Women of Charlottesville

Highlighting the unique and diverse amazing women of Charlottesville, VA.

Grace Ranson

This is Grace. She is a delightful ray of sunshine and a burst of energy all in one. She’s got great depth and is a true breath of fresh air. She has the ability to make one will feel energized and alive when spending any amount of time with her. When she is not running around Charlottesville–you will likely find her teaching pilates. You will see some of her fantastic poses below! We shot these late last summer when the days were long and warm–and the wild flowers were in full bloom. You can almost hear the chirping of crickets and soft buzz of cicadas if you listen close enough! Enjoy reading more about Grace!

So, Grace, tell us a little bit about yourself . . .

Sure! I live here in Charlottesville with my kids and husband. I teach pilates, yoga, barre, a TRX at my studio–Momentum Pilates Studio. As a side hustle I instruct hikes at the University of Virginia. My passion is to help people move better and to empower women and men to create sustainable solutions for prolonged wellness and success. When I’m not teaching a class, you’ll most likely find me spending time with my family or running!

us: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

her: I had grapefruit, followed by a handful of nuts, followed by 1/2 bagel and then some plain yogurt . . . I tend to graze.

us: Does pineapple belong on pizza?

her: Oh absolutely!

us: Do you sleep in your socks?

her: Never–unless they got caught in the sheets while doing laundry.

us: What’s your go-to midnight snack?

her: It could be so many things! Something crunchy and salty so–crackers, tostitos, cheez-its . . .

us: Mountains or beach?

her: Beach

us: Current favorite song?

her: “The Weight of Lies” by The Avett Brothers

us: Salty or sweet?

her: I love both salty and sweet. It depends on my mood and what we have in the house.

us: Pet peeve?

her: People who borrow things and don’t give them back–hint, hint Arianna! (Grace’s daughter)

us: Room entrance song?

her: “Jump” by Van Halen

us: Favorite place you’ve traveled to?

her: I’ve traveled a lot. I am an ex-Flight Attendant . . . so there are some many wonderful places I’ve traveled, and I love to travel! But, my favorite place to go is Melbourne Beach, Florida–with my family.  It is relaxing, reviving and heartwarming. We all come together–kids, parents, siblings and cousins. We visit, play board games, read, get on each others nerves and truly have a great time!

us: What’s your favorite room in your house?

her: The Kitchen.  We have dinner together as a family every night.  There is always a lot going on in our kitchen, mostly me burning bread! There is always a tea kettle on with someone to have a chat with.  We discuss many topics in our kitchen . . . sometimes civilly. 

us: Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

her: My mom. My mom is the bomb! She is a phenomenal human being! She’s incredible, easy going, super fun, adaptable . . . I grew up in a very patriarchal family. But, nothing would have run without my mother. She was humble enough not to need the attention or to be thanked or honored–she just did it! She’s a very special lady!

us: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

her: Watching my children evolve–sometimes with a hands off approach and a hands on approach at other times. Being part of their own self evolvement and my learning to let go of trying to control things. I think sometimes as a parent you think things should go a certain way, and when they don’t–learning to be ok with it and realizing it’s ok! I feel like that’s a large accomplishment. I’m just proud of who they are–as different as it is from myself. It’s been pretty amazing to watch.

us: If you could give your younger self a single piece of advice, what would it be?

her: You don’t have to work so hard. Relax a little bit and have fun with things. I teach one class for kids, and it’s so funny because they’ll be doing “rolling like a ball” or another exercise, and they just have a really good time with it. I would say have a little bit better of a time with the daily activities of life– like laundry or other daily tasks. And, just don’t always feel like you have to work so hard.

us: Can you tell me about a challenge that you’ve overcome?

her: Losing my Dad about ten years ago. Loss has its own timing and how each of us deals with grief is different.  Being present while someone you love is suffering is very difficult. I’m not sure you ever overcome losing someone, but somehow the days become less painful and for me, my Dad shows up in so many things I do and say. There is no timetable for moving through grief, just taking one day at a time.

us: Where do you find your inspiration?

her: I find my inspiration most often in little things.  Overcoming small hurdles and experiencing little joyous moments whether alone or with friends and family–or even with those I do not know. A random smile from someone goes a long way and brings lots of joy!

us: Any embarrassing nicknames we should know about?

her: Nope–no nicknames.

us: Any hidden talents we should know about?

her: Handstands, I love to do them. Flipping things upside down is always good for perspective!

us: What are you most thankful for?

her: I am thankful for each of the people in my inner circle. I never believed my Mom when she said you are lucky if have 5 great friends in your life.  I am so grateful for the straight talking, honest, loyal and brave men and women in my life. When things have looked ugly, they have stood right with me in the muck.

us: What is your favorite thing about living in Charlottesville?

her: I love to run and walk all over the place.  I love that I can walk downtown, to the University, to shops and restaurants. The weather and lifestyle allow our family to be outside daily and enjoy the surroundings. The people are pretty awesome too!

Thank you for sharing with us, Grace!