Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tales from the Chicked: Gayla Allen

by Carrie Adams
I got the most amazing email today and had to share it with you. Sparta, meet Gayla Allen.
Hello Carrie,
My name is Gayla and I’d love to share my story and personal goals for the May Spartan Race event in Texas!
Living in Austin – a city whose motto could be “nuttin’ but health nuts” – I’m a 51-year-old entrepreneur, mother and grandmother, and I love my chosen lifestyle, which is centered on living the good life, being healthy and strong. You see, I subscribe to the “strong is the new skinny” theory, and with so many health enthusiasts around me, I’m fortunate to be able to draw inspiration from those who could show Rocky how running up the stairs is really done. My husband, who shares my passion for his own, unique reasons, has helped me to reach the even higher-hung branches on life’s little coconut tree.

Altogether, I have six children from a mixed marriage; and I’d like to point out that I gave birth to five of them. Yup, you read right: my body produced five whole separate humans! Still not impressed with my commitment to strength? Well, I also broke my tail bone during each delivery. I didn’t hold it against them, though: my kids are aged 22 to 28 now, and I raised each while maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. I don’t think I need to tell you what a challenge staying fit was – singlehandedly finding a cure for Austin’s allergy crisis might actually be easier. An entrepreneur by spirit, I ran a small business as an independent virtual executive assistant while working as a real estate agent, raised my children, and have recently co-founded a new company, My Texas Smile. In our spare time, my family and I love outdoor activities, like swimming, kayaking, hiking and tennis (although, let’s just say I’m no Venus or Serena).

The Spartan Challenge is our next adventure and we intend to make it memorable. My husband, daughter and I will be joining the other Austin Hoplites to compete in this May’s 2012 Texas Spartan Race. If I were a real Spartan, the motto on my shield would say: “If you want to beat this old lady, I’m not going to make it easy!” My challengers had better laugh me off at their own peril: I have been strength training with my husband for several years now, and have recently started to mix in some cross fit training. My daughter, a cross-fit trainer who would make a truly Herculean Spartan chick, has been my biggest champion and source of encouragement. When it comes to food and nutrition, my diet follows the Paleo principles: this powers both my training and activity fuel banks, and gives me enough protein to make you think 50 could be the new 25.

My goals are simple:
• Improve on my standards achieved in years past;
• Build muscle and bone density;
• Increase vitality and energy;
• Be a role model for women, especially my age, who want to use healthy living to better their lives.

I definitely believe that humans by nature are designed to be fit and strong, even into older age brackets: the only requirement here is just to ignore the caution tape and refuse to stop. Don’t stop running, lifting, eating right, playing and otherwise living life to its life-iest. When we hit the brakes, our lives get stuck in traffic, too.


  1. Hey Carrie, funny how I would come across this on my FB page......first, you look fabulous! I know first hand, at the young age of 52, what it takes to stay in shape. I had my second son at the age of 45.....so it is a life style choice for me. I also believe in the motto Strong is the new Skinny, I think I am friends with them on FB. My husband and I met at the gym 13 years ago and any thing to do with training, diet, have been our hobby. We are on day 9 of Paleo and feel the difference already. I am glad I came across your blog! Thanks for sharing and you are an inspiration!