Moment of truth. I have a team that makes all of this possible. A team that helps gather your feedback, brainstorm content ideas, and organize these motivational stories for you all to be inspired. While there is no shortage of inspiration out there to share with you, I didn’t realize that one of the most mind-blowing transformations had occurred within my very own team! So it is with SO much excitement and pride that I share Janey’s story with you all today. I can assure you that she is nothing short of motivational, and will kick start your butt into gear too! Ladies and gentlemen…the gorgeous, talented, beautiful, fit, relatable, inspirational, motivational, fabulous, and one-of-a-kind… Janey Kaspari!!!
Health and fitness have not always been my forte. Just a few years ago I couldn’t run to the end of my block without feeling winded and the only veggies in my life were the limp celery slices that came with my buffalo wings. I was over 30 lbs heavier, unhealthy, unhappy, out of shape and freshly divorced. At 21, with a toddler in tow, I was about to start my life over, and just the thought of facing the world after that kind of pain and heartbreak was enough keep me in bed with only a large cheese pizza to keep me company…seriously, I once ate an entire cheese pizza in an attempt to drown my sorrows! It was time for a change, and what better time to chase that change then amidst the biggest life altering chaos I would ever experience? The day I signed divorce papers was also the day I committed to leading a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to “diet” I wanted to change who I was at the very core, I wanted selecting a salad instead of a big fat burger to be second nature, not a constant battle, and I wanted working out and running to be a part of my everyday lifestyle instead of a semi-annual experience.
I started slow. A few beginners yoga classes here and there, a 10 minute climb on the stair master a few mornings a week, maybe a fast paced walk with an incline on the treadmill. Nothing too rigorous, but just enough to get me motivated. I started to see small changes happening in my body, and I loved it. The jiggle in my arms became slightly less jiggly, the pooch in my tummy wasn’t quite as poochy, and the cottage cheese on my thighs became a bit less…cheesy? It was working. The gym routine was keeping me going but I was ready for a challenge. I needed something to prove to myself that what I was doing wasn’t in vain and that these small changes were leading me on a path to the best version of me, Janey 2.0, as I so fondly named the new me. So, I signed up for a 10K. At the time, I couldn’t run a mile on the treadmill without feeling like I was about to meet my maker so 6.2 miles seemed borderline impossible. But the deed had been done, the money had been paid, and I wasn’t about to give anyone any ammo for another “I knew you couldn’t do it” moment.
Progress was slow at best. In the beginning, I threw up during almost every run. My body wasn’t used to this kind of exertion and to be honest, the In ’n’ Out Burger located in the parking lot of my divorce attorney’s office wasn’t helping my running goals either. But with the help of the best coach I could’ve asked for, my sister Jenna, I didn’t quit. It sometimes took her dragging my tear streamed face along, limping, and coming up with every excuse in the book why we should take a break but she didn’t let me. We continued and on Thanksgiving 2011, just 3 months after I had made it my goal to change my life, I crossed the finish line of my very first 10K. Best. Feeling. Ever. Ironically, it was on this exact same day that I told my boyfriend (now husband) Kyle, that I loved him for the first time, another huge feat I never imagined possible. Thanksgiving has since become my favorite holiday, as it serves as a constant reminder to me that second chances are real, goals are meant to be achieved and life is really, really beautiful.
I am so lucky to have found a partner in life who has not only encouraged my desire for a health and fitness centered lifestyle, but has taught me how to do it. Together we have continued to cross off items on my fitness bucket list and even included my sweet little boy in on the action! At 5 years old I’m pretty sure my son Brooks has run more races and hiked more mountains than most adults, and there’s nothing that could make me happier! About a year ago, almost exactly 3 years after deciding to start my life over, we crossed off one of the final “to do’s” on my fitness bucket list and completed a 1/2 marathon together, crossing the finish line hand-in-hand. It was so symbolic of all of the changes I had made in my life to get to this point, and was easily one of the most emotionally raw moments of my life. So grateful to have my husband alongside me in this journey!
The past 4 years, since I started on this health and fitness transformation have not been without their bumps and setbacks. I’ve had my moments of setting aside my egg whites and spinach for a ooey gooey chocolate donut for breakfast, but overall the person I am today is worlds apart from the unhappy, unhealthy, out of shape person I was a few years ago. The secret to my transformation? Continually setting goals. Reaching one goal should not be the end of the road; it should be the on-ramp to the next achievement. The completion of a 5K is the gateway to training for a 10K. Successfully replacing that heaping bowl of sugar laced cereal for breakfast with a protein shake in the mornings, should merely be a segue to turning every meal into a piece of the healthy and fit pie. You are capable of so much more than you realize! A little hard work, and a lot of faith in yourself can lead to accomplishing everything you’ve ever dreamed of… I should know, it happened to me.