It’s rare that I’ll be truly inspired by an athlete. I can appreciate the awesome feat that he or she might have completed, but it’s rare that I will look at him or her and say “wow, you make me want to do this.” Mirinda Carfrae, Mia Hamm, and Natalie Coughlin are three who have, at one point or another in my life, inspired me to take myself a step further—to realize that within me is a far greater strength than, perhaps, I knew I had. This fourth athlete, though, inspired me on a much deeper level. She showed me that, if not for anything else, hereditarily, I have within me an amazing strength and ability to accomplish something. Now, she will probably hate me for referring to her as an athlete in this article, but Mom, you are, whether you like it or not.

Let me start with the (embarrassing) details. About a year and a half ago my mom realized she needed to change her lifestyle. What’s so inspiring about my mom is, of course, that she spent absolutely no time hesitating. True to form, she started researching athletic trainers, feverishly. As the token athlete in the family, I, of course pointed her in the direction of the trainer whose middle-aged-mothers-of-five trainees were kicking my, nineteen-year-old-with-no-excuse’s, you-know-what: Jenny Schatzle. And so, with the help of the spitfire coach, my mom began a regiment unlike any other. She stopped snacking, she stopped drinking, she stopped every terrible habit she had before. Cold turkey.

Of course, she also started some exercising. Jenny doesn’t mess around. Inside that gym is business. I, a tender, young, fit, triathlete, twenty year old have found myself near tears doing squats […]