Healthier Life Inspiration

on January 1, 2009
David Damer

I know I wasn't the only one cheering on and tearing up as Dara Torres swam in an unprecedented fifth Olympic Games last summer. At age 41, Torres was considered practically decrepit in competitive swimming (even though it's common knowledge that 40 is the new 30). Her feat — earning three silver medals while vying with women half her age — is completely inspiring, no doubt about it. And as we are in the business, here at Spry, of spurring you on to a healthier life, I thought long and hard about whether to feature Torres in these pages, and how. She'd be the natural cover model for this Dream It, Do It issue, wouldn't she?

So why is it that we chose instead to feature a group of regular gals (including yours truly)? Here's the thing: As impressive and amazing as Torres' accomplishments are, I'm more interested in sharing stories of people who haven't made the cover of Time and Sports Illustrated. People who are, in a sense, more like us, whose stories aren't so fantastic that you feel like you're reading a movie script.

Not to take anything away from Torres, but there's something about discovering that the proverbial girl next door lost an amazing amount of weight, like Heather Burczynski; or took the grief at the loss of her young son and channeled it into a new career, like Jayne Dearborn. There's a "me-too" aspect to these stories that just might get you to take the first step down a road you've never traveled before, like they did.

Like I did. Because I too did something I never dreamed possible — I lost 70 pounds and have kept it off for 20 years. More than that, I re-imagined myself. I stopped hiding behind my weight and started living the life I wanted — writing a book, creating a family, starting a magazine, spreading the gospel of good health.

I am not a metabolic wonder, or a lifelong athlete with trainers and nutritionists and million-dollar endorsements on the line. Really, I'm nothing special. And neither are the other "dream girls" on the cover. It's our ordinariness, really, that's the point. If we can do it, you can, whatever your dream. The "doing" might prove a little tougher this year. But that shouldn't keep you from beginning, from trying, from taking whatever small steps you can to get you moving. First, begin it! Then see what happens.

– Lisa Delaney, Editor

Found in: Uncategorized