With that being said, it’s time to meet a member of #teamsparkle. Up next is Stephanie, aka @stephjspeer!
Tell us about your past race/running experience:
Stephanie: Running was never on my radar. In fact, exercise, in general, wasn’t. In the early hours on a Sunday morning in January 2012 that changed. At age 51, out of shape and feeling the empty nest blues as my 3 children were now young adults I turned on my computer and did my typical Sunday morning routine. Check email. Facebook. CNN. Twitter. Across my twitter feed, I saw a post about people running through Disneyland. Wait, what? I had just discovered runDisney. Goosebumps. BUT there was NO way I could ever run a half marathon. Or even a half mile. Or could I? My first half marathon was the runDisney Tinkerbell Half one year later in January 2013 and I was blessed to be able to do it with my two daughters and my sister. I had discovered something I loved and it’s been part of my life ever since and will be for as long as my body allows.
We are so glad you are a part of #teamsparkle. When did you first join and what color was your first skirt?
S: Throughout my first year attempting to teach my “mature” sedentary body to actually get off the couch and exercise I did a lot of online searching for information and motivation. These adorable running skirts from this company called Sparkle Athletic caught my attention but my first thought was I’m too old to carry off such a young “hip” look. (Does anyone say “hip” anymore?) I kept going back to the website and finally threw caution to the wind and bought one not only for myself but for my daughters and sister to wear at the Tinkerbell Half. I have never looked back and have worn a #teamsparkle skirt in every running event I have done since. My first skirt was the turquoise and to this day it is still my favorite and I get this sentimental feeling when I wear it remembering how proud I was crossing the finish line at my first half. Looking young and hip, you know.
What/Who inspires you to continue running?
S: All of you in the running community inspire me. Juggling real life, families, relationships, careers, illness, injuries, and the hustle and bustle of daily life but STILL lacing up your shoes and stepping outside is so inspiring to see. Everyone has a story and even if I don’t know YOUR story, I know you have one but still move forward in a positive way.
We all know how much #teamsparkle loves their treats as much as they love running… What’s your favorite indulgence?
S: I’m not a sweets fan (Wait, what???) but give me a big plate of cheesy black bean nachos and a Bloody Mary and I’m good!
Which Sparkle Athletic product is your favorite “go to”?
S: Skirts! I have 20 and it’s always fun to decide which one I’m going to wear for an upcoming event! Of course, I’ve been known to change my mind last minute when I get to an expo and the girls have introduced a new one that I HAVE to have.
What is one of your favorite parts of racing in a Sparkle Athletic skirt?
S: It’s FUN! I remember the first time I did a non-Disney race where people don’t generally dress up and I thought other runners might think it was weird I was wearing a sparkle running skirt but I didn’t care because I loved it. That wasn’t the reaction I got at all, I received so many positive comments, even having other runners ask where to get one. Running in a Sparkle Athletic skirt makes me smile and relax and enjoy the course. Of course, there is always that young and hip thing.
Thank YOU so very much for “joining the team.” Individually each & every one 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 email@example.com!