Apr 15

Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend Day 2

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch


My second day at the Girls Gone Strong, Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend, in Kirkland, Washington, started early.  I got up at 6 so that I would have time to brush my teeth, get dressed, grab a handful of strawberries on my way out the door, and meet a bunch of other women for a group workout by the lake.




What a beautiful morning!  It was early.  It was a Saturday.  It was a chilly 42 degrees.  The energy was contagious.  Molly Scott Kieland, of FUEL House Gym in Seattle led the motley crew on a jog from the hotel to a local park.  There 4 other trainers joined her to set up 5 stations.  After a warm up, we rotated through the 5 stations.  1 minute at each, 3 times through.  To quote one of the ladies, “You don’t have to work long, but you do have to work hard.”


  • East / West jump squats and jump lunges.
  • Agility ladder exercises.
  • Push-ups and pledge planks.
  • KB swings and 1-legged KB deadlifts.
  • Core station (variety of different planks)

A short jog back to the hotel.  Quick shower and just enough time to make it to the coffee social.  

Before Neghar Fonooni, our first speaker of the day, took the stage, Hilary Paris of Nourish You led us through some centering and awareness meditation.

Yes!  I love this stuff!  All of it.

Group exercise.

The lake at sunrise.

Like-minded women.



Amazing speakers and interesting topics.

ALL of it.

Neghar reminded us to show up.  We do not have to look a certain way, or attain a certain body style before we can show up – authentically – in our lives.  The number on the scale – as well as the number on the barbell – should not be the factors we use to determine our mood or value.  It is an inherent truth that we have value beyond our bodies.  I, personally, needed the reminder.  I have so much to share but when I refuse to engage because I’m not wearing make-up; because I have bags under my eyes; or because I’m feeling (visually) less than, I do a dis-service to myself and to others.

F*&^  that. Here I am.  I am strong.  I am powerful.  I can show up authentically as I am.

Leigh Peele made going on after Neghar, look easy – although I’m sure that wasn’t the case!  Her presentation was on variations and determining factors in total daily energy expenditure.  Fancy words.  It boils down to the fact that we all burn calories differently, and in different amounts.

Not only that, but we each burn a different amount of calories each day.  Where are we within our cycle?  Have we been sitting still, moving, or fidgeting?  My biggest take-way from Leigh’s talk?  Stop changing so many variables!  Don’t do Paleo one day, count macros the next, do Keto the next; try this exercise program – no, and now that one.  Take whatever works for YOU from those programs and apply those pieces.  “Fit activity and training; pick dietary habits that fit within your life.”  That’s how you’re going to fit health and fitness into your life – FOR your life.

I left the event at lunch time.  I had a 4-year old little boy waiting for me to come and play.  THAT was important – to him and for me – this afternoon.

I’m absolutely certain Jill Coleman’s rest-based training and Jessie Mundell’s core and pelvic floor sessions were amazing!!  I can’t wait to dig into Starve Mode, Letters to Lola, and Mindset – – my new reading materials from this weekend.

If you get the chance to attend one of these events (this happens annually) – do it!  This community of women; confident in their strength and power fills me up.  Women:  all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicity, age, holding a place for one another.  <3


<==  Here are some reasons a few of the ladies listed this morning.

For me it’s about seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, learning new things, sharing experiences.

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