Fashionista Gets Dirty — Navy SEAL Style

19 Jun

“Funny” could describe how the other day, when I was scouting for hidden thrift stores, I hear the words of Navy SEAL Instructor Jack Walston ring through my head: “I can’t teach you mental toughness.”

Most people wouldn’t equate mental toughness with the realm of fashion — but that’s what it takes to start your own business, to be a single mom, to survive a brain injury.

I did the Navy SEAL PT Course last November, and learned the depths of my mental toughness. The five-day course proved that I can push my physical self beyond what my brain told me I could do.

I went beyond impossible to a place where I could create anything as possible while getting dirty in true Navy SEAL style.

And, boy did we get dirty (somehow doing low crawls for 45 minutes through sand will do that to a person)!

I learned another important lesson while getting dirty. I discovered that anything is possible in community. When you have a community focused on the same goal, you can achieve the impossible and make a real difference in the world.

The PT Course starts at 4:30AM on Monday, and I was struck with an idea — I could use this as an opportunity to make a real difference for people who have an extreme level of mental toughness — more than I can imagine.

Serendipitously, I met Blake Powers at a recent social media event, where he generously shared his heart with me about his goals for Cooking With The Troops. The nonprofit is dedicated to providing hope, comfort and culinary career opportunities to wounded soldiers and their families.

Get my insights on November 2010's SEAL PT Course and surviving a TBI. CLICK to WATCH

With so many of our troops coming home wounded and with TBI, I can relate personally to some of the struggles they face.

Although it’s been a year-and-a-half since my subdural hematomas, I still am dealing with TBI-related issues — even as of Saturday.

However, I am extremely lucky to be able to do as much as I can, both physically and mentally, while some troops will not be as fortunate as I.

For those troops in the recovery process, the hospital stays can be long and tedious, making family visits and distracting fun — a chance to feel normal again, like a human, not a hospital “lab rat” — absolutely crucial for positive healing.

To this end, Cooking With The Troops has two BBQ’s planned right now: one it Walter Reed, another in Ramstein, Germany. For both events, $16,500 is needed to offset the cost of food, napkins, travel and transportation — you know, all the good stuff required for a really good family cook-out!

Now, this is where you get to be a part of the community and make this possible. Go to and click “Donate”. Then check back here for daily updates (sign up for the newsletter and get instant notice! ——>)

Cheer me on knowing that every push up, every low crawl, every time I’m in the muck, and every dollar you donate will bring comfort and hope, as well as really good food to some of the toughest (and most sacrificing) people this country knows.


Oh, I almost forgot! Donate to Cooking With The Troops and you’ll get some cool swag, too! Give $50 to $99 and you’ll get a fridge magnet to remind you of the healing power of good food. $100 donors get a CWTT flying fork pin — a stylish accessory for any outfit.

Anyone donating $250-$499 will receive a CWTT hat; $500-$999, a metal travel coffee mug. Now wait for it, give $1,000 or more, and you will be coined.

We are working on other fabulous goodies for generous donors … Could possible swag from Thrifty Vintage Chic involve a special keepsake of yours truly as a vintage pin-up?!? Hmm … I wonder, how much could that be worth? Any suggestions?

Stay tuned … and, please, spread the word by posting this post on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere and everywhere else!

With Good Old Fashioned Love,
Robin Wallace
(your very nervous fashionista)


3 Responses to “Fashionista Gets Dirty — Navy SEAL Style”

  1. FatGirlvsWorld June 21, 2011 at 1:15 AM #

    When is the one at Walter Reed? I’m in Washington, DC and i love to cook (and mens in uniform).
    I wonder if there’s any interest in partnering up with Pets2Vets to get some doggies at the cookout. Who doesn’t love hamburgers and a doggie?


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic June 22, 2011 at 9:52 AM #

      It is to be announced — Cooking with the Troops is working with Walter Reed’s scheduling folks. And, yes! pets (and dogs) are so therapeutic!! I will pass your e-mail along to Blake @, if that’s ok with you?



  1. Goodbye, Year of the Rabbit; Hello, Year of the Dragon! « Thrifty Vintage Chic - January 1, 2012

    […] receive training for new careers, as well as morale boosting support from Cooking with the Troops. (CLICK the image above to learn more about my 5-day […]


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