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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Mother's Not So Subtle Wish...For Fila!

Mother's Day is only four days away, and this fact was the first thought that I had when I woke up this morning.

For almost a week, I have been hearing my guy friends receive those polite reminders from their mothers. While my girl friends have been working on landing Saturday and Sunday spa appointments for their mothers.

I fall somewhere in between those two groups on the spectrum. I can be the absentminded planner. So I woke up today in a slight panic.

I ran through the usual list of questions for gifting holidays. What does she like? What does she not have? What will she use? What can help make her life a little more enjoyable?

After deciding on a possible gift experience, I took a break and moved on to my social networking duties. I read a little Twitter, skimmed some emails and checked out what was new on Fila Toning's Facebook Page.

It was as if the sky opened up and a voice said, "Qiana, do you remember the last 25 conversations your Mama had with you about Fila? It always ends with a roundabout comment from her saying, "I wish I could have..."

I have to be frank, those Fila conversations always include me saying, "Mama, I would love for you to but your gym attendance record as a paid member..."

If my Mama and I lived in the same city, I know she would be gymtastic because I would go to spin classes with her (she loves spin)! She needs a gym partner, and with my sister in college, I know its easy for her to fill her schedule with everything but that trip across town.

So, I lightly scolded myself for being so harsh. I mean I train tirelessly, but I have those days where the hardest step is just getting off the couch and into the car.

Who am I to withhold a product that could be just the motivation that my Mama needs to get on a true fitness regiment? I couldn't help but reflect (and this is just between us) on how I have this new and interesting sense of..."You look so hot right now in this outfit." on the days that I am doing anything in my Fila Toning!

So with excitement, I ordered a Fila BTS capri for my Mama as one of her Mother's Day gifts. She is going to be shocked and excited! (Don't worry the surprise won't be spoiled on social media. She is off the grid!)

Feel free to join me in giving your mother a fitness boost this weekend with some Fila BTS. Susan and the customer service team helped me get my order squared away in no time flat!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Where’s Your Pants? Being Fila BTS

Have you ever heard someone talk about “being what you are” versus “telling what you are?” For a long time, I didn’t understand the difference.

A wise person was kind enough to provide me with an easy-to-understand example. She said, “A truly wealthy person does not have to run around talking about their fortune. However, you can pick “new” money out of any crowd. They yell their bank statement to anyone who will hear.”

A lesson like this was the last thing on my mind when I arrived at my training session on Friday. I was doing my usual routine of helping my trainer get balls and cones out of the car when he looked up, paused and said, “Nice pants, who makes those?”

Sidenote: I am real leery about incorporating new variables into my training sessions, but I was curious to see how a pair of Fila Toning Pants would hold up.)

In a nonchalant manner I responded, “Oh, the pants are from Fila’s Body Toning System line. They have a compression component to help the muscles work harder.”

My trainer continued to stare at them curiously, and so I said, “You wanna touch them?” He tugged on the pants at my knee, and replied, “These are some good pants.”

Our 90 minute session commenced without incident. The pants didn’t get caught under my cleats. The pants helped me quickly warm up my muscles, but I didn’t feel overheated in them. I jumped, ran and turned like normal. The material absorbed my sweat (and I sweat a lot), and prevented me from getting cold quickly and leaving that annoying puddle of water everywhere I sat. Most importantly, they were so comfortable that, even after my training session, I just didn’t want to take them off.

However once I arrived home to take a shower, I found myself debating the merits of wearing them the next day to training without washing vs. going back to an alternate pair of pants. It was like that feeling you get about your Ipod or Pinkberry or something.

Well, I thought to myself that my wardrobe is bigger than just these pants so I went with some tried and true sweat pants on the next day. I mean this was my life before April 18th, and I had been doing fine, right?

Time I saw my trainer he said, “Where’s your pants? Did you not like them?” His tone was that of a concerned parent.

His comment merely echoed what I had thought the whole way to training. I was annoyed by the looseness of my sweatpants, the spotted displays of perspiration and the way the material hit my thighs when they were wet. At least with my Fila pants, I knew the “junk was in my trunk” and “my thighs were on deck!” LOL

The best thing about these pants is they are so unassuming. (And, I hate for labels to scream. It’s not my cup of tea.) When I saw them, I said to myself, “These pants are well designed.” When I felt them, I thought, “Now, these feel pretty nice.” However, when I put them on and worked out in them…I probably unconsciously made them my new boyfriend—and it took a day away from them for me to realize this fact.

So with that being said—I want to see what else my “BTS” boyfriend can do, and I am excited about the possibilities.

As for those people who get their hands on a pair of these pants, I want to say “Congratulations in advance and feel free to chat with me about your adventures in them!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My LA Gifts: Fila Selection & West Hollywood Massage

Last week, I was reading through a series of tweets. The second tweet that caught my eye was one from Fila Toning mentioning that they were looking for new faces for their 2011 campaign.

In less than 48 hours, I had thrown my hat in the ring for consideration. What would be the result of taking a spur-of-the-moment risk?

I was hopeful, but I was also prepared to add it to my list of “actions taken towards my goal.” I have learned in my soccer adventures that sometimes I take actions to create something or participate in an experience, but those things will help me in a different way and at a later date than I had originally planned.
Well, this time my action resulted in me being awarded a selection as a new face of Fila Toning!

The day after receiving this amazing news, I was back on schedule-training and on the books for a much needed massage appointment.

I know what you must be thinking. The massage was a treat to celebrate my latest accomplishment, right? Not exactly, my celebration came in the form of a slice of 7up cake! The massages that I get are not a treat by any means.

My trip to Massage Company West Hollywood was a painfully rejuvenating experience at the hands of Arthur. Arthur was my middle aged, Armenian masseuse, and his deep tissue treatment was so serious that he had to lightly scold me occasionally. Never have I ever been told by a masseuse that I am being rebellious in following directions. I guess there is always a first time.

My appointments are traditionally pretty quiet, but Arthur and I had a lively conversation. He worked my lower body and talked about his days of playing soccer in his native country, as I tried to hold off jumping off the table. Thirty minutes was enough for me to let Arthur rub the knots out of my muscles and to learn that Glendale was the home of the 3rd largest Armenian population in the world.
A great deep tissue treatment, a little soccer conversation and some cultural learning is enough for me to carve out at least 30 minutes for a weekly check-in. Stay tuned for more from my time at MCWH. In the meantime, learn more about the upcoming remembrance of the Armenian genocide on April 24th.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ikea, Carolina Cup & Paschal's: A Cornbread Taste Test

When I was a little girl, one of the things that I remember the most was my grandmama’s ritual of making cornbread. She made it from scratch with the cornmeal, eggs, oil and milk in same square pan.

The cornbread wasn’t sweet, but it was just good. Sometimes if my grandmama wanted to pull a fast one on everybody, she would put raisins in the mix to give it a little sweetness or add corn and jalapeƱos to give it some Mexican flair.

Well just before I left to LA, I guess I had a nice and unexpected Southern sendoff by way of cornbread.

On Thursday, Saturday and Monday, cornbread showed up on my menu. A furniture store, a horse race and an airport restaurant served me up their interpretation, and you may be surprised to learn the result.

IKEA: Did you know this Swedish furniture retailer serves up 49¢ squares of cornbread? Up until several weeks ago, I did not know. However, on Thursday nights the cafeteria at their Atlantic Station location in Atlanta, GA is packed with people eating the $1.99 Roasted Chicken Special. One quarter of chicken with mashed potatoes and the optional gravy are included in the special of the day. For an additional 49¢, I had a piece of some cornbread that was a perfectly soft rendition of our favorite Jiffy cornbread. It’s worth a try, and at such low price, you can get a second square!

CAROLINA CUP (VONNIE HOLLIDAY TENT): On Saturday, I joined scores of people as guests of Vonnie & Eboni Holliday at the 2011 Carolina Cup in Camden, South Carolina. It was a day of 70 degree sun, great people watching, interesting conversation and entertaining horse races. Underneath the Holliday corporate tent, there was a smorgasbord of southern favorites, including none other than…cornbread! The cornbread was so good that I believe I made a noise of approval as one of my tablemates, David Thornton from the Tennessee Titans, looked on…haha It was a winner!

PASCHAL’S (HARTSFIELD TERMINAL A): Since I was heading to a place that I feel is deficient in Southern cuisine, why not get a sendoff from a place that I heard was a “soul food institution” in Atlanta. The line at the Paschal’s Terminal A location was long line, and I was excited to know that it would be worth the wait. Well, the excitement of a $16 meal which included baked chicken, black eyed peas, string beans, cornbread, sweet potato pie and sweet tea quickly subsided; and in the end, my cornbread rolls were hardly touched. Where’s a This Is It or Busy Bee when you need it? It hurts my heart to do it, but Paschal's cornbread was thumbs down.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Qiana Goes Glam for TEDxGreenville

I think the last time we talked I was in New York. Well, let's consider these next few entries a brief longform commercial. I haven't gotten around to London or Lisbon yet!

However, I just presented at the ultra amazing, ultra cool TEDxGreenville. So let me give you a brief sneak peek of what I was up to the morning of my presentation.

For a grand occasion such as this, I didn't want to feel or look ordinary. So, I enlisted the help of Katie Cotton, a LA trained makeup artist who happens to now do her craft in Greenville (such a small world). We both love Toi Thai in LA so what could be better?!!

P.S. Thanks to my mama for filming...and thanks to Ian Curcio for the image above. You should check out his TEDxGreenville mural of attendees here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First Class Tech on My Travel: Fedex Kinkos NYC

I have to say that technology makes it so easy to live a glamorous soccer adventure with entrepreneurial endeavors. Here’s a quick example for you.

While my Amtrak trained sped past the snow covered hills, I was able to make the final changes to a newly designed business card, handle a few important business calls, research the closest Fedex location to The Mave Hotel and coordinate my print job with a sales clerk at that specific location.

As you can see technology was working with me to make sure I was prepped and ready for my 9:00 a.m. arrival at the British Airways Face of Opportunity Conference.

My brisk walk up to the Fedex location was a little too fierce for me on the afternoon that I arrived to New York so I opted to pick-up the completed print job the following morning. I definitely took my chances being that the news was predicting more bad weather for the city.

I had faith that the weather would cooperate, and it was something that I had to keep reminding myself of as I stood outside of a closed Kinko’s at 7:20 a.m. It was 96 minutes before I was scheduled to be on a different side of the city, in something other than jeans, snowboots, a sweatshirt and a pea coat.

My 20 minute wait finally ended when a guy appeared out of nowhere to open the door, and retrieve my box of cards. Victory! I quickly and carefully tipped my way through the ice slush back to the Mave to hop in my incubator of a room (insert Lady Gaga cocoon here) to emerge as an excited, entrepreneurial soccer maven heading to a world of opportunity at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers!

MTV quite often serves as my background music, and this was no exception. I was alternating between the bathroom, my laptop and a really good blueberry muffin from the lobby as I got ready in record time.

My check-out was fast, and a front desk clerk was kind enough to brave the rain to flag down a cab for me. My new umbrella refused to live up to its bargain price. The clasp would catch so the shade kept trying to collapse on my hair…what was a girl to do?
The arrival of a taxi, with a nonfunctional trunk compartment, quickly caught my attention. I tip toed through the drizzle to the backseat, helping the hotel clerk pull my bag onto the seat beside me.

Cab Driver: Where would you like to go?
Me: I am going to the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Sir. Do you think we can get there pretty quickly?
Cab Driver: I am not sure in this weather, but I will try. What time do you have to be there?
Me: I have to be there by 9:00 a.m., about 25 minutes from now. By the way, how are you doing today?
Cab Driver: Where are you from?
And this is where my cab ride gets interesting. Check in for the next entry. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the Cash Cab, but it was very, very close!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meet The Mave

Some people have a space issue when they check into a NYC hotel room. Personally, space is the least of my concerns. I have stayed in some interesting places, and so I set my standards according to the location. The Mave provided me with clean, crisp and modern accommodations in a space the equivalent of a shoebox. It was tiny, but the shower was fairly sizeable considering remaining area. Here’s the video as I promised!