My Top 5 Takeaways from the 2017 Women’s Strength Summit and Why You Have to Learn By Actually DOING


What?!  That second statement is a doozy… but we’ll get to that in a little bit. I am very lucky right now, as I have an opportunity to spend some time investing in myself and learning a few things. In the spirit of continuing to expand my horizons and learning from the best women in my field, I spent a full week this May listening to more than twelve speakers from the Women’s Strength Summit hosted by Steph Gaudreau (and that is maybe a third of all those available).

These are my top 5 takeaways:

  1. “Treat life like an adventure” – I love this from Kristen Boehmer. What a great attitude to go into everyday with. And that was the topic of her discussion – Mindset – and how to train your brain. Inspired by one of Tim Ferris’ podcasts I actually started keeping a “gratitude” journal last September, and I swear it’s working. I’m not positive, maybe I am just older and wiser now, but I go to bed reliving my favorite parts of the day and when I wake up I take the time to be thankful. In fact I wrote a post about this a while back. Read more… 
  2. “Stay Active” – this has been my personal mantra since I became certified as a personal trainer, but Kate Galliett does it again. I was fired up when I heard her last time and she managed to do it again AND I swear we are speaking the same language. Day 2 of the Summit was all about Movement and Kate captured it beautifully. Being active doesn’t mean getting to the gym for two hours every day. NO – it’s almost the opposite, what you do with all your remaining hours in a day, outside the gym – THAT impacts you just as much. Cue my farmers carries from the grocery store or stretching while pumping gas. VIDEOS??? Also, I’m going to cheat a little here and add Juliet Starrett and one of her goals to stop all that sitting. Fun fact (or not!)-  if you sit more than 6 hours a day you are considered sedentary. If you think about this time and tally up your commute, sitting while eating, maybe an hour of TV end of the day – you probably are left with 2-3 hours of sitting to spare – that certainly doesn’t cover your desk bound office job, nor does it support endless hours on electronic media.
  3. “Can we talk about this”Alessandra Wall shared some invaluable tips and strategies on communicating with your teenage girl especially in the time of social media. Communication is so essential to us as human beings… I saw this as so much more than just talking to your teenage girl, but also as a reminder of our relationships and how they all take work, and how others will be going through things you may not be able to understand and how you have to keep trying.
  4. “Treat with food & movement” – is what I learned from Dr. Anna Cabeca on the topic of women and menopause. It is something I started thinking about in the last few years, so I can best prepare myself and my body. I think if we accept our life cycle and understand that there are bigger forces at play than just us, it frees you up a little, and becomes more welcome. I’m not implying here that you just let go and do nothing, what I’m saying is to understand and accept the cycle and go with the flow…. My first introduction to the topic was reading from Cameron Diaz’ The Body Book and then The Longevity Book. As women, we have to be more in tune with our bodies and cycles and by understanding the subject better we can embrace it for what it is and treat it with food, movement and understanding. firestationpullup2016cm
  5. Honorary mention from last year’s talk – “Be prepared, be capable” – this talk from Dr. Anastasia Boulais on being prepared for the “black swan” resonated with me so deeply.  I want to be prepared to handle any situation if it means pulling myself up somewhere, running from a bear or carrying someone my size. I love looking at exercise this way, and I say this to women I train all the time, “your purse probably weighs more than 5/10 pounds, so maybe you should try a heavier weight,” or when I saw this plaque at the local fire station that states, “one pull-up can save your life.”  If you ever needed a reason, this is it. Train for real life and do it all the time…. Ha!  this makes me think of that part in the movie, “Why Him” with James Franco where his assistant tackles him out of nowhere and then assess his parkour moves…

If you would like an all-access pass to the summit, check out her website HERE, not sure how long you can purchase for, but there’s always next year.

AND this brings me to my biggest learning from the summit “we learn by doing.”

Back before we had social media and connectivity 24/7 we just did or did not. And eventually it worked or it didn’t and we moved on. Now, it’s reading self help books and getting past your fears and figuring out what method is best because some people have a plan and others just get started.

My biggest takeaway?


Sorry to break it to you, but it’s the only way. Gotta dip those toes in the water, put yourself out there, take that class, write your own story. Start telling people you are doing it and then, just do it. (Thanks Nike!  Still relevant after all these years…)

So as much as I also enjoy learning and hearing from others I pledge, right now, to start doing and challenge you to do the same.

What is one thing this week that you will do to bring you closer to your goals?


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