Thoughts on Being a Woman in Business

Last year, Jillian and I put in a lot of time and energy building the foundation to our business. What you see today is the amazing community we have at Birdtown CrossFit.

At the beginning of our journey, we found Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland’s business development program and began to build the foundation for our gym. At the completion of the program, and with great pride, I can tell you that we were awarded a $25k loan from Cleveland’s Economic and Community Development Institute. With that honor, came invitations to speak to different groups of entrepreneurs and students about our experiences. Coming from BGV, a lot of the questions we were asked in these forums were in reference to being entrepreneurial women (if you didn’t know: we’re girls).

During Q&A session at an event held at The Hard Rock Cafe, a young woman asked the question if we felt we were treated differently because we were women. Jillian knows I have a hard time with this question because I refuse to believe that I have to acknowledge that I’m different from a man.

I am the middle child with two brothers – jovially referred to as a rose between two thorns – but I was not treated differently in my family home: we all cut the lawn, took out the garbage, painted the shed, moved bricks, worked for my father in whatever manual labor chore he saw fit – and I’m grateful for it. As an adult I took a sales job. And for the past 13 years, I’ve worked for a large manufacturer whose sales reps are 80% male. The majority of my customers are men between the ages of 35-70 years old. Until Jan 2014, all of my bosses have been men. The point is that I don’t have time to worry if they are judging me differently because I am a woman – I have to stay busy selling product to keep my job.

The Hard Rock woman asked a very simple question and I’m sure she expected a stock answer….in fact, I gave her a pretty crappy answer and Jillian recognized that I had nothing nice to say and saved my ass by jumping in and offering a short reply. When the question and answer segment was over, I found that woman and apologized that my response was lousy and I told her that, yes, women are treated differently.

I confirmed for her (and myself) that I am asked more questions, and questioned more frequently than my male counterparts. I choose my words carefully and never talk about my feelings at work. I swear more than I should and I wear high heels to make me taller (which makes me feel more confident) when I’m addressing a group of men. And most importantly: I know my shit. They can make assumptions and judgments, and ask whatever question they want. In fact they can ask questions until they are blue in the face. They are testing me.
Try to catch me offguard, I say!

Their judgments and misconceptions of what a woman is capable of have made me more successful, driven me to better myself and pushed the limits of my comfort zone.

This article hit me hard today and I want to find that young woman from The Hard Rock and offer it to her as a guide on how to survive as a woman in business.  So if you have the patience for a list of “19 Hard Things You Need To Do Be Successful” I invite you to click and read it – and I hope you see yourself in a few bulletpoints and find some way to incorporate another into your life in 2014.  Better – Faster – Stronger (wink wink!)

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ok, I have to come clean…I cheated. I’m now on Day 21 of “Tricia’s Whole 30”.

The Whole30 rules are exact: If you cheat, you start over on Day 1. Well, I’m not starting over so I can’t call this a Whole 30 anymore. Now it’s my version of a Whole30 (you have to own it – the good and the bad).
Day 17 was FitClub CrossFit competition in Columbus OH and I ate rice…white rice and tortilla’s…I kind of, almost, really needed it, had to have it and for good reason, blah, blah, blah.
My energy levels were SO LOW going into the weekend and I knew a carb boost would do my body good so I did it. Friday night, I hit Chipotle with double meat Carnitas (the only meat they don’t riddle with soy sauce, by the way) and actually got the bowl with rice (1/3 normal portion) and pinto beans (1/3 normal portion) with fresh salsa, guacamole and lettuce and chips (which I saved for competition day). Let me tell you it was a MONSTER meal and had tiny portions of the rice and beans compared to the other slop they were hashing out.
We woke up Saturday morning and I felt fantastic! I was ready for this competition!! I’m not disappointed in my resolve, or lack thereof. I know my body and I have tested myself multiple times over the last 4 years to know that I needed a high density, high Glucose boost for that competition.
Through years of testing, I know that the night before a big event is my time to feed on clean sources of carbs to get my fix for the next day. Just like I know I can’t eat garlic before a run (burps), or eggs before a WOD (burps) or raw broccoli ever (burps) and I need to stay hydrated 24/7/365.

None of this is by chance. I keep a food journal, my refrigerator is fully stocked, my Magic Bullet blender travels with me and I pack food for travel ALL the time. It’s a lot of work and it takes commitment (oh, and I’m perfect so it’s not hard for me (SIKE)). So August 17, 2013 I cheated on my third Whole30 Challenge and I’m ok with it because I got right back on that bus and I love the way I feel – I’m stocked on sweet potatoes and bananas and carrots and fruit and I shouldn’t let my carb intake get so low that I have to “save myself” with white rice and tortilla chips. Lesson Learned.

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So first things first, I’m not a natural writer.  I have strong opinions and fear, on a regular basis, that my text is being misinterpreted.  Most things I say need context to be understood in the manner in which I spoke.  But here we are in a blog so I try my hardest to explain myself clearly and hope that you understand my meaning and if need be, write me back and discuss the issue with me and others. 

I’ve been very lax with my time blogging lately.  Life has gotten in the way.  Isn’t that a simple statement to make and yet one to really rest on and contemplate.  I’m busy; we are all busy.  But lately my busy-ness has been interrupted.  In what is a very fulfilling part of my life’s journey, friends and family have experienced horrible pain and loss.

The last twelve months have been riddled with death.  Almost unexplainable grief.  Young lives lost – children whose lives had not even started.  I don’t have kids and I couldn’t being to imagine the pain – from the sidelines my heart feels like it’s being torn in two.  Moms and Dads, sisters and brothers, friends and children left with an incredible loss to deal with and to live with every day of the rest of their lives.

Life is NOT that busy.  Be Kind.

You may not have tomorrow.  Call your grandma and say hello.

The laundry can wait a minute.  Hug your kids.

Turn off the TV.  Take a walk with your friend.

Love life.  And cherish every moment.

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Don’t be a Paleo Prophet

Don’t be a Paleo Prophet

We all have that one weird aunt or uncle that corners us at family parties and talks your ear off about whatever weird hobby they have and you feel trapped…..Don’t be that guy/girl.

I dread almost any family get together where, surely, the questions will flow from Aunt Martha, “I see what you post on Facebook and I just don’t know how you eat that way”.  And so it begins.  The barrage of questions from Cousin Scotty, “Do you eat potatoes? Do you eat rice? Do you eat…….?” 

Paleo is a lifestyle, and it’s wonderful.  But family holidays are not the right place to preach.  Don’t be a paleo prophet. 

Have fun, make good choices, keep your hands full with a glass of sparkling water or hot tea.  Sweets are less appealing if you have a full stomach, so try to eat something before you leave the house.       

Merry Christmas!


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Learn New Sports

Learn New Sports

World Class Fitness in 100 Words:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
~Greg Glassman,
Well, I’m trying to keep my “pays the healthcare/mortgage” job, start a new affiliate (with my couldn’t-do-it-without-you partner Jillian), take classes in business development and weightlifting, find time to WOD, prepare meals, spend time with my husband, play with my dog….AND I have to learn a new sport?  WTH? You don’t even want to see my Google calendar! 
If that’s the case, then it better be some sport I love and I should probably look to do something that I might have enough interest in to stick with and I would prefer that I’m decent at it.   I generally announce that I can’t hold a beat, tap my toe, or get through a kick boxing class with any sense of dignity…and jumping rope is REALLY hard for me.  So that kind of narrows down the list of sports that I should consider.
I spent my younger years in organized sports – softball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, track but I’m just not that good.  I don’t like asshole men coaches who push you so hard and think that you “aren’t trying, unless you are crying” – I forget his name but he was the volleyball coach at my high school and I quit the team specifically because I was more stubborn then than I am now! 
Outside of CrossFit, my passion has always been horseback riding – so there you have my new / not-so-new sport.  I last rode horses in 1996, my freshman year of college.  I picked up riding again this summer…the summer of 2012 … that’s 16 years later, people.  I don’t know that I had a situation make me feel older than this admission.  My gear was outdated, my helmet wasn’t safety rated, no one wears chaps anymore… it was a bit of a culture shock.  So I was off to the tack store for new stuff and now I look the part. 
Thanks to CrossFit, I have a greater understanding of my body and body awareness.  I have had to learn how to ride again but that’s the challenge that I enjoy.  I do believe this is something I’m good at and I love my horse!  He’s the new man in my life:  Tour En L’Air (we call him Eddie)…and he doesn’t photograph that well…but he’s a champion and I’m so lucky to have him to learn from.  Riding a horse is like having a dancing partner.  Eddie is much more educated than I am and I keep stepping on his toes!  But he’s teaching me and I am taking lessons from a human as well, so I have faith that I am getting better and I will accomplish my goals. 
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to explore this passion and I am truly grateful.  This new man is going to be on my calendar for a long time!
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Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Oh boy, if the Tricia of 2004 knew that I was going to send a blog post, let alone a blog post containing a recipe!  But that person is about to be shocked because in 2012, I’ve been through 5 years of dietary experiments, cleanses, restrictions and challenges. 

What I’ve found through my experimentation, my body responds very well to a high fat, low carbohydrate, clean diet – meats, fish, vegetables, some fruit and some nuts and seeds. 

I’ve gotten away from “normal” pantry items: rice, stuffing, Bisquick, lentils, beans, wheat flours, probably a bunch of packaged things I never really got into anyway. 

Some pantry items I have in place of these things: coconut flour, almond meal, coconut butter, coconut oil, organic vanilla, organic raw honey, ghee (clarified butter)

You don’t have to be a 100% commitment to eating clean foods, but it helps when you have resources to help you along the way.  It took years for my eating habits to adapt to this way of life, and there were many pitfalls!  I couldn’t do it without support from my fellow Crossfitters, 30-day paleo challenges, and a bunch of personal boycotts (Dairy Queen, Arby’s, Dunkin Doughnuts, every bakery in every little town, every highway sign that informs you of which restaurants there are on each exit as you drive 45,000 each year to visit clients)….and websites: Chowstalker, Mark’s Daily Apple, Whole 9 Life, Jan’s Sushi Bar, etc.

This is my favorite muffin-ish recipe – and I’ve modified it from its original form to make it more delicious!  So feel free to play with it and change it to your needs.

 The Morning Glory Muffin

Preheat oven to 350 – Mix batter until it’s uniform….it will be thick – I use my hands. 

 2.5 cups almond flour (my fav mix is 1C almond meal, 1C coconut flour and 0.5C protein powder)

1 TBSP cinnamon – and I usually go a bit heavy and add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and pinch of nutmeg

2TSP baking soda

0.5TSP salt

2C carrots, peeled and grated – or sweet potato, zucchini (pull some moisture out with a paper towel) or anything that is going bad in the fridge!

1 large apple, cored and grated – any kind

1C Shredded coconut – or flakes if you like that sort of thing

6 dates – chopped into tiny pieces, or 0.5C raisins – figs or dried apricot would work too – just adding a bit of sweetness

3 large eggs

2TBSP honey – I don’t add this anymore and they are still amazing

0.5C organic 100% canned pumpkin – or applesause

1TSP vanilla

Optional: 0.5C or more Chia seeds to add to the batter – if you’re into that sort of thing.

You can load the batter into a muffin tin (about 15-18), make meatball sized balls (number depends on the size of your balls!) and use a cookie sheet or spread out onto cookie sheet and make bars…the batter doesn’t rise or spread – it stays where you put it, so you can do whatever you like.  In any form, they take about 18 minutes in my convection oven, and I don’t know how long they should take in a regular oven so I would say that once they look a bit “toasted” they are done.

*Cool on drying rack for a good 15 minutes.  They keep very well in tupperware on the counter or in the refrigerator and they travel well.  If you are not familiar with almond or coconut flours, be careful when you eat them….they are dense and you can choke!  These “flours” don’t dissolve in your mouth (sugar) like regular baked goods (sugar). 

**Take small bites please…and be careful if you share with small kids…I’m serious, they are so delicious and I am a shove-food-in-your-mouth-as-fast-as-possible-girl that I almost choked.




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Oh it’s been a long time since I’ve posted – there are a lot of new and exciting things going on in my real life!  My training partner Jillian and I are working on opening a new Crossfit box in the area (soon, more info soon!) and business meetings are occupying every extra minute of every day….but that’s not why you’re here so let’s get to it!

I was at a trade show last week for work and sat at my table eating almonds waiting for the show to start and the gentleman next to me asked if I wanted some of his veggie chips – I replied with a polite no thank you and he said, “oh, you probably workout a lot too”.  and I casually replied, “Yes”. 

Well, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I don’t think I work out A LOT.  That’s like saying to someone with a nice smile, “Oh, you must brush your teeth EVERY day!”.   I shower everyday (usually) and brush my teeth everyday and do a lot of things everyday – to which working out is also on that list.  We take care of our bodies on the outside – but we also need to be taking care of them on the inside.  Nutrition and exercise are just as important as brushing your teeth.

We have only one body bestowed upon us in this life.  No matter your religious or secular opinions, we should be good caretakers and be active in the longevity and maintenance of that body. 

Crossfit is my toothbrush.

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whole 30 oops….

Well, funny thing just happened at the bar…..friends Troy and Margaret reminded me that I wrote a post proclaiming October as a Whole30 month!  Well, don’t you know that I totally forgot that I said that? 

I’m blaming life.  My life has been CRAZY the past few months and I forgot.  Those that know me know that I forget alot.  If we have plans, I better grab my phone and get them on the calendar or I’m not coming!  I have a horrible memory.  It’s a huge problem.  But here I am – coming clean – no pun intended.

It is October 6, 11:14pm, and I proclaim tomorrow is the start of my Whole 30 experience.

Thank you for Troy and Margaret for getting in my shit and calling me out!  And thank you to Molly who visited Breadsmith with me this morning after our run and watched me buy a muffin!  I ate said muffin and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  (I also ate half of the bun at dinner earlier tonight.  Woopsie!) Even though I was at the bar, I only had water to drink.  I will say one Hail Mary and hope I am forgiven… 

Oct 7, 2012 – Day 1 of my Whole 30 🙂



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Experimenting with Whole30

Whole 30

I have been living Whole30 since August 1 – with a few cheat days in Sept – and I’m STILL DOWN 10LBS….no roller coast weight issues, no hormonal weight shifts – two months at the same weight may be a new (non-supplemented, no drug *read: ephedra*) record for me!  And I know those cheat days are what has left me at this plateau…October 1 will bring another strict Whole 30 month and I’ll report back my results (with daily food log).

You can learn more about clean eating at and see if you are ready to go Whole30.  My journey has been years long.  I was not ready to jump into Whole30 until now.

My journey started years ago when I eliminated dairy, then I started using the Standard Process 21-day cleanse, restricted alcohol for a time, went 0% carbohydrate for a time, eliminating gluten, and others.  Each experiment brought it’s own set of pros and cons.  My biggest benefit came from eliminating dairy, as I’ve stated in earlier blogs.  Each of my other experiments were “challenges” meant to last 21 days, 30 days, etc.  And most of them made me miserable!  Too much measuring, scheduled eating, scheduled supplements, one even restricted my diet to 4 foods…but throughout this journey I was fine tuning my body awareness.  Spending a lot of time and energy getting to know my body and how it was responding to these “challenges” – ALL good information!

The added benefit to the past three years of experimentation was being able to work with like-minded people and friends to share recipes and toss ideas off of one another.  Sharing resources like favorite grocery stores, brands and farmers.    My current food shopping experience is very unconventional – weekly produce ordering and farm buying groups; only hitting grocery stores for that missed or forgotten ingredient.   We are now running like a well oiled machine! 

I’m excited to see the progress I’ve made on Whole30.  I feel that this program is working for me.  I know that the program is structured for a 30 day challenge – any “cheat” requires that you start the 30 days over again!  I did have to restart my Whole30 because I didn’t realize that conventional butter was not allowed.  So I bought ghee (clarified butter) at Natures Bin and started back on Day 1.  With Whole30, I don’t feel like I’m on a DIET and that’s why it works for me.  It’s become the way I eat, what I buy and I feel fantastic!

Now I’m off to vacation in Cancun and continue eating whole foods and my goal is to stay at my current (plateau) weight and imbibe with some fine Mexican tequila!


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We all struggle with fulfilling our passions and balancing that with the requirements of daily life.  How many of us are living our passion?  I’m definitely striving toward a life full of passion and think I’m well on my way. And then I have a blinders-off moment and feel like I may never get there. 

My girlfriends and I were discussing a recent article about women: Can women have it ALL?  The article’s opinion was that if you try to have it ALL something has to suffer – you can’t do everything well.  If you are a mom, you can’t have the career/life you want.  If you have a career, your kids/life suffers….And the debate began!  I completely disagree with this idea that there are limitations on what we can accomplish. 

Who is to say what my ALL is?  I’m sure your ALL is unique to you.  Isn’t it possible that my ALL might change as I grow older, marry, choose to have kids or not, divorce?  My ALL can change in good fortune and has much more reason to change in bad fortune.  How would my priorities change if someone close to me was seriously ill? 

I live everyday conscious of my good fortune – the people I love are relatively healthy and able-bodied.  The kids in my life are thriving.  I cherish each of these facts and I think (hope) I would be prepared and supportive and able to handle adversity if and when it rears it’s ugly head. 

I live a pretty selfish, passion-filled, ALL kind of life.  My husband, Ryan, is amazingly supportive and he challenges me to pursue my passions. 

What is your ALL?  Are you pursuing your passions?  I’d love to hear from you and support you along your journey as you read my stories and support me.  Whether you comment or are silent, I appreciate you.  And I hope we get the chance and take the opportunity to spend time together to talk more about our passions and everything that makes up your ALL.   



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