Honoring Our 2011 Athletes

2011 Athleta Sponsored Athletes

As another year sprints toward the finish line and we gear up to announce the 2012 sponsored athletes in mid-January, we had to hit the brakes and pause for a tribute to our 2011 sponsored athletes…

Amy Becker Williams, Beth Risdon, Harriet Anderson, Jessica Bellofatto, Kristen Ulmer, Melissa Bowman Li, Michelle Sommers, Okiima Pickett, Tina Vindum, and Trish Downing kept us motivated throughout the year by sharing their accomplishments, insight, expertise and passion. We’re incredibly grateful and want each of them to end the year with a healthy dose of good chi from Team Athleta and our awesome community of women.

We invite you to contribute by commenting below with your reflections about how these women have helped you stay connected to the energy of inspiration. Whether you followed one athlete whose story clicked for you or found something to connect with in each of them, we’d love to hear your most memorable moments and offer these women a heartfelt dose of gratitude to take forward into whatever adventures they have in store for the future.

HONORING YOU! As a way to thank you, our community of chi readers, for supporting our sponsored athletes and engaging with them throughout the year, we’ve randomly selected 4 commenters to receive a $150 Athleta giftcard! Congratulations to our lucky winners – Ellen, Sarah, Lucyland, and Jody!

Click here for the official rules »

Comments

  1. Sara says:

    My most memorable moments: winning a 5k for the first time, finishing my first 50M race, finishing my first 100k race, taking over an hour off my marathon time, my daughter running her first 5k. I could go on and on! 2011 was a great year!

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  2. Robin Taylor Seitz says:

    I just started running this year and am constantly inspired by the women her on Athleta Chi. I read everything with a voracious appetite to learn more, know more, BE more! Thanks for inspiring me everyday!

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  3. Jamie K says:

    I had a baby this past year and reading all of the accomplishments helped me keep striving to get up and get moving. Thanks so much!

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  4. Rebecca says:

    Taking on a yoga practice in 2011 has been memorable to me! It has been an amazing way to stay fit and center myself. I also can share yoga with my two young sons by doing it with them. They love it!

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  5. Molly says:

    These women need to know that they represent and encourage women from all walks of life. I’d like to think that I see a little bit of myself in each of them; because as women, and as athletes, we are a sisterhood with a silent understanding of what makes each other tick! SO cheers to all of us who balance our hectic lives with taking care of ourselves, knowing that if we don’t get out and play, we’ll quite possibly just lose our sanity. Thank you, ladies!

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  6. Karen says:

    I love the “real life” stories of these fabulous women trying to keep it all in balance, work, family and working out. It’s so inspirational to see other women living a fit life and continuing to compete and enjoy athletics!

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  7. Loved Kristin Ulmer’s post on how changing her mind changed her skiing. I felt very in tune with that this year. Memorable moments for me included running my first 5k with a best friend, completely changing my skiing after taking a women’s adventure clinic (and learning how to rip it) and adding cross-fitting to my regimen. All of these contributed to a mind shift of improved confidence and all around excitement for life. Thanks for all the blogs that added to my experience!

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  8. Samantha Donahue says:

    Harriet Anderson. YOU AMAZE ME!!! I love the sport of triathlon and you inspire me to be more and do more. I loved following you and your blogs. KEEP IT UP!!!

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  9. Mary says:

    Thank you ladies for encouraging us and also showing us that you are human and have struggles too. Your amazing accomplishments remind me that I too can try new sports, new adventures, which also ‘re’inspires my own practice/sports. Top adventures that I’m proud of this year – I went commercial fishing in Alaska with my husband this year (his eleventh season on the boat). I was quite nervous with all of the unknowns and the grueling schedule but I wanted to go and share in this wild adventure and I’m so thankful I did. I appreciate his hard work even more and especially respect the women fisherman and families. I also spent a few weeks in Yosemite this fall and there were many nights that I camped and hiked with myself as my husband was climbing El Cap. I have to say that had I chosen not to take these adventures, I would have missed (the beauty of our world, meeting new people, confidence builders, etc.). I’m thankful for choosing ‘adventure’ and thankful for the women who have come before us to inspire all of us to reach for our own adventures – whatever that may be. Thank you Athleta for providing a forum for us to inspire one another. Blessings.

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  10. Caroline says:

    Way to go

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  11. abby pledger says:

    These stories motivated me to start swimming Masters again, to commit to a team and to commit to myself. I feel better than ever, am getting strong again after having two babies, and am once again connected to the water.

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  12. Jess says:

    All these women have been so motivating. Their background and stories have helped me continue to persue my professional degree in exercise physiology. Best wishes and keep up the wonderful inspiration to women (and men) everywhere!

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  13. Laney meyer says:

    After having 4 children In 7 years, my body wasn’t what it used to be. 8 months after the birth of my last and final child, I decided my daily runs weren’t making a difference in my weight loss goals. I started reading the stories of these women and was inspired to do something different. I took up yoga in addition to my daily runs and now have a full yoga practice in which I do almost every day. It has made a world of difference in my body but most importantly my mind. I am more fulfilled than ever and am starting my own yoga teacher training in March. Thank you to these wonderful, beaimutiful women for helping me make positive changes in my life.

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  14. Thank you for inspiring us
    Thank you for setting us into motion.
    Thank you for being honest about the challenges.
    Thank you for taking time for you as a role model to us.

    THANK YOU!

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  15. Mimi says:

    I would love to see the sponsored Athletes to show up in a catalog. Now that would be cool.

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  16. Theresa L. says:

    Thank you for everything that you do!!!!

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  17. Such an amazing group of ladies & athletes! Inspiring for us all. I so love that you chose Harriett too so people know that older people & women contribute as well AND can do so much as we age!!!

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  18. Heather Leonard says:

    I love how REAL these women are–everyday people doing incredible things. I just ran my first 50K this weekend. Never thought I would be able to say I’ve done an ultramarathon, but now I can. I’m always inspired by the everyday mom who pushes herself to achieve more. And I’m grateful for those women who make me believe I can do more, too!

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  19. I fell in love with Athleta clothing a few years back. I did not need yet another reason to love Athleta, but I find this sponsored athletes program and Chi blog to set Athleta apart. I am so inspired by strong women who make health and fitness a priority. I think we all know that prioritizing health is life changing, yet it is anything but easy in this day and age. Those that discover their inner runner, swimmer, cyclist, triathlete, marathoner, etc, are usually hooked for life. It is a game changer. And those women that seek this healthy lifestyle (all of us, and your sponsored athletes)do so much more than just make ourselves better. We influence our friends, our family members, and most importantly, our children to do the same. Kudos to Athleta for such a great program, and thank you sponsored athletes for motivating and inspiring all of us in 2011!

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  20. Rachel says:

    Thank you all so much for sharing your stories with us. Your triumphs and tribulations have inspired many women throughout the year. I, too, find pieces of myself imbedded in your stories, and have learned from your experiences to persevere, to work hard despite the obstacles, and to SMILE :-)

    May 2012 bring you much happiness and laughter, and may your athlete continue to shine.

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  21. Emily says:

    My husband and I are dedicated to setting an example and providing a healthy and fit lifestyle for our two young boys. The Chi blog updates on facebook are an integral part of keeping my spirits up and my motivation going… I love seeing how like-minded women are applying fitness and health to the everday aspects of their lives. The two articles I keep in my favorites bar and go back to consistently are We All Need to Play and Finding Your Fitness Mojo. The latter was just what I needed while training for my first half marathon! The former I shared with everyone I know – whether or not they have kids! We do all need to play. Keep up the great work Athleta!

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  22. Tricia says:

    It is so inspiring to know that Atheta supports these women in their goals and endeavors. They are all elite in their individual realm and are contributing to the well being of others. Job well done!

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  23. Julie says:

    Well, I have lost almost 100 lbs in the past year and a half, but I have to say that I’m in the best shape since I began running this summer. Never a runner, I decided to give it a try. I’ve done two 5k’s now and run about 30 miles a week…I’m so hooked. All these Athleta athletes are so inspiring, but of course my new contender skirt capri helped me to get my best time on my last race, and look good while doing it…thanks!

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  24. Liisa says:

    Congratulations!

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  25. Tess says:

    You are an amazing group of women!! Thank you so much for all you do to inspire all of us.

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  26. Tracy Floyd says:

    I think Okiima Pickett is awesome! Not only does she play for the DC Divas, but she works full time and is a single mother. In addition to the above, she received her Master’s Degree during the Divas’ season. I remember seeing a photo of her at her son’s concert in her Divas’ practice gear this year. I am truly inspired by her.

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  27. Melissa Romano says:

    Thank you for the constant inspiration. I will run my first half marathon in 8 weeks and will do so carrying with me the motivation and grace of each of you!

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  28. Kristi Wendt says:

    Thank you for honoring a group of true heroes! This is inspirational :)

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  29. Suzi berner says:

    As a triathlete, I have respected these womens stories and inspirations! Thanks so much for the motivation!

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  30. Sarah says:

    Thank you for your continued inspiration! It has completely changed the way I balance my life.

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  31. Grace says:

    Thank you for sharing stories from these awesome women! I just watched Harriet Anderson complete the Ironman World Championships what an inspiration to all of us out there.

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  32. Natalia says:

    I’m inspired by athletes like Harriet Anderson who are kicking major booty and staying fit into their older years! I have always aspired to be that way too. Keep it up!

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  33. Christina Escobar says:

    Thank you for inspiring women everywhere. YOU ROCK!!!

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  34. Heather says:

    I’ve loved reading Beth’s stories on her blog. Her sense of humor and “realness” with all situations makes anything seem possible!

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  35. Melanie says:

    I ran my first 5k last year, then ran two dashes. This coming year I hope to run a faster 5k by running a 5k every month. Thank you for inspiring others!

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  36. Erin C says:

    Reading these keeps me motivated. Ran my first marathon this year. Who would have guessed a sprinter would run a marathon? Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration.

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  37. Gwen says:

    Back in the day, I always said I would never run . . . even if someone were chasing me. Then I trained to do a Team in Training Marathon in 1999 to honor the memory of my son. Instead of walking, I ran. Not fast, but I ran. From there I did a second marathon, at least six halfs, 10-milers and so many 5Ks I’ve lost track. I practice yoga and do strength training as well. At age 64, I’m not focused on speed but on the joy of participating. Through running, I’ve made so many new friends and I’m constantly inspired to keep on going.

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  38. michelle says:

    I have the honor of working with each of these ladies so the moments of inspiration have been like an ocean this past year, ebbing and flowing constantly. Thank you all for generously sharing yourselves with us. I wish you an abundance of love, happiness and good health in 2012 and beyond. ♥ ♥ ♥

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  39. Julie says:

    I’ve been a fan of SUAR for a while and I love that Beth was one of your 2011 athletes! She is a huge inspiration and I love reading her stories and especially her tips.
    I’ll be running my first half in February and thanks to all of your athletes I’ve been able to stay focused and healthy during my training!

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  40. Laurel C says:

    All of these women and they’re amazing stories/blogs keeps me motivated to live a healthy active life, and love those all around me. They are real and relatable, and I feel like I know each of them personally. Keep up the amazing work, and I look forward to what is to come! Oh, and I am OBSESSED with Athleta and I would love to win! :) <3

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  41. Lisa Scheer says:

    These women are such an inspiration! Looking forward to hearing the stories of the 2012 athletes!

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  42. Caroline says:

    For the one who inspired me is Beth.
    She is in my age group. I look up to her. I admire how she came back from a really bad injury and never gave up and was able to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Like me she started this running thing later and she is an example for me that age does not matter !
    thank you Beth!

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  43. Lizbeth Estes says:

    Inspired…motivated…challenged…Thanks ladies!

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  44. Kaelin says:

    Thank you ladies for inspiring me to dream bigger, train faster, and push harder towards my own goals. As a newer fitness junkie, I got the running bug this Spring and ran my first 5k in May. I have run 2 more since, faster each time, and a fourth 4.5 mi race on Thanksgiving day. Two years ago I would have never thought I would be running 4.5 miles before my family’s turkey feast. Reading blogs keeps me inspired and motivated!!!

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  45. Carri says:

    All of these women are an inspiration……especially Beth with her down to earth, speak your mind blogs

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  46. Beth Risdon has kept me laughing and nodding in agreement and occasionally cringing (!) while Harriet Anderson is the athlete I can only hope to be when I grow up. Such an inspiration!

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  47. Donna F. says:

    These women all inspire me to keep striving for my goals no matter what obstacles I come across!

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  48. Adele says:

    I have been off track with exercising lately, but these women are very inspirational in teaching me to simply continue on the right path. They all have such inspiring stories!

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  49. Rachel T says:

    I am thankful to the Athleta ladies for sharing their struggles and triumphs as they worked to keep their lives in balance. Fitness, time for myself, and my running and yoga are often sacrificed to work and family. I’m glad I’m not alone in my efforts to keep the balance.

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  50. Mrs. Dagnar Kravitz says:

    It’s great to be running again! Thanks to Beth Risdon/SUAR and Athleta for motivating me!!!

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  51. Nicole says:

    Thank you to all the athleta sponsored athletes for the inspiration that normal women can be active and extraordinary.

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  52. Julie says:

    Thanks you to everyone, but an extra special thank you to Beth for being an inspiring woman and someone I call a friend despite never meeting face to face. I think that is the marker of a true woman of power, not just someone who leads, but someone another person can feel they would sit down to coffee with and just be accepted.

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  53. Cassandra h says:

    My biggest moment was finishing a half marathon 20 minutes under my expectation! Second was runningy sons, who’s was 5, first mile race with him. I love sharing my joy of running, especially with my kids. My biggest achievement is overcoming a long nagging injury. I’ve been chronically injured for two years and with the help of an amazing physical therapist, she found the root cause of my problem, which are bulging discs in my back. I’m under 30 and very slim, but this has taught me so much more and it has madero appreciate what I am able to do every day!

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  54. Vanessa Sutton says:

    Thanks to Harriet Anderson. She has inspired me to participate in my first half distance tri.

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  55. Helen Wanamaker says:

    2011 was merely the beginning of my life. My passion for cycling was further developed logging over 3000 miles on the road. I shaved 45 minutes off my time in the Tour of Scottsdale 70 mile race, raised money for homeless children and wounded warriors through riding. I could finally put my heels down to the mat on a Downward-Facing-Dog yoga pose and I can almost wrap my foot behind and around my calf during an Eagle pose.
    And what has also been really fun is when I walk into work or go out to dinner and someone says, “I know that dress! Athleta right?” And I feel like an Athleta Girl and begin contemplating my next challenge!

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  56. Nicci M says:

    I’m always touched by how ordinary people can do extraordinary things. It really motivates me!

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  57. Susan says:

    The women of 2011 were so inspiring!!! Thank you so much!

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  58. Karly says:

    Always inspired by stories of women who never stop raising the bar for themselves. Thank you.

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  59. Dash says:

    Another great year of inspiring women! Keep it coming!

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  60. Jenni Ortman says:

    Congratulations to all the athleta women; you are all so very inspiring and courageous. Thank you for being that inspiration to many women and making a difference.

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  61. Lisa Reedy says:

    Thank you to all of your women who provided me with inspiration this past year and helped me obtain my goal of not one but 2 half marathons this season. Their words kept me moving and helped me keep my sense of humor! Looking forward to an even bigger 2012 with 4 full marathons on the book… after losing 150 pounds I have a lot to make up for, and thrilled I can now look good wearing Athleta while doing it.

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  62. Beth says:

    Thank you Beth (SUAR) for being honest and awesome.

    I PRed the half marathon 5 months after having my first baby (1:41:45) and again 6 weeks later (1:39:41). So thankful to be back in shape, and to even have the ability and time to get out and run!

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  63. I also just started running and did my first half marathon a couple of weeks ago. I have read lots of posts from the ladies and they have all been inspiring. I also read SUAR (Beth’s blog) and there was one time in particular that she wrote about how it is easy to be unmotivated. It was at that time that I had had enough and I was getting injury after injury (unrelated to running) or sick or traveling alot and I was just so not motivated. It helped kick me back to life…and having her overcome a bad injury (okay, I’m a wimp compared to what she went through) to run at the Boston Marathon…well, that was a amazing.

    Kristen’s A Better Path was a great read. Sometimes, you do have to step back and say, “this is about me and not about what I’m obligated to do.” We have a saying in skydiving, “It’s best to be on the ground wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were on the ground.” There were times that I was training alot for my competition and in sketchy wind conditions. I rolled my ankle once and I never did that again.

    Plus, I just love reading about about the Bhutan Expedition. How awesome is that!

    Keep up the awesome work ladies.

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  64. Susan Moran says:

    Okay, truth be told, each and every one of these women inspire me. But, Melissa Bowman Li speaks to me as I am the mother of 2 little ones and have been trying to reclaim my body, too. She shows me that it’s truly possible to be in shape, great shape, even after multiple births! Thank you!

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  65. Sarah Kathryn says:

    Just recently I found Beth’s blog. I started running a year and a half ago. Now that I am training for a full marathon instead of just halves, her humor has helped me. Every morning my mantra truly is, Shut Up and Run!

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  66. Mary E. Kreis says:

    I am most impressed with the diversity of the Athleta Athletes! It is clear that Athleta did not choose these women because of their diverse backgrounds, but rather that this diverse group of athletes shows us that any woman, from anywhere, at any moment, can be willful and powerful in whatever goal she sets, whatever she chooses to conquer, or whatever challenge she is faced with in life! Thank you Athleta for sharing this inspiring women and their stories and lives with all of us! Mary

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  67. Tami Reilly says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories and reaching out to inspire women all over the globe!

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  68. Lisa Flynn says:

    Getting the Chi blog posts in my inbox makes me smile every time. And reviewing the bios of these incredible athletes and human beings inspires me to no end. These athletes inspire in ways that go well beyond physical athletic prowess. They are strong, positive thinking women who lead by example during competitions and daily life. What I love most is how these women support other women, using their abilities and voices to help improve the lives of others. Namaste ladies!

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  69. Renee says:

    Real women who find their spirit through the challenges life offers. These are my heros and inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing their stories.

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  70. Corrina Christensen says:

    What a year 2011 has been for me – and Athleta has helped keep me inspired: I joined a gym, started working with a trainer, began running, stopped smoking (!!) and in the process lost 38lbs and gained confidence and a new attitude on life. I have several favorite Athleta outfits and enjoy every entry by Athleta women. What a inspirational and wonderful lesson to learn from the goals and accomplishments of other women! Thank you for helping make this a spectacular year for me personally!

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  71. Lucyland says:

    Michelle has been an ambassador of Aloha throughout 2011 and I feel blessed by her virtual presence in my life. Thank you for inspiring me and I hope we see each other on the water someday :-)

    And my many thanks to the other Athletes who have reached out — your talents and skills encourage us folks to keep moving forward. All the best in 2012!

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  72. Lydia says:

    I’m new to this blog and find all these women a great inspiration…I’m looking forward to continue to be inspired by them in my plans for health and peace in 2012.

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  73. Jill says:

    Way to go, Ladies!! You are ALL an inspiration to me. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories!

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  74. Holly says:

    I so enjoyed Harriet’s posts! I also loved Jessica’s Yoga for Detox + was introduced to Beth’s blog that I follow faithfully now. Each and every one was so inspiring this year! Thank you!!

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  75. Trisha says:

    I am new to this site and really glad I stumbled upon it! I love reading about inspiring people/females/athletes and am excited when I receive a new post in my e-mailbox. I have no idea if I’ll win the gift certifiacte but need to share that the date you’re giving it away is my Grandmother’s birthday. She passed away last May and this will the first time I don’t send her a birthday card. That aside, she is an athlete who inspired me. She swam everyday until the last few months of her life and even medaled in a Senior Olympics swimming event. Thank you for providing inspiring stories especially when I don’t always feel like getting out and being active.

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  76. Shelly Weber says:

    My friend turned me on to Beth Risdons blog SUAR about a year ago. I have recently commited to a running routine and feel great. Love the daily dose of inspiration to keep me motivated and accountable. My friend and I are going to run our first half marathon in april. Heres to a running new year!!!

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  77. Kenda says:

    I loved reading posts from the athletes this year! This year allowed me the time to really cherish and value the way my body was intended to function, heal, and nurture. I welcomed my first son into my family and had a healthy, natural delivery which I am convinced that my athlete mind helped me achieve!

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  78. Janet from DC says:

    Where did the year go?! Thanks to all the ladies for their words of encouragement, training wisdom, motivation (hello Miss Harriett!) and sense of humor when the going gets tough (SUAR–love you Beth!) Loved the ladies of 2011 and am looking forward to meeting the 2012 athletes. Good health and peace to us all!

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  79. Fern says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THIS INSPIRING WOMEN, THEY ARE ALL ROCKSTARS! I love reading their stories of courage, strength, and athleticism. Thank you for sharing – they have inspired me to nurture my body, inspired me to go on a yoga/surf retreat (led by the lovely amazing beautiful Athleta ambassador Jessica Bellofatto!) and inspired me start my own blog on my own athletic endeavors! http://surfyogarunlive.tumblr.com Thank you, Namaste, and Happy Holidays to all!

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  80. Leslie says:

    All these women are very inspiring and I thank each of you for your time sharing your stories, thoughts and insights. It is really cool to read some of your articles and be able to relate and realize that other women are feeling or going through some of the same things that I am.

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  81. Melissa Palmer says:

    My longtime friend, Michelle Sommers, is a constant inspiration to me. She is an amazing friend. mom and athlete and she balances it all so well. I have enjoyed her blogs about getting out there and doing it, no matter what your mood or the weather. I look forward to taking another surf camp with her in summer 2012. Keep up the great work, Michelle!

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  82. Cathy says:

    HARRIET!!! If she can can compete in tri’s, there is no excuse for not doing my daily exercise routine.
    Seriously, I love reading CHI and find everyone inspirational!!!

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  83. Susan Nofi-Bendici says:

    Thank you Beth, for the inspiration and the laughs. I read SUAR religiously, but my favorite is something she wrote for Athleta Chi, “How to Be Mentally Strong”. I read it before every race!

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  84. Julie Dunlap says:

    Inspired to say the least. I love reading the blogs from Moms like me who are trying to get and stay fit and hel raise healthy kids at the same time! Had fun surfing with Michelle last summer to give it a go and am soooo excited to get out next summer!

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  85. Kristina says:

    You’ve inspired me to lose my post-twins-five-babies-in-five-years belly–all with style and grace!

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  86. Ellen says:

    This blog post has been a connector for me being inspired by amazing women athletes of every size, age, race, and background…which in turn has given me the energy and light to push my own limits and admire, congratulate, and encourage the other women I come across who are just doing what they can to live healthy active lives. Through athletic gains in training and getting the courage to compete again this year I always think of the women I read about, what they have accomplished, and that as women athletes we are like minded and share a special connection to see each other reach our full potential.

    I am doing things I never thought possible in former years!

    I want to still be competing years and years from now and age beautifully in athleticism. All these women I read about help support my belief in myself! Thank you!!!

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  87. Katie says:

    Thanks to all the women of Athleta Chi who have inspired me this year. I appreciate each of your unique qualities. Your lessons, stories and vulnerability has touched many of us. Thanks for the time you took to share with us. Grace and peace to you in 2012!

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  88. TK says:

    Amy always hits the nail on the head and inspires a life style we all can have if we set out to live it!

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  89. Jane says:

    Great job ladies and Athleta! Amy, I wish I could take a fishing trip to the mountains with you!

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  90. Jessica Novak says:

    Amy Williams has inspired me to love the outdoors. I enjoy every minute I spend outside exercising.

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  91. Mary Kauffman says:

    Amy is such an inspiration in my life! She is so pretty and has a great appreciation for the outdoors. She’s my motivation for moving towards a healthy lifestyle!!

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  92. Katherine says:

    These ladies are such an inspiration to me everyday, especially when I am not motivated to workout. I think of their success and the strength and mental capacity it must have taken to get to where they are today. Whether it’s going to the gym or doing an at-home workout, every workout matters!
    Thank you ladies for being such a wonderful inspiration to me and everybody else out there. Keep up the hard work and motivation and continue to help others along the way!! :)

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  93. B Siehr says:

    Here’s to you ladies! You all have changed more than one life over the course of a year, including mine. I’m set to run my first marathon in May of 2012 due to the inspiration you have provided over the last year. Thank you.

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  94. Cindy says:

    Well…..Honestly, I haven’t worked out in over a year and a half. I have biked in a century ride, run a 5k, and been at my ideal weight. I am not there now. I went back to school at 37 and got my Master’s Degree. I am now a Licensed Professional Counselor. One would think that I would have been able to counsel myself back into healthy habits, but truth of the matter is, I am scared that I won’t be able to do it. I am hoping for inspiration here, to lose weight, to get up early and get moving, to run a 5k in May/June, and to find time for me in the midst of raising children and helping others change their lives. I need someone to encourage me, challenge me, and believe in me like I believe in my clients :) It is Christmas morning and my husband got me two new shirts from Athleta. I love them and want to USE them to get fit, healthy, and regain that self confidence in my athletic and discipline abilities that has waned over the past few years.

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  95. Shannon says:

    Thank you for the inspiration to begin running again! I got my mom five new Athleta Rashguards for Christmas today to remind her how much she inspires me!

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  96. Heidi says:

    Although I prefer more solo sports like surfing, paddling and running, I find Okiima Picket’s story very inspiring. she not only overcame adversity to succeed in her sport, but also continues to give back and stay at the top of her game.

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  97. I remember first stumbling upon the sponsored athletes on the Athleta site and being glued to each story reading them over and over in awe. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading excellent motivating tips on how to fuel my mind, body, and spirit. So many of your words resonate and inspire me as a triathlete, mother, wife, grandmother and teacher. Your experiences are remarkable and prompt me to soak up and apply your wisdom to my training which has helped me to become a stronger person and athlete. Being surrounded with like-minded people has truly helped me stick to my fitness goals and push myself to to compete at a level I never dreamed I could at this stage in my life. I went from competing in 2 triathlons a year to 7 this year and podiumed in 6! I am blown away by such amazing women and grateful for your time and energy spent influencing and impressing upon women the keys to success in reaching our goals.

    Harriet, you are truly astonishing. I have re-read your story, accomplishments and goals countless times in awe. I had the pleasure of meeting you after I raced Alcatraz S.F. this year in August. You were selling cycle-wear for a friend at one of the stalls with your husband. Just being in your presence for the five mins of my shopping adventure made me grin from ear to ear knowing that I had read about you on Athleta. Your energy and vibe was magnetic. I hope I can be like you as I grow older as an athlete. I have always wondered at what age would I hang up running and working out so hard. Would it be 50, or 60 years of age? After reading about you, I know I will continue to run as long as I have legs to stand on. Ridson, you crack me up ! Running is my least favorite part of training but you have taught me how to keep my running mojo alive! Okiima, as a woman of color and a similar story, thank you for your efforts to motivate and inspire teen mothers. I have always said that when I retire, I want to work with teenage mothers but why am I waiting? My goal for 2012 is to get started on that goal now. You have showed me that juggling a career, family and personal passions are very difficult to do but CAN be done. Thanks to all you brave, hardcore, inspiring women with true grit.

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  98. Doneen von Netzer says:

    Amy Williams is such an inspiration to me. I work with her everyday and I love her energy she brings to work everyday. I just found out this year that I have stage one breast cancer and I am in treatment to kick this cancer. I made a feel good purchase and it was the Bettona Boyfriend Pants and I LOVE them! I have enjoyed these pants so much I ordered a second pair and I wear them to all my treatments!

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  99. marilena says:

    i think it’s great to have such inspiring women and great athletes in your featured list. it is inspiring to “regular” women who are not past championship athletes or elite athletic types to see that even normal people can adopt and live healthy, active lives. i am a primary physical and health education teacher and i like to encourage my students to be the best that they can be, regardless of the level of their “athleticism.” Physical fitness is not exclusive to “athletic-looking” people….so i am trying to send a message about achieving personal bests and leading a healthy, active life. Personal fitness does not have to look a certain way, but rather it has to feel like a lifestyle.

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  100. Leah says:

    Congratulations to all the athletes and to the athletes in every one of us!

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