Mother’s Day Contest for All Mothering Spirits

MEET THE WINNERS! Thank you to everyone who entered our Mother’s Day Contest for All Mothering Spirits. Entries closed at 5:00p PT on May 6th, 2013.

Whether you entered for your mom, yourself, your best friend, wife, or anyone whose mothering spirit has touched you, we were astonished by the stories we received. Our team of judges cherished reading each of the 813 entries before deciding on the final winners. It wasn’t easy, but it was a very rewarding process. Now, we’re excited to announce the five winners! Click the links below to read their entries…

JILL is a mothering spirit and international healthcare physician with a passion for social justice. Her goal is to model fitness in the tough environment of Africa and inspire the children of Sierra Leone to be healthy through exercise… Read Jill’s entry »

RONNIE BOWER is a mom who wants to train for and run a marathon so her young son can witness the challenges involved, see her come through the other side and, through her, know that all women are strong… Read Ronnie’s entry »

AMY THOMPSON, nominated by her loving husband, is mother to two sons with special needs. She committed (and re-committed) to finding her inner athlete in recent years, and now wants to try a tri… Read Stephen’s nomination »

KARYN GALLAGHER is a lifelong rower who wants to improve her fitness, but her real goal is to get in shape to revisit her family’s roots and climb Mt. Knocknarea in Ireland with her 12-year-old daughter, as she did in 1988 with her own father… Read Karyn’s entry »

MAGGIE SWEENEY decided to stop putting off her own fitness goals when she realized (thanks to some “tough love” from her five year-old son) that she wanted to be “somebody important” in the eyes of her children… Read Maggie’s entry »

CONGRATULATIONS to all the ladies who won here on the chi blog and in their local Athleta store. Our Performance Stylists are honored to outfit each winner for her fitness goal, and our fitness experts will be a resource to help with advice and motivation. We’ll keep you updated as these ladies work toward realizing their goals so you can help us cheer them on.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and mothering spirits!

♥ Team Athleta

Enter for a chance to WIN this Mother’s Day!

A Mother’s Day Contest for All Mothering SpiritsWomen spend a lot of time doing for others. So we’re celebrating this Mother’s Day with a giveaway that will inspire all mothering spirits to pursue their long-awaited fitness goals. Share your own or a friend’s goal with us, like running a half marathon or taking up backpacking for the first time. We’ll pick five lucky winners on Mother’s Day and outfit each with the goodies she needs to accomplish it.

How to Enter

Think about your own or a friend’s long-awaited fitness goal. When you’re ready, post your entry in the comment field below, telling us about the goal and how we can help you or your friend achieve that goal. Be sure you’ve entered a correct email address so we can contact you if your entry is selected.


One entry per person. Entries must be submitted in the comments field below by 5:00pm PT on Monday, May 6th. The winner will be announced here on the Chi Blog on or before Mother’s Day on May 12th, 2013. Read the Official Rules for details »


Five (5) winners will be chosen by a team of judges representing Athleta. Judges will select the best entries based on creativity, quality and their overall impression of the submission. (Hint: Entries that elicit tears, laughter and/or goose bumps are usually a hit with our judges.)

Prize Details

Each winner will receive a personalized Athleta apparel package valued at up to $400 retail. Our Performance Stylist will work with each winner to select the perfect gear to outfit her fitness goal.

Good luck!

♥ Team Athleta


  1. wendi says:

    Hello esteemed Judges,

    First, I want to tell you that I love Athleta sportswear, and only wear your swimsuits. I am an aspiring paddle boarder and am entering my first race on Mother’s Day weekend in Key West (KWPBC). BUT, this submission is not about ME. I am writing you about my sister. My sister has struggled with her weight and fitness her entire life of 33 years. She is in shape, out of shape, in shape….. anyhow, in December 2012, my sister’s boyfriend whisked her away to CO for a romantic snow boarding weekend….and proposed on Saturday Dec. 8, 2012. Our family was SO excited; until the next day. My father suffered a massive heart attack on Dec 9, 2012 and passed away immediately. My mother found him in the house returning from the park with my sister’s 2-year old (she was watching her while my sister was having the most amazing weekend …). None of us had the chance to say goodbye. We had to tell my sister over the phone and cut her long weekend to just 48 hours, turning joy into extreme sadness (telling her was my job and a phone call I will never, ever forget). The weeks and months have gone by very slowly and were filled with difficulty. My sister moved into my mother’s home to help her, and has been focusing on her and not herself or her wedding. She is delaying the planning because, as she tells me, she wants to become fit and lose weight (she is still carrying her weight from her pregnancy) to feel good about herself and look pretty in her wedding dress. She is trying very hard, but a little motivation and some confidence will help her. Plus a little fun and good news is just what our family needs. She is my sister; and I love her. Thank you.

    ~Reader Favorite~ Like: Thumb up 159

  2. Megan La Vallee says:

    Dear Athleta,
    I am an active person, on the move everyday, whether it is during my workout (which I cannot do without), enjoying a weekend hike, or weaving between the desks in my classroom, with my senior students getting ready to face graduation. My goal is to continue my fitness and to take my fitness goals abroad, I love to explore new terrain and so does my mother. She has shared her love of the outdoors with me, and our goal is to trek across new territory for us, and see all that is to offer. Through new experiences a person allows themselves to stretch and grow, broaden their horizons and open their perspectives.
    Thank you

    Like: Thumb up 6

  3. Cheryl says:

    I was never an athlete nor did I care about what I ate. Growing up, it was never something that was valued in my family resulting to bad eating habits and physical inactivity. I didn’t realize how important health really was until I had to deal with the physical consequences of such kind of lifestyle and being on extended medical bedrests with my 2 pregnancies. I lost my first pregnancy to stillbirth. My second pregnancy resulted to 27 weeker twin girls who had to stay in the NICU for 3 1/2 months. Both circumstances often made me wonder if things would’ve turned out differently if I had valued my health and have been physically strong enough or healthy enough to handle my pregnancies.

    For a good long while I lost myself to the negative voices. I stayed down defeated by my post pregnancy weight and emotional wounds. I ate my feelings a lot and just stayed in bed. I was not “present” in my marriage and I isolated myself from my friends. I kept focusing on the lost and almost missed the two precious 2-pounder miracles that were unfolding before me, the ones who fought to live against all costs.

    Fast forward to now, my ex-27 weeker girls are now healthy, happy almost 4-years old wonders and they showed me that you can fight even if all the odds are stacked against you. Their lives lived showed me that I cannot stay down. They have a whole lifetime ahead of them and they need a strong, healthy mom to take care of them, teach them and nurture them. Because of them, I am currently training to complete my first marathon, a major feat to accomplish to a still non-athlete mama like me. My girls fought hard to be here and this commitment back to health will allow them to have the kind of mom they deserve!

    Athleta, will you support me in conquering this mountain for my girls?

    ~Reader Favorite~ Like: Thumb up 40

  4. Fiona says:

    Early this year I took a chance to go on a camping/yoga retreat on my own on Oahu’s North Shore. I needed some sun and relaxation time. This was the perfect excuse. I did yoga for 6 hours straight each day including paddleboard yoga. By the end I felt enlightened. I now have plans to attend yoga teacher training with Shiva Rea in California. I didn’t expect to travel this far down this path but at the moment I feel like I just can’t get enough of yoga…I feel that everyone should have the opportunity to live their life to the fullest and enjoy everything it has to offer. Yoga is a great vehicle to experience this.

    Like: Thumb up 9

  5. Maura says:

    Four months ago, my mother lost my step-dad one month (to the day) shy of what would have been their 25th wedding anniversary. After an abusive first marriage, I hoped this marriage and their retirement would bring them each the time to enjoy each other without so many other concerns to get in the way.

    Unfortunately, life had other plans. My brother developed debilitating mental and emotional issues and had to move back home. In addition, she has rheumatoid arthritis and two bouts of breast cancer, and my step-dad went through a series of cancers (two melanomas and prostate) as well as a benign tumor on his neck that nearly left him paralyzed.

    Throughout it all, their love for each other was unwavering (although not without its occasional bickering as all healthy couples do, like “why can’t we buy the mayonnaise at Vons where it’s cheaper?” “Because I know exactly where it is at our market and I can get it quickly,” or the time they were ready to get another dog after they lost theirs and Dad’s only rule was that the dog could not be so large that Mom could not lift it as it got on in years… of course, Mom came home with an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy who would grow to be a sprite 100 pound ball of love and energy).

    I have been trying to get her out and be more active, but she has lost a great deal of weight, has had a mastectomy so is self conscious and because she is so frail and doesn’t interact with people, very much, she is fairly shy. Mom really needs something (whether that be classes or clothes or coaches) who will help guide her along a journey of discovering the joy of doing something only for herself.

    I cry as I write this because although I can push her in the right direction, having loving people help her along the way, who will always be by her side, coaching, mentoring, teaching, in a way that is non-judgmental (and is, importantly, getting her to interact with people outside her family) is really the best thing she needs right now.

    I honestly think that if we can find loving friends within the Athleta community to reach out to a phenomenal woman (she helped break through so many sexist blockades by becoming a doctor when most women were looking for husbands, putting three kids through college on her own, taking a corporate job to ensure she would always have an income for her family, even though she was making half as much as her male counterparts) could be the greatest gift anyone’s ever given her. I know it would be the best gift I could wish for her.

    In short, it’s a rough time in her life and she isn’t prone to doing any of the things she should but maybe, just maybe, with a bit of a rally, we can save a life. Literally.

    ~Reader Favorite~ Like: Thumb up 52

  6. Jill says:

    Mother’s Day usually makes me sad as I don’t have children of my own, but this year I have a lot to celebrate. In an effort to marry my training as a physician, my passion for social justice, and my thirst for adventure, several months ago I started working with an incredible organization in Sierra Leone, Africa called Wellbody Alliance. We provide healthcare and microfinance opportunities for patients in one of the poorest, sickest countries in the world and focus on issues such as HIV, Tuberculosis, amputee health, and maternal and child health. The infant mortality rate here is almost 20% (it is 0.4% in the US) and, as a pediatrician, I had two babies die in my arms last month for unknown reasons as I don’t have the proper equipement to diagnose and treat many conditions.

    Life here is hard. At the end of my long work days, I really need to blow off steam and rejuvinate my mind and body with exercise. I run a good deal on these dirt roads in the district of Kono, and it is HILARIOUS as all the village kids yell “white man” at me as I run (I am frequently the ONLY white person within hundreds of miles) and try to run with me barefoot in their tattered clothes. Recently, I was doing a yoga video in my house and turned around to see dozens of little faces at my window, marveling at all my bending and loud breathing. I took my practice outside at sunset that night and led a giggling group of village children in a series of sun salutations on the svannah.

    So, my fitness goals for this spring are simple. Number one is to stay fit in this tough environement. Some yoga and running clothes for extreme hot weather and humidity would be very much appreciated. But more importantly, I want to impart a respect for self and body in these kids who I care for and live with. I know many of them will die from infections, malnutrition, or accidents, and I will tend to them in illness, but I also want to teach them health through exercise. Some yoga mats for the savannah or some kid-sized clothes would be such a bonus!

    As you can see, Mother’s Day this year is a big deal! I have hundreds of children to keep healthy and love. Namaste and thanks, Athleta.

    ~Reader Favorite~ Like: Thumb up 89

  7. Susan Nappi says:

    I am a mother of two young girls. I have always been an active person but have only recently taken up yoga. It has opened up an entirely new world for me. At the same time I am facing losing my job next year. I am on a grant funded project that examines barriers to cancer screening in ethnic minority women and the grant will be up next year. My career has always focused on helping others and I have always recognized the necessity of keeping strong. Until yoga, I have always danced or ran to keep grounded and healthy. Now, I am finding the deeper meaning in being fit and in the practice of yoga. It is helping me face the uncertainty of my job loss and perhaps go in a new direction. Although I am relatively new to the practice, I am going to start classes to obtain my yoga certification this July. I am nervous, excited, anxious, elated….all of the above. This year, Mother’s Day is about celebrating myself in my entirety and preparing myself for whatever may unfold.

    Like: Thumb up 9

  8. Hi there,
    I’m 49 years young and all because my dad got me into running in grammar school. i have exercised as much as 7 times a week and as little as 3 from that young age. exercise has given me the confidence to try all types of challenges in life and has made me a better person. i love all sports but recently have found ballet fitness . it really works for me and let me tell you it is not for the faint at goals now as i’m heading towards the next 50 years of my life are to stay fit and try a few things on my bucket list. marathon,soul cycling, and yoga., the kind of yoga that can make me twist my body into a pretzel. at my age flexibility is no easy feat.oh yeah ..and paddle boarding. and maybe that hand stand on a surf board.
    just to name a few. i no longer have small children so i’m going back to school to become a nurse. i feel it’s a great way to help people focusing on nursing homes. i love and respect the elderly. i realize that age is all about smoke and mirrors. no matter how much your body changes, your mind still feels like a young woman. not fair, but true. i want to give older people the respect they deserve that is so often forgotten by our youth. that being said,i have alot to do so better get started,i hope i have fifty years left to do this and before i get moving a vacation that is a gift would rejuvenate my mind and soul to prepare me for this next journey.
    forever young,

    Like: Thumb up 4

  9. Kelly says:

    I just want to write about the most amazing lady. I think/hope that we all have someone in our lives like this whether as in my case it’s our mother or just a special aquaintence. My mother is one of those people of who gives out with no expectation of getting back. She has spent my whole life paying it forward to everyone around her. She has taken care of my niece who has CP and is now 16 since the moment she came into the world. Three years ago she was diagnosed (well actually they haven’t a name for the disease) with polyfibromyalgia. It is a disorder where your body immune system attacks itself alot like lupus. Most mornings she can barely move and for a long time she couldn’t get herself down onto the toilet to pee! Her joints are so stiff and brittle that she has had to give up the yoga that she has done for years and loves. But she never complained. She has been on prednisone for 2 years and finally they are starting to back her off of it. She is in so much pain every day but she never complains. The biggest worry to her through this has been to keep a healthy body and not put on weight. And she hasn’t – in spite of the drugs she has managed to keep herself within 10 lbs of her lifelong healthy weight. If this were not enough my dad is scheduled for open heart surgery next month because according to the doctors if they don’t operate he will have a life ending heart attack in the next 6 months. Even though she can barely walk in the mornings my mom gets my dad out and walks with him 1 – 2 miles every morning before she goes to work. To augment my dad’s paycheck she works for a disabled service and cares for multiple disabled clients every wk and never complains when the clients constantly call her at home and ask for off the clock favors. She is a grandmother of 7 and manages to spread the love all around! In my youth I was jealous of her propensity to be a mother to every we knew but in finally growing up I realize that it is who she is; She is a giver – a hero.
    I would give her the world if I could but about the best I can do are accolades and a good hug as often as possible!!

    Like: Thumb up 9

  10. Judi says:

    I wrote a Haiku.. A little silly, but true. You don’t need a lot of words to talk about the power of being fit — as well as comfortable/ looking great while you’re doing it!

    Wearing Athleta.
    Feeling happy, well and strong.
    You are what you feel.

    Like: Thumb up 18

  11. PhillyLass says:

    My best friend has been slowly but steadily working her way back to her old exercise routine after a breast cancer diagnosis, a mastectomy, and a post-surgery infection that nearly killed her. Now, she’s back to hiking and hoping to get back to the gym and to pilates and her pre-diagnosis level of fitness. She’s awesome and an amazing inspiration to everyone who has seen her fight for her health with such dignity and grace– especially for her three young daughters. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of some Mother’s Day pampering Athleta-style!

    Like: Thumb up 8

  12. CB says:

    I had my beautiful son when I was 16. He is my heart and soul! It was not an easy time raising him. Looking back I’m not sure how I even did it! We met amazing people that helped us along in life whether it be a place to live or someone to take care of my son so I could work full time. Lots of ups and downs. Good times and bad. We grew up together! He has made me the person I am today. My son will be 27 on 5/5. I am now in my 40s and not time for me to figure out who I am. Almost like going through puberty again. I am warm weather girl and love being outside in Summer. I love running but have been side tracked by a back issue. I’ve tried SUP which was alot of fun and can’t wait to try again! I recently forced myself to try hot power yoga. I’m a new Yogi and can see and appreciate the beauty in it. Being active is very important to me and I have my Mom (breast cancer survivor) to THANK for that. She had me in dance as a little girl and was always an active lady herself . I love Athleta clothes! I am a regular shopper Actually I wear Athleta almost every day. I work part time at a gym and Athleta pants are part of my uniform! My goal is staying active and trying new things. Working on getting in shape for summer and hoping to purchase some cute bathing suits really soon! Thanks Athleta and all that you do! CB

    Like: Thumb up 4

  13. Kelly Chevalier says:

    I am blessed to be a mother of two beautiful and healthy daughters as well as lucky enough to have three amazing sisters too. Being a family of strong females, my sisters and I are trying to raise our children (4 girls and only one boy collectively) to be healthy and mindful in our everyday choices and activities. My youngest sister is the last to get married and is set to do so early October this year. As sisters we support one another and to help our baby sister up her fitness and shed those last 20 stubborn pounds, we her sisters and her other bridesmaids have taken on the challenge of doing the Big 10-10K this July at solider field. (Personally, I am aspiring to finally compete in my first full ironman triathlon have done countless sprint, Olympic, and even two ironman 70.3′s in addition to countless running races including 5 marathons in the past 5 years. ..) I find great responsibility being an athlete/triathlete who seems to have figured out this “health &fitness puzzle” (although I might not always have the the pieces together myself!!) to help my family and friends accomplish their wellness and fitness goals. My main objective is in communicating that these “goals” whatever they might be to an individual are not destinations but a continuous journey that they will be enjoying for the duration of the time they have on this earth. With tomorrow never promised, I strive and try to help others, including my sisters as well as daughters, to live each day with all their might and striving to be the best person they can be- to both others as well as themselves! As my family, girlfriends, and I prepare for this upcoming 10K and wedding, my hope is that we all drive to focus less on the goal itself and more on the destination and preparation that is takes us to get there! Along the way I hope, Lord willing, to celebrate this Mother’s Day with my fabulous daughters and sisters, as well as in years to come by keeping healthy and happy! And who knows, maybe next year I’ll be celebrating this special day by getting a tattoo to recognize my next up and coming challenge!??!

    Like: Thumb up 2

  14. I consider myself a fit, young, grandma at 59, but it all started a long time ago before getting fit was savy. It started with nutrition classes as a young divorced mother with 2 children. I taught them how to eat healthy at an early age. I took up aerobics in the Jane Fonda era and have worked out now for the past 40 years, albelt changed some of those incorrect body positions and routines. My work has been in the medical industry helping others to get what they needed or as an occupational therapist providing care. I just discovered Athletica and have found out how much fun your gear is for SUP, Zumba, powerwalking or working out at the gym. Plus, I still get to look and feel good! Just lost my Mom 6 months ago, and would like to continue my role as a good health example, but in style. It would be a great way to celebrate Mother’s and Grandmother’s Day! Thank You.

    Like: Thumb up 4

  15. Di hebgen says:

    I LOVE ATHLETA. ATHLETA loves my body!
    My body loves yoga! My broken spine……..
    My fibro muscles,
    I hike the canyon in ATHLETA ,
    Swim the ocean in ATHLETA
    Meditate in ATHLETA.
    I wear ATHLETA in Lululemon and Lucy,
    I wear ATHLETA in my big classes.
    Everyone stares at me,
    Cause it looks good on me,
    Supports me, performs for me,
    Comforts me
    In my pains of life
    ATHLETA is my comfort zone
    And I’m broke and
    Would love to win this give Away
    ATHLETA comforts my spirit who so lives
    In so much pain.
    My best foot is forward and my smile
    Looks good in ATHLETA

    Like: Thumb up 6

  16. Brooke says:

    I have never been the type of person who loves(or even likes) to exercise. I struggle with motivation, energy and a sense of well being.
    I am a mother of two great kids(7 and 13) and a wonderful husband. I am also a Registered Nurse and know the importance of exercise and diet., but my personality is such, that I have always been more concerned about the people around me and not myself. All my focus and energy are put into my family, leaving very little at the end of a day for me.
    Recently the Hospital I work at had offered a stipened to join our newly opened YMCA, all you had to do was go once a week. I figured I could handle at least that. Well, one day has turned into three! My kids started the Youth Bootcamp program and I get to work out while they do their 45 minute work out. My husband has started going as well and attends 3-5 days a week.
    I now feel inspired, energized and like a new person. All my old aches and pains have turned into new and different ones, but now I know they are good aches and pains. They are of accomplishment and not laziness or self pity.
    I have always loved the Athleta brand, ordered beautiful items and returned them just as fast, as I did not have the confidence to “strut my stuff” in them. With a new outlook on life and indulging in a little time for myself, there is nothing I would like more than to proudly sport an Atleta outfit at MY new gym!

    Like: Thumb up 6

  17. Ashley Driscoll says:

    After my divorce in 2010, I decided I would begin the long, arduous journey back to healthy living. I was always thin in my earlier years and loved to run after school and had always wanted to be involved in sports in high school but my family could never afford the cost. As I grew older, got married and had my 3 children, my fitness level came and went with the tides. I had always loved the idea of being healthy and active but due to a demanding work schedule it just became out of sight and out of mind.Years later I unexpectedly met the love of my life, while trying to get my life back on track and with this new relationship, I discovered canoeing, camping, archery and so many other kool outdoor activities. I was reborn and began to take charge of my health once again. I had lost the will to connect with my body and to respect all the intricacies that encompass it. As I began my journey back, my fiancée suffered a heart attack at 35 due to a 17 yr love affair with smoking. It is true that the decisions you make not only affect you but those around you and those that come into your life. For 2 and 1/2 years now, I have had the pleasure to be a part of his life and watch his transformation from being a smoker to a non-participant with a regained sense of determination and renewal. It has greatly impacted my own choices and my love for him and my 3 children. Taking charge of your own wellness is each of our responsibility but more than that it is a gift, that if taken care of and watched over, can bring a sense of peace in mind and body that is beyond priceless. Though I have just begun my journey with Athleta I look forward to visiting the new store in Cincinnati at Kenwood when I visit my children. I am in Cleveland, Ohio and I hope that we are targeted for an opening here as well. In the mean time I plan to Stay Strong/ Think Strong/Play Strong! Be well and thank you for the chance to share my story. ;)

    Like: Thumb up 3

  18. Erin says:

    I read each of the comments so far….and each one makes me cry.
    Each story so heartfelt and many devastating….Puts things into perspective yet again…
    I just want to say, “Thank you!”
    I am finally coming out of MY fog…My heart grieves in loss & change but has decided it is time to start living again.
    Not only for myself, but for my kids and my husband. The five of them deserve to have mom/wife present in their lives. I am trying to start tackling mind and body with tennis and Running. :) Thank you for offering several of your items in Tall sizes. Having items that fit better, helps to make me feel better and therefore do more than maybe I would have before.
    Thank you, Athleta.

    Like: Thumb up 7

  19. Felicity Kelly says:

    I WOULD LIKE TO REACH OUT TO MAURA (4/22) or more exactly to her mom. I live in New England and have taught yoga for 16 years or so. I would like to hold this mom’s hand and just breathe with her and feel with her……the healing physical movement can come from that start. I am 64 years old and have lived long enough to appreciate all that this woman has gone through. I am married to a retired physician with a son and two daughters and noticed the spelling of Maura–an Irish name–I come from Ireland.

    Often my younger women students tell me I am an inspiration to them…that they hope to have a great love of life and be doing handstand (perhaps for the first time as I did at 57) and look as good when they are my age. I tell them that it’s the clothes! I buy Athleta from the sale category because the prices are a little steep for me now that I have learned the ways of a frugal New Englander! I take it as my dharma, in earlier days we would just call this “setting a good example”. We do not realize the example /inspiration we are to others simply by existing and being ourselves.
    So Maura, if you live anywhere in my vicinity I would be glad to help with your mom…Athleta will have my email address. By the way…you are a wonderful daughter and the best living legacy a mother could ever hope to have.<3

    Like: Thumb up 11

  20. Rene Wolf says:

    I had a friend pass last year at the age of 40 from breast cancer and I noticed that although I had a healthier lifestyle, I was a little overweight and not the best picture of health. I am also a doctor and decided that I wasn’t being a very good example of what I was telling others in terms of diet and exercise. I decided that I was going to become a good living example to my patients and started working out a lot more than I had. I also cleaned my diet considerably with help of my husband. I joined a crossfit gym and have been able to drop 23 pounds over the last year. I also am an avid mountain biker and am looking forward to improving now that I don’t have to haul as much weight up the mountains (if it ever stops snowing here in Colorado for the trails to dry). I look forward to being a good example to my patients and my friends and hope to inspire my family to get a lot healthier.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  21. Susie says:

    My fitness goal is to take care of my heart and be fit and healthy. As a daughter, granddaugher, sister, wife and mother it is easy to forget to take care of oneself and focus on all the other loved ones in our lives. I vow to myself to try and put myself in a place of importance and make time to reach my own goals.

    I walk our Golden and ride bikes with the kids, I love yoga and would love to find a class to join and have an hour of me time.

    Our hearts are so important and yet we tend to overlook just how vital their function is to our lives. My brother went into heart failure last labor day on my 30th birthday. It has been a long journey for him and he now has a pump beating his heart for him. His heart isn’t going to heal and he will be placed on the transplant list come summer.

    I urge everyone out there to get a yearly physical, eat right and do some cardio! If you aren’t already, please consider becoming an organ donor, you could save a life, a brother, or sister just like you. If you asked me a year ago if my 28 year old brothers life would depend on a stranger marking the box yes on the donor form, I would have never believed you. Life is fleeting and fragile and I for one am thankful for everyday! Every smile, hug and kiss!

    Like: Thumb up 4

  22. Julie Dunlap says:

    Looking back to goals that have finally come true!
    As a young girl and now a mother of two boys, I have always been one to journal and write down my goals. Over the years, I have made lifelong goal lists in various journals and have kept them to be reviewed and rekindled a couple of times a year. While I was in college, I made a list of about 30 life goals for myself that ranged from physical activities, spiritual connections, travel plans, to academic goals and included learning to surf and completing a triathalon. Now in my late 30s while raising two boys, life is so different and the goals are still there on the page. There is still that yearning to keep my spirit young. So while chasing two boys, I trained and completed the Iron Girl triathalon last summer in Columbia, MD and I started taking surf lessons on Assateague Island, MD with Michelle Sommers. I never thought I would really learn to surf for a host of reasons including self doubt! And hitting the pool after taking the kids to school was not easy when it sure would have been nice to just relax with a warm cup of coffee. It was all worth it though when I came to finish shoot and heard my husband and two boys cheering for me and the announcer said the next Iron Girl is Julie Dunlap! I cherish that time, have it on video and watch it whenever a little self-doubt creeps in! It doesn’t hurt either that my husband loves to hear the excitement in my voice after catching a wave….He says my heart is light and there is a passion in my voice! I hope my kids see it too!

    Like: Thumb up 2

  23. Caroline Huber says:

    What do you think happens to a collegiate athlete when they receive their diploma and realize, “I’m not making the Olympics, where do I go from here?” After years in elementary school writing “when I grow up I’m going to be an Olympic swimmer” how do you think it feels to compete in your last meet, your last conference, your last race and cry into the arms of your coach, your teammates, your family. They are genuinely happy for you. They share and understand the years of dedication, sacrifice and abstinence that began your journey. Yet after all that, after seeing seniors graduate year after year before you and telling yourself “next year that will be me,” life rushes at you like Wile E. Coyote into a painted wall. Somehow you thought that image of yourself would go on forever.

    Nothing ever seemed to satisfy my attention span as a child. When I was five, my mother enrolled me in ballet. I pirouetted in the opposite direction and hung upside down on the plié bar. Next, I was paraded to gymnastics. That was over the second they showed me the foam pit. I would complete my wobbly somersault and go careening away from the group and leap into the giant yellow cushions. Ice skating was over the second I was told it wasn’t about going fast and I had to wear tights. Finally, my mother brought my scrawny, gangly self to the local swim team and the moment I slipped under the surface of the water, it was like being baptized into a life of smelling like chlorine and polyester. Glamorous.

    I graduated two years ago and I was utterly lost. After years of training an average of 24 hours a week, I felt trapped by my routines. After having a team as a support system, I was truly alone. No more coach, no more trainers. Very few know the utter monotony of swimming for three hours- now try doing that alone: “wall, wall, oh there’s that same wall again!” Now I teach elementary school and I want to encourage my students to pursue the dreams they draw. So I bought a bike and I bought running shoes and entered the world of triathlons. My goal is to compete in a Half IronMan in 6 months and a full IronMan in a year. The ecstasy of racing drives me. I love standing on the edge of a beach or a lake on race day, feeling my heart in my throat as the waves kick up and the starter raises the horn. I close my eyes and I’m back in the pool. That spirit simply doesn’t flicker; you can’t blow it out like a candle.

    Like: Thumb up 9

  24. Michelle Walsh says:

    Being the Mama of 5 daughters, ranging in age from 13 year old twins, to a 2 1/2 year old, you could say life in our little family is loud, full of activity, and exhausting.

    Like many families, we had fallen on hard times a few years back, and were struggling financially. Around this same time, I heard about Girls on the Run: a non-profit, that encouraged girls to find their voice, courage, and strength through training to run a 5K. The organization also believed that NO girl should be turned away because they couldn’t afford the program. And so, swallowing a huge piece of humble pie, I applied for dual scholarships for my girls.

    Long story short, after observing the countless benefits that this program offered to my budding tweens, I decided I HAD to be part of it by becoming a coach. Around the time that my 3rd daughter, Emma, signed up for GOTR, my Mama was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Nana didn’t have a lot of energy while enduring aggressive Chemo and surgery, but she had enough to spend time in her sewing room, where she put together adorable bags…for friends and family.

    After Emma explained to Nana that she was participating in a GOTR fundraiser, (THE fundraiser that helped my twins participate in the program), the two worked together: Nana sewing bags, and Emma collecting money, and giving a bag to anyone who donated $50 or more. By the end, Emma collected. over $1000.00 and learned the true rewards of “paying it forward”.

    Of course I love Athleta for the clothing that you make, and how it flatters a woman’s body perfectly. But more importantly, I love Athleta for being a sponsor for GOTR. For believing in Power to the She. For having maniquins with muscle definition in the store. For using models who are TRUE athletes. For showing my daughters that they are capable of doing, being, and accomplishing ANY and EVERYthing.

    I would love to take my girls on their first backpacking trip this summer. To me, that would be a dream come true. But regardless of whether I “win” this contest, the truth of the matter is simply this: I already have. I am blessed beyond words with these young ladies that I am raising. My cup runneth over.

    Like: Thumb up 12

  25. tabatha says:

    Simply put, I want to be, both inside and out, the magnificent creature (powerful warrior, hero, advocate, compassionate soul, nuturing mother & beautiful wife) that my husband and son already believe me to be. Privately, this is much easier to do than publicly because I’m an introvert. I recognize that my strengths can help empower other women so I try, am trying, will continue to try to be more outward. When I see women in Athleta wear, they look so physically vibrant and confidant that I want to be just like them. Thank you for the inspiration. I hope to shine so brightly.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  26. Jill says:

    Growing up I was always active. I went from a dancer to weight lifting to aerobic instruction in my earlier years. Being fit and healthy was my passion and always served as an outlet to give me strength. As I grew older and had children of my own, my work out times suffered more and more, Before I knew it, they really were a thing of the past. I left my career to raise my children. I had given every bit of my time and life to my children and husband, the unfortunate part was I lost my own identity. I was clueless as to who I was or what I liked and started to become depressed. I’m pretty sure I was living depressed for years just accepting it and putting my family first. I actually lived depressed so long and without realizing how bad it was I finally developed a sever anxiety disorder. I was so fearful of everyday things like grocery shopping, going to my children’s school activities, driving, and yes working out. The anxiety really took over my life and it felt like it literally happend over night. I was completely lost and scared, my marriage suffered. I am sure my kids saw my anxiety and were silently scared too. Two years ago I decided it all must stop. I began seeing a counselor and worked through my anxiety issues and when I made such great progress with that the depression just disappeared. One of the major contributors was being able to get back to the gym and my workouts. It was through them that I found my strength once again. I had given up such a huge piece of who I was. I realized when I feel strong I am strong. Looking back now, those few years were the hardest scariest times of my life. It is amazing what we sacrifice as moms and what it can do to our self esteem. Six months ago today, I have been working out six days a week, eating healthy and making time for me and I feel proud of who I am again. I know that I have finally arrived to be the person I am supposed to be. I love to be fit and to feel great, and I love that my kids are learning that healthy lifestyle from me. My goal this year is to rock a bikini at the beach and tell the age of 40 to “kiss my abs” lol I am woman and I am strong! It is very hard for me to share this message as it is so personal and emotional. I can only hope that there is a mom out there that will see it and relate and it will give her the encouragement she needs to find herself. We think we are being the best parent for our children by giving them all of ourselves and really to be a good parent and role model we need to show them that we have to matter to. The benefits are amazing..Not only will you be amazingly happy, you family will follow suit. I never thought I would say this but I am thankful I hit such a low bottom because rising so far to top is feeling amazing!

    Like: Thumb up 4

  27. Diana Millett says:

    My goal is to run a 5K in memory of my youngest son. We lost our 6th child to Trisomy 13 when he was just 3 days old about a year and a half ago. After losing Keegan, I sank into a deep depression. It felt like I was in a black hole of grief. Every time I would claw my way to the surface and see some light, I would get sucked back into a pit of despair. I knew I needed to be around for my 5 children, but could not cope with the grief. About 4 months after my loss, I decided to do something to help myself be a better wife and mother. I began to exercise and it saved me in so many ways! I started slow with exercise videos and began to slowly see changes physically and emotionally. I have had ups and downs of keeping up with working out and I notice when I get lazy, I also get depressed again. That is enough to get me moving again! Our journey with our family has been a long difficult adventure with 11 years of infertility, 3 adoptions, followed by three pregnancies and losing our youngest. Through it all we have become a stronger, c loser family and I am determined to be an example to my children of perseverance through difficulty. With faith and hard work I know I can accomplish my goal and run in honor of my sweet angel, Keegan. He was only here for a short time, but has touched so many lives. He deserves to have his memory live on.

    Like: Thumb up 6

  28. Mary C says:

    My “I AM” statement I repeat to myself each day, goes like this..
    “I AM… Mary! Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Friend, Artist, Athlete, Student of Life, Inspiration for all… Caring, Passionate, Loving, Compassionate, Grateful. I AM HEALTHY and STRONG to live the life I know I can!”
    However, my life wasn’t always this way, as I have gone from a life where slipped disks and debilitating sciatic pain for 15+ years, kept me from doing anything with my children, to giving my now 8 year old her first piggy back ride at age 6 (after listening to Faith Hill’s ‘Mississippi Girl’ song and longing to “ride my kid around piggy back”) to an aspiring triathlete. I fought every step of the way to gain my health back, from just being able to point and flex my toes in a PT visit to riding my bike for hours on end – but what I got most of all, was my Life back. I am TRULY LIVING now. In mind, body and spirit.
    Exercise and health brings so much more (as you all already know). A clearer mind, a calmer spirit (no more yelling in our home, well mostly), a nurturing environment for my now 8 and 11 yr old daughters to grow up in, and a partner for my husband again. When I could hardly walk, it was so much work to even think about getting out of bed, now I open my eyes with gratitude and love for what my day can bring. Best of all I GET to exercise and LIVE again. I GET to play with my girls at the park when for so many years I stayed in the car and watched. I GET to ride bikes and run in family 5k’s. I was living from the sidelines and now I am back in the game. Without surgery, just hard work, I became 80 lbs lighter and have eliminated pain from my life in just a few short years, but a lot of hard work. I quit my job to become a life coach and hope to inspire others to LIVE their lives fully, never settling for less.
    I learned to swim freestyle just 18 months ago, in order to do my first triathlon. But today, I am training to complete my first full Ironman triathlon at IM Canada, Whistler on 8/25 and send finish line photos to all my doctors who didn’t believe I could ever run again, who didn’t believe I would ever ride a bike, who just didn’t believe. But thank goodness, I DID! I am so proud of the woman I was back in 2009, because she started a journey that I will finish this year, all the way to the start line of that race. Then I will let the rest of it unfold before me, I am sure with tears in my eyes all 140.6 miles of joy, pain, challenge, love, and bliss.
    Athleta clothing makes us feel good, because of the fit, the colors, the styles, and comfort of each piece. When we look and feel good, we perform at our best in all we do. THANK YOU for giving “Power to the SHE!” After all, I finally figured out at age 41, I DESERVE IT!

    Like: Thumb up 3

  29. Christine says:

    Hello! I am a woman who plays a number of full time roles. I am a full time career person. I am a full time mother of two wonderful little girls. I am a full time wife to a loving and supportive husband. I am also a full time dreamer of achieving my health and fitness goals. In my daily struggle to balance all of these roles that I am truly blessed to have, I find it absolutely necessary to take just a little time for myself and workout. The workout often takes many forms – running, swimming, lifting weights at the gym, practicing gymnastics moves with my 5 year old or chasing my very active 2 year old around the house. Although these seem like very good sources of fitness, it was not until my sister approached me with a fitness goal that would challenge me to get focussed. My sister is an avid runner. She has completed marathons, half marathons and finds the time each day to run – even with three very active boys at home. She loves to run! And, although I do enjoy running, it was never my passion and I admired my sister’s dedication and drive to be a great runner. So, my sister decided that she was going to celebrate her most recent birthday by running in one race per month for the next year. Makes sense. I was very happy for her to have set this goal. Then she asked me to join her. I was truly honored. And, completely inspired. And, totally freaked out! My first thought was, “How the heck was I going to fit all this running into my already packed schedule?” My second thought was, “How am I going to possibly keep up with her?” Well, I guess if you really want to achieve something, you just need to make it happen. My goal is to complete 12 running races of varying distances, one per month, for the next year and increase my speed so that I can run one at my sister’s pace. My goal also includes doing this while remianing a dedicated mother and wife. Well, we ran our first race in March, our second in April and we will run our third in a few weeks in May. I surprised myself with a faster than ever 5K in March! May is a 10K and June is a half marathon. I am setting this goal not only for myself, but I truly hope that I can be an inspriation for my girls. I want them to see that if you set a goal and work hard, you can achieve it! With the support of my husband and the dynamite enthusiasm of my two little sweethearts as they cheer me on, I am very much on my way to achieveing my goal! Thank you for letting me share my story : )

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  30. During the last 9.5 years I have traveled from being disabled to teaching yoga. I have taught students age 5 to 98 and love every minute of it. I am stronger and more fit than many of my students who are in their 20′s and 30′s. At age 68 I currently teach two mat and eight chair yoga classes a week. I teach in senior living facilities, a rehabilitation hospital, a yoga studio and the YMCA. The older adults who attend my chair yoga class have progressed from walkers to canes and from canes to walking independently. They stand tall and proud of their excellent yoga practices. One group of 10 women from 71 to 92 years old can do downdog kick-back and one-legged plank with their hands on a chair instead of the floor. My goal is to teach a yoga class on my 100th birthday. I want to spread the word that yoga is for every age. Seventy-five medical conditions can be improved with the practice of yoga. This may be the best way to control the spiraling cost of medical care. It’s time to Sun and Moon Salutation your way to health. That is my plan for year 100!

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  31. Elida Gundersen says:

    How many times growing up, when we would get mad at our mothers, would we all say “I hope I never turn into her”. I laugh at that now and realize that it would be an honor to have the love and strength that my mother has. She has been my rock and my biggest supporter and is a true friend as well as my mother.

    12 years ago I witnessed the death of a friend. I preformed CPR on my friend and still failed to save him. This event changed my life, and seeing me suffer through this broke my mothers heart, but never the less she supported me through and through. I dropped out of college losing my swimming scholarship and decided to become a paramedic in order to help people in their time of need. Life as a paramedic in busy 911 systems is not easy. The stress of having people’s lives in my hands has finally begun to weigh on my shoulders and is take a toll not just on my soul, but also to my body.

    For years I lost the drive to workout, and just let myself be. Now at 30 I have realized what a big mistake that was. I recently got back in the pool for the first time and it felt wonderful. I refused to time myself because I cannot compete with the college swimmer that I was, but I do realize how much I want to be looked at for being healthy and strong again. My mother recently told me that it breaks her heart more to see me at this weight and knows that I am working hard and struggling to lose it. That was a huge game changer for me. My mother is my biggest supporter and we speak everyday on the phone, and to hear that she is sad and hurting for me was a huge wake up call.

    Well this year and the start of a new decade for me is going to represent another change in my life. I have already lost 15 lbs with lots of plans to continue. I am beginning to train for triathlons. The challenge and competitiveness that I had felt before is returning and driving me. I find solace in the pool and am just working on becoming a runner. I have yet to find the Zen of Running, but I am not giving up. I plan on completing my first full triathlon next April and have my mother waiting for me at the finish line. Hopefully she will drive me home after my legs collapse. One day I hope to become a mother just like her- strong, supportive, and full of love.

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  32. Linda says:

    My fitness goal is to never stop. Fitness is a habit, not an event. And I want to keep going, going, going – ever moving forward. I want to feel the strength of my body when I rise each morning, to recharge my energy as I move each day, to fall exhausted to bed each night. I want my two boys to see my strength. Not my speed, not my muscle – but my power of perseverance. I want them to see: I will not give up – ever. I race – triathlons, road races, swim events – not to win or to proclaim my speed, but to prove that I CAN do it. Yes, I CAN. This year I registered to swim a 10K in the Hudson River. But that race is just a side note – an intermediary path within my larger journey. I may not be fast, now or in the future. But my goal is to stay strong – hopefully in body, always in spirit. I want my boys to see that my journey continues ever forward. I will not stop.

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  33. Lisbet says:

    Dear Athleta.
    I am not hiking, swimming, climbing or running for any marathon.
    Or maybe I am – every day to make sure that everybody else around me are doing fine :).
    Just trying to get in contact with my own body again – after giving birth to the three most beautiful and wonderful children in the world – after my mother died from cancer and my father from drinking – after taking care of everything around house and kids and with a husband travelling all over the world taking care of work – after rebuilding two houses – after moving twice here to United States and being “the new student in class” twice.
    My name is Lisbet – I am 45 in a minute – I am from Denmark in Europe – I am not complaining – I am just realizing that I also need to do and be something for me, so that I can be better with/to the people around me – because those are the ones who inspire me every day – even the people in Whole Foods :). But I owe me some good feeling.
    Just started on Yoga and some indoor biking/spinning – It feels so good on body and mind and I love the people there – they make me come back.
    One day I got your catalogue in my mail and loved it. Like a teen I felt connected to your brand.
    We have to remember the person we see ourself as when we close our eyes and aim for that – because it will feel right – no matter what the commercials tell you. and then one day you will get it in the mail without asking for it :)
    Eventhough I am 45 (in a minute) I feel like an Athleta “girl” inside and I can live with that :).
    To all the beautiful moms, not moms yet and not moms – take care of yourself and each other every day.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  34. Pamela Jessen says:

    Yay for contests! Thank you Athleta for giving this amazing opportunity to all of the ladies out there that are trying to improve, or continue on their healthy journey of life.
    I would like to tell you that it has taken many years of sweat and tears to get where I am today. Although I was active growing up, I had no education in healthy eating nor could my single mother afford for me to participate in extra-curricular activities out side of school. Years later, three children of my own, and now being a group fitness instructor myself, I have learned how to eat healthy and keep active and I love sharing what I have learned with others so they too can reach their health goals.
    A current goal for both a friend of mine and I, is participating in the Dirty Dash this August in our home town of Boise, ID. I have never been a lover of running, however two years ago I participated in my first 10K and ended up tearing my meniscus. After taking time off from teaching to allow it it heal, I am now apprehensive to return to running. I continue to participate in fitness classes and teaching them, but avoid running outside, until now. I encouraged everyone at my gym to join me in The Dirty Dash and we have a team running. In this team is one of my closet friends who I have had the pleasure of watching her lose over 40 pounds. She has fought against many obstacles to lose her weight including her diagnosis with an intolerance to gluten, knee surgeries since high school, foot surgery, and now back pain that prevents her from standing long periods of time. She will eventually need surgery, but at 40 years old, she is trying to avoid that option. My best friend has gone through a lot of struggles in her life including bankruptcy in a bad economy and health issues.
    Now we have set a goal to participate in The Dirty Dash together and give it our best. This is her first time doing any type of race. I would love to be able to take her to Athleta and treat her to the most comfortable and empowered workout clothing around. She has come just as far as I did, if not more in many ways. Both of us going from size 14 to size 0/2, now we need some good apparel to train for our goal together and to take a team with us.
    Thanks Athleta!

    Like: Thumb up 3

  35. Christina says:

    Hello. I love Athleta!! I have 3 daughters, and I am 1 of 5 girls in my family. Growing up and having a wonderful childhood…I know I was very active. Unfortunately, as most Mom’s do, they took care of others and not themselves. My fondest memories was when my Dad would come home from work and before even changing out of his work clothes, he would be outside playing with my 4 sisters and I. Where was my Mom? Inside cooking and cleaning. She didn’t get a break, she didnt get a chance to stop and have fun and do something for her. SOmething physical. My Mom passed away 4 years ago, at the age of 67, from breast cancer. I have been in denial and in a way I am thankful as I have had to go about my life and raising my girls. However, I am finally at the point that I am starting the grieving process, fully. I am not realizing I will never see her again. Just as my Mom did, I am taking care of my girls, my family and neglecting me. I would love and be so grateful to Athleta to help me with getting inspired, dressing for the part and making it happen…transforming me, transforming my life so that I can ensure this cycle stops. I want and need to show my 3 daugthers that the best gift they can give themselves and their children is taking care of themselves first. While this is easy to say, it is hard to do. I need and would cherish Athleta’s assistance. I think that it is important that we Moms especially take the time to take care of us first…and teach our daugthers from a very young age, it is necessary and not a bad thing. I would appreciate your consideration.
    Thank you much.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  36. Nicole says:

    Dear Athleta,

    I would like to nominate my Mom for this special contest. She is my source of inspiration and is a wonderful woman. I want her to win this contest because she, as well as every other woman, deserves to feel good about herself!! My Mom, Laurie, has a thyroid problem which slows her metabolism and makes it difficult for her to control her weight. She has also gone through a surgery which makes her body unable to process fats properly. As a result of these medical conditions she has gained some extra weight over the last few years. My Mom also has a very stressful job and works from home, limiting her exercise.
    I presented my mom with a challenge: to run a 5k with me. I am a marathoner and would absolutely love to share the special moment of crossing the finish line together with her. I want to help her be healthy and feel good about herself.
    Please help me to help her achieve this goal! With new workout gear from Athleta and my coaching, she will surely succeed in running her very first 5k!

    Love always,

    Like: Thumb up 2

  37. Davida Elsbree says:

    Dear Athleta,

    Over the years I have thought of my self as someone who is active and healthy. I went to my first yoga class 20 years ago when my first daughter was two weeks old and have been a swimmer, a runner and even tried various dance classes. 10 years ago when my second daughter was born I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My confidence in my body and strength took a hit as I struggled with the pain and limitation that it brought along with the illness. Over time I found that I was not happy and unable to break out of negative patterns due to my fatigue and pain. This past January I started to be honest about what was happening and was able to begin to make changes to break out of my non-supportive patterns and habits. To begin this process I established my yoga practice again. I even tried a hot yoga class with my now 20-year-old daughter. That was a nice full circle moment for me! I can feel my strength coming back and, more importantly, I’m happier, which makes me a better mother, wife, friend and citizen. I’m doing yoga 3-5 times a week and am just about to add a Masters swim class to my routine. I’m also planning on walking a 10k race with my 10 year old in the beginning of May. When I saw this contest, as I went on the Athleta website to buy more yoga clothes, I realized it was an opportunity to take a moment to reflect on my recent accomplishments. I now feel that I am a better role model for my girls and look forward to continued success in my path towards health and happiness. -Which is my true fitness goal! Thank you for this chance to reflect on my new changes!

    Happy Mother’s Day to us all!

    Like: Thumb up 4

  38. Jo Ella Brittingham says:

    I am writing(without her knowlege!) about my best friend and neighbor, Pam. We are the same age. Well, she’s 47 and I’m 48 but only until July when she joins me at this ripe young age. Our birthdays are a big deal for us. When we were 35, Pam was told that she had Stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the liver. If you know anything about cancer, you know that this is very, very bad. Her children were 10, 9 and 4. Her main goal became staying alive for those kids. She wanted to see them grow, graduate, succeed. She had surgery, did chemo, chemo and more chemo. Then slowly and surely Pam began to heal. We celebrated 2 years cancer free, then 5 years, then 10 years. Statistically, Pam shouldn’t be here but she didn’t believe that. She placed her goals in her mind and literally lived to achieve them. As she became healthy again, Pam went back to her workouts of running and swimming. It makes me proud(and a bit ashamed) to see her all sweaty and glowing when I see her fresh from the YMCA. I need to be more like her…we all do! Her goal in life is to live and live well. Pam takes care of herself through her workouts, her diet and her courageous attitude. Is this a fitness goal? Maybe, maybe not but isn’t a fitness goal about living a long, strong healthy life? If so, then Pam’s your winner. Plus, she’s got that lithe, lean runner’s body that can totally rock your clothes! :-) HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO US ALL!

    Like: Thumb up 5

  39. Latoya says:

    Dear Athleta,
    I would like to nominate myself for this contest. Weight has been a struggle for me for about 2 years now. I’ve been exercising and trying to keep up with my husband when he cycles so far I have lost 5 pounds….To begin with, I have two beautiful daughters which are my life. My weight gain problems started when my youngest daughter (now 3) was put into the hospital for congestive heart failure. I spiraled into deep depression and lost a lot of my hair due to all of her issues. The only way I found comfort was through eating. After she suffered a stroke on the right hemisphere in her brain and had 2 heart surgeries the doctors told me there was nothing more they could do for her, and not to resuscitate her if her heart stopped, she was 10 months old at the time. That was the most hard thing for me to ever hear. We finally got to go home once they set her up on hospice care. She remained on hospice for around 10 to 11 months and was getting speech and physical therapy to help her recover from her stroke. Around the 1 year mark of being on hospice care they told me that she was doing so well that she no longer needed to have their services. I was happy and scared at the same time. They had to train me on her long list of heart medications and how to use the stethoscope to monitor her heart rate. She was coming around and starting to babble again, and actually starting to regain use of her left hand (when you have a stroke on the right side, the left side is affected). Now she is doing great…we got a second opinion on her heart and the doctors repaired some damage to her heart. She’s thriving and running and playing like any 3 year old would. The only way you would know she had any problems is by her scars. During all of this I rapidly gained weight and now I’m desperately trying to lose it. My goal is to be able to keep up with my husband when he goes mountain biking and to lose 20 pounds. Thank you so much for this contest!

    Like: Thumb up 3

  40. Gloria says:

    I find myself in the midst of a life that I’m absolutely in love with–living in a new city, with the best friends I could imagine, in the best relationship of my life, and finally in my for-real-grown-up-job as a middle school science teacher. I’m active in the leadership of my spiritual community, I bike to work every day, and my job is both extremely rewarding and extremely challenging.

    And yet what’s missing? I haven’t found a workout routine/plan that fits with my EXTREMELY busy schedule. I have a gym membership that is sadly languishing, running shoes that I never put on, and a slowly expanding pant size that I can no longer ignore. My goal now is to FINALLY start a running program–I have never been able to commit to one before, but I think that now, it is the one thing that I would be able to squeeze in and around my busy life, and something that I would enjoy doing with my partner and my friends. I would love Athleta’s support, both for my breasts (haha), and for this re-commitment to an active lifestyle.

    Love the clothes, love the vibe, hoping you love me back!

    Like: Thumb up 3

  41. Liz Morgan says:

    I am a 47 year old sole practitioner Veterinarian and mother of two boys; one of which is 20 and the other is almost 16. Both of my sons are athletic and have always participated in team sports. I used to play softball for many years before become a beach volleyball fanatic. I competed in four-man leagues and tournaments and two man tournaments for over twenty years. The rigors however of trying to run a veterinary practice and follow my sons around to support their athletic endeavors became too much and I have quit playing team sports. I have however striven to remain active and fit around the demands of my schedule. Like most mothers and wives I have adjusted my workout time not to interfere with all the other demands on my time. I have begun running because I can get up at 5:30 AM and get in a good run before I have to get my younger son fed and delivered to school on time. This winter my husband and I decided to train for the New Orleans Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. Our training group began with my oldest son, best friend, my husband and myself all training together. We were participating in a professionally coached training program but within the final month of training my best friend and son had to stop training and my husband began struggling with many leg problems and had to all but stop training to deal with the pain. The focus for our run became getting him comfortable enough to run the race. I finished the training and he did what he could to prepare and we ran the race. On race day our coach ran with him to help pace him and keep him strong. I ran it alone (with 10,000 other runners haha). I finished the race 13 minutes behind my husband and was very glad to see he had done so well. However, I must say my experience was very anticlimactic. Because it was my first Half Marathon and only my third competitive race I was not thinking about the photographers along the route or at the end of the race. I did not look at the camera crossing the line nor did I know to go to the photo booth to take my “Finishers Photo.” I had family members and friends at the finish line to cheer for me but unbelievably no one saw me cross! In the photo I am looking down at the line itself! After I finished the race I just continued walking down the finishing lane until I found my husband sitting on the ground with fatigue. My family and our friends found us and congratulated us but I felt more like it was just another day than the completion of my first half marathon. I am no pitiful martyr that hides in the shadows behind my family but for some reason this experience was not what I wish it had been. I want to run it again! This time I want to train for time and make myself and other more mature athletes proud. I am a strong woman and roll model for young women. I am a Professional with my own business for 18 years and an athlete. I would like to represent Athleta and powerful women when I run the race again!

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  42. Lynn Hill says:

    Dear Athleta,
    I am 51 and started running two years ago. I am a late bloomer as I could not commit to a training schedule with two active teenager and a full time job. After moving to another position at work my scheude changed and was able to fit in a routine training schedule. I started out just as a casual runner then joined a running group to training for a 1/2 marathon. I progressed a little but was not encouraged to reach for a goal. I found another awesome running group and have since gone from a 10 min pace to most recently a 7:30 pace. The support and encouragement from my running group has been inspiring and mostly encouraged me to reach for goals I thought I could never achieve. Last year I ran my first marathon and missed the Boston Qualifing time by 1 minute. The recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon has inspired me even more to qualify for Boston. I have a marathon in Stockholm June 1st that I am training to reach this goal. I pray each day that I will stay strong and cross the finish line with a time to qualify. Thank you for encouraging me to post my goal. Athleta rocks!

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  43. Jennifer Dudgeon says:

    I’ve always been a healthy and fit girl up until I got pregnant and since then I’ve had the same fitness goal which was to maintain my weight. Well, getting pregnant pretty much assured that I was going to blow that goal as even if I didn’t celebrate my condition by eating for 2. My thought was, when the baby’s here he/she would sleep all day so I’ll have all the time in the world to work off my indulgence. HA! My first born came out of the womb thinking that both sleeping and eating were signs of weakness and he would have none of it…so I had no weight loss. When he was about 3 and started sleeping more, I started being able to exercise again and started seeing my weight come off only in time to find out that I was expecting again – this time I decided the ‘eating for 2’ plans wasn’t going to work out for me. However, that didn’t stop me from accruing an extra 35 pounds over the years. I’ve since started on the yo-yo game. You know that game – the weight starts coming off and then you get injured (also known as self-sabotage) all the while starting longingly at all the super cool Athleta clothes I could wear when I’m in better shape (mind you, my weight hasn’t stopped me from wearing your gear, I’d just buy more of it when I swap out my wrong curves for the right ones). I’m now fed up with that game and am committed. I’m done with pregnancies, I bought a kayak, I am swimming, I am spinning, I am doing Pilates, I will succeed. And I will buy more of your gear!

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  44. Jessica Russell says:

    I am a mom of 4 year old twins. I work full time outside the home and then put in another full day taking care of my family. I am tired and I am busy, but I am exactly where I want to be. 9 years ago I was tired and busy, but also out of shape and unhappy. My husband encouraged me to start running. At first I couldn’t run 10 feet, but slowly I increased my mileage, ultimately completing my first 5K…and then a 10K…and then a half marathon. In the process I fell in love. I fell in love with running, and I fell in love with the person I was becoming. Then I had my twins but I didn’t let that stop me. I set a goal to run my first marathon after my twins turned one. I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon when they were 15 months old; nursing them at the finish line. With toddler twins I was still very tired and very busy, but I had found my passion. As my kids grew I realized that I was inspiring them to be healthy. They wanted to “run marathons like mommy.” Motivated by this, I began to swim and bike as well as run. I did my first triathlon and found a new love. I was tired and I was busy, and now I was trying to swim, bike, and run too? My friends thought I was crazy, but watching my kids stage imaginary triathlons in the back yard made it all worth it. Though I had only completed a few triathlons, when I turned 40 I set a goal to complete a half Ironman distance race. I swam before the kids woke up, I biked to their karate classes, I ran between work meetings, and I crossed the finish line of a half Ironman in July of last year, with my kids cheering me on. Now I have a new goal: to have my kids watch me cross the finish line of Ironman Arizona in 2014. 9 years ago I couldn’t run 10 feet, now I’m setting a goal to race 140.6 miles. I am tired and I am busy, and I am exactly where I want to be. I am a mom and a triathlete.

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  45. Amy L. in NH says:

    As a 36 year old, I thought I was pretty invincible. I worked out, ate right, and was in great shape. But we never know what life is going to throw at us, and last year, I had a reality check.

    After dealing with constant, debilitating pain over my entire body and not being able to move as I was used to, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spinal joints and that can lead to fusing of the spine and other joints. My rheumatologist did a series of x-rays and found that my sacroiliac joint had already started fusing, and this was part of the reason I was having difficulty walking.

    Some days I feel like my world is shattering around me. I worry that my 12 year old daughter will inherit this condition. I miss being the active person I used to be – hiking, biking, working out. But most days, I am thankful that I have this condition because I wouldn’t have had the insight that I’ve had. Every day is a gift. Every step is a gift. Every moment with my family is precious.

    I haven’t been able to do nearly as much exercising and staying fit as I’d like to, but I am doing what my body allows, and pushing it when I am able to. After going through a recent flare, I’m back to doing a modified pilates and riding the stationary bicycle. I’m hoping that as the weather warms up, my daughter and I can start taking walks like we used to. My goal? To climb Mount Monadnock with my family. I want to show everyone with my condition that there is hope, and perhaps this is one way I can do so. I will not give up, and I will climb that mountain.

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  46. Joy Adamson says:

    I am a wife and mother to a 4 year-old boy, who has more energy than a room full of monkeys. ;-) I ran and did strength training before I gave birth, but when I had him all my energy at the end of the day was spent. This year I wrote down my goals to start running 5 days per year and I’ve kept it up! Not only does it give me some “me” time and quiet time to think, it makes me better over all. Sometimes I do need incentive to keep going, so I promise myself a cute workout outfit, a glass of wine or some chocolate.

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  47. Tania Houle says:

    I found this today, at the perfect time. I worked in the Emergency Medical Field for years and was always in good shape. Nine years ago I took on a new career, saving people’s lives through donation and transplantation. The job can be stressful and the schedule is hectic, but I love my job. Unfortunately, putting so much time into my careers, projects, and helping others I have totally ignored my weight, exercise and the healthier person I used to be. I’m looking to get a jump start on becoming a more physically active, healthier person so I can continue pursuing my dreams while still helping others!
    My dream is to get back to a healthier weight and spend more time with my children participating in walks or runs to raise money for important causes and charities. I would also like to spend time participating in the physical activities they all love to do! I want my children to understand you can combine physical activity with community activism!

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  48. Cynthia says:

    A Mother’s Entry with a Twist. The goal I want to share is my daughter’s goal of completing a half ironman. It’s a long awaited fitness goal that she has been working toward and training for since she was on swim team in high school. With one setback after another, she is now almost 24 and still wants it badly, refusing to give up. And having raised her in a healthy, athletic holistically inspired home I really truly deeply want it for her too. I dearly want to help though things are pretty tight for us. She sure deserves to win some necessary items for her 2nd attempt on her birth day this June. In preparation over the years, she has completed triathlons while recouping from lyme’s disease; pushed through by running with old shoes, sprains, migraines and forcing old bikes to make the tri trip up and over hills, concrete and dirt. She wakes at 5a.m. to train and has a vigilant disciplined workout schedule despite working 10 hours a day at her job and feeling exhausted. She eats really well and rests as best she can. Slowly she has bought minimal pieces of proper clothing and gear for this incredible athletic event to meet the mandatory standards of competition though still lacks what most others have. Even so, she borrowed a friend’s bike and we, her supportive loving fam went with her last year to a half ironman event. Halfway through her biking she crashed into a stone wall and thankfully was ok with major gashes, bruises and pain, tho her friends expensive bike was damaged and her spirits just crushed. Waiting for the medics to bring her back to us my heart sank knowing all she’s been through. This tough strong willed disciplined athlete cried silently the 4 hour trip home and kept saying how she would pay to fix his bike herself (which she did). Looking in the rearview mirror at tears streaming down her face in the backseat while her brother tried to console her created such a helpless feeling. Sometimes silence is best and allows for rest and healing. Just our presence was enough. Fast forward another year and on her birthday this June 23rd she will try again. She almost didn’t sign up because of apparel and equipment needs ~ I encouraged her to go for it and rely on rather than believe in miracles to help make it happen and already she has been given a little more time from her draining work schedule, to train. Miracle #1 check! She found a meet up group of triathletes to train with. Miracle #2 check! She’s still riding her old bike which broke down the other day after she drove 2 hours to ride for 50 miles. She rode for 15. I always help her see the gifts in any circumstance ~ for building and growing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength, courage, character, intestinal fortitude, patience, self love and empowerment. My birthday is at the beginning of May. Mother’s Day soon after. My mother lies dying far away from me. She would be proud to know I am the kind of Mom that has grace to be selfless, courage to share a private struggle and reach out this way because the opportunity presented itself. Will being one of your winners be my daughter’s Miracle #3 cuz 3′s the day I was born, my lucky number and good things come in 3′s !

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  49. Kimberley Clark says:

    I am thankful for your contest because it has triggered thoughtful reflection into my long-awaited fitness goals, and here is what I am now conscious of as a result. There is a profound and real connection between body fitness and spiritual fitness. To experience positive results and reap life’s rewards, I must begin to exercise my outer woman and inner woman equally. While exercising lately, I’ve experienced increased physical awareness of the connection between my body and spirit, but hadn’t contemplated the importance of this unfamiliar feeling until now. I enjoy the results of exercising, but have struggled to stay the course, often feeling uninspired and unmotivated to get moving; but knowing that motivation comes in doing. Through your contest invitation, I’ve given meaningful thought to my long-term fitness goals, and as a result, have found a fresh perspective, and complete knowing in what I must do to be victorious. I know I must exercise daily with intention, reflection and purpose. To live my life well, I know I must take care of my body and spirit, recognizing they don’t exist separate from each other. Recognizing fully the connection between spirit and body, and the inspiration and self-purpose that flows naturally from the power of this knowing. My intention is to notice the sacred in and around me, to be inspired by music and nature, to focus on my universal wisdom and express gratitude for every day. I am keenly aware that by doing these things, I love and honor myself as I was designed to do, and that, has been long-awaited.

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  50. Ilise Zeiger says:

    My goal this year is to compete in my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament.

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  51. Angela Miller says:

    I am a stay-at-home Mom to 4 children (10 yrs; 7 yrs; 4 yrs and 2 yrs old). About 7 months ago (August 2012), I looked at a (rare) picture of myself, and in my swimming suit. I went into the bathroom and cried, I looked in the mirror and cried some more. I had been active in college and “in shape”. Fast forward 10 yrs and 4 kids later and here I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life and feeling miserable about myself. I hated the thought of seeing people that I had not seen in quite some time, as I was so ashamed of myself. At that moment, I told myself this is IT!! I joined group personal training (@ Peak Performance Personal Training) and started really giving it my all every session. I started to lose a little weight, but not much. I became discouraged and asked my trainer why in the world was I not losing much weight. He told me something that changed it all, he said, “I want you to write down a food journal for me, write everything down you eat”. At that point I remember thinking, well I’m going to have to fudge this journal, I surely couldn’t tell him ALL and WHAT I really eat like. And that was the defining moment for me when I woke up and admitted my body was MY fault. Why would I lie to him about what I eat, why would I let myself continue on this unhealthy path?? I needed to be honest with how bad I ate, how it was all my fault and no-one else’s and only I can change that. That was the defining point when I took charge of my health and fitness and truly “got it”!! I started eating healthy and keeping a food journal. I set a weight loss goal and inches loss goal for myself. I worked harder than I ever have before at every workout session. And just like that, with dedication, hard work and a healthy diet, the pounds fell off, the inches fell off and I started gaining definition I have never had! I feel amazing, 33 lbs lighter, 6.5 inches off my waist; 2 off my arms, 5.5 inches off my waist. In their last meeting at the facility I train at, every trainer and the owner, picked me to be featured as the member with the best results/best attitude/hardest worker! It felt amazing!! I continue to set new goals for myself (I have demolished all of my old goals- one of which was to be able to do a pull-up- I mastered that in 2 weeks and now can do several pull-ups at a time!) I entered my first mud run (Gladiator Assault Challenge) and am entered into several more this summer with Tough Mudder a goal of mine. All of this has given me a passion for fitness and I soon plan to take courses and pursue a career in the fitness industry. I want to be able to help women feel how great a body can feel, I want to help them reach their goals and feel absolutely amazing, as I do!!

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  52. debra says:

    In my work as a musician I need to be physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally fit. All three fitnesses contribute to performance and acuity. I’m 64, an ovarian cancer survivor still growing strong practicing the daily nutrition of my mind, body and soul. Health means a lot. I can’t live without my yoga, my harp musical experiences, my kayak excursions, my relaxation meditations, and my dog who leads me to adventure. My goal is to continue to find the balance of all these activities in my life and relationships.

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  53. Tricia McCormack says:

    I am a mother of 4 kids, ages 10 and under. My third pregnancy turned out to be twins, which definitely altered my body a bit. My twin girls are now 4 years old and I am finally getting back into shape. I’ve run some 10K’s and do Pure Barre. Now I am ready to try a half marathon. Running helps me stay focus and lowers my stress, being a mother of 4 and a Labor and Delivery nurse. Of course I am addicted to buying clothes from Athleta, so getting outfitted for my half marathon would be just amazing. I am turning 40 this year and I’m feeling stronger than ever. Setting goals keeps me focused and I love being a healthy example for my kids.

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  54. Crystal says:

    Long awaited fitness goal? It is fast becoming an “ahhhh it is coming up this summer!” goal! My husband has always enjoyed competing in triathlons, and bike races, and I have been there to support him in his adventures. Last year, I was 9 months pregnant with our second child cheering him on at a local sprint distance tri, and thought “Maybe I should be a part of this with him?” After my 2nd c-section (we have a 3 year old little boy, and now an adorable daughter) I was very discouraged with the slow process of losing the baby weight, and again had the small thought “What about challenging myself with the tri?” The small thought was eaten up by the “WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I THINKING!” thought, but I managed to mention to my husband that when he registered for the tri this year, he should register me too. (wink, wink) ;-) I am pretty sure that was the fastest thing he has ever crossed of the “honey-do” list! Now that I was registered, I had to face the facts that I did not know how to swim properly (hello doggie paddle), did not own a bike (ever since the seat on the pink one with streamers couldn’t move up any higher in grade school), and had never done a 5k. Despite all of those obstacles, I was excited about the challenges 2013 was bringing, and set about to reach the summer triathlon goal! I humbled myself and enrolled in a swimming class at the YMCA in January (I did get a few phone calls in which I had to keep assuring them that the class was for ME and not my son). Before, I could barely stand putting my face all the way in the water, and just yesterday I swam REAL laps without stopping for 20 minutes! My husband took me to buy my first bike last month, and though it hasn’t been warm enough to go on long rides outside yet, my 3 year old son and I circle around the driveway together, and I am inspired by how adventurous he is. I admit I have not done a ton of running yet, but I do teach Zumba Dance Fitness classes at the Y, which keeps my cardio up. I am excited to be taking steps towards reaching my triathlon goal this summer, conquering fears, and stretching my fitness boundaries. So far, this journey has brought me closer to my husband, and shown me that I am stronger than I knew. If Athleta would partner with me in this goal, that would be totally awesome! Who doesn’t swim faster, bike harder, and run longer when they are wearing fabulous workout clothes? ;-) Thank you for your time in reading this!

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  55. Susan Randal says:

    Athleta provides the inspiration throughout so many aspects of my everyday life. The catalog motivates me to embrace the active lifestyle that keeps me young and shows me how to look good while doing it. The website provides avenues for in-depth discovery in so many areas, and allows us to share our experiences on a higher level. Whether you are running, doing yoga, or cycling down to the river with a kayak in tow (my favorite!) you can embody the Athleta spirit in mind and body. I am an Athleta woman!

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  56. Megan Richardson says:

    I am entering my mother Nancy. She is a one of a kind woman, kind, smart, extremely passionate and hard working. She has raised 4 children of her own and countless foster children. Now that all of her children have moved out she has time to do the things that she has always dreamed about. She works full time helping special ed children at our local high school and is finishing her Secondary Education Degree. As a family this year we are working on our portion control, eating healthy and lifting weights. We went swimming and she wore a cute bathing suit with a horrible old t-shirt trying to cover herself because she was so uncomfortable. Even though she has lost 20 lbs she still feels like she is not beautiful. I think that so many of our mothers feel that because they are not the perfect vision of what “beauty” is suppose to be. My Mother is the most beautiful person I have ever seen, she has the most beautiful laugh lines that make her face just light up when she smiles, hands that have done so much service for others, and a heart of pure gold. She deserves to win this to help her obtain her goals and to look great while she continues on her weight loss goal.
    Thank you!

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  57. Marie says:

    My parents used to be an avid tennis players. They played both played in high school, met on the courts in college. They even continued to play after having 4 children. While my dad’s schedule got a little bogged down in the past 10 years, my mom continued to play often. She played 3-5 days/week year round with various ladies groups at the local tennis center or outdoors.

    In November of 2008, at the young age of 49, my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. The surgery, radiation and intense rounds of chemotherapy over the course of 8 months left her weak and unable to continue with her tennis regime. Due to the chemo and she went through early menopause and mixed with her drug cocktail she first lost a massive amount of weight and muscle tone (incredibly unhealthy) and then after treatment gained three times the weight very quickly and continued to lose muscle tone. It is astonishing what high doses of chemo, menopause, and various hormonal and drug therapy treatments can do to a woman’s metabolism and self-image.

    Just over 4 years later she is in remission, however, she is still taking medications to prevent relapse. Adding insult to injury, in her attempt to work off the weight and get her strength back, she worked out too fast too soon and injured her hip and back leading to back surgery. She doesn’t’ play tennis anymore and hasn’t shown much interest in other fitness/athletic activities. I know she struggles with not feeling like a woman anymore especially when she sees the other 50 somethings who can do all these things she used to do. On our 20th annual family ski trip this year she didn’t ski because she felt too out of shape and didn’t want to buy new ski pants because she’s “too fat” for new things.

    I know it’s her goal to be fit again, to be able to play tennis 5 times a week, to not sit on the sidelines, to feel like a strong woman. I think she’s lost hope. She needs a motivator, something other than fighting off cancer or postponing because she’s worrying about hurting her back. If we could get her to go for walks, do some simple calisthenics and slowly build up her endurance and strength she could get back into what she loves, tennis.

    What better way than feeling good about the way you look? I know my pair of fusion pants, which hid my post-pregnancy muffin top, made me feel better when I was working out at the gym. It seems silly, but when you’re used to being fit and attractive and then you’re suddenly not, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I’d love to see my parents play tennis together again and I know my dad misses his tennis partner. Hopefully, knowing there are other people, strangers for that matter, who believe in her will help.

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  58. quiche says:

    My long awaited goal is to lose 50 lbs. and fit back into my wedding dress from 20 years ago!

    My health has declined over the last two years..
    right ankle sprain and bunion, sudden onset of right sided lower extremity neuropathy, and hysterectomy.
    I have a pinched nerve T7-T8 that has resulted in my right side, from my waist down to and including my right foot to be numb and tingling ALL the time. Neither neurosurgeons nor orthopedic surgeons will operate because of the difficulty operating in the thoracic area of the back. Thus I must live with what feels like I am lugging around a steel leg all day.
    These health problems were followed up by my losing my job of 24 years last November.

    I decided to join the YMCA in December and fight this neuropathy by swimming each day.
    I began swimming laps and initially could only do 10 laps. I would be sucking wind at the end of one lap and try and act as though I was fixing my goggles just so that I could catch my breath.
    I then began going to a water aerobics class each morning, followed up by swimming laps.
    Five months later, I am taking the water class 5 days a week and now swim 72 laps
    (a mile)afterwards!
    Recently I began attending various other classes to increase my core…focusing on abs, arms and squats.
    Just today I hit my half way mark and have lost 25lbs! I am now wearing size XL Athleta kick booty capri’s (as opposed to a size 2X).
    I am still fighting this neuropathy, but my strength and toning and subsequent weight loss have helped me overcome this lifelong health issue.
    I can’t wait to take my wedding dress out of it’s hermedically sealed box to show my daughter!

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  59. Margaret-Ann Bolton says:

    I’ve run the Boston Marathon many times. The marathon was my favorite distance, but I stopped running marathons when I decided to have children. As a working mother I didn’t want to take the time away from my children required to do long runs (and recover) on weekends. I now live outside of Boston and my children are students in Boston. On April 15th my daughter Christine was watching the race about two miles from the finish line. She texted me asking if I thought she could run next year if she started training now. “Of course” was my reply. Ten minutes later, the unthinkable happened and the bombs went off. My heart sank and I was at once furious and saddened beyond belief. The Boston Marathon would be forever changed, and this horrific, cowardly crime represented a loss of innocence that Boston and the race would never reclaim. When I spoke to Christine later that night, I asked if she would still consider running next year. Honestly I wasn’t sure how I felt about her running, but her response was clear, “Mom if we let them scare us into not doing what we love, they have won. We cannot let that happen. Ever! And you should run, too!”. And that’s how I came out of “marathon retirement” and began slowly building my mileage up to run Boston one more time in 2014 with my daughter. And when my knees hurt or I’m on my second bag of ice for a sore hip, I think of those three innocent people who lost their lives that day, and the many others who were injured and lost limbs. I suck it up and keep going because we can never let them win. Ever!

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  60. Clarissa Wilstead says:

    For the first twenty years of my life I struggled with my weight. Since I met my athletic husband I have run, swam and weight lifted through three pregnancies. One of my daughter’s struggles with her image at the exceptionally young age of eight. I would love to do an activity with her, surrounded by other strong women. I am a petite 5’0″ woman and consistently compares herself to me. She is a gifted swimmer and built for the sport. I want to show her the beauty of physical strength. The beauty of her body.

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  61. Elizabeth Peters says:

    A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with a kidney disease, which drastically changed my life overnight. I went through a year and a half of treatment. I am now in remission for nine months. When I first got sick I was 230 lbs. I have since lost 45 lbs. I never really cared if I was over weight or eating unhealthy, until I got sick. Since I have been sick and now in remission I have been eating very healthy. I was not always a big person, before I started having children, I was only about a 100 lbs. I let myself go after I finished my time in the Marines. My goal is to lose another 30 lbs. and to learn to live life healthier. I was once a great runner, I want to get back to that state of mind. I want to start running again, but to do that I need to lose a bit more weight. Those are my goals, hit 160 and start running again.

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  62. teia V. says:

    We went out of town for a month on a work trip, over the trip I gained 10 pounds, we ate out breakfast. lunch and dinner, and I didn’t work out while we were out of town. So my goal is to loose the 10 pounds I gained over the trip. Become more flexible, I skip stretching a lot and I would like to change that. I am also trying to not eat anything processed that is not natural.

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  63. Natalie Intemann says:

    I am entering this contest for my mom! All of our moms are the most loving, caring, compassionate people that we children have ever known, and there is no arguing the importance of mothers in our lives. My mother and her mother went through a lot in their lives.

    When my mom was just 40 years old, she lost her mother, my grandmother. Her mom played a vital role in our lives; she took care of me everyday when my mom was at work. Nanny (my grandma and mom’s mom) had a rare blood disease called polycythemia vera. This disease is life-threatening, and, even to this day, cannot be treated. After she was diagnosed with the disease at age 32, she was told that she would only live for a couple more months. Her response: “Well, that won’t do.” She simply would not accept the predictions that the disease would take over her life. To the Mayo Clinic’s surprise, she lived for another 37 YEARS!!! Nanny was an incredible person and is missed every day.

    As the younger generation living without our grandmother, my sister and I want the best for our mom. No matter what she goes through, we never want her to give up. We live in our grandmother’s footsteps; all of the other things this family has been through: chronic migraine, brain injuries, myasthenia gravis, depression, we get through it for her.

    Ever since my mom had children, she has not done a lot for herself. Taking care of us (my sister and I) has been hard enough on her. She is in shape, but wishes for a higher fitness level. Her fitness acheivements are as follows: many years of kayaking, yoga, cliff-jumping, hiking mountains, skiiing, and much more. Her fitness goals are very eclectic; she wants to do anything and everything to stay in shape. She recently became very interested in bikram yoga at a close studio, has not skiied in a long while or hiked a mountain recently. Her fitness goal is to be on the AMAZING RACE with her bother, Miles. This race has intruiged our family for years; it has been a dream of hers for years as well. She would need serious equipment and clothing for all climates because the race travels the world.

    We want to give her the chance to live for her mother and fight for fitness! My mom wants to strive to continue to do things that are exciting and challenging to her; she wants her body to allow her to be challenged for as long as possible.

    I want my mom to continue all of her goals as well as her fitness goals. Most of all though, I want her to continue her positive and happy lifestyle, which inspires everyone she meets. We want her to live just like her mother wants her to, for herself.

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  64. K Coffman says:

    Hello Athleta,
    I have always been an “athlete”, loved to run, bike, swim, play all sports. I enjoy chasing my now 2 year old around the yard, and being in decent enough shape to keep up! This past winter, I had shingles (I am only 30, I looked at the doctor at the time and said, “No I don’t, look again”. Her response was, “No it is shingles”!) and during that time I was in a lot of pain. My weight slowly crept up during those 3 weeks and I did not like the way I felt or looked. I was chasing after my son and got winded! Ugh! I have decided to make sure that I do things to help my body, eat right, sleep more, have designated time for prayer and devotions, and of course exercise. I am trying things I never thought I would enjoy, yoga, kickboxing, and kicking my bottom with Bob Harper’s workout DVD’s. My goal in life was to be a Mom – that is all that I wanted. Now that I have a son, I want to make sure that I am in good enough shape to have more children, and be around for them and their children.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  65. Maryanne Whitney says:

    My fitness journey started two and a half years ago. I had been overweight and unhealthy for many years. My little sister, who had always been the picture of health and fitness, passed away at the age of 49 from a sudden heart ailment. She had frequently prodded me to lose weight and try the yoga sessions she loved so much. A year after my sister’s death, after seeing an unflattering picture of myself, I chose to honor her memory by finally losing weight and getting healthy. I joined a weight loss program in January of 2011 and began to exercise and eat healthy. After 6 months of hard work, I lost 63 pounds and have kept it off for 2 years. I even tried yoga and I was hooked! I’ve done several 5k runs, I exercise 6 days a week and do yoga once a week. I’ve never felt better. I’ve also started helping with a local chapter of Girls on the Run at the elementary school where I teach. I used to be jealous of how good my sister looked in her Athleta sportswear, now I treat myself to nice workout clothes as a reward for all my hard work. My journey continues and I know my sister would be so proud of me; it’s what keeps me going.

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  66. I am 53 years old. Fitness has been my life. I have taught every kind of exercise class I can think of over the years. I was a fitness director and a nutrition consultant for eleven of those years. Almost five years ago now, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was stunning and shocking. I began regimens of steroids and methotrexate that made me feel horrible. Little by little I gave up my life style. As I took the drugs and gained over 25 pounds, I just wanted my knees to be able to bend. I’d sit in the Rheumatologists office with many women who were in wheel chairs, fearing my future. I felt defeated. After taking all those drugs for two years, my blood pressure began to sky rocket. I ended up in the ER with a “mini stroke.” My blood pressure was 200/100. It was a scary day. Oh and they could fix that, more drugs. It’s been a long, long five years. Anytime I would feel better, I’d walk on the treadmill, but lifting weights, or attending classes always shot my blood pressure. My best friend, who is also a fitness instructor, would sit with me for hours. Both of us hoping and praying that somehow my health would return. Somehow, I would be ME again.
    In the last year I began to back off the drugs. My strength began to slowly return. I have now spent a full month in the weight room, lifting weights. I am so ecstatic. It seems my Rheumatoid is staying in remission. My blood pressure is still requiring medication, but I KNOW that as soon as I have the rest of this weight off, I will go back to my normal numbers. I have 15lbs to go. My body REMEMBERS how to exercise. My FIRST short term goal is to Hike the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. It’s 11 miles of switchbacks, and steep climbs and descents. It isn’t easy for anyone, but I have many times been the only woman on the top. My husband and I have hiked that trail a number of times and it is the thing we both love to do more than anything. We are flying out in June. It has been five years. For five years I have sat in a hotel room all day waiting to hear how wonderful the hike was for my husband and son. BUT THIS YEAR, I’m hiking. Fitness is my goal. Fitness has been my life. It has kept me sane when I needed it. Given me peace when I could find it no where else, kept me focused, brought me success. Fitness is my long lost friend, and WE are going hiking!

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  67. Daphne Faircloth says:

    I do not have any tear jerking story. I absolutely love sports. i love to be outdoors, playing softball, volleyball, or just hiking in the woods. During the summer swimming is a must. I enjoy the beach just sitting on the beach and peacefully reading a good book or playing volleyball, frisbee etc. My two most precious jewels are my 2 daughters who are both beautiful inside and out. My oldest daughter is captain of her softball team in college. As she was entering college she began a healthy life style change of eating and adding extra exercise. She cut out all whites, starches, and sugars completely went whole grain and has been an inspiration to many. She has lost approximately 45 pounds and is going into her junior year of college. my youngest daughter whose role model is sister is very athletic as well she plays volleyball and softball as well and we all love the water and outdoors. i would like to say however why i am most impressed in your clothing line is the fact they cover well and are not skimpy which is very important to me as a mother. i have the final say so about what my daughters wear and I love the coverage without the wiggle.

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  68. Jessica Hinckley says:

    I started CrossFit this year to get in shape and feel better, for myself and my sons. My boys get to come with me and I love that they can watch getting in shape and being strong. I’m running a half marathon at the end of the year and may try for a full marathon next year. This is the first year since I was a teenager that I’m not dreading buying a bathing suit!

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  69. Amanda Lanphere says:

    I am a 33 year old single mom to a high energy, beautiful 2 year old daughter. I am an avid runner and have been since 1999. I ran my first half marathon in 2008 and I have done two more since then. I ran my first, and only, full marathon in Savannah in November 2011. I injured my knee in training two weeks before the race, but I was determined to finish it, and I did…in 6 hours and 5 minutes. I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to run another full marathon. Last summer it was time to try training again. I was working full time at night as a paramedic, I was in school full time to go back for a career change, and I was a full time mom still trying to find time to get in long runs. Along with all of this, I was going through a nasty divorce. Is there any other kind?

    During my training, I had a lot of gastrointestinal troubles. I was losing weight so fast due to the stress and poor nutrition brought on by long hours and emotional turmoil. The carbs I was normally used to while running were tearing me up. I couldn’t run more than 6 miles without being sick for hours. A doctor told me I should try switching to proteins instead of carbs. I tried that. It got me a little further, but I was still sad to make the decision that I would only run the half marathon. I thought, I will just try again for the full next year. I ran the half and shaved 11 minutes off my best time. I was happy with that. And I was able to spend a good weekend with my girlfriends.

    This past February, I was taking my daughter into her Little Gym class. When I got out of the car, my peripheral vision got really bright. It was very strange. My vision was never blurry, but it wasn’t right. It lasted for about 30 minutes, then went away. Later that night, I was lying in bed and, all of a sudden, I could hear blood swooshing in my ear with every beat of my heart. I called my best friend, also a medic, and she said that I was finally hearing the voices. We just joked it off. I slept with headphones in all night because the noise was so bothersome. I woke up the next morning with a headache. I tried taking Ibuprofen without relief. I went in to my class to take a midterm exam. When I walked through the door, my vision changed again, like the night before. I knew something was wrong. I took the exam and immediately went to the doctor. They did a CT scan and did not find anything. They gave me pain medications and I went home. At 2 in the morning, I started vomiting and could not control it. At 5 am I tried driving myself to the ER. I had to call a friend to come pick me up in a parking lot because I couldn’t make it. When I got there, they started treating me with more pain medications and did an MRI. That’s when they found a dissected carotid artery–the walls of the artery of my neck had come apart. I had another MRI and was scheduled to see a surgeon a few days later and was discharged. The headache was so bad that I went back to the ER the next day and they transferred me to another hospital that could better handle my problem.

    I had called my parents to come down from Virginia. I was admitted. They were talking surgery. Then they told me that I had had a stroke. A 33 year old, healthy female, with no medical history…they could not have been talking about me. In an instant, my life was different. They planned on going into the vessel to place a stent to hold it open, but when they went in, the vessel was all the way closed. Of course, my first questions were, can I still hold my child? Can I still be a paramedic? Can I still be a runner? I used to take my daughter out for my runs in a running stroller. It has speakers and we would listen to the ipod together. She has even run a kids run and gotten her first medal. One day I would like for her and I to run a 5k together. I want to pass on to her the love of running.

    I don’t know what is going to happen. I am currently not on the streets as a paramedic–I have to work a desk. I am not allowed to run at all. I am not supposed to pick up my daughter, but she is my daughter and I will never let anyone tell me that I can’t pick her up. I take medications everyday to keep my blood thin so I don’t have any more blood clots. If I had to say what my fitness goal is, it would be that I would be able to get a coach after I get cleared to run again. Because I will get cleared to run again. I am determined. I am not going to let this hold me down. Running is my passion. It is how I am known to everyone who knows me. They all think that I’m the crazy runner. I know it will be a long road to get to where I once was, and a coach who would support me and challenge me and just be there to help me safely build my strength back up would be what I would want. And if I don’t get picked, I hope that even one person who reads this reads up on carotid artery dissection, because it is the leading cause of stroke for young people. And it changes lives in an instant.

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  70. Cat Lamanske says:

    I am a single mother of twin girls. I haven’t quite reached my fitness goals but I have lost about 40 pounds in the last year to year and a half. It is now time to pump up the volume. I work A LOT and am trying to set an example for my twin girls who are 9. It is hard to shuffle everything but I know we can find a way. Kids fitness is hard to find if they aren’t into any sports quite yet although we all three love golf and they are just starting tennis. I would like to join them in tennis but they know more than I do at this point. I would love to show them the fun active lifestyle of jogging and hiking, etc. I would like to add in some good scenic bike riding. I know I am their only shot at setting a good and healthy example and although it is a lot of pressure to add that to our busy lives; I know it’s possible I just need that extra OOMPH to get us there. Sincerely,
    Cat Lamanske

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  71. Brooke Rasmussen says:

    I have always loved to be active and on the move, but it wasn’t until after my second baby that I fell in love with running and triathlons. I started racing and got such An adrenaline rush from it. After my third baby I experienced post party’s depression that never went away. It was a horrible feeling and I never felt like myself. It wasn’t until I started running and biking again that I realized just how important it was for me to stay active. I feel so much better about myself and life. I now have 4 very active kids and still have some bad days but am so thankful for the energy and self accomplishment I get from being active. My kids and husband are thankful for it also.

    You guys are awesome.

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  72. Angie Schulz says:

    Well, when I was much younger, I’m 42 now, the weight just seemed to fall off. Of course after 24 years of marriage and 2 kids its not so easy any more. I can say over the past 3 months I have lost 12 pounds thanks to Advocare and getting back to exercising. In January I had a hysterectomy and had to wait 6 weeks to get back to the gym. Being off work and not being able to really work out was difficult. I really worked on healthier eating habits and they seem to have stuck for the most part, I think we all fall off the wagon every now and then. I was able to start going to the gym in March and have slowly started to increase my run distance without having to take a break and walk. My goal is to complete a 3K without stopping to walk. My husband and I are planning to do the Warrior Dash in Omaha, Nebraska on June 8, 2013!!!! I’m excited to complete this challenge with my husband of 24 years. Next year hopefully we’ll end up in Mexico to celebrate 25. I really want to lead by example for my kids now ages 17 and 19. Eating healthy starting young will only help them in the long run. Unfortunately, we don’t get any younger. After completing the Warrior Dash in June I’m hoping to do a traditional 3K in late summer and run like I’ve never run before.

    My own mother who is 65 is a true inspiration!!! I can truthfully say that since I was born she has been over weight. Over the past year she has work so hard to lose weight and eat healthy loosing 20 pounds so far. She has also learned to control her diabetes better and her cholesterol numbers and blood pressure readings are better than ever. I am so proud of my own mom and if she can work so hard to complete all of this I can run a 3K. She and my dad will be so proud.

    Wish me luck!!!!!

    Angie Schulz

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  73. Alexandra Potter says:

    Im doing this for a great friend, one who is there for me day and night, and is always cheerful even at the worst of times. Her name is Jen, and being a Mom of 3 and military wife, exersize is her stairway to heaven. When i give her a call, she usually doesnt answer but calls me back 2 hours later after she gets back from her daily 7 mile run. Or in their garage theres a rower and some of my calls are answered by ” hey, huff, Alexandra, huff, im sorry but, huff, im, huff, rowing, bye, huff, call me later”I love her to death and she gives 110% in anything and everything. ive noticed in the past month or so that shes had a growing love for wakeboarding. Shes actualy has never done it but all of her kids are “pros” and keep nagging her about it. The growing amount of wakeboard magazines, videos, and weekly visits to the board shop in town are increasingly noticable and i wish i could just send her a wakeboard, wet suit, and a bunch of other neat stuff so i could see the joyous smile that would bloom on her face.
    She is the best friend a gal can get and deserves a little present.As we like to say at the end of our work outs “POWER TO THE SHE!”

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  74. Oh, this lady is a hidden hero for certain – and I am here to out her goal to complete a triathlon! My mother has a goal of adding a swim to her run and her bike sports. This sassy sister (or motivational mom) has so many chapters packed into a fit body that she best revealed in chapters.

    First – you gotta know her spirit: She’s so often doing for others. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, she decided that the obesity epidemic must be reduced in her patients. It’s a touchy topic and as she puts it, we don’t tip toe around other syndromes. Approaching an topic for a few minutes of awkwardness could bring a lifetime of health for a young child. She has taken on fitness and wellness to be a part of every child’s treatment plan. She impacts so many children as they grow, including her own two adult children.

    Second – she’s mastered the run: She’s an accomplished runner. Yet she will swallow her glory to highlight the accomplishments of her daughter (who is just happy to finish a race the same day I started), the athleticism of her son (who doesn’t love to run, but has natural athletic skill with any sport he tries) and the strength of her husband (who can power through a pool like no body’s business). Each of us can recount a race where she slowed her speed just to spend a few enjoyable miles along side one of her family members, one of her family members who needed her encouragement at that very moment.

    Her goal for years was to BQ, qualify for Boston Marathon. She finally did it! Now, you would think that qualifying for the Boston would be the hardest part and easy gliding from there, right? Just do what you did, all over again. Well, in between her qualifying run and the Boston, she has overcome being hit (while cycling) by a pick-up truck and an attack of slippery ice during the 2009 holiday ice storm with a shattered wrist.

    Next – her cycling come back: In 2009 she was cycling with her husband on rural road. The trail was at the top of a hill. Feeling safe to cross, a pick-up came up from the hill and hit her at full speed. She worked hard through physical therapy to get back on track with her goal. And as usual, she found a lesson to share with her young patients. She was often found showing her scars and telling stories to her young patients with the lesson that a well placed bike helmet was what saved her life. She could be heard urging all patients to always wear bike helmets and know the rules of the road (especially in often less-than-friendly roads without bike lanes). Once again, she was an inspiration as both a mom and a leading figure in the lives of others who were learning about the benefits of athleticism.
    Unrelated to sports, she found herself with a shattered wrist that winter. The fact that she simply, slipped on the ice probably bothered her the most (she wasn’t even running!). She was most concerned that this made her sound like an “old woman, falling and breaking bones”. And she was ready to shatter that myth by forging forward toward training for her 2010 goal. Healthy and strong, she was finally able to compete in 2010 Boston Marathon. She rocked that race and her family had the time of our lives cheering her on!

    She has the biking. . .and we know she has the running. Now, she has found inspiration from her husband who is a triathlete. He’s not speedy; he’s not the most powerful; but he finishes strong and with fervor with ever race. Most of all, he has reached to the rest of the family to encourage her to reach her next goal. She started swimming laps with him and with a coach, yet she claims she was not sure she had the gills to take on the swim. We beg to differ and we know we will see her through to a triathlon in the summer of 2013.

    Athleta, we need you to be on Team Rossman. . .help us support her to add a third sport to her arsenal of awesome. Gear her up for her swim, her bike, her run. It’s time she add a little flash in combination with her spirit. She is sure to bring many others along the way, inspiring them to do more (as she always does).

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  75. Colleen Fernbacher says:

    I was a stay at home mom until my divorce 3 three years ago. I used to love to ride my bike to a pilates studio, but now I barely have time to take care of myself. I’m a full time student in a RN program and I wait tables to support my three daughters, Natalie 15, Amelia 10, and Zoe 7. They are proud of my academic success but I want to be an example of a healthy lifestyle too. We try to get our mats out and do a little yoga before bed every night. Outwardly I’m very confident but inside I’m ashamed of the weight I’ve put on since my divorce. I really want to love myself again.

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  76. Michelle Hudimac says:

    2013 is my year. I am a 37 year-old single mother of 2 boys, ages 9 and 4. The past few years have been extremely trying and quite the challenge. At the age of 18, I got involved with the father of my children, I can’t even refer to it as a relationship, I was a victim of severe domestic violence, complete with verbal and emotional abuse. I was ‘not allowed’ to do anything. I was belittled daily. On June 28, 2009, I made the decision to take on whatever he threw my way, and kicked him out. I have been providing for my boys 100% since, in every sense of the matter. Exercise has always been my savior, my time to find some peace and dream of a stress-free life. My boys and I put a small gym in our basement, complete with Steelers’ emblem and a basketball hoop! I have been teaching them them when things get tough, exercise is a great release. This is some of our best quality time. On February 24, 2013, I took on the Disney Princess Half Marathon, never had run in my life! During the months leading up to the run, my boys watched their mommy train, with a confident attitude that I could do it! Their father had laughed hysterically when when my 9 year old told him what I was training for. Well, it was a victory in so many different ways when I crossed the finish line in less than 3 hours, stopping for at least 20 pic’s of my favorite Disney characters! What an amazing experience! But the most priceless moment was when my family and 2 sons brought me roses at the finish line, they were so proud of their Mommy. Since Feb., I have also taken on a 5K and plan to do many more. Recently, I have learned that I will lose my Job as a Master’s level Behavior Specialist due to new state requirements with licensing. Again, I am facing a major challenge and have decided to go back to be a Physician Assistant. Exercising has been the best stress relief once again to deal with the stress and worry, but I have learned that you really can achieve goals with hard work and determination. I’m working on learning to love & live my new life and be excited about the changes about to take place once again! My boys are my motivation to set the example of a healthy, happy, go-out-there and get-it-done attitude :) I’ve been admiring Athleta clothing line, but with the financial hit I am about to take, I have been only “computer window shopping” and would love the opportunity to win new clothing to keep my motivation going through the hardship I will have over the next few years, heading back to college.

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  77. Leah Richards says:

    Hi! I am a 37 year old mom of 2, and I am entering this for myself. I grew up extremely active and never had any problems with my weight. However, I always knew there was something wrong with me, call it woman’s intuition. I started having horrific shoulder pain in my late teens and soon became unable to participate in the sports that I loved. I was finally diagnosed around age 21 with an extremely rare congenital deformity called Sprengel’s Deformity. It is so rare that it is listed with the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Due to its rarity, it is very difficult to find a doctor who has even heard of it, much less a doctor who can treat it! Because I was diagnosed at age 21, it was too late for corrective surgery. As a result, I have been learning to live with my deformity. Life can be frustrating! My back and neck hurt constantly, I have severe muscles spams in my back daily, and my right rhomboid muscle has completely atrophied and turned to scar tissue. For me, this means that I can no longer play the sports that I love, nor can I do activities that put strain on the upper body. I feel like I continuously go through the stages of loss and acceptance. I have gained about 30 pounds over the past few years and really want to find an activity that will help me shed the weight and rebuild my self esteem. I work full time as a health care professional and take care of others every day. I would sincerely love an opportunity to take care of me! I want to be the best me that I cam be!!

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  78. Kim Colburn says:

    I am as fortunate as they come. I have two beautiful girls and a wonderful relationship with my mom who I share many memories with as my daughters grow up. These relationships are so valuable to me as I lost my sister at such a young age to cancer and feel that I can relive so many fond memories through these moments with my duaghters and my mom. Being active has always been a huge part of my life especially running which I have passed along to my girls doing 5Ks as often as possible. My mom is an active grandmom as she always is taking the kids to the beach, park, movies or really anywhere they want to go. We lost my dad this year and my mom had to move away which concerns me as as she is reaching her 70th b-day and her activity level could easily go in the opposite direction. So what do I do – plan a hiking adventure to the Grand Canyon to get her motivated. As a result she is now out walking at least 4-5 times a week and looking to join a gym in the next couple of weeks. Now all I need to do is ensure she is equiped with the right sporty clothing and since all I wear is Athleta I could think of nothing better than to pass along some of the great clothing to my dearest friend and mother. I am so proud of her focus during a time that she sould easily give up. Can’t wait for our trip in october!

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  79. Kim says:

    In 6 days I turn 39, the mother of 3 boys under 10. Over the past few years I have thought heavily about my forties, how I will age, but now it’s more about how I want to age. I recently thought back to when I was 19 and in college studying business management and how in the one health class that was required I discovered I should have studied nutrition. I quickly raced that thought away back then since I was raised to be a business woman. Unemployed now I think about how much I wished I followed through with that nutrition career. Having never been athletic since high school softball, I have developed into a foodie. Since having children, I have become more and more health conscious with my family’s food and am always bringing friends and family dishes made with better ingredients.
    In the most recent months, I have learned the most. I have started eating 95% clean, working out hard at the gym for the first time in my life and just recently researched macros in nutrition. I have applied these all to my daily life and found it not only helpful in achieving my goals of being in the best shape of my life at 40 but actually fun.

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  80. Erika Fischer says:

    I am the proud mother of 4 wonderful children 5 years old and under. I can’t honestly say I have ever purchased anything from Athleta, but I have visited your website many times, dreaming of my “someday when I am fit” wardrobe. In short, 5 years ago, I gave birth to my beautiful, amazing little boy, weighing 224 lbs prior to delivery. I have since been blessed with 3 more pregnancy and beautiful babies. As you can imagine, my weights been up and down (more up then down). Our second son, who is now 2 has just completed his second brain decompression surgery, he has a malformation of the brain known as Arnold’s Chiari. With hospital stays ect. (especially this last surgery) I was eating my emotions and my scale was something I learned to avoid at all cost. I decided not only did I need more exercise, but I needed to change my eating habits as well. I have switched my diet to Paleo, and and I am working out daily! I now weigh 160 lbs, and am delighted not only with my weight, but have overwhelmed as to how much improving my diet, and the therapy I have found in exercise has not only transformed me but my entire family as a whole. I have a ways to go, but I am proud to say I think this summer I can rock some athleta apparel, with a smile and confidence!

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  81. Pam says:

    This Mother’s Day is going to be unlike any other for me and for my five year old daughter Sierra. This year I am flying with my daughter to New Jersey (from California) for Dylan. Dylan is a four year old with metachromatic leukodystrophy, often referred to as MLD. Dylan is the son of a friend of mine who I have known my entire life and who was as close as a brother to me as my own.

    Children with MLD often do not live to see the age of five. My hometown is hosting 5K race in honor of Dylan and to raise money for The Dylan Flinchum RockOn Foundation ( and Sierra and I will be there and will race.

    Sierra has never met Dylan but she is anxious to meet him now and give him a big hug. I know, as a mother that it will be a bittersweet trip for me. I cannot wait to support and hug Dylan but I know that Sierra will have lots of questions. Why doesn’t he talk? Why doesn’t he walk? Why is he sick? My heart will break knowing that I have two amazingly healthy little girls in my life while Dylan’s parents, my friend, struggle on a daily basis with this illness. It is not fair.

    My goal is to run this 5k with all the strength that Dylan lacks. My goal is to run through as many tears as I can so Dylan’s parents can have one dry day. My goal is to help people become aware of MLD so a cure can be found. My goal is to show my daughter the amazing power of a community brought together by so much love for one little boy. My goal is to run and run for Dylan.

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  82. Caitlin Mullinix says:

    19 months ago, I became a first time mom to an energetic, happy, and very sweet little boy that we named Nicholas. Life was perfect. But, 4 short weeks after he was born, I was feeling awful. I knew that parenthood would be a challenge, but I was lethargic, having fevers, and short of breath. During a visit to the ER, tests revealed that I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. A biopsy led to my being hospitalized and on a ventilator, missing the precious early days of Nicholas’ life. Despite the devastating diagnosis, my husband and I remained upbeat for our little baby. I began chemotherapy immediately, but after several months it became clear that my disease was particularly aggressive. After three other chemo regimens, in October of 2012 I had a stem cell transplant using my sister’s stem cells. I was in the hospital for a month and have spent these last six months recovering, primarily at home in bed or on the couch. The transplant was a success!! I now am recovered enough and have the energy to become more active, both with my son and husband and for myself. My fitness goal is to strengthen my muscles again through yoga so that I can chase my little one at the playground! I’ve lost a lot of flexibility and strength that I had 2 years ago, and want to be myself again!

    And on another note….when I was in the hospital during the initial diagnosis (18 months ago), my mom came to my room one day with a bag full of Athleta wear. She was in San Francisco from out of town, and had been exploring the neighborhood. Atheta was right by the hospital and she reported having such nice interactions with the staff….after explaining our situation, everyone was SO helpful. All of the items she presented were so cozy and comfortable, and just what I needed. Since then, I’ve become an Athleta devotee — my “uniform” consists of the Revelation pant, t-shirt, and a hoodie/jacket!

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  83. Sunmi says:

    Moms are amazing people. And I want to tell you about mine.

    She’s a tiny woman — just about 5 feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds — but there is always so much energy and determination in her.

    My mom was born in Korea, and as the eldest of seven siblings, she used to bring her baby sister to school so she could help out her mother (my grandmother) without missing classes. By the time she got married in her mid-20s, she was the only female teacher in an all-male high school. By her late 20s, she had earned a Master’s degree — while juggling a full-time teaching job AND a family (I was in pre-school by then, and my mom used to get home late from work and then stay up to read books with me). In her mid 30s, she decided to continue her studies in the US… and my brother’s and my education as well. So the three of us packed our bags, moved to the other side of the world, and began our life here. Our dad stayed in Korea to stay at his job, so my mom was effectively a single parent for two kids (aged 9 and 4 by this time), in a foreign country without any of her family nearby to turn to for help. Since then she has become a full-time ESL teacher in one of the best public high schools in Wisconsin and put her two kids through an exclusive American private college.

    Only after my brother and I left did my amazing mom start doing things for herself. In the last few years, she has joined a choir, started taking piano lessons, and picked up dancing, running, yoga, and gardening. She has also been overcoming her fears and learning to bike and to swim, for which I am so proud of her.

    My mom has always sacrificed herself so that my brother and I could have the best education and the best opportunities. I think it’s her turn for something wonderful, don’t you?



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  84. Bridgette says:

    My husband and I just became empty-nesters. We now have our time back and we are ready to get back in shape. I have always been thin, but I’m not fit. My goal is to get toned by lifting weights, walking, swimming and possibly rowing. Having beautiful gear to sport would be the icing on the cake that I make a habit of not eating it all.

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  85. Traci says:

    My Mom has always been an “Athlete.” Capital A. The best basketball free thrower EVER, and at a time when there was no “Title 9″ so women’s sports were hard to come by. Over the last year, she has been slowly losing her eyesight. And it stinks. Her balance is off, she can’t drive herself to the gym to do what she loves — work out, and be in her body – like all athletes do. If I could give my Mom one thing this Mother’s day, it would be to give her her eyesight back. But if I can’t give her that, at least maybe she can LOOK and FEEL like the athlete she truly is.

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  86. My goal is not heroic and I’m not a star athlete. I’ve had two kids, work full time and do my best to find my soul 2-3 days a week soul cycling. I can’t seem to lose my middle and try not to be defeated so my wish is to have unlimited soul.

    Truly the opportunity to do what I love as often as i can want to and not worry about the expense and get back into my clothes and feel like myself without feeling like it will take a season on the biggest loser to achieve it:)

    Thanks for your consideration.

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  87. Britt Knauft says:

    Dear Athleta,

    I was never athletic growing up.However the older I get the more interested I get in fitness and health. I’m turning 50 in a week and I’m feeling great! I love taking classes at the gym and I’m hooked on Zumba!! I try to stay healthy by exercising and eating good food.I’m also trying to be a role model for my family and I try to get my daughters interested in exercising. I feel this is a goal for life and I feel great!!

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  88. Marnie Wooding says:

    This year is a banner year. Turned 50, 30th wedding anniversary, and becoming a grandparent. Time to take a look around at who you are and who you want to be. Went on a diet and lost six dress sizes. Started Pilates and then started to exercise with my husband. He’s a runner and I’m a strider but we manage to do it together, He runs out and back and somewhere in the middle we join up and finish together.You don’t have to be the same to do it together. On weekends we are doing over 30 k and discovering new adventures together. Started snowshoeing together. And we just don’t seem to run out of things to talk about. We’re best friends. Well, before this year I would have never considered sports clothing. I felt big and clumsy, and more than a little embarrassed. You were a great first step for me. I ordered a couple of things and jumped around the room when I tried them on and they looked great. On me!!! My daughter was like wow Mom. And i was looking in the mirror thinking no kidding. Is that really me? This week I joined 49 thousand walkers and runners at the Vancouver Sun Run. I powered through 10K feeling strong and, well, empowered. I am just embarking on this journey of discovering who I am and what I’m capable of doing. Call me a late bloomer. What’s the next challenge? Thinking that over. Trekking adventures seem to come to mind. Big world out there. Who knows. And isn’t that really the point and the exciting aspect of this new me. But, whatever it is I know where to get the clothing I’ll need. Thanks for great gear and a great site. And, helping me discover a new me. Who knew what a difference a year could make, Who knew I could wear tight clothing…seriously not me.

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  89. Yoga68 says:

    Hello, and thank you for this generous opportunity. I think we are all winners for offering ourselves up to living a better life, so congratulations to our Athleta Chi community for your goals that inspire me each day, and Happy Mother’s Day. My running goals at 40, were met with crossing a few finish lines each time a little faster, and a little longer. That led to receiving my yoga certification and the authentic joy of deepening my practice. Now, looking at 45 soon, my new goal is to train for a half-marathon. You see, I’ve faced a lot of challenges while running and found the courage to dig very deep in my vulnerable soul practicing yoga, so the biggest motivator to set this new goal is to see the smiles on the faces of my children again while holding the “Go Mom” signs during this new race i will embark on. I clung onto the handmade Yoga ninja dolls throughout the grueling year long journey of receiving my certification and that stopped me from quitting. Now, my children are actively pursuing their own fitness goals and are not afraid to do a race with mom, so I’ve already won. It is to them that I dedicate my life to teaching, and to my fabulous husband as well, who gave me this wonderful family life full of support. In conclusion, almost everyone has asked me when I am going to teach and I think each time: I already am teaching and I am looking good doing it in my Athleta gear.

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  90. Dominique Klimek says:

    My mom is the most giving person in the world. She works hard to give my three sisters and I everything we need. I often feel spoiled. My mother has inspired me to live the active life I have. When I was a sophomore in high school she ran my first half marathon with me, the More Half marathon in Central Park. We then decides to run the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll half marathon.
    My mom has nothing of her own. She gives everything to my sisters and I. If I so much as complement her ring she will take it off her finger and say “have it.”
    My mother and I are going to be running the Philadelphia Marathon in November. My mom not only needs, but deserves proper running clothes to train in. I feel so blessed to be able to say I’m running a marathon with my mom. How many girls get to say that? She is beautiful inside and out. Everyday I’m away from home I miss her. She has become my best friend.

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  91. Teri Doran says:

    I owe my new fitness level, weight loss and ventures to… Let me explain. One year ago I received a group e-mail to vote for a certain extreme obstacle race to come to Indiana. I did not bother to look at the race, I only noticed that participants received a free beer at the end. I thought, “any race that offers a beer at the end can’t be too bad”, so I told my friend and we signed up. In the process of our training, a whole two months before the race, we got a few others to join our group: a Priest, a golfer, and a few teenagers. Race day arrived and what we faced was 40 degree weather, a pond to swim, too many mud pits to count, rope climbs, log carries, you name it, it was there. It was a brutal mind and body challenging race. And we were hooked. We began to train regularly and completed 3 more obstacle races last summer. Fast forward to this year, I am returning to participate in the 2nd annual race that I started with. I am a founder of a new obstacle race that my running group (Muscatatuck Mudders) is hosting, and am scheduled for a Grand Canyon hike in June. Yes, a beer changed my life.

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  92. becca says:

    Because this topic is somewhat taboo, this is the first time I have gone into any kind of detail about this past and my history. i am sure you will hear stories very similar, I am not sure what makes mine different other than it is mine.

    several years ago, in college, i fell into a bad crowd. I was dating a guy who wasn’t the best influence and I ended up in a real bad cycle, using drugs. I ended up breaking up with the guy who helped me get addicted and I continued using. Along the way, I lost two of my best friends and fell deeper into this hole I was digging for myself. I ended up arrested and in jail for a while. When I got out I went through a variety of programs. I was so upset by the loss of my two best friends (both to overdoses, six months apart) that I couldn’t see a good purpose for not using other than to get out of my arrest charges. When I got arrested again, I thought maybe I should really take a look at what I was doing. I checked myself into a program. They had a gym there. I used to be active. I used to play soccer… so I figured, I could exercise to pass the time.

    At first I was not able to lift any weight at all. I was unable to run and I couldn’t walk very much, but I stuck with it. Now, 4.5 years later and 40 pounds lighter, I am able to run a half marathon. I give you my background so that you know what I overcome to get where I am today. I found yoga and running to be my substitute addiction and I have not looked back since. My plan for the fall is to run my very first marathon. I am running the Marine Corps Marathon because it is in my hometown and the spirit on that course is second to none, save Boston (which i aspire to run one day). I have come from a very dark place and worked very hard to get to where I am today and I plan to continue to work hard and move forward. thank you for allowing me to share my story. it feels good to speak so freely.

    I cannot let this go by without mentioning my mother as it is a mother’s day contest and I would not be here if it were not for her. While I was going through all of my troubles, she was in school working on her PhD and worrying about whether I would come home or not every night. The one thing I want to note about my wonderful mother is that without her, I would probably not be here as she supported me when no one else did. She never turned her back on me. She employed every tactic she could to help me from enabling to tough love. She is a wonderful lady and I aspire to be as awesome as her some day. She is my biggest cheerleader (next to my wonderful husband) and she is at the finish lines of all of my local races with my husband cheering me on, whether I get there at a 12 min/mile pace or a 7 min/mile pace… she is there.

    so to recap, from idiot to strong lady (getting stronger), my end goal is to run 26.2 with some marines in oct for my first full marathon!

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  93. Nikki says:

    For the past 7 years I have struggled with debilitating migraines. I would have to spend most days in bed, not able to work, let alone even think about exercising, which used to be such a staple in my life. They finally put me on medication to control them, still not gone, the medication gave me so many side effects, being fatigued 24/7 among them. So at the beginning of this year I decided that I wanted a new start. I radically changed my eating, cutting out ALL processed foods and migraine triggers. I have resolved to be active everyday. It is a struggle to stay motivated and keep pushing through, but I am confident that I can persevere through these headaches and regain my health!

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  94. Jaimelee says:

    My goal is to run a full Marathon. After having my kids I felt so amazing and powerful I figured the only thing left to do was run a marathon. My weight had climbed steadily through both births and so I had some work head of me. I kept trying to get back into my active lifestyle but with 2 young children it was near impossible to find the time or energy to workout. I wasn’t eating healthy mainly sustaining myself on coffee and sugar. Nearly 2 years ago I got sick with salmonella poisoning, after 4 days in the hospital I was able to go home but was not the same. I continued to be sick for 6 months spending lots of time in bed wishing I could to get back on my feet. My health was completely gone, I was sick every time I ate and was endlessly told it would take 2-3 years to get healthy. This seemed so unfair to my kids, to have a mom who sick and tired all of the time. I decided I wasn’t waiting that long and began working hard toward gaining my health back. I started by discovering that having salmonella triggered all sorts of food allergies, once I eliminated those foods and cleaned up my diet I began to feel better. I started a couch to 5k, and worked on some strength at home. I was slowly but surely feeling better. Then I started to CrossFit and began running more miles more often and began to feel better than ever. I started blogging about my journey. I have become more active with my kids and feel better than I can ever remember. I even started coaching track at my son’s school. Currently I feel amazing and ran a 10k and 10 miler recently on top of studying for my crossfit level 1 training cert and going back to school for a second degree in Exercise Science. I feel that a marathon is that looming unchecked item on my bucket list and am ready to tackle it. Running is something that I have done since high school. it is something that has always made me feel powerful and serene at the same time. It has helped me gain my health back, drop over 40 pounds and keep my sanity in check juggling the duties of mom, wife, employee, coach & student. Nothing would make me happier as a mom than to show my kids what hard work and determination can accomplish as they watch me cross the finish line at my first marathon!!

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  95. Rachael says:

    Cancer. How can a word have so much power? Five years ago my identical twin sister would find out. The mother of two small daughters was faced with the fact she may not see her beautiful daughters grow up, knowing the pain, hardship, and loneliness that she faced when we lost our mother to ovarian cancer.
    As any mother would do, she faught for her life, for her children, and her family. Watching her go through chemotherapy with all of the side affects was anguishing. Having breast cancer, she under went a double mastectomy followed by radiation and than reconstruction.
    I see how difficult it is for my twin to shop for swimsuits with me. She has frustration over styles and fits of swimsuits. She has scars on her back from reconstruction that are not easily hidden by swimsuits.
    My sister and I are inseparable. She once told me, while going through her fight, that she is thankful that I wasn’t the one to get breast cancer. THANKFUL.
    ATHELTA swimsuits provide the cover she needs. Mostly, the provide the confidence she deserves.

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  96. Mary says:

    I just registered for the the Tough Mudder 12 mile obstacle course rate in November. I shall be training hard to prepare for this race. I think I shall be cross training, not just running because I will also have to increase upper body strength for all the pulling and climbing involved. I am very excited to do this race!

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  97. Nicole Tobias says:

    I am the mother of two small children who are my absolute world. I have an amazing husband who supports me in every way. I work full time to support our family. I have not been able to loose all the weight from my two pregnancies. I try to find the time to work out but I usually find myself playing with my kids. We have a very limited budget and I find it hard to spend money on myself, especially for work out clothes. I love Athleta clothes and they inspire to find activities that I can do with my kids to help me loose weight and feel good about myself. My goal is to start running again and start competing in some smaller races and moving up from there. I would love to look good doing it. Thanks for this opportunity.

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  98. My daughter Harper saved my life. She was born August of 2011, and with me weighing in at my heaviest ever when she was born (350 lbs), I was the happiest and most miserable that I had ever been. I lost around 18 lbs after her birth just by birthing her basically. I was sedentary and ate horribly. I have battled my weight since I was 9. That was the first time I ever went on a diet. I actually went to meetings and weighed in as 9 year old. Over the course of 22 years, I yo-yo’d and half heartedly attempted every single gimmick to lose weight.

    At 31, being a mother for the first time, being miserable in my own skin, and loving this little creature I was blessed with more than life itself, something clicked for me. I wanted to be more for her. She deserved a happy, healthy, active mom. I already knew what kind of mom she would have if I continued the course I was on. A mom who was too embarrassed to wear a swim suit at water parks, a mom who was too big to fit into roller coaster seats, a mom who was too out of shape to run and play with her, a mom who might actually be taken from her too soon because of something like diabetes and/or heart disease. I knew that my daughter deserved better than that. Would I not give up my life for her? Absolutely, so why would I not give up food and being lazy for her.

    June 1st, 2012, I started my journey and I have not looked back one single time. Since that time I have lost 94 lbs and have about 70-80 lbs left until I reach my ultimate goal weight. This whole process is about so much more than simply losing weight. It is about being active and healthy. I want her to have an example of a mom who loves life and lives it the best way possible.

    With warmer temps starting to appear, we have been getting outside and running and playing. It is exhilarating to be able to run along side her and not be winded or tired. It makes me happy to want to go outside and play with her instead of trying to convince her to stay in and watch TV because it would require less effort from me. I know that is how I would be treating her right now had I not made the changes I made last year.

    Being healthy and active is making me a better mom for my daughter. She deserves the very best and I am doing my best to give her that.

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  99. Laurie Maxwell says:

    I have finally found a sport I actually look forward to doing, and your clothes make me feel great while riding my bike on the Santa Anna Tail in California, thanks for a great line of clothes!

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  100. Libby says:

    Wow, this is some contest, there are so many good and inspirational ideas to read through!

    For those of you who are interested, here’s mine.

    I was excited and thrilled. My dad had just taken my brother and I on our first backpacking trip, and though I was exhausted because it pushed me physically and mentally further than I’d ever gone before, I wanted to do it again someday. Years passed, but there never seemed to be a good time to go. I graduated from college, and still, in the back of my mind, was the plan, the dream, the desire to pick up my backpack, tent, and sleeping bag and wander all day through the woods, with no schedule, no deadline, just to be, and to enjoy it.

    Then, last March, something happened that crushed that dream. It made me feel devastated, made me feel like I could never do some of my favorite things again. At that time, and months after it, I even considered re-doing my bucket list, because many of the things on there were going to be too difficult, painful, or impossible to accomplish.

    While taking a martial arts test, I was twisting away from a wrist grab when my foot suddenly stuck to the mat! Unfortunately, my body kept moving and my knee dislocated with a pop! I fell to the ground, trying to protect it, hoping someone would notice and help me – fortunately, the instructors were at my side in seconds. They put it back in place, and I visited a doctor the following day.

    At first, anytime I’d try to walk anywhere, My keen felt like jello, like it was made out of rubber, and like nothing was where it was supposed to be. I spent a few weeks trying to rest my knee so it would heal, then, the doctor prescribed physical therapy for me. While the exercises did make the muscles around my knee stronger, it would ache whenever I did a lot of walking, running was out of the question, and if it was raining or snowing, that only made things worse. It felt like someone had taken a wrecking ball to my dream of going backpacking again, not to mention many of the other activities I enjoy.

    Because of careful workouts at the gym, swimming, visiting a therapist, and much patience, my knee is thankfully doing better. Believe it or not, this weekend I’m finally going to be fulfilling that dream of backpacking again. For me it will be a big personal milestone, because it will be proving to me how, with persistence, it is possible with to recover from a major injury. To make the weekend even better, nine of my friends are coming along, and for some of them, this will be their first time. I can’t wait to show them how much fun it is, and to help them enjoy it just as much as I did my first time!

    Looking back, while it is not something I would ever want to happen again, my injury did help me grow as a person. It has made me so much more grateful for being able to be active again, when in the past I just took it for granted. To those of you still recovering from an injury, don’t give up!

    I love this quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe – “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

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