With that being said, it’s time to meet another member of #teamsparkle. Up next is the sparkly Nynke, @little_miss_sparkly_runner!
Tell us about your past race/running experience:
Nynke: I started running in 2013 to prove to myself that my body was (is) capable of so much more than I ever imagined. After a long period of being overweight, struggling with an unhealthy marriage and dealing with depression and anxiety I decided to use running as my way of regaining control of my life, my overall health and my self confidence. I was never active growing up. I skipped gym class when I could and basically hated any type of athletic activity so it wasn’t easy…but I worked at it…a little bit every day.
I set my goal of a 5k and signed up for the 2013 RunDisney Expedition Everest Challenge and slowly began training for what seemed to be the farthest distance EVER. Little did I know the profound impact that one small event would have on my life. I ran it undertrained, with no knowledge of nutrition and, wow, was it ever a struggle. After I crossed that finish line though, I was hooked, but I also vowed to never feel that way again during a race or after. I decided to set my sights on my first half marathon as part of the 2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend and the rest is history. I fell in love with that runners high and wanted to continue pushing myself and challenging myself – whether it be furthering my distance or setting personal records. I’m always wanting to see how far I can go.
Since 2013, I have been blessed enough to run 7 Half Marathons, 2 Challenge Weekends (19.3 miles), and even 1 Full Marathon with my sights now set on conquering the Dopey Challenge in 2018.
Running has given me a new lease on life. I’m happier, healthier, and stronger than I have ever been. It has taught me not only to push my boundaries but also to be comfortable in my own skin again. Plus it gives me an excuse to wear copious amounts of sparkle and brightly colored running outfits – what more could a girl ask for??
We are so glad you are a part of #teamsparkle. When did you first join and what color was your first skirt?
N: I first joined #teamsparkle in 2014. I knew I wanted a fun, sparkly, princess inspired outfit for the Glass Slipper Challenge and settled on running as Snow White for the 10k and Rapunzel for the Half Marathon so my first skirts were yellow and purple.
What/Who inspires you to continue running?
N: When I started running I didn’t know any runners at all and I didn’t know much about running as a sport. Shortly after I started running though I started an Instagram page to share my training and running journey. As time went on I met so many amazing and inspiring people through social media that were either new to the sport or seasoned runners. Just hearing how my journey has inspired others, or seeing others crushing their goals always gives me that extra push to lace up each morning and hit the pavement.
We all know how much #teamsparkle loves their treats as much as they love running… What’s your favorite indulgence?
N: Well, I have a HUGE sweet tooth so anything covered in chocolate is on the list for sure but I would say my biggest indulgence is probably pizza. If I could eat pizza everyday I would. Whenever I’m running Disney races on the East Coast a stop at Via Napoli is always a must after every race – it’s the stuff dreams are made of haha.
Which Sparkle Athletic product is your favorite “go to”?
N: I think it goes without saying that the skirt is my “go to”. I haven’t run a race (either local or RunDisney) without one – I might be a little superstitious – I don’t own every color yet but I’m getting close! Shwings are top of the list for me as well. Even if I’m just out for a training run I keep them on my shoes for a little fun and a pop of color. They always get compliments too so I find it’s a great conversation piece when I’m out on the trails.
What is one of your favorite parts of racing in a Sparkle Athletic skirt?
N: I love that all the colors and prints really allow me to express myself. Also, since I’ve been wearing these skirts since I started running, I kind of feel like it represents this alter ego of mine too – a bright, sparkly, non-runner turned runner. Putting on a Sparkle Athletic skirt on race day always reminds me of all the things I have accomplished while wearing that skirt and I just feel AMAZING – like a real runner (is there such thing as a fake runner??). The fun bright colors and the sparkle, it makes me feel so feminine yet kinda badass all at the same time haha.
Thank YOU so very much for “joining the team.” Individually each & everyone of you is amazing, but as a “team” we ROCK.
Everyone has a story, and we want to hear YOURS! The #teamsparkle community is such a loving and inclusive group, but often times we are tackling our runs solo. Knowing your teammates can help you to feel more a part of the running community.
If you would like to share your story, whether it is about how you got started running, what motivates your running, why you love running, or how running has changed your life, please let us know! We would love to feature you on an upcoming “Meet The Team“ post – so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!