Tuesday, February 25, 2020


I was so inspired when I saw Reese Scott do a boxing demo with Tamron Hall on an episode dedicated to fitness for folks over the age of 50.  Reese, the founder of the first women-only boxing gym in NYC, talked about the importance of women putting themselves first.  Stay tuned for my upcoming Q and A with Reese!

Click HERE to get more information about Women's World of Boxing.
Click HERE to support the work of Reese at Women's World of Boxing.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


MOTHERLOAD TRAILER #2 from Liz Canning on Vimeo.

MOTHERLOAD is a crowdsourced documentary exploring our cultural shift toward isolation and disconnection, how this may affect our future, and whether the cargo bike could be an antidote.

As a new mom of twins, filmmaker Liz Canning is lonely, stressed about the planet’s uncertain future, and missing what made her feel connected, free and alive: her bicycle.

Director's Statement. "[...] It was the California wilderness, and my bicycle, that taught me to trust my instinct and embrace my power. A decade later, when I discovered the cargo bike and watched it revolutionize parenting for so many, I wanted to know more. And, when I learned about how the bicycle empowered women and the poor during the 1890s, MOTHERLOAD seemed destined to be: the same 100-year-old invention that facilitated women's emancipation made me whom I am today.

MOTHERLOAD not only describes how the earliest bicycles facilitated women’s fight for the vote and made the poor mobile, but also shows how 21st century bicycles are empowering mothers, families, communities and advocacy networks all over the world. A central point of the film is that we cannot fight for social justice, climate justice or much of anything unless we first resist the cultural shift toward isolation and disconnection. Bicycles connect people with their own bodies, environments and communities, clarifying and aiding in the protection of what

Director's Bio: Liz’s work has screened internationally, winning awards including a Sundance Special Jury Prize (American Blackout - editor/producer). After graduating from Brown University in Semiotics, Liz worked at San Francisco’s Artists Television Access and Film Arts Foundation while making films. Her award-winning Handmirror/Brushset Included screened internationally, on PBS and at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC (distributed by Art Com). Since 2000, Liz has worked as a professional filmmaker focused on editing and animation for documentaries. Girls Rock! secured theatrical distribution and featured five animated sequences created by Liz and to demonstrate the cultural forces affecting young girls.

All info taken directly from the website or official press release for the film.


Q:  Hi, Katy! You recently shared a photo of you and your young daughter running together by posting it on the Facebook page of the Badass Lady Gang, an online group of  women who run and do other physical/athletic pursuits and who want to share about their running/athletic lives and support one another in matters related to running, but also to being female.   Can you say a little bit about the story behind the photo? What happened right before that photo was taken?

A: I started running about 4 years ago and I've been running with my daughter in the jogger since she was about 6 months old (she just turned 2). She's helped me train for multiple 5ks, a 10 miler, a 17.75,k and two half marathons. This photo was taken on day 1 of marathon training. We did a 3 mile run and then Olivia said "I go run fast like mommy!" I took her out of the jogger and off we went! We ran about a block and she was all smiles. Now it's become tradition that after mommy finishes her run Olivia gets to go for her run too! 

Q: How does your relationship with your daughter factor into her desire to be physically active?  

A: Olivia is a mommy's girl.  She wants to do everything I do.  I work part time as a nurse so, I have a lot of time at home with her. She's sees me running every week.  And she sees that running makes me happy. I think even at such a young age she can tell that being active and playing outside makes you feel good.  I've struggled with body image issues and I'm trying to instill in her that you should focus on being strong and healthy instead of being "skinny." 

Q:  What can parents do to support their daughters to be and stay physically active?  

A:  I think it's really important to lead by example. To show our kids that exercise isn't a punishment and exercise isn't meant as a trade off to eating tons of empty calories and junk that isn't fueling our bodies. Also,  it's important to find what works for them and embrace it.  Olivia may not always want to run, she may decide to do something else and that's okay! I plan to encourage and support her in whatever activities she decides are fun for her . 

Q: What else do you and your daughter enjoy doing together?

A: Olivia and I love to do anything outdoors! We like to take bike rides, go to the park and she loves pushing her bubble mower.  If we're stuck inside, we like to read books, dress up as princesses, and color. 

Monday, June 10, 2019


There are two Facebook pages whose posts consistently fill me with inspiration.   One is the page of the project called SheHeroes.
In their own words, SheHeroes "empowers young girls of all backgrounds to dream big, explore interests, and passionately pursue non-traditional careers.  Through our online content and video profiles, girls imagine their own potential by engaging with influential stories of exceptional, successful women role models across all fields."  

SheHeroes produces high-quality 6-minute videos which profiles women who are exceptional in their field.  These videos reach thousands of girls and boys online, in classrooms, and in after-school programs. 

In their own words, SheHeroes exists dues to the fact that "girls face many obstacles that can negatively affect their long-term success. [...] studies show that a lack of female role models - in life and in the media - has been proven to negatively impact the health, self-esteem, and future career choices of girls."  Check them out on Facebook!

The second awesome FB page is that of Women You Should Know. WYSK was started by two women in the field of public relations - Cynthia Hornig and Jen Jones - who saw a void in the media landscape and wanted to "give women and girls the coverage, content, visibility and support they deserve through a pioneering social enterprise."  More specifically, they "shine a spotlight on women and girls who are striving, building, and innovating, changing the status quo,  crushing stereotypes, and defying the odds."  They also "cover topics, news and issues that matter to women and girls." Check them out on Facebook!

Thursday, June 06, 2019


Today, I needed to pass some time while my phone was being fixed, so I ran next door to get a NY Times.  It had been months since I read a copy, so it was crazy-fortuitous that I happen to pick up the edition that contained an entire edition devoted to this year's Women's World Cup.  the cover of the section features illustrations of some of the 552 players come from 24 different countries.

Before I go any further, HERE is all the information you need to watch the tournament this weekend.Consider watching a game or two to show your support for these awesome women athletes.Through your viewership,  give them the same attention and respect that you would to the male athletes.

Inside the special edition of The Times are the results of a survey sent to every national team participating in this year's World Cup.. The results reflect the responses of more than 100 players from 17 of the 24 countries competing in France. The Times also sent man players disposable cameras and asked them to "capture their lives as they see them."   So some of those photos are displayed along with snippets from the written survey results.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions asked, along with the answers given by the women:

Q: What does your family think of your job as a professional soccer player?
A:  They think that is it still a complicated dream for a girl to have and that it is still important to have good knowledge and skills, to have more than one string to your bow."
 - Emelyne Laurent, 20, France forward

Q:  Did you ever have to play on boys' teams, or against boys, growing up?
A: "I started playing on the boys' team in grade school because I didn't know there were any girls' teams around me."  - Moon Mire, 27, South Korea Midfielder

Q: About how much money did you make playing soccer this year?
A:  Responses included a range from $0 in Jamaica to $350k in the United States

Q: How many jobs do you have in addition to playing soccer?
A: "Aside from studying, two."  -- Daniela Pardo, 31, Chile Midfielder

Q: What's one thing you always do before a game?
A: "Watch Karina LeBlanc and Hope Solo's highlight tapes and listen to dancehall and hip-hop."
 -- Yazmeen Jamieson, 21, Jamaica Goalkeeper

Q: What's the best part of being a female soccer player?
A:  "We get to meet new friends daily.  And I'm always happy with the ball on my feet."
-- Lebohang Ramalepe, 27, South African Defender

A: "The best part about being a female playing soccer is proving people wrong.  In all aspects of our society it has become habit or trend to underestimate women.  That being said, it feels amazing to silence the nonbelievers."
-- Chanel Hudson-Marks, 21, Jamaica Defender 

Q: What's the hardest part of being a female soccer player?
A: "I think one of the hardest things is being the elite athlete that you are, with very little to no support in your surroundings physically, socially, culturally or financially.  I think that women footballers are the only ones who support other women footballers throughout - Miranda Nild, 22, Thailand Midfielder
A: "Female soccer players get less attention, we hardly get the same treatment they give to male soccer players.  We work very hard but hardly get recognized."
-- Chinaza Uchendu, 21, Nigeria Midfielder

Q:  What's the biggest sacrifice you've made to play soccer?
A:  Moving away from my home, family, friends and country to the other side of the world
A:  Lack of personal time due to group living.
A: To stay hungry so I can save money for my transport to training so that I can play soccer.
A: Leaving my children at home to play.
A: Missing a lot of school.

 P.S. - Want to meet the teams?  HERE you go!

Monday, May 27, 2019


Julie Foudy, are you listening? I've tuned into all ten episodes of Laughter Permitted, and I am ready for more!

In the podcast that was launched in March of this year, soccer legend, Olympian, analyst, reporter and the founder of the Sports Leadership Academy for girls interviews female trailblazers in sports.

One of the great things about this podcast is its unpretentious, down-to-earth vibe.  Julie manages to highlight just how spectacular each of these women is, while also allowing them space to talk about struggles and the stuff of their everyday lives that others can relate to.  Julie's sense of fun is infectious, as evidenced by the laughter she elicits in her guests

The guest list so far includes these women athletes:  Abby Wambach; Simone Biles; Kerri Walsh Jennings;  Jessica Mendoza; Mia Hamm;  Mikaela Shiffrin; Sydney Leroux Dwyer; Mary Carillo; Simone Manuel & Katie LeDecky; and Allyson Felix.

My nominees for other interviewees:  Janet Guthrie, Claressa Shields, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Surya Bonaly, and Katelyn Ohashi.

To subscribe to the podcast, go HERE.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Janet Guthrie was the first woman in history to qualify for and race in the prestigious Indianapolis 500, and yet few people have heard of her name.  She perservered for years as a professional race car driver, but her career was truncated by relentless discrimination. The same sexism which cut her career short also erased her name and accomplishments from public consciousness.  

In the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, QUALIFIED, director Jenna Ricker counters the effects of institutionalized sexism on Ms. Guthrie's professional life and legacy; she does so by using interviews and archival footage to tell the inspiring story of Janet's struggles and astounding accomplishments. It's powerful stuff, and in this Q and A, Ms. Ricker reflects about the process of making the film as well as about the film's heroine.

Q: How did you first learn about Janet Guthrie?  Most people today have never heard of her.

A: I attended my first Indianapolis 500 in 2010 at the invitation of my producing partner, Greg Stuhr. I wasn't a race fan, but I was instantly hooked; it truly is the "greatest spectacle in racing". Even though I've attended the race since, it wasn't until a few years ago that I learned of Janet Guthrie. On our annual road trip to Indy. I asked Greg if he knew the first the first woman to compete at Indy. "Janet Guthrie," he said, "in 1977." 

Q: What motivated you to make a film about her?

A: In that moment of hearing her name, I was instantly intrigued, and a little concerned. Why didn't I know the about this woman who accomplished something so incredible? That led me to her autobiography, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle. After reading that and going down the Guthrie research rabbit hole, it was her tenacity against tremendous obstacles that I found inspiring,frustrating, and that ultimately motivated me to pursue making this film. 

Q: What did you learn from Janet and her life story?

A: Like so many trailblazers, going after what she wanted most came at great sacrifice. But within that, her story illustrates that confidence does not exclude vulnerability, and the value of finding grace in defeat.  Her story also illustrates that we have so far yet to go in terms of equality. 

Q: Was there anything you learned about Janet that surprised you?

A: Racing wasn't the only incredible thing Janet accomplished at a time when most women were guided toward the kitchen rather than a career. From a very early age, her individualism and desire to test the limits had her parachuting from a plane at 16, earning a pilot's license at 17, hitchhiking around Europe at 20, and earning a degree in physics at 21, which led her into her first career as an aerospace engineer. She also submitted an application for NASA's Scientists in Space, a program that was eventually scrapped. She accomplished all this before racing ever entered her mind. 

Q: What did you learn about yourself while you were making this film?

A: I discovered that I really enjoy the process of making a near-entire archival documentary. I come from narrative - writing and directing - so this was a completely new challenge and required a lot more patience from an editorial standpoint. I also found that the film became a kind of unexpected responsibility. I found a kinship with Janet that was motivating. I'm not risking my life racing at 200 mph, but so many of her obstacles and triumphs echoed aspects I've experienced as a female filmmaker. It made me even more determined. We can't underestimate how important it is to see and celebrate women accomplishing exceptional things. If you can't see it, you can't be it. Marginalizing, or more often forgetting, women's history means the next one who comes along with big ideas has to scale a similar mountain all over again. 

Q: What were some personal highs for you while making this film? What were some of the lows or struggles you faced?

A: This film had an embarrassment of highs, which included producing this project with good and exceptionally talented friends (Nina Krstic, Greg Stuhr, andCaroline Waterlow); discovering so much excellent archive; getting access to the Indy track and driving a golf cart around it (though I did ask if a Corvette-pace car was available); and the conversations on and off screen I got to have with all the characters in the film. That these outstanding people with such interesting, dynamic lives trusted me and shared so many personal highs and lows of their own is something I'll always cherish. 

The lows or struggles, thankfully, were few and far between, but every production has theirs. I would say ours was working with a tight budget, which meant we had to make some tough choices on who to include for interviews. And, a couple times when we reached out to someone we hoped to interview, sadly we found they had recently passed.

Q: What would you like people to take away from this film? 

A: I'd like this film to leave people inspired, frustrated, and motivated. I'd like it to cause people to consider what might have been had Janet shared the opportunities of her male counterparts. If the film can accomplish those things, then hopefully it can also add to the evolving conversation of merit versus opportunity that many women and minorities face.

Q: Where did you find all the footage that you used in the film? What was it like to put it all together?

A: I knew going in that I wanted to tell this story with as much archive as possible. This creative choice meant that if we didn't have it in archive, we wouldn't tell it. That parameter could have been a real killer, but we lucked out in spades. We found several sources of archive, including never-before seen footage of Janet and her brother, Stewart. Between award-winning archivist and producer Nina Krstic, our tireless coordinating producer Connie Honeycutt, and producer and research extraordinaire Greg Stuhr, they really found a ton of gems! Putting it all together with my fantastic editor, George O'Donnell, was at times overwhelming, but in the best way. In fact, the hardest part was all the archive we had to leave on the floor. 

Q: What kinds of feedback have you received at film festivals where Qualified has screened?

A: Audiences have shared a love and admiration for Janet that is so touching. They've felt her frustrations, identified with her challenges, and some have said she's inspired them to pursue their dreams/change careers. Others have shared their anger that Janet never got the chance they feel she deserved, that women are still outnumbered by miles in the sport, or that she is so accomplished yet they never heard of her before this film. It's just been a tremendous response, which is all you can hope for.

Q: What words of wisdom do you have to share for coaches, parents, teachers, and other people who impact the lives of young females, particularly girls and young women who are interested in sports and less "feminine" sports?

A: I would urge all those people who influence young females to be very mindful of the language they use. Adjectives and pronouns are powerful and sneaky. When young women only hear "he" being used in the general sense, or when certain sports, activities or desires are being ascribed by gender, it forms a subconscious barrier that supports the status quo. It would be especially helpful if this mindfulness extended to dealing with young males, as well.  We have to start changing the conversations with both genders, I think, if we hope to see significant change that moves the needle. 

Q: Did anything in particular strike you about the people who you interviewed and whose interviews appear in QUALIFIED?  Was there something that they all had in common?

A: I was struck by the similarities in all the racers, regardless of gender. There's a relentless desire to pursue their limits and that of the machines they drive that is the antithesis of an adrenaline junkie. Their competitiveness seemed to have everything to do with the symbiosis and precision of driver and car and the thrill of getting everything right at the right time during a race. I was so taken with the wisdom and perspective that came from racing in an era that was marked by both tragic death and massive ingenuity. They're all just so damn smart... and witty - very witty! 

Q: Are there any other films about female athletes that have resonated with you or that you feel parallel the life of Janet Guthrie in some way?

A: The drama inherent in sports is thrilling, agonizing, heartfelt and hard won; this is why we love them, why they resonate so deeply. But we don't have nearly enough stories about female athletes achieving and succeeding at their goals out there, which is maddening. Maybe the story line in A League of Their Own comes closest to paralleling aspects of Janet's life. there's a similar focus on dedicating all your time and energy in pursuit of a sport you excel at, succeeding at it, only to have the rug pulled out from under due to your gender, and then be left out of the history books.  Ugh!

Q: If you screened this film for a bunch of grade school students, what are some questions that you would want to ask them at the end of the film?

A: This is a great question!  I think I would want to know what they thought about all the hostility Janet faced. I would ask them why they think people had such a hard time accepting and supporting Janet in the sport? I'd be curious what they think of the fans who held disparaging signs up.  And I'd like to know if they think things are better today, and if so, in what way. 

Q: What are you working on now?  What's next for you as a film maker?

A: I'm working on the narrative version of this film. There is so much story that would never have fit in a documentary,  and I'm excited to further develop those story pieces in the narrative. There's also a couple of series that I'd been working on previously, but once we got the green light for QUALIFIED, I had to put  them aside. So, I'm looking forward to picking those up again. Like race drivers, filmmakers are always on to the next track, looking for that perfect ride, and aiming for the finish line. 

Jenna Ricker wrote, directed and produced her first feature film, Ben’s Plan. The coming of age story was awarded Best Drama at the AOF Festival, Distinguished Debut at the London Independent Film Festival, and Ricker was honored with the Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker. Originally from California, she moved to New York to study acting at the Tisch School of the Arts and the Atlantic Theater Company. While volunteering as a script reader and working in a commercial production house, she began writing and directing theater. Her first screenplay, The Garage, was a quarter finalist of the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship. Security, her first collaboration with Greg Stuhr, was selected for the IFP’s Emerging Narrative Program. She co-wrote and directed their second collaboration, The American Side, hailed as an “adrenaline-charged pop-noir mystery” (The Hollywood Reporter), and starring Greg Stuhr, Matthew Broderick, Alicja Bachleda, Janeane Garofalo and Robert Forster. Ricker wrote and directed a 5-part short docu-film series for DOVE’s Self- Esteem Initiative. QUALIFIED*/, her first feature documentary, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America.


"There have always been achieving women.  There were successful women auto racers at the turn of the century. You can go back to antiquity to find women doing extraordinary things, but their history is forgotten or denied ever to have existed.  So women keep re-inventing the wheel.  Women have always done these things and they always will.'"

     - Race car driver Janet Guthrie, when asked about the                       significance of being among the first group of women                      inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980

Qualified, the documentary about Janet Guthrie, premiers on ESPN on Tuesday, May 28th, at 8 and 9:30 p.m.  After Tuesday, the film can be viewed streaming on the ESPN App and on ESPN+


Janet Guthrie was the first woman in history to qualify and compete in the Indianapolis 500, yet few people today know her name. She perservered with her career in race car driving in the face of brutal sexism; director Jenna Rickman brilliantly captures Janet's story in Qualified, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Following its ESPN premier on Tuesday, May 28th, at 8 and 9:30 p.m., Qualified will be available for streaming on the ESPN App and on ESPN+.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Keep this film on your radar!  I have seen it and it is awesome.  It/s an  ESPN film about  Janet Guthrie, who took on intensely vicious sexism as a top race car driver in the 70s and 80s.  Stay tuned for my interview with director Jenna Ricker.  #espnfilms #qualified #jennaricker #jennaguthrie

Thursday, April 18, 2019


I am super excited about this new game by the company Playeress. Inspired by the popular game "Guess Who?", "Who's She?" was the brainchild of Polish inventor Zuzanna Kozerska-Girard.  By showing female idols and heroines from a diverse set of professions, originas, and time periods, "Who's She?"  shows boys and girls (and adults!) that women are inspiring and powerful.
The game features well-known women like Frida Kahlo, but also lesser-known females like Egyptian Pharoah Hatshepsut and Formula One Race Car driver Lella Lombardi.
There is a wood version of the game, and also a less expensive cardboard version of the game which includes 2 boards with paper flaps and  28 cut-it-yourself biography cards.
The information below is taken directly from their website:
WHO'S SHE is a two player tabletop game about courageous women who changed the world. From Hatshepsut to Serena Williams. Discover their incredible adventures!  
Clever icons printed on the board give you a quick summary about their life stories.  
Guess their identity by asking about their accomplishments, not their appearance, with questions like: Did she win a Nobel Prize? Did she make a discovery? Was she a spy? 
The game includes 28 biography cards full of fun and interesting anecdotes about their life stories.
Inside the box : 
  • 2 boards, each with 28 frames featuring stunning watercolor portraits printed directly on wood 
  • 2 legend strips to help you understand the icons 
  • 28 'mighty women's' biography cards packed with fun and interesting anecdotes 
  •  the rulebook

Thursday, January 31, 2019


I was so excited to watch the video that has been viewed more than 40 million times. Ohashi, representing UCLA, scored a perfect 10 in an exuberant floor routine that demonstrated her athleticism and love for the performance aspect of the sport.

The win marked a comeback for Ohashi, whose nearly life-long gymnastics career was marred by injuries and the incredible pressure placed on female gymnasts to maintain a crazy-strict diet and a particular body weight and size.  Her win is also a win for females everywhere in gymnastics, and for females everywhere.  Why?  Because she came back to the sport despite the ways that its sexism and inhuman and irrational standards of perfection and body shape/size had gotten her down.  She defied all of that by coming back, enjoying herself, and winning!

Let's hope that Katelyn's win and new found notoriety has the sport of gymnastics re-evaluate the rigidities that it set for its female participants. I think that it will!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


Four years ago, I was terrified of riding a bike alone in traffic.  I found and joined a diabetes prevention group at the local YMCA where each of us set small goals at the weekly meetings.  One week, my goal was to ride my bike alone two blocks to the local neighborhood park.   I ended up riding much further, all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and back to my home.  I don't think I even knew the traffic rules!  I was so scared that I was shaking when I got back.  I've ridden my bike most days since then, and I learned something important:  It's a lot easier to set and achieve challenging goals when you are part of a larger group.  

A lot of folks don't make New Year's resolutions because they are fearful of failure.  Personally, I think it's a set-up for discouragement to go after something that may have been hard for you in the past and then expect to stick to that goal.  Why knock your head against the same wall again and again? When you identify what you would like to accomplish in the coming year, the next step should be to find one or more groups of folks who have similar goals.  Here's 10 reasons why:

1. The other people in a group can provide perspective on both your struggles and strengths, which is incredibly valuable when you hit internal or external stumbling blocks.

2. A group, with its diverse set of minds, can work together to brainstorm solutions to your challenges.  A group can often come up with an idea that a person could not come up with alone.

3.  A group can help to hold you accountable in the places where you want to give up, back down, and hide under the covers.

4.  Within a group, you can often find an accountability partner- someone you can check in with in person, or via email or phone.

5. You might make new friends!

6.  People can offer perspective through humor when you hit hard times.

7.  It feels great to contribute to someone else's success!

8.  You can be inspired by someone else's breakthroughs.

9.  You can inspires others by sharing your own successes and breakthroughs.

10.  As Barbara Sher, author of Wishcraft, famously said "Isolation is the dream-killer." We humans are designed to go through life with the support and company of other humans.

Where has group participation helped you achieve an important goal?  Feel free to share by leaving a comment!

Thursday, January 03, 2019


On New Year's Eve, I ran into a local bakery after making multiple stops for groceries while on my bike in the pouring rain. I had locked my bike up across the street in a semi-inconspicuous spot and left two bags of food in the baskets. While in line at the bakery, I saw someone I know, but only on a “Hello” basis. I told him I was nervous about having left two bags of groceries unattended in my bike. He offered to have me go in front of him in line. So kind! He still got out of there before me since my order took longer.
As I was crossing the street with my bakery box, I saw someone standing in the rain by my bike. I thought that this person might be eyeballing my groceries. I was tempted to call out “Yeah, those are mine.” As I got closer, I could see that it was my acquaintance from the bakery. He was standing there to guard my groceries! Earlier that day, I had asked a friend what kind of mindset she adopted to deal with several difficult life issues at once. She essentially said “Know that you are not alone, and that people have your back.”This was such a great example of that, and also of the fact that you never know where support will come from.
It was a great way to end the year.