“I promise to surround myself with amazing souls…and love them fiercely.”
A weekend you will never forget. Are you with us or what? We have been working with the race organizers to make sure our ladies get an unforgettable and memorable experience. We have an amazing weekend in store for you, kicking it off Friday evening with a Black Dress – Orange Carpet premiere event where you’ll get your drink tickets and watch the debut of our new FF video AND unveiling of a special Flower Collection. Other weekend activities include:
- Meet & Greet with champagne, hugs and fun
- Saturday morning shake-out run with the team from Fleet Feet Sports Chicago
- Stretch the f*%k out – yoga in the park, Chicago style
- Nutrition dos and don’ts with one of Chicago’s best health and wellness coaches
- Convenient and private packet pick-up and expo
- Pre-race dinner to gear up for your miles
- Exclusive VIP post-race tent and party, complete with pizza, mimosas, beer and cupcakes (courtesy of the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon)
- PLUS: A special FF swag bag with one-of-a-kind goodies
- CHERRY ON TOP: A one-of-a-kind Fellow Flowers race shirt. (Making em’ just for this weekend. You will LOVE.)
Are you in the arena?
Are you showing up?
Are you willing to dare greatly into the life that is waiting for you?
Okay, we’re not trying to dictate your precious weekend hours, but you need to make time for this. And if you ‘get’ Fellow Flowers, then trust us, it’ll be the BEST hour of your weekend. Tomorrow, we want you to join us for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday…where she’ll be talking with one of our favorite women, Brené Brown.
This past Sunday, Tori and I watched Brené on the latest episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. It was part one of two episodes. Two of our greatest life teachers were riffing on authenticity, joy, courage, vulnerability and self-worth – it felt like spiritual fireworks. Immediately, we wanted all of you with us – snug in a living room watching it together – reflecting on their words and sharing our own stories.
“Do I have to be a runner?”
Lately, this question has been surfacing on our Facebook page and email inbox. Women embracing our message, but unsure if their journey counts, fits or will be accepted.
I’m a biker, not a runner – does it matter?
I have to walk before I run – do I still count?
I wear my flower to boot camp – is that okay?
I just want to embrace what this stands for – can I be part of it?
I run, but I don’t consider myself a runner – am I breaking any rules?
Okay, everybody say it with us on the count of three…1…2…(drum roll)…YES.
Yes, every journey counts. Every step forward matters. Any time a woman declares herself worthy of a passion or finish line, it should be celebrated. We are about putting one foot in front of the other. We seek to create a space where women feel empowered to speak their dreams, conquer their fears and share their stories. We hope to crush the unspoken silos of ‘it’s just me’ and help women embrace and accept the universal truths that are just beneath the surface – in all of us.
Two years ago today, 14 women set off on a journey to run the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon. Training schedules were printed, registrations complete, running shoes purchased and commitments made. Sure we were doing it for my birthday. Even surer was the fact that everyone wasn’t super excited to embark on the training. Yet we did…all of us. Each and every woman who said they were going to – DID. At that point, none of us knew what we had started.
Coming off of two weeks in Florida where Fellow Flowers took part in the 26.2 with Donna and the Disney Princess expos and races, I can’t begin to explain how many times we spoke about these 14 women. It is beyond gratifying to tell women about them, to speak our story, which color is inspired by who, where the statements came from, how they were written, that they represent “real” women and “real” lives, that they aren’t just made up and that everything about Fellow Flowers came first from an experience. The flower came next, and just so happened to tie together what we had been shared for 12 weeks, perfectly.
Written by our amazing Fellow Flower Original, Tara Hartman…
Hello Fellow Flowers!
When the Originals exchanged emails back in 2011, I never really thought of it as writing my ‘Anthem.’ And I certainly never anticipated that it would be read by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. Now, when I go back and read my thoughts and feelings from two years ago, I can truly see how much we have changed as a family. Here’s a little update on life with the Hartmans…
Katie just had her 3rd birthday! A few days after her birthday we took her to visit the NICU in Green Bay where we spent so much time back in 2010. While the facility has been remodeled, it still very much felt like ‘home’ to us, no doubt because of the smiling familiar faces of some of our favorite nurses greeting us at the door. They were all impressed with how well Katie is doing, especially given her rough start (for those of you that don’t know, Katie was a micropreemie born at 25 weeks and weighed just 1 lb. 5 oz.) For her to have even survived is a miracle in itself, but even more astonishing is the fact that her heart, lungs, brain, vision, hearing, motor skills, you name it – are all just fine. Other than being very small for her age, Katie is just a normal toddler with a whole lot of spunk. And for that we are eternally grateful.
If you’ve ever spent an extended amount of time in a hospital you fully understand the impact that good nurses can have on your life. These women became like family to us while we were there. I can only imagine the strength it takes for them to do their job – caring for the most precious, fragile little souls while also offering compassion to their parents going through the scariest moments of their lives. The absolute best moment of our recent visit to the NICU was not having our nurses see how well Katie is doing today – it was hearing our little girl tell the women who saved her life over and over, “Thank You.”
Written in 2011 during training for the Cellcom Half Marathon…Tara, a Fellow Flower Original, shares her story – the reason behind why she decided to run in a race that has now become sacred ground to her and her family. Her journey…her story…will inspire you. Word for word, this email was originally shared with 13 other women in early 2011, her virtual training group. It is these emails, or as we now call them, Anthems, that are the heart, the soul, the beginning, of Fellow Flowers. Thank you for sharing such a precious and powerful message Tara…xo.
I have enjoyed reading everyone’s motivations so far. You are all strong, inspiring women!! Here’s what’s driving me…
As we honored the victims, families and the Sandy Hook Community this past Saturday, I found myself continuously reflecting on the meanings of each of the Fellow Flowers. When a certain feeling would take over, I kept pulling lines from the statement cards as a way to help me understand the overwhelming grief that filled my soul, all the while knowing that if my heart was this heavy, I couldn’t begin to imagine the weight of theirs.
These expressions were the words I needed to hear….they became reminders for myself and the things I wanted Newtown, CT to know as I embarked on 2.6 miles for them. They were all of the reasons I was out there. Ten beautiful colors helped guide and push my every step, deepening my journey and offering me serene clarity..
Running the Las Vegas strip under its infamous lights is a pretty sweet sight indeed.
Seeing a road that is usually lined with taxis and limos bringing vacationers to and from their destinations transformed into a running chute is quite remarkable. The strip closes for 11 hours! The ENTIRE strip. At 1 pm it was completely empty and quiet as the race crew prepared for the 28,000 runners who were getting ready to “Strip at Night.” It’s crazy to even wrap your brain about the logistics that go into organizing such a large feat. Things like this boggle and overwhelm my brain. How they make it happen is simply…. Ah-may-ZING!
Running a new city is always exciting, no matter what. And although we all enjoyed the race, it continues to be the women we meet who provide the reminders of why we’re doing what we’re doing. They continue to be the faces and memories that fill our highlight reel, and Las Vegas was no different.
To start out our weekend, we found out all of our “set up” packages didn’t arrive on time. This stirred up a lil’ Fellow Flower logistical nightmare which included ten customer service calls over the next 12 hours in a frantic search to find our stuff. (Picture Mel stalking a UPS driver outside of the convention center and literally getting on his truck with great hopes that he would somehow just know who she was and where our eight precious boxes were. Priceless.) The poor man had no idea what she was talking about and quite possibly may have been a little scared to have to tell her so. They eventually showed up the next day, just 50 minutes before the expo doors opened. With heart and hustle, we learned that we can set up a 10 x10 corner space in record time if need be – a good lesson for the future.
The expo was large and spread out and at times didn’t feel very busy. We could’ve allowed these things to put a grey cloud over our weekend, but it’s impossible because we always come away with great reminders and the bigger picture of what Fellow Flowers means to people. A few of our most memorable conversations…
Okay, we’re all smart women. We don’t want to waste our money on gadgets and gift cards if we don’t have to. We want our gifts to reflect the deep appreciation we have for our friendships, especially our most trusted girlfriends. We want to give. And we want to give with meaning. So, here’s our list of the favorite items we’ll be giving to our girlfriends this holiday season. From the heart, easy on the pocketbook and filled with gratitude. Enjoy!
1. Write her a love letter. When creating the Fellow Flowers website, we did the traditional ‘bio page’ a bit different. Instead of writing our own, we wrote each other’s. While it was challenging to distill our many years of friendship into words, it was one of the most amazing things to give…and receive. Tell your girlfriend why she’s amazing and strong. Highlight her fun quirks and hidden talents that you treasure. Tell her why the world is lucky that she’s here. Why this gift? Because we shouldn’t wait to tell our friends why they are so important to us – do it now. Visit our bio page to get some fun inspiration!
2. The Awesome 30. Find a small box, a glass jar or container that can hold about thirty small pieces of folded paper. On each slip of paper, write a quality, talent or something you secretly (and lovingly) envy about your girlfriend. ‘I envy your patience’ or ‘your laughter is contagious’ or ‘you are kind’ or maybe ‘no one rides a mechanical bull quite like you.’ (Sorry, inside joke.) Your friend can pull out one per day, one per week, whatever she chooses.
3. A Fellow Flower. Meaningful, budget-friendly, unique and unexpected. A simple gesture to let your girlfriend know you’re there for her – every step of the way. Whether it’s courage, gratitude, friendship, self-worth or dream chasing, you’ll be in it together. And, every flower comes with the 5×7 statement card, perfect for framing and displaying. Visit our Flower Shop to check out all ten colors and meanings. (And the award for best holiday gift-giver goes to…drum roll please…)
Written as a message to my daughters…which in turn, became a reminder to myself…
Live. Live BIG. Break rules. Don’t spend time in front of the mirror. Focus on how you feel. Let go of stereotypes and preconceived notions. FREE YOURSELF OF EXPECTATIONS. You are beautiful.
Be kind to your body. It is a precious vessel. Nurture it. Love it. Accept it.
Run a race at least once in your life. The rush of crossing a finish line will change you, forever. Teaching you that your body is strong, but your mind is even stronger.
Chin up. Shoulders back. Steady feet. YOU’VE GOT THIS. You’re here for a reason. Your dreams can change lives. And when you’re nervous – because you will be – smile and laugh. It helps.
Believe in fairytales. Wish upon stars. Write your own happy ending.
Stand your ground. Hold tight to your values. Find the balance between humility and confidence. Fight for those learning to find their voice. Compassion over hate always wins. Giving over taking will always reap the biggest reward. And letting go of the hurt will set you free. FORGIVE YOURSELF.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. It’ll be the hardest and best decision you’ve ever made. Ignore the haters. They are projecting hurt and insecurities that you’ll never understand. Instead, let them see you boldly and lovingly embrace your imperfections.