Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Finding Inspiration

Yesterday, the networking group I'm involved in at work hosted an "Inspirational Women" panel made up of women who have done phenomenal things in their personal lives. I was asked to be the moderator, and humbly (with a tad bit of protest ;) agreed.

Each of the three speakers were such great story tellers, were so open and honest, and each felt a passion to doing. Here's a little taste . . .

The first woman decided as a single person to adopt a child, and navigated the process of adoption in the State of Texas from the foster system to find her child. After months of waiting she became a mom to a beautiful little girl we met at the event. After she adopted a second child, more and more people were seeking out her advice and counsel on how they could become parents. She decided to channel her boundless energy and specific knowledge into a adoption forum that she hosted at our company. One year later, there are six families with pending adoptions. She'll host her second adoption forum next month. Her goal remains: one child adopted into a loving family.

Anyone else inspired?!

The second woman is an elite athlete who had already done a few (FEW?!) marathons, triathlons, IronMans...and decided to [dramatic pause] SWIM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. (Rachael - don't get any ideas, Girl!) She trained her body and mind to prepare for the grueling swim and surrounded herself with a support network of people for her training and swim who could make decisions for her in case she couldn't. Her swim was successful and she had the fastest time of that year! At the end of her story, she asked the audience, "what is your 'English Channel?'"


The final woman was originally a part of our planning committee and showed real passion for what people's motivation. And you know me, I asked her a few question and learned that her story is just as inspirational as the other women we were featuring! So we asked her to join the panel as our third speaker. Her story is that after losing her mom to "lifestyle-related cancer" (she was severely overweight) when she was 25, and watching her brother also die from the same cancer when she was 40, she 'could see her own fate when she looked in the mirror.' A few years later -- and after trying every diet under the sun -- she finally began the path that would help her lose more than 100 pounds over 16 months. She now she lives a happier, healthier -- and likely longer! -- life.


I am truly inspired by these women, and I was honored to help share their stories.

Tonight I'm thinking about a good friend’s mom. She's just begun her battle with Breast Cancer, and we are all positive that she'll win this fight. She's a really special lady and our friend is back home with her this week. Best wishes! :-)

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