Women of distinction #3: Athena Cormier

October 21, 2010

I think all women enjoy the celebration of true femininity as it is. It's more holistic than, I think, some of us imagine on our difficult days. It's more generous towards because it encompasses more. I think it's more gracious, as well. An American woman in the Entebbe airport told me her Ugandan husband said, "You have taught me that women are very powerful."

I walked the beach in Santa Monica yesterday with a friend, and called my mother. "Sometimes I feel too difficult for relationships." My happily married mother of five laughed, "Oh, we all are."

Possibly it's her that should be running a blog.

But on that note, I think the celebration of women is necessary - the passion, the tenderness, the power, the triumph. Because we forget. We get caught up in small things: gossip, petty battles, jealousy. Biblically, I suppose you could say we bite and devour one another. Two girls in the Library Alehouse bathroom, last night, were discussing books and authors. It took my by surprise, and I washed my hands twice to listen. "That one's at my parent's, you should read it."

"Not as good as his first, but if you can get past the dryness, he has some beautiful thoughts on soul mates."

No boys, no gossip - ideas.

Good for them.

Before the week is out, I'd like to post just two more of my stories from the Women of Distinction awards in the South Bay. Mostly because these are the kind of women that talk about ideas. Mostly because these are the kind of women that live out the ideas they talk about - and inspired me to do the same. I think that's true femininity - the grace one brings to ideas, the passion she brings to a workout, or the workplace. A friend told me last night that a man falls in love with a woman for the way she walks across a room or the way her hair falls in her face in the morning. "Women aren't like that," he told me. "There's much more behind it when you start falling in love."

I don't think we celebrate the depth that lives in us.

#3 is Athena Cormier. I call her an "overcomer." But she's also an athlete, a businesswoman and a philanthropist.

Athena Cormier was 12 when she was told a severe curvature in her spine would keep her from ever running again.

"Because my internal organs could have been affected, they suggested doing surgery," Cormier said. "They cut through my spine, cut through my nerves, put metal in my back and shaved bone off my thigh."

After earning a master's degree in spiritual psychology, Cormier transitioned from working as a mortgage broker to becoming a financial adviser. The shift, she said, enabled her to take a more holistic approach to advising her clients. At 40, Cormier laughed and cried her way across the finish line of the 2009 Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

read the rest here.  

(photo via Sean Hiller - staff photog at the Breeze). 

How the Women of Distinction awards got started.