We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Barghelame and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Our family motto is “We are a happy, positive, smart-working, hard-playing, fun family who makes the world a better place”. You can see that joy and attitude are a big part of who we strive to be. That doesn’t mean life is all smiles. My kids have enjoyed a storybook life, but my husband and I have endured great suffering before they came to be. We are keenly aware that years are not guaranteed. This reality taught us to focus on what’s most important. I think the most important gift we can give our children is unconditional love. That does not mean spoiling. I think there’s a fine line between the two that many of us crossover often. We are big fans of taking responsibility for ourselves here. Discipline is a word we use often in our house. We take pride in achievement that comes from hard work. We accept and welcome the fact that on the other side of continued effort and struggle, we are often rewarded with that feeling of accomplishment. That satisfaction does not come when things are handed to us. In our home, we talk about the difficulties of the day, and embrace what it taught us. It is nobody’s job to make you happy. But if you grow up feeling that you are genuinely loved, even when you’re not perfect, and you have instilled in you a desire to always get better, happiness will surely be a state you get to enjoy often. And ultimately that is what we want for our children. It is ok to be sad, mad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, or otherwise miserable. But we don’t stay there. We have too much to be thankful for to waste too much time focusing on the bad. If kids are raised thinking discomfort is not ok, they expect life to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. I feel like this is a big problem that leads to depression and low self-esteem.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Arete is a greek word meaning to reach one’s full potential in mind, body and spirit. I think every parent WANTS this for their kids, but (unfortunately) kids need to hear it from someone other than mom and dad for it to stick. Arete Warriors was beginning its second session as an after school enrichment when Covid shut things down. I was able to pause the program while I focused on my own kids and accommodating the changes in our lifestyle. My big problem now is I realize the next step is marketing and getting the word out about the program so that other instructors will buy it and run it all over the US. I know I need to be an online presence but I can’t bring myself to commit to the platforms I worry are harming so many in the first place. I also don’t want to be spending hours on my phone or otherwise engaged on line. I also don’t feel compelled to spend the money to hire anyone so I’m at a standstill until I decide what I want to do. And I’m shockingly ok with that. As a life long achiever, always looking to be and do more, I am strangely happy with the peaceful rhythm of wife and mom. To be content, without bringing in a big paycheck, is a luxury my husband has willingly given me and I am so thankful for it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Most of my friends enjoy activity as much as I do so depending on the season we would be spending time at Red Rocks climbing the stairs, mountain biking Lair o’ the Bear or Waterton Canyon, or hiking Mount Sanitas or the Royal Arches in Boulder (which would require lunch afterward there of course). If it is winter, and we have the time, we’d head to Steamboat to ski for a few days. I love tennis. If my guest does too, and the weather is nice enough to play outside we would go to Wash Park. (If they don’t play tennis, we would still have to go for a walk at least.) We would go to Colorado Athletic Club Monaco if we need to play inside. We eat out (or order in) more than we should but I justify it by saying we are supporting the restaurants. We frequent Machete in Cherry Creek, Menya (Orchard and University) and Sushi Den (my kids love sushi too), Calore and Viale (for our Italian fixes), and my son would eat at Poke City every day if I’d let him. We also order wings in from Fire On The Mountain on occasion. If the weather is nice, we love walking over to Reivers or Charcoal Bistro for dinner (Gaylord St). And we eat breakfast at Little Anita’s sometimes. My husband makes steak better than any restaurant we could go to (Costco) but if we feel like eating out for steak we go to Steakhouse 10. We love food! And wine. Stacy Flemming at Pure Salon has cut my hair for years but my kids go to Ashley at Champu Salon so if anyone would need their hair done, I’d take them to either of these fine ladies. I don’t like beer but my sisters do and I keep envisioning them as my guests. I know Denver has a lot of great breweries that are fun to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people and events I would thank for any success I’ve had. I had a successful AdvoCare business and one day that just went away. It was a shocking blow that some would consider traumatic, but I knew, even in my state of shock, it was a blessing. In the following months, while I mulled over what to do, if anything, my good friend asked me to teach her son how to workout. “He won’t listen to me.” This got me thinking back to a couple years before when my son Izak read a series of books called Way of the Warrior Kid, by Jocko Willink. The stories reiterated things we’d been telling him his whole life, but hearing it from somebody other than mom or dad really made a difference to him. He was only eight years old at the time but started waking up at 6 AM to work out before school. He packed healthy lunches. He worked on his discipline in every way possible. Izak, now 11, is well-known for his manners and thoughtfulness. He practically runs home to do his homework. I’ve never once had to ask him to do it. The noticeable transformation he made, because he heard it from somebody else, led me to create Arete Warriors. During the 10 week program kids learn how to work out, a bit about nutrition and sleep, emotional awareness, and discipline.