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Good Enough Mother: Volvic Water, Tough Mudder and Completing the Race

Good Enough Mother:
Volvic Water, Tough Mudder
and Completing the Race

I’m about to share something that may shock many of you. Some of you are going to say, “Oh you shouldn’t do that! You might burn a bridge.” 

I have thought long and hard about this and here is the conclusion I have reached; if this is the bridge, I don’t want to see what’s on the other side. 

Okay so here goes…

Recently I had an exchange with a PR representative for Volvic Spring Water.  Honestly, I had never heard of them prior to this email. According to their Facebook page, Volvic Water offers: 

Volvic’s unique mineral composition aid in body metabolism, water balance, and bone health. These minerals are critical for proper functioning of the body.

Volvic is one of the market’s leader user of rPET. Every bottle of Volvic is now made in part with recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable. Its water source is managing in the most sustainable way. The objective is to protect water quality and quantity for future generations.



Volvic is the official sponsor for the New York Tough Mudder, which is being held in Bethpage, New York at the end of July.  Tough Mudder, is a mud run with obstacles and it’s HARD! 

Many of you know I am co-owner of, a women’s fitness company. Our goal is to help women realize their full potential, pushing them to be strong and healthy so they can be all that they need to be for everyone in their lives. 

So when someone from  Rosie Mattio PR  reached out asking if I’d like to train with them to be part of the Volvic Water Tough Mudder team, I was like: 



Wow! What an honor! 


Here’s the email from Daniela at Rosie Mattio PR:



 This was a second email from Daniela as you can see. The first one got by me but when I saw the second one, I responded right away! Because.. 

HELL YEAH I want to push myself! I’d love to try the Tough Mudder! I have, to date, completed about 15 Warrior Dashes.. and you know what? I’m a badass.


Daniela responds:




Mmmmkay. Number 1.. who said anything about not being able to COMPLETE the race? I said I was SCARED of the full Mudder (10-12 miles); I NEVER said I could not finish it. But knowing it would be my first Tough Mudder, I asked if I could do the half and that was one of the things that she initially offered.

Oh and I WANT to do the work.. so there’s that. 

So I wrote back: 


 I mean she told me in the email that both days were available. Now I get how it goes with these PR companies; they cast a wide net and sometimes when the availability is gone, they cannot fulfill what they offered. And had she said that, I would have been like.. 




But she did not. She ASSUMED (along with the “team” whoever they are) that I could not ”complete” the race; a horrible assumption on their part. 

So she responds to my confusion about both races being available. 



Mmmkay. So I can’t complete the race (according to them) but dammit, I can get me some water! Yahoooo!






And Daniela’s response, which contains the assumption AGAIN, that I cannot complete the race. 


After this exchange, I now want to know more about the “team” and Volvic Water. So I go to their Facebook page.. and apparently this is who drinks Volvic water. 





Not women who look like this:


Or this.



Lemme tell you something about me.



I work REAL HARD. 

I am 54-years-old.. probably twice the age of every one of the models they have representing their health water. 

I am not a size 2.

My stomach hasn’t been flat in more than 25 years.. which, I’m guessing,  is right around the time all the models on the Volvic Water Facebook page were born.

 But none of that is what I want Daniela, the Rosie Mattio PR “team”, Volvic Water and Tough Mudder to know know about me:

I am completing the race.

Sometimes it’s been harder than others.

When I walked into the office at CBS,  to be fired from my high-profile job, you know what I did? 

I completed the race.

My last day on the air at CBS, The Early Show 

When I had to go on air EVERY DAY and act like nothing was wrong, do my job informing the public while I was breaking inside.. you know what I did?

I completed the race.

When I was on the table at Memorial Sloan Kettering having made the gut-wrenching decision to have my own breasts removed 2 weeks after being fired, you know what I did? 

I completed the race. 


When calls from friends became less frequent, when my hair fell out, when my bank account diminished, when I lost much of what I spent my life building.. you know what I did?

I completed the race. 

The bottom line is this: I don’t need Volvic Water, Daniela from Rosie Mattio PR or even the folks at the Tough Mudder to affirm the thing I know about me. 


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour myself a glass of TAP water and, without mud and fanfare,  finish my own damn race. 






  1. Nancy Johnson Horn

    June 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    You are amazing. Who cares what they think – sounds like the PR person DIDN’t think. They should have been HONORED to have you. I work in PR with influencers at my day job and I pitch what I have, not a wide net. Hopefully, this rep and the agency will learn.

  2. Censie

    June 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “!! you” in “comment_content” *]
    I literally just got up and yelled “hell yes” after reading this!!! I love this!! You are amazing.

  3. Nicole Hughes

    June 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I understand exactly what you are saying and I love that you are calling them out. There are too many times where a PR person/team has dropped the ball yet somehow find a way to pin it back on us. Thanks for writing this!

  4. Stephanie Smith

    June 16, 2017 at 11:19 am

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “oy” in “comment_content” *]
    Ya know- I really enjoy your blog and following you but I think it’s really shameful to embarrass a company when it was clearly just a miscommunication over email. It happens to all of us — and no where did Daniela mention anything about your looks, weight, or size. As much as I love you and your blog I must say this one disappoints me. And sharing the email thread of a private person – Daniela – is really inappropriate. IMHO

  5. Rene Syler

    June 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thanks for your comment. A couple of notes. I did not share a private email exchange. That was a pitch from a company with a public email. Secondly, in my research, I attempted to find out more about the company. In doing my due diligence, I learned more about Volvic and the people they market to. No one in their marketing materials, looked like me. That is fact, not supposition. I added the information about myself because I have nothing to hide and am proud of the fact that I am a real woman. But the part of this that is curious is that you say you enjoy following me and my blog but according to the information (from the backend of the website)it appears your first visit was July 16th, 2017? Also instead of following a link, you came directly to this piece, which makes me wonder how you found it.

    At any rate, your point about ” I think it’s really shameful to embarrass a company when it was clearly just a miscommunication over email.” is really a guess on your part. Regardless, intentional or not, the lesson here is about clear and transparent communication, without leaping to conclusions.

  6. Angela Bishop

    June 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Wow at Stephanie Smith.

    How is “we would rather save the ticket for someone who can finish the race” a miscommunication? Instead of being encouraging and saying something like “Don’t be scared, you can do this!” and then adding that they are unable to provide an additional ticket, they made her feel like crap. Not okay. Insensitive and uncalled for.

  7. Nickida

    June 17, 2017 at 7:44 am

    This is my first time visiting your site. I started with the update first them read this one. Thank you for sharing the exchange and being open and transparent. I loved it. It’s never good to assume anything and that’s exactly what she did by assuming you couldn’t finish the race because you expressed a little caution. It makes sense they would give you the option for the shorter race since it was your first time. I hope the company does reach out as well and take some of your feedback and give you an opportunity to really represent them as a real warrior woman, not just some model.

  8. Rene Syler

    June 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    LOL right? The communication was very clear; hard to mess up those words. Side note: there are some inconsistencies with how Stephanie presents herself, namely that she is a follower of my blog but this is the first time her IP address has been registered.. among other things.. and she has not been back. Hmmmmmmm..

  9. Danay

    June 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I absolutely loved this post. The sales person in me thinks this could very well have been a tactic to make you think you were in the running but they were only ever going to offer you the water once you showed interest. Who knows. I don’t even really care much about the brand and company you mentioned as much as I love love LOVE your message. Keep fighting and being a badass.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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