The Hardship Fund: How It Began


This morning, my DDP Yoga client let me know she was going to be about 30 minutes late. That gave me about an hour to sit down and put together my 10 Tips For Losing Weight post that I am working on.

However, as is my terrible habit, I checked Facebook before I got going. After seeing all my notifications, I wandered over to the DDP Yoga group. I stumbled onto a conversation in which someone had simply posted, “I wish i can afford ddp yoga.” I skimmed through the comments, which mostly centered around pointing the original poster in the direction of free yoga resources, or explaining that DDP Yoga can be purchased in installments.

I added my two cents, pointing the poster in the direction of Do Yoga With Me, a fantastic online yoga resource. While classical yoga isn’t my thing, I love that this website features full-length, high-quality videos with certified yoga instructors as well as short tutorials for certain poses. I sometimes use their videos when I want to stretch or meditate but don’t need the heavy cardio of DDP Yoga (usually because I have just done my DDP Yoga!)

After I posted, I read a couple more comments and noticed that someone had suggested chipping in and buying the set. Shortly after that, another person bought the Max Pack outright! There were a lot of people congratulating the generosity, as well as others still replying to the original post. In amongst them, a lady named Maria posted, “I wanted to get the program too but finances won’t even allow me to split the payments up. It’s my luck I suppose. Lol. I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention. Good luck on your journey sweetie. Love ya”

So, a flash of excitement came across me and I posted, “Did we all see Maria’s post, wanna make this a two-fer?” Within seconds, I had replies pledging money, so I pitched in with 3 other people and collected money to my PayPal, and purchased the Max Pack for her. The fact that we bought 2 Max Packs for people was already exciting enough, but then someone posted about a man they knew who could benefit from a similar act of kindness, and minutes later, we heard about another lady who would be helped immensely by DDP Yoga, but couldn’t afford it. Within minutes I was able to collect the funds for 2 more Max Packs, and after pestering people to send me the pertinent mailing info, I ordered the DVDs for them. I ended up paying the shipping on all the orders, but it was a small price to pay for knowing the positive impact that is currently winging its way to deserving people.

The whole thing was a shining example of what DDP Yoga is, and the kind of people who are in TeamDDP. We are a family, and we think nothing of helping one another. DDP Yoga has taught us that we need to support one another, and that we will all be more successful when we band together and take care of each other. Those lessons have obviously be well-learnt, because when we are confronted with someone who needs support, be it in the form of financial assistance, advice, compassion, or any other resource that person needs. It’s not even a question, it’s as involuntary a reaction in us as having your knee swing up when the doctor bangs it with that little triangular hammer!

The people who received the DVDs were more grateful than I could have anticipated. This conversation epitomizes the reaction of our new teammates:

Recipient: I’m so overwhelmed about all this. Y’all didn’t have to do it.
Me: Yeah, we did… That’s what teamDDP is all about. Welcome to the family!
Recipient: Thanks sweetie!!
And the generosity spread beyond the 4 initial Max Packs.  I found out that a heart rate monitor had been purchased for Maria by another member, and someone else bought a DVD player for another user. In addition, I wandered away from the computer for a couple of hours and came back to find I had more donations. I solicited a few this morning, and we have ordered a fifth Max Pack for a young mother and her husband. But why stop there?
l realized that the thread was beginning to get lost as people posted new things to the group’s timeline. I really wanted to sustain the momentum we had found, but a Facebook group’s thread wasn’t the way to do it. The phrase “Hardship Fund” popped into my head almost instantly, and I set up a separate page for it. I was able to recruit four other members of teamDDPyoga (Christina Russell, Steve Doyle, Mary Callicoat and Graham O’Quinn) to work with me in running the Hardship Fund: collecting donations, finding people who need help, and distributing DDP Yoga Max Packs. We are collecting donations for people who need the positive impact of DDP Yoga, but who can’t afford it. The donations will be used for DVD purchases, and sending USPS labels to those who want to ship old HRMs or other equipments to deserving recipients.
I am so proud to be a member of TeamDDP. The meaning of team keeps growing and becoming more and more awesome, and I am being made a better person in so many different ways, most I which I never would have dreamt of when I was placing my order for my very own Max Pack!
In response to this momentum, I posted that we are dispensing with Throwback Thursday. Looking backwards is anathema to DDP Yoga. We are the group that coined the phrase ABMF: Always Be Moving Forward. Well, now it has evolved: ABPF. Always be paying it forward:
Hardship Fund copy



Liebster Love!

My #HCS4L, Christina Russell of BodyRebooted nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thanks for this honour, Christina! liebster-award


The Liebster Award is an online award by bloggers for bloggers to help bring attention to new and upcoming bloggers, typically those with 200 followers or less – but any favorite blog you love will do!

Here’s how it works:
1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.
5. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees.

Questions from BodyRebooted:

  1. Who inspires you and why? My Daughter inspires me the most. She’s a little firecracker, and she (for now) thinks the world revolves around me. I want to live up to her impression of me, and stay fit enough to be the kind of mother she deserves. 
  2. What song gets you pumped up to workout? Oh, shudder. I guess I should answer this honestly. I listen to crappy pop music when I workout. My running playlist right now is: Stronger – Kanye West, Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore, Super Bass –  Nicki Minaj, Kids’ – MGMT, Sail – AWOL Nation, Shake It – Metro Station, Beauty and Beat – Justin Bieber, and We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus. All pretty awful, but my pace definitely improves! 
  3. What is on your bucket list? I just cleared a few items off the ol’ bucket list. I’d ultimately like to get to the point of running an ultra marathon or a full triathlon. Non-exercise, I want visit Hawaii (maybe for the Triathlon??). 
  4. What are your goals for 2014? Same as they were in 2013, Forearm Balance and Scorpion. 
  5. What is your favorite quote? It varies. Right now it’s, “Never look Back. Never Give Up.” But a steadfast favorite is always, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And of course, “It Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga”!
  6. Name one thing that you can not do without. My daughter. 
  7. Share something we don’t already know about you. I am probably the biggest fan of the Adam Carolla Podcast. DDP being on the Adam Carolla podcast about killed me with things-I-love overload!  
  8. Name one thing you really love about yourself. I’m smart. 
  9. If you were famous, what would you be famous for? Some sort of scandal probably. 
  10. If you could talk to your past self what would you say? You have all the wrong priorities and you’re going about everything all wrong. But it’s okay. All the mistakes you’re making are somehow going to lead you to a pretty awesome life. 

My Nominees:

  1. Alaskan Adventure with DDP Yoga 
  2. Star Shaped
  3. From a Sometimes Writer
  4. Moonlight Serenade
  5. Everyday Musing of an Ordinary Girl
  6. Own Your Life
  7. Sexton’s Sojourn
  8. Michelle Getting Healthy
  9. My Next 50 Years
  10. Transforming my Life

My 10 Questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What is your favourite hobby?

3. What is your guilty pleasure?

4. What one thing do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

5. What is your proudest accomplishment?

6. Who inspires you?

7. What is your biggest regret?

8. What book do you think anyone and everyone should read?

9. What’s the very best thing about you?

10. Tell us one thing we never knew about you.


Big thanks to BodyRebooted for the nomination, and to all the great bloggers!



Random Acts of Kindness? Challenge Accepted!

Long story short....

Long story short….

Something wonderful happened a today. I had just dropped my daughter off at daycare, and I was heading home for a long and tedious morning full of writing cover letters, studying for my nutrition certification and dealing with realtors. I decided a trip to the drive-through Starbucks was in order, so pulled up and order a venti decaf Americano. I order this drink so regularly that I know how much it costs*, so I had the exact change ready. I was behind an SUV, and noticed that the lady driving it handed money through the window, was then handed money back, and then for some reason handed more money through the window. I assumed she had ordered additional items after getting to the window, but didn’t give it too much thought.

When I pulled up to the window, I reached my arm out of the car holding the cash for my drink, expecting that the barista would take it. Instead, she kept her arms by her side, and informed me that the lady ahead of me had paid for my drink. I was really touched by the random kindness, but had no idea why a stranger would be so nice to me, so I asked the barista if she knew why?

“Nope!” she replied, “People just pay for each other’s drinks to be nice. It happens quite a lot.”

In all reality, giving $3.20** to someone is not the most charitable or kind act, nor I am the most deserving of said charity or kindness. But it put me in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day, and definitely had an positive effect on how I treated other people. I was reminded about the huge effect on society that the smallest acts can have.

I was going to come up with some cheesy challenge for the Women of DDPY group to do a random act of kindness every day this month, but it occurred to me that it was a little narcissistic to expect other people to pay forward my good fortune. Then it occurred to me to set the same challenge for myself, but again the cheesiness belied the genuine appreciation I had for the nice Starbucks lady. So instead I am just going to say this: from now on, I will make a more concerted effort to do nice things for people, both friends and strangers, of my own volition and for no reward. I hope that some of you reading this post will join me in that effort, because doing nice things for people makes for a nicer society and feels good.

Also, if you bought someone a coffee at the Nations Drive, Gurnee Starbucks at 9am on 2/27/14, thank you!

*Actually, I know how much it costs in both Illinois ($3.20) and in Wisconsin ($3.11). Yes, I drink too much decaf! ** Thank you  Illinois sales tax!