“Her success is my success,” says Christine Fletcher speaking of her personal and professional partner in crime, Stephanie Corker. “It’s unique to have this kind of friendship, but it makes everything more fun, more satisfying.” There’s a pause following Christine’s lovely words. “Wow, you guys are like Gayle and Oprah!” I say, which elicits peels of laughter from the two best friends who’s drive, ambition, and obvious joy they take from one another could very well make them the next power friend couple. Power is the operative word here: the duo met and bonded through their love of athleticism and iron man competitions. Both women work in that athletic industry (Stephanie as the people brand strategy director for Lululemon and Christine as a coach, professional athlete, and VP of sales for a sporting goods company), but it is their passion for endurance sports outside the office that has cemented their bond and led to one of their most ambitious collaborations to date. The girls recently launched the innovative Mo’Bettah Together initiative, an organization that helps people interested in athletic competitions to find their start lines with one another. Watch out Oprah and Gayle, there are some new “IT” besties on the block!
Christine Fletcher, photo by Rob Gill
Stephanie Corker, photo courtesy Lululemon
If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?
Steph (aka Gayle): #sweatwhatyoulove
Fletchy (aka Oprah!): #focusfunheart
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
Steph: Without question…Christine Fletcher! In many respects it feels like quite a dream to be launching mobettertogether.com with Chrissy and have the copious training adventures that we do together. I remember so vividly when she was but an athletic legend who I’d see at various start lines or swim practices from afar. There are no words to properly articulate the respect I have for how she oh, so, mindfully chooses to live her life. Her body is a temple and her dedication for making every heart beat count is wildly inspiring. She has really helped me redefine what true sisterhood friendship is all about and start lines will forever be transformed when we toe the line together.
Fletchy: there is only one....Stephy Corker. A true soul sister bundled full of bigger, better, brighter and abundant goals. Affectionately known to me as "Bella" is the real deal setting the world on fire one second at a time. And, she is only just beginning. From dropping #truthbombs to thrashing through the impossible, physically and mentally, Stephy owns the “it” factor. If there were a reality show for goal setters and dreams with deadlines, she would have no competition. Steph and I share a passion for sport, start lines and using our strides, rides and heartbeats to inspire. When we are cruisin’ around on our bike, splashing around in the pool or trotting along the trails, giggling takes on a whole new meaning. Zaney ideas and inspiring clichés gush out as we convince ourselves we are on the bring of making a million dollar pitch to dragons den. No matter what, we have plans to conquer the world one sweaty goal at a time. I must end with
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
Steph: Ohhh, loaded question! I dream of a home on Maui that serves as a retreat center for athletes of corporations and sport to train for their best life together; where banana trees grow in abundance and I teach my children to surf on the local waves. I have a goal to qualify for Ironman Hawaii and experience my full potential as an athlete. My biggest, sweetest ambitions are to fall madly in love with a man who desires to create a family and a life together just a lil less ordinary, with a dog who will travel along for all of our adventures!
Fletchy: As much as I am a dreamer I am also live with both feet planted on the ground. I use my dreams and ambitions to fuel what can realistically be possible. I dream about creating memories with other people that usually involve juicy finish lines, ski slopes and docks on a lake. I dream about participating in epic adventurous events with a team of cool athletes determined to bond over a common goal. I dream about having a family with a man I love more than life itself where we become better people because of each other. My passion is to use sport as an avenue for self expression, character building and breaking through boundaries. My ambition is to help as many people as I can get in touch with this avenue and revel in what they never knew would be possible for themselves.
What are you most proud of?
Steph: I’m really proud of the relationship I have with my Brother – Matt Corker. He is a radical human being who is up to such remarkable things in this world. He reminds me why family matters; he pushes me waay outside of my comfort zone and will forever be my absolute biggest fan. What I love about our relationship is that it is a perfect reflection as I am most certainly his biggest fan. Real relationships, be it sibling or otherwise, take real care, and he is a human being I care about a whole lot.
Fletchy: I am most proud of being a chameleon in life. I can easily be thrown into any circumstance and engage with anyone no matter what their story, background, interests or disposition. I can dress up or dress down, hyper or calm, chatty or reserved. I suppose this is a result of maturity or emotional intelligence. Whatever it is, it is something I am proud of and gives me confidence to engage in life.
What piece of advice changed your life?
Steph: The advice my Dad gave me to “stop running marathons because you just aren’t built like a Kenyan.” He meant it with only the best of intentions and a heart of love, however, from that moment on, I have refused to let my body image stop me from chasing any goal – sport related or otherwise!
Fletchy: When I broke my hip in September 2011 (three screws in my femoral neck) I was left unsure of my future in sport. My coach Jasper Blake said to me "Be the athlete/person you would most admire. Emulate the character you would most respect. Surrender to your injury, take one day at a time and have faith that you will recover." This sound advice was the best advice for me. At that very moment, I became accepting, present and unwavering in the now.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Steph: We will have left our Canadian-home-base in Vancouver to celebrate my 40th birthday. On the beach in Hawaii with 2 generations of family (one younger and one older), with lovers and cherished friends, we will gather for an evening feast. As the sun sets, we will share stories of our epic bike rides and crazy adventures. Our Hawaiian hut has a door way full of flip-flops, bikinis and board shorts will line the porch and salty-hair will be the norm. Fletchy and I will look at each other and chuckle – this was the life we had manifested that summer of 2012 in Whistler, BC and we would have it no other way in 2022. Aloha!
Fletchy: With a home in Vancouver as well as in Whistler and Hawaii (shared with Stephy). With the love of my life, golden retrievers and kidlets. With a thriving business in sport that runs itself thanks to a solid team building something better than I could have ever done on my own. Chasing epic adventures around the globe balanced with an incredible community of friends where I call home. Living a life full of abundance yet draped with simplicity and laughter.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Steph: Well, there are currently several items on my bucket list still to be crossed off. I think one that will keep me on my toes for the long haul is to run a marathon on my 60th birthday. My Mom walked a marathon on her 60th, after having 9 knee surgeries and I’m pretty certain that walking is harder than running. However, what this goal (or bucket list item!) means to me is that I will still value my health and be committed to a daily practice of moving my body 30 years from now as I do today. That is really important to me. And it would be a very special moment if I happen to have a daughter who would complete this 60th birthday marathon with me. #totallyaudacious
Fletchy: Easy. To have my own pad (aka: home) in Whistler, British Columbia where I can host family and friends, ski my heart out, swim in the lake and hike the surrounding mountains. This is my definition of heaven.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
Steph: Next to my Mom, who will forever be the first female I looked up to…I must say Danielle LaPorte has really paved a way of possibilities that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise believed possible. I remember the first time I met her, I was actually certain that I had just met the white version of Oprah and could barely drive home I was shaking with such glee! She wore these big cool boots and a wooly shall; she checked out a few dudes who were strolling by on the street and acknowledged “mmm, he’s a babe”; we poured out every secret and I attempted to share a business idea with her – it was a flop yet she had sage advice. And then this woman who I had adored through the world wide web as a total celebrity, over a cup of tea, had become a new soul sister and best friend I know I will have in my life forever. Her trail-blazing success of I’m-gonna-do-it-my-way and the world doesn’t even know how rad it will be is absolutely nothing shy of inspiring.
Fletchy: Although many women have come into my life and influenced me positively, it is without question, My Mother. And many people who know her, know why. My mother lives her life with a je ne sais quoi ease. She is the pillar of strength in our family as well as a cherished friend to dear friends she's had since Grade Two. My mom defines grace, integrity, balance and love. She gives just the right amount of interest to any one and every thing. I have rarely met any one as present and stable as my mom. Her self- confidence allows her to live a life without fear and trust that everything, no matter what it is, will be okay. When searching for a moment of clarity, I find myself asking, "what would my mom do in this situation?" Immediately, the clouds open and the blue sky peeks through.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
Steph: Without being clique, the biggest risk I’ve taken was speaking the truth in telling my first husband that we were just no longer meant to be together. It was just one fight too many to pretend that there was any love left in the relationship. And what I learned is that relationships absolutely always take two; the good ones and the not so good ones are reflections of only your own heart; and that telling the truth – especially in the realm of a relationship that you care about can be tough, yet it is worth it. I really believe in second chances and the sweetest, juiciest version of love!
Fletchy: The biggest risk I have ever done was boarding a polish tall ship when I was sixteen to sail half way around the world with 30 other students for 6 months. We sailed from Poland to Jamaica traversing the North Atlantic seas with fierce hurricanes and unimaginable winds. This experience is forever implanted in me since safety was a daily threat. Friendships, travel and education was, thankfully, the end result.
Why are you THAT GIRL?
Steph: I’m a real and raw chic. Sometimes I dry my hair and put make up on and other times I don’t. Sometimes I look in the mirror and feel strong and mighty and other days I don’t. Yet every morning I wake up in a passionate pursuit to be the very best Steph Corker I can be. My wish for you is to do the very same: a daily pursuit of the best version of yourself, you’re worth it. xo
Fletchy: I don't really know if I AM THAT GIRL. What I do know for sure is that I live large while juggling a career, sport, coaching, and extracurricular interests. Having a lot going on does not make me "special" but if I somehow have a positive impact on someone else's life makes the experience special. Without effort, I want others to have a better days after we interact. That kind of an interaction starts with knowing who I am. Something I too am always reconnecting with.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor