All of the "applicants" (I hate that word, but I guess that's what they would be called) had something unique and amazing about them. We would have been lucky to have any of them on the team, and we had to choose just one. We did toss around the idea of a second team, but putting together a Ragnar team involves a LOT of work--and Rik would be up to his eyeballs in stressful planning, so we decided just one team is plenty for now.
But anyway, we voted as a team and made the final decision yesterday. Our newest team member is a woman named Meredith--and she is extremely inspiring! She's lost 101 pounds and has kept it off for two years now. She's completed three half-marathons, with a PR of 2:10:29. Her husband has even lost weight too--166 pounds!! But I will stop raving and let her share her story. This is the e-mail that she sent our team:
Hi Ragnar Relay Team,
My name is Meredith and I would love to be considered for the last spot on your relay team. I live in Mesa, Arizona. I am 37 years old and in the best shape I have been in my life. My friend in California read about this opportunity on your blog and text me to let me know. As soon as I read the blog I knew this was something I would love to do.
So as of today I have lost 101 lbs. I joined Weight Watchers in September of 2005 weighing 256 lbs and have been attending meeting ever since. My experience in my weight loss journey has completely changed my life. I would love to say that the weight came off easily and that keeping it off is not a struggle, but that would not be the truth. This journey though has taught me that I am able to keep the weight off for the first time in my life and I have completely changed the way I live. I reached my “goal weight” at Weight Watcher’s at the end of May in 2010 and became a Lifetime member 6 weeks later on July 10th 2010.
I am proud to say that I have been Lifetime ever since and have not gone over my goal weight. I had taken the first 40 lbs off in a relatively quick manner but the last 61 lbs were a struggle. My real turning point was in November of 2009, the Saturday before Thanksgiving that year. I was struggling badly. I had just realized that in a 42 week span I had gained and lost the same pound over and over again. When I went to discuss my plateau with my WW leader I couldn’t do so without bursting into tears. I sat through the entire meeting crying and only my husband and my WW leader knew. When I left the meeting that day I told myself enough was enough and I was going to get to goal. This is where my running came into play.
Back in September of 2010 I ran my first 5K in which I came in first place in my age group. I was working on training for my first half marathon in October of 2010 when I tore my right hamstring when I slipped on a wet piece of tile in my house. That put my running on a stand still for a few months but I never gave up. I got back to running knowing that I still needed to do my half marathon that I could not do the year before. I used a few 10Ks and a 12K as training to get ready for the PF Chang’s ½ marathon in January of 2012.
I successfully ran the half marathon and finished in 2:22:01; my 2nd half marathon was just 1 month later. I signed up for the Lost Dutchman half marathon and ran that one in February 2012, completing that in 2:17:29. So I figured what is one more…I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon on March 3rd 2012 and my finishing time there was 2:10:29.
I typically run 4-5 times a week from 5-10 miles a day depending on my schedule. I use running as a stress relief and as a way to make sure that I stay in shape. I love to run. I have found something healthy that I love to do and that to me is the best feeling in the world.
I think I would make a great addition to your team because I feel like I have learned a lot from my weight loss journey. I have learned how to overcome struggle, how to never give up, and how I can do anything I put my mind to. I am so inspired by other people and their weight loss journeys and I love to hear about them and to be surrounded by people that have done what I have done and what I continue to do. Although technically I am at my goal weight I do not feel like my journey is over. I feel like I will be on this journey for life and am excited to do so. I learn new things about myself on a daily basis and I have an amazing support team around me including my husband who is also down 166 pounds.
I do not have a blog or a website.
I have attached a before and after picture. My before picture was the one that inspired me to change my life and the after picture if the day I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Our team is very happy to have Meredith on board!