Wise Women Wednesday: Dorothy Hans

Dorothy Hans at aid station photo by Brent Lester

Dorothy Hans at aid station photo by Brent Lester

It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions.  These are all women who have taught me something and I want to share what each of these women are up to you with you.  

Dorothy Hans is someone I've had a women crush on for ages, with a sweet soul, quick wit and a running motor that goes for miles what's not love?!  I hope you'll enjoy her creative energy as much as I do.  

Q. Who are you? 
A. Just a girl from Queens who has a slight obsession with Scotland, Santitas and singing karaoke.

Q. How do we know each other?
A. I think we met at Revolution Cycles. Cyclists who know people. And before I knew it you were in our house at a Burns Supper where you may or may not have eaten haggis.

Q. What is your work, and play?
A. I teach English at Randolph Community College. I play at everything- except board games unless my child asks me to play one.

 Q. You've been hosting the happy hour run on Fridays from revolution cycles how did that come about?
A. Since I fancy the pants off the owner, Watts Dixon, I’m there quite a bit. Instead of just sitting at the bar sipping a beer and unabashedly ogling him for hours on a Friday night (hoping he’ll get the hint), I thought I’d try to get some of the folks there out for a run. Then we could all come back and drink beer and eat food. People seem to like doing those things. I like doing those things.

Dorothy Hans and Watts Dixon Photo by Yuri Eliashevsky

Dorothy Hans and Watts Dixon Photo by Yuri Eliashevsky

 Q. You've done an Ultra this year and you are set to do another very soon, how did you get into Ultra Marathons and what keeps you signing up for them?
A. Ever since I read The Scarlet Letter, I’ve believed in self-torture as the way to go…. No… Anytime Watts competes, I’m inspired to push myself further. After running a few marathons, I was curious about an ultra; my obsession with the blogs of Scottish ultra runners cultivated that. Then one beautiful weekend in May Watts was racing the Pisgah 111K and 55.5K. Both are mountain bike races, but the 55.5K has a running option. After freaking out a little (a lot), I decided to do it. The people who put on those races (Pisgah Productions) are some of the nicest most encouraging folks I’ve met and didn’t seem phased by the fact that I decided to run the morning of the race. Sometimes not having any expectations is the way to go. It was so fun and so hard. And I loved it. After that I knew I had to do another. And more than likely another. It’s like I’ve opened a bag of Doritos. I’ve got that orange powder cheese all over my fingers and face.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I just cleaned the crisper drawers of our fridge. I’m trying to figure out what’s next.

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I took my nine-year-old daughter on a road trip out to the Midwest by myself. While on that trip, we got lice. It’s kind of scary waking up in a small town in Kansas in the middle of the night to the sound of your daughter vigorously scratching her head, then realizing you’re scratching your head too and then realizing the reason you’re both scratching your head. Walking into a Walmart at 4am to buy a lice treatment took a lot of courage, but I’m glad I did that rather than shave our heads and bathe in clorox. 

Dorothy Hans at the beach photo by Nuala Ingram

Dorothy Hans at the beach photo by Nuala Ingram

 Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I started teaching in 1999. I love it; I don’t have plans to give that up in the immediate future. I love getting people excited about words. But I’ve always wanted to do more too. I want to write more. Travel lots and lots more. Sing more karaoke. Dance to cheesy pop songs. Cook and bake more. And get paid for some of those things. I would love to have a bed and breakfast where I could write and have a karaoke/dance night. So let’s just say I’m not doing everything I want to do. What’s stopping me? Reality. Not having the necessary skill set. Being responsible for a young human. The big dollar sign. But I’ll just keep trucking along and we’ll see what happens.

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Stop wearing red lipstick.

 Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. Sometimes I get stuck in my own head or wrapped up in all the unnecessary stuff. Sometimes the only thing that gets me out of it is saying some variation of, “f*ck it.”  I just said it tonight. It’s not about being apathetic, but about forging ahead no matter what. Apologies for dropping the f-bomb. A lot of people don’t know that I can have a pretty big potty mouth when I’m not teaching or momming it up.

Dorothy Hans running her first ultra marathon photo by Watts Dixon

Dorothy Hans running her first ultra marathon photo by Watts Dixon

Q. What keeps you running or writing (since I know you're also a really wonderful writer) when you don't feel like it?
A. I’m a nicer person when I run. It’s as simple as that.
As for writing, I teach writing and tell my students to write a lot. I get kind of bossy with them about it. I’ve got to practice what I preach no matter how much I don’t feel like it. Also, I’ve got this hot guy I live with who writes. I like sitting on a couch with him and writing. Plus, I’m always surprised when I do share my writing and someone says how something in it resonated with them. It always catches me off guard and I look behind me to see who they’re really talking to. There’s power in a story and, if we tell ours, we can make the world a better place.

Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Have fun. Laugh a lot. It’s important to smile and not be a jerk.  Most of us are hot messes whether or not we acknowledge it, so we should all try to be nice people.

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Can I tell you my least favorite? That might be easier. Really I love Ashtanga. All the poses in the primary series are my favorite. How can I pick just one?

Q. How do you live a life of abundance? 
A. I try to laugh until I spit out my drink at least once a day. Empty yourself out and you’ll get filled up.

Dorothy Hans in head stand photo by Watts Dixon

Dorothy Hans in head stand photo by Watts Dixon