Tuesday, April 14, 2015

8th annual Christopher Todd Richardson Memorial 10k online registration is now open!


 Hi! Just wanted to let you guys know that online registration for Todd's race has opened today. This is such a special, special event - This race is an out and back on the VA Creeper Trail starting from the trail head in abingdon out 5k and back. It's an evening race ( which I feel makes it fun) We also have a walk- so it's SO family friendly- one parent can run, while another and kiddos walk- it's dog friendly, stroller friendly- it's just a friendly race. period.  We award super cool swag and one of a kind awards, and the BEST part its 100% of the entry fees goes directly towards Todd's scholarship fund- not race overhead- So no you aren't buying your t-shirt when you enter- YOU are helping send a couple of kids from Southwest VA to college and realize their potential and fulfill their dreams.

Tomorrow is my brother Todd's birthday. He would of been 45. Birthdays and holidays ( even now 8 yrs later) are particularly difficult for me. What I find helps me the most? working on the scholarship and his race. It gives me focus, it's a healthy vehicle for my grief and allows me to feel empowerment, not helplessness.  Losing Todd was hands down the hardest thing I've been through- It's a wound that is always there- I think as time moves on I have just found better ways to deal with my loss, and accept what happened, did happen- even though some days I have to say just seems like no way it's true- like it was just a bad dream..
 I try to always ALWAYS focus on GOOD memories and have SO much gratitude that Todd was in my life the time that he was, and I have so many awesome memories and hilariously funny stories. Such a gift.   I also am so happy that by helping others in his memory through the race and the scholarship- YES LIGHT CAN COME FROM DARKNESS. I feel so personally victorious in that regard- because there was a time in the weeks and months after he death- I was in such a state of shock and grief, I had no idea how I was going to resume my life. My life changed from that moment. Once I figured out there is no more normal- or going back to what was- I had to make the choice to trudge on ahead- HOWEVER- TRUDGING with Todd's positive attributes ingrained in my heart- SO I can live a life that I know my brother will be proud of. Todd's legacy is not what happened to him aug 10th 2007- Todd's legacy is how many people he impacted while on this earth. MANY family, friends, classmates, co-workers. Toddy quiet simply was an amazing, dynamic individual. How many people he has positively influenced even once he went to heaven ( and yes, he is THERE) . SO MANY PEOPLE. So while I don't understand why he was taken from us, and in the manner that I feel he so unfairly was- I have gained this peace in KNOWING- 1. he is okay 2. he is waiting on me in heaven- so I do not fear death the way i did before he died. 3. I like to think Todd sees how much I've grown ( unsure if he does or if that's possible) his death did create a HUGE shift in my life with being so acutely aware of my own mortality and the fragility AND RANDOMNESS of life.

  I was a stay at home mom with two small kids, led a pretty simple existence up until that point.  I loved to run local races and marathons but I never thought I would become a race director not in my wildest dreams and for the cause that it's for.  I never dreamt I would become an ultra runner- but I feel it was always there under the surface just waiting to manifest- todd's death catapulted me towards DOING. Not just wishing and wanting but DOING.  I always wanted to be a yoga teacher- wow- I'm doing it- working on my RYT. I always wanted to be captain of my own ship and master of my destiny and I'm doing it through my business, Mountain PrimaDonna, LLC- I'm not saying all this to toot my horn- but I'm just saying Loosing Todd was my wake up call. I know that sometimes people criticize me and arm chair quarter back ( esp people who really don't know me well, value me  or  have any sort of insight about what my journey is all about) but I digress I got over all that crap years ago-- if I let negative junk like that hold me back I would never get anything accomplished.  Bottomline:  even though I don't have my brother Todd physically here with me in my life,  I am SO grateful for my journey because it's made me who I am. The good stuff and the adversity and challenges. I am grateful for it all. The challenges have strengthened me, given me compassion and empathy, and perspective.
Todd: I miss you everyday! I truly am SO proud to be your sister, and as long as Im alive I will always try to honor your memory by living life on my own terms, giving second chances, and being REAL and GENUINE- and working hard/playing hard and living life to the fullest every single day. . LOVE YOU, BROTHER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Saturday, April 4, 2015

mountain primdonna, llc website launch, Adventures in pursuing RYT, and shorter races

                             Wanted to do an update for my blog! The past 3 months have been a blur. I've been working so hard, but so very excited at seeing progress and growth where I am placing energy and intention. I am truly following my heart and intuition. While my journey the past 3 months has been SO different than the past 5 yrs and one of low mileage( compared to ultra training)  and not as much time in woods as I would like. I know me sacrificing some mtn time now, I will be able to make up for it much later. Plus, I truly feel I need the rest:) and it's awesome to run everyday pain free. I didn't realize how much I hurt. for years, and I ran anyway-  I only realize it now- because I feel SO good when I run.    
                                        I ran a short race! Shamrock 4 miler. I was undertrained but got to share the last mile with one of my personal heroes, Gerry Duffy. Gerry originally hails from Ireland and ran track and CC for ETSU. We were both suffering a little at the finish, we were talking about how work can get in the way of training, balancing family time, ebb and flow, and having different seasons of focus.  I was thankful to be able to reflect back for a second for both of us- we are runners. it's WHO we are, it's what we do. We have times we have to focus more on more pressing matters, but the sheer love and enjoyment of running races- it's a magical common thread that unites all runners, ultra runners, trail runners.
GU has a new look!! they have rebranded their logo! love the new look
  I have been teaching yoga the past two months at White Top Yoga twice a week, and have lead a couple of yoga for runner's clinics. I am so excited about my Teacher Training. Happy I am able to gain experience and jump in and be on the schedule. It's such a sweet studio. It truly is something special, adds so much to the town of Abingdon; and I'm so happy to get to play a small part in it.  I can certainly say that teaching and my personal practice both have been so wonderful for my creativity and for allowing my body to heal.

Now for all the fun work related content ( oh wait, yoga part is kinda work too? lol) I have been SO busy with my company. I have been selling at winter market at Abingdon Farmer's Market from january until present. Very excited for regular season to begin April 18. After that I will be selling every tuesday evening and Saturday morning. 

                                     I have been so blessed so have been approached by several companies to sell to them so that they can place Mountain PrimaDonna in their stores. So now, in addition to white top yoga ( who gave me my running start on this journey before I even had the idea of setting up my company!)  My jewelry is now at MAHONEY's OUTFITTERS. They gave me an incredible launch. Hosted a meet the artist, event. I'm so appreciative to them for their belief in my vision, and so excited about partnering with them and growing.

Also, in Bristol PHYL'S OF BRISTOL contacted me about making some jewelry for their store- and WOW the response. I have been exclusively making Bristolcentric pieces and they can't keep them in stock! I have been in their store a week, and they have already done a fill in order.  I'm so humbled, happy and excited that these are doing so well. 

Lastly, two days ago, I finally launched MY WEBPAGE! www.mountainprimadonna.com  please click on it and look around! I built it all myself and worked so hard on it. 
I love my etsy site, but my vision from the beginning of starting my company was to grow Mountain Primadonna as a mountain lifestyle brand. I have wanted to sell clothes that merchandised well with my handmade jewelry and accessories and the time has finally come to push aside any fears- and lean into my intuition and go for it! The past several days have been AMAZING. Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased clothes from my webstore! The clothing is going to be much like my jewelry. Always evolving and changing. 

working on my headstand. trying to evolve to a full handstand. I also received my spring line for Stonewear Designs. I'm wearing their "stride skort" running skirt and their  tech fabric activewear long sleeve. I wrote a blog a couple weeks ago for them on spring training and easing back into running after a long break- OR it can be used as a running for beginners program http://www.livestonewear.com/2015/03/27/5-steps-spring-training-success/

 I know I'm throwing a lot of info out there all in one post. Bottom line, I'm pretty much the busiest Ive been in my entire life in terms of not much free time or down time. BUT that really helps me to be SO PRESENT, MINDFUL and THANKFUL- and the time i spend with my kids, loved ones, family and friends to be HIGH QUALITY.  I truly am so thankful for my journey the good, the bad the ugly has all made me WHO i am and brought me here to this point. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the wonderful people in my life, opportunities that I am given. I promise I don't take one second of it for granted.  Wishing all my readers, all the love, happiness, and GOOD that life has to offer. Each morning we wake up, we have so many choices in how to act, what to do with our time.  whatever you do with yourself- BE WELL, DO GOOD THINGS, BE BRAVE and  BE KIND.