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You are wrong. YOU inspire ME!

Yep. I took this photo. We were so close to Keith Urban that we could see up his nose! I would have to say it was the best concert I ever attended – and consequently the reason for slight hearing loss in my right ear – but worth every second! Once I got a good photo, I spent the rest of the time enjoying his amazing talent and that of his band mates.

But I also acted as part body guard. The women around me were going absolutely nuts and grabbing for him like starving people that hadn’t eating in weeks. The protective momma in me took over and suddenly I was blocking their arms and standing firm like a cement pillar that could not be moved. I’m sure Keith gets a good chuckle from it at every concert, but for some reason, I didn’t think it was right. Let the man sing and play without having to worry if someone will grab his guitar … or worse …

It’s just in my nature. I love to see people at their best and I want to be the one, right up front, supporting and protecting them. Whether it’s my favorite Zumba instructors, daughters, friends, neighbors or even co-workers, I want them all to not only succeed but to know that I am right there, protecting them from harm and cheering loudly!

The thing is - I’m in awe of all of their accomplishments. Sure, I have this cute little blog and am on a big kick to lose weight and get more fit, but when I compare that to the list of unbelievable things my friends and family have experienced, it’s only a drop in the bucket.

I will not name names, but you know who you are.

  • Getting back into yoga and reshaping your body and mind. I see you.

  • Giving up carbs for not just a few months, but over a year and still all in – proving to everyone that there are plenty of good food alternatives to create a carb-free, fulfilling, rewarding (major weight loss) and enjoyable lifestyle! Who knew?

  • Being a champion for the disabled - which includes caring for a disabled brother and son. You have a gift of compassion that shows true humanity. God bless you!

  • Surviving and THRIVING after a divorce and almost losing your house - all while being a mother of 2 boys, working full time and acting like a crazy cat lady!

  • Worse yet, a divorce AND her house burned down but she picked herself up, got some hand-me-down clothes, a new computer and a notebook and started the painstaking work of typing in everything she lost so she could get it back through insurance. (Also a mom of 2 and working full time.) Energizer Bunny!

    • FYI – you both lost your cats tragically as well. Pain and heartache is universal.

  • Setting goals to be in better shape and weigh less than you did on your wedding day and then achieving them! My hero!

  • Hiking the Grand Canyon, which included overnight camping in that snake infested desert wasteland. Who does that?

  • Running miles and miles every day and volunteering for infant loss organizations to honor the memory of your little girl that passed away too soon. You go girl!

  • Getting through chemo and radiation treatments while hardly missing a day of work. Then jumping right back into exercise like you never took a break.

    • There are three of you in the same place on your journey, which makes me mad at the universe, yet brings me to my knees in thanks and praise to God that I am blessed to know you. I am not worthy!

  • Recognizing that your career is not going in the right direction and then having the imagination, courage and strength to do something about it!

    • There are 2 of you in this category. Oh the places you will go!

  • Losing your best friend, who happens to be your husband, in a tragic motorcycle accident, but managing to get through a funeral and then keeping your daughter’s life as normal as possible – which includes moments of tears and laughter. Heart breaking yet inspirational at the same time!

I could go on and on. Plus, these are just the stories I KNOW about. When I go to my favorite dance classes and look around the room, I don’t just see bodies in multicolored, eccentric clothing (because we ARE - ha!), I see deeply faceted people with unique stories that make each one of them special in their own way. I am blessed to know them and honored that they would share their stories with me. I treasure our relationships and pray that I am a blessing in their lives as well.

All of these stories inspire me and give me the added courage to keep fighting for my dreams and goals as well! When we focus our energy on finding ways to help and support one another, it only furthers our own progress.

As of late, I am still hovering around the 50-pound weight loss mark, but I am making strides in my fitness level. For instance, I started to get bored with walking so just for the heck of it, I jumped on a treadmill and decided I was going to run a mile – AND I DID! Then I did it 2 more times throughout last week!

Also, I have been timing myself when I am in the plank position – which looks like an extended push-up, held in place. I used to hold it for one minute but lately, I am up to 1.5 minutes! So when the scale is not giving me good numbers, at least I can quantify progress with my exercises.

In conclusion, when I need the extra boost to keep working on my goals, I often think about the people in my life and all of their amazing stories. Some of them are still in the thick of it, while others have powered their way through and shine in ways I never imagined. I am so proud of all of them – for what they have done, are doing and have the potential to achieve. Because I KNOW it’s possible.

So instead of seeing Keith Urban on the stage, I imagine my friends and family, doing what they do best while I protect, support and admire them at their side.

Many of you fill this role in my life and it’s a debt that I hope to repay because you have no idea how much it means to me.

So let me be your protector – your biggest fan. There is no greater joy than watching you share your talents, achieve your dreams and become who you were meant to be.

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