Move It: Summit Sisters

T9 logo MSH

Representing T9, logo and all, on the summit.

For the third year in a row, a group of Portland T9ers, dubbed the “Summit Sisters,” took on their annual climb of Mount St. Helens this last Tuesday. A favorite tradition, this year twelve gals made the trek.



Said Portland manager Ginny:
“The Summit Sisters have been training for this all summer long by climbing local mountains in the Columbia River Gorge and hoofing it up to high points on Mt. Hood. (AND most of the gals are getting extra support in new sports bras! Awesome!)  Mount St. Helens is NOT a technical climb… it’s more of a really hard hike/scramble.  Wendy (Boise retail) and Katy (home office by way of Edina retail) had the joy of doing it last year with us, so they can tell you all about it!  We are so excited our summit day is finally here!

Huge thanks to T9ers Istari and Sarah, who are held down the fort at the Portland store while the Summit Sisters chalked up another great climb.

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the 2013 Summit Sisters

Do you have an annual trek you look forward to? Would you join the 2014 Summit Sisters?


Just Leap: Finding a Sense of Grounding on the Road

I caught the travel bug early. Looking back, there are a number of circumstances that helped shape my love of travel.

The first, and probably most important were my parents. Both teachers, they had the summers off with plenty of time to explore. Add in their interest in historical sites with a lot of relatives living in various parts of the country, and we had a myriad of options for places to go.

grounding1Living on teachers’ salaries, road trips were our chosen mode of transportation. I still remember my sister and I exploring our brand new Dodge station wagon the summer we set out for California (from Maryland). It had secret compartments in the very back and we spent hours playing back there as the miles swept under us. (This was, of course, in the era when laying down in the very backs of station wagons was acceptable.)

We’d come home from our summer trips tanned, salty and happily tired, ready for the school year to begin. I loved sharing our stories with my friends those first days back, showing off the rocks I’d collected or the scars I’d acquired. But I didn’t think too far beyond the tangibles as I quickly got caught up in the current assignments and experiences of the new school year.

Each school year seemed to serve as an anchor for us, allowing us to set aside daily worries and responsibilities a few weeks each summer and let go and surrender ourselves to the experience.
As I got older, graduated from college, and set out in the world, summer road trips faded into memories, yet the urge to travel and explore was never far from my consciousness.



Schralp It.

Just shralp it.


A wicked new mountain bike path begging for tire tracks, alone time with your in-laws, the grocery store before the big football weekend: we want to hear about it. What was the last thing YOU shralped?


Just Leap: What Is It About The Running Skirt?

I bought my first running skirt in 2006. I was training for my biggest race yet, one that I’d been training for for two years: The Pike’s Peak marathon. As someone who’d just started running a few years before that, I knew I wanted something special. This particular race had been on my radar for awhile.

Just Leap! author Amy C. finishing the Pike's Peak Marathon

Author Amy C. crossing the finish at the Pike’s Peak Marathon

“If I can run Pike’s Peak, I can do anything,” was my thought process. To me it seemed like the biggest, baddest, most insane race anyone could dream up. Why would anyone voluntarily run up a mountain?!? But I was fascinated (and curious) about it and wanted to see if I had what it took to run it.

I didn’t set out to buy a skirt. I didn’t even know they existed, but when I saw this Run Around Skort hanging up in the new Boulder Title Nine store, I was intrigued.  I’d been unhappy with shorts and how they fit me. Nothing I found seemed to both look and feel good.

I tried on the skirt.

It had lightweight mesh boy shorts underneath with a convenient zipped pocket in the back.

I fell in love immediately.


I wore it on that first race and was surprised at how many comments and compliments I got from the other racers, and I was delighted with its performance. Over the 7+ hours I was running, I never once felt any chafing, bunching, or other discomforts I’d experienced with regular shorts. But there was something more to it than simple performance – I felt different. Thinking back, it was a lot like when I connected with my Inner Badass last summer in the Grand Canyon: this running skirt showed me that I had more strength, courage and confidence than I ever thought I had.

The idea that femininity and sport were not mutually exclusive of one another, and that, in fact, they became very much intertwined was liberating. I felt more playful and curious about what else I could do physically. I’d spent so much time concentrating on my training and goals that I’d forgotten to have fun.

And the skirt? The skirt was fun. I found myself jumping and hopping from rock to root along the trail—despite my fatigue and pain. And smiling!

Ever since that race, I wear my skirts (of course I have more than one now) as often as I can when I’m playing outside. It’s not that I don’t feel strong or have fun when I’m in shorts, but when I wear a skirt (or a dress)—especially when I’m engaging in physical activity—that enhances the experience. There’s just something about that extra dose of feminine power and sense of play I connect to when I’m in a skirt.

What about you? What’s your skirt story? Love them? Hate them? I’d love to hear about your personal experience.



Amy Christensen is a certified life coach with a passion for adventure and helping women discover and tap into their own adventurous spirits. Based in Boulder, CO, her company, Expand Outdoors, focuses on helping women get outside literally and metaphorically: to step outside their comfort zones, take more risks (the healthy kind) and live a richer, more fulfilling, active, adventurous life. Subscribe to Expand Outdoors and receive a free guide to the 10 essential elements for everyday adventure.


Lean In


With a combination of enthusiasm, curiosity and the resources below – utilized by Missy herself – anyone can become a great youth soccer coach. The first two resources offer great general and strategic advice about how to approach coaching youth; they are applicable to any sport.

A Coaching and Philosophical Starting Point
If you can avoid the three L’s–lines, laps and lectures–outlined in this one-page guide, you are well on your way to being an excellent youth sports coach.

Piaget for Soccer Coaches
A good one-page resource about appropriate developmental skills for each age.
Don’t be intimated by this text-heavy site! is a great resource for first-time, parent-coaches of young players, U-11 and below, There is a free version which is enough to get you started, but the paid version is well worth the money. We also use their patch program to incent kits to set and achieve goals.
If you can wade through the pop-ups and ads, there is very good information on all aspects of coaching the game of soccer. Their weekly newsletter has valuable drills and practice planning tips that are particularly valuable for kids U-12 and up.

This seems obvious, but YouTube is a treasure trove of technique tips. Pretty much any move you need to teach or want your team to master, you can find a great instructional breakdown on YouTube.

Baffled Parent’s Guide to Coaching Youth Soccer and Baffled Parent’s Guide to Great Soccer Drills
Prefer something in print on paper? These two classic books can probably get you through U-6, U-8 and perhaps U-10 soccer. If you follow Bobby Clark’s advice, you will be well ahead of most parent-coaches.

Share with us your great coaching tips, and for this fall season, let’s all lean in and help!