“Dear Dragonwing Girl…” Wise Words From A Bad Cookie

Dear Dragonwing Girl,

I would like to start by saying you are amazing. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you have done to get to this point right now, you’re amazing. You have unlimited untapped potential and only the sky is the limit. I’m sure you’ve heard this before from loving grandparents whilst they grab your cheeks and squeeze you in a constricting hug, but right now- at this moment- I want you to read carefully. You are all the attributes I listed before and more; you are beautiful, strong, and smart and you can do everything you want to and more.

Despite you and I knowing these things to be true, some will doubt you. Some will doubt you without even knowing you, and some will doubt you right after seeing your name on a resume. These some will be men, but they will also be women. Most will do this unconsciously, and I implore you to not be angry at them for the ignorance and bias they hold. I implore you to fight the fight of being a career-driven girl in a world run by men.

Though it is important to not hold anger for the world being the way it is, do not conform to the need to be “pleasant” or “calm” or “collected.” You can speak out when you see small forms of misogyny in your school or workplace. Whether it be a man dominating the discussion, or a guy in your group making snide comments, you can step up. You can make your voice be heard because you won’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Because you can.

So, stay strong because it can be hard sometimes. You might be called selfish or bossy or any other number of terms people like to use for women who don’t conform to their stereotypes, but if you struggle, if you stand your ground, if you fight for what you want, then we will be one step closer to gender equality.


Your friend at Dragonwing girlgear, Abby

This Sports Headband Really Won’t Slip!

Three more months of school! I can hardly believe I will be a freshman next year. I’m already really excited for high school and connecting with more people. Sadly only one of my friends is going to the same high school as me but, that means I get to make some new friends.

Another great thing that will happen in high school is that my sister will be able to drive, which means I won’t be late to rock climbing (at least, less often I hope!)

Getting back into rock climbing after my concussion has been going great. We’ve been preparing for rope season by practicing falls. Yes, we actually practice falls! When we practice for falls, we climb up the wall and then fall over and over again.

Teen Ambassador Madi rock climbing at gym

During recent practices, I’ve been wearing my Dragonwing Stay in Place Mini Headband, and it didn’t slip off my head once! I totally recommend this sports headband to every athletic girl. I still love my Dragonwing sports bras, too. Here’s a picture of me when my Racer Sports Bra arrived!

Madi was all smiles when her Racer girls sports bra arrived

We’ve also been working on our first attempt-best attempt by “onsighting” routes. Onsighting is when you make a clean ascent without prior knowledge of the route or problem. I finally sent my first 11+ project on lead bottom to top — with only a little bloody nick on knuckle. Success!

Before break our middle school had an award assembly, and I was named to the honor roll! Working my butt off to catch up with assignments after my concussion paid off. And seeing the smiles on my parents’ faces was great!


A Fish Out of Water

Now that September has started, Anna is back in the pool four or five days a week. In the sometimes strange world of year-round swimming, most swimmers take August off to give their bodies a much needed rest. It seems odd to me that the one month kids want to swim, year-round swimmers…don’t. They can ride bikes, go for a run, lounge by a pool, play in the ocean. But swimming laps–don’t even THINK about it.

So Anna channeled her inner runner and went several times a week for runs in our neighborhood. And my girl was a fish out of water because running is NOT her sport. She wore a tween sports bra from Dragonwing which definitely helped. The Keyhole seamless sports bra, made of moisture-wicking fabric,  was soft and comfy in the August heat and fit really well across her broad shoulders. The Dragonwing sports bra made her runs more comfortable, so I am really happy we found it.

Now Anna (my fish) is back in the water as I write on this rainy evening. The heat of August will soon be a distant memory as we  settle into the routine of school, swim, and sleep. I am grateful for the structure it imposes on our life but a small part of me misses our less-regimented August lives. Late dinners on the porch, s’mores with friends and some time to catch our breath before school and swim start again. Now we’re back in the daily routine and my fish is back in the water. All is right with the world.

Back to School–A Parent’s Perspective

Following on Emma’s post about returning to school, I thought I’d write about “Back to School” from one parent’s perspective.

My absolute favorite thing about summer is no homework. Zilch, nada, zero. Summer evenings are less tense because we are out of the “get your homework done, eat dinner, go to swim practice, shower, go to bed” frenzy. On the other hand, the kids were binging on Netflix and made it to the seventh season of Supernatural. I am not proud of that.

I LOVE back to school shopping–all that promise with clean binders, new pens, folders, and the promise of a new school year. Everything is bright and new, and as Emma said, the kids seem genuinely glad to see their friends for the first few days.  A few months later, extraneous papers will trail out of my son’s binder and he will have lost several assignments, never to be found.

And as much as I love a lazy week, I’m also glad we’re back on some sort of routine though waking up is a bit tough. By 10 am I’m ready for lunch. However, never underestimate the power of a good power nap. This year Anna has “Emotional Health,” which I believe is a form of meditation often leading to a midday snooze.

And now that we’re back in a routine, my job search is kicking into high gear. My previous freelance gig terminated in July, so it’s now time for me to hit the ground running, resume in hand.

In summary, I have mixed feelings about back to school. I’m glad the kids have structure to their day, and they are being challenged by their teachers. I don’t like being the “homework police” so I’m trying to get out of that job and let my son bear the consequences. We’ll all get used to the early mornings and if not, Labor Day is just around the corner!

Back to School Bittersweetness

Remember the Staples TV commercial from a few years back? Dad skipping along the aisles, flanked by droopy kids, while “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays overhead?

Back-to-school can be bittersweet for everyone. As she starts her 12th year of school (13th counting kindergarten), Emma calls it “the best and worst time of the year.” Seeing friends, making new ones, and starting soccer season are big pluses. Homework assignments, college applications, and less sleep can take its toll.

In her latest blog post, she’s got some great tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. Check it out and leave a comment with what helps you keep a positive outlook at school.

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