Friday FITspiration: The Most FITspiring Stories of 2012
Here at runladylike.com, Fridays are all about sharing the inspiring stories of fit people who motivate all of us to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday. My Friday FITspiration series profiles runners, triathletes and casual exercisers who are making choices every day to be as healthy as they can be – in both huge ways and through simple, small victories. Their stories are about the journey of transforming from ordinary to extraordinary each and every day.
Since it is officially the last Friday of 2012, I thought we should take a look back at some of the most inspiring stories I profiled as part of the series this year. Here are 5 of my favorites (in no particular order) that really stood out and taught us all something about becoming better people and better athletes.
1. From 240 Pounds to 2:57 Marathoner: Matt Verley (@mverley)
That isn’t a typo in the headline. Matt Verley has run a marathon in less than 3 hours. But he wasn’t always in the shape he is today. Finding himself overweight after college, Matt joined a fitness challenge at work that introduced him to running. Within 15 months he’d dropped from 240 pounds to 170 and has become an incredible runner. This new dad is now a coach with a 1:20 half marathon PR and a 2:57 marathon PR. Read Matt’s story here.
- Why Matt runs: “I run because it’s who I am. The health benefits, the competitive passion and the chance to take in a golden sunrise on a frosty winter morning are some of the reasons.”
2. Running through Deployment: Melissa from Marrying the Army (@MilliGFunk)
Melissa used running to get her through the 9 difficult months apart from her husband while he was serving our country in Afghanistan this year. During this time, she ran 19 races (7 of those were half marathons). Read her amazing story here.
- Why Melissa runs: “I run because it empowers me, gives me confidence and is something that no one else can do for me or take credit for. I’ve earned every mile I’ve run.”
- Melissa’s mantra: “Endurance. Character. Hope.”
3. A Complete Lifestyle and Health Transformation: Monica from Run Bang Run (@runbangrun)
This new runner ran her first half marathon this year after spending years feeling empty and being overweight. She has completely changed her life and is inspiring people everywhere to do the same. Read her story and words of encouragement here.
- Why Monica runs: “I run because I can. At my heaviest weight, around 250 pounds, I could hardly even walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. I never in my life thought I could run, let alone would do so by choice. So I run for my former self. I run for all of the people who are physically unable to run. I run because I can.”
- Monica’s mantras: “Don’t give up!” and “Just keep going!”
4. From Smoker to Half Marathon Runner: Sean Hartigan (@SeanHarts)
Sean started his running and weight-loss journey for his 2 daugters. Once 250 pounds and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, Sean was down to 175 pounds when I profiled him in September, and he’s since run his first half marathon, blowing his goal time out of the water! Check out Sean’s story here.
- Why Sean runs: “I run because my kids need me to be around for them!”
- Sean’s mantras: “You are better today than you were yesterday.” “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” “One more kilometer [or mile], and you’ve earned a beer!”
5. Losing Weight with Determination and Running: Jimmy Kinney (@JimmyKinney1)
More than 6 years ago, Jimmy weighed 289 pounds. After many years of what he calls yo-yo dieting, he lost 100 pounds in a year by making small, simple changes and through running. Jimmy has continued to shed those pounds and ran 240 days in a row before getting sidelined with a shin injury. Jimmy reminds us that it’s never too late to be the best we can be. Read his story here.
- Why Jimmy runs: “I run because it sets me free. Each run is mine and no one can take it away from me but me. It really keeps me centered.”
- Jimmy’s mantra: “Run free and every damn day.”
Do you know someone who would be a great candidate for Friday FITspiration in 2013? Or do you have an inspiring story to share? Email me at email@example.com for more information.
What story or stories most inspired you during 2012? Where will you look for inspiration to keep you motivated to achieve your fitness goals in 2013?