President's Column - October 2023

President's Column,

Recently I went on a fun little adventure. It is something I have been wanting to do ever since I found out of its existence! The Pandemic, coupled with my health challenges, had delayed my accomplishment of this bucket list- worthy goal, but I was not to be stopped! I finally had my day of yoga with goats!

As you are all aware, I have gone through my fair share of health struggles. With this, I still deal with all kinds of balance issues and other physical limitations that affect just about everything I do. This of course gives me anxieties of what I’m able to accomplish and participate in. Lucky for me, I have some very awesome friends who are patient and make sure that I still partake in events. This is nice because often I feel like I can’t do much safely without a babysitter present. For this adventure, my friend Aaron was aware that I was very interested in this. So, when he heard there was going to be an event coming our way, he let me know about it right away.

On the day of the event the weather was perfect. It was sunny, but partially cloudy, and warm, but not too hot. The event was held at a local winery. The grounds were well kept and provided a relaxing and serene tone for the event. There was a group of about 30 or so people spread across a large fenced-in area where a dozen goats were released to join the fun. The area had been set up with small piles of hay throughout to encourage the goats to make their way through all the guests. There were also two goat handlers walking throughout the session coaxing goats to follow them for blueberries or simply picking goats up and placing them in other areas to mingle and roam.

Only once did I feel a little bit self-conscious when I felt I was struggling with some of the yoga. When I looked around, I quickly realized that like in any yoga class I was not alone with this. And also over, at minimum, 50% of the class was not even paying attention to the yoga portion of the event at all—Because… goats!

I did partake in most of the yoga session, but I would be lying if I didn’t say the goats distracted me from stretching from time to time. While we were warned, I found out firsthand that my hair falls into the category of “looks delicious”  and was nibbled upon multiple times. When the session concluded most everyone cleared the area within five to ten minutes. Aaron and I stuck around for another 15 minutes or so to hang out longer with the goats. This gave us more of a chance to hang out with more of the goats at the end and even take advantage of a photo op with climbing goats. It was as amazing of an experience as I dreamt it would be! Goat yoga proved to be a fun and interesting way to get me out with a group, all the while pushing and challenging me physically. It most certainly will be a repeat event for this girl! 

I’d love to hear from you, Loves! What odd exercise event have you done, or do you want to try out one day? Do you have one? Just give it a try!

Jennifer Thoroe is Director of Customer Service & Business Development for National Steel Rule, a steel rule manufacturer based in Linden, NJ, USA. She joined forces with National on November 1, 2018 after working in the industry and volunteering with the IADD for over 15 years. She moved up to NJ from GA in the summer of 2019. One pandemic and three moves later, Jennifer is finally settling into her home near the Jersey Shores with her awesome super-fantastic brother Tom and his even cooler dog, Kelowna.

She has consistently used her time and talents to bring greater value to IADD members, whether through chapter activities, managing volunteers, Board service or overseeing myriad membership recruitment and retention activities. For this, Jennifer received the 2017 IADD Cutting Edge Award, one of the Association’s highest honors. She is the first woman to serve as IADD president.

The President's Column appears in The Cutting Edge, the IADD's monthly magazine.