12 Sep Mom of the Week, Sally Cadoux, Founder of Athena Personal Safety Training
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
We have always been a very active family! Early on, we found being outside and engaged with physical activity fostered a healthy blend of communication, discovery, acceptance, and appreciation of family time. The types of activities have evolved depending upon the kids’ ages and particular interests. We are avid Scuba divers, recently becoming Tahitian Shark certified! We have created a year round love affair with the outdoors, embracing each season and matching the activities accordingly! Skiing is my favorite winter activity, spring is filled with hiking, summer is all about scuba diving, surfing, water skiing and fishing, fall is gorgeous to bike and again, hike the beautiful trails around us. Now that the kids are getting older (oh my!), we are exploring more adventures to add to our family time.
They have grown too fast! I remember being asked the same question and I would answer, they’re 1,3 & 5! Today, I say, 16, 18 and 20!! Where did the time go? Our greatest wish for our children unfolds every day as we witness them demonstrate their character and core values of honor, kindness, acceptance, resiliency, humor, humility, love and laughter. We met them where they were, we didn’t expect them to conform to anything other than who they wanted to be at that particular time of their lives, and then guided them appropriately. We want them to be happy adults pursuing their passions.
When and where are you the happiest?
Outside – outside – outside. Any place, outside.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
That’s a tough question! I have so many places I want to explore! We try to take a family “Adventure Vacation” every 2 years! I’m currently thinking about Australia to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef before it diminishes. But, then again, I’m secretly yearning to bring them to run Mount Kilimanjaro for fun! But, please don’t tell them that yet!!
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
Both my mom and dad, I miss them terribly! Their generation was steadfastly capable of parenting without the need to create children who are mirror images of themselves! They represented marriage as a couple that celebrates both togetherness and also a healthy respect for being individuals. Looking back, they practiced what I strive to achieve daily, a little buzzword called “balance.” This is also the quality that I admire most in a mother. If you can channel balance in yourself, your family will be rewarded! Children are exceptionally vulnerable to the adverse affects of over-scheduling, overbearing, over achieving ideals. I wish that we all could understand that life, in any extreme, is detrimental to our overall happiness. Balance is very powerful!
What do you like to do for fun?
I think you’ve gotten the sense by now that I enjoy being active! That’s my happy place! Currently, I’m enjoying running the trails in Troutbrook. I have a few friends that like to trail run as well, so we make it a social outing. I usually get lost, so our runs can range anywhere from 3 to 6 miles, depending upon who’s talking too much and not watching out for the trail markers!! I also love to be on the water, either paddle boarding, swimming, water skiing or fishing.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
I love books that are based on true accounts. They offer me the realities of other people’s experiences which, in turn, help me gain perspective. The book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, began this trend for me. I couldn’t put the book down when it was assigned to me back in High School. I have re-read it several times over the years.
My favorite Movie? That’s a tough question. Our middle son is a film student and we’ve spent years watching all genres of movies together! Although I can’t say they are my favorite, I can share that I enjoy watching the various Indie Films with him. It gives us time together and afterwards, we talk in detail about the subject matter. As many mothers can relate, it’s wonderful having an intellectual conversation with your teenagers!!
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed?
Once upon a time, I was a computer programmer… And then I wasn’t! It’s a huge laugh in our household that mom once knew how to program and code! The moment I stepped away to have my children, the industry ran past me like Usain Bolt! Fast forward, and I’m finally pursuing what I’ve been passionate about from an early age, Personal Safety Awareness. People don’t realize how personal safety impacts and enhances our wellbeing in every way, from our confidence to our productivity, self-esteem, courage and wisdom. I’ve recently launched, Athena Personal Safety Training, which aims to redefine “wellness” by giving women and girls concrete and practical personal safety training. It contains integral components that are vital to our overall wellness: self-defense techniques, breath control, and most importantly, mind-body awareness. It’s taught By Women For Women. I’m very passionate about this subject matter. Every little voice can have an impact if that voice grows louder and louder. My voice is steeped in imparting my skills and training to teach risk awareness and risk prevention, which is 90% of Self Defense!
What are your strongest qualities?
It’s been determined in my household that “If we’re walking down a scary alley or road, Mom goes first.” I think that sums it up.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
Anything clean, flavorful and unfussy is my favorite type of food!! I wish I could eat heavy, creamy, outlandish food, but I’m just unable able to move afterwards if I do! My mother was an excellent cook, she taught me to have a balanced plate (here we go again with that buzz word, balance!) It translates on a plate as; 1/3 protein, 1/3 veggies, 1/3 starch. I’m certain the latest food triangle will challenge this formula, but it’s simple and it works for my family.
I love to cook for my family! It’s been an amusing evolution. When the kids were small, I cooked small; then they grew up and the crockpot was a permanent fixture on the counter as well as the rice cooker, the wok, etc. The current top 3 favorites in the household are as follows:
Beef, Chicken or Shrimp Stir Fry
Ground Bison Chili
Spaghetti Squash with Bolognaise Sauce
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
Morning is my favorite. It’s quiet, unhurried and meditative. I reflect on the opportunities of the upcoming day. I open each day with love in my heart, so when life gets in the way and foolishness happens, I know that it started in the correct place and I can strive to find the center again.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
I’ll Party with Moms wherever it fits into the day! Sometimes we need to be out in a fun, trendy restaurant, and other times, we need to party while walking on the beach. Being together in the “sisterhood” is meeting us wherever we need to be at the time.
Anything with bubbles!!! It’s all about the bubbles!!
Sally Cadoux launched ATHENA to empower women of all ages to defend their well-being through personal safety education. Sally’s modern-day approach “Redefines Wellness” as it is today, emphasizing the importance of awareness, prevention and self-care strategies. Her method integrates the “Power of Presence” in our everyday lives and our ability to identify, assess, reduce and react to today’s threats. Sally is committed to building a community of confident women and girls, educated to live their lives courageously!
Sally has dedicated over 20 years finding her voice, practicing and teaching others about health and wellness. She is a Fitness Trainer, Certified RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Instructor, Self Defense Instructor, Yoga Teacher and Martial Artist. Sally holds Black Belts in Kickboxing and Calasanz Physical Art Method and is the creator of AthenaBarre and AthenaFit.
Sally understands the challenges and joys that are necessary to live genuinely and with purpose. While balancing the demands of managing a family of eight, her home and her husband’s architecture firm, she found little time for her own self-care. Once noticing her decreased attention, general malaise and shortened fuse, Sally decided it was time to reset her own path to health and wellness and made it a personal and professional goal to establish herself as a role model for women today. Choosing a name for Sally’s mission and life purpose was a significant task. Athena was chosen as it best symbolizes what Sally hopes her clients will achieve through her preparation, wisdom, courage, inspiration and strength.