It’s part of our challenge this week to name five people who motivate us. There are so many people here on Spark who motivate me, it was hard to choose 5, and in fact I’ve chosen a bit more than 5...but also there are different categories of people who inspire me. There are those who inspire me physically to push it, those who have lost a lot of weight or those who have challenged themselves and won.
There are also those who inspire me spiritually, and I’ve decided I will write a separate blog soon to honor those people.
But for this challenge here are my Top motivators, and I’ve also put their pictures in the Top 6 slots of my Spark Page so that I can see them on a daily basis and remember why I’m doing this, and they they did it, too. I picked more than 5, but with a community of such inspiring people it was impossible for me to pick just five.
KICKBXCHIC/STEMMEFATALE: My sister Kris. She is, and always has been, my number one supporter. She would find something nice to say about me when I was 120 lbs. overweight. She always made me feel strong, pretty, and like I could do it. I was one of those kids whose awkward stage lasted oh, about 10 yrs. I was overweight at an early age, starting in the 3rd grade, and she was always there for me to protect me, and to help me. I remember her trying to get me to run in the 8th grade. She would take me to a nearby park and we would run the track there. Well, she would run, I would make it about halfway around then quit. But she has been this constant force in my life. Recently she is the person who inspired me to run. She bought my entry to the Shamrock Shuffle last year and that race made me desire to be a runner. I remember after a particularly good run, you know, the kind where you realize just how far you’ve come and how you shouldn’t even be running this far in the first place, I called her up crying and said “Thank you for changing my life.” And she has. She will drop anything for me, and once I called her at 10 p.m. at night and begged her to run the Susan G. Komen 5k with me (it was the following morning), I was afraid to run it alone and she didn't even question it. She was there. She is my friend, sister and running partner. She ran beside me during my first 5k and stayed with me the whole time, even though she normally runs at a faster pace. And she also gave me the courage to run a 5k alone. She is an amazing woman. And she's my sister.
DANCINGEARTHMOM: Blaize, my partner and friend. I remember I met her on the Done Girls Team message board and I looked at her profile and saw she had run a half marathon and I was so impressed with her! She was recruiting girls for the Done Girls seasonal challenge at the time, and I responded to her post and posted on her spark page. She was one of those people that inspired me so much at first “glance”, that I added her as a Spark friend, and hoped she would friend me back. She not only did that, she introduced me to the Sunny Gals and made sure I was on her team - she said that I inspired HER! Imagine that! Her and the Sunny Gals are one of the best things that’s happened to me on this journey. Blaize is a strong woman, she is the epitome of get ‘er DONE! She is a single mom, engaged to her soul mate, she is working full time and going to graduate school. And did I mention she’s lost a ton of weight, run a half marathon and several 10 and 5ks? She works out on her lunch break so that she can have that time at night with her beautiful daughter, Azali. She makes time for the things that matter in her life, and she is deeply spiritual and feels connected to the universe and shows those around her how they can feel that way too, and make peace with their lives. This strong woman is as wise as Buddha and as fun as Marilyn Monroe must have been in her prime. And she makes time to lead the Sunny Gals and always has an encouraging word to say. She has picked me up more times than I can count, and has given me confidence in so many ways. I love this girl.
SUNNY GALS: I have said that this team is like meeting one of the Spark motivators, except they ALL are spark motivator material. It’s like having a group of cheerleaders cheer you on, pick you up, and give you a smack on the butt to get you in gear. These women are the most amazing women and they all have hearts that are bigger than any amount of weight they may need to lose, than any obstacles they may face. These ladies are givers and I count them among my blessings every single day. I don’t know what I would do without them.
KITHKINCAID: Jenn, my Chicago sparker and the first person I’ve met from Spark in the ‘real life”. She inspired me to try Zumba, a dance class I’ve never taken before, and in turn she said I inspired her to try Couch to 5k. She has lost over 85 lbs. and has excelled in everything she has tried. Running? She’s faster than me. Zumba? She is a pro on the floor. And now she’s trying Salsa. She has shown me that nothing is impossible, and that goals aren’t just dreams, they are things we can plan for and reach. She has insights that we can all relate to, and she shares her heart so openly here on Spark and it benefits us all. She is funny, hard working and is someone that I know will reach her goals - and then some.
KARVY09: Christina is leader of the Couch to 5k Team which is the team I turned to when I knew I wanted to run. She is so supportive and cheered me on during my training. She gave me the courage to START running weighing 276 - she herself began running at 275. Since then she has run six 5k - 7k races, 2 10k races and, in her words, “A KILLER HALF MARATHON!!!” She has lost 110 lbs. and is also blogging about her experiences in a blog at www.chunkyrunner.com. She has shown all of us “fluffy” runners that yes, we can indeed RUN.
CAROLYN1213: Carolyn went from 267.5 lbs. to 180 lbs. in a years time. In her words she said she “went from feeling hopeless and disparate to feeling hopeful and confident. From size 22 pants to a lose size 14 in a year!” Carolyn teaches us all about clean eating and the importance of strength training. She shares everything she has learned in her blogs and writings. She has shown me that it is not too late to tone up, and that all things are possible. She has a strong faith and also embraces being a woman and taking charge of our lives and strength. She is, in a word, AMAZING.
TEMPEST272002: She has lost 51 lbs and says she’s fallen in love with running and snowshoeing. She is also training for her first triathlon. She has shown me that it is possible to run, to open ourselves up to new worlds and therein lies the discovery of our true selves. She is honest with how difficult it can be at times, and also helps lift those up when they need it. She is a talented photographer and a wonderful wife. She is creative and led a challenge over Halloween that inspired ME to get into a Marilyn Monroe costume. She is an inspiration.
MOMFAN: Leona has lost 100 lbs. and has shown me that it’s consistency and hard work that gets you there. She is very strong in her faith and she leads the team Christians with 100 lbs. to Lose and helps us all to aspire what we dream to be. She taught me that it’s never too late for a new beginning, and that we are all beautiful creatures. I remember when I first joined her team I spark mailed her, asking what her secret was. I wanted her to tell me exactly what she was doing, so that I could follow her plan like a blueprint. She told me that I would find my own way, as she did. She gave me some helpful hints, but it was not a “do this, don’t do that” sort of thing that I wanted. She taught me that this is truly a lifestyle change, and no set of rules can get us to where we want to be and stay there.
To all of these beautiful ladies, I applaud you. Know that I visit your pages often and find much inspiration there. For those that may not know these ladies please visit their spark pages. I just know you’ll find inspiration there too.