This week on That Girl, we are celebrating Brae Blackley, the founder of the Zooma Women’s Race Series who says she’s built her entire career around offering women’s races all over the country because “being a runner has the ability to actually make women’s lives better and happier.” We love that and couldn’t agree more. Take a look at Brae’s inspiration–including how she fits in her own running along with running a business and raising two children:
Founder and Executive Director, ZOOMA Women’s Race Series
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
Honestly, I am very proud of getting back in shape after my second baby, Drew, was born in January. I’ve made getting strong and fit post-pregnancy a priority, and that’s not easy to do! I’m proud of the fact that I am almost half-marathon ready, 8 months post-partum.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
I believe that being strong and healthy is essential for being happy. Ultimately, I’m a happy girl when I have the energy and strength to take care of my family and myself with enthusiasm and excitement. The lure of endorphins doesn’t hurt, either!
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
As a mom of two small kids and a business owner, there is very limited time to work out. If I miss a workout window, I may not get the chance again for a couple days. So I tell myself, ‘it’s now or never!’ That’s a good motivator for me.
Favorite energizing meal:
Salmon, coconut rice, and broccoli.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
Pedicure! The calf and foot massage feels amazing after a hard run.
What is your top kick-ass workout?
Right now, I’m just happy to be away from my kids and sweating. On the weekends, I meet up with friends and tackle a five or six mile run. That’s about the best I have been able to do post-pregnancy.
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
In between college and law school, I spent the summer in The Gambia, West Africa. We lived in a small rural village with no plumbing or electricity. Several of us on the trip were runners, and, after working all day on our project, we’d lace up our tennis shoes and run the dirt roads around our village. It was hot and dusty and exhausting, but also pretty amazing. Some of the boys in the village would try to run with us, but they couldn’t hang! I think they secretly thought we were crazy.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
You never know where running can take you. Before my freshmen year in high school, my mom ‘strongly suggested’ I try out for the cross-country team because my older cousin had joined. After one practice, I was hooked (although unable to run three miles consecutively!) I ran cross-country and track all four high school years. Running has been part of me at a deep level ever since. Now, I have built my entire career around the belief that being a runner has the ability to actually make women’s lives better and happier.
I believe running teaches endurance, inner fortitude, patience, and perseverance. Before I started running in high school (according to my mom), I was a wimp! Now, I think I’m actually pretty tough. It’s a critical lesson, and one that I will strive to instill in my own daughters.
For more information on the Zooma Women’s Race Series, visit their site.
Photo: courtesy of Brae Blackley