This weeks #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to the amazingly strong Kristen Yax (@kristenyaxphd). I started following Kristen on Instagram through her blog Glitter and Dust a little over a year ago and every day she amazes me at the strength she exudes and the passion for life she has. Even though I have yet to meet this pretty momma to be I feel as though I know her just a little bit through following her journey; she has inspired my own personal writing, reminded me on a constant basis of why I follow the journey I am on, and that everyday is something beautiful.
Who is Kristen?
This momma to be lives in the beautiful town of Bend, OR; as an Oregon native myself Bend has always been one of my favorite places and I would have to say I am often jealous of the beauty she sees every day. As an avid biker, swimmer, hiker, runner, triathlete, and lover of the outdoors Kristen and her husband of three years take full advantage of the beauty that makes up Bend, OR. With a strong passion for psychology she earned her Masters and PhD in Social Psychology and is currently the coordinator of the Psychology Ecampus Program at Oregon State University.
In 2006 Kristen’s father passed away from Pancreatic Cancer and it was here that she found her passion for running. Through running she was able to emotionally heal and cope with the anger and pain of his passing. Since then she has competed in 8 full marathons and more half marathons than she can count, one being back in April in which both her and baby Yax completed the half.
About a year ago Kristen set a goal for herself to overcome her fear of swimming and compete in a triathlon with a very Go Big or Go Home attitude, either that or too many glasses of wine J, by signing up for the Ironman 70.3 Boise. This race was the set point for a new addiction and desire to see how far she can go to accomplish the goals she sets for herself.
As I mentioned I started following Kristen based on her blog, Glitter and Dust, that I ran across one day when searching triathlon stories, if you haven’t had a chance to check her out you seriously need to because she is amazing. This blog was inspired by her husband, whom if you take the time to follow her journey you will find is her best friend, who thought it would be fun for her to express her passions and share her experience with others. Blogging has allowed her to open up, learn from others, and explore new avenues of life. One comment she made was that she had no idea that it would allow her to meet, inspire, and be inspired by so many incredible people.
Things I love About Kristen
- Her passion: The passion she has for her family, herself, running, biking, you name is addicting. It is hard to watch her journey and not be inspired yourself. This passion seeps out of her pictures and her words and finds its way into the fibers of your being and you can’t help but want to go out and conquer.
- Her Blog: I honestly LOVE her blog. It has inspired mine in so many different ways from mere formatting, to ideas, to ways to write, an desire to share my story with others. She has this amazing way of making you feel as though she is talking directly to you.
- Her Journey: I have been blessed to be a part of Kristen’s journey through Instagram, facebook, and her blog. Following her journey reminds me every day of the strength that exists in all women. She brings a smile to everything she does and it is hard not to smile along with her.
Throughout her journey Kristen has learned to never be afraid of adding another chapter to her story. One thing I always ask those whom inspire me is what they would say if someone was to ask advice on how to get over the obstacle of starting their own journey. For Kristen it is easy she asks herself first what is holding you back? There is a beauty of life and writing our own story as we are in control of the pen and what goes into those pages, so it is never too late to introduce a new chapter or change the trajectory of where that chapter is going. The best piece of advice she ever received throughout her journey came from her coach:
“Think of training like a deck of cards. Each time you train, you get to add one card to the pile. If you only train once, you have one card, which can be easily torn and ripped apart. If you continue to train each day and week, that pile grows taller and gets stronger. Regardless of whether you have a good training day or bad, you get to add a card to the pile. Just try and rip a deck of 20, 30, or 40 cards. When you go to do your race, you will be a strong and resilient deck of cards. Trust the training.”
If there is anything I have learned in life, it is this:
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
There is so many amazing things I could say about Kristen. I feel as though I could write a novel on all that she has accomplished and all that she inspires. If you haven’t had a chance to check her out make sure you do on both instagram (@kristenyaxphd) and most importantly her blog, Glitter and Dust, trust me you won’t be disappointed.