Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Phit? Chicks?

I've never been asked, but I know you wonder.

What the heck does Phit mean?

And "chicks" isn't the most flattering term for women. Doesn't sound very Angela.

Well, in 2002 I moved to Liberty MO to be with Mr. Right and was uber-disappointed that there were no decent aerobic studios. No suspended wood floors, no sound systems that played anything that actually resembled music, none of it. A Spinning bike? yeah right. A Reformer? Is that a religion or a political party?

I was teaching 8 or 10 classes a week and had been for 20 years, so this was a tough change.

I signed up to teach a 6am step class at the community center. Six months later, I couldn't walk down the stairs. (Bad floors = painful knees.) I had previously been a part of some really successful small group personal training for women (ala "Club La Femme" 1999 - 2002), so I started some groups so I could work out and sorta teach.

The ladies in these groups created a community that became very special to me. Their friendship was just one of the many rewards. See this and this and this.

One of these friends was Lauren Chapin. She dubbed our community "chicks."

Lauren was the restaurant critic for the Kansas City Star. She was a gem. A farm girl raised in Weston, MO, she appreciated home-grown food and loved organic before organic was cool. She had chickens in her backyard so she could have fresh eggs for breakfast. She made fun of the egg beaters I bought.

Lauren was a class act. She may have been born and raised a farm girl, but in every conversation with her I learned something amazing about her. She taught sculling at Harvard. She studied at Oxford. She won numerous awards for her writing.

Lauren encouraged me to call us "chicks" because "that's what we are, for crying out loud."

She was (and is) 100% right. Miss you girlfriend.

Now, about "Phit."

Laura Mazi is another person I became friends with when I moved to Liberty. Another super-amazing person with a big heart & creative mind.

Laura was (and still is) a middle school media specialist (that's a librarian and then some). She spent time around kids that age, who at the time were calling cool things "Phat."

Phat meant cool.

I loved the juxtaposition of fat and phat. "Fit" being spelled a bit non-traditionally, was also appealing to me. Seemed to sum up my philosophy about health.

Every day I see a new, beautiful blog with a classy name and gorgeous design. But I feel like honoring my friend's suggestions, even if "chicks" is going the way of the 8-track tape.

There are memories and lessons from Phit Chicks that I will always value. Like when the "Candy Woman" did 21 push-ups at the end of the same year she'd survived breast cancer.

So, for now, Phit Chicks will remain our blog title. I'm not one to oppose progress, so I hope you'll email me if you have a better one in mind.