One Step At The Time: The Sky Is The Limit
One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to cross paths with some amazing individuals. I collect their stories because they are a true inspiration and they remind me to take the time to be grateful for the simplest, most natural things, such as being able to walk and run. I like to share these life stories with you with the hope to warm your heart and bring you a smile. In the end the lesson remains the same: The sky is the limit. Not very long ago I received an email from Kris Klessig a wonderful woman, a long distance runner and loving daughter. She reached out on the behalf of her mother Sandra Prusik, to share her incredible story. Sandy's journey began at 45 when, although she had been living a healthy and active lifestyle, she experienced a massive stroke which left her left side paralyzed. She was also left to deal with the many changes her new condition meant for her mind and body. At only 53 years of age she was struggling with weight issues, peaking at 280 lbs, and suffering from an abusive marriage. With the help of her daughter she finally ended her unhealthy marriage and started a new chapter of her life. "Suddenly with being happy I got my eating under control. With the help of WW I recognized what a normal calorie amount is and started counting calories until I dropped 70 lbs." says Sandra. "Eventually my WW group asked me if I were there to shatter all their excuses. I'm old, short, paralyzed, did no exercise and I lost half my body weight. A man in my class said what did you do with the woman you lost? I quipped, I left her with my abusive ex." She is now 71 and even more determined. She discovered that while losing weight is hard, the real struggle is keeping it down. In fact, as she reminded me, statistics state that 99% of those who lose 25 lbs or more will gain it all back and more in 12 months. Following a suggestion from her daughter she discovered Yesfit virtual races. Of course finding out how to do it was the hardest part. Finally, about a year ago she purchased a FitBit alta which she wears on her ankle. "I mainly march in place to get in the steps I need. After my stroke in 1992, I could only lift my left foot about a half inch off the floor. Now I can lift both feet equally to march in place sitting in my wheelchair," she explained. "Then one day I proudly told my daughter I got over 3 miles that day (about 8000 marching steps). So she tells me, “Hey Mom, 3.1 is a 5K. You did a 5K!" "Today I have completed 2 virtual races so far, one 21 miles, the second 28 miles. I've nearly finished a third, 32 miles." Her next goal is going to be the Malibu 5K. "I have loved Southern California for a very long time and have been traveling to visit Malibu for longer than I can remember. I am so honored that you have decided to find a way to let me participate." And of course we couldn't be happier than to support her in every possible way. On November 4th, while you complete your race you might be lucky enough to share that moment with such an incredible athlete. And of course, if you do, don't forget to high five her!