – I gained some weight and finally just decided it was time to make a change! So…I started walking and then running. While I ran track way back when – I always just ran short sprints and hurdles…never distance…so this was new. I’ve only been running since June 2013 – but LOVE it and plan to push myself more in 2014!

Hobbies: I’m a crafter. I do glass etching (have a little business – Enlightened Engravings) and love holiday crafts. I’m also a reading nut!

2014 Race Plans: I am running my first official 10K in February 2014 at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. EEEKKKK! In 2014 I plan to run many more 5K’s because I just think it’s a fun distance. I love to push myself and try to PR at each one! I want to run a 25min 5K (small steps!) and place in my age group – as that always seems to elude me!


What makes you a Tough Chik? I am a Melanoma Survivor (wear your sunscreen!!) and working to get myself back into shape. I want to be fit and lean again and will not stop until I get there!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Strive for progress, not perfection.


Name: Dereka E.

Location: Buffalo, NY

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: fitness, Disney vacation planning

2014 Race Plans: Walt Disney World Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Buffalo Marathon, Upstate NY Tough Mudder

What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Courage means being scared to death but saddling up anyway-John Wayne

Fun Fact: My mom was pregnant with me when Elvis died, she was pregnant with my half sister when Kurt Cobain died and I was pregnant with my daughter when Michael Jackson died. I won’t have another child for my fear of losing Madonna 🙂

3 Things Thursday

20 Mar

I am normally not a 3 things Thursday kind of gal, but today I felt like posting a quick note and this seemed to be a good way to do it.


1. Ragnar So Cal – Team Tough Chik is gearing up for Ragnar So Cal which is a 12 person relay from Huntington Beach to San Diego.  We will cover 194 miles on foot over the course of 2 days (really 1 and a half).  We have a great group of women racing, some from down the street and some from far away.  Over the next few weeks you will be hearing much more about Ragnar So Cal.


2. Swim Week – I am training for Ironman 70.3 Boise right now, and this is swim week.  Which means most of my workouts are in the pool.  At this point I feel like I sweat chlorine!  Today is a rest day and I am SO ready!


3. Hot Chocolate 15K – On Sunday I am returning to PetCo Park in San Diego to race the Hot Chocolate 15K.  I rarely race the same race year after year, so I am excited to see if my running has improved over the past year.

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Jodi, Jenifer and Angie!

11 Mar


Name: Jodi G.

Location: Rockford, IL

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography and cheering on the Cleveland Indians

2014 Race Plans: 6/8/14 – Esprit de She sprint tri Naperville, IL
7/14 – Rock, Roll ‘N’ Run sprint tri Janseville, WI
8/16/14 – Dirty Girl Mud Run WI
9/6/14 – Rev3 Cedar Point sprint tri
10/26/14 – Marine Corps Marathon!!  My first!!

What makes you a Tough Chik?  Being out there and staying active.  Age is just a number!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone

Fun Fact:  I deal with criminals all week as a Probation supervisor and spend my weekends volunteering with some awesome kids who were blessed with an extra chromosome.



Name: Jenifer O.

Location: West Covina, Ca

Sport of Choice: Running… But actually I call it “wogging” which is in between walking and jogging.

Hobbies: I love crafts. Knitting is my favorite; I am a big time volunteer and my kid’s school. I love “glamping” which is glamorous camping. I am not going to a port o potty in the middle of the night.:)

2014 Race Plans: As most of the girls know I completed my 1st sprint tri 2013 on a cruiser and it was not easy. I want to conquer that course again on a real bike. I plan on toning down the half marathon and maybe focus more on some fun runs with the kids. I would also like to hit some trails.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I think I am tough in a lot more ways than I considered last year. I am a more confident person. I really feel with the right mindset I can conquer anything. At 37 years young I never thought this would be where I am at. I am a much happier, confident person because of this team.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike sportswatch

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? My last half my friend told at the last mile to “push my brave”. It was a rough mile and I think I cried to the finish line.

Fun Fact: I really am silly fun living gal. I “wog” so I can drink beer and eat ice cream. I love tennis shoes. I still feel like I am 16.



Name: Angie Z.

Location: Lincoln, NE

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography, show jumping (jumping horses over fences)

2014 Race Plans: Lincoln Half Marathon (May 2014), Omaha Women’s Triathlon-Sprint (June 2014), Omaha Triathlon-Olympic (July 2014), Hy-Vee Triathlon-Olympic (August 2014)

What make you a Tough Chik: When I make up my mind I am going to accomplish something, I do it.  I have set some lofty goals in my life and have completed many of them.  I continue to set high goals for myself as I try to reach for the stars!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Garmin 910XT

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fun Fact:  I usually read a couple of thousand pages worth of books each year!

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Amy, Xanthe & Valerie!

18 Feb


Name: Amy S. – 1st year member!

Location: Fullerton, ca

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Racing, traveling, shopping, reading, spending time with friends and family.

2014 Race Plans: Oc half, Huntington Beach half, LB half, Nike in Dc (fingers crossed)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m dedicated! Through injury I keep
Coming back!! I am always trying new runs to push myself and keep motivated!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike plus

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run your own race!

Fun Fact:  3 years ago I started running and my goal was to complete a 5k. This weekend I am running my 8th half marathon, rock n roll in Vegas!


Name: Xanthe – 2nd year member

Location: Campo, CA

Sport of Choice: Triathlons

Hobbies: Geocaching, animals, reading, softball, triathlons, hiking

2014 Race Plans: Jan:
5-Kendall Webb Triathlon
18-Stagecoach Century
19-Carlsbad Marathon
2-Surf City Marathon
8-Tour De Palm Springs
9-Palm Springs Half
16-Run 10/20
22-Race the Base (maybe)
23-San Diego Women’s Half Marathon
1-Desert Tri (Sprint)
2-Desert Tri (Oly)
9-San Diego Half Marathon
16-Superseal Oly Triathlon
23-Zion Half Marathon
13-HITS Napa 140.6 Triathlon
20-Mustang Half Marathon (maybe)
27-La Jolla Half Marathon
4-OC Half Marathon
18-HITS Colorado 70.3 (maybe)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I have been last and didn’t quit.

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Fun Fact: 20+ military Veteran, retired.



Name: Valerie D. – 1st year member

Location: Arlington, VA

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running

2014 Race Plans: Dopey Challenge January 9-12, 2014
GW Parkway Classic 10 mile – April 14, 2014.

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be fast, but I hang in there until I get the distance covered.

Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

4 Feb

I am going to be very honest, there were 2 reasons that I signed up for this race.  1) I thought the medal was cute.  (I should be “above” racing for a cute medal…but I am not)

medaland 2) Jen Small was going to be there!  Jen was one of the first bloggers to embrace Tough Chik.  When she emailed me and asked to partner with Tough Chik, I was skeptical.  But one thing you will learn (or know) about Jen is that she is honest, enthusiastic and loving.  She believed in my brand and work hard to get out my message.  I pretty much owe my early social media connections solely to Jen.  She really changed my business.  We live on the 2 furthest points from each other, me in So Cal and Jen in Maine.  So I was NOT going to miss my chance to hug this amazing woman be picked up my this amazing woman.

484873_686472201374982_15677058_nSo what is Jen like in real life?  Exactly as you would expect.  Warm, friendly, fun, energetic and she gives great hugs, which is a big bonus in my book.

Back to the race…well…not yet…

Saturday before the race we had a Tough Chik meet-up/beach party.  A few of the Team Tough Chik members who were running and some locals braved the parking dropped by.

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Keen Raffle Winners!

Keen Raffle Winners!

It was great to meet some of the new Toughies and catch up the members who are now my friends.

This race morning started like every race morning, with an alarm so early my cats look at me like I am nuts and don’t even get up to beg for treats.  When you confuse the cats and they are to sleepy to beg for food, now THAT is early.  Stupid early.  I was concerned about parking, as this is a HUGE race, so I was able to catch a ride with one of my team members brother-in-law, who lives down the street.  It is kind of weird to get picked up a 5:30 AM by a complete stranger, but we had a lot in common and chatted non-stop to the race.

Paul (my ride) and Me

Paul (my ride) and Me

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Some of the Toughies met before the race started for a group pic and Julie woke up and rode down to cheer us on!  Now she is real trooper!

I promise we like each other!  We were so cold! Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

I promise we like each other! We were so cold!
Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

After a quick photo op, we went our separate ways and I headed to my corral.  I was shaking uncontrollably I was so cold.  It was probably 50, I mean not cold, but I admit that I am a total weather weenie.  I was suppose to take off at 7:57 but I *might* have been in the wrong corral, because we didn’t take off until quite a bit later and there was the 2:30 pacer right in front of me.  But I hate feeling like everyone is passing me, so I was okay starting with a slower group.

Crowds of folks at start line

Crowds of folks at start line

We finally got moving and I remember a friend telling me to start of painfully slow.  So that is what I did, and it wasn’t that hard.  There were so many people, and I was so cold that it was hard to get faster than a 10 min mile that first mile.  I had studied the course map and knew were the one hill was at around mile 3, so I told myself to keep it nice and slow until past that first hill.  About 2 miles in, I had to go to the bathroom.  OF COURSE!  Now you have to go!  Sometimes you and your body are NOT on the same page.  The lines for the port-a-potties at that first stop were very long, so I kept on going.  My plan was to go either on the way up the hill or at the top, knowing that I can haul butt down hill and maybe get some of my time back.  I had also decided that I was going to stop my Garmin and not count potty time. LOL

Right before mile 5 there were some port-a-potties and I begrudgingly waited in line to go.  A couple minutes later, I was as good as new and ready to move on.  I was feeling really good.  Pacing myself, drinking water and moving.  Except everything was moving.  I wore a flip belt with my phone and money and a race belt.  Both of which wanted to twist, turn and rise up on me.  It was driving me nuts.  I didn’t want to snag my new team shirt by pinning my number, but this was crazy annoying.  I think around mile 9 or 10 both final stayed on my hips.

Around mile 10 I started to get stomach cramps. Not buckled-over-cramps, but my stomach-is-unsettled cramps.  This is also the point where I realized that I would be cutting it very close to the 2 hour mark.  I really, really wanted a sub-2 hour race, but knew that it wasn’t a sure thing.  This is the point where I am doing the math in my head and to what pace I need to run these last miles.  I started to feel down, realizing that I was going to miss it.  I was close to tears, when I see Sara.  Sara is amazing and one of the coolest gals I know.  She is on Team Tough Chik and also lives in the OC.  She knew I wanted a sub-2 hr run and I was actually using her training plan.  She came up to me and asked me how I was feeling and what time I had.  At that point I was an hour and a half in and had over 3 miles to go, plus a gradual climb.  She told me that I would be cutting close, but I could do it.  She blew me a kiss and was off.

After that I just pushed as hard as I could, at this point it was right around mile 11.  I think I started pushing to early and around 12.5 I hit a wall.  I looked at my watch and knew there was no way I was going to cover the next .6 miles in 5 minutes.  I just didn’t have it in me.



I finished my first real Half Marathon at 2:03.  Even though I was a little bummed I didn’t get my sub-2, I knew that I gave it my all.  I left everything out there and I did the best that I could do.

Me and Sara

Me and Sara

Overall this was a great race.  Beautiful, well organized and pretty dang flat, which is huge for us!  I have a sub-2 hour half in me, so I guess I will have to try again next year!

Top 10 reasons to be a Tough Chik – Guest Blogger – Jessica Langston

9 Oct

Top 10 reasons to be a Tough Chik
1.  You are probably thinking, “Am I tough enough?”  Here’s the answer: YES! Yes you are. You’re thinking about it, you are considering it, you ARE.  Who says what’s tough and what’s not?  YOU do. What’s tough for you may not be tough for me, and vice versa. You only have to be tough in your own mind, not compared to anyone else. And if you join the team, you have a shirt that says your tough. And if your SHIRT says it, well, then, duh, you are.
2.  You immediately are embraced and loved and encouraged by over 200 kickass women CHIKS. (OK, so I don’t blog, and I always think it’s the coolest thing when bloggers cross stuff out like that, so you might see that again in this list. Just sayin)
3.  You now have a connection to Chiks all over the country, and even some all over the WORLD!  If you are planning to do some races, or even take a vacation, chances are, there will be a fellow Toughie nearby. MEET UP WITH THEM!  You WON’T be sorry you did. I’ve had the chance to meet 3 awesome ladies in PERSON, and it has been the coolest thing.

  • Tara – Uh, I love her. We met in June in South Dakota, and both did the Deadwood Mickelson Trail half marathon.   We didn’t run together, we simply met up before the race, and found each other at the end. That’s it. Maybe 10 minutes total of together time. But when you meet someone FOR REAL, it makes them more real. Is that true? Heck, I don’t know, but it sounds good right?  Tara and I have really clicked, and she’s pretty freakin awesome.  We shared this race on our journey to Half Fanatic-dom and I think that gave us a jumping off point in getting to know each other.  We facebook message a lot, and we’ve sent each other little packages in the mail. It’s like having a grown up pen pal. How cool is that??  I encourage her, she encourages me. Got a long run this weekend? Pretend I’m with you. It works. I’m not kidding. Mile 8, I’m tired, in my head, there she is next to me, hey, it’s better. Seriously.


  • Jess and Lisa – Super cool chiks!  I got a 2 for one when I met these ladies.  We met just a few weeks ago at See Jane Run in Wichita.  Jess (as in Run with Jess who some of you may know from her blog) won an entry at the last minute. She drove about a million hours just to come run 13.1 miles. And then turn around and go home. Yep, that’s the kinda TOUGH chiks we are.  Opportunity knocks, we’re gonna kick in that door!  Lisa is from Wichita and I’d known all along I was going to get to meet her.  Since she was from there, I got to bug ask her all kinds of stuff about where to stay, where things were in relationship to the race, etc. Inside scoop!!  And talk about TOUGH, Lisa just had a baby this summer and here she is, out 5k-‘n it up like a champ!! Oh, and by the way, I kept Jess in my sights for about 9 miles, and stalked her down and got a PR because of it!


4.  Ok, so I talked about meeting people in real life. But for the 3 people I’ve met in the flesh, there’s plenty more I feel like are my friends now that I HAVEN’T actually met. And facebook friends, they’re like at least 90% as good as real ones, right?? Let’s face it, probably twice as good sometimes!
5.  Super awesome clothes/gear.  If you are like me, you love you some awesome workout clothes. I can’t even tell you the last time I went to a store and DIDN’T check out the athletic section.  It’s hard to find cute, and practical stuff! Well, Tough Chik has a whole line of clothes that ANYONE can buy, and they have super special stuff JUST for team members!!  You should have seen the facebook posts in our super secret group (I’ll get to that point later). But October 1 (first day of team registration) was like counting down to CHRISTMAS!!    I mean, check out this wonder chik top. Hello!! Have you ever seen anything MORE amazing??  And the tank top is this year’s team singlet. It says “This is what Tough looks like”. Its awesome, its comfy, its TOUGH.
jess3jess46.  Ok, time for the super secret group. We have a super secret facebook group. You can only be in it if you are on the team, and NO ONE else can see anything you post!  Cool huh? You can ask every embarrassing fitness related question you’ve ever wanted to ask. And I guarantee, in 5 miles minutes (ok, that was a for real typo, but that just cracked me UP when I was proofreading this that I typed miles instead of minutes!! Bahahaha!) you’ll have 16 answers and 27 funny stories, and 12 people that have had the same exact issue as you. (Ok, don’t quote me on the numbers, but its close.)  And not only fitness stuff, you can say anything else you want!  Had a craptastic day, and don’t want to gripe about your best friend that screwed you over on your own facebook page? Post here, you’ll get support, and no one in your everyday life will be any wiser about it. We even had someone tell us first that she was gonna be a grandma because she couldn’t announce it to the world yet, so yep, she told us first!   All your “real” friends sick of hearing about the 16 miles you ran? How fast they were? How you felt? About your marathon, triathalon, 5k, 1 mile swim…whatEVER…. Coming up?  Welp, we all wanna hear about it. I swear. Not joking. Yes, please, tell me more details. How did you feel at mile 6? Mile 12? At mile 18 you wanted to die?? Tell. Me. MORE!!!!

7.  Ok, my reasons have gotten a bit long winded. Let me try and wrap this up. Wanna do a ragnar relay? Boom….instant team if you are looking for one.
8.  Wanna know how that headband fits? Size comparison of a brooks shirt vs. a nike one?  Ask!  Someone will answer. HELL, someone will post pictures with exact MEASUREMENTS. I. am. Not. KIDDING.
9.  Have an injury that you are nursing and want to know if its your shoes, your socks, or your diet that’s causing it?  Again, someone’s been through it and has some AWESOME advice for you.
10.  This is the BEST, most amazing group of women on the planet. I could research that, but I don’t have to. I know it. In my heart.  If you want to be part of something special, this is it. We’ve got every level of fitness there is, from beginner, to someone that’s run 50 marathons.  And everything in between. We’re here to support each other, listen to each other, and just make new friends!  This is what you’ve been looking for. I promise. You’ll see.  (Dang it, I almost made myself cry when I reread all this.)


To learn more about Team Tough Chik, please visit

Guest Blogger – Walisa Dickson

7 Oct

 walisa 1

(Lil’ toughie next to me)

“Look, Ma! I made it!!” were the exact words I told my mother via Skype when I registered and became a part of Team Tough Chik (TTC) 2013. She didn’t understand what it meant to me to be a part of this team, but I guarantee she does now. Thank you to Shannon Renick Carson for allowing me this AWESOME opportunity as a guest blogger to rave about TTC.

 walisa 2

                  Food! I absolutely love food! The problem with our relationship, food and me, is that it loves me back WAY more than expected. I eat and it stays. Sometimes, I need for it to give me some space. We spent too much time together and it was beginning to show. It began to affect my health and overall happiness. After my 2nd child, I weighed in at a hefty 280lbs. My eyes were as big as a gigantic meatball when I saw the numbers appear on the scale. There are many reasons I did not want to be this size anymore, but more importantly, for ME.


walisa 3

                  I knew there was no way on God’s green earth I was going to be able to do it alone, so I invited my close friends to join me in this journey to break away from the food addiction and get healthy. We created a 4-month fitness challenge. We applauded, inspired, motivated, pushed, and yelled at each other throughout the challenge. We walked during breaks, lunches, and after work together. It was fun to be on this journey with people you absolutely love and would support you – no matter what. (Remember these words; they will appear in a similar fashion later in the story). We even joined walk events. I will always tell this story of an event we were to walk, but each of us RAN the majority of the way. It was the Cleveland 4-miler. We hyped one another to walk this event, but would run a little if we felt good, that would take us through 4 well-known Cleveland Sports Stadiums. We must have felt REAL good because we walked 1-mile and the other 3- miles were ran like a cupcake (I run for cupcakes) was at the finish line. I am telling you, I have never felt so accomplished, so energized, and so satisfied until that day. Unfortunately, the journey with the girls started breaking apart. We each had more responsibilities in our personal lives that would not allow us to get together as often as before.

 walisa 4

                  Slowly, but surely, I was turning back to food as a companion. My loneliness was short-lived because as I was perusing FaceBook (FB), when I came across a page that caught my interest. The statement, “All women have a personal story that makes them tough” caught my attention. I was thinking, “Hmmmm!” I do have a story, but I didn’t consider myself “tough”. Not at all. I continued to peruse. Throughout the page, you could clearly see this was not a gimmick or about selling anything. This group, this team, this family was about supporting women (no matter shape or size) who needed that extra motivation to a fitness goal. For some crazy reason, I decided to join. Glad I did!!

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AMAZING group of women! I mean, INSPIRATIONAL with a topping of whip cream (yes, I still love my food).  TTC is a group of women who started a journey similar to mine (and yours), may have reached a goal, are setting a goal that they once thought was unreachable and/or has exceeded a goal. When I say Team Tough Chik, I am speaking of INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, CARING, FOCUSED, ASTONISHMENT, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!! Virtual love and support (there are those words again) that inspired me to train and run my FIRST Half Marathon in May 2013. I am now prepared to run my 4th Half Marathon in 4 days. I cannot truly express in words the dedication of the women whom I call my virtual sisters. They are my shoulders, my virtual punching bags, my advisors, ladies I can cry, laugh, and swear with because they understand the ups and the downs. They don’t judge me! They ARE the epitome of tough! I do not just wear “tough” or am in a “tough” group. Tough is a lifestyle. My mini-me’s use the word “tough” to let me know I CAN DO IT! There are moments when I want to throw in the towel, but I remember that I AM TOUGH and this is just another obstacle that I can overcome. That’s right! I said it, “My name is Walisa Dickson and I AM A TOUGH CHIK!” #toughie J

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