dare to be different, friendship

A Little Chick Story

I am sure some of you are looking for a flirty chick flick type of story, but this is just a chick story about where we got our start. Boring to some but memorable to us.

2 Chicks and a Pen met on the lacrosse field. One chick on each side of the fence which is so symbolic to our overall bond and relation in general. One chick was a coach and one chick was a spectator. A particular spectator who spent most days hiding under an umbrella avoiding the sun, the shade, people, and rain on any given day. The coach however was loud and in-your-face kind of coach which was what made the two most unlikely to be paired in the way we are today.

An unlikely duo developed a friendship first through their kids. Then quickly friends turned into extended family. From there the friendship developed into a deep-rooted partnership that took on the brand that we know today as 2 Chicks and a Pen.

3 children’s books published, a business formed, countless blog adventures documented, thousands of fans around the world, and so many memories made. From napkin scribbles at a local restaurant to book signings to field research destinations, we have experienced so much on our path and we have so more ahead of us.

The picture below shows us running a 15k together this month. We have also run a half marathon, some 5k extreme races and some 10k races together. I’m sure when we started writing together running races wasn’t even a blip on the radar. Now we schedule fitness events throughout the year. This is just one of the ways we have grown in love of fitness, friendship and ability to share stories with others.

The way the story goes, we launched in 3 days according to Chick 2, but that’s fairly inaccurate. We actually have several years under our belt currently. Originally we connected almost immediately but that’s not 3 days or even 3 weeks. We began using writing prompts as a way to get to know each other. We traded countless hours writing and chatting. Trust followed.

Soon after, 2 Chicks and a Pen hatched as a legitimate business entity. Goals were set. Timelines established. Projects mapped out on the horizon. We went on to naturally evolve as writers, motivators, athletes and so much more. Our story is unique to us. Nobody will be able to replicate our vision.

The creative spark we have is definitively categorized as amazing. Our timeline is limitless. Our zest for life and sharing it on a large scale is fearless. Our opposite personalities is part of the dynamic. We just do things the #2chx way.

Our journey has had many twists and turns and ups and downs to say the least. We live life so it’s expected. Juggling families, careers, life and our own personal journeys. Somehow on our path Chick 2 joined the Crossfit movement and hasn’t looked back. We did some research and development on nutrition and used ourselves as guinea pigs. Some of these stories we share on this very blog. That’s just one of the side bars that spun off of 2 Chicks. One of many.

We took the road less traveled. We are a legal business entity. We register our business and pay taxes each year. We have a big online presence yet we are active in our community. We have an expensive hobby but we set out with a goal to improve lives through literacy. Whether we write on paper, print our stories in book form or write online we are communicating in our grandest fashion. We are succeeding at our mission and leaving a literal legacy behind.

Word wizards of sorts. We have so much to share some days that we are busting at the seams. While other days we may suffer from writer’s block and can’t string a sentence together. One chick may hold on to featured articles for days or weeks or even months on end until they reach perfection. One chick may write away fast in the moment but has to rewrite several times to correct typos. It’s a creative process for us. We do it over and over and love every opportunity we can sink our teeth into.

My favorite memory to date is reading our stories to kids and having them ask questions about us, our writing process and the whys behind the stories. When they realize what’s beyond the book itself their curiosity sparks. I want to be a writer! I want to be an illustrator! I want to make a cartoon book with my friend! Those innocent but curious minds are in growth mode. Exposing them to our stories lets them see opportunities for themselves. Infinite opportunities.

Chick 1’s writing process is notably different than Chick 2’s. Neither is wrong or right, just different. We are constantly evolving and choosing our path(s) as we mature in our creative minds. Keep watching.

We appreciate you joining in on our public ride or chickscapades whether it’s one post you read or many. We leave a trail of chick dust here, there and everywhere. You may see us on the web, maybe you follow us on Instagram, maybe you catch our tweets, maybe you are one of our local pals who knows us around town. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, we love you.

As Valentine’s week is upon us. We wanted to share a little of our inside story to you. As a sort of love story for the world. Our love of literacy. Our passion for serving others through words. Who doesn’t love a good back story.

Give us a like online. A social share. Be our Valentine this year. Send us a sweet note. A quick feedback note can let us know what you like about our brand. If you don’t like us it’s okay, we know we are not a one-size-fits-all model. That’s why you can choose to visit our page or invest in our books.

2 Chicks’ next public event is on 2/22/20, an event honoring Veterans and supporting suicide prevention efforts, which is near and dear to both Chicks’ hearts. If you are interested in getting involved check out this link. You can donate online.

http://www.official22wod.com/

Happy Valentine’s week!

fitness and nutrition

Your Feet Stink

Stinky feet is no laughing matter when it comes to teens who play sports.

Let’s take my daughter. She plays lacrosse and on a tournament weekend she can play 3-5 games outside in the elements. Her shoes will be sweaty, wet and dirty at any given time or pretty much all the time. We change her socks multiple times. We rest her feet in Crocs between games to sit them out. We go to extremes in my mind to prevent the foot funk!

Add in the eeew factor of being a teen and the chronic stench of shoes with no socks or socks that haven’t been washed in what seems like months you get the most awful smell in the world. Limit the airflow (like in a car) and you are doomed.

Carpool with three teammates and that funky smell just multiplied to an epic level. Add in the gear bags and their bodies after a day at the ball field in extreme heat and let me just tell you it’s enough to burn your eyes, throat and turn your stomach upside down.

And that is just feet and perspiration. I didn’t even mention the car farts that come because they can’t use the darn porto-potty!!!

What got me to write about this was a recent car ride to the field with an SUV full of three girls. We were running late so they all went to put on their cleats in the car and boom! The driver and I almost passed out. I hung my head out the window, gasping for air. The girls said “you’re crazy, it doesn’t smell,” and proceeded to pass a shoe to the front of the vehicle.

That was it. The window was down so the shoe is immediately held out the window. We approach a red light and the car next to us is laughing uncontrollably. I make eye contact. They say “please roll up your window, the stink is reaching our vehicle now.” My jaw dropped.

I was horrified. The smell was validated. The kids were in shock as well but found it funny. If only I had a picture of my face in that moment.

The light turned green. The guy in the neighboring car says, “good luck today. We have the same smell over here in our carload. That’s why we laughed when we saw your arm and head out the window!”

So why do feet stink so bad? Those shoe balls don’t work. Neither do the oils you spray in the shoes. And washing is no help either. Does anyone have any suggestions to cure stinky feet syndrome?

I am pretty sure the nail salon hates me when I bring this child in for a pedicure because they have to work so close to and actually touch those nasty things she calls feet.

I really don’t remember my feet stinking like that as a kid.

I hope my stinky feet blog made you giggle not hurl.

adventure

Summer Adventures, Part 2

Sarasota, Florida was the destination and adventuring was the name of the game.

Girls trip time. 5 girls in tow. 3 teens and two mommas ready to see what they can cram into a few days at the beach destination.

Roof top swimming upon arrival. What a blast to see the sun set and enjoy the atmosphere after some time in the car. Some quick photos for the girls by the moonlight. Early rise to travel the town by bike the next day. The bike seat was nothing short of uncomfortable but it was a beach bike and it was on our must do list. We rode to the bay and explored away. Uncomfortable? Maybe, but adventure nonetheless.

We unexpectedly found a bike decorated at the bayfront near a tiki bar. We were not sure if it was a symbol of death by the water as it was decorated in white and was somewhat angelic. Boy, were we wrong! It was a symbol of peace and and we discovered this after asking about the history of the bike at the hotel. And then our unexpected adventure began…

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How many of the randomly decorated bikes could we find in the next few days? The next one was the mustard yellow one on the corner and then the old school ten speed adorned with flowers in the park. How many more will we find?

 

 

We stumbled on a kids bike decked out in print but somebody actually wrote junk not art on this one…check out the seat in the pic. Each bike is chained to a post of some sort and they are randomly scattered across the city. Next up was pink cheetah print. This one might have been one of my favs but that’s because we found this while driving and had to make a u-turn to snag a photo.

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We were on a scavenger hunt of sorts. We found a baby blue bike on the shore just over the bridge after a day on the beach. We made this a photo opportunity for our crew at sunset. We had to bang another u-turn again to catch the butterfly bike and then we caught the odd bird house bike at red light the last day we were in town.

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Unexpected adventures can yield to unexpected fun, just like the group of new friends we had dinner with one night. All types of backgrounds came together to chill and enjoy some conversation, cocktails and food. Unplanned, unexpected good times.

And the last bike we found was a scary octopus looking bike full of scales of some sort. What a whirlwind adventure that was unplanned. We got to learn a little about a local artist while on our trip and just got to share in some sleuthing with the girls as we were out and about each day.

Fun Friday was set aside for the beach and I was on a mission. I had to complete a handstand challenge. A handstand unassisted on the beach. In public. In my bathing suit. Feet kissing and no assistance. Can miracles happen? Well I had been practicing in the weeks approaching the trip and I was confident, but I never even attempted a handstand on a soft surface like the sand. Would I fall over? Would I chicken out? Would my friend capture the moment for proof?

Well, I am happy to report it’s a done deal. I sealed the deal and can officially take this off my bucket list. It might not be the prettiest handstand but it’s a freestyle handstand. No wall to catch me. No support. Just me putting in work. My day, my week and my month was complete in that very moment.

 

#goalgetter even on vacation. I mean, my pal David told me it’s not a beach trip until you do a handstand on the beach so hopefully I will continue to be fit enough as I age to continue this new beach tradition with whomever my travel mates are.

And then there was the cherry on top…. the young girls did handstands with me. A triple threat. A handstanding trio. That’s modeling, folks. Lead by example and people around you will want to level up and see what they can do, too. None of us were gymnasts. We just wanted to do beach handstands. And handstands we did.

Done and done. A few short days of rest and relaxation along with car ride giggles and snacks and of course late night chats and tropical frose drinks. Can’t complain about the adventures I had these past few days.

Wonder where my summa adventures will take me next time. I bet it will be stateside but you never know. Stay tuned!

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family

For Dad

 

We sat in the parking lot in Virginia, 7:45 am last Sunday.

“My dad would be so proud of me,” I told the teens in the back seat. “I found the 24/7 taco place.” Street tacos with cilantro and onion on corn tortillas. Authentic. Just like the tacos he took me to eat at one of the first real taquerias in Atlanta over 30 years ago.  “Yelp says it’s a Richmond institution.”

Now, I can’t say I am truly just like him. He’d have ordered the tripe or tongue tacos or other more exotic meats. I’m a carne asada and al pastor girl. He would have gone crazy on the hot-hotter-hottest salsa bar. I chose the only one that said mild.

Dad, who loved to talk about how he didn’t even eat a taco until he was 25. He spent the rest of his life making up for lost time.

Then, after cheering for my daughter and her teammates at a lacrosse tournament, those teen girls and I drove a bit north to Kings Dominion.

Even with his broken body, my dad loved a great roller coaster. He could tell you the history and all kinds of fun facts about any coaster in the country, not to mention the first time he rode it. We even belonged to American Coaster Enthusiasts growing up. So spending Father’s Day at Kings Dominion was a fitting way to honor him. He also loved carousels, band organs, all things carnival and amusement. I don’t ride every roller coaster but I hope I’m getting better at embodying his sense of adventure.

What’s funny is I didn’t start out this Father’s Day thinking “what would my dad do today?” I didn’t set out to make the day a tribute to him.

It was after I stood back and reflected that I saw that some of the ways I do life and travel naturally reflect what he taught me by example.

Cheer for your kids. Be interested in what they like and want to do. Nurture those interests.

Eat at little, out of the way places. Take the scenic route sometimes. Try the local specialty. Support small, family businesses.

Be curious. Ask questions. Listen to the answers.  Ask more questions. Keep learning.

Ride roller coasters and merry-go-rounds. Embrace life’s ups and downs and even the rough, bumpy spots.  Delight in the unexpected. Enjoy the ride.

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family

2 Chicks and their Baby Chicks

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As life would have it, our daughters are besties just like their mommas.

Sometimes it seems like we have known each other for three months, sometimes three years, but in their world they are already lifelong friends.  They met on the lacrosse field and it was quick chemistry.  It didn’t take them long to figure out they had chemistry off the field, too. This made them a duo on the field that no one wanted to compete against. The kind where they just give a quick glance, the smallest nod, or point a toe in a certain direction and the other automatically knows where to best position themselves for support on the field. They are simply in tune with each other.

It’s almost uncanny how this mirrors the connection between their adult counterparts.  You’ll find Chick 1 and Chick 2 supporting each other on and off the field in much the same way.  The games may be different but the principle is the same.

Even though they are a bit apart in age, for years they played on the same lacrosse teams. Until now. Recently, Chick 2’s daughter Anne moved on to high school sports, while Chick 1’s daughter Lexi had to remain competing in middle school.  A few months ago the girls played their last game together for a while but made a pact that they would share the field again in two short years. Then, in an unpredictable fluke, they ended up playing against each other in a tournament in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, when they merged their two age groups.  What an odd twist of fate.

Chick 2 felt cringy inside at the thought.  Chick 1 said “watch out Anne! the littles are going to school the high schoolers.” (That’s a different story but the short summary is that age should never define anyone’s talents or ability to succeed.)

Lexi had a great idea before we all left for the tourney.  Chick 2, could you bring the nice camera?  It would be fun to have some shots of the friends competing – an in-action photo shoot of the besties back on the field together, something we thought would take years to happen. Of course, we not only photographed those games, but decided to blog about it as well.

Anne Lexi Draw

If you read our blog for a while, you’ll discover that in many ways, KT and Beth are opposites.  This is a perfect example.  As far as activities go, Beth grew up participating in the arts. She shies away from competition and seeks harmony.  Karen is a multi-sport athlete. She’s been a coach for years now. She ignites passions in others, showing them that they too can be leaders on the field and in life.

These early experiences are part of what shapes our very different approaches to life, adversity, and working together.  You can see this in our writings and when you meet us at grass roots events. It’s part of our spark and signature. It’s a mix you can’t recreate as it’s genuine and deep-rooted.  This is the same special spark our minis have and we cherish every day we get to see them laugh, grow, smile, and share memories. Heck, we even try to join in the fun as much as we can or as much as they will tolerate us.

As for Anne and Lexi, they both played their hearts out that weekend. They bring out the best, most competitive parts of each other. At the same time, they are probably among each other’s biggest fans, just as both of the Chicks cheer for both of them wholeheartedly.

Anne Lexi Reach for the Draw

Each had their winning moments that weekend. And when the game was over, they were right back to the same silly, goofy, lean-on-each-other friends they always are, a team that transcends uniforms.

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As we blog this both girls are in their different uniforms again, playing the game they love most, lacrosse. Anne is in Florida, Lexi in Georgia.  No matter the miles they are still connecting and supporting each other with updates via text, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Just wait until they figure out we were blogging about them as they were on the field.

#2CHX