“Where did you get the name Toddi?” is a question I have gotten weekly for years. The answer: I’m the third girl that was supposed to be a boy, or so my family lore goes. As a kid I really disliked my name but when I became a journalist, I fell in love with it. If you read my byline, you knew it was me. Journalism was a perfect fit; I have always been insatiably curious and the opportunity to learn something new still drives me. Born and raised in Chicago, I love my “friendly” Midwestern roots even though I moved to the east coast, where I met my Brooklyn-born husband. Together with our two teenage sons, we seek adventure. From going on safari in the Serengeti and SCUBA diving in the Galapagos to horse back riding in Israel’s Ramon Crater or canyoning in the northern Spain’s Pyrenees—we’re always up for anything!
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
I’ve always wanted to be a good tennis player. I’ve taken lessons at least three times. Most recently, the tennis coach fired me because he said I was too hard on myself. I’m hoping my inner-witch calms down as she ages and will let me enjoy the game of learning tennis—regardless of whether or not I stink at it.
When your timeline runs out, how would you like to be remembered? What will be your legacy?
I’d like others to remember me as an intelligent, warm-hearted, giving and authentic woman who would do anything for those she loved
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m not sure I’d call this an achievement, but I am extremely proud of the loving partnership I have with my husband of 21 years and our two teenage sons who never fail to inspire and teach me new things every day.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My laughter and my high energy—I say that only because other people have told me my laugh is quite distinctive and I have more energy than anyone they know. At a party, people have come up to me and said they knew I had arrived because they heard my laugh—from across the room. My husband says the only time he could keep up with me is when I was nine months pregnant.
What is your motto?
It used to be: “The teacher appears when the student is ready” and “Courage is fear having said its prayers.”
And now it’s: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” and “Luck favors the prepared.”