"I wanted to get my body and my heart in shape, but I joined [Green Ridge Recreation Center in Roanoke County] partly for the mental part. I meet people who become my friends and it is social for me. We have lunch and sometimes travel together. I try to meet two or three people a day.”
"For as long as I can remember, sports have been the one true love of my life. But for the last 14 years, I’ve struggled with chronic knee pain that has kept me from playing hard on the field, and at times, from playing at all. Staying active (to whatever level I could) kept me sane on my worst days, and continues to keep me calm, focused, and steady as I work my way through graduate school. The routine of exercise, the push of physical exertion, and the social bonds of a team keep me mentally strong, allowing me to fight whatever physical pain may come my way."
"My friends started taking me to our local mall on Tuesday mornings for pole walking. It was a challenging, but wonderful experience. I was able to connect with people, who were experiencing the same struggles and successes as I was. When I commented that I was “pretty tippy” and another person said “ We’re all pretty tippy here” I didn’t feel so alone. I had never met other people who had survived a stroke before and it was wonderful to talk to them over coffee, get tips and talk about shared experiences.
"I wouldn't be able to achieve all the things I was trying to achieve in my life if I wasn't at the peak of fitness.
"My mom always encouraged my brothers and I to play sports. My dad played soccer at UNC and my mom played field hockey, lacrosse and was a high diver at WCU. Athletics is in our blood. It was always our choice if we wanted to participate or not, but it brought my parents (especially my mom) so much joy to watch us play. The lessons I learned from athletics are countless. I learned how to be a good teammate, to deal with coaches I didn’t agree with, to take care of my body, to bounce back after an injury, to be a leader, to be a cheerleader, to be a coach and it gave me the opportunity to visit new places and meet new people. Athletics also taught me how to set goals and follow through. In high school I set a goal to play field hockey in college on an athletic scholarship and I did just that at James Madison University. I have my mother to thank for exposing me to field hockey and fanning the flame of passion that was ignited in me."
"I am 26 now and fitness has become more than important in my life, it's what my life revolves around. I started running, casually, four or more years ago and in the last two and a half years have joined a triathlon club in Edmonton, Kinsmen Triathlon Club (KTC). I have raced several Olympic Distance Triathlons and this June I will be heading into my first Half Ironman: Boulder 70.3. Training is such an amazing and important part of my life, physically, mentally and also socially. I met my best friends through KTC and I look forward to workouts daily. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without triathlon and the amazing community I have found.
"Why I move, I move to become the best possible version of myself, physically and socially. Every day presents another opportunity to better myself!"
"What I want to say to others is: run for sport, run for health, run for a cause, run for fun, run alone, or run in a crowd. Running is personal and can be shared at the same time. When we run, it doesn't matter how much money we have in the bank or what car we drive. When we run, our age, gender, race and sexual orientation do not matter. When we run, we are all the same."