In February 2018, I self-published my first book, Run My World: How I Empowered Myself Through Fitness. It would not have been possible without the support of incredible friends, mentors, and role models, and now I’m highlighting some of the amazing people in my life that run their worlds.
Empowered (wo)men empower (wo)men, so now I’m raising a glass to some of the best people I know. I’m so grateful to share their stories — I promise you’ll be even more inspired to run your world!
Mary’s note: You know when you instantly connect with someone that just seems to get it? You don’t need to explain yourself — they see your soul and true authenticity without validation or affirmation. That’s how it was with Katie when I met her through Chicago’s fitness community. I admire her curiosity and willingness to pursue the mysteries of life with the *woo woo,* as many affectionately say. 🙂 She always reminds me to love myself, others, and the unknown, because anything else is unnecessary strain on the heart. Katie runs her world, and I hope you all have the opportunity to bask in her shining light!
Name: Katie Calder
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Current City: Chicago, IL
Occupation/Business: Social Impact Software Professional, Yoga Teacher, Wellness Content Creator, Human being 🙂
Acknowledge Your Past: What’s one lesson from your past that has really influenced your life?
That honoring and prioritizing your own needs first is the most selfless thing you can do.
Find Your Fit: What are your favorite ways to move and exercise? How did you find your fit?
My approach to movement and exercise is constantly evolving as I do. I’ve had phases where I crave cardio, others where I’m all yoga all the time, and then some where I slow down entirely. “Finding my fit” is all about the season I’m in and learning to tune in and honor my body’s needs each day. Sometimes that means pushing myself to try a new workout, and sometimes it means gentleness, rest and TLC.
Fuel Your Body: What is your favorite meal to fuel your body? What is your favorite meal to fuel your soul? Have you had any struggles with your relationship with food? How do you try to fight/challenge the cultural standards around dieting and disordered eating?
I am Whole Foods’s #1 customer and go literally everyday (often more than once) so it’s definitely my go-to and truest love. I like having a smorgasbord of different things at each meal so the salad/ hot bar always has my back.
I know few who haven’t struggled with their relationship with food at one time in their life and I am no exception. In a world that capitalizes off of our insecurities and even moreso within the fitness/wellness space, I’m constantly seeking ways in which I can help flip the script on culturally perpetuated norms that reinforce diet culture.
Personally, I don’t ascribe to dietary labels or preach any one way of living. I refuse to engage in self-deprecating “body commentary” conversations, whether with myself or others. I believe we have to consciously choose to be loving and kind to ourselves every day, especially when it seems the hardest. My goal as a teacher is to help others reject comparison and defy the notion that they need to change themselves in order to be whole and fulfilled.
Practice Mindfulness: Do you meditate? If so, how? How do you try to be mindful on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? Tell us about your spiritual practice!
I do! Today was actually my 222nd (angel number!!!) consecutive day of meditation (I keep track with the Insight Timer App). I try to meditate for at least 7 minutes every day, usually immediately upon waking. Sometimes I do less and sometimes more, but studies have proven that even ONE minute of meditation has physiological benefits.
Mindfulness is a daily practice and my own is tested everyday, especially in the messy moments when it seems easier to numb than face my feelings head-on. My own mindfulness practice is rooted in allowing myself to feel it all. I work on being present and mindful by breathing through my highs and lows, diving into the roots of my feelings, and affirming that I am not those feelings. I’ve found that allowing yourself to feel, without judgement, is one of the most transformative practices there is.
My spirituality is just that, my own. It doesn’t look any one specific way, but pulls from myriad lineages, practices, healing modalities, and traditions that have resonated with me. I believe that no one lineage has a monopoly on the truth. I believe in magic and miracles. I believe that fate and free will can exist in tandem. I know that all I truly know is that I know nothing. In a sense, my spirituality is a representation of how I hope others can find and navigate their own.
Spirituality differs from person to person but ultimately allows us to connect more deeply with ourselves and the world around us. I believe that we all benefit from being open, compassionate, and can always learn from the perspectives of others, especially those that differ from your own. My own spiritual practice has reawakened an expansive sense of wonder, play, and gratitude for being in this world.
HIIT vs. LISS: Tell us about your work-life “balance.” How do you manage planning/productivity while being a straight-up hustler? How do you bring your whole self to all areas of your life and career?
I’m the ultimate multi-hypen (I’m a Manifesting Generator if you’re familiar with human design!). I work full-time at a Fortune 100 company, teach yoga a couple days a week, am a content creator, and find myself working on multiple passion projects at any given time. All that being said, I don’t like to say I’m busy, but rather full. I’ve found that having something to look forward to that I’m passionate about every day inspires me to show up more fully in everything I do.
I openly talk about astrology and crystals in my corporate job and have found that the more I own ALL of who I am, the more embodied I show up in all areas of my life. In the wellness world, there’s often conversation around quitting your day-job to follow your “passion” full-time. I believe that it all can coexist and there is no right way or one-size fits all when it comes to balancing your hustle. Since it’s not my total life, I am even more grateful for all that my corporate job teaches me. There’s nothing you need to do. Listen to you!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: What have you done in 2018 that is most out of your comfort zone? What is something you really want in 2019 that you’re a little scared to do? Tell us a travel experience that pushed you out of your comfort zone.
Everyday I try to push myself a little more out of my comfort zone. I’d say that traveling, attending, and doing things alone solely for me have been experience that have pushed me the most out of my comfort zone this year. I’d love to lead workshops and retreats in 2019.
When I was in 8th grade, I was part of a French exchange program. My exchange student, Elisabeth, lived with me for two weeks, and then I stayed with her in Paris for two weeks. The sense of autonomy and freedom I gained on that trip not only made me promise my 14 year-old self that I would live in Paris at some point in my life, but it opened my eyes to the idea of being a global citizen and how we all really are the same. Elisabeth and I have since gone back and forth to see each other many times, and she remains one of my dearest, lifelong friends.
Shine On: What accomplishment makes you most proud? What’s a big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG) that you’ve been contemplating and want to speak into existence?
I have SO many BHAG’s that are in the works but one (stay tuned!) is that I’ll be started a podcast in 2019. I’ve been doing a ton of “I am” work in embodying my goals as if they are already my reality.
My proudest accomplishment is that I can feel accomplished simply by being. I could talk about the tangible things I’ve “achieved” but my greatest achievement is embodying who I am and who I’ve always been.