Barb Albrecht

When Barb got married she not only kept her maiden-name, but her groom took her last name, too.  Meet a fit, fabulous and forward-looking woman.

1.  What is your idea of adventure?
Trying something new and different, learning from it and sharing my adventure experience with friends.  Adventures include:  traveling, fitness and event planning.

2.  It’s very adventurous that your husband took your last name instead of you taking his name. Who suggested it? 
While engaged, I talked about how I wanted to keep my name.  I married later in life and my name was my identity and meant a lot to me.  Being one of two daughters in the family, there also would not be anyone to carry on our family name.  We wanted to have children one day and felt that our child should have the same last name as us.  We contemplated hyphenating our names, but it was too long, or creating a new one.  Instead, he decided to take my last name. 


3.  How long did it take your husband to agree on taking your last name?
It was really a non-issue.  When I mentioned my preference of keeping my name, he understood.  He shared that a number of his family had changed their last name by shortening it, and he had always wanted to change his too.  This was a great opportunity.  It was a win-win situation. 

4.  What did your parents think of it?
They’ve never really said anything one way or another.  Although some of their friends are confused as to why I have kept my maiden name and why he took my last name. 

5.  What did his mom think of it?
Again, not much conversation about the subject.  His mom is very supportive and proud of everything he does.


6.  Did the official at your wedding pronounce you “Mr. & Mrs. Albrecht” at the end of your ceremony?
We were pronounced husband and wife, using our given names, Scott Markowski & Barb Albrecht, not “Mr. & Mrs.” since his name change was not official for a few months. 


7.  Was it an easy adjustment for him?  Any kidding from his friends?
The most challenging part was petitioning the court and paying a fee to change his name.  It took a few months.  This is a bit of reverse discrimination.  In most states, a female can take a male’s last name upon marriage; however, a male cannot take a female’s last name. 

Initially, there was a bit of adjustment on his behalf including a new signature, changing his driver’s license, passport, social security card, banking information, work id’s, etc.  A lot of explaining about the reasoning behind the change, and friends understood. 

My friends thought it was very cool, cutting edge and hip!  Afterall, how many husbands  have taken their wife’s name?!


8.   On the flip-side of the equation – do you like sharing your name with him?
Yes, it’s great!  We’ll be married 10 years this year and it’s so familiar and natural.  Again, the only confusing part is when we’re with my parents and people don’t understand why my dad and husband have the same last name.   


9.  You have a daughter.  Would you recommend her keeping her name when she gets married?
She should do what makes her comfortable and happy.  What works for her dad and I, may not work for her and her mate. 

10.  You didn’t have your daughter until you were into your 40s.  Is raising a little girl a big adventure?
Absolutely!  My daughter is 3 years old and so much fun.  Everything she does and experiences is new, interesting and unique.  It’s fun to live life through my daughter’s eyes.  She opens my mind to different ways of thinking and doing that I’ve forgotten about or am too busy to do.  For example, she has a wild imagination, dances and loves to laugh.  It’s a great lesson to live your life like a child, as if no one’s watching…well, within limits of course.  We have a lot of fun talking about her imaginary French sister, Amelie and dancing and singing around the house. 


11.  You are remarkably fit.  How do you stay in shape, especially post baby?
I’m a very disciplined person with a high metabolism and tenacity for energetic, non-stop activities.  I don’t know the meaning of a relaxed, carefree lifestyle.  I’m always on the go!

I started focusing on staying fit in my early 20’s and haven’t stopped since.  Initially I took up aerobics, running and duathlons.  My next challenge was a triathlon; however, I didn’t know how to swim.  So, at the age of 26, I learned to swim so that I could compete in multiple triathlons. 

I was back to working out 4 weeks after giving birth.  I couldn’t wait.  It’s very empowering and an ego boost to see one’s body change based on the effort that’s put forth. 

I watch what I eat, keeping to more simple, non-processed foods.  I don’t limit myself to any type of food, and I’m always watching what I put in my mouth.  I also do acupuncture and work with a naprapath on a monthly basis to keep my body and mind in check. 

I feel more fit and strong today than I was at 25! 


12.  You’ve completed marathons and triathlons.  What is your favorite exercise routine?
After competing in triathlons, I wanted to challenge myself to marathons.  I did a few marathons and now find them monotonous.     

Today, I enjoy mixing things up and fitting everything into my lifestyle .  With a family and career, time is limited.  I believe in quality, not the quantity of workouts.  Typically, I get up at 5AM and workout at home or the fitness center, doing everything from: running, biking, swimming, yoga and weights.  If time allows, I try to workout twice a day and do power moves that combine multiple muscle groups with weights or cardio, so that I get more done in a shorter amount of time. 


13.  Who is your favorite female book character?  Why?
I’ve never been one to put another on a pedestal.  My favorite people are those that are very positive, fit and live life to the fullest.  I enjoy being around positive people and absorbing their positive vibes when I’m feeling a little down. 


14.  What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
My mom is a very disciplined, tenacious, active person.  Sound familiar?!  She lead by example showing me how to “do” and “be”, whether it was learning how to sew, cook or learn  Japanese.  She was always there for me and continues to be, and I will always cherish that special bond. 

15.  Where would you like to travel?
I have this fascination with Italy!  I’ve been there three times solo and this year, my husband, daughter and I are going to Italy and France.  I can’t wait.  There’s something about the Italian people that I find so warm and welcoming.  And, I must say, I LOVE the gelato!  “Una paletta di gelato di cioccolata per favore.”


16.  What is your motto?
Carpe Diem! 

Seize the day, no matter what it brings you, good, bad or indifferent.  Each day is unique and it’s up to the individual to make something of it; we never know if today’s our last day.