In our weekly Friday Feature, we share a 5-question interview with one of the fantastic members of HealthyLivingBlogs.com. Take the time to get to know your co-members, pick up tips and tricks, blogging know-how, and recommendations from your fellow bloggers. If you’re an HLB member and haven’t gotten your interview email yet, don’t worry, you will in time! We’re working our way through a list of 2,000+ members’ blogs at random.
1. What’s your name, blog name, and how did you create your blog title?
My name is Jesica D’Avanza and I am the blogger behind runladylike.com
. One Friday evening, my husband and I were at a restaurant enjoying a date night. I began sharing some of my blog name ideas with him. I’d been playing around with the idea of finding a compelling word that started with “un” and putting an “r” in front of it to create a clever name with the word “run.” He pulled up the dictionary on his phone and we started scrolling through every word that started with “un.” He’ll tell you he came up with the name. I’ll tell you it was a team effort. When we hit the word “unladylike,” I knew we’d found it. In developing my blog, I wanted to write about my running adventures in a raw, real and honest way. And, given that so much about running could be classified as traditionally unladylike (being covered in sweat, often dumping water on my head and ice down my sports bra, frequenting porta potties and talking to fellow training pals about pooping), I knew “rUnladylike” was perfect. It hopefully demonstrates to my readers that I’ll be writing about running with a somewhat rebellious edge. Telling it like it is. Rejecting the status quo. Not making excuses. Pushing to find my extraordinary. Making my own rules. And of course, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
2. What is one lesson you’ve learned about blogging since you first started your website?
In reading so many health blogs and since I’ve started blogging myself, I think one of the most important lessons is to always write as if you are telling a story. While my blog is based on experiences that happen to me, it is important to make every post relevant to my readers, providing relateable takeaways that apply to their own life and health journeys. A great blog is not a diary of every thought that is going through your head; it should tell a story — have a clear beginning, middle and end and offer value to your readers — whether that is a tip, idea, just a laugh, or relief that someone else has “been there.”
3. What can a new visitor expect to find from your blog?
I started runladylike.com in July 2012 as a way to challenge myself to be better tomorrow than I was yesterday and to inspire other runners to do the same – by embracing our unique abilities, charting our own course and making our own rules. Through honest and real conversation, I share my uncensored adventures about what running teaches me about life – and what life teaches me about running. My blog is about the good (ladylike), bad and ugly (unladylike) of juggling life, fitness and family while trying not to drop any balls or make excuses. I talk about not settling for the status quo. Making things happen even when I don’t feel like it. Overcoming everyday barriers and achieving small victories. But also admitting when I fall off the wagon and feel challenged to follow my own advice. My blog is not just for runners. You don’t have to be fast (I’m not). You don’t have to have completed a zillion races or even one race. It’s for anyone who has an interest in living healthy and striving to be better tomorrow than they were yesterday. My hope is that when you read my blog, you’ll feel inspired and motivated. You’ll believe you’re capable of things you never thought possible and will share that with the world. You’ll know you can achieve any goal you set your mind to if you’re willing to work for it. You’ll figure out that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or how fast anyone else is going. You’ll only compete against yourself. And you’ll join me in the conversation.
4. What is your favorite site to visit to find motivation in your healthy living journey? What do you find from this website?
My favorite running blog is mile-posts.com. Dorothy Beal is not only a fabulous runner but also a great writer. I love that she is someone who used to run similar times that I do and now is a 3:11 marathoner who trains while pushing three children at a time in a stroller. She is living proof that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. She is also someone who knows that taking the first step is often just as important as crossing the finish line.
5. Do you ever experience days when you don’t want to make healthy choices? How do you motivate yourself when you really need it?
Hell yes. And anyone who says otherwise is lying. There are plenty of days after working for 10 hours that I just want to go home and watch TV on the couch. There are plenty of days I want to eat a bag of candy instead of chicken and green beans. I am motivated every day to make the right choices without making excuses by 1) the healthy community on Twitter. All I have to do is post one tweet and they come to my rescue with encouragement and motivation. 2) My blog. Starting a blog has made me even more accountable to go for that run or not miss a training day because I know people are reading about my journey and looking to me for inspiration and encouragement as well. 3) Because being healthy is the best gift we can give ourselves. I can only be the best wife, professional, friend, daughter, etc. when I feel good about myself and am being a strong example for others.