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Who is Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham?

July 19, 2017

Who is Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham of Women TIES?

After writing this blog for the past 9 years, I thought I would list the “hard facts” and “personal information” about me since I had to fill this out for a new client of mine. If you are looking for inspiration in this post today, you might not find it but you will learn more about me and why I am so passionate about continuing my twenty two years of work to help women. Hey and by the chance if you know Dave Matthews, you could tell him he is mentioned in this post. Think about answering these questions for yourself and sharing them with your followers. People might want to know more about you.

“Hard Facts” – Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

Nationality?

I am American but very proud to be second generation Italian. My grandfather came to America from Italy when he was 8 years old. He lived one mile from my house so I ate home cooked Italian food every day.Although I am also English and French on my father’s side, I identify being mostly Italian since the Italian traditions had the biggest impact on my life and because I live on tomato sauce – seriously I eat it by the spoon! Although my last name is not Italian, I am in my heart and soul and most certainly in my round face which reminds me of my Italian grandmother who was also born in Italy. My favorite phrase is “Life is too short not to be Italian.”

Place of residence?

I live in Syracuse, New York which is in the center of the state with my husband and two sons Thomas and Adam. Syracuse is 4 hours NW of New York City, 5 hours West of Boston, 5 hours NW of Philadelphia and 4 hours South West of Toronto Canada. We have access to fantastic American cities and yet I live in a smaller city with an abundance of beautiful lakes, green land, rolling hills and a lot of snow in the winter. Syracuse is one of America’s snowiest cities because of all the lakes that surround us. I don’t mind since I’ve been skiing since I was 5 years old. Syracuse is also home to 261 Fearless Founder Kathrine Switzer’s college – Syracuse University – where she was a junior when she ran in the 1967 Boston Marathon that made her a running icon!

Occupation?

I have been a woman entrepreneur for 22 years. I started my first company – an event planning company in 1995 – when my sons were 3 years and 3.5 months old. I become an empty nester officially on August 1st! Before that I worked in higher education planning events around the USA for a local Jesuit college. I created my second and current company Women TIES, LLC (Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success”) in 2005 to help women entrepreneurs connect across New York State and promote their companies so they can make more money. I am a feminist and love all things WOMEN. I am also oldest of 8 children – the first 6 are girls so I was destined to love females.

Personal Information

What makes 261 Fearless so special for you?

I met Kathrine Switzer fatefully when I typed in the word “fearless” when I was looking for a powerful speaker for my annual business conference. I had no idea who Kathrine was but an article written about her by one of my business acquaintances came up. Fate. I called my friend and asked her to introduce Kathrine to me. Kathrine and I connected immediately over the phone on our feminist feelings about empowering women first and foremost in life. I felt like I found a “sister in feminism” when we spoke over an hour. By the end of the call, she invited me to New York City to the first Train the Trainer. I had to think about it because I was scared of flying because a friend died in one of the 9/11 planes in New York City, but when Kathrine said to me, “Tracy when you are fearless, you’ll be free,” I said, “Yes, I’ll join you.” 261 Fearless literally reminds me every day to be fearless and feel free.

Also in the thousands of women who have crossed my path the past 22 years, Kathrine is the number one woman I believe has done the most to change the world for women in her own way. Number One!

When and why did you start running?

No laughing at this answer……I started ‘running’ in my pool in 1997 when I wanted to lose weight after having my second son but not trusting I would look good running! Silly right? Well I advanced from running in my pool when the snowflakes where starting to fall to running up and down in my house that winter since we couldn’t afford a treadmill or gym membership. When spring came, I started running outside after my cross country sister told me I had good running form. I have never stopped running in 20 years. I run on average of 3 miles a day, every day.

What’s your favorite running course?

Besides my swimming pool (just joking), it is the beautiful trails around Onondaga Lake which is centered in Syracuse. They have trails on both sides of the lake. I must admit now Boston is my favorite running course after running my first marathon there which is also my favorite American city.

What’s your funniest running story?

I think you would agree my pool running is pretty funny! Right?

Who/what has most inspired you to run/do sports?

Both of my parents were physical education and coaching majors who met in College. They graduated in 1963. My mother had to coach boy’s football and wrestling because they didn’t have enough coaches at the time. Her tall 5’1” body towered over her students (laugh). Later in life my father was really my inspiration. I loved him so much I watched and talked sports with him all the time. I can name every NFL football quarterback. I watch ESPN every day. I raised two sons who were talented in basketball and lacrosse just like my dad. I attend sporting events regularly. I am also trying to put more women in the seats of women’s sporting events for equality purposes. I have a Women’ Athletic Network attached to Women TIES. I also believe “Life is too short not to play sports.”

What’s your favorite travel location?

By far my favorite travel location is the beautiful and tranquil Sanibel Island off Florida’s South West coast. My husband and I have vacationed there every year with our two sons since they were 7 and 5 years old. It is tranquil and balmy. It has the most seashells on any beach in the USA. It does not have any traffic lights either. I love it. I run, swim and bike while my guys fish!

What’s your favorite meal?

Do you think it is anything Italian? You are right!

What is something that people would never guess about you?

I appeared on the Oprah Show in 1998 after submitting a tape on how I loved to do daily meditation in the morning outside in my backyard to center myself before I started my business day. I had to send the show tapes of myself meditating – now that is hard to do unless you have a wiz of an 8 year old boy who can take a photo of you meditating. I landed on her show. The local news media picked up the story and wondered out loud how I did daily meditation in my backyard when there was a foot of snow on the ground. Wise guys! 

Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with?

Well, I know I am suppose to say my husband and two sons BUT if you knew me well you would know I would pick Dave Matthews! He is the singer for the Dave Matthews Band. I have been a fan of his since seeing him at Woodstock in Rome, New York (my hometown) in 1999. I am listening to him sing as I type this answer. I run to his music every day. I am never ever sick of his music. I ran with it in the Boston Marathon this year. I would love to meet him one day so if I could get stuck with him on a desert island, he could sing to me every day then I wouldn’t be sad without my music. (P.S. – My husband could guess this answer and then he’d marry a non-feminist for his second wife).

And last but not least…

Your claim to fame – Tell us something unique about yourself!

Well I told you about Oprah which is pretty unique and an event people remember. I love Mother Mary and have very deep faith. I ran with my rosary beads around my wrist in the Boston Marathon and said repetitive “Hail Marys” as I turned the bend to see the finish line. I knew if I was praying, I could get to the end and complete my big goal under 6 hours which I did. I never go anywhere without my rosary bead bracelet. I have statues of Mother Mary in many places. I thank my Italian heritage for that love.

I also took 110 women to the Women’s March on Washington because I believe more women should be in political office. I support as many of them as I can until our world had full equality.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2017 4:14 pm

    LOVE THIS…and it is inspirational! We should all be proud of who we are and where we came from. And while most people’s stories are not always pretty, they make up the person we are today! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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