A Passion To Fight Childhood Obesity

Posted: March 13, 2010 by kibler in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sarah is running in one of her ultra-marathons today in California. Keep her in your thoughts and tweet her good wishes @sarahstanley. Thanks.

Recently, emphasis has been placed on a serious epidemic concerning childhood obesity in the US. In the past 30 years the number of obese children in our nation has tripled. First Lady Michelle Obama brought the issue to the forefront of consumers’ minds when she recently launched her “Let’s Move” program. But long before Obama joined the ranks of those encouraging children to shape up, Sarah Stanley had devoted her life to fitness, with a passion to teach young people to get active. Through her lifestyle as an endurance athlete and through speaking engagements, Stanley endeavors every day to reach out to young people to show them how important fitness is so they can lead healthy and productive lives.

10 Questions – Sarah Stanley

1.    What’s your favorite part of a typical day?

My favorite part of my day is two-fold. First, interacting with my fan base and finding out what they are up too and, how their day is going. The second favorite part of my day is training. I love to sweat. I love to push my body. I enjoy running on the trails and enjoying nature. When I train it gives me time to reflect on how I can use my life to have a positive impact on others. I also love the way I feel after I workout. I think I have experienced a “runner’s high” a few times. I want to share this passion with everyone!

2.    What part of your day would you gladly give up?

How great would it be not to worry about sponsorships!

3.    Tell me about your cause. Share your passion.

My life mission statement is: “How can I be a blessing to someone, somehow, some way, somewhere?” This is how I run my life. No pun intended.  I’m an endurance athlete (mainly ultra running). I am also a humanitarian. What does this mean? To me it means doing something I am passionate about and helping others by it. I use my running as the platform to encourage, inspire and motivate young and old alike. I breathe, sweat, and bleed (hey, running ultra’s will do it to ya) health, fitness but most of all, relationships with people. I count it an honor to share my life, my passion of athletics and a healthy life style and most of all my love of running. And let’s not forget a healthy side of making people laugh and smile!

Most recently I launched the Run Ride Inspire project. If you have not heard, the number 1 cause of death in the next 9 years in the USA will be obesity. This breaks my heart. So given my history of helping others and living a healthy, active life I thought it would be a great platform to be a real, positive role model and show the next generation (and the current) what it means to walk the talk, or should I say run/ride the talk? I will be doing a combination of running and cycling 50 miles. In 50 states. Make sure you visit http://www.runrideinspire.com and become involved!

4.    If you could change anything you have done in your cause, what would it be?

To be a smarter athlete. I push myself almost too much. I need to learn that it’s okay to rest and recover. Seriously.

5.    What keeps you up at night?

Figuring out how I’m going to get everything done.

6.    Who gives you the best advice about your cause?

My friend Brian ( a small business owner & entrepreneur). He always tells me to keep climbing that mountain and make goals. Don’t look too far into the future. Focus on today. Also, another person who inspires me is my aunt. Her encouragement, love and pep talks motivate me to do anything!

7.    What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of facing my fear of water and learning how to swim at the age of 26. When I was a kid I had some friends drown. Let’s just say it didn’t motivate me to jump in the water! So my goal in 2006 was to do a triathlon. Well, I kind of needed to know how to float! And I did. I went from learning how to float to jumping into 18 feet of water in 6 weeks. And a sprint triathlon 6 weeks later.

My second thing I am most proud of is running and finishing my first 100 mile ultra marathon. Yes, running 100 miles. In. A. Row. No stopping (except for aid stations). No sleeping. No showers. Just me and the trail. Well, and a bobcat ( I didn’t see it, but another runner told me about it. Thank God!) I finished in 24 hours, 58 minutes, 8/21 women. I ran this on the my 30th birthday. Why? To show the world that you can celebrate positively. I think I made my statement.

8.    What would you like to see happen with your cause?

1. To lower the current obesity statistics.

2. To have people embrace my life mission statement for themselves.

3. To get active!

9.    Share a triumphant outcome to something you have faced in your life.

I started running when I was 14 to deal with a stressful childhood. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol I rolled out of bed at 4:30am weekday mornings and ran. It was a time where I could just be present. Enjoy the darkness. Watch the sun rise. And face my day ahead. Today I look back at that moment and I’m thankful that I was able to have the where-with-all to turn a negative into a positive. Running saved my life.

10.  If you were in charge of everything in the world for a day, what’s the first change you would make?

No media, no TV, no frivolous reality TV shows. Instead, have each person help someone else and embrace this: “More compassion, less complaining. More service to others, less things. More caring, less judgement.”

To read more and get involved in sponsorships go to: www.runrideinspire.com

Photo credits:

The “Nike black shirt” photo and the “track” photo are by Doug Kean
The “orange vest” head shot and “orange track” photo are by Matthew Lofton
  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by kwidrick: Awww, nice interview with @sarahstanley and @RunRideInspire from @Kibler http://bit.ly/dxmlTd

  2. Paula Grace says:

    Wonderful interview and story! Thank you!

  3. I guess it will have to be OK to be fat because I am fat. I don’t see how any rational person can think that all it takes to be thin is to go on a diet, make rational food choices, as it was described in the clip, and then you will be a socially acceptable weight. So get with the program, FATSO! If this is the answer why do 95% of people who lose the weight regain it all and then some within the next five years or so? It is always possible to motivate yourself and watch every thing you put in your mouth and work out like crazy and lose some weight. That doesn’t make you a socially acceptable size person. It basically makes you temporarily not fat. What naturally slender build person that you know needs to work out every day and watch the amount of calories they put in their mouth daily to stay the size they are? Another thing that is never mentioned is the fact of the increase of foods that trigger the appetite produced by our food industry. Since I started eating whole grains, I have noticed that if I do eat their processed counterparts I am unbelievably hungry a couple of hours after I eat. This includes any pasta, bread, cracker or pizza dough made with white flour. In the modern food processing world, when they remove all the nutrients from the flour during processing,then “enrich” it by adding back some vitamins and nutrients, the product is left without the essence of the food that fills you up. The same is true of any food prepared for consumption in restaurants or prepared in the supermarket. This is a source of lobbying money for those who love to pile on massive government nanny programs however, so you can expect to keep taking the blame for your personal failure to stop shoveling food into your craw to the expense of the government health care programs all the skinny folk are going to have to subsidize for the lardos. Are you prepared to opt out of any government run health care program so you can be fat? Sure I will opt out of paying any state and federal income tax as well, thank you very much.

    • kibler says:

      I can understand how you feel and I must leave any medical answers to the experts. I do know from my own personal experience we have gone way overboard in this country on portion sizes and then combined with a lack of exercise and activity we have created an enormous problem in this country with weight. Yes, there is a lot of misleading information out there in regards to diets and labeling of food. Sometimes it is very difficult to decipher what is really true and then apply it to our lives where we will see results. If at all possible, see your doctor or a nutrition specialist that can work out a personal program that will work for you. Good luck and I wish you the very best in your quest.

  4. Trey Weddle says:

    Completely understand what your stance in this matter. Although I would disagree on some of the finer details, I think you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to research it on my own. Thanks

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