Going for the Good | Lizette Byer | Sarasota Portrait Photographer

Going for the good. Being mindful. Being present. Hearing and answering the call to action to live a truly authentic life.

Meet Lizette Byer, whose labor of love “Going for the Good” launched this week.

“I am doing this website called Going For The Good because there is something extraordinary
happening now, and it’s about time that I step out of my comfort zone and respond to this greater
‘call to action,’ to participate
 in and help facilitate this evolutionary shift in consciousness,
and to help others to do the same.”pre-dawn headshot of woman in the golden California hills taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota Florida

So, here’s a little story about how Lizette and I met. We both belong to the very best running group in the San Francisco Bay area, GoWowTeam. (GoWow and GoWowLiving were founded by the amazing Stephanie Atwood, award winning author, public speaker, and running coach….Stephanie is an inspiration. Truly. Go check her out.) The GoWowTeam was one of the very best parts of my time in the Bay Area. It’s where I met most of my very best friends, found a community of amazing and supportive women, and pushed myself to do something I never thought possible. I trained for and ran 6 half marathons and countless other races. Who me? Yup, this girl. Go Wow, indeed! It was in this remarkable group that I met Lizette. But, truth be told, for more than a year I didn’t know her very well. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Lizette is FAST. I am not. I am the tortoise, she is the hare. We did not get to know each other very well due to the simple logistics that we never ran with the same crowd, so to speak. But then, one ridiculously early morning, pre-dawn, in the pouring rain, we shared a seat on a bus on our way to the starting point for the California International Marathon. Friends, when I say pouring rain, what I really mean is crazy-deluge-sideways-windy-no-way-to-stay-dry rain. There is nothing quite like running 7+ miles in this kind of weather to form life-long bonds and view that run and that bond as a badge of honor. And that, friends, was the start of a beautiful friendship. Lizette possesses a quiet strength that shines so brightly from deep within. She is kind, supportive, funny, and wicked smart. I am so blessed to call her “friend” and so grateful she agreed to join me today.

Regular readers know that I love learning about people through the popular Pivot questionnaire. Lizette was kind enough to indulge my inner-James Lipton.

1. What is your favorite word? penultimate

2. What is your least favorite word? can’t

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? sunrises, sunsets, dark chocolate covered strawberries

4. What turns you off? violence, racism, disrespect

5. What noise or sound do you love? a small child’s gleeful laugh

6. What noise or sound do you hate? loud yelling

7. What is your favorite curse word? merde!

8. What profession other than yours would you like to do? master barista

9. What profession would you not like to do? coal miner

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? come in… we have a seat for you at my table

When Lizette asked me to capture some images of her doing this thing she is so incredibly passionate about, I couldn’t help but scream YES! We were a bit under the gun as I was moving to Florida in 2 weeks! We had first planned on meeting in the Berkeley Hills one late afternoon near sunset…and I don’t know why, but I felt very anxious about it. Something just wasn’t sitting right with me. Lizette had originally mentioned sunrise and the peace she finds in running in the early morning hours. Something about that sunset plan just wasn’t right. And thank goodness the weather didn’t cooperate either. We nixed that plan, and 5 days before we packed up the moving truck to head out of California, Lizette and I headed to the foothills of Mount Diablo before dawn and wow, was it just perfect.

Woman expresses pure joy at dawn as the sun rises over the foothills of mount diablo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota FloridaSilhouette portrait of a woman before sunrise in the foothills of mount diablo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota FloridaRunning at sunrise in the golden hills of California in this photo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota FloridaWoman is going for the good as she runs at sunrise in the foothills of mount diablo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota FloridaWoman runs in the golden california hills at sunrise in this photo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota FloridaGoing for the good, woman runs at sunrise in the foothills of mount diablo taken by Ristaino Photography of Sarasota Florida

I will be watching and cheering you on Lizette! Not only will you fly, you will soar. I’m certain of it. Love you, friend.


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be joyful,


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  • Amanda Jacobus SchochSeptember 23, 2015 - 1:32 am

    Michaela Chaconas Ristaino These images are breathtaking!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen BlakelockOctober 14, 2015 - 3:21 pm

    omg, these photos of Lizette are amazing! If I did not already know her, I would want to meet her. You’ve really captured her amazing spirit! Love you both!ReplyCancel